STRONGSVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 31, 2022 – A strike that began on Monday, Aug. 29 has ended for 104 Machinists Union Local 439 (District 54) members who work at Eberhard Manufacturing Co. in Strongsville.
The highlights of the new contract:
3-year collective bargaining agreement
Wage increases up to 21 percent in the first year of the agreement.
Entering the IAM Benefit Trust Fund medical plan and saving up to $3.25 per hour on medical coverage for them and their families in the first year alone. The majority of our members in the family plan will save over $20,000 in their employee share premium costs throughout the life of the agreement.
100% company paid for eye and dental
Capped overtime hours
A healthy IAM 401(k) Savings Plan with company non-discretionary contributions and a match – average of $6,000 a year!
Maintained no tiers in wages
Increased vacation time for new employees
Improved working conditions and safety language
“Our members made that most difficult decision to withhold their labor to improve their working conditions, benefits, and wages,” said IAM District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright, Jr. “When District 54’s members take it to the streets, our community knows our members are fighting for themselves, their families, the community, and the entire labor movement. Our members will be compensated for their skills and dedication to their employer throughout the past three years. Thank you to our Local 439 members and officers for their solidarity and unionism.”
“Congratulations to these members,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “Their rally for better working conditions and benefits is a good example of how solidarity works. My thanks go out to PDBR Wright, BR Regina Wright and the negotiating committee for a job well done. This effort took solid leadership. The proof is in the outcome.”
IAM members at Eberhard Manufacturing produce hardware products that are used throughout the world.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers 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, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.
The Machinists Union’s Headquarters building in Upper Marlboro, MD recently passed the 30-year mark of serving as the Grand Lodge for the IAM. The building houses many IAM departments that serve the membership under the direction of the International President, General Secretary-Treasurer, and Resident General Vice President.
The four-level building, which opened in August 1992, has been lauded for being designed, as stated in the October 1993 edition of Architecture magazine, as a “veritable collage of machine images—from a jetliner’s fuselage to rocket-launching gantries from Cape Canaveral.”
When the IAM was planning a move from its 40-year headquarters in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle, union leaders wanted the new building to “stand as a visible statement of what IAM members do for a living,” according to Architecture.
IAM members “take disorder every day and make order out of it,” said Joseph Boggs, design principle of the building, upon its opening.
“They take raw shards of metal, scraps of steel, and turn them into beautiful, refined pieces of machinery,” continued Boggs. “This building is a metaphor for what they do.”
The building is located across the street from Joint Base Andrews, where IAM-built jets, including Air Force One, are serviced by IAM members. The building was entirely constructed by union members.
“The future belongs to those who face it boldly, bravely, and on its own terms,” wrote the late IAM International President George Kourpias after the building’s opening. “From its open, spacious design symbolizing the skills of members in the metal trades, to its proximity to the U.S. Capitol—a short 20 minutes away—IAM Headquarters combines flexibility with functionality.”
One of many highlights in the building is the Executive Council Room, which features a curved metal ceiling that resembles the underside of a 747’s wing. The walls are glass cases filled with models of products produced by IAM members, including planes, tractors, rockets, and submarines.
“For all its precision, the building ultimately serves and celebrates the people who create the machines, and not the machines themselves,” wrote Edward Gunn in The Architect. “From any vantage point, one can see a continual parade of passersby—union members on the stairs, in the atrium, one flight below in another part of the building.”
The IAM Grand Lodge staff looks forward to seeing members for years to come as they tour IAM Headquarters after participating in programs at the IAM’s crown jewel, the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center.
Maria Santiago Lillis was a Grand Lodge Representative for the Western Territory who passed away in June 2021. She was a mentor to many and a tireless champion for workers, women, and human rights.
In order to honor her memory, continue her legacy, and encourage all IAM members to emulate her commitment to service, the IAM Executive Council instituted August 10, Sister Lillis’s birthday, as “Maria Santiago Lillis Advocacy Day – A Commitment to Serve (ACTS).”
IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen presented Homeboy Industries, an organization committed to improving the lives of former gang members and ex-cons in the Los Angeles area, with a monetary donation. The Western Territory also collected broken and old electronics for Homeboy Industries’ electronics recycling program that employs and rehabilitates participants.
“Sister Maria is missed dearly, and it makes me incredibly proud of our membership to see so many people honoring her with tremendous acts of community service,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “This is exactly what we were hoping for when we instituted Maria Santiago Lillis Advocacy Day: community, comradery, humanity, compassion – all the things that Maria personified. Her light will shine on through our service.”
District 160 in Washington state raised $1,000 for the Community & Family Services Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to foster parents and the abused and neglected children they care for.
District 751 hosted a stuffed animal drive and donated the stuffed animals to two retirement facilities to comfort the residents.
