Register Now for IAM’s October Human Rights Program

The IAM Women’s and Human Rights Department will offer the Human Rights Program from October 23-28, 2022. The program will be held at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

Recognizing that justice and equality can only be achieved through an organized and empowered working class, the Human Rights Program will help enable members to become human rights activists. Through the establishment of human rights committees focused on fair treatment on the job and within the union we can work together to support true equality in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.

The Human Rights Program trains committees to be active in local and district lodges; to improve worker rights through engagement in the legislative process; and to identify opportunities to participate in organizing campaigns that include traditionally under-represented workers. Participants will learn effective intervention strategies when dealing with workplace harassment, whether from coworkers or management. The program also provides members an overview of resources available to them.

Human rights committees encourage involvement of a diverse membership in lodge administration and provide membership with practical strategies to advocate for diversity, mutual respect, fairness, and equality in the workplace and the union.

“It’s important for our members to have the knowledge and tools to advocate for a diverse workforce,” said Julie Frietchen, Director of the IAM Women’s and Human Rights Department. “This program is essential if we want to fulfill the IAM’s core principle of ‘Justice on the Job, Service to the Community.’”

The registration deadline is August 29. The call letter and registration instructions for the program is located on the Winpisinger Center website.

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IAM Rail Division Pounds Pavement in Washington, DC

At this week’s 2022 IAM Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, union leaders from TCU, the Carmen Division, and IAM District Lodge 19 amplified our members’ voices by meeting with various elected officials from across the federal government. Our railroaders spoke at length with leaders from the Federal Railroad Administration, the Surface Transportation Board, and Congress.

 

Conference attendees heard speeches in the mornings from some of the most powerful leaders in Washington, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Sherrod Brown, and many others.

In the afternoons, railroaders took to the Hill to talk about our issues.

From local to national matters, all issues were on the table. Railroaders blasted the so-called “Precision Scheduled Railroading” business model that’s cost the jobs of 45,000 railroaders over the past 6 years, and the associated service declines. They talked safety issues in our yards and the locomotive and car shops. They spoke about how elected officials can better address assault prevention on our nation’s transit and passenger rail systems.

And, importantly, our members discussed ongoing national freight rail negotiations and the need to get all railroaders a raise and a fair contract!

Some of the highlighted meetings included:
• Rep. Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure (D, OR-2nd)
• Jennifer Mitchell, FRA Deputy Administrator
• Robert Primus, Surface Transportation Board
• Senator Deb Fischer (Nebraska)
• Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D, CA-34th)
• Top staff from the Senate Commerce Committee
• And many others…

“I’m proud of our local and division leaders for pounding the pavement on Capitol Hill this week,” said TCU President Artie Maratea. “Our folks were able to speak directly to the key leaders that can change our members lives for the better – and THAT is what being a union is all about.”

 

TCU Nat. Vice President & Legislative Director Bill DeCarlo addressed the entire Legislative Conference on Wednesday morning:
“…Since taking the role at TCU, we’ve had one mission: Build.

Build our union’s power. Build support amongst our membership. Build a Legislative program that ensures we can punch above our weight.

The great turn out for this Conference is evidence of the progress we’ve made, and we will continue to build our power in Washington, DC, and continue to live up to the legendary reputation of the ‘Fighting Machinists’…”

For the first time, TCU and the Carmen Division joined forces with our brothers from the IAM’s District Lodge 19 under the umbrella of the newly-created IAM Rail Division. “I’m so proud of our TCU and District 19 guys stepping up to help represent our Rail Division in DC,” said Josh Hartford, Special Assistant to the International President, IAM Rail Division. “And I want to thank the TCU Legislative team for their tireless efforts on behalf of all railroaders. Bill DeCarlo and Dave Arouca are a force in Washington, and we need their expertise now more than ever if we’re going to get our members a fair contract.”

Railroaders got to meet a few leaders that have been rockstars as of late, including T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio, who has long challenged the Class 1 railroads for their endless greed and treatment of their workforce. “Chairman DeFazio was the first person on Capitol Hill to really get it. He knows how this PSR model is hurting our railroads, rail service, and rail workers. Our guys were extremely glad to finally meet the one of the leaders that’s really chastizing the Class 1 CEOs,” said Don Grissom, Asst. General President of TCU’s Carmen Division. [In case you missed it, Grissom testified last week  before the House Railroads, Pipelines and HazMat Subcommittee hearing on freight rail safety.]

