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  • Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Calls on MBTA to Negotiate with IAM Local 264

    The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, recently expressed their opposition to the outsourcing of bus maintenance at the MBTA in a letter to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.

    “Hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents use MBTA bus service every day,” said members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation. “For many it is their only available public transit service. A well-functioning, sustainable MBTA is in everyone’s interest. We think those interests will be best served by sitting down and negotiating with your employees on major issues of concern to them so an agreement can be found that you both wholeheartedly support. We urge you to do so.”

    Read the entire letter here

    “IAM Local 264 would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation for joining us in this fight,” said IAM District 15 Business Representative Mike Vartabedian. “We hope Governor Baker and Transportation Secretary Pollack take the appropriate action against the failed policy of privatizing our public transit services. We look forward to working on public policy solutions that create a stronger public transit system that delivers quality service to the people of Massachusetts.”

    International President Bob Martinez offered praise to the delegation.

    “The list of allies in our fight to save Massachusetts public transit is growing by the day,” said Martinez. “The IAM looks forward to working with the Massachusetts congressional delegation to fight back against the privatization of our public transit system.”

    Read the Boston Globe article: Senators, reps urge MBTA: Negotiate with your workers instead of privatizing

    More than 450 mechanics, fuelers, and other skilled professionals in IAM Local 264 proudly contribute to the operation of the MBTA and 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 125 years.

    The post Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Calls on MBTA to Negotiate with IAM Local 264 appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Machinists-Led Independent Drives Guild Wins In-App Tipping for NYC Uber Drivers

    After months of hard work, Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) members driving for Uber in New York City were successful in their petition with Taxi and Limousine Commission to force Uber to allow in-app tipping.

    The IDG petitioned the professional drivers governing body to require all ride-hail apps, such as Uber, to offer an in-app tipping option. IDG estimates the breakthrough will bring an additional $300 million per year for New York City drivers.

    The ruling follows a grassroots effort by members of the IDG by calling and emailing the TLC. More than 50 IDG members testified at a TLC hearing, demanding action from the commission to approve the tipping rule and protect drivers’ wages from the exploitative practices of ride-hail companies.

    “Today’s decision is a vitally important step forward for drivers,” said IDG founder and IAM Eastern Territory Chief of Staff Jim Conigliaro, Jr. “In-app tipping will mean a raise of hundreds of millions of dollars for New York City drivers each year. Drivers have long been denied access to the kinds of benefits and labor protections many workers take for granted, such as paid sick leave or the minimum wage.”

    The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers which represents and advocates for more than 50,000 ride-hail drivers in New York City.

    The post Machinists-Led Independent Drives Guild Wins In-App Tipping for NYC Uber Drivers appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Solidarity Takes Center Stage at IAM Transportation Conference

    The 2017 IAM Transportation Conference in Las Vegas concluded on Wednesday, April 12. The biennial conference was the most well attended conference in the Transportation Department’s history with more than 600 delegates.

    See the convention photos.

    The highly successful conference had a diverse list of speakers, including IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr., GVP Stand Pickthall, ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton, AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, and TWU International President Harry Lombardo.

    Delegates learned how to handle active shoo’ter situations from the Department of Homeland Security. They also heard about how the IAM’s Critical Incident Response Team has responded to past incidents and developed a new curriculum to train additional members.

    See videos from the convention.

    Transportation GVP Sito Pantoja set the celebratory tone of the conference by discussing the Transportation Department’s successes of the last few years, including:

