IAM Continues Call For Senate Confirmation of Working People’s Champion Julie Su – IAM Rail Division Joins Transportation Unions to Support Pro-Labor Surface Transportation Board – Texas State Council Brings Together IAM Activists

Jun 30, 2023 | Machinists On The Hill

IAM CONTINUES CALL FOR SENATE CONFIRMATION OF WORKING PEOPLE’S CHAMPION JULIE SU: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. is continuing the call, with a united labor front, for the U.S. Senate to confirm Julie Su as U.S. Labor Secretary.

“As I’ve said before, Julie Su is the type of leader we need at the DOL, fighting to improve the lives of our nation’s workforce and their families,” writes Martinez. “Her confirmation is so important as she has already proven time and time again to be a strong champion of the American workforce. This includes her service as Deputy U.S. Labor Secretary, collaborating with former U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to produce historic job growth and ensuring the nation’s workforce has skills bets for the tasks of today and the future.”

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition calling on the confirmation of Julie Su as U.S. Labor Secretary

Read the full IAM letter to the U.S. Senate supporting Su’s confirmation here.


IAM RAIL DIVISION JOINS TRANSPORTATION UNIONS TO SUPPORT PRO-LABOR SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD: The IAM and a coalition of 13 rail unions are calling on President Biden to continue the progress made for rail workers under the Surface Transportation Board.

Three opposing organizations had called for the removal of the STB’s chairman, Marty Oberman.

“The actions and approach of the current board are a refreshing change from its predecessors, which often acted more as advocates for the railroads rather than their regulators,” writes the union coalition. “Chair Oberman is due much credit for that change.”

“Chair Oberman and the other members of the current STB have valued the opinions of rail unions and ensured that the voices and interests of rail workers are heard,” reads the letter. “Chair Oberman has aggressively questioned railroad representatives in STB proceedings when the assertions of the railroads seemed to be without evidentiary support or appeared to be premised on false assumptions.”

Read the full coalition letter to President Biden here.

TEXAS STATE COUNCIL BRINGS TOGETHER IAM POLITICAL ACTIVISTS: IAM members from across the Lone Star State, including dozens of first-time delegates, recently gathered in Austin for the annual Texas State Council of Machinists.

Members heard from IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr., General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes, Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace, National Political and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon and multiple other department heads.

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy, as well as Texas State Rep. Chris Turner (D-Arlington), also addressed delegates on mobilization plans for Texas working families in upcoming elections. 

See the IAM’s Twitter thread for more on the Texas State Council of Machinists.

NFFE-IAM HOSTS LABOR DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL FOR MONTANA SMOKEJUMPER BASE TOUR: The National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) recently hosted the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) Director Christopher Godfrey at the Missoula Smokejumper Base in western Montana.

Godfrey held important discussions regarding workers’ compensation with the Missoula Smokejumpers and Helitack crews, as well as wildland firefighters at the Ninemile Ranger Station on the Lolo National Forest. He also had the opportunity to tour the Missoula Smokejumper Base, watch parachute training exercises, and take part in a blasting program demonstration during his visit.

“It is really encouraging to have Director Godfrey meet with wildland firefighters to personally discuss workers’ compensation with them,” said NFFE-IAM President Randy Erwin. “He clearly cares deeply about the mission of his office and the employees that he and his staff have a duty to assist. NFFE is proud of our accomplishments thus far in helping wildland firefighters access OWCP, but we understand there is still a lot of work to do. I look forward to working with Director Godfrey so that no federal employee has to worry about their healthcare or finances should they get injured on the job, especially our brave wildland firefighters who risk their lives every day they set out to protect our country from wildland fires.”

Read more about the visit here.

IAM SUPPORTS AIRWAYS ACT TO BOLSTER AVIATION JOB FORCE: The IAM is supporting a bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) that aims to address the nation’s workforce shortage, starting with a widely understaffed aviation industry, and to strengthen the aviation sector as Congress plans to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“America has a worker shortage problem, particularly in aviation,” said Warnock. “The current aviation workforce shortage is not only a challenge to confront, but an opportunity to seize by investing in the next generation of aviation workers—and I believe the entire education system has an important role to play in getting it done. That is why I am proud to introduce the AIRWAYS Act to help more schools train students from all zip codes to work in the aviation industry.”

