IAM Joins Lawmakers in Bipartisan Effort to Bolster Funding for IAM-Built F-35 Program 

IAM Joins Lawmakers in Bipartisan Effort to Bolster Funding for IAM-Built F-35 Program 

The IAM joined U.S. Reps. Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Michael Turner (R-Ohio), John Larson (D-Conn.), and John Rutherford (R-Fla.) in a letter urging chairs and ranking members of the House Armed Services Committee and House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to fully invest in the IAM-built F-35 Lightning II program for Fiscal Year (FY) 25.

“The F-35 is the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world, and continued investment in this program is essential to our national security and ensuring the United States maintains its air dominance,” wrote the lawmakers. “In addition, the F-35 provides for tens of thousands of high-skilled, Machinists Union jobs and supports more than 218,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide.” 

“I appreciate Reps. Veasey, Turner, Larson, and Rutherford for fighting for investment in the F-35 program,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “The IAM will work with these lawmakers and other allies in Congress to uplift the national security and economic benefits of the F-35 program.”

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Machinists Union Fights for Robust Funding in NDAA

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) yesterday. The FY 2023 NDAA has now passed the House and the Senate and heads to President’s desk for his signature.

Thanks in part to the IAM’s efforts, the legislation provides for record funding levels for defense spending totaling $858.4 billion for national defense programs, including extensive funding for IAM-built programs.

Each year, the NDAA authorizes funding levels and provides authorities for the U.S. military and other critical defense priorities, ensuring our troops have the training, equipment, and resources they need to carry out their missions.   

Thanks to the IAM’s lobbying efforts, the 2023 NDAA authorizes funding for the following IAM- built and maintained programs:

  • F-35 Joint Strike Fighters
  • F-18 Super Hornet
  • C-130J Super Hercules
  • F-15 Eagles
  • KC-46 Tankers
  • P-8 Poseidons
  • DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers
  • Virginia-class Attack Submarines
  • Columbia-class Ballistic Submarine program
  • IAM-built missile system and ammunition manufacturing

The Machinists will continue to fight for robust funding for these programs and improvements in the ongoing negotiations over defense appropriations for the fiscal year 2023. 

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Reps. Bush, Cleaver Seek Answers to Stop GKN Aerospace Plant Closure

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2022 – U.S. Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) are asking GKN Aerospace CEO David Paja and GKN President of Defense Shawn Black for answers and requesting their support and assistance in saving approximately 1,000 family-sustaining jobs at GKN Aerospace in Hazelwood, Mo.

“The recent announcement that the facility would close next year came as a surprise for our local community, particularly given the risk of losing hundreds of good-paying jobs in the process,” write Reps. Bush and Cleaver in a letter to GKN leadership. “Given the impact, this would have on families and our economy, our top priority is to see what can be done to keep these jobs in St. Louis.” 

Click here to read the letter.

GKN Aerospace recently announced plans to completely shut down this facility by the end of 2023, with layoffs commencing in mid-2022. Workers at the facility, many of whom are U.S. military veterans, have devoted their lives to proudly producing world-class aerospace components.

IAM Local 387 (District 837) members currently produce aircraft parts for a wide variety of U.S. Defense Department platforms, including the F-15, F-18A, CH-53, and Advanced Programs. The facility was previously owned by Boeing Co. but was purchased by GKN in 2001. In 2018, GKN was purchased by the British parent company Melrose Industries.

“The IAM will provide the necessary resources to make sure all workers at this GKN facility in Hazelwood receive information from the company,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our members have worked years to make this company a major supplier in the aerospace industry. The IAM will work to educate our elected officials on Capitol Hill on the importance of keeping this facility open and maintaining this highly skilled workforce.”

“The IAM appreciates Reps. Bush and Cleaver for standing up for our members at GKN,” said IAM Midwest General Vice President Steve Galloway. “We are trying to find the answers to keep this facility open, especially since it plays a huge role in keeping our nation safe. IAM District 837 is fully engaged with the entire Missouri Congressional Delegation and will continue to have discussions with state and local elected officials. Our union will fight to ensure IAM members can continue their careers at GKN Aerospace.”

“IAM District 837 is grateful that Reps. Bush and Cleaver are requesting information that our members, other families of Hazelwood, and the surrounding communities need to make major decisions for their future,” said IAM District 837 President and Directing Business Representative Tom Boelling. “We hope that we can keep this plant open and continue to keep our nation safe.”

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has reached out to other Missouri politicians to ask for their support and assistance in saving approximately 1,000 family-sustaining jobs at GKN Aerospace in Hazelwood, Mo.

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Huge Investment for IAM Aerospace Workers

Qatar Airways announced this week that they would purchase 34 new Boeing 777X freighters and a surprise purchase of Boeing 737 MAX, both of which are built by IAM members. These orders will significantly impact IAM members at Boeing in the Pacific Northwest and IAM aerospace members throughout the nation.

The deal’s announcement occurred at a White House signing ceremony attended by IAM District 751 President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden.

“The IAM represents tens of thousands of members in the aerospace industry who welcome this long-term investment,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “This investment, championed by the administration, signals an understanding of the impact of one of our nation’s most vital manufacturing sectors. IAM District 751 members are some of the most dedicated and skilled workers in the world, thanks in large part to being part of a union that gives them a voice in strengthening the aerospace industry. Today’s announcement gives hope to so many communities that will benefit from the good union jobs this investment will create.”

“Today’s investment recognizes the partnerships that helped make Washington state the hub for the Aerospace industry,” said IAM District 751 President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden. “The IAM has trained aerospace workers since 1935, and it was made possible through collaboration. We help provide pathways into aerospace jobs in our communities through aerospace training and state-registered apprenticeship programs. The Puget Sound community will benefit from the good-paying family-wage jobs. On behalf of IAM District 751, I want to thank all parties for not only the future investment in our community but in our nation.”

“The world is beginning to see what we’ve always known – that Ohio workers are the best at what they do, and that the future of advanced manufacturing is in our state,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)“GE Aviation has been driving that innovation and growth for years, building on Ohio’s rich aviation heritage. They’re such an asset to Ohio, and this deal is a huge win for the Ohio workers who are part of GE.”

READ: Qatar seals Boeing freighter deal with surprise 737 order Reuters

“I along with our Brothers and Sisters in the Puget Sound and the entire aerospace industry welcome the great news on the new orders,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “The aerospace industry is one of the best sectors in the Western Territory that provides good-paying jobs. Jobs that help build strong communities throughout the West including the Puget Sound area.”

“Another boost to our members working in the aerospace industry,” said IAM Aerospace General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Once again, this proves how much our members’ skillsets are valued in the industry. We continue to build the best products in the world, and this investment is proof.” 

“I am proud of the role our members throughout the nation play in making this type of investment possible,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “The impact will be felt not only in the Puget Sound but also in IAM stronghold states such as Kansas, Connecticut, and Ohio.”


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