71st Metal Trades Department Convention Round Up — The Challenges of a Virtual Convention
We get knocked down, but we get up again
You are never gonna keep us down We get knocked down, but we get up again You are never gonna keep us down…
We all seek a silver lining in the face of adversity or tragedy such as the hardship and inconvenience imposed upon us all by COVID-19
With that in mind the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO proceeded to plan its 71st Convention in a manner that safeguarded the health of its delegates, officers, staff and guests
What better way to comply with all the restrictions, health and safety concerns enacted upon us than by producing a live virtual convention?
Imagine, an online convention providing us all with the ultimate platform to share information, spark discussions, host engaging sessions, and facilitate networking for the metal trades universe!
Despite the best laid plans in addition to the creation of a state of the art virtual event platform, amid the yeoman’s work performed by our dedicated Metal Trades Department officers, staff and vendors, October 13, 2021, was not to be our best technical day, but rather one that threatened to drive mere mortals with super human abilities to succumb to the confusion, aggravation and hopelessness when confronted with what we were assured was a near perfect technology.
But the Department, its officers, delegates and guests survived and thrived throughout what was surely a disconcerting remote virtual ordeal to deal with the compulsory and significant Metal Trades Department business of the day!
And What a Day it Was!
Our delegates and guests were treated to a day of formal activities and ceremonies from an interesting array of Speakers
Keynote Speaker AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler
After a video welcome from female Metal Trades Council leadership, Ms. Shuler spoke to the delegates and guests about how the labor movement has stepped up during “the worst ever public health crisis.”
Ms. Schuler said, “it is because working people have stepped up. And your members have stepped up. And because of that, we in the labor movement are at a tipping point, this is our moment, this is our chance to put power on the side of working people by building a bold, modern, dynamic and inclusive labor movement.”
Gino Toretta, former Heisman Trophy winner and professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League for five seasons, spoke to delegates and guests at the October 13, 2021, virtual Convention about his union roots and why working union makes a difference.
Praising the work of the Metal Trades, Toretta said, “your history reads much like our times today, workers were tired of corporate dominance over our government. workers saw strength in numbers and then they formed unions, and just think, that was when the pay gap between the workers and the CEO wasn’t near what it is today. Now that corporate domination comes in the form of political contributions and their influence on our elected officials. Hopefully President Biden and Marty Walsh can really accomplish protecting workers.”
Executive Council Members Martinez and Jones
IAM&AW General President Bob Martinez, who joined the Convention from the Machinists’ headquarters in Upper Marlboro,Md., gave a special thank you to MTD essential workers who have kept our country running since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
General President Martinez also lauded President Hart saying he is “excited about the future of the Metal Trades Department” under his leadership.
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers General President Newton Jones thanked President Hart and all of the Metal Trades for their leadership and accomplishments over the last five years. Speaking specifically to President Hart about the reopening of the Philly Shipyard, General President Jones acknowledged Hart’s contributions there as a “master stroke.”
General President Jones continued “your relationships with the military are extremely important, particularly with the Navy and shipbuilding in the Metal Trades Department.”
Closing, Jones said “I look forward to your unimpeded leadership. We have some of the finest workers in the world that make up both our union and the Metal Trades.”
While much of the day was consumed with Convention business, delegates and guests did take a moment to pay tribute to members of our Executive Council and affiliated union Presidents who retired over the past several years. Recent retirements included IUPAT General President Ken Rigmaiden, Metal Trades Department affiliate IFPTE President Paul Shearon, and Insulators Union General President James “Bud” McCourt. We wish them well in their retirement.
Committee Reports, Resolutions and Constitutional Changes
Powering through several technical difficulties throughout the day, President Hart was able to recognize our management partners from the Philly Shipyard and UCOR before tackling the Constitutional duties of the Convention. Sharing a video that aired on PBS highlighting the labor-management partnership at UCOR, President Hart praised how well the two entities work together to train the workforce and accomplish UCOR’s mission.
Philly Shipyard CEO Steinar Nerbovik also sent a video message to President Hart and Convention delegates in which the more than 700 workers joined management in greeting the Convention. Delegates from the Philly delegation surprised President Hart when they nominated him for reelection. All members of the Executive Council were elected by acclimation.
The Department thanks all speakers, delegates and guests. We would also like to offer a special thank you to our Committee members for their hard work and diligence in helping complete the business of the Convention. We look forward to seeing you all in person, soon.
Despite the imperfections and challenges Metal Trades folks may get knocked down, but they get up again….
All in all, it was great day. An historic Convention, held at the Mecca and worker refuge of Organized Labor — AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The business of Metal Trades was completed and the Convention was attended to by a diverse group of delegates from throughout the United States and Canada.
After the Convention, President Hart said, “we are, a department well equipped, with a renewed vision and diverse experienced councils, ready to confront the political, legislative and representational challenges of the next five years and beyond.”
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Pursuant to Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, you are hereby notified that the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, will be held virtually beginning at 9 a.m. EST Wednesday, October 13, 2021 and will continue in session from day to day until the business of the convention has been completed.
We call your attention to the applicable provisions of Article III of the Department’s Constitution:
Section 1. The Convention shall be the supreme governing body of the Department and its powers while in Convention session shall be legislative, executive, and judicial.
Section 2. Regular Conventions of this Department shall be held every five years with the election of officers of the Department taking place every regular convention. Special Conventions may be called by the President should a majority of the affiliated National or International Organizations so request.
