Friday, November 13, 2020
IAM Officers, Staff, and Members — This email newsletter is an effort to better communicate with our membership on how the IAM is fully engaged on important legislative matters that affect our day-to-day lives. Our goal is to get this information out to our membership on the shop floors. Please make it a top priority to consistently share this important new initiative with our membership.
Robert Martinez Jr.
HELLO AND WELCOME TO MACHINISTS ON THE HILL, a twice-monthly roundup of legislative advocacy on behalf of IAM members.
Produced by: IAM Legislative and Communications Departments
MACHINISTS ACTIVISM HELPS ELECT JOE BIDEN, KAMALA HARRIS AND PRO-UNION CANDIDATES: After months of mobilization in support of pro-union candidates up and down the ballot, the Machinists Union quickly turned its attention after Election Day to ensuring that every vote was counted.
Despite the pandemic and deliberate barriers to voting, a record number of Americans made their voices heard in these elections. Local election officials continue to work tirelessly to ensure every ballot is counted.
“In America, the voters decide who will represent us, not the courts. We pick our leaders – our leaders do not pick their voters,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We must reject any attempt to sow doubts about our election or interfere with the legitimate count of ballots.”
Then, on Saturday, Nov. 7, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris crossed the critical threshold of 270 electoral votes to become president-elect and vice president-elect, respectively. The IAM and organized labor are also celebrating a number of down-ballot victories, and getting ready for two Georgia U.S. Senate Jan. 5 runoffs that will determine the chamber’s balance of power.
Martinez released the following statement on the election:
“The American people have spoken and democracy has prevailed. Our union and our nation are moving forward with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to do the work needed to emerge stronger than ever from these difficult times.
“We sincerely congratulate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, and all the pro-union candidates who won races from coast to coast. The Fighting Machinists Union was proud to endorse you in a membership vote and looks forward to building a better future with you. I am also grateful for every Machinists Union member who voted in this election, no matter how they cast their ballot.
“A new kind of work begins today—and the task in front of us is great. We have seen unemployment unrivaled since the Great Depression. Millions of American families have seen loved ones pass or sickened from an out-of-control pandemic. Our nation has deep divisions along the lines of race and class.
“But a new day has come to America. This time, the interests of working people must be put before corporations and the ultra-wealthy. Our members have seen their plants close, livelihoods upended and communities torn apart in the name of corporate greed. And just as we did during this administration, we will hold the next administration accountable to bring our jobs home.
“The Machinists Union can be counted on to serve as a trusted partner in building back our nation better than ever before. Working together, we can preserve and create good union jobs that will power us to a brighter future. We can ensure that every American has access to quality healthcare and a secure retirement. We can create opportunity for each and every one of us—no matter our race, religion, national origin or who we love.
“We can and we will accomplish great things together. The next chapter of this great American story begins now.”
IP MARTINEZ CALLS FOR UNITY, IMMEDIATE RELIEF FOR WORKING PEOPLE: In a message to all IAM members, International President Robert Martinez Jr. called on Machinists Union members to unify and be a part of healing our country.
“We have just had a national election. The election showed that there is a bitter divide in our country. Now is the time for healing and unity,” said Martinez. “We, as IAM members, can lead the way as we reassert our trade union principles that we are stronger together than we are apart. Working people and their families need us now more than ever.”
Martinez also continued the IAM’s call for immediate COVID relief for all working people.
“We continue to fight for economic relief programs for all of our members, including our members in the airline and transit sectors who deserve an extension to the now expired payroll support program,” said Martinez.
The airline Payroll Support Program (PSP) expired on October 1, resulting in the furloughs and layoffs of tens of thousands of airline workers.
NFFE-IAM FILES JOINT COMMENTS TO PROTECT FEDERAL WORKER BACK PAY, LEGAL COSTS: NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 and the IAM filed joint comments with a number of other federal worker unions to oppose a proposed rule from the Office of Personnel Management to override the Back Pay Act.
The Back Pay Act provides federal employees with the legal right to recover monetary damages, such as back pay, from the federal government and allows unions to bill the government for their legal costs in labor arbitrations and other legal actions filed on behalf of employees.
The proposed rule is an attempt to gut critical provisions of the law. OPM is proposing to change two provisions:
1) Eliminate federal employees’ right to back pay for things like illegal debt collections, overtime payment shortfalls, rejections for cash awards, leave denials, and denials of official time; and
2) Prevent unions from recovering attorney fees awarded by an arbitrator.
TCU/IAM COMES THROUGH WITH OVER 11,000 CALLS FOR BIDEN, DOWN-BALLOT CANDIDATES: TCU-IAM members made calls to get out the vote in battleground states all across the country in support of the presidential race for Joe Biden and many down-ballot races in every state.
TCU-IAM members from the Philadelphia Amtrak Call Center made calls in support of U.S. Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA), all of whom were re-elected.
TCU-IAM members will now concentrate on calling members in Georgia in support of the two Democrats running in the runoff elections for U.S. Senate, Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.