IAM Urges Strong Support for NDAA

IAM Urges Strong Support for NDAA

By DeLane Adams ● Jul 14, 2023

Smart Brevity® count: 5 mins…1340 words

Hello and welcome to Machinists on the Hill, a twice-monthly roundup of legislative advocacy on behalf of IAM members. The following covers:

  • IAM International President Martinez Supports NDAA
  • IAM-Built U.S. Navy Ship Hits High Seas
  • IAM Midwest Territory attends President Biden’s Economic Address
  • Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act
  • Tireless TCU/IAM Advocate Retires
  • IAM, TCU/IAM, and NFFE-IAM news and more

Click Here to dive in…

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Machinists Union Continues Call for ‘Buy American’ Defense Increase

Machinists Union Continues Call for ‘Buy American’ Defense Increase

The IAM, the largest U.S. aerospace and defense union, is again sounding the alarm to increase the domestic production of major defense programs.

As consideration of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) continues, IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. is calling for Senators to support a bipartisan amendment that would gradually raise Buy American requirements on major defense programs from 55% to 75% by 2029.

“For far too long we have neglected to properly consider the impact of defense procurement policy on our domestic industrial base and, consequently, on the U.S. economy,” wrote Martinez in a letter to U.S. Senators. “We must understand that the foundation of our industrial base lies with the skills and abilities of the American worker.”

Earlier this year, the increased Buy American language passed in the House FY 2024 NDAA after again being championed by U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.). U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge to pass the bipartisan amendment in the Senate.

“This sorely needed language would help create countless high-quality defense manufacturing jobs across the United States, dramatically strengthen our domestic industrial base and ensure that our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to effectively complete their mission,” wrote Martinez.

The post Machinists Union Continues Call for ‘Buy American’ Defense Increase appeared first on IAMAW.

Machinists Union Membership Votes Overwhelmingly To Endorse Joe Biden for a Second Term- IAM Delegates Pack Halls of Congress to Advance Workers’ Rights at Legislative Conference

Machinists Union Membership Votes Overwhelmingly To Endorse Joe Biden for a Second Term- IAM Delegates Pack Halls of Congress to Advance Workers’ Rights at Legislative Conference

MACHINISTS UNION MEMBERSHIP VOTES OVERWHELMINGLY TO ENDORSE PRESIDENT BIDEN FOR SECOND TERM: The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), utilizing a democratic process that included a general membership vote open to all U.S. members in good standing, has endorsed President Biden for a second term.

The IAM’s endorsement is the overwhelming majority will of the IAM’s U.S. membership and its state council presidents, who voted online through an independent third ballot balloting system. More about the IAM’s endorsement process is available at iamvoting.org. 

The results of the IAM’s general membership vote are:
Joe Biden – 61%
Donald Trump – 17%
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – 7%
Ron DeSantis – 7%

*Reflects every candidate who received more than 2% of the IAM’s general membership vote. Figures rounded to the nearest percentage point.

All of the participating IAM State Council Presidents, the IAM’s elected political leaders from each state, voted to endorse President Biden over the top vote-getting Republican candidate from the IAM’s general membership election.

A statement from IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr.:

“The IAM is proud to continue our democratic tradition in our endorsement process and equally as proud to endorse a champion for working people, President Joe Biden, for a second term. 

“President Biden has been a staunch advocate and champion for working people. He has delivered on his vision for our nation, which is centered on partnering with organized labor to deliver good jobs with strong benefits and secure retirements. President Biden believes in an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.  

“The IAM looks forward to building upon the great work of the Biden administration. Work that includes a historic investment in infrastructure and manufacturing, while making large corporations adhere to Buy American requirements. President Biden’s work also included passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and saving millions of jobs through the American Rescue Plan.

“Our membership realized that we couldn’t let candidates who seek to destroy our democracy and economy rewrite the rules in favor of CEOs and Wall Street. Our union went from getting WARN notices announcing plant closures from corporate CEOs under the previous administration to receiving job openings under this administration.

“The American economy roared back after the numerous plant closures under Biden’s predecessor. The Biden-Harris Administration created millions of jobs since taking office, including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The IAM is happy to report that manufacturing is back, and it’s because this administration didn’t just give lip service to Buy America. His Buy America policy has positively impacted the lives of millions of working Americans.  

“Our union will work on educating our entire membership about what’s at stake in this election and why Joe Biden is the only candidate with a plan to build and grow an economy that works in the best interest of working families.”

IAM DELEGATES BUILD CRITICAL POWER, PACK HALLS OF CONGRESS TO ADVANCE WORKERS’ RIGHTS AT LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE: The IAM recently wrapped up its annual legislative conference to strategize and make their voices heard in Washington, DC. Nearly 350 IAM delegates attended this year’s event and participated in legislative plenaries, and heard from a range of speakers, including elected officials and allies.

“We are here because what happens in Washington, DC and in State Houses across the country affects everything about our lives and our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “ We’re here to protect our right to form a union; We’re here to defend our right to negotiate industry-leading contracts; And we’re to fight for the right of every working man and woman to live the American Dream!”

