IAM Business Manager Scott Brown

What is your personal, work, and family history with Local 778, the Machinists, or other unions?
At 20 years old, I was hired at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in January 2006. Over the next six years, benefits and working conditions continued to be stripped away. Around 2012, I caught wind that a union was trying to get in and take over things. That union turned out to be the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Worker (IAMAW), which is now my union.

I quickly jumped on board with many of my fellow co-workers, many of whom are still employed there today. In the beginning, I was simply attempting to learn and provide whatever support I could to help get this organizing win. IAMAW Local Lodge 778 leadership put up a relentless fight against one of the worst anti-union campaigns we’ve seen. I didn’t realize at the time, but looking back this was molding me to want to continue fighting, not just for myself, but for others as well.

We won our union election in 2013 and our first contract in 2015. I’ve been a proud member of the IAMAW since then.

What do you plan to do as leader of Local 778?
I find myself fortunate to be coming in behind a great staff of leaders. They have left behind a strong and well organized Local. We have been and will continue to focus hard on organizing opportunities. That includes new opportunities, as well as a focus on our open shop locations. At the same time, we will continue servicing at the highest level that our IAMAW Brothers and Sisters deserve.

What date did you officially take office?
I became Business Representative in 2017. I became the Directing Business Representative on May 1, 2022, following the retirement of Joe Capra.

What are your opinions on solidarity among workers?
We all know that solidarity is the glue that holds us together on the job. Without it, the divide and conquer tactic employers have mastered prevails every time.

As times change and workforces evolve, we must be ready to adapt to those needs in an effort to keep our current and future members together. Solidarity doesn’t end at your shop, it expands to the shop down the street, across the state, and beyond. Communication is a key component to maintaining solidarity throughout. Solidarity among our Brothers and Sisters in other unions must remain strong as well. We all have the same goals.

Is there anything additional you would like to say?
I will always owe a huge thanks to the IAMAW members before me who spent countless hours fighting for my right to gain union representation. Joe Capra and Leo Berroteran both played a major role in preparing me for a lifestyle I never saw coming. I can speak on behalf of myself and the entire staff of Local 778—we all look forward to the continued and new relationships with all other labor unions, as well as the labor organizations in the Kansas City metro area that help support unions and their members.