Honoring Their Sacrifice

Honoring Their Sacrifice

Honoring Their Sacrifice

Honoring Their Sacrifice

IAM141.org

Dear IAM Family,

This weekend, we remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms.

For more than 136 years, IAM members have been integral parts of our communities. They have fought—and died—in every major American military mission since our founding in 1888. As a union with deep ties to our military, we will always remember, mourn, and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

That’s why we provide best-in-class services to our military veterans, built an IAM monument to honor our military, and are incredibly proud that IAM members serve the interests of our armed forces each and every day.

This Memorial Day – and every day – we remember those who have given their lives for all of us.

Sincerely,

Brian Bryant
International President

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Honoring Their Sacrifice

26 May 2024

Dear IAM Family,

This weekend, we remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms.

For more than 136 years, IAM members have been integral parts of our communities. They have fought—and died—in every major American military mission since our founding in 1888. As a union with deep ties to our military, we will always remember, mourn, and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

That’s why we provide best-in-class services to our military veterans, built an IAM monument to honor our military, and are incredibly proud that IAM members serve the interests of our armed forces each and every day.

This Memorial Day – and every day – we remember those who have given their lives for all of us.

Sincerely,

Brian Bryant
International President

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Machinists Union Applauds the Passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill

Machinists Union Applauds the Passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill

Machinists Union Applauds the Passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill

Machinists Union Applauds the Passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill

IAM141.org

WASHINGTON — The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, H.R. 3935, reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through 2028. This comprehensive bill, led by Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), covers airport planning, development, facilities, equipment, and operations. Key provisions include increasing air traffic controller hiring targets, creating a workforce development program for aviation professionals, and enhancing protections for airline workers. The bill has attracted widespread bipartisan support, reflecting its critical importance to the aviation industry.

IAM International President Brian Bryant emphasized the bill’s importance, stating, “While the bill, H.R. 3935, does not address all the IAM’s demands in an FAA reauthorization package, it does include several of our requested provisions and will ultimately help improve the safety and working conditions of our air transport members.”

The bill addresses a wide range of issues crucial to the aviation industry. It directs the FAA to hire and train more air traffic controllers to fill the current gap of 3,000 vacancies. It also mandates increased access to training simulators across air traffic control towers nationwide. To enhance runway safety, the bill requires the installation of additional runway technology at medium and large hub airports.

Passenger protections are also a significant focus of the legislation. The bill mandates that the Department of Transportation (DOT) establish standards to ensure the aircraft boarding and deplaning process is accessible for individuals with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. Additionally, airlines are required to seat young children next to an accompanying adult without charging extra fees if adjacent seats are available.

The bill further enhances protections for airline workers by expanding legal protections to ground-based employees, such as gate and check-in agents, and improving self-defense training for flight attendants. Bryant noted, “This legislation offers some positive means to ensure the safety and well-being of workers and passengers. For instance, we’ve witnessed the increase in passenger attacks towards aviation workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also witnessed the string of tragic accidents and fatalities of ramp workers like in April 2023 when an American Airlines’ ramp worker died while working on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas. Policy changes are needed and this FAA reauthorization legislation, while not perfect, offers many much-needed positive changes for passenger and worker safety and helps transform this vital industry into the future.”

It also includes provisions for increasing cockpit voice recording to 25 hours, enhancing oversight of aircraft production, and ensuring automatic cash refunds for canceled or substantially delayed flights.

The bill also provides for the establishment of an FAA Ombudsman to coordinate responses to issues related to aircraft certifications, pilot certificates, and operational approvals. The legislation also mandates a peer review of current aviation whistleblower protections and requires the FAA to work directly with the Department of Labor on whistleblower cases.

Now that the bill has passed in the House, it will head to President Joe Biden for his signature. Once signed into law, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act will provide the necessary framework and funding to ensure the continued safety and efficiency of the U.S. aviation industry through 2028.

Overall, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act aims to improve aviation safety, enhance protections for passengers and airline workers, and invest in airport and air travel infrastructure nationwide.

We have a quick favor to ask. If only 10% of union members sign up for regular donations to support important legislative and regulatory goals like this, we can put airline workers front and center on Capitol Hill. Becoming a recurring donor is more than a contribution—it’s a commitment to our cause and a testament to the power of collective action. Every donation helps, no matter the size.

