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  • Help Needed for Families of Letterkenny Explosion Victims

    A second NFFE-IAM Local 1429 member has passed away after a July 19 workplace explosion at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, PA.

    Richard L. Barnes, 60, left us on August 9 due to injuries sustained during the incident. Eric Byers, 29, passed away on July 19. A third member, Cody Ash, remains hospitalized.

    A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the families. Please consider giving whatever you can to these families during their time of need.

    Donations will be split between the families.

    The post Help Needed for Families of Letterkenny Explosion Victims appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Machinists Helping NASA Touch the Sun

    CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – AUGUST 12: In this handout provided by NASA, The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is seen in this long exposure photograph as it launches NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 12, 2018 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first-ever mission into a part of the Suns atmosphere called the corona. The probe will directly explore solar processes that are key to understanding and forecasting space weather events that can impact life on Earth. (Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

    NASA recently launched a spacecraft to the Sun to explore the secrets behind the solar wind’s speeds. IAM members played a huge role in making this mission a reality.

    IAM Local 44 members in Decatur, AL built the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket that carried the solar probe and IAM Local 610 members launched the rocket from Cape Canaveral, FL.

    NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to “touch” the Sun and will travel directly into the Sun’s atmosphere about 4 million miles from the surface. At closest approach, Parker Solar Probe hurtles around the Sun at approximately 430,000 m.p.h. That’s fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., in one second.

    https://twitter.com/NASASun/status/1028563616147165184

    “IAM members continue to play a huge role in the space program,”said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “Whether it is making the mission to Mars possible or unlocking the secrets of the Sun, IAM members continue to take us to higher heights. We are proud of the men and women who continue to make great contributions to space exploration.”

    “These are the moments that I am in awe of what our Members do, not just in AL and Florida but throughout the U.S. Space Program. Without enough fanfare or praise, it is the IAM Members on the ground who are changing the world in which we live,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “You have the admiration of not just your fellow union brothers and sisters but also from every young boy or girl that looks up in the skies and realizes anything is possible.”

    Parker Solar Probe Launches on NASA Voyage to ‘Touch the Sun’

    View pictures here

    The post Machinists Helping NASA Touch the Sun appeared first on IAMAW.


  • The Devil Is in the Details

    IAM Local Lodge 2902 Negotiating Committee (L to R) Porter Timmons, Rigo Contreras and Vince Hernandez

    Before a pilot can hit the skies, he or she needs to practice and ends up logging a lot hours on flight simulators before ever leaving the ground.  These training machines have become invaluable tools for pilots.  And taking care of these simulators is a very important task that the members of the IAMAW have been doing proudly for close to a decade.

    “A Union contract isn’t just about dollars and cents.  A lot of time the benefits of an IAM contract is found in the details.  Although a raise is always good for union families, our members realize that strengthening work rules and bringing classifications together creates rewards that will last generations, showing the company that we are sincere in our solidarity to the labor movement and our cause,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin.

    The IAM bargaining unit at Fidelity Technologies Corporation consists of members in three separate classifications who work as Simulator Technicians.  These workers perform preventive maintenance and repairs to the simulators used by pilots in the U.S. Armed Services and U.S. Coast Guard at NAS Whiting Field located in Florida’s panhandle. From the surveys, it was clear these members needed and wanted a wage increase.  But a closer look at the details of the contract made it clear other changes needed to happen as well.

    “When Fidelity was awarded the contract, some of the members were reclassified and ended up taking a pay cut.  Our goal was to attempt to get some of that back and we did, with a little extra”, said Brad Smith, District 75 Business Representative.  “We were able to get increases for all classifications, which worked out to about a nine percent rise in wages over the three years of this agreement, as well as additional money for the pension and health and welfare increases.”

    But this Negotiating Committee didn’t stop there.  Together, they were able to secure items such as company funding for computer certifications, improvements to sick and personal time and clarified overtime language and rules.

    “When presented to the members, this first-time committee was applauded for all the improvements in this proposal.  That’s not something you see all the time,” said Smith happily. “It was a proud moment for Local Lodge 2902, IAM District 75 and the Machinists Union when the members recognize the value of their hard work.”

    The post The Devil Is in the Details appeared first on IAMAW.


