Leadership Passes The Torch at Local Lodge 971

At the monthly local lodge meeting this month President John Gall passed the leadership over to Vice President Jermaine Phillip. Jermaine Phillip appointed Chris Fowler to replace him as Vice President. The following letter was read by President John Gall.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This year marks my 45th year as a member of the International Association of Machinists. I signed my “blue card” in 1979 for membership to Local 971. Since then I have spent over 30 of those years servicing this local in the capacity of Shop Steward, Shop Committeeman, Shop Chairman, Vice President and President. I have also represented the membership as President of the State Council of Machinists and been a member of the Executive Board of the Palm Beach Treasure AFL-CIO. During those years I have tried my best to better the Local and represent with the members’ best interests. I would not have been able to achieve this without great support from dedicated members within this local. It is now time to pass the torch to the next generation to move this union and local into the future. I am resigning my position as Local Lodge President and having Brother Vice President Jermaine Phillip serve the remaining term. I have the upmost confidence and support in Brother Jermaine Phillip. I believe he has the knowledge and dedication to move us all forward. It has been my most humble honor and privilege to have served your all over these years. I wish you all the best of luck.

Fraternally yours,  John Gall, Jr

Brother Gall swore in the two following the reading of the letter. Brother John Gall is retiring early next year and as stated in his letter that it is time to pass the torch. Brother Jermaine Phillip has been representing Local 971 in several capacities since he was hired at Pratt & Whitney in 2016. He has attended the Leadership One class at the Union’s William W. Winpsinger Center. He has also participated in the Working Families Lobby Corp with the Florida State Council of Machinists. He is also a delegate to the Palm Beach Treasure Coast AFL-CIO. Brother Chris Fowler has been a jet mechanic in D.O. South. He was hired in 2012 had served in the Shop Committee over the years. Both have served on Local 971’s contract negotiations committee. They will serve the remainder of the term of office.


John Gall with the United Way Outstanding Community Service Award for the 2016 -2017 Campaign


Brother Brent Bonar Flying High!

The Delta program, spanning 60 years, came to a close with the launch of the final Delta IV Heavy rocket by United Launch Alliance (ULA) on April 9 at 12:53 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

The rocket, carrying the NROL-70 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, marks the end of the Delta era and initiates the future of heavy lift on ULA’s next generation Vulcan rocket.

ULA dedicated this rocket to several personal by placing their name on the rocket. Brother Brent Bonar was one of those chosen.

Brother Brent who passed away last year worked on the RL10 upper stage engines on the Heavy. He was Local Lodge 971’s Community Service Committeeman.

Brother Brent was a true serviceman of the community which included trips to Bel Glade area to build parks community gardens, and several trips to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian to help in after storm aid.



Local Lodge 971 members from Pratt & Whitney and Aerojet Rocketdyne Attended the Union Sportsmen Alliance on March 16th to participate in the South Florida Sporting Clays Shoot. The event was held at the O.K. Corral Gun Club in Okeechobee.

This is the 2nd year for this event in South Florida. Members from unions across Florida competed for prizes as well as participating in raffles. This is also the second year Local 971 has attended.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization.More than six million active and retired AFL-CIO union members hunt, fish or shoot. Collectively, they make up the largest constituency of sportsmen and sportswomen in North America.


Aerojet Rocketdyne Organizes Team To Walk For Brent The Palm Beach County American Heart Association held their annual Heart Walk on November 11th. Aerojet Rocketdyne formed a team of over 100 to participate. They dedicated the walk in past brother Bent Bonar’s name, “We walk for Brent”. Over $18,555.00 was raised from Team Aerojet. Brother Luc Pelletier made the donation that put  the group over their $15,000.00 goal. He made the donation in Local 971 and Brenda Bonar’s name. The weather was perfect for the 5k walk. The walk started and ended at the Meyer Amphitheater in downtown West Palm Beach. A total of $1,200,000 was raised from all teams to the American Heart Association.Thanks to Aerojet’s Suzanne Harper for helping organizing the team.

Local Lodge 971 Mourns The Loss of Brother Bonar
Brent Bonar was the Local's Community Service Committeeman. He was true to the Union's motto "Justice on the job, Service to the community"
Brother Brent started his aeronautical and IAM career with Eastern Airlines in Miami after graduating from Pittsburg Institute of Aeronautics in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. He returned to Pittsburg after Eastern dissolved and worked at United Airlines for 20 years. He returned to Florida and joined Local 971 and Pratt & Whitney which was later sold to Aerojet Rocketdyne.
During his time with Local 971 he helped with lobbying efforts in the Florida State Capital to promote a better life for working families. His life time of volunteering to serve the community and beyond was a perfect fit for the Community Service Committee. Brother Brent promoted other members to join him in activities such as the Turkey Town event to feed the less fortunate at Thanksgiving time.
Brother Brent was a shinning example of what it is to be a member of the IAMAW.

