• Time Running Out to Save Job Corps Centers

    At a time when the country is busy executing several major wildfire and hurricane recovery operations, the Department of Labor (DOL) Job Corps administration is set to close several facilities that provide auxiliary manpower for wildland firefighting and disaster recovery operations. Citing budget concerns, the Job Corps facility in Golconda, Illinois is slated as the first to go and more closures around the country are under consideration. 

    The Job Corps facilities, officially called Civilian Conservation Centers (CCC), provide young people with classroom and hands-on job training that lead to apprenticeships and other gainful employment. Many of the CCC participants come from areas with limited resources, such as rural and poorer inner-city communities. In times of need, CCC participants are cross-trained and are currently deployed as disaster first responders offering wildland firefighting, search and rescue, and recovery and resilience operations.  

    “It is very hard to justify this kind of divestiture in America and in our young people,” cautioned Randy Erwin, national president of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). “The CCC’s have lit the way for tens of thousands to discover their talents and find solid employment, which ultimately adds to the tax revenue of the country. The decisions to close these facilities is a very myopic choice that will negatively impact the long-term national strategy of reducing unemployment and under-employment for the most susceptible of America’s youth.”

    The city of Golconda, an Illinois municipality of approximately 800 residents, also will feel the impact of the closure if local jobs at the site are lost. U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Representative John Shimkus wrote a joint letter to the Office of Job Corps at DOL but has yet to receive a response to questions regarding the future of the Golconda facility.   

    “Now is the time to act to convince Job Corps to keep the Golconda center open and stop future closures,” Erwin continued. “We encourage everyone who values job training and opportunities for America’s most vulnerable youth to take a stand today. The CCC’s provide the skills needed to improve the lives of thousands every year, and the participants give back to the country as first responders and future taxpayers.”  

    For more information on how to voice opposition to the CCC closures, please view the guide here or visit the NFFE website at www.nffe.org

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  • IAM Supports the Jones Act

    IAM International President Bob Martinez sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate opposing the exemption of Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, following the disastrous hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    The Jones Act has served an indispensable role promoting our nation’s economic and national security since 1920.  The law requires that marine vessels carrying passengers or merchandise between any two points in the United States must be U.S. flagged, U.S. crewed, U.S. built, and U.S. owned. These requirements ensure that the United States retains a solid core of skills and capabilities in both the shipbuilding and ship operating industries, vital for the success of our domestic commercial and military shipbuilding industries. This solid core fostered by the Jones Act guarantees that the U.S. will not fall victim to the whims and dictates of foreign governments, or foreign shipping companies when we need these services most, such as in times of pressing national security concerns or natural disasters.

    In recent years, the Jones Act has also become necessary to U.S. security interests. The Jones Act provides meaningful employment for hundreds of thousands of workers in maritime-related jobs.

    IAM International President Bob Martinez’s letter to members of the U.S. Senate 

    Read: UNIONS SET RECORD STRAIGHT AT JONES ACT CONGRESSIONAL HEARING

     

     

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  • Machinists Union Members Travel to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria Relief Efforts

    Machinists Union members joined more than 300 working men and women who volunteered to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Newark, N.J. to help with Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

    The flight, a Machinists Union-built Boeing 777-300 ER, was volunteered by United Airlines for a business and labor partnership. It is a response to the urgent need for highly skilled workers to come to Puerto Rico to assist with the rebuilding effort and help people in need of medical and humanitarian assistance.

    Machinists Union members joined other members from the AFL-CIO, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and United Airlines who teamed up to fly the more than 300 first responders and skilled volunteers — including nurses, doctors, firefighters, electricians, engineers, carpenters and truck drivers — to help with relief efforts and the rebuilding of Puerto Rico.

    “The Machinists Union is continuing to assist working families in Puerto Rico during this difficult period,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “These collective actions reflect the values of the labor movement. We will continue mobilizing our teams on the ground and provide the necessary support to help working families, not only in Puerto Rico, but working families in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is our hope and prayers that these efforts will help rebuild their lives.”

