Arkansas State Council of Machinists get to work at the annual Spring Conference.
Brother Shawn Morehead Local Lodge 484 ST and President of the Arkansas State Council of Machinists, welcomes our delegates to the Spring Conference.
The Arkansas State Council of Machinists is a political branch of the IAMAW. Delegates are nominated and elected by their Local Lodge membership to participate and vote on what legislation, political candidates and state measures the IAM will support. This council focuses on worker issues that affect our members. Our delegates focus on legislation concerning retirement, safety, wages, trade and anything else that could jeopardize their jobs and the jobs of other working families, even non-union workers.
Our State Council meeting was graced with the presence of Jessica Akers, the first woman President of the Arkansas AFL-CIO. Jessica spoke on key legislation that directly effects working families in Arkansas.
Our new director of The Woodworkers dept, Bob Walls gave a presentation and shared his vision of the future for woodworkers in the IAMAW.
Grand Lodge Special Representative to the Woodworkers Dept, Billy Barnwell gave a presentation on the resources available through their department. The Woodworkers Dept offers contract assistance, organizing assistance, educational assistance and even global political assistance through BWI the Building and Woodworkers International. BWI is a global union with 12 million members in 135 countries. The IAM is an affiliate of BWI which gives us the ability to fight bad trade policies that jeopardize the jobs of our members not just here at home, but we also have the ability to take the fight overseas where our jobs are being absorbed.
Directing Business Representative of District Lodge W2021 Chuck Bennett addresses the council on the importance of engaging with your elected officials and letting your voice be heard. No matter if they are Red or Blue, Left or Right, it's important that we have a relationship with the people that represent our members. There are times when legislation appears that could cost our members their jobs. Whether it is an unreasonable carbon tax that would put lumber mills out of business or a bill with loopholes for greedy corporations to relocate and still collect their tax write-offs and government subsidies, the IAM's relationships have saved thousands of good paying jobs.
Every State Council of Machinists has a set of bylaws. This year a committee was nominated and elected to update the bylaws that govern the council. The Arkansas State Council of Machinists will vote on the recommendations of this committee to either adopt or discard the new changes.