• Boeing Urged by Bipartisan House Coalition to Respect South Carolina Workers

    A bipartisan group of 177 members of the House of Representatives, led by Rep. Rick Larsen (WA), sent a bipartisan letter urging Boeing Co. to respect the decision of Flight Line Technicians in South Carolina who voted to join the Machinists Union. In August, 23 U.S. Senators urged Boeing to drop its appeal and immediately begin collective bargaining with its workers.

    Boeing has refused to negotiate with 178 workers at its North Charleston, S.C. manufacturing facility who chose by a 2-1 margin to join the IAM on May 31, 2018. The National Labor Relations Board in May struck down Boeing’s legal argument and ruled the unit appropriate. The IAM represents 35,000 Boeing employees across the country.

    Read the House letter.  

    “Boeing workers in South Carolina are simply asking for the same rights as any worker,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “They voted to join a union and now it is time for Boeing to respect their choice. We are ready today to negotiate a contract that is fair to Boeing management and front-line workers, just as we have for generations of Machinists Union members at Boeing.”

    A copy of the House letter can be found below:

    “We are writing today to ask that the Boeing Company and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) work together to respect the decision of the flight technicians in South Carolina who voted to join the IAMAW union earlier this year by a 104-65 vote.

    “We have seen firsthand the benefits of a unionized workforce. Unions make the workplace safer, more efficient, and make the workforce stronger. Taking one step in the Everett or Renton plant proves this point. IAMAW is a critical part of Boeing’s achievement and will be a critical part of its continued success.

    “In 1935, thirty-five Boeing production workers formed the local Machinists union, forever changing Boeing’s history. Boeing is now the most successful and largest aerospace company in the world. More than 10,000 Boeing-built airplanes are in service globally, which is almost half of all airplanes built by union hands in service in the world.  Boeing’s success is not despite IAMAW but because of it.

    “The Boeing Company was helped built by the same union the flight technicians at the South Carolina plant want to join. Therefore we were concerned to hear Boeing is seeking to appeal the decision of the flight technicians and hope IAMAW and Boeing work together to resolve this matter.”

    Read: Lawmakers from both coasts battling over Boeing’s North Charleston union vote The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier

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  • Chicago Airport Workers Vote IAM Yes

    Swissport workers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport voted overwhelmingly in favor of IAM representation last week. Workers cited safety, work-life balance and respect on the job as the primary reasons for voting to join the IAM. The group consists of more than 100 ramp service agents and lead ramp service agents.

    “All these workers wanted was a chance to make their job a little bit better and be treated with the respect they deserve,” said Organizing Department Grand Lodge Representative Fabian Liendo. “A union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement will provide them the opportunity to make that happen.”

    The Organizing Department was assisted in the campaign by the IAM’s Midwest Territory.

    “We’re working together across all departments and all territories to make sure that any worker who wants to join the IAM and make things better for them and their family has that opportunity,” said IAM Organizing Director Vinny Addeo. “We are one union and one organizing team at the IAM and this is a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together.”

    The post Chicago Airport Workers Vote IAM Yes appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM International President Martinez Announces Retirement of GVP Philip J. Gruber

    IAM International President Bob Martinez has announced the retirement of IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber, effective December 31, 2018.

    “Our great union will forever be grateful for the contributions of Phil Gruber,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “For more than four-and-a-half decades, Brother Gruber has served our membership with dignity, passion and skill. From the strike line to the negotiating table and everywhere in between, Phil has been the leader our union needs in the toughest of times. He is a true friend and I wish him and his family all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

    Gruber has been a member of the IAM since his initiation into Local Lodge 688 in October 1972. He became a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker in the spring of 1976. Gruber served Local 688 as Steward, Chief Steward, Treasurer and President.

    Gruber joined the staff of IAM District 9 in St. Louis as a Business Representative in 1987. In 1996, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Directing Business Representative, and subsequently became the Directing Business Representative on January 1, 2003.

    On January 1, 2004, Gruber was appointed Administrative Assistant to IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President James E. Brown, and succeeded Brown as the General Vice President of the IAM Midwest Territory on July 1, 2006.

    “After more than 12 years as General Vice President and 46 years of service to this great union, I am announcing my retirement as General Vice President to the IAM Midwest Territory,” said Gruber. “I’ve had the distinct honor and pleasure of serving some of the greatest members in the labor movement. For that, I say thank you. It has truly been an honor serving as your leader.”

    “To the Midwest Territory staff, thank you for your talents, your dedication to the membership, and for all the great memories. You have been my second family. You have supported me in my career and in my personal life. There hasn’t been a day in 46 years that I didn’t want to come to work, because I love my job and I have enjoyed working with each of you. What a blessing to be able to say that.”

    “And to my fellow past and present members of the IAM Executive Council, it’s been the greatest of honors to serve alongside a group of individuals so diverse, yet so razor-focused on the same mission and vision – and that’s serving the members of the IAM. Thank you.”

