FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND PRO-WORKER POLICIES WIN AT THE BALLOT BOX: Robert Martinez Jr., International President of the 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), released the following statement:
“We are so proud that Machinists Union members from coast to coast joined millions of Americans to make their voices heard at a critical time for our democracy. The IAM took its grassroots political engagement program to swing states across the country to make a real difference in this election and the future of our nation.
“The IAM, the largest aerospace, defense, and airline union in North America, engages our members in the political process because elections affect everything about our lives—on and off the job. Our representation in Congress, state legislatures, and governorships directly affects our freedoms to join a union, retire with dignity, make our own healthcare choices, and so much more.
“The election results show that people care about protecting our democracy. Voters across our nation cast a ballot to continue the pro-worker, pro-democracy agenda of the Biden-Harris administration. IAM members will roll up their sleeves and work on implementing the historic investments for the airline, transit, aerospace, manufacturing, and other critical industries. It’s time for Congress to unite, grow our economy and create good-paying union jobs.”
Here is a roundup of the IAM’s 2022 GOTV efforts:
IAM ISSUES 2022 LEGISLATIVE REPORT CARD TO HOLD FEDERAL ELECTED OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE: The IAM issued a scorecard to all the sitting members of Congress for their actions and stand on critical issues that affect working Americans including workplace protections, voting rights, government agency funding, and more.
The fundamental purpose of the report card is to ensure that IAM members are fully informed about the performance of federal lawmakers.
The report includes the voting record for 10 IAM-supported bills that were voted in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 117th Congress, which convened on January 3, 2021.
The document also includes four IAM-supported bills that had a floor vote in the U.S. Senate and the chamber’s votes to confirm nominees for top labor-related posts in the Biden administration.
“This scorecard allows IAM members, affiliates, and partner organizations to learn more about Congress members’ legislative records,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The IAM wants to ensure that our Congressional lawmakers are fully aware that their key votes on issues of particular significance to working families will be monitored.”
The scorecard ratings to date are calculated based on IAM-supported votes that have been taken during the 117th Congress.
“We recognize that this Congress has delivered great pieces of legislation, such as the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more,” said IAM National Political and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon. “The goal of this scorecard is for IAM members to remain vigilant and informed so they can hold their elected officials accountable and make educated decisions.”
Find out where your lawmakers stand on critical issues that impact IAM members and their families here.
MAINE LOBSTERING UNION URGES WHITE HOUSE TO INTERVENE TO STOP THREATS TO STATE’S LOBSTER INDUSTRY: The Maine Lobstering Union, Local 207 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IMLU) called on the Biden Administration to take action to protect Maine’s safe and sustainable lobster fishery that is being threatened by pending litigation and proposed regulations by NOAA-NMFS.
In the letter sent to the White House, IMLU Local 207 urged opposition to any baseless measures regarding endangered right whale in areas of Maine’s territorial waters in which there are no food sources or mating/breeding grounds.
The need to address this matter has gained more urgency as these proposed regulations would kill the lobstering industry, thus devastating the livelihood of thousands of fishermen and their families.
The letter comes just a few days after that of Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) who sent a letter to President Biden expressing similar concerns as such policies will be detrimental to communities in Maine.
“The proposed regulations by these agencies will have a negative impact on communities throughout Maine,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “We urge the Biden Administration to follow scientific evidence to prevent these meritless measures from proceeding. It’s crucial for the White House to hear directly from those who have been and will be impacted by these decisions.”
“It’s imperative that President Biden and respective agencies take the necessary steps to protect the Maine lobster communities and to conduct a proper and scientific assessment to address right whales,” said Maine Lobstering Union Local 207 Executive Liaison and Political Director Virginia Olsen. “We advocate for sustainable fishing and will oppose any arbitrary regulations that threaten the jobs of hardworking Maine’s fishermen and their families.”
