The IAM and the nation’s largest federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO, have issued strong public comments opposing a last-minute raid on the mission of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The Bank’s mission to maintain and support U.S. jobs depends on its domestic content requirements.
Nonetheless, the Bank posted a public notice just before Thanksgiving soliciting input on its review of U.S. content policies, under the guise of China competition. One proposal would gut domestic content requirements by 55-65%.
IAM members in a variety of export-related industries, including aerospace, shipbuilding, defense and electronics, rely on the Ex-Im Bank to finance exports that sustain U.S. jobs. New and innovative industries, like renewable energy, semiconductors and manufacturing machinery for semiconductors that represent the future U.S. work, are being directly targeted.
“With millions of U.S. manufacturing and service sector workers unemployed during what continues to be the worst economic period since the Great Depression, current proposals to significantly reduce domestic content requirements for several select industries give greater incentives for corporate offshoring,” writes the IAM in its comments to the Bank.
“If anything, we must strengthen the current content rules to ensure that the Bank’s taxpayer-subsidized financing is truly focused on domestic job creation in the United States, not on the corporate bottom line,” write IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., chair of the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Council, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in comments to the Bank.
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On December 9, IAM Local 2949 President Stephanie Karelis and Vice President Steve Nickel presented a donation on behalf of the local to Esperanza En Escalante (EEE).
The mission of EEE is to provide transitional and permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and veterans’ families, as well as offer social rehabilitation to nurture and support the transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
“The majority of Local 2949 members are veterans and understand the sacrifice and lifelong mental and physical scars that military service can leave behind,” said Karelis. “We are thankful for the services EEE provides to veterans, and Local 2949 is proud to support our community.”
“I am extremely proud of the generosity displayed by the membership of Local Lodge 2949,” said Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Our service men and women who have made great sacrifices for our country should want for nothing when they return to civilian life. The fact that so many of them struggle to make ends meet is a moral failing in our country. I am grateful for Local 2949 stepping up and taking part in providing this much needed assistance.”
EEE is a non-profit organization (501c3) formed in 1989 by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 106 of Tucson, Arizona. More information can be found at the nonprofit’s website: https://eeeveterans.org/
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2020 – IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. issued the following statement regarding the current state of COVID-19 relief negotiations:
“Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans must pass long-overdue, comprehensive COVID-19 relief legislation before Congress takes yet another vacation. Millions of working people are out of jobs, going hungry, being evicted from their homes and losing hope. The failure to pass desperately needed relief is squarely on the shoulders of Senate Republicans, who are more interested in playing games with people’s lives and going on vacation than fulfilling their obligations to the American people. It is outrageous.
“As the largest airline, defense and aerospace union in North America, we have seen Machinists Union members act heroically during this pandemic to keep our nation and our economy moving. It has been a slap in face to them and their families to allow critical lifelines, like the airline Payroll Support Program, to expire and put hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women out of a job. These are the working people who will continue to be critical front-line workers as we undertake the massive task of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to hundreds of millions of Americans. We need relief now for them and every working family struggling through no fault of their own.
“My message to Mitch McConnell is this—it is time for you to make the needs of our people a priority and put aside petty politics. We need passage of comprehensive economic relief now.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.
goIAM.org | @MachinistsUnion
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IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. recently visited IAM Local 709 members in Marietta, GA to assure members that while they and their families have endured some trying times in this unprecedented year, the IAM remains strong.
Martinez also reaffirmed that the IAM is mobilized to endorse worker-friendly candidates in the upcoming Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs on January 5.
“We are fighting every day for the relief our members and their families need to stay safe and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Martinez. “We have expanded or Employee Assistance Program and rolled out an Addiction Services Program to always be there for those in need. We also are focusing on the upcoming Georgia runoffs, which will determine the balance of power in the Senate. The outcome will be crucial in getting further assistance for our members.”
“I would like to thank IP Martinez for visiting Local 709 and speaking with our members,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “He answered all questions and alleviated any concerns that may have arisen over the past year. We will now focus on the runoffs and with the commitment and dedication that our members display each and every day, I have no doubt that we will be successful.”
The Georgia State Council of Machinists has endorsed Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in part because they will be allies in Washington in passing the PRO Act, pension reform and COVID relief that working families desperately need.
Between IAM members in the Southern Territory, the Grand Lodge and the Georgia AFL-CIO, there will be an army of volunteers and resources fully engaged in getting the vote out. The IAM is doing member to member phone calls, robocalls, local mailers, door hangers, text messages and emails.
For more on the Senate race in Georgia, visit iam2020.org/georgia.
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