Winpisinger Center Enrolling for Online Leadership Classes

The Machinists Union isn’t letting a global pandemic keep from educating members and future leaders. The William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center is offering an online adaptation of their Leadership I program June 14-25 and July 12-23, 2021.

The programs are scheduled to accommodate varying work shifts and time zones with the June class beginning in the evening and the July class beginning in the morning. Both classes include 17 hours of online sessions and approximately 7 hours of off-line assignments over a two-week period. Participants must enroll through their local or district lodges.

“I’m very excited to see this program put into action,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Education of our membership has always been the cornerstone of our union and we can’t wait for it to be safe to travel and gather in large groups to provide it to them. Thank you for the Winpisinger Education Staff for their tireless efforts in getting this up and running.”

Business Representatives and Local Officers can enroll members using this link W3 Online Class Registration and selecting the appropriate Program via the dropdown menu. Participants who complete a program will receive a certificate and are eligible to participate in next level leadership program either online or in person. As is the case with in-person Leadership Programs, availability of lost time for participants solely at the discretion of the enrolling local or district lodge.

In addition to the online Leadership I Program, the Winpisinger Center is also providing online programming for full-time staff centering on critical bargaining and arbitration skills.

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Machinists Support Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act

In a letter to House leadership , IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. is urging members of the House to support the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, H.R. 1195.

This bipartisan legislation introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) would create and maintain needed protections against workplace violence for healthcare and social service workers. 

“Health care and social service workers who are called on to help us and our families in times of need deserve a safe and secure work environment,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “This legislation would instruct the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to issue a workplace violence prevention standard requiring employers in the health care and social service sectors to develop and implement a plan to protect their employees from workplace violence.”

A 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study concluded that rates of violence against healthcare workers are up to 12 times higher than rates of violence for the overall workforce.       

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Machinists Union Congratulates Marty Walsh on Labor Secretary Confirmation, Looks Forward to Worker-Friendly Labor Department

Robert Martinez Jr., International President of the 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), released the following statement on the confirmation of Marty Walsh as U.S. Labor Secretary:

“I want to congratulate Marty Walsh on being confirmed as the new Secretary of Labor. Marty is a faithful ally to the Machinists Union and all working families. Marty stood by our union during his days in the Massachusetts State Legislature and as Mayor of Boston. As mayor, Walsh proved himself a fierce ally of the IAM by defending more than 400 IAM Local 264 bus mechanic jobs  from privatization.

“Marty’s character will uplift the plight of working men and women throughout our nation and provide the necessary safety measures that allow them to return home at night. Marty understands working people, and his leadership will create the change workers so desperately need as we climb out of this pandemic.

“Our union looks forward to working with a worker-friendly Labor Department that will put workers first in the manufacturing, aerospace, transportation, automotive, defense, healthcare, and other industries. Secretary Walsh and Deputy Secretary Julie Su will be working peoples’ champions, and the Fighting Machinists will be right there by their side. We thank the members of the Senate who voted to confirm Mayor Walsh and for giving him the opportunity to continue his fight for working families on a national stage.”

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IAM Stands With Congressman Golden And Maine Senate President Troy Jackson On H-2A Visa Reform

The Machinists Union supports Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson’s (D-Allagash) efforts to reform the H-2A visa program and address loopholes that have enabled Canadian truckers in the logging industry to exploit and take jobs in the state of Maine unfairly. 

“What we’re seeing is companies misusing the H-2A program in an effort to circumvent federal law,” stated Golden and Jackson in a press statement. “Canadian truckers are abusing the H-2A program when they make daily commutes into northern Maine to participate in the American domestic logging market, competing directly with Mainers for jobs and depressing wages. H-2A visa cannot be used for the domestic transport of harvested timber. By enforcing federal law and holding companies accountable for misusing the H-2A program, the federal government can protect these jobs.”

Golden has consistently pushed the past White House administration and his colleagues in Congress to take action on this issue. In addition to proposing an amendment  to the Department of Labor funding bill last year, Golden also called on all three relevant agencies to conduct an investigation  into allegations of Canadian truckers operating illegally in Maine. Golden also proposed two amendments  the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 to exclude logging activities from the definition of “agricultural labor or services” in the bill.

Jackson has repeatedly sought action on both the state and federal level to end this unlawful practice and hold violators accountable. He even brought Gov. Paul LePage up to Fort Kent  to hear directly from the affected truckers in 2017. In the Maine Legislature, Jackson has introduced  several pieces of legislation to protect Maine trucking jobs and penalize offending companies for breaking the law. In addition, he has written to the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, and the Department of Labor. This past summer, he filed a complaint against the Department of Labor  for failing to enforce federal cabotage laws.

