These news briefs were published in the Winter 2021-2022 IAM Journal.
IAM Saves Thousands of Aerospace Jobs
The IAM’s Political and Legislative Department’s strong advocacy for a new federal aerospace job protection program has saved thousands of IAM jobs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded funding to more than 300 companies as part of a new federal program to save aerospace manufacturing and repair jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IAM aggressively advocated and won the successful passage of the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program (AMJP), which is part of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan. The program provides $3 billion in payroll support funding to aviation manufacturing employers, allowing them to keep aerospace manufacturing workers on their payrolls, avoid additional furloughs, and re-hire workers previously furloughed during the pandemic.
This program will help ensure our nation’s aerospace industry will keep moving forward with the critically important workforce it needs.
The U.S. DOT announced the release of $482.3 million in funding to 313 businesses, including approximately 20 with IAM-represented employees like Spirit Aerosystems, Pratt & Whitney, Hexcel Corp., and Learjet.
The IAM, the largest aerospace union in North America, urged U.S. aerospace employers to apply for funding from the federal program.
Machinists Union members were among many workers in the aerospace industry who experienced layoffs and furloughs because of COVID-19. While air travel dropped significantly during 2020, so did the need for parts, repairs, modifications, and other services, hurting aerospace supply chain companies.
Remembering Fallen IAM Members on Workers’ Memorial Day
The Machinists Union commemorated Workers’ Memorial Day this year with a private ceremony at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, Maryland, recognizing members who lost their lives in the workplace. The past year has been especially difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Names of fallen members were read and a bell was rung after each name, including those of retired members who have passed away.
IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. expressed how incredible it is that in the 21st century, workers are still subject to workplace danger, and families are torn by grief when loved ones don’t come home from work.
Speakers at the ceremony included IAM Safety and Health Department Director Michael Oathout, General Vice President Brian Bryant and General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes.
In shops across this country, IAM members continue to be put at risk from dangerous work environments, including inadequate protective equipment to protect from workplace dangers
IAM Members Play Critical Role in Afghanistan Evacuation Efforts
As the largest aerospace, airline, and defense labor union in North America, the IAM was honored to play a role in the evacuation efforts of thousands of U.S. citizens and allies in Afghanistan.
Both commercial and military aircraft being used in the evacuation effort are built and maintained by IAM members. In addition, IAM members work side-by-side with the military on bases across the country that are housing Afghan refugees upon their arrival to the United States. The IAM has many military veterans as members and has always supported our men and women in uniform.
The IAM Veteran Services Department has compiled resources available to military veterans experiencing a wide range of emotions during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. IAM EAP Services can be accessed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 301-335-0735.
Machinists Union’s Hard Work Results in Historic Investment
United Airlines recently announced they would hire over 25,000 airline workers and add 200 Boeing 737 MAX to its fleet, the largest aircraft purchase the industry has seen in a decade. United’s investment, which will create thousands of new jobs at United for the Machinists Union, was aided by IAM members and the Legislative Department leading the fight on Capitol Hill for legislation like the Payroll Support Program (PSP) that ensured the future viability of the airline industry and livelihoods of airline workers.
This investment also brought positive news for IAM members in the Puget Sound region and beyond. The addition of 200 Boeing 737 Max airplane orders will certainly support IAM Aerospace workers with good-paying family wage jobs.
In addition to the 200 Boeing 737 MAX, United plans to retrofit 100% of its remaining mainline, narrow-body fleet to transform the customer experience and create a new signature interior, a roughly 75% increase in premium seats per North American departure, larger overhead bins, seatback entertainment in every seat and industry’s fastest available WiFi.
United will also increase the total number of available seats across its domestic network by almost 30% per departure and replace at least 200 single-class regional jets with larger mainline aircraft. When combined with the airline’s current order book, United expects to add more than 500 new aircraft including about one new plane every three days in 2023 alone.
Portland Lodges Help Women and Homeless Youth
IAM District W24 and its local lodges in the Portland, OR. area teamed up with the Aphrodite Project to collect feminine hygiene products for members of the community who need them most. With rare exceptions, their basic needs are often overlooked or avoided as an uncomfortable topic of conversation.
