Sisters and Brothers,
This trying time for our union, our families and the entire world has brought into full focus the everyday heroes of the IAM. Our members are on the frontlines, doing the work that keeps our economy running and our countries safe.
Many of our members are considered essential employees and are still on the job. At every level of our union, we are working to ensure that employers provide our members with personal protective equipment and follow all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other local, state, provincial and federal public health agencies. Together, we can stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives.
This is the time to lean on each other and use our collective strength to our advantage. The IAM’s EAP and Addiction Services Programs are fully operational and available to members and their families. We fought day and night to include relief for our members in a number of industries in the latest relief bill passed by Congress . We are keeping our membership informed and I encourage you to refer to the IAM COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest developments.
The IAM and others are racing against the clock to build ventilators that will save lives in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. We are keeping public transit safe so that health care workers can get to hospitals. We are doing all of this and so much more because of the bravery of everyday heroes within the IAM.
Above all else, we urge all of our members to stay safe. We encourage everyone to continually check with the CDC for updated news on how to stay safe and what to do if you or anyone in your family is feeling ill. We are continuing our demand that all employers equip workers with proper protective equipment immediately.
Our union is showing the world what it means to be a Fighting Machinist—brave, resilient and strong in the face of adversity. That doesn’t mean that this time of uncertainty is any less painful for us as we deal with layoffs and the challenge of getting ourselves, our families and our IAM Sisters and Brothers through this pandemic.
Mark my words—the IAM will emerge stronger than ever from this crisis. Our union is prepared and ready to take on this challenge and continue to fight for our membership like we always have and always will.
Stay safe, stay strong, stay united–together in solidarity we shall overcome.
Robert Martinez Jr.