Oppose HR 1160

Oppose HR 1160

See the letter sent by President Hart to all Representatives regarding HR1180, the inappropriately named Working Families Flexibility Act.

The legislation would weaken overtime protection for workers. The MTD strongly opposes the bill and asks all House members to oppose the legislation.

Federal Workers Alliance Unions Urge Congress to Oppose HR 1364

Federal Workers Alliance Unions Urge Congress to Oppose HR 1364

The Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), coalition of labor unions representing more than 300,000 federal workers sent sent a letter to Congress this week urging Representatives to vote no on the Official Time Reform Act of 2017 (HR1364). In all, 16 unions signed on to the letter.

The legislation aimed to withhold service credit hours towards retirement from employees who work 80 percent or more in official time duty status. It also outlaws recruitment, retention and relocation funding for the same employees.

Labor leaders believe that the bill unfairly targets the financial security of individual federal employees for their lawful service to their colleagues and their agencies.

See the full text of the letter below or download a copy here.

March 24, 2017

Dear Representative:

The undersigned unions of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), collectively representing more than 300,000 federal workers, urge you to VOTE NO on the Official Time Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 1364).  This bill passed out of committee under false pretenses through a series of serious mischaracterizations about federal official time use, and what H.R. 1364 will prevent and provide.

In summary, this bill targets individual federal workers (and their families) who have done nothing more than perform the lawful duties of their jobs, under the supervision of agency management representatives.  The bill withholds service credit hours toward retirement from employees who work 80% or more in official time duty status. It also outlaws recruitment, retention and relocation funding for the same employees.

Most reprehensively, this bill retroactively denies employees their retirement service credit hours for time already worked if they retire on or after October 1, 2017.  This provision serves no purpose other than to force certain employees who perform representational work into retirement or risk losing months or years of retirement service credit hours for doing nothing other than their lawful duties.

We would like you to understand the facts about H.R. 1364 and official time:

Official time is not “union time.”  Activities such as political and internal union business are already prohibited (e.g. the Hatch Act affords no exceptions for unions).

  • Official time is used to address important workplace concerns including issues regarding safety, efficiency, mission effectiveness, employee engagement, and support to management to implement initiatives.
  • Official time is used to advise and represent federal employees on personnel matters often saving the agency time and money by avoiding costly litigation.
  • Official time is allotted through communications with agency representatives to ensure it is used carefully and in a way that benefits the workforce and the agency mission.
  • This bill cannot stand on its own merits. That is why we believe its supporters chose to fabricate problems with the official time process and then attempt to institute false solutions that will punish federal workers and their families.

Official time is a beneficial workforce practice.  H.R.1364 falsely depicts this longstanding, important workplace process as illegitimate.  The bill’s main goal is to target the financial security of individual federal employees for their lawful service to their colleagues and their agencies.

At a time when the checks and balances of the government are especially valuable and important tools, H.R. 1364 will discourage employees who wish to perform the important services  provided using official time, which has been shown to be of significant value to agencies and civil service employees and encourages transparency and accountability in government.

Again, the undersigned unions of the FWA ask you to VOTE NO on H.R. 1364, the Official Time Reform Act of 2017.

Thank you for your review of this issue and supporting this request.

Sincerely,

American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Federal Education Association/National Education Association (FEA/NEA)
International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (MM&P)
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO (MTD)
National Association of Government Employees, SEIU
National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)
Overseas Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS)
Seafarers International Union/NMU (SIU)
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)
SPORT Air Traffic Controllers Organization (SATCO)

House approves bill aimed to help sick Hanford workers

House approves bill aimed to help sick Hanford workers


From KING 5

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Members of the Washington state House of Representatives approved HB 1723 Thursday afternoon, which would help sick Hanford workers get their worker compensation claims approved.

The vote was 69 to 29, and now the matter goes to the Senate.

Prior to the vote, bill sponsor Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, urged his fellow House members to support the measure.

“I would hope that all of us would vote yes. Send a resounding emphasis to the Department of Energy as well as the Hanford contractors that this state backs the Hanford workers and wants to make sure they go home healthy and those who’ve been made ill (at the site) do get the adequate medical care,” said Haler.

