CUTTING F-35 PRODUCTION WOULD BE A BLOW TO SKILLED AMERICAN DEFENSE INDUSTRY WORKERS: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President Robert Martinez Jr. argues that it’s time for Congress to ditch any F-35 cuts to preserve American jobs, while ensuring national security in a recent opinion piece published in Breaking Defense.
READ: Cutting F-35 production would be a blow to skilled American defense industry workers Breaking Defense
IAM CALLS FOR INCREASED FUNDING FOR NLRB: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President Robert Martinez Jr. recently called for increased funding for the NLRB in a letter to leaders of Congress. The IAM is urging Congress move swiftly to find a means to increase funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
“As you’ve heard from the AFL-CIO and its affiliates like the IAM, the NLRB desperately needs help by means of additional funding to provide important resources for our nation’s working people,” reads the letter. The uptick in union elections and unfair labor practice (ULP) complaints should be matched with the additional resources needed for the NLRB, not situations such as staff furloughs and potential for delayed agency actions.”
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is in a funding crisis. We need a fully funded NLRB to investigate unfair labor practices and conduct union elections.
ACTION ALERT: Take two minutes to send a letter to your senators to demand funding for the NLRB.
MACHINISTS UNION FIGHTS FOR ROBUST FUNDING IN NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT: 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
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.
WORKERS IN GEORGIA WIN WITH SENATOR WARNOCK VICTORY: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., released the following statement in response to Sen. Raphael Warnock winning re-election in the Georgia runoff earlier this month:
“Today, Georgians once again stood up for a pro-worker, pro-democracy agenda. This election victory allows working families to work with members of the U.S. Senate to continue improving our economy and implementing historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure.
“Our members in Georgia and across the nation joined thousands of union members and community allies to knock on doors and make phone calls supporting IAM-endorsed U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock. The work does not end with this runoff election. We have to build upon the infrastructure in Georgia created during the first historic campaign in 2020.
“Congratulations, Senator Warnock, on the people’s victory, and we look forward to working with you to provide solutions to workers across our nation.”
IAM SENDS LETTERS URGING SUPPORT FOR MODIFYING 737 MAX CERTIFICATION DEADLINE: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President Robert Martinez Jr. sent letters to the Biden Administration, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging them to support legislative and administrative remedies to modify the deadline for the Boeing 737 MAX-10 and MAX-7 programs to attain certification of the flight crew alerting system, as mandated under the Aircraft Certification, Safety and Accountability Act (ACSAA) of 2020.
The IAM represents tens of thousands of production workers at the Boeing Company and major commercial aerospace suppliers such as Spirit Aerosystems. As the largest labor union in the aerospace industry, we continuously work with all parties to ensure aircraft safety is always front and center. Hard-working IAM members are devoted to aircraft safety and excellence.
The ACSAA, as enacted, will prevent the MAX-10 and MAX-7 programs from being certified after December 27, 2022. We do not believe that Congress intended this legislation to create a certification deadline for the MAX-10 and MAX-7 nor establish a deadline-driven certification process.
“The ACSAA deadline threatens to cancel the MAX-10 and MAX-7 aircraft programs, which would result in devastating impacts on thousands of workers and their communities throughout the U.S., as well as the future of the U.S. aerospace industry,” wrote IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in the letter to the Biden Administration. “We request that the Biden administration supports an immediate remedy that holds to its commitment for aviation safety while also allowing the MAX-10 and MAX-7 variants to complete the certification process. The IAM fully supports the remedy proposed by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a solution which would support section 116(b)(1) of the ACSAA, but provides an exception for applications for type certificates that were submitted before ACSAA.”
The IAM will continue working with the Biden Administration to further aviation safety, the efficiency of the aircraft safety certification process, and the superiority of the domestic aerospace manufacturing industry.
IAM URGES CONGRESS TO REAUTHORIZE TAA PROGRAM: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. wrote a letter urging Congress to find measures to ensure the reauthorization of the very important Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program as soon as possible.
The IAM expressed how important this Department of Labor program is to thousands of U.S. workers each year who face hardships due to bad trade policies.
“We should not allow U.S. workers to lose this important safety net, which provides resources such as tuition assistance, income support, and other re-employment services,” Martinez wrote in the letter. “Again – I urge this Congress to reauthorize the TAA program for the benefit of our nation’s workforce.”
The IAM hopes that the current Congress will reauthorize the TAA program through must-pass legislation such as a spending bill.
