MANCON Organizing Election 5/18/2018

Election details are posted in the “events” section of the website. VOTE UNION YES!

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This Is What Solidarity Looks Like

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Photo Contest 2018

Picture Your Photo on the Next IAM Calendar

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IAM Legislative Action 4/14/18

 

U. S. Senators

Elizabeth Warren

Washington, D.C.
Russell Senate Office Building
2 Russell Courtyard
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4543
Boston
2400 JFK Federal Building
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-3170
Springfield
1550 Main Street, Suite 406
Springfield, MA 01103

 

Edward J. Markey

Washington, D.C.
255 Dirksen Senate
Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-2742

Boston
15 New Sudbury Street
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-8519

U. S. House of Representatives

First Congressional District:  Richard Neal

Washington, D.C.
2208 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5601 | Fax: (202) 225-8112

Springfield
300 State Street, Suite 200
Springfield, MA 01105
(413) 785-0325 | Fax: (413) 747-0604

Pittsfield
78 Center St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Second Congressional District:  James McGovern

Washington, D.C.
438 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-6101 | Fax: (202) 225-5759

Worcester
34 Mechanic Street
Worcester, MA 01608
(508) 831-7356 |Fax: (508) 754-0982

Northampton
94 Pleasant Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Third Congressional District:  Niki Tsongas

Washington, D.C.
1607 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3411 | Fax: (202) 226-0771

Acton
492 Main Street Acton, MA 01720
(978) 263-1951

Lowell
11 Kearney Square, 3rd Floor
Lowell, MA 01852
(978) 459-0101 | Fax: (978) 459-1907
 
Lawrence
305 Essex Street, 4th Floor
Lawrence, MA 01840
(978) 681-6200 | Fax: (978) 682-6070
 
Haverhill
Haverhill Citizens Center
10 Welcome Street

Fourth Congressional District:  Joseph P. Kennedy III

Washington, D.C.
1218 Longworth House Office Building
Washington,  DC 20515
(202) 225-5931

Attleboro
8 North Main St., Suite 200
Attleboro,  MA 02703
(508) 431-1110

Newton
29 Crafts Street, Suite 375
Newton,  MA 02458
(617) 332-3333

Fifth Congressional District: Katherine Clark

Washington, D.C.
2108 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-2836

Sixth Congressional District:  Seth Moulton

Washington, D.C.
1408 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-8020 | Fax: (202) 225-5915

Salem
21 Front Street
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 531-1669  Fax: (978) 224-2270

Seventh Congressional District: Michael E. Capuano

Washington, D.C.
1414 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5111  Fax (202) 225-9322

Cambridge
110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 621-6208 Fax (617) 621-8628

Roxbury
Roxbury Community College Campus Library*
Room 211
Roxbury, MA
(617) 621-6208 Fax: (617) 621-8628

*When the RCC Library is closed this office is also closed. Please contact the
Cambridge office for assistance during those times.

Eighth Congressional District:  Stephen F. Lynch

Washington, D.C.
2133 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-8273  Fax: (202) 225-3984

Boston
88 Black Falcon Avenue, Suite 340
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 428-2000  Fax: (617) 428-2011

Brockton
155 West Elm Street, Suite 200
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 586-5555  Fax: (508) 580-4692

Ninth Congressional District: William Keating

Washington, D.C.
315 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3111 Fax: (202) 225-5658

Plymouth
2 Court St.
Plymouth, MA  02360
(508) 746-9000 Fax: (508) 732-0072

Cape and Islands
297 North St., Ste. 312
Hyannis, MA 02601
(508) 771-0666 Fax: (508) 790-1959

New Bedford
558 Pleasant St., Suite 309
New Bedford, MA  02740
(508) 999-6462 Fax:  (508) 999-6468

 

     
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When does reform end and revenue begin at the T?

From Commonwealth Magazine

By James Aloisi

SO THERE I WAS, enjoying a brisk late April morning and about to dig into the newspapers (and breakfast), when my iPhone beeped and up came CommonWealth’s Sunday Upload. My pavlovian response was to stop everything I was doing and read what was on offer on the Upload. Turns out it was the folks at the Pioneer Institute, beating their privatization drum in a short article that was long on ideology and short on consensus-based solutions.

