• Safety and Health Conference

    Registration is now open for the 2018 IAM Safety and Health Conference to be held August 12-17 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. Deadline to register is Friday, June 1.

    Download the call letter.

    The conference is a great opportunity for IAM members to enhance their safety awareness and receive training in multiple areas, including: workplace violence, opioid addiction, active shooter, infectious diseases, worker safety awareness, conflict resolution and more.

    Applications must be approved by the Local Lodge President and contain the Local Lodge Seal.

    Download the call letter.

    Contact the IAM Safety and Health Department at 301-967-4704 with any questions regarding the conference.

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  • The Gift of a Guitar Bringing Members Together at Winpisinger Center

    Sitting on the serene banks of the Patuxent River in southern Maryland is the IAM’s world-class labor education facility, the Winpisinger Center. Every year, thousands of Machinists Union members travel here to learn skills in organizing, negotiating, union leadership and more.

    The Winpisinger Center also gives IAM members from across North America and of all different backgrounds the chance to meet each other. The atmosphere builds friendships that can last a lifetime.

    Members who have been here will tell you it’s often the conversations outside the classroom that create the closest connections. Now, thanks to a generous donation by two IAM members, the power of bringing people together through music will continue for years to come at the Winpisinger Center.

    “I just wanted to do something that I thought would be a nice way to give back to the Winpisinger Center,” said Billy Barnwell, directing business representative for IAM District 131 in Georgia.

    An avid guitar player since the age of 15, Barnwell noticed that the Centers’ guitar was giving in to its age. “It was on its last leg,” said Henry Bagwell, an education representative at the Winpisinger Center.

    Barnwell knew what he had to do. The next time he came to the Winpisinger Center, he brought a brand new American-made Taylor guitar with him.

    He split the cost with his friend Eben Barnett, a District 131 organizer who doesn’t play guitar but wanted to help.

    Barnwell saw the value of the donation early on.

    “Before you know, there’s a crowd gathering around,” said Barnwell. “It brings people together.”

    Bagwell agrees. He helped IAM musicians join together to create the band UnioNation.

    “Music breaks down virtually any barrier,” said Bagwell. “It cuts through all the garbage.”

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  • IAM Mourns with Humboldt

    IAM members attending the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center last week gathered to send a message of support to the Canadian hockey community, the town of Humboldt and all Canadians following the horrific accident that took the lives of 16 young people aboard a junior hockey league team bus.

    The bus carrying the junior league Humboldt Broncos team members, support staff and sportscasters was involved in a crash near Nipawin, Saskatchewan on April 6 while on the way to a playoff game.

    IAM members attending Arbitration, Collective Bargaining, Social Media for Organizing and TCU Local Chair classes all participated in the compassionate gesture.

    “The hockey community is much like a union,” said IAM Canada General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “Everyone sticks together and support each other in good times and bad. The show of solidarity and support from our members at the Winpisinger Center is a touching reminder of what a great union we are a part of.”

    “Our hearts go out to all those affected by this horrible accident,” said International President Bob Martinez. “Hockey is a way of life for many of our brothers and sisters in Canada. We feel their pain and mourn with them.”

    The Broncos play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League at a level where players range and 16 to 21 and are not paid. The majority of people working in support of the team do so voluntarily, making junior league hockey very much a community effort.

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  • West Virginia Members, Supporters Rally for Contract

    More than 100 supporters of IAM Local 818 attended a rally yesterday in Glen Dale, WV to show solidarity to the members on strike at Tecnocap. Members and their families showed up in force along with retirees, other unions and government officials.

    Watch District 54 President T. Dean Wright Jr give a strike update on Activate L!VE

     “Our members appreciate all the support everyone has shown,” said Wright. “Community members not only stop and drop off supplies but also get out and walk the picket line to show solidarity.”

    “These highly skilled workers have spent years working in apprenticeships to obtain the skills used to make this company not only successful but allowed them to produce three consecutive record years,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “These members deserve to be treated better than the way Tecnocap has treated them.”

    “This is a union busting employer at their best,” said Wright. “They showed up at the bargaining table with one proposal only and said take it or leave it. Our members were left with no other recourse and voted unanimously to hit the picket line.”

