Puerto Rico IAM Local 2275 Committee Prepares for Contract Talks at PepsiCo Caribbean

Members of Puerto Rico’s IAM Local 2725 Negotiating Committee recently completed a week-long negotiation preparation course ahead of collective bargaining for a new labor contract covering Frito-Lay salesmen (vendedores) at PepsiCo Caribbean, Inc.

The hands-on negotiation preparation, held in San Juan, was extremely valuable, said Jose Rodriquez Baez, Service Representative.

The panel was comprised of many first-time bargaining committee members. The lessons were taught in Spanish by instructors such as Jorge Bonilla from the IAM’s Winpisinger Center, Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan, Strategic Resources Senior Research Economist Peter Greenberg and Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Javier Almazan.

Negotiation committee members participated in simulated bargaining sessions that could be applied to real negotiations talks to come. Lessons included membership communication, drafting contract language, presenting proposals, analysis of the company and identifying sources of leverage in negotiations. 

“These training are viable and allow us to negotiate better collective bargaining agreements for our members in Puerto Rico,” said Juan Negron, Special Assistant to the International President.  

The committee members are expected to start contract negotiations in early September to replace a current labor contract that expires on Oct. 18.

The committee is seeking a new contract that will improve wages, as well as working conditions and the length of the workday.

“Puerto Rico is a strong and growing part of our union. These in-person, hands-on negotiation prep courses are very valuable for our members to get the best contracts,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “I’d like to thank the Local 2725 negotiating committee and the Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner, General Counsel Carla Siegel and the Strategic Resources staff for their work preparing for these important negotiations.”

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El Comité del IAM Local 2275 de Puerto Rico se Prepara para Negociaciones Contractuales con PepsiCo Caribbean

Miembros del Comité Negociador del IAM Local 2725 de Puerto Rico, recientemente completaron un curso semanal de preparación para las próximas negociaciones con PepsiCo Caribbean, Inc. Las negociaciones colectivas para un nuevo contrato laboral cubrirán a los vendedores de Frito-Lay.

Las preparaciones negociadoras en persona, que tomaron lugar en San Juan, fueron extremadamente valorables dijo Jose Rodriguez Baez, Representante de Servicios.

El panel consiste de muchos miembros que son primerizos a un comité negociador. Las Lecturas fueron enseñadas en español por los instructores Jorge Bonilla Educador del Centro de Educación y Tecnología de Winpisinger, Laura Ewan Asociada Cónsul General del IAM, Peter Greenberg Senior Investigador Economista de Recursos Estratégicos y Javier Almazan Representante de la Gran Logia.

Los Miembros del comité negociador participaron en ejercicios que simulan sesiones de negociación que pueden aplicarse a las negociaciones reales por venir. Las lecturas incluyeron comunicación con la membresía, redacción de lenguaje contractual, presentación de propuestas, análisis de la compañía y como identificar fuentes de apalancamiento en las negociaciones.

“Este Entrenamiento es viable y nos permitirá adquirir un mejor Acuerdo de Negociación Colectivo para nuestros miembros en Puerto Rico” dijo Juan Negron, Asistente Especial del Presidente Internacional Bob Martinez.

El Comité Negociador espera empezar las negociaciones contractuales a principios de septiembre para reemplazar el actual contrato laboral que se expira el 18 de Octubre del 2021.

El comité va en busca de un contrato que mejorara los saldos, las condiciones de trabajo y el periodo de tiempo que dura el día de trabajo.

“Puerto Rico es un lugar fuerte y de crecimiento para nuestra Union. Estos cursos de preparación en persona son muy valorables para que nuestros miembros puedan obtener los mejores contratos,” dijo el Vicepresidente General del Territorio del Sur Rickey Wallce, “Me gustaría agradecer al comité negociador del Local 2725, Chris Wagoner Director del Centro de Educación y Tecnología de Winpisinger, Carla Seigel Consul General del IAM y al departamento de Recursos Estratégicos por el trabajo que hicieron en la preparación de estas importantes negociaciones”

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Minneapolis Local 459 Eliminates Two-Tier Pay Scale at Culligan

Success stories inspire because they show the power to change lives and that change is so much sweeter when it’s due to solidarity.

