AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Urges House Members to Pass Inflation Reduction Act

The 12 labor unions of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council , with over 4 million members, wrote an urgent letter today urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Inflation Reduction Act without delay.

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) International President Robert Martinez Jr., chair of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, led the letter  along with Vice-Chair and President of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Ray Curry.

“Taken together, the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act are unquestionably the most important policy measures to support domestic manufacturing in our nation’s history,” reads the letter from the 12 unions of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council. “The tax incentives, grants, and domestic content provisions will not only spur job-creating investment in the manufacturing sector, they will also move the sector towards the investment needed to reduce emissions while positioning the United States to be competitive in a wide range of clean energy goods.

“We do not expect the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) provisions to have a measurable impact on the manufacturing sector. We reject the idea that asking the largest, most profitable corporations to pay a minimum level of taxes is an economic impediment for the United States – history is replete with examples of just the opposite.”  

The AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council endorses the Inflation Reduction Act as a huge step toward revitalizing domestic manufacturing and job creation in this vital sector.

Read the complete letter.

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Air Transport Territory Shares Updates on Negotiations, Organizing Campaigns

Edison Fraser, IAM Air Transport Chief of Staff spoke this week at the N.J State Council of Machinists in Atlantic City. He reported about the recently ratified contract for Alaska Airlines Ramp and Customer Service workers. Brother Fraser also informed the membership about Spirit Airlines and JetBlue’s merger commenting about their job security and the upcoming IAM election for 350 Swissport workers at Newark airport.

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District 77 Reaches Strong New Agreement with St. Paul Auto Dealers

Members of IAM Local 737 (District 77) in St. Paul, MN ratified a strong new contract agreement with 20 area automotive dealers.

The IAM represents 600 body shop technicians, painters, frame alignment technicians, advanced diagnostic and repair technicians, automotive technicians, internal technicians, parts runners, counterpersons, lot persons, stock persons, and detailers at the dealerships.

District 77 Assistant Directing Business Representative John Duerscherl said the final agreement “received nothing but praise from everybody.”

The agreement contains many highlights, including wage increases each year of the contract: 6% in year one and 2% in years two and three. It also lays out a new warranty premium pay system with increased rates and adds two paid sick days per contract year. The employers increased their contribution to the Joint Health Trust Fund and increased the tool insurance coverage. The contract also readjusted wage rates for lower classifications and adopts the IAM National Pension Fund Preferred Schedule Rehabilitation Plan.

With this contract, there is only one job class with wages under $15 an hour.

“This is another great contract out of District 77 with wage and benefit increases,” said IAM Midwest Territory Vice President Steve Galloway. “The IAM Local 737 Bargaining Committee, along with Assistant Directing Business Representative John Duerscherl and Directing Business Representative John Steigauf, put a lot of time and effort into getting a solid contract with protections for retirement. Congratulations to them and the entire Local 737 membership.”

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Maryland Local 4 Steps Up to Help Disabled American Veterans Chapter Continue Service

Commander Mark Phipbin of the nonprofit organization Disabled American Veterans (DVA) presented IAM Local 4 (District 4) with an award for “dedication and devotion to fellow veterans; serving those who served” to show appreciation for their new and growing partnership.

DVA assists veterans in getting claims processed through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides veterans with transportation to VA hospitals and brings counseling and employment resources to veterans.

Local 4 Vice President Bob Chase is a U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force veteran and volunteer staff member for DVA Chapter 26. In September 2021, when Chase found out that Chapter 26 was going to lose its office space, he went to Local 4 President Jeremy Leissner with a proposal to allow DVA to work out of the union hall.

“I felt like it was something we had to do, not just for our members but for the community – this is the way I see our local lodge giving back to the community,” said Leissner.

Now, DVA Chapter 26 conducts its business from the IAM Local 4’s union hall one day of the week and they get the entire building to themselves.

“We represent more than 1,300 members at NAS Patuxent River, Webster Field Annex, Solomon’s Island Annex, and Charlotte Hall Veterans Home,” said Leissner, a U.S. Navy veteran. “Eighty-five to 90% of our members are veterans.”

One Saturday, DVA held a special event to provide assistance only to Local 4 members. Forty-five member-veterans attended.

“The word is getting out now that DVA is using our local lodge. I’ll have veterans come in and ask if DVA is in today. Then we get to talking and tell war stories,” said Leissner. “The word is getting out to the community that the DVA and IAM Local Lodge 4 are working together hand-in-hand to make sure that the veterans in our community are being taken care of.”

Local 4’s leadership is looking forward to growing its partnership with DVA. They are making plans to bring in counselors and medical professionals to talk about PTSD triggers and coping tactics. Both IAM Local 4 and DVA Chapter 26 will have booths at the Saint Mary’s County Festival, and they are joining forces for the Veterans’ Day parade in Leonardtown this November.

“We want to have as many banners and flags and members out there as possible,” said Leissner. “We have a lot of things planned for the future to be a face in the community together.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of Local 4 for opening up the union hall to DVA to work out of. That’s exactly the kind of thing we should be doing as a union,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “Supporting veterans has been a theme for Local 4. Because so many members of Local 4 are veterans, I am happy about what this partnership will do for our members, providing them with an incredible resource, but also what this partnership will do for the community.”

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2022 Labor Assistance Professional Conference

This week over 50 Machinists Union EAP Representatives attended the Labor Assistance Professional conference in Las Vegas Nevada. The IAM was one of the dozens of Labor unions that had regional and peer coordinators there to hear from treatment center staff and providers. The training these dedicated EAP Reps receive is valuable knowledge in helping our members.

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