As Government Shutdown Looms, Machinists Union Applauds Introduction of Federal Contract Worker Backpay Legislation

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2023 – Robert Martinez Jr., International President of the 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), released the following statement strongly supporting the Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act: 

“The IAM commends the unwavering dedication and commitment of Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senator Tina Smith, alongside Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton and Donald Norcross, for introducing the Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act. This crucial legislation aims to protect the livelihoods of federal contract workers who would be adversely affected by a potential government shutdown.

“Over 1 million federal contract workers went without pay during the 35-day government shutdown in early 2019, including thousands of furloughed IAM members. In a time when government shutdowns loom as a stark reality, the Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act offers hope to those who often find themselves caught in the crossfire of political disputes. This bill builds upon the legislation introduced in 2019 during the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history.

“If enacted, the Fair Pay for Federal Contractors Act will provide a lifeline to federal contract workers, including those families facing the reality of missing payments on their mortgages, student loans, school tuition, car loans, health care premiums, daycare, interest fees, and so many other expenses. These dedicated individuals play a vital role in maintaining the smooth operation of our government and deserve to be fairly compensated. 

“Our nation’s federal contract workers, often overlooked heroes, provide essential services that keep our government functioning. They should never have to bear the brunt of political discord in the form of lost wages and benefits during a government shutdown. We applaud Rep. Pressley, Sen. Smith, and Reps. Norton and Norcross for their tireless efforts to ensure these hardworking Americans are protected and fairly compensated.

“The IAM strongly urges members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to come together and pass this vital legislation. By doing so, we can send a clear message that our government values and respects the contributions of all its workers.” 

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. | @MachinistsUnion


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