A $5,000 donation from IAM members at Federal Mogul in Wausau was presented to striking workers at a picnic held at Riverside Park on Saturday Aug. 28 in Merrill.
According to Local President Donald Tessmer from Federal Mogul, “IAM members know that an injury to one is an injury to all and what happens to workers in Merrill will spread to other locations.”
The striking workers at Merrill started mailing appeal letters to more than 356,000 IAM members across the country two weeks ago.
“I was completely caught off guard by how quickly they responded and by the size of their generosity,” said Merrill IAM Local 2362 Union President Norma Schroder
Jere McFalda, IAM District W3 President for the Woodworkers District that includes Wisconsin stated that he expects other Lodges to begin to respond in September since many Lodges don’t hold meetings in month of August.
“I would not be at all surprised if this amount triples in a relatively short period of time. Hopefully Merrill Manufacturing will understand that their fight is no longer with workers in Merrill, their fight is now with the IAM,” McFalda said. “We have recently intensified our efforts to get Japanese unions to educate Merrill Manufacturing’s largest customer, Kawasaki, that doing business with a company that violates basic human rights such as the International Labor Organization’s core labor standards will not be tolerated. It is one thing to engage in tough bargaining, it is another to permanently replace striking workers. The ILO, a part of the United Nations, has already ruled that the permanent replacement of striking workers is a human rights violation.”
Approximately 45 workers plus their families attended the picnic on Saturday and reaffirmed their commitment to fight for fairness at Merrill Manufacturing.