The IAM recently welcomed nearly 200 new brothers and sisters holding the job title of Planners at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, TX into its union family. The Federated Independent Texas Unions (FITU Local 900) will now become part of IAM District 776, calling Local 776-F, home.
“FITU and the IAM are a natural fit because our jobs go hand in hand. Our partnership will make us stronger than ever and more able to get what we deserve at the bargaining table,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr, who began his IAM career as a member of Local 776-A in Fort Worth. “Together, we will be one, strong IAM family and I could not be more honored to welcome you to your union.”
“Today just made it official even though we have always thought of this group as a branch of our family tree,“ said Directing Business Representative of 776 Paul Black. “These men and women have always been part of the IAM. They walked hand in hand with us on the strike line in 2012. They cheer at our rallies and support our causes. They make sure our workers at LMT have everything they need to make the best, damn aircraft in the world. That’s what being a Machinist is all about.”
“I know the people at 776 and I trust them. I know they will be a great, guiding hand for us,” explains Hazel McCloskey, President of the new local. “My husband has been a proud, card-carrying member of the Machinists since 2003. And I’m far from the only one in the group who has always thought of the Machinists as family. I’m just ecstatic this is happening.”
With 54 signers on the original charter of the local, it’s quite clear that many are excited for this next chapter of labor history at 776.
“I was told that a planners’ job is to write the words to the engineer’s music when it comes to building aircraft; to give the ‘song some lyrics.’ It’s a poetic way of stating how important the job of the planner truly is,” said Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “We welcome this group with open arms into the Machinists Union.”