iMail for Thursday, August 13, 2009

IAM Files for Elections at Delta

The IAM today took action to resolve representational issues for 12,700 fleet service, flight simulator technician and plant protection employees at the combined Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines. The IAM asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to declare that the two airlines are operating as a single carrier with respect to those classifications.

“Any benefits from the merger between Delta and Northwest must be shared with employees,” said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “The airlines’ bankruptcies were extremely difficult for employees and their families. The Machinists union can help these workers regain what was taken in bankruptcy and protect them as Delta navigates through a turbulent industry.”

The IAM also represents Northwest’s passenger service, stock clerks and office & clerical employees.

“As soon as we determine that the two airlines are operating as a single carrier under NMB guidelines for other classifications, the IAM will move to resolve their representation issues as well,” said Roach. “It has been a long road, but I look forward to welcoming Delta employees into the Machinists union family.”

The Machinists union represents more than 110,000 airline workers, including 12,000 Northwest Airlines fleet service, customer service, office & clerical, flight simulator technicians, stock clerks and plant protection employees. More information about the IAM campaign is available at

Reserve Rooms Now for 2009 Communications Conference

IAM local and district lodges planning to participate in this year’s Communications Conference should make their hotel reservations as soon as possible. The conference will be held September 27-30 at The Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, British Columbia. The cut-off date to receive the special group rate is August 26, 2009.

In addition to workshops on the use of emerging communication technologies and a banquet to honor the winners of the 2009 Newsletter and Website Contest, conference delegates will hear from a range of speakers, including Kirstin Downey (pictured at right), Pulitzer Prize winning writer and author of ‘The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins.”

Hotel reservations can be made by calling toll-free 1-800-WESTIN-1 (1-800-937-8461), or by calling The Westin Bayshore directly at 604-682-3377. Be sure to indicate you are attending the IAM Communications Conference to get the special group rate of $229.00 (Canadian) for a single or double room. After August 26, we cannot guarantee the special rate, or the availability of a room.

Also, there’s still time for U.S. members planning to attend to obtain their passport. Contact the U.S. State Department by clicking here to get an application and further instructions.

Click here for the Conference call and enrollment application, or call the Communications Department at 301-967-4520.

CLUW Convention Set for October 14-17

The Coalition of Labor Union Women’s (CLUW) 15th Biennial Convention will be held October 14-17, 2009, in Los Angeles, CA. This year’s theme is The Rising Tide of Change: Activism, Leadership – Union Women!

The agenda includes speakers, workshops and panel discussions aimed at promoting networking, information sharing and idea developing that will strengthen the labor movement and nurture the women union leaders of the future. The Machinists have always had the distinction of sending a large delegation to the CLUW Convention and would like to see that tradition continue, especially since elections for National Executive Board members will be held this year. In order to allow members to fully participate in the CLUW Convention, the IAM will not host a 2009 Women’s Conference.

Hotel reservations can be made by calling the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites at 1-800-WESTIN-1 (1-800-937-8461). A block of rooms have been reserved under the group name “Coalition of Labor Women/CLUW” at $145 for single or double occupancy. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be made by September 10, 2009, for the special room rate.

If you plan to attend, please complete the registration form, and return it along with a $200 registration fee to the IAM Women’s Department, 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772. The deadline for registration is September 4, 2009. Registrations received after that date will incur a $25 late fee.

Click here for the official call letter and registration forms.

‘Just One Word: Factories’

An article by columnist Harold Meyerson in this week’s Washington Post deserves the widest distribution possible, for its sober look at the dire need for a manufacturing policy in the United States.

“Since 1987, manufacturing as a share of our gross domestic product has declined 30 percent,” writes Meyerson in Just One Word: Factories. “Once the world’s leading net exporter, we have become the world’s leading net importer. In 2007, we exported $1.2 trillion worth of goods and services, but imported $1.8 trillion. If there were a debtor’s prison for nations, we’d all be in the clink.”

Meyerson notes some steps being taken by the Obama administration to revive the vital manufacturing sector, including $2.4 billion in grants for U.S. companies that are developing batteries for hybrid cars and pending legislation that would provide $30 billion for auto parts companies that convert to alternative energy manufacturing plants.

Despite some encouraging signs, however, Meyerson concludes the current economic crisis in the U.S. will remain a crisis until the government makes a strategic commitment to American manufacturing. “It’s not just that the United States uniquely lacks an industrial policy. It’s that the United States uniquely has an anti-industrial policy,” says Meyerson, who says that support for manufacturing is not only necessary for real economic recovery, but could also be smart politics for the lawmakers smart enough to embrace the idea.

Former GVP Pearson Named to Insurance Commission

Retired IAM Western Territory General Vice President Lee Pearson has been appointed to the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee by the California Insurance Commissioner.

Pearson will fill one of two organized labor positions on the committee for a two-year term. The WCIRB is an unincorporated, nonprofit association tasked with developing advisory pure premium rates for workers’ compensation insurance, rules and regulations. It’s comprised of all companies licensed to transact workers’ compensation insurance in the state of California. The Governing Committee sets policy and oversees management of WCIRB affairs.

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