Laws passed by our legislators effect our lives at home and at work. The IAM helps to protect workers rights through lobbying and educating our members.

Unions Attacked In Florida State Capital

With the Republicans having a super majority in the State House and State Senate along with the Governor the attack on unions has never been greater. Bill SB256 / HB1445 has sped through committees being approved along party lines even though there was mass opposition. The bill will eliminate union dues payroll deduction to State Government union workers. The bill will also allow decertification of unions if their membership drops below 60 percent. The bill will also control the salaries of union leaders.

Reinaldo Gonzalez, Ryan Murphy and Alberto Gonzalez saw firsthand when they traveled to Tallahassee. They attended the Florida State Council of Machinists Conference and spent time lobbying at the State Capital. They attend committee meetings were the bill was discussed and voted on. Person after person spoke against the bill but the bill was pushed through.

The bill is a direct attack against organized labor and the State’s Government move to bust unions and dictate how unions are governed.


Union Yes! Support The Pro Act! Read About It

Florida Legislative Session Ends - Labor Survives

This has been a Legislative Session like no other. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, union members answered the call to stand up for Florida’s working people as part of this year’s Virtual Working Families Lobby Corps. Members called their legislators, sent emails, engaged virtually with their fellow union members, and took part in actions to fight back against bills attacking Florida’s working people and work for a brighter future for the Sunshine State.

Below you will find the Florida AFL-CIO’s round-up of major working families bills and information about the legislation, including whether or not they passed or failed. We faced some truly challenging bills this session, but thanks to our members and volunteers, we were able to accomplish truly great things for Florida’s working people.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in the fight for Florida’s working families.

In Solidarity,

Mike Williams

President, Florida AFL-CIO

Employee Organizations, Labor Opposed - SB 78 by Rodrigues / HB 947 by Plakon SB 1014 by Baxley / HB 835 by Byrd These union busting legislative packages changed dramatically over time, with bills moving and stalling beginning before session during the Interim Committee process in January. In the end, anti-worker forces settled on SB 1014/HB 853 which would have extended a 50% membership requirement, a ban on automatic paycheck deductions for dues and an onerous new recertification process to all public sector unions except those representing police officers, firefighters and correctional officers. Failed

Florida Retirement System (Eliminating FRS Public Pension), Labor Opposed - SB 84 by Rodrigues (R) The Florida Retirement System is one of the strongest in the nation and provides minimal retirement security for over one million active employees and retirees, contributing over $18.2 billion to Florida’s economy. The Florida Senate moved a couple variations of proposals to close the Defined Benefit portion of FRS to all new hires, forcing them into the 401(k)-type investment plan. This would have completely destabilized the fund for current and future participants and would have cost the taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Failed

Sales and Use Tax, Labor Opposed - SB 50 by Gruters / HB 15 by Clemons This legislation started as a good bill to start collecting sales taxes on internet sales. This would have generated precious resources for Florida’s General Revenue fund and could have paid for healthcare, schools, environmental protection and other critically underfunded needs. Midway in the process, the legislation was changed so that all those resources, estimated to be $1 billion the first year, would be used exclusively to bail out big businesses from paying their proper Unemployment Insurance Premiums and cuts to taxes on commercial leases, while doing nothing to fix the failed Unemployment Insurance System. Passed

Reemployment Assistance, Labor supported - SB 1906 by Brodeur As filed, this bill only looked to raise the maximum weekly unemployment benefit amount by $100 to $375 per week, but we worked hard to add increases in eligibility that would have helped address the fact that almost 90% of unemployed workers never qualify for any benefits at all. The Senate passed the bill unanimously but the Governor pressed House leaders to never take up the issue. Failed

Public Works Projects, Labor opposed - SB 1076 by Brodeur / HB 53 by DiCeglie This legislation will dramatically reduce the ability for local governments to enact and enforce local ordinances on public workers projects centered around higher wages on these projects, the use of apprentices on these projects and local hire preferences. While the legislation passed, we were able to reduce the scope of the preemptions in terms of the projects covered. Passed

Election Administration, Labor opposed - SB 90 by Baxley / HB 7041 Public Integrity & Elections Committee, Byrd, Ingoglia This legislation would restrict voting options statewide and make it harder for citizens to cast their votes. The bill was pushed heavily by Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature. There were multiple strike-all amendments in both chambers during the final days of session. We are still reviewing this complex legislation to ascertain what provisions made the final cut. Passed

School Privatization, Labor opposed - HB 7045 by Education & Employment Committee, Fine, Fischer This is one of the largest expansions of tax-payer funded private school vouchers in history and moves many more students into the regular funding program and builds in automatic enrollment increases. It also takes funds that are dedicated to specific programs including teacher salaries and sends them to unaccountable private schools and affects the availability of funds for our public school students. Passed

South Florida Machinists Union Members Win Electoral Races, Vow to Bring Working People’s Voice to Local Politics

In early March two Florida-based Machinist members won local elections in the Everglades area, a tight-knit agricultural region in the southern section of the state. Mayor Joe Kyles, a District 166 retiree, was reelected by voters in the City of South Bay and Joaquin Almazan, IAM Local 2152 member and legislative representative, was elected to the Belle Glade city commission. The wins also highlight the importance of IAM-offered political training classes that encourage union members to run for office and stress how legislation impacts members’ lives and communities. Read More...


