• IDG-Backed NYC Tipping Mandate Signed Into Law

    Driving for Uber in New York City just got a whole lot more prosperous thanks to the efforts of the IAM affiliate, Independent Drivers Guild (IDG). Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the law mandating all for-hire vehicle companies provide a tipping option.

    The signing of NYC council member Ydanis Rodriguez’s proposed law is the work of the IDG and their ability to unite thousands of ride-hail drivers and push for the change.

    “This is a historic day, tipping is a vitally important source of income for thousands of families who are struggling to make ends meet right now,” said IDG founder and President Jim Conigliaro, Jr. “This is just the beginning too, there’s much more to be done to help these drivers achieve the basic benefits all workers deserve.”

    In April, the New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission granted a petition by the IDG to create a rule requiring ride-hailing services to add in-app tipping which led to Uber to offer in-app tipping nationwide.

    The Independent Drivers Guild represents over 45,000 For-Hire Vehicle drivers in New York City. The IDG is the first nonprofit labor organization to negotiate a seat at the table with ride share company and the first to offer crucial new protections and essential benefits while building worker power.

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  • Oklahoma City Air Traffic Controller Instructors Latest to Join IAM

    More than 280 air traffic controller instructors at SAIC in Oklahoma City, OK have voted overwhelmingly in favor of IAM representation. Workers cited job security, pay, and health and welfare benefits as reasons for seeking out the IAM.

    “This is a tremendous victory for the workers of SAIC,” said Organizing Department Grand Lodge Representative Bob Anderson, who led the campaign. “Confronted with an aggressive anti-union campaign, they stood together and demanded better. Their union contract is going to provide them just that.”

    It should be noted the IAM’s newest members are retired air traffic controllers who have actually returned to the workforce in order to train the next generation of air traffic controllers. Their work is vital to the safety and security of our country.

    Assisting the Organizing Department in the campaign was the IAM Aerospace Department, IAM District Lodge 171 in Enid, OK and IAM Local Lodge 850 in Oklahoma City, OK.

    “Congratulations to everyone who played a role in making this victory happen,” said IAM Headquarters General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “The hard work put in by all involved is going to pay off in a big way for the workers of SAIC.”

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  • Ontario IAM Automotive Members Strike for Fairness

    Thirty-six IAM Local 1120 members at Lakehead Motors in Thunder Bay, ON went on strike August 2, after the employer forced their hand by not responding to the initial union offer.

    The IAM technicians, body men, parts personnel, shippers and receivers, installers and general helpers have been in negotiations since March, when the previous agreement expired.

    “The main issues were those which were already resolved at many other auto dealerships in the Thunder Bay area,” said Local 1120 Directing Business Representative Peter Topetto. “Our members have just ratified similar agreements at four other dealerships in Thunder Bay, so I know our demands were quite reasonable.”

    Some of the areas being negotiated were pensions, wages, vacation scheduling language, damaged tool replacement, travel time for mandatory training and education, and vision care improvements.

    “These negotiations were about fairness to our members,” said Topetto. “All other employers in Thunder Bay saw that and came to an agreement fairly quickly, except at Lakehead Motors. We hear that he is sending work to his other dealerships and we think this is unfair,” Topetto continued. “Sending our members’ work to non-unionized places is sending a very clear message to our members – it’s one that will poison the work environment. We are examining our options as the employer has left us little choice.”

    The IAM represents workers at seven auto dealerships in Thunder Bay, among the more than 1,500 members at auto and truck dealerships on Vancouver Island, the lower mainland of British Columbia, Edmonton, Calgary, Fort Frances, Sault Ste. Marie, Markham, Toronto, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador.

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  • Boston Mechanics Rally Outside MBTA Headquarters

    Boston mechanics and allies rallied outside MBTA headquarters earlier this morning.

    MBTA officials held a vendor pre-bid meeting to release information about MBTA’s bus maintenance facilities. This information was presented to all private corporations/bidders submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP) to take over bus maintenance work at bus maintenance facilities in Lynn, Quince, and Boston.

    MBTA mechanics recently offered Gov. Charlie Baker and his transit administration $29 million in savings. The mechanics have not heard back from Baker on their proposal.

    “Gov. Baker broke his promise to not privatize MBTA services,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “This broken promise will hurt Boston’s working families. They aren’t just fighting for decent wages, and benefits either, they’re fighting to protect their pensions to guarantee the right to retire with dignity. The best mechanics in the world are fighting to protect the riders, the communities, and the taxpayers.”

    More than 450 mechanics, fuelers, and other skilled professionals united in IAM Local 264 proudly contribute to the operation of the MBTA and their communities every day.

