MACHINISTS UNION URGES IMMEDIATE PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL, BUILD BACK BETTER ACT: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. released the following statement strongly supporting the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the agreement on the Build Back Better Act:
“Our union is relieved that our nation’s elected officials could agree on legislation impacting millions of working families. The IAM was instrumental in helping pass the American Rescue Plan and other rescue packages to help keep our members employed and their families secure. But these were temporary fixes to a problem that needs a permanent solution. The IAM applauds the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the framework agreement on the Build Back Better Act. Both pieces of legislation will provide historic investment for the airline, transit, aerospace, manufacturing and other critical industries.
“Build Back Better is transformative for families, with the Child Tax Credit, lower child care costs, universal pre-K, workforce development, and more. Corporations have been on the receiving end of corporate tax cuts and other special giveaways for too long. We need legislation that will embrace a pro-worker, pro-democracy agenda that provides millions of working families the opportunity to better wages and benefits.
“The infrastructure package will finally strengthen Buy America rules to help boost our domestic manufacturing sectors. Our union fought to include the most significant federal investment in public transit and passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak. Our transportation sector will benefit through the modernization projects created through the robust funding provided in this infrastructure package. This investment will help our vital manufacturing and transportation sectors build back better.
“Our union is dedicated to reversing the trend of an economy that serves the wealthiest and most prominent corporations so that working families can live a better life with decent wages and benefits.”
NEW JERSEY STATE COUNCIL PRESIDENT REPRESENTS MACHINISTS UNION AT PRESIDENT BIDEN’S BUILD BACK BETTER EVENT: Cristino Vilorio, New Jersey State Council of Machinists President, this week represented the IAM at President Biden’s Build Back Better event in New Jersey, which focused on the status of the Infrastructure and the Reconciliation Bills and how it will create thousands of union jobs in New Jersey and across the nation.
Vilorio was also among a select few to meet privately with the President during the event.
“As the president of New Jersey State Council of Machinists and a full-time Business Representative for District 15, I will continue to provide the best representation to our over 20,000 members that we represent in various industries in New Jersey,” said Vilorio. “We will continue with our supportive agenda that creates good union jobs with great benefits for our members and their families.”
“Brother Vilorio continually fights for the rights of all union members, so I couldn’t think of a more deserving representative of our union at President Biden’s event,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “I congratulate him for having the esteemed honor of meeting the President. Our union has advocated relentlessly for the passing of this legislation which will further enhance good-paying union jobs.”
President Biden, who was joined at the event by New Jersey representatives, including Gov. Murphy and other union leaders, thanked all attendees for their leadership, dedication and support while asking all attendees for their continued support in passing the infrastructure bill.
The Machinists Union has been at the forefront of the labor movement in supporting the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.
IAM URGES SENATE CONFIRMATION OF LABOR-FRIENDLY MEMBERS TO NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) applauds the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) committee for advancing the nomination of two union-friendly members to the National Mediation Board (NMB), which includes longtime labor lawyer and former IAM Legal Fellow Deirdre Hamilton.
The HELP committee recently voted to approve the nomination of Hamilton and renomination of Linda Puchala, an action that moves both for a full Senate consideration. The IAM is now urging Senate leadership to swiftly move forward with a full floor vote to confirm the two NMB nominees.
“We thank each senator of the HELP committee who voted in favor of the Democratic nominees for this very important federal panel, which will help make sure the pendulum stays balanced in the efforts to smooth out disputes in the rail and airline industries,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr. “We also applaud the Biden administration for choosing a slate of very qualified members to the NMB panel, which would become Democratic majority. We are confident that Deirdre Hamilton and Linda Puchala will fight hard to protect the interest of the American worker.”
“We applaud the Senate HELP Committee for moving our labor-friendly nominees out of committee and we are now urging Senate Leadership to schedule a floor vote. The IAM’s Transportation Department stands ready to work to help get these nominees confirmed,” said Richard Johnsen, Chief of Staff to the International President. “Both Hamilton and Puchala have shown to be advocates of workers, so I am confident that they will assure workers’ rights will be protected.”
The NMB is a three-member panel tasked with handling labor issues in the nation’s railroad and airline industries.
In January, the IAM joined 18 unions representing rail and aviation workers in sending a letter the Biden administration asking for some immediate attention to confirm Hamilton and Puchala.
IAM’s ‘BUY AMERICAN’ DEFENSE AMENDMENT HEADS TO U.S. SENATE: A critical amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to strengthen Buy American requirements, tirelessly lobbied for by the IAM, was filed today in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). If passed, the amendment would dramatically increase domestically made procurement requirements in major defense programs.
The amendment would increase “Buy American” requirements for major defense programs from 55 percent to 60 percent upon the bill’s enactment. Requirements would further rise to 65 percent by 2024 and to 75 percent by 2029.
The amendment, championed in the U.S. House by U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), was included in the bipartisan House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“As the largest defense labor union in the United States, the IAM is incredibly grateful to Senator Duckworth for moving Buy American forward to benefit the U.S. workforce,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The IAM has led the way in advocating the use of U.S. tax dollars to purchase American-made planes, ships, missiles, submarines, and other products and services that keep our nation secure. This amendment will not only grow our industrial base and help give thousands of working Americans the opportunity to improve their lives and communities, but it will increase the number of domestic manufacturers throughout the country.”
The IAM has been pushing the increase for years in order to strengthen the defense industrial base and domestic supply chain while helping prevent vulnerabilities created by military products being made in China and other countries.
