• It’s About Family

    As the IAM Southern Territory loses Larry Young to the Midwest, a ‘new’ Larry takes his place.  As of May 1, 2017, Larry Battle will be the new Directing Business Representative for District #74.

    “This district is a unique area with a wide variety of companies calling it home, but also a lot of Service Contracts stemming from the military bases that dot the East Coast,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “I knew we needed someone who could wear numerous ‘negotiating hats.’ Larry Battle fit the mold as a Labor Leader who could use his experience and knowledge no matter the situation. He is Union to the core and a proud addition to the IAM’s Southern Team,” said General Vice President Mark Blondin.

    But for Battle, taking the job was not an easy decision. The work was never a question – it was the effect it would have on his close-knit family. In order for his 15-year old son Travis to finish high school, he and Battle’s wife Teresa will remain at home for now.

    “This was a family decision for us. My home is in Floyd, VA, a small town with a population of about 500. And now I was moving to Virginia Beach to live in an apartment, seeing my family only on the weekends,” explained Battle. “For 19 years, my wife and son saw me at home every evening. I had to make sure they were okay with that sacrifice.”

    But at his core, Battle knew he couldn’t turn down an opportunity to take care of the workers who need him.

    “I decided to do it because I was a steward, chief steward and a president throughout more than 20 years in my local lodge, and it’s about helping people,” said Battle.  “I have a need, deep down, to help others. I do believe God gives you an abundance and you have to share it. I help those by forwarding the cause of workers and workers rights.”

    “It’s a big commitment and a hardship on the families of union representatives who take these positions,” said General Vice President Mark Blondin who understands the struggle firsthand. “Men and women who step up and take these jobs sacrifice so much personally, but we need them for the labor movement to continue to grow and help working families.”

    Without hesitation, Battle calls himself extremely fortunate. And he knew his family would support him because they too understand what it means to be union.

    “I don’t think they know how grateful I am for their patience and understanding,” said Battle. “I have been blessed with a son who is appreciative, smart and understands the importance of worker rights.  My wife is the same way and is willing to sacrifice so much, as we all do, for working families. They both understand these workers are part of our extended family.”

    Battle says it’s very simple. “At the end of the day, I do this because I want everyone to have a better life, like I do.” And that, makes him a perfect match for the IAM’s Southern Team.

    The post It’s About Family appeared first on IAMAW.

  • IAM Retiree Assistance Program Tackles Senior-life Issues

    More than 30 IAM retirees and spouses took part in the Retiree Assistance Program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

    More than 30 IAM retirees recently took part in the IAM Retirees Assistance Program (RAP) at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

    With the ranks of retired members growing each year, the work of the IAM Retirees Department has become increasingly important. The RAP was established by the department to provide a wealth of information on issues specific to senior-life situations. The program is designed for retired members, spouses and those ready to retire.

    “I’m still active in my local and my district,” said Havelock, NC Local 2296 retiree Rowlinda Farrow. “And this is information that I can pass on to them.”

    Throughout the week, the group interacted with experts on topics including mental health, investment education, grief issues, addiction, household safety and nutrition.

    “This kind of instruction demonstrates that the IAM is interested in the member from the cradle to the grave,” said Edwardsville, IL Local FL406 member Frank Catalano. “I’m retiring at the end of the year and it’s good to see that the union recognizes the importance of retirees having a full life in retirement.”

    “I hope to gain the ability to help my fellow retired members deal with issues that affect the quality of their life,” said Montreal, Local 2468 retiree Ed O’Flaherty.

    “I participated in the union during my working career. But I’m retired now and the union is still looking after me, and still caring for me.”

    “I enjoy learning anything that can be beneficial to myself and to be able to bring it to other people,” said Deborah O’Flaherty, Ed’s wife. “It helps us set up for problems that we are going to face eventually.”

    The Retirees Department also hosts Retirees Education Strategy Program (RESP) classes, which are designed to help keep retirees active with their union and fellow members across the U.S. and Canada.

    For more information about the RAP and RESP programs, please contact the IAM Retirees and Employee Assistance Programs Department.

    The post IAM Retiree Assistance Program Tackles Senior-life Issues appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Machinists Fight for Working Families on Capitol Hill

    IAM members from across the country gathered in Washington, DC this week to meet legislators and advocate for working people.

