Machinists Union Supports Maryland House Legislation Giving Harford County Library Workers the Right to Collectively Bargain

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) proudly supports the Harford County Library Employees Collective Bargaining Authorization Bill, Maryland House Bill 1225, introduced by Delegate Steven Johnson (D-34a). The bill would allow Harford County Public Library staff employees the ability to join a union, ultimately giving them a voice and vote in the workplace.

READ: Harford County Public Library employees move to unionize | The Baltimore Sun / The (Harford County, Md.) Aegis

Since libraries in Maryland are created by state law, state legislation had to be drafted and passed for this group to be able to form a union with the ability to negotiate a contract addressing their wages and working conditions. The IAM has been working side by side with elected officials to make sure this basic human right is afforded to all working people in Maryland. 

“The Harford County Public Library system staff love the library and want to see it thrive. But for years, it’s been an uphill battle as administrators and the Library Board of Trustees continue to slash services and put workers in impossible situations,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bridget Fitzgerald. “The passage of Maryland House Bill 1225 is the first step on a path that will give these employees a voice and an opportunity to be part of the library system’s decision-making process and help bring the library system back to the gem it once was. This bill will not only take care of the working-class heroes who take care of residents throughout the county, but it could save an institution that many say is the best service their tax money provides.” 

“Libraries are the keepers of the history of our communities. They are a gateway to knowledge and culture,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “That’s why it is so important to make sure the voice of the library staff is heard. HB 1225 introduced by Maryland State Delegate Steven Johnson will make that a reality, giving these information gatekeepers what they need to decide if joining a union is right for themselves and their families.” 

A group of nearly 460 Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) full and part-time employees across the county’s 19 branches recently voted in favor of joining the IAM and is currently in negotiations with BCPL management. County statute stipulates that negotiations must conclude by March 1, 2022. 

Baltimore County Public Library Employees Vote Overwhelmingly to Join Machinists Union  

Maryland Law Giving Baltimore County Public Library Employees the Right to Collectively Bargain and Join the Machinists Union Goes Into Effect July 1st  

 

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Lufthansa Technik Workers in Puerto Rico to Vote on Machinists Union Representation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2022 –More than 200 mechanics and related who work in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, at Lufthansa Technik, Puerto Rico, LLC.  were granted the right to participate in an election to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the largest airline and transportation union in North America.

The National Mediation Board (NMB) ruling determined that the IAM had sufficient showing of interest to proceed to a mail-ballot election. The decision comes months after aggressive tactics and appeals to stop Lufthansa Technik workers’ right to join the IAM. Last year, Lufthansa mechanics and related sought IAM representation due to various workplace issues, including reduced work hours, irregular work rules, and inadequate wages and benefits. 

The NMB will mail out the Notice and Sample Ballots in English and Spanish on March 3, 2022. The Ballots will be mailed to the employees on March 10, 2022. The election voting period will be from 12:01 a.m. ET, March 10, 2022, through May 5, 2022. The final tally will be at the Board’s offices on May 5, 2022, at 2 p.m. ET.

“The highly skilled aircraft mechanics and related at Lufthansa Technik have faced a lot of challenges during the past two years, including terminations and reduced working hours by Lufthansa at the height of the pandemic,” said Juan Negron, Special Assistant to the International President of the IAM. “The workers in Aguadilla help maintain some of the biggest airline carriers globally, and it makes sense to become part of the largest airline union in North America. We will utilize the IAM’s full resources to ensure the workers at Lufthansa get what they deserve with a voice in the workplace and respect and dignity on the shop floor.”

Lufthansa Technik mechanics and related provided service for United Airlines, Allegiant, Spirit, Avianca, and until recently, JetBlue. 

The IAM recently wrote a letter  to the U.S. Transportation Department Inspector General calling for an investigation into possible misuse of CARES Act funds by Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, LLC. The IAM wrote the letter on behalf of more than 200 mechanics and related who work in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, at Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, LLC.

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, airline, railroad, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.

goIAM.org  | @MachinistsUnion

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Trabajadores de Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico votarán por representación de la unión de maquinistas

PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

WASHINGTON, 24 de febrero de 2022– A más de 200 mecanics y relacionados que trabajan en Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, en Lufthansa Technik, Puerto Rico, LLC.  se les otorgó el derecho a participar en una elección para unirse a la Asociación Internacional de Maquinistas y Trabajadores Aeroespaciales (IAM), la unión de aerolíneas y transporte más grande de Norte America.

La decisión de la Junta Nacional de Mediación (NMB, por sus siglas en inglés) determinó que la IAM tenía suficientes muestras de interés para proceder a una elección por correo. La decisión se produce meses después de tácticas agresivas y peticiones para detener el derecho de los trabajadores de Lufthansa Technik a unirse a la IAM. El año pasado, los mecánicos y afines de Lufthansa buscaron la representación de IAM debido a varios problemas en el lugar de trabajo, que incluyen horas de trabajo reducidas, reglas de trabajo irregulares y salarios y beneficios inadecuados.

