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  • IAM Florida Sugar Workers Visit Capitol Hill

    IAM Florida Sugar Workers made a visit to Capitol Hill this week to highlight the importance of sugarcane farming to the nation’s economy.

    IAM Florida Sugar Workers jobs include every part of the sugarcane farming, milling and refining processes on American soil, including many positions requiring skilled trades, such as machinists and welders.

    “Meeting the different representatives and being able to talk to them and understand their point of view and explaining why you’re fighting for something is important,” said William Bland.

    There are nearly 122,000 workers throughout the U.S. and the majority of them are in a labor union. Sugarcane farming supports 12,500 jobs in Florida.

    “We did a lot of walking, but for a good cause,” said Eddie Garcia. “Putting a face to an issue is important.”

    IAM Florida Sugar Workers will continue to advocate for agricultural policies and the use of precision agriculture to continue growing the Florida sugar industry, which accounts for more than a quarter of all U.S.-produced sugar.

    “Walking the extra mile to protect our jobs is what we’re doing,” said Mark Thompson. “We learned how uninformed these members of Congress are about our issue. You should never be afraid to speak about something that’s important to you.”

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    “No land, no future, no job, no home,” said Cornelius Fowler. “They like to put a face to a cause!”

    The post IAM Florida Sugar Workers Visit Capitol Hill appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Black Labor History on this Week’s Activate L!VE

    Charlie Micallef, retired Director of the IAM Retirees, Community Service and EAP Departments, joined this week’s program to talk about past struggles to bring black workers into the established union movement.

    As the Machinists’ unofficial historian, Micallef explained how hard it was for African Americans to break the color barrier in unions, including within the IAM.

    In case you missed yesterday’s show, you can watch it anytime on:

    Facebook
    YouTube
    Twitter

    Activate L!ve webcasts live each Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST.

    The post Black Labor History on this Week’s Activate L!VE appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM/Lockheed Take On Economics

    With a stroke of the pen, everything can change for the close to 4200 Machinists and their families whose lives will be touched by the Lockheed Martin Negotiations taking place in San Antonio, TX over the next few weeks. The strength of that statement is not lost to the Union Representatives gathered at this table, undertaking the economic portion of these discussions.

    “I am a 38 year employee of Lockheed Martin and I am extremely proud of that fact. We have been through some tough times in the past but we have always worked together for a solution. I am looking forward to a great contract for our members, one not paved with concessions and takeaways but rather fair advances for both sides of the table,” said IAM’s International President Robert Martinez Jr.

    For many sitting at this table, these Negotiations are especially poignant at a time where profitable companies across the U.S.A are not rewarding a dedicated and loyal workforce, but rather punishing those who proudly gave decades of their lives in helping the company succeed. The IAM Members affected by these contract come from facilities across the Nation; from Marietta, GA to Sunnyvale and Palmdale, CA and a few places in between.

    “Seniority and Job Security are the reasons why we are at this table. Do not ask us to take that away from a group of Machinists who have given Lockheed the ability to not only remain profitable in the Aerospace Industry, but have helped the company become a driving force in this field. One of the slogans used by Lockheed is  ‘We Never Forget Who We Are Working For.’ I want to make sure that the people gathered around this Bargaining Table don’t forget who is the behind that great work,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin.

    IAM’s Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen agrees and adds that any group can negotiate a strike, but it takes true leaders to negotiate a fair contract that allows both sides to prosper.

    “The IAM is seeking a fair and equitable contract that reflects the recently experienced landmark growth and profit by Lockheed Martin. These profits and the landmark corporate tax cuts should produce a landmark contract for our members who’s hard work, grit, and determination makes that profitability possible,” said Allen.

    For the next few weeks, economic negotiations will continue in San Antonio, TX.  For daily updates, please log onto www.iamlockheed.com.

    The post IAM/Lockheed Take On Economics appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Minnesota, Machinists Union Stepping Up to Support Electrolux Workers

    IAM Local 623 members are receiving an outpouring of support after management at Electrolux, a Sweden-based freezer and refrigerator manufacturer, announced the closing of its St. Cloud, Minn., plant. More than 900 IAM members will have their jobs terminated by 2020 if the company goes through with the closing.

    On Saturday, Feb. 10, IAM members and leadership joined state and local politicians at St. Cloud City Hall to discuss what can be done for workers at one of the city’s oldest and largest workplaces.

    “We talked about the apprehensions many of our members have,” said Directing Business Representative Colleen Murphy-Cooney, who used to work at the St. Cloud plant. “Unfortunately we have dealt with this in the past. Since 2004, Electrolux has closed plants and slashed thousands of jobs in Michigan, Iowa and Quebec.”