    “This flight carries not only much-needed supplies and skilled union labor, but also the love and support of more than 33,000 IAM members at United who will continue helping the people of Puerto Rico recover,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

    Today’s flight is just one of many where IAM members have been involved in relief aid to Puerto Rico.

    Since the hurricane, IAM members at United Airlines have been operating humanitarian flights every day from Newark to San Juan. The airline has operated 14 flights to and from Puerto Rico carrying nearly 500,000 pounds of relief-related cargo and more than 1,700 evacuees.

    “IAM District 141 is providing additional water and other relief supplies that will be flown on a separate United flight tomorrow to be distributed to IAM members in Puerto Rico,” said District 141 President Mike Klemm. 

    Donate to the IAM Disaster Relief Fund today to help IAM members and their families get back on their feet

    Read: Hurricane Maria: Volunteer nurses fly through NJ to get to Puerto Rico

    Read: Hurricane Maria: Volunteer nurses fly through NJ to get to Puerto Rico

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  • IAM Mourns Virginia Cobb

    Last week the Machinists Union family lost a well-known and beloved leader, Virginia Cobb.  Anyone who met the strong and vocal activist will never forget her.

    Sister Cobb began fighting for working families in 1961, when she was hired by General Dynamics Astronautics and voluntarily joined IAM Local 2218. She was appointed shop steward as soon as she completed her probation and never looked back. Virginia held many leadership positions in Local 2218, Local 1125 and District 50, including Recording Secretary, District 50 Delegate, Negotiator and San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Delegate — a position she held for 51 years.

    “We were honored to have worked with Virginia and are forever thankful for her tireless efforts of fighting for working people,” said Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “She will always be remembered as a true Fighting Machinist.”

    “Virginia Cobb was such a unique, strong and powerful voice for the working people of our great union,” said International President Bob Martinez. “She was ahead of her time, and the Machinists are a stronger organization because of her.”

    Cobb was elected Business Representative in 1973 – one of the first women elected to that position in the Machinists Union — and she served and/or chaired numerous committees, including the San Diego City College Labor Advisory Committee, International Labor Affairs Committee, National Planning Committee of MNPL, Human Rights Committee (Local Director), Industrial Relations Research Committee and the Central Labor Council Education Committee. She served on the Executive Board of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council for 20 years.

    Appointed as District Lodge 725 Area 1 Director in 1995, Virginia was responsible for negotiating and enforcing numerous collective bargaining agreements with employers in the private sector, federal sector and Service Contract Act sectors. Her service contract CBAs were widely used as templates by other IAM representatives across the country.

    Through aggressive bargaining and arbitration, she earned the respect of employers, our members and the labor community at large. Virginia loved to share her immense knowledge, and she mentored dozens of young trade unionists over the course of her career, many of which now serve as full time representatives for District Lodge 725 in California.

    Virginia passed away unexpectedly at her home on September 26, 2017. She will be profoundly missed.

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  • 5th Annual Bob Martinez Golf Tournament

    It was definitely a hole in one for the IAM and the puppies at the 5th Annual Bob Martinez Golf Tournament benefiting the Guide Dogs of America held recently in Fort Worth, Texas. All thanks to the organizing efforts of Machinists District 776, the Southern Territory and the volunteers who make it happen year after year.

    “It was an exceptional day! The weather was fantastic! And International President Bob Martinez had a blast,” said Eloy Rodriguez, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 776A and a prime organizer of this event. 

    The tournament drew neighborhood businesses and community members, as well as local employer Lockheed Martin who joined in the fun at this four-man scramble competition. But the best news came at the end of the day, after the results were tallied and the donations were calculated.

    “With 112 golfers, we raised $50,000 this year,” said Rodriguez happily. “In our first year of this tournament, we brought in around $1200 so this makes me extremely proud of our fundraising efforts in the home district of International President Bob Martinez.”

    “When the Machinists put their minds to something, the outcome is always outstanding! For the Guide Dogs of America, that money will be used to continue their work providing dogs to blind and visually impaired men and women, free of charge. That’s something you can’t put a price on. I am so proud of District 776 for organizing this event each year, making sure the Machinists in the South stick to their core values of always taking care of those who need us,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin.