Brent Bonar (right) Receiving an award from Local 971 for his community service.

Local 971 Scores at the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance

Troy Tompkins, Matt Bonk and Sean Rowell attended the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Clay Shoot in Okeechobee last month.  Local 971 sponsored two shooting stations. Troy won 1st place in the Military Veterans division and Matt Bonk won a 20 gauge Beretta Shotgun.

The Union Sportsmen Alliance’s mission is to unite community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. They engage, educate and organize Union members, their families and like-minded individuals who share a passion for hunting, fishing, shooting sports and the great outdoors. 


Business Representative Election
There will be an election for District Business Representative on December 18th at the Old Town Hall Park, 1000 Townhall Ave., Jupiter
Polls will be open 12:00 noon - 7:00pm.
This is an important election. The Business Representative handles our Local's third step grievances, arbitrations, and contract negotiations.
P&W Shop Stewards Elections Results
Shop Committee Areas 1,2,3, 3A,4,5 - First Shift (Manufacturing Building & Special Technologies)
*Reinaldo Gonzalez
Shop Committee Areas 1,2,3, 3A,4,5 - Second Shift (Manufacturing Building & Special Technologies)
*Sean Rowell
Shop Steward Area 3A, Gate 3 - Second Shift (GTF MRO)
*Bashar Eid
International Workers' Memorial Day
April 28
A day of remembrance for those who were injured or died on the job. 

Local 971 Holds Shop Steward Training

Local Lodge 971 held a Shop Committee / Steward training session last March 4the.

Shop Committee members from Pratt & Whitney, Aerojet Rocketdyne and SBM attended.

Instructor John Gall went over the grievance procedures of all three contracts along with how to write and present a grievance.

Labor law pertaining to stewards and employees was also included.



Union Raytheon Reaffirms CBA

The Union met with the Raytheon team the week of January 11th to reaffirm the 5 year collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The discussions were focus on no economic contract language. No major changes were made to the existing CBA.

The following minor changes were jointly agreed on.

Article VII – Grievance Procedure, Section 3 (c)

A 45 day maximum time was added to choosing arbitrators for grievances at the arbitration step. In the past there was no time limit.

Article XII – Vacation

Section 5: Added changes calculating vacation for employees transferring from other Raytheon sites to maximize their vacation payout for the first year.

Section 6 (a): Added changes to calculations for vacation payment for employees on death, resignation, retirement or layoff to receive maximum vacation payout.

Section 6 (b): Clarified languages on vacation payout for terminated employees.

Section 12 (a), Section 13: Clarified languages on calculating vacation payout for employees on disability and workmen’s compensation.

Section 14: Clarification and an added time line for notification (September 30th) to employees to use, or not, their vacation before the end of the year.

Article XV -  Sick / Personal Time

1 (b): Removed the six month requirement language for new employees to receive sick / personal leave. 


2023 -2024 Shop Committee / Stewards – Pratt & Whitney
Shop Stewards
Area 1, 1st shift: Drew Coverstone
Area 1, 2nd Shit: Antonio Luis
Area 2, 1st Shift: Alex Galler
Area 2, 2nd Shift: Open
Area 3, 1st Shift: Ryan Murphy
Area 3, 2nd Shift: Rick Porchia
Area 3A, 1st Shift: Miguel Ocando
Area 3A, 2nd Shift: Alberto Gonzalez
Area 4, 1st Shift: Erwin Cotto
Area 4, 2nd Shift: Open
Area 5, 1st Shift: Open
Area 5, 2nd Shift: Michael Grapski
Area 6, 1st Shift: Randy Guncheon
Area 6, 2nd Shift: Chris Barcenas
Area 7, 3rd Shift: Carlos Vasquez
Safety Stewards
Jeff Spaw – Chairman, William Hales, Walter Peregory
Area 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 - 1st Shift: Earl Erwin
Area 1, 2, 3, 3A, 4, 5 – 2nd Shift: Jermaine Phillip
Area 6, 1st Shift: Mike Goodwin
Area 6, 2nd Shift: Chris Fowler
Committeeman At Large: Tim Coverstone – Shop Chairman
Job Evaluation Committeeman: Troy Tompkins, Kriss Rubenstein