MINNESOTA STATE COUNCIL COMES TOGETHER TO ENGAGE MEMBERS: Delegates from across Minnesota gathered recently for the Minnesota State Council of Machinists meeting. The meeting focused on the importance of staying engaged throughout the electoral process and outlined priorities for the membership. The attendees heard from a slate of dynamic speakers, including IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway, IAM Legislative and Political Director Hasan Solomon, and Minnesota top elected officials including Governor Tim Walz, State Attorney General Keith Ellison, and Secretary of State Steve Simon.
“This year’s state council meeting allowed us to come together and discuss our top priorities,” said Minnesota State Council of Machinists President John Steigauf. “This meeting featured dynamic speakers including a video from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. When we come together, it allows us to keep reminding members of our priorities and stay engaged on the issues that matter in the lives of our members. Everyone left the meeting energized and committed to the issues facing our membership and the state of Minnesota.”
Members attending the Minnesota State Council meeting heard how vital the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) is for our union and state councils. Increasing contributions to the MNPL is always a big part of the Minnesota State Council’s agenda with the help of IAM staff from the political and legislative department. The voluntary donations to the MNPL help us get pro-worker candidates up and down the ballot elected in hopes of implementing a pro-worker, pro-democracy agenda in the state.
“I always look forward to attending the Minnesota State Council and engaging with the members on some of our top issues in our union,” said IAM Midwest Territory Vice President Steve Galloway. “The leadership of the Minnesota State Council should be commended for always taking a lead on some of the most difficult issues facing our nation. They should also be commended on their level of participation amongst the delegation – which included young, senior and retired members. I am proud of working alongside each and every one of them as we push through this very important time in labor’s history.”
The Minnesota State Council of Machinists represents more than 5,400 active and retired members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 600,000 active and retired members in manufacturing, aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking and other industries in both the U.S. and Canada.
MACHINISTS UNION CONGRATULATES MURPHY-OLIVER ADMINISTRATION ON RE-ELECTION: The IAM, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Council of Machinists (NJSCM), released the following statement on the re-election victory for Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, and other IAM endorsed candidates:
“The IAM, along with the NJSCM, congratulates New Jersey residents for supporting the pro-worker agenda of the Murphy-Oliver administration. This re-election showed the overwhelming approval for a stronger and fairer New Jersey. The Murphy-Oliver administration actions have created the framework for a brighter economic future with the help of other IAM endorsed candidates throughout the state. This reelection will continue the work of creating a more diverse and dynamic economy that helps every New Jerseyan get ahead.
“NJSCM members have welcomed the steady leadership of the Murphy-Oliver administration, who have ushered a new era of progressive, pro-worker legislation in our state. Our hardworking men and women of the NJSCM made phone calls. They knocked on thousands of doors in partnership with the New Jersey AFL-CIO to ensure we continue on the right path of creating a strong fair economy for future generations of New Jerseyans.
“The results of this critical election continues to signal that the 1-million-member-strong New Jersey labor movement will lead the way to create an agenda that makes working families a priority.”
NFFE-IAM SUPPORTS FLRA NOMINEES: NFFE-IAM stands in solidarity with an alliance of nearly 300,000 federal workers across the country who support the three recent nominations to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).
NFFE-IAM is part of 30 labor unions that make up the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), an organization of unions that represent federal workers across the country. Under the FWA umbrella, these unions have united in backing Ernest W. DuBester’s nomination and former NFFE-IAM General Counsel Susan T. Grundmann’s nomination as members of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) along with Kurt Rumsfeld’s nomination for FLRA General Counsel.
Based on their distinguished professional backgrounds, the hope is that these three candidates would restore much-needed balance back to the FLRA board, which has recently supported decisions that hurt federal workers rather than protect their collective bargaining rights.
The letter was sent directly to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), which is scheduled to take up the nominations in the very near future.
REP. NORCROSS ANNOUNCES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING WORKERS’ RIGHTS: Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) announced the introduction of a House Resolution expressing solidarity with workers across the country who have raised their voices to demand adequate pay, retirement benefits, and safer working conditions.
“I want every working person in this country to know – be they a machinist on the picket line or a barista organizing a union drive – that I stand with them,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “Despite large corporations turning huge profits on the backs of workers, too many workers are not being rewarded with family-sustaining wages or benefits. It’s time to put the American worker at the heart of federal policymaking. I urge my colleagues in the House – from both parties – to sign onto my resolution and pledge to pass pro-worker legislation.”
Congressman Norcross, a graduate of an IBEW Registered Apprenticeship and a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, announced the resolution at a press conference organized by Jobs With Justice, the National Women’s Law Center, and Teamsters Union, where labor leaders and members of Congress spoke to the importance of passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act would create a pathway to union membership for millions of American workers and was passed by the House over 230 days ago but has not yet been brought to a vote in the Senate.
“Sixty million non-unionized workers in America would join a union today if they could. Unfortunately, because of illegal intimidation tactics from employers, many won’t ever have the chance to vote for union membership,” added Congressman Norcross. “The PRO Act will level the playing field for hard-working people and corporations that have immense resources to intimidate, disrupt, and suppress labor organizing. Our labor laws haven’t been updated since 1975, and it’s time to put the law on the side of the average worker and start holding large corporations accountable for illegal and unfair behavior.”
The month of October has been dubbed “Striketober” due to the high level of organized labor mobilization, including strikes – a tool of last resort for workers who have exhausted all other options in their fight for fair wages, benefits, and safer working conditions. Read the full resolution here.