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  • Maine Machinists Help School Meet Goal to Assist Children

    Topsham, ME IAM Local S89 recently participated in a drive to collect food, winter clothing and backpacks for children in need attending Lewiston Middle School. The local includes the paralegals of the law firm McTeague-Higbee and government employees of Bath, Harspwell, Topsham and Wiscassest, ME.

    Local S89 members spent two weeks collecting food items that are easily opened, winter clothing, and backpacks. Donations were delivered by S-89 Representatives to the Athletic Director of Lewiston Middle School, Dale Forrest.

    “Nothing can match the feeling when we arrived to deliver the donations” said Local S89 President Elect ­­­­­­­­­Carol Sanborn. “The smiling, and eager kids who greeted us and helped with unloading the goods made the small effort it took to collect them well worth it. And knowing we are making life just a little bit better for some of these children really warms your heart.”

    “Many thanks to the members of Local S89 for these donations to such a worthy cause,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “Assisting kids during the holidays is much more than just the spirit of giving. By donating these items they are literally giving these children the tools they need to succeed not only in school, but also in life. Making a difference in a child’s life is one of the most rewarding things union members can do in our communities.”

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  • Protect Our Pensions

    IAM International President Bob Martinez recently sent letters supporting legislation that would help save the financially-troubled multiemployer pension system while fully protecting the earned and vested benefits of current and future retirees.

    The Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (S. 2147), sponsored by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) and the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2017 (H.R. 4444), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), both offer real, proactive solutions that rehabilitate failing plans, bolster the PBGC, and protect the earned benefits of millions of retirees, workers and their families.

    This innovative legislation creates a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Treasury Department which would provide low-cost loans to qualified underfunded multiemployer pension plans. Under the legislation, troubled plans would have up to 30 years to prudently invest the loaned funds and would use the investment earnings to pay retiree benefits, improve the plan’s financial position, and pay interest on the loan to the Treasury.

    At the end of the 30-year period, the plan would pay back the loan in full. In order to be eligible for the loan, the plan would have to demonstrate that the loan would enable the plan to remain solvent, pay all retiree benefits and loan interest, and repay the loan principle when due. During the loan period, contributing employers would have to maintain their contribution levels and the plan would not be allowed to make any increases to retiree benefits.

    Read President Martinez’s letters to the House and Senate in support of both plans.  

    The post Protect Our Pensions appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Eliminate Waivers in ‘Buy American’ Laws

    IAM International President Bob Martinez wrote a Letter to the Editor to the New York Times in response to Ana Swanson’s piece titled “Why ‘Made in America’ Is Stitched Into the Law, but Not the Uniforms.”

    In the last decade, the Defense Department has spent more than $200 billion in taxpayer money on manufactured goods from other countries. The IAM represents many men and women in  the U.S. defense and aerospace industry that could be producing military parts and equipment for the Department of Defense.

    The post Eliminate Waivers in ‘Buy American’ Laws appeared first on IAMAW.


  • How Oregon Local 63 Young Machinists Are Making This Holiday Season Brighter

    Young workers from IAM Local 63 are working hard to ensure that kids in Oregon have a happy holiday season.

    Local 63 Young Machinists are raising funds to bring presents and Christmas trees to foster children. Other members of Local 63 are helping the cause by donating lights, ornaments and toys. These Young Machinists are truly making a better life for foster kids this holiday season.

    Read: Young Machinists raise funds to bring Christmas to foster kids

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    The post How Oregon Local 63 Young Machinists Are Making This Holiday Season Brighter appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Kansas City Local 778 Members Ratify New Contract at Honeywell

    Nearly 900 members of IAM Local 778 ratified a new tentative agreement with Honeywell FM&T in Kansas City, MO with an overwhelming majority vote.

    Nearly 900 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 778 have ratified a new tentative agreement with Honeywell FM&T in Kansas City, MO.

    The proposal passed with an overwhelming majority vote, 529-62, Sunday.

    See photos of the Honeywell ratification vote

    The approval comes six years after Honeywell employees overwhelmingly voted down the company’s proposal to implement of a two-tier wage system and eliminate retiree health insurance. The egregious proposal initiated a strike which lasted 41 days.

    Today’s agreement, which takes effect 12 am, Monday, November 20, 2017, significantly begins to bridge the gap between the company’s ill-fated two-tier system. It calls for significant pension increases, company-paid short-term disability, additional vacation hours, an increase in paid absences, a shorter probationary period for new hires, and an increase in the number of Stewards.

    “I am proud of what we accomplished with this agreement and the unprecedented show of support and solidarity from the membership,” said IAM Local 778 Directing Business Representative (DBR) Joe Capra. “General wage increases, higher pension contributions and better work rules means a stronger workforce. This contract will also help Honeywell in its ability to attract and expand its workforce.”

