Machinists union votes to drop traditional and embrace ‘Double Bass’

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union have been the masters of striking, the architects of national steel strikes and the masters of “card check,” a controversial labor method now…

Machinists union votes to drop traditional and embrace ‘Double Bass’

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union have been the masters of striking, the architects of national steel strikes and the masters of “card check,” a controversial labor method now used to unionize workplaces. If that’s not enough, their work has actually been more impressive when adjusted for inflation, due to the tumult of the recession in 2008.

Their next battle could have a nearly positive impact on their labor history. On Wednesday morning, the union announced it had adopted the “Traditional Untraditional” as its official name. The term “traditional”, or “double-bass” to union leaders, was thought to be too rigid and outdated — it was a label that might cause one to doubt that a union was moving into the modern era.

“Traditionalism is only a name,” said Bonnie Yates, the lead negotiator for the union’s District 751, which includes service stations, hotels and transportation workers in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. “What matters is that we think about the future. We need to make sure our message is clear.”

Strikers and their supporters wore traditional t-shirts and slogans (“TRADITIONAL UNTARGIC,” read one), just in case any questions would emerge about which side they belonged to.

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