Member Spotlight: Zach Reed

A lifelong resident of Anne Arundel County and a member of AFSCME Local 582, Zach Reed is more than a maintenance mechanic for government buildings; for the past seven years he's been vital to ensuring safe, functional spaces for the public throughout the county.

His journey began in the private sector as a sheet metal worker, where he witnessed the power of collective action firsthand as a member of his union there. When his daughter was born, he made the decision to switch to the public sector. He was sure of one thing: it had to be a union job.

"Every day I try to make things better, whether it's at the negotiating table, helping with a grievance, or out on the shop floor," he says. During his probationary period, Zach became a shop steward, and since then, he has grown to wear many hats — treasurer, organizer, and advocate.

"If you're not at the table, you're on the menu," Zach asserts, emphasizing his union's pivotal role in safeguarding employees' rights. He strives to bring clarity for his fellow union members and coworkers, dispelling misconceptions about unions and emphasizing the collective power of a union in securing much needed rights and benefits.

Local 582 is preparing for contract negotiations soon, and with that comes decisions that must be made. Many of Zach's fellow members are on the younger side, and they're concerned with immediate challenges like the rising cost of living. It's an issue that also resonates deeply with him as a single father striving to secure stability for himself and his daughter.

Zach says that being a part of our union is not just about securing personal victories; it's about ensuring a brighter future for all. His passion goes far beyond personal gains, and can be seen through his dedication to improving the lives of all of his colleagues. He is always talking with those he works with, inviting others to join the cause: "If you're not with us, you're working against us. We have to organize every day for the fight at the bargaining table; it's a day-to-day battle to win what we deserve."