Political Pressure Turned Up to Save St. Louis Aerospace Plant — Fight to Restore Washington State Aluminum Plant Goes National — One Last Reminder for the IAM Legislative Conference


REPS. BUSH, CLEAVER SEEK ANSWERS TO STOP GKN AEROSPACE PLANT CLOSURE: U.S. Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) are asking GKN Aerospace CEO David Paja and GKN President of Defense Shawn Black for answers and requesting their support and assistance in saving approximately 1,000 family-sustaining jobs at GKN Aerospace in Hazelwood, MO.

Click here to read the letter.

“The recent announcement that the facility would close next year came as a surprise for our local community, particularly given the risk of losing hundreds of good-paying jobs in the process,” write Reps. Bush and Cleaver in a letter to GKN leadership. “Given the impact, this would have on families and our economy, our top priority is to see what can be done to keep these jobs in St. Louis.” 

WATCH: Missouri representatives work to save 1,000 GKN jobs FOX 2 Now St. Louis

GKN Aerospace recently announced plans to completely shut down this facility by the end of 2023, with layoffs commencing in mid-2022. Workers at the facility, many of whom are U.S. military veterans, have devoted their lives to proudly producing world-class aerospace components.

IAM Local 387 (District 837) members currently produce aircraft parts for a wide variety of U.S. Defense Department platforms, including the F-15, F-18A, CH-53, and Advanced Programs. The facility was previously owned by the Boeing Co. but was purchased by GKN in 2001. In 2018, GKN was purchased by the British parent company Melrose Industries.

“The IAM will provide the necessary resources to make sure all workers at this GKN facility in Hazelwood receive information from the company,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our members have worked years to make this company a major supplier in the aerospace industry. The IAM will work to educate our elected officials on Capitol Hill on the importance of keeping this facility open and maintaining this highly skilled workforce.”

READ: U.S. Rep. Cori Bush presses GKN Aerospace for answers on Hazelwood plant closure affecting 900 St. Louis Business Journal

“The IAM appreciates Reps. Bush and Cleaver for standing up for our members at GKN,” said IAM Midwest General Vice President Steve Galloway. “We are trying to find the answers to keep this facility open, especially since it plays a huge role in keeping our nation safe. IAM District 837 is fully engaged with the entire Missouri Congressional Delegation and will continue to have discussions with state and local elected officials. Our union will fight to ensure IAM members can continue their careers at GKN Aerospace.”

“IAM District 837 is grateful that Reps. Bush and Cleaver are requesting information that our members, other families of Hazelwood, and the surrounding communities need to make major decisions for their future,” said IAM District 837 President and Directing Business Representative Tom Boelling. “We hope that we can keep this plant open and continue to keep our nation safe.”

PRESSURE INCREASES ON POWER ADMINISTRATION TO RESTORE IAM ‘GREEN’ ALUMINUM PLANT IN WASHINGTON STATE: The IAM is on the front pages of the national media for its efforts to restore hundreds of IAM jobs in Washington state and restart the only “green” aluminum smelter on the West Coast. A deal with the regional power authority, the Bonneville Power Administration, is the last remaining hurdle.

READ: A factory wants to reopen making ‘green’ aluminum. Now it just needs clean energy. The Washington Post

IAM Local 2379 (District 160) members at Intalco Works recently overwhelmingly ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement with Blue Wolf Capital Partners, one of the last steps toward reopening and modernizing the facility and restoring hundreds of jobs in Whatcom County.

The entire Washington state congressional delegation is pressuring the BPA to “work in good faith” to “reach a competitive power agreement sufficient to reopen the Intalco aluminum smelter in Ferndale.”

SIGN THE PETITION: Tell BPA to let Intalco reopen!

“Our members at IAM Local 2379 have endured so many ups and downs over restarting the aluminum plant and securing an agreement with the Bonneville Power Authority,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “Our members need elected officials in the state of Washington and Washington, DC to help bring relief for hundreds of working families in Whatcom County. The members earned this contract that will serve a model in the aluminum manufacturing industry.”

“The IAM has committed our full resources to help restore the hundreds of strategic manufacturing jobs at Intalco Works,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We need our allies to do everything possible to reopen the facility. Restarting the operations at Intalco Works is an opportunity to reverse bad policy decisions and secure a victory under the policies implemented by the Biden-Harris Administration. Our union is urging the U.S. Department of Energy and the Bonneville Power Administration to restore the power agreement to help make our nation less reliant on aluminum imports from foreign enemies.”

THE IAM LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! BE SURE TO BOOK MEETINGS WITH YOUR SENATORS AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: We look forward to seeing many of you at the 2022 IAM Legislative Conference from June 20 to 22 at the Hyatt Regency Washington!

Friendly reminder: All delegates planning to attend the 2022 IAM Legislative Conference should pre-schedule meetings with their Congressional District Representatives and Senators for the afternoons of Tuesday, June 21, and Wednesday, June 22. No delegate will be allowed to enter the Congressional office buildings without a confirmed meeting scheduled and a government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Congressional District Representative and Senator’s offices to schedule meetings directly with their offices.