IAM Local 459 (District 77) members in Minneapolis ratified a one-year agreement on August 2 that eliminates a divisive two-tier wage system at Culligan. A two-tier system pays one group of employees a higher rate than another for the same job classification.

“Everyone was pretty much on board,” said Shop Steward Kyle Lokkesmoe. “They all knew it had to go away. It wasn’t going to move ahead smoothly if we still had a two-tier pay scale in our shop.”

Lokkesmoe knew that he and other Tier 1 employees had to compromise.

“Those on the first tier were okay with maybe not getting exactly what they wanted to just have a one-tier shop,” said Lokkesmoe.

That flexibility made all the difference.

“It just showed that we were all in it together, doing the right thing,” Lokkesmoe said. 

The company compromised, as well, by showing a willingness to sit down at the bargaining table, share financial information and work together to make it happen. Negotiations began in mid-July and lasted about two weeks.

IAM District 77 Directing Business Representative John Steigauf says the company hadn’t been following the two-tier wage structure anyway, so it was easier to argue the facts at the bargaining table.

“They were bringing people in above the starting rate,” said Steigauf.

The local pushed how unfair the system was and bombarded the company with facts.

“We started hammering on a fairness factor,” said Steigauf.

“I’m so proud of Local 459, District 77 and the strong membership at Culligan for achieving what they deserve,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “This shows what solidarity can mean for our members, families and communities.”

Business Representative Andrew Peltier says the biggest thing going into negotiations is finding out what the people want.

“You have to ask for what people want, be able to justify it and have a lot of strong arguments,” said Peltier.

Low-morale and animosity on the shop floor are now things of the past, as members look forward to continuing a relationship with Culligan that began with a first contract in 1967. 

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40th IAM Grand Lodge Convention to be Held in Las Vegas in October 2022 

The IAM Executive Council has met and unanimously voted to hold the 2022 IAM Grand Lodge Convention at the Las Vegas Hilton Resorts World from October 2-7, 2022. A letter will be sent to Local Lodges soon with further information on delegates and constitutional proposals.

The Grand Lodge Convention had previously been scheduled to take place in San Diego in September 2021. The convention was postponed to protect the safety and health of convention delegates and guests during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the IAM’s efforts, the previous venue in San Diego was unable to adequately accommodate the IAM Grand Lodge Convention in 2022.

“Myself and the entire IAM Executive Council are excited for the 2022 Grand Lodge Convention in Las Vegas,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I know that the Western Territory and the Host Committee will do a tremendous job transitioning to Las Vegas, a proud union city with a strong IAM footprint.”

“While we are saddened that it proved impossible for the IAM to hold a successful convention in San Diego, the Western Territory is looking forward to a great convention in Las Vegas,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “This decision gives IAM members the best opportunity to participate in a productive and meaningful Grand Lodge Convention. Our Host Committee is ready and excited to get to work on behalf of IAM delegates from across North America.”

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IAM-TWU Association Beats Back Rogue Union Raid Attempt on American Airlines Mechanics

American Airlines Mechanic and Related workers will continue to be represented by the strength of the IAM-TWU Association. A rogue, divisive attempt by an outsider union to trigger a raid election has been denied, the National Mediation Board announced Thursday.

“I want every American Airlines mechanic to know that the IAM is more committed than ever to provide you the strongest and most comprehensive representation in the airline industry,” said Richard Johnsen, Chief of Staff to the International President. “During this process, we had so many good conversations with members about making improvements in the lives of American Airlines mechanics. I am so grateful for our strong supporters and the IAM Local, District and Grand Lodge Representatives who made all the difference in this campaign.”

The IAM-TWU Association has negotiated top-of-the-industry wages and cash compensation for American Airlines mechanics, as well as industry-leading benefits, retirement plans and job protections.

“The IAM has shown time after time that we are the most powerful voice for North American airline workers,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our Transportation Department is going to continue to build strength, taking on and winning the biggest fights on behalf of our members. I am incredibly thankful for everyone who made this victory possible for our members.”

The IAM was a leading voice to secure unpreceded direct payments to airline workers, known as the airline Payroll Support Program, which kept hundreds of thousands of airline workers on the job during the pandemic.

