Historic Changes Mark IAM Installation Ceremony


Retired International President George Kourpias, center, administers the oath of office to the new IAM Executive Council and Officers. Front row, standing, from left, General Vice Presidents Diane Babineaux, Sito Pantoja, Philip Gruber, and Lynn Tucker, Jr., General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr., International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger, General Vice Presidents Dave Ritchie, Robert Martinez, Jr., Gary Allen, Mark Blondin, and Dora Cervantes. Back row, standing, from left, Delegate to the Canadian Labour Congress Tania Canniff, Delegates to the AFL-CIO Shelley Kessler, Rickey Wallace and James Conigliaro and Law Committee members Philip Zannella, Jr., James Beno, Stanley Pickthall, Ellen Arbogast and Jeff Doerr.

The July 1 Installation Ceremony is the formal start of new four-year terms for the recently-elected IAM Executive Council, which includes the International President, General Secretary-Treasurer and nine General Vice Presidents. The ceremony, held at IAM Headquarters, also included the swearing-in of five members of the IAM Law Committee, three delegates to the AFL-CIO and one delegate to the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

In its 125-year history, the IAM has never been led by a more diverse leadership body, or one more representative of the membership in IAM locals and districts throughout North America. The current council includes men and women of African-American, Hispanic, Anglo and American-Indian heritage, with equally diverse occupational backgrounds.

While the demographics of current Council accurately reflect the growth of the IAM far beyond its original railroad roots, it also displays a commitment to inclusion and opportunity for current and prospective members at every level of the organization.

Among the changes for the current council is the addition of the first two women to serve as General Vice Presidents in the IAM’s highest elective body. Diane Babineaux and Dora Cervantes will begin their first four-year terms with decades of combined experience that ranges from human rights and community service to finance and contract negotiation.

Individual executive council members will also see changes in assignments and responsibilities, with GVP Bob Martinez, Jr. moving to IAM Headquarters to fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of former Vice President Rich Michalski. Also, newly-elected GVP Mark Blondin will take the helm as General Vice President of the 100,000-member IAM Southern Territory. Additional announcements regarding leadership assignments and responsibilities will be made in the near future.

“The IAM is fortunate to have dedicated people with the talent and experience needed to carry on our hallowed and historic traditions,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Despite the extraordinary challenges facing our union, I have faith that the people elected to serve on the Executive Council, the Law Committee and as delegates to the AFL-CIO and CLC, are more than equal to the task.”

Retired IAM International President George Kourpias administered the oath of office to the new Executive Council, which includes IAM International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger, General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr. and General Vice Presidents Dave Ritchie, Lynn D. Tucker, Jr., Robert Martinez, Jr., Philip J. Gruber, Gary R. Allen, Sito Pantoja, Mark A. Blondin, Diane Babineaux and Dora Cervantes.

Also sworn in were Law Committee members Philip Zannella, Jr., James Beno, Stanley Pickthall, Ellen Arbogast and Jeffrey Doerr; and Delegates to the AFL-CIO Shelley Kessler, James Conigliaro and Rickey Wallace. Tania Canniff will serve as the Delegate to the Canadian Labour Congress.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

IAM and TWU to Jointly Represent 30,000 at American Airlines

The IAMAW and the TWU put Workers and Union Solidarity first in signing an historic agreement to share joint certification in the new merged American Airways created from the merger of US Airways and American Airlines.
For details, please read the press release below.

The TWU has four main divisions: Railroad; Gaming; Airline; Transit; and Utility, University and Service. The Union has 114 autonomous locals representing over 200,000 members and retirees in 22 states around the country. 

The Machinists have 180,000 active member in the aerospace sector and a total of 700,000 members in over 1,000 Local Lodges.

us airways and AA
material below source: http://www.goiam.org/index.php/imail/latest/11452-iam-and-twu-to-jointly-represent-30000-at-american-airlines
Tue. May 14, 2013

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) today announced a partnership to jointly represent nearly 30,000 ground workers at the “new” American Airlines following the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

This week the two international unions have signed joint agreements to cover the Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service, and Stores employee work groups at the soon to be merged airline. The new labor partnership, to be known as the TWU/IAM Employee Association, will ask the federal National Mediation Board (NMB) to hold elections among the combined employees for each classification after the close of the American-US Airways merger.  The election will formalize the joint-council agreement reached this week.

