Machinists Union emerges as leader in US labor organizing
According to data from Bloomberg Law, the Machinists Union, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has emerged as the leading union in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union election victories in the United States over the past five years.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) won an impressive 314 union elections out of 422 held under the NLRB from 2018 through 2022, the highest number among the 58 AFL-CIO affiliate unions. IAM’s success can be attributed to the union’s proactive approach to organizing, which involves investing heavily in organizing campaigns and mobilizing its members and supporters to participate in these efforts. The Machinists Union has successfully organized workers in both traditional and emerging industries.
One of the benefits of union organizing campaigns is incentivizing employers to raise wages and improve benefits to prevent workers from joining a union. Employers are often hostile towards unions, viewing them as threatening their profits and power. This leads them to engage in union avoidance tactics, such as intimidation, coercion, and misinformation. However, when workers begin to show signs they are seriously attempting to unify their workplaces, employers may respond by offering better pay, benefits, and working conditions to prevent workers from joining a union.
This practice is known as the “union effect,” It has been shown to benefit not only union members but also non-union workers. By forcing employers to raise wages and improve benefits, union organizing campaigns help to establish better standards for all workers in a given industry or sector. Unification efforts positively impact the overall economy by reducing income inequality, increasing consumer purchasing power, and improving the overall quality of life for workers and their families.
The Machinists Union’s success in NLRB elections can be partly attributed to its proactive approach to organizing.
“The IAM set out to make growing our strength in numbers our first priority—and the results continue to show,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We are organizing in both our core industries and new ones, and we are so grateful to the IAM Organizing Department and organizers across our union for continuing to fight for justice on the job for new members.” .
The IAM recently committed to boosting organizing resources at its 40th Grand Lodge Convention in October 2022.
“I’m so proud of every IAM organizer for the job they do each and every day,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “Our work is paying off for working people and we look forward to growing our capabilities even further.”