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Recovering from Ida: Call to Help IAM Members by Donating to Our Disaster Relief Fund

Hurricane Ida’s strength of historical proportion struck relentlessly and left a path of destruction that impacted the lives of many, including IAM members.

Please consider donating to the IAM Disaster Relief Fund .

The storm has passed, and the time is now to help Machinists Union members that were caught in the wrath of Ida. The IAM is doing everything possible to assist our members recovering from this catastrophic event. Every dollar donated to the IAM Disaster Relief Fund goes directly to IAM members and their families in need.

Part of being a union member is knowing that your union family, your Sisters and Brothers, are here for you when you need us most.  If you have been affected by Hurricane Ida and need financial assistance, click here for information on how to apply for help from the IAM .

In addition to Disaster Relief assistance, your IAM EAP and Addiction Services program’s remain ready to be called upon 24/7.

If you are struggling with issues affecting mental health, such as but not limited to; addiction, stress, depression, divorce or financial hardship, please know that *confidential assistance is available.

We’re Here!

–       IAM EAP Helpline 301-335-0735 or emailing iameap@iamaw.org

–       IAM Addiction Services 888-240-4IAM (4426)

*These are confidential services made possible by IAM members assisting IAM members.


If you participate in certain Union Plus programs and have been affected by Hurricane Ida, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant program. Visit the Union Plus Disaster Relief Fund  to learn more about the benefits and eligibility requirements.

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A Strong First Contract for Missouri Local 778 Public Works Employees

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 enjoying 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 negotiating committee did an outstanding job obtaining a first contract,” said IAM Local 778 Business Representative Scott Brown. “Their knowledge and experience with the work they provide to the City of Blue Springs was a great asset at the bargaining table. We’re all looking forward to working with this group for many years to come.”

Among other items, 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 and the addition of a safety and a labor/management committee to help the employees and the city work together. Language surrounding steward policies and union leave were also added, as well as the addition of a fair grievance procedure.

“These negotiations were a little unique due to the pandemic, but the team prepared for months via email and surveys and in a safe manner, worked with the committee members in-person when it was needed,” said IAM Local 778 Directing Business Representative Joe Capra. “I want to thank the committee and Scott Brown for their preparation, dedication and long hours which paid off in for a contract deserving of the workers they serve.”

“This is how the system should work,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “In less than six months from the time these members voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM, they were able to negotiate a strong IAM contract that will benefit all working families in Blue Springs. I applaud their steadfast diligence and solidarity at the negotiating table and I welcome another strong IAM contract into the legacy of the Machinists Union.”

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Alabama Local 2003 Supports Striking United Mine Workers

IAM Local 2003 joined thousands of union members rallying in support of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Local 2245, who have been engaged in a long, bitter strike at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, AL since April 1, 2021.

Local 2003 members brought truckloads of goods for the UMWA members and their families, along with a cash donation to go towards the UMWA Local 2245 food and necessities funds.

“You were there for us during our strike in 2014,” said IAM Local 2003 President Anthony Holton during the UMAW Local 2245 rally. “We are here for you. Be strong and keep fighting.”

UMWA Local 2245 members have sacrificed a lot over the years, including massive pay cuts, insurance premium increases and more, to save a company that was supposedly on a rapid financial decline. When they got to the table this year, instead of rewarding the sacrifices and work of the miners, Warrior Met is seeking even further sacrifices from them.

“Our members are the reason Warrior Met even exists today,” said UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts. “They made the sacrifices to bring this company out of the bankruptcy of Walter Energy in 2016. These productive, professional miners at Warrior Met mined the coal that meant the company could become successful again, and Warrior Met has capitalized on their hard work, earning tens of millions in profits for their Wall Street owners.”

“My thanks go out to all the volunteers who donated goods, money and their time,” said IAM District 75 Directing Business Representative Steve Jordan. “Our members answered the call to support our UMWA brothers and sisters on the picket line at Warrior Met, and they delivered.”

“I am proud of these members,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “They’re helping to hold the line for workers demanding respect on the job, which includes fair wages and benefits. My thanks go out to all involved in this show of solidarity.”

READ: Warrior Met Coal’s strike practices could bring National Labor Relations Board complaint  AL.com

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Hemming, Williams Appointed Western Territory Special Representatives

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. has appointed Brothers Brandon Hemming and Byron Williams as Special Representatives assigned to the Western Territory.

