Members of the IAMAW Spanish Leadership Working Group (SLWG) convened last week at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3)  to discuss the direction of the group, improve their visibility, welcome new members, and to review and update the Spanish education materials for the New Year 2020.

2020 is a particularly important year for our nation and our Union. Our IAM Spanish Leadership programs activate and empower our bilingual and Spanish-speaking members to become officers, activists, and leaders in their Union, in their workplace, and in their communities, we need their energy, insight, and activism now more than ever.

As Union leaders, it is essential to understand the cultural differences of our members and to adapt our outreach efforts to the intended audience. By ensuring that we identify participants for the Spanish Leadership program, we will allow our Union to provide outreach to groups of members that are far too often underserved, excluded, or pushed to the margins of society.

The language connection will encourage the participants’ confidence in their ability to be leaders in their Local Lodges or on their shop floors in either language. When the power of the IAM message is delivered to members by members with a shared cultural story and language, the message resonates so much more. If our leaders have the knowledge to converse about labor issues in English and Spanish, we arm them with powerful tools to counter the efforts of employers to divide us further. 

“The programs the IAM offers in Spanish are helping to build and strengthen our union. And like our English leadership programs, are developing future officers, activists, organizers and leaders,” said International President Bob Martinez. “This work aligns with our values of making education broadly available to the membership and equipping member activists with the skills they need to effectively represent and add future members who are a part of the fastest growing demographic segment in our country.”

There is an urgent need to educate our members in their native language to inspire activism; members are more likely to get involved when they see that their union’s issues align with their own concerns. The Spanish programs at W3 are an excellent way of training and inspiring our next generation of IAM leaders as the labor movement develops and the demographics of our country continue to change.

The Spanish Leadership Working Group welcomed three new members to the group, which include Marilyn Soto Steward LL 914 from Perth Amboy, NJ, Laura Ewan, Legal Dept. Grand Lodge staff from Alexandria, VA, and Luis Silvas Business representative from LL 1125 from San Diego, Ca.

The first class, Spanish Leadership I, will take place March 15-20, 2020. However there are several other Spanish programs that target the various levels of union leadership education. There are also staff classes including Collective Bargaining and Organizing I, both offered in Spanish.

Please note that enrollments in any of the Spanish Leadership programs do not count against your lodge’s regular leadership school allotments. 

Click here to download enrollment forms in either Spanish or English directly from the Winpisinger Center’s website.  The Spanish classes for 2020 are as follows:

March            15-20            SPANISH LEADERSHIP I

May                  17-22            ORGANIZING I PROGRAM SPANISH

June                14-19            SPANISH ADVANCED LEADERSHIP

July                  12-17            SPANISH LEADERSHIP II

August            16-21            SPANISH LEADERSHIP I

August            23-28            SPANISH TRAIN-THE-TRAINER

November     08-13           COLLECTIVE BARGAINING in SPANISH

If you have any questions about the Spanish Leadership programs or need any additional information, please contact Edmundo Osorio at (301) 373-8814 or


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