Sisters and Brothers,
Our union is in the midst of some of the most turbulent times in our 132-year history. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every corner of our lives, from our health to our livelihoods. As a husband, father and grandfather, I understand the uncertainty you are feeling right now.
It is also important to remember that we have overcome great challenges before—and this time will be no different.
First, I want to extend the thoughts and prayers of myself and our Executive Council to every member and their families who have been infected or have passed from this virus. We continue to do everything we can to ensure our workplaces are as safe as possible. This union will continue to demand that employers provide personal protective equipment to frontline employees and follow CDC guidelines, such as social distancing and disinfecting workplaces.
We are also working day and night to make sure that our members experiencing furloughs and layoffs receive the most relief possible. At every level of government in the U.S. and Canada, the IAM has and will continue to be a leading voice for our membership and all working people as we confront the massive economic effects of this virus. We will also hold employers accountable when they do receive taxpayer dollars, and make sure money goes into the pockets of our members.
Throughout the pages of this IAM Journal, you will find numerous examples of resources available to our membership and their families during these difficult times. Everything we are doing to keep you informed is centered on helping you and your family get through this crisis.
You will also see why I have never been prouder to be a part of our Fighting Machinists family. Across North America, our members are taking on this challenge by keeping the wheels turning, the engines running and our economy supplied with the products and services we need.
You will learn how our own IAM Sisters and Brothers are on the frontlines every day, working to keep us all safe and healthy. Our members are working in the airline and defense industries, making ventilators, producing PPE, keeping public transit safe and caring for the sick at healthcare facilities from coast to coast. IAM members are among the real heroes of this pandemic, and because of your strength and determination, I know we will get through these challenging times together.
As Brothers and Sisters in the IAM, we have always succeeded by listening to one another, reaching out to help others and knowing there will always be a hand there when we need one.
Stay safe, stay strong, stay united—together, in solidarity, we shall overcome.
Follow me on Twitter @IAMBobMartinez