IAM members stepped up and collected $1,500 worth of products delivered to women’s shelters, homeless youth hostels, and other locations where there was an unmet need. The project was part of the Maria Santiago Lillis Advocacy Day – A Commitment to Serve (ACTS).
Sisters Jessica Deming and Beth Lacey along with Brothers John Kleiboeker and Larry Bickett worked with members from various shops and district staff to make the project possible. Their effort represents a small step toward empowering the vulnerable members of the community.
IAM Pays Tribute to Working Families Hero Richard Trumka, Welcomes New AFL-CIO Leadership
The labor movement lost a heroic labor leader when National AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka passed away recently at the age of 72.
On behalf of the IAM, IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. expressed sadness on the passing of National AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka and shared how workers worldwide will mourn the loss of a labor movement giant and working people’s champion. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka revitalized the labor movement and stood toe-to-toe against any enemy standing in the way of dignity and justice on the job. He made life better for working people across our nation and the world. Our heart goes out to his family, friends, and the entire AFL-CIO.
The IAM will forever be grateful to President Trumka for standing up for IAM members across our different industries. President Trumka marched on our picket lines and helped lead efforts to improve the lives of working families. He was a fighter for change, and his work will never be forgotten. The IAM will honor Rich in a way he would want us to–fighting like hell to pass his legacy legislation, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.
Richard L. Trumka was president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO from 2009 until his death on August 5, 2021.
The AFL-CIO Executive Council elected Liz Shuler as the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.
IAM District 751 Calls for Action on Chinese 737 Max Recertification, Unfair Trade Practices
IAM District 751, which represents more than 26,000 aerospace workers at Boeing and its suppliers, is calling for action as China becomes a global competitor in the aerospace industry.
In a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai hosted at its Seattle union hall, District 751 President Jon Holden called for immediate Chinese recertification of the IAM-built 737 Max and outlined concerns over China’s growing aerospace footprint. Holden thanked Tai for focusing efforts on worker-centered trade and sounded the alarm on the transfer of U.S. technology and jobs to China, as well as unfair Chinese government subsidies to its aerospace industry.
Holden also raised concerns about workers and human rights in China.
Holden was joined at the meeting by IAM District 751 Chief of Staff Jason Chan, U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and other Washington state labor leaders.
Congratulations to IAM Lodge 1943 Maintenance Apprenticeship Graduate
IAM members recently graduated from Local 1943’s Maintenance Apprenticeship program. Fifty-five students from Local 1943, between two classes, completed 1,700 hours of classwork and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
The members received Maintenance Mechanic Journeyman certificates from the state of Ohio. The members were also honored with a luncheon featuring two Ohio state representatives who spoke on the importance of apprenticeship programs that further manufacturing education. The company and Local 1943 expressed the value of the apprenticeship programs to the team.
A Strong First Contract for IAM Local 778 Members in Missouri
In less than six months, employees from the City of Blue Springs Public Works in Missouri went from voting to join the Machinists Union to enjoy the benefits of union representation with a first contract. Workers from the water department, fleet services, and sewer maintenance fields demonstrated hard work and solidarity during negotiations, bringing home a strong contract and a win for all in the Blue Springs community.
The three-year contract offers:
•Wage increases of more than 2.5% per year, with top scale workers earning a higher percentage yearly
• Protected holidays
• Defined seniority rules
• Addition of safety and labor/management committees
• Expansion of language surrounding steward policies and union leave
• Fair grievance procedure.
The Midwest Territory uplifted the process as an example of how labor laws should work.
Winpisinger Center Field Training at District 70 Shows Critical Role of Local Lodge Leaders
IAM District 70 recently hosted Officer Training and Secretary-Treasurer Classes instructed by the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center for newly elected and re-elected officers within the district’s six local lodges.
Local Lodge Officer Training included local lodge topics such as Officer Duties and Responsibilities, Meetings and Parliamentary, IAM Ritual, Bylaw Review, Mock Meeting Preparation, Finalization, and Participation, the Audit Process, Election Overview, Overview of Grand Lodge Structure and Services, and New Member Kits/New Member Orientation.
The Southern Territory’s goal was to ensure District 70 officers have the resources, skills, tools, and knowledge to do their jobs as efficiently as possible for the membership.