There are seven days left before Election Day and we want to make sure every Machinists Union member has a plan to vote. There is too much at stake
to sit this election out.
today to find your polling place, see early voting locations, locate a voting drop box and see what’s on your ballot.
Politics affects everything about our lives. Legislation enacted and decisions made by elected officials impact our work lives and the ability of our union to fight for better pay and benefits for our families. There is a direct link between the ballot box and our economic and workplace security.
As a reminder, the IAM, in a first-of-its-kind membership vote, chose to endorse Joe Biden for president
. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will fight for affordable healthcare, retirement security and stronger unions, while fighting against the outsourcing of our jobs.
Make sure you have a plan to vote. Visit iam2020.org
Eighty-nine IAM Local 1855 members at AstenJohnson in Appleton, Wisconsin last week voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new deal ending a nine-day strike over healthcare cost sharing. The new accord includes locking in an insurance plan design and premiums for the next two years.
“We came up with a decent proposal that everyone accepted,” said Jeremy Terlisner, District 10 Business Representative. “We were able to lock in healthcare costs for two years. It was a successful strike in my mind.”
“The pandemic put the always important subjects of healthcare cost and coverage on centerstage,” said Alex Hoekstra, District 10 Business Representative. “Our members made it clear from the beginning of their expectations regarding insurance. Through the strongest picket-line I’ve ever seen, they were able to get a great deal with management. Congratulations on your inspiring solidarity and its proven results.”
“I want to thank the members and negotiating team at Local 1885 for their solidarity during these trying times,” said Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “By sticking together, you forced the company back to the negotiating table which resulted in a fantastic contract that will provide some much-needed healthcare assurances.”
IAM members at AstenJohnson, who produce specialty fabric for the paper industry, rejected company contract proposals on Oct. 14 and Sept. 30. Despite mediator assistance, the company refused to budge off its concessionary proposals.
Those are the words displayed on the Milwaukee Art Museum’s (MAM) website, and a concept many employees embrace after spending their days working at this architectural landmark that has come to represent the city of Milwaukee. But for the group of MAM employees trying to join the IAM in an effort to have a voice in their workplace, it doesn’t feel like these words are meant for them.
On August 31, 2020, with a stack of employee signatures, the IAM filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to give this group what they had spent eight months planning for – the right to form a wall-to-wall union.
MAM workers were initially hopeful that the museum wouldn’t push back hard, as most employers do. That’s because for more than four decades, the security guards working at the museum have been part of IAM Local 66/District 10 in Milwaukee, WI with great success. In fact, in early August of this year, the security guards ratified yet another strong Machinist agreement after just one day of bargaining.
But even with a successful bargaining track record, the museum immediately opposed the union drive and started working with an anti-union law firm to not only delay the election, but to find a way to deprive their employees of their right to vote entirely.
“The talented employees at MAM make the masterpieces come alive for visitors,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “These workers demand and deserve the respect and voice a union contract provides. By continuing to oppose a fair election, museum management has proven it has lost sight of the needs of both their employees and the community. I look forward to winning this campaign next month and to continue fighting alongside MAM workers for a better future.”
As the museum was beginning to reopen amid the COVID-19 crisis, with a much smaller staff due to extensive employee furloughs, the museum forced the regional office of the NLRB to hold a hearing, stating the IAM didn’t have the right to organize any workers other than the security guards. The NLRB ruled in favor of the IAM. Employees breathed a sigh of relief.
But that reassurance didn’t last long. MAM has now made a request to review the decision at the NLRB’s national office, wasting both time and money while employees fight to exercise their basic human right to join a union.
For non-managerial employees at MAM, the desire to join the IAM is simple. They want a voice in the practices and policies of this landmark facility, as well as fair compensation, equal treatment, reasonable job security and a defined disciplinary process.
The workers who want to be part of the Machinists Union are proud of where they work and the job they do. They want the museum to continue to be a beacon for the Milwaukee community. But to do this, they need a level playing field to make sure everyone in the area is served, including the hardworking men and women who continue to make Milwaukee shine through its art.
