VOTE! One Week Left to Make Your Voice Heard

There are seven days left before Election Day and we want to make sure every Machinists Union member has a plan to vote. There is too much at stake to sit this election out.

Visit iam2020.org today to find your polling place, see early voting locations, locate a voting drop box and see what’s on your ballot.

Politics affects everything about our lives. Legislation enacted and decisions made by elected officials impact our work lives and the ability of our union to fight for better pay and benefits for our families. There is a direct link between the ballot box and our economic and workplace security.

As a reminder, the IAM, in a first-of-its-kind membership vote, chose to endorse Joe Biden for president . Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will fight for affordable healthcare, retirement security and stronger unions, while fighting against the outsourcing of our jobs.

Make sure you have a plan to vote. Visit iam2020.org today.

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IAM Local 1855 Members at AstenJohnson End Strike, Win Contract Gains

Eighty-nine IAM Local 1855 members at AstenJohnson in Appleton, Wisconsin last week voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new deal ending a nine-day strike over healthcare cost sharing. The new accord includes locking in an insurance plan design and premiums for the next two years.

“We came up with a decent proposal that everyone accepted,” said Jeremy Terlisner, District 10 Business Representative. “We were able to lock in healthcare costs for two years. It was a successful strike in my mind.”

“The pandemic put the always important subjects of healthcare cost and coverage on centerstage,” said Alex Hoekstra, District 10 Business Representative. “Our members made it clear from the beginning of their expectations regarding insurance. Through the strongest picket-line I’ve ever seen, they were able to get a great deal with management.  Congratulations on your inspiring solidarity and its proven results.”

“I want to thank the members and negotiating team at Local 1885 for their solidarity during these trying times,” said Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “By sticking together, you forced the company back to the negotiating table which resulted in a fantastic contract that will provide some much-needed healthcare assurances.”

IAM members at AstenJohnson, who produce specialty fabric for the paper industry, rejected company contract proposals on Oct. 14 and Sept. 30. Despite mediator assistance, the company refused to budge off its concessionary proposals.

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Milwaukee Art Museum Workers Want to be IAM

“We’re open for inspiration.”

Those are the words displayed on the Milwaukee Art Museum’s (MAM) website, and a concept many employees embrace after spending their days working at this architectural landmark that has come to represent the city of Milwaukee. But for the group of MAM employees trying to join the IAM in an effort to have a voice in their workplace, it doesn’t feel like these words are meant for them.

On August 31, 2020, with a stack of employee signatures, the IAM filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to give this group what they had spent eight months planning for – the right to form a wall-to-wall union. 

MAM workers were initially hopeful that the museum wouldn’t push back hard, as most employers do. That’s because for more than four decades, the security guards working at the museum have been part of IAM Local 66/District 10 in Milwaukee, WI with great success. In fact, in early August of this year, the security guards ratified yet another strong Machinist agreement after just one day of bargaining.

But even with a successful bargaining track record, the museum immediately opposed the union drive and started working with an anti-union law firm to not only delay the election, but to find a way to deprive their employees of their right to vote entirely.

“The talented employees at MAM make the masterpieces come alive for visitors,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “These workers demand and deserve the respect and voice a union contract provides. By continuing to oppose a fair election, museum management has proven it has lost sight of the needs of both their employees and the community. I look forward to winning this campaign next month and to continue fighting alongside MAM workers for a better future.”

As the museum was beginning to reopen amid the COVID-19 crisis, with a much smaller staff due to extensive employee furloughs, the museum forced the regional office of the NLRB to hold a hearing, stating the IAM didn’t have the right to organize any workers other than the security guards. The NLRB ruled in favor of the IAM. Employees breathed a sigh of relief.

But that reassurance didn’t last long. MAM has now made a request to review the decision at the NLRB’s national office, wasting both time and money while employees fight to exercise their basic human right to join a union.

For non-managerial employees at MAM, the desire to join the IAM is simple. They want a voice in the practices and policies of this landmark facility, as well as fair compensation, equal treatment, reasonable job security and a defined disciplinary process.

The workers who want to be part of the Machinists Union are proud of where they work and the job they do. They want the museum to continue to be a beacon for the Milwaukee community. But to do this, they need a level playing field to make sure everyone in the area is served, including the hardworking men and women who continue to make Milwaukee shine through its art.

“I want to commend the employees of the Milwaukee Art Museum for their passion and will to fight for their right to join a union,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Workers everywhere are demanding a voice. Members of the art community are no different. They know joining a union is the only way to ensure that voice and are pushing back against any employer who attempts to impede that right. When MAM workers win this election, it will be an historic event for not only Milwaukee, but for art museums around the country, as more and more museum workers are seeking union representation. Shame on MAM management for choosing to be on the wrong side of history.”

On November 13, the final ballot count will be held. Until then, MAM’s skilled, passionate workers will not miss a beat in continuing to inspire the service the Milwaukee Museum of Art has provided since it was founded in 1888, the same year the IAM was formed.

“We’re open for inspiration” are words that MAM employees believe in, as much as they believe in their right to form a union.