IMLU remains an active intervenor in CBD v. Ross and ruling on Maine’s Lobstermen’s Association’s case (7910361-O–52187), active cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
MACHINISTS UNION APPLAUDS SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT INCREASE: Approximately 70 million Americans, including many IAM members, will receive an 8.7 percent cost-of-living increase in their Social Security benefits. The average retired worker can expect to receive an additional $140 per month starting in January 2023.
Active and retired IAM members have been on the frontlines advocating for increasing earned Social Security benefits and for measures that secure the solvency of Social Security. As Machinists, we continue our fight to ensure Social Security continues to pay retirees their life-long earned benefits. The IAM remains committed to the fight to achieve dignified retirement benefits for our members and all seniors.
“The IAM applauds the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our union is on record for declaring Social Security to be the most effective anti-poverty program in our nation’s history, but most importantly, it is our most important family income and disability protection program, and the cornerstone of retirement income security for many IAM members. This increase is why we must continue fighting to ensure the Biden-Harris administration has a Congress supporting working families. Now is not the time to go backward. We must go forward with an agenda that uplifts workers and their families.”
The Social Security Administration will mail COLA notices throughout December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees. But if you want to know your new benefit amount sooner, you can securely obtain your Social Security COLA notice online using the Message Center in your mySocial Security account. You can access this information in early December before receiving the mailed notice. Benefit amounts will not be available before December.
IAM LOCALS FORM UNION COALITION, CALL ON SENATORS TO HELP END LABOR DIS[UT WITH BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING: IAM Locals 2135 and 174 at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) formed a coalition with other unions representing BEP workers to express serious concerns with their working conditions and BEP’s noncompliance with Executive Order #14003 and policies of the Biden Administration regarding collective bargaining.
The coalition sent a letter to U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen asking for intervention as BEP refuses to bargain in good faith.
In the letter, the local unions describe how BEP’s failure to follow the executive order has “resulted in increased violations of contracts, policies, and regulations.”
The local unions are eager to negotiate new contracts, but BEP management has delayed bargaining new contracts and hasn’t attempted negotiations about unilaterally-implemented workplace policies, resulting in the unions filing multiple grievances.
“Every day without renewed contract negotiations is a message from management that they do not respect the collective bargaining process—which is a clear departure from the Biden Administration’s stated policies and requirements,” states the letter. “And every day that management is permitted to pretend it has no obligation to bargain in good faith with the unions that represent its employees, workplace morale continues to fall.”
The BEP has facilities in Texas and Washington, D.C. and recently announced plans to open a new facility in Maryland. The local unions are seeking the Maryland senators’ help in bringing BEP to the bargaining table to remedy the situation.
The letter is signed by IAM Local 2135 President Carl L. Snyder, IAM Local 174 President Benjamin Bright, GCC/IBUT Local 1C President Danny Whitmer, GCC/IBUT Local 4B President James Mularkey, Washington Plate Printers Union Local 2 President Robert Suplee, Local 24 President Kenneth Garner, FOP Lodge 50 President Michael Pupalalaikis, and GCC/IBUT Local 285M President William Mark Poole.
TCU/IAM MNPL CONTRIBUTIONS LEAD THE WAY: On the heels of a mid-term election that saw many of TCU/IAM’s friends in Congress win re-election, we wanted to highlight our members’ generous contributions to our union’s Political Action Committee (PAC), the Machinists Non-partisan Political League (MNPL).
Through November 1st, 2022, TCU/IAM members raised an impressive $265,264 from 1,800 sponsoring members this year (members must contribute at least $25/year to qualify as sponsors). This is the highest total amongst IAM territories, both in terms of dollars-per-member and percentage of total members contributing to MNPL.
“TCU/IAM members continue to lead the IAM in understanding the importance of putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to politics,” said TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea.
