CHIARI MALFORMATION IS A SERIOUS NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER AFFECTING MORE THAN 300,000 PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES.

PLEASE HELP SUPPORT THOSE STRUGGLING WITH THIS LIFE CHANGING DIAGNOSIS

Description
What: The Conquer Chiari Walk Across America “Team Baltimore”

Why: To raise awareness of Chiari Malformation and to raise money for valuable research. We are proud to say that 80% of the money raised will be used directly to fund research.

Who: Everyone is invited to participate. Participants are asked to pre-register online at www.conquerchiari.org. Choose Baltimore, MD for walk site location, then choose “team Baltimore”. T-shirts will be provided to those who pre-register by 8/16 and contribute at least $25.

Where: The local walk is being held at Capa Field – Aberdeen Proving Ground, Jessup Road – Gunpowder, MD 21010
Walk/Run distance is 5K, walk/run at your fitness level.

When: Saturday, September 23rd, 2017. Registration begins at 10:00 am. Walk/Run starts at 11:00 am.

Contact: Tierra Hardin at (202) 487-1953 or conquerchiari.baltimoremd@gmail.com.
For those unable to attend, please feel free to donate.
Thank you for you support!

 

July 2017 Communication

Hello Everyone,

This is the monthly communication for July 2017. There was no general lodge meeting this month, as our Local Lodge By-Laws call for no scheduled meetings in July and August. The next scheduled general meeting is in September.

There is still important information to let you know about. One topic is the contract between STC and the fabrication and painting members of our local lodge. Contract negotiations for that CBA with STC have already begun, and our normal process is for those members to ask for a Strike Sanction Vote. That happened during our last general meeting, and the strike sanction vote was unanimously approved. I will explain more in detail below.

I also want to let all of you know that on Wednesday, July 19th the mobile food truck that comes to the work sites will be providing free drinks for that day’s inventory of coffee, soda, water, and energy drinks on that truck. This is done from the money set aside for morale in our budget. So I hope that this effort reaches more members that may not be aware of our website and an effort to reach out and communicate with members.

Also, at our last general meeting a motion was made and approved for the funding arbitration on a grievance from the ATSS contract. We have to protect some information about this grievance, but it revolves around a member that returned to work after a long-term absence that is protected under Federal law. The Union member was told that they could be placed back in their previous position over a period of time since certain certifications are required for that type of work. After that member jumped through several hoops they were told that they could not be placed back in the same or similar position. It’s basically a position funding issue between the Government and the Company with our member stuck in the middle. The law is on our side and it is worth fighting for and so we head to arbitration.

So what is happening with the STC contract? Science and Technology Corporation (STC) recently won the contract bid for that group of Union members that work for the Aberdeen Test Center in the weld shop and painters. STC’s media release states that the contract has an initial value of 38 million dollars and is for five years. The prior collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for that work is still in place but will be expiring in the fall of 2017. Representatives for STC reached out to the union representatives to open negotiations for the new CBA. Unfortunately STC took some hardline stances coming into negotiations.

First, and most troubling is the issue that since STC has taken over the contract and payroll for those members, STC has been withholding the employees contributions for the union pension fund. STC has not yet sent that money over to the pension fund as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also known as Federal ERISA law. STC representatives are saying that their company is not in the “pension business”. Unfortunately because this is a violation of Federal law our local lodge has been forced to file a “board charge”, with the National Labor Relations Board, in order to begin the process of holding STC accountable for their actions.

Of course, this means we have to expend funds on lawyers and other paralegal representation, but that is why we pull together as a union. But one of the worst things a company can do is play with the money that employees have earned, and even as a bargaining position in negotiations, not putting the union member’s money where it belongs is unethical.

