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  • Honoring our Fallen

    Atop a hill in Arlington National Cemetery, overlooking Washington D.C., sits the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which has seen a continuous military guard for over 80 years. A white marble tomb rests about the grave of an unknown soldier from World War I inscribed with the words “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God”.

    On Saturday July 14, dozens of Machinists Union members joined International President Bob Martinez as he placed a wreath honoring these heroes at our nation’s most sacred gravesite.

    “It was an honor to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on behalf of the IAM,” said Martinez. “To walk the hallowed grounds at Arlington National Cemetery, where some of our nation’s greatest heroes are laid to rest, is a reminder of the debt we owe to those who serve our country. I am extremely humbled to lay this wreath for the tens of thousands of veterans amongst our ranks, and the rest of our 600,000 active and retired IAM members.”

    View the Photos on Facebook

    The solemn event was attended by many IAM members, some who traveled from states away to be present.

    “I felt a great sense of pride witnessing Navy veteran Bob Martinez laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” said U.S. Air Force veteran and Milwaukee, WI Local 78 member Joseph Skonieczny. “Being at Arlington Cemetery with so many other Machinist military veterans sharing this moment together, not only reinforced our sense of patriotism in our great country and its sacrifices, but overwhelming pride in the Machinists Union.”

    The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated to U.S. service members who have died without their remains being identified. The first soldier buried there was killed in World War I and laid to rest during a ceremony on November 11, 1921, later to be joined by unidentified soldiers from World War II, the Korea War and the Vietnam War.

    “We are very proud of the amount of veterans who make up the IAM,” said Martinez. “We are dedicated to defending the rights of those who have served our country when they hang up their uniforms and ensure they are taken care of long after they retire from the workforce.”

    The IAM Veterans Department set up the arrangements for the wreath laying ceremony. Anyone wanting to be involved in the IAM Veterans Program contact the Veterans Department at 301-967-4569.

    The post Honoring our Fallen appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Our Fight to Save Red River Army Depot

    The fight to save jobs at Red River Army Depot (RRAD) in Texarkana, TX is far from over. Behind the scenes, the IAMAW has been doing all it can to secure the future for the hard-working men and women who have made this depot the Army’s primary location for ground and tactical systems maintenance operations.

    “The IAM is deploying every resource necessary to save these jobs and preserve the important mission of Red River Army Depot,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “I want every member and the entire community to know that we will continue to have their backs.”

    One of the most recent steps taken was by IAM Local Lodge 1243, a unit populated by RRAD workers and located just down the street. The lodge commissioned a study from the University of Arkansas showing the devastating effect the loss of this depot will have on the region and the surrounding states. The results of that study were the subject of an article recently published in the local newspaper, The Texarkana Gazette.

    Nearly 600 IAM/NFFE members have been laid off at Red River. Another round of workers are slated to lose their jobs by the end of August with the release of nearly 100 term government employees and close to 200 contractors, according to information released by RRAD.

    “The numbers in the study speak for themselves. Closing Red River is going to literally change the landscape in the area of Texarkana.  It will cost the welfare of hundreds of union members and their families who have given decades to the job. But if that isn’t enough, this is going to be a financial drain in the millions for the region, in all the surrounding states. This isn’t about just saving union jobs.  This is about saving entire communities,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin.

    Read the University of Arkansas study.

    And that’s why the IAM/NFFE Legislative Team took this issue all the way to Capitol Hill where they are meeting with U.S. Senators and Representatives to build support for keeping Red River open. These face-to-face discussions led to a group of Senators from Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma to write a joint letter to the Commanding General of Army Material General Gustave F. Perna urging that RRAD be reassigned as the depot source of repair for a different program, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV).

    The IAMAW is not going to stop fighting for the families in the Texarkana region but it can’t do it alone. The U.S. Government needs to do its part for the hundreds of thousands of citizens who call the Red River region “home” before it’s too late.

    The post Our Fight to Save Red River Army Depot appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Civil, Human and Labor Rights, and the Supreme Court on Activate L!VE

    Don’t miss this Wednesday’s Activate Live when Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) and Ian Millhiser, Justice Editor for ThinkProgress will join us.

    Brown is widely considered an icon of the American civil, human and labor rights movements and is the first woman to serve as APRI’s president.

    Millhiser is the author of “Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted.” His book lays out a disturbing history of how the Court quashed the rights of working people in the first half of the 20th century, and how it could happen again.

    The show will highlight news from across the Machinists Union as well.

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

    Facebook
    YouTube
    Twitter

    You can also watch the show and previous shows anytime.

    The post Civil, Human and Labor Rights, and the Supreme Court on Activate L!VE appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Martin Appointed Southern Territory Special Representative

    IAM International President Bob Martinez has announced the appointment of Craig Martin to serve as Southern Territory Special Representative effective August 1, 2018.

    “As Directing Business Representative of District 161 for the past decade, he’s made it clear to all, that the labor movement isn’t a job for Craig,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “He fights for workers because it’s ingrained in his DNA. That’s what makes him a perfect fit in the Southern Territory.”

