100 Iowa Valve Plant Workers Vote to Join Machinists Union

Approximately 100 workers at Clow Valve Foundry in Oskaloosa, IA have voted to join the IAM. These proud new IAM members make iron and brass castings for fire hydrants and water valves.

“We work hard for this company,” said Clow Foundry worker Josh Britt. “We want them to work hard for us.”

Workers at the plant inquired about joining the IAM late last year after the company significantly increased healthcare costs. Moreover, the company indicated it was potentially making additional future changes to their benefits.

“These workers stuck together and kept focused on why the wanted to be members of our great union,” said IAM Midwest Territory Special Representative Chris Tucker, the campaign’s lead organizer. “The men and women at Clow Foundry look at each other as family. They are proud of the efficient and productive work they do for this company and want to preserve good jobs in their community for generations to come. I couldn’t be more excited for these new members and their families.”

Due a sizable Spanish-speaking population at the plant, IAM organizers were sure to translate all materials about the union.

“I want to congratulate these brave men and women at Clow Foundry who stood up for a better life for themselves, their families and their communities,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Credit for this organizing win goes to Special Representative Chris Tucker, Grand Lodge Representative Geny Ulloa, and their entire team who worked tirelessly to secure a victory for our new members. Welcome to the IAM family, Brothers and Sisters.”

The castings produced by the members at Clow Foundry are shipped to a nearby IAM Local 1498 facility, which then produces fire hydrants, water valves and other critical infrastructure.

“We just want a fair shake,” said Clow Foundry worker Robbie Saylor.

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Tell Congress to Pass Relief for Aerospace Workers

In a letter to Senate and House leadership, IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. is urging members of the House and Senate to include this vitally important, bipartisan legislation in any COVID-19 pandemic relief package to be considered by Congress.

The legislation, led by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) in the Senate and Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Ron Estes (R-KS) in the House, would provide much-needed relief and help prevent mass layoffs to workers in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, overhaul and repair (MRO) industries.

IAM members must act now to tell your Senators and Representative to provide sorely needed relief to aerospace workers and help this critical workforce and supply chain weather the storm of this historic pandemic.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to support the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act of 2021.

Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 to urge them to pass the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act of 2021, and save thousands of crucial aerospace jobs.

Read the IAM’s letter to the House and Senate urging this legislation to be included in any COVID-19 pandemic relief package to be considered by the Senate.

“With global air travel stalled and travel booking forecast to remain at historic lows for some time, the domestic aerospace industry and the highly-skilled workforce on which it relies are facing dire economic consequence,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “It is vitally important to our national security, our domestic supply chain and our role in the global economy that we support this indispensable industry and the workers which are its backbone.”

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IAM Headquarters Adapts Staffing to Membership Needs

As you know, 2020 was an unprecedented year for the world and our union. Changes to the economic climate have resulted in a drop in Machinists Union membership. IAM leadership reacted swiftly with organizational changes to match the changing environment.

“While we are working around the clock to ensure that every member who has been laid off or furloughed will return to work shortly, we were forced to adapt, merge and restructure some departments and duties at IAM Headquarters to be in a better position for the present and future,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The Machinists Union is poised to fight for our membership now, and long into the future no matter what challenges arise.”

In addition to the staff and department changes below, there were multiple retirements at IAM Headquarters and in the Territories.

“On behalf of the Executive Council and the IAM membership, I want to thank all of the recent retiring staff for their years of dedication and service the membership and working families across North America,” said Martinez.

Below is a list of notable changes:

Accounting: Greg Santiago takes over as the Assistant Controller following the retirement of Kim Jerome. Santiago has been with the IAM for nearly 20 years and previously served as the Payroll and Pension Supervisor since 2004.

Communications: Jonathan Battaglia now takes over as the Communications Director. Battaglia served as the Assistant Director since 2017 and has worked in the Communications Department since March 2013. He takes over for Director Robert Wood, who retired after over 40 years in the IAM.

Government Employees: With the retirement of previous Director Jim Price, Collective Bargaining Director Craig Norman assumes the duties of that department, including Metal Trades.

Legal: Carla Siegel is now the IAM’s General Counsel. Siegel joined the IAM in 2003 as an Associate General Counsel and was promoted to Deputy General Council in 2010. She replaces the retiring Mark Schneider, who held that position since 2013.

