Machinists Mobilize to Repeal TSA Blunder

The IAM has launched a campaign to repeal the recent decision by the Transportation Security Agency TSA to allow knives and other dangerous objects aboard aircraft.Representatives Eric Swalwell, Michael Grimm and Bennie Thompson authored a letter to TSA Director John Pistole demanding the agency reverse course on its dangerous move to allow knives aboard commercial aircraft.“The IAM applauds Representatives Swalwell, Grimm and Thompson for their letter to the TSA raising the IAM’s serious concerns with this wrong-headed decision,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja.Immediately following last week’s decision by the TSA, the IAM’s Legislative Department began to lobby Congress to act. Not only have Representatives Swalwell, Grimm and Thompson written the TSA, but they have also appealed to their Congressional colleagues to join their effort.Click here to read the letter to TSA Director Pistole.Click here to read the letter to from Representatives Swalwell, Grimm and Thompson appealing to their Congressional colleagues to join the effort.Take Action: Click here to ask your Representative to sign on to the TSA letter and click here to sign a petition to the White House.

via IAM, LOCAL LODGE 1202.


Clarence E. Smith received his Sixty year certificate and pin last night at the June Local Lodge 48 meeting.

Clarence “Smitty” Smith is a true Trade Unionists and we offer him our heart-felt congratulations of being a Sixty Year Member.
Clarence “Smitty” Smith is a true Trade Unionists and we offer him our heart-felt congratulations of being a Sixty Year Member.

Clarence began his involvement when the Machinists Union at the then National Biscuit Company, Chicago Lexington Street Bakery when the machinists broke away from the Bakery Workers Union and joined the IAM. In 1952 Clarence transferred to the brand new Nabisco Bakery located on the South Side of Chicago at 73rd & Kedzie. It was then and still remains the “World’s Largest Bakery”. There “Smitty” became a committeeman and later held the Shop Chairperson position for many years. Brother Smith also held positions on the Local Lodge 48 Executive Board up President of the Lodge. Clarence retired in the fall of 1989 and still enjoys his wood working hobby and along with his wife, Barb remains active helping those not as fortunate.

After retirement Clarence passed on the position of President to a working member as he is a firm believer of having younger members getting involved in the Union. Clarence regularly attends Local Lodge meetings and more often than not brings along items he creates with his woodworking skills to be raffled off.

Coalitions Support Fair Pay for Federal Workers

Food court workers at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC are some of the hundreds of federally-contracted employees to speak out against unjust wages. (Credit: AFL-CIO Washington DC Metro Council)


Hundreds of federally-contracted low-wage workers, mobilized by the new labor coalition Good Jobs Nation, are joining together in a call for decent living wages and speaking out against alleged pay theft by federal contractors.

The movement is calling on President Obama to sign an executive order or legislation requiring higher wages for employees of federal contractors. A report published by Demos found that the federal government subsidizes over half a million jobs that pay less than $12 per hour. When spending on Medicare, infrastructure and other costs are included, the government subsidizes nearly two million such jobs – more than Wal-Mart and McDonalds combined.

“The federal government is by far the largest employer of poverty-wage jobs in the country, with many of its contracted workers struggling to survive on minimum wage, or even less,” said Good Jobs Nation. “Now, to make matters worse, some of these contractors are stealing our wages.”

Food workers at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, are the most recent to protest the unjust pay. They claim a total of eight franchises at the federal building have paid employees less than the minimum wage and ignored overtime pay laws.

Joanne Kenon, an employee at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, says she is struggling to make ends meet on her $8.50 an hour wage.

“I’m 60 years old and I can’t afford to live on my own, let alone retire,” Kenon wrote in a letter to Obama published on “Mr. President, we need you to make sure the companies that you hire to do work for the American people do the right thing by us.”

In response, the D.C. Council is set to vote on a resolution calling for livable wages in federal contract jobs. Seventeen members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus wrote a letter demanding action, pointing out that there are “ample precedents for using federal contracting power to promote the general welfare.”

“The federal government cannot avoid responsibility when wages significantly below a living wage are paid to workers on federal premises or with federal funds,” the members wrote. “A great variety of vendors and contractors that pay their employees low wages provide many kinds of goods and services to the federal government. However, the nation’s capital, home of the nation’s monumental tourist sites and buildings, is the visible epicenter of federal collusion with vendors and contractors that pay low wages to their employees at federal sites.”

The strikers are asking supporters to click here to tell President Obama to use his executive powers to require all federal contractors pay a living wage and respect workers’ rights.