Another troubling stance from STC is on payment of fringe pay, in lieu of benefits. And this one should catch every member’s attention. STC is claiming there is some legal opinion and legal foundation that under the changing healthcare law, (whatever that may end up becoming), for their company, STC, to give employees fringe pay to cover benefits, like health care, those payments would amount to a bribe. I would really like to meet the legal genius that came up with that opinion! Especially since the healthcare law is currently in flux and nobody knows what it will look like before Congress is done with it, and tax-free benefits have been part of the American workforce since World War II. Under current law all the companies that work under the Service Contract Act, like STC, are paid for each hourly employee with an amount with benefits included. So for STC to take a stance that they intend to stop paying fringe in future CBA’s is just totally untenable! They will get the money from the Government – they just won’t pass it along?! They will be holding our EARNED benefit money for themselves. For those of us that are Union members this is a standard we fought for and won and giving it up now would cost members more than twelve thousand dollars in take home pay a year. No deal! And we are certainly not going to set the other contracts up to have to deal with that kind of proposal in the future!!

So what does that mean to Union members on other contracts? Each CBA normally has a no strike clause during the duration of the agreement. But that doesn’t mean we can’t support our Brothers and Sisters in other ways.

We are going to fight smart and hard. And we are going to fight them in ways that they don’t expect and do not involve the out dated tactics. In the Internet era, there are plenty of ways to fight back against a tone-deaf company. So there is more to come on our fight with STC. And hopefully the other companies we deal with will see that we are together and focused on our future.

Again, try to find the mobile food truck at your work site on Wednesday, July 19th. You all work hard. It is appreciated. And free drinks are just a small token of appreciation for all that you do everyday!

Respectfully and Fraternally,

Bill Harkum
President, IAM&AW Local Lodge 2424

June 2017 Communication

Hello Everyone,

You found our Local Lodge website!  Now, we continue to develop this website to meet your needs, but some may notice that not all contract tabs contain the same level of details.  The website is growing.  And some chief stewards have pointed out valid reasons they may not be able to share the same level of detail as some other contracts.  If you have questions about why, contact a steward on your contract.

What good news can I bring you?  Well everyone seems to agree that the live fire demonstration for the APG Centennial Celebration was an outstanding success!  I thank all of you that were involved, and I do not want to leave out any of the team members that provided support to this event.  Whether you pulled the trigger on a combat vehicle or pulled five straight days of twelve hour shifts to set up the area – you ALL did an amazing job of showing what APG does best!  You all should be very proud of how well these live fire events went.  Thank you ALL!

We were also pleased to serve the team in return and provide free water and Gatorade for the events.  That seemed to go well, so thank you for bearing with us as we tried to reach as many of you as possible.

So what do we have to look forward to in the coming months?  When the lodge meets again in September we will be just over a year out from the next cycle of Local Lodge Election of Officers and also a year out from the opening of negotiations on a couple of our largest contracts.  If you want to get involved in these processes you need to step up soon.  One of the requirements for being a candidate for Local Lodge Officer is to attend a majority of general lodge meetings in the year prior to election.  So when we meet in September you will have to attend meetings regularly to meet this requirement.  And, of course many people want to supply input into negotiations preparation for ATSS and DCSS. That will be starting shortly after we meet again, so again – now is the time to step up.  We will communicate more as those events get closer, but they are closer than you think, so now is the time to start making the commitments to be involved!

The local lodge t-shirts are still available.  Summer is here so get yours now.

If you have any questions, contact your steward and as always you are all welcomed at the monthly general meeting, June 7th, at the American Legion Hall in downtown Aberdeen, starting at 5:15 PM.

Respectfully and Fraternally,

Bill Harkum

President, IAM&AW Local Lodge 2424

September 2016 Message from Local Union President

Hello Everyone,

This is the monthly communication going into September. Most of the Contractor members just received a communication two weeks ago, but I hope to continue to update everyone, one week before the normal general meetings of the Local Lodge.

The next general meeting is scheduled for September 7th, which is the Wednesday after Labor Day.

