New Job Growth “Strong as Hell” After Investments, Says Secretary Of Transportation

New Job Growth “Strong as Hell” After Investments, Says Secretary Of Transportation

New Job Growth “Strong as Hell” After Investments, Says Secretary Of Transportation

Legislation
19 October 2022

In an appearance on CBS News’ face the Nation over the weekend, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the Administration’s economic and pro-union policies as helping to create a job market that he described as “strong as hell.”

Buttigieg credited the Administration’s COVID-19 recovery package and infrastructure investments as helping to set the stage for more than 10 million Americans to return to work following the Pandemic. Relevant to airline workers, these policies include longer mandatory rest periods for flight attendants and $1 billion in funding to modernize aging US airports.

The Department of Transportation will also determine if the proposed merger between JetBlue and Spirit can move forward and whether or not to permit a similar partnership between JetBlue and American to proceed. That deal, called the “Northeast Alliance,” has been compared to a “De-facto merger” by the Justice Department. If approved, the partnership would allow JetBlue and American to operate as if they were a single airline in the Boston and New York markets. However, the two carriers would use different gates and aircraft.

JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers are currently seeking to join the Machinists Union. The 3,000 ground workers are filing with the National Mediation Board, which will oversee a vote to determine if the organizing drive is successful.

When asked by anchor Margarett Brennan if pumping $3.6 trillion in total new spending into the economy was a trigger for runaway inflation, Buttigieg responded by pointing out that the investments were also making possible historic levels of new job openings. “We would not have had the 10 million jobs created with this president with the lowest unemployment numbers in history,” he said.

“Look, I don’t think anybody could argue that our unemployment numbers are anything but strong as hell,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US added more than 260,000 new jobs in September, pushing the unemployment rate to only 3.5%. The historic drop in unemployment is happening despite high inflation rates, lingering COVID infections, and Hurricane Ian, all of which had minimal effect on the overall economy, according to the Bureau.

Earlier this month, Secretary Buttigieg addressed the Machinists Union Convention in Las Vegas alongside Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and President Joe Biden in a video message. In the address, Buttigieg told union members that the time to end “anti union” tactics is now. “This president and this administration will always stand by the union workers who have stood by our country,” he told the hundreds of assembled Machinists Union members. “And, that means protecting and strengthening your right to organize, preventing companies from using retaliatory anti-union tactics,” he said to loud cheers.

Buttigieg also touted a multi-million dollar grant program to improve airport infrastructure and safety. The grant, part of the American Rescue Plan, will improve airport runways, taxiways, aprons, and Terminal buildings. “The president’s historic bipartisan infrastructure law creates a new generation of good union jobs,” he said. “By rebuilding our crumbling roadways, bridges, rail lines, and modernizing our airports,” he said.

In his bid to become US President in 2020, Buttigieg’s campaign staff formed a union, in part to create the precedent for other political campaigns. After organizing for a few weeks, union organizers announced the campaign had enough coworkers willing to sign Union Authorization Cards. The Buttigieg campaign then allowed the staffers to form the new union unopposed.

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New Job Growth “Strong as Hell” After Investments, Says Secretary Of Transportation

19 October, 2022

In an appearance on CBS News’ face the Nation over the weekend, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touted the Administration’s economic and pro-union policies as helping to create a job market that he described as “strong as hell.”

Buttigieg credited the Administration’s COVID-19 recovery package and infrastructure investments as helping to set the stage for more than 10 million Americans to return to work following the Pandemic. Relevant to airline workers, these policies include longer mandatory rest periods for flight attendants and $1 billion in funding to modernize aging US airports. The Department of Transportation will also determine if the proposed merger between JetBlue and Spirit can move forward and whether or not to permit a similar partnership between JetBlue and American to proceed. That deal, called the “Northeast Alliance,” has been compared to a “De-facto merger” by the Justice Department. If approved, the partnership would allow JetBlue and American to operate as if they were a single airline in the Boston and New York markets. However, the two carriers would use different gates and aircraft.

JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers are currently seeking to join the Machinists Union. The 3,000 ground workers are filing with the National Mediation Board, which will oversee a vote to determine if the organizing drive is successful.

When asked by anchor Margarett Brennan if pumping $3.6 trillion in total new spending into the economy was a trigger for runaway inflation, Buttigieg responded by pointing out that the investments were also making possible historic levels of new job openings. “We would not have had the 10 million jobs created with this president with the lowest unemployment numbers in history,” he said.

“Look, I don’t think anybody could argue that our unemployment numbers are anything but strong as hell,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US added more than 260,000 new jobs in September, pushing the unemployment rate to only 3.5%. The historic drop in unemployment is happening despite high inflation rates, lingering COVID infections, and Hurricane Ian, all of which had minimal effect on the overall economy, according to the Bureau.

Earlier this month, Secretary Buttigieg addressed the Machinists Union Convention in Las Vegas alongside Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and President Joe Biden in a video message. In the address, Buttigieg told union members that the time to end “anti union” tactics is now. “This president and this administration will always stand by the union workers who have stood by our country,” he told the hundreds of assembled Machinists Union members. “And, that means protecting and strengthening your right to organize, preventing companies from using retaliatory anti-union tactics,” he said to loud cheers.

Buttigieg also touted a multi-million dollar grant program to improve airport infrastructure and safety. The grant, part of the American Rescue Plan, will improve airport runways, taxiways, aprons, and Terminal buildings. “The president’s historic bipartisan infrastructure law creates a new generation of good union jobs,” he said. “By rebuilding our crumbling roadways, bridges, rail lines, and modernizing our airports,” he said.

In his bid to become US President in 2020, Buttigieg’s campaign staff formed a union, in part to create the precedent for other political campaigns. After organizing for a few weeks, union organizers announced the campaign had enough coworkers willing to sign Union Authorization Cards. The Buttigieg campaign then allowed the staffers to form the new union unopposed.

 

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Labor-Friendly Legislation the Topic at Chicago Local 1487

Labor-Friendly Legislation the Topic at Chicago Local 1487

The Machinists Non-Partisan Political League fights for Pro-Union legislation within the airline industry. To find out how you can help with this critical work, please CLICK HERE >>

Labor-Friendly Legislation the Topic at Chicago Local 1487

MNPL
12 October 2022

On Tuesday, October 11, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) gathered at the local lodge to learn and discuss how politics influences the workplace and what front-line union members can do to influence these policies.

The topics included a history of some early events in US Rail labor history that led to the creation of the Railway Labor Act in 1926, how the Railway Labor Act applies to the airline industry, and questions frequently asked by members, such as “How do these negotiations work?” “How do we choose which politicians and policies we support?” and dispelling common myths. This event was part of MNPL’s continuing effort to educate members on issues impacting our jobs and families. MNPL is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), AFL-CIO.

“It is important for us to understand how policies can affect us in the workplace by helping and hurting our membership,” said Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson, who led the discussion. “This event and future events like it aim to ensure the members are informed about what their representatives are doing.”

Following a presentation by Jakubowski, members participated in an open floor discussion. Members could ask and answer each other’s questions and comment on various topics. Union members focused on issues including the voting record of elected representatives across the state to ensure the passage of legislation like the PRO Act, the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Act, the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, and the looming midterm elections next month. Attendees also had conversations about the effect the Supreme Court has historically had on Labor and pending cases that can affect workers’ lives across Illinois and the country.

Focusing on Illinois, members discussed the confusion around the referendum vote on Amendment 1, which has been called the Workers’ Rights Amendment. Confusion surrounding this pro-worker amendment which would enshrine the right to organize and collectively bargain into the state constitution, comes from the similarity of its name to Right to Work laws found in surrounding anti-worker states. The members asked great questions regarding the information being put out by supporters and opponents of the amendment.

