Neil Douglas Appointed IAM Eastern Territory Special Representative 

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. has appointed Neil Douglas to serve as a Special Representative assigned to the IAM Eastern Territory. Douglas has served as President and Directing Business Representative of IAM Local 1943 in Middletown, OH since 2011. The appointment is effective May 1, 2022.

Douglas hired into AK Steel, now Cleveland Cliffs, in 1998 and quickly got involved in his union (AEIF joined the IAM in 2006), becoming a Grievanceman in 1999. He served as Shop Steward, Committeeman, Vice President, and ultimately President and Directing Business Representative.

Douglas has served the Ohio State Council of Machinists as Vice President and Legislative Agent. He also sits on the Executive Board and Executive Committee of the Dayton Miami Valley AFL-CIO.

Douglas is a proud U.S. Navy veteran who chairs the Middletown Veterans Memorial Fund and has helped raise over $120,000 for scholarships for Middletown area veterans and their families. 

“Brother Douglas has been a long-time activist in the labor movement and has been one of the driving forces at IAM Local 1943,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “Neil has not only served the IAM with pride, but he has been a tremendous asset in the Ohio community. Eastern Territory members will benefit from Neil’s extensive experience negotiating fair contracts and bringing new members into the IAM.”   

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Machinists Union Urges Pro-Worker Provisions in Biden Administration’s Proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2022 – The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), recently submitted a series of suggestions to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, offering pro-worker guidance as the two federal agencies are shaping a U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). The framework seeks to solidify ties with nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr., submitted formal comments in the U.S. federal registry, urging a focus on “trade policy that is worker-centric and does not follow any of the flawed trade policies in our past that have resulted in scores of job losses in the U.S.”

“In short, the IPEF agreement should place workers first. This means provisions like enforceable labor and environmental standards,” Martinez wrote. “Our nation’s workers often rely on trade, and what we want is a fair playing field, not policies that force U.S. workers to compete with horribly-abused sweatshop workers overseas. Our nation’s workforce can compete with other countries when we are given a fair chance.”

The Biden administration is in the early stages of shaping the IPEF, which has not finalized involved nations and could take nearly two years to complete. The proposed framework has been labeled as a means to counter China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region. The IPEF will includes the following pillars: fair and resilient trade; supply chain resilience; infrastructure clean energy, and decarbonization; and tax and anti-corruption.

Martinez offered policy suggestions such as enforceable, labor and environmental rules, as well as transparency in the negotiations process. He also cautioned that the IPEF should not resemble the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a once-proposed flawed trade deal under the Obama administration that would have gutted the nation’s manufacturing sector.

“Moreover, the problem this country has faced with supply chains is simply the result of bad trade policies that has allowed American jobs to go overseas and corporations to profit from low wages,” Martinez wrote. “Will IPEF’s proposal seek to address the real problems of our supply chain with remedies that will benefit the American worker? The Machinists Union is not sure that IPEF is the recovery road we seek, especially when real protective enforcement mechanisms are lacking.”

The IAM has not taken a position on the proposed IPEF, but has been actively engaged in continued discussions with the Biden administration’s trade officials and members of Congress.

The economic framework does not require congressional approval, but Martinez wrote that Congress, as well as labor unions and civil groups “should also be involved in the discussions and review process of this very important trade policy that will impact U.S. workers and their families.”

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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IAM Rail Division Will Testify before the Surface Transportation Board on Precision Scheduled Railroading, Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2022 – Matt Hollis, National Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM), will testify before the Surface Transportation Board on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Hollis will testify on behalf of the IAM Rail Division to address urgent issues in the freight rail service. Other speakers include 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 will highlight 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.”

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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IAM Transportation Workers Represented at ITF Meetings

Last week, IAM Transportation Coordinator Edison Fraser represented the Machinists Union at the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) executive board meeting in London, England. The conference’s emphasis was for the ITF to renew its commitment to the fight to represent its affiliates’ union members worldwide.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and strategize with union sisters and brothers worldwide. It is important to remember that an injury to one is an injury to all,” said Fraser. “There was also a focus on union members in Ukraine and how they were being affected by the Russian invasion. The IAM Air Transport members stand with our Ukrainian sisters and brothers as they struggle through these difficult times.” 

“The IAM has a long, storied history of developing and maintaining relationships with all ITF affiliates,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “We will continue to be at the forefront in the fight to protect workers’ rights globally.”

Johnsen serves as an ITF Executive Board member.

Another focal point of the meetings was a planned day of action against P&O Ferries, which fired 800 Britain-based seafarers on March 17, 2022, with only 30 minutes’ notice via a prerecorded zoom call.

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