It happens that Pioneer was all exercised over what appears to have been an ill-timed and ill-conceived letter from our once-powerful congressional delegation, raising concerns about the MBTA’s interest in exploring privatizing bus maintenance. The delegation, a day late and $7.3 billion short, might have considered whether, and how, to engage the urgent issues that face the statewide public transportation system in a comprehensive and effective way. Perhaps they might consider how to build a national congressional consensus around a sustainable mobility platform that political leaders in blue and red states might embrace. But what do I know? Maybe the governor and his transportation secretary read the letter and, fully chided, agreed to look deeply into their respective ideological souls and change course.

The congressional delegation letter may not have changed the hearts or minds of state officials, but it certainly gave Pioneer the impetus to reprise the dulcet tones of their privatization songbook. And generally I’d be OK with that, especially during the quiet early morning hours of a late April Sunday, when I’m inclined toward a generosity of spirit. I even agree with their view that the MBTA retirement system needs an overhaul that would make it function in a manner consistent with the state retirement system. But Pioneer has that way with words that unfailingly pushes my buttons, and there it was, their misleading construct about how to solve the T’s enormous state-of-good-repair gap:

“With a $7.3 billion maintenance backlog and billions more in debt, the T basically faces three options: Cut service, raise fares once again, or enact reforms such as restructuring the MBTA Retirement Fund as an integrated Social Security/pension system with offsets that take pension benefits into account.”

 

Three options? Just those three? What about raising net new revenue for the T – the kind of stable revenue that would enable the T to accelerate the state-of-good-repair work we all agree is urgently needed? The kind of new revenue that would support hiring the staff resources that the T admits it doesn’t have. I thought those who embraced “reform before revenue” implicitly agreed that once reform took place, net new revenue would follow. But, of course, there is never enough reform to appease these reformers, never enough to trigger the revenue part of the equation.

I didn’t want to spoil my morning, so I dashed off a tweet that chastised both Pioneer and the congressional delegation, in keeping with my determination to approach these matters in a non-partisan manner. My friends at Pioneer must be late risers, because it took many hours before their responses hit my Twitter feed.

And I can’t complain too much about the subsequent exchange because it’s easy to misunderstand, or misinterpret, someone’s meaning when they are writing a 140-character response to something that deserves more substantial attention. As I said earlier, I don’t really have a quarrel with their position on the MBTA pension issue. My quarrel is when organizations like this cherry-pick issues (and fail to address others) in an effort to make people believe that more reform and no revenue is the answer.

I’m all for reforms – appropriate, non-ideological reforms. I share significant responsibility for writing and enacting into law the most far-reaching and comprehensive transportation reform legislation in state history. Unlike many who talk a lot about it, I embraced reform and made it happen. But I was also candid about the need for revenue. When I said at the time that the slogan “reform before revenue” was a meaningless slogan, I did so because I knew that we also needed substantial net new revenue together with the reform. Eight years later Massachusetts still doesn’t have the net new revenue needed to do the job the way (and in the timeframe) it should be done.

These are not just ideological battles. Every single week real people, thousands of them, have to face the consequences of the failure to raise net new revenue — every day they receive an alert that a disabled train at rush hour means another late arrival at work, every time they have to break a subway car window because smoke is filling their car, or every time they’re asked to impersonate a sardine packed in the can of a SL 1, or 28 bus. Calling for MBTA pension reform is fine, but let’s not mislead people into thinking that just another reform is the answer to what ails the transit system.

It is long past time for us to acknowledge the need for substantial net new revenue to build the modern, first-world transit system that is the essential underpinning of our ability to sustain a growing economy. We can talk about and enact reforms until the cows come home, but a $7.3 billion gap cannot be resolved on an accelerated basis without net new revenue. Nor can the T’s other needs, including the need for the system to strategically expand and respond adeptly to the rise of new mobility options that threaten to shrink interest in (and market share for) public transportation.

