iMail for Thursday, August 14, 2008

NMB Proposes Anti-Union Rule Change

In an openly anti-union gesture, the National Mediation Board (NMB) announced its intent to change its rules and procedures governing airline mergers.

The proposed change says that when “there is a certified representative on one of the affected carrier(s), but no certified representative on the other, the Board will exercise its discretion and extend the certification only where there is more than a substantial majority, as determined by the Board. Authorization cards may only be used to supplement the showing of interest necessary to trigger an election; they may not be used towards getting a certification extended.”

Of particular note is the fact that this proposed change only applies when a carrier whose employees are unrepresented merges with a carrier whose employees are represented. This reflects the precise scenario involved in the intended Delta-Northwest merger. It appears the Board is attempting to change its merger procedures after the announced Delta-Northwest merger in an effort to undermine union representation.

Under the current procedures, whenever there has been a merger between an unrepresented and a represented group and the represented group has a majority, the NMB has extended the certification of the representative. The proposed change signals a deviation from its decades-long precedent without any demonstrated need or justification for such a change. The only effect of such a change is to make it significantly more difficult for employees to maintain their representation after a merger and help keep Delta Air Lines largely non-union.

The IAM has been at the forefront of the fight opposing this change and will continue to push for a public hearing on this very important rule change.

LCLAA Delegates Look to November

The IAM-TCU was well represented at the 17th National LCLAA Convention. Among those attending were (left to right) Western Territory AA Gary Allen, District 947 DBR Richard Sanchez, IAM-TCU Legislative Representative Tony Padilla, Executive Assistant Diane Babineaux, Women’s and Human Rights Department Director Cheryl Eastburn, IAM-TCU Local 2511 Chairman Sal Rodriguez,  Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, IAM-TCU Local 938 Chairman Alfredo Alvarez and Southern Territory Special Rep Carlos San Miguel.

Calls for Latino participation in the 2008 elections were heard loud and clear at the 17th National Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) Convention held recently in Orlando, FL. This year’s conference, dubbed: “LCLAA at 35: Unidos en una Voz” was a call to political involvement and a celebration of the organization’s 35th anniversary.

Every two years, LCLAA holds a national convention, using it as a launch pad to debate the issues Latino working families are facing. This year, the convention worked to link politics to organizing and to mobilize the very important Latino labor vote.

“It is always inspiring to see IAM members and representatives taking an active role in LCLAA-sponsored events,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, who serves as a LCLAA Executive Board member along with Western Territory Administrative Assistant Gary Allen, IAM-TCU Legislative Representative Tony Padilla and Transportation GLR Dora Cervantes. “The IAM has always been a strong supporter of LCLAA’s goals of social justice, diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to support those efforts.”

Illinois Machinists Construct Massive Press Brake

IAM members of Local 2293 in Robinson, IL, recently completed construction of a massive hydraulic press brake at Pacific Press Technologies in Mount Carmel, IL. The machine weighs 721,125 pounds, plus 8,000 pounds of tooling and is the largest ever built in the history of Pacific Press. The huge press brake delivers a bending capacity of 2,000 tons over 45 feet.

“This is a tremendous example of the quality craftsmanship our members are capable of,” said District 111 Business Representative Gary Stuessel, who praised the 50 IAM members at Pacific Press who work in fabrication, machining, assembly, paint, welding, and maintenance departments.

Mississippi Shipyard Workers Join IAM

One hundred Quality Assurance employees working for Northrup Grumman Ship Systems Inc. at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, MS, overcame a strong anti-union campaign and won the right to IAM representation following an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

“We had a great organizing team inside carrying the message,” said Southern Territory GLR Tommy Mayfield. “Despite multiple captive audience meetings held by the employer, these team members continued the push to hold their fellow employees strong. There were ten very strong team members inside, including Jesse Waits, Randy Sims, Joe Alston, Ruth Allen, Ray Schneider, Wayne Eubanks, Ernest Knight, William Morgan Thurman Haynes and Joey Garner.”

“We have a strong presence at the Ingalls Shipyard, and other shipyard workers see the strength of the IAM. I want to welcome our newest members at the shipyard,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “Congratulations to the team, and to DBR Benny Wallace and BR Joe Harrington and shipyard Chief Steward Bunky Boswell for their hard work and a great organizing win.”

Join the Million Member Mobilization

With the AFL-CIO’s effort to collect one million signatures in support of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) moving forward, the IAM is calling on members and their families to get involved.

The push for EFCA is part of the AFL-CIO’s Million Member Mobilization to get one million signatures supporting the legislation. The cards will be presented to the new Congress after the November elections in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

As the November elections approach, the IAM will continue the push for EFCA, looking to collect the signatures of half of the IAM membership.

The Employee Free Choice Act would enable workers to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions by strengthening their rights to form unions. After passing in the House of Representatives last year, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the Employee Free Choice Act.

Click here to sign the petition supporting EFCA.

Pearl Harbor Torpedo Shop Strikes Accord

IAM members of Local 1998 in Hawaii ratified a first agreement recently with new contractor Lockheed Martin at the Navy’s Heavyweight Torpedo Intermediate Maintenance Activity facility in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  Highlights include General Wage Increases of 3.5 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent in each year of the accord, a 4 percent hazard pay premium, shift differentials, lead and supervisor pay, overtime provisions, 401K contributions and safety shoe reimbursement.

The eight-member group performs technical, maintenance, evaluation and repair work on Mk48 Torpedoes.  The service contract was previously held by Raytheon, which had a long history of failing to pay prevailing wages.  The members voted to join the IAM in 2001.
“This unit held the line for an exceedingly long time,” said Western Territory GLR Maria Lillis.  “That hard work has paid off in this new agreement with Lockheed. I’d like to thank the Negotiating Committee members for their hard work as well as Aerospace Coordinator Ray Moffatt for his assistance at the table.”

“Congratulations to Sister Lillis for her dogged determination in getting a contract for these members,” said Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson.  “Thanks also to Brothers Moffatt and Bilek for their diligence at the table and for bringing this highly skilled group an agreement they can be proud of.”