Watch: Why Apple Workers in Maryland are Organizing with the Machinists Union

Watch: Why Apple Workers in Maryland are Organizing with the Machinists Union

The Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE ), a group of Apple retail employees in Towson, MD, filed for an election to join the IAM—and many are taking notice.

WATCH: Apple Retail Workers Attempt to Organize First U.S. Union More Perfect Union

The group sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook informing him of the decision to organize their union, listing “access to rights we do not currently have” as a driving reason for the move, which has strong support from a majority of the workers.

In that letter, CORE requested for Apple to follow the same neutrality requirement laid out in its Supplier Code of Conduct under the section “Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining” so that employees can obtain their rights to information and collective bargaining that the law affords through unionization.

“The supplier code of conduct is on our damn website. It’s this international agreement that we’ve signed onto, and anybody who is a vender or a factory or whatever, if those workers decide to unionize or organize, Apple has a contract that says ‘we can’t get involved.’ You can’t do anything to stop that,” says CORE organizer Billy Jarboe in the video .

Vice reported a leaked memo from Apple to its store managers with anti-union talking points, revealing that the tech giant is coaching store managers to discourage workers from unionizing, saying unionization would mean workers could lose career opportunities, merit-based promotions, and time off. In the memo Apple calls the union a “third-party,” even though the union organizers are Apple store employees.

“Apple has all the power, influence, and money to be able to make a significant change in what labor is. It’s an opportunity, like, they didn’t start it, they didn’t begin this initiative—we did. All they have to do is follow up,” says CORE organizer Christie Pridgen in the video .

Apple has also hired a known union-busting law firm, Littler Mendelson. Starbucks Corporation is another one of Littler Mendelson’s more recent clients amid a new wave of unionization in customer service.

On May 13 Apple’s Vice-President of Retail and People Deirdre O’Brien did an unannounced walk-through of the Townson Apple store to “listen” to workers.

CORE union organizers are not discouraged.

“Apple has the resources to really take care of its employees. Use what you have for good. You could actually do good. You could bring dignity to this work,” said Pridgen.

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Ohio Local 1581 Members Win Strong Pension, Healthcare Improvements at Akron Brass 

Solidarity and preparation have paid off for more than 120 members of IAM Local 1581 (District 54) at Akron Brass Co. in Wooster, OH.  

IAM members at the facility proudly produce firefighting equipment used around the world. 

The new contract, which was recently overwhelmingly ratified by the membership, makes critical pension and healthcare gains, while adding a well-funded 401(k) plan to help with retirement security.  

The deal also includes 14.5% general wages increases, a $1,000 signing bonus and adds the IAM National Benefit Trust Fund, which includes quality health, dental, accident, vision, life and other insurance. 

“Our Negotiating Committee was prepared and stood together for a strong contract including increases to reflect today’s labor market,” said IAM District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright Jr. “Our members now have the IAM trifecta – pension, insurance, and the 401(k), and have a secured pathway to a healthy and long career and well-deserved retirement thanks to a Machinists Union contract.” 

“District 54 and Local 1581 should be incredibly proud of this strong contract,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “Our negotiating committee stood strong every step of the way to advance the interests of our membership. We are so grateful to the IAM negotiating committee and District 54 leadership and representatives for all they did during these successful negotiations.”

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Machinists Union Ratifies New Labor Deal at Washington State Aluminum Plant as Urgency Increases on Bonneville Power Administration to Help Restart Facility, Save Hundreds of Jobs

FERNDALE, Wash., May 19, 2022 –IAM Local 2379 (District 160) members at Intalco Works, a Washington State aluminum manufacturing plant, have overwhelmingly ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement with Blue Wolf Capital Partners, one of the last steps toward reopening and modernizing the facility and restoring hundreds of jobs in Whatcom County.

The final remaining hurdle for IAM Local 2379 members in Ferndale, WA,  is the absence of a power agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The BPA previously provided electricity for Intalco Works for 50 years. A reopened and modernized aluminum manufacturing plant would be one of only two green aluminum smelters in the United States. The reopening of this plant would also reduce aluminum imports from Russia, China, and the Middle East.

The agreement builds upon the previous collective bargaining agreement with improvements to wages and benefits, quarterly bonuses, and job protections.

“Our members at IAM Local 2379 have endured so many ups and downs over restarting the aluminum plant and securing an agreement with the Bonneville Power Authority,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Our members need elected officials in the state of Washington and Washington, DC to help bring relief for hundreds of working families in Whatcom County. The members earned this contract that will serve a model in the aluminum manufacturing industry.”

Highlights of the agreements include:

  • Improvements in wages, performance bonus plan, paid sick leave, paid vacation, overtime distribution, and new employee starting wages.
  • Quarterly retention bonuses
  • Seniority will be honored for previous employees, meaning they don’t have to start over with wages, vacation, etc.
  • Guaranteed equity in the new company; if there is a sale in the future, employees and retirees will get a payout.
  • Generous 401(k) contribution and match

“The IAM has committed our full resources to help restore the hundreds of strategic manufacturing jobs at Intalco Works,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We need our allies to do everything possible to reopen the facility. Restarting the operations at Intalco Works is an opportunity to reverse bad policy decisions and secure a victory under the policies implemented by the Biden-Harris Administration. Our union is urging the U.S. Department of Energy and the Bonneville Power Administration to restore the power agreement to help make our nation less reliant on aluminum imports from foreign enemies.” 

