This week, the Inaugural IAM Unity and Growth Conference, “Building Our Future Sector by Sector,” kicked off in San Diego.
The 2023 IAM Unity and Growth Conference focuses on training, educating, and inspiring IAM officers, staff, activists, and other leaders to organize new members in all sectors while embracing and strengthening the diversity of our union.
“Our diversity is our strength and we must welcome working people from all backgrounds into our union,” said IAM Resident General Vice President Brian Bryant during his welcome address. “We are going to ride this momentum into a new era for the IAM, an era of prosperity, unity, and growth.”
Morning plenary sessions featured dynamic speakers and a panel led by Organizing Director Vinny Addeo discussing current organizing campaigns in the healthcare, federal employment, and air transport sectors. Panelists highlighted strategies and milestones, with a particular focus on Ohio healthcare workers, Delta Air Lines, and internal organizing in the federal government.
The afternoon breakout sessions included instruction on fresh organizing tactics and how communications, strategic research, legal matters, and diversity can help grow our union.
Breakout industry sectors include:
- Aerospace and Service Contract Act
- Manufacturing and Shipbuilding
- Wood, Pulp and Paper, and Natural Resources
- Public Sector, Healthcare, and Non-Traditional Industries
- Air Transport and Rail
Delegates will wrap up the week by convening individual industrial sector meetings and producing a report for the entire conference.
The first day included video messages from President U.S. Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su.
The conference also had a diverse list of speakers, including:
- IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes
- IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen
- IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan
- IAM Women’s & Human Rights Director Julie Frietchen
- IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo
- Former Member of the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, DOL, Lynn Rhinehart
- California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
- National Mediation Board Chair Deirdre Hamilton
- National Labor Relations Board Associate General Counsel Jessica Rutter
- IAM Canadian Grand Lodge Representative Scott Jackson
- Federal Labor Relations Authority Member Susan Tsui Grudmann
- The Purpose Institute Co-Founder Haley Rushing
- Ohio State University Nurses Organization President Rick Lucas
- IAM Organizing Special Representative Ali Rhodes
- IAM Organizing Grand Lodge Representative Juan Eldridge
- NFFE-IAM Business Representative/Organizer Jerry McCarty
- IAM Air Transport Coordinator James Carlson
- IAM District 142 Organizer Dee Colbert
- Guide Dogs of America | Tender Loving Canines President Russ Gitltlen
- Union Plus Union Service Representative Keith Anderko