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
PUSHING FOR THE BIGGEST LABOR LAW REFORM IN GENERATIONS: The IAM is urging Congress to enact the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a critically important piece of legislation that will outlaw anti-union “right-to-work” laws and expand the right to freely form a union without the threat of company intimidation or interference.
The PRO Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and U.S. Sen Patty Murray (D-WA), is the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression because it will:
IAM members must act now to tell your Senators and Representative to pass the PRO ACT.
MAKE A CALL: Call your Senators and Representative at 202-224-3121 to urge them to support the PRO Act
“The PRO Act would be a game-changer for the IAM, organized labor and all working people,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “During these difficult times, the best remedy for working families is to give them the power to make a real difference in their lives. By outlawing anti-union ‘right-to-work’ laws and more, that’s exactly what the PRO Act will do.”
AIRLINE WORKER RELIEF MAKES PROGRESS IN COVID RELIEF PACKAGE: The IAM continues to lead the fight on Capitol Hill for an extension of the airline Payroll Support Program (PSP) to keep tens of thousands of IAM members employed.
In a letter to Senate and House leadership, the IAM, along with a coalition of aviation unions, successfully urged members of the House and Senate to include this vitally important, bipartisan legislation in the next COVID-19 pandemic relief package to be considered by Congress.
“Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, airline workers have been forced to work through difficult times, unsure about their health and futures,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Thousands of jobs have already been lost, and without an extension of the Payroll Support Program, those numbers are likely to increase. The IAM will do everything possible to get relief for airline, transportation and all transit workers during this unprecedented time.”
“An extension of the Payroll Support Program through September is vital to ensuring the futures of hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “I ask that all Machinists support their aviation Sisters and Brothers by calling your Senators and Representative imploring them to include this much-needed relief in any COVID Relief package.”
MAKE A CALL: Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 to urge them to pass an extension of the Payroll Support Program, and save thousands of frontline aviation jobs.
MACHINISTS CHAMPION RELIEF FOR AEROSPACE, DEFENSE WORKERS: In a letter to Senate and House leadership, IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. is urging members of the House and Senate to include vitally important, bipartisan legislation that provides relief to aerospace and defense manufacturing workers in any COVID-19 pandemic relief package to be considered by Congress. The legislation was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week.
The legislation, led by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Reps. Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Ron Estes (R-KS), would provide much-needed relief and help prevent mass layoffs to workers in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, overhaul and repair (MRO) industries.
“Machinists Union members are the most skilled and dedicated aerospace and defense workers in the world,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We must do everything we can to preserve such a critical workforce through this crisis and be ready for growth when it passes. As the largest aerospace and defense union in North America, we applaud Reps. Larsen and Estes, Sens. Cantwell and Moran, and others who are championing this bipartisan, worker-first and desperately needed legislation.”
MAKE A CALL: Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 to urge them to pass the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act of 2021, and save tens of thousands of critical aerospace and defense jobs.
IAM SUPPORTS THE RAISE THE WAGE ACT: Last week, Congress reintroduced the Raise the Wage Act. The bill, which the IAM has been advocating for years on Capitol Hill, would gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.
It has been more than 12 years since the federal minimum wage was raised, the longest stretch in our country’s history without an increase.
MARTY WALSH, BIDEN’S PICK TO LEAD LABOR DEPARTMENT, SHOWS WHY HE WILL BE A CHAMPION FOR WORKING FAMILIES: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a longtime union member and labor leader, made a strong showing at his Senate confirmation hearing to become the next U.S. Labor Secretary.
Upon President Biden’s nomination of Walsh to serve as head of the Labor Department, IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. said Walsh “is a true fighter for working families.”
“The union was our way into the middle class,” Walsh said during the hearing. “It meant a fair wage. It meant safety on the job, so we didn’t have to live in fear of an accident derailing our lives. It meant a pension, so my parents could retire with dignity. And it meant health insurance.”
As mayor, Walsh proved himself a fierce ally of the IAM by defending more than 400 IAM Local 264 bus mechanic jobs from privatization.
Walsh plans to operate in stark contrast to the previous Labor Secretary, Eugene Scalia, who worked as an employer-side attorney to beat back allegations of labor law violations.
“Mayor Walsh knows working people and unions because he is one of us,” said Martinez. “With the pandemic still raging and unemployment at extremely high levels, we need a Labor Secretary who will represent workers on the frontlines. Marty Walsh will be that champion and the Fighting Machinists will be right there by his side. We urge the Senate to confirm Mayor Walsh with a strong bipartisan majority.”
MACHINISTS UNION APPLAUDS BUTTIFIEG TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY CONFIRMATION: The U.S. Senate voted by a strong bipartisan majority to confirm former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
“The IAM applauds President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Pete Buttigieg to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Buttigieg understands that U.S. transportation workers are the ones who move the American people and serve as the cornerstone of our nation’s economy.”
“Pete Buttigieg has proven time and time again that he not only listens to the working men and women of our nation, he believes in them,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The IAM is looking forward to working with Pete Buttigieg on the massive transportation challenges that are awaiting the Biden Administration.”
IAM CHAMPIONS NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP ACT: Last week, the House voted with bipartisan support to pass the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. The Machinists Union understands the benefits of a quality apprenticeship program as many of our members began their careers’ as apprentices.
The National Apprenticeship Act would afford apprentices many benefits including investing $3.5 billion to expand registered apprenticeships, makes participation easier for apprentices and employers and sets consistent quality standards for all training programs
MACHINISTS CALL FOR EXPANSION OF ELECTRONIC VOTING IN UNION REPRESENTATION ELECTIONS: IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. is calling on members of Congress to empower working families and provide them a safe and efficient manner in which to vote in union representation elections.
In a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Martinez urges support of the SAFE Workers Act (H.R. 308) which would make the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) implement a system and procedures to conduct representational elections remotely using an electronic voting system.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely harsh on workers today and providing electronic voting would not only be safer for workers, it would provide a rapid response to employees seeking union representation,” said Martinez. “Ultimately, protecting workers during these tenuous times is a goal we all need to reach.
TCU MEMBERS HIGHLIGHTED IN HEARING ABOUT PROTECTING TRANSPORTATION WORKERS AND PASSENGERS DURING COVID: The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recently held a hearing about protecting transportation workers and passengers from COVID. The experiences of TCU/IAM members are prominently featured in some of the videos, which emphasize the protection needs of workers going forward.
SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION PETE BUTTIGIEG VISITS TCU/IAM MEMBERS: Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg last week met with frontline workers, including many TCU/IAM members at Washington, DC’s Union Station. Buttigieg expressed his gratitude to all the workers who help keep travelers safe every day.
NFFE-IAM MOVES FORWARD WITH BIPARTISAN FEDERAL FIREFIGHTER/LEO FAIR RETIRE ACT: Many federal first responders who get injured in the line of duty risk removal from their enhanced retirement (known as 6c) after a supervisor’s reassignment. Those first responders lose the ability to retire at 57 and lose their payments into the enhanced retirement plan.
The First Responder FAIR Retire Act was reintroduced and a strategy is in place to get the bill passed this Congress to right this decades-old wrong. NFFE-IAM began seeking Biden White House approval last August by including this bill in its list of priorities for this administration.
NFFE-IAM sincerely thanks Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), as well as Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Jim Langevin (D-RI) for their unwavering support to get this bill passed.