    U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis listened to members’ concerns and offered support. The IAM was represented by Murphy-Cooney, Local 623 Communicator and Shop Chair Joe Baratta, Local 623 Negotiating Committee member Chad Randall, Local 623 Steward Bashir Mohamed, and IAM Special Representatives Geny R. Ulloa and Tony Wickersham.

    READ: ‘We’re here to help’: Electrolux employees, state and local officials meet to plan next steps after closure [St. Cloud Times]

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    A 2005 study estimated that a future closing of St. Cloud’s Electrolux manufacturing facility would reduce the area’s economic output by $90 million.

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    After the company’s announcement, IAM International President Bob Martinez, as well as Klobuchar, Smith and Emmer wrote letters to Electrolux CEO Jonas Samuelson, urging management in Sweden to reconsider its decision to leave St. Cloud.

    “These loyal, hard-working individuals and their families deserve dignity and respect from Electrolux,” wrote Martinez. “Treating workers in this fashion is simply unacceptable from any company seeking to act as a responsible employer.”

    Electrolux management offered no advance notice of the plant closing before its Jan. 30 announcement. Kleis, the St. Cloud mayor, said the company told him as recently as December that it had no plans of closing the plant.

    The IAM is also taking steps to help members at Harley-Davidson in Kansas City, Mo, who also learned on Jan. 30 that management plans on leaving the state and eliminating more than 800 jobs.

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    The post Minnesota, Machinists Union Stepping Up to Support Electrolux Workers appeared first on IAMAW.


  • GVP Gruber Visits Local 701 Auto Mechanics Still on Strike in Chicago

    IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Phil Gruber, third from left, visits IAM Local 701 auto mechanics on strike at Napleton Cadillac in Libertyville, IL, along with IAM Midwest Territory and Local 701 staff. Gruber greeted the members with hot chocolate, lunch and 10-lb hams to take home to their families.

    You make your union proud and we have your back, said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Phil Gruber during a recent visit with IAM Local 701 auto mechanics on strike in Libertyville, IL.

    The nine workers at Napleton Cadillac have been on strike since August 1, 2017. They joined the nearly 2,000 other Local 701 auto mechanics striking for better wages and a fair work schedule at 129 dealerships across the Chicagoland area.

    But, seven weeks later, when the dealerships met the union’s demands and the strike ended, most Local 701 members went back to work.

    Members at Napleton Cadillac, however, did not. They were still in a fight for their first contract.

    Their strike is now in its sixth month.

    GVP Gruber greeted members with hot chocolate, lunch and 10-lb hams to take home to their families.

    “You guys have been holding this line strong for almost six months. I want you to know how proud I am, how proud this Executive Council is, and how proud all of our members are for what you’re doing – standing up for your right to join a union and bargain for better wages and working conditions,” said Gruber. “The IAM has your back and will continue the fight towards getting you a first contract.”

    See photos from GVP Gruber’s visit to the Napleton Cadillac strike line

    Local 701 Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli and his staff have been leading the the fight on behalf of the workers. Multiple unfair labor charges have been filed against Napleton Cadillac, including management’s attempts to intimidate the workers by sending threatening letters, rolling out the mechanics’ toolboxes and leaving one worker’s $100,000 worth of tools out in the rain to rust.

    Cicinelli and his team are awaiting the decision of an administrative law judge after a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing last month.

    “This is a determined group of mechanics that we are extremely proud of here at Local 701,” said Cicinelli. “We have the support from our entire staff, our members, General Vice President Phil Gruber and the staff from the Midwest Territory.  Phil and International President Martinez were there for our strike in August and he’s here again supporting our continued fight in Libertyville.”

    See “Martinez, Gruber Visit Chicago Local 701 Auto Mechanics on Strike”

    The post GVP Gruber Visits Local 701 Auto Mechanics Still on Strike in Chicago appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Show Your Love the Union Way

    Yes, Valentine’s Day has snuck up on us once again. If you’re like most people, you haven’t bought that special someone the one gift that shows them how much you really care about them every day of the year.

    Have no fear, we are here to save the day with union-made products.

    The Activate L!ve crew highlights a few options in this video, including downloadable Valentine’s Day cards from Build-Buy-USA.

    Union Plus provides you with a list of union-made candies.

    Union members receive a 20 percent discount on all Teleflora flowers and GiftTree gift baskets when they browse arrangements and order online at UnionPlus.org/Flowers or call 1-888-667-7779.