  • La Crosse IAM Locals 21 & 1115 on Strike Against Trane

    Members of IAM Local 21 and 1115, employed at heating and air conditioning-manufacturer Trane Co., are on strike today after voting down the company’s proposed contract offer in La Crosse, WI Saturday.

    Key sticking points include wages, mandatory overtime, healthcare, no-fault attendance system, contingent work force, and retirement benefits.

    The nearly 500 production, maintenance and tool and die makers’ current contract expired at the stroke of midnight Saturday night.

    Negotiations are expected to resume Monday morning.

    “Our brothers and sisters feel they are overworked, overstressed, and underappreciated,” said District Lodge 66 Directing Business Representative Neil Kamrowski.  “Mandatory overtime has been a plague for the last four years.  People can’t have a life outside of Trane if they are at work all week.  The proposal that failed to ratify had too many negative changes and not enough positive changes to allow a better balance between work and family.”

    “The members of IAM Local 21 and 1115 have spoken. And the message is loud and clear,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “I could not be more proud of our IAM brothers and sisters. They are walking the picket line, not only for themselves, but for workers everywhere. We stand with them in solidarity to let the company know workers at Trane deserve a fair contract.”

    The post La Crosse IAM Locals 21 & 1115 on Strike Against Trane appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Missouri Victory, A. Philip Randolph Institute and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement on Activate L!VE

    Live reports from Missouri, Arizona and Puerto Rico made for a big show on this week’s Activate L!VE. If you weren’t able to see it live, you can watch it now or anytime on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.

    Kelly Street and Brian Simmons brought us up to date on how IAM members in Missouri tirelessly got out the vote on August 7th to soundly reject the corporate-driven anti-union Proposition A.

    IAM Government Employees Director Jim Price reported from Phoenix on the activities at the 49th annual National Education Conference of the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

    Activate L!VE host Tanya Hutchins gave us a live remote update from the 22nd National Membership Convention of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

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

    Facebook
    YouTube
    Twitter

    You can watch this and previous shows anytime.

    The post Missouri Victory, A. Philip Randolph Institute and Labor Council for Latin American Advancement on Activate L!VE appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Missouri Families Win as RTW is Defeated

    Missourians sent a clear message to their state lawmakers Tuesday by overwhelmingly voting to overturn the anti-worker right-to-work law by a 2-1 margin. Union supporters in the state worked extremely hard the past year educating voters on the negative impact right-to-work will have on everyone in the state, not just union workers.

    Watch the Live Celebration

    “Working Families across Missouri and this nation won tonight,” said International President Bob Martinez. “I want to especially thank all of the dedicated IAM members who gave their time and talent to this winning effort. The Machinists Union is proud of their efforts to educate the public not only about this unnecessary anti-worker law, but the value that labor unions play in the great state of Missouri.”

    “On behalf of the IAM Midwest Territory, I would like to congratulate our sisters and brothers throughout the entire state of Missouri,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “Today’s victory was no easy feat. It comes on the backs of thousands of working men and women who one day decided – ‘no more.’ No more will I work for wages barely high enough to keep the lights on. No more will I yield myself to years of back-breaking labor with no decent and affordable health care. No more will I stand idly by or lower my voice in the face of indecency or unfairness for fear of being retaliated against or losing my job. Those workers decided to go union. And since 1978, corporations, politicians and outside special interests in the state of Missouri have worked to undermine that decision. They’ve tried to turn back the clock. But with each attempt, working families in Missouri have fought back with a resounding ‘No!” Today was no different.

    “Thank you to the IAM members who have dedicated countless hours, days, months and years to this fight. You are the real winners. You are the real Fighting Machinists. Your union couldn’t be more proud. We now turn our focus to November. This fight is far from over.”

     “We defeated Right to Work in ’78. We defeated it in ‘15. And we defeated it again today,” said IAM Local 778 Directing Business Representative Joe Capra. “IAM members throughout the state of Missouri should be proud of all their hard work. Today would not have been possible without them. Thank you to IAM International President Bob Martinez, General Vice President Phil Gruber, and the entire IAM Executive Council for their support, much-needed resources and boots on the ground.”