“I am proud that our two great unions put the members first in a true demonstration of solidarity,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “These agreements protect our members’ representation, pensions and seniority. Working jointly with the TWU, we will ensure both unions’ members are rewarded in this merger.”

“This agreement allows us to use our combined strength and resources on behalf of all our members as we move forward at the new American Airlines,” said TWU International President James C. Little.  “Both unions have decades of experience representing workers at US Airways and American Airlines and both unions are members of the AFL-CIO.”

Following certification, negotiating committees comprised of an equal number of representatives from each union will begin working out the details of collective bargaining agreements to cover the combined carriers’ employees.

The accords reached this week, designate which union will enforce a post-merger agreement in specific cities, as well as providing a mechanism to designate contract enforcement responsibilities if the carrier expands to new markets.

The IAM currently represents Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service, and Stores employees at US Airways; TWU represents these classifications at American. TWU also currently represents aircraft dispatchers, flight crew training instructors and flight simulator engineers at both airlines. Additionally, IAM represents Maintenance Instructors at US Airways.

The full agreements and a Question and Answer document are available at both the IAM website www.usaamerger.com and at the Transport Workers Union’s website: www.twu.org.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

The Perfect Pebble

The IAMAW 2012 Presidential Election Campaign highlights how The Machinists are learning to use social media to improve the lives of working families.
Below is a communication sent out by Rick Sloan re-capping our achievements.
Readers should consider visiting and liking The Union of the Unemployed web site and our facebook page UCubed.

U Cubed


Dear UCubed Leader:

I almost feel sorry for Karl Rove, almost but not quite. The GOP guru made a massive $175 million bet, and lost. Now the entire Republican Party is pointing fingers at him and yelling, “It’s all his fault.”

It’s not. It is their fault. From the mighty Senate Minority Leader to the lowliest precinct committee person, they put party before country. And the GOP paid the price.

For the last four years, the GOP fought every attempt to end the Great Recession. The American Recovery Act and the American Jobs Act bookended their intransigence on any help for jobless households. GOP Members of Congress cast over 8,000 votes against Democratic relief and recovery measures.

Adding insult to injury, the GOP held extended unemployment benefits hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy multiple times. Then they pressed for drug testing of the jobless and reducing the number of weeks available for extended UI benefits.

The jobless were not clueless. They knew who made their lives so blighted, who kicked them when they were down. And they waited for a chance to vent their ice cold fury at the ballot box.

Even millions of dollars in campaign ads could not overcome the GOP’s responsibility for prolonging the recession. Karl Rove faced a credibility gap. His ads blamed President Obama for abysmal job growth.

Those televisions ads, however, contained a core lie: we are blameless. The truth was the exact opposite. And Karl Rove’s target audiences knew it.

Mark Twain once wrote that  “a lie travels halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” That’s no longer true. In the age of Facebook, the truth travels with the speed of light and overtakes lies moving at the speed of sound.

The experience of the Union of Unemployed (UCubed) is instructive. It ran a 15 week Facebook-centric campaign that pushed one message: BEE MAD @ THE GOP. On average, over 858,000 Facebook users saw that message every day.

BEE MAD @ THE GOP went viral. Its videos were viewed over 4 million times. But the UCubed engagement level went much deeper.

UCubed fans shared and liked our posts and videos. And when they did, they automatically sent our messaging to their “friends of fans.” Almost immediately UCubed saw a spike in activity.

The UCubed Facebook page averaged 26,000 engaged users a day; its total daily reach averaged 858,000 a day; and, over 101 days, its total daily reach added up to 82.4 million users.

All those numbers are Facebook-speak for one simple fact: each UCubed fan has an average of 265 friends. Our fans created 2.99 million Daily Page Stories, over 590,000 in the last three weeks alone. Do the math!

Three million times 265 equals 795 million stories created in 101 days. BEE MAD @ THE GOP was burned into nearly 1.6 billion eye balls by jobless Americans themselves.

