Friday, October 16, 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
IAM PUSHES CONGRESS FOR URGENT AIRLINE RELIEF: The IAM continues to push Congress for an extension of the airline Payroll Support Program (PSP) and keep tens of thousands of IAM members employed.
“There is strong bipartisan support for an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) in both the House and Senate, but a bill still has not been passed,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Republicans in both chambers have nixed standalone bills that would have ensured the futures of our airline members.”
Keep up the pressure!
Continue to call your Representative at 202-224-3121 to urge them to extend the airline Payroll Support Program through March 31, 2021, and to save hundreds of thousands of frontline airline workers’ jobs.
“We are done being patient for Congress to act,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our members need relief and they need it now. We will keep the heat on our elected officials until the Payroll Support Program is passed and our members are back on the job. I am sick and tired of these politicians taking vacations while working people are on the street.”
The IAM, along with a coalition of airline unions and carriers, sent a letter to House and Senate leadership last week urging them to enact legislation to extend the airline PSP.
“Airline workers are already experiencing the impact of inaction and simply cannot wait any longer for federal aid,” the joint letter reads.
ALL WORKERS DESEPERATELY NEED COVID RELIEF: Of course, the transportation sector isn’t the only part of the economy that continues to reel from job loss and the food and housing security that goes with it. The IAM Legislative Department continues to work with both parties in an attempt to pass relief for the nation as a whole.
“This is unprecedented,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The Administration and Senate need to take care of working Americans before attempting to ram through a Supreme Court nominee. They need to put the working people of our nation first.”
MACHINISTS UNION BEGINS VIDEO SERIES HIGHLIGHTING TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES TO STOP U.S. PLANT CLOSINGS: The IAM began a video series this week exposing the human cost of President Trump’s broken promises that U.S. workers “won’t lose one plant” and declarations that “[plants] are all coming back.”
The first video highlights workers at Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) Local 6016 in Roanoke, Va. FreightCar America announced in July 2019 that it would be closing and laying off 198 TCU/IAM members. The work moved to Mexico and Alabama.
In September 2020, FreightCar America announced that its Alabama facility would also be closing and shifted production to Mexico.
The second video is from Prince Hydraulics in Sioux City, IA, which made hydraulic cylinders, valves and pumps, is one of dozens of IAM-represented facilities that have closed during the Trump administration.
“President Trump told our members and the nation that he would not only stop our jobs from going overseas, but that he would bring jobs back that we’ve lost,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “These promises have been broken time and time again over the past three years. This administration has turned their backs on tens of thousands of our members and their communities. We need a White House that walks the walk and will defend critical U.S. manufacturing jobs.”
NFFE-IAM SECURES LANGUAGE IN RELIEF BILL: NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 secured one of only two provisions in the House Coronavirus relief stimulus bill (HEROES Act) that directly benefits federal employees.
The provision protects federal firefighters, police and others from the removal of their special retirement status (known as 6c status after the IRS code), if injured because of a COVID-related illness.
This language is critical to setting a legislative precedent for a permanent fix in the future to prevent first responders from losing “6c” retirement status if injured on the job.
IAM BLASTS SUPREME COURT NOMINEE, PROCESS: The GOP is barreling toward an Oct. 22 vote on fill the Supreme Court seat vacated with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
IAM Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan is a graduate of Notre Dame University and knows Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“Her positions and her approach to the law is a threat to American workers and to other under-represented groups in the country,” said Ewan. “Her time on the federal circuit court bench shows she favors corporate interests over workers.”
There’s still time to reach out to your Senators and tell them it’s not acceptable to rush this nomination.
HAVE YOU VOTED? TIME TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! IAM2020.0RG IS YOUR INFORMATION STATION! Only 19 days until the election. Do you have a voting plan in place? Are you registered? In many states, you still have time! Do you plan to vote by mail, or by early vote, or on the day of the election? Not sure?
IAM2020.org is your one-stop shop to make all those plans. Click on “Explore IAM2020.org” then “Get Out the Vote” to find out where to register to vote, how to get an absentee ballot, verify your voter registration, set up an election reminder and make a pledge to vote!
If you want to find out what’s at stake, why the IAM is involved in politics, and what our worker-centered priorities are, visit our What’s At Stake page for a full explanation. In a first-ever nationwide vote, IAM members voted to endorse Joe Biden. We explain that process and vote.
If we want a world where our children and grandchildren can hope to have good union jobs and union benefits, your vote is the most powerful weapon of all. Let’s do this!
TCU/IAM, RAIL STAKEHOLDERS URGE CONGRESS TO PROVIDE AMTRAK, TRANSIT RELIEF: TCU/IAM joined with other groups representing rail passengers in the U.S., Amtrak workers, Commuter and Transit employees, and railway suppliers, to remind Congress not to forget about the other pieces of America’s national intercity transportation network: Amtrak and public transit systems.