“…A couple of things, like strikes, past law, and other rights I didn’t have an understanding of… I have a better understanding of those key subjects.” said Dakota Harrison, a shop steward for the ramp. Nick Stanfa, another shop steward on the ramp, added, “It was informative, and tied past and modern politics to the contract and work regulations, and on how the local, federal, and judicial systems of government can affect our contract going forward.” All attendees expressed excitement to bring this information back to the ready rooms and look forward to future events like this covering more topics important to the membership.

The Machinists Non-Partisan Political League supports members of any political party willing to side with the union on issues critical to working people. The work of the League is funded entirely through voluntary donations from union members. To learn more, please visit IAM141.org/advocacy.

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Labor-Friendly Legislation the Topic at Chicago Local 1487

12 October, 2022

On Tuesday, October 11, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) gathered at the local lodge to learn and discuss how politics influences the workplace and what front-line union members can do to influence these policies.

On Tuesday, October 11, the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) gathered at the local lodge to learn and discuss how politics influences the workplace and what front-line union members can do to influence these policies.

The topics included a history of some early events in US Rail labor history that led to the creation of the Railway Labor Act in 1926, how the Railway Labor Act applies to the airline industry, and questions frequently asked by members, such as “How do these negotiations work?” “How do we choose which politicians and policies we support?” and dispelling common myths. This event was part of MNPL’s continuing effort to educate members on issues impacting our jobs and families. MNPL is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), AFL-CIO.

“It is important for us to understand how policies can affect us in the workplace by helping and hurting our membership,” said Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson, who led the discussion. “This event and future events like it aim to ensure the members are informed about what their representatives are doing.”

Following a presentation by Jakubowski, members participated in an open floor discussion. Members could ask and answer each other’s questions and comment on various topics. Union members focused on issues including the voting record of elected representatives across the state to ensure the passage of legislation like the PRO Act, the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Act, the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, and the looming midterm elections next month. Attendees also had conversations about the effect the Supreme Court has historically had on Labor and pending cases that can affect workers’ lives across Illinois and the country.

Focusing on Illinois, members discussed the confusion around the referendum vote on Amendment 1, which has been called the Workers’ Rights Amendment. Confusion surrounding this pro-worker amendment which would enshrine the right to organize and collectively bargain into the state constitution, comes from the similarity of its name to Right to Work laws found in surrounding anti-worker states. The members asked great questions regarding the information being put out by supporters and opponents of the amendment.

“…A couple of things, like strikes, past law, and other rights I didn’t have an understanding of… I have a better understanding of those key subjects.” said Dakota Harrison, a shop steward for the ramp. Nick Stanfa, another shop steward on the ramp, added, “It was informative, and tied past and modern politics to the contract and work regulations, and on how the local, federal, and judicial systems of government can affect our contract going forward.” All attendees expressed excitement to bring this information back to the ready rooms and look forward to future events like this covering more topics important to the membership.

The Machinists Non-Partisan Political League supports members of any political party willing to side with the union on issues critical to working people. The work of the League is funded entirely through voluntary donations from union members. To learn more, please visit IAM141.org/advocacy.

Top: Attendees listen to a talk by Richard Jakubowski, Local 1487 Legislative Committee Chairperson. Bottom: Jakubowski guiding a discussion about the legislative interests of airline workers. Photo Credit: Daniel Rocano.

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Supreme Court Poised for New Attack on Unions

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The Supreme Court may soon overturn a lower court ruling the held that Federal Regulators are better suited than tort courts to deal with company / union disputes. 

Supreme Court Poised for New Attack on Unions

IAM141.org
5 October 2022

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide a case that could determine if unions should be forced to cover some financial losses their companies experience due to union actions, such as strikes.

The case will decide if employers can bypass Federal Labor regulators and sue unions directly in court. Currently, labor disputes are settled by specialized Federal regulators, to avoid tying up the court system and to prevent litigation designed solely for the purpose of harassing or bankrupting unions. The court will decide whether or not to remove those safeguards.

