• IAM Shipyard Workers Overcome Stall Tactics, Begin Bargaining

    Workers at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Newport News, VA join IAM leadership before beginning negotiations with the company. From left, IAM South Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin, Latasha Greene, Aaron Lawrence, Shannon Briscoe, John “Tony” Polisk, District 74 Directing Business Representative Larry Young and Grand Lodge Representative Joe Greaser.

    After nearly six-and-a-half years, over 200 Technicians in the radiation monitoring area of Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Newport News, VA are getting a voice at the bargaining table. The group of radiological technicians and lab personnel voted to join the IAM in 2009, but the company filed appeal after appeal until a circuit court issued a blistering decision in November, ordering them to bargain.

    “Companies do this, dragging things out in court, hoping the workers lose faith in the union, and give up,” said District 74 Directing Business Representative Larry Young. “That didn’t happen here. The workers kept the faith, and now it’s time to bargain.”

    The Bargaining Committee recently participated in the weeklong Negotiations Prep Program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology where they received training in all facets of bargaining and left with a complete negotiations plan.

    Negotiations began on Monday, February 8 in Newport News. Young and Grand Lodge Representative Joe Greaser led the negotiations, which began with the IAM passing more than a dozen non-economic proposals to the company.

    “We’re here to get a contract,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “The IAM works in a businesslike and professional manner, and I pledge to our Huntington Ingalls members the full support and resources of the territory as we move forward.

    Follow the negotiations at IAMD74.com or Facebook.com/e85labor2016.

  • Pantoja to Fill Vacancy on United Continental Holdings Board

    The IAM announced that Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja will replace retired IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney on the Board of Directors of United Continental Holdings (UCH), the parent company of United Airlines, effective March 1, 2016.

    “I’d like to thank Brother Delaney for the time he’s represented IAM workers on United’s Board of Directors,” said Pantoja. “I look forward to working with the Board to ensure that the long term interests of IAM members at the carrier are fully represented.”

    “IAM members at United Airlines will be well served by General Vice President Sito Pantoja on UCH’s Board of Directors,” said District 141 President Mike Klemm. “Brother Pantoja was endorsed by the entire Executive Board of District Lodge 141, who directly represents IAM-represented employees at United Airlines.”

    The IAM, pursuant to Part III, Section 8.1 of UCH’s certificate of incorporation, has the right to one board seat and at present the Board has not designated any committees upon which Pantoja will serve.

  • Machinists Union Disputes DOL Claims in Pension Fund Dispute

    The IAM is raising serious questions over allegations contained in a lawsuit filed by the Department of Labor (DOL) against the IAM National Pension Fund.

    The well-funded IAM National Pension Fund is among the nation’s most stable and best managed multi-employer plans, and is in full compliance with all DOL rules and regulations. The complaint makes no allegations that relate to the stability of the Fund or its assurance that its 90,000 beneficiaries will have a secure retirement because of the Plan.

    The IAM, which is not named in the lawsuit, believes the DOL complaint should be withdrawn quickly to prevent further harm to the Fund’s reputation, and to prevent needless and costly litigation over issues previously addressed and properly resolved.

    The civil complaint, filed by the DOL on January 24, 2016, alleges that in the past, improper procedures were followed in the selection of certain service providers to the fund, and that the Fund incurred improper expenditures between 2008 to 2012 in connection with Fund-related activities.

    The DOL complaint fails to note that all questionable expenditures were fully reimbursed and new policies put in place to ensure strict compliance with DOL rules.

    The IAM believes it is a disservice to the Plan and its beneficiaries for the DOL to revive allegations over issues that have been previously addressed and resolved.

  • IAM General Counsel Mark Schneider Named to American Law Institute

    The American Law Institute (ALI) has elected IAM General Counsel Mark Schneider as one of its new members. ALI is the leading independent institution in the U.S. dedicated to improving and modernizing the law.

    Schneider’s election is the result of a nomination process that includes only those individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the law and are of high character.  He joins a select group of lawyers, judges and law professors who meet regularly to bring together diverse viewpoints on current legal issues.  ALI’s publications have enormous influence on the courts and legislatures.

    “Mark Schneider is one of a very few labor lawyers that have ever been elected to the American Law Institute,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “His voice in their meetings and law publications brings important perspective for the IAM and working people everywhere. The IAM is proud and honored for Mark on this achievement.”

    Schneider is the IAM’s top legal officer and guides all of the IAM’s legal proceedings. He previously served as the IAM’s Associate Counsel before becoming Associate General Counsel at SEIU. Prior to that he was a partner at Jenner & Block LLC where he specialized in trial and appellate litigation involving the FCC and the Justice Department.