IAM Growth in South Continues with Win in Alabama

Holding the banner from left: Pat Cleveland, Brian Bramblett, Kimberly Burse and Jeanette Valdes. Back Row: District 75 Organizer Mike Cooke, Michael Whitsitt, Victor Williams, Tommy C. Beard, Tommy J. Beard, Robert Shepherd and Special Representative Tony Wirth.

Twenty-one workers at Fort McClellan, near Anniston, AL recently joined the IAM. The prime contractor, Aktarius LLC, and three sub-contractors, Accent Controls, Dawson and VT Griffin, employ the new members.

This unit promises to grow in numbers in the next few years,” said Southern Territory Special Representative Tony Wirth.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operate a training center at Ft. McClellan, which is a unique facility that trains with both biological and chemical agents.

The IAM is the leading union at our military and governmental installations,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “We have professional representation and partner with the employers to ensure that the customer, which is the governmental agency, and ultimately the taxpayers and citizens of our great nation, get the most skilled and expert service possible from our members. Besides providing rights, pay and benefits for our members, our contracts ensure attention to safety and training to provide the highest level of service possible.”

Wirth and District 75 Organizer Mike Cooke led the organizing campaign. The new members will join District 75 and Local Lodge 291 in Anniston, AL.

Martinez Urges Senate to Increase Flight Attendant Rest

In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, IAM International President Bob Martinez urged them to include language in its FAA reauthorization bill that mirrors the Flight Attendant Fatigue amendment adopted by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

“The current FAA rest minimum for flight attendants, even after a 14-hour duty day, is 9 hours, which can be reduced to 8 hours,” said Martinez. “As the Committee moves forward in developing an FAA bill that improves aviation safety, it must include language that addresses flight attendant fatigue. This issue directly affects the health and safety of all flight attendants and the flying public.”

IAM members from around the country recently scored a major political victory in the House of Representatives when amendments were included in the Aviation Innovation Reform Reauthorization Act of 2016 (AIIR). Those amendments would mandate a minimum of 10 hours rest for Flight Attendants and make it a felony to assault a Customer Service Agent.

“The time is now for the Senate to act and recognize that Flight Attendants deserve adequate rest,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Flight Attendants are the front-line defense in our nation’s air transport system and we must ensure they are prepared for any emergency.”

New Mexico Workers Unite to Defeat Right-To-Work

The IAM and working families successfully prevented right-to-work legislation from passing in New Mexico. From left: President of the New Mexico Federation of Labor John Hendry, President of the New Mexico State Council of Machinists Beverly McMullan and IAM Western Territory GVP Gary Allen.

IAM members and working families in New Mexico, and across the country, can breathe a little easier for the moment, now that the state legislature officially ended its session without passing right-to-work (for less) legislation.

I am happy to report that we were able to once again defeat right to work in New Mexico,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “Many thanks to all the fighting Machinists who joined with the rest of the labor movement in New Mexico to drive this right-to-work trash into the ground.”

Existing right-to-work laws have proven to lower wages, weaken safety standards and mute the voices of workers and their families. Without much-needed representation provided by the IAM and other unions, workers are left to face their employers alone.

Machinists and other labor activists logged countless hours of hard work on the phones, letter writing and community canvassing to prevent the legislation from passing. New Mexico’s decision is a solid step forward in the fight to protect workers’ collective bargaining rights.

This is a good day for working families, and our IAM Western Territory Staff stepped up and delivered,” said Allen. “I’m proud of all of you who worked so hard on this effort. Thanks to the IAM Executive Council for stepping up and providing resources to help wage this successful war!”