    “Members of Congress know the Machinists have a reputation in Washington, DC,” IAM International President Bob Martinez said to open the 2017 Legislative Conference. “Our members vote, our members are engaged, and our members talk to their friends, family, and union sisters and brothers. We mean what we say. And our members take action.”

    Martinez discussed trade, retirement security and pensions, good jobs, right to work and more issues facing working people and their unions.

    U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) both spoke on the need for a sound Buy America policy to ensure that North American workers have good-paying jobs.

    Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Angus King (D-ME) and Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Anthony Brown (D-MD), along with NFFE-IAM National President Randy Erwin, TCU-IAM Vice President Ron Kloos, and Owen Herrnstadt, IAM Chief of Staff and Director of Trade and Globalization, also spoke on a range of topics at the conference.

    IAM General Vice President Diane Babineaux and Bruce Olsson, Assistant Director of Legislative and Political Action were recognized for their dedication and years of service.

    At the end of each day, Machinists headed for Capitol Hill, where they met with elected officials to discuss the issues that are important for working families. The activities included a visit with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

    “This year’s conference brought Fighting Machinists from across the country to Capitol Hill with the sole purpose of promoting our legislative agenda,” said IAM Legislative Director Hasan Solomon. “We heard from several influential members of Congress on a myriad of hot topic issues facing American workers. This was a great opportunity for our members to speak truth to power and most importantly hold their elected congressional representatives accountable.”

    On Tuesday, Martinez was joined by influential politicians, hundreds of Machinists Union members, news media and labor allies to promote the Keep Our Pension Promises Act. The congressional legislation would restore the long-standing rule prohibiting multi-employer pension plans from cutting benefits to current retirees.

    WATCH: IAM Intl. President Martinez Pushes for Pension Protection Law

    See photos from the Legislative Conference on the Machinists Union Facebook page.

    The post Machinists Fight for Working Families on Capitol Hill appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Do You Know Where Your Nabisco Treats Are Made? Check the Label

    The next time you plan to purchase cookies or other products of snack-maker Nabisco, check the label. If it’s not made in the U.S. or Canada, don’t buy it. Save your hard-earned dollars in support of IAM and other union jobs.        

    Support the “Check the Label” campaign.

    Mondelēz International, the Nabisco brand’s parent company, laid off 600 manufacturing workers last year in Chicago where a variety of Nabisco products are made. IAM members maintain the equipment at that location.

    Mondelēz’s CEO has made more than $200 million in the past 10 years. Billions of dollars have gone back to the largest investors in dividends and stock buybacks. The consequences of this corporate greed have been disastrous to the members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union who were laid off one year ago as the company shifted production to Mexico.

    Never underestimate the power of unity however. The IAM, along with the other 54 AFL-CIO unions, is showing solidarity by supporting the “Check the Label” campaign and avoiding products Mondelēz outsources to Mexico and other countries.

    “Nabisco’s actions represent a full-on assault on the middle class,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “The time has come for the U.S. and Canada to reinvest in our communities.”

    Support North American jobs: Do not buy Nabisco products made in Mexico and tell your grocery store manager to stock American-made Nabisco products only.

    How can you tell if your Nabisco snack is made in the U.S. or Canada?

    There are two ways to tell:

    1. Check for the words “Made in Mexico.”
    2. Check the plant identification code next to the product expiration date.

    Do not buy if the letters MM or MS follow directly behind the product expiration date.

    Get more information on the “Check the Label” campaign.

    Or watch a short video on how you can support U.S. and Canadian workers.

    The post Do You Know Where Your Nabisco Treats Are Made? Check the Label appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Higher Pay, Pension Top New Crown Cork & Seal Union Contract

    As a show of solidarity with members on the shop floors, members of the IAM Crown Cork & Seal Negotiating Committee donned IAM solidarity t-shirts on the final day of negotiating a new three-year master agreement covering nearly 320 IAM members across four states. Front row, left to right: Rick Mickschl, Grand Lodge Representative; Earl Torstvet, LL 695; Brad Warne, Lodge 31; Greg Heidal, District 160 Business Representative; Craig Norman, Collective Bargaining Director; K Campbell, Lodge 31; Steve Vaubel, LL 924; Douglas Day, District 6 Business Representative; and Dave Johnson, LL 1115. Back row, left to right: Tom Schultz, LL 695; Chis Holden, LL 924; Neil Kamrowski, District 66 DBR; Ernie Domnie, LL 1115; Craig Hughes, District 15 Business Representative; Tom Giarusso, LL 1271; and John Steigauf, District 77 DBR.

