“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong that will be imposed upon them, and these will continue until they are resisted. “We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other, if we are to succeed.”

Frederick Douglass

Escaped Slave & Abolitionist Leader, 1857


Are you tired of your boss treating you and your co-workers unfairly? Is your voice not being heard or appreciated at work? Do you feel like you’re being underpaid and overworked? Are your hours unpredictable and inconsistent? Are your working conditions unsafe? 

If you answered ‘YES’ or ‘MAYBE’ to any of these questions, you might greatly benefit from speaking with someone at our union about organizing. If you’re interested in joining a union, or even just learning more about why union representation might be a good fit for you, you’re in luck! Representing workers and securing fair wages & benefits in contract negotiations across various industries anywhere in Washington State or Alaska is our speciality!

Please contact our Union Organizer, Melissa Demyan at (206)747-0988, to learn how we can help you organize your workplace!




Why should we organize with you?

Why Organize with IAM District 160?

Choosing to organize is an act of bravery – but the ‘fighting Machinists’ are here to support you every step of the way. Here’s what we can offer that you probably won’t find anywhere else if you chose to organize with another union or go solo:


Individualized Attention

Other unions overload their staff, and at District 160 we have a dedicated Organizer who will work 1:1 with you and your coworkers to make sure you have the support and resources you need. We value your time, and will make every effort to work with you on your own schedule.


Experience Across Industries

Other unions often ‘specialize’ in one industry or another, and we’re used to serving workers from all industries! Healthcare workers, non profit staff, vet techs, life guards, yoga instructors… you name it, we’ve worked with a similar group! District 160 is open to working with any group regardless of industry, and we’re ready to welcome you to our union family whenever you’re ready to put in the work alongside us. 


Experience with Difficult Bosses & Anti-Union Companies

Is your boss a jerk? Is your company historically anti-union? Have no fear; District 160 is here! We’re always up for a fight, and we have the knowledge, resources, and skills needed to take on tough bosses and union-busting tactics employed by management. Our team has a positive working relationship with most managers at units we represent, but we also have experience taking on the worst kinds of bosses and anti-union companies and winning victories for workers. The choice is up to your management – do they want the easy way or the hard way? We’re ready for whatever comes our way. 


Track Record of Success

District 160 has a track record of success when it comes to organizing big and small units. A group working solo without an established union might be able to win an NLRB election, but we bring the skills and expertise needed to the negotiating table to win the most important victory of all – a first contract!


Training and Support

Our District 160 Organizer’s job is to train and prepare you for the work of organizing your co-workers. Our Organizing Department will work with you every step of the way to make sure you’re prepared with the skills and resources needed to win.


Contract Specialists

Business Representatives at District 160 are all contract specialists. They deal with negotiating contracts on a daily basis, and are all well versed in the various components of labor and contract law. When you win your organizing campaign, you’ll have a Business Representative assigned to your group who will work with your stewards and bargaining team to negotiate a first contract.


Legal Support

Our team at the Machinists union has plenty of experience dealing with unfair labor practices and winning legal battles for workers. The support you’ll get working with us is backed by decades of experience and the resources we can provide locally and through our Grand Lodge. 


Customized Campaign Plan & Strategy

Most unions run cookie-cutter campaigns – repurposing material and using the same playbook over and over. At District 160, we recognize that your group has individual needs, and our Organizing Department will work with you to customize your campaign and strategy. We have ‘norms’ and some tried-and-true practices that we know will help you win, but we’re also always thinking of new ways to use technology and expand our playbook to find what will work best for your group to ensure that YOU win.


Please contact our Union Organizer, Melissa Demyan at (206)747-0988, to learn how we can help you organize your workplace!




Organizing FAQs

Why Join the IAM

The IAM is an International union, representing workers around the world. We have members in Public and Private sectors, in almost every workplace imaginable. We represent workers, supervisors, and middle managers in Government, Technology, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Construction, Transportation, and many other industries.  


Do I need a Union?

It really depends on your workplace. Union members earn an average of 27% higher wages, they often have better healthcare and retirement plans, more paid days off, safer work environments, and better overall working conditions. If you would like to see improvements in any of the areas, the IAM can help.


What makes the IAM different than other Unions?

In addition to our wide range of experience, the IAM puts a significant effort in educating our staff and members. Every staff member attends courses at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Maryland. These courses educate our staff in all aspects of Labor Representation so that we can provide exceptional service to our members. We also offer many courses to our members; we firmly believe that educating our members is critical to creating a world class organization. Many unions offer some type of basic education for their members, the IAM takes it a step further and puts our members in a highly structured classroom environment, similar to a College or University. 


What can be negotiated in a Collective Bargaining Agreement?

Almost anything that concerns compensation and working conditions can be negotiated. Most common are Wages, Health and Welfare Benefits, Paid Holidays, Paid Leave, Paid Vacation, Retirement Plan, and Work and Safety Rules.


Does the IAM offer a pension or other retirement plan?

The IAM offers several retirement plans as well as very competitive Health and Welfare plans that may include: Medical, Prescription Drug, Dental, Vision, Disability, and Life Insurance.  These plans must be negotiated into your Collective Bargaining Agreement, in some cases the employer will offer their own competitive plan.  


My workplace seems unsafe, how can the IAM help me?

One of the cornerstones of the IAM approach is workplace safety. We have representatives on staff that are well versed in State and Federal workplace safety regulations and can help you navigate workplace safety issues. We have experience working with Washington State Labor and Industries Department of Safety and Health and can arrange consultations or inspections if necessary.  

It’s not uncommon for employees to become complacent to safety and health hazards; an outside resource can help identify and address these issues. If there are a lot of injuries, or even a few severe injuries, oftentimes it’s because the employer is not complying with safety regulations. Please contact us if you need assistance with safety or health issues-even if you’re not a member, we can provide assistance.


How do I join the IAM

A majority of employees in your workplace must vote in an official election that is administered by the Department of Labor. Sounds like a big deal, but it’s a very straightforward process and very easy to understand. If you are interested in organizing your workplace, or even if you just have questions, reach out to our District 160 organizer for a no pressure conversation about how the IAM can benefit your workplace.


I’ve heard bad things about Unions in the news, what’s up with that?

It’s very common for employers to put their spin on popular news stories that give Union’s a bad reputation. An example would be “The Union is stopping children from returning to the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic because the Teachers don’t want to teach”. This is not factual, Unions just don’t have the authority to make that decision. In most instances it’s a half truth, the employer and the union made an agreement and the employer put their spin on it as a Union decision to keep parents and the news media off the employers back.  

Another common myth is that Unions protect bad employees. This is another half truth, Unions ensure that every employee is given due process, regardless of who they are or what they might have done. It’s the employers responsibility to ensure they follow their discipline and termination practices, State and Federal laws, and provide the employee due process. If you ever hear somebody say the Union is keeping the bad employees from getting fired, that’s just not the case. A more accurate statement would be the employer did not follow the proper procedures and the employee was not given fair treatment.




Organizing Interest Form

Ready to have a conversation with an organizer? No pressure! Fill out this form and someone from our organizing team will be in touch to answer your questions.




Organizing Resources

AFL-CIO Organizing Institute


IAM District 160 Organizing Department


Labor Notes Training





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