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  • 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.

    The post IAM Wood Industry Workers Invited to Attend Conference appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Urgent: Tell Your Senators to Vote NO on Gutting Worker Safety Reporting Rules

    The U.S. Senate is voting today on S.J. Res. 27, which will reverse 45 years of worker protections and compromise worker safety and health in many of the most dangerous industries.

    Call the Capitol now at 202-224-3121 and tell your Senators to vote NO on S.J. Res. 27, a ill-intentioned attack on American workers’ safety.

    Then, send an email message telling your Senators to say no to gutting the rules requiring employers to make and maintain records of work-related injuries.

    Existing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements have saved thousands of lives on the job. Right now, companies have to keep track of workers’ injuries on the job or face penalties. But Congress could make it almost impossible for the government to enforce that requirement.

    If Congress repeals this regulation, it will be impossible for OSHA to effectively enforce recordkeeping requirements.

    Now is the time to take action. We cannot allow the safety and health of IAM members and all workers to be compromised.

    Contact your Senators and tell them to vote NO on this dangerous law.

    The post Urgent: Tell Your Senators to Vote NO on Gutting Worker Safety Reporting Rules appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Ohio Machinists Rally to Stop Right to Work

    More than 100 union members, families and representatives braved subfreezing temperatures and strong winds Tuesday at IAM Local 1943 in Middletown, OH to rally against so-called “right to work” proposals. The anti-worker laws are under consideration in the U.S. Congress, the Ohio General Assembly, as well as several Ohio townships and city councils.

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    “It’s an attack on the voice of workers that puts more money in the hands of corporations,” said Neil Douglas, President and Directing Business Representation of Local 1943. “We can’t have that, and we’re going to oppose it at every level.”

    Local 1943 members are employed at AK Steel, Pilot Chemical, RMB Trucking and Cummins Bridgeway.

    “Right to work, sisters and brothers, is wrong,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, “It’s wrong because in states that have right-to-work laws, workers earn $600 less a month than in states like Ohio. Right to work is wrong because workplace fatalities are 49 percent higher in right-to-work states. Right to work is wrong because educational attainment drops and poverty levels rise.”

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    Lori Kakaris, chair of the Local 1943 Women’s Committee says she would have struggled to raise her children without a strong union contract.

    “A good union contract that provided me with wages and benefits in order to provide a home and better life for my kids,” said Kakaris. “Right to work is nothing but an attempt by corporate-driven greed to take that away from working families like mine all across the U.S.”

    Middletown Vice Mayor Dora Bronston attacked the very idea that right to work is meant to help workers.

    “How can it help us if we can’t pay our bills, if we can’t put food on our tables?” asked Bronston. “It reduces our buying power and to me, right to work is wrong. It hurts our local businesses. I’m here as a councilperson to encourage and compel people to come into Middletown and open businesses, but less wages for workers means that less spending will be at our local business level. That hurts us all.”

    “Union members and working families know when they are under attack,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “They aren’t fooled by the misleading label of right to work, they know it is corporate greed run amuck, and an attack on their hard earned wages, and benefits. Today, and every day going forward, we’re here to say ‘No! Right to work is wrong for me, wrong for Ohio and wrong for every worker in the U.S.”

    TAKE ACTION: Ohioans can reach their House Member by dialing toll-free 844-213-8172 and telling them “Right To Work Is WRONG!

    The post Ohio Machinists Rally to Stop Right to Work appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Strategizes on Future of Work in South

    The South has become a haven for U.S. manufacturing and foreign investment. It’s easy to see why.

    Without a union-represented workforce, corporations pay lower wages and provide less benefits. When a workplace is unionized, so-called right-to-work laws curb union power. Most politicians don’t say that overtly; they tout their “flexibility” and a “results-driven workforce.”

    The same politicians leave taxpayers on the hook to pay billions of dollars in tax breaks to companies that often don’t pay fair wages.

    But there’s reason to believe things are changing.

    “We are working to redefine what it means to organize in the South,” says IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin.

    In 2016, the IAM won 26 organizing campaigns in the region, bringing in 3,000 new members, reports Ted Reed in Forbes.

    More than 50 IAM Southern Territory leadership and staff members recently met for two days in Biloxi, MS to strategize on how to build on that success.

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    “There’s hope there, if we do it right,” said Chuck Bennett, President of IAM Local 470 in Lake Charles, LA.

    Blondin says the 14-state region is making a huge difference in the lives of working people in the South.

