Legislative ACTION ALERT

We need your help, and you need to help your union brothers & sisters. If you haven’t called and emailed your state legislators yet, please do it BEFORE 4PM Friday April 24, 2015. Below Read more

Labor CAN! The MASS AFL-CIO Constituent Activist Network

Labor CAN! The Massachusetts AFL-CIO Constituent Activist Network What is Labor CAN? Labor CAN is a grassroots network -- in each of the 40 state senate districts where union members live -- organized and ready to join Read more

Letter from the Executive Board

Dear Brothers & Sisters, On April 15, 2015, The Massachusetts House of Representatives put forth their budget draft. In this proposed budget it included recommendations that would remove protections afforded by the 1993 Law "The Read more

Legislative ACTION ALERT

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Legislative ACTION ALERT

We need your help, and you need to help your union brothers & sisters. If you haven’t called and emailed your state legislators yet, please do it BEFORE 4PM Friday April 24, 2015. Below are some talking points as well as some suggestions on how you should contact them.

Call your Representative. For information on who your Representative may be and or their contact information CLICK HERE.

When you call, what to say to your legislators:

  • STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Tell them to please co-sponsor and support amendment #665 sponsored by Rep.Nick Collins. Tell them this amendment helps to protect PUBLIC EMPLOYEES at the MBTA and the PUBLIC INTEREST. Tell them to STOP Privatization….Keep the T Public!
  • STATE SENATOR: Tell them to CONTINUE supporting the Taxpayer Protection Act.

How you should email your State Representative.

The MASS AFL-CIO released this ACTION ALERT to walk you through emailing your State Representative. Please take 5 minutes and email your Representative and urge them to stand against the privatization of vital state services by supporting Amendment #665 sponsored by Representative Nick Collins, which would restore the Taxpayer Protection Act at the MBTA.

CLICK HERE TO SEND AN EMAIL TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.

 

In closing, the governor is released his legislation April 22, 2015, which will include recommendations from the panel’s report. Please know, the fight is beginning and we WILL NOT sit idly by and allow this to take place. We need you to participate!

Labor CAN! The MASS AFL-CIO Constituent Activist Network

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Labor CAN! The MASS AFL-CIO Constituent Activist Network

Labor CAN! The Massachusetts AFL-CIO Constituent Activist Network

sign-up-for-laborcan_r1

What is Labor CAN?

Labor CAN is a grassroots network — in each of the 40 state senate districts where union members live — organized and ready to join the fight for a working family legislative agenda.

Labor CAN is about expanding and mobilizing the power we have to hold our elected officials accountable. It’s about not only winning elections but passing a pro-worker, pro-union legislative agenda.

What will Labor CAN do?

Labor CAN activists will form teams in their home district to establish a relationship with State Senators and Reps. Teams will meet with their elected officials, both at home and at the state house, to educate and to advocate.

Everyone in the Labor CAN network will be contacted to send emails, make phone calls, and attend meetings and lobby days, to make sure the voice of working families is heard in the halls of government.

Labor CAN may also be mobilized during election season and to join solidarity actions on behalf of local unions and community groups.

And Labor CAN activists will be labor’s eyes and ears in the district. To sign up CLICK HERE.

How is Labor CAN different from what your local union or CLC might already do?

Labor CAN unites us across all sectors — public and private, building trades, human service and food service workers, manufacturing and health care — all of us standing up together and for each other.

Through Labor CAN the resources of the Mass. AFL-CIO are available to CLCs and unions to help activate your members. The Mass. AFL-CIO will create a database of Labor CAN activists by senate district, and we’ll provide education and training, as well as helping to coordinate network mobilization. Together Labor CAN make a difference!

If you are interested in joining Labor CAN please use the Sign Up for LaborCAN! by CLICKING HERE. For more information please email the MA AFL-CIO at kbrousseau@massaflcio.org or call at 781-324-8230.

