By a 65-31 vote, the Senate this week confirmed President’s Obama’s pick of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to lead the $750 million enterprise known as the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. In addition to coordinating the federal government’s response to the recent Swine Flu outbreak, Sebelius will press for implementation of the president’s health care priorities in the midst of the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression.
“By the middle of next month, the US government will report that over 25 million Americans are unemployed, involuntarily working part-time or have given up looking for work,” noted IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “The longer they remain unemployed, the more help they will need from the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Buffenbarger welcomed Sebelius’s confirmation, despite concerns that Machinists in Kansas’ hard-hit general aviation sector will be losing a strong ally when they need one most. “Governor Sebelius knows the light aircraft industry like the back of her hand,” said Buffenbarger. “Frankly, I would have preferred to see her stay in Kansas. But in my heart, I know that the nation needs her leadership at HHS even more.”
Longtime IAM activist and District 98 Directing Business Representative Tom Boger passed away on April 27 after falling ill at the District 98 office. Boger, 59, was a 40-year member of the IAM and well known inside and outside the union as the representative for thousands of IAM members at Harley-Davidson’s facility in York, PA.
After joining Local 2367 in 1969 as a Maintenance Mechanic at Philadelphia Mixers in Palmyra, PA, Boger went on to serve as president, vice president, chief shop steward and held the positions of District 98 President and Vice President before being elected Business Representative for District 98 in 1985. In 1993, Boger became the DBR and has held the position since then.
“Tom was a true trade unionist and a champion for working men and women,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “He always fought the good fight and could be counted on to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you. The IAM has lost a true soldier and family member.”
Click here for details regarding funeral arrangements.
Don’t forget the deadline for the 2009 IAM Newsletter and Website Contest is May 1, 2009 and the deadline for the 2009 IAM Photography contest is June 1, 2009.
The Newsletter and Website contest is open to all local and district lodges in good standing that have publications that are regularly distributed to members and/or websites that are regularly updated. This year’s winners will be honored at the 2009 IAM Communications Conference in Vancouver, BC. Click here for a copy of the 2009 contest rules and entry forms.
The IAM Photography Contest deadline is June 1, 2009. It is open to IAM members in good standing and photo entries should be of IAM members at work. Winning entries will win a cash prize and be featured in the 2010 IAM Calendar.
Click here for contest rules, entry and release forms. Please read all instructions carefully. Contact the Communications Department at 301-967-4520 for more information.
Local Lodges and Districts are encouraged to send in enrollments soon for the Spanish Leadership II program scheduled for June 21st – 26th, 2009, at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, Maryland.
The Spanish Leadership II program covers the same subjects included in the regular Leadership II Program but with all classroom instruction and materials in Spanish. Enrollments in the Spanish Leadership II program do not count against a Lodge’s regular leadership program allotment.
Click here for the enrollment forms or contact Anne Wiberg at 301-373-8823.
Se hace una invitación a Locales y Distritos a mandar sus inscripciones para la clase de Liderazgo en Español II que está programada para el 21 – 26 de junio, 2009, en el Centro Educativo William W. Winpisinger en Hollywood, Maryland.
El Programa de Liderazgo en Español II cubre los mismos temas que son incluidos en la clase regular de Liderazgo II en Inglés, solo que las clases son instruidas con materiales totalmente en Español. Inscripciones en la clase de Liderazgo Español II no cuentan en contra de los Locales o los Distritos para las clases regulares de Inglés.
Marque aqui para obtener la solicitud o por favor llame a Anne Wiberg al 301-373-8823.
Sixty production and maintenance workers at the Aluminum Rolling Mill of Koenig & Vits in Manitowoc, WI recently voted for the right to collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.
“This group really was solid and determined,” said IAM Organizing Department Grand Lodge Representative Bob Anderson. “They need seniority rights, job security and the protections a union contract brings.”
IAM Midwest Territory GVP Philip J. Gruber praised everyone involved in the organizing win. “We welcome our new members and thank GLR Bob Anderson along with Apprentice Organizers Brian Jarvensivu and Jan Desmidt for the hard work and dedication to growing our great union.”
The deadline for applications for the IAM Communications Department Communicator Course has been extended to May 8, 2009. The course is designed for lodge Communicators who are not publishing websites or newsletters and need help in basic skills such as news writing, internet research, desktop publishing and creating a web page from a template.
The course will be held from July 12 through July 17, 2009 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center at Placid Harbor, Maryland. Contact the Communications Department at 301-967-4520 for further information or click here to download the official call and enrollment form.