Babcock opposed the agreement before losing election bid
By CARL GREEN
East Alton, IL – Machinists District 9 has a new local in the Wood River Township assessor’s office following a campaign in which the Labor Movement worked together to support the township’s six deputy assessors.
The Township Board on Oct. 30 voted to accept a tentative contract worked out beginning on Oct. 10, the day after a lively bunch of union members and one large rat picketed in front of the township offices on 9th Street in East Alton, drawing cheers and honks from people on the busy street.
Before the rally, the union had worked out an agreement with the assessor, but it was blocked by Township Supervisor Mike Babcock. Babcock was a Republican legislative candidate before losing in a close Nov. 6 election to Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Godfrey) in the 111th House District.
Machinists Business Representative Roy Collins said the rally seemed to change everything and was a great show of Labor unity.
“We had a lot of Machinist union members, and we had people there from other Labor organizations,” Collins told the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor. “We had a lot of support. It was a great morning.
“I think it turned negotiations around. We actually met the next day, and they were very motivated to get an agreement.”
Collins added that the Machinists appreciated the board voting to accept the agreement.
UNIONS WORKING TOGETHER
Federation President B. Dean Webb, who was among those attending the rally, said the rally shows what unions working together can do.
“If other unions need help, this is what this organization is about,” he said. “We need to stand together. We had plumbers & pipefitters out there, we had teamsters, and a number of other singles and doubles coming out. We had electricians, who helped us with a generator. This is what it’s about.”
Collins said the Machinists remain open to organizing other public employee groups. “We are interested in any and all organizing leads,” he said.