2022 TCU/IAM MNPL – By the Numbers
$265,264 for MNPL General PAC Fund
$22,788 for MNPL Education Fund (which pays for member education efforts)
1,800 TCU/IAM MNPL Sponsors – those that contribute $25/year or more
5% of TCU/IAM members are MNPL sponsors (double the percentage of the IAM overall)
TCU/IAM members and lodge officers should be proud of the fact that our union leads the IAM in so many metrics when it comes to raising MNPL funds, but we can’t be complacent. It’s clear that only a small percentage of our members are bearing the responsibility of building our union’s political power – and that has to change!
TCU/IAM’s Legislative & Political Department has set a goal of at least 10% of our members sponsoring the MNPL by 2024, so we need your help! We must continue to focus on signing up new hires and existing members at a minimum of $5 per month.
How can YOU help?
EVERY TCU/IAM member should be contributing at least $5/month (the price of a cup of coffee) to the MNPL!
MNPL should be discussed (and sign-ups encouraged) at EVERY Local Lodge meeting!
Want to make a one-time contribution? Please follow this link to the MNPL PayPal contribution portal. (You will need you TCU/IAM Membership Number. If you don’t know it, please contact your Local Chairman or email MNPL@tcunion.org).
Why should I contribute to MNPL?
MNPL allows us to support YOUR jobs in the political arena. Everything comes up in Washington DC:
Railroad Retirement solvency (your pension), and funding for the RRB.
…and many more issues.
The MNPL makes sure the voices of TCU/IAM members – YOUR VOICES – are heard on Capitol Hill and throughout Washington DC. As the saying goes, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu” – and that goes double for politics.
NFFE-IAM TEAMS UP WITH GRASSROOTS AND THE U.S. HOTSHOTS ASSOCIATION WITH LETTER TO BIDEN AND AGENCY LEADERS: The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) sent a joint letter addressed to President Biden, OPM Director Ahuja, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, and Interior Secretary Haaland on wildland firefighter workforce reforms. The union teamed up with Grassroots Wildland Firefighters and the U.S. Hotshots Association to urge the President and agency leaders to take action to improve pay, housing, work-life balance, and other concerns.
“Federal Wildland Firefighters have been pushed to their limits for decades,” the letter reads. “Low pay, demanding work, and a lack of work/life balance has left our workforce depleted and frustrated. Federal Wildland Firefighters have the most dangerous civilian job in America, with over 24 line of duty deaths already in 2022 and counting. Cancers, traumatic injuries, death, PTSD, divorce, suicide, are the sad results of a workforce that is underappreciated and not properly supported by their federal employers. Federal wildland firefighters are unrecognized and often-forgotten first responders.”
The letter lists many solutions to significant issues, including permanent pay increases in line with other first responders, fire assignments shifted to ten work days and five rest days, revamping the Forest Service housing program, additional funding for more personnel and equipment, mitigation of environmental exposure, and many other recommendations.
“NFFE is proud to stand in solidarity with Grassroots Wildland Firefighters and the U.S. Hotshots Association as we continue to take on substantial reforms for federal wildland firefighters,” said NFFE President Randy Erwin. “It is imperative that the White House and land management agencies understand the urgency that is needed in implementing solutions to these dire issues. NFFE is confident that our collective action with groups like Grassroots and the Hotshots Association will bring about much needed change for our brave wildland firefighters across the country.”
MACHINISTS UNION URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT INCREASED DOMESTIC MILITARY PROCUREMENT: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest defense and aerospace union, sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives in full support of retaining important language to enhance Buy American domestic content requirements for major defense acquisition programs in the final version of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The language would 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.
U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) first introduced the Buy American domestic content language as an amendment to the NDAA, while U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the language as an amendment to the FY23 NDAA in the Senate with bipartisan support. Norcross championed the language to its eventual inclusion into the House-passed version of the FY23 NDAA.
“Buy American policies serve the public good by targeting our tax dollars for the purchase of American-made products, thereby employing U.S. workers and putting our federal tax receipts to work here at home,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “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. We as a nation need to act strategically when it comes to defense procurement.