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Machinists Union Applauds the Passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill

16 May 2024

WASHINGTON — The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, H.R. 3935, reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through 2028. This comprehensive bill, led by Representative Sam Graves (R-MO), covers airport planning, development, facilities, equipment, and operations. Key provisions include increasing air traffic controller hiring targets, creating a workforce development program for aviation professionals, and enhancing protections for airline workers. The bill has attracted widespread bipartisan support, reflecting its critical importance to the aviation industry.

IAM International President Brian Bryant emphasized the bill’s importance, stating, “While the bill, H.R. 3935, does not address all the IAM’s demands in an FAA reauthorization package, it does include several of our requested provisions and will ultimately help improve the safety and working conditions of our air transport members.”

The bill addresses a wide range of issues crucial to the aviation industry. It directs the FAA to hire and train more air traffic controllers to fill the current gap of 3,000 vacancies. It also mandates increased access to training simulators across air traffic control towers nationwide. To enhance runway safety, the bill requires the installation of additional runway technology at medium and large hub airports.

Passenger protections are also a significant focus of the legislation. The bill mandates that the Department of Transportation (DOT) establish standards to ensure the aircraft boarding and deplaning process is accessible for individuals with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. Additionally, airlines are required to seat young children next to an accompanying adult without charging extra fees if adjacent seats are available.

The bill further enhances protections for airline workers by expanding legal protections to ground-based employees, such as gate and check-in agents, and improving self-defense training for flight attendants. Bryant noted, “This legislation offers some positive means to ensure the safety and well-being of workers and passengers. For instance, we’ve witnessed the increase in passenger attacks towards aviation workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also witnessed the string of tragic accidents and fatalities of ramp workers like in April 2023 when an American Airlines’ ramp worker died while working on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas. Policy changes are needed and this FAA reauthorization legislation, while not perfect, offers many much-needed positive changes for passenger and worker safety and helps transform this vital industry into the future.”

It also includes provisions for increasing cockpit voice recording to 25 hours, enhancing oversight of aircraft production, and ensuring automatic cash refunds for canceled or substantially delayed flights.

The bill also provides for the establishment of an FAA Ombudsman to coordinate responses to issues related to aircraft certifications, pilot certificates, and operational approvals. The legislation also mandates a peer review of current aviation whistleblower protections and requires the FAA to work directly with the Department of Labor on whistleblower cases.

Now that the bill has passed in the House, it will head to President Joe Biden for his signature. Once signed into law, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act will provide the necessary framework and funding to ensure the continued safety and efficiency of the U.S. aviation industry through 2028.

Overall, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act aims to improve aviation safety, enhance protections for passengers and airline workers, and invest in airport and air travel infrastructure nationwide.

We have a quick favor to ask. If only 10% of union members sign up for regular donations to support important legislative and regulatory goals like this, we can put airline workers front and center on Capitol Hill. Becoming a recurring donor is more than a contribution—it’s a commitment to our cause and a testament to the power of collective action. Every donation helps, no matter the size.

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The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

The Dawn of the Machinists Union

IAM141.org

In the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship. While innovation flourished, so did worker exploitation. It was against this backdrop that a small group of machinists in Atlanta, Georgia, took a stand for themselves and their fellows, sparking the birth of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), a labor union that would leave an indelible mark on American history.

The year was 1888. Thomas W. Talbot, a skilled railroad machinist, witnessed firsthand the plight of his colleagues. Wages were slashed, working conditions were grueling, and job security was nonexistent. Having previously belonged to the Knights of Labor, a broader labor organization, Talbot believed a more focused approach was needed. He envisioned a union specifically for machinists, one that could effectively address their unique challenges.

On May 5th, 1888, with the resolve of those facing an uphill battle, Talbot and 18 other machinists gathered in a locomotive pit, a symbolic location for their clandestine meeting. This makeshift conference room became the birthplace of the Order of United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers, the precursor to the IAMAW.

The fledgling union’s goals were clear: resist wage cuts, secure better working conditions, and establish a safety net for members through unemployment, illness, and accident benefits. It also aimed to elevate the status of machinists, recognizing their skilled craft and demanding fair compensation.