    Rodriguez promises that next year will be bigger, raising even more money. And Blondin plans to help make sure that happens.

    #iamsouthernvoice, #ThisIsWhyIAMUnion

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  • District 77 ‘IAM H.E.L.P.S. in the Community’ Event Supports Minnesota Children and Families Struggling with Poverty, Domestic Violence

     

    Minnesota families inflicted with poverty, substance abuse, mental health, or domestic violence have a better place to call home, thanks to members of IAM District 77 in Vadnais Heights, MN. Union volunteers from throughout the district recently helped restore a St. Paul facility dedicated to helping such families get back on their feet.

    FamilyWise has been keeping Minnesota children and families safe and helping them to lead stable, healthy and productive lives since 1976. Programs and services include early childhood education, parenting skills, and help with providing a safe, secure location for families faced with homelessness, at-risk youth, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, or divorce.

    More than 30 District 77 members, spouses, children and retirees helped FamilyWise with a number of projects including cleaning the building’s exterior, removing old carpeting, breaking down old office furniture, and organizing old financial records.

    Members of IAM District 77 help restore a St. Paul, MN facility dedicated to helping families get back on their feet as part of IAM H.E.L.P.S., a Midwest Territory initiative aimed at doing more in the communities in which we live.

    The effort was a part of the IAM Midwest Territory’s “IAM H.E.L.P.S. in the Community” program. IAM H.E.L.P.S. stands for Honoring, Engaging, Lifting, Providing and Servicing. The initiative is a part of the territory’s continued efforts to do more in the communities in which we live.

    WATCH VIDEO HERE

    SEE PHOTOS HERE

    “We’re giving back to the community to show folks we’re more than just a labor organization. We’re here to help people,” said IAM District 77 Directing Business Representative John Steigauf.  “We need to be partners with the community. We can’t just be a standalone group that helps workers. We need to get out and help the community, as well as our workers.”

    “When we help people, it goes further than our role at the bargaining table or filing grievances,” said IAM Midwest Territory Grand Lodge Representative/Territory Human Rights Coordinator Luther Williams. “Community service is a human rights activity. We go in and we help the underprivileged. Helping them helps the community. That’s why it’s so important for the IAM to be involved in projects like this.”

    IAM District 77 Secretary-Treasurer Ross Olson coordinated the event for the entire district.

    “I was helping go through the list of all the projects available and came across FamilyWise’s information,” said Olson. “A lot of their values and what they do aligns with the views we have as Machinists – taking care of families and taking care of our community. The District thought FamilyWise was the right entity to invest all of our time and efforts into.”

    Executives at FamilyWise were more than appreciative of the Machinists’ help.

    “I just want to take a minute to thank the Machinists and District 77 for coming out here today to help us,” said Burnell Buchanan, Associate Director of FamilyWise. “I am floored by how much work you guys are doing. We are only an hour and a few minutes in and you guys already have most of our projects done. Groups like you coming to help FamilyWise are huge for keeping our facilities safe, clean, and welcoming for our clients and our staff.”

    In addition to their time and efforts, District 77 also donated a 40-inch television along with nearly a dozen different board games for the families at FamilyWise to enjoy.

    “Congratulations to IAM District 77 and all of our member volunteers who took part in this important IAM H.E.L.P.S. in the Community event,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “Your service and dedication to your community not only shows others the importance of giving back, it also shows them what it means to be union. Thank you for all that you do.”

     

     

     

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  • 500 Machinists Union Members Win New Contract with Schneider Electric

    Members of IAM Local 2069 in Peru, IN cast their ballots in a ratification vote for a new three-year master agreement with energy management and automation company Schneider Electric.

    More than 500 IAM union members have ratified a new three-year master agreement with energy management and automation company Schneider Electric.

    The national agreement covers IAM Local 831 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Local 2574 in Huntington, IN; Local 2069 in Peru, IN; and Local 619 in Lexington, KY. The contract also covers members of the IBEW and IBT.

