IAM District 725 Area Manager/Business Representative J.P. Fletcher recently represented the Machinists Union during U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s speech on trade at the AFL-CIO.
Fletcher asked Tai an important question about how the Biden administration will combat outsourcing and retain Aerospace jobs in America. Tai’s speech, which focused on the importance of worker-centered trade, was hosted by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka during a virtual town hall.
“While aerospace workers are currently being laid off all over the United States, the aerospace industry in Mexico is growing exponentially,” said IAM District 725 Area Director/Business Representative J.P. Fletcher. “Many of these jobs were once our jobs and union jobs here in San Diego.”
Chula Vista, CA has been home to aerospace manufacturing since the 1940’s and at one time employed over 10,000 workers. When United Technologies (UTC) took over the operations, the company outsourced much of the work to its production site in Mexico. There are approximately 60,000 aerospace jobs now in Mexico, much of which used to be done by IAM members.
“Brother Fletcher did a great job representing the IAM during this call by posing a vital question to Ambassador Tai about the future of aerospace jobs in our great country,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “It is imperative the Machinists Union continues to pressure this administration to keep their word of protecting the livelihoods of not only our Aerospace members, but every Machinist. The IAM will always be at forefront in leading the labor movement’s fight to keep American jobs here and against any outsourcing.”
“The outsourcing of good paying aerospace jobs to Mexico is tantamount to economic treason on the American worker,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “I will do everything in my power to continue to hold theses elected officials accountable to our members and our country.”
The IAM Midwest Territory raised $21,877 at two recent events benefiting the IAM’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines, which provides service dogs free of charge to deserving individuals across the U.S. and Canada.
Both events were held consecutively on the weekend of May 22 and 23.
The IAM Midwest Territory’s 2nd annual Sporting Clays Shoot, held at Nilo Farms in Brighton, IL, drew a record 70 participants.
“After many events were cancelled in 2020, it was great to see so much participation from our membership in the 2021 ‘Rides for Guides’ car show and the sporting clay event,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “IAM members know better than anyone how to join together for a good cause, and we have once again shown that in the Midwest Territory. I’d again like to thank every participant and sponsor who helped us raise more than $21,800 for Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines.”
For more information on these and other IAM Midwest Territory events to benefit Guide Dogs of America, visit the Spirit of the Midwest website at SpiritoftheMidwest.org
At the beginning of last year, GDA completed a merger with Tender Loving Canines, and now provides service dogs for people who are blind/visually impaired, veterans, individuals with autism, and facilities to become trusted companions that bring confidence, independence, and mobility. Their services are provided free of charge to residents in the U.S. and Canada.
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, U.S. Reps. Jared Golden (D-ME) and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) joined IAM Local S6 representatives at Bath Iron Works recently in calling to restore an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the U.S. Navy’s budget.
The current Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Department budget request includes funding for only one DDG-51 Arleigh Burke destroyer. Last year, Congress approved funding for two DDG-51s.
“This budget is retiring some old large surface combatants in big numbers,” said Rep. Courtney. “If we’re going to divest older capability ships to free up money to invest in newer capability ships, you have to make sure you do the second part, and this budget doesn’t do that.”
Courtney’s subcommittee is responsible for setting the shipbuilding manufacturing policy included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which directs how federal funds should be used by the Defense Department each year. Golden serves as vice-chairman of the subcommittee next to Courtney. Pingree is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which sets funding policy for the federal government, including for military shipbuilding.
“These ships are proudly built by our members,” said Local S6 President Chris Weirs. “Our members are fighting alongside the IAM, our elected officials and BIW to ensure that Congress restores funding for a second DDG-51 destroyer in fiscal Year 2022.”
“These ships are vital,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “First and foremost is our national security, and making sure the U.S. Navy has the tools they need to defend our interests. Secondly, and just as important we are also building the future shipbuilders, and manufacturing base at the same time. The Maine Delegation understands the importance of these ships, and our members are also well informed – they know what is at stake.”
Pingree and Golden, along with U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME), opposed the ship cut in a May 27 joint statement. The Maine Delegation wrote the cut would “destabilize our nation’s shipyard industrial base, threaten the skilled workforce that builds these ships, and undermine the long-term health of this important sector of national defense.
Attention all IAM members who enjoy taking photos. We are still looking for your photos for the 2021 IAM Photography contest. Get out your cameras or smartphones and start snapping some pictures of your Union sisters and brothers.
Submit your photos of IAM members in their workplace, union function or performing community service for a chance to win a cash prize have your photo featured in the 2022 IAM Calendar. Entry deadline is August 1, 2021.