    IAM members at Crown Cork & Seal, a beverage and food packaging company with locations throughout the U.S., have approved a new three-year master agreement across four states.

    The master agreement covers nearly 320 IAM members in LaCrosse, WI, Mankato, MN, Omaha, NE and Olympia, WA. Two additional IAM-represented Crown plants, located in Lawrence, MA and Winchester, VA, also took part of the negotiations, but are not part of the master agreement.

    The new contract includes a general wage increase of two percent the first year with a $0.50 minimum and a 1.5 percent increase the second year. Annual cost of living adjustments will continue for the National IAM Pension contribution with increases of $0.25 the first year to $3.55 per hour and $0.20 the second year to $3.75 per hour. The agreement also includes some significate language improvements which will allow members to cover each other’s shifts without using vacation time.

    “Congratulations to IAM members at Crown Cork & Seal and to the negotiating committee for an outstanding job in ensuring Crown workers a better future,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “And a job well done to IAM Collective Bargaining Director Craig Norman, who led negotiations on behalf of the IAM, and IAM Grand Lodge Representative Rick Mickschl, IAM District 66 Directing Business Representative (DBR) Neil Kamrowski, IAM District 77 Directing Business Representative John Steigauf, and IAM District 6 Business Representative Douglas Day, who also took part in the negotiations.”

    “This agreement would not have been possible without the solidarity from the membership and the team effort put in by all those on the negotiating committee,” said Norman. “As a committee, we recognized the issues that were important to our members and worked hard at reaching a fair and equitable resolution with the company. The end result was a contract with better pay and retirement benefits for our members. Congratulations to all.”

    “Congratulations to the IAM members at Crown Cork & Seal on reaching a new master agreement,” said Kamrowski. “The committee did a great job at helping the company understand our issues and getting the right language to address those issues. Collective Bargaining Director Craig Norman should be proud of his work. This is a really strong contract – one in which Crown workers should be proud of. Our members deserve a huge congratulations for their solidarity and what they were able to achieve by simply coming together and ensuring their continued voice at the workplace.”

    “I would like to congratulate IAM members at Crown Cork & Seal on their solidarity in reaching an outstanding three-year contract,” said Steigauf. “From the shop floor to the negotiating table, collectively your strength helped to signal the company of your intent. Specifically, the group action leading up to negotiations of all the plants wearing solidarity tee shirts every Wednesday, ending with the entire negotiating committee wearing their shirts in negotiations on the final Wednesday. It was an outstanding display of group solidarity to achieve a group outcome. United we stand, Congratulations.”

    The new master agreement became effective April 1, 2017.

    The post Higher Pay, Pension Top New Crown Cork & Seal Union Contract appeared first on IAMAW.

  • IAM Wins Certification at Alaska Airlines, United Ground Express

    The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today won certification as the representative for 5,500 employees at Alaska Airlines and United Ground Express.

    The National Mediation Board (NMB) certified the IAM to represent the entire Clerical, Office, Fleet and Passenger Service Employees craft or class at Alaska Airlines, Inc. The NMB certification confirms that post-merger Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are now functioning as a single transportation system for representation purposes for Clerical, Office, Fleet and Passenger Service employees of the combined carrier.

    Stores employees will continue to be represented by the IAM without the need for a single carrier determination from the NMB. There are no similar corresponding employees from Virgin America.

    “This certification assures that all our members at Alaska Airlines will work under the provisions and safety our collective bargaining agreement affords,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

    “The IAM will continue to welcome and integrate the Virgin America employees into the IAM structure,” said District 142 PDGC Dave Supplee.

    In February 2017, the IAM filed an application with the NMB asserting that Alaska Airlines and Virgin America constituted a single transportation system. This certification reaffirms that the IAM represents approximately 4,500 members at post-merger Alaska.

    The NMB also officially certified the IAM as the representative for approximately 1,000 United Ground Express (UGE) employees. The certification was the final step in the process of union representation for UGE.

    “This UGE certification gives solid IAM representation to workers in this segment of the industry that has been too frequently neglected,” said GVP Pantoja.

    UGE is a subsidiary of United Airlines, which handles above and below the wing duties in 31 locations nationwide.