We ought to strive to reach and build a consensus across ideological lines to address the unquestioned need to rebuild and modernize the MBTA. To do that on a timeframe that keeps up with the pace of our region’s current and forecasted growth, and with an eye toward achieving sustainable and equitable outcomes, we need to honestly confront the need for substantial net new revenue. Finding excuse after excuse to avoid that fundamental issue doesn’t advance the debate, or enable the kind of non-ideological, non-partisan decision-making that ought to be at the core of how we make and implement transportation policy in the Commonwealth.

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Happy 129th Birthday, Machinists!

Sisters and Brothers,

On May 5, 1888, our great union was founded when 19 railroad machinists secretly met in Atlanta to protect their rights from an abusive employer. During that meeting in a dirty railroad pit, those individuals could not have conceived what the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers would become.

Tom Talbot and his coworkers set in motion a cause that has steadily grown in reach. Within two years of its formation, the Machinists Union became truly international when the first Canadian and Mexican local lodges were chartered. We were one of the first industrial labor organizations to admit women and minorities into its ranks.

Today we celebrate the IAM’s past accomplishments and look forward to the future we will all share. Many of the historical struggles our predecessors faced remain with us today. Our unity and resolve to defend the rights of working families have never been stronger.

Workplace justice and fairness are noble ideals worth fighting for. Demanding that multinational corporations and our government recognize that is our ongoing task, and I am confident we are up to the challenge.

In solidarity,

Bob Martinez
International President

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‘A Blatant Attack on Working Families’: House Passes So-Called Health Care ‘Reform’

The American Health Care Act has narrowly passed the House of Representative by a vote of 217-213. Twenty Republicans joined every House Democrat in opposing the bill.

The legislation will now move to the Senate for debate.

IAM International President Bob Martinez issued the following statement:

“This is another rushed and flawed attempt at health care reform that again is a blatant attack on working families. It shoulders the middle class with higher costs for less care and throws millions of people off their insurance so the rich can get another tax break.

“Dropping the coverage guarantee for people with pre-existing conditions is a death sentence to Americans who most desperately need health insurance. Seniors will see their health costs multiply by allowing insurance companies to charge them five times what they charge young people.

“It does nothing to address the so-called ‘Cadillac tax,’ which takes money out of the pocket of every American with employer-provided health insurance. Employers will raise deductibles, co-pays and increase out-of-pocket limits to pay for this cruel 40 percent tax on our health care. 

“Every American deserves quality, affordable health insurance, and the AHCA is a dangerous step toward turning health care into a luxury reserved for the wealthy and privileged.”

How the American Health Care Act jeopardizes working families:

  • Working people pay more for less care
  • Tax breaks for the rich
  • Cuts pre-existing condition protections
  • Throws 24 million people off health insurance
  • Senior costs skyrocket
  • Keeps a 40 percent excise tax on employer-provided plans in place
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Why Privatizing MA Public Transit Would be a Disaster for Taxpayers, Workers and Riders

A large crowd descended on MBTA headquarters in downtown Boston on Monday as IAM Local 264 transit mechanics rallied with allies to defend taxpayers, workers and riders against the latest MBTA privatization scheme.

The MBTA mechanics were joined by community allies and elected leaders, including State Sen. Marc Pacheco and State Reps. Mike Connolly and Michelle DuBois, and multiple rider coalitions. They were all speaking out against a for-profit privatization scheme aimed at outsourcing core MBTA bus maintenance services.

“Giving up control of public transit to for-profit corporations has been a very bad deal for Massachusetts taxpayers, workers and riders,” said Michael Haywood, a mechanic and IAM Local 264 shop steward at Boston’s Arlington Avenue garage.

Haywood has 11 years of experience repairing MBTA fleet vehicles.

“Just look at the disaster with handing over the commuter rail to Keolis,” said Haywood. “We care about our riders and we don’t want to see the same expensive nightmare happen again by privatizing core bus services.”