    Gruber will be succeeded by current IAM Midwest Territory Chief of Staff Steve Galloway as General Vice President, effective January 1, 2019, says IP Martinez.

    “Brother Galloway will serve our union admirably as a General Vice President, just as he has in a number of roles for the past three decades,” said Martinez. “Myself and the entire Executive Council are excited to work with Steve and continue putting the ‘fight’ back into our union.”

    Galloway began his membership in IAM Local Lodge 459, District 77 in 1987 as a brewer working at the Stroh Brewery Company in St. Paul, MN. During his 11 years of employment at Stroh’s, Galloway served as Union Steward, Bargaining Committeeperson, and as Bargaining Committee Chairperson. He also served as an Executive Board Member of IAM Local Lodge 459, and as District 77 President.

    In 1998, Galloway was elected District 77 Business Representative. In 2007, he was elected to serve as District 77 Directing Business Representative.

    Galloway also served the membership of District 77 as Chairman of the Machinists, Tool and Die Apprenticeship Committee, Trustee on the St. Paul Auto Dealers Trust Fund, Chairman of the District 77 Health and Welfare Trust Fund, Organizing Director, and as Vice President of the Minnesota State Council of Machinists.

    Galloway was appointed to the IAM Midwest Territory Staff as a Special Representative on June 1, 2008. He became a Grand Lodge Representative for the IAM Midwest Territory in December 2009 and was appointed Chief of Staff to General Vice President Philip J. Gruber in December 2016.

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  • Solidarity Changes the Game

    “This is what happens when we stand together in solidarity,” said IAM General Vice President Mark A. Blondin happily as he looked over the details of the latest contract coming out of the Machinists’ Southern Territory.

    When the Remote Pilot Operators or RPOs working for CNI Federal Services at the FAA Center in Oklahoma approached the table, things didn’t go as planned.

    “The company’s first offer was all takeaways; a decrease in wages, no benefit growth, cuts in shift differentials.  The whole thing was a disaster,” said Mark Love, Grand Lodge Representative in the Southern Territory. “But as our show of solidarity increased, so too did their offer.”

    At the beginning of negotiations, the RPO group consisted of 48 out of 230 members in the bargaining unit. But that quickly changed.

    “This group took the company on and quickly put out word as to what the company was offering. The next day, we had more than 80 new applications for membership.  The following day, it was even more.  By the end of negotiations, we went from 48 to 178 all armed and ready to work together for a great contract both now and in the future,” said Ben Moody, Business Representative of District 171.

    Directing Business Representative and President of District 171 Rick Boardman proudly witnessed this committee make it happen for their Brothers and Sisters in terms of a good, solid IAM contract. “This is a very important win for the IAM and the labor movement as a whole because it solidifies the idea that by sticking together, we can change the dialect.  Our footprint at the FAA center is growing and with this latest contract it will let all employees there know that the Machinists can make a difference,” said Boardman.

    This message and the committee’s persistence to educating the workers on the shop floor paid off.  After many more table meets, a brief cooling period and even an extension, the members of Local 850 should be proud of what their Machinists brethren were able to accomplish in the contract. The last, best and final offer included a nearly 10 percent yearly increase for Health & Welfare benefits, a 3 percent raise in wages, added premium pay during training and evaluating, more money for certain domains and even mandates quarterly steward meetings on the clock.  But one line item has the potential to change the future.

    Moody explains.  “This contact gives stewards thirty minutes with each new employee to discuss Union membership.  To explain what we can offer and how far we have come in this contract journey.”

    “And that’s just not something that comes with a price tag,” added Boardman with a smile.

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  • House Passes FAA Reauthorization Bill, Senate Votes Next

    The House yesterday passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Bill that will renew the agency’s funding for another five years. The bill will provide long-term stability for the nation’s aviation community, continue investment in U.S. airports, and make necessary reforms to improve American competitiveness and safety in aviation.

    “This bill has provisions that help protect IAM members and the traveling public,” said Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “It will also ensure continued investment into the aviation infrastructure which will provide a stronger workforce for our members. I encourage all our members to call their senators to urge them to pass this legislation.”

    Airline labor highlights of the bill include protection for customer service agents from physical abuse by requiring airlines to implement an assault prevention and response plan within 90 days as well as provide additional training. The bill also sets a minimum ten-hour rest period for flight attendants, equaling pilots’ minimum rest and provides funding for aircraft maintenance education.

    Additional provisions require all newly manufactured commercial passenger aircraft to be equipped with secondary cockpit barriers, bans in-flight voice cell phone calls, requires the regulation of service and emotional support animals on aircraft, and improves the safe transport of lithium batteries.

    The post House Passes FAA Reauthorization Bill, Senate Votes Next appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Are You Registered for this November’s Elections?