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U.S. Appeals Court Says Oregon Welders Have Right to Join IAM

More than three years after voting for union representation, welders working at Precision Castparts in Portland, OR, are finally going to get it. The nearly 100 welders who voted to join the IAM in September 2017 reached a favorable ruling from a federal appeals court denying the company’s claim they couldn’t legally form a union as a specialized group.

In May 2018, the group received a favorable ruling under the National Labor Relations Act . Due to their specialized craft, the ruling stated that the highly skilled welders could be a distinct bargaining unit within the 2,500-person workforce at Precision and could vote to join the IAM as a 100-person group.

The legal battle has gone back and forth through the appeals process with the National Labor Relations Board and the court system, with the final favorable ruling handed down last week from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. The company has one last appeal, and that would be to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It’s my hope that the IAM and PCC can finally get down to the business of negotiations, and give the welders at PCC a contract they can be proud of,” said Organizer and IAM Grand Lodge Representative Billy Anderson. “To right the hardships of what the welders have endured throughout this unnecessary long process, PCC can respect their vote for the IAM by bargaining in good faith and doing so now. It’s way past time.”

“It is in moments like these where we see the severe shortcomings of workers’ rights to organize on full display, said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “I salute the resilience of the workers at PCC. I have no doubt that our new Sisters and Brothers will have a profound impact on our organization. Now begins the hard work of winning an IAM agreement for these brave workers. We will do everything in our power to support the District and local leadership in fighting for a good first contract.”

“These workers have overcome every possible obstacle that PCC has put before them, never backing down,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “And now it’s time for justice to be served.”

“I admire these workers for standing together to demand justice and a voice in their workplace,” said District Lodge W24 President and Directing Business Representative Wayne Thompson. “Our District stands ready to meet the challenge of working with the members to win a great first contract that will benefit them, their families, and the community.”

The resilient group has never stopped fighting for the right to representation, holding rallies to bring attention to their cause .

The group of welders voted in favor of joining the IAM following changes implemented after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. purchased the company in 2016. Bringing more fairness in work rules, a safer environment, and better compensation are among the reasons workers chose the IAM.

Workers at the plant make heavy-duty metal components for airplanes, generators, and other industrial products.

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IAM Supports For The People Act

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Rules Committee Chairwoman U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced  S.1., the For the People Act—a sweeping package of comprehensive reforms that would end special-interest corruption of our politics and make government work for the people.

The landmark legislation—companion legislation to H.R. 1, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 3—aims to restore the promise of American democracy by guaranteeing every American citizen full access to the ballot by addressing voter intimidation and suppression, which are among the biggest examples of systemic racism in America; ending the corrupting power of dark money in our campaigns; and putting an end to gerrymandering. In addition, it strengthens ethics laws to ensure that public servants work for the public interest.

“As Senate Majority Leader, one of the first things that I did was designate the For The People Act as S.1, the first legislative bill from the Senate Democrats,” said Leader Schumer. “In doing so, Senate Democrats made clear we are committed to standing up to the voter suppression efforts that are threatening the core tenets of our democracy, to ending dark money in politics, and to ensuring public officials work for those they represent and not the special interests. As this legislation moves through the Senate, every member of this body will have an opportunity to stand up and say if they support a government by the people and for the people.”

The For the People Act would:

  • Make It Easier, Not Harder, To Vote
  • End The Dominance of Big Money In Politics
  • End partisan gerrymandering
  • Ensure Public Officials Work For The Public Interest

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Machinists’ Pressure Leads to MBTA Rescinding Job and Service Cuts

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has changed course about cutting service and laying off dozens of workers due to intense pressure the IAM exerted through lobbying and rallies. The MBTA now plans to include enough funding in its next annual budget to run buses and trains on the same schedule in place pre-pandemic.

Last Friday, the IAM and a coalition of other transit unions organized an innovative, online rally calling on the MBTA to reinstate their full pre-pandemic schedule. The rally, which was one of many by the IAM over the last year, garnered over 1,000 views and resulted in the MBTA reversing their plan amid the intense criticism.

“Our members and other union members put themselves in harm’s way during this deadly pandemic to provide this vital service to the public,” said IAM District 15 Assistant Directing Business Representative Mike Vartabedian. “The Governor and the MBTA owed it to the workers and the riders to use the federal relief money they received to keep services running for the people who were hit hardest during this time.”

