The IAM’s effort to better the lives of working men and women across North America begins with giving them a voice at the bargaining table, through organizing. This video offers three examples of how the union can succeed in that goal.
In the high-pressure work environment of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, Swissport aircraft fuelers must also conduct their jobs under an unforgiving desert sun. Wages and job safety were important issues when they looked to the IAM for representation.
“We work in very high temperatures out here at the airport. They don’t care about the individuals that are working for them,” said Swissport fueler Steven Van Note. “I’ve gotten $1.12 in raises in the last six years, and that’s not enough. I’ve gone three months without [new] gloves.”
“Maybe the management doesn’t understand that there’s a gap in safety,” said IAM Organizer Fabian Liendo. “And that some people feel that they don’t have a voice.”
In Washington state, employees of Cadence Aerospace and service contract employees at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station reached out to the IAM when they realized that they could not stand alone any longer.
“We’re always told that we are really profitable,” said Cadence Aerospace IAM Mechanic Mike Powell. “However, at the end of the conversation they were taking our bonuses away.”
“Since we ratified the contract at Cadence, and their attorney has gotten out of the picture, wow what a difference,” said IAM District 751 Organizer/Business Representative Grace Holland. “The company is actually willing to work with the union and they’re actually coming to the stewards for their input.”
“The company has come away from the table knowing, that as long as they have a united workforce, they can’t come out and mistreat us anymore,” said Cadence Aerospace IAM Mechanic Gary Naple.