Section 3. The time and place for holding regular or special Conventions shall be designated by the Executive Council. The President shall give at least ninety (90) days’ notice of a regular Convention and at least thirty (30) days’ notice of a Special Convention.
Section 4. The basis of representation at the Convention shall be based upon working metal trades members in affiliated councils: From National or International Organizations of less than 2,000 members, 4 delegates; 2,000 or more, 5 delegates; 3,000 or more, 6 delegates; 4,000 or more, 8 delegates; 5,000 or more, 10 delegates, and so on, who shall be entitled to one vote for each 100 members or majority fraction thereof, and one delegate from each local, state and District Metal Trades Council, who shall be entitled to one vote.
Section 5. Delegates to the Convention shall be properly selected at least thirty (30) days previous to a regular Convention in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the affiliated National or International Unions and local and district Metal Trades Councils. The names of such delegates shall be forwarded to the President of the Department after their selection.
Section 6. No organization that has seceded, or been expelled or suspended by this Department, the American Federation of Labor and Congress
of Industrial Organizations or by a National or International Organization connected therewith shall, while under such penalty, be allowed representation or recognition in this organization, or in any local Metal Trades Council under penalty of suspension of the body violating this section.
Section 7. No organization shall be entitled to representation unless such organization is in good standing in the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or this Department, or shall have applied for and received a certificate of affiliation with this Department; and no person shall be recognized as a delegate whose National or International Organization is not affiliated with this Department.
Section 8. Delegates shall not be entitled to a seat in the Conventions of this Department unless the tax of their organizations has been paid in full thirty (30) days preceding the Convention.
Section 9. The following committees at Convention shall be appointed by the President:
1. Rules, Credentials and Audit
2. Reports of Officers
7. Maritime Affairs
8. Health and Safety
And such additional committees as may be deemed advisable by the President.
Section 10. The President shall direct the chief executive officers of three (3) National or International Unions, at least ten (10) days previous to the holding of the regular Convention, to appoint one delegate each from their respective delegations-elect, who shall compose the Auditing Committee, and also the Committee on Credentials. This Committee shall meet at such place and such time as the President of the Department may determine is necessary for the proper performance of its duty; and it shall audit the accounts of the Department for the preceding sixty (60) months, and report upon credentials immediately upon the opening of the Convention. And each member of the committee shall receive the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) for his services.
Section 11. Resolutions of any character, or propositions for changes in this Constitution cannot be introduced in the Convention after the first day’s session, except by unanimous consent. Resolutions can only be introduced by a regularly accredited delegate from an affiliated National or International Organization, or from a regular chartered Metal Trades Council.
Section 12. The Convention shall have power to order an executive session at any time.
Section 13. None, other than delegates, shall be permitted to address the Convention or read papers therein, except by a two-thirds vote of the Convention; except the authorized invited Convention speakers.
Section 14. The Rules and Order of Business governing the preceding Convention shall be in force from the opening of any Convention of this Department until new rules have been adopted.
Section 15. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of not less than, a majority of the delegates attending a Convention
Section 16. No grievance shall be considered, by any Convention that has been decided by a previous Convention, except upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, nor shall any grievance be considered where the parties thereto have not previously held a conference and attempted to adjust the same themselves.
Section 17. Questions may be decided by a division or show of hands; but if a call of the roll is demanded, each delegate shall cast the vote as provided for in Article III, section 4 of the Constitution. When the full number of delegates from any affiliated organization is not present, the number of votes to which such organization is entitled may be cast by its delegate.
Please return a formal letter or email with the name(s) of your delegate(s) elect addressed to the Metal Trades Department Operations Director, Lisa Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than COB, Monday, September 13, 2021.
The Resolutions Committee
The Resolutions Committee shall meet one day before the convening of the Convention for the consideration of resolutions on matters referred to that committee.
The delegates to the convention, or introducers of resolutions, may appear before this committee at any time during the day that the Resolution Committee may be meeting prior to the opening of the convention, or during the period in which the Resolutions Committee may be in session during the time of the Convention.
It would facilitate the appointment of the Resolutions Committee, if you would provide this office with the names and addresses of your delegates as soon as possible so that we can select the members of the Resolutions Committee and notify the individuals of the time and place of meetings.
You must register for the Convention using the online registration form, which can be found on our website at https://na.eventscloud.com/622149 or by visiting the Metal Trades Department website at metaltrades.org and following the links. Due to the virtual nature of the Convention, the Department has waived the registration fee this year. Upon registering, information, and instructions regarding how to access the Convention virtually will be emailed to attendees.
If you have any questions or need any additional assistance, please contact MTD Operations Director, Lisa Johnson at (202) 508-3705.
The department is working with an outside vendor to plan and execute the Convention, which was forced to move to an online platform due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.
The MTD Executive Council voted unanimously to hold the Convention virtually. While it appears the country is beginning to open up, the planning time needed to put together an event of this scope, the international travel restrictions for our Canadian delegates, and the uncertainty surrounding state and local restrictions come October, the Executive Council made the difficult decision to hold the Convention online.
“While ideally, we would like to hold the Convention in person, we just felt that it was in the best interest of our members and guests that we adapt our meeting to an online platform,” explained President Hart. “We look forward to returning to an in-person Conference in 2022.”
Details and registration information for the Convention can be found here.