STB Board Member Robert Primus also talked with our railroaders. Primus recently went viral amongst rank-and-file railroaders when he had a testy exchange with CSX CEO Jim Foote  at the STB’s “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service” hearing in April.

 

“These days, a lot of these CEOs run their railroads through fear, because a scared employee is an obedient employee,” said Greg Kocialski, TCU’s National Rep. covering CSX clerical and intermodal properties. “So it’s no surprise that Primus’ exchange with Jim Foote became legendary amongst railroaders. Our members have been through hell and back during COVID, deemed essential frontline workers from the get go – but all the railroads have offered is stricter discipline, massive forced overtime, and a $600 payday loan.”

Every Legislative Conference attendee contributed valuably to the week’s events and meetings: from Rudy Herrera telling his story to the FRA; Greg Burnett talking National Negotiations with Rep. Rick Larsen; Jason Cox detailing car inspection times with Sen. Sherrod Brown; and Josh Cox (no relation) bringing Nebraskan machinists issues home to Sen. Fischer and the entire State delegation.

As one staffer mentioned, “it’s truly amazing to see the range of accents from across the country – but you’re all telling the same story.”

Indeed, our shared plight is our shared fight. So let’s keep up that fight in DC and at home!

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Tell North Dakota’s Elected Officials: Save Machinists Union Jobs at Motor Coach Industries

Approximately 175 IAM Local W384 (District 5) members at Motor Coach Industries (MCI) Pembina, North Dakota plant were told they will be out of work by the end of the year due to the company’s decision to close the facility.

“We were just in shock thinking back to all the things we’ve been told, the broken promises — how we’d never close because we were paid for and have so much to offer this community — things like that,” IAM Lodge W384 President Jennifer Winkler told the Grand Forks (ND) Herald .

Pembina is a very small town. The loss of these 175 family-supporting jobs will have a major impact on its area economy and the surrounding communities.

TELL NORTH DAKOTA’S ELECTED OFFICIALS: Help Us Save Good Machinists Union Jobs at Motor Coach Industries

“We do not agree with the company’s assertion that they were unable to find skilled workers in Pembina,” wrote IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in a letter to North Dakota’s Senators and U.S. House Representative. “The IAM has also made efforts to meet that demand by offering to partner with the company to recruit and launch apprenticeship programs to meet the workforce needs.”

“MCI plant jobs sustain Pembina. We want to keep the plant open and keep our members working,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Any support we get for these members will help. We need to show MCI how important this plant is to Pembina’s community and the effect a shutdown would have.”

Members are still holding out hope that the company will decide to keep its plant open. Join us in supporting our brothers and sisters in Pembina by sending a letter to North Dakota’s congressional delegation, asking them to urge the company to reconsider its decision to close the plant.

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Machinists Union Members Make Powerful Return to Capitol Hill at IAM Legislative Conference

Machinists Union Members Make Powerful Return to Capitol Hill at IAM Legislative Conference

IAM members and political activists from across the United States convened in Washington, DC this week for the 2022 IAM Legislative Conference, hearing from allies of the Machinists Union and lobbying members of Congress.

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., as well as IAM National Political and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon, welcomed Legislative Conference delegates after a three-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: Machinists Union Back on Capitol Hill for 2022 IAM Legislative Conference

“We are here this week in Washington, DC so that we can continue to help people live better lives. And we can’t leave what we learn this week here on Capitol Hill,” said Martinez. “You must take this home to explain to our members why we care about legislative issues and how their union is fighting for them.”

Martinez recapped the IAM’s support for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, Buy American, defense funding, stiffer penalties for assault on airline customer service agents, and more.

PHOTOS: IAM Legislative Conference Day 1

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the Conference and congratulated Apple employees in Towson, MD for winning their union election to join the IAM . She also called for union members to keep pressure on the Senate to pass the PRO Act.

“Our nation has taken key steps forward, but so much more needs to be done,” said Pelosi. “Nearly half of non-union workers would organize if they could, we have to make sure they have that opportunity.

PHOTOS: IAM Legislative Conference Days 2 and 3

Other speakers and Machinists Union allies at the 2022 IAM Legislative Conference included:

  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD)
  • U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA)
  • U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH)
  • U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ)
  • U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (ME)
  • U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA)
  • U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ)
  • U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (WA)
  • U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (MN)
  • IAM Aerospace General Vice President Mark Blondin
  • IAM General Counsel Carla Siegel
  • TCU/IAM Vice President and National Legislative Director William DeCarlo
  • NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 National President Randy Erwin

 

 
 
 
 
 
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