    • Dramatically improving the job security provisions at Alaska, Southwest, Hawaiian, American and United Airlines;
    • Growing the union with organizing wins at SM Cargo, Jet Stream and Swissport.
    • Increasing membership at Alaska Airlines by more than 1,000 members, plus gaining more than 700 additional members secured through the Virgin America merger.
    • Strong contract language allowed our Southwest membership to grow by 600.
    • At United, $1.3 billion in new wages were negotiated for our 30,000 fleet, passenger service, stores and reservations members.
    • The Southwest agreement produced $27 million in wages for our 6,500 members, with $9 million in lump sum bonuses. In addition, the 2016 true up brought Southwest members $120 million in additional wages and lump sum payments.
    • The 2016 Hawaiian negotiations brought over $50 million to our Mechanic & Related and Clerical, Office, Fleet & Passenger Service members.
    • We, along with our TWU partners, were able to achieve a mid-negotiation wage and benefit improvement at American Airlines worth $530 million.
    • The Railroad Sector also negotiated improved contracts:
    • Machinists and TCU members at NJ Transit, after five years of negotiations and two PEBs, averted a strike by overwhelmingly ratifying a contract that provides wage increases with full retroactive pay for current employees as well as retirees.
    • Alstom Transport reached a $2.45 billion deal with Amtrak, which calls for IAM members to build new high-speed Acela trains for Amtrak’s Northeast corridor. The deal is expected to provide more than 500 new IAM Machinists jobs.
    • Metra, where they negotiated a 20.25% general wage increase compounded over six years that includes a $3,000 signing bonus.
    • The Huntington shop of CSX Transportation Inc., South Central Florida Express and Paducah & Louisville all negotiated contract improvements.

    “These achievements and others were all gained through the hard work and diligence of our three district lodges and every shop steward and member we have,” said GVP Pantoja. “Without membership solidarity, nothing is possible. With membership solidarity, our successes have no bounds.”

    The IAM has also thought outside-the-box with new organizing models at places like McGee Air Services where we have organized over 1,200 new members since July 2016, and over 900 at United Ground Express (UGE). Both of these are new companies and the membership will continue to grow significantly as they expand.

    “In spite of these achievements, there is much work yet to be done,” said GVP Pantoja. “We cannot allow ExpressJet to continue delaying a fair agreement for our Flight Attendants, and we will redouble our efforts to finally organize Delta flight attendants and ground workers and JetBlue ground staff. I look forward to celebrating the successful conclusion of these campaigns at our next Transportation Conference.”

    The post Solidarity Takes Center Stage at IAM Transportation Conference appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Privatization of MBTA is Wrong for Massachusetts Working People

    The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Thursday approved a nearly $2 billion budget that could privatize four bus garages.

    Read the Boston Globe article: MBTA approves $2 billion budget

    International President Bob Martinez slammed the privatization vote.

    “Boston is the birthplace of American public transit system,” said Martinez. The system was created to make people’s lives better. Public transit not only helps create jobs, it also moves people to and from their jobs.

    “We have an opportunity in America to increase our public infrastructure and transit investment. This is not the time to decrease service and quality by putting our system in the hands of a big private corporation. The MBTA Board should not hand over the keys to a private corporation who will end up driving the public transit system into a ditch.”

    Boston IAM Local 264 member Paul Dion is also concerned about the misguided budget plan.

    “What you will be getting is bosses making a profit and workers making less money working on the buses, giving you poor-quality work, causing more failures and unsafe buses,” said Dion. “What we need from you is to be investing in upgrading the facilities we work in so we have the right equipment to do the jobs we were hired to do.”

    Read the Boston Herald article: Privatization plan puts MBTA budget at $1.98B

    The MBTA board is asking MBTA officials to sit down and negotiate a new contract with IAM Local 264.

    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 125 years.

    The post Privatization of MBTA is Wrong for Massachusetts Working People appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Seattle Family Benefits from District 751 Machinists Volunteer Program

    Seattle resident Marsha Partee heard about IAM District 751’s Machinists Volunteer Program (MVP) from a friend and reached out to them for assistance with a wheelchair ramp for her mother, Zelda Kelly-Baldwin.

    “You’ve given my mom a much better life,” said Partee.

    Kelly-Baldwin was housebound since December 22, 2016, when she returned home from the hospital. In her wheelchair, even with assistance, she was unable to navigate her home’s steps.

    See more photos and a short video on District 751’s Facebook page.

    MVP Chair Princie Stewart met with mother and daughter a few times to work out the details prior to the volunteer crew’s arrival.

    “This was one of the more difficult ramps we have built because of the steep pitch of the stairs and the limited turnaround space at the bottom,” said District 751 Steward Coordinator Ed Lutgen.