However, the path wouldn’t be easy. The late 19th century was a period of fierce anti-union sentiment. Powerful industrialists saw unions as a threat to their control and wielded their influence to suppress them. Early strikes were often met with violence and strikebreakers. The fledgling union faced constant challenges in securing recognition and bargaining rights from employers.

Despite the obstacles, the Order of United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers persevered. They adopted a motto – “Organization, Cooperation, Education” – reflecting their commitment to building a strong worker base, fostering solidarity, and promoting skills development. This combination of activism and education proved to be a winning formula.

Within a year, the organization held its first convention in Atlanta, Georgia, changing its name to the National Association of Machinists (NAM). The convention established a formal structure, including elected officers and local chapters, laying the groundwork for a national organization.

By the 1890s, the NAM was expanding its reach beyond railroads, attracting machinists from various industries, including manufacturing and shipbuilding. This growth necessitated a name change again, and in 1891, the organization became the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

The IAM’s early victories, including securing the first ever union contract with a major railroad in 1892, proved its effectiveness. This success inspired other skilled workers to organize, contributing to the broader labor movement.

The story of the Machinists Union’s founding is a testament to the power of collective action. It’s a reminder that the fight for fair wages, safe working conditions, and worker dignity is a continuous struggle. From those humble beginnings in a locomotive pit, the IAMAW has grown into a powerful organization representing hundreds of thousands of workers across North American industries. As the organization continues to evolve and address new challenges, the spirit of those 19 machinists who dared to fight for a better future remains a cornerstone of the IAMAW’s legacy.

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The Dawn of the Machinists Union

14 May 2024

In the smoky workshops of late 19th century America, a revolution was brewing. The Industrial Age, with its booming factories and powerful railroads, had brought both progress and hardship. While innovation flourished, so did worker exploitation. It was against this backdrop that a small group of machinists in Atlanta, Georgia, took a stand for themselves and their fellows, sparking the birth of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), a labor union that would leave an indelible mark on American history.

The year was 1888. Thomas W. Talbot, a skilled railroad machinist, witnessed firsthand the plight of his colleagues. Wages were slashed, working conditions were grueling, and job security was nonexistent. Having previously belonged to the Knights of Labor, a broader labor organization, Talbot believed a more focused approach was needed. He envisioned a union specifically for machinists, one that could effectively address their unique challenges.

On May 5th, 1888, with the resolve of those facing an uphill battle, Talbot and 18 other machinists gathered in a locomotive pit, a symbolic location for their clandestine meeting. This makeshift conference room became the birthplace of the Order of United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers, the precursor to the IAMAW.

The fledgling union’s goals were clear: resist wage cuts, secure better working conditions, and establish a safety net for members through unemployment, illness, and accident benefits. It also aimed to elevate the status of machinists, recognizing their skilled craft and demanding fair compensation.

However, the path wouldn’t be easy. The late 19th century was a period of fierce anti-union sentiment. Powerful industrialists saw unions as a threat to their control and wielded their influence to suppress them. Early strikes were often met with violence and strikebreakers. The fledgling union faced constant challenges in securing recognition and bargaining rights from employers.

Despite the obstacles, the Order of United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers persevered. They adopted a motto – “Organization, Cooperation, Education” – reflecting their commitment to building a strong worker base, fostering solidarity, and promoting skills development. This combination of activism and education proved to be a winning formula.

Within a year, the organization held its first convention in Atlanta, Georgia, changing its name to the National Association of Machinists (NAM). The convention established a formal structure, including elected officers and local chapters, laying the groundwork for a national organization.

By the 1890s, the NAM was expanding its reach beyond railroads, attracting machinists from various industries, including manufacturing and shipbuilding. This growth necessitated a name change again, and in 1891, the organization became the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

The IAM’s early victories, including securing the first ever union contract with a major railroad in 1892, proved its effectiveness. This success inspired other skilled workers to organize, contributing to the broader labor movement.

The story of the Machinists Union’s founding is a testament to the power of collective action. It’s a reminder that the fight for fair wages, safe working conditions, and worker dignity is a continuous struggle. From those humble beginnings in a locomotive pit, the IAMAW has grown into a powerful organization representing hundreds of thousands of workers across North American industries. As the organization continues to evolve and address new challenges, the spirit of those 19 machinists who dared to fight for a better future remains a cornerstone of the IAMAW’s legacy.

