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Big Sugar Jobs On The Line

Last summer brought toxic algae blooms in our costal water ways. Phosphors water pump into Lake Okeechobee from the north end of lake was the direct cause. Runoff from sod farms, cattle ranches and urban development was determined part of the phosphorus.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron has proposed a 120-billion-gallon reservoir south of the lake to create an outlet for lake water now drained to the east and west coast.

Unfortunately, the majority of the land that Negron proposes the state to buy is owned by Florida Crystal and U.S. Sugar. These two companies employ approximately 4,000 employees at their farms and mills. The hourly employees are IAM Union members. Not only would this land buy close the Sugar Industries and kill the jobs they support but would also destroy the business in the towns around the lake that depend on their support.

The State has already spent nearly $300 million of South Florida taxpayer’s money on a long stall reservoir located in the old rock mines west of Wellington. Law makers are proposing to spend $400 million more on another reservoir right next door even though the first one is not complete.

Senator Negron’s proposal sounds good the residence in his east coast district. Who wouldn’t want to stop the algae blooms in their back yard.  Unfortunately, Senator Negron’s proposal will not fix the problem. The problem lies in the north in of the lake. The answer is to clean the water before it enters the lake.

The sugar industry has received a bad reputation especially from environmental groups. It’s easy for them to blame “Big Sugar” and label them as polluters to the environment. The fact is the sugar industries are good stewards of the environment. Florida Crystal, located south of Bel Glade retains the water they use. The recycle and purify their water. Last year only 3% of their water was pumped into the lake after purification. The byproduct from the sugar cane is turned into electricity to power their mills and processing plants. Excess is sold back to the power company.

It’s amazing how few people living on the east coast know about the western communities around the lake. These cities contain schools, restaurants, farming equipment suppliers, and grocery stores. Our members that work and live in these communities are three time generations working in the sugar industry. The unnecessary purchase of this land would devastate these communities.

The IAM along with the AFL-CIO are opposed of the Negron proposal. They will be working alongside of communities leads to educate and stop the land purchase. Support your union brothers and sister and contact your state representatives and tell them to vote no on this job killing legislation.

Watch Vedio Here



Murray Caldwell, President of Local 2061 & John Gall, President of Local 971 and FSCM.

Machinists Union Responds to Election of Donald Trump

 Washington, D.C., November 9, 2016 — Bob Martinez, International President of the nearly 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), released this statement on the election of Donald Trump:

“I want to sincerely thank the thousands of IAM members and working people who voted, volunteered and made a difference in this year’s election. To those who are saddened by the result, I offer my promise that your union’s commitment to fighting for you is unwavering.

“This puts to bed questions over the depth of Americans’ anxiety over the systematic destruction of good jobs, the loss of retirement security and a trade policy that benefits few at the expense of many. It’s something the IAM and the labor movement has been sounding alarms about for decades. This was not the result many thought was the best way forward, but we are Americans: We get up, dust ourselves off and keep working toward a better future together.

“As a labor union, we deal with those whom we disagree with every day at the bargaining table. We try to find common ground. That’s exactly what we intend to do in this new reality.

“There’s things we won’t compromise on: racism, sexism, common decency and respect. We will always stand up when people are mistreated. We will never give in to the politics of fear and division. We will continue to fight for better jobs, higher wages, secure pensions, health care, safe and healthy workplaces, and justice and dignity on the job.

“We hope to work with President-elect Trump on what he said were central tenants behind his campaign—restoring the American middle class and bringing work back to the United States. Working people, coming together in unions, must be a part of that vision for it to be successful.”

The IAM is among the nation’s largest and most diverse industrial trade unions, with nearly 600,000 members in aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, electronics and the federal sector.

Visit goiam.org for more information about the IAM

 

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