    Using their experience of building more than 350 ramps throughout the Seattle region over the past 20 years, MVP volunteers were able to prefabricate sections of the ramp to expedite installation.

    As Kelly-Baldwin was rolled onto the ramp for the first time, she was overcome with tears of joy. District 751 retiree and MVP committee member Jim Hutchins was particularly touched.

    “This was one ramp-build that really made you feel good when it was completed,” said Hutchins.

    Check out more about MVP volunteer work in the latest edition of District 751’s Aero Mechanic newsletter.

    “It is so rewarding to know your efforts made a difference in someone’s life,” said Stewart.

    The post Seattle Family Benefits from District 751 Machinists Volunteer Program appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM Membership Means Spring Savings with Union Plus

    Thanks to your Machinists Union membership, you can save on purchases this spring and all year long, when you sign up for Union Plus.

    Planning a trip? Check out the deals available on car rentals, flights, hotels and more. Get a 20 percent discount every time you send flowers. You can join with over one million fellow union members by signing up for an IAM Union Plus credit card, that includes fraud protection and a rewards program.

    Union Plus can even help with discounts for your home, including a mortgage program and a variety of other household benefits. You’ll find health and prescription savings plans, as well as home, auto and life insurance. Union Plus even has a scholarship program.

    There are far too many benefits to list here. Go to UnionPlus.org and start seeing the many new ways it pays to be a union member.

    The post IAM Membership Means Spring Savings with Union Plus appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Hope for a Resolution in Raging Health Care Debate

    Your health care is being targeted by some in Congress. Washington, DC’s poisonous political scene is putting working families at risk of paying more for less coverage – or losing it all together.

    WATCH: Congressional Hope for Health Care

    The issue exploded in March when House Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a policy move that if passed would have left 24 million Americans without medical coverage. Among those at risk is Christina Macken, who was pregnant in 2016 with a dangerous medical complication.

    “I developed serious and rapid advancing complications, which if untreated, results in death for mom and baby,” said Macken, who is currently insured by the Affordable Care Act. “My two-week hospital stay would have demanded all of the money we would have saved for me to take six-months of unpaid maternity leave.”

    As Christina and her daughter continue to recover, there is hope on the horizon, for her and all Americans, that affordable health care will be there in the future.

    “We see a willingness of moderates on both sides of the isle who are ready to work together,” said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). “We can work on reducing premiums. We can work on reducing deductibles and out of pocket costs. We can create conditions that foster greater competition among health care plans.”

    As Capitol Hill attempts to make a definitive timetable for improving health care, middle-class Americans like Macken hold on to hope, and union-supported politicians praise recent progress.

    “After seven years of noisy partisan wrangling, I can confidently stand here today and say there is a pathway going forward to strengthening our health care system,” said DeGette.

    The post Hope for a Resolution in Raging Health Care Debate appeared first on IAMAW.


  • IAM’s Mike Rose Elected Board Member of International Forest Certification Organization

    The Machinists Union and its more than 20,000 members in the wood, pulp and paper sector now have a voice at the world’s largest forest certification organization.

    Mike Rose, the IAM’s Woodworkers Chief of Staff to the International President, has been elected a 2017-2018 board member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The PEFC establishes standards that seek to transform the way forests are managed globally—and locally—to ensure everyone enjoys the environmental, social and economic benefits forests offer.

    “Our wood, pulp and papers members can be proud that they will have such a strong advocate for them on the international stage,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “The IAM will continue promoting sustainable forestry that keeps this industry, and the men and women who work in it, thriving for generations.”

    Rose also serves on the World Board of the Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), a global union federation representing more than 12 million workers in the building, building materials, wood, forestry and allied sectors.

    “We are pleased of the election of Mike Rose, who has a wealth of experience in the wood and forest industry and is very knowledgeable about certification standards,” said BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson. “His presence is vital to ensuring PEFC will continue to uphold workers’ rights and international labor standards.”

