• Juno We Built That?

    IAM members weren’t just celebrating the United States’ independence this July Fourth. The success of the Juno spacecraft reaching Jupiter’s orbit, a mission the Machinists Union was an integral part of, gave us another reason to rejoice.

    IAM members built and launched Juno, which reached its destination after a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile journey to our solar system’s largest planet. Juno was built by Local 44 members at Lockheed Martin in Decatur, AL and launched, in 2011, by IAM Local 610 members at United Launch Alliance in Cape Canaveral, FL.

    The spacecraft will soon become the first to see below Jupiter’s dense cover of clouds. Juno will stay in Jupiter’s orbit for the next 20 months, collecting data on the Gas Giant and sending it back to NASA to be studied.

    Learn more about Juno’s historic mission from NASA.

  • Norwegian Air UK Denied Foreign Air Carrier Exemption

    In a decision that the Machinists Union hopes could be precursor to deny Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) request for a foreign air carrier permit, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has denied Norwegian Air UK’s (NAUK)—NAI’s UK sister airline—application for a foreign air carrier exemption.

    “The Machinists Union applauds yesterday’s decision by the DOT to deny Norwegian Air UK (NAUK) a foreign air carrier permit exemption,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “We urge the DOT to also finally reject NAI’s application, so it cannot game the system and hurt U.S. airline workers.”

    The IAM and its AFL-CIO sister unions submitted formal comments to the DOT in January opposing NAUK’s application for an exemption, arguing that the carrier’s business model would violate certain provisions of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement (ATA).

    Norwegian Air International’s business model exploits the “flags of convenience” model used in the maritime industry. The “flags of convenience” model allows an airline, for example, based in Norway to create a subsidiary on paper only in another country to take advantage of lax labor, safety and tax regulations and circumvent such laws in its home country.

    READ: How a Norwegian Airline Could Steal Your Job

    The DOT is still considering NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit and a decision is expected soon.

  • Alliance Welcomes Martinez as Newest Board Member

    IAM International President Bob Martinez was sworn in to the Alliance for Retired Americans’ Executive Board this week.

    IAM International President Bob Martinez was sworn-in this week as an executive Board member of the 4.4 million-member Alliance for Retired Americans. The swearing-in marks the latest chapter of the IAM’s ongoing association the Alliance, where former IAM International Presidents George Kourpias and Tom Buffenbarger served as President and Board member, respectively. Retired IAM Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr. serves as the current president of the Alliance.

    The Executive Board, together with the Alliance’s four officers, sets the strategic direction for the organization and ensures that it is meeting its mission and responsibility to its members.

    In his first official act as a Board member, President Martinez put forward a motion to endorse Secretary Hillary Clinton for President, which was enthusiastically adopted by the Executive Board.

    “The work the Alliance does for seniors and retirees has never been more important,” said Martinez. “Our endorsement of Hillary Clinton reflects our common commitments to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, defend traditional pensions and control runaway drug prices. No other candidate comes close.”

    The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national, grass roots advocacy organization with more than 4.4 million members and 1400 local chapters. It fights to protect the rights and well-being of retirees and their families across the United States. Click here to read the Alliance’s statement on the Clinton endorsement.

  • Smith Tapped as Eastern Territory Chief of Staff

    IAM International President Bob Martinez appointed Grand Lodge Representative James Smith this week to be the new Eastern Territory Chief of Staff effective July 1. Smith takes the reigns as the second in command under Eastern Territory GVP Brian Bryant, servicing the territory which covers 14 states and is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH.

    “Jimmy brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. We are fortunate to have him to rely upon,” said Bryant. “His political and legislative work, organizing experience and servicing reputation makes him the right man for the job.”

    Smith was initiated into IAM Local 678 in 1975 while working at Schauer Manufacturing in Lebanon, OH. The National Labor College graduate was elected District 34 Business Representative in 1990 then Directing Business Representative in 1998 and held many council positions including Vice President of the Ohio State Council of Machinist and Executive Board member of the Cincinnati Labor Council.

    Smith has served the IAM for the last 15 years as a Grand Lodge Representative, working out of the Eastern Territory regional office as the Political and Legislative Representative.