The Ferndale, WA City Council recently passed a resolution  calling on BPA to restore power to the Intalco Works aluminum manufacturing plant. A 2019 economic report developed by Western Washington University  highlighted the economic multiplier of creating manufacturing jobs in the region.

The IAM will continue working with the State of Washington, former members of management, and Blue Wolf Capital Partners to reopen and modernize the Intalco Works.

READ: IAM Asks Washington State for Funding to Restore Aluminum Smelter Jobs

READ: IAM, Allies Secure Help for Laid-Off Members at Alcoa Intalco Works

READ: As Layoffs Begin at Alcoa Intalco, Machinists Continue Fight to Save Aluminum Jobs

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

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Machinists Union Condemns Mass Shooting at Buffalo Supermarket

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2022 – Robert Martinez Jr., International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), released the following statement on the mass shooting at the Buffalo Tops Supermarket:

“The Machinists Union is deeply saddened by the horrific act of domestic terrorism this past weekend at the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, NY. We want to express our deepest condolences to the victims’ families, including our union sisters and brothers at the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), affected by this hate crime. The IAM represents hundreds of members in the Buffalo community who stand united in condemning this horrific mass shooting. The IAM will always speak out against hate and racism in our society and embrace solidarity and inclusion. We must always stand together to fight against the scourge of discrimination and intolerance.”

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) 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

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IAM Local 709 Member Honored by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff

IAM Local 709 Member Honored by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff

Chandra Williams, Georgia State Council of Machinists executive vice president and member of the IAM Local 709 legislative committee, was recently honored by U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) for her outstanding work in the labor movement and community.

Sen. Ossoff presented Williams with a certificate during a community roundtable held in Cobb County, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Williams is well known in the Atlanta area for her community advocacy and a strong voice on behalf of working men and women at Local 709 and in the Atlanta metro area. Williams also serves on the AFL-CIO Atlanta Central Labor Council as an executive board member.

“I am humbled to receive this certificate of achievement from Senator Ossoff,” said Williams. “I appreciate his connection to what is happening to working families all over Georgia. Our state has many issues that we need to address, including workers’ rights, student loan interest rates, and voters’ rights. I look forward to ensuring the voices of Georgia Machinists and others in my community are heard in the state capitol and the halls of Congress.”  

Chandra remains dedicated to helping the community stay engaged on the issues that matter most in their lives.

“We are proud of Chandra’s work on behalf of our members at IAM Local 709,” said IAM Local 709 Directing Business Representative Jason Schroeder. “Chandra continues to be an integral part in moving our interests forward and developing solutions to our issues. IAM Local 709 members are grateful for how she keeps us updated on labor issues and connects us with political allies that support the labor movement.”

 

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“Sister Williams has always been an important voice in the Southern Territory, so this achievement does not surprise us,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “This shows why we must keep strong ties in our communities throughout the Territory. Chandra fights every day to protect workers’ rights and their families in the state of Georgia. Our union is thankful for her advocacy.” 

“Chandra Williams has been an absolute delight to have our board,” said Atlanta Labor Council Executive Director Sandra Williams. “She has been engaged in every facet, including the Atlanta labor council on the political side and community. Especially during the pandemic, where I couldn’t be more thrilled about her recognition from Sen. Ossoff. Chandra Williams is a pillar in the labor community.

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IAM International President’s Charity Event Proceeds Rejuvenate Maryland Veterans Home

Winpisinger Education and Technology Center and District 4 staff recently installed a new entry sign at Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home, purchased with funds raised by the 2021 IAM International President’s Capital Classic Golf Tournament.

That tournament raised more than $100,000 for capital improvement projects for U.S. military veterans at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Southern Maryland.

Those funds also made it possible to completely renovate the home’s overgrown courtyard. Professional landscapers were hired to build two water fountains and overhaul the entire space.

“Because we have members who work here and because International President Martinez is a veteran himself, this time he chose to have the proceeds of the tournament benefit Charlotte Hall,” said IAM District 4 Business Representative Mark Duval.

Local 4 represents the maintenance crew, Restorative Nursing Aides (RNAs), Certified Medicine Aides (CMAs), and Geriatric Nursing Aides (GNAs) who work at Charlotte Hall Veterans home.

Richley Delahay, Facility Manager for the IAM’s Winpsinger Center, offered to have Winpisinger Center staff Chuck Lowe, John Wibel and Benny Johnson complete the sign installation at Charlotte Hall.

“The Winpisinger Center has been inviting members of the Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home for lunch a couple times a year for the last six or seven years, so that was our first association with the veteran’s home,” said Winpisinger Center Lead Groundsperson Chuck Lowe, who was there helping install to the sign. “It’s just a way to give back to veterans. We have a lot of veterans in the IAM. President Martinez is a Navy veteran himself so it’s a big priority for him, and it’s nice for us to be able to help in our local community.”

“The IAM is incredibly proud of our military veteran members and the members who work at Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home. It is important to the IAM and to me, personally, that our union supports military veterans in our communities,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I’m very thankful to everyone who stepped up to make this fundraising initiative a huge success. The IAM will continue to find ways to support those who have served our country.”

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