Local Lodge 623 Meeting Time and Place


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Meetings are held at the St. Cloud Labor Home at 1903 4th Ave. N. St. Cloud, MN 56303
every second Tuesday of the month.
Information Meeting – 1:00 pm
Steward Meeting – 6:00 pm
Monthly Meeting – 6:30 pm

 We proudly represent the employee’s of Electrolux Home Products, DeZurik, Polar Tank Trailer in Holdingford and Opole, the mechanics at Gilleland Chevrolet, the mechanics at Tenvoorde Ford, and the City of Saint Cloud’s support service supervisors.

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Weingarten Rights Notice


Any employee has the right to Union representation when management questions an employee to obtain information and the employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequence may result from what he or she says. Your Union strongly suggests that you exercise this right.  Read more

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/weingarten-rights-notice/

Electrolux Contract Vote!


Time for our Electrolux Members in good standing to vote on effects bargaining. Please attend if you can.

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/491-2/

IP Martinez petitions President Trump


International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International President, Robert Martinez Jr., has now petitioned United States President, Donald Trump (R).

In another attempt to work to save our jobs here in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, our IP has now reached to the highest voice in the world to keep our jobs secured. IP Martinez has already petitioned Electrolux CEO Jonas Samuelson and Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton (D) to attempt to save our livelihoods.

IAM Local 623 would like to thank IP Martinez and his entire staff along with the staff of GVP Grubber of the Midwest Territory. They have been instrumental in helping the members of IAM Local 623. Of the Midwest Territory, Special Representative Geny Ulloa, Special Representative Tony Wickersham, and Communications Representative LaToya Egwuekwe-Smith I’d like to publicly thank.

Special Representatives Ulloa and Wickersham have been assigned to assist with effects bargaining. Their insight, knowledge and experience has been extremely helpful. Communications Representative Egwuekwe-Smith has been instrumental in assisting myself with communications to our membership of proceedings. She has given Local 623 access to tools we wouldn’t have otherwise.

It is always reassuring to see our leadership step up to the plate when were down and out. Let us hope that the Office of the Presidency can help us.

IP Martinez joins a growing force of politicians, government leaders, and civic leaders to try to keep our jobs secure. Previously, Sen. Klobuchar (D), Sen. Tina Smith (D), and Rep. Tom Emmer (R) petitioned CEO Jonas Samuelson. On another attempt, Rep. Keith Ellison (D) petitioned Electrolux to keep our jobs in Saint Cloud. Saint Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis (R) has also reached out to Electrolux in private, and spoke with Senators Klobuchar, Smith and Rep. Emmer to address this pressing and dire issue.

As always, I will continue to share anything I can on this to our membership here in central Minnesota.

In Solidarity,
IAM Local 623 Communicator,
Joe Baratta

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/ip-martinez-petitions-president-trump/

Monthly Meeting Time


Come on down Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 to your Union Hall for our monthly meeting. We have two times, 1:00pm for a informational meeting and 6:30pm for the main meeting. if you are a steward for any of our represented shops, you have a meeting at 6:00pm. We hope any member of IAM Local 623 would show up and voice their concerns. Between the closure of Electrolux and CSRA being bought up by General Dynamics, there are some big things happening to the over 1500 Local 623 members and their families. These are huge issues for the entire community and central Minnesota as a whole, we urge you to all keep involved.
I hope to see as many members there as possible.

In Solidarity
IAM Local 623 Communicator,
Joe Baratta

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/monthly-meeting-time/



Saturday, February 10, 2018

City Hall, Saint Cloud, Minnesota


From all of the federal officials down to local government staff, Machinist Grand Lodge Representatives down to shop stewards, they were all there

On Saturday, February 10, dozens of people converged on St. Cloud’s City Hall building to start planning for a Saint Cloud without one of its oldest and largest workplaces, Electrolux.

Things started in a small closed meeting between Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Congressman Tom Emmer (R- MN), Mayor Dave Kleis (R) and Machinist Local 623. Representing the Machinists were Directing Business Representative, Colleen Murphy-Cooney, Communicator and Electrolux Shop Chair, Joe Baratta, Negotiating Committee member, Chad Randall, and Steward, Bashir Mohamed. Also there on behalf of Machinists were IAM Special Representative, Geny R. Ulloa, and IAM Special Representative, Tony Wickersham.

After introductions and pleasantries, we discussed the apprehensions many of our membership have. Things like our future income, retirement, health care, and what life after Electrolux could mean. We made a point to bring up several of the reasons we worked at Electrolux.

Chad brought up how he and many other members have devoted much of their adult life to Electrolux (Frigidaire and Franklin prior) but do not have enough years in to have a “30 and out” retirement.

Joe brought up how many of us work here almost exclusively for the above average healthcare and it’s extremely cheap rate. The fear of going into a new workplace and being told comparable coverage could cost several hundred dollars more a month, maybe more.

Bashir spoke of how many East-African immigrants after settling into the United States, got jobs at Electrolux and this is literally all they have ever known about the United States. They fear not finding any suitable job to replace this one with little formal education.

Colleen brought to attention the fact that Electrolux has done this three other times in Michigan, Iowa, and Quebec. How that Electrolux’s poor way of informing every one of the closure is exactly what they did prior. She gave insight on Electrolux’s past timelines, and how this one could most likely play out.

