iMAIL for Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maryland Landscapers Sign Card Check Agreement

The men and women who design, construct and maintain some of the finest commercial and residential landscapes in Maryland will have the opportunity to craft their first collective bargaining agreement thanks to a recognition agreement signed recently at IAM headquarters in Upper Marlboro, MD.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to welcome Pyramid Landscaping & Development into the IAM family,” said GST Warren Mart, who signed the card check agreement with Ted Young, Pyramid’s President and Director of Operations. “An extraordinary amount of thought and effort goes into creating beautiful landscapes and this firm is among the best there is.”

A card check, or recognition agreement, allows workers to form a union and bargain a first contract without interference and without the lengthy delays that are frequently used by unscrupulous employers to suppress union organizing drives. The Pyramid group was introduced to the IAM by Rod Eitland, CEO of Union Office Solutions, Inc., the nation’s only 100 percent unionized office equipment and supply company.

“With all the effort and attention over the Employee Free Choice Act, it’s refreshing to work with companies that recognize and respect the rights of their employees and understand the value of a good working relationship,” said Mart.

Winpisinger Center Hosts NWA/Delta Strategy Meeting

More than 50 District 143 representatives and local activists recently attended a Northwest Airlines/Delta Air Lines organizing campaign strategy meeting at the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Maryland.  

“Delta/Northwest is ground zero for a crusade to de-unionize the airline industry,” said General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “The Machinists Union will use all available resources to defend our Northwest membership and extend the benefits of union representation to the Delta workforce.”

Participants reviewed the IAM’s campaign to date and developed strategies for the upcoming representation elections. When Delta and Northwest are operating as a single carrier for representation purposes, the IAM will ask the National Mediation Board to officially rule they are a single carrier. Following the NMB’s ruling the IAM will have 14 days to provide evidence that there is sufficient interest for unionization from the combined workforce to warrant elections. A single carrier ruling and demonstration of interest for elections will occur for each class and craft in which the IAM represents Northwest workers.

“The IAM’s most potent weapon is our membership,” said Roach. “This meeting’s participants are the key to motivating our membership and winning these critical elections.”

Obama Administration to Review NSPS

The Deputy Secretary of Defense has requested that the Defense Business Board (DBB) form a Task Group to review the highly controversial National Security Personnel System (NSPS). The Task Group will hold public hearings to determine if the program’s objectives are being met and if the NSPS is operating in a fair, transparent and effective manner.

The June 18 deadline is fast approaching for federal employees and the public to provide comments to the Task Group prior to the public hearings. Federal employees are urged to take a few minutes and go to and learn how to provide your comments to the Task Group. All comments must be received by June 18, 2009 to be considered by the Task Group at the hearings.

“This is the time for federal employees to let the administration know their fears, concerns and experiences encountered under NSPS,” said Frank Carelli, IAM Government Employees Dept. Director.

The Task Group will be conducting public hearings on June 25 and June 26, 2009 in Arlington, VA. A copy of the meeting agenda may be obtained by visiting the DBB website at

Former House Speaker Praises American Workers

Former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright, now 86, sent an impassioned letter to the U.S. Congress regarding the public perception among many Americans that “…where actual legislation is concerned – large campaign contributors hold most of the trump cards and too often call the shots in Congress.”

The former Speaker writes that this disenchantment by “ordinary wage-earning folks” needs to be addressed. His suggestions include increasing college affordability to help restore and rebuild America’s middle-income base and by passing the proposed Employee Free Choice Act.

“Union auto and airline workers, through their unions, have patriotically and selflessly agreed to share wage sacrifices to help save their endangered industries – sometimes when employers and CEOs were enjoying more than 100 times their individual earnings,” said Wright. “An act of faith such as this proposal expresses in America’s embattled working men and women would seem a not inappropriate gesture of good will. And deservedly so. There’s not a more dependably patriotic segment of our society than the ordinary rank and file wage-earning American workforce.”

Jim Wright retired in 1989 after serving 35 years in Congress. For the last 18 years, he’s been teaching “Congress & the Presidents” at Texas Christian University.

Click here to read former U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright’s full letter.

Enroll Soon for Community Services Class

Enroll soon for the IAM Community Services/EAP/Retirees Department’s two-and-a-half-day seminar for Community Services Training to be held September 8 – 11, 2009 at the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Placid Harbor, Maryland. Enrollment applications should be submitted by June 29, 2009.

Community Services Committees can be a valuable resource for IAM members who experience problems relating to their families, health, finances, or a natural disaster. Click here for enrollment information or call the IAM Community Services/EAP/Retirees Department at 301-967-3433 for more information.