IAM TURNS TO ELECTED OFFICIALS TO HELP SAVE NORTH DAKOTA MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES PLANT: The IAM, which represents approximately 174 workers at the Motor Coach Industries (MCI) bus plant in Pembina, N.D., is using every resource available to protect its membership and stop MCI’s parent company, Canada-based New Flyer International, from closing the facility.

“Despite being profitable, the company intends to shutter this Pembina facility and lay off its hard-working men and women who helped them reach its set goals for the quarters,” wrote IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in a letter to the North Dakota congressional delegation. “We are asking for your help in reaching out to MCI and have the company reconsider the decision to shutter this Pembina facility.”

The announcement to close the Pembina facility comes a year after the IAM raised concerns that MCI was secretly taking steps towards closing the plant. The company, at the time, disputed those claims.

READ: Devastated community, North Dakota jobs to move to Minnesota Cool 98.7 FM Pembina

IAM members at the facility proudly build motor coaches for inner-city transit and commuter buses, as well as specialized tour buses and prison buses. The company says that work done in Pembina will be transferred to MCI facilities in Canada and Minnesota.

“Unfortunately, our suspicions were correct when we sounded alarm bells about impending plans to close the MCI plant in Pembina and devastate this community,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “At a time when transit systems and the government are making massive investments in bus transit, it makes no sense to close this facility and lay off hundreds of skilled workers. We are in constant communication with our North Dakota District leadership and will continue to provide our members with any assistance necessary. The IAM is reaching out to all stakeholders to launch a full-court press to save this plant and this community.”

IAM CHAMPIONS SUPPORT ON CAPITOL HILL FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY SPACE LAUNCH PROGRAM: As the largest defense and aerospace union in North America, the IAM staunchly supports the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program and the essential resources required to maintain its success.

The Machinists Union applauds the work of U.S. Reps. Jason Crow (D-CO) and Douglas Lamborn (R-CO), who authored a letter asking Air Force Secretary Frank Kendell III to continue making the NSSL program a priority.

“Consistent, robust support of this highly successful program is essential to ensuring our national security, maintaining the U.S. advantage as the world leader in space, and bolstering our domestic space industrial base and the workforce that ensures the program’s success,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. in a letter supporting the effort.

The bipartisan Congressional letter outlines the need for a resilient and reliable space program, including the NSSL program, which will continue to keep the nation safe and deter aggressions from outside threats.

Machinists Union members have played a vital role in the success of the U.S. space program since its inception, with generations of IAM members working to maintain and further a space program that is second to none.

From coast to coast, the IAM represents thousands of highly-skilled workers throughout the NSSL program, from launch sites to manufacturing facilities at United Launch Alliance, Kennedy Space Center, and beyond. Continued support of this program is vital to our member’s jobs, the domestic economy, and U.S. national defense.

IAM LOCAL 701, CONGRESSIONAL ALLIES PUSH FOR FEDERAL FUNDS TO OPEN NEW, EXPANDED CHICAGOLAND MECHANIC TRAINING CENTER: IAM Automobile Mechanics’ Local 701, as well as U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 13 Illinois members of Congress led by U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), are asking for federal funding to open a new, larger and more modern training center for automotive, trucking, forklift and other represented mechanics in the Chicagoland area.

The Mechanics’ Local 701 Training Fund Board of Trustees is looking to triple the number of entry-level mechanics they can train and place in good wages, good benefits, and lifetime career employment opportunities.

Interest in technical skill careers has increased precipitously, forcing the Fund to relocate from a 5,000 square-foot facility in Carol Stream to a 20,000 square-foot facility in Aurora.

“Mechanics’ Local 701’s grant submission for the Farnsworth facility will address the technician shortage across the country by enhancing training options and increasing capacity,” wrote Durbin to the U.S. Economic Development Administration. “The new facility, which is nearly five times larger than the current facility, will include entry-level programs which have seen increasing demand since before the pandemic.”

“Mechanics Local 701 is a critical organization that is responsible for training thousands of mechanics across the Chicagoland area,” wrote Foster and 12 other members of the U.S. Congressional delegation from Illinois. “This funding will enable the organization to expand their operations, tripling the amount of entry-level mechanics who benefit from the competitive wages, benefits, and a lifetime of employment opportunities.”

MAINE, PENNSYLVANIA STATE COUNCILS GATHER TO GROW POWER: Hundreds of IAM members in both Pennsylvania and Maine recently joined together to plan for upcoming elections and hear from federal, state, and local officials.

WATCH: Video recaps of the Maine State Council and Pennsylvania State Council


The post Political Pressure Turned Up to Save St. Louis Aerospace Plant — Fight to Restore Washington State Aluminum Plant Goes National — One Last Reminder for the IAM Legislative Conference appeared first on IAMAW.

Updated: June 16, 2022 — 8:04 am