IP Martinez: ‘Where are the Jobs, Mr. President?’


An op-ed by International President Robert Martinez Jr. on the importance of voting in the upcoming election written for the Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO newsletter, the Label Letter.

Working people were promised the world in 2016. Candidate Trump boastfully proclaimed that, if elected, “you won’t lose one plant. You’ll have plants coming into this country. You’re going to have jobs again… I promise you.”

Here in the Machinists Union, especially among our members in the aerospace, defense and manufacturing industries, promises to stop decades of offshoring and outsourcing were at least worth listening to. As an aircraft assembler by trade who has seen critical defense jobs from my plant move to Mexico, I know the toll that job loss takes on families and communities.  

So when a business man with a brash attitude told the nation that he would put working people first, many of our members took Trump for his word. Four years later, it’s time to take a look at the president’s record.

– Thousands of good manufacturing jobs have been cut and hundreds of plants closed, even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Failed to deliver a fair trade deal with China or Mexico that would benefit workers instead of Wall Street.

– A massive corporate tax giveaway that ended up in the pockets of CEOs, but not for worker wages and benefits.

· Attacked Social Security and Medicare by proposing to cut payroll taxes, putting both programs in jeopardy.

(continued on page three)

(continued from page two)

– Eliminated health insurance for 27 million Americans, despite promising to provide healthcare for everybody.

President Trump’s record of broken promises and failed economic policies have directly affected our members. Since 2016, well before the ravages of COVID-19, more than 50 IAM-represented facilities have shut down, throwing thousands of IAM members out of work.

In almost every instance, our union sent a letter to the president asking for the White House’s assistance in saving these jobs and communities. The response? Not a word from this president.

Trump didn’t lift a finger to help us save thousands of U.S. jobs at Harley Davidson in Missouri, Electrolux in Minnesota, Siemens in Iowa or Schneider Electric in Indiana—just to name a few. His inattention and inaction speak volumes about his real priorities. It has become clear that working people simply do not matter to this president, unless we are serving as a prop for a photo-op.

When this president took office, I said I would call balls and strikes with this administration. Between the fumbled response to coronavirus pandemic, the job loss that rivals the Great Depression and the daily rhetoric that serves only to divide working people—this president has struck out with the Machinists Union.

Our membership made that clear when the IAM held the American labor movement’s first-ever rank-and-file vote for a presidential endorsement. This March, every IAM member was given a say in who our great union endorsed for president of the United States. The result was clear—we need change in the White House.

We need a president who will build an economy that works for working people, not just those at the top. We need a country where working people have a real shot to prosper and where hard work will allow them to achieve the American Dream. For our union, that means electing Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and candidates up and down the ballot who will fight for working people, instead of offering empty rhetoric.

The IAM is mobilized at every level to turn this country around, and restore real leadership to the White House and the halls of Congress. We are rolling up our sleeves and doing the work of putting this nation back on track.

We are phone banking, knocking on doors, distributing literature and making sure that all of our members are registered to vote—and, most importantly, making sure they do vote. Together, with the labor movement united, we can win this November and end this national nightmare.

But time is of the essence. Our future and the future of our children and grandchildren depend on our action now.

Let’s get to work, Sisters and Brothers.


Florida 2019 Legislative Session Ends
The 2019 Legislative session in Tallahasse ended last month with a fizzle. Labor unions from across the state including the Machinists fought off union busting legislation...again. 8 of the 9 nine bills we opposed did not pass. 2 bills we did support failed. Union presence made a big differnce on the outcome of these bills. Thanks goes out to Florida State Council President John Gall and Local Lodge 971 delegates Troy Tompkins, Jermaine Phillips and Brent Bonar for their lobbying efforts. Read the final results here.
Machinists Members Endorse Joe Biden

The IAM, utilizing an unprecedented democratic process that included a general membership vote open to all U.S. members in good standing, has endorced Joe Biden for president of the United States.

The IAM's endorsement is the majority will of the IAM's membership and it's State Council, who voted online through an independent 3rd party in early March.

A message from International President Bob Martinez: Our union made it a priority in the 2020 election cycle to give IAM members a real say in who we endorse for president of the United States. Since we announced this process in May 2019, we have encouraged members from coast to coast to register and make their voices heard in this important decision. We also urged presidential candidates to listen to our membership and speak about the issues that IAM members believe are most critical.

“Today the IAM is proud to announce our endorsement for Joe Biden, a proven leader who we believe can take back the White House and restore power back to working people and unions. Joe understands that unions built the middle class and that working people deserve their fair share of the prosperity we create. At this time more than ever, we need a leader who can deliver for workers and communities across this nation on retirement security, affordable health care and stronger protections for workers and unions. Our members have indicated that strong support for these issues is critical for our endorsement. Joe Biden has been fighting for these issues throughout his career.

