In a letter supporting IAMAW Loal Lodge S6 workers on strike at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, Metal Trades Department President James Hart urged Senators Collins and King to use their resources to “combat against corporate greed and the union busting agenda of the General Dynamics Company, whose untenable actions threaten the national security mission of our country and the social fabric of the Pine Tree State.”
The 4300 workers at Bath Iron Works have been on strike for more than a month.
We urge all members of Congress to strongly support the “HEROES ACT” Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
June 29, 2020
Hon. Mitch McConnell
United States Senate
Hon. Charles Schumer
United States Senate
Hon. Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
Hon. Kevin McCarthy
U.S. House of Representatives
RE: “HEROES ACT” Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act
Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy:
The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO and the undersigned labor unions represent tens of thousands of shipbuilder’s, shipbreakers, harbor construction workers, longshore workers, and other essential port and maritime workers. We build, maintain and operate the ships and facilities that provide our nations supply chain and national defense. We are the American workforce that continues to perform their duties diligently and with distinction, regardless of risk or exposure to COVID-19, ensuring that food and medical supplies are unloaded and delivered to combat this heinous virus.
Unfortunately, a number of our nation’s essential maritime employees have already passed away from COVID 19. Many more in the maritime and its related workforces have been hospitalized due to coronavirus illnesses and now face long term consequences to their health and family finances.
We strongly support the changes in the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act embodied in the “Heroes Act” passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, 2020. The Act, in separate sections, creates a presumption of causation of workplace illness arising from virus exposure for certain federal workers and for workers covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. It is imperative that maritime industry “Heroes” receive the temporary or permanent disability benefits provided by the Act, as well as reasonable medical expenses and death benefits. The legislation does not blame employers or insurance carriers for the pandemic. The only legislative requirement of employers is that they comply with applicable safety and health regulations. Employer experience ratings or premiums will not be affected, as insurance carriers are provided relief through the legislation that allows them to recoup losses for COVID-19 related expenses.
This provision among many contained in the “Heroes Act” is an important next step in our country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, providing compensation and critical health and safety protections for workers. The affiliates of the Metal Trades Department, and their partners in the labor movement, strongly urge the Senate to adopt the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act provision(s) in the House of Representatives Heroes Act.
As you begin to complete your work on the next round of stimulus and worker protection legislation, the undersigned organizations urge you to enact bipartisan policy provisions that will guarantee the health and safety of all American workers.
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Federal Workers Alliance
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
International Longshoremen’s Association
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots
National Association of Government Employees-SEIU
National Federation of Federal Employees
Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ International Association
Laborers’ International Union of North America
The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO joined multiple labor organizations in a joint letter to Congress urging leaders to act swiftly to pass legislation that ensures every eligible voter is able to participate in the 2020 elections amid COVID-19 and that future elections are resilient to national emergencies – including natural disasters and pandemics.
See the pdf of the full letter below.
MTD President James Hart penned a letter to Congress yesterday thanking them for their bipartisan efforts to help American workers and businesses during this unprecedented time. See the text of the letter below. Or download the full letter here.
Text of the letter:
Congress has appropriated 2 trillion plus dollars for employers to pay their overhead and employees during this crisis and will very likely have to appropriate billions more. That is what government should do and the members and affiliates of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, are thankful for your nonpartisan legislative efforts during this heinous time of pandemic in our country. The hard work of your respective caucuses have given Metal Trades manufacturing and production employers many of the tools they need to survive this economic crises.
I would like to further commend the Secretary of Defense and the US Navy for steps they have taken to reboot our economy. They have built upon your legislative initiatives, and changed their procurement policies to allow pre-payment to supplier chains to pay their overhead and employees to produce critical components for ships, fighter aircraft and engines. The Navy has added another half billion dollars for advanced procurement. Since these suppliers exist in all 50 states, millions of skilled industrial workers will have a job that will help lead the recovery. Above all, this commitment tells any potential enemy that we are still capable of defending our nation.
Once again, thank you for your time and consideration in addressing the needs of America’s manufacturing workforce during this time of economic distress. Your continued support is greatly appreciated!
On July 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit overturned, on jurisdictional grounds, a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of three controversial Trump Workforce Executive Orders taking aim at federal employee unions.
In a letter to Congress, Metal Trades Department President James Hart asked Senators and Representatives to take legislative action to block and reverse these destructive Executive Orders.
See the text of the full letter below:
Dear House / Senate Member
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned, on jurisdictional grounds, a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of three controversial Trump Workforce Executive Orders taking aim at federal employee unions.
In its ruling issued on July 16, 2019, the three-judge panel stated in overruling the lower court decision that the suit lacked judicial jurisdiction and that federal employees and their representatives can only seek relief from the court after going through the administrative process, namely the Federal Labor Relations Authority. This decision condemns the federal workforce to a fate dictating that workers must sit back and watch their rights being trampled upon by overzealous agency management personnel, as unions are now forced to address contract and statute violations by filing Unfair Labor Practice charges with the FLRA, an agency filled with partisan appointees, devoid of a general counsel, and plagued with huge case backlogs.
The appeals court overturned an August 2018-decision from the District of Columbia federal district court, which invalidated nine key provisions of the President’s three Federal Workforce Executive Orders, 13836, 13837 and 13838, that conflicted with the original intent of Congress when passing the Civil Service Reform Act and Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute in 1978.
Those provisions include:
- The imposition of a 25% cap on the use of official time,
- The prohibition against employees’ right to petition and communicate with Congress,
- The ban on the use of official time by union representatives to prepare and present grievances,
- The one hour per bargaining unit employee formula to be applied to set an aggregate cap on the use of official time,
- The limitations placed on unions’ use of agency facilities, such as office space and computers,
- The exclusion of challenges to performance ratings and incentive pay from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure,
- The limitation of performance improvement periods to 30 days, with agencies alone having the discretion to apply longer periods,
- The direction to agencies to press for the exclusion of removals from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure, and
- The prohibition against bargaining over “permissive” subjects.
The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and its 17 International Union Affiliates seeks your support in pursuing legislative remedies to block and reverse these destructive executive orders. The days of disrespecting the federal workforce by this Administration must come to an end.
In a letter to Representatives Cummings, Neal, Davis and Fitzpatrick, the Federal Workers Alliance — of which the Metal Trades Department is a member — expressed its support for the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act. The legislation was introduced in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13843 that removes federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the competitive service to excepted service.
The FWA, which collectively represents 300,000 federal workers, explains that the EO “allows political appointees at agencies throughout the federal government to pick and choose inexperienced political friends to serve as ALJs who could move forward the partisan agenda of whoever may be occupying the White House.”
Outlining the dangers of not addressing the EO, the FWA went on to ask all House members to support the legislation.
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