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Happy New Year, everyone!
I want to thank you for your support in my election to office for another four years. My number one issue is to have excellent representation for our membership, and visibility from my staff is very important. We will be making some changes to staff assignments, in an effort to make travel demands more feasible. District W24 currently has 6700 members in five states, covered by 155 contracts, stretching Business Representatives thin. Additionally, I will endeavor to get more participation from our membership in the Oregon and Washington AFL-CIO chapters.
An important reason to attend your union meetings is to become or stay involved on current issues. We have a very difficult year ahead of us. Just before the holidays, we were notified Simpson mills in Tacoma and Longview, Wash., were sold. The buyer is Interfor, based in British Columbia. I've talked with Interfor's Vice President, and we should know by late February who will be offered jobs by the new employer. Next, they will put forth their version of the contract, and we will begin bargaining in March. Should you see the initial terms, don't be startled and please remember we will be bargaining later in the month. That being said, the company did say that Commencement Bay is losing money, and we will need to look at ways to increase production. Also on the woods front, the California Redwood Company has announced plans to close its Korbel mill in Northern California, issuing 60 day WARN notices to our members.
The aerospace industry seems to be picking up, and I do believe jobs will be added in the Portland area. I'm now involved in committees also involving District 751 and attend meetings with District 751 PDBR Jon Holden and IAM Aerospace Coordinator Mark Johnson regarding IAM/Boeing Joint Programs. What we are hearing is that business is good well into the future for Boeing. We've also started having talks with Union leadership on common issues between 751 and W24, which has been very productive as both districts are under the same master contract with Boeing. Schedule permitting, we will meet monthly.
At Daimler, we've faced issues even amongst our own members with regard to treatment of others with dignity and respect. Business Representative Joe Kear, Chief Steward Dwain Panian and I met with Daimler management and agreed to on-hour training. Joe did an awesome job presenting the support from the Union; we treat each other with dignity and respect.
In case you missed last month's Labor Press, go back and read ADBR Noel Willet's column about mentors. In the next five years, most of the leadership team in District W24 could be retired. We need more members to get involved. Listen to the leaders you work with now, get involved in your local lodge. You can't go anywhere outside a union shop and get benefits and security like you receive today. We are facing difficult times ahead: Right to Work (for less) legislation, attacks on health care, pensions, Social Security, Medicare, the traditional 40-hour workweek that unions won in the last century, and more are on the chopping block. Every union benefit you have today is up for grabs by opportunistic politicians. Get involved today. Support and protect the benefits you have today. Protect the future of the next generation.
Jerald K. Elliott, Jr. (Chip)
25 Machinists, Fabricators and Painters Voted last week to become proud members of the IAM, District Lodge W24 and LL W261 located in Central Point, OR. Sweed Machinery Inc. is located in Gold Hill, OR in the heart of the Rogue River Valley just minutes north of Medford, OR.
Sweed Machinery Inc. specializes in the manufacturing of material handling equipment and separating systems, that include veneer, panel handling, choppers and shears.
District President/Directing Business Representative Chip Elliot expressed this thanks to those that were involved in the organizing campaign: Business Representative/Organizers Bob Petroff, Will Lukens and John Hilkey, and welcomes these new members to the IAM.
Four facebook pages have been created for Weyco groups. Join the group that applies to you for updated information on collective bargaining.
Woodworkers W24 WTL Washington Trucking
Woodworkers W24 WTL Logging
Woodworker W24 WTL Oregon Trucking
Woodworkers W24 Washington Sawmills
The election for District Lodge officers was held Saturday, December 6th, during the regular bi-annual meeting of the District Council.
The results are as follows: President/Directing Business Representative - Chip Elliott; Assistant Directing Business Representative - Noel Willet; Secretary-Treasurer - Marv Abbott; Trustees - (Wood) Les Auman and Mike Hicks, Jr. (Metal) John Kleiboeker and Ray Simonis. Three Auditors were also elected - Caryn Kaufmann, Larry Hendrickson and Kelly Zink.
Prior ADBR Robert Petroff will remain on staff assigned as a Business Representative.
Oftentimes, people don't think about updating their address with their union hall. Even if you're retired, it's important to keep your address and phone number updated. To do so, just call the Dues Office. Employers and the USPS don't update the hall automatically.
Fred Meyer Distribution Center has a job opening for a Journeyman Mechanic. If you're interested, please contact Nick @ 503.650.2003.
