• 27 Years of Giving for Connecticut Machinists

    For the 27th year a IAM Local 1871 run food pantry in Groton, CT, provided more than 150 Thanksgiving baskets for out-of-work members, needy families and others in the community.

    Volunteers distributed baskets to families which included a complete Thanksgiving dinner, supplied at no cost to working families who might not otherwise enjoy a traditional holiday dinner in the current economy.

    “Union members from District 26 all across Connecticut, and Rhode Island support this effort every year,” said IAM District 26 Directing Business Representative Everett Corey. “This isn’t the only effort these members support, but much more, from GDA events to community projects, our members are at the forefront in providing assistance where needed in the communities we live, and work. A big thank you goes out to Business Representative Pat Buzzee and Local President Jim Underhill for all their efforts in making this a success.”

    “Union members are always at the front of the line when it comes to giving back,” said Eastern Territory GVP Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “Our members know that making a difference in the lives of the people around them is how we all succeed. Nobody wins unless we all win.”

    The pantry, known as the Local 1871 Gemma Moran United Way Labor Food Center, is the only continually-operating food pantry in the country founded and run by union members. The idea grew out of a garage food pantry that began during a strike in 1988.

    Local 1871 prides itself on providing everything for a traditional dinner, making sure a complete dinner is provided, right down to the “Made in the USA” aluminum roaster pan to cook the turkey. Lodge President Jim “Sparky” Underhill heads up the drive with other volunteers from the local, taking in the donations, stocking shelves and assembling the baskets.

    From gate to collections, and donations from individuals, volunteers collected nearly $7,000 to help with the project. Texas Roadhouse restaurant in New London, CT, also donated 125 fresh dinner rolls for the meal baskets.

    “I’m extremely proud we continue to be able to help as many families as we have for all these years,” said Underhill. “Everyone works extremely hard to make this happen every year. Because of the success of the Thanksgiving donations, we will be able to distribute more baskets for future holidays.”

    IAM members and others working at Electric Boat in Groton, as well as the Metal Trades Council and Marine Draftsmen’s Association/United Autoworkers, make the baskets possible through donations. The effort has grown to also include many community businesses.

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  • Enroll Now for Retirees Education & Strategy Program

    The deadline is January 6, 2018 to register for the IAM Retirees Department Retirees Education & Strategy Program (RESP) to be held March 4–9, 2018 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

    The official call letter and registration forms are available in English and French. The documents include all required information and procedures.

    The program is designed for retired members, spouses and those ready to retire from across the U.S. and Canada. It brings them together to develop ways to maintain active roles in the union and the community throughout retired life. As part of the program, participants will visit to elected officials in Washington, DC.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to keep active in the IAM continue your personal growth. For more information about this and other related programs, please contact the IAM Retirees and Employee Assistance Programs Department.

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  • Winning in Wichita

    Wichita workers are thrilled as Spirit AeroSystems announced its plan to add more than 1,000 jobs to the workforce, with an investment of more than $1 billion over the next five years.

    “This is a good day for Wichita but a great day for the IAM because these are the jobs we dominate at the Machinists Union,” said Cornell Beard, Directing Business Representative of IAM District 70.  “There were a lot of states bidding on this work but Kansas won because of its workforce in the Air Capital of the World. The skillset of the Machinists who have been on the ground at Spirit for decades guarantees that this company will continue to be a leader in aerospace and that this industry is dominated by some of the best workers this country has to offer.”

    Breaking ground in 2018, Spirit AeroSysytems intends to solidify its place in the Wichita community for years to come.  Fueled by a desire to remain a driving force in the industry, this growth is associated with increasing rates in both its successful commercial aircraft programs and its fabrication and defense businesses. The company intends to build a state-of-the-art facility on the current campus starting next year.

    The majority of jobs created will be technical in nature, such as sheet metal mechanics, composite technicians and of course, machinists and journeymen.  Most of these jobs will be union positions under both the IAM and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) contracts that will help the company meet unprecedented demand for Boeing’s narrow-body 737, including the new MAX variant.

    “It only makes sense to think Wichita when you are planning for the future of the Aerospace industry,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “Not only do we have a solid foundation of skilled workers on the ground, but this community has generations of families who have given their lives to making sure this industry thrives. That sort of dedication to the job and the product is hard to find, and it’s what separates the Machinists’ work from the rest of the world. The work our members have done for generations speaks for itself…Wichita is the place that sets the curve for excellence in Aerospace.”

    With incentives from the state, Spirit is able to not only bring these jobs directly to Wichita, but the new plan will also help to increase thousands of jobs elsewhere in the supply chain.  And the company plans to invest millions in its North Carolina facility.  All of this new work has the IAM taking a long look at the big picture and the future of this industry. Beard believes strongly that the IAM needs to remain diligent in making sure these jobs are here for our children and our grandchildren in generations to come.

    “The IAM has created an Apprenticeship program at Spirit to make sure these jobs remain good paying, highly-skilled union jobs that not only take care of Wichita families but also the community at large,” said Beard. “Today’s announcement is a further opportunity to bring back the middle class to its former glory in the Air Capital of the World. It’s time for us to work together to ensure we are setting the path for a brilliant future for all.”

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  • Machinists, American Airlines Partner for Relief Flight to Puerto Rico

    The IAM, AFL-CIO affiliates, and American Airlines came together to deliver much-needed water and relief supplies to Puerto Rico’s working families. The cargo space was generously donated by American Airlines.

    “The IAM is again honored to be involved in bringing essential relief aid to the working families of Puerto Rico,” said Transportation GVP Sito Pantoja. “I commend the thousands of IAM members at American for their continued assistance in these recovery efforts. This flight is yet another example of IAM members and the labor movement helping others in need. I thank American Airlines for being an excellent partner in this ongoing relief effort. By constantly donating cargo space, they enable IAM members to deliver supplies to these families.”

    “The IAM continues to assist working families in Puerto Rico during this difficult period,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “The IAM is mobilizing our teams on the ground to provide support for Puerto Rico’s working families. It is our hope and prayers that these efforts will help rebuild the lives of Puerto Rico’s working families. We want to thank American Airlines for the donated cargo space, Local 1776 President Richard Howell and all Local 1776 members for leading this effort. American Airlines has been a leader in the Caribbean relief efforts from day one. The IAM is proud of the labor-management partnership in these relief efforts.”

    The flight departs from Philadelphia International Airport and the supplies will be received in Puerto Rico by IAM member and Puerto Rico AFL-CIO President José “Lole” Rodríguez Báez.

    Puerto Rico’s working families continue to suffer from a lack of resources and these shipments will assist with the rebuilding effort currently underway.

    IAM Disaster Relief Fund

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