    Highlights include annual general wage increases of 2.5 percent the first year and 2 percent each of the following two years. The contract continues the current health care cost share and Cost-of-Living Plan (COLA). It includes a $1,500 signing bonus and an increase in the second and third-shift differential. It also provides for 401k contributions and paid family leave.

    “Unlike previous contract negotiations with Schneider Electric, IAM Locals unanimously supported the strategy of pooling or combining their ratification votes on this master agreement,” said IAM Collective Bargaining Director Craig Norman, who negotiates the master agreement on behalf of the IAM. “This action was in response to the 2014 strike at Peru Local Lodge 2069. I explained the process to the company’s lead negotiator: the IAM is now ‘ALL IN’ or ‘ALL OUT.’ Schneider Electric will not be allowed to divide the IAM again going forward. This had a profound effect on the company’s attitude with the IAM and I feel provided the leverage the unions needed to get the contract that the membership supported.”

    “This contract has significant wage increases and benefits,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “Paid family leave will allow our members to live a better life outside of work while increasing productivity. I want to acknowledge the hard work of our IAM members for speaking with one collective voice, as well as IAM Collective Bargaining Director Craig Norman for leading the negotiation efforts.”

     

     

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  • Las Vegas

    The Machinists offer our heartfelt condolences to the victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting. We are thankful for the first responders who helped save lives through their heroic efforts. It is our hope that collective action and the spirit of resiliency will carry us through this senseless and violent tragedy. Our continued prayers are with the entire Las Vegas community.

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  • Washington State Local 289 Sponsors 4-H Youth

    One of the models we live by as union members is “service to the community.” This year IAM Local 289 stepped up to sponsor the 4-H swine division at the Pierce County Fair in Graham, WA.

    Since the fair is nonprofit it relies on donations from local businesses, other nonprofits and this time the IAM. A great number of kids who spend a good portion of their youth in 4-H decide to go to college. They usually have ambition to go into either animal science or agricultural science.

    The fair is part of the local’s outreach this year and is a good way to talk to people on neutral ground about unions. The kids also got an opportunity to see how union members volunteer and interact with the community.

    “My daughter became interested in raising animals at a young age and joined the local 4-H club,” said Local 289 member John Linboe. “It was then that I noticed the similarities between these clubs and the union.”

    Read Linboe’s article in the September 2017 edition of IAM District 160’s Evergreen Leader.

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  • Healthcare Workers, IAM Visit DC to Address the Opioid, Mental Health Crisis

    The opioid crisis is a national emergency, roughly 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. This emergency has cost our nation nearly 80 billion per year, much of which is attributable to lost earnings and employment. This crisis devastates the lives of working families.

    Members of the IAM Legislative Team and National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) recently visited Washington, D.C. to lobby on the opioid and mental health crisis. The week began with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) taking part in a discussion with NUHW on the opioid epidemic. NUHW is advocating for the extension and expansion of funding to address the opioid crisis that threatens our nation.

    “Frontline healthcare workers across the nation are attempting to fight the opioid epidemic,” said NUHW President Sal Rosselli. “The National Union of Health Workers is fighting for legislation that recognizes that the opioid crisis is a mental health crisis and the need to devote greater resources to mental health care.  NUHW members  will continue to hold profit-driven healthcare corporations accountable to the public interest. Our mission is to improve the lives of caregivers and patients, so we will continue to pressure elected officials to make good on the promise of parity for mental health and addiction services guaranteed under federal legislation.”

    “I have never met a baby that does not love their parents despite all they’ve gone through”, said Jackie Schalit, a NUHW member and marriage and family therapist. “And I have never met a parent struggling with addiction that doesn’t want different for their baby. They know that it is a painful, grueling process and they want to change the pattern in their family. We call all do better. The kids deserve better and the families deserve better.”

    NUHW members along with the IAM legislative team will continue to address this national emergency and lobby elected officials.

    Highlight videos:

    NUHW is a member-driven, democratic union that represents 14,000 healthcare workers.

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