HB 1723 aimed to help workers diagnosed with certain illnesses get the care and compensation they need. It would grant a presumption of occupational illness for Hanford workers, similar to what the legislature granted to firefighters in 1987. The illnesses included for Hanford workers include respiratory disease, heart problems experienced after an exposure to toxic chemicals, neurological diseases, such as toxic encephalopathy (occupational induced dementia), and certain cancers.

Seattle shipyard looks to expand dry docks

Seattle shipyard looks to expand dry docks

From KING 5 News

SEATTLE – The shipyard that boasts the largest dry dock in Puget Sound, which services Washington state ferries, is looking to expand.

A dry dock is like a floating elevator that lifts ships up out of the water for repairs. The dry dock at Vigor Industrial’s shipyard on Harbor Island offers a space 560 feet long by 95 feet wide, but one in that size range is no longer considered enough.

Like a quasi-submarine, a dry dock partially sinks, allowing a vessel to be floated in, then raised up as water is pumped out, so the bottom and things like propellers, propeller shafts, and valves can be exposed, inspected, and worked on.

Once known as Todd Shipyard, Vigor both builds vessels and repairs them. Currently, the yard is constructing the third and fourth Olympic class 144 car capacity boats for Washington state’s ferry system.  As it is, the fourth ferry is the final new boat on order. Further orders from the state will depend on an upcoming strategic plan review, which could set a course for future ferry construction.

 

Hundreds of SF Shipyard Jobs Saved — For Now

Hundreds of SF Shipyard Jobs Saved — For Now

Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle

Reprinted from the San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly 250 industrial jobs at Pier 70 — some of the last such jobs on the largely gentrified San Francisco waterfront — were at least temporarily spared Wednesday after a dry dock operator agreed to keep the shipyard open for 90 days while it works out a legal dispute with the company that previously ran the facility.

Puglia Engineering, which took over the shipyard lease in January from longtime operator BAE Systems, agreed to a 90-day interim deal with the Port of San Francisco that will give both parties a window to hammer out a plan to get the money-losing dry dock back on solid footing.

It’s not going to be easy. Two weeks ago, Puglia, a relatively small ship repair business based in Washington state, filed a lawsuit alleging that BAE had misled it into thinking that the two dry docks at Pier 70 — one that services cruise ships and one that handles smaller vessels — were “well-maintained and could be put to immediate use.”

Instead, Puglia said, it discovered the smaller of the two dry docks, known as Eureka, had “deteriorated to an extent that it would cost $9 million” to render operational. In addition, Puglia’s lawsuit claims that an additional $12 million in dredging is needed just to be able to ensure that vessels could get into the dry docks. Last week, Puglia filed a notice of imminent closure of the shipyard with state labor regulators.

In total, according to the Puglia lawsuit, it would cost “$24 million in 2017 to get the facility to the condition which had been represented it would be from the beginning.”

BAE Systems, a publicly traded multinational corporation with a market capitalization of $25 billion, counters that Puglia knew exactly what it was getting when it took over the dry dock. Puglia paid $1 to take over BAE’s lease with the port, while assuming $36 million in pension liabilities.

In a cross complaint, BAE called Puglia a “sophisticated buyer” that spent more than a year conducting its own “due diligence of the business and its assets.”

BAE quoted a letter from Puglia CFO Scott Hendrickson stating that “no matter how I look at it, the S.F. site is slated to lose a lot of money in 2017 and may have lost money in 2016 from what it looks like.” Hendrickson also stated that the dry docks and equipment are in “very poor shape and will require heavy investment going forward to keep the site viable and operating.”

The stakes are high for the Port of San Francisco, which has been working to expand maritime work on the waterfront. While San Francisco has been losing shipping business to Oakland and other West Coast cities for decades, last summer there was a bit of good news as the port reached a deal with Pasha Automotive Services to import as many as 150,000 automobiles a year into Pier 80.

“Ship repair is incredibly important to the port’s maritime portfolio,” said Port Director Elaine Forbes. “It’s been here 100 years, and we aim to keep it in San Francisco.”

While BAE’s cruise ship repair business at Pier 70 was strong for most of the past decade, revenue started sinking in 2015 when a bigger $40 million dry dock opened in Portland, Ore. “We knew there was trouble, they were telling us there was trouble,” said Forbes. “It’s a competitive market, and any time a new yard opens the dynamics change.”