Mayor Kleis brought up how he was just in contact with Electrolux management as early as December, 2017 and he asked bluntly, “Are you closing?” He received a blatant response of, “no.” He felt both betrayed and lied to by the company. Mayor Kleis had said he gave a 100% open invitation to ask for anything and he would see if he could do it to keep any and all jobs in Saint Cloud as possible. The company only told him, “Thank you for the offer,” and he said they never asked for anything. He went on to say how he found out about the closing while on a flight. He was texted by a reporter asking for a statement on the plant closing, he responded that, “this was the first he knew of it.”

Senator Klobuchar said how she was shocked how no elected official knew of the closure until the press had already printed the story. Normally, large companies get in contact with government officials long before closures. Most companies lobby the officials early on with requests, without those requests, they’d have to close their doors. This did not happen with Electrolux in Saint Cloud.

Senator Klobuchar also said she has good relations with Swedish officials, and would speak with them to see what information she could get. Mayor Kleis added he would like to sit down with Electrolux officials from both Charlotte and Stockholm to assess what his office could do to either keep operations in Saint Cloud going or figure out plans for the property, building, and equipment after they stop production.

Congressman Emmer spoke of how he toured the factory just last summer and the company management gave no indication that they were about to close shop. He agreed with Mayor Kleis and Sen. Klobuchar that it was unusual for such a large company, who isn’t going bankrupt, to abruptly close down with little notice. Rep. Emmer was also concerned with what other regional companies rely on Electrolux business that could either announce lay-offs or close their doors as well. Mayor Kleis and Sen. Klobuchar agreed with the Congressman.

We ended the small meeting and joined the rest of those involved in the main city council chambers, downstairs.

Once downstairs, many others introduced themselves. Senator Tina Smith, along with officials from Minnesota DEED, the Saint Cloud Chamber of Commerce, Saint Cloud Technical and Community College, St. Cloud’s Minnesota Workforce Center, the US Dept. of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, the US Dept. of Labor, and several other organizations interested in helping.

Everyone went around and introduced themselves, giving a brief description of their job duties and how they can help the workforce at Electrolux. We discussed everything from Saint Cloud having a current worker shortage in skilled labor, seminar courses through full bachelor degrees that might be available to the workforce through grant programs, counseling on resume building and unemployment insurance.

They gave contact information and brochures to the Machinists present so we can start to educate ourselves to educate our membership of their options in the future.

Things wrapped up after several hours of talks. We all thanked the officials for taking time out of their Saturdays to help the community out and help out the membership about to be displaced at Electrolux. Our Machinists group got back together off site to gather everything we were introduced to and plan for the coming negotiations.


IAM Local 623 Communicator,

Joe Baratta

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/tons-of-support-after-electrolux-anounced-closure/

IAM Grand Lodge Responds to the Closing



Our top IAM leadership knows, as do our local, state, and federal government officials. We shall see in the coming weeks what comes of this.

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/iam-grand-lodge-responds-to-the-closing/

Electrolux Closing in St. Cloud.


Hey everyone. We all know the news, obviously, and we all have tons of questions. But, at this time we have very little to share that isn’t already well known.
I do ask that we do our best to keep fear mongering and speculation to a minimum.
The company has set times to start negotiations in the coming weeks with all of our union leadership and committee members.
I know all of our elected officials are aware of the closure, as is all of the IAMAW leadership.
I and your other elected leadership and committees will have more to share, hopefully positive news, in the future. I’m sure the company will have more information posted on the future as well.
For those with questions about retirement and/or pension questions, many of your elected leadership is are knowledgeable to help. If we can’t personally, we’ll get you to who can.
All we can do now is keep building freezers until we have a agreement to vote on. Please don’t make brash decisions of you don’t have to. I personally recommend working until we know what’s fully offered.
I do reiterate, there isn’t any new news as of yet, but it will come in time.

In solidarity, Shop Chairperson and Communicator,

Joe Baratta

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/electrolux-closing-in-st-cloud/

A great first annual membership picnic!


We had our first annual membership picnic yesterday at Wilson Park. It went fantastic! Lots of members and their families showed up to enjoy the park and have a great cook out! Can’t wait until next year!

Picture is the committee’s who put this together.

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/a-great-first-annual-membership-picnic/

Member Picnic 


Come on down to Wilson Park on Sunday for a picnic! All members and their families are welcome!

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/member-picnic/



Come on down to the Benton County fair!

We are also looking for volunteers to staff the labor booth Saturday at 4 pm. Contact communicator, Joe Baratta or Business Representative Colleen Murphy-Cooney if your interested.

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/its-fair-time/

Members learning at the W3 Education Center


Brothers John Shotl (Steward – Electrolux) and Joe Baratta (LL623 Communicator, Steward – Electrolux) attended different classes at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood Maryland.

Brother John attended the Leadership 1 course to further his knowledge to represent the Machinist Union and to better represent the membership.

Brother Joe Baratta attended the Basic Communicator Class. As our Local’s communicator, he was taught a better insight into how to let the membership and public know what exactly is going on in both our Local Lodge and the Machinists Union as a whole.

We are extremely blessed as Machinists to have such a school. We are the ONLY trade union in the United States to have a school to better educate the membership. The school teaches Machinists young and old on numerous ways to better lead the future of labor. We learn from the vast experience of the rest of our 600,000 plus membership!

On a personal note, both John and I (Joe) are extremely grateful to our Local Lodge leadership for giving us the opportunity to further our education and experiences. We will come home tomorrow and hit the ground running with the knowledge we attained here.

Top photo: Communicator Class Top Left, 2nd in: Joe Baratta

Bottom photo: Leadership 1 Course Top Left stairs, teal shirt, John Shotl

Permanent link to this article: http://local623news.com/members-learning-at-the-w3-education-center/