IAMAW 2018 LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE

Dave Roderick MNPL Director from DL141 attended the Legislative Conference this year.

Dave gave a report of the event and provided several handouts to members at the LL1487 Business meeting in May.

***********************************************************************************************************

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

IAM Supports the Workplace Democracy Act

Position: In order to strengthen America’s middle class, we must make it a priority to restore workers ‘ rights to bargain for better wages, benefits , and working conditions. That is the goal of the Workforce Democracy Act and the Machinists Union fully supports legislation that is good for unions and working families.

There is no doubt that union membership is good for workers: Union workers earn 13% more , on average, than non -union workers with similar experience and education. Union workers are also half as likely to be victims of health and safety violations or of wage theft, 18% more likely to have health coverage, and 23% more likely to have either an employer sponsored pension or 401(k).

Declining unionization has fueled rising inequality. Today, corporate profits are at an all-time high, while wages as a percentage of the economy are near an all-time low. The middle class is disappearing, and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider.

There are many reasons for the growing inequality in our economy, but perhaps the most significant reason for the disappearing middle class is that the rights of workers to join together and bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions have been severely undermined. According to the most recent statistics:

  • When workers become interested in forming unions, 75% of private ­ sector employers hire outside consultants to run antiunion campaigns, 63% force employees to attend closeddoor meetings to hear antiun ion propaganda; and 54% of employers threaten workers in such meetings.
  • An employee who engages in union organizing campaigns has a one in five chance of getting fired.
  • Nearly 60% of employers threaten to close or relocate their businesses if workers elect to form a union.

Even when workers overcome these enormous obstacles and win union elections, 37% of these new unions still do not have a first contract for workers two years after the election due to loopholes in labor laws.

The Workplace Democracy Act would:

Allow for unions to organize through a majority sign up process, allowing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to certify a union if it receives the consent of the majority of eligible workers.

Enact “first contract” provisions to ensure companies cannot prevent a union from forming by denying a first contract. Employers would be required to begin negotiating within 10 days of receiving a request from a new union. If no agreement is reached after 90 days of negotiation, the parties can request to enter a compulsory mediation process. If no first contract is reached after 30 more days of mediation, the parties would have a contract settlement through binding arbitration.

Eliminate the “Right to Work for Less.” This bill would repeal Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act, which has allowed 28 states to pass legislation that eliminates the ability of unions to collect dues from those who benefit from union contracts and activities, undermining the unions’ representation of workers.

Expand the definition of employer. This section would ensure that employers can no longer use franchisee or contractor arrangement to avoid responsibility and liability for workers.

Allow for secondary boycotts and picketing. The new bill would reinstate the union’s freedom of speech to take action to pressure clients and suppliers of companies opposing unions.

Expand and update the persuader rule.

Companies would be required to disclose anti-union consultants and campaigns, and highly compensated executive salaries. This section will also ensure that whatever contact information (Email, phone, Mailing addresses) the employer uses is disseminated to the organizing agent and prohibits employers from forcing workers to attend campaign activities that are unrelated to the employee’s job duties.

***********************************************************************************************************

 

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

 

“Right to Workis WRONG

Position: A National Right to Work bill has been introduced in Congress and is appli cable to workers under the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced H.R. 785 in the House and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced S.545 in the Senate earlier this year. The Machinists Union vehemently opposes all right to work legislation because these laws are harmful to working families and they deteriorate the rights of American workers – both union and nonunion.

Today, “right to worklaws in 28 states prohibit workers and employers from negotiating union security clauses, which ensure all workers who receive economic benefits and rights at work through union representation, share the costs of maintaining the union. In states without these laws, private business and employees can freely negotiate to make sure everyone who benefits from a union contract, pays their fair share of the costs of obtaining and protecting those benefits.

A recent Pew survey* showed that 60% of Americans-an overwhelming majority-support unions. Once a majority of employees in a workplace opt for union representation, federal law requires the union to represent all of these workers fairly, whether or not they are dues paying members. Yet federal law also guarantees workers in every state the choice not to be members of the union that represents them. In 22 states, workers and employers are free to negotiate union security clauses, which require nonmembers to pay agency fees to cover their fair share of the costs of union representation, though not the costs of the union’s political, legislative, social and charitable activities. The remaining 28 states, mostly in the south and central part of the country have exercised their option under federal law to enact laws that prohibit workers and employers from negotiating union security clauses, thereby allowing free-rider nonmembers to avoid paying their fair share of the costs of union representation.

“Right to work” provides neither rights nor work. Despite their misleading name, “right to work” laws do not guarantee anyone a job, and they do not protect workers against unfair firing. These laws only weaken collective bargaining rights and limit workers’ freedom to demand respect, fair pay and safety on the job. While promoted under the guise of a job creation agenda and worker-friendly rhetoric, these laws are about silencing the voices of working families in our democracy.

