Middletown, OH, July 27, 2006 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) defeated the United Steelworkers Union (USW) in a two-day National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election to determine representation rights for more than 2,200 members of the Armco Employees Independent Federation (AEIF) in Middletown, OH.
Of the 2,207 eligible voters in the AEIF bargaining unit, 1,056 voted in favor of IAM representation. The USW received 790 votes and 10 ballots were cast to keep the AEIF as representative. There were no votes cast for “No Union” and the NLRB declared 1 ballot void.
“AEIF leaders contacted the IAM earlier this year seeking help to end the five-month long lockout at AK Steel Corp. and to explore the possibility of affiliating with the Machinists union,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Today’s victory gives each and every AEIF member a seat of honor inside the IAM, and an opportunity for a secure pension with the IAM National Pension Fund.”
AEIF members were locked out by AK Steel on Feb. 28 in a dispute over health care costs, work rules and finding a replacement for the company-managed pension plan. IAM membership allows negotiators to propose a defined benefit pension under the IAM’s highly regarded multi-employer plan. AK Steel proposed to replace the current pension with a risk-based 401(k) plan.
“AEIF has a proud 63-year history representing generations of workers here in Middletown,” said AEIF President Brian Daley. “A safe workplace and a secure retirement are among the most important things a union can provide its members. Partnering with the IAM gives us the opportunity to preserve our traditions and to negotiate a pension plan that is worthy of the men and women in this community.”
A Transition Agreement, signed by IAM and AEIF leaders on June 8, details the process of integrating the AEIF into the IAM. The agreement also ensures AEIF members will receive full rights, privileges and benefits of IAM membership during the transition period.
“The IAM pledged to conduct a positive campaign and we delivered on that promise,” said IAM Eastern Territory Vice President Lynn Tucker, Jr. “Despite efforts by the company to delay the election process, we look forward to quickly resolving the lockout and the issues that led to it.”
The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in the United States and represents nearly 720,000 active and retired members in dozens of industries across North America. For more information about the AEIF and the IAM, visit the Machinists Union website at www.goiam.org.