“I want to commend the employees of the Milwaukee Art Museum for their passion and will to fight for their right to join a union,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Workers everywhere are demanding a voice. Members of the art community are no different. They know joining a union is the only way to ensure that voice and are pushing back against any employer who attempts to impede that right. When MAM workers win this election, it will be an historic event for not only Milwaukee, but for art museums around the country, as more and more museum workers are seeking union representation. Shame on MAM management for choosing to be on the wrong side of history.”
On November 13, the final ballot count will be held. Until then, MAM’s skilled, passionate workers will not miss a beat in continuing to inspire the service the Milwaukee Museum of Art has provided since it was founded in 1888, the same year the IAM was formed.
“We’re open for inspiration” are words that MAM employees believe in, as much as they believe in their right to form a union.
An additional 20 drivers employed by Kennebec Valley Community Action Partners (KVCAP) in Waterville, ME voted to join the Machinists Union. The group follows the 17 drivers in Augusta, ME who joined IAM and ratified their first contract earlier this year. The new members will in IAM Local S-89 will fall under the same contract with KVCAP.
“Our decision to form a union was driven by the company’s refusal to respect the experience of longtime drivers when determining wages, employee favoritism and a disciplinary system that offered workers no due process,” said Waterville KVCAP driver Mark Goggin.
KVCAP drivers provide transportation services to low-income Maine residents for medical appointments, drug treatment, work and other needs.
“Congratulations to our newest members of IAM Local S-89,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “I applaud every one of them for recognizing the benefits of having union representation, a union contract and having a voice in the workplace. Welcome to the IAM.”
“I’m excited to welcome this new group of drivers to the IAM family,” said District 4 Directing Business Representative Rick Compher. “I’m proud of them for stepping up and wanting a voice on the job, and proud of the District 4 staff for bringing them that opportunity. They will see the benefits of being union from day one.”
“The drivers have been woefully underpaid and undervalued,” said IAM District Lodge 4 Business Representative George Edwards. “By forming a union and standing up for their rights, they can use their collective voice to not only improve their wages and working conditions, but also to help ensure safer, a more reliable service for their riders. We hope this sends a message to other working people that they too can have power in their workplaces.”
After 148 years of operations, Siemens closed its plant in Burlington, IA, in December 2018, resulting in the loss of jobs for 92 IAM Local 1010 members. The plant’s jobs were outsourced to countries like India, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic and other foreign countries.
“They knew they could offshore those jobs to the Czech Republic and India and a non-union plant in North Carolina and pay a lot less in wages,” said Robert Morrison, an IAM Local 1010 member and 31-year employee who was laid off. “But they are now paying the price in quality and production. They didn’t gain anything, they screwed up.”
“Trump was here, he had a rally for his presidency,” said Chris Tucker, an IAM Local 1010 member and 23-year employee. “He talked about he was going to be the greatest jobs president ever, and said if he was elected, no company would be awarded federal money if they were going to move outside the United States. Well, after they closed us, they awarded a $500 million contract to Siemens.”
“They don’t care about our community,” added Morrison. “They didn’t care about the people who worked there.”
“President Trump has not only failed to keep his word of protecting the jobs of thousands of workers, he has doubled-down on his lies by letting companies who outsource jobs off the hook,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “His dismantling of union jobs has caused devastation to these families and their communities. On November 3, we need to vote for a change in leadership that will safeguard American jobs and make companies like Siemens liable for outsourcing.”
“The many failed policies of the Trump administration have decimated not only the livelihoods of these 92 IAM members, but thousands of working-class families around the country,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Union workers have always been the backbone to a strong American economy, and on November 3, we must take the first step in creating jobs and revitalizing our workforce by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
“Ingersoll Rand’s closing was just another in a long list of manufacturing jobs lost and plants closed under the Trump administration,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The president’s blatant disregard to protect good paying, union jobs while not penalizing companies for outsourcing is an egregious error that American workers will not forget on November 3. This company should be ashamed for what they have done to our members, their families and the community.”