WATCH: IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr. Opening 2023 IAM Legislative Conference

Nearly 350 IAM delegates from across the country who were gathered at the 2023 Legislative Conference, had the opportunity to visit dozens of lawmakers and asked them to address important priorities to protect working people.

“The only game is the economy, and legislative policies are the rules to that game,” said IAM National Political and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon during the closing plenary. “Those rules are written right next door in the Capitol.”

“Unfortunately, during the last administration, the rules were written for Wall Street to win and for workers to lose. How do we change those rules so that we, as workers, win and have shared prosperity? You all are doing it this week. You are taking the Machinists Union’s message right to the Capitol,” continued Solomon.

WATCH: IAM National Political and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon Providing Remarks About the Importance of the 2023 IAM Legislative Conference

During their meetings, IAM delegates emphasized key federal issues critical to our members, such as:

  • The Rail Safety Act
  • The PRO Act
  • Organizing efforts for Delta Air Lines workers
  • National Defense Authorization Act
  • Buy American and Made in America policies
  • Fair Trade

WATCH: 2023 IAM Legislative Conference Day 3: Powerful Elected Officials Pledge Support to IAM

These are some of the members of Congress and allies who provided remarks and shared their message of support for working families on Day 3 of the Legislative Conference:

  • Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL)
  • Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)
  • Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) 
  • U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA)
  • Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
  • Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

PHOTOS: 2023 IAM Legislative Conference

TCU/IAM LEADERS ATTEND 2023 IAM LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE & LOBBY CONGRESS: Last week (June 19-21), TCU/IAM leaders from across the country came to Washington, DC, to attend the 2023 Machinists Union Legislative Conference. Attendees heard from various members of Congress including U.S. Sen.Raphael Warnock (D-GA), U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and many others. 

TCU/IAM National Legislative Director David Arouca addressed the conference to discuss the importance of the Rail Safety Act and the tough reality our current members are facing on the front lines.

“They are now forcing our carmen to do inspections in 1 minute. That is physically impossible. It matters to you and every single American. You all live in communities railroads travel through and derailments could happen anywhere,” said NLD Arouca.  

“We are here because what happens in Washington, DC and in State Houses across the country affects everything about our lives and our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “ We’re here to protect our right to form a union; We’re here to defend our right to negotiate industry-leading contracts; And we’re to fight for the right of every working man and woman to live the American Dream!”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, TCU/IAM Rail Division Delegates took to Capitol Hill to spread the word to pass the Rail Safety Act, stop short-changing unemployed railroaders and allow Amtrak to grow by supporting the FY2024 Grant Request. 

“I am proud of our members that were on the hill this week,” said TCU/IAM President Artie Maratea. “We spoke to Senators and Congressmen and let them know the issues that are impacting TCU members in the locations they represent and around the country.”


NFFE-IAM WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS MEET WITH OVER ONE HUNDRED MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO ADVOCATE FOR REFORMS: Last week, many federal wildland firefighters who are proud NFFE-IAM members traveled to Washington, DC for the 2023 NFFE-IAM Legislative Conference. The group met with nearly 125 members of Congress from across the political spectrum over the course of the week, where they advocated for several important reforms. The main point of emphasis was the need for Congress to take immediate action on pay raises before the temporary funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law expires in the fall and wildland firefighters see their compensation cut by fifty percent or $20,000.

“The participation of our local leaders and other NFFE-IAM members is how we will achieve this much needed change,” said NFFE-IAM Business Representative and former wildland firefighter Max Alonzo. “The federal government needs our members out in the field to give them direction. This past week, we made our voices heard. It is now up to Congress to act accordingly.” 

In addition to lobbying for immediate pay reform, the group urged members of Congress to cosponsor and call a vote for Tim’s Act. The bill aims to completely overhaul not only wildland firefighter pay, but also working conditions, housing, physical and mental wellness, and the recruitment and retention of federal wildland firefighters.

“This year’s conference was one of the most productive legislative weeks that NFFE-IAM has had in decades,” said NFFE-IAM National President Randy Erwin. “That is in large part because of the efforts of this union’s wildland firefighters, who gave up valuable hours that they could have spent working on fires. Instead, these dedicated members traveled to Washington from across the country to make sure that Congress understands the dire situation the workforce is facing. I am confident that because of the advocacy last week, lawmakers are aware of the pending pay cliff, and a large majority of them are committed to supporting our federal wildland firefighters.”

IAM URGES MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT FAA REAUTHORIZATION THAT PRIORITIZES WORKER SAFETY, LABOR STANDARDS: IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr. sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to pass a 2023 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act that prioritizes strong labor standards and ensures airline worker safety.