    “I am so very proud of the leaders in this room,” Blondin said as he opened the summit. “You make the lives of working people in the South better each and every day. You make it happen for our members and the middle class, continuously protecting workers and their rights across the Southern Territory.”

    The territory has recently ramped up efforts to organize federal and Service Contract Act workers, many of whom work at military bases scattered across the South. It’s reshaping and growing the IAM’s footprint in the South. The union was founded in an Atlanta railroad pit in 1888.

    “This great union started in the South. We have roots here,” said Blondin. “The members in the Southern Territory want to make sure their Brothers and Sisters in the future will have that opportunity. That’s the motivation behind us looking for different and unique ways to organize in our Southern home.

    Louisiana Local President Bennett says the strategies he has learned in the last two days are going to drastically change how he approaches organizing back home.

    “We need to listen more. Not tell the working class in our communities what they need but rather listen to them and let them tell us what they want and need,” said Bennett. “You have to want it—to inspire you to organize. And now we can take all this home and start chasing those leads.”

    The post IAM Strategizes on Future of Work in South appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Why Privatizing Massachusetts Public Transit Would be a Disaster for Taxpayers, Workers and Riders

    A large crowd descended on MBTA headquarters in downtown Boston on Monday as IAM Local 264 transit mechanics rallied with allies to defend taxpayers, workers and riders against the latest MBTA privatization scheme.

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    The MBTA mechanics were joined by community allies and elected leaders, including State Sen. Marc Pacheco and State Reps. Mike Connolly and Michelle DuBois, and multiple rider coalitions. They were all speaking out against a for-profit privatization scheme aimed at outsourcing core MBTA bus maintenance services.

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    “Giving up control of public transit to for-profit corporations has been a very bad deal for Massachusetts taxpayers, workers and riders,” said Michael Haywood, a mechanic and IAM Local 264 shop steward at Boston’s Arlington Avenue garage.

    Haywood has 11 years of experience repairing MBTA fleet vehicles.

    “Just look at the disaster with handing over the commuter rail to Keolis,” said Haywood. “We care about our riders and we don’t want to see the same expensive nightmare happen again by privatizing core bus services.”

    Despite a diverse and aging fleet of buses, federal data shows MBTA mechanics are the best performing in the nation. The latest available data indicates MBTA busses travel an average of 12,964 miles between breakdowns, more than 6,000 miles than the next best competitor. In fact, the invention of an MBTA mechanic and IAM 264 member is credited as playing the key role in improved winter performance by the MBTA this year. Public transit advocates warn that losing this kind of ingenuity and experience to outsourcing could destabilize the MBTA bus system.

    “Too many of the bus routes are not running frequent enough schedules to serve our riders as it is,” said William Hallsen, a 15-year mechanic and IAM 264 shop steward at Boston’s Everett garage. “Ceding control of bus maintenance to a for-profit company who will underbid, get rid of experienced mechanics, and cut corners is absolutely not the solution. Frankly, it’s dangerous.”

    Since the MBTA allowed for-profit Keolis to take control of public commuter rail services, the results for riders and taxpayers have been disastrous. Millions have been spent to bail out the for-profit company after they underbid their contract. Even privatization proponents acknowledge that the largest and most critical privatization effort by the MBTA so far has been a massive failure. Data shows that Keolis continues to struggle with providing on-time service, despite the bailouts.

    “Enough is enough,” said Mike Vartabedian, an IAM Local 264 representative with more than 20 years’ frontline experience fixing MBTA vehicles. “When you talk about destroying the best performing bus maintenance department in the country, that’s not a business decision, that’s a political decision. These for-profit, out-of-state companies can make up all the numbers they want to get their claws into the system, but when they lie or don’t deliver, Massachusetts residents pay the price—and that’s not right.”

    Meanwhile, other key outsourcing contracts, including with S.J. Services, ABM Industries, and the Maine Military Authority [6] have also been dramatically underbid. Results of the underbidding have included major repair delays to key MBTA fleet vehicles and attempts by janitorial contractors to rip health insurance coverage away from workers.

    More than 450 mechanics, fuelers, and other skilled professionals united in IAM Local 264 proudly contribute to the operation of the MBTA and to our communities every day. We believe in ensuring safety for our riders and in professionally negotiating contracts that guarantee our members have a say in their job and can perform those jobs in workplaces that are safe. The Machinists Union and Local 264 have been fighting for workers, their families and Boston communities for over 120 years.