“Make no mistake, workers’ rights, including safety and health and the right to unionize and bargain collectively, is on the ballot this November. We have endured four years of attacks on working people in the form of anti-union judges and NLRB decisions, attacks on our retirement and health care, and more. The GOP tax plan gave enormous tax breaks to multinational corporations while resulting in more than 50 plant closures for IAM members since the president took office. We cannot afford another four years of anti-worker policies being dictated to us by corporate-bought politicians in Washington.

Read More

Machinists Take On Tallahassee

Machinists  union members from across the state attended the Florida State Council of Machinists convention to lobbied the state capital during the 3rd week of session.

It was another week battling union busting and workers rights.

Local Lodge 971 members Jermaine Phillips, Troy Tompkins and Brent Bonar joined with Florida State Council of Machinists John Gall.

The top bill was HB01. This bill attacks public workers unions, teachers, firemen, policemen and city, county and state workers. The bill would require union members to resign their union membership to automatic dues deductions annually. It also would require the employer to then seek out each member and ask them to reaffirm their decision to stay a member.

Other bills proposed are preemption bills that would remove local county and city ordinances that protect their workers and control the out sourcing of municipal projects.


Representitive David Silvers with John Gall, Mayor Frank Ortis, Troy Tompkins, Brent Bonar and Jermaine Phillips.

IAM Rejects USMCA (NAFTA 2.0)

The IAM sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives urging a “no” vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA or NAFTA 2.0). USMCA does not fulfill the promise that was made to U.S. workers to negotiate an agreement that dramatically replaces the current trade template that continues to cost U.S. workers hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The IAM has continued to call for fundamental changes to NAFTA in order to curtail the massive outsourcing of work in aerospace and other manufacturing sectors to Mexico. These changes include robust labor standards, effective enforcement, and stronger rules of origin that do not leave out major sectors of manufacturing.

“Instead of the dramatically improved agreement that was promised to workers, USMCA represents only a modest improvement to the current trade template,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “As we have repeatedly said, to win the support of the IAM, the USMCA must make fundamental changes to NAFTA in order to curtail the massive outsourcing of work in aerospace and other manufacturing sectors to Mexico. These changes include robust labor standards, effective enforcement, and stronger rules of origin that do not leave out major sectors of manufacturing.”

Florida State Council of Machinists Take To The Hill

Last month FSCM joined the Sugar Labor Management Committee to introduce themselves to the freshmen State Representatives and Senators. The group consisted of union members from Locals 2152 and 57 who represent the workers at Florida Crystals and US Sugar as well as representatives from FSCM.

Their goal was to educate the incoming legislators of the many union jobs that are in the sugar industry.

Union Members from LL57 & 2152
Meet with Representitive Ausley Loranne
Florida State Council Lobbies Space Day
The Florida State Council of Machinists (FSCM) visited Florida legislatures last month in Tallahassee on Space Day. The day is dedicated to support the space industriy in the state. FSCM representatives visited legislatures promoting the importance that union jobs create in the industry. Union members enjoy good pay and benifiets that help promote the industry in the state.

FSCM Pre3sident John Gall with FSCM Legislator
Director Frank Ortis
Teachers Union Take Another Hit

The 2018 Florida Legislative session has come to a close. Again labor was under attack. Unfortunately some of our allies jumped ship on some important legislation that attacks unions and working families in the State of Florida.

The Bad and Ugly:

HB 7055 by Bileca, Teacher’s Union Decert: The 200-page education omnibus bill doesn’t have much of the good but does contain lots of the bad and the ugly. This massive package is another sweeping overhaul of our education system with the clear goal of expanding Florida’s school privatization experiments. It reduces state oversight and accountability for charter and private schools, suggests new funding schemes for charter and private schools, changes education governance and much more.  The bill also includes the same union decertification language as HB 25

Unions Take The Hill

Last month delegates attending the Florida State Council of Machinists (FSCM) ascended on the Florida State Capital in Tallahassee.

They were joined by other unions from across the state forming the Working Families Lobby Core.

Several anti labor bills were making their way through committees and onto the House floor during the week long visit. On of the major bills was House Bill 25 (HB25). This bill would allow the state to decertify public sector unions if their union member density dropped below 50%. This would require the union to do a recertification election, basically start over as an organizing drive.

John Gall and Brent Bonar representing Local Lodge 971 made up the IAM delegates of 35 Machinists Union members from across the state.

Check Out The Video At The Florida AFL-CIO

John Gall & Brent Bonar meet with Senator Campbell.

Contribute to MNPL

The top ten multi-national corporations contributed over $23.6 million to federal candidates during the 2004 election cycle. Each year, the top ten lobbying organizations for Corporate America spend over $108.7 million to influence Congress and the White House. To fight back, MNPL needs your help.  To contribute see your Shop Steward for a payroll deduction card for weekly donations. For $25.00 a year you can be a sponsoring member. That’s only 49 cents a week. Please contribute what you can.