Organizing campaigns initiated by the Southern Territory came to fruition last week as three separate groups, totaling approximately 200 workers overwhelmingly voted to join the IAM.
Flight Instructors from the Flight Safety Service Corp, NAS Whiting Field in Milton, FL, the Helicopter Maintenance H53 Rest Unit from Vertex Aerospace MCAS New River, North Carolina and the Aircraft Maintenance Unit from Day and Zimmerman located in Fort Hood, Killeen, TX all work under the Service Contract Act (SCA), providing service to the U.S. military,
“I worked under the SCA and understand the importance of the work performed by these men and women, many are also former U.S. Military themselves,” said Ramon Garcia, Southern Territory Organizing Leader. “Joining the IAM and having a collective bargaining agreement is a critical tool to guarantee benefits, raises and dignity on the job. It made a difference for me. Welcome to the IAM!”
“I want to welcome our new members who provide an invaluable service to our country into our Machinists family,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “Credit for these organizing wins goes to our Organizing Leader Ramon Garcia, Grand Lodge Representative Joe Greaser for leading the campaign at Vertex, District 776 Directing Business Representative Paul Black and his staff at Fort Hood and District 75 Directing Business Representative Steve Jordan and his staff at Whiting Field. These teams worked countless hours with our new members, giving them the tools and resources necessary to fulfill their quest to join the IAM.”
Millions of Social Security beneficiaries, including many IAM members, will receive a 5.9 percent cost-of-living increase in 2022. The average retired worker can expect to receive an additional $92 per month.
Active and retired IAM members have long called for an increase to earned Social Security benefits and for measures that secure the solvency of Social Security. As Machinists, we continue our fight to ensure Social Security continues to pay retirees their life-long earned benefits. The IAM remains committed to the fight to achieve dignified retirement benefits for our members and all seniors.
Union retirees were instrumental in some of the first significant Social Security benefit increases and the implementation of Medicare.
“While this is welcome news for IAM members, retired Americans, disabled veterans and millions more Social Security beneficiaries, we must do more to ensure to help older Americans and others in need make ends meet,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We can start by passing the Build Back Better Act, which would lower the cost of prescription drugs. It is also past time to make the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share into Social Security.”
Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount
Ashcroft, B.C. – More than 40 IAM members of Local Lodge 692 have been locked out by their employer, IG Machine and Fibers since 12 July, 2021 – that means they’ve been locked out for 73 days as of today.
“Our members have faced difficulties, but they are not going to back down,” says a combative Andrew Tricker, Business Representative for District 250 in British Columbia. “The company is clearly using replacement workers – also known as scabs – to do the work. Where we had 40 skilled members doing the work, they now have 10 doing work that is probably very dangerous! From 18 or 19 truckloads leaving the plant, they now only have one or two.”
Tricker makes the case that quality and health and safety is likely at risk and that the community of Ashcroft as well as customers of IG Machine and Fibers should take note of this. Tricker and District 250 have already filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the BC Labour Relations Board.
“We should all be very concerned about the health and well-being of the workers at the plant right now,” says Tricker. “They may be scabs, but they are also human beings and they don’t deserve to be injured because the employer refuses to bargain in good faith.” Tricker noted that maintenance would normally be done on machines three times a week, but has information that no maintenance has been done for the last month. This would seriously imperil the scab workers currently at the plant.
Besides presenting weaker and weaker offers, the company has sent the workers emails and letters to their homes, which could be a violation if deemed to be bargaining directly with the employees. Tricker feels they are driven by ideology rather than any desire to resolve problems and return the plant to its former productivity.
Because Ashcroft is a small town and community, and the workers, as well as the scabs are from there, Tricker worries about the deep social divide that has been created. “We know from past labour disputes that deep splits in the community rarely ever heal. This is a permanent wound to those who live here and I’m not hopeful about the problems the company has knowingly created.”
Tricker is firm making sure his members are properly treated and properly paid. “Good work is not cheap work,” he concluded.
IG Machine and Fibers provides shingles across North America. Dun and Bradstreet evaluates their annual revenue at$1.17 billion (source
). Chartered in 191, IAM Local 692 represents all more than 2000 members across British Columbia.
The IAM successfully lobbied for the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund military programs. Together, the programs support more than 100,000 IAM aerospace, defense, and shipbuilding jobs.
The final version of the NDAA included Buy American House-passed language, championed by the IAM and U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ). This provision will strengthen Buy American rules to help boost our domestic manufacturing sectors.
“Our union fought to enhance our nation’s military programs to improve U.S. national security and grow the number of high-skilled jobs for our members in the aerospace defense and shipbuilding industries,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We also applaud the efforts of Rep. Norcross to help strengthen our country’s defense industrial base and domestic supply chain by including the Buy American rules in the 2022 NDAA.”
Thanks to the IAM’s lobbying efforts, the 2022 NDAA authorizes funding for the following IAM-built and maintained programs:
Defense Spending top line: The IAM supported, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $25 billion increase in the Department of Defense spending. This House vote paves the way for $740 billion budget for the Pentagon next year since the Senate Armed Services Committee has already backed that spending level in its version of the bill. This is $25 billion more than the $715 billion proposed by the administration’s budget request.