Gilbertson Machine has a job opening for a Journeyman Machinist. If you're interested, please contact Lonnie @ 503.233.6491.
The Boeing Enterprise Staffing System (BESS) is being replaced by Careers@Boeing, effective October 31. Employees with resumes in the BESS system and/or active job alerts need to take action before October 31.
In order to ensure your resume remains active in the system, and to continue receiving job alerts, go to TotalAccess, select "My Career" and then "Career Opportunities." There you'll find instructions for building your Careers@Boeing profile (required), transferring your existing BESS resume, and requesting job alerts.
Perhaps you have been keeping up on the news with regard to the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank and that Congress is debating whether to let the charter that allows its operation to expire. In a nutshell, hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs, primarily in manufacturing sectors, rely on loans provided by the credit agency to foreign companies to purchase American made products, including airplanes made by Boeing.
Nationwide, a host of businesses - large and small - have relied on the support of the Ex-Im Bank. Over the last five years, the Bank has supported over $875 million in exports in Oregon alone.
Congress must reauthorize the Ex-Im by September 30 for it to continue its support of Oregon and Washington businesses, and customers such as those of Boeing. This is a BIG deal. Airbus, for example, is backed by at least three European export credit agencies, and Boeing is the largest single contributor to the GDP.
The 8th Annual Guide Dog Dash, benefiting Guide Dogs of America, was held Saturday, August 23, 2014. Sixty riders and passengers started at the IBEW Local 48 Union Hall in Portland, Ore. and ended at the IAM District W24 hall in Gladstone, Ore. Live music was presented by The Mike Branch Band, and lunch was provided by Dan Newberry for the 7th year in a row!
This year's ride was held in honor of Chuck Drake, who had the original idea for the ride and passed away last December.
Guide Dogs of America was started by the Machinists Union over 60 years ago. The organization depends solely on voluntary donations, bequeaths and fundraisers. It receives no government funding. Guide dogs are provided to visually impaired recipients regardless of union membership, age, or other disabilities at no cost to the recipient. This year's event raised over $3500!
In a vote set by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on June 14, workers at Bodycote Imt in Camas, Wash. voted yes for IAM representation. Bodycote Imt is a heat treat facility that specializes in titanium aerospace parts. Their main customer is PCC Structurals. The unit covers 40 hourly employees.
The main issues were discretionary wage increases, changes to the PTO (paid time off) system that made workers make up lost sick time to receive pay, and increasing health care costs. Wages are behind scale for the work performed, forcing workers to sacrifice personal and family time for overtime hours just to make ends meet. The crew wanted the Union to stop the continued take-a-ways and have a voice!
"This was a hard fought campaign that started back in July of 2013, and the crew withstood a vigorous campaign by management and their hired consultant," said Grand Lodge Representative Steve Cooper. "I would like to thank Will Lukens, Noel Willet, Ray Simonis, and everyone who helped bring a voice to these workers."
See the ad that ran in "The Chronicle" here.
A graduation banquet and ceremony was held Friday, May 2, 2014, at Portland City Grill in downtown Portland, Ore. The event celebrated the 2013-2014 graduates of the IAM/Boeing Machinist Apprenticeship program. Graduates completed 8,000 hours of on-the-job and related training to earn their journeyman/journeywoman cards.
Grads, pictured left to right, are: Rocky Popma (graduated 12/12/13), Tai Nguyen (graduated 02/03/13), Thong Trinh (graduated 10/22/13), Erica Keogh (graduated 04/01/14).
After a long, drawn-out attempt by Bradken management in Chehalis, workers ratified a first contract April 27, 2014 by 63%.
Terms of the contract, which was recommended by the Negotiating Committee, included:
The Bradken workers took a great step forward, winning a first contract. For the first time they have guaranteed in writing, a clear wage scale, seniority rights and recourse to a grievance process. Workers may not see everything that was wanted in this contract, but it’s going to be a better place to work than it was before. And, because this agreement is for a term of one year, these workers are well situated to build on this foundation soon, and improve wages even more in the next contract.
Congratulations to all the Bradken workers and their dedicated negotiation committee. The employees at Bradken worked for nearly two years to get this far. Thanks to the many IAM Members, supporters and allies who helped along the way. Now there may still be a decertification election which had been previously blocked, and we need to stay focused, get another vote for the Union and let this contract work for the Bradken workers.
