Machinists gather in Times Square to rally for air and rail jobs


A rally was held today in New York City’s Times Square by more than 500 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to show support for Delta Air Lines workers’ right to organize into unions and to urge government investment in high-speed rail.

“We call on Delta Air Lines to let their employees make up their own minds about union representation without the intimidation, threats and lies,” said IAM general vice president Robert Roach, Jr. “All American workers deserve the freedom to make their own choices.”

The Machinists Union recently began the process to resolve representation issues for employees following Delta Air Lines’ acquisition of Northwest Airlines. The IAM currently represents 12,000 Northwest employees. No election dates have been set.

“When it comes to passenger rail, the United States lags far behind the rest of the industrialized world,” said Roach. “US workers should build the parts, assemble the trains, and maintain all elements of a new high-speed rail system,” said Roach. “We have all the skills and resources necessary to build a world-class passenger rail system. Since American taxpayers are funding the project, their investment should be spent putting Americans to work.”

The IAM and its Transportation Communications Union (TCU) affiliate represent more than 60,000 US railroad workers.

Founded in 1888, the IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members in the railroad, airline, aerospace, woodworking, shipbuilding, and manufacturing sectors.