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  • Tell Your Senators to Vote ‘No’ on Gutting the VA

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted 347-70 to pass the VA Mission Act (S. 2372). Our Sisters and Brothers at NFFE-IAM worked very hard to block this bill, or at least mitigate its damage to veteran care.

    Unfortunately, none of our seven changes to the bill were accepted. The VA Mission Act now goes to the Senate.

    The VA Mission Act is a giant step toward dismantling the world-class VA health care system by allowing virtually unfettered access to private sector providers. That would mean large-scale privatization and the elimination of union jobs. One provision in the bill would establish a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)-style commission to begin shutting down VA facilities around the country.

    TAKE ACTION: Call both of your Senators NOW at 833-480-1637 and tell them to vote NO on the VA Mission Act (S. 2372).

    Every dollar spent on privatized care deprives our veterans of the specialized care offered at the VA. This bill would go even further and close VA facilities our veterans count on.

    Please ask your Senators to vote NO on the VA Mission Act (S. 2372). Once you hang up, please call 833-480-1637 again to speak with your other Senator’s office.

    The expectation is that this will come to a vote in the US Senate early next week– likely by Tuesday.

    The post Tell Your Senators to Vote ‘No’ on Gutting the VA appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Machinists Union Members Will Vote on New United Launch Alliance Offer

    Nearly 600 Machinist Union Members at United Launch Alliance will soon vote on a new offer from the company. The negotiating committee is recommending this new agreement to the membership. Machinist members have been on strike against the company since Monday, May 7, 2018 at facilities in Decatur, Ala., Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Cape Canaveral, Fla.

    “We’re pleased that our members at United Launch Alliance will have an opportunity to vote on a tentative agreement,” said Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez, Jr. “I am proud of our IAM members at Local 44 in Decatur, AL, Local 2786 at Vandenberg AFB and Local 610 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for working together in unity to address our members’ key issues. IAM members across North America wish them Godspeed as they vote on this agreement.”

    “Although we are happy that the negotiating committee has been able to reach an agreement that they feel they can bring back and recommend to the membership, at the end of the day we are a Democratic union and it will be up to our brothers and sisters at the three ULA locations to decide what is best for themselves and their families,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin.  “Whatever the result, the Machinists Union is very proud of the men and women who took a stand for their labor family and for workers around the globe. It is a very brave person that sacrifices everything to gain the respect and dignity deserved after giving a lifetime of service on the shop floor.”

    “Through our brothers and sisters’ strength, determination and unified action, the parties came together to work toward a new offer,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “It is my hope that it meets the members’ needs.”

    Members will vote on the new offer Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 12 to 2 p.m. Eastern at all three locations. For details on the tentative agreement, you can log onto www.iamulanow.com.

    The post Machinists Union Members Will Vote on New United Launch Alliance Offer appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Machinists Call for Crackdown on Forced Technology Transfers

    The Machinists Union this week continued its push for  fair trade policies.

    In testimony before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the IAM again sounded the alarm on unfair trade practices that cost North American jobs, like the forced transfer of technology by countries like China.

    “Over the years, China has relied on transfers of production and technology from western companies to develop its aerospace industry,” said Owen Herrnstadt, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President and Director of Trade and Globalization. “It has successfully pitted western competitors against each other for market share in China’s growing aviation market.”

    The practice has resulted in  thousands of skilled North American jobs being lost, said Herrnstadt. Additional jobs could be lost in the future as China utilizes transfers to create and strengthen its own aerospace companies to compete directly with U.S. companies.

    In response, the IAM is recommending the administration file a complaint with the World Trade Organization and move quickly to place tariffs on Chinese aerospace parts, components and subassemblies that cost U.S. jobs. In addition, the IAM is urging USTR to request that U.S. companies reveal the parts, components and subassemblies that they have transferred directly or indirectly through their global supply chains, in connection to China’s overt and subtle demands for forced transfers.

    The goal, Herrnstadt told USTR, is for aerospace companies “to compete on the quality and price of their goods, not on who can give away more technology and production to China.”