The Court granted Glacier Northwest, Inc., a concrete mixing and delivery company, a request to review an earlier decision by the Washington State Supreme Court, which ruled against the company in favor of the workers. That ruling found that the strike fell under rules set up by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that companies cannot sue over such conduct. Rather, such matters must be litigated before the National Labor Relations Board. In agreeing to take up the case, the U.S. Supreme Court could potentially reverse the earlier decision.  

Such a ruling could allow companies to sue unions outside of the Labor Board, possibly requiring them to repay employers if they claim union business was unduly burdensome. For example, if a legal, peaceful union job action slowed production, caused canceled deliveries, or spoiled inventory left at worksites by workers walking off the property.

 

Airlines and other transportation-sector unions are covered under the Railway Labor Act and regulated by a different Federal Agency; the National Mediation Board. Under these rules, airlines must win express clearances from the Federal Government before they can strike. However, the case has the potential to impact air and rail workers granted authorization to conduct work actions. The upcoming Supreme Court decision could impact all unions, not just those falling under the NLRA.

The case, Glacier Northwest Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local Union 174, involves a strike action by concrete-mixer truck drivers working for Glacier Northwest in Washington State. The truck drivers asked for better health care options for recent retirees and cost-of-living increases in pay. When Company management refused, the drivers voted to go on strike. 

The strike began after the management ordered many drivers to load their mixers with concrete, which must be delivered to customers the same day. If it is not used in time, the concrete will harden and have to be dumped. Hardening concrete can also damage mixing trucks, although no such damage occurred. The strike began after many drivers filled their mixing trucks or left on deliveries, which meant someone else needed to deliver concrete and rinse the trucks. Since managers had failed to staff adequately, some deliveries had to be called off, and some of the concrete had to be thrown out.



 

Glacier sued the union in state court, claiming the drivers had “vandalized” company property and sabotaged the operation by not completing their deliveries and rinsing their trucks before going on strike. The complaint alleged that the union engaged in trespassing, interfering with company contracts, and civil conspiracy. 

The union argued that the legal strike was protected under the NLRA, and the company could have chosen to find temporary drivers. Moreover, the drivers said that the matter had to be resolved by the National Labor Relations Board, not in state court, since it was a labor dispute.

Additionally, the union pointed out that the trucks were returned to the worksite and left running – precisely to prevent the concrete from hardening. Glacier made the deliberate choice to dump the concrete after refusing to staff the operation in anticipation of a possible strike. This was not a decision made by the truck drivers, and they had no power to force the company to take any set of actions after the strike was called.

In December, the Washington State Supreme Court agreed with the truck drivers and found the lost concrete was incidental to the strike action and that the NLRB is better suited to determine if the drivers did anything unlawful.

 

 In response to the company’s claims, the Washington Supreme Court noted the fact that protected a union job action can, “bring ‘inconvenience and economic loss’ does not render it unprotected.”

Glacier then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, asking Justices to overturn the state ruling in favor of the union. In that filing, the company argues that the NLRA should no longer be allowed to pre-empt state tort courts in cases when unions are accused of “intentionally destroying an employer’s property.”

If the Supreme Court ultimately rules against the union, the decision would expose organized workplaces to many new legal threats and draining, pointless litigation. Principally, unions will face the genuine danger of expensive company-funded litigation becoming routine, even if the cases are eventually thrown out. Such a ruling would hand employers the power to baselessly accuse their unionized workers of criminal acts that must be decided in state courts rather than by the Federal Agencies tasked with arbitrating labor disputes.

In 2018, the Supreme Court handed down the infamous Janus v. AFSCME decision, hoping to bankrupt public-sector unions by forcing them to provide union work, marketable skills, and property to anti-union actors on demand. Janus also forces public workers to pay for political and anti-union speech and acts they oppose. Anti-union forces hoped masses of union members, given a chance to collect union wages, work rules, and benefits without helping pay for any of it would seize the opportunity, thus bankrupting organized labor. 