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    The post Why Privatizing Massachusetts Public Transit Would be a Disaster for Taxpayers, Workers and Riders appeared first on IAMAW.


  • These California IAM Mechanics Are Locked Out. Here’s How You Can Help.

    Mechanics at Mossy Nissan in Oceanside, CA voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM, but have since been faced with a tremendous amount of adversity from a staunchly anti-union company.

    In spite of being locked out for well over a month, the workers have maintained their resolve and continue to hold a picket line outside the company to make potential patrons aware of the unscrupulous tactics used by management to avoid treating their employees with dignity and respect.

    Workers recently held a day of action at two of the company’s San Diego area dealerships. The rallies were well attended. District 190’s signature inflatable rat made an appearance.

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    “This company is conducting themselves in an unbelievably shameful manner,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “Mossy Nissan needs to stop playing games with people’s livelihoods and come to the table and negotiate in good faith.”

    “These workers have shown unbelievable resolve in the face of unspeakable adversity,” said District 190 Directing Business Representative James Beno. “I commend them for sticking together and never forgetting their goal of a fair contract for Mossy Nissan mechanics.”

    Members and activists are encouraged to Call Mossy Nissan and ask for Executive General Manager Sean Hogan at 760-702-3991. Tell him that you and your friends will not be shopping at Mossy Nissan until these workers are put back to work and the company bargains in good faith.

    The post These California IAM Mechanics Are Locked Out. Here’s How You Can Help. appeared first on IAMAW.


  • You Need This Training if You’re a Federal Worker

    It’s an uncertain time to be a federal worker. Get the training you need at the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Center.

    Three upcoming classes will help you prepare for whatever is ahead.

    Note that only those who have not previously attended the program will be enrolled. Participants are chosen on a first come basis, therefore it is extremely important that the enrollment forms for each authorized lodge participant be completed and returned as soon as possible.

    Federal Employees Basic Program | June 25-30, 2017
    Application Deadline: April 24, 2017
    Call Letter and Enrollment Form

    The program will involve training in areas specific to the federal sector such as collective bargaining, the Hatch Act and legislative action, Prohibited Personnel Practices, Unfair Labor Practices and grievance handling, arbitration and an overview of the Federal Labor Relations Act. This program will be helpful to stewards, officers and business representatives who serve members in the federal sector.

    Space is limited to 30 participants.

    Federal Employees Advanced Program | July 9-14, 2017
    Application Deadline: May 8, 2017
    Call Letter and Enrollment Form

    The program includes a review of basic concepts such as bargaining in the federal sector, unfair labor practices, and Weingarten and formal discussion rules. The class also includes a more in-depth examination of issues such as official time, dues deduction, work schedules and performance matters. There is also a review of procedures of the Merit Systems Protection Board and the EEO process. This program is helpful to stewards, officers and business representatives that serve members in the federal sector.

    Space is limited to 30 participants.

    Federal Employees Collective Bargaining Program | June 18-23, 2017
    Application Deadline: April 17, 2017
    Call Letter and Registration Form

    The program will focus on negotiating ground rules, contract bargaining, mid-term bargaining, collective bargaining and the Federal Labor Relations Act, negotiability appeals, impasse procedures with the Federal Service Impasses Panel, and preparing the Local Lodge for negotiations. A one-day collective bargaining simulation will also be included. This program will be useful to stewards and officers who negotiate in the federal sector.

    Space is limited to 24 participants.

    If you have questions, please contact the Government Employees Department at 301-967-4753.

    The post You Need This Training if You’re a Federal Worker appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Shopping on Amazon? Buy Today to Give 5% to Guide Dogs of America

    Today, March 16, Amazon will donate five percent—10 times the usual donation rate—of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Guide Dogs of America!

    AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you’re familiar with, but by making your purchases through Smile.Amazon.com, five percent of eligible March 16 purchases will be donated to Guide Dogs of America.

    Visit Smile.Amazon.com to choose GDA as your charity of choice.

    GDA is listed as International Guiding Eyes, Inc., the charity’s legal name. Every time you shop Amazon in the future, go through Smile.Amazon.com. As long as you log in from the same device (computer, smart phone or tablet) you used previously, the site will remember GDA as your charity of choice, and GDA will receive a contribution from your purchases. If you are shopping from a different device, you will need to choose GDA the first time you use it.

    Thousands of IAM members volunteer time and money to support GDA, which provides guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada.

