Machinists Union Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Help Stop Passenger Assaults Against Airline Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the nation’s largest airline union, supports the recent introduction of the bipartisan bill Protection from Abusive Passengers Act (H.R. 7433, S. 4019), which would help thwart passenger assault on airline workers.

The legislation, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would direct the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to create and manage a program that bars passengers who are fined or convicted of serious physical violence against airline personnel from flying. 

“We greatly appreciate congressional lawmakers for taking the rising tide of passenger assault on airline workers very seriously,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “These hard-working men and women are tasked with getting people to their destination safely, so we should always repay them by ensuring that airport and airline workers have a place that is safe for them too. I urge Congress to move swiftly to pass this legislation and give airline workers the safety and protections they deserve.” 

The legislation would also permanently ban abusive passengers from participating in the TSA PreCheck or Customs’ Global Entry programs.

This marks the latest effort by IAM transportation leadership urging lawmakers and federal agency officials to take actions to halt passenger assaults on airport and airline workers.

For example, earlier this year, the IAM joined a letter with other transportation unions, urging President Biden, U.S. Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to help find solutions to thwart the rising passenger assaults.

The FAA has reported a total of 5,981 passenger incidents in 2021, which is up sharply from previous years.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, manufacturing, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries.

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Machinists Union Urges President Biden to Halt All Russian Wood Imports

WASHINGTON, DC., April 28, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), one of the largest unions to represent woodworkers in the U.S., today called on President Joe Biden to implement an executive order that would halt imports of all Russian and Belarusian soft- and hardwoods, as action intended to halt the funding of the violent invasion of Ukraine, and help spur more U.S. wood production.

“Our 600,000-member union stands in support of rejecting Russia’s violent military aggression towards Ukraine. That said, our union believes your administration’s ongoing series of sanctions against Russia and Belarus should also include banning all its wood products, which are often used for items such as furniture manufacturing,” IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr., said in the letter to President Biden. “Halting imports of Russian and Belarusian wood, because it is conflict timber and import is therefore illegal, would also cut off the financial gains used for furthering this unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

It has been reported that in 2021, Russia was the third-largest source of U.S. hardwood plywood imports at about $334 million. Lumber is a large economic engine for Russia, which exported about $12 billion in wood products across the globe last year, according to publications that cited data from Wood Resource Quarterly.

The IAM represents 20,000 workers in the nation’s wood, pulp and paper industries.

Banning Russian and Belarusian imports to the U.S., would also help create good-paying domestic jobs in the woodworkers industry if employers follow suggested guidelines, including worker’s rights, Martinez wrote.

“These guidelines would promote more good-paying and decent jobs for woodworkers and forestry workers throughout the U.S.,” Martinez wrote.

Read the complete letter here.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, manufacturing, transit, healthcare, automotive and other industries.

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Machinists Union Applauds Historic Confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

April 7, 2022, WASHINGTON – IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. issued this statement following the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court:

“The IAM welcomes the historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Her qualifications were on full display during the confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Judge Jackson proved to the nation that she deserves a seat on our nation’s highest court. Her lifetime of achievements serves as a beacon of light for so many of our IAM members and other working families in our great nation. Judge Jackson proved that she will fight to protect the rights of working men and women, allowing their voices to be heard.

“The Biden-Harris Administration continues to bring balance to our nation’s courts. We also want to thank the U.S. Senators who voted to confirm Judge Jackson.” 

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries. | @MachinistsUnion



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2022 Legislative Conference Registration is Open — Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Requests Assistance for Striking Machinists Union Members — Remembering Rep. Don Young

2022 Legislative Conference Registration is Open — Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Requests Assistance for Striking Machinists Union Members — Remembering Rep. Don Young

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2022 IAM LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE IS NOW OPEN:  Registration for the 2022 IAM Legislative Conference is Now OpenTake up the fight in our nation’s capital for policies that benefit working people. Join hundreds of your fellow IAM members at the 2022 IAM Legislative Conference from June 20 to 22, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency Washington, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001.

You must make reservations by Friday, May 13, 2022, to guarantee the IAM hotel room rate.

Get the official call letter, registration information, and hotel booking details here.

As part of the conference schedule, attendees will lobby members of Congress and remind them who they were elected to represent. In addition, machinists will hit Capitol Hill and talk about the issues that affect IAM members most, including the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, Buy American, transportation, trade, defense funding, retirement security, healthcare costs and more.

During general sessions, delegates will also hear from allies in Congress and attend a congressional reception hosted by the IAM.

Make a difference by participating in this important conference.

Register today.

MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION REQUESTS ASSISTANCE FROM CUMMINS CHAIRMAN AND CEO FOR STRIKING MACHINISTS UNION AT CUMMINS: The Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, led by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markeysent a letter to Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger, requesting his assistance in the ongoing negotiations between Cummins Inc. and Machinists Union Local Lodge 447.