    Lastly, what better way to show appreciation to your significant other than to cook them a fresh Maine lobster dinner right in your own home. Lobster 207 will deliver fresh, live, Maine lobster overnight, right to your door. The lobster is union from the ocean floor to your door.

    The post Show Your Love the Union Way appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Midwest Territory Cornhole Tournament Raises $4.8k for Guide Dogs of America

    First, Second and Third place winners (left to right) of the 2018 IAM Midwest Territory Cornhole Tournament pose with General Vice President Philip J. Gruber (left), GDA recipient Susie Halverson and her guide dog, Mickey (center), and Chief of Staff Steve Galloway (right).

    The IAM Midwest Territory’s 2018 Cornhole Tournament raised $4.8k for Guide Dogs of America (GDA).

    Over a hundred people, including 30 teams, from across the Midwest Territory and Chicagoland area took part in the event.

    See photos from the IAM Midwest Territory GDA Cornhole Tournament.

    Check out special drone footage taken outside the tournament courtesy of IAM Local 126 President Bernie Jiricek.

    Over a hundred people, including 30 teams, from across the Midwest Territory and Chicagoland area took part in the IAM Midwest Territory’s 2018 Cornhole Tournament.

    “Thank you to all the IAM Districts and Locals and Chicagoland residents who took part in this great event,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “This was the Midwest Territory’s second time hosting our GDA Cornhole Tournament. I’m proud to say we raised more money than last year.

    “A special thank you to IAM Grand Lodge Representative Marty St. Peters who coordinated the event along with help from our staff. Thank you to our many sponsors including Employee Benefit Systems President Jeff Grimm. And, last but certainly not least, a very special thank you to GDA recipient Susie Halverson and her guide dog, Mickey, who were gracious enough to join us at this year’s event and talk with participants about the importance and impact of the GDA organization.”

    GDA is a non-profit organization supported by the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations, and other organizations in its mission to provide guide dogs free of charge to blind and visually-impaired individuals in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit their website at www.GuideDogsofAmerica.org.

    For more information about this and other IAM Midwest Territory events to benefit Guide Dogs of America, visit www.SpiritoftheMidwest.org.

    See photos from the IAM Midwest Territory GDA Cornhole Tournament.

    The post IAM Midwest Territory Cornhole Tournament Raises $4.8k for Guide Dogs of America appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Help Raise Heart Rates and $ for Guide Dogs at Annual 5K at Winpisinger Center

    Support Guide Dogs of America by taking part in this year’s annual IAM Run/Walk Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

    Register here.

    The IAM 5K is held on a perimeter trail around the Winpisinger Center. It is not a timed event. Prizes will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers.

    The registration to fee is $25 and individual donations are welcome for those unable to take part in the event.

    All proceeds will benefit Guide Dogs of America, which is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. GDA, founded by an IAM member, is dedicated to their mission to provide guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada so that they may continue to pursue their goals with increased mobility and independence.

    The post Help Raise Heart Rates and $ for Guide Dogs at Annual 5K at Winpisinger Center appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Heckman Joins Communications Team

    IAM International President Bob Martinez announced that Joseph Heckman has joined the IAM Communications Department as a communications representative effective February 1, 2018.

    “Our department is very fortunate to have Joe on our team,” said Communications Department Director Bob Wood. “His wealth of expertise and understanding of the rapidly changing world of technology are great assets in realizing our communications goals today and in the future.”

    For the past 18 years, Heckman has been an integral part of the IAM Information Systems staff on the help desk and network operations teams.

    The post Heckman Joins Communications Team appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Members are Taking Advantage of Free College Benefit

    Having a college degree is more important than ever, and IAM members around the U.S. and Canada are taking advantage of the Free College Benefit offered to members and their families.

    Since October 2017, IAM members and their families have been eligible to earn an associate’s degree from Eastern Gateway Community College at no cost. Eastern Gateway Community College is a fully accredited college with degree programs in business management, accounting, criminal justice, associate of arts, and many more. Credits are transferable towards a four-year degree program.

    In true Fighting Machinists fashion, members are enrolling at Eastern Gateway Community College and leading the way. IAM students are taking an average of 8.7 credits per term, which is nearly .5 credits higher than the entire union student population.

    With each academic term, more and more IAM members are taking advantage of this benefit. Hundreds of members are currently enrolled in this term, more than quadrupling the number of members from the previous term.

    Join the hundreds of IAM members already working on their degree. This is a unique opportunity — available only to union members, their families and retirees.

    Get started on your college degree.

    The post IAM Members are Taking Advantage of Free College Benefit appeared first on IAMAW.