• 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.


  • 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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  • 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.”

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