    For more information on the privatization of three bus maintenance garages-

    Read: Getting inside the T’s union talks and visit INVEST NOW

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  • Houston Airport Workers Overwhelmingly Vote IAM Yes

    Roughly 130 Swissport cleaners and ramp agents at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston voted overwhelmingly in favor of IAM representation this past week. The workers cited pay, scheduling and concerns about overtime as reasons for voting to make the IAM their collective bargaining representative.

    “Workers stood together throughout the campaign and sent a clear message they want more of a voice on the job,” said Organizing Department Special Representative Fabian Liendo, who led the organizing campaign. “These new IAM members should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

    In addition to the IAM Organizing Department, the Southern Territory and Transportation Territory assisted in securing a win.

    The IAM already represents various Swissport locations throughout North America. In November 2015, more than 120 fueling agents at Phoenix International Airport also voted IAM Yes.

    “We’re looking forward to working closely with Swissport to make sure our new members realize the full benefits that accompany a union contract,” said IAM Organizing Director Don Barker.

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  • Guide Dogs of America Dedicates Auditorium for Beloved Supporter Fran Granger

    Accompanied by GDA President Russ Gittlen, GDA board member J. Weldon Granger speaks during the July 29 dedication of the Fran Granger Auditorium on GDA’s Campus.

    More than 350 guests joined Guide Dogs of America (GDA) President Russell A. Gittlen July 29 for the dedication of the Fran Granger Auditorium on the school’s campus in Sylmar, Calif.

    Named in memory of GDA board member J. Weldon Granger’s beloved wife of 46 years, the auditorium is located at the heart of GDA’s visitor and education center.

    Mr. Gittlen welcomed Mr. Granger and the couple’s children, Jennifer Granger Blankenship, John Granger, and Jason Granger to the auditorium’s stage to accept a plaque honoring their family’s generous support. Mr. Granger’s $250,000 gift to name the auditorium is the most recent example of his family’s dedication to GDA’s mission to provide blind and visually impaired individuals with guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge.

    “Today is a very special day,” said Gittlen. “The Grangers’ generosity is long standing, going back many years, to the tune of $1.5 million dollars. We would not be able to operate without the support of the Grangers and other funders.”

    Accompanied by GDA President Russ Gittlen, GDA board member J. Weldon Granger speaks during the July 29 dedication of the Fran Granger Auditorium on GDA’s Campus.

    Mr. Granger and the couple’s sons have served the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Worker all of their professional lives and Mrs. Granger was deeply committed to GDA, as well as several charitable organizations in her Houston, Texas community and beyond.

    Mrs. Granger died in 2016 at the age of 67. At the time of her passing, Mr. Granger shared that his wife’s courageous battle with cancer exemplified her unwavering strength and strong Catholic faith, and that her unselfish approach to life made her a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.

    “We are so proud to be part of this organization,” Mr. Granger told the crowd that filled the Fran Granger Auditorium. “My wife was very active in community service and she loved GDA. We thank you for allowing us to have this auditorium named after her. Thank you very much.”

    The graduation ceremony of GDA’s Class 399 immediately followed the dedication. The class includes 10 teams of blind and visually impaired individuals and their new guide dogs. Students in the class range in age from 22 to 70-years, and range in experience from a first-time guide dog user to a student graduating with her 15th guide dog.

    GDA board member Lorri Bernson has received two guide dogs through GDA’s program.

    “The kindness of families like the Grangers enable the lives of visually impaired people like myself to be enhanced with the gift of a guide dog,” said Bernson. “My life has forever changed.”

    Fran Granger

    Mrs. Granger was known to shy away from fanfare. While she truly “gave to give,” without the need for notice, she would be incredibly touched to know there is a forever memory in her honor on the campus of GDA, Ms. Bernson said.

    “We will always remember her and her warmth will fill the auditorium each time we gather here,” said Bernson.

    Six graduations are held annually in the Fran Granger Auditorium. The public is welcomed to the celebrations of the guide dog teams and the volunteers, sponsors and staff who make the life-changing partnerships possible. Visit the Graduation Ceremonies page for the schedule and details.

    Founded in 1948 by Joseph Jones, Sr., a retired Machinist, GDA has graduated more than 3,300 guide dog teams. It costs GDA $48,000 to breed, raise and train one guide dog and train each individual and guide dog to work together as a team. All services are provided at no charge to the recipient. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, GDA receives no funding from government agencies. All donations come from caring individuals, businesses, foundations, clubs and organizations, as well as through wills and naming opportunities.

    To learn more about available naming opportunities at the Macki and Phil Singer Visitor and Education Center visit “Invest in GDA, Name Our Venues.”

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  • Negron Appointed Chief of Staff in the Eastern Territory

    International President Bob Martinez announced the appointment of Juan Negron to the position of Chief of Staff for the Eastern Territory, effective August 1, 2017.