IB Image

Letter from the Executive Board

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Letter from the Executive Board

image

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

On April 15, 2015, The Massachusetts House of Representatives put forth their budget draft. In this proposed budget it included recommendations that would remove protections afforded by the 1993 Law “The Taxpayer Protection Act” (Pacheco Law) for a period of 5 years. This could possibly lead to the elimination of your jobs and cause an erosion of public interest.

The leadership including the officers and executive board are extremely dismayed at the fact that this bill unfairly persecutes the dedicated membership of Local 264 as well as all the other hardworking union members at the MBTA. The events of this winter are the direct result of decades of mishandling and incompentence by MBTA management and the continued failure of the legislature to properly address funding,  staffing levels,  important maintenance issues, and many other problems.

During this past winter, Machinists at the Garages continued to keep buses and non-revenue vehicles running and on the road,  Everett Main Repair continued to build, repair and service parts for system wide needs,  and the Outside Machinists continued to service the facilities to help garages and carhouses be able to do what they have to do to keep the transportation system up and running. The Machinists did this through the over 100 inches of snow that fell in just under a month. The dedication the Machinists showed was admirable,  they did all that work, all while leaving their loved ones at home during multiple storms. We all should be proud of the hard work we all did and have always done for the MBTA.

We all have witnessed the failure of what privatization has done to the commuter rail and trust that legislators on Beacon Hill once they hear the truth from our membership, they will see the important role that a properly managed and funded transit system can do for the Commonwealth. The Machinists have fought and will continue to fight for accountability and protections for our membership as well as the public.

The Governor has shown, in more ways than one, that he wants to privatize the MBTA. It is not a secret. He has said privatization is a good thing in the past, he was a co-director of the Pioneer Institute and his hand picked special panel that studied the MBTA utilized the Pioneer Institute as well as the Mass Taxpayers Association on 5 of their 13 “references” in their findings.

Now is the time for solidarity, organization and action from each and every one of us. It is every single members duty to call, email, or write a letter to their State Representatives and State Senators and tell them that you will not stand for these attacks on workers. To find your legislators go to the resources section of www.iam264boston.com or click HERE.

The leadership will continue to fight for all of you but, we can not do it alone, we need everyone to be involved, now more than ever. Remember to attend the monthly member meetings, volunteer to join a  union committee, follow what is going on up at the Statehouse. Check our website for updates and happenings, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or call the office at 617-328-8229. Get involved!!! This is about your jobs and your families livelihoods.

In Solidarity,

The Executive Board

Will Foley

Jeb Mastandrea

Ben Sherman

Bob Walker Jr.

Mike Haywood

It’s Crunch Time: Tell Congress to Vote No on Fast Track for TPP

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on It’s Crunch Time: Tell Congress to Vote No on Fast Track for TPP
The Ohio State Council of Machinists and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), center in light blue shirt, joined many others in the labor, human rights and environmental communities to come out against Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Ohio State Council of Machinists and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), center in light blue shirt, joined many others in the labor, human rights and environmental communities to come out against Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

An upcoming vote in the U.S. Senate to “Fast Track” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a global free trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 Latin American and Asian countries, represents “the same old corporate-driven approach to trade that has cost America hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs,” writes IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a letter to Congress.

Congress needs to hear your voice. A vote could be held by the end of April.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your members of Congress to vote NO on Fast Track for the TPP.

Negotiated behind closed doors and without a full and open debate by the American people, leaked texts of the TPP indicate that the deal seeks to undo the financial reform measures of Dodd-Frank, end Buy American requirements and undermine current U.S. regulations covering areas such as food safety, the environment, and patent and copyright law. A scheme known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) would even give multinational corporations the authority to sue foreign governments over perceived profit loss due to regulations.

Buffenbarger, and IAM members who have been fighting back against the TPP’s corporate power grab, are calling for an “open and transparent” negotiation process. Fast Track authority would only allow for limited debate of TPP and a straight up or down vote by Congress.