MACHINISTS UNION AND TCU/IAM MEMBERS MOBILIZE TO KEEP GEORGIA PRO-WORKER: Machinists Union and TCU/IAM members, along with the Georgia AFL-CIO, mobilized to encourage members in the state to get out and vote to reelect worker-friendly U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff on Dec. 6.
“I want to thank all the volunteers, the Legislative and Political Departments and my entire staff for working tirelessly throughout this very important campaign,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “Together, we have contacted thousands of members, helping to ensure the futures and livelihoods of working-class people statewide.”
“As you know, elections have consequences. Our nation’s working people need economic security, safe jobs, and the power to join and form unions,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “This is achieved with the help of strong allies like Senator Warnock.”
The Georgia State Council of Machinists endorsed U.S. Sen. Warnock because he is an ally in Washington in helping to pass legislation that working families desperately need.
IAM members contacted thousands of Georgia Machinists via door knocking, member-to-member phone calls, robocalls, text messages, and emails.
NFFE APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF 2023 NDAA: The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) applauds the passage of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual legislation provides significant funding for federal employees in this year’s iteration, including many priorities for NFFE members.
“NFFE-IAM is grateful to see that the 2023 NDAA will raise federal worker pay and improve working conditions for civil servants, both at the Department of Defense and other government agencies,” said NFFE-IAM National President Randy Erwin. “The resources provided by the legislation will help federal employees better accomplish their duties in serving the American public.”
NFFE-IAM supported many provisions of the 2023 NDAA including the continuation of the one-year probationary period for DoD workers, the extension of a waiver on annual pay caps for international DoD workers, resources for Child Development Centers available to DoD employees, and insertion of both the Plum Act and the Water Resources Development Act of 2022. Two specific priorities contained in the final bill that NFFE promoted were funding for new workloads at Army depots, including $183 million for the Red River Army Depot, as well as new presumptive illness provisions for federal firefighters.
“Thank you to our supporters in Congress and those on the Senate and House Armed Services Committees for your continued advocacy for federal workers,” continued President Erwin. “This year’s NDAA will go a long way in providing federal agencies and employees with the resources needed to carry out their critical missions.”
NFFE-IAM LOCAL 2189 LEGISLATIVE CAMPAIGN SAVES RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT JOBS: Members of National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) Local 2189 at the Red River Army Depot have received confirmation that the depot will be provided funding for a new workload in 2023, saving many good union jobs. This was the result of a coordinated legislative action campaign between Local 2189 leadership, NFFE-IAM headquarters staff, and business representative Jerry McCarty.
Over the past several years, Red River Army Depot lost roughly 1,500 term employees due to the lack of new work, and additional layoffs were looming for 2023. However, this summer local leadership took to Capitol Hill to speak with members of Congress about appropriations for a new workload in the coming year. Their efforts paid off in the form of $183 million worth of funding from the National Defense Authorization Act for the maintenance of Anti-Lock Braking Systems on the depot’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, also know as Humvees.
Local 2189 President Chris Green had spent time in Washington fighting for his own job in recent years and was ready for another chance to support his colleagues after a report was circulating about new layoffs in 2023.
“Because of us going to Capitol Hill and lobbying for the work, and talking with Congressional people, the right people, that’s why that was called off,” said Green.
Secretary-Treasurer Randy Kirschstein also went to DC this summer to garner support for the depot.
“The fact that we were able to meet with bipartisan members, Republicans and Democrats, they all realized the value the Red River Army Depot has to the four-state area here,” said Kirschstein. “We have employees from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, and we tried to meet with representatives from each state. They were really sympathetic to our cause, they listened to us, and ultimately, they fought for us.”
“I am so proud of our leadership at Red River for this tremendous victory,” said NFFE-IAM National President Randy Erwin. “Because of your efforts, your colleagues can spend the holidays without having to worry about losing their jobs come next year. It is a great example of the power of solidarity and the strength this union has on Capitol Hill. When our members need something, their representatives in Congress listen, and follow through on their commitments. Thank you to U.S. Representative Fallon and U.S. Senators Boozman, Cornyn, and Shaheen for your continued support of federal employees.”
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS RALLY BEHIND JETBLUE WORKERS SEEKING A VOICE IN THE WORKPLACE: Several members of Congress have turned to social media in recent days to offer support for JetBlue workers seeking a voice in the workplace.
The National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that conducts union representation elections in the airline industry, has determined that an election for almost 3,000 JetBlue ground operations workers will take place. Voting is set start on Dec. 21 for workers at the airline that has hubs in places such as New York’s JFK International Airport, Boston’s Logan International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and Orlando International Airport.