Areojet Rocketdyne
Shop Stewards
Area 1: Todd Schwier
Area 2: Chris Lang
Area 3: Eric Longshore
Safety Stewards:
Elio Avila - Chairman, Frank Allen, Matthew Keith
Shop Committee
Area 1 & 3: David Dray
Area 2: Seith Kegley
Committeeman At Large: Barry Scott

Summary of COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Effects Bargaining between Aerojet Rocketdyne and IAMAW Local 971

October 28th, 2021

Paid time off to receive vaccination

Up to a 4-hour maximum of paid time will be provided for reasonable travel and wait time (if any) in order to receive a COVID-19 vaccination (2 hours per vaccination shot). Employees will be paid up to 2 days for time off due to reaction to vaccine (up to one day per vaccination shot).

Special Recall Rights

If an employee is separated from employment on December 8, 2021 (should the government requirement change the company will reassess its policy timelines) they will retain special recall rights for a period of 90 days. The Company will make every attempt possible to notify the union ahead of company-wide publication.

Special recall rights will apply as follows:

Separated employees must be fully vaccinated to be eligible for special recall.

Separated employees must inform West Palm Beach Human Resources of full vaccination status and provide vaccination documentation as a requirement for rehire.

Employees will return to their previous position within the same Non-interchangeable Occupational Group, in their same prior labor grade and will retain their same prior rate of pay.

Such recall rights will only be available if the company has an open position in the Non-interchangeable Occupation group. The employee could apply to an open position in another Non-Interchangeable Occupational group and will have priority consideration.

Reasonable Accommodations/Exemption

Employees to submit reasonable accommodation/exemption requests through exemptionrequest@rocket.com. There will be an automatic review process for any declined exemption. The local HR team will communicate with any employee whose exemption request is declined.

An employee who submits a timely (on or before November 1, 2021) exemption request, and does not have a company response as of December 8, 2021, will receive a temporary accommodation (most likely a weekly testing program) and continue active employment until a response is provided.

Application of Collective Bargaining Agreement Provisions

Employees who are terminated by the Company on or after December 8, 2021 for vaccine policy non-compliance, will receive all benefits afforded to them in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

An employee that has started their vaccination, but is not fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021, will continue active employment and receive a temporary accommodation (most likely a weekly testing program) until they obtain full vaccination status (2 weeks after receiving last vaccine in the regiment). The employee will have up to 6 weeks after their first vaccine shot date to obtain full vaccination status.


The Union and company met Oct. 7 & 8 for effects bargaining on the Raytheon Vaccine Mandate. Below are the results:

Paid time off to receive vaccination

If COVID-19 paid leave (0224) is exhausted, up to a 4-hour maximum of paid time (0214) will be provided for reasonable travel and wait time (if any) in order to receive a   COVID-19 vaccination.

Job retention

If employees do not disclose their vaccination status by October 15, 2021, they need to receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine between October 15, 2021 and October 31, 2021 to retain their position. Following vaccination, employees must complete their disclosure of vaccination by October 31, 2021 and present proof of vaccination to West Palm Beach Human Resources.

Special recall rights

If an employee is separated from employment on October 31, 2021, they will retain special recall rights for a period of 180 days.

If an employee is separated from employment on January 1, 2022, they will retain special recall rights for a period of 90 days.

Special recall rights applied as follows:

· Employees must be fully vaccinated to be eligible for special recall.

· Employees to inform their prior union committeeman of full vaccination status.

· Employees will return to an open position within the same Non-interchangeable Occupational Group, in their same prior labor grade and will retain their same prior rate of pay.

· Employees will retain their hourly seniority in effect at the time of their separation.

· Employees must disclose their fully vaccinated status per company requirements.

Reasonable Accommodations/Exceptions

Employees to submit reasonable accommodation/exception requests through People Services. If a reasonable accommodation/exception request is denied, employees may consult with West Palm Beach Human Resources.

Application of Collective Barraging Agreement Provisions

Employees who terminate on January 1, 2022, will receive all benefits afforded to them in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Ratification Bonus (Letter XIV) will be paid as $1,500 cash.

The union negotiation team started with just the company’s vaccination plan. The union was able to negotiate terms for those choosing not be vaccinated and for those who choose to retire.

