IAM Activists Bring Power of the People to Capitol Hill


U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) addresses Machinists Union activists at the 2015 IAM Legislative Conference. (Photo: Bill Burke / Page One Photography)

Hundreds of IAM members concluded a busy week of lobbying elected officials on behalf of all working Americans at the 2015 IAM Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger stressed the importance of beating back “Fast Track” for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was temporarily halted as a result of aggressive lobbying efforts by IAM members from every corner of the country.

IAM members pushed lawmakers on a number of other issues affecting working families, including:

  • Ending sequestration’s harmful defense and infrastructure cuts;
  • Reauthorizing the charter for the Export-Import Bank;
  • Restoring protections against cutting pensions for current retirees;
  • Promoting fair pay and benefits for federal employees;
  • And repealing the 40 percent excise tax on employer-provided health care plans.
U.S. Rep.  Mark Pocan (D-WI) stresses the importance of the stopping Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the 2015 IAM Legislative Conference. (Photo: Bill Burke / Page One Photography)

“It’s empowering to walk into a U.S. Senator’s office to talk about our issues with IAM sisters and brothers from the federal sector, railroad, aerospace and defense industries,” said ExpressJet Flight Attendant and Local Lodge 2339O President Cori Horowitz. “When members from other industries stand with us to fight for Flight Attendant minimum rest and other airline issues, legislators listen.”

Speakers at the conference included Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Denny Heck (D-WA).

“I know one thing – organized labor is why we have a middle class today,” said DeLauro. “I stand by you as we fight for the generations ahead of us. We’re in this together.”

The week’s activities also included the 28th annual Good Scout Government, Labor and Management Awards Ceremony, a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts of America. U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr., and Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden were honored for their contributions.

Visit the Machinists Union Facebook page for photos from the conference.