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Reality Check: The Fallacy of “Just Save More” and Why Union Protections Matter More Than Ever

Reality Check: The Fallacy of “Just Save More” and Why Union Protections Matter More Than Ever

Reality Check: The Fallacy of “Just Save More” and Why Union Protections Matter More Than Ever

Reality Check: The Fallacy of “Just Save More” and Why Union Protections Matter More Than Ever

IAM141.org

Last month, T. Rowe Price issued recommendations on retirement savings that, while perhaps well-intentioned, come across as not only unrealistic but downright insulting to many working Americans. They suggest that by age 35, someone earning $60,000 annually should have saved between $60,000 and $90,000. By the time they reach 60, that savings should balloon to $750,000 to $1,100,000. These figures might work in theory, but for most, they’re nothing short of a fantasy.

T. Rowe Price proposes a plan that sounds deceptively simple: start saving early and increase your savings rate over time. They advise beginning with 6% of your income at age 25 and gradually bumping it up each year. According to them, this will help maintain your lifestyle in retirement without relying too heavily on Social Security. But this advice, while it might delight your inner stoic, completely disregards the financial realities faced by most people today.

To understand how out of touch this advice is, consider the stark difference between the average and median savings rates in the U.S. The average savings account balance might be over $65,000, but this figure is skewed by the ultra-wealthy. The median savings account balance—reflecting what most Americans actually have—is less than $8,000. This huge disparity highlights just how unrealistic these savings targets are for the vast majority of people.

Moreover, the cost of living paints a grimmer picture. The average rent in the United States is around $1,500 per month, and in many major markets, it’s much higher. For someone earning $60,000 a year, after taxes, they might have just over $30,000 left to cover all other expenses—food, transportation, healthcare, student loans, and more. Under these conditions, saving $60,000 to $90,000 by age 35, let alone $750,000 to over a million by age 60, is nearly impossible.

This advice also fails to account for the broader economic challenges many face, such as stagnant wages, rising living costs, and economic disruptions like the pandemic. These factors make it clear that the problem isn’t a lack of discipline or intelligence among workers but systemic issues that financial advisors often overlook.

The idea that young people can simply forgo the latest iPhones and $10 coffees to afford retirement is not just out of touch—it’s insulting. It suggests that financial struggles are the result of frivolous spending rather than real economic pressures. This perspective ignores the reality that many are doing their best just to make ends meet. It’s not about skipping a few luxuries; it’s about the fundamental affordability of living and saving in today’s economy.

In stark contrast, unionized workers often have access to defined benefit pension plans that provide a steady income in retirement. These pensions, secured through collective bargaining, offer a level of financial security that individual savings plans often can’t match. For union members, retirement isn’t just about scraping by—it’s about living with dignity and stability.

The message is clear: while saving money is important, it alone isn’t enough to ensure a comfortable retirement. Structural supports, like those provided by unions, are crucial in securing the kind of retirement that financial advisors dream about. It’s time for financial advice to align more closely with the realities of most Americans’ lives and recognize the importance of collective action in achieving financial security.

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Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Reality Check: The Fallacy of “Just Save More” and Why Union Protections Matter More Than Ever

13 May 2024

Last month, T. Rowe Price issued recommendations on retirement savings that, while perhaps well-intentioned, come across as not only unrealistic but downright insulting to many working Americans. They suggest that by age 35, someone earning $60,000 annually should have saved between $60,000 and $90,000. By the time they reach 60, that savings should balloon to $750,000 to $1,100,000. These figures might work in theory, but for most, they’re nothing short of a fantasy.

T. Rowe Price proposes a plan that sounds deceptively simple: start saving early and increase your savings rate over time. They advise beginning with 6% of your income at age 25 and gradually bumping it up each year. According to them, this will help maintain your lifestyle in retirement without relying too heavily on Social Security. But this advice, while it might delight your inner stoic, completely disregards the financial realities faced by most people today.

To understand how out of touch this advice is, consider the stark difference between the average and median savings rates in the U.S. The average savings account balance might be over $65,000, but this figure is skewed by the ultra-wealthy. The median savings account balance—reflecting what most Americans actually have—is less than $8,000. This huge disparity highlights just how unrealistic these savings targets are for the vast majority of people.

