IAM Members Defeat GOP Attack on Service Contract Act Workers

Strong grassroots opposition from IAM members led to three anti-union, anti-working family amendments to the Defense budget bill being withdrawn this week in the U.S. House.

The amendments sought to eliminate key worker protections under the Service Contract Act (SCA), including one that attempted to strip contracted union members of their right to strike. The proposed language, offered by GOP Rep. Mike Rogers (AL), appeared to be in direct retaliation to the recent IAM Local 2003 strike at Fort Rucker, in which members fought – and won – against the contractor’s proposed radical changes to members’ seniority rights.

Two more amendments, offered by Reps. Scott Rigell (R-VA) and John Fleming (R-LA), respectively, sought to eliminate important SCA protections for fast food workers on our nation’s military bases and nursing home workers caring for U.S. veterans.

Thanks to Machinists Union members’ and the IAM Legislative Department’s urgent action and aggressive lobbying, all three amendments have been removed.

“IAM activists took particular offense to the blatant attempt by GOP House members to strip them of their rights to respect and fairness on the job and are to be credited for their forceful opposition to these anti-union, anti-working family amendments,” said IAM Headquarters General Vice President Bob Martinez. “Our vigilance and activism made a difference.

“We may have won the battle, but the war continues. While these odious amendments are no longer part of the Defense bill, we fully expect them to rear their ugly heads in the future. Rest assured that when they do, IAM members will be ready to defeat them once again.”