• IAM Women Hold Sister’s Summit

    Dozens of IAM women from around the country traveled to New York, NY this week to attend the 2017 Sisters’ Summit hosted by the IAM’s Women’s Department. The event coincided with the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) with a theme of women’s economic empowerment and the changing world of work.

    Sisters’ Summit attendees were able to participate in trainings, panel discussions and workshops that exposed the atrocities that prohibit gender equality around the globe. Following each day’s meetings the IAM sisters met to explore how these issues affect our workplaces and communities. Before closing, delegates developed next steps to educate members and fight for all workers’ rights.

    “It’s great to see all these strong union women working to make a difference in their workplace and the world,” said IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux. “This was an amazing opportunity for all of us to learn about the struggles of women on a global scale and explore ways to elevate workers everywhere.”

    “It was such an amazing experience to hear from women around the world and learn of the difficulties they face,” said IAM Local 1943 Women’s Committee Chairperson Lori Kakaris. “It was very interesting to see the similarities between working women in the United States and around the world. The summit has inspired us to go home and strive to do more for equality at home and abroad.”

    In 1946, the United Nations established the CSW to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment at the global level. As part of their mission to monitor and review the reality of women’s lives, CSW hosts annual meetings to discuss the progress and gaps in true gender equality.

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  • Working People Stall Bad Health Care Bill, But We Must Keep Pressure on Congress

    Americans clinging to their health care scored a victory today as congressional lawmakers have delayed a vote on the misguided American Health Care Act (AHCA). The White House is reporting there will be a vote by Friday, so keep up the pressure.

    Support for the bill has wavered over the last few days as many Republican House members were on the fence. After hearing from constituents who believe all Americans should have quality, affordable health care.

    Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121and tell your Representative to vote “NO” on any health care bill that doesn’t take care of all Americans.

    According the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report, the AHCA will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health care coverage in the next decade and increase premiums an average of 15 to 20 percent with older Americans paying “substantially more.”

    For more information on the downsides of the AHCA, read the letter IAM International President Bob Martinez sent to House of Representative members urging them not to put tax breaks for the wealthy before the health care of Americans.

    Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Tell your Representative to vote “NO” on the AHCA.

    The post Working People Stall Bad Health Care Bill, But We Must Keep Pressure on Congress appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Machinists and City of Memphis No Longer at Impasse

    The vote was set for 3:30 p.m. at the Memphis City Council meeting on March 21, 2017. That was public knowledge.

    What wasn’t known to is that minutes before the meeting started, labor and the city were still at the bargaining table. In the end, a measure was approved to overhaul the city’s impasse procedures—the rules that govern how the city and its municipal unions settle stalled contract talks.

    And the Machinists cheered.

    (Photo Courtesy of Alex Coleman)

    “Labor packed the room at the city council meeting,” said IAM W2 Assistant Directing Business Representative Melone Irvine. “They had to let us all out before they continued on with their business because there were so many of us.”

    “Behind the scenes, the IAM, along with the other municipal unions, have been working with the city of Memphis to come up with a compromise,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “The first version of the ordinance offered would have literally taken away the ability for labor to negotiate. That was not acceptable by any means. That’s when all of our union brothers and sisters, no matter the affiliation, came together to fight. And in the end, solidarity worked.”

    Originally it was Councilman Kemp Conrad, and later Edmund Ford, Jr., who proposed making changes. Although the current system has been working for the 40 years it’s been in place, Conrad wanted to streamline the process and get rid of individual impasse committees. Labor knew this would have had tragic consequences for the more than 4,200 union brothers and sisters who work for the city.

    IAM W2 Directing Business Representative Kevin Goodwin understood fully what was at stake in this fight.

    “It would have taken away our right to bargain for anything but wages and incentive pay,” said Goodwin. “There would have been no negotiating on items such as vacation, contract language, work rules – nothing.

    “Every worker, union or not, should have a voice. But workers with a union contract are guaranteed a voice. That’s why you sign a Union card. This is your livelihood, everything needs to be fairly negotiated.”

    What did pass in the final vote is a cap on the number of impasse committees allowed, and changed how those committees would be chosen. Now, unions will pick one council member, the administration will select one, and those two people together would choose a third person to make up the panel who recommend either the city’s, or the union’s, final offer to the full council. In other words, labor will continue to have a voice when there’s a dispute.

    Memphis IAM Local 3 President Andre Gibson can’t explain how excited he was when the vote came down.

    “What they were trying to do was take our voice away but we came together and stopped them,” said Gibson. “We hung in there, together, and we did it!”