We urge Congress to support working families and oppose National Right to Work bills.

  • Pew Research Center, Survey conducted January 4-9, 2017

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/0l /30/most-americans-see-labor-unions-corporations-favorably/

Right-to-work states are shown in black.

Description: English: A map of the United States highlighting states with right-to-work legislation.

Date:       11 December 2017

Source:         File:Right to work.svg

Author:         Scott5114, Wikipedia/ Updated April 20, 2017

***********************************************************************************************************

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

 

Senate Must Pass The FAA Reauthorization Bill Now!

Position: We strongly urge the Senate to support the swift passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 and reject any motion that would prevent this important legislation from moving forward expeditiously.

We are the largest airline union in North America, representing more than 100,000 airline employees in almost every classification. Including Flight Attendant, Mechanic & Related. Fleet Service, Customer Service and Reservation Agents. We applaud Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking member Peter Defazio (D-OR) for crafting a bipartisan, comprehensive FAA reauthorization that promotes safety, rejects frivolous attacks on labor and worker rights, and provides lo ng­ term stability for the FAA (H.R. 4). We strongly supported the passage of H.R. 4 and urge the Senate to include similar language in its version of the FAA bill.

H.R. 4 addresses long-overdue safety priorities. Specifically, we are very pleased that the bill combats the scourge of violent attacks on airline customer service agents by requiring airlines to develop an “Employee Assault Prevention and Response Plan” that provides protocols for how employees and managers should properly handle violent incidents, including recurrent training, proper incident reporting and immediate notification of law enforcement. Clear and concise protocols will provide airline customer service agents with a support network to handle an assault.

Additionally , H.R. 4 mandates a 10-hour minimum rest period for flight attendants in between 14-hour duty periods and requires the FAA to conduct a fatigue risk management study to examine the chronic fatigue that plagues   our   nations   flight attendants.

In the last FAA reauthorization, the agency was tasked with increasing its oversight of foreign repair stations performing maintenance on U.S carrier’s aircraft. However, the current oversight mechanisms remain very week. FAA oversight of foreign repair statins must be strengthened to ensure they provide the same high level of safety and security found in the United States.

The U.S. aviation system is a cornerstone of the global transportation network and H.R. 4   is critical to improving the safety and efficiency of that system. Again, we urge the Senate to include similar language when it considers its version of the FAA bill

***********************************************************************************************************

 

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

 

IAM Supports the Strengthening of Buy American Provisions

Position: The Machinists Union supports legislation which improves Buy American content requirements and eliminates loopholes in Buy American policies for all federal government spending.

Buy American policies for federal government spending serve the public good by targeting our tax dollars for the purchase of American made products and services, thereby employing U.S. workers and putting our federal tax dollars to work here at home. Regrettably, current Buy American provisions are insufficient, and there are many loopholes that undermine the positive economic potential of billions of taxpayer dollars spent by the U.S. government Over the past decade, the Department of Defense alone has spent more than $200 billion of American taxpayers’ money to purchase foreign-made goods and services. Robust Buy American policies would direct government spending toward American made goods and services, thereby creating U.S. jobs and bolstering our manufacturing base.

A number of bills have been submitted in the 115th Congress to strengthen Buy American policies. Congressman Brendan Boyle recently introduced H.R. 5137, the Buy America 2.0 Act of 2018. This legislation would extend, ramp up, and fill voids in existing law to establish a 100% Buy American content requirement for steel, iron, manufactured goods used in federally funded transportation and infrastructure projects.

Senator Debbie Stabenow has introduced the “Make It in America Act,” S. 908, which would prevent the use of a “public interest waiver” if a foreign contract would decrease U.S. employment. The legislation would also toughen the guidelines for when waivers could be used and develop uniform transparency standards for federal agencies that would require the public disclosure of the amount of tax dollars going to foreign businesses.

In the House, Congressman Dan Lipinski has introduced H.R. 904, the Buy American Improvement Act of 2017, which would also strengthen and simplify federal procurement policies, increase transparency, and strengthen the definition of a “manufactured good” as it applies to Buy American requirements.

Other bills supported by the 1AM that have been introduced in the 115th Congress: Rep. Cheri Bustos – H.R. 939, Buy America for Drinking Water Extension Act of 2017 Sens. Murphy and Portman – S. 2284, BuyAmerican.gov Act of 2018 Sen. Murphy- S. 2196, 21st Century Buy American

***********************************************************************************************************

 

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

 

IAM Supports Multiemployer Pension Loan Program

Senate Bill: S. 2147 – The Butch Lewis Act

House Bill: H.R. 4444 The Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act

This highly important legislation, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Richard Neal, would provide a lifeline to help save critically underfunded multiemployer pension plans. In addition, this legislation would help maintain the health of well-funded multi -employer plans and improve the health of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Most importantly, it will do all of this without making any cuts to the earned benefits of current or future retirees.

