Sunday, July 25, 2010

Machinists Fighting for Jobs for All Workers

"Brothers and sisters, are you ready to fight?" "Yes!" was the resounding shout by hundreds of Machinists union members and their families at a jobs rally and picnic on July 10, wearing red t-shirts with the slogan "fighting for my job and yours."

Just 48 hours earlier the union won a court victory stopping Pratt & Whtiney from moving 1,000 jobs out of Connecticut in the middle of the union contract.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court’s injunction against parent company United Technologies Corp (UTC) and Pratt which "had not made, and was not making, ‘every reasonable effort’ to preserve bargaining unit work as required by the collective bargaining agreement." The injunction remains in effect until the union contract expires on December 5.
Last July, workers at the Cheshire repair plant and the air foil department in East Hartford were told their jobs would be moved to Signapore, Japan and Georgia.

"We could have just given up," said Wayne McCarthy, IAM Local Lodge 1746-A president. "But we rallied together and we persevered. We're not going anywhere," he said referring to upcoming contract negotiations in which the jobs still hang in the balance.

"You won big for all workers in this country," exclaimed IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Lynn Tucker. "We will no longer allow jobs to be shipped off shore - we will fight!"

"We will accept nothing less than justice for those who toil in our country," asserted IAM president Thomas Buffenbarger. Referring to November's elections, he urged those present to look toward each other when they vote and choose who will stand by working people.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who supported the IAM lawsuit and is candidate for the U.S. Senate, was greeted with cheers. Recalling Republican opponents' criticism of Blumenthal for the lawsuit, Jim Parent, IAM chief negotiator warned,. "We better win that fight in November."

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