    But the reason there’s cause for celebration is all thanks to the union brothers and sisters in the South. Everyone worked together to make sure Memphis city workers were the winners. Immediately after the anti-worker proposal became known, labor went to work and billboards were splashed across the city showing signs of solidarity.

    “It was fantastic, an excellent turnout,” said Irvine. “All unions were represented. But that’s the brotherhood. When we made the call, right away they asked how many do we get to bring and when do you need us?”

    “This is what we do in the Southern Territory. We made the call, and they came,” said Blondin. “IAM Local W443 from Laurel, Mississippi drove six hours to be here. Local 1296 from Clarksville, Tennessee was there. Machinists from Locals 61 and 3 in Memphis brought as many people as they could find, and that’s just to name a few. It was as proud moment to be union and to be part of the IAM as we came together and took a stand.”

    The diligence of labor paid off. Standing shoulder to shoulder – police officers and firemen, sanitation workers and machinists – came together and their collective voice was heard.

    The post Machinists and City of Memphis No Longer at Impasse appeared first on IAMAW.


  • URGENT: Tell Your Rep to Vote NO on the AHCA

    Congressional lawmakers plan to vote on the GOP’s misguided American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Thursday and it is imperative that they hear from you.

    Support for the bill is wavering and many Republican House members are on the fence. They need to hear from constituents who believe all Americans should have quality, affordable health care.

    Tell your Representative to vote “NO” on the AHCA. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

    According the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report, the disastrous plan will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health care coverage in the next decade and increase premiums an average of 15 to 20 percent with older Americans paying “substantially more.”

    For more information on the downsides of the AHCA, read the letter IAM International President Bob Martinez sent to House of Representative members urging them not to put tax breaks for the wealthy before the health care of Americans.

    Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Tell your Representative to vote “NO” on the AHCA.

    The post URGENT: Tell Your Rep to Vote NO on the AHCA appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Wood Industry Workers Invited to Attend Conference

    Join workers from different sectors of the woodworking industry at the inaugural 2017 Wood, Pulp and Paper Council Conference to be held September 13-15, 2017 in Eugene, Oregon.

    The conference will be a unique opportunity to exchange ideas and spend time with fellow members working in the wood, pulp and paper industry. To help defray the cost of the Wood, Pulp and Paper Council Conference, there is a conference registration fee of $75 per delegate and $75 per each guest which can be paid upon arrival at the conference.

    Register now and ensure a special room rate at Valley River Inn.

    InformationOfficial Call

    The 2017 Wood, Pulp and Paper Council Conference is scheduled for September 13-15 at Valley River Inn, 1000 Valley River Way in Eugene, OR 97401.

    A special room rate has been arranged at the Valley River Inn at a cost of $109 plus tax per night for a single or double room.  You can make your reservation online, or by calling the Valley River Inn directly at 541-743-1000 and requesting the group rate for the IAMAW Wood, Pulp and Paper Council Conference.

    Cut-off for the special room rate is August 21, 2017.

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  • IAM Southern Territory Mourns Passing of Dave Haydon

    The IAM lost a true union leader when retired Grand Lodge Representative Frederick “Dave” Haydon passed away on March 16, 2017 at the age of 82.

    Haydon initiated into Crossett, AR IAM Local 1362 in May of 1963 and held his Machinist union card for more than half a century. He served as a District 37 business representative and in 1980 became a Southern Territory grand lodge representative, a position he held until his retirement in 1996.

    “He was a good guy, an excellent union representative,” said retired Southern Territory General Vice President Ed House, who worked with Haydon for almost 20 years. “He worked hard and never let anything interfere with taking care of the members.”

    “We owe everything to the trade unionists who came before us. Haydon was one of those great men – a union man,” said current Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Our hearts and our prayers are with brother Haydon’s family at this time and we thank them for his service to labor.”

    Known to all by his middle name of “Dave” rather than his birth name of “Frederick,” House said it was years before he knew that fact. He thinks that’s because Haydon always let the job come first.

    “Everywhere he went, when he would get re-assigned to a different city, the people he had worked with always hated to see him go. I never heard anything negative about his service to the membership,” said House. “He was a union man to the very end.”

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  • Machinists Join Coalition of Labor Union Women Lobby Day

    Machinists from around the country ascended on Capitol Hill last week to take part in the Coalition of Labor Union Women’s Lobby Day to fight on behalf of women and working families.

