Mary Sansom Has Receipts: A union activist who has recorded and made history

Mary Sansom Has Receipts: A union activist who has recorded and made history

“Shut ‘Em Down!”

Mary Sansom has fought for airline workers for decades, taking on managers, politicians, and even retirement on the way.

Sister Mary Sansom was initiated into Local 1833 of the Machinists Union in 1973 when she began working in the flight kitchen at Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of her co-workers “dragged” her to local meetings, but she did not fully understand the value of union membership (among other things) until she was furloughed during a pilots strike 5 years later. She marks that as the beginning of her “union education” that has guided her through more strikes, airline mergers, and also many successes as a champion for working people.

Mary has served as Chief Steward and has been recognized for her work as a safety advocate. As the first woman to chair the Labor Division of the National Safety Council, she has received several awards for her service. She has represented Local 1833 in 5 Grand Lodge Conventions, where she earned the nickname “Shut ‘Em Down Mary” because of her strong criticism of airline mergers and the immense pain they inflict on workers. In 2006, she was recognized again by the Machinists & Aerospace Union as “Sister of the Month” for the United States.

During a turbulent period in the airline industry in the 1990s, Mary continued her advocacy work as a delegate to the IAMAW Legislative Conference and the Minnesota State Council of Machinists. She was elected Recording Secretary of Local 1833 in 2000, a position she still holds, even after her retirement in 2010. 

As a retiree, Sister Mary stays active as Recording Secretary for the Minnesota State Council of Machinists, is a founding member and serves as Recording Secretary for the Minnesota State Council Machinists Retirees, and is the president of the Local 1833 Retired Members Social Club.

We are pleased to welcome Mary Sansom to the District 141 Video Report.

     Related Stories

Announcing the New IAM Group Medicare Plan

Announcing the New IAM Group Medicare Plan

///This post originally appeared on GOIAM.ORG

The IAM has worked for months to negotiate a new Group Medicare plan for Medicare-eligible retirees, spouses, surviving spouses and Medicare-eligible dependents. 

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Employee Benefit Systems and TLC Insurance Group. This plan can help serve the Medicare needs for our Medicare-eligible retirees, their spouses, and surviving spouses. This new best-in-class IAM Group Medicare Advantage plan, offered through Humana, is rich in benefits.

Visit for more information. Here are some of the benefits that IAM retirees are so excited about:

  1. Available in all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia;
  2. National Passive Group Medicare PPO Plan that allows members to use the doctor and hospital of their choice nationally;
  3. In network and out of network benefits are identical;
  4. Robust Prescription Group Plan included;
  5. Low out of pocket maximum;
  6. No deductibles on the IAMAW Group plan;
  7. Low copays! Primary Care Physician – $0 copay    Specialist – $30 copay 

For current IAMAW Medicare-eligible retirees/spouses/surviving spouses, look for marketing and communications from the IAM this week. The IAM announcement letter will be followed by a group enrollment packet with details on the new group plan. Inside, there will be an exclusive toll free phone number (1-800-833-2411 – Humana Enrollment Department) to call in for questions and enrollment assistance.

Retiree participation is not mandatory. Enrollment into the plan is by self-choice.  However, we highly suggest that all retirees compare the benefits of this new IAM Group Medicare plan, with their current coverage, prior to making any decision on their 2021 Medicare healthcare options. Visit for more information.


Voluntary Separation Program (VSP2)

Voluntary Separation Program (VSP2)

June 30, 2020

Brothers and Sisters at United Airlines,

Hopefully, you have all seen the latest Voluntary Separation Program 2 (VSP 2) that United Airlines has offered. 

As we all try to navigate through these very tumultuous times together, I know we all wish there would be more value in this package. I also know that many of us, after seeing two VSP offers and an enhancement to the second one, may be expecting another, more lucrative VSP down the road. However, United Airlines officials have assured me there will not be any more enhancements or additional VSPs offered any time soon.

It is very important that all IAM members know that our union has engaged in many conversations with company officials regarding the voluntary separation programs and we strongly advocated for even more value to be added to them to encourage participation and reduce future layoffs. The Company responded by enhancing the VSP2 program significantly and providing up to $45,000 in a Retirement Health Account.  

The ability to sign up for the voluntary separation program (VSP2) is now open.  While I believe that a more robust voluntary separation program would vastly increase participation and would greatly decrease future layoffs, this is a rich program and I encourage everyone to take a look to see if the VSP2 is a good fit for you. The VSP2 enhancements have some valuable components that may be of interest to you and your families.

Please make sure to visit the VSP2 website: Information and link to the website is below. For questions on VSP2, call the UA Employee Service Center at 1-877-825-3729

Program offerings are specific to each individual employee and may change slightly due to factors such as years of service and age.

Highlights include:

  • $1,500 for each year of completed service up to a maximum of $45,000 as a one-time credit to a Retiree Health Account to pay for your and your dependents’ eligible medical expenses such as premiums, copays, prescriptions, dental services and vision services
  • Eligibility for medical premium reimbursement, regardless of whether you are enrolled in a UA medical plan, which can be used towards any medical plan at United or elsewhere, such as another employer or a spouse’s plan
  • Extra CARP or 401(k) benefit 
  • Additional pass travel benefits

If you wish to review details of the program, you can do so by CLICKING HERE or by logging into your FlyingTogether account, and accessing Help Hub.

In Solidarity,

Mike Klemm

President and Directing General Chair, 
District 141,
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Association Update

February 4, 2020

What to Know About the Early Out Offer at American Airlines

Sisters and Brothers,

The Company has informed the Association that they are planning to offer an Early Out to Association Members at some point and time under terms and conditions established by the Company.

