WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2021 — Robert Martinez Jr., International President of the 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), released the following statement regarding the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president of the United States:
“One of the most important rituals in American democracy has made official the will of the people—Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now president and vice president of the United States. The Machinists Union and our 600,000 members, no matter how they voted, are counting on this administration to lift our nation out of this time of despair and bring jobs, dignity and democracy back home.
“The Machinists Union, in a first-of-its-kind membership vote, was proud to endorse and campaign for Joe Biden. We join many others in celebrating the history that is being made by Kamala Harris, a woman of color, who now holds the second-highest office in the United States.
“We can all look forward to an administration that will set out to unite instead of divide. Now is the time to relearn how to respect those around us, regardless of our race, religion, gender or any other identity. This is America—and opportunity knocks for a great nation.
“I know President Biden and Vice President Harris fully understand that this nation has persevered through this crisis and many others on the backs of working people. We must return to putting the interests of the people ahead of corporations. We must advance the livelihoods and futures of working people and our communities.
“That means keeping workers safe, making it easier to form and join a union, affordable healthcare, secure retirements and much more. It means expanding ‘Buy American’ policies, fair trade and bringing jobs back home to the skilled and dedicated workers right here in America. It means real relief for the aerospace, defense, airline, manufacturing, healthcare workers and more who have bravely kept our nation and world moving through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Machinists Union is a bold, progressive union with big plans for the future. We now have real allies in the White House, the House and the Senate. It’s time for action—let’s get to work.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.