    READ: Eliminating the forced transfer of technology and production to China is critical

    The post Machinists Call for Crackdown on Forced Technology Transfers appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Independent Drivers Guild Building Momentum for First Ever Minimum Pay Rate for App-Based Drivers

    New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has until Monday, May 21 to decide whether to accept or reject groundbreaking new pay rules proposed by the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 60,000 app-based drivers in the city.

    Support for the rules is growing, with more than 16,000 drivers signed on to the petition, along with support from labor and community leaders, including the IAM, the New York City Central Labor Council, The Black Institute and the New York Immigration Coalition. IDG members have sent nearly 4,000 emails to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission urging adoption of the pay protections.

    “All working people deserve a livable wage. App-based workers are a large and growing class of Americans being denied this basic right,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “We are proud to stand in support of our affiliated Independent Drivers Guild, which is fighting to change that. These are landmark rules that would require ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft to adhere to a minimum, livable pay rate for the very first time. It is a momentous decision that will advance the fight for a ‘sharing economy’ that actually shares.”

    The new rules would set the nation’s first minimum pay rate for app-based drivers, while also delivering a desperately needed raise to the city’s app-based drivers who shoulder tens of thousands of dollars in expenses each year.  The rules would also protect riders by prohibiting apps from charging riders more than 20 percent over what the driver is paid. Currently, apps can charge passengers more than double what a worker is paid, and the IDG’s report has examples of just that. The IDG’s proposed rule would discourage price gouging and ensure drivers get to keep 80 percent of their earnings, which would return commissions to the rates riders and drivers agreed to before Uber and Lyft changed the fine print to allow for unlimited commissions.

    It’s time for the city to stand up for the more than 60,000 working families like mine who depend on driving for apps for a living,” said IDG member Tina Raveneau, who drives for Uber and Lyft.

    Sign the petition telling the New York City TLC to protect drivers’ pay.

    The post Independent Drivers Guild Building Momentum for First Ever Minimum Pay Rate for App-Based Drivers appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Communications Studio Dedicated to Former Director Robert Kalaski

    Retired International President George Kourpias, General Vice President Rickey Wallace, co-workers and family members of former IAM Communications Department Director Robert Kalaski were in attendance, as the department’s production studio was dedicated in the late Kalaski’s honor.

    “Bob Kalaski ran this department from 1977 to 2000, a time of great changes in communications and technology,” said current Director of Communications Bob Wood. “When the union’s new headquarters building was built in 1992, he ensured this studio would become a valuable communications tool.”

    Those who knew and worked with Kalaski remember him as a warm and loyal person who could have a powerful presence when necessary.

    “He challenged us, but we all knew that he was there to back us up,” said retired Assistant Communications Director Bill Upton. “We used to joke and say ‘what has Bob gotten us into this time?’ We felt lucky to work for him though.”

    Wallace and Wood unveiled a plaque with Kalaski’s likeness, which will be mounted at the studio doors.

    The Robert J. Kalaski Production Studio is the home of the IAM’s weekly live webcast Activate L!VE, which can be seen each Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

    The post IAM Communications Studio Dedicated to Former Director Robert Kalaski appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Still Time to Enter the IAM Newsletter and Website Contest

    Calling all Local and District communicators who produce newsletters and build/maintain websites. The deadline is drawing near to submit for the 2017 IAM Newsletter and Website Contest.

    Get information and enter today.

    Entry forms must be received by the new deadline of June 15, 2018.

    This is a great opportunity for your hard work to be recognized and seen by your IAM brothers and sisters.

    The post Still Time to Enter the IAM Newsletter and Website Contest appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Picture Your Photo on the Next IAM Calendar

    There’s still time to show your talent and feature your lodge members in the next IAM Calendar. Enter the 2018 IAM Photography Contest. The entry deadline has been extended to June 15, 2018.

    Click here for rules and details in English and French.

    Winning entries receive cash prizes and will appear in the 2019 IAM Calendar. Two dollars from each calendar sale is donated to Guide Dogs of America.

