Over his 33-year IAM career, Wagoner dedicated his life to training and educating union activists at the Winpisinger Center, a campus in Hollywood, MD that many call the IAM’s “crown jewel.”
After hiring on as an education representative at the Winpisinger Center in 1989, Wagoner became the center’s assistant director in 2005. He served as director since 2007. Wagoner retired from the IAM in July 2022.
“The entire IAM is simply heartbroken at the loss of such an iconic, caring and influential figure in our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Chris has been a great friend and confidant to myself and so many others through more than three decades of challenges and triumphs in the IAM. Our memories of Chris’s unyielding love for our union and our membership will forever live on for so many whom he touched throughout the years. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Jill, daughter Mollie, daughter-in-law Qifei Zeng, and everyone who loved and cherished what Chris brought to our lives on and off the job.”
Wagoner was a constant figure at the Winpisinger Center, where thousands of members, officers and staff every year participated in leadership, organizing, negotiations and other programs that built power and knowledge in the IAM. Wagoner would make a point to visit with every class he could, sharing, among many things, that the Winpisinger Center, and the labor movement, must be an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment, free of any bias or discrimination for all.
“Wimpy’s vision created the Winpisinger Center, but no single person gave it more life and purpose than Chris Wagoner,” said Winpisinger Center Director Mary McHugh. “His contribution to our union is simply immeasurable.”
Wagoner oversaw a massive expansion in programming at the Winpisinger Center, including negotiations preparation, remote learning, and Spanish-language classes. He led the Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting quickly to remote learning and fighting tirelessly to rehire Winpisinger Center staff and reopen the facility with necessary precautions.
Prior to coming to the Winpisinger Center, Wagoner worked as an aide for the Committee on Labor and Industry in the Kentucky General Assembly. He also worked in the Labor Education Program and the Illinois Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program at the University of Illinois. Wagoner received his bachelor of science degree in political science from the University of Louisville and his master of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
My name is Richie Johnsen. I’m the General Vice President for the Air Transport Territory of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). You may have heard by now that three unions are combining resources to unionize workers at Delta Air Lines.
The Machinists Union will take on the Ramp, with the Teamsters (IBT) organizing Tech Ops and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) organizing the Flight Attendants. I’m excited about this kind of unity and what it means for Ramp and Cargo workers at Delta. Having a union is a real possibility.
Delta workers come to work every day and do an industry-leading job only to face short staffing and injury. The quality of work life is becoming intolerable in many stations. The pace of work is crushing. Arbitrary discipline and favoritism only add to the problem.
In turn, this affects your quality of life away from work. They say they value your opinion, but it’s clear they don’t. They change conditions of employment at the drop of a hat.
It’s time for things to change. They can change with a union. With a union contract, Delta won’t be able to change vacation accrual schedules or anything else unilaterally because, with a union, you have a voice in determining your destiny. With a union comes a union safety committee that can fight for adequate staffing, proper and well-maintained equipment, and union representatives whom you elect and fight for you—not corporate shareholders.
With a union, you can have a secure retirement with a pension and a 401(k), just like tens of thousands of IAM members already have. A union contract can give you protection from mandatory overtime, easier access to paid personal time, and better vacation language. Delta employees provide top-of-the-line customer service, and it’s only right that you get industry-leading wages to match.
I’m excited to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you in the coming months. I hope to meet many of you as we bring a union to this property.
You will soon receive two cards in an envelope—one for you to return to the IAM and one to give to a co-worker. A better, more prosperous, and secure future is right around the corner.
Air Transport Territory General Vice President
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM
Twenty-five workers of Valiant Government Services employed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM recently. The new members are HVAC Techs, electricians, carpenters, painters, pipefitters and boiler tenders, and are Service Contract Act (SCA) employees that maintain hospital facilities.
“We congratulate Valiant Government Services workers for choosing to join the Machinists Union,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “This victory is a win for workers who are attempting to make their families’ lives better.”
“This victory means a lot for the workers and IAM District 34,” said IAM District 34 Directing Business Representative Scott Rich. “We look forward to getting a first contract that reflects the skill and dedication of the newest members of the IAM.”
The new unit has already started surveying the membership and electing a Negotiating Committee.
Guide Dogs of America – Tender Loving Canines (GDA/TLC) hosted its 2022 Las Vegas Charity Weekend with three fundraising events and an informational presentation leading up to its 41st Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet.
Over the year, the IAM raised over $2 million for GDA/TLC.
IAM territories, districts, and local lodges fundraise year-round with golf outings, clay shoots, motorcycle runs, and more to present large donations at the end-of-the-year Charity Banquet.
As part of GDA/TLC’s charity weekend, over 50 IAM members and other participants came together for a sporting clay shoot. The event was held at the Clark County Shooting Complex in Las Vegas, NV, and was open to anyone regardless of shooting experience. Awards were presented to the highest scoring teams.
GDA/TLC debuted its newest charity weekend event, Speed Vegas Exotics Racing, where participants could buy rides with professional drivers in exotic automobiles or pay to drive luxury sports cars. Raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the cause.
Charity weekend attendees also played in a golf tournament at Angel Park Golf Club. GDA graduates, meaning guide dog recipient and their dog, were stationed along the course to meet golfers and share their stories.
One GDA/TLC graduate team is prosecutor Chris McDonough and facility dog Fiji. Fiji works with McDonough at the Mobile County courthouse in Alabama to support and comfort crime victims and their families. Figi helps child victims, victims of violent crime, and witnesses cope with the anxiety and stress of coming to court and participating in that process.
“When I introduce Fiji to grand juries and tell them why he’ll be there with a victim, they’re always very impressed,” said McDonough. “I tell them to thank the Machinists Union. The IAM founded GDA and is GDA’s biggest financial contributor.”
During the 41st Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet, GDA/TLC presented its “Gift of Sight Award” to IAM Headquarters General Vice President Brian Bryant, IAM District 751 President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden and Chris Babcock of BNY Mellon.
This annual award is given to recipients to honor their commitment and support on behalf of this charity that has changed the lives of many.