Under our Local Lodge By-Laws it is proper procedure to notify membership seven calendar days in advance of any motion to spend local lodge funds in excess of one hundred dollars that is not an ordinary bill or cost to run the lodge. This communication will be one method of that notice, although we will also still use bulletin boards and other postings as we have done in the past.

At this month’s general meeting, I expect three motions may be made involving funds. One motion may be made for a t-shirt order for lodge members that will not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00). These T-shirts are intended for all local lodge members who want one, but we may not have enough for everyone in this first order – and there is a purpose to this, I will explain in this email. We are ordering a conservative amount of shirts from a union–made source and we may order more at a later date if there is enough demand for them. Another motion may also take place that may spend up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) for an ad in the program for the upcoming District 1 Stewards Appreciation night. In the past these ads have cost considerably more than five hundred dollars, and this year, five hundred is the lowest amount of donation available. I also expect a motion for $600.00 for a projector and screen for the general meetings and trainings. If you have any questions, see your steward and/or show up at the general meeting.

What good news can I bring you? Well in our efforts to make this local lodge more digital and internet accessible, I am very pleased to tell you that for ATSS contract members you can now look up the status of grievances on our website, www.ll2424.com . ATSS Chief Steward AJ Begunich has put a lot of effort and thought into what our website and other assets can do for our members, and we are hopeful now that AJ has set up a good template for ATSS that other stewards for other contracts will be able to duplicate. The ATSS Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the status of grievances is under the ATSS tab on our website. More to come. So, I will always encourage you to talk to a steward if you have any questions – but, now you can also see on the website where we stand on the grievances.

Also, now is a good time for those members on contracts that participate in the IAM National Pension Fund to check in on your pension. That website is http://mypension.iamnpf.org I want to pass along a lesson learned about the pension fund website. Our Office Manager, Rosemary Moss, can help you with many things as far as keeping your information up to date with the union, but she cannot gain access to your pension details for you. Each member must keep their personal information up to date with the pension plan and also check to make sure your record is accurate. The best way to do that is through the pension website or calling IAM Pension Customer Service (800-424-9608). Calling Ms. Rosemary does not update your information with the pension plan, because some of those details involve identifying information about you, like social security numbers, that are best controlled by you.

Now, I want to revisit the military pay differential topic I brought up in the August Communication (Federal members, you were not sent this information because it was mainly the contractor issues). If you did not see that communication, I brought up that ATSS, and the prime contractor Jacobs Technology, has stopped the practice of paying our military Reservist and National Guard members the offset difference between their base salary at Jacobs and their base military pay when activated for deployment or active service. The ATSS CBA or Federal Law does not cover this issue, it was just a practice that many large companies, like Jacobs, were doing, during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ATSS tried to stop doing it once before, but reversed the decision once Jacobs management above the Aberdeen Proving Ground level became aware of the decision. Now that decision has come back again.

Why is this important? First, it is a change in working conditions that was not negotiated with the Union. It may only impact a couple dozen of your co-workers, but it was still worthy of discussion about the impact of removing the practice. But more importantly, it’s about the stability that that money provides to our Reservists.

I have heard of a couple stories about the impact. In one case, the upcoming deployment of one of our members is going to mean that a new daycare will have to be used for that family’s two children. Mom would have little chance to get off work in time to safely navigate traffic to pick up the children before their current daycare closes, and dad will be unavailable during his deployment. The military offset pay would stabilize that family’s budget so that they can afford the new daycare situation without worry. Another example could be a member deploying and is trying to arrange a military leave trip back to the US during the deployment so that they do not miss a high school graduation. The military pay offset would make this a fairly simple expense – not a budget busting one without it.

The point is that WE value and respect the sacrifices our Reservists and National Guard members make. It is my intention to respectfully make those values known to ATSS and Jacobs’s management, and encourage them to consider our values in these decisions going forward. This is where I am asking you to stand up and do something to show support for our union members.

