• 'A Labor of Love': Massachusetts Machinist's Non-Profit Helps Hundreds of Children

    IAM Local 447 member Ray O’Brien founded Children are Angels from Heaven, a non-profit which collects donations and supplies to help impoverished orphans and children in India.

    For IAM Local 447 member Ray O’Brien, what started as a simple wish to improve one child’s life has grown into a community effort and a non-profit organization that helps hundreds of poor children. The Medford, MA truck mechanic founded Children are Angels from Heaven after a family visit to Calcutta, India.

    When his 6-year-old adopted daughter Joanna began asking questions about her birthplace, the Ryder truck mechanic and his wife, Patty, decided they would take a family visit to Joanna’s birthplace.

    “My first trip was something that I will never forget,” said O’Brien. “Many of the things I took for granted, such as a house to live in, good schools for my kids, or just clean hot and cold running water don’t exist for many.”

    Now, nearly 20 years later, O’Brien dedicates three weeks of vacation time each year to visit India and personally deliver desperately needed supplies to orphanages and schools. In addition to these supplies, Children Are Angels has paid for cleft lip and eye surgery for disabled children O’Brien has met on his travels.

    O’Brien has been recognized by his employer’s top brass, Ryder CEO Robert Sanchez, and in 2015 was one of 55 people named “Heroes of the 500” by Fortune 500 business magazine.

    “It takes a lot of people to make this possible, I’m just the person who puts all of their efforts together,” said O’Brien. “I’ve been a union member for 32 years. I’m always amazed at the generosity of my co-workers, their families, and our community. Many are struggling themselves, but they always find a way to help others who are struggling even more.”

    “We’re proud of the work Ray continues to do. It is truly a labor of love, and he is an extraordinary person,” said Local 447 Assistant Business Manager Russell Gittlen. “He embodies the spirit of the IAM motto ‘service to the community, caring for others,’ only he does it every day of the year.”

    Ray and Patty O’Brien have adopted two girls, Joanna and Melissa, and have since adopted a third child from India, a severely handicapped boy they have named Raymond.

    Read more about O’Brien and Children are Angels from Heaven in this District 15 newsletter article.

  • Thank You, Public Service Workers

    05 03 2016 PSRW

    Celebrated in the first week of May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week honors the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees.

    Members of the IAM and the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) include doctors and nurses who care for veterans at the VA, first responders who tame wildfires and Defense Department workers who build and maintain the military equipment keeping our servicemen and women safe.

    Public Service Recognition Week is a time when civil service employees are thanked and recognized for their service and contributions toward making our country a better place,” said IAM Government Employees Director Jim Price. “This week is set aside to acknowledge the work and sacrifice of all our civil servents. Congratulations to all the public servants in the IAM who support this great nation.”

    Those who serve the citizens of this country, whether they be federal employees, state employees, or other public sector employees, are worthy of the recognition bestowed upon them during Public Service Recognition Week,” said NFFE-IAM National President Bill Dougan. “I am proud of all of our members who work in providing the many services that we all have grown to expect from our government. Without the dedication and pride in their work they bring to their jobs each day, our cities, counties, states and nation would fail to function. Please take the opportunity during this special week of recognition to thank our members who quietly make America work each and every day.”

    Why do you love public servants? Jot down a reason why you value public service workers on this sign, print it out, and then take a picture of you holding it. Use the hashtag #PSRW and tag @MachinistsUnion on social media and we’ll share your post!

  • How a Norwegian Airline Could Steal Your Job

    05 03 2016 NAIThe Department of Transportation (DOT) recently rendered a decision that would grant Norwegian Air International (NAI) a foreign air carrier permit and access to the US aviation market. NAI is a Norwegian airline in name only. The carrier is registered in Ireland to avoid Norwegian safety and security regulations and rents its cabin crews from countries with little to no labor laws, like Thailand and Singapore. What does this mean for us?

    If permitted access to the U.S. aviation market, NAI will place severe downward pressure on the wages, benefits and working conditions of U.S. airline workers because NAI will not have to adhere to the same standards as U.S. airlines are required to.

    It wasn’t long ago that U.S. airlines were hemorrhaging money. Cutthroat competition, fostered by airline deregulation, wreaked havoc on the US airline industry for decades, forcing industry restructuring, job loss, wage and benefit cuts and the erosion of our working conditions.

    Over the past five years, the U.S. airline industry has returned to profitability, due in large part to the past sacrifice and determination of U.S. airline workers and industry consolidation. Recently, IAM-represented airline workers have been successful in securing major gains in wages, benefits and working conditions because the U.S. airline industry has stabilized. NAI’s approval would threaten this stability.

    It will not take long for other airlines, including airlines with IAM-represented workers, to copy NAI’s disastrous business model in an effort to compete in a hyper-competitive, cutthroat global aviation market. Airline workers will most certainly be the casualties of this wrong-headed, anti-labor DOT policy.

    We must take action to protect our jobs.

    The IAM, TWU, AFA-CWA, ALPA and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department will be picketing the White House from noon to 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 12, 2016. All IAM members are encouraged to attend and have their voices heard. Click here to RSVP.

    Click here to send a letter to your U.S. Representative demanding support for H.R. 5090, which would reverse the DOT’s job-killing decision.

  • IAM Members at Bombardier Score Big Delta Order

    05 03 2016 BombardierCanadian planemaker Bombardier, which employs over 4,000 IAM members, announced a deal with Delta Air Lines to sell up to 125 CSeries jets to the U.S. carrier, the largest order so far for Bombardier’s newest commercial jet lineup.

    The $5.6 billion order from a major global airline is a significant boost to the CSeries program. Delta has placed a firm order for 75 of the 120-seat CSeries 100 model with options for an additional 50 aircraft. The first Delta CSeries 100 aircraft will be delivered in 2018.

    On February 17, Air Canada announced it would purchase 45 C Series 300 aircraft with options for 30 additional aircraft. Bombardier’s CSeries order book now stands at 370 firm orders.

    The IAM is the largest union in the Canadian Aerospace industry, representing over 4,600 workers at Bombardier.