This negotiation was against a Federal Mandate. Final date and requirement to be vaccinated were non-negotiable for the company and the union per the federal mandate.

Safety Is Not Just A Word

Recently there was an accident that almost took the life of one of our members. An incident like this is a reminder to all of us to reevaluate safety while performing our jobs.

Safety isn’t just following a procedure or wearing the proper personal protection equipment (PPE). Safety is a mindset, a culture. One of the best ways to protect ourselves on the job is to practice safety off the job.

We can start by being aware of potential hazards around us at home. An open oven door left unattended could cause a trip hazard or serious burn. Mowing the law without eye or foot protection could cause physical harm.

Make safety a mindset. By doing this we will recognize possible hazards and ways to avoid them automatically, at home and in the workplace.

Safety On The Job:

Wear proper PPE.

· If the required PPE hinders your job requirement contact your supervisor. He will contact the area EH&S representative for an evaluation to correct the problem.

Help Your Co-workers:

· If you see a co-worker performing a task unsafely approach them and show them the correct safe way to perform the task.

Use The RIDII System:

· Report It Don’t Ignore It. If you see a hazard report it through the RIDII system via the West Palm Beach home page or report it to your supervisor.

Getting injured on the job not only affects you. Your actions could put your co-workers in harms way. Your family will have to care for you or in an extreme situation be tasked to plan your funeral.


IAM Local 971 Has Change of Leadership

March 5,2021 Local 971 President Martin Spiro passed away. Marty was a D.O. Test Mechanic and had 48 years with Pratt & Whitney. He has been retired for 4 days.

At this time there has been no mention of any ceremonial services.

As per the IAM Constitution Vice President Luc Pelletier has assumed the position of the President.

As per the IAM Constitution and the Local Lodge Bylaws Luc Pelletier has appointed John Gall to the position of Vice President. 

United Way Drive at P&W Under Way
Pratt & Whitney has started their United Way campaign for 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic major changes had to be made. Donation events are now virtual.
There are many working family members in our area that have been laid off due to the pandemic. Many have had to rely on community food pantries for the first time. This puts more needs for United Way agencies.
You should be receiving an email from your union at work with information how to pledge. You can also download a Pledge Form here and turn it in to your supervisor after completing it. Please watch the following video and make a pledge this holiday season.
Palm Beach Treasure Coast AFL-CIO Feeds Union Members
The Palm Beach Treasure Coast AFL-CIO set up a drive through food bank on September 4th to feed out of work union members. Located at the Double Tree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens food was distributive to union members and their families as they drove up. More of our union members are out of work due to the Covid-19. Money is tight and many are having a hard time putting food on the table. Several volunteers representing several unions in the tri-county area helped distribute bread, vegetables, non perishables and meet and poultry. John Gall representing the Machinists Union talked to reporters on WPBF Channel twenty five.“As unions we include all working people. With the Covid 19 a lot of our members don’t have a paycheck coming in. This is a way to help those who need help and put food on their table.”
IAM Local 971 and PBTC AFL-CIO Executive Board member John Gall addresses reports at the food drive.
The Origins Of Labor Day
George Washington did not chop down the cherry tree. St. Patrick did not drive the snakes out of Ireland. Toads do not cause warts and a carpenter named Peter McGuire was not the father of Labor Day.
The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City with parades, picnics and speakers on September 5, 1882. It was sponsored by the New York Central Labor Union. The secretary of the New York Central Labor Union was a machinist named Matthew Maguire.
From the beginning the Labor Day parade and picnic was the idea of Matthew Maguire the machinist. The resolution proclaiming the 5th of September, 1882 as a general holiday for the working men of this city was promulgated by Matthew Maguire the machinist.
The invitations were sent out several weeks earlier over the name Mathew Maguire the machinist.
On this first Labor Day, 1882, Peter McGuire, the carpenter, was not even a member of the New York Central Labor Union. Peter McGuire was but one of the many speakers. But apparently he had a good time at Matthew Maguire's parade and picnic. Because a few weeks later he proposed "a harvest festival of universal rejoicing for organized labor" in an article for a local union publication. And fifteen years later he anointed himself "the father of Labor Day"

This misrepresentation of the facts stood unchallenged for more than three-quarters of a century because Matthew Maguire, the machinist, was a quiet and modest man. He never boasted of his role in proposing and planning that first Labor Day. But the McGuire myth was finally exploded by a retired machinist named Perlman.
Digging through old newspapers, union archives and labor records from New York to Seattle, he has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that at the original celebration of Labor Day a carpenter named Peter McGuire was nothing more than one of many guests of the man who proposed and planned it all - a machinist named Matthew Maguire.
Matthew Maguire held dues book no. 217 in the IAM.

