IAM Headquarters collected donations from employees so that two Washington, DC-area families will have presents, stocking stuffers and a Christmas dinner this holiday season. The gifts were wrapped and delivered to the families.
“The IAM takes great pride in giving back to those who can use our help, especially during this time of the year,” said IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux. “It’s part of the great legacy of our union to lend a hand to those who can use a lift up.”
IAM Local 1280 in Newark, OH, along with the Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers (GMP), bought and assembled 86 bikes and helmets for the Salvation Army’s “Bikes for Kids” drive.
The 10-year tradition is carried on in the memory of deceased IAM member Dave “Stinky” Pugh, who along with his wife would donate several bicycles each holiday season to the program. The members, employed at fiberglass-manufacturer Owens Corning, raised money for the bikes through employee donations, contributions from other unions, local businesses and other organizations. Management also joined in by raffling off a vacation day, bringing the grand total raised for the effort to $6,100.
“IAM Members play a key role in their communities wherever they are employed,” said IAM District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright, Jr. “Yet this particular effort just feels a little more special, with an extra special amount of excitement added in. Kids and bicycles are as American as moms and apple pie, all the while honoring the memory of a good union brother.”
Over the years, the Newark team has donated more than 790 bikes to the program.
“Thanks go out to all the members of Local 1280, that not only donate money and time to make this a successful project, but also put the finishing touches on the bikes,” said Wright. “A big thank you goes to the retirees and other unions, including Owens Corning, who not only contribute, but pitch in and work alongside our members, as well as provide the work space to assemble the bikes.”
Boeing employees in North Charleston, SC, who are working to organize with the IAM, teamed with local members of the Longshoremen’s Union to collect Christmas gifts for the Toys for Tots program. The donations were given to children in the Charleston area.