IAM Commemorates Fallen Members on Workers’ Memorial Day

The IAM gathered at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD to remember 46 members that will be added to the hallowed memorial grounds.

With more than 100 IAM members attending, Monica Lee Silbas, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President, delivered the keynote address.

Silbas called on members to remember those who have passed and to commit to making things better at work.

“We do this for transportation workers, aerospace workers, healthcare workers, airline workers, government employees, factory workers, railroad workers, woodworkers and any worker we have lost,” said Silbas. “Commit yourself to improving the lives of all workers for the future of our children and our grandchildren.”

For weeks, Winpisinger Center groundskeepers have been preparing the area with love and care placing new bricks around the main memorial. IAM C.R.E.S.T. and Safety and Health Department coordinates the program each year.

“Just look around at the beautiful grounds that were built by IAM members,” said Silbas. “They built it with their hearts in their hands. It’s just too sad that more blocks more bricks had to be built. Remember the fight never stops not while we are still here.”

Immediately after the names were read out loud as a bell tolled each time in remembrance of a life lost.

 

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IAM Rail Division Testifies Before the Surface Transportation Board on Precision Scheduled Railroading, Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2022 – Matt Hollis, National Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM), testified before the Surface Transportation Board on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Hollis testified on behalf of the IAM Rail Union to address urgent issues in the freight rail service. Other speakers included U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh, and Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel of the Federal Maritime Commission.  

WATCH: STB Hearing on Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service- April 26 and 27

The Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM)  and IAM District 19 , which together represent tens of thousands of rail workers, will become part of the IAM Rail Division  on May 1, 2022.

The testimony highlighted three specific crafts in the rail industry that reveal the impact of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) on the workforce and current issues with freight rail service. 

“From my position at TCU/IAM, I have had a front-row seat to the complete and utter degradation of our nation’s Class 1 railroads over the past six to seven years,” said Hollis. “I’ve watched as private equity firms have acquired controlling stakes in railroads only to use their power to deploy business models that extract as much wealth as possible, to the detriment of the railroads’ workers, their customers, and ultimately, the public interest. The Class 1 railroads have deployed their variations of the Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) business model – a misnomer, as any real railroader would tell you that PSR is neither precise nor well-scheduled and hardly resembles what they would call ‘railroading.’ A more accurate description would be doing ‘less with less’ – or moving fewer carloads with drastically fewer employees.”

Read Hollis’s full testimony here. 

The Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) represents approximately 46,000 members in the U.S., most employed in the railroad industry.

IAM District 19 represents 11,000 active machinists across the country at every Class 1 commuter railroad, Amtrak and others. Members primarily maintain and repair locomotives and track maintenance equipment both in shops and on the line of road. They also perform complete overhauls of locomotives and many assemblies and sub-assemblies used in all aspects of railroading.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)  is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, manufacturing, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries.

goIAM.org  | @MachinistsUnion

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Critical Incident Response Team Reconvenes at W3 Center to Continue Essential Training

The Transportation Department’s Critical Incident Response Training (CIRT) team recently returned to the Winpisinger Center (W3) to participate in its fifth annual class. The 25 participants applied the knowledge and experience they gained from their first four years on the team to this year’s back to the basics curriculum.

“The IAM is excited that the CIRT team was able to return to the W3 Center for more vital training,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “Their continued education ensures our members have a team ready and able to provide the safety and protection they may need in the event of a crisis.”

This year’s class was taught by Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell, Clinical Professor and Co-Founder of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. The course focused on basic crisis intervention: strategies and assisting individuals in crisis.

The team also prepared by working through mock disaster scenarios to understand better how to handle crises and apply Dr. Mitchell’s techniques.

The class members are active Employee Assistance Program (EAP) representatives selected from the Transportation Department. The main goal of the annual courses is to train the students on how to best help individuals cope with the effects of a traumatic event or critical incident.

The Transportation Department developed the class in response to the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 in Orlando, directly affecting some of its members.

Since its inception, the CIRT team has responded to numerous incidents, including the aftermath of a deadly hurricane season, a fatal incident aboard a Southwest Airlines plane forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia, and the shootings in a Henry Pratt manufacturing plant in Aurora, IL and a Walmart store in El Paso, TX.

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Machinists Union Urges President Biden to Halt All Russian Wood Imports

WASHINGTON, DC., April 28, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), one of the largest unions to represent woodworkers in the U.S., today called on President Joe Biden to implement an executive order that would halt imports of all Russian and Belarusian soft- and hardwoods, as action intended to halt the funding of the violent invasion of Ukraine, and help spur more U.S. wood production.

“Our 600,000-member union stands in support of rejecting Russia’s violent military aggression towards Ukraine. That said, our union believes your administration’s ongoing series of sanctions against Russia and Belarus should also include banning all its wood products, which are often used for items such as furniture manufacturing,” IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr., said in the letter to President Biden. “Halting imports of Russian and Belarusian wood, because it is conflict timber and import is therefore illegal, would also cut off the financial gains used for furthering this unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

It has been reported that in 2021, Russia was the third-largest source of U.S. hardwood plywood imports at about $334 million. Lumber is a large economic engine for Russia, which exported about $12 billion in wood products across the globe last year, according to publications that cited data from Wood Resource Quarterly.

The IAM represents 20,000 workers in the nation’s wood, pulp and paper industries.

Banning Russian and Belarusian imports to the U.S., would also help create good-paying domestic jobs in the woodworkers industry if employers follow suggested guidelines, including worker’s rights, Martinez wrote.

“These guidelines would promote more good-paying and decent jobs for woodworkers and forestry workers throughout the U.S.,” Martinez wrote.

Read the complete letter here.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)  is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, manufacturing, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries.

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Machinists Union Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Help Stop Passenger Assaults Against Airline Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the nation’s largest airline union, supports the recent introduction of the bipartisan bill Protection from Abusive Passengers Act (H.R. 7433, S. 4019), which would help thwart passenger assault on airline workers.

The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would direct the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to create and manage a program that bars passengers who are fined or convicted of serious physical violence against airline personnel from flying. 

“We greatly appreciate congressional lawmakers for taking the rising tide of passenger assault on airline workers very seriously,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “These hard-working men and women are tasked with getting people to their destination safely, so we should always repay them by ensuring that airport and airline workers have a place that is safe for them too. I urge Congress to move swiftly to pass this legislation and give airline workers the safety and protections they deserve.” 

The legislation would also permanently ban abusive passengers from participating in the TSA PreCheck or Customs’ Global Entry programs.

This marks the latest effort by IAM transportation leadership urging lawmakers and federal agency officials to take actions to halt passenger assaults on airport and airline workers.

For example, earlier this year, the IAM joined a letter with other transportation unions , urging President Biden, U.S. Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to help find solutions to thwart the rising passenger assaults.

The FAA has reported a total of 5,981 passenger incidents in 2021, which is up sharply from previous years.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)  is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, manufacturing, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries.

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