IAM President Martinez Receives LCLAA Service Award

International President Bob Martinez, with IAM members attending the 2016 LCLAA National Membership Convention in Orlando, was this year’s recipient of the Montemayor-Barraza Distinguished Service Award.

IAM International President Bob Martinez received the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement’s (LCLAA) Montemayor-Barraza Distinguished Service Award at its conference-closing gala in Orlando, FL this weekend.

Each year LCLAA honors a labor activist who exemplifies the national organization’s mission to advance the cause of Latino workers and their families through organizing and political action. Martinez, the IAM’s first Latino international president, was recognized for his long-time role as a leader and activist in the Latino community, the IAM and LCLAA.

“It is a great honor to stand here in front of this important group of Latino leaders,” said Martinez. “As president of the IAM, which has thousands of Latino members, I want you to know that we understand the need to educate, organize and mobilize our fellow Latinos.”

The award was given at the close of LCLAA’s 21st National Membership Convention. The convention included a get-out-the-vote drive where activists canvassed door to door.

LCLAA was founded in 1972 as a grassroots organization driven and directed by Latino labor leaders who understand the importance of unionization in helping workers secure rights and protections on the job, and empowering them to become voices for justice and change in their communities.

IAM Files Fresh Round of Labor Charges at Virginia Shipyard

Workers at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Newport News, VA join IAM leadership before beginning negotiations with the company in February 2016. From left: IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin, Latasha Greene, Aaron Lawrence, Shannon Briscoe, John “Tony” Polisk, District 74 Directing Business Representative Larry Young and Grand Lodge Representative Joe Greaser.

Hardened by their long battle for union representation, nearly 200 IAM members at Huntington Ingalls are now fighting even harder for their first contract by filing another labor board charge against the Newport News, VA company. The employer is refusing to bargain on economic issues and is making unilateral changes without bargaining.

After voting to join the IAM in 2009, the Technicians in the radiation monitoring area of the shipyard fought six-and-a-half years for a contract . The fight included numerous court battles and appeals, before the NLRB ordered Huntington Ingalls to bargain with the IAM in November 2015.

Local press has highlighted the company’s stall tactics and foot-dragging techniques.

“It’s time for this employer to sit down and bargain fairly,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “We hope Huntington Ingalls will put these stall tactics to rest and bargain with the Negotiating Committee. After what the members have been through here, they deserve it.”

The Negotiating Committee attended the Negotiation Prep Program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center earlier this year and began negotiations in February.

WATCH: The Wait is Over

The radiological technicians test radiation levels on the nuclear-powered ships built at Newport News. They are the first level of defense in the event of a radiation leak.

You can follow their campaign for a fair contract on the Machinist Union E85 Facebook Page .

Iowa Members at American Ordnance Strike for Fairness

IAM Local 1010 members employed at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, IA, walked off the job Tuesday as they continue negotiations with American Ordnance for a fair contract.

In a move to save their health care, wages and pensions, more than 230 IAM Local 1010 members employed at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant walked off the job this week as they continue negotiations with American Ordnance for a fair contract.

The production workers, who have been in contract negotiations with American Ordnance in Middletown, IA for five weeks, went on strike after standing in solidarity and overwhelmingly voting down the company’s so-called “last, best and final offer.”

“At issue is the company’s proposal to increase health care premiums, provide minimal wage increases and freeze workers’ pensions,” said IAM District 6 Assistant Directing Business Representative Randy Krewson. “Our take on the company’s proposal was loud and clear. We struck them at midnight.”

American Ordnance returned to the table with IAM Local 1010 negotiators Tuesday morning.

Other IAM sticking points include several language issues regarding overtime, line assignments and hazard pay.

“Our members are responsible for producing live munitions for the U.S. military,” said District 6 Directing Business Representative John Herrig. “They handle hazardous and dangerous materials everyday — for that they should be compensated with affordable health care, a fair wage and an opportunity to retire someday with dignity. We’re standing together to ensure a secure future for our members and their families.”

“IAM members at American Ordnance are among some of the most highly-skilled, talented workers in the country,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “They don’t take what they do lightly — and neither should the company. The IAM will not stand for another round of oneâ€Â�sided negotiations. I urge American Ordnance to bargain in good faith and come to the table with an agreement that’s equitable and fair.”

Members of two other unions — 19 from Operating Engineers Local 150 and 18 from Teamsters Local 238 — also voted to go on strike Tuesday, bringing the total number of striking union members to 274.