That effort failed. In part because anti-union forces thought unions were as unpopular as they say they are, unaware that more than 70% of American workers support unionism. The Glacier v. Teamsters decision can potentially give a powerful new weapon to billion and trillion-dollar corporations to sue unions out of existence. And this time, unlike under Janus, the High Court might not limit that weapon to certain types of unions under specific Federal regulators. And, this time, it won’t depend on proud union members betraying their coworkers.

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Supreme Court Poised to Renew Attack on Unions

5 October, 2022

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide a case that could determine if unions should be forced to cover some financial losses their companies experience due to union actions, such as strikes.

 The case will decide if employers can bypass Federal Labor regulators and sue unions directly in court. Currently, labor disputes are settled by specialized Federal regulators, to avoid tying up the court system and to prevent litigation designed solely for the purpose of harassing or bankrupting unions. The court will decide whether or not to remove those safeguards.

The Court granted Glacier Northwest, Inc., a concrete mixing and delivery company, a request to review an earlier decision by the Washington State Supreme Court, which ruled against the company in favor of the workers. That ruling found that the strike fell under rules set up by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that companies cannot sue over such conduct. Rather, such matters must be litigated before the National Labor Relations Board. In agreeing to take up the case, the U.S. Supreme Court could potentially reverse the earlier decision. 

Such a ruling could allow companies to sue unions outside of the Labor Board, possibly requiring them to repay employers if they claim union business was unduly burdensome. For example, if a legal, peaceful union job action slowed production, caused canceled deliveries, or spoiled inventory left at worksites by workers walking off the property.

Airlines and other transportation-sector unions are covered under the Railway Labor Act and regulated by a different Federal Agency; the National Mediation Board. Under these rules, airlines must win express clearances from the Federal Government before they can strike. However, the case has the potential to impact air and rail workers granted authorization to conduct work actions. The upcoming Supreme Court decision could impact all unions, not just those falling under the NLRA.

The case, Glacier Northwest Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local Union 174, involves a strike action by concrete-mixer truck drivers working for Glacier Northwest in Washington State. The truck drivers asked for better health care options for recent retirees and cost-of-living increases in pay. When Company management refused, the drivers voted to go on strike. 

The strike began after the management ordered many drivers to load their mixers with concrete, which must be delivered to customers the same day. If it is not used in time, the concrete will harden and have to be dumped. Hardening concrete can also damage mixing trucks, although no such damage occurred. The strike began after many drivers filled their mixing trucks or left on deliveries, which meant someone else needed to deliver concrete and rinse the trucks. Since managers had failed to staff adequately, some deliveries had to be called off, and some of the concrete had to be thrown out.

Glacier sued the union in state court, claiming the drivers had “vandalized” company property and sabotaged the operation by not completing their deliveries and rinsing their trucks before going on strike. The complaint alleged that the union engaged in trespassing, interfering with company contracts, and civil conspiracy.

The union argued that the legal strike was protected under the NLRA, and the company could have chosen to find temporary drivers. Moreover, the drivers said that the matter had to be resolved by the National Labor Relations Board, not in state court, since it was a labor dispute.

Additionally, the union pointed out that the trucks were returned to the worksite and left running – precisely to prevent the concrete from hardening. Glacier made the deliberate choice to dump the concrete after refusing to staff the operation in anticipation of a possible strike. This was not a decision made by the truck drivers, and they had no power to force the company to take any set of actions after the strike was called.

In December, the Washington State Supreme Court agreed with the truck drivers and found the lost concrete was incidental to the strike action and that the NLRB is better suited to determine if the drivers did anything unlawful. 

In response to complaints that the strike had inspired Company to destroy undelivered concrete. However, as the Washington Supreme Court noted, the fact that protected union job actions can, “bring ‘inconvenience and economic loss’ does not render it unprotected.”

