Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) August 26, 2011
The Iron Workers International Union solidified a long-held commitment to support organizing among members and to work closely with management to lower costs, improve safety and increase efficiency at the 42nd Iron Workers Convention Aug. 15 – 19 in Chicago, Ill. With 125,000 members, the Iron Workers Union is one of the largest—and most progressive—labor unions in North America.
Pledging to “double our market share and double our union within the next ten years,” General President Walter Wise vowed the Iron Workers “will emerge from the greatest construction depression of our lifetime stronger than ever and more powerful than ever” by putting members back to work and finding unique ways to win members and work with contractors. “Jobs are what our members need. That’s why all levels of our Union are working in all aspects of the industry,” Wise said.
Wise hailed the contributions of the Ironworkers Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT), the Iron Workers’ labor-management arm, which aims to increase market share by improving the relationship between Ironworker local unions and contractors, and educating owners, developers and key decision-makers about the quality, safety and skill of union Ironworkers. In a sweeping show of support for the labor-management trust, Ironworker delegates overwhelmingly voted to support participation in IMPACT, which helps to fund the Union’s training programs and issues grants to local unions.
Wise also called for an expanded political commitment to increase participation rates and contribution levels to the Iron Workers Political Action League, applauding those local unions and district councils that have achieved 100 percent participation.
“We absolutely must have strong allies from both parties for us to succeed in maintaining Davis-Bacon, expand the use of Project Labor Agreements [PLAs] and increase investments in key infrastructure projects including bridges and dams,” Wise said. Such investments in infrastructure benefit all Americans—not just the workers who build them—and create jobs along the way.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis provided video greetings to convention attendees to express their support.
According to Wise, cooperation and expansion of the Union starts within the brotherhood. “We are one union,” he said. “The solidarity of our members in all aspects of our industry, shop, structural, reinforcing, ornamental and rigging is necessary for our future. We are one Union and with our signatory employers, we are one team.” Union members already agree that organizing, working with management and improving safety are the key to growing market share. “Seeing us working together at the convention,” Wise added, “I know that the sky’s the limit for our great Union.”
About the Iron Workers International Union:
The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IABSO&RIW) was founded in 1896 in Pittsburgh, Penn. They now represent more than 125,000 Ironworkers throughout the United States and Canada. The IABSO&RIW’s mission is to improve the working conditions of its members while promoting constructive relationships with their employers to increase work opportunities.
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