Despite a diverse and aging fleet of buses, federal data shows MBTA mechanics are the best performing in the nation. The latest available data indicates MBTA busses travel an average of 12,964 miles between breakdowns, more than 6,000 miles than the next best competitor. In fact, the invention of an MBTA mechanic and IAM 264 member is credited as playing the key role in improved winter performance by the MBTA this year. Public transit advocates warn that losing this kind of ingenuity and experience to outsourcing could destabilize the MBTA bus system.

“Too many of the bus routes are not running frequent enough schedules to serve our riders as it is,” said William Hallsen, a 15-year mechanic and IAM 264 shop steward at Boston’s Everett garage. “Ceding control of bus maintenance to a for-profit company who will underbid, get rid of experienced mechanics, and cut corners is absolutely not the solution. Frankly, it’s dangerous.”

Since the MBTA allowed for-profit Keolis to take control of public commuter rail services, the results for riders and taxpayers have been disastrous. Millions have been spent to bail out the for-profit company after they underbid their contract. Even privatization proponents acknowledge that the largest and most critical privatization effort by the MBTA so far has been a massive failure. Data shows that Keolis continues to struggle with providing on-time service, despite the bailouts.

“Enough is enough,” said Mike Vartabedian, an IAM Local 264 representative with more than 20 years’ frontline experience fixing MBTA vehicles. “When you talk about destroying the best performing bus maintenance department in the country, that’s not a business decision, that’s a political decision. These for-profit, out-of-state companies can make up all the numbers they want to get their claws into the system, but when they lie or don’t deliver, Massachusetts residents pay the price—and that’s not right.”

Meanwhile, other key outsourcing contracts, including with S.J. Services, ABM Industries, and the Maine Military Authority [6] have also been dramatically underbid. Results of the underbidding have included major repair delays to key MBTA fleet vehicles and attempts by janitorial contractors to rip health insurance coverage away from workers.

More than 450 mechanics, fuelers, and other skilled professionals united in IAM Local 264 proudly contribute to the operation of the MBTA and to our communities every day. We believe in ensuring safety for our riders and in professionally negotiating contracts that guarantee our members have a say in their job and can perform those jobs in workplaces that are safe. The Machinists Union and Local 264 have been fighting for workers, their families and Boston communities for over 120 years.

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T’s new mantra: ‘Cut to invest’

Officials call for halting weekend commuter rail, limiting The RIDE

BY Bruce Mohl

Commonwealth Magazine

STATE TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY STEPHANIE POLLACK coined a new term on Monday to summarize the Baker administration’s budget philosophy for the MBTA: “Cut to invest.”

In a briefing with reporters, Pollack said the T is determined to eliminate its structural operating deficit in the coming fiscal year and plow state aid that would normally be used to pay off the shortfall into capital projects that would improve service at the transit agency.

But to close an estimated fiscal 2018 deficit of $42 million and pay for $7 million in new management hires, the MBTA is proposing to halt all weekend commuter rail service for at least a year, to end non-required service for disabled riders for at least a year, and to implement a host of privatization and revenue-raising initiatives. T officials said their proposals represented a starting point for discussion, but Pollack said some of them would have to be implemented.

Reaction to the plan at a meeting of the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board was generally negative.  Paul Regan, the executive director of the MBTA Advisory Board, which represents cities and towns in the T service area, said discontinuing commuter rail service on weekends is a bad idea. “My members believe this is a terrible mistake,” he said.

 

Scores of union members condemned the T’s proposal to privatize or use the threat of privatization to wring cost savings out of six MBTA bus repair garages. Timothy King, a union official and a member of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation board, testified against the T’s privatization plans. And Brian Lang, a union official and member of the Fiscal and Management Control Board, indicated he opposes the T’s budget-balancing plan. “At this point I would not vote for this as a budget,” he said.

During the Patrick administration, state leaders often said “reform before revenue” when talking about the T’s finances, meaning the agency needed to first get its fiscal house in order before seeking additional state funding. Pollack and T officials made clear on Monday that there is no plan to seek additional state revenue from the Legislature. Instead, they said, the T will come up with money to fund capital and service improvements by cutting spending elsewhere at the agency.

