Happy Holidays from the Metal Trades Department

Happy Holidays from the Metal Trades Department

The holidays are a time for us to gather with our family and friends, appreciate the blessings in our lives, and celebrate the spirit of the season.

The holidays are also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the message of peace, love and hope for working families around the world. Organized labor is strongest when workers come together and, during this holiday season I ask that all members of the Metal Trades join with me as we give back to communities in need across the United States and Canada.

It is in this spirit of giving, that we should all take time in both gesture and thought, to show how proud we are of the brave men and women who serve in our country’s armed forces and our first responders who protect and serve our great nations every day.

In the spirit of reflection and celebration, I would like to share how much I have enjoyed working with you, our members, to make a difference in the lives of working families.

We don’t have small goals at the Metal Trades Department, and we will never shy away from tough fights or problems. The lessons of the past and the dedication and commitment of generations of metal trades workers have taught us that there are no limits to what we can achieve when we work together.

We have big plans for 2020, and, despite the fact that our councils and unions are going to face new and daunting challenges, we are committed to solving these problems and seizing new opportunities. In all our initiatives, we’ll be helping more workers, in more places, faster and more efficiently.

On behalf of the staff and the affiliated unions of the Metal Trades Department, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Kwanza. It is our most humble wish that you and your family, friends and loved ones reap the joy of a healthy, happy and prosperous 2020.

May God bless you and may God bless America and Canada!


Statement from Metal Trades Department President James Hart on the Shooting Death of Two Members at Pearl Harbor

December 5, 2019
For immediate release
Contact: James Hart 202-302-1651

Washington, DC – It is with great sadness that the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, mourn the loss of two members of the Hawaii Federal Employees Metal Trades Council (HFEMTC) who succumbed to their injuries as a result of yesterday’s shooting at the Pearl Harbor Joint Naval Base. We pray for the third victim, also a member, who is currently recovering from his injuries.

Our thoughts and prayers for strength and aloha are with the families and friends of the victims. Our Hawaii Metal Trades Council is a tight knit community. The repercussions of this senseless tragedy will surely be felt for a long time to come. May God bless the victims and their families and provide comfort to our union brothers and sisters at this difficult time. Federal workers are the backbone of our country. They deserve to be safe at work.

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The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.

The Hawaii Federal Employees Metal Trades Council represents 3600 workers at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.

Happy Thanksgiving From the Metal Trades Department

Happy Thanksgiving From the Metal Trades Department

On behalf of the executive council and staff of the Metal Trades Department, I would like to wish you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

As we begin this holiday season, I would like to take a few moments to thank you all for being a part of our Metal Trades family. Our success comes from the strength of our membership, allies and affiliated unions. Without you, we would not be where we are today.

It has been a challenging time for labor and we will continue to face challenges in the coming year.

But as the old Ralph Chaplin song goes:

“In our hands is placed a power
Greater than their hoarded gold
Greater than the might of atoms
Magnified a thousand-fold
We can bring to birth a new world
From the ashes of the old
For the union makes us strong.”

It is our union that makes us strong. And at the Metal Trades, it is our councils, with members hailing from our various affiliated unions that, working together as one, build better workplaces across the country for our members.

I am very proud of the work we do, and you should be to.

Thank you, and I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. May God bless you and God bless America.

In Solidarity,
James Hart, President

Senate Caucus Letter on Inclusion of Collective Bargaining Protections in Appropriations

On November 20, a large delegation of Senators sent a letter to Senator McConnell and the Senate leadership responsible for drafting appropriations legislation for FY 2020, asking them to “accede to Section 749 of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 3351), which provides an essential safeguard for federal employees’ collective bargaining rights in response to the Trump Administrations sustained attacks on the federal workforce.”

In the letter, the Senators outline abuses federal employees have endured under the Trump Administration and point to specific agencies that have resorted to “circumventing the collective bargaining process altogether by engaging in ‘surface’ bargaining.”

The letter goes on to explain that the House passed, in its appropriations package in June, a provision to “retroactively block agencies from implementing any collective bargaining agreement that has not been mutually and voluntarily agreed to by all parties, unless it was the result of binding arbitration.”

Closing out the letter, the Senators state that, “we must affirm our support for workers and labor rights.”

See the full text of the letter attached.



Because of Our Brave and Dedicated Veterans, America’s Best Days Are Still Ahead

Because of Our Brave and Dedicated Veterans, America’s Best Days Are Still Ahead

The American flag has never wavered because America’s vets have never wavered. American veterans have provided our nation with safety and security so that every citizen can enjoy the fruits of freedom.

Whether they fought on the shores of Normandy or the deserts of the Middle East, our veterans are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served our country with distinction and honor.

On Veterans Day, the Metal Trades Department, its local councils and affiliates wish to provide America’s vets with our deepest thanks. Their sacrifices have helped secure more than two centuries of American progress, and their legacy affirms that no matter what confronts us or what trials we face, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Because of our brave and dedicated veterans, America’s best days are still ahead.

America’s men and women in uniform have defined our country throughout its generations, teaching us and exhibiting strength, duty, devotion and resolve. Even after our veterans take off the uniform, they never stop serving. Many apply the skills and experience they developed on the battlefield to a life of service here at home. They take on roles in their communities that working families depend upon.

On behalf of a grateful Metal Trades Nation, we want all to know that our country’s Metal Trades workers are committed to fulfilling our responsibilities to them and upholding the sacred trust we share with all who have served. We will continue to challenge all Americans to reflect on the immeasurable burdens that have been borne by so few. We should pay tribute each day to our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families and honor them not only on Veterans Day, but every day.

The Metal Trades workers of America today reaffirm our promise to our veterans that when they finish their tours of duty, they will come home and always live in an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong and our country moving forward.

May God bless and keep Americans veterans safe, healthy and always revered.

On behalf of the Metal Trades Department, staff, councils and affiliates, thank you for your service.

God Bless America!

Never Forget

On September 11, 2001, America was forever changed. It has been 18 years since terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, but that tragic day, which served as a true test of the American spirit will always be remembered.

Many of our union brothers and sisters were killed on 9/11, and many more have since died or fallen ill from the effects of working in the rescue and recovery effort. We will never forget their service and sacrifice. May God bless America.