Helping Hurricane Dorian Survivors


Brother Brent Bonar, Local 971 Community Service Committeeman, has been busy since Hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas Islands.

He has spent numerous hours collecting, packing and shipping supplies to the Bahamas. But that’s just the start.

Once the supplies were ship to the islands help was needed to unload and distribute the items.

Brother Bonar didn’t think twice to raise his hand and volunteer. Working through his church, Christ Fellowship of Palm Beach Gardens, he has joined a crew that is building new homes in the Harken Estate and Hudson Estate areas. All supplies and furnishing are being donated by the church.

Over 45 sheets of drywall were hung as well as installing new kitchens and baths including appliances. Owners were asked ahead of time what their color preferences were.

Convoy of Hope shipped the supplies over.


Turkey Town Does It Again

IAM Local 971 Community Service Committeeman Brent Bonar along with IAM 971 members volunteered at this year’s Big Heart Brigade preparing Thanks Giving Meals for those in need.

Brothers Matt Croyle, Jermaine Phillips and Joe Kapalo along with other volunteers helped prepare 26,873 Thanksgiving Dinners.

Even baseball legend Johnny Bench pitched in a helping hand.

Turkey Town By The Numbers:

6,685 lbs. of stuffing

7,070 lbs. of potatoes

6,755 lbs. green beans

2,310 lbs. gravy

1.57 miles of aluminum foil

Helping Hurricane Dorian Survivors 

Brather Brent Bonar, Local 971 Community Service Committeeman, has taken the Machinist's motto "Justice on the Job, Service To The Community" to a whole new meaning. Brother Bonar has been busy since Hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas Islands.

He has spent numerous hours collecting, packing and shipping supplies to the Bahamas. But that’s just the start.

Once the supplies were ship to the islands help was needed to unload and distribute the items.

Brother Bonar didn’t think twice to raise his hand and volunteer. Working through his church, Christ Fellowship of Palm Beach Gardens, he has joined a crew that is building new homes in the Harken Estate and Hudson Estate areas. All supplies and furnishing are being donated by the church.

Over 45 sheets of drywall were hung as well as installing new kitchens and baths including appliances. Owners were asked ahead of time what their color preferences were.

Convoy of Hope shipped the supplies over. 

LLocal Lodge 971’s Community Service Committeeman Brother Brent Bonar

The Union presented Brother Brent with a plaque along with $150.00 Visa gift card to share with his wife. The presentation was held at last month’s union meeting.

Brent has been involved with the Big Hart Brigade which supplies thousands of dinners to the less fortunate at Thanksgiving. He also volunteers his time in the western community planting community gardens, sprucing up parks and house repairs for those in need. Brent also helps the Palm Beach Treasure Coast AFL-CIO (PBTC) with their projects like the Workers Memorial Day events.

He helped distribute financial aid to our members through the PBTC AFL-CIO after hurricane Irma. Using the AFL-CIO’s United Way Labor Line Item Fund qualifying members were eligible for cash and gift cards from home supply stores to make repairs.

Brent works with the Christian Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens which he is a member.

Brent works in the Test Area for Aerojet Rocketdyne. He is always looking for volunteers. We’ll post upcoming events with contact information so our members can participate.

We all win when we help those in our areas which helps strengthen our communities.

President John Gall presenting Brent Bonar for his service to the community.

Louie Gets A Gold Card
At the Florida State Council of Machinists Convention  union brothers and sisters gathered to congratulate Lou Brogna on his fifty years as a member of the Machinists Union.

Loue retired as a Grand Lodge Representative from the Southern Territory but continues to pay full union dues.

He worked for Eastern Airlines and moved up the ladder in the Machinist organization. He has served the union membership throughout the years helping to progress the members in the South.

He stays active today participating in a youth mentoring program in the local schools.

Lou received the honorary Gold Membership Card presented to him by General Vice President of the Southern Territory Mark Blondin.  

FSCM Vice President John Gall, Louie Brogna, General Vice President Southern Territory Mark Blondin, FSCM President Frank Ortis


June 23rd

Old Town Hall Park

1000 Townhall Ave.


Exexcutive Board Meeting: 6:30pm

General Meeting: 7:00pm

Meeting Date Moved Due to Fathers Day.

Enjoy Your Holiday Dads!