    “It’s about time the middle class stood up and told these crooked politicians enough is enough. We’re tired of it,” said IAM District 837 Directing Business Representative Steve McDerman. “Today is a great day in the state of Missouri. But we’re not done. We must get out the vote again this November. We must show politicians who vote and pass legislation aimed at hurting workers that the working people of Missouri don’t forget. We’re going to vote these crooks out this November.”

    “This is a great win not only for all of Missouri’s working families, but for all working families across our great country,” said IAM District 9 Directing Business Representative Mark Conner. “This is a clear message to out-of-state corporate interests and billionaires that elections can no longer be bought, and that hard-working middle-class families are not going to roll over and let them strip away the wages and benefits that we work so hard for and deserve. This vote should show all working families across the country that when working families come together and express their opinion at the ballot box, it does make a difference. It’s now time for phase 4 of our campaign: to get working families to the polls in November and vote to change the structure of the Missouri Legislature.”

    The post Missouri Families Win as RTW is Defeated appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Stop the Layoffs at Red River

    Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez Jr. and National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) President Randy L. Erwin sent a joint letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expressing serious concern regarding the impact of the planned layoff of 306 IAM members at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) in Texarkana, Texas. The planned layoff comes less than three months after 600 RRAD workers lost their jobs.

    “RRAD is the main economic driver for the Texarkana area with a direct impact on communities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma,and Texas,” said Martinez and Erwin. “A recent economic impact study completed by the University of Arkansas found that the May 2018 layoffs alone, totaling 585 RRAD jobs, would slash the region’s economic output by $255 million and result in the loss of more than 400 indirect and induced jobs in the surrounding community. Given the importance of RRAD to the region, it should be unacceptable to sustain this loss of workload and the subsequent damage to the economy without an ardent effort to demand the transfer of work back to this depot”

    “Our IAM members have the skills and expertise to support the Army’s mission at RRAD, said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “Our work strengthens national security and grows the local economy. These layoffs can have a negative impact on both.  We ask Governor Abbott to join the fight to keep this vital work and jobs at RRAD.”

    IAM and IAM-NFFE are requesting the governor’s immediate assistance to avert these needless and harmful layoffs.

    Read the full letter

    The Machinists Union and its affiliate, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM), represent approximately 2,200 employees at RRAD. IAM Local 1243 represents federal contract employees and NFFE-IAM Local 2189 represents federal term employees.

    Red River Army Depot, established in 1941, is a U.S. military combat system and tactical vehicle repair and maintenance facility in Texarkana, Texas.

    The post Stop the Layoffs at Red River appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Martinez Appoints Williams as Education Representative

    IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr. has appointed Douglas Williams as an Education Representative at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD, effective August 1, 2018.

    “I am proud to be able to fill the vacancy at the Winpisinger Center created by the retirement of Education Representative Greg Murray,” said Martinez. “Douglas is a community activist, an organizer, and an effective adult educator. He has been involved in a broad range of progressive causes and political campaigns. I know his knowledge will be put to immediate use to the benefit of our membership.”

    Douglas served as a trustee for BCTGM Local 22 in Minneapolis. His most recent labor experience included service as both a department steward and co-chair of communications for the Graduate Employees Organizing Committee, AFT Local 6123, at Wayne State University in Detroit.

    “Connecting our organizing efforts to the broader community is critical to our future,” said Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner. “Douglas has been a community organizer; he has done that difficult work of building relationships with the community – to advance the interests of working people. That skill set and those experiences will strengthen the work at the Winpisinger Center. In addition to his practical experience in the field, he has an impressive academic record – in 2019 he will complete the requirements necessary to be awarded a Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Michigan. I am confident that Douglas will make an important and long lasting contribution to the work we do at the Harbor.”

    The post Martinez Appoints Williams as Education Representative appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Uber and Lyft Drivers Celebrate Passage of Historic Legislation

    After a two-year campaign by the Independent Drivers Guild, New York City officials voted to pass the nation’s first legislation to close the minimum wage loophole for companies like Uber and Lyft and require a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. The City Council also passed additional FHV bills, including the temporary cap on for-hire vehicles and new data reporting requirements. See photo of IDG members rallying in favor of the bills at City hall with Council Member Brad Lander.