    Martin attended the Industrial Machine Shop Program at Sowela Technical Community College and began his career at PPG Industries in Lake Charles, LA as a machinist apprentice. He got involved right away and worked his way from Shop Steward at Local Lodge 470 to eventually taking on the position of Directing Business Representative of District 161 in August, 2008.

    Martin held almost every union position available during his career including Local Lodge Communicator, President, District 161 Financial Secretary, President of Louisiana State Council of Machinist, Executive Board Member of the Southwest Louisiana Central Trades and Labor Council Executive Board Member of the Louisiana AFL-CIO from 2006 to the present.

    The post Martin Appointed Southern Territory Special Representative appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Families Awarded 2018 Union Plus Scholarships

    The Union Plus Scholarship Program announced its 2018 winners totaling $150,000 in scholarships. The list includes members of two IAM families who were recognized for their academic achievement and exhibition of union values.

    Betta Lyon-Delsordo of Missoula, MT, daughter of  NFFE-IAM Local 60 member David Delsordo, has been awarded a $4,000 scholarship. Julia Pelletier of Blair, OK, daughter of IAM Local 135 member David Pelletier, has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

    Betta Lyon-Delsordo of Missoula, MT has been awarded a $4,000 Union Plus scholarship.

    Lyon-Delsordo is a 2018 graduate of Big Sky High School in Missoula, Montana and plans to major in computer science in the Honors College at the University of Montana. She will begin as a sophomore after earning college credits through the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Lyon-Delsordo began teaching other girls computer programming as a junior in high school and aspires to help other women thrive in computing occupations.

    Julia Pelletier of Blair, OK has been awarded a $2,000 Union Plus scholarship.

    Pelletier is a music and chemistry major in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma (OU) and a National Merit Scholar. She plans to attend the OU Health Sciences Center after completing her bachelor’s degree and aspires to a career in medicine or dentistry. Pelletier graduated valedictorian from Navajo High School in Altus, OK, where she was an Oklahoma Academic All-State Scholar and a United States Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award recipient. She is an accomplished musician who has won sundry music awards.

    Founded by the AFL-CIO and now in its 27th year, the Union Plus Scholarship Program awards scholarships based on outstanding academic achievement, personal character, financial need, and commitment to the values of organized labor. The program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation and has awarded more than $4.3 million in educational funding since 1991.

    The post IAM Families Awarded 2018 Union Plus Scholarships appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Taking Care of the Machinists at Boeing

    In 1936, the IAMAW signed its first contract with Boeing in Seattle. Little did anyone know this relationship would last for nearly a century.

    “The Machinists Union and Boeing have become synonymous with a defining product that has changed the industry across the U.S. We are proud of that relationship and the work our members at this company turn out each and every day,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin who is a perfect example of this partnership.  He spent nearly half of his forty years as an IAM member on the Boeing shop floor before joining the Machinists’ team full-time and has seen what can be accomplished when we work together.

    So it only makes sense that the men and women who work for Boeing on the T-38C Avionics Component Integration Program are Machinist members, who just recently negotiated another strong IAM contract.

    Aerospace Coordinator Mark Johnson who works with Boeing facilities across North America explained the new contract needed to reflect the expertise found amongst these workers.

    “Spread across six locations, these hard-working Machinist members are Material Coordinators and Field Service Technicians and experts in their field,” explained Johnson. “Through their work, they have shown time and time again what it means to be the best at what they do. And this contract helps to take care of them and their families as they have taken care of the Boeing program over the years.”

    After voting ‘yes’ to this agreement, workers will now enjoy a 3 percent wage increase and a $1,000 bonus in the first year with additional wage increases over the next two years. The negotiating team was also able to secure an increase for second shift workers which is a new addition to the contract. Covered in this agreement are workers from Boeing sites in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Maryland.

    “I am very proud of this negotiating committee. Even though the Machinists Union has had a relationship with Boeing for decades, that in no way means bargaining will be an easy feat. This committee stood together, against a major corporation, and always kept in mind they were there on behalf of the membership. Never did they lose sight that it’s the working men and women on the shop floor who deserve a strong contract,” said Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Tony Wirth.

    The post Taking Care of the Machinists at Boeing appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Corpus Christ, TX Local Prepares for DynCorp Negotiations

    Negotiating Committee for IAM Local 2916 from Corpus Christi, TX, along with staff members from District 776, participated in the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committee’s program at the William W. Winpisinger Center in Hollywood, MD. The Locals represent employees at DynCorp International, which perform aircraft maintenance.

    The current contract with DynCorp International expires September 30, 2018. Recognizing that this promises to be a difficult round of negotiations, the Committee strategized to change bargaining history, map a new direction for relations with the company, put better language in the contract, and to build solidarity in the bargaining unit.