Contract and Steward Information 5/4/14
IAM District W24 staff conducted more GPS II (Growth, Prosperity, Strength) training on March 15th in Centralia, Wash. and April 5th in Springfield, Ore. The Local Lodges that participated in the Centralia training were: LL W2 Aberdeen, WA; W38 Shelton, WA; W130 Centralia/Raymond, WA; W157 Tacoma, WA; W536 Longview, WA. The Local Lodges that participated in the Springfield training stretch across the Southern part of Oregon and into Northern California: LL W246 Springfield OR; LL W261 Medford/North Bend OR; LL W12 Klamath Falls OR; LL W98 Arcata CA. A membership survey, entitled "Union Density Is Our Destiny" was established in an effort to learn more about workers in need of union representation and the shops that employ them. Union representation is key to a healthy and prosperous middle class. Got Union?
After a long and tenacious struggle, 13 Victim Advocates who work under a Service Contract at Joint Base Lewis McCord have gained a bit of justice. The Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor has just finished their investigation and reached a settlement with their previous employer, Strategic Resources, Inc. (SRI), for a back pay settlement that could be well into the millions!
Western Territory GLR Kevin Cummings and District W24 BR/Organizer Wayne Thompson have been working with this group of dedicated women for 2 years, and the initial employer – Strategic Resources, Inc. – has finally been forced to make partial amends for their actions. Cummings and Thompson had organized the group a year-and-a-half ago, but SRI refused to honor the certification, or the workers sacrifice. “Victim Advocates are the first responders for Domestic Violence issues on military installations and a finer group of people is hard to find” said Thompson, “it has truly been a pleasure to work with them”.
Cummings added, “this group has a tremendous dedication to their mission, they are on call 24/7, and are placed in heart-breaking and sometimes dangerous situations. They don’t complain. They just go out and help the families of our warriors who are in tough situations and truly need them. Our hearts went out to them, we had to help.”
SRI had refused to recognize the Union, or rather, the NLRB’s authority to certify the first election in 2012, and refused to meet or bargain. Multiple Unfair Labor Practice charges were filed. The NLRB is continuing their battle with the company over their behavior. During the process, Cummings and Thompson became aware of some pay practices that just seemed wrong, and apparently illegal. They guided the employees at JBLM through the complaint process with the Wage and Hour division of the US Department of Labor, and urged W & H to look at SRI worldwide.
After an 18 month investigation, on April 2, 2014, the Victim Advocates, now employed by Armed Forces Services Company (AFSC), are being notified of a settlement agreement between the DOL and SRI. Each employee is receiving back pay for wages and benefits denied them by SRI in violation of wage and hours laws. Employees will be receiving their checks by April 25th. Most of the back pay awards are between $10,000 and $15,000. That in and of itself is a win, but the DOL did expand the investigation and DOL has stated that the settlement is for SRI Victim Advocates worldwide. With nearly 200 employees involved it will likely exceed $2,500,000.00.
When the group first turned to the IAM, they were being paid $14.40 per hour, and were not getting overtime for the late night calls to the crisis line, where they sometimes have to go and get the victim to the hospital or find them safe shelter. Victim Advocates working for counties, or the federal government, were making twice the amount in many cases. That is where the work began.
The IAM contacted the Department of the Army, and Senators Murray and Tester (members of the Senate Armed Forces committee), and raised the concerns about misclassification, and compensation issues. It took nearly a year, but last year the Army adjusted the area wage determination for the group to $24.26, and that is above and beyond the W&H settlement! Not only did these workers get the raise, but the Army created a new AWD for this classification that increased the pay for all Victim Advocates under this SCA – a total of twenty-five military bases, and there are nearly two hundred of them today, all enjoying the increased pay as a result of the IAM stepping in to help. Ultimately, SRI lost the Service Contract with the government after their bad behavior was exposed to everyone from Command at JBLM, to the Pentagon, to the US Congress.
Just last month, a second election was held and the Victim Advocates voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM. The new employer, AFSC, has been very receptive and respectful to both the workers and the Union since certification last month and progress is being made towards getting a Collective Bargaining Agreement in place.
“We are really pleased that there is finally some compensation for all the pain and abuse these sisters went through,” said Cummings. “Wayne and I are very proud to have been a part of bringing justice to this issue. The group never gave up, and neither did the IAM. When we stand together, we win!”
IAM/Boeing Joint Programs is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Mango Languages to provide IAM-represented employees a new way to learn a language. Mango offers 60 foreign-language courses and 17 English language courses to choose from – and is continuously adding to their library of languages.