    Today is Voter Registration Day. Have you registered?

    Don’t wait, November’s elections will be here before you know it.

    Register today

    Our right to vote gives us the power to make a difference. We have the freedom and the responsibility to choose our leaders and get involved with the issues that we care about. Change truly begins at the ballot box.

    If you know someone who recently turned 18, or who has not voted before, urge them to register. The future is in their hands.

    The post Are You Registered for this November’s Elections? appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Kendall Appointed to Assistant Secretary

    International President Bob Martinez and General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes announce the appointment of Paul Kendall to the office of Assistant Secretary. The appointment fills the vacancy from the recent reassignments of General Vice Presidents and is effective October 1, 2018.

    Brother Kendall brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this position,” said General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes. “He is a true journeyman who attacks every task and assignment with professionalism and poise. I look forward to seeing him flourish in this new position.”

    Kendall initiated into IAM Local 475 located in Grand Rapids, MI in 1992 working for Cummins Diesel. At IAM Local 475 he held many offices including Secretary-Treasurer Committee man, Shop Steward, Machinists Council Delegate and District 97 Secretary-Treasurer. At the age of 19 Kendall was elected as one of the youngest school board members in the State of Michigan and held the positions of Recording-Secretary and Treasurer with the Board of Education for his local school district from 1989 to 2000.

    In April 2000 Kendall was appointed to the position of Grand Lodge Auditor by General Secretary-Treasurer Don Wharton. In 2016 he was appointed to Chief of Staff to the General Secretary-Treasurer by GST Dora Cervantes. In this position he was charged with assigning and assisting all activities associated with the Grand Lodge Auditors and any other duties assigned by the General Secretary-Treasurer. Kendall has attended many classes at the William W. Winpisinger Center, holds an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelors in Business Administration Degree with a major in Forensic Accounting.

    The post Kendall Appointed to Assistant Secretary appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Guide Dogs of America Graduate Finds Serenity

    For nearly 70 years Guide Dogs of America has brought independence to blind and visually impaired individuals from across the United States and Canada. New stories of companionship, confidence and empowerment emerge from each graduating class of guide dog teams.

    One such inspiring story is that of blind surfer Derek Rabelo and his guide dog Serenity.

    Read their story here.

    Do you know someone who can benefit from a GDA guide dog?

    Guide Dogs of America provides expertly matched and trained guide dog partners to qualified recipients free of charge.

    Learn about the Student Application Process or spread the word to someone you know. They might become the next GDA story of independence.

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  • House to Vote on FAA Bill This Week

    The House and the Senate Saturday reached consensus on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018. The approximately $17 billion, five-year FAA bill will make its way to the House floor this week and could be voted on as early as Wednesday.

    Airline labor highlights of the bill include protection for customer service agents from physical abuse that requires airlines to implement an assault prevention and response plan within 90 days as well as additional training. The bill also sets a minimum ten-hour rest period for flight attendants, equaling pilots’ minimum rest.

    The IAM has been vigorously campaigning Congress for pro-airline worker language, meeting with legislators and organizing rallies on Capitol Hill.

    “The provisions included in this bill will protect and enhance working conditions for our members,” said Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “I applaud our IAM members and legislative team for their unwavering effort in achieving this language.”

    The legislation also dropped plans to mandate “reasonable and proportional” baggage and change fees but includes other new passenger protections including requiring airlines to set minimum dimensions for passenger seats —including legroom and width — and prohibits airlines from involuntarily removing passengers from flights after they’ve cleared the boarding gate.

    Commercial aviation annually helps drive $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and support more than 10 million U.S. jobs. U.S. airlines fly 2.3 million passengers and more than 55,000 tons of cargo each day.

    The post House to Vote on FAA Bill This Week appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Machinists on Ground to Help with Florence Recovery

    Residents of North Carolina and the surrounding states are still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The massive storm was responsible for more than 30 lives and catastrophic damage from historic flooding.

    Machinists Union members in the path of the storm are in need of help in the recovery process. The IAM Southern Territory, along with IAM District 110 and the IAM Disaster Relief Fund are on the ground in North Carolina to assist members in need.

    “Our members in both North Carolina and South Carolina are resilient. They are survivors who came through this storm even stronger than before. But now the real work begins. The IAM, especially those in the Southern Territory, will take care of our Carolina Brothers and Sisters who are in need by helping these members reclaim their lives and regain a sense of normalcy again,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “Hurricane Florence may have changed the landscape of the Carolinas but it won’t change the core of the people who call these great states home.”

    If you are an IAM member affected by the storm, you can apply for assistance from the IAM Disaster Relief Fund here. For further assistance, call IAM Disaster Relief Director Carlos San Miguel at 301-967-4521 or email csanmiguel@iamaw.org.

    You can help your Brothers and Sisters by donating to the IAM Disaster Relief Fund today.

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