The legislation would create a Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA) within the Treasury Department to provide low-interest loans to critically underfund multiemployer pension plans. These loans would help the troubled plans keep their promises to retirees and prevent plan failures. Currently, the government (through the PBGC) only renders assistance after a plan collapses.

Plans would invest the money from these loans and use the investment earnings to pay retiree benefits, improve the plans financial health, and make interest payments on the loan for 29 years. On the 30th year, the plan would pay the loan back in full. In order to be eligible for the loan, the plan would have to demonstrate that the loan would enable the plan to remain solvent, pay all retiree benefits, and repay the loan when due.

The Butch Lewis Act would keep troubled multiemployer pension plans solvent while at the same time avoiding cuts to retiree pensions. There is no other proposal that accomplishes both of these important goals.

Congress recently acted to assemble a Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Funds tasked with reporting legislation to help avert the looming funding crisis in multiemployer pensions. The Machinists Union urges members of this committee to adopt the principles of the Butch Lewis Act in the legislation they report to Congress.

The Machinists Union is resolute in protecting the earned pension benefits of union workers, retirees, and all Americans. It is vital that our government act swiftly to protect these retirement promises that union members worked so hard to earn throughout their lifetime. The government did not hesitate to bail out Wall Street, and now it is time to help Main Street.

***********************************************************************************************************

   

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

 

NAFTA Renegotiations Must Put Workers Ahead of Corporations

Position: The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has devastated manufacturing jobs in the U.S. (and Canada) as thousands of lAM jobs have been moved to Mexico, a country that does not enforce fundamental human rights. Any new NAFTA must incorporate international labor standards based on the United Nation’s International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Conventions. It must also eliminate the Investor-to-State Dispute Mechanism which gives private corporations the right to sue countries over laws that protect its citizens. It must also strengthen rules of origin provisions that will cur b U.S. aerospace companies from outsourcing our work to Mexico.

Almost one million American jobs have been certified by the U.S. government as lost due to this bad trade agreement Instead of offering more job opportunities among countries. NAFfA makes it easy for companies to outsource jobs to Mexico so they can pay employees less because Mexico does not enforce fundamental human rights for workers to join unions, engage in real collective bargaining, and be free from discrimination, forced labor and child labor.

As negotiations on NAFTA continue, workers must press Congress to ensure the new agreement contain strong labor and environmental provisions that meet fundamental international standards defined by 110 Conventions, include swift and effective enforcement, and raise wages and the standard of living for all workers. Otherwise, companies will continue to move U.S. jobs to Mexico and pay workers poverty wages, dump toxins in the environment and then import those products back for sale here in the United States.

The IAM is very clear that the enemy of American workers in not Mexican workers. To help raise wages and improve working conditions for all of North American workers, a renegotiated NAFTA must ensure all North American workers have the right to join “real” unions, negotiate with employers and enjoy all fundamental human rights.

The IAM is not interested in a renegotiated NAFTA that only pays lip service to our demands. Nor are we interested in an agreement on “principles”. We are demanding that the flawed May 10, 2017, language that is reflected in the most recent free trade agreements (FTAs) be rejected and that the labor chapter, as well as a number of other chapters be dramatically improved, to ensure that workers and their communities are put first over corporate greed. We are also demanding that Mexico effectively enforce these fundamental human rights before any renegotiated agreement can even be considered.

***********************************************************************************************************

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

Put the Export-Import Bank Back to Work for Workers

Fill the Bank’s Board of Directors

Position : A fully staffed, fully functioning Export-Import Bank is vital in supporting U.S. exports and U.S. manufacturing jobs. The Machinists Union strongly urges the Administration to move with great speed to fill the bank with a board of directors that believes in the bank’s job creating mission.

The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is one of the few U.S. trade policies that actually supports U.S. exports and American jobs by providing vital loan guarantees for the sale of U.S. goods and services to international markets. The bank’s mission is “to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services”, enabling “large and small companies to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.”

American jobs depend upon a fully functioning Ex-Im Bank with a fully staffed board of directors to provide vital financing for the export of U.S. made products, particularly for projects that need more than $10 million in financing and require the approval of the board. The lack of a quorum on the board severely cripples the Ex-Im Bank’s ability to support U.S. manufacturers and workers, particularly in the aerospace industry, one of the last sectors in which the U.S. enjoys a positive balance of trade with the rest of the world.

