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The Sparkplug (USPS 007966) is published bi-monthly by District Lodge 190, International Association of Machinists, Oakland, Calif., a non-profit organization. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland. Subscriptions are $3 per year.

The Sparkplug is the official publication of DistrictLodge 190 and its affiliated local lodges and notification ofany meeting or election in this paper shall constitute official notice per Article B, Section 4 of the IAMAW Constitution and Articles V and VII of District Lodge 190 By-Laws.

Letters to the Editor

Response to 'Final Election Tally'

As referenced in last month's Sparkplug, the Machinists Union had our first opportunity in 125 years to choose the IAM'S top leadership in a contested election. Because this election was ordered and overseen by the Dept. of Labor (DoL), paid IAM staff and officers were reluctant to speak about it out of concern of running afoul of the DoL's rules for conducting this historic election.

After I personally spoke with the DoL representative monitoring the election process, the IAM could have used the Sparkplug and other resources to simply:

  • Note there were incumbents and post their website;
  • Note there were challengers and post their website;
  • Post notice of the location, dates and times of the 3-step election process.

No electioneering or endorsements, just the basic information needed for an informed electorate. I am aware of at least one Local Lodge in District 190 where not only would monthly meeting attendees be reminded of the next election step, but notice of the announced election day was ordered posted on its website, neither of which broke DoL rules.

The Sparkplug is supported by dues-paying members. It was frustrating to witness such a rich resource of information not utilized to its full potential for the benefit of its members. In addition to restricting the transfer of election information to those who are 'connected', I know of many older members who don't own computers so by only posting an election notice on a website excludes these long-time members from the basic information they need to be informed.

Looking to 2017, unless people on the Executive Council retire halfway through their term and appoint their successors?, I hope we have another contested election—and read about it in the Sparkplug!

Sister Linda Stanley
Retired Heavy-duty Engine/Truck Mechanic
LL 1546

We're glad to print "Letters" when we get them. If something in The Sparkplug makes you happy or mad or inspires you to action, write us a letter. All letters will be used, space permitting. They may be edited for length or grammar, but not for content. Letters may be submitted as follows:

E-mail: • fax: 510-288-1346

Mail: IAM District 190, 8201 Capwell Drive, Oakland, CA 94621