U.S., Canadian Machinists are United on Trade

The Machinists Union is raising strong concerns regarding the recently announced direction of the Administration’s trade policy.

“Criticizing Canada’s trade practices does not contribute to improving the lives of our members, who have been so devastated by a trade agenda that favors corporations over workers,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “The Administration should be focusing our efforts on stopping China from violating trade rules, not insulting our closest ally.” 

Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall echoed these objections.

“In the current environment, with the U.S. President alleging Canada to be a ‘national security threat,’ it is absolutely crucial that we stand together as union Sisters and Brothers across our borders and work together in solidarity. This is even more important where we have industries in common such as aerospace and defense.”

The IAM continues to strongly support efforts to stop China from forcing the transfer of technology and production through tariffs and multilateral actions at the World Trade Organization. The Machinists also continue to support tariffs on dumped steel and aluminum from China.

But Martinez says the IAM is 100 percent opposed to tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, or any action that would start a trade war with our friend and ally, Canada.

“Instead of targeting Canada, the Administration should also be focusing its energy on negotiating dramatic changes to NAFTA that will benefit all North American workers,” said Martinez. “Among many other provisions, negotiators must not settle for a labor provision that copies what was proposed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

The IAM is continuing its demand that a renegotiated NAFTA explicitly state that labor standards are defined by conventions adopted by the International Labor Organization, an agency under the United-Nations.

Canada’s proposal most closely reflects this demand. Moreover, Canadian negotiators have it right: so-called right-to-work laws in the U.S. are nothing more than cover for preventing workers to unionize. The IAM continues to urge U.S. negotiators to explicitly include ILO conventions in the proposed labor chapter.

The national security of the U.S. and Canada are dependent on each other. U.S. and Canadian procurement laws must recognize that products made by workers in both countries are essential for the safety and security of our two great nations. Recent legislative amendments regarding Buy American laws, which are supported by the IAM, would not change current waivers for national security, which can be relied on to procure goods from Canada. 

“The IAM also recognizes and supports the critical importance in maintaining the Canada- U.S. Defence Production Sharing Arrangement (DPSA) and the Defence Development Sharing Agreement (DDSA),” said Martinez. “These programs are further proof of our interdependent economic relationship, which is essential for U.S. and Canadian security.”

“It is vitally important that the Canada-U.S. DPSA be maintained to the benefit of workers in both countries,” said Pickthall. “We as the IAM will fight for this arrangement to be continued, and to treat our Canadian Sisters and Brothers equally in bidding this work.”

“Supply chains in manufacturing industries such as aerospace have developed a level of partnership that goes beyond our borders. We will all lose if we persist on this path, which could lead to job losses and a weakening of economic activity in both our countries,” said IAM Quebec Coordinator Dave Chartrand.  

“In these growing times of uncertainty, it more critical than ever that we adopt trade policies that bring the U.S. and Canada closer together—not rip us apart,” said Martinez. “We urge the Administration to refocus its efforts on curtailing China’s unfair trade practices and renegotiating NAFTA to include strong and enforceable labor standards explicitly reflected by ILO Conventions. Insulting our closest friend and ally is not in the best interest of U.S. and Canadian workers.”

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Machinists Win Labor Mobility in Airbus Reciprocity Agreement

Members of IAM Local Lodge 712 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new reciprocity agreement on Sunday, as their employer Bombardier, and Airbus, work toward finalizing their partnership to produce the C Series aircraft.

The new agreement ensures that workers who switch from Bombardier to the future partnership, and vice-versa, will not lose their pensions as well as keeping most of their seniority benefits, including salary and vacation time. The agreement also ensures that workers who are laid off from one company will be given priority for future jobs at both.

“This agreement will create bridges between the IAM, Bombardier and the new limited partnership once the enterprise is split into separate entities,” explained IAM Québec Coordinator David Chartrand. “What was important to us when the partnership announcement was made, was to sit down with the company and the partnership makes sure that there’s labor mobility, so workers can go work for one company or the other depending upon need. Normally when a business sells or creates a partnership, the workers under the group that is sold, stay in that group and there’s no bridge between the two companies.”

Chartrand added that the letter of agreement will be included in the collective bargaining agreements of both companies, as well as in any future agreements once they are negotiated. Although they are spread over three sites at Mirabel in the suburbs of Montréal, the workers are covered by the same collective agreement, which is due to expire next year. Under the deal with Airbus, the limited partnership created to build the C series will now become responsible for 2,000 employees at the Mirabel plant.

“I want to thank Coordinator David Chartrand and the negotiating team for doing a tremendous job fighting for our membership,” said International President Bob Martinez. “I’m very proud of how our members continue to stick together.” 

Under the terms of the C Series deal announced last fall, Airbus will hold 50.1 percent of the new partnership.

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Toronto Airport Screeners Prepare for Contract Negotiations

The IAM Local 2921 negotiating committee for members employed by Garda at Toronto’s three passenger airports completed the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees program at the Winpisinger Center .

The Toronto Local 2921 Negotiating Committee for Garda security screeners completed the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, in Hollywood, Md. Front row from left: Committee Member Daljit Kalkat, Grand Lodge Representative Ron Fontaine, Committee Members Ghazala Najam and Yama Toki, and Committee Chairman Barry Barnett. Back from left: Strategic Resources Senior Research Economist Peter Greenberg, Committee Members Glenville Remy, Rajiv Mohan, Tayeb Lharti, Mir Alam, Amandeep Buttar and Colin Husbands.

The committee took part in the program to prepare for the Machinists’ third agreement with the employer.

“The committee started the prep course as individuals and left as a team,” said Committee Chairman Barry Barnett. “Thanks to the staff for all their efforts.”

“This preparation course has taught me to appreciate the differences of each person on the team and strengthened the unity between us to achieve for our members,” said committee member Colin Husbands.

“The whole course was a great learning experience. I personally feel that negotiation simulation was the best experience,” said committee member Rajiv Mohan.

“The preparation and knowledge gained are essential in achieving fairness for our future,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Ron Fontaine. “The negotiating committee worked hard, long hours to prepare for our upcoming negotiations.”

More than 2,200 Local 2921 members are employed as security screening officers for passengers and baggage at Toronto Pearson International Airport’s Terminals 1 and 3, Canada’s busiest, as well as Toronto Islands Airport, to ensure the safety of thousands of air travelers passing through each day.

The IAM is the largest union to represent security-screening officers in Canada and has members at stations in British Columbia as well.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires on March 31, 2018.

CAPTION: The Toronto Local 2921 Negotiating Committee for Garda security screeners completed the Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, in Hollywood, Md. Front row from left: Committee Member Daljit Kalkat, Grand Lodge Representative Ron Fontaine, Committee Members Ghazala Najam and Yama Toki, and Committee Chairman Barry Barnett. Back from left: Strategic Resources Senior Research Economist Peter Greenberg, Committee Members Glenville Remy, Rajiv Mohan, Tayeb Lharti, Mir Alam, Amandeep Buttar and Colin Husbands.

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