How could Rove’s ads compete with the personal endorsement of a friend, family member or former co-worker? Like Goliath, he never had a chance. The jobless had found the perfect pebble: a single click of a mouse.

Was it effective?

The 2012 exit poll asked “Which ONE of these four is the biggest economic problem facing people like you?” Unemployment, rising prices, taxes and housing market were the choices offered.

And 38% selected UNEMPLOYMENT. Those voters split 54 to 44 percent for President Barack Obama.

One perfect pebble, one massive thud — nice work, UCubed!

In Unity — Strength,


Rick Sloan
Executive Director
Union of Unemployed

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

38th Grand Lodge Conducted With Style In Toronto


International President Tom Buffenbarger displays the custom-made gavel he used to chair the Convention

On Friday, September 14th, 2012, International President Tom Buffenbarger declare the 38th Grand Lodge Convention of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers adjourned. This capped a week of education and business conducted under his friendly and relaxed style of chairmanship.

General Secretary Treasurer Robert Roach reported the Machinists are the best funded large Union in North America. The dues adjustment of four years ago has returned financial stability to our organization.

There were minor amendments to the constitution made and resolutions passed.  Full report on these will be made once the offical documents are published. But for most delegates, the panel discussions and guest speaker were the most memorable interludes.

Obama receives the endorsement of the Machinists

Jerry Springer’s speech stands out as a real crowd pleaser. We are all familiar with his TV show where the occasional chair gets thrown between his guests. Most of us are unaware Jerry is a friend of Unions in general and the Machinist Union in particular. He served as the Mayor of Cincinnati and has been a life long Democrat. His defence of Health Insurance was humourous and cutting. Before the current law, popularily dubbed Obama Care, was enacted, 30 million Americans had NO health insurance. Now all will be covered. People who got sick, or worse whose children got sick, could be denied coverage when insurance needed to be renewed. No longer is this allowed. Obama Care is still hobbled by the decision to continue to use private insurers, unlike the single payer (i.e. the government) system the rest of the industrialized world uses. But it is a giant leap forward considering where they started.

Jerry told an anecdote to illustrate his point. Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for the presidency, promises to repeal the health laws on the first day in office. This would strip the insurance from 30 million Americans immediately. Jerry suggested that not one Repulican would turn down aid to a sick child if a desperate parent came to their door. But, as a group, they are willing to do just that to a whole phlanax of children with the stroke of a pen.

Yukio Manaka, President of the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers

The IAM is involved with Unions around the world. The new global alliance Industriall brings together Aerospace unions to challenge multi-national corporations on their own playing field. As Valter Sanches of the German National Conferation of Metalworkers pointed out, corporations running just-in-time or lean-manufacturing operations, where parts from around the world are brought together on the morning of their use, are now vunerable to disruptions in far off countries if local Trade Unionist can delay a part for even a day. International Solidarity can effectively support brother and sisters in another country in a way that never existed in the old era of large inventories. Now a lack of a $5 part can bring an entire assembly line to a halt.

Thomas Mulclair, leader of the Offical Opposition

Human Rights are important to our Union. What we desire for ourselves, we desire for all. One panel tackled the issue of Labour Rights, a second the toxic legacy of Corporate Criminals. Also speaking that day were Thomas Mulcair, leader of the Officical Opposition and leader of the NDP and Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian labour Congress. General Wesley Clarke gave an inspirational presentation of leadership.

Britsh Columbia’s own Tania Canniff, Chair of the Women and Human Right Committee

Health Care was the front and center for both in the US and the world, Jobs Now! was the theme on Thursday and Women Around the World was the focus on the last day.

The Canadian Women at Convention

Highlight videos of the proceeding are available for viewing at the International Machinists’ web site goiam.org.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Black Labour History in Canada and the IAMAW








Women and African-Canadians entered the workforce in the highest numbers ever in 1940, during the Second Word War. Black employment grew by 150 percent by the end of the war.

A. Philip Randolph

Unions, however, were not so committed to the rights of non-white workers. Thirty-one American Federation of Labour (AFL) affiliates barred black members, as did the railroad brotherhoods. Many unions, including Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), had segregated locals. The International Association of Machinists barred blacks from becoming members.