    WATCH: CLUW’s Lobby Day

    The groups met with congressional representatives and staff to discuss healthcare, paid leave and the negative impact of right-to-work laws. They also let each office know they do not support the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

    The post Machinists Join Coalition of Labor Union Women Lobby Day appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Colorado Machinists Make Gains in New Contract

    IAM Local 47 aircraft mechanics working at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO ratified a three-year agreement with M1 which netted them a 15 percent pay raise over the life of the contract.

    The agreement covering workers on the C-21 Lear Jet Program includes increases to pension contributions, vacation, paid leave, shift premiums, lead pay and a cap on health insurance premium increases.

    “Our negotiating committee led by committee members Roger Coon and Wes Cunningham maintained their resolve throughout the bargaining session,” said Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative Mark Ward.

    Ward conducted negotiations alongside fellow Western Territory Grand Lodge Representative James Watson and the negotiating committee.

    “I commend the hard work and fortitude of our negotiating committee and the service they performed for our members and their families,” said Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “Many working families in the Colorado Springs area can enjoy a secure future as a result of their effort.”

    The negotiation committee also secured increased layoff protections, uniform and flight gear improvements and improved contract language covering discipline, leave of absence, bereavement, sick time, hours of work and severance.

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  • Federal Workers Must Fight Back to Protect ‘Official Time’

    National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) President Randy L. Erwin is urging union members to call their representatives to demand they vote NO on H.R. 1364, a dangerous and devious bill that attacks the rights of federal workers.

    WATCH: Time for Federal Workers to Fight Back

    “The goal of this legislation is to eliminate the ability of federal employees to form and join a union,” said Erwin. “And to viciously penalize federal employees who serve as union representatives, like stewards, and singling them out and retroactively cutting their pensions.”

    Erwin and the IAM urge you to call your member of congress immediately at 202-224-3121, and tell them to vote NO on H.R. 1364.

    The post Federal Workers Must Fight Back to Protect ‘Official Time’ appeared first on IAMAW.


  • NLRB: Federal Law Preempts Wisconsin Right-to-Work Law, Metalcraft Ordered to Pay Back IAM Dues

    An administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled against Wisconsin metal fabrication company Metalcraft’s union busting tactics and has ordered the company to pay back union dues owed to IAM Local 2053 of Iron Ridge, WI.

    The judge found that Metalcraft broke federal law by canceling IAM Local 2053 members’ voluntary dues “checkoff” – the system whereby an employer regularly deducts a portion of an employee’s wages to pay union dues or initiation fees.

    Metalcraft suspended members’ checkoff on June 4, 2016, under its wishful interpretation of Wisconsin’s right-to-work law, which went into effect in 2015.

    IAM District 10 immediately filed charges with Region 18 of NLRB, and the region issued an official complaint in September 2016 alleging Metalcraft was in direct violation of the federal National Labor Relations Act, which allows voluntary dues checkoff for collective bargaining employees.

    The judge’s ruling states that Metalcraft committed several unfair labor practices by its refusal to check off union dues, failing to bargain in good faith and attempting to undermine the union by bargaining with union employees directly.

    Metalcraft must pay all union dues it refused to collect dating back to June 4 – plus interest.

    “While Wisconsin law allows revocation of a dues-checkoff authorization upon 30-days’ notice, federal law permits dues-checkoff agreements that are irrevocable for one year,” said NLRB Administrative Law Judge Charles J. Muhl. “The two provisions are directly at odds with one another. I conclude that the provisions of Wisconsin’s law addressing that topic are preempted.”

    “This is no doubt a great decision for Wisconsin workers,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “I’d like to thank Region 18, my staff and, most importantly, our members at Metalcraft for their solidarity and patience during this battle.”

    “It’s not complicated,” said Hoekstra in a previous report. “Metalcraft’s unilateral decision to cancel dues checkoff takes a page out of Scott Walker and his cronies’ playbook for hurting Wisconsin workers. The company hid behind an intentionally misleading right-to-work law, whose dues deduction provisions are preempted by federal law. Wisconsin families have paid dearly for Walker’s arrogance, now Metalcraft can pay for their union busting tactics. Management’s plan was destined to fail from the start. Instead of destroying us, our proud members are stronger than ever.”

    Metalcraft employs approximately 370 IAM members, who make lawn mower decks for Scag Power Equipment and John Deere.

    “Congratulations to the members of IAM Local 2053 and District 10 on the administrative law judge’s ruling,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “Thank you to Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra and his staff for your leadership, diligence and hard work. Since the passage of Wisconsin’s unfair right-to-work law, you have consistently gone to bat time and time again for working families. And time and time again, you’ve won. Today anti-union companies, Scott Walker and the state GOP are on notice – right-to-work is wrong for working families. And the Fighting Machinists will never back down.”

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