Bonnie Polster, who is working towards her Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies and a Labor Safety & Health Certificate, was profiled in the January 2012 issue of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers’ publication, the IAM Journal. The IAM Journal is distributed to more than 700,000 union members and retirees.
Of her time at the NLC, she says, “The NLC’s vast curriculum gave me the opportunity to open new doors in my labor career.” Read on for the article (reposted with permission from IAM).
Union Activist, Student and Firefighter
Machinists Local 1260 member Bonnie Polster never shies away from a challenge. That spirit made her a natural as a union activist. “I don’t like to see corporations walk all over employees,” said Polster. “I want everyone to be treated fairly in the workplace. I like to share my knowledge with others, so they know what is right and wrong with company policies. What good is my education if I can’t teach others and use it to make workplaces and lives better?”
Polster, who works at Amerequip Corporation in Kiel, WI, is the Vice President of her local lodge and Shop Committee Chairperson. She also does other work for her local, as well as for District 10 in Milwaukee and the Wisconsin labor community.
Polster has a strong interest in safety on the job. She is an Associate Instructor with the IAM’s C.R.E.S.T. safety training program. “I want to educate our members to perform tasks safely, avoid danger and make them aware that safety doesn’t end when the shift ends,” said Polster. “I want to take what the union has given me in education and give it back to the membership by teaching and sharing my knowledge.”
When not busy with union activities, Polster serves as a volunteer firefighter for the Ada, WI, Fire Department where she is President and Safety Officer. She is also completing a double major for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the National Labor College.
Original article available: http://www.goiam.org/images/articles/news/iam-journal/recent-journals/iamjournaljanuary2012.pdf