    The Independent Drivers Guild, an affiliate of the Machinists Union, represents and advocates for more than 65,000 professional drivers for apps like Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno in New York City. In the two years since the Independent Drivers Guild first called on the city to establish a pay floor, the Guild has waged a massive, worker-led campaign. See the timeline here. Thousands of drivers came together with the IDG to fight for this legislation, representing a victory for organized labor in a decidedly challenging industry given the lack of rights for workers classified as contractors.

    “More than 65,000 working families will be getting a desperately needed raise because of today’s vote. We hope this is the start of a more fair industry not only here in New York City, but all over the world,” said IDG founder Jim Conigliaro, Jr. “We cannot allow the so-called ‘gig economy’ companies to exploit loopholes in the law in order to strip workers of their rights and protections.”

    Watch Independent Drivers Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr. and Fox News contributor Liz Peek discuss New York’s vote to cap the number of ride-sharing vehicles allowed in the city.

    “Workers in the gig economy deserve a place in our union,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “These independent workers also deserve the same benefits as anyone who works – access to affordable health care, retirement security, disability insurance, education and improved labor rights. The IDG has and continues to make that a reality.”

    “Workers and New York leaders made history today. It’s not easy taking on Silicon Valley behemoths, but we kept on fighting for what we know is right and today the workers prevailed. We are thankful to the New York City officials who listened to the stories of drivers who are struggling to support their families and stood by us in this fight,” said IDG Executive Director Ryan Price. “In particular, our thanks go out to Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Members Lander and Levin, and everyone at the Taxi and Limousine Commission who has been working with us on this effort for the last two years.”

    More than 16,000 drivers signed the IDG’s petition to require a minimum pay rate for apps like Uber and Lyft. To force action, the IDG filed a formal rulemaking petition in March and the city responded in May that it planned to act on pay rules this summer. The IDG used the same regulatory and legislative tactics to require Uber to add a tipping option to the app last year. Just months after the city greenlighted the IDG’s proposed tipping rules, Uber added a tipping option not only for New York City (its biggest market) but for drivers across the U.S.

    IDG Fair Pay Campaign: By The Numbers

    • Two Years
    • 16,000 petition signatures
    • 7,400 emails to city officials
    • >1750 phone calls to city officials
    • 304 IDG members/ drivers demonstrated at City Hall in April, including a vehicle caravan over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall
    • 4,000 flyers distributed
    • 615 drivers signed the first sign-on letter in July 2016

    “Uber and Lyft have had every opportunity to pay drivers fairly, but instead they went out of their way to design new and deceitful ways to slash our pay and take more and more of our hard-earned fares. Meanwhile, they have flooded the streets with more drivers than there is work. It’s cruel to their existing drivers and it is cruel to the new drivers who are going into debt to do a job they wrongly believe will pay off.” said IDG member Hailing “Henry” Chen,  a 26-year-old Uber driver who lives in Queens. “The companies are trying to claim they now support fair pay for drivers, but those are lies. They fought this every step of the way. Even after report after report came out showing the apps pay less than minimum wage, the companies denied it and refused to raise our pay. This victory was won by the workers. Only when workers came together to put massive pressure on city officials did they act. ”

    In New York City, nearly 90 percent of IDG members drive for apps as their main source of income and nine in ten drivers are immigrants.

    The post Uber and Lyft Drivers Celebrate Passage of Historic Legislation appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Guide Dogs of America 38th Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet Approaches

    Join us in Las Vegas November 15-17, 2018 for Guide Dogs of America’s annual charity weekend.

    A sporting clay event and a motorcycle ride will take place on Thursday the 15th.

    The weekend’s activities will culminate on Saturday the 17th with the 38th annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet at the Paris Hotel. Dress in “cruise casual” because the evening will be a “bone voyage” party.

    We will be honoring this year’s Gift of Sight recipients IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes, GDA Graduate Teresa Blevins with IAM Aerospace Coordinator Tony Blevins, and National Group Protection, Inc.

    This is a great opportunity to support the Machinists Union’s No. 1 charity and have a doggone good time in the desert.

    Register early to guarantee space for you or your group.

    The post Guide Dogs of America 38th Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet Approaches appeared first on IAMAW.