    Watch District 54 President T. Dean Wright give a strike update on Activate L!VE

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  • IAM Canada Grabs Largest Organizing Victory in Decades

    There was nothing small about this campaign. The numbers of new members – 2,400, the numbers of meetings held over a six-day period with these members – 36, the strength of the proven track record of representation for workers: it all adds up to make the IAM a major player in Ontario’s Health Care Sector.

     When Spectrum Health Care announced it was merging its two divisions – Spectrum Health Care and Spectrum Patient Transfer – into one company, IAM Grand Lodge Representative Ralph Martin and IAM Grand Lodge Organizer Scott Jackson, acted quickly and quietly. “We already had a healthy relationship with Spectrum, representing their Patient Transfer ambulatory drivers, attendants and dispatch personnel,” explains Martin. “They’re what is known as a related employer and we already had a province-wide certification with part of the new company and that’s how we approached it.”

     The new group, 2,000 Personal Support Workers (PSW) and 400 Registered Nurses (RN) will form their own Local Lodge – Homecare Workers Local 1231 – as part of IAM District Lodge 78. They work in multiple locations across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) from Pickering in the east to Peel Region in the west and York Region in the north.

     “This didn’t happen overnight,” explains Jackson. “Years ago we recognized we were losing members in our manufacturing base and we had to start looking outside of our ‘organizing box’ as it were. It began with Ontario Patient Transfer (OPT), and continued to grow with retirement and long-term care facilities to become the fastest growing sector in District 78.”

     “You can’t do something like this in a couple of months, this goes back more than a year,” says Martin. “We worked hard to establish a good working relationship with Spectrum since they bought OPT a few years back and that has worked in our favour. Workers talk to one another and in this case, they’re in the same company and that’s a bonus. We have been busy educating the new members about the value of belonging to a union. They all want the same thing: a decent wage and pension plan, a flexible workplace as well as respect and dignity at work. The feedback from the meetings has been very positive, especially the aspect of having a pension.”

     “I would have to go back more than 20 years for an organizing victory of this size and magnitude and it couldn’t come at a better time,” expressed a very pleased IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “In the current environment of contract flipping and growing precarious work this is welcomed news. It shows that if you can reach people, educate them on the benefits of belonging to a union and show them they can have a better life for themselves and their families, they will gladly take advantage of the opportunity.”

    The Spectrum organizing victory coincides with a new IAM organizing initiative.

    “This victory for Spectrum workers is the best example yet that the IAM’s new strategic growth plan is working,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “Across our union, we are thinking of new ways to bring dignity and justice on the job to working families who deserve representation at work. Our power at the negotiating table is growing by the day—and that’s good news for IAM members of today and tomorrow.”

    The IAM represents healthcare workers in three nursing homes in Orleans and others in North Bay, Toronto, Stratford and Bowmanville.

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  • Guide Dogs in Studio on Wednesday’s Activate L!VE

    Join the IAM’s live studio webcast of Activate L!VE Wednesday, April 18 at 3 p.m. Eastern. This week’s show will focus on the union’s no. 1 charity Guide Dogs of America.

    We’ll hear from GDA President Russell Gittlen about what’s new at the school and its training program. Michelle Plunkett, a GDA graduate from Virginia, will tell us what having a guide dog partner means to her.

    The show will also bring you up to date on news from across the Machinists Union.

    Watch this week’s program live on:

    Facebook
    YouTube
    Twitter

    You can also watch the show and previous shows anytime.

    Activate L!VE webcasts live each Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

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  • Happy Birthday A. Philip Randolph

    Today the IAM & TCU say, “happy birthday!” to our Brother Asa Philip Randolph a labor leader and social activist born on April 15, 1889.

    Randolph founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters on August 25, 1925. Serving as its president, he sought to gain the union’s inclusion in the American Federation of Labor, the affiliates of which, at that time, frequently barred African Americans from membership.

    The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters struggled with the Pullman Company, which was the largest employer of blacks at that time, and finally won recognition in 1925. But Randolph had an even bigger battle to fight with the AFL and George Meany. He battled on, and in 1937, won membership in the AFL.

    The Sleeping Car Porters merged in 1978 with the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks, now known as the Transportation Communications Union which merged with the IAM in 2012.

