Alpena’s International Fighter Wasn’t Censored by Region Leaders

The International Association of Machinists union and IAM Local 2455 will start its annual meeting in Alpena next week as its third in a series of campaign to keep the Alpena plant in the U.S.

Union leaders and IAM members will gather Thursday for the meeting, which will begin Monday.

The Alpena plant has been the subject of intense local and national opposition, primarily from union workers, for the past two years.

The workers and company are hoping the state legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown will provide a remedy to the plant’s problems, and Alpena officials say they’re not bothered by the protesters’ “state of the union” criticism.

But union leaders are holding a series of campaign rallies around the state, hoping to convince a reluctant Gov. Brown to support the plan.

That’s what they do on International Day of Mutual Assistance, an annual event held in Alpena. The rally starts at 11 a.m.

“This is a chance for Alpena to fight for its future,” Lisa Teshina, IAM Alpena District 7 deputy secretary general, said in a statement. “We have witnessed a series of mass demonstrations during the last two years against this deal, and we are hoping Gov. Brown will hear from Alpena leadership and ask why it was chosen for a U.S. buyer.”

The Alpena plant employs about 700 people and has built more than 500 T-shirts for the UFCW in Alpena since the creation of a large-scale housing project for low-income workers there.

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