Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez Jr. and National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) President Randy Erwin sent a joint letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expressing serious concern regarding the impact of the planned Aug. 31 layoff of 306 IAM members at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD) in Texarkana, Texas. The planned layoff comes less than three months after 600 RRAD workers lost their jobs.
“Red River is the main economic driver for the Texarkana area with a direct impact on communities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas,” said Martinez and Erwin. “A recent economic impact study completed by the University of Arkansas found that the May 2018 layoffs alone, totaling 585 RRAD jobs, would slash the region’s economic output by $255 million and result in the loss of more than 400 indirect and induced jobs in the surrounding community. Given the importance of RRAD to the region, it should be unacceptable to sustain this loss of workload and the subsequent damage to the economy without an ardent effort to demand the transfer of work back to this depot.”
“Our IAM members have the skills and expertise to support the Army’s mission at RRAD, said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark A. Blondin. “Our work strengthens national security and grows the local economy. These layoffs can have a negative impact on both. We ask Governor Abbott to join the fight to keep this vital work and jobs at RRAD.”
IAM members at the Texarkana, TX-area depot maintain and repair military vehicles. RRAD supports the warfighter through its tactical vehicles production programs, including the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), the Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH), the Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV), and the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). Also, RRAD provides all four military branches with vehicle Mine-Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP), and hosts the only Rubber Products division of its kind, opening the door for work on any type of Wheeled Tactical Vehicle.
IAM and IAM-NFFE are requesting the governor’s immediate assistance to avert these needless and harmful layoffs.