Increase in Buy American Requirement:The House passed IAM/Rep. Norcross’s championed language to increase the Buy American domestic content percentage requirement from 55% to 75% for all future Major Defense Acquisition Programs. The language will gradually ramp up the percentage from 55% to 75% by 1/1/2029.
F-35 program: The 2022 NDAA authorizes funding for 80 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. The IAM Legislative team is aggressively lobbying the Senate to increase the number in its version for this vitally important defense program.
Rep Golden’s amendment for MYP Destroyer contract: The House passed IAM/Rep. Golden’s championed language to authorize a new multi-year procurement (MYP) contract to purchase 15 Flight III DDG-51 destroyers over 5 years beginning in 2023. With the current MYP contract set to expire in FY22, there was no scheduled ship procurement plan to ensure enduring workforce stability and skill retention. This new MYP contract is needed to ensure consistent funding for the DDG-51 program in order to properly equip our U.S. Navy and to promote the heath of the U.S. shipbuilding industry.
National Security Space Launches(NSSL): The NDAA also authorizes $1.4 billion for national security space launches. United Launch Alliance (ULA), with IAM members in AL, FL, and CA, is one of only two NSSL launch providers.
The Machinists Wood, Pulp and Paper Council (MWPPC) held its second annual virtual barbeque competition to help raise money for Guide Dogs of America / Tender Loving Canines (GDA/TLC). The successful event, which followed all safety protocols, brought in more than $26,000.
“Despite some obstacles we raised a lot of money for a great cause,” said MWPPC President Billy Barnwell. “Thank you to our many sponsors, donators, cooks, and judges who made our second annual virtual barbecue so special, without your assistance, this event wouldn’t have been possible.”
“The Woodworkers Department is honored to help support the Guide Dogs of America and Tender Loving Canines,” said Mike Rose, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President for the Woodworkers Department. “This unique event is a great opportunity to support this great charity.”
Guide Dogs of America is the IAM’s favorite charity. In 2020, GDA completed a merger with Tender Loving Canines and now provides hardworking service dogs for people who are blind/ visually impaired, veterans, individuals with autism and facilities to become trusted companions that bring confidence, independence and mobility. Their services are provided free of charge to residents in the U.S. and Canada. Sponsors
Title Sponsors: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., EBS, TLC Insurance Group, Humana
Prime Sponsors: Scott Capital Advisors
Select Sponsors: Michelle Barnwell, American Income Life, BYN Mellon, Image Pointe, IP Casino Resort and Spa (Biloxi, MS), K & R Branding Solutions, Mary McHugh
GDA Yvette Sheehan, Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner, Winpisinger Center Assistant Director Mary McHugh, Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan
Grand Champion First Place: Jake Merkel
Grand Champion Second Place: Shawn Vanderjack
Grand Champion Third Place: Joe Gruber
Chicken Champion: Jon Irvine
Pork Rib Champion: Mindy Henry
The IAM Transportation leadership recently visited with members at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Hawaii, the latest stop in an ongoing station visit program implemented by the department’s new leadership to visit the airline and railroad members across the United States.
The delegation of Richard Johnsen, Chief of Staff to the International President, Edison Fraser, Transportation Coordinator, and Tom Regan, Airline Coordinator, joined representatives from IAM District 141, District 142 and Local 1979 to meet with members on the job and thank them for their work.
Local 1979 represents more than 4,000 active and retired members for carriers such as Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines at the Honolulu airport. The members hold jobs such as customer service, ramp, stores, mechanics and cargo agents.
The IAM delegation also fielded several questions from members, including concerns about mask mandates, disinformation regarding the tentative agreement with Southwest Airlines and contract talks with Hawaiian Airlines.
“These station visits are proving very helpful with gaining the first-hand knowledge of concerns of our members, and allowing us the chance to address issues like the disinformation about what is in the tentative agreement with Southwest Airlines,” Johnsen said. “As I told the members, these visits will be an ongoing occurrence as I’ve directed my staff to frequently check in with members, field their concerns and proactively work to make sure issues are addressed.”
Workers at the Honolulu airport thanked the leadership team for the visit. That included those like Rona Benjamin, a Hawaiian Airlines customer service agent who urged the leaders to come visit the station more often.
“I’m grateful that they took their time to come, and I’m excited to hear what they have for us … and if I don’t like what I hear, I will voice my opinion,” Benjamin said. “But I’m hoping to hear good things, because sometimes when you do come, we hear good stuff.”
Fraser said comments by those like Benjamin are important to help remedy concerns, including frequency of station visits.
“We are here for that honest feedback. We are the new leadership and we want those honest opinions that will help us make improvements in our department,” Fraser said. “Our members here want more visits, and as our leadership has stated, IAM Transportation staff is being directed to make more station visits to assure members stay informed about what is going on with their union and how we are working to improve their lives in the workplace.”
“It’s refreshing to sit with the membership and actually have discussions on the issues that pertain to them,” Regan said. “Spending time with the membership gave us the opportunity to hear what their concerns are, so we as the leadership of the Transportation Department could identify those issues for the future and make the proper adjustments we need to make sure the membership here on the Hawaiian islands are properly represented.”