According to the bank’s most recent annual report, the Ex-Im Bank authorized only $3.5 billion in export credit in FY 2017. This is down from $20 billion in authorized export credit in FY 2014, which was the last year the bank was fully operational with a fully staffed board. Consequently, the bank estimates that it supported a mere 40,000 U.S. jobs in FY 2017, a fraction of the 164,000 America n jobs that the bank supported in FY 2014 when it operated with a full quorum.

Meanwhile, job producing export projects are being taken by foreign competitors. Our international competitors continue to support their companies through comprehensive industrial policies in

addition to robust export financing agencies. China alone has three export credit agencies that dwarf what our Ex- Im  Bank provides.

Any further delay in fil li ng the vacancies on the board of the Ex -Im Bank will result in the unnecessary loss of good paying American jobs. The Machinists Union strongly urges the Administration to fill the Ex-IM Bank with a full board of directors that believes in the bank’s mission, to create and support manufacturing jobs through U.S. exports.

***********************************************************************************************************

 

 

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

IAM Supports the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act S. 2143 / H.R. 4548

Position: The Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act strengthens the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and protects workers by imposing financial penalties on employers who break the law. The NLRA is the largest private sector labor law in the country affecting union and non-union workers. Unlike other workplace laws, there are no financial penalties for employers who break the law, and there are no monetary damages for workers who are illegally fired or retaliated against for exercising their rights. The WAGE Act corrects this injustice by improving the remedies and penalties of the NLRA to bring them in line with other workplace laws.

The WAGE Act would strengthen the NLRA by providing protections for working people who join together to win improvements on the job. It would discourage employer retaliation against workers exercising their rights, provide prompt and fair remedies, expand coverage under the law and establish a process for reaching collective bargaining agreements.

Currently, the NLRA does not provide for compensatory damages when workers are illegally fired or retaliated against for exercising their rights. The WAGE Act establishes triple back pay with no deductions to fired workers as a standard remedy if the employer is found guilty of breaking the law. Furthermore, the WAGE Act would also establish penalties of $50,000 per violation with the potential to double the penalty, if employers repeatedly retaliate against workers exercising their rights.

The WAGE Act also provides for mandatory injunctions when there is reasonable cause to believe that workers have been illegally retaliated against . It sets a 30-day deadline for employers to challenge the labor board’s decisions and can be directly enforced in district court through a court order imposing daily $10,000 penalties for non­ compliance .

Workers right to organize would expand under the WAGE Act and newly certified unions would have mediation and arbitration procedures established to ensure parties reach a first contract when workers first organize .

The 1AM fully supports the WAGE Act and urges Congress to become a co-sponsor by reaching out to Rep. Bobby Scott’s office in the House or Sen. Patty Murray’s office in the Senate.

*********************************************************************************************************** 

International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

 

IAM Supports Full Repeal of the 40% Health Benefits Tax

Position: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a controversial law, but the IAMs main concern in the law, is the 40% Health Benefits Tax commonly known as the “Cadillac” tax. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Joe Courtney (D-CT) have sponsored H.R.1 73 , the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 201 7. The 1AM strongly supports this legislation to repeal the Cadillac tax.

Health care is a basic human right and taxing workers whose unions negotiate good health care in lieu of increased wages is unconscionable. The 40% Health Benefits Tax is scheduled to be imposed on “high-cost” health care plans in 2022. The looming tax is already having a substantial negative impact on our members at the doctor’s office and at the bargaining table as employers increase deductibles, reduce benefits, and drop plan options to prepare for the tax’s impending threat.

Under the current ACA law, healthcare plans will be subject to a 40% excise tax if their plan exceeds arbitrary cost thresholds. Congress must amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and repeal the tax on “high cos t” employer -sponsored health coverage.

It will be workers and middle class families who end up floating the bill for this regressive tax. Researchers at CUNY School of Public Health found the 40% health benefits tax will “disproportionately harm families with incomes between $38,550 and $1 00,000, while sparing the wealthy”.

Over time, continued medical inflation, an aging workforce, and new medical technologies and drug therapies will make it more difficult for employers to provide affordable health care benefits to employees. The continued increase in health care costs will eventually cause all employer-sponsored plans to creep above the Cadillac tax threshold. The IAM believes that it is important for Congress to proactively pass legislation to repeal the tax this year, rather than passively waiting until 2022; to counteract the tax’s harmful effects.

H.R.173, the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act of 2017 is supported by the business community as well as by labor unions , and will prevent the ACA’s 40% Health Benefits Tax from placing this unfair and unnecessary burden on businesses and working ­ class families .

Updated: May 24, 2018 — 11:49 am
IAM Local 1487 © 2016

Privacy Policy