Pollack cited as an example the decision to offer paratransit riders access to Uber and Lyft services. Using Uber and Lyft costs the T about $9 per ride compared to the $40 cost of regular RIDE service. But nearly all of the savings so far have been eaten up by customers increasing the number of trips they are taking with Uber and Lyft. Pollack said she liked that tradeoff. “That is what we mean by cut to invest,” she said.

T officials are hoping to balance the agency’s operating budget for the next four years, holding spending growth over that period to just 1.8 percent. The hope is that by keeping the operating budget in check, more of the funds flowing to the T can be used for service and equipment improvements.

“No one is trying to build up a giant surplus. Nobody is trying to take money away from the T. The only tradeoff on the table is operating dollars saved go to capital,” she said. “The choices are difficult, but the one lesson I’ve learned as secretary is setting priorities.”

T officials have spent the last 18 months trimming costs and trying to reform the agency. They cut 211 corporate headquarters positions, privatized cash-handling and warehouse activities, and negotiated wage concessions from the Carmen’s Union in return for job protections. But to balance the fiscal 2018 budget will require some tough decisions. Here are the proposals they put on the table:

  • Halt weekend commuter rail service starting July 1 for a savings of $10 million. T officials say they typically run 8,000 commuter rail trips on Saturdays and 3,000 on Sundays. The passengers represent one-fifth of 1 percent of commuter rail riders, T officials said. As a result, the T’s weekend subsidy for commuter rail is $34 per trip, compared to $5 per trip on weekdays. One advantage of shutting down weekend service over the next year is that some lines will have to be shut down on weekends anyway for the installation of equipment to avoid train collissions.
  • End paratransit trips that aren’t legally required beyond the Americans with Disabilty Act service area, for a savings of $7 million. The T is required to offer service within a three-quarter-mile radius of the agency’s fixed-route services, but currently goes beyond that into communities such as Dover, Medfield, Middleton, and Topsfield. T officials estimate 210,000 trips per year extend outside the ADA-required service area.
  • Privatize T bus maintenance at the Lynn, Fellsway, Quincy, and Arborway garages for a savings of $11.1 million and privatize or use the threat of privatization to wring $10.2 million in saving from the Everett and Cabot garages.
  • Install 700 more TV monitors in stations to boost ad revenues $3 million and push Keolis to follow through on more aggressive fare collection efforts expected to yield $1 million to the T.
  • Reposition 120 temporary, in-station customer service agents as bus operators and hire a private firm to provide the service. Ninety full-time customer service agents would not be affected.

The MBTA expects to close out its current fiscal year with a $50 million operating deficit, and will use a portion of the $187 million the state provides the transit agency each year to cover the shortfall. In the coming fiscal year, however, the T wants to direct the entire $187 million into backlogged capital projects.

In addition to the $187 million appropriation, the T also receives a penny of the state sales tax and all fare and other revenue that it generates on its own. In fiscal 2018, T officials are forecasting $1.95 billion in revenues to offset operating expenses of nearly $1.5 billion and debt service of $451 million.

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A note from President Jim Mastandrea

A note from Local 264 President Jim Mastandrea.

Brothers and Sisters,

Yesterday’s article by the Boston Globe, to me, is more astonishing then the actual subject of it. For generations, Local 264 has been creating ways to keep buses and trains running at the MBTA every single day 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Arborway, Albany St, Arlington Ave, Cabot, Cabot Auto, Charlestown, Everett Bus, Everett Machine, Fellsway, Lynn, Southampton, Quincy and the Outside Machinists are met with different challenges that require the creativity and innovative ideas that show the Machinists are among the absolute best the industry has.

Brother Haywood’s creation of a way to move snow may be “astonishing” to some, but to us it’s just, once again, proving we are the very best. Just as we have consistently stated to the MBTA, the Governor, and the FMCB.

Brother Hughes, myself and your Transportation Reform Committee, Bill Hallson, Eric Morganti and Mike Hayward
thank you for your work everyday of meeting and beating the challenges we face and proving that we are the best in the business.

Thank you for all you do and your continued support.

In Solidarity,

Jim Mastandrea
President LL 264

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