Learning with Mango is free for active IAM-represented Boeing employees. The Licenses will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, starting April 1, 2014. You are encouraged to take advantage of this great resource.
Mango offers a fast, effective, and convenient solution all your language-learning needs. Each lesson combines real-life conversations and audio from native speakers with simple, clear instructions. The courses also give users insight into global customs and an effective approach that integrates components of vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. Mango keeps language learning intuitive and encourages learners to fit pieces and sentence structures together on their own using critical thinking and repetition.
Mango is accessible online wherever there is an internet connection, and offers free downloadable apps for learning anytime on iPhone and Android devices. Mango’s app is also available on iPad, Kindle, and Nook. Mango is for use on your personal computers and devices only; Boeing computers and devices should not be used for Mango.
Visit the IAM-Boeing Joint Programs website starting April 1, 2014 for information and to start learning the language of your dreams.
Once a month, every month for the past 24 years, members of the IAM/Boeing Joint Programs Site Committees have had a contractual obligation to tour a selected shop floor area to monitor safety hazards and offer solutions.
In February of this year, representatives from Site Committees in Puget Sound and Portland gathered to revamp the tour process. The team participants included EHS leaders from Fab and BCA, along with IAM/Boeing Joint Programs Site Committee members Sarah Rollins, Matt Hardy, Darrell Dolen, Paul Veltkamp, Christine Fullerton, Karen Baldtrip, Dorothy Crace, Mark Rogers, AL Paris and John Kleiboeker; and Joint Programs Staff members Howard Carlson, Dan Cundiff, George Young, Dena Bartman, and Donna Wilker.
The week long workshop resulted in renaming the outing from “tour” to “Site Committee Walks.” In the IAM/Boeing Joint Programs spirit of partnership, hourly IAM-represented employees and managers from a Committee have been paired and assigned to a specific area. The pair performs one or two informal ‘walks’ together through their assigned area each month, focusing on safety best practices, frequent and infrequent hazards, and employees’ personal stories and lessons learned.
In the short time since implementing the new process, the walks have proven to be beneficial and far more personal. The small group size allows for more one-on-one interaction with shop floor employees, and opportunities to follow up with them personally on safety-related concerns. In addition, the new standardized Walk Process has eliminated much of the pre- and post-tour administrative work. Site Committee members can focus on building relationships with their assigned areas and have a real impact on safety and hazard mitigation.
For more information about IAM/Boeing Joint Programs and Site Committees, visit the IAM-Boeing Joint Programs website.
iMail, February 4, 2014
IAM members at Auto Truck Transport have won an arbitration case against the trucking company that is expected to spread a seven-figure back-pay reward among more than 600 drivers.
Members of Locals 641 in Cleveland, NC, and Mount Holly, NC; Local 166 in Laredo, TX; and District W24 in Portland, OR, were affected by the decision.
After more than two and a half years of arbitration, the company was found to have violated its collective bargaining agreement with the IAM when it unilaterally subcontracted some of its work to a third party beginning in 2010. Auto Truck Transport was also found to have breached its contract by not consulting with a union designee and not giving IAM drivers preferential dispatch schedules.
Click here to read more about the victory in the latest edition of “IAM Carhaul News.”
“This was a long and drawn out arbitration case, and a super victory for us,” said IAM Automotive Director Boysen Anderson, who presented the IAM’s case along with attorney Rod Tanner. “This case would not have been won without the testimony of clerical employees Aletha Dudley and Sophie Probst, who provided uncontested testimony, and Union Stewards Philip Calloway, Steve Campbell and Don Magill, and Business Representative Mark Hammond.”
To read the full settlement, click here.
Local Lodge 63 organizing volunteers participated in four hours of classroom training on November 6th, 2013.
The interactive training exercises, led by Western Territory Communications Representative Josh Diaz, along with District W24 Business Representatives Will Lukens and Noel Willet, included interactive role play and discussion. It was followed by hand billing at several local machine shops.
"I'd like to thank Brother Diaz for coming up to work with our volunteers," remarked Lukens. "Improving our communication skills to get the message out about the strength of a bargaining agreement will help others seeking representation in the future."
Ever since Bradken Engineered Products in Chehalis voted to join District W24, the parent company has stalled negotiations and appears to be unwilling to bargain in good faith with the employees' representative union, the IAM. We will attempt to keep links updated to information regarding negotiations, events and other support from the community at large on the News page.