WATCH: As Long As It Takes: IAM Members at Cummins Enter Sixth Week of Strike

Thirty members of Machinists Union Local Lodge 447 at Cummins have been on strike for more than six weeks at locations in Dedham, Mass., Scarborough, Maine, and Concord, N.H. The strike began on Saturday, Feb. 12. Cummins wants to put into place inconsistent and subjective pay-for-performance policies instead of guaranteed wage language, which has been negotiated since the contract’s inception.

“We are concerned that recent proposals during negotiations by the company may jeopardize the workforce here in Massachusetts,” reads the letter. “This includes concerns that Cummins’ management is insisting on a contract with inconsistent and subjective pay for performance policies. We implore you to carefully consider the value, institutional knowledge, and dedication of these employees and to negotiate in good faith with Machinists Union Local Lodge 447 in the coming days.”

Read the entire letter here.

“IAM Local 447 would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation for supporting us in this fight,” said IAM District 15 Assistant Directing Business Representative Mike Vartabedian. “Our members are taking a stand to improve life for their families. This letter from our esteemed elected officials will give our members a boost on the picket lines.” 

View One Day Longer, One Day Stronger video of the rally here.

“The IAM looks forward to working with the Massachusetts congressional delegation to get our members back to the table to get a fair contract,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “Our members at Cummins provide an essential service for their communities, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.”

The workers at Cummins service generators in nursing homes, keep emergency vehicles running, and support frontline workers. Asking for a fair and equitable contract that falls in line with current economic conditions is what they deserve.


TCU/IAM REMEMBERS REP. DON YOUNG OF ALASKAThe entire TCU/IAM family mourns the loss of U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK). He was 88 years old. Mr. Young had served as Alaska’s representative in Congress since 1973, making him the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives and earning the title, Dean of the House.

Congressman Young was a pro-labor Republican in the House, and had a long record of crossing the aisle to support legislation that would benefit American workers.

“In an era of hyper-partisanship, Rep. Don Young was always one to support commonsense legislation, working tirelessly not just for his Alaskan constituents, but Americans overall,” said TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea. “On behalf of all TCU members – active and retired – we honor Don Young for his service to our country, and extend our deepest sympathies to his wife and family.”

Most recently, Congressman Young was one of only five House Republicans to vote for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, and one of only thirteen House Republicans to vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

During the debate over the Infrastructure bill, Rep. Young took to the floor to voice his support and urge his colleagues to vote for the bill.

MARYLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY EMPLOYEES LOBBY AT STATE CAPITOL FOR STATEWIDE FREEDOM TO COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN: Maryland Public Library employees recently gathered at the state capitol to lobby for legislation that would extend the right to collectively bargain to all Maryland public library employees. The IAM recently organized Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) employees, is supporting this vital legislation to benefit Maryland public library employees and communities. 

On the heels of the successful BCPL campaign, the IAM has been working with Harford County Public Library employees to obtain a voice at work through joining a union. In response, Del. Steven Johnson (D-34a) introduced the Harford County Library Employees Collective Bargaining Authorization Bill (H.B. 1225).

An amendment to H.B. 1225, also introduced by Del. Steven Johnson, would extend the right to collectively bargain to all state public library employees. Since libraries in Maryland are created by state law, state legislation had to be drafted and passed for library workers to be able to form a union with the ability to negotiate a contract addressing their wages and working conditions. 

Today was very empowering,” said Harford County Public Library Employee Colleen Martin. “I’m encouraged by how receptive the state legislators were to our message. We’re hoping they stand by their commitment to support us.” 

A group of nearly 460 Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) full and part-time employees across the county’s 19 branches recently voted in favor of joining the IAM. They are currently in negotiations with BCPL management for their first contract.

The IAM represents approximately 10,000 workers in Maryland, including at the Baltimore County Public Library system, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Aberdeen Proving Ground and Joint Base Andrews.

CONFIRM JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON TO THE SUPREME COURT: After 232 years, the first Black woman has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme CourtJudge Ketanji Brown Jackson. And if we have anything to do with it, she’ll also be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Add you name to say you support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

 The Senate must confirm her immediately.

Judge Jackson is eminently qualified for this critical lifetime position. Her distinguished legal career includes:

·       Her term on the U.S. District Court in Washington, where she ruled on more than 550 cases;

·       Her tenure as an assistant federal public defender; and

·       Her experience serving as vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

We are confident she will bring her clear commitment to equal justice and fairness to the highest court in the land.

Being the first is never easy and Judge Jackson is doing what so many women have done before her, breaking barriers to ensure that she is not the last.

Add you name to say you support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

IAM RESPONDS TO VIOLENT ATTACK AGAINST SOUTHWEST AIRLINES EMPLOYEE : An employee of Southwest Airlines in Atlanta was recently attacked by a passenger from Nevada. The IAM issued a statement calling out the violent assault on the airline employee. 