Moreover, the cost of living paints a grimmer picture. The average rent in the United States is around $1,500 per month, and in many major markets, it’s much higher. For someone earning $60,000 a year, after taxes, they might have just over $30,000 left to cover all other expenses—food, transportation, healthcare, student loans, and more. Under these conditions, saving $60,000 to $90,000 by age 35, let alone $750,000 to over a million by age 60, is nearly impossible.

This advice also fails to account for the broader economic challenges many face, such as stagnant wages, rising living costs, and economic disruptions like the pandemic. These factors make it clear that the problem isn’t a lack of discipline or intelligence among workers but systemic issues that financial advisors often overlook.

The idea that young people can simply forgo the latest iPhones and $10 coffees to afford retirement is not just out of touch—it’s insulting. It suggests that financial struggles are the result of frivolous spending rather than real economic pressures. This perspective ignores the reality that many are doing their best just to make ends meet. It’s not about skipping a few luxuries; it’s about the fundamental affordability of living and saving in today’s economy.

In stark contrast, unionized workers often have access to defined benefit pension plans that provide a steady income in retirement. These pensions, secured through collective bargaining, offer a level of financial security that individual savings plans often can’t match. For union members, retirement isn’t just about scraping by—it’s about living with dignity and stability.

The message is clear: while saving money is important, it alone isn’t enough to ensure a comfortable retirement. Structural supports, like those provided by unions, are crucial in securing the kind of retirement that financial advisors dream about. It’s time for financial advice to align more closely with the realities of most Americans’ lives and recognize the importance of collective action in achieving financial security.

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Union Members at O’Hare Walk Out on Kirby; Sick and Tired of the Same Old Lip Service

Union Members at O’Hare Walk Out on Kirby; Sick and Tired of the Same Old Lip Service

Union Members at O’Hare Walk Out on Kirby; Sick and Tired of the Same Old Lip Service

7 May 2024

United Airlines is no longer the airline it was under Oscar Muñoz. From 2015 to 2020, this company respected its employees, and, in return, those workers gave the airline the best years in its history.

Recently, United management has been eliminating Customer Service Centers and developing metrics that force our members to meet unreasonable demands. This practice has resulted in poor customer service for our passengers, including mis-boards, as well as increases in damages and on-the-job injuries.

Moreover, company management is demanding that Reservations Agents maintain scorecards of 97% or higher or face unfair discipline. Now, top management has launched an outright assault on Protected Work related to the movement of jet bridges by Passenger Service Employees.

Our Union Membership has had enough. 

Last week, United CEO Scott Kirby walked into a Customer Service Breakroom in Chicago to meet with front-line union members. He had hoped to pose for selfies and chat about how much United values its workers. Instead, all but two employees walked out on him.

Under Article 2 A 1 of the Passenger Service contract, the movement of jet bridges is protected as core work. Despite the clarity of the contractual language, United is insisting that it has the right to move that work to other groups.

In response,  last week, we also concluded a two-day arbitration case to let United management know we are protecting the work of IAM-represented Customer Service Representatives.

The company claims it can assign anyone to do any work covered under the airline’s seven different contracts. Management’s flawed logic would mean that a Customer Service Representative could be told to walk down the jet bridge, position a belt loader to an aircraft, and offload the aircraft. If that sounds like nonsense, that’s because it IS nonsense.

It’s also a sign of absolute disrespect to every IAM member covered under any IAM collective bargaining agreement at United Airlines. Even more maddening, Article 2 A 1 of the Fleet Service contract explicitly states that the movement of a jet bridge is NOT Fleet Service work.

This grievance is in no way an attempt to take work away from our Move Team sisters and brothers. In fact, it’s just the opposite: the goal is to help the Move Team do their job more efficiently by holding the Company accountable for assigning a Customer Service Representative to each aircraft brought to the terminal from another area.

A final decision from this arbitration hearing will take some time to arrive. Both sides are allotted around 30 days to write their post-hearing briefs. Once his process is complete, the Arbitrator will render a decision based on all the evidence and witness testimony.

We expect the decision to be handed down in July.  When we do, we will immediately report back to the membership.

Mike Klemm,
PDGC, District 141,
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
LGR

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin Boards.

Association Update

Association Update

Recording Secretaries – Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY >>

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