    “I want to thank the entire Bargaining Committee,” continued Capra, “who were extremely prepared going into these negotiations. They’ve been working on this for eleven months, including a one-week negotiation preparation training provided by the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Maryland. When folks ask where their union dollars are going, the answer is to special training programs like these. This Committee’s specialized training and months of early preparation gave them a huge advantage at the negotiation table.”

    “These negotiations took on an entirely different tone than negotiations of the past,” said IAM Local 778 Business Representative (BR) Leo Berroteran. “And that’s thanks to the members who stood out on the strike line in 2011. Their courage and solidarity back then is what made the difference today. This Committee entered these negotiations with a purpose – and that was to begin to right the company’s mistakes of the past. They pledged to lead the fight to make it right and set a new precedent for the future. And that’s exactly what they did.”

    “Congratulations to IAM Local 778 members and the entire Bargaining Committee on a job well done,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “The Committee was well prepared and the bargaining unit stood strong. We couldn’t be more proud. Thank you to DBR Joe Capra and BR Leo Berroteran for your leadership. Together Local 778 carried the charge and won improvements they can be proud of. This is a huge win in Missouri – a state where Right to Work efforts are critically in play. What’s happened over the last six years at Honeywell only confirms why you need a union in the first place. This contract would not have come to fruition without the collective bargaining power of its workforce.”

    See photos of the Honeywell ratification vote

    The post Kansas City Local 778 Members Ratify New Contract at Honeywell appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Which States are Holding Working People Back?

    Are you living in an area where your local government has enacted policies that raise the standards of working people, only to have your state legislature pass state laws that lower standards through preemption?

    Check out this map to see if your state has preemption laws holding workers back.

    Preemption is the use of state law to void local ordinances. Twenty-six states across the country have preemption laws targeting these five key worker laws: minimum wage, fair scheduling, project labor agreements, prevailing wage and paid leave.

    The Economic Policy Institute has put together an interactive map highlighting the states with preemption laws and what worker protections they are oppressing.

    Check out the map to see if your state lawmakers are keeping your city, county, or other local government from looking out for your best interest.

    The post Which States are Holding Working People Back? appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Eight Reasons Why the Republican Tax Bill is Bad for Working People

    The House GOP have released a bad and unpopular plan to slash taxes for the rich by cutting services and tax breaks for working families. IAM and the rest of the labor movement will fight every attempt to make working people for tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires. Here are eight ways the Republican tax bill would hurt working people:

    1. The GOP tax bill is a job killer.  It would give huge tax cuts to big corporations that outsource jobs.  The U.S. tax rate on most offshore profits would be reduced to zero, giving corporations more incentive to move jobs offshore.
    2. The GOP tax bill favors corporations and millionaires over working people.  Households making between $20,000 and $40,000 per year would ultimately pay more in taxes, while 45% of the tax benefits would go to those making more than $500,000.
    3. Republicans want to (partially) pay for tax cuts with drastic cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and education. The GOP budget includes $5 trillion in budget cuts, including $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and Medicare; increases the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67; and ends Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage.
    4. The GOP tax bill would increase the health care tax burden for low- and middle-income taxpayers, especially seniors and people with disabilities. Millions of Americans with high medical bills would no longer be able to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses.
    5. The GOP bill is unfair to union members.  Corporations can deduct payments to lawyers to fight unions, but union members can no longer deduct their union dues under this bill.
    6. The GOP tax bill would punish states that make the kind of investments that create good jobs. Repealing the deduction for state and local income taxes would make it harder for states to raise enough money to invest in high-quality education, infrastructure, and good jobs.
    7. The GOP tax bill is bad for students.  Tax deductions for student loan interest, tuition expenses, and tuition assistance would be ended, as would tax credits for students to cover college expenses.
    8. The GOP tax bill will not be fully paid for, so we can expect Republicans to demand more budget cuts that hurt working people in the future.  The Republican budget allows for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that are not paid for in the first decade.  First the Wall Street millionaires throw themselves a party, then they stick the rest of us with the tab.

    Write to your senators today and demand that they reject the Republican tax scam. The richest 1% and wealthy corporations don’t need permanent tax loopholes at the expense of the rest of us.

    The post Eight Reasons Why the Republican Tax Bill is Bad for Working People appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Air Capital of the World Workforce Wins Again

    Bombardier Learjet has announced that Wichita, KS will be the new home of the Global 5000 completion work starting mid-2018.  About 100 new jobs will be created to install the interior monuments, the seats, the cabinets and the bulkheads in the ‘Air Capital of the World.’

    “It was the reputation of the Wichita Machinists that allowed Bombardier Learjet to choose Kansas as the new home for the Global 5000 Completion Site.  The quality of the work and their dedication to the end product speaks for itself every time an aircraft rolls off the line,” said IAM’s Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin.  “The world is watching as the journeymen and women of Kansas are setting the trajectory for aircraft production in 2018 and beyond.”