Pension/GST: Misty Robeson takes over as the Pension Administrative Manager. The position was open due the retirement of long-time Pension Administrative Manager Lisa Isabel.

Political and Legislative: With the retirement of Political Director Rick de la Fuente, Legislative Director Hasan Solomon will assume the dual role of Political and Legislative Director. De la Fuente has served the Machinists Union at Grand Lodge for 20 years and is a 42-year member. Legislative Department Assistant Directors Monica Silbas and Loren Almeroth will also assume dual roles of Political and Legislative Assistant Directors.

Safety and Health: Michael Oathout takes over as Director of Safety and Health. Oathout previously held the position of IAM CREST Project Coordinator/Instructor for the past three years and has been with the IAM for 15 years. The vacancy was created from the retirement of Director Jim Reid, who served in that position for the past five years and was an IAM member for nearly 40 years.

Strategic Resources: David White is the new Strategic Resources Director. White has been with the IAM for 20 years and previously served as the Strategic Resources Assistant Director. The position became available through the retirement of Neil Gladstein, who served the IAM for nearly 25 years.

Veterans Program, Community Services and Disaster Relief: Retirees and Membership Assistance Director Ed Manhart will assume the duties of the IAM Veteran’s Program and the IAM Assistance Program. Director Carlos San Miguel led the programs until retiring in July 2020.

Women’s, Human Rights and Young Workers Department: The Women’s, Human Rights and Young Workers Department is now directed by Carla Siegel due to the retirement of Director Rhonda Rogers, who served in that position since 2017.

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District 9 Machinists Also Awarded Manufacturing Work from Alstom

Fifty Maintenance Machinists and Pattern Makers from District Lodge 9, Locals 660 and 688 at the Amsted Rail plant in Granite City, IL have secured a contract from Alstom Transportation Inc. to build the parts for 500 new railcars. This win comes on the heels of news that the railcars will be built by Machinists from District Lodge 19, Local Lodge 2741 members at Alstom’s manufacturing plant in Hornell, NY.

“Alstom sought out Amsted to do this work because of the reputation the Machinists have for their unmatched craftsmanship,” said Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “This venture comes at a crucial time and will provide much-needed work for our members at the Granite City plant. We are hopeful this project is the start of a long, fruitful relationship between the two companies that will lead to future work for our members.”

The Metra Board of Directors recently approved the purchase of these state-of-the-art railcars from Alstom Transportation Inc. The first car is expected to be delivered 42 months after the contract is finalized, with the full base order completed 30 months later.

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Watch the ‘Stand!’ Movie at a Special IAM Discount

The producers of Stand! are offering Machinists Union members a 20 percent discount to watch the movie from the comfort of their homes. For $7.99 in the United States and $10 in Canada, members can view the acclaimed movie-musical, an immigrant love story set against the backdrop of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike in Canada. Due to COVID-19, the movie transitioned from in-theater distribution to virtual.

Starting February 11, machinists can stream Stand! from this link: https://watch.eventive.org/stand/play/6011967f5ddcc2003606bb1e

The link will be active until February 25, 2021. Members will have seven days to start watching and 72 hours to finish watching, once the movie starts. The stream includes an 11-minute pre-show featuring behind-the-scenes footage, explaining how the movie was shot entirely on-location in Winnipeg and a nine-minute post-show Q & A with the director, composer and stars.

The storyline focuses on returned soldiers, angry at the lack of jobs after the war, who violently threaten the city’s immigrants, including Emma, a refugee from racist violence in Oklahoma. When a movement develops for workers to leave their jobs in protest, a wealthy lawyer pits everyone against each other in a dramatic and inspirational final stand.

Starring Marshall Williams (“Glee”, “How to Build a Better Boy” – Disney), Laura Slade Wiggins (“Shameless”, “Nancy Drew & the Hidden Staircase”), Lisa Bell & Gregg Henry (“Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Scandal”). Featuring Hayley Sales (“Deadpool 2”), Paul Essiembre, Tristan Carlucci, Gabriel Daniels, Ryan Ash, Blake Taylor, Robin Ruel & Boris Gulyarin. Lisa Bell sings the signature song, “Stand.”

Writer/Composer Danny Schur and Director Robert Adetuyi appeared on Activate L!VE in November, prior to the release of the movie in the United States.

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