La NMB enviará por correo el Aviso y las Boletas de Ejemplo en inglés y español el 3 de marzo de 2022. Las Boletas se enviarán por correo a los empleados el 10 de marzo de 2022. El período de votación de la elección será a partir de las 12:01 a.m. EST, del 10 de marzo de 2022, hasta el 5 de mayo de 2022. El conteo final será en las oficinas de la Junta el 5 de mayo de 2022 a las 2 pm EST.

“Los mecánicos de aeronaves y afines altamente calificados de Lufthansa Technik se han enfrentado a muchos desafíos durante los últimos dos años, incluidos despidos y la reducción de las horas de trabajo de Lufthansa en apogeo de la pandemia,” dijo Juan Negron, asistente especial del presidente internacional de la IAM. “Los trabajadores de Aguadilla ayudan a mantener algunas de las aerolíneas más grandes del mundo, y tiene sentido formar parte de la unión de aerolíneas más grande de América del Norte. Utilizaremos todos los recursos de la IAM para garantizar que los trabajadores de Lufthansa obtengan lo que se merecen con una voz en el lugar de trabajo y respeto y dignidad en la planta.”

Mecánicos de Lufthansa Technik y afines proveen servicios para United Airlines, Allegiant, Spirit, Avianca y, hasta hace poco, JetBlue.

La IAM recientemente escribió una carta  al Inspector General del Departamento de Transporte de los EE. UU., solicitando una investigación sobre el posible uso indebido de los fondos de la Ley CARES por parte de Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, LLC. La IAM escribió la carta en nombre de más de 200 mecanics y relacionados que trabajan en Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, en Lufthansa Technik Puerto Rico, LLC.

La Asociación Internacional de Maquinistas y Trabajadores Aeroespaciales (IAM) se encuentra entre las uniones industriales más grandes de América del Norte y representa a casi 600,000 miembros activos y jubilados en los sectores de fabricación, aeroespacial, defensa, líneas aéreas, ferrocarriles, transporte, construcción naval, carpintería, atención de la salud, y otras industrias.

 goIAM.org  | @MachinistsUnion

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IAM Black History Month: Lisa Foust

This year, for Black History Month, the IAM is highlighting some of our current history makers within the organization. All this month, we will be running stories on current Black activists in the IAM.

Lisa G. Foust joined the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM Federal District 1) 22 years ago. She was the first Black woman to serve as a NFFE-IAM National Vice President.

 “Lisa earned her spot on NFFE’s National Executive Council by doing great work as the president of NFFE-IAM Local 178, increasing her skills by taking classes at the Winpisinger Center, and building her reputation over time with local and national leaders within the union,” said NFFE-IAM National President Randy Erwin. “Once she made it her goal, there was no doubt in my mind that Lisa was going to reach NFFE’s National Executive Council. Now she is there, and she is doing great work for NFFE-IAM members in that role.”

Foust has held many positions at NFFE-IAM Local 178, including President, Recording Secretary and Local Delegate. She also serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Maryland-District of Columbia State Council of Machinists.

 “Lisa is as committed as anyone you could find in making sure that everyone in the union has their voice heard, is included, and is respected,” said Erwin.

“The reason I joined the union is I was invited to a union meeting by someone I held in high regards,” said Foust. “Shortly after that meeting, she invited me to an organizing event and I joined.”

Foust admits facing struggles trying to advance, like having her voice heard as a Black woman, saying it has always been a struggle and it remains true today.

She is thankful for any union Brothers and Sisters for their help along the way, but two stand out to her. She remembers meeting now-retired IAM Government Employees Director Frank Carelli on a NFFE-IAM Local 178 organizing campaign. After she joined, he encouraged her to take classes at the Winpisinger Center and learn more about unionism and the IAM. She also gives credit to the IAM’s Lonnie Vick for helping her put things into perspective and pushing her to understand the IAM Constitution.

Foust advice for Black members starting out in the union is to know their value and what they bring to the table.

“Don’t allow yourself to be marginalized,” said Foust. “If the door is locked, don’t quit, take matters into your own hands.”

Foust emphasizes the value of education, which she believes “must precede any great fundamental change in society.” She also emphasizes the importance of rising above politics and speaking the truth to be unshakable in the fight for workers’ rights.

Foust admires Lucy Parson , saying, “Lucy’s activism challenged the racist and sexist sentiment in a time when Americans believed that a women’s place was in the home.”

“Anything can be accomplished if you do not waver or become disenfranchised,” said Foust. “Surround yourself with like-minded, forward-thinking people, and give grace to peoples’ shortcomings.”

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IAM Launches Grand Lodge Convention Website

The 2022 IAM Grand Lodge Convention website is now live with the aim of keeping members and delegates informed throughout the convention year. As preparations continue and October approaches, the website will be the central hub for the latest convention-related information. Check back often for new updates.

Visit the IAM Grand Lodge Convention website .

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