“Not only do we need to supply our men and women in uniform with the best possible products and equipment, but we must also support the U.S. defense industrial base, including the small and midsized firms across America that constitute the supply chain for critical defense programs,” continued Martinez. “We must understand that the foundation of our industrial base lies with the skills and abilities of the American worker. This language would help ensure that our tax dollars are used to support both the U.S. workforce and the firms who employ them.”
The IAM has been pushing for a phased-in approach to give the domestic defense industry the time and clear signal needed to create jobs by adjusting to the increased domestic content requirement.
MACHINISTS UNION THANKS U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY JANET YELLEN: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. recently sent a letter thanking U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for the opportunity to provide comments on the Department of Treasury’s Notice 2022-47 soliciting comments on the Energy Security Tax Credits for Manufacturing.
President Martinez’s comments endorsed and supported comments(Insert comments) submitted by Michael Tanchuk, CEO of Intalco Green Aluminum, the IAM’s coalition partner working to save the Intalco Works aluminum smelter in Ferndale, WA..
The smelter was closed by Alcoa in 2020, costing some 700 skilled IAM members their jobs and causing real hardship for their families and communities.
READ: A factory wants to reopen making ‘green’ aluminum. Now it just needs clean energy. The Washington Post
“Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we now have the opportunity to reopen this strategically vital facility and restore these IAM jobs, working with a coalition of former Intalco management, private capital, and labor,” said Martinez Jr. “The IAM applauds the Biden Administration’s strong and unwavering commitment to American workers. Restoring Intalco is a near-perfect alignment with President Biden’s policy priorities, and the IRA provides the pathway to saving this critical piece of American infrastructure.”
The IAM has requested support in restoring this country’s primary aluminum industry.
REP. HIGGINS URGES INGERSOLL RAND TO REHIRE FORMER IAM MEMBERS: U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter to Ingersoll Rand’s Chief Executive Officer urging the company to prioritize re-hiring former IAM members when it reopens the company’s compression manufacturing facility in Cheektowaga. In 2019, Ingersoll Rand closed the plant, impacting more than 160 members of IAM Local 330 (District 65).
Higgins fully supported IAM Local 330 members in 2019 during the plant closure.
Read: Ingersoll Rand confirms it will end Cheektowaga manufacturing The Buffalo News
“The 117th Congress has aggressively prioritized the on-shoring of high-technology supply chains so that we can out-compete countries like China,” wrote Rep. Higgins. “With allthese investments, Congress and the Administration has been very clear: the new jobs created should be jobs with dignity – to help Americans raise their families, with good benefits and the promise of a retirement. As you ramp up production, I strongly urge you to prioritize re-hiring former workers at the facility and honor previous agreements.”
MACHINISTS UNION AND OTHER UNIONS URGE GLOBAL AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE SAFETY IMPROVEMENT ACT BE INCLUDED IN THE NDAA: The IAM joined other members of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, a coalition of 36 other unions, to request that the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 7321) be included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bipartisan, commonsense legislation will return heavy aircraft maintenance and overhaul capacity to the U.S. by removing incentives for airlines to offshore this work. This change is essential to the long-term competitiveness of our nation, as China and other countries now account for asignificant proportion of the heavy aircraft maintenance and overhaul work performed on U.S. registered aircraft.
The IAM, the largest airline union in North America, representing over 100,000 airline workers, has been urging passage of such airline maintenance legislation into law. IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., has said that “for years, we’ve been saying that it’s unfair for U.S. employees to compete for work against foreign facilities that do not mirror our standards.”
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.
“The Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act simply requires U.S. aircraft to be maintained to the same standards, regardless of where on the planet this maintenance mayoccur, reads the letter. “This consensus bill overwhelmingly passed the House with the support of every member of both Democratic and Republican leadership. We urge you to make it law by including it as part of the NDAA.”
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