Glacier then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, asking Justices to overturn the state ruling in favor of the union. In that filing, the company argues that the NLRA should no longer be allowed to pre-empt state tort courts in cases when unions are accused of “intentionally destroying an employer’s property.”

If the Supreme Court ultimately rules against the union, the decision would expose organized workplaces to many new legal threats and draining, pointless litigation. Principally, unions will face the genuine danger of expensive company-funded litigation becoming routine, even if the cases are eventually thrown out. Such a ruling would hand employers the power to baselessly accuse their unionized workers of criminal acts that must be decided in state courts rather than by the Federal Agencies tasked with arbitrating labor disputes.

In 2018, the Supreme Court handed down the infamous Janus v. AFSCME decision, hoping to bankrupt public-sector unions by forcing them to provide union work, marketable skills, and property to anti-union actors on demand. Janus also forces public workers to pay for political and anti-union speech and acts they oppose. Anti-union forces hoped masses of union members, given a chance to collect union wages, work rules, and benefits without helping pay for any of it would seize the opportunity, thus bankrupting organized labor. 

That effort failed. In part because anti-union forces thought unions were as unpopular as they say they are, unaware that more than 70% of American workers support unionism. The Glacier v. Teamsters decision can potentially give a powerful new weapon to billion and trillion-dollar corporations to sue unions out of existence. And this time, unlike under Janus, the High Court might not limit that weapon to certain types of unions under specific Federal regulators. And, this time, it won’t depend on proud union members betraying their coworkers.


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IAMAW District 141’s 69th Convention: Racking Up Four Years of Union Wins

IAMAW District 141’s 69th Convention: Racking Up Four Years of Union Wins

The achievements celebrated at the event included union victories spanning the full spectrum of airport workplaces, including gate and ticket counters, ramp and ground personnel, janitors, security guards, and instructors. Photos: Brian Vega, IAMAW 141 Communications Coordinator

IAMAW District 141’s 69th Convention: Racking Up Four Years of Union Wins

IAM141.org
25 September 2022

The 69th Convention of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) drew to a close on Thursday, but not before providing an opportunity to recap a long list of remarkable improvements to airline work since the District’s last Convention, held in 2018.

The event drew hundreds of top labor leaders from the airline industry, representing ground, gate, ticket counter, and other airline workers from every major airport in the US.

The achievements celebrated at the event included union victories spanning the full spectrum of airport workplaces, including gate and ticket counters, ramp and ground personnel, janitors, security guards, and instructors.

Highlighting Union Triumphs in Commercial Aviation

The wins included a historic wave of impressive contractual agreements throughout the commercial aviation industry. These included the 2020 negotiation of a first contract at SM Cargo, which was overwhelmingly ratified by the newly organized membership. Another agreement, this one for janitorial workers at Flagship, was approved unanimously by every union member at the company. 

Union Members also overwhelmingly ratified a 2021 agreement at Spirit, the second union contract for fleet service workers at the airline.

“We were extremely proud of the overwhelmingly ratified agreement we negotiated at Spirit Airlines,” said District President Mike Klemm, who led the Convention. “This was only the second contract we negotiated with the carrier, and we all know how challenging those first contracts are to accept for newly organized groups,” he told the delegation. “Our members received wage increases that are, on average, 30% higher than they were previously,” he said to applause. 

“Lead premium increases mean more opportunities for double-time pay, we established new training positions which allow our members to earn even more income from the work they currently already do,” he continued. “But, this Agreement also brings paid vacations to part-time agents. And, for some of those folks, this will be the first real paid vacation they’ve ever known,” Klemm said of the Spirit Agreement. “For those of us at legacy carriers, paid vacations are a normal part of life, but these folks were able to negotiate the first-ever paid vacations, making history at Spirit Airlines.”

