Machinists Union Wins Critical Provisions for Working People in Coronavirus Relief Bill

The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest aerospace, airline and defense union, applauds the Senate’s unanimous passage of the bipartisan CARES Act. The IAM, along with allies on Capitol Hill, vastly improved the COVID-19 relief bill from its original form to increase investment in the American people and include precedent-setting protections for working people and unions.

READ: Top-line impacts for IAM members in the CARES Act

A statement from IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr.:

“Working people can rest a little easier today with the impending passage of the CARES Act. Through the work of organized labor and our allies, massive funds to shore up companies will be allocated once this bill is passed by the House and signed into law. Unlike the bill first proposed by GOP leadership, this is not a blank check to corporate executives or a gift to Wall Street. This vital piece of legislation has strings attached that will deliver a much-needed lifeline to our membership in the aerospace, airline, defense, rail, transit, shipbuilding, healthcare and other industries who are fighting to keep our economy afloat and our citizens healthy during this crisis.

“Thanks to the around-the-clock advocacy of our Legislative Department, we protected our membership from having their collective bargaining agreements abrogated by any company that accepts federal loans. We also insisted on and won strict limits on stock buybacks and dividends, executive compensation and bonuses, and instituted stringent congressional oversight of the pandemic response.

“Our advocacy won $114 billion in relief specifically for the transportation industry , which for the airlines mandates that grant funds be used exclusively for the continuation of payment of wages, salaries and benefits for workers. Our members in the airline industry who work for carriers that accept federal funds are protected from involuntary furloughs and pay or benefit reductions until Sept. 30, 2020. I want to thank Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja and his team for the tremendous work they did to protect our members in the airline and railroad industries. I would also like to thank TCU-IAM National President Bob Scardelletti for all his team’s work on rail and transit-related relief.

“We also won significant relief and protections for members in the aerospace and manufacturing industries who work for companies with national security interests. Companies that accept federal funds are prohibited from reducing their workforce by more than 10 percent. Corporations that have between 500 and 10,000 employees are also prohibited from outsourcing and offshoring our jobs and must remain neutral in union organizing campaigns.

“The IAM fought hard for these conditions to apply to all aerospace and manufacturing employers receiving federal dollars, but Mitch McConnell, GOP leadership and their corporate allies torpedoed our efforts. Regardless of whether or not a company is forbidden from laying off workers or outsourcing under this legislation, the IAM will be calling out any company that receives federal support and engages in this activity.

“The IAM will continue to ensure that working people are financially protected while insisting that appropriate safety and health provisions are followed. We will also fight to make sure companies are honoring existing and newly instituted worker protections. We are working with companies to maintain our members’ wages, health insurance, fringe benefits and all provisions in IAM-negotiated collective bargaining agreements.

“Your calls and messages to your elected officials were instrumental in strengthening this legislation. This is what it means to be a part of a strong and united union. Our members are on the front lines of this crisis and the IAM continues to make sure we get the relief we need. Without our strong advocacy for working people, companies would have had free reign to take taxpayer money with one hand and pass out thousands of pink slips with the other.

“Now is the time for us all to join together and take care of each other. Our collective actions will save lives and livelihoods and we have only just begun rescuing this economy. From producing much needed medical supplies to ensuring that our vital transportation, manufacturing, and public and service sectors remain strong, the men and women of the IAM stand ready to protect the health of all Americans, our national defense and lead in the revival of the American economy.”

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ICYMI: Healthcare Workers and COVID-19 on Activate L!VE

This week’s Activate L!VE featured IAM Healthcare Director Marti Garza who talked about the challenges faced by IAM healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garza discussed the many areas in which the IAM gets involved for our members, and all workers in the patient-care field. Personal protective equipment (PPE), worker safety, ensuring appropriate staffing levels and legislative action are but a few of the pressing issues during this crisis.

Activate L!VE streams every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST.

If you can’t join us live, watch it or previous shows anytime on:

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Ohio Members Standing Strong in Third Week of Strike

Twenty-three workers of IAM Local 1346, District 54 have been on the picket lines since March 10, after rejecting Gledhill Road Machinery Company’s last, best, and final offer and voting to strike.

At issue are healthcare benefits, wage increases and working conditions that include drastic changes to the attendance policy. The Negotiating Committee invited company representatives to return to the bargaining table in an effort to reach a fair agreement for both parties.

“Our members of Local 1346 have the full support of our district and its affiliated local lodges,” said IAM District 54 President & Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright Jr. “After meeting with our membership on the strike line, we urge the company to maintain quality wages, health benefits, and working conditions for our members and their families. My thanks go out to BR Jim McClelland and the negotiating committee for their leadership during these negotiations.”

“I’m proud of these members for standing in solidarity fighting for what they believe is just,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President James Conigliaro Sr. “These members work hard to produce a quality product and they deserved to be compensated fairly for that work.”

Gledhill Machinery makes snow plows for entities such as the Ohio Department of Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the city of Chicago

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IAM Mourns Loss of Former AA and Aerospace Coordinator Richard “Dick” Schneider

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our brother and friend, Richard “Dick” Schneider. Brother Schneider peacefully passed away the evening of March 14, 2020, at the Portland Adventist Hospital. A celebration of life is to be planned sometime during the summer.

Dick initiated in 1968 as a member of the IAM and one year later transferred his membership to Local Lodge No.63 when he moved to Oregon and began working at Portland Iron Works. During the next nine years Dick served the membership in a range of positions including Shop Steward, President of the Shop Stewards, Negotiating Committee Member, Local Lodge Vice President and delegate to various councils, including serving as a delegate to District Lodge No. 24. During this time, Dick also took advantage of attending various Shop Steward and Leadership Schools.

On September 5, 1978, Dick was hired as a Business Representative for District Lodge No. 24. Included in his duties was the servicing of a diverse category of shops, including negotiating collective bargaining agreements and the handling of grievance through the arbitration process.

Also during this time, Dick serviced as Trustee of the Oregon Marie Machinists Health and Welfare Trust, Secretary-Treasurer of the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League of Oregon, as well as assisting in the organizing of several new shops.

Dick became Assistant Directing Business Representative to DBR George Miller in October of 1982.

Dick Schneider was appointed as a Grand Lodge Special Representative for the Western Territory by General Vice President Justine Ostro on October 1, 1988.

On April 1, 1990, he became a Grand Lodge Representative with duties that included NLRB work, and responsibility for several contracts. 

General Vice President Lee Pearson then selected Dick to become his Administrative Assistant on July 1, 1996. He held that position until November 30, 1997, when International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger appointed him to serve as Aerospace Coordinator for the newly formed IAM Aerospace Department. Dick retired from the IAM in 2007

“Dick was a True Journeyman and a Fighting Machinists to his core. His contributions paved the way for Countless families to have an improved standard of living said General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “On behalf of the Western Territory I extend our sincere condolences to Dick’s wife Kathi and his entire family.” 

“Anyone who worked with Dick Schneider knew how dedicated he was to this union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “For nearly 40 years he was active in the IAM, and his leadership skills became obvious early in his career. He will be missed by us all.”

Dick is survived by his wife Kathi, five children, and several grandchildren, and great-grandchild.

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IAM Suspends Programming at Winpisinger Center Through End of 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our economy, our employers and our membership. For many reasons, including the uncertain nature of when it will be safe for members and staff to travel and gather in groups, the Executive Council has made the decision to close the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center for the rest of 2020, effective Monday, April 6.

If you are enrolled to attend a program at the W3 Center, you will receive a communication concerning the cancellation of your program.

The decision to close the W3 Center was not made lightly or without deliberation, as both International President Martinez, General Secretary-Treasurer Cervantes and the entire IAM Executive Council understand the critical role education plays in the IAM. The IAM, like organizations all over the world, will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic.

“Your Executive Council is fully engaged in monitoring and responding to this crisis,” said Martinez. “I’m looking forward to reopening the Winpisinger Center at the earliest possible opportunity and resuming world-class education for our members and staff.”

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