    Photographs must be by IAM members in good standing. Persons depicted must also be members in good standing at work or in community service, and conform to all safety standards.

    Get the details and download the entry form here.

    Visit the IAM Communications Department Contest site for additional information.

    The post Picture Your Photo on the Next IAM Calendar appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Bring Democracy to Work

    The Workplace Democracy Act would strengthen the middle class by restoring workers’ rights to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.

     Declining unionization has fueled rising inequality and corporate profits are at an all-time high, while wages as a percentage of the economy are near an all-time low. The middle class is disappearing, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider.

     The Workplace Democracy Act would make it easier for workers to join unions in a number of ways:

    • It would end right to work for less laws by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act, which has allowed 28 states to pass legislation eliminating the ability of unions to collect fair share fees from those who benefit from union contracts and activities.
    • Under the legislation, when a majority of workers in a bargaining unit sign valid authorization cards to join a union, they must have a union. Companies would not be allowed to deny or delay a first contract with workers who have voted to join a union. Unions would be given the right to have their voice heard through secondary boycotts and picketing. And workers would have the right to know when their company spends millions of dollars running anti-union campaigns.
    • The bill would also stop employers from ruthlessly exploiting workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors or denying them overtime by falsely categorizing them as a “supervisor.”

    Tell your Senators and Representative to support the right to join together in union by cosponsoring the Workplace Democracy Act.

    The post Bring Democracy to Work appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Oregon Welders Win Right to Join IAM

    After an eight-month legal battle, 100 welders at Precision Castparts in Portland, OR got one step closer to having union representation when they were on the winning end of a recent decision under the NLRA. In September 2017, the group voted to join the IAM, but the company disputed their ability to do so.

    The ruling stated due to their specialized craft, 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.

    “These workers deserve to be part of our great union, the Fighting Machinists,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “Their courageous fervency and steadfast commitment to one another has won them the right to bargain for a contract. This company has gone through great unethical lengths to erode and diminish their rights, but our Union will not back down until justice is served. These workers know that they are part of a much bigger family with the IAM and we have their backs.”

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

    Precision has until May 18 to request a review of the decision.

    The post Oregon Welders Win Right to Join IAM appeared first on IAMAW.


  • GVP Blondin Path to Freedom Fun Run

    You didn’t have to twist anyone’s arm in the Southern Territory to get them to come out for the second annual GVP Mark A. Blondin Path to Freedom Car Show, Fun Run and BBQ Cook-Off held recently at IAM District Lodge 776 in Fort Worth, TX.

    “We do this for the puppies. When it’s for Guide Dogs of America, all you have to do is call and we are there,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Blondin. “But throw in a car show, a barbeque cook-off, time with our union Brothers and Sisters and their families and it’s a done deal. I can’t thank the volunteers enough who work tirelessly to put this event together, making a bigger splash every year.”

    And those volunteers definitely deserve a round of applause for the nearly $19,000 which was raised for GDA, a charity that donates guide dogs, without cost, to blind and visually impaired people. One of those volunteers who likes to stay behind the scenes is VP of District 776 Anna Ritchey who quietly works this event each year, making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.

    “Whenever I can be part of an event that helps not just union members, but also the community, I am all in. This event allows our neighbors and friends outside of the IAMAW to see who we are and what values make up our core. A charity like GDA, which offers assistance without asking for a dime in return, should be celebrated whether you’re part of a Union family or not,” said Ritchey.

    “Today was amazing! We were able to raise money, eat some great BBQ, view some cool rides, hang out with our union Brothers and Sisters and ride some Harleys,” said District 776 Organizer Keith “Chub” McCrory, one of the prime volunteers for this yearly function who spent the day making sure the event went seamlessly for all who attended. “The only thing that could have made it better,” added Chub with a grin, “is if I could have jumped on my bike too.”

    Maybe next year Chub! #iamsouth

    The post GVP Blondin Path to Freedom Fun Run appeared first on IAMAW.