iMail for Thursday August 23, 2007

View Candidate Conversations Live on GOIAM

Machinists from Skowhegan, Maine to Santa Rosa, California will be able to follow the IAM’s Conversation with the Candidates in Orlando, Florida, next week by clicking on the streaming video icon located prominently on the home page at www.goiam.org.

On Aug. 27 and 28, presidential candidates from each party will take part in a series of conversations that are designed to generate an in-depth discussion of key domestic issues, including trade, jobs, schools, health care, manufacturing and energy.
Instructions for viewing the live video feed and a schedule of the Conversation with the Candidates will also be posted at www.goiam.org.

 

IAM Member Elected to US House of Representatives

California Local 1930 member and Long Beach Assemblywoman Laura Richardson ran away with a special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by the death of former congresswoman Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald.

Richardson, who defeated four other candidates for the post, will be sworn in as the Representative for California’s 37th District when Congress returns from its summer recess in September. Prior to the special election, Richardson prevailed in a hard fought Democratic primary where she bested a field of nine other candidates.

“I’m incredibly grateful,” said Richardson after the votes were tallied. “I’m a hard worker and I’m using my skills to advocate for the people I represent.”

Richardson’s win restores the number of African-American members in California’s House delegation to four and the total number of African-Americans in the House to 40.

 

Machinists at Cessna Vote to Authorize Strike

By an overwhelming 99.3 percent, members of District 70 in Wichita, KS, voted to authorize a strike at Cessna Aircraft Co., if the company fails to produce a satisfactory contract offer when the current contract expires on Sept. 16.

Negotiations covering 5,400 IAM members at Cessna began on August 13 with both sides pledging to produce an agreement that can be ratified by members. While Cessna is currently enjoying robust sales, IAM leaders at the opening round of talks expressed a determination to craft a contract that can withstand the ups and downs of the volatile aircraft manufacturing industry.

“There’s strong demand for our product and we have backlogs of orders,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger at the opening round of talks. “But we want to make sure that we don’t become complacent, thinking this will last forever. We need to build a good contract for our members to keep going now and to preserve good jobs and good benefits when times lean out.”

 

Ohio Senator Brown Returns to Middletown

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, (D-OH) visited Local 1943 in Middletown, OH this week to hold a roundtable discussion on jobs, trade and other community concerns with the local lodge Executive Board, Middletown Sheriff Richard Jones (pictured above in green shirt) and GLR James Smith, who is Mayor of nearby South Lebanon.

“It’s nice to be back under much different and certainly better circumstances,” said Brown, who joined forces with Sheriff Jones and Governor Ted Strickland to help bring an end to the nearly 13-month long lockout at AK Steel.

“I’d like to thank the Senator for taking the time to return to Local 1943,”said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “We deeply appreciated his support during the lockout and our door will always be open to him.”

 

IAM Opens Contract Talks at Auto Truck Transport

The IAM opened contract negotiations in Rosemont, IL this week with Auto Truck Transport for 1,636 workers at the company’s Cleveland, NC, Mt Holly, NC, Macungie, PA, Garland