Machinists Union Leaders Join Triumph Strike Line

IAM International President Bob Martinez, right, speaks with IAM Local 86 members striking Triumph Composite Systems in Spokane, WA. Martinez was joined on the strike line by Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen and District 751 President Jon Holden. (Photo: Steve Warren/IAM District 751)

IAM national leaders today marched in solidarity with IAM Local 86 members in Spokane, WA, who are in the second week of a strike at Triumph Composites Systems.

IAM International President Bob Martinez and Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen also met with local union representatives to assure them they will have the support and resources they need to prevail.

“The strike at Triumph matters to workers across the U.S.,” said Martinez. “Any time a profitable company outsources good jobs and hollows out the ones that are left, it’s a clear signal for other companies to do the same. These workers, this community and this country all deserve better.”

On May 9, Local 86 members voted by 94 percent to reject a contract offer from Triumph that failed to restore deep concessions taken from workers in 2013. The company further angered workers by stating it would continue to send work to Mexico.

“Triumph management guaranteed this strike with proposals designed to pit new hires against long-term employees and create a divisive and hostile work atmosphere,” said Allen. “I salute these members for having the courage to stand up to corporate bullying and demanding to be treated with the basic respect all American workers deserve.”

IAM District 751 President Jon Holden, who joined Martinez and Allen on the picket line, called on Triumph to immediately suspend its use of strikebreakers and resume good faith bargaining. “This dispute will be settled once management recognizes the hard work and dedication of the skilled workers who earn Triumph millions of dollars every day,” said Holden.

Visit the IAM Eastern Washington Facebook page for updates and photos as the strike develops.

Machinists' Statement on EgyptAir 804

IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja today issued the following statement in the wake of the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804:

“Although the facts about what exactly happened to EgyptAir 804 are unclear at this point, it is obvious the aviation community has suffered another tragedy. The more than 600,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers send our love, thoughts and prayers to the families of the 66 passengers and crew members of EgyptAir Flight 804. This tragedy half-way around the world resonates in the hearts of IAM members everywhere.”

ITC Report Shows TPP's Deep Flaws for U.S. Workers, Says Machinists Union President

International President Robert Martinez, Jr., of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), issued the following statement in response to the release of U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) report on the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the American economy:

“The ITC, which historically has overestimated the benefits of trade agreements, predicts that the TPP will increase our nation’s trade deficit in manufacturing. This means that the corporate driven, secretly negotiated TPP will lead to the export of good paying manufacturing jobs to countries like Vietnam that lack basic human rights. For ordinary Americans struggling to get by this will result in more unemployment and continued downward pressure on wages and benefits.

“That a trade agreement created to boost corporate profits and CEO bonuses at the expense of working families would be so flawed is no surprise. We now have confirmation from the ITC that weak rules of origin for autos and other manufactured goods will only continue the deterioration of U.S. manufacturing. It is important to note that the ITC made this finding without even taking into consideration that the TPP fails to deal with the rampant currency manipulation by our competitors in Asia. This market distorting trade practice leaves U.S. businesses and workers at a severe disadvantage and expedites the offshoring of American jobs.

“The IAM has repeatedly called for the inclusion in the TPP of the International Labor Organization Conventions, which explicitly define basic labor rights. Unfortunately, the TPP labor chapter contains the same ineffectual provisions as in other U.S. trade agreements and fails to provide effective mechanisms to deal with countries lacking fundamental labor rights, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Mexico. That Malaysia, a country cited for human trafficking while focused on rapidly developing its aerospace industry, would be include in the TPP repudiates any notion that the agreement sets a new standard for international labor rights.

“While the ITC has found that the TPP might increase U.S. GDP by a meager 0.15 percent by 2032, this is of little solace to the working families that will be devastated by the agreement’s numerous flaws. The IAM strongly urges Congress to reject the TPP and focus on a trade policy that benefits America’s working families.”

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the world’s largest and most diverse industrial trade unions, representing nearly 600,000 members in aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, electronics and the federal sector.