“I become more incensed every time I learn about another American job being outsourced,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “The success of these companies was achieved through the sweat and hard work of the union members they are laying off. The best way to ensure that these union jobs are not outsourced is to vote for real leadership who will penalize companies who fail to put American workers first.”
Please review the incentive award memorandum below. The Union and the Company with the help of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service meet weekly, outlining various issues and providing advice and methods to better manage the shipyard for the benefit of all. This memorandum is reflective of these weekly meetings. The parties are working collectively to set attainable goals while working to recover the schedule. This process is important for our shipyard and our customer, the US Navy. The Union is committed to continuing this process to ensure a stable future. See below:
Overall, by achieving the three goals listed, December 24, 2020, will become a BIW Paid Holiday for all Local S6 represented employees.
Please keep this in mind as we all work towards recovering schedule.
Our membership has stood strong throughout this pandemic. We have held up our end of the bargain to keep our economy moving, even while thousands of our own Brothers and Sisters have been laid off or furloughed. Even worse, far too many have been sickened or passed due to the fumbled response to the coronavirus.
Your union has been out front each step of the way, advocating and winning the relief our members and millions more working people need to save their families and communities across the country. We succeeded in passing three rounds of relief, including increased unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and targeted relief for airline and aerospace workers.
Unfortunately, because of this administration’s incompetence, the pandemic continues to rage on. Our members need relief. The entire nation needs a lifeline.
But Senate Majority Leader McConnell, along with upwards of 20 Republican Senators, don’t believe our members or any struggling American family deserve another dime. The HEROES Act, passed by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats, has sat on McConnell’s desk for five months without action. Put simply, a handful of Republican hardliners are singlehandedly holding up much-needed relief for our families.
We are done waiting and we are outraged. Instead of helping Americans who need it most, Mitch McConnell and his cohorts would rather spend the Senate’s time rushing through the unprecedented confirmation of a right-wing Supreme Court Justice—just days before the election. We join millions of Americans in telling Mitch McConnell to stop this madness and do the right thing for working families.
Especially frustrating is the refusal to pass an extension of airline worker relief, known as the Payroll Support Program. This initiative, led by the IAM and a coalition of aviation unions, proved to be one of the most successful jobs programs in the CARES Act. It kept hundreds of thousands of airline workers on the job and continuing to serve communities from coast to coast.
This relief expired on October 1, and now thousands of airline families are laid off and furloughed due to the rigid ideological stance of conservative radicals in Washington, DC.
Our members and working families see who is standing with them and who is standing against them. We will vote in historic numbers and we will never relent in calling for the relief our families need and deserve.
No more games, Mitch. Time is up.
Robert Martinez Jr. Sito Pantoja
International President Transportation General Vice President
In February 2019, Schneider Electric announced they were closing the Peru, IN plant where electrical components have been produced for over 100 years, and moving the work to Mexico and other locations. The 300 highly-skilled IAM members working at the facility have since lost their jobs.
“I was crushed. I mean, I planned on retiring from there,” said IAM Local 2069 member Susan Seifried who worked at the facility for nearly 20 years. “Now my kids don’t have insurance. I got to find a job at 50. And then, not a whole lot of people want to hire middle aged people.”
“It absolutely is corporate greed and they don’t, they have not offered any explanation for it other than it saves the company money,” said Local 2069 member Chad Sanders.
“The way Schneider turned their backs on these members and the Peru community is sickening and disgraceful,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Something has to be done to stop the erosion of manufacturing jobs we’ve seen in the past few years. American workers make these companies what they are, then get left behind in the journey to find the cheapest labor.”
“Schneider’s closing of the Peru plant is just another example of the blatant disregard for American workers we are consistently seeing under this administration,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “The hard-working and highly-skilled members working there did everything that was ever asked of them, only to have their jobs shipped to Mexico and overseas. It’s appalling, disgusting and un-American to see working families treated this way.”