When BAE decided to cut its losses, the port was hopeful that Puglia, a family-owned business that had 125 employees before taking over Pier 70 and specializes in repairing smaller vessels for the Navy and Coast Guard, might diversify the pier’s revenue streams. That could still happen — assuming it can get the Eureka dock back in working order.

Peter Blake, who heads up General Engineering, a 50-year-old San Francisco based ship repair business, was not optimistic about the shipyard bouncing back.

“This sounds like the death knell for the shipyard in San Francisco,” he said. “All my life those jobs have been there — high-paying, union, blue-collar jobs. Once they are gone, they will never come back.”

J.K. Dineen is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: jdineen@sfchronicle.com

Twitter: @sfjkdineen

 

Washington Update — Vol. 1, No. 1

Washington Update — Vol. 1, No. 1

February 16, 2017

Vol. 1, No. 1

It’s time to get involved ….

A message from Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart

President Jimmy Hart

It’s time to get involved …. It’s up to you to keep your Council strong! Keeping your Council strong and vital is hard work that involves your everyday participation. Most members will never hold council office, and many have never attended a meeting, some may not have even opened this newsletter. However, if we are to thrive and better our lives in the workplace, it will take a team effort with everyone pulling together. Indifference and benign neglect of our responsibilities as trade unionists to our councils, local and international unions can no longer be accepted if we are to remain a viable and dependable voice for workers in the workplace.

Our Councils serve as the lifeline for Metal Trades Workers. A union is not about its treasury or its elected executive board or officers. A union is built on participation and buy-in by all members, recognizing the reality that if you allow others to make the decisions, they just might make them in a manner that you strongly oppose.

As I travel around the country visiting metal trades job sites, attending council meetings and such, I never grow tired of meeting dedicated trade unionists who have become activists simply by attending an organizing or political meeting. I revel in meeting the once staunch anti-union advocate who worked against the Union in a representation election, who, over time, not only learned the value of union membership but went on to become one of our greatest advocates and assets. It’s inspiring.

Participation changes minds! The Metal Trades and the labor movement as a whole face serious challenges as we confront opponents in the world of politics and management. To confront our challenges, our councils will require interested, engaged and serious delegates and workers to come together as one to fend off adversaries whose sole aim is to set us back generations by attacking our job security, wages, and protections.

We are the Metal Trades and you and your fellow brothers and sisters are the members of Unions that make us strong. It’s time to get involved: signup a new member and join the fight to keep our unions strong and vibrant. May God Bless America and protect the house of labor, for it is truly the only place in which a worker may find their strength and take refuge.

I look forward to meeting and speaking with you as I visit your councils, plants, and facilities.

Remember …… We Need You! #MetalTradesStrong

OLMS Filing Requirements and Webinars

Visit: https://www.dol.gov/olms/
for more compliance resources

OLMS is offering free webinars on use of the OLMS Electronic Forms System (EFS) for filers of the Form LM-3 and Form LM-4. See: www.dol.gov/olms/regs/compliance/olms_webinar/olmswebinar2017.htm. OLMS encourages Form LM-3 and LM-4 filers to participate in the webinars, as electronic filing is mandatory for such filers beginning with fiscal years that start on or after January 1, 2017. See: www.dol.gov/olms/elec_file.htm. At that point, OLMS will no longer provide paper forms or accept paper reports, except in cases of hardship.

OLMS will host two webinars: one for Form LM-3 filers and one for Form LM-4 filers. The Form LM-3 webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST. The Form LM-4 webinar will be held on Monday, March 6, 2017, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST. They are both open to all interested individuals. OLMS is not holding EFS training specifically for Form LM-2 filers because electronic filing is already required. However, Form LM-2 filers may choose to participate or view the EFS Help page that includes a webinar for using the EFS Form LM-2.
The public can register at the below links with registration password: Welcome!25. Once approved by the host, the participant will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session.
OLMS will be taking questions during the webinar by email, at OLMS-Public@dol.gov. Those with questions about webinar registration can email or call the national office at (202) 693-0123.

Time to Grow Your Council. Looking to organize new contractors and workers? … Here’s the place where Metal Trades Councils can go to find out where the jobs are. USASpending.Gov

Build Union, Build Metal Trades Union, Build Safe, Save a Life

The article below highlights the dangers of working in non-union shipyards with little regard for workforce safety.