 

Last Tuesday, Union Reps attended a formal signing ceremony for the most-recently ratified Agreement at Hawaiian Airlines, which was secured earlier this year. That Agreement will provide significantly improved wage increases and seniority protections for part-timers. Part-timers will also gain access to family health care for the first time in the carriers’ existence. It will also provide better flexibility with day and shift trades and impose financial penalties when the company intrudes on workers’ personal and family time with mandatory overtime.

At United, Calls For Union Members to Email Company Executives

But the main topic at the Convention centered around the contentious negotiations with United Airlines. Although the carrier had committed to producing a solid tentative agreement for union members to vote on by August 1, the talks broke down after weeks of company stonewalling.

 

“The days of Oscar Munoz are over,” President Klemm said of the negotiations. “Oscar was a people person. He cared about people, and he cared about the airline. And, we rewarded that commitment. After that Agreement was reached, United Airlines experienced the best financial success in the history of the carrier,” he went on. “And we showed up. During the pandemic, we couldn’t work from home, or from behind a desk. We were there for this airline when it mattered most. We were there when the carrier went to lawmakers for emergency funds to get through the months when travel was nearly impossible. We produced thousands of calls and visits to lawmakers, securing the money the company needed to survive,” he said.

“The thanks we get for that sacrifice is a slap in the face offer so insulting to this membership that talks broke down through the entire month of August.”

“They’re saying that our members don’t really care about job security, and pay raises that wouldn’t even buy half a gallon of gas are ok,” he said.

“All we’re asking for is that, if we are willing to do right by this company, then this company should do right by us. That’s all we’re asking. If we show up to work, do our jobs well, and honor our commitments to this company, then United should be willing to say, in writing, that they will not arbitrarily decide one day to eliminate or outsource our jobs,” he said to roars of applause from the assembled delegates. 

President Klemm also told the Convention that the recent solidarity actions around the nation have been effective. “They got flustered,” he said. “They didn’t expect to see all the “Contract Now’ signs. They didn’t expect to have their inboxes flooded with emails. When they saw that outpouring of solidarity, they got rattled.” Klemm encouraged the union to step up its already impressive email campaign, as company executives can’t miss personal messages in their inboxes. “If you’ve already written to Kirby, do it again,” he said. “Do it every week. If you know someone that normally sits quietly and lets things play out, encourage them not to sit this one out,” he said. “I have seen how those emails have made the company rethink their position with my own eyes.”

 

For pointers, Klemm told the delegates that personal stories are more effective than insults when writing to Kirby and other company executives. “Tell them how inflation is affecting your family. Tell them how important your job is to you,” Klemm said. “We think that 60% of our members at United have yet to send an email to the company. That means we have a lot more in the tank. If they’re already getting nervous, imagine what can happen if thousands more of us join in.”

JetBlue Files For Representation

The Convention is coming to a close as JetBlue organizing begins a new phase; 3000 Ground Operations Crewmembers successfully filed for a union representation vote at the airline, a first for ground crews. On Friday, the Machinists Union announced that it would file for a union representation vote with the National Mediation Board, the Federal agency that oversees labor law for airlines. The efforts to organize ground operations at JetBlue are led by inside committees staffed by current JetBlue workers. Sensing the campaign was reaching a critical stage, these committees opted to skip the Convention and continue their organizing work.

Even without its entire cadre of organizers, union growth was prominent at the Convention. Speaking at the event was Amazon Labor Union activist Tristan Lion Dutchin, whose efforts to organize the first-ever union at the shipping giant led to his unlawful termination from the Staten Island Facility where he had been employed. His story earned international headlines and helped secure an eventual union win at Amazon. Machinist Union delegates at the Convention, moved by his story, raised a little over $2,000, which they awarded to Dutchin in honor of his dedication to the cause of union organizing.

This was just one of the rounds of donations delegates raised for important charities. Guide Dogs of America, which provides service dogs to veterans, children with autism, and visually impaired persons at no cost, was also championed at the Convention. In all, delegates raised approximately $17,000 for charitable organizations and causes.