    The IAM is also an affiliate of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), the senior AFL-CIO constituency group working for economic justice and employment rights.

    Written by IAM Government Employees Department Director James Price, a board member of the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

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  • GST Department Raises Over $8K for GDA

    Nearly 80 runners and walkers participated in the 2018 IAM 5K last Saturday, raising over $8,000 for Guide Dogs of America. The event hosted by the IAM General Secretary-Treasurer’s Department was held at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

    The 3.1 mile run/walk at the William W. Winpisinger Center in Hollywood, MD was open to the public and included a food truck, DJ, vendors and a raffle.

    “This event is quickly becoming one of the favorite fundraisers our office does for GDA,” said IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes. “It’s even more rewarding to raise money for a great cause and promote good health.

    “A big thank you goes out to Jaime Colburn, Kelly Peterson and the staff at the Winpisinger center for doing such a wonderful job and making this such a successful event.”

    Guide Dogs of America provides guide dogs free of charge to blind and visually impaired men and women in the U.S. and Canada. It costs approximately $42,000 to train a guide dog and provide instruction for its user.

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  • West Virginia Local on Strike

    Thirty skilled trade members of Wheeling, WV IAM Local 818 took to the picket lines last week after rejecting the company’s contract offer and unanimously voting to strike their employer Tecnocap.

    At issue is Tecnocap’s refusal to bargain in good faith as required by law with the IAM as the collective bargaining representative, by making unilateral changes to the terms, and conditions of employment.

    “Tecnocap refused to present the negotiating committee with written proposals that differentiated with the existing collective bargaining agreement,” said IAM District 54 President and Directing Business Representative T. Dean Wright Jr. “Our team repeatedly made good faith efforts to negotiate a fair contract for our members, which were answered by the company’s refusal to negotiate. As a result, the IAM has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge with National Labor Relations Board.”

    “These members deserve better than Tecnocap’s refusal to bargain with them,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “We urge Tecnocap to sit down at the table and bargain in good faith to reach a fair and equitable agreement. Until that happens, our members of Local 818 will have the unwavering support of the Eastern Territory and the entire IAM.”

    Picket lines went up just after midnight on Monday, April 9, 2018. The IAM Negotiating Committee and the company met unsuccessfully last week, in which Tecnocap continued their refusal to bargain in good faith.

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  • It’s Our Time Now to Reach for the Skies

    Just days ago, it was a breathtaking scene in the sky as another Atlas 5 Rocket was triumphantly launched from Florida. The day marked the 77th successful Atlas 5 mission since the rocket’s introduction.

    As always, it was a badge of honor to the more than 500 IAM Members whose hard work and dedication allow these rockets to proudly wear the moniker ‘Machinist Made.’ Launched by IAM Members from Local Lodge 610 in Cape Canaveral, Florida and built by Machinists from IAM Local Lodge 44 in Decatur, Alabama, it’s the Fighting Machinists who have helped to make sure United Launch Alliance (ULA) is the only U.S. Launch provider with a 100% success mission success rate. And that goes for both the East and West Coasts because when there’s a launch at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California, that too is furnished by Machinists from IAM Local Lodge 2786.

    The pride carried by the Membership is front and center at the Bargaining Table this week as the IAM and ULA begin contract negotiations.  An agreement that will cover IAM Members in Florida, California and Alabama.

    “We want to build Union Rockets.  That’s the bottom line. The Members in this room ooze pride and a sense of patriotism each and every time a rocket successfully enters the sky,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “I do believe we can negotiate an agreement that not only takes care of workers and their families, but also helps ULA maintain its place as a leader in the marketplace.”

    “Our members have worked tirelessly to make ULA into the Nation’s most reliable launch providers,” said IAM’s Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen.  “The Machinists have set an impeccable standard of success and are deserving of a contract which mirrors those achievements. Our Union stands firmly behind their efforts to obtain a great contract. These workers deserve nothing less.”

    The current contract expires on May 6, 2018 but Negotiations will continue until an agreement can be reached.  In the end, the IAM wants a Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows these Workers who are literally changing the skies, a chance at a good life on the ground.

     For daily updates on this Negotiation, you can log onto www.iamulanow.com.

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