July 23, 2015
By John Quinn, LaborPress USA
Washington, DC — The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has opened an organizing office in Mobile, Alabama to provide union organizing assistance for Airbus workers and employees of companies that provide services to Airbus. Located just minutes from Airbus’s front gate, the union office will be staffed by full-time IAM organizers, community volunteers, and AFL-CIO-affiliated union members from the Mobile and Gulf Coast area.
“Airbus workers need a location outside of work where they can meet and learn about their collective bargaining rights and the process that leads to a union representation election,” said IAM Lead Organizer Al Granado. “The IAM office will also provide organizing support and information for workers employed at the dozens of area vendors which will supply the Airbus assembly line.”
The addition of Airbus to Mobile’s growing industrial landscape will mean increased highly skilled aerospace jobs. These skilled workers have every expectation to be properly compensated for their talents. Proper training, respect on the job and fair compensation for the Airbus workforce will be prime objectives of the IAM-Airbus organizing campaign.
“The IAM also has a responsibility to protect the pay and benefits of more than 100,000 aerospace workers it currently represents in the U.S. and Canada,” said Granado. “We believe the establishment of a non-union aerospace enclave would create corrosive cost-cutting competition in an industry that has a reputation for high quality and high productivity.”
The IAM-Airbus organizing campaign will also conduct outreach to elected officials, civic organizations and business leaders to highlight successful examples of labor-management partnerships in the Gulf Coast region and beyond.
“Despite feverish opposition in some states to union organizing drives, Alabama and the Gulf Coast has a long history of collective bargaining contracts that provide significant stabilizing benefits for the employer as well as the employee,” said Granado. “From promoting apprenticeship programs to securing adequate retirement benefits, collective bargaining agreements can be a valuable part of a community’s economic stability.”
** IAM represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members