    The post IAM Wins Certification at Alaska Airlines, United Ground Express appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Machinists, IP Martinez Rally with Senators to Protect Pensions

    Congress needs to act now to save the retirement security provided by pensions, IAM International President Bob Martinez said at a news conference alongside Sens. Bernie Sanders, Tammy Baldwin and Al Franken on Capitol Hill.

    Martinez was joined by hundreds of Machinists Union members and other allies to promote the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, or KOPPA. The legislation would restore the long-standing rule prohibiting multi-employer pension plans from cutting benefits to current retirees.

    “Too many Americans have already had their earned retirements ripped away from them through no fault of their own,” said Martinez. “Where I’m from in Texas, we call that highway robbery.”

     A Republican-controlled Congress did away with what’s known as the “anti-cutback rule” in 2014. Until then, ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, protected retirees in so-called “troubled” multi-employer pension plans from cuts to their earned benefits.

    The IAM was a leading opponent of gutting the anti-cutback rule.

    KOPPA, which is being introduced by Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) in the House, would restore that protection. It would also adequately fund the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, which steps in to pay retirees when pension plans become insolvent.

    A comfortable retirement, or a retirement at all, is becoming out of reach for a troublingly large number of middle-class Americans, Sanders said.

    “Retirees all over this country are waking up to the reality that the pension benefits they are receiving today may soon be cut by 20, 30, or even 65 percent,” said Sanders. “Imagine that. Imagine working your whole life and sacrificing to ensure that your family has a secure retirement and one day you wake up and find out there are plans to cut your retirement.”

    Machinists Union members in Washington, DC for the IAM Legislative Conference packed the room, along with other pension advocates. IAM members are visiting members of Congress all week to promote KOPPA and other legislation that would help working families.

    Restoring pension security should be a no-brainer for any member of Congress who claims to support the middle class, said Martinez. President Trump, who during his campaign promised to fight for working Americans, should demand KOPPA’s passage, said Martinez.

    “If the President really supports working men and women, like he says he does, he should put KOPPA on the fast track to his desk to be signed into law,” said Martinez.

    Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your Senators and Representative to stand for retirement security by co-sponsoring the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.

    Read Martinez’s letters in support of KOPPA to the House and Senate.

    See the IAM’s fact sheet on KOPPA.

    Write your own message of support using the hashtag #ProtectOurPensions, or share these tweets, to show you stand for retirement security:

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  • 2017 IAM Journal – She’s Ready To Fight. Are You?

    As you read this edition of the IAM Journal, I hope you will appreciate the new direction we have taken with it, and the increased emphasis we have placed on our members. You will read about organizing successes and how the Machinists  Union has brought our jobs home from overseas. You’ll meet a few of our members who have served in our nation’s military, and you’ll be introduced to IAM retirees who defy age. Many of the photographs throughout the magazine were taken by one of our lobstermen members. Once you see his work, you’ll understand why he has gained national recognition.

    Please enjoy the stories and images included in the following pages of our IAM Journal.

    We are the Fighting Machinists.

    Bob Martinez
    International President

    The post 2017 IAM Journal – She’s Ready To Fight. Are You? appeared first on IAMAW.

  • Time Running Out to Enter 2017 Photo Contest

    InformationOfficial Call (EN)Official Call (FR)

    This is the official announcement of the 2017 IAM Photography Contest. It is open to all IAM members in good standing. Entries should catch IAM members at work in unposed photos. Winning entries will win a cash prize and will appear in the 2018 IAM Calendar. Two dollars from each calendar sale is donated to Guide Dogs of America.

    You can also visit the IAM Communications Department Contest site for additional information.

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  • IAM Headquarters Raises Nearly $7K for March of Dimes

    IAM Grand Lodge employees and families once again donated and volunteered their time to support the March of Dimes by raising over $6,900 this year. This is the 16th year the union has sponsored the charity and has raised more than $80,000 to date.

    Volunteers held chili lunches, bake sales, participated in Blue Jeans for Babies Fridays, 50/50 sales and signed up to March for Babies.

    The IAM hosted a spirit station to support participants in the walk/run at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, MD on Saturday, April 28.

    WATCH: Why We Walk

    The March of Dimes is a foundation focused on preventing birth defects and infant mortality. It raises money to assist families in need of a lifeline for babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICU), connecting them with the critical treatments and care they need.

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