A successful worker-focused FAA reauthorization bill must include provisions such as:

  • Fair and Open Skies Actto ensure that any authorizations issued by the Secretary of Transportation to foreign air carriers do not undermine labor rights or safety standards. 
  • Does not include any measures to amend theAirline Deregulation Act (ADA)that would limit or prohibit states and localities from including airline workers in labor protections extended to other workforces.
  • Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act, which would strengthen FAA oversight of commercial airline repair facilities outside the United States.
  • Clarify the FAA’s authority to enforce the Employee Assault and Prevention Plan, which would hold airlines accountable if they fail to submit those plans.
  • Ramp Worker Safety Call to Action to study and find solutions to improve safety for airline ramp workers.
  • Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, which 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.
  • Cabin Air Safety Act, which would protect airline pilots, flight attendants, and passengers from toxic cabin air. 

“The time is now for Congress to draft and pass an FAA reauthorization package that acknowledges today’s growing demand to protect workers from physical harm and ensure labor standards are a priority,” said Martinez in the letter. 

The IAM’s reasonable demands come as a response to the latest increases of U.S. air travel, and the unfortunate series of airline worker assaults and deaths in recent years. 

The IAM will continue to advocate for a strong and enforceable pro-workers FAA bill to protect the interests of its more than 100,000 IAM air transport members and the communities they serve.

Click here to read the full letter.

CHECK OUT BRC GENERAL PRESIDENT DON GRISSOM IN THE FAULT LINES DOCUMENTARY “INVESTIGATING US RAILROAD SAFETY”: “The public is at a greater risk without the proper inspection and maintaining of this equipment.” – BRC General President Don Grissom

WATCH: What’s behind train derailments in the US? | Fault Lines Documentary

REP. NORCROSS’ BUY AMERICAN REQUIREMENTS INCLUDED IN NDAAU.S. Rep. Donald Norcross’ (D-N.J.) proposal to boost “Buy American” requirements was recently included in the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).This requirement will bolster U.S. economic and national security and create good, middle-class jobs across the country by gradually increasing Buy American domestic content requirements for major defense acquisition programs to 75 percent by 2029.

It exempts articles manufactured in countries that have a reciprocal defense procurement memorandum of understanding with the Pentagon. That group of 27 nations includes Canada, France, Israel, Japan, Poland and the U.K.

LABOR UNION COALITION URGES SUPPORT FOR PRO-WORKER INTERNATIONAL TAX: The IAM joined a labor union Coalition in a letter to members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The letter is calling for pro-worker international tax reforms to end tax incentives that encourage multinationals to send American jobs and profits to foreign tax havens.

The letter advocates for repealing “America Last” legacy tax policies that continue to incentivize profitable multinational corporations to transfer American jobs, investments, intellectual property, profits, and financial resources out of America and into low-tax or no-tax foreign nations. The Coalition is calling for tax policies designed to retain American jobs and return jobs that multinationals outsourced offshore.

“Millions of working families are negatively affected by current U.S. corporate international tax policies that encourage and subsidize multinationals to move jobs, profits, and resources out of America,” reads the letter from the Labor Union Coalition. “The Ways and Means mark-up presents an opportunity to solve these problems and we urge you to stand with America’s workers to strengthen America’s communities and our collective economic future.”

NELP MARKS 85TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT: National Employment Law Project (NELP) President and CEO Rebecca Dixon recently penned a letter to mark the 85th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) into law.

“June 25, 2023, marks the 85th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) into law. The FLSA established essential worker protections, including a federal minimum wage, overtime pay, and the prohibition of child labor.

“The FLSA has done much good in its 85 years of existence. Unfortunately, its reach and impact have been limited by significant exclusions in its coverage, all based in racism, misogyny, and ableism.”


RAIL LABOR REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR STB CHAIR OBERMAN AND BOARD MEMBER PRIMUS: The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) wrote a letter on behalf of all the affiliated rail unions to President Biden to reaffirm strong support for Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) Chair Marty Oberman and Board Member Robert Primus.

Read the complete letter here.   

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WASHINGTON, July 13, 2023– The IAM’s Eastern States Conference of Machinists has unanimously endorsed U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) for U.S. Senate.

Blunt Rochester has been a consistent champion for Machinists Union members, securing a 100% voting record in the IAM’s legislative scorecard.

The fourth-term congresswoman is a co-sponsor of the pro-labor Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and has supported critical legislation for the IAM and working people, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the American Rescue Plan.

“Rep. Blunt Rochester is a strong advocate for working families and the middle class,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “She has a proven track record of fighting for good-paying jobs, affordable healthcare, and defense programs that help keep our nation safe. “She is a proven leader who will fight for the issues that matter to our members. We are proud to endorse her for U.S. Senate and know she will be a champion for the people of Delaware.”

Rep. Blunt Rochester is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. She is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“Rep. Blunt Rochester is a proven champion for workers in the manufacturing industry,” said Eastern States Conference of Machinists President E. Michael Vartabedian. “She has a track record of fighting for fair wages, a voice in the workplace, and quality healthcare. We are confident that she will be a strong voice for the people of Delaware in the U.S. Senate.”

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

 goIAM.org | @MachinistsUnion