Why is this not part of the Agreement in Principle:

  1. As part of the negotiation process over the past several years, the Company has discussed offering an Early Out to Association Members. The Association informed the Company that if we were to agree to an Early Out as part of the contract it would have to be offered by Seniority to any Member in the system who applied. The Company stated they could not agree to such application.
  1. In the last session, prior to reaching an Agreement in Principle on the terms and conditions of open items that the Association had proposed, the Company indicated that the cost of offering an Early Out during the JCBA was going to cost millions of dollars. The Association did not agree to any cost for an Early Out since it is a program the Company will unilaterally offer and is not part of the collective bargaining agreement. In fact, the carrier could have made the offer at any time, since it was never a part of our negotiations.  
  1. So, an Early Out could be offered by the Company, but since the Company does not agree to offer such Early Out by Seniority as the Association discussed, the terms and conditions of the Early Out will be solely established by the Company.

Many of you have sacrificed much over the years and may have the opportunity to participate in an Early Out, but the Association could not agree to allow the Company to circumvent a Member’s Seniority or allow millions of dollars to be held over our heads in negotiations.

Please Post on All TWU- IAM Bulletin Boards

Get Printable Copy


IAM National Pension Plan Executive Director Explains Zone Decision

IAM National Pension Plan Executive Director Explains Zone Decision

Changes are focused on benefit subsidies, not retirees.

The IAM National Pension Fund is one of the largest and best-funded retirement plans in the US, with total assets that exceed 18 billion dollars.

This week, beneficiaries received some concerning news as the Plan’s Board of Trustees voluntarily chose to move the IAMNPF into “Red Zone” status. The Fund is projected to remain in that classification for at least one of the next five years, according to a mailing sent out this week.

For the 292 thousand plan participants, the news isn’t exactly as bad as it may sound. For example, the decision will not impact current retirees or any accruals that have already been earned. Instead, most of the changes are related to the way that the Fund collects subsidies from employers.

According to Ryk Tierney, Executive Director at the IAM National Pension Fund, the decision will have limited impact for most participants.

In a video statement released last Friday, Tierney explained that the Board’s decision to downgrade the Fund was voluntary, and was executed as a way to free the program to make reforms that would not have been permitted otherwise.

“Voluntarily declaring Red Zone while the fund remains well-funded at 89% allows the Trustees to implement a plan to strengthen the fund’s financial future,” Tierney said.

According to Tierney, the move “will not affect any accruals that have been earned in the past, nor does it impact the benefit currently being received by retirees or beneficiaries.”

Instead, the major changes expected at the fund are happening at the employer level. The change in status allows the Fund to require employers to commit to subsidies that are slightly larger than in previous years, when the plan was classified in green and yellow zones.

Federal law requires employers to pay a surcharge geared towards improving the Fund’s status following a Red Zone certification.

Beneficiaries are also protected by Federal law that requires the plan to enact a “Rehabilitation Plan.” This will reduce some variable benefits, such as some death benefits, payout time frames and accruals. However, none of these reductions will impact basic benefits collected at normal retirement.

[gdlr_video url=”” ]


More information is available at


PDGC of IAM District 141 Michael Klemm Response to NPP & United

PDGC of IAM District 141 Michael Klemm Response to NPP & United

The IAMAW and IAM District 141 are separate entities than the IAM National Pension Plan (NPP), even though both bear the “IAM” acronym. For those DL 141 IAM represented employees in the NPP, a letter was sent to your homes by the NPP. If you haven’t already received the letter, you will soon. The letter outlines changes that the NPP’s Board of Trustees have decided are necessary to maintain the long term stability of the NPP. IAM District 141 received the information contained in the letter on Friday, April 26, 2019.

Unfortunately, United Airlines attempted to blame District 141 today for the NPP dropping the ball in communicating these changes and stated: “we [United Airlines] were not informed by the IAM in advance.” The NPP, of which United Airlines management has a representative on the NPP Board of Trustees, David Lieb, failed to inform United Airlines in advance. The NPP also failed to inform the IAM’s largest district, IAM District 141, a district with the most active NPP participants, in advance. United’s weak attempt to shift blame and the NPP’s botched rollout of the modifications to our pension plan are BOTH completely unacceptable.

While the NPP remains well funded at 89%, in 2019, it has been certified in the Yellow Zone. The major reason for this is that the liabilities of the plan outweigh the assets, in the long term, and the NPP’s Board of Trustees decided changes are needed to fix this unsustainable condition. Because of this, the Board of Trustees have voluntarily reclassified the plan to be in the Red Zone, so that the Trustees can make changes to ensure the long term stability of the plan, per federal law.

It is not IAM District 141’s responsibility to notify United Airlines of modifications to the NPP. That responsibility falls squarely on the NPP, and more specifically United’s Board of Trustees representative, David Lieb. After all, Mr. Lieb had to approve of the changes to the NPP.

You can be assured that District 141 will do everything in its power to make sure all IAM represented NPP participants receive all the information there is pertaining this matter.

There is a lot of complex information included in the NPP mailings. There is a toll free telephone number 1-866-232-1296 and a website set up to give everyone more information.

Michael G. Klemm
President and Directing General Chairman
I.A.M.A.W. District Lodge 141

[gdlr_stunning_text background_color=”#f3f3f3″ button=”Download PDF” button_link=”” button_background=”#184ab9″ button_text_color=”#ffffff” button_border_color=”#0d2a6b” title=”PDGC of IAM District 141 Michael Klemm Response to NPP & United” title_color=”#184ab9″ caption_color=”#a0a0a0″]Please Post on Bulletin Boards[/gdlr_stunning_text]