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Maine Passenger Drivers Join IAM, Expand Union Presence

An additional 20 drivers employed by Kennebec Valley Community Action Partners (KVCAP) in Waterville, ME voted to join the Machinists Union. The group follows the 17 drivers in Augusta, ME who joined IAM and ratified their first contract earlier this year. The new members will in IAM Local S-89 will fall under the same contract with KVCAP.

“Our decision to form a union was driven by the company’s refusal to respect the experience of longtime drivers when determining wages, employee favoritism and a disciplinary system that offered workers no due process,” said Waterville KVCAP driver Mark Goggin.

KVCAP drivers provide transportation services to low-income Maine residents for medical appointments, drug treatment, work and other needs.

“Congratulations to our newest members of IAM Local S-89,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “I applaud every one of them for recognizing the benefits of having union representation, a union contract and having a voice in the workplace. Welcome to the IAM.”

“I’m excited to welcome this new group of drivers to the IAM family,” said District 4 Directing Business Representative Rick Compher. “I’m proud of them for stepping up and wanting a voice on the job, and proud of the District 4 staff for bringing them that opportunity. They will see the benefits of being union from day one.”

“The drivers have been woefully underpaid and undervalued,” said IAM District Lodge 4 Business Representative George Edwards. “By forming a union and standing up for their rights, they can use their collective voice to not only improve their wages and working conditions, but also to help ensure safer, a more reliable service for their riders. We hope this sends a message to other working people that they too can have power in their workplaces.”

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Broken Promise: Siemens in Iowa

After 148 years of operations, Siemens closed its plant in Burlington, IA, in December 2018, resulting in the loss of jobs for 92 IAM Local 1010 members. The plant’s jobs were outsourced to countries like India, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic and other foreign countries. 

“They knew they could offshore those jobs to the Czech Republic and India and a non-union plant in North Carolina and pay a lot less in wages,” said Robert Morrison, an IAM Local 1010 member and 31-year employee who was laid off. “But they are now paying the price in quality and production. They didn’t gain anything, they screwed up.”

The Siemens plant is one of dozens of IAM-represented facilities that have closed  during the Trump administration.                                                                                                                       

“Trump was here, he had a rally for his presidency,” said Chris Tucker, an IAM Local 1010 member and 23-year employee. “He talked about he was going to be the greatest jobs president ever, and said if he was elected, no company would be awarded federal money if they were going to move outside the United States. Well, after they closed us, they awarded a $500 million contract to Siemens.”                                                                                                                             

“They don’t care about our community,” added Morrison. “They didn’t care about the people who worked there.”                                                                                                                            

Watch the IAM’s video about the Siemens plant closing on YouTube Facebook  and Twitter .

Watch all the IAM’s “Broken Promise” videos .                                                                                     

“President Trump has not only failed to keep his word of protecting the jobs of thousands of workers, he has doubled-down on his lies by letting companies who outsource jobs off the hook,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “His dismantling of union jobs has caused devastation to these families and their communities. On November 3, we need to vote for a change in leadership that will safeguard American jobs and make companies like Siemens liable for outsourcing.”

“The many failed policies of the Trump administration have decimated not only the livelihoods of these 92 IAM members, but thousands of working-class families around the country,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Union workers have always been the backbone to a strong American economy, and on November 3, we must take the first step in creating jobs and revitalizing our workforce by electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

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Broken Promise: Ingersoll Rand in New York

In July 2019, Ingersoll Rand shut down its manufacturing plant in its Buffalo-area plant in Cheektowaga, NY, affecting over 300 IAM Local 330 members.

“When Ingersoll came in things began to change,” said IAM District 65 Assistant Directing Business Representative Pete Cooney. “They weren’t interested in keeping the union as part of a team.”

“We all know, it’s not a secret,” said IAM Local 330 Vice President Jim Neureuther. “Workers are who make the money, the product and the profits.”

Ingersoll Rand outsourced some of its production capability to its Vignate, Italy facility, and continued existing production capability in its Wujiang, China facility. This plant is one of dozens of IAM-represented facilities that have closed  during the Trump administration.

“The new facility in China hasn’t built a machine yet that was able to pass through the tests,” said IAM Local 330 Chief Steward Frederick Fineour. “Until they do that, they’ll continue to struggle.”

Watch the IAM’s video about Ingersoll Rand outsourcing IAM jobs to Italy and China on YouTubeFacebook  and Twitter .

Watch all the IAM’s “Broken Promise” videos .

“Ingersoll Rand’s closing was just another in a long list of manufacturing jobs lost and plants closed under the Trump administration,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The president’s blatant disregard to protect good paying, union jobs while not penalizing companies for outsourcing is an egregious error that American workers will not forget on November 3. This company should be ashamed for what they have done to our members, their families and the community.”

“I become more incensed every time I learn about another American job being outsourced,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “The success of these companies was achieved through the sweat and hard work of the union members they are laying off. The best way to ensure that these union jobs are not outsourced is to vote for real leadership who will penalize companies who fail to put American workers first.”

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