“For working Americans, our corporate driven trade policies have meant the continual threat of outsourcing, stagnant wages, and declining living standards,” writes Buffenbarger. “This will not change until deeply flawed free trade agreements like the TPP are negotiated not in the back room, but in the light of day.”

The TPP may seem confusing, says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, but its outcome for working people will be simple: offshored jobs and lower wages.

“It has the same provisions that give companies who offshore, who relocate their investments, special privileges and protections that make it cheaper and safer to move our jobs to low-wage countries,” said Wallach during a recent appearance on Democracy Now. “And TPP includes a lot of low-wage countries, which means our wages will get pushed down, when Americans are made to compete, for instance, with workers in Vietnam who are making less than 60 cents an hour.”

The Economic Policy Institute released a study which found the TPP is “likely to lower the wages of most American workers.” Read the study here.

For more information on Fast Track and TPP, visit StopFastTrack.com.

Help Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger on May 9

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Help Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger on May 9

04_21_2015_stampouthunger

The IAM is joining the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to help collect donated food in more than 10,000 communities for the annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive. The 23rd annual food drive is set for Saturday, May 9.

Just leave non-perishable food donations next to your mailbox on May 9 and your mail carrier will take care of the rest. Donations you make will stay in your community.

“Letter carriers care deeply about the communities we serve,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “and we are uniquely qualified to recognize, respond and combat the issue of hunger in communities through our annual food drive.”

With more than 50 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 17 million children, this drive is one way you can help those in your own city or town who need help.

Click here to watch a video on how NALC’s annual food drive has helped feed America’s hungry for over 20 years.

Click here to “like” the Food Drive on Facebook and click here to follow them on Twitter.

Leading House Democrat Will Oppose TPP Fast Track

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Leading House Democrat Will Oppose TPP Fast Track
House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen

House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen

As legislation to fast-track congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership gets ready to finally make its debut in Congress this week, a top Democratic member of the House announced he would oppose the bill.

Representative Chris Van Hollen, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, wrote in a letter to Representative Sandy Levin, the ranking member of the House Ways & Means Committee, that he would oppose fast-track authority, also known as Trade Promotion Authority or TPA. The letter was obtained by The Nation and its authenticity was confirmed by an aide to Van Hollen.

Van Hollen opposed a previous iteration of fast-track legislation last year, as did most other top Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. But so far, many of those Democrats (including Van Hollen) had not yet announced a position on the new TPA legislation being hammered out by Senators Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch, and Representative Paul Ryan. (Levin opted out of those talks, and believes Congress should see at least the outline of a trade deal before taking up legislation to fast-track its approval.) Pelosi still remains publicly undecided.

If Van Hollen—a visible member of the Democratic caucus and ranking member of a major committee—ultimately supported the Wyden-Hatch-Ryan bill, it would have been a signal that House Democrats were ready to go along with the Obama administration’s trade agenda. But in his letter, Van Hollen wrote “it is clear that many [of my concerns] will not be included in a revised TPA.”

While the legislation remains behind closed doors for now, Van Hollen said continuing public opposition from Republicans made it clear that the TPA legislation wouldn’t include additional currency, labor, and environmental provisions. Moreover, he wrote that since TPA was being unveiled so close to the conclusion of the overall trade talks, “it is clearly too late for TPA to have any meaningful impact on the shape of TPP negotiations.”

Like virtually all Democrats, Van Hollen cited concerns that enforceable currency manipulation obligations would not be included in the trade deal.

He also said he objects to further entrenching the investor-state dispute settlement process, which according to negotiating documents leaked last month by Wikileaks will be included in the TPP deal. Those provisions set up a process of international tribunals where foreign companies can challenge regulatory actions by sovereign governments, and seek financial damages for any lost profit as a result of regulation. Van Hollen wrote that “a TPP that allows for increased investor lawsuits could undermine a government’s right to regulate in the public interest and involve the US in costly and detrimental lawsuits covered by American taxpayers.”