    “The week at the Winpisinger Center­­—though it was a bit like drinking from a fire hose—gave us the opportunity to assemble and develop a detailed plan to secure the best contract possible,” said District 776 Business Representative Joe Alviar. “The Committee worked hard, and they leave the center better prepared to advance the needs of the Local Lodge Union members.”

    The post Corpus Christ, TX Local Prepares for DynCorp Negotiations appeared first on IAMAW.


  • A Troubling Pick for the Supreme Court

    The White House, with its nomination of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, has chosen a man with a history of ruling against working people and their unions.

    “In terms of the business community, corporate interests and money, he is their dream choice,” said IAM General Counsel Mark Schneider. “He’s been very hostile to organized labor and working people throughout his time on the court.”

    WATCH: A Troubling Pick for the Supreme Court

    “So mobilize now, mobilize tomorrow and mobilize in the future,” said Schneider. “That’s the only way to take the country back.”

    The post A Troubling Pick for the Supreme Court appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Federal Worker Executive Orders: What Civil Servants Need to Know

    Machinists Union (IAM) and NFFE Federal District 1 (NFFE-IAM) members at a growing number of federal agencies are reporting drastic changes to work rules and procedures. More changes can be expected as agencies seek to comply with President Trump’s executive orders (EO’s) concerning the federal workforce.

    Under the guise of “civil service reform,” each of the orders takes away rights from federal employees. The orders slash rights to negotiate workplace rules, protections against unfair discipline and the time union reps use for legally mandated representation.

    While the IAM and other federal worker unions wait for an expected July 26 decision to our lawsuit challenging the EO’s, it is imperative that federal workers stay engaged, vigilant and unified during this tumultuous period for civil servants.

    The IAM Government Employees Department created this resource center to answer federal employee questions and outline our path forward. There will be more to come after the court’s ruling.

    What do the EO’s say?

    On May 25, 2018, President Trump issued three executive orders aimed at weakening the rights of federal workers. Here’s a summary from NFFE-IAM:

    Executive Order #13836: Re-open collective bargaining agreements and then rush negotiations

    • Directs agencies to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements as soon as possible;
    • Sets arbitrary timelines for the negotiation process which, when exceeded, will result in the unilateral imposition of terms by the agencies;
    • Establishes a new bureaucracy called “The Labor Relations Group” that will dictate “one-size-fits-all” proposals to agencies engaged in bargaining; and
    • Encourages agencies to engage in “take-it-or-leave-it” bargaining tactics inconsistent with agencies’ good-faith bargaining obligations.

    Executive Order #13837: Hamstring unions’ ability to represent workers

    • Attempts to prevent union stewards from using official time to aid employees in preparing or pursuing grievances;
    • Directs agencies to drastically reduce official time authorizations to 1 hour per bargaining unit employee per year, an attack designed to make it harder for your union to help you; and
    • Cuts off access to agency office space for union officials carrying out their representational duties making it harder to help workers.

    Executive Order #13839: Fire first, ask questions never

    Encourages agencies to abandon fairness concepts such as progressive discipline process;

    • Encourages agencies to tailor different penalties for the same or similar offenses, ignoring established law;
    • Directs the Office of Personnel Management to give performance appraisal more weight than seniority when an agency faces a reduction in force, creating great potential for unfairness; and
    • Instructs agencies to take away our ability to grieve unfair removals from service or to challenge performance appraisals or awards at all.

    How has my union responded?

    The IAM, NFFE-IAM and a coalition of federal worker unions have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the executive orders. A federal judge is considering the IAM’s position that the orders impede on congressional authority.

    IAM representatives are working collaboratively to gather information from members as the government implements executive orders.

    The IAM continues to gather widespread bipartisan support in Congress against the orders.

    “We refuse to sit on the sidelines while the president oversteps his constitutional authority and tramples on the freedom of working people to join together,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Federal employees who fulfill our country’s mission every day should not be used as pawns in a political game.”

    READ: Machinists: White House’s Attack on Federal Workers is Illegal

    I’m a federal worker. What do I need to know now?

    Agencies are individually implementing work rule changes after the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance on the executive orders on July 5. The orders are designed to hurt your union’s ability to represent you at work.

    We have reports of agencies seeking to reopen collective bargaining agreements and reducing the time and resources of union representatives to represent employees.

    The best thing you can do is become a member of your union and attend union meetings!

    While we wait for a ruling in federal court, federal employees should first obey any disciplinary action or work rule change handed down from management. Then, report the action to your shop steward.

    Please write your lawmakers now and tell them to publicly support federal workers and condemn any attack on the mission of the federal workforce. Then, call 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to the offices of your U.S. representatives and senators.

    The post Federal Worker Executive Orders: What Civil Servants Need to Know appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Here’s How the Machinists Celebrated Freedom

    Before the 4th of July, we put out a call for IAM members to share photos of how they celebrate our nation’s independence.

     Here are some of our favorites. Thanks to everyone who participated!

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    Posted by William LePinske on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

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    Posted by Adam Beasley on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

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    Posted by Wendy Osborne on Wednesday, July 4, 2018

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