“The MBTA felt the full force of the power the IAM wields,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “Although the MBTA received billions of dollars of relief from the government, their plan was to use the unfortunate events of the COVID pandemic to eliminate service and lay off workers. I am proud of how every Machinist stood up to them, fighting for their brothers and sisters and ensuring the people of their communities would have the same necessary access to public transportation as prior to the pandemic.”

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Blue Springs, MO Public Works Employees Vote to Join Machinists Union

30 workers from the City of Blue Springs Public Works in Missouri have voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM. The new members will be a diverse group of employees from the public works water department, fleet services and street and sewer maintenance fields.

The inside organizing committee and new members had to overcome many obstacles throughout the 3-month campaign due to COVID restrictions.

“My sincerest gratitude goes out to all of these members that stood together so they could have the opportunity to negotiate a fair and equitable contract for years to come,” said IAM Local Lodge 778 Directing Business Representative Joe Capra, the campaign’s lead organizer. “I’d like to thank the inside committee of City of Blue Springs Public Works and Business Agent Scott Brown for their endless dedication in making this a strong win for them and the IAM.”

“In these uncertain economic times and tenuous job security, these brave women and men from the City of Blue Springs Public Works stood in solidarity to make their voices heard by voting overwhelmingly to join the IAM,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Credit for this organizing win goes to Directing Business Representative Joe Capra and the whole team to secure this tremendous victory. I welcome our new sisters and brothers to our IAM family.”

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Tennessee Nissan Workers Joining Together with the Machinists Union

Tennessee Nissan Workers Joining Together with the Machinists Union

Eighty-seven Tool and Die Maintenance Technicians at Nissan North America in Smyrna, TN are joining together with the IAM. An overwhelming majority of Tool and Die Maintenance Technicians signed authorization cards for IAM representation.

READ:  Union seeks vote of 87 workers at Nissan Tennessee plant ABC News

Workers cited numerous workplace concerns, including forced overtime, increased healthcare costs, and a lack of respect from management as some of the reasons for joining the IAM.

Case law provides an overwhelming precedent for Tool and Die Maintenance Technicians being an appropriate bargaining unit. The IAM will fight to make sure corporate lawyers and anti-union interests don’t try to silence the workers’ voices in Smyrna.

The IAM has proudly represented employees in the automotive sector since 1916. The IAM created the first Local Lodge devoted exclusively to automotive and truck employees in 1919. Today, the IAM represents about 47,000 Tool and Die Makers and 3,000 automotive manufacturing workers at Ford, Penske Truck, Hyundai, and Chevrolet.

“Tool and Die Makers are highly skilled Machinists. It takes years to develop those skills. This group of Tool and DieMaintenance Technicians are some of the most determined individuals I’ve worked with,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Tim Wright, lead organizer on the campaign. “They are proud of their skills and the work they do for Nissan and want a voice on the job and a better life for their families and their community. The IAM will fight to ensure this campaign is free of political interference so that workers can cast a vote for representation free of intimidation while maintaining a level of respect that is currently lacking in the workplace. A union contract will ensure fair wages, benefits, working conditions, and the ability to retire with dignity. The IAM was established in Atlanta, GA, in 1888; we have a well-respected track record of getting the best contracts for our members.”

The National Labor Relations Board is expected to issue election dates after pre-election matters are resolved through an NLRB hearing currently in progress.

The IAM will continue to help the Tool and Die Maintenance Technicians at Nissan North America by educating them and their co-workers on their rights to form a union under the National Labor Relations Act.

 

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Machinists Union Stands with Asian American Community After Horrific Atlanta Shootings

IAM international and local leadership issued the following statements after the recent mass shootings in Atlanta:

“The Machinists Union is outraged and deeply saddened by the senseless murders in Atlanta,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Asian Americans make up a critical, and growing, segment of our union family and our communities. A racially based attack on any of our Brothers and Sisters is an attack on each and every one of us. We are firmly against the surging violence against Asian Americans and any group based on race. Our union and the labor movement will always fight against hate. We stand strong for equality and understanding. The IAM’s profound thoughts and prayers go to the victims’ loved ones and we pledge to fight for a better tomorrow.”

“These women were killed while working low wage, vulnerable jobs while the COVID-19 pandemic continues,” said Georgia AFL-CIO President and IAM member Charlie Flemming. “While the motive for the shootings are still under investigation, one thing is certain: These attacks speak to the systemic impacts of misogyny, racism, and white supremacy targeted at the Asian American community. We stand in solidarity with the families who have had these lives unjustly stolen from them. However, Asian Americans need more than solidarity — they need our support, commitment and real solutions.”

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