Van Hollen further cited concerns over labor standards in some of the signatory countries, particularly Vietnam, and said he insists on an agreement that includes “strong and enforceable labor protections as well as an action plan to ensure that countries are complying with internationally recognized labor rights.”

The next several days will be crucial for the fate of TPA. Many Democrats have so far remained neutral or muted on the ongoing talks, but as the legislation finally proceeds towards a vote, several leading and visible Democrats like Van Hollen will start to take positions. Activists were heartened that Van Hollen dropped an early marker in the fight. “This letter lists some good reasons why fast track is in trouble—including investor lawsuits, currency manipulation, and workers rights—but this will come down to the growing realization that fast track will make it easier to send American jobs overseas,” said Jason Stanford of the Coalition to Stop Fast Track.

Wyden’s office did not immediately return a request for comment. Van Hollen’s letter can be seen here:

4.14.15 Van Hollen to Levin Letter on TPA

 

4.14.15 Van Hollen to Levin Letter on TPA

Machinists Union Moves to Postpone Election at Boeing

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Machinists Union Moves to Postpone Election at Boeing
rtr4vo66
North Charleston, SC, April 17, 2015 – Citing a toxic environment and gross violations of workers’ lawful organizing rights, the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) today withdrew its petition with the NLRB for an April 22 union election at the Boeing Company in North Charleston, SC. The decision pushes the date for a subsequent election forward by at least six months and was made after IAM organizers conducted home visits with more than 1,700 Boeing workers.The petition for a union election was filed on March 16, 2015 after a significant number of Boeing workers signed authorization cards expressing interest in union representation. Workers at Boeing had reached out to the IAM regarding numerous workplace concerns, including forced overtime, rising health care costs and a lack of respect on the shop floor.“After speaking with Boeing workers who we were previously unable to reach, we’ve determined now is not the right time for an election,” said lead IAM organizer Mike Evans. “An atmosphere of threats, harassment and unprecedented political interference has intimidated workers to the point we don’t believe a free and fair election is possible.”

In addition to filing Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges, the IAM recently suspended home visits after two organizers were threatened at gunpoint and others reported hostile and near-violent confrontations.

“The right to organize is a legally protected civil right and no one who chooses to exercise that right in North Charleston, SC should fear for their life or safety,” said Evans. “I hold the Boeing Company, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and their surrogates responsible for creating an atmosphere of state-sanctioned hostility toward unions and union organizers.”

The IAM will continue to work with Boeing workers and members of the Charleston community to further communicate the benefits of collective bargaining for workers and their local economies. Efforts will also be made to dispel the misinformation spread by Boeing and their allies over recent weeks.

“Boeing workers reached out to us initially because they wanted to be treated fairly on the job and build a better, more secure life for themselves and their families,” said Evans. “Boeing’s campaign of rumors and threats may have succeeded in delaying this election, but the fight to win collective bargaining rights for thousands of Boeing South Carolina workers is far from over.”

The IAM is North America’s largest aerospace union, representing more than 90,000 workers at Lockheed Martin, GE, United Technologies and others. The IAM also represents more than 35,000 Boeing employees at 24 locations nationwide. For more information visit www.boeingworkers.com.

Senate leaders skeptical of plan to allow more MBTA privatization

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Senate leaders skeptical of plan to allow more MBTA privatization

 

By David Scharfenberg Globe Staff April 16, 2015

 

State Senator Thomas M. McGee, a Lynn Democrat who serves as Senate chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation

State Senator Thomas M. McGee, a Lynn Democrat who serves as Senate chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation

Senate leaders are skeptical of a House plan that would open the door to more privatization of services at the beleaguered MBTA.

The House has called for a suspension of the so-called Pacheco law, which creates obstacles to outsourcing, for five years for the T.

Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, in comments to reporters Thursday afternoon, said the Pacheco law has become a “political target” over the years.

“There’s an ideological-slash-political component to this,” he said. “We ought to be driving policy based on outcomes and data and how things actually work.”