In the United States, activists like A. Philip Randolph started unions for African-Americans, as most unions wouldn’t allow Blacks into membership. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) was the leader in promoting membership.

Stanley Grizzle

In Canada, the BSCP saw leadership from Stanley Grizzle. Born in 1918 in Toronto, to Jamaican immigrants, he was elected president of his union local, and pushed the Canadian Pacific Railway to open the management ranks to blacks. He also plunged into other causes and was a leader in Canada’s civil rights era of the 1950s, working with the Joint Labour Committee to Combat Racial Intolerance.

In 1959, Grizzle and Jack White (IBEW and the first Black Representative at CUPE) were the first Black Canadian candidates to run for election to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the predecessor to the New Democratic Party). In 1960, Grizzle went to work for the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and in 1978, he was appointed a Citizenship Judge.

Bromley Lloyd Armstrong(born 1926 in Jamaica) was active in the early civil rights

Bromley Lloyd Armstrong

era in Canada, beginning with his arrival in 1947. Armstrong was a committed union activist who worked to improve conditions for workers. He was also active in promoting equal rights for African-Canadians and was involved with the National Unity Association (NUA) in sit-ins in Dresden, Ontario restaurants that refused to serve blacks. Through his courage, the Ontario government brought two laws into place, the Fair Employment Practices Act and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act.



Roman Mayfield: When Roman hired into the Boeing Seattle plant in 1946, workers of colour were not allowed to join the Union. Roman still attended all Union meetings, but could not participate. The Union finally recognized minorities and Roman joined in 1950. Roman was an icon at the Grand Lodge Convention in San Francisco two years ago when a resolution was passed in his honour for the time when the IAM didn’t allow African Americans to belong to the Union. Times have changed — in part thanks to Roman’s hard work over the years.

Roman Mayfield

Brother Mayfield gave his life to this Union being one of just a handful to participate in all five of our strikes. In each strike, he did far more than just walk the picket line, but took an active role — distributing strike checks, coordinating food to the picket lines, counselling others, and helping anywhere there was work to be done. Helping others was truly a way of life for this very compassionate individual.

At the 2004 Grand Lodge convention, the delegates voted unanimously to name one of the scholarships after Roman A. Mayfield, a 55-year member of District Lodge 751, now deceased. This is given to one of the scholarship recipients who best represent the spirit of volunteerism and the strong sense of service to their community that was a hallmark of Brother Mayfield.

Some notable Canadian members:

Charlie Phillipps was elected President of IAM Local Lodge 712 in Montreal in 1964 – the first African-Canadian to lead a local in Quebec, as well as in Canada.

Rod Reynolds was elected President of IAM Local Lodge 2113 in the late 1970s. He was the first African-Canadian to lead a local in Ontario. He retired in 2002.

Estella Green of IAM Local 2113 represented the IAM on OFL Women’s Committee. Sister Green still sits on the IAM Canadian National Human Rights and National Women’s Committees, despite being retired since 2002.

Henry Savage, current President of Local 2113, following in the footsteps of Brother Reynolds, was elected President of Local 2113 in 2004.

Fraser Hendricks LL 235 – has been a longstanding member of the Executive Board
Mike Daniel LL 2309 represented his local in2007

The history of Black Canadians spans four hundred years and includes the full range of human experience: slavery, abolition, homesteading, military service, the civil rights movement. African-Canadians have also made remarkable contributions to Canadian culture, education, science, urban life, the labour movement, politics and the social justice.

While the IAM celebrates Black History Month with passion, we also know we have a long way to go. The history of negative attitudes, unequal treatment and racism still, sadly, continues today.

Being Machinists, we have a responsibility to fair treatment of all our members, and of all citizens in our society. If we can accomplish this, then we can be assured that workers everywhere can also be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

We are trying to build our own Black history in the IAMAW and if you know a member in your local or district that has actively participated in our Union please forward their name, a brief description of their activism and if possible a picture. Together we will build our past and our future!

In solidarity,

Heather Kelley
IAM Canada National Human Rights and National Women’s Committees

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter