Maryland Local 4 Hosts Political Candidate Forum for Voter Education

IAM Local 4 in Saint Mary’s County, MD hosted a candidate forum about military veterans and labor issues to allow members to hear from some of the runners in upcoming local and state elections.

Local 4 invited all of the candidates running for every race in Maryland: Maryland’s Governor, Comptroller, State Senator, House of Delegates, and Attorney General, as well as the candidates for Saint Mary’s County Commissioner and Maryland’s seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

“This forum is about voter education,” said IAM Local 4 President Jeremy Leissner. “We wanted to give our local and state candidates the opportunity to speak to Lodge 4 members about the issues that are important to us, like workers and veterans.”

Local 4 represents many members who are also U.S. military veterans. The lodge recently started a partnership with Disabled American Veterans, allowing the non-profit to conduct its work helping veterans obtain their earned benefits from Local 4’s union hall.

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

Attendees and the Local 4 Legislative Committee asked the candidates about their stance on waiving tuition fees for dependents of disabled veterans, how they would use their position to help veterans in the community if they support pushing for state-wide legislation allowing for public library employees in every county to unionize, and whether they would walk the picket line with striking workers.

READ: Maryland Law Giving Baltimore County Public Library Employees the Right to Collectively Bargain and Join the Machinists Union Goes Into Effect July 1st

“I think it’s terrific that my local union did this,” said Carlos Flores, an employee of VX20 and a five-year Local 4 member. “I don’t know any other place I could’ve gone to hear from the candidates. I passed out the flyer to other members and encouraged them to come.”

Assistant Political and Legislative Director Ty Richardson closed the forum and spoke about the Machinists Union efforts on Capitol Hill and in Annapolis, MD, lobbying on legislation that affects working people. That included the importance of passing federal legislation like the PRO Act and legislation to build the country’s infrastructure, in addition to state legislation that would allow for public library workers to organize in every Maryland county.

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Machinists Union Files for Election to Represent 500 Jetstream Workers in Charlotte, N.C.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest airline union, has filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to represent approximately 500 Jetstream aircraft cleaners and ground handling agents at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Jetstream workers launched their campaign to join the IAM in May after reports of subpar working conditions and disrespect from management.

“Jetstream workers deserve nothing less than a strong IAM contract,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “We look forward to bringing fairness and dignity on the job to Jetstream workers in Charlotte, who have worked tirelessly through a pandemic to keep this critical hub moving.”

The Jetstream announcement comes on the heels of the IAM’s filing to represent approximately 3,000 JetBlue Fleet Service workers.

“Our thanks go to IAM Air Transport Associate Organizer Charlie Hines and the leadership and membership of IAM Local 1725 in Charlotte,” continued Johnsen. “We look forward to the IAM’s presence growing even stronger in Charlotte with the addition of Jetstream workers to the IAM family.”

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America and represents airline workers at every major U.S. airline.

 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.

goIAM.org  | @MachinistsUnion  | @iamairtransport

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Machinists Union Urges House Passage of Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) urges the House to pass the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 7321), bipartisan legislation that would strengthen Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight of commercial airline repair facilities outside the United States.

The IAM, the largest airline union in North America, representing over 100,000 airline workers, signed onto a joint letter supporting the legislation that was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR). 

The committee approved the bill in June, setting it up for full House floor consideration.

“This legislation addresses loopholes that threaten the safety of passengers,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “It’s long overdue that carrier facilities outside the U.S., apply the same high-quality standards done here domestically that helps ensure the safety of passengers and airline workers.”

“The current lack of uniform regulatory standards and oversight sets an unlevel field with carriers increasingly enticed by the financial incentives to push this work overseas,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr. “This results in job losses in the U.S. and risks passenger safety. It’s time to undo this problem and put the safety of passengers first.”

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 900 aircraft maintenance and repair stations have been certified by the FAA outside the U.S., which includes countries such as China, Singapore, and Brazil.

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NFEE-IAM Responds to USDA With Letter On Wildland Firefighter Retention Solutions

This week, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) responded to correspondence from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack with a letter outlining solutions and next steps to help alleviate retention problems among federal wildland firefighters. The proposed solutions include permanent pay raises, increased funding and staffing, and the development of a robust occupational series, among other things.

“NFFE, Secretary Vilsack, and other leaders within USDA have a great working relationship and a commitment to reforming the wildland firefighting workforce for a better future,” said President Erwin. “However, it was necessary to share the concerns that we were hearing from our members on pay, the occupational series, and other issues. As we begin making policies to resolve these issues, it is critical that we address each problem as best as possible, and that we do it right the first time. We are confident that Secretary Vilsack will join us in implementing solutions that NFFE wildland firefighters have recommended to meet the challenges we see today.” 

 

 

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NFFE-IAM Endorses Legislation to Prevent Partisan Takeover of Civil Service

Last week, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives requesting that members of congress vote for the Preventing a Patronage System Act (H.R. 302) expected on the House floor this week. The bipartisan legislation aims to protect the merit system principles of the federal workforce by preventing the U.S. president from requiring political loyalty from the apolitical career ranks of federal civil service. The bill was drafted in response to the establishment of Schedule F during the last presidential administration, a new classification of political employees that can be hired into permanent positions without regard to existing laws governing federal employment and accountability.

“Federal labor, executives, and professional associations all agree with political appointees from former Democratic and Republican administrations that this bill is critical to ensuring the government remains in the hands of the American people and not some political despot, even if that despot is a president,” said NFFE-IAM Executive Director Steve Lenkart. “This bill describes an incredibly wonky policy issue that is difficult for the average American to embrace, but should the day arrive when federal workers are forced to genuflect before a corrupt system or leader, we will all endure a brutal and horrifying crippling of American democracy.”

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IAM Files for Union Representation Election for Approximately 3,000 JetBlue Ground Workers

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2022 — The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest airline union, today announced that it will file an application with the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that conducts union representation elections in the airline and railroad sectors. The IAM has sufficient interest among JetBlue Fleet Service workers to conduct a union representation election.

“I congratulate all JetBlue Ground Operations workers for uniting in solidarity and demanding that a union representation election be conducted,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “It’s been a long road for these brave workers to get to this point, and the IAM stands shoulder to shoulder with them. We will mobilize our union’s significant resources to ensure that these brave and resilient JetBlue workers have a fair and free election.” 

JetBlue Ground Operations workers rebooted their efforts to gain union representation in 2021 after working through the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the worst financial downturn in the airline industry’s history.  

“It’s high time that JetBlue workers gain the dignity and respect of a union contract, and a strong voice on the job,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “When our country needed essential goods and services to where they were needed most during the pandemic, JetBlue workers answered the bell and risked their lives and health to make that happen. What did they get from management? They got their hours and pay cut because they didn’t have a seat at the table. That will end very soon.”

“I also fully expect for JetBlue management to adhere to the law and allow JetBlue workers to vote without influence, coercion and interference from JetBlue management. If not, we will leave no stone unturned to hold them accountable,” continued Johnsen.

JetBlue workers have cited below-standard industry pay rates and benefits, poor and unsafe working conditions, unjustified discipline and terminations, among many other issues as reasons to gain IAM representation and a seat at the table.

“JetBlue workers are a smart, strong and determined group of workers and we can’t wait to welcome them into the IAM family,” said IAM District 141 President Mike Klemm. “The IAM will support JetBlue workers in getting to and winning this election and negotiating a union contract that reflects their true value to JetBlue Airways.”

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America and represents airline workers at every major U.S. airline.

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.

goIAM.org  | @MachinistsUnion  | @iamairtransport

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