Local SC 711 made a $250 donation for school supplies to Vegas Verdes Elementary School in Las Vegas.
The Local 933 Women’s Committee organized a sock drive for their local women’s shelter with the goal of each union member donating one pair of new socks, which would mean 1,100 pairs of socks donated. Their total ended up being 1,421 pairs of socks donated to the shelter.
Local 794 donated $200 to Roadrunner Food Bank, a well-known organization that distributes food items to communities in need all across New Mexico.
District W24 and members of Locals 1005 and 1432 hosted a barbeque for military veterans living in transitional housing that allows veterans “to build responsible independence with their own space while offering the opportunity to connect with the community.”
Locals 389, 1125, and 755 presented $600 to Darlene Moreno, Development Coordinator of the YWCA of San Diego, “Becky’s House”. Becky’s House is a shelter in San Diego that houses women, children, and men who have decided to break the cycle of domestic violence.
Local 1998 and Local 1979 officers and members collected food donations for and volunteered at the Pantry. With the help of community donations, they collected 400 pounds of goods, impacting 272 families and 690 individuals who are in need and contributing to the Pantry’s weekly goal of collecting 19,400 pounds of food and goods to support the community and the island of Hawaii.
Local 1746 hosted a “Backpack Rally” event that supported 559 families and 1,072 students with stamp cards; they handed out 2,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies donated by The Winpisinger Center, the IAM Eastern Territory, and Local 1746. They also used the event as an organizing opportunity and spoke to community members interested in bringing a union into their workplace.
Local 2797 raised $255 through a 50/50 drawing for The Youth Project, a local organization with the mission to make Nova Scotia a safer, healthier, and happier place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth through support, education, resource expansion, and community development.
Local 2198 members donated $750 for their Women’s and Human Rights Committees to sponsor 30 kids from the BEAR Organization, an organization that provides hope and help for abused and neglected children and the caseworkers who protect them within Harris County.
IAM Districts and Locals in Illinois have raised $100,000 to support an Illinois constitutional guarantee of workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. The Illinois Workers’ Rights Amendment would be one of four such guarantees enshrined in state constitutions, but Illinois Amendment 1 goes a step further than other states by also banning anti-union “right-to-work” laws.
The IAM is joining the Illinois AFL-CIO and legislative allies to promote the passage of the pro-worker ballot initiative, which will be on the ballot for Illinois voters on Nov. 8, 2022. To amend the state constitution, 60% of voters will need to vote “yes.”
The proposed amendment would add a new section to the Illinois Bill of Rights guaranteeing workers the fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively and to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions. It would also prohibit any law from being passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety.The pro-worker efforts under Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker are in stark contrast to former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who failed in his effort to pass a statewide anti-union “right-to-work” law to weaken unions in 2015. At that time, Rauner declared that Illinois cities, counties, towns and villages could enact “right-to-work” laws. State courts threw that measure out.
“IAM members in Illinois, along with our allies in labor and state government, are leading the charge to make the state more worker-friendly,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “It’s our hope that other states will also make efforts to put workers’ rights at the forefront of their state constitutions.”
Freight rail members of the IAM Rail Division will receive a 24% compounded general wage increase over five years if new tentative agreements reached with railroads bargaining under the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) are ratified by the membership.
The IAM Rail Division consists of IAM District 19, the Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM), and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC).
“This comes after a long, tough process that began almost three years ago and led us through every step of the Railway Labor Act, including a Presidential Emergency Board,” said Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President. “Since serving Section Six Notices, your IAM Rail Division leaders have fought tirelessly, advocating in your best interests and demanding a fair agreement.”
The IAM Rail Division fully supports the tentative agreements and recommends members vote “yes.”
Among the highlights of tentative agreements secured by the IAM Rail Division negotiating committee are:
IAM Rail Division members will receive the highest general wage increases (GWIs) ever achieved through National Freight Bargaining. This means a 22% GWI (24% compounded) over five years and includes $5,000 in recognition bonuses.
Full retroactive pay.
An additional paid day off for all members to use as a Personal Leave Day, Single Vacation Day, or a Personal Holiday.
Enhanced hearing benefits and added coverage for diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, while protecting all the excellent benefits of our healthcare plans.
A “Me-Too” clause, ensuring IAM Rail Division members will receive the same additional value if another union reaches an agreement that improves the terms of this agreement.
“Your IAM Rail Division knows the TA’s would not have been possible without all of Rail Labor standing together,” said Hartford. “We fought side by side against the carriers’ attack on wages and healthcare benefits. We stood together and pushed back against work rule changes that would have affected every rail union member. Our solidarity has resulted in a truly historic victory for IAM Rail Division members and every rail worker.”
IAM Rail Division members will receive more information and be notified of voting dates, times, and locations in the near future.