IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger has sent a letter to Congress requesting support for thousands of IAM members and retirees who have seen their wages, benefits and pensions shredded as airlines and manufacturing companies use bankruptcy to gut union contracts, while at the same time rewarding executives with big bonuses.
The scenario has played out at United Airlines, US Airways, Northwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, as well as companies like Delphi, the Dana Corporation and General Motors.
Buffenbarger urged lawmakers to adopt the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcy Act of 2010.
“Our bankruptcy laws must be changed,” he wrote. “Ensuring employers engage in good-faith bargaining when seeking contract modifications must be codified into law. Companies cannot be allowed to use our bankruptcy laws to eliminate decades of collective bargaining gains with the bang of a gavel.”
The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcy Act of 2010 would bring fairness for workers and retirees by ensuring that paying workers what they are owed is just as important as paying banks, and any sacrifices amongst workers and CEOs is shared. The legislation would also protect against bankruptcy misuse and abuse and workers’ interests in a reorganization plan or sale of assets.
Click here to send a message to Congress to support bankruptcy reform.