    “I am proud to welcome Juan as the new Eastern Territory Chief of Staff,” said Martinez. “He is an extremely competent leader who brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. He is a great addition to the IAM staff.”

    “I’ve spent the last 25 years working side by side with Juan, and watching him grow into the leader that he is today,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “He brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and knowhow with him. He has had success in each of his endeavors helping working families all across the IAM, and will be a key asset as we continue to focus on growing the IAM and the middle class.”

    Negron, a 30-year member of the IAM was the Directing Business Representative of District 15, prior to joining the staff. Negron earned a bachelor’s degree in labor studies and administration from the National Labor College. He has served in many leadership roles within the IAM and his community, which includes being the lead political organizer in New Jersey for the union. He continues to serve, most notably, as a member of the Executive Board of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

    Negron’s appointment follows the departure of Jim Conigliaro, Jr. to fill the duties of President of the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG), an IAM-affiliated organization he launched in 2016 in response to the pleas of for-hire vehicle drivers.

    Dominic Taibbi will take over as District 15 Directing Business Representative. An IAM member since 1984, Taibbi served in many leadership roles before becoming a District 15 Business Representative and Local 434 Business Manager in 2004. In January 2017, Dominic was appointed as the District 15 Assistant Directing Business Representative.

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  • International President Tours Houston Shop Floor

    IAM International President Bob Martinez was in Houston to visit with the nearly 360 Machinists members who work at Wyman Gordon Forgings, a subsidiary of Precision Castparts Corp. It was an opportunity to meet the Machinists Union members who keep the aerospace industry flying high and running smoothly.

    “It’s a privilege to witness the work these brothers and sisters do on a daily basis,” said Martinez. “Our members here represent what’s great about American workers and the Machinists Union.”

    The members at Wyman Gordon Forgings make aerospace parts for companies like General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and more. They also make unique seamless pipes used at power plants and offshore applications.

    “These workers are an integral part of the aerospace industry, manufacturing many of the parts used around the country and the world,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “We are proud of that dedication and hard work you find in shops like this one across the Southern Territory. It’s great to see hard-working Machinists members excelling in good-paying middle class jobs that provide the benefits needed to build the American dream.”

    Martinez toured the facility just before the upcoming negotiations of District 37 and Local 15 start next week. Securing work and economic security are two major issues sure to cross the table, as well as potential classification merging. The Southern Territory will assist in these negotiations using all the tools available to make sure these workers receive a fair contract at the bargaining table.

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  • Show Your Support for IAM Chicago-area Striking Auto Mechanics

    More than 1,700 IAM-represented auto mechanics from across the Chicagoland area are venturing into their third day on strike. A group of more than 130 Chicago dealerships have refused to pay the skilled workers a fair wage and provide them a fair work schedule.

    See photos from the vote and picket lines here.

    Members of IAM Automobile Mechanics Local 701, based in Carol Stream, IL, voted overwhelmingly, to strike the New Car Dealer Committee (NCDC) after reviewing the dealerships’ so-called last, best and final offer Sunday.

    Negotiations have not resumed since the strike started, however the union negotiation committee is prepared to sit back down and talk.

    “We were ready to go back to the table to resolve the issues on Monday, before the strike started” said Local 701 Directing Business Representative Sam Cicinelli. “My phone is on, but it has been silent from a call from the New Car Dealer Committee attorney David Radelet.”

    The striking technicians have received an overwhelming amount of support from fellow IAM members, their community, politicians, customers and even dealership owners. Some dealership owners are even buying lunch and supplying water to the technicians who they describe as the “backbone of their dealerships.”

    In the Chicago area? Come on out to any of our 130 dealership locations to show your support. Grab a strike sign. Or, call your local dealership and demand they give their auto mechanics a fair contract.

    Click here for a list of Chicago dealerships on strike.

    Not in the Chicago area? Show your support and solidarity on the IAMAW Automobile Mechanics Local 701 Facebook page.

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  • Metal Trades Members Attend IAM’s Field Negotiation Prep

    In a world that has become it harder and harder to negotiate decent bargaining agreements for union members who work in the Department of Energy, the AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department (MTD) requested support from the IAM.

    IAM members employed by Honeywell at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM and fellow union affiliates employed by Bechtel at the Naval Propulsion Center in Idaho Falls, ID took part in the Winpisinger Center’s Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees field program in advance of their upcoming contract negotiations.

    The IAM, being one of the original unions involved in the formation of the Metal Trades Department, plays a critical role in the department in many ways. The intensive training, known to most Machinists members as Negotiations Prep, is just another example of the diverse services provided to IAM members and affiliates of the MTD.

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