The AIRWAYS Act would:

  • Establish a grant program to support the education, recruitment, and workforce development of aircraft pilots as well as aviation maintenance and aviation manufacturing technical workers.
  • Encourage the participation of populations underrepresented in the aviation industry, including veterans, women, minorities, and individuals in economically disadvantaged geographic areas and rural communities.
  • Encourage participation of populations underrepresented in the industry to address the workforce needs of rural and regional airports.
  • Strengthen aviation programs at minority serving institutions, a public institution of higher education, or a public postsecondary vocational institution.

Read more about the AIRWAYS Act here.

VIRGINIA STATE COUNCIL PRESIDENT REPRESENTS IAM AT WHITE HOUSEVirginia State Council of Machinists President Charles Mann (third row from top, far right) was invited to the White House recently to speak to officials on how the administration’s workforce investments and support for labor have benefitted IAM members in the Commonwealth.

Mann thanked the administration for its quick action to save the airline, rail and other industries during the pandemic, as well as the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS Act, and other legislation that is helping to encourage manufacturing by union members here at home.

“Communities in Action” is a series of events that brings local elected official and community leaders to the White House to discuss how leaders are using federal dollars to create opportunities and improve lives.

IAM CALLS FOR RECONFIRMATION OF PRO-LABOR NLRB MEMBER: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. wrote a letter to each U.S. Senator calling for the swift reconfirmation of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Gwynne Wilcox. The NLRB is an essential federal agency that determines violations of the private-sector workers’ rights.

“Wilcox’s life-long career as a champion for workers’ rights has helped ensure an even playing field between workers who want to exercise their federally protected rights and the employers who want to keep the upper hand,” writes Martinez. “During her tenure, the Board has reversed bad precedent limiting the kinds of support workers can show for unions (Tesla, Inc.); reversed bad decisions and orders that tried to limit the ways workers could organize themselves into bargaining units (American Steel, Inc. and Nissan) and ensured that employers are held accountable for damages caused by their knowing violations of the Act (Thryv, Inc.).”

Read the IAM’s full letter to the Senate calling for the reconfirmation of Gwynne Wilcox to the NLRB.

PENNSYLVANIA STATE COUNCIL SHOWCASES IAM’S STRENGTH IN KEYSTONE STATE: Nearly 100 IAM leaders, activists and members from across Pennsylvania joined together in York for the 77th annual Convention from June 5 to 7.

Delegates heard from a variety of elected officials and leaders, including IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes, Headquarters General Vice President Brian Bryant, Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan, and Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen.

Eastern Pennsylvania MNPL Director Bob Miller reports on this year’s convention.

IAM SUPPORTS BILL TO STRENGTHEN AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS, CLOSE IMPORT LOOPHOLE: The IAM is backing legislation that stop non-market economies from exploiting a loophole that allows imports valued under $800, also known as the de minimis threshold, from coming into the U.S. without paying duties, taxes, fees or undergoing rigorous inspection. 

“The Import Security and Fairness Act will provide the necessary worker protections by enforcing fair labor standards,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I applaud Rep. Blumenauer for leading this fight. Our union knows all too well how unfair trade practices lead to massive job losses. This legislation will help fight against a rigged economy and put the power back in the workers’ hands who help drive our nation’s economy. We urge Congress to pass this crucial legislation quickly.”

The Import Security and Fairness Act would:

  1. Prohibit goods from countries that are both non-market economies and on the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Priority Watch List, such as China, from using de minimis. The U.S. government has found that such countries provide unfair benefits to their companies. This change ensures that shipments from these countries don’t benefit further under U.S. law. 
  2. Require Customs and Border Patrol to collect more information on all de minimis shipments and prohibit use by bad actors. This provision makes common-sense changes that will require CBP to collect more information on de minimis shipments and prohibit importers that have been suspended or debarred from being able to use de minimis.

The bipartisan Import Security and Fairness Act was introduced by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Neal Dunn (R-FL), and U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

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