MTD IN THE NEWS | September 6, 2022

Metal Trades Organizing Victories in the News

After years of trying by our local metal trades council affiliates, who time and again were obstructed by the company from organizing metal trades workers employed by Vigor Industrial at Specialty Finisher Painters in Swan Island, Portland, OR, and Vigor Alaska ship repair yard in Ketchikan, workers will finally enjoy metal trades union representation. 

“The Department salutes Portland Metal Trades President and IUPAT Local 10 Labor Relations Representative Scott Oldham and Puget Sound Metal Trades Council President and SMART Local Union 66 Business Agent Kaley Rhode for leading the way with these impressive organizing wins,” said Metal Trades Department President, Jimmy Hart. 

“Many thanks to the organizers, affiliates, and workers who stood together and declared, ‘UNION YES’ during this summer of the worker!”

“Through hard-nosed and contentious collective bargaining with Vigor Industrial earlier this year, determined negotiators obtained unprecedented wage gains and improved working conditions at these two shipbuilding and repair councils,” said Metal Trades Department General Representative Ben Heurung. “Our local metal trades council affiliates have paved the way for aggressive and determined brothers and sisters at the IUPAT and SMART to bring these new workers into the fold. The department looks forward to working with the councils to help our valued metal trades partners at SMART and IUPAT win the all-important first contract.”

These newly organized workers will add to the count of more than 1000 unionized Vigor shipbuilding and repair workers in Portland, Seattle, Honolulu, and Ketchikan. 

Welcome to the Vigor Industrial Metal Trades Family!

Metal Trades Department Steward Training

Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart and General Representative Dale Troll conducted a Metal Trades Department Steward Training Class for members of the Columbus and Wiregrass Metal Trades Councils and members of UA Local Union 72, at their union headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

The Metal Trades Steward Training Program is designed to prepare members to recognize potential grievances and investigate and represent bargaining unit members in lower-level grievance hearings and investigatory meetings

The workshop and class emphasize the rights and obligations of stewards in resolving workplace issues. Classes are tailored to address the needs of unions and participants. If your local council or affiliated local union needs such training, the department is pleased to facilitate such. If interested please contact Department Operations Director Lisa Johnson by telephone at 202-508-3705 or by email at

Hart Addresses VPPPA Safety+ Symposium

With what has become his trademark declaration, Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart addressed the annual VPPPA Safety+ Symposium in Washington, DC, late last month, stating, “you will find Metal Trades workers on the sea, in the air, and on land… The Metal Trades is everywhere!” 

“On behalf of the leadership of the Department, its 17 international union affiliates, and our local Metal Trades councils, I salute the dedication of workers and employers to Voluntary Protection Plan efforts,” Hart said. 

The VPPPA holds the only national educational event for VPP worksites and its practitioners devoted to achieving and maintaining safety and health excellence.


“The Metal Trades Department and its local councils and affiliates believe in VPPPA, and I am thankful for the opportunity to engage with my fellow attendees to exchange ideas, gain new perspectives, and grow professionally,” said Hart.

Metal Trades affiliates and local councils are of the firm belief that no matter your origins, every worker has the same right to a safe and healthy workplace.

President Hart congratulated the newly reelected officials of the VPPPA and the fabled Hanford metal trades worker and contractor community who were recognized and awarded the VPPPA Safety & Health Outreach Award. “Worker contractor relationships at Hanford and within the broader community provide real-time collaboration that results in a safer work environment for Hanford site workers for generations to come.”

President Hart concluded his remarks by noting that “when labor and management work together and embrace one another’s voice and mission, they ensure worker safety becomes a widely practiced, shared, and cherished core value.”

Conference Hotel Block Deadline Rapidly Approaching


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