    In addition to serving on BWI’s World Board, Rose also serves on the Oregon Board of Forestry and the Forest Products Industry National Labor Management Committee.

    Rose initiated into IAM Woodworkers Local W-261 in the 1980s while working in the logging department of the International Paper Co., in Gardiner, OR. He served as a Shop Steward and Chief Steward for eight years until he was elected Business Representative for Local W-261.

    Learn more about the IAM’s Woodworkers Department.

    The post IAM’s Mike Rose Elected Board Member of International Forest Certification Organization appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Gold Star Recognition for Winpisinger Center Kitchen Staff

    Upon receiving the St. Mary’s County Health Department’s Gold Star Award, Winpisinger Center Kitchen Supervisor Cecilia Murphy proudly displayed the certificate on behalf of her entire kitchen staff.

    In early April, the St. Mary’s County Health Department awarded its prestigious Gold Star Award to the kitchen staff at the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, located in Hollywood, MD.

    WATCH: Winpisinger Center Kitchen Honored for Food Safety

    “I have to give credit where credit is due,” said Winpisinger Center Kitchen Supervisor Cecilia Murphy. “I have four cooks and four assistants. There are two cooks and two assistants per shift.”

    The county’s award is given annually to food service facilities that achieve superior food safety standards. Environmental health specialists at the health department regularly inspect nearly 500 food service facilities in St. Mary’s County to ensure food safety is being adequately addressed.

    “I am extremely proud of our staff and our facility, this recognition is well deserved,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “The IAM has always known what St. Mary’s County has just announced. The Winpisinger kitchen staff is second to none in my book. Our members can’t say enough about the quality of food and service at the Harbor.”

    “I am incredibly proud of the W3 kitchen Staff; they do a remarkable job week in and week out for the membership. Receiving the Gold Star Award from the County Health Department is reflective of the Kitchen Staff’s hard work and attention to quality in every aspect of their job. Not only do they prepare and serve great food, but they do so in manner that consistently exceeds required food safety standards. The Gold Star Award is really tough to earn; very few food service operations ever receive the Gold Star Award – it’s quite an achievement.”

    The select few food establishments that achieve this high level of compliance receive a certificate and a window sticker designating them as Gold Star establishments. Recipients also receive special recognition from the Maryland General Assembly.

    The post Gold Star Recognition for Winpisinger Center Kitchen Staff appeared first on IAMAW.


  • Fighting Back Against RTW in Missouri

    Earlier this year, Missouri became the 28th “Right-to-Work” state. “Right to work” (RTW) is the name for a policy designed to take away rights from working people. The policy is wrong, and the Machinists in Missouri are fighting back.

    Members and activists are trying to collect enough signatures to get “RTW” put on the ballot and allow Missouri voters to have their voices heard. The campaign must turn in more than 160,000 valid signatures of registered voters by August 25 to halt implementation of the law on August 28.

    If the petition campaign is successful, implementation of so-called “RTW” would be put on hold until Missouri voters have a chance to decide the measure in 2018.

    WATCH: A Blow To Workers

    “We spent the last five years educating members and the public about the effects of RTW, which would mean lower wages, higher infant mortality rates, higher rates of job injury and higher on-the-job mortality rates,” said IAM member and Missouri State AFL-CIO President Mike Louis. “The effects of this bad policy are so widespread. It is not just about wages; it is about the quality of life for the middle class.”

    “There was a dream sold that employers were going to rush into the state of Missouri because we are now RTW,” said IAM member and Missouri State Rep. Clem Smith. “And that is not true; you can ask Oklahoma about that when they went RTW. It never happened there. It will take a lot of education, but hopefully, we will get this ballot initiative going and change their minds.”

    “People in RTW states make 3.1 percent less, and 3.1 percent is hard to know what that means, but for the typical full-time worker that translates into $1,500 less a year per paycheck,” said Economic Policy Institute Economist, Heidi Shierholz. “So you can imagine what that means for a family from paycheck to paycheck. It means deciding between groceries or filling up your gas tank. Those are real impacts for real people.”

    The post Fighting Back Against RTW in Missouri appeared first on IAMAW.