We no longer had a union, and we weren’t going to settle for that. It was imperative that we found one with experience and one that we knew would stand with us, and that’s why we chose the Boilermakers.
WHEN THE MACHINISTS union lost interest in representing workers at SIFCO Industries Inc. in early 2020, workers knew it would be tough to find another union with experience—one that would truly stand with them. Then they learned about the Boilermakers union.
“We no longer had a union, and we weren’t going to settle for that,” says Payton Turner, a new Boilermaker who works for SIFCO.
SIFCO Industries, Inc., located in Cleveland, Ohio, produces forgings and machined components primarily for the aerospace, energy, and defense markets. Turner and many of his SIFCO co-workers knew that Boilermakers in the Cleveland area did similar work; so they reached out to International Vice President, Great Lakes Larry McManamon to see if there might be an opportunity to organize as Boilermakers. After looking into recruiting efforts and SIFCO’s past history with unions, IVP McManamon put Great Lakes Organizing Coordinator Jody Mauller and International Rep Don Hamric on the case.
“I knew it would be great for our organization for SIFCO workers to join Local 744 (Cleveland),” says IVP McManamon.
Organizing efforts were underway in mid-February right before everything took a turn in March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to swell. With pandemic restrictions in place, organizers relied heavily on digital ads, Zoom meetings, phone calls and emails to get the ball rolling with SIFCO employees and help them understand the benefits of becoming Boilermakers. Despite the barriers, the unconventional organizing efforts worked—and overwhelmingly so. The votes from SIFCO workers to join Local 744 came back just one vote shy of unanimous (78 to 1).
“These workers knew the benefits and power of being in a union and overwhelmingly showed union support through their votes to join the Boilermakers,” says Mauller.