    In addition to the interior, the Wichita facility will also be where flight testing and final delivery preparation will take place. Bombardier Learjet executives said it was the quality of work in Wichita that drove this decision.  Cornell Beard, Directing Business Representative of IAM’s District 70, wholeheartedly agrees.

    “The Machinists in Wichita are the past, present and future of this industry so I was not surprised that Bombardier Learjet choose this location to complete the Global 5000,” said Beard.  “But I am always extremely pleased when the craftsmanship of the workers in Wichita, and especially IAM District 70, is recognized and appreciated. That’s why we do this job…to make sure Working America wins.”

    The post Air Capital of the World Workforce Wins Again appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Las Vegas Hosts Guide Dogs of America

    IAM members came together in Las Vegas for four fundraising events, including the 37th annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet, where volunteers, donors and allies raised nearly $2 million for Guide Dogs of America (GDA).

    Photos from the 37th Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet, 2017 Las Vegas Sporting Clay Event, and 37th Annual Guide Dogs Charity Golf Tournament

    GDA’s highest honor, the Gift of Sight Award, was presented at the 37th annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet. The Gift of Sight award is given annually to recipients who have shown an extraordinary commitment to supporting GDA, which provides professionally trained guide dogs, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired individuals across North America. This year’s honorees included Dale Hartford, past president, Guide Dogs of America; Thomas Gentile, President & CEO, Spirit AeroSystems; and Sito Pantoja, General Vice President, Machinists Union Transportation Department.

    “With the gift of a guide dog, these men and women are better able to pursue their goals, fulfill their dreams, and participate in their communities,” said Guide Dogs of America President Russell Gittlen. “Guide dogs not only provide the gift of increased independence, confidence, and mobility, but they also act as a trusted companion providing new opportunities for social interaction.

    Guide Dogs of America has helped 3,242 people live with increased mobility and independence. It costs more than $48,000 to raise a guide dog and train its partner.

    “IAM members are proud to open their hearts and wallets year-round to support the mission of Guide Dogs of America,” said Machinists Union International President Bob Martinez. “It is our union’s labor of love to give the gift of independence to the blind and visually impaired.”

    Guide Dogs of America, headquartered in Sylmar, Calif., was founded in 1948 after a blind Machinists Union member was rejected for a guide dog due to his age of 57. Since then, the IAM and our generous members have been GDA’s largest financial supporters.

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  • Seniority Counts

    “Whether it’s a unit of 10 or 10,000, or the workers are 18 or 80 years old, every working American deserves a fair Union Contract,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “And for our Brothers and Sisters at Avis in Augusta, GA, we are proud to give them something they didn’t have before – a voice on the job and dignity at the workplace. And a contract that shows them it pays to be a Machinist.”

    Much like the IAM’s storied history, Avis Rent a Car has ‘seniority’ in its field. Founded in 1946 by Warren Avis, it was the first rental car operation located at an airport. Today, the company’s facilities can be found in cities and airfields around the globe. But it was at the Augusta Regional Airport in Georgia that the Machinists met a group of workers who already held seniority, just not on the job.

    “This unit is comprised in large part of senior citizens working part time. One of these senior citizens is Ron, an 85-year-old former police chief from Pittsburgh,” explains IAM’s District 131 Directing Business Representative Billy Barnwell. “During the campaign, I asked him if the company’s anti-union tactics were influencing him. He responded by saying, ‘I’m 85 years old. I might not wake up tomorrow. Nothing that company says is going to scare me.’”

    From that moment on, Barnwell knew he was going to get these folks a great, first contract. They cared more about the whole than the individual parts, making them a perfect fit for the IAM. Plus, on his side, Barnwell had an army of experience within this group to help him get it done.

    “I am very proud of this group. While the committee members were both full time employees, they insisted that we continue negotiating until we won Holliday pay for part time employees, which we did,” said Barnwell.

    So today, 29 rental sales agents, drivers and services agents will begin enjoying their IAM Contract. An agreement that offers a grievance procedure, 3.5% raises, stops temporary workers from displacing bargaining unit members, paid vacations and holidays for full time employees and, of course, guarantees the ‘Union’ definition of seniority rights. While this may not be your typical Machinist group, their reasons for wanting to be an IAM member is right on target.

    “My job is to help people live better lives. Sometimes that mandate overrides the math. When these folks approached District 131 they needed help, and we gave it to them with a Union contract,” said Barnwell.

    “Because that’s what we do in the South. We make sure to take care of the working men and women whose grit and determination have built this country. Seniority means a lot at a bargaining table, but it means even more to those who give their life to the job and taking care of their families. Those are the people I want holding an IAM Card,” said Blondin.

    The post Seniority Counts appeared first on IAMAW.