Brother Hemming grew up in an IAM home with his father being a 32-year member of District 751 employed at Boeing. Hemming began his own experience with the Machinists Union as a Heavy-Duty Diesel Mechanic with First Transit and initiated into Local 130 in March 2006.

Hemming was elected Shop Steward and Secretary Treasurer of Local 130 in 2010. He held that position while also serving as a delegate to the Washington State Council of Machinists, a delegate to the District Council, as well as a preforming the duties of a District Auditor. In 2012, Hemming was elected President of Local 130 and held the position until he became a full time Business Representative for District 160 in May 2013.

As a Business Representative, Hemming worked to establish District 160’s Young Machinists Committee and sat as a board member for the Snohomish County United Way. He also served as a Trustee on the Western Employee Benefit 401(k) Trust, the Western Metals Industry Pension Trust, the Automotive Machinists Pension Trust and the Northwest IAM Benefit Trust.

Brandon was given the opportunity to serve as the Assistant Directing Business Representative in 2018 and he continued in that position until this most recent appointment as Special Representative.

“I am very excited about the appointments of Brother Hemming and Brother Williams,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Both Brandon and Byron bring a wealth of knowledge and unique experiences and perspectives to the Territory. I appreciate their service and commitment to our union and the labor movement and look forward to what they will help us accomplish together in the future.”

Brother Williams also grew up in an IAM home, with his father being a 47-year member of IAM Local Lodge 15 employed at Wyman-Gordon Forgings, Inc. Hailing from Houston, Brother Williams serves as the first African-American President and Directing Business Representative for the Southern Territory’s District 37.

Williams initiated into IAM Local 15 when he was hired at Wyman-Gordon Forgings, Inc. in 1996. Having completed an inspector apprenticeship program in 2000, Williams became the Lead Quality Control and Dimensional Inspector for the Houston location.

As an active member of IAM Local 15, Williams served as Sub-Committeeman, Vice President and President prior to being appointed President and Directing Business Representative of District 37 in 2011. Williams is very skilled in negotiations, arbitrations, organizing drives, strike preparations and National Labor Relations Board processes.

Elected in 2016, Williams is also the first African-American to serve as President of the Texas State Council of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, having previously served as Vice President for Region 6. Williams is also a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and is a Trustee and Executive Board Member to the Texas American Federation of Labor, where he is an inaugural member of the Racial Justice Advisory Task Force and Climate Change Advisory Board. 

Additionally, Williams supports other union coalitions as an Executive Board Member including the A. Philip Randolph Institute/Houston-Tidelands Chapter, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists/Region 8, Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, Texas City Metal Trades Council, Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, Southern States Conference of Machinists, and the Texas Labor Management Conference.

Both appointments are effective September 1, 2021

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Garcia-Keim Appointed Education Representative at Winpisinger Center

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. has appointed Ines Garcia-Keim from District 141 as Education Representative at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD, effective September 1, 2021.

“I couldn’t be more impressed with Ines’ hard work and leadership experience coming up through the ranks of the union,” said Martinez. “That experience plus her deep understanding of membership needs will make her an excellent Education Rep. I have no doubt that she will be successful in this role, and that she will make a positive impact on everyone that attends programs at the Winpisinger Center.”

Prior to her appointment as Education Representative, Sister Garcia-Keim was a member of the Spanish Leadership Working Group, which develops and implements Spanish-language programs offered by the Center.

“I am so excited to welcome Sister Ines to the Center,” said Director Chris Wagoner, “because I know she will be an asset to the staff and an outstanding educator for our member-participants. Her leadership experience at the Local, District, and State Council levels will inform her work and make her an effective and inspiring instructor. She has been successful teaching in our Spanish-language leadership programs and I can’t wait to see her bring that passion to other programs here at the Winpisinger.”

Garcia-Keim comes to the Center from New Jersey, where she joined Local Lodge 914 in 2012 and served as shop steward and chaired the Local Lodge’s legislative committee. She was made a District 141 Organizer in 2016 and was appointed Communications Representative for the District in 2018. She represented Local Lodge 914 in the New Jersey State Council of Machinists, was elected the council’s Legislative Director in 2016, and she served as Council President from 2018 to 2021. 

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