Rosenberg said it is his understanding that most state efforts to privatize services are successful, despite the Pacheco restrictions. And he said it’s unclear if the T has made the effort to outsource under the current system.

The law requires the state to show that privatizing a service would save money before outsourcing the work.

Critics say the law imposes a complicated cost test on the state. And the test itself, they say, is a deterrent to privatization.

State Senator Thomas M. McGee, a Lynn Democrat who serves as Senate chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation, joined Rosenberg for a round table discussion with reporters Thursday.

McGee also raised doubts about suspending the Pacheco law, suggesting it is a means of ensuring cost-effective delivery of services.

The House call for a suspension of the Pacheco law at the T was included in a broader budget proposal released Wednesday by the chamber’s ways and means committee.

The move came a week after a special panel appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to examine the T recommended freeing the agency from “the constraints of the Pacheco Law.”

McGee said Thursday he wants to question panelists about how they reached that conclusion.

He also appeared skeptical of the group’s call for a new fiscal and management control board to assume oversight of the T.

IAM Responds to Deeply Flawed Fast Track Legislation

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on IAM Responds to Deeply Flawed Fast Track Legislation

image

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) International President Tom Buffenbarger today issued the following statement on the introduction of a Fast Track bill in the U.S. Senate:

“We are angered and deeply disappointed that the legislation introduced today repeats the same old corporate-driven approach to trade that has cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Buffenbarger. “The unenforceable negotiating goals for the nearly completed, yet still secret Trans-Pacific Partnership will not help working families struggling with stagnant wages nor U.S. businesses besieged by foreign currency manipulation.  I call upon IAM members across America to contact their Senators and urge rejection of this deeply flawed legislation.”

As the leading aerospace union in North America, IAM members proudly manufacture products that are exported to countries around the globe. The IAM strongly believes that our trade negotiations and agreements must be open and transparent and reflect the interests of all Americans.  This means enforceable labor and environmental standards, access to safe and affordable medicines, high quality food and product safety standards, as well as a rejection of the secret trade tribunals that give multinational corporations the ability to sue sovereign governments over domestic regulations.

Major changes coming to GIC benefits

Posted on by IAMLocal264 in Featured Posts | Comments Off on Major changes coming to GIC benefits

giclogobig

The major Employee/Non Medicare Health Plan changes effective July 1, 2015 include:

  • Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan and Tufts Health Plan Navigator will become POS plans.  Members must designate their PCP with the plan and get referrals to specialists for the highest benefit level.
  • Prescription drug copays will increase to $10/$30/$65 retail up to 30-day supply and $25/$75/$165 mail order up to 90-day supply.
  • The calendar year deductible will change to $300 (individual) /$600 (two person) /$900 (family)
  • All health plans will tier specialists and the copays will increase to $30/$60/$90
  • Inpatient hospital copays for the wide network plans will increase to $275/$500/$1,500
  • Outpatient surgery copays for most plans will increase to $250

There are a few benefit enhancements:

  • The calendar year deductible will transition from a calendar year to a fiscal year.  For 2015, it will be a calendar year, for January – June, 2016 a half calendar year, and July, 1, 2016-June 30, 2017 will begin the fiscal year calendar year deductible. This will eliminate the deductible barrier for switching plans at next year’s Annual Enrollment.
  • Other ancillary benefits will also transition to the fiscal year (for example, physical and occupational therapy)
  • The Flexible Spending Account program for state employees will also move to a fiscal year and follow this same transition schedule.
  • For the Dental/Vision plan, new coverage for composite fillings on posterior teeth – covered at 80%

For Medicare Members

  • Prescription drug copays will increase to $10/$30/$65 retail up to 30-day supply and $25/$75/$165 mail order up to 90-day supply.

Additional details will be in the GIC Benefit Decision Guides.  These will be shipped to agencies, municipalities and retiree/survivor homes beginning April 3. The MBTA health fair is Wednesday April 15th make sure you attend so you can have all your questions answered.