Machinists Call for Help Saving Washington State Alcoa Jobs

Company leadership at Alcoa Intalco Works recently announced plans to shut down their aluminum smelting operation, one of the few facilities of its kind remaining in the United States.

Read: Alcoa to shut Ferndale smelter, throwing 700 out of work Seattle Times

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., and Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen sent a letter requesting assistance from members of the U.S. Senate in saving 600 IAM-represented aluminum smelting jobs at Alcoa Intalco Works in Ferndale, WA.

“Allowing this facility to close would do irreparable damage to our nation’s capacity to produce aluminum domestically, severely damage our domestic supply chain, and endanger our national security and sovereignty especially in times of national emergency or foreign conflict,” wrote Martinez and Allen. “Furthermore, this closure would leave nearly 700 hard-working men and women out of work and devastate the local economy and surrounding communities.”

The aluminum smelting operation at Alcoa Intalco Works is of particular strategic importance as it is one of the largest aluminum producers in the United States, producing more than 280,000 tons per year.  It is also the last remaining facility in the western United States, and is the only U.S. aluminum smelter with proximity to a deep water port. 

The IAM is committed to saving these vitally important jobs, the Alcoa Intalco Works Washington state facility, and this vital industry.

READ: Alcoa Intalco Works’ timeline of 54 years in Whatcom County The Bellingham(Wash.) Herald

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IAM Demands Safety at VA Facilities

The IAM is calling on top Veterans Affairs officials to ensure that employees and veterans at VA facilities are adequately protected from COVID-19.

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. says the agency must provide all workers with personal protective equipment, clean and sanitize workplaces in a timely manner and follow all CDC guidelines.

“When it comes to the critical work our members do every day, serving and protecting our nation, the Veterans Administration must ensure that the men and women who do the work are protected from COVID-19,” wrote Martinez .

The IAM and the National Federation of Federal Employees Federal District 1 (NFFE-IAM) have sounded the alarm over several VA facilities with a lack of PPE and rising COVID-19 cases. Stories have emerged of inadequate basic safety supplies, such as masks, soap and hand sanitizer.

“We will be monitoring the Veterans Administration to ensure that workers are protected and that they are never forced to choose between their job and their health,” wrote Martinez.

The IAM has previously called on the president to use the full power of the Defense Production Act to provide all essential workers with PPE.

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IAM Members, Families Can Complete Bachelor’s Degree for Free This Summer

Because of the current economic and public health uncertainty, IAM members and families who enroll in the IAM’s Low-Cost Degree Program by Monday, May 18, 2020 can complete a bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs.

Get started by calling 888-897-9671 or enrolling online at

Your union is making it possible for all students who enroll through the IAM Low-Cost Degree Program at Central State University this summer to complete their degree with no out-of-pocket costs.

IAM members and family who enroll in the term beginning May 18 can do so under the same terms as the IAM Free College Program. All new and continuing students who are enrolled this summer will be eligible for a Free College last-dollar scholarship, which allows students to complete their degree (through graduation) with no out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees or e-books. This represents a savings of more than $9,000.

Students can finish their teacher education or business administration bachelor’s degree affordably and safely. You must have earned an associate degree or have at least 60 credits in either field to be eligible. And remember, if you haven’t earned your associate degree you can do so as always for NO COST through the IAMAW Free College Program.

If you are furloughed or laid off during this pandemic, don’t worry — you and your family members are still eligible to enroll with no cost.

This scholarship is available for a limited time. Enroll now ! Summer classes begin May 18.

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