The Deadly Danger of Trump’s Naval Buildup
The Navy could soon see a shipbuilding boom. But workers are dying and the contracts keep coming.

(from Politico.com)

Bram Ates felt the urge to vomit. A chemical stench filled the engine room of the tugboat in a sprawling Mississippi shipyard. Ates scrambled over to an oval hole in the floor and peered into the dark abyss. Below him, two men were crawling through cramped steel boxes laid out like coffins. They had been told to wipe the inside of the hull with paint thinner.

“Look, y’all need to get out of that tank,” Ates screamed.

He heard hissing. A tangerine fireball erupted through the hole and catapulted him across the boat. The deafening boom reverberated through the rooms of a Super 8 motel more than 2 miles away. READ MORE…

METAL TRADES COUNCILS RECORD RETENTION POLICY

It is the policy of The Metal Trades Councils to retain records as required by law and to destroy them when appropriate. The destruction of records must be approved by the [The Office of The Secretary-Treasurers], and logged into the Union’s [Destroyed Records Log]. The formal records retention policy of Metal Trades Councils is as follows:

It’s time to get involved ….

It’s time to get involved ….

By Jimmy Hart, Metal Trades Department President

This article originally appeared in the “Washington Update” read the full newsletter here.

It’s time to get involved …. It’s up to you to keep your Council strong! Keeping your Council strong and vital is hard work that involves your everyday participation. Most members will never hold council office, and many have never attended a meeting, some may not have even opened this newsletter. However, if we are to thrive and better our lives in the workplace, it will take a team effort with everyone pulling together. Indifference and benign neglect of our responsibilities as trade unionists to our councils, local and international unions can no longer be accepted if we are to remain a viable and dependable voice for workers in the workplace.

Our Councils serve as the lifeline for Metal Trades Workers. A union is not about its treasury or its elected executive board or officers. A union is built on participation and buy-in by all members, recognizing the reality that if you allow others to make the decisions, they just might make them in a manner that you strongly oppose.

As I travel around the country visiting metal trades job sites, attending council meetings and such, I never grow tired of meeting dedicated trade unionists who have become activists simply by attending an organizing or political meeting. I revel in meeting the once staunch anti-union advocate who worked against the Union in a representation election, who, over time, not only learned the value of union membership but went on to become one of our greatest advocates and assets. It’s inspiring.

Participation changes minds! The Metal Trades and the labor movement as a whole face serious challenges as we confront opponents in the world of politics and management. To confront our challenges, our councils will require interested, engaged and serious delegates and workers to come together as one to fend off adversaries whose sole aim is to set us back generations by attacking our job security, wages, and protections.

We are the Metal Trades and you and your fellow brothers and sisters are the members of Unions that make us strong. It’s time to get involved: signup a new member and join the fight to keep our unions strong and vibrant. May God Bless America and protect the house of labor, for it is truly the only place in which a worker may find their strength and take refuge.
I look forward to meeting and speaking with you as I visit your councils, plants, and facilities.

Remember …… We Need You! #MetalTradesStrong

Statement from James Hart, President of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO on the Confirmation of Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation

Statement from James Hart, President of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO on the Confirmation of Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation

On behalf of the Metal Trades Department and our seventeen national and international affiliated unions, I would like to congratulate Secretary Chao on her confirmation as the next Secretary of Transportation.

We look forward to working with Secretary Chao and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to strengthen and enforce the Jones Act, improve the lives and working conditions of our unionized maritime workforce, and bolster the economic future of the shipping and shipbuilding industries.

Metal Trades Department Updated Constitution and By-laws Available for Download

Metal Trades Department Updated Constitution and By-laws Available for Download

During the 70th Convention of the Metal Trades Department held in Las Vegas, NV on October 5-6, 2016, delegates voted to amend the Constitution and By-laws for the Department. The updated version is now available for download.

Printed copies are available upon request from the Department. Contact the Metal Trades Department for details.

Contact the Staff

James Hart | President jhart@metaltrades.org

Lisa Johnson | Operations Manager ljohnson@metaltrades.org

Tom Schaffer | MTD General Rep tschaffer@metaltrades.org