President's Corner: April 2024

Publish Date

I had the good fortune to join several MAPE members, staff, and thousands of other labor activists, at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago last month. 4,500 “troublemakers” attended the conference to rebuild a fighting labor movement. 

We’ve had a lot to celebrate lately: the United Auto Workers’ settlements with the Big 3 automakers and UPS Teamsters powerful contract campaigns, and while we were at the conference, we got word that the workers at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee voted overwhelmingly to join the UAW. This is the first foreign-owned automaker to unionize in the South. The next stop is the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama.   

I was reminded of a session I attended at the conference two years ago on how to turn your union around. It felt great then to know that we were fighting with other unions, and the feeling of camaraderie was exciting. This year, I could see how much work we’ve done since then, and it was very powerful. Participants were still talking about how important it was to elect their officers. At MAPE, we’ve always had one member and one vote to elect our leaders. Some other union members elect representatives who, in turn, elect their union’s officers.    

Minnesota Nurses, Teamsters, teachers, two contingents from Japan – all were listening this year on how to turn their unions around. People asked questions, which was invigorating and gave me hope for our union. We still have much work to do, but we’ve come a long way. I am very proud of all the work our Board of Directors has done over the past few years. We’ve concentrated on developing member leaders by building relationships and the foundations for success. 

We’re now in a restructuring process to evaluate what’s working and what could work better in our union. Telework and hybrid work are the ways most of our members now work, and the traditional ways of connecting and organizing no longer fully meet the needs of the 17,000 workers we represent.   

Team leaders of the restructuring process want to hear your ideas about improving our union. Complete the feedback form and work with us to develop a more flexible and innovative future.   

In solidarity, 

Megan Dayton Signature




Megan Dayton 
MAPE President