“The best way to celebrate and honor Martin Luther King Day is to do for others, as he did in the past. So when Local Lodge 850 decided to spend their holiday taking care of our federal workers on furlough in Oklahoma City, I was very proud that these members are part of our union family in the South,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace.
The brothers and sisters of Local 850 in the Sooner State partnered with the United Way and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to open a resource center to aid federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown. Members of 850 were onsite to facilitate machinists and others who needed information or assistance.
“Anything from receiving food and unemployment information to details on United Way programs such as medical, dental and insurance options, that’s what the members of 850 provided,” said Rick Boardman, Directing Business Representative of District 171. “In this district and throughout the IAM, we will do anything and everything we can to help our union brothers and sisters who are going without right now, at no fault of their own.”
Local Lodge 850 has more than 500 members being affected by the shutdown including air traffic control instructors, remote pilot operators, FAA mail room employees and others.
Oklahoma’s 9 News was there to tell the story of how the community is working together to take care of these residents.
“We are family and you always take care of family,” said Lois Williams member and vice president of Lodge 850. “No matter how long these workers are in need, the IAM will be there to help. We will do whatever it takes.”