    The post Shopping on Amazon? Buy Today to Give 5% to Guide Dogs of America appeared first on IAMAW.


  • It’s a Good Day to Thank This Boston Machinist

    Boston’s railways will stay clearer during today’s blizzard because of the ingenuity of IAM Local 264 member Michael Haywood.

    Haywood, an MBTA Machinist, came up with the idea during a barrage of powerful 2015 winter storms. The transit system, which has more than a half-million riders daily, had been brought to its knees.

    The National Guard had been brought in to shovel. Haywood, known to his co-workers as “Haywire,” knew there had to be a better way.

    “So he thought of one: mounting a John Deere vehicle often used to scoop dirt—it’s called a skid-steer loader—onto railcar wheels in order to clear the snow-packed tracks,” reports the Boston Globe.

    The contraption worked. And MBTA hired a company to build eight machines based on Haywood’s prototype.

    Here it is in action:

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    “It’s like using a scalpel versus a hatchet,” Haywood said.

    But despite the resourcefulness of Haywood and MBTA Machinists, more than 500 IAM Local 264 jobs, including Haywood’s, are on the line in Massachusetts.

    “How does MBTA reward dedication and creativity?” asks District 15 Business Representative Mike Vartabedian, a former “T” Mechanic. “The very next week, the MBTA proposes to outsource his job. Michael’s ingenuity speaks for itself. John Deere bringing his retrofit in-house, literally offering him a job, confirms it. Brother Haywood is a strong voice for the IAM on the shop floor, and a real leader calling on the Massachusetts Fiscal and Management Control Board to reject privatization efforts.”

    These hard-working, experienced mechanics have the best “miles between breakdowns” record in the country, but are facing mass layoffs as a result of misguided privatization efforts. For generations, Local 264 has been creating ways to keep MBTA’s buses and trains running every single day.

    Prior privatization efforts have been failures, and the public cannot trust the numbers put forth by private companies that are backed by biased data sources.

    Massachusetts workers and riders agree that the time to invest in public transit is now.

    Click here to email the MBTA. Tell them to reject efforts to outsource core MBTA services.

    “Our members constantly provide solutions for any obstacle they face,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “No matter the situation, the dedication and resolve they bring to the job day-in-day-out in order to get the job done is second to none. Still, they face the constant threat of privatizing their jobs to the lowest bidder, which is nothing but a bargaining chip to drive down wages, benefits and working conditions.”

    “Nobody understands these jobs and what it takes to keep MBTA moving like the dedicated professionals servicing them,” said District 15 Directing Business Representative Juan Negron. “The highly skilled IAM members bring a level of professionalism, experience, and ‘can do, will do’ to the task at hand, every day, to solve any problems they may face.

    “Yet the state wants to outsource these innovative, dedicated workers in an effort to pay for their own lack of investment into the system, leaving equipment, facilities antiquated, and in disrepair.”

    Learn more about the campaign to save Massachusetts public transit at InvestNowMA.org.

    The post It’s a Good Day to Thank This Boston Machinist appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Inside the Sinister Attack on Federal ‘Official Time’

    If you’re a federal employee or contractor, helping your coworkers manage disputes on the job could soon mean losing your retirement.

    Two bills (H.R. 1293 and H.R. 1364) charging through Congress would greatly hamper federal employees’ right to fair union representation. The “Official Time Reform Act” (H.R. 1364) would stop pension accrual for time spent representing fellow federal employees on the job, also called “official time.”

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    “Federal managers and employees use official time to make our government work more efficiently and save taxpayer money,” said Price. “They use it to help create a safe work environment, resolve disputes, head off discrimination on the job and represent all employees in grievance and disciplinary actions—whether they are union members or not.”

    Current law explicitly prohibits union activities while on official time, including any internal union business, solicitation of new members, election of union officers and any partisan political issues.

    Call the Capitol at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative. Tell them that H.R. 1364 and 1293 are unnecessary and cruel attacks on federal workers.

    Then, send an email telling your Representative to vote No on H.R. 1364 and 1293.

    IAM and NFFE-IAM represent more than 100,000 federal workers.

    “At a time when the checks and balances of government are arguably deteriorating, these bills will depress the use of official time, a valuable management tool that encourages transparency and accountability in government,” NFFE-IAM National President Randy Erwin wrote in a letter to Congress.

    The post Inside the Sinister Attack on Federal ‘Official Time’ appeared first on IAMAW.