Machinists team up to help Puget Sound families
SEATTLE — Members from two different Machinists Union district lodges teamed up this spring to collect more than 8,600 diapers and 6,800 baby wipes in support of the recent March of Diapers community campaign.
Members of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 and Machinists Union District Lodge 160 — both based in Seattle — made a significant contribution to the effort, which provided in total more than 21,000 diapers and 16,000 wipes to women’s shelters and agencies that support low-income families in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
“We were so successful, we were able to expand the program and help more agencies than we’d planned on originally,” said Cheryl Hurst, a community activist who headed the effort. “The Machinists played a big part in that.”
The diapers and wipes were turned over to Care Net of Pierce County, the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network of Tukwila, FISH Food Bank in Edgewood, Mary’s Place in Seattle, the Multi Service Center in Federal Way and Pregnancy Aid of Snohomish County.
On the union side, the drive was supported by groups as diverse as the IAM 751 Retirement Club and the Young Machinists group at District 160, said Rob Curran, the chairman of the Machinists Volunteer Program at District 751.
“All of us who are parents understand how important it is to have clean diapers,” he said. “But for families who are living in shelters or struggling to feed themselves, fresh diapers can be a luxury. As MVPs, we’re glad to partner with the March of Diapers to do our part, one tushy at a time.”
This was the first time that the Young Machinists group at IAM 160 had partnered with the IAM 751 MVPs on a project, said IAM 160 Business Rep Brandon Hemming.
“This was a great project for us to get involved in, and we look forward to partnering with our brothers and sisters in District 751 on more community service projects in the future,” he said.
Originally founded in 1935 by hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 32,000 working men and women at 53 employers across Washington and California.
District Lodge 160 of the IAM&AW represents more than 5,000 working people in Western Washington and Alaska working in trades as diverse as automotive repair, shipyards, machining, manufacturing and government service.