IAM Members Hit the Hill at 2015 Legislative Conference

The annual IAM Legislative Conference kicked off this week as IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger gave the keynote address and stressed the importance of beating back “fast track” trade promotion authority, which has been temporarily halted due to the help of IAM member lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Buffenbarger also railed against the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, legislation that would place earned pension benefits at risk and a major tax increase on health insurance benefits to more than 300 IAM delegates in attendance.

Transportation Department delegates brought their own set of issues, including finally halting Norwegian Air International’s “flags of convenience” scheme that circumvents safety and labor standards by permitting aircraft registration in countries with lax safety regulations and utlizing Bangkok based flight crews employed through Singaporean hiring agencies. Other priorities include calling for tougher regulation of foreign aircraft maintenance facilities, pressing for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandated 10 hour minimum rest for Flight Attendants and adequate AMTRAK funding.

“It’s empowering to walk into a US Senator’s office to talk about our issues with IAM sisters and brothers from the federal sector, railroad, aerospace and defense industries,” said ExpressJet Flight Attendant and Local Lodge 2339O President Cori Horowitz. “When members from other industries stand with us to fight for Flight Attendant minimum rest and other airline issues, legislators listen.”

IAM member delegates will hear from more than 10 U.S. Representatives during the conference’s day sessions and then spend afternoons lobbying on Capitol Hill.

“This week is very important for all IAM members, and especially so for railroaders,” said District 19 General Chairman Mike McCarthy. “The fight never ends in Washington D.C. to maintain and secure adequate funding for our nation’s railroads and IAM members are on the frontline of that fight.”

Click here to find the contact info for your US Senators and tell them to stop Fast Track.

Click here for more info regarding TPP and “Fast Track” trade authority.