I will draft an email and send it to the parties involved with this decision; Steve Hugg – ATSS Program Manager, Donnie Hall – ATSS Union Relations Rep, Darren Kraabel – Jacobs Senior VP for Aerospace and Technology (Steve Hugg’s Boss), and Jill Clemons – VP and COO at Erika Lane Enterprises. These are good people, Mr. Kraabel is a former Air Force Officer, and so he should understand the importance of home front support for the deployed service member. We just need to respectfully share how much we value and respect our co-workers who put on the uniform of this Country and protect our freedoms. I hope you see the value in supporting them too!

Each of you will also get a copy of this email from me. If you agree with this cause, I will ask you to forward the email to these managers, too. You can comment or not, if you choose to, but you should not fear repercussion because it is my email – which will be proper and respectful. We do it in this way so that we do not run afoul of the rules for signing a petition, which is against the law at APG and the IAM Constitution. You won’t be signing a petition, and we will not be doing any type of job action – period. We are simply going to respectfully communicate with our managers, in hopes they reconsider their position. If you don’t want to participate in that way – that is fine too. But I hope that as much verbal support I have heard from ATSS members on this issue that we can generate hundreds of email forwards to show that we are together on this issue.

For our Brothers and Sisters that work for other contracts and other employers, I encourage you to forward this email, too. There is strength in numbers. The smaller groups in this local lodge have leverage because the larger units have your back! I hope in this matter you can stand tall and show the ATSS members you back them too! For our Federal members, it is understood that you need to not interact with contractors and contractor management. There are others ways to show support.

About the T-Shirts, You will see me in a blue union T-shirt the first Wednesday of every month. If you support the above ATSS members’ cause and support your Local Lodge, we will give you a t-shirt to wear on the first Wednesday of every month to show we are together. If we can’t get you a t-shirt right away, just wear a blue shirt. I know it might seem silly, but if we can wear purple on every Friday before a Ravens game, or Green for our Eagles fans – then why can’t we wear blue once a month to support the organization, that is fighting for your paycheck and benefits? I know I am going to try – I hope you join me!

Now lastly, Labor Day. I want to wish all of you and your families a safe and enjoyable Labor Day! But, did you know, that an IAM member is credited with starting the concept of Labor Day. The IAM website says “research is showing that it most likely was the idea of a Matthew Maguire, a machinist, who would later become the secretary for IAM Local Lodge 344 in Paterson, N.J. Records indicate, that he proposed the holiday in 1882, while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the New York Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic, which was the first event of its kind.” The first Labor Day was on a Tuesday. Several states adopted the day as a holiday in the following years. But, it was the tragedy of the deadly end of the Pullman strike in Western America that brought Congress to unanimously enact the Holiday Nationwide in 1894, making it the first Monday in September. (When was the last time you heard of the US Congress acting unanimously?) So on Monday, you will have a day off to celebrate the labor that the American Worker provides to our economy and way of life. Enjoy it! You earned it!

Respectfully and Fraternally,
Bill Harkum
President, IAM&AW Local Lodge 2424

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

June 30, 2016

Reminder:  There will not be a monthly general meeting in July or August, as per our usual schedule.  The next general meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2016, which is the Wednesday after Labor Day.  The time is at 5:15pm. Location is a the American Legion, 44 N Parke St., Aberdeen, MD 21001.  See you there!

On behalf of your lodge officers and stewards, we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday. Thanks to all of you for your individual and team efforts to support this Great Nation and it’s Uniformed Service members, at home and abroad.
We give our prayers and best wishes to each of you and your families during this holiday.

Respectfully and Fraternally,

Bill Harkum
President, IAM&AW Local Lodge 2424

May 26, 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Local Lodge 2424 General Meeting will be held, Wednesday, June 1,  2016 at the American Legion located at 44 N Parke St., Aberdeen, MD 21001.  Meeting will begin at 5:15pm.  There will not be a General Meeting for the months of July and August 2016.  Meetings will resume in September 2016.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the union office at 410-272-2424 or 410-278-2424 or stop by building 4313.

HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!!