Current updates are available on Facebook! Visit here for information.
IAM Members and covered spouses at Boeing's Portland facility in Gresham, Ore., will be asked to participate in an online health assessment again this fall. For more information, download the FAQ's here.
The 7th Annual Guide Dog Dash motorcycle ride and poker run, now named for Richard Martin, was held Saturday, August 24.
Fifty-three riders on 41 bikes turned out for the event, which began at the IBEW hall on Airport Way in Portland and ended at Lewisville Regional Park in Vancouver. The route was laid out by Linda Bender, music was provided by "Second Player Score" and Dan Newberry and family led the BBQ efforts again this year. Attendees also included Richard's family, a host of Guide Dogs and their puppy raisers, and retirees.
A special thanks to everyone who turned out for the event and our many volunteers. Your efforts are much appreciated!
Union workers at Daimler’s Swan Island Truck Plant ratified new contract terms Monday, after being on the strike lines since July 1. The strikers are members of Machinists Local 1005.
Members of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1094 had also been on strike and voted to accept the new offer on Saturday. The offer was also accepted by the International brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union, whose truck plant employees had been respecting the strike lines.
The new terms include an increase of $1.55 per hour over the 40 month labor agreements.
A total of 725 union workers will be returning to work at the truck plant beginning at 6:15 am Tuesday, July 23.
Union workers had been picketing around the clock at Daimler’s production facilities on Swan Island since midnight July 1.
Of the 725 union members returning to Daimler’s Portland Truck Plant, 521 are Machinist Union members working as production mechanics at the truck plant where they build Western Star brand vehicles, as well as mechanics working at the Pre-Delivery Inspection shop at another location on Swan Island.
Machinist Union members have been building trucks in Portland since Freightliner production began in 1947.
Click here for the official Media Release.
IFA Nurseries members in Canby, Ore. and Toledo, Wash. voted unanimously on June 24th and 25th to ratify a new three-year agreement.
The agreement adds additional job security language as well as spelling out a progressive disciplinary procedure. Also included is a 5% wage increase over the term of the agreement and additional holiday and vacation pay. New job classifications were also bargained, which reward employees with additional pay for their skill levels.
Business Representative Noel Willet led the negotiations, along with assistance from Business Representative Will Lukens and Local Lodge W130 President Jake Merkal. The bargaining committees from each respective location did an excellent job. Representing Canby were Jesse Cordova, Samual Hauck and Barry Bergquist. Representing Toledo were Landra Harris, Jean Wieher and Ron McGinnis. Congratulations to all of our members at IFA!
Story from the NW Labor Press
Guide Dogs of America (GDA) was the big winner at the third annual Salmon Fishing Derby May 4 sponsored by Machinists District W24. Unseasonably warm weather scared away the fish, but not fishermen and women, who donated $10,000 to the cause.
In three years the fishing derby has collected $34,000 for Guide Dogs.
The International Association of Machinists founded GDA in 1948 in Sylmar, California, to train and provide guide dogs to the blind, free of charge. The organization receives no government funding. “We depend solely on fundraising events like this, voluntary donations and bequests,” said Guide Dogs director and derby participant Dale Hartford, noting that to breed, raise and train one guide dog costs $42,000.
The fishing derby launched from the docks of RiverPlace Marina in downtown Portland at 5 a.m. For the next eight hours, 19 professional fishing guides steered four-person teams through the Willamette River in search of the big fish. The winning catch was a 13-pound salmon reeled in by Bill Trites. It was Trites’ first salmon catch ever. Winner of the sturgeon derby (for most total inches of sturgeon landed, catch and release) was Jon Holden, with 635 inches. Holden is a member of Machinists District Lodge 751 in Seattle.
President John Kleiboeker and Vice President Craig Moran installed a wheelchair ramp donated by Brother Moran at a home in Washougal, Wash. on April 6th. The grateful resident, Gary Christian, had seen the Machinists District 751 MVP program but found nothing locally for help. He contacted DL 751, who promptly notified District W24/Local 63 and the Local was happy to help! Pictured are VP Moran with the stairs (before) and President JK with the newly installed ramp and a grateful Mr. Christian.
Congratulations to Dale Puckett, for being the first Journeyman graduate of the LME Apprenticeship at ConMet!! ConMet is an aluminum diecast foundry located in Clackamas, Ore. The LME apprenticeship is fairly new to ConMet, and is their only apprenticeship. There are currently three others in the program.