Held in Orlando, Florida, from September 20-22, the 69th Convention of Machinists Union District 141 drew 224 delegates from Local Lodges around the nation. Also attending were Machinists Union senior leaders, including General Vice President Richard Johnsen. Johnsen is spearheading a range of innovative new programs at the union, including strengthening alliances with other labor organizations, ensuring that new hires are connected to the larger union, and creating a movement-driven mission for labor. The comments fit into the larger vision that Johnsen has painted for unionism as a vital social cause – and more than a set of membership services.

“All around the nation, people are starting to see the value of their labor and wondering where they fit in. We can be that for them; their work has incredible value to unions and working people. At the end of the day, companies only value money. We, as working people, can be so much more. We can help each other spend more time with our families, work in safer environments, and earn better livelihoods in more rewarding careers. We can do that by acting in union, and bringing the power of collective action to bear for working Americans.”

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FAREWELL, OLD FRIEND!
Tony D bid a heartfelt farewell to the many whose lives he’s touched over his long career as District Safety Director today. After an illustrious tenure, he is finally taking a much-deserved retirement. His dedicated service to Machinists Union members was honored with a touching tribute, read formally before the Convention delegates, along with hugs and well-wishes. Congratulations on a truly remarkable career, Brother Tony.

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The Inflation Reduction Act will lower costs for families, combat the climate crisis, reduce the deficit, and finally ask the largest corporations to pay their fair share. This historic legislative achievement deals a blow to special interests, delivers for American families, and grows the economy from the bottom up and middle out.

In response to the earlier Senate passage of this critical legislation, Robert Martinez, Jr, International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers released the following statement.

“The Machinists Unions applauds the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 by the U.S. Senate. Our union considers this legislation, which now moves to the House, critical to helping fight inflation, lower costs for America’s working families, and create millions of good-paying manufacturing and construction jobs in the clean energy sector. Our nation has a clear path to a clean energy future while ensuring fairness in our tax code by making the extremely wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes.  

“The Inflation Reduction Act adds fairness to our tax code by ensuring that the extremely wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share of taxes while making historic investments in clean energy manufacturing, production, and deployment. Workers will benefit from the bill’s tax credits, including labor protections that strengthen and enforce prevailing wage requirements, apprenticeship programs and Buy American domestic content standards, ensuring these investments will create high-quality jobs here at home. 

“The healthcare provisions included in this legislation will cap seniors’ out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs and reduce health insurance premiums for millions across the country.

“The IAM will push to ensure that this bill that creates high-quality jobs and increases domestic manufacturing passes the House.”

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Since late 2021, the economy has suffered debilitating setbacks primarily due to wrinkles in the global supply chain. As a result, President Biden hosted a supply chain summit with 14 other countries that same year to begin tackling the immediate supply chain issues. 

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Machinists Union was invited to participate in the Labor and Workforce Development breakout of the two-day 2022 Ministerial Forum on Global Supply Chain Resilience, scheduled for July 19 and 20. 

The event hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, focuses on ways to tackle the supply chain issues championed by President Biden. 

Included in these discussions were geographic diversity of advanced manufacturing centers, fostering stakeholders in labor, small businesses, transportation, and logistics to improve supply chains. All while expanding global training to enhance readiness in workforce participation for all workers, including women and other underutilized minority groups.

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“The IAM made it clear that to improve supply chain issues, the next generation of workers must receive the skills they need to fill good middle-class jobs,” said Peter Greenberg, IAM Strategic Resources Assistant Director. “We need improved and consistent funding for apprenticeship programs and the continuation of Trade Adjustment Assistance programs for displaced workers.”

The overall goal for this global partnership is to reduce and end near-term supply chain disruptions. The Departments of State and Commerce are committed to building long-term solutions while easing future troubles in the global supply chain. Advocacy and education are needed at every level, from workers, city leaders, state, federal, and international leaders. In addition, the Biden Administration aims to secure custom supply chain solutions for businesses and workers in each locality – securing jobs for all workers.

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