New guide dog delivers freedom to Machinist

District 751 Machinist Dennis Meech is regaining some of the freedom he lost when blinded in a 2007 motorcycle accident, thanks to a seeing-eye dog provided by a union-sponsored charity.

With the help of Lefty, the dog provided by Guide Dogs of America, Meech is now making daily trips through Goldendale to visit with friends, and has even resumed his seat at the weekly Texas Hold ‘Em game he started in a local pub.

A story about Meech’s new life with Lefty is part of the current edition of the Eastern Washington Machinists News, which is now available online.

Meech spent the month of October training with Lefty at Guide Dogs of America’s school in Sylmar, Calif. He returned home in November, and was featured in the Yakima Herald-Republic on Thanksgiving Day. Video of Meech’s training sessions with Lefty can be found online at www.YouTube.com/IAMBuildingCommunity.

The Machinists Union is the major supporter of Guide Dogs of America, and Seattle-based Machinists Union District Lodge 751 is the No 1 fundraiser nationwide, collecting more than $276,000 for the charity in 2010. Meech is believed to be the first District 751 member to receive a service dog from GDA.

Also in this edition of the Eastern Washington Machinists News, you’ll find:

  • A report on how 74 percent of District 751 members working at Pexco in Union Gap voted to approve a new four-year contract in November;
  • A report on how Machinists working at Cummins Northwest in Spokane and Pendleton, Ore., approved three-year contracts in December;
  • A report on how District 751 took the lead to stop a planned Mexico aerospace outsourcing conference in Seattle in November; and
  • An announcement of a new satellite office for Local 1951 members in Yakima, inside the Carpenter’s Hall at 507 S. Third St.

The Eastern Washington Machinists News is published every two months for members of Machinists Union Local 86 in Spokane, Local 1123 in Wenatchee and Local 1951 in Richland. It is a supplement to the monthly AeroMechanic newsletter, published by District 751 in Seattle.

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., Seattle-based Machinists District Lodge 751 now represents more than 26,000 working men and women at 44 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2010, it negotiated contracts with 22 of those employers without a single workday lost to strikes.

Follow our latest tweets at http://twitter.com/IAM751

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  1. […] 2010, Machinists Union member Dennis Meech of Goldendale received a guide dog through Guide Dogs of America. He is the first member of Seattle-based District 751 to receive help […]

  2. […] people across North America who are blind or have impaired vision. In 2010, Machinists Union member Dennis Meech of Goldendale received a guide dog through Guide Dogs of America. He is the first member of Seattle-based District 751 to receive help […]

  3. […] people across North America who are blind or have impaired vision. In 2010, Machinists Union member Dennis Meech of Goldendale received a guide dog through Guide Dogs of America. He is the first member of District 751 to receive help through the […]

  4. […] addition, a union member – Dennis Meech of Goldendale – last year became the first person connected with District 751 to receive a guide dog from the charity. He had been a member of Local Lodge 1951 in the Tri-Cities before a 2007 […]

  5. […] addition, a union member – Dennis Meech of Goldendale – last year became the first person connected with District 751 to receive a guide dog from the charity. He had been a member of Local Lodge 1951 in the Tri-Cities […]

  6. […] The California-based charity provides guide dogs and instruction in their use free of charge to blind and visually impaired people from the United States and […]

  7. […] California-based charity provides guide dogs and instruction in their use free of charge to blind and visually impaired people from the United States and […]

  8. […] will go to benefit Guide Dogs of America, a California-based charity that provides service dogs to people who are blind or have impaired vision from across North […]

  9. […] Meech — a Machinists Union member who lost his eyesight in a motorcycle accident three years ago — was a special guest at the event, along with his guide dog, Lefty. Meech drew the winning […]

  10. […] Meech is a District 751 Machinist from Goldendale, who was blinded in a motorcycle accident on his way home from work in August 2007. […]



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