IAM, Rep. Courtney Urge Congress to Support Second Virginia-Class Submarine

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2024 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the largest defense union in the United States, urges Congress to support and prioritize consistent funding for two Virginia-Class submarines per year in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget and beyond.

The House Armed Services Committee has released its version of the fiscal 2025 National Defense Authorization Act ahead of a markup. Thanks to the advocacy of the IAM and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), it now includes language for full funding for two Virginia-class submarines per year in the FY 2025 budget.

The IAM has been at the forefront, actively advocating to successfully secure a place for the procurement of two Virginia-class submarines per year in the final draft of the NDAA and to guarantee that Congress appropriates the necessary funds through the Defense Appropriations Bill. 

“Consistent funding for two Virginia-Class submarines annually is crucial for the vitality of the industries we represent and the skilled workforce they employ,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “This program not only sustains thousands of high-quality machinist jobs but is also pivotal in maintaining our nation’s industrial and defense capabilities.”

Earlier this year, the IAM sent a letter to the Biden Administration urging for steady financial backing for this program, highlighting its significance in strengthening the U.S. shipbuilding industry and supporting a vast array of high-quality union jobs.

The IAM extends its gratitude towards Rep. Courtney for his strong commitment and efforts to ensure the inclusion of provisions for the procurement of two Virginia-Class submarines in the FY 2025 NDAA.

“Congressman Courtney’s leadership and dedication to our national defense and the American workforce has been pivotal in reaching this milestone,” said Bryant.

The U.S. defense industrial base is crucial for the country’s economic and national security. It is a major contributor to the economy, providing millions of high-skill jobs across the country in the manufacturing sector and beyond. The Virginia-Class submarine program plays a key role in supporting a strong workforce and driving economic growth.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.

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