VIDEO: Southwest Airlines employee attacked at Atlanta airport by Nevada man WGCL-TV Atlanta

Statement from the IAM:

“The IAM is appalled and outraged by the violent assault on an airline employee in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. While the airline employee who was assaulted is a not an IAM member, our members put themselves in harms way to help deescalate the situation. Our entire union sends our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, these types of attacks on airline employees, including customer service agents and other airport workers on the ground, are occurring with frightening frequency. The IAM and our allies in transportation labor continue to lead the charge to increase penalties on any passenger who assaults workers at our nation’s airports, including adding offenders to no-fly lists. Every airline and airport worker deserves a workplace free from the threat of violence.”

MACHINISTS UNION SUPPORTS INTRODUCTION OF SAFE AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE STANDARDS ACT: The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) supports the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act, which would strengthen Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight of commercial airline repair facilities outside the United States.

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America, representing over 100,000 airline workers.

The federal legislation, introduced by U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), would include measures such as unannounced FAA inspections of foreign repair stations, set minimum qualifications for mechanics and other workers, including drug testing and background checks, and require air carriers to submit detailed maintenance reports to the FAA.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 900 aircraft maintenance and repair stations have been certified by the FAA outside the U.S., which includes countries such as China, Singapore and Brazil.

“Our hard-working members proudly maintain commercial airplanes in North America for carriers such as American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and British Airways to name a few, and safety and quality is always a top priority,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “It’s long overdue that carrier facilities outside the U.S., abide by the high-quality standards that help ensure smooth and safe travel for passengers and the airline workers. The current lack of uniform regulatory standards and oversight sets an unlevel field with carriers increasingly enticed by the financial incentives to push this work overseas. This results in job losses in the U.S. and risks passenger safety.”

“Congress should move swiftly to pass this very important legislation that would set a series of safety and security requirements for overseas facilities,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “There should be a uniform level of maintenance requirements whether in the U.S., or overseas. Our IAM members are tasked with this critical job of maintenance here in North America and it’s simply unfair that they are forced to compete with the lower standards of work done at foreign facilities.”

IAM DISTRICT 751 LEADERS MEET TO DISCUSS PRO ACT, AEROSPACE INDUSTRY, AND MANUFACTURING JOBS: When Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, Senator Patty Murray and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal came to the Seattle 751 Union Hall for a press conference promoting the Protecting the Right to Organize Act or PRO Act, 751 leaders also took the opportunity to discuss the importance of the aerospace industry, manufacturing jobs and workers’ rights in America.

“It was refreshing to have an administration and Secretary of Labor who listens and cares about workers. Murray has long been a champion for workers and helped us at 751 on many fronts. Coming from labor, Walsh understands the challenges we face, sees how corporations have overstepped their bounds and trampled on workers’ rights,” IAM District 751 President Jon Holden told The Stand. “Passing the PRO Act would help restore the rights of workers to freely and fairly form a union and bargain together for changes in the workplace.”

District 751 President Jon Holden and 751 Legislative Director Donny Donovan emphasized the important role aerospace plays in not just our state economy, but our national economy. In addition, Holden also talked about the importance of our upcoming contract negotiations in 2024, since it will be our first time back at the bargaining table for full-fledged negotiations with Boeing since 2008 – giving our members collective power to push their top issues. Each of the leaders understood the significant role of American aerospace jobs and ensuring the industry remains vibrant long into the future.

It was significant that Secretary Walsh is the first Secretary of Labor to visit the 751 hall, and that he is also the first Secretary of Labor who truly came up through the ranks of labor – serving as an officer in the Laborers Local 223, then becoming head of the Building and Construction Trades Council, and then getting elected Mayor of Boston.

“District 751 continues to speak up about growing the aerospace industry while ensuring workers’ rights are protected,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Their advocacy is not only improving the lives of our members but also workers throughout our nation.”

DISTRICT W2021 AND MISSISSIPPI, LOUISIANA STATE COUNCILS BUILDING POWER IN THE SOUTH: IAM officers and activists from Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana gathered in Gulfport, MS recently to build power and learn new strategies to grow and strengthen the IAM.

Across District W2021, the IAM has a strong presence in the aerospace, manufacturing, federal sector, shipbuilding, and wood, pulp and paper industries.

“Our district is laser focused on growing our membership both in numbers and strength,” said IAM District W2021 President and Directing Business Representative Chuck Bennett. “Delegates to our district meeting and state councils heard first hand that the IAM is mobilized at every level to help us negotiate even stronger contracts, build power legislatively and politically, communicate effectively with members and future members, and grow our union.”

Delegates heard from IAM National Political and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon, Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan, Communications Director Jonathan Battaglia and Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Valerie Rodriguez. All presentations and discussions were centered on delegates knowing the resources available to them as leaders in the IAM.

“I’m extremely grateful to Brother Bennett, the leadership of District W2021, and the Mississippi and Louisiana State Councils,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “Our members are engaged and eager to take our strength to a new level across the South.”

IAM State Councils are the grassroots political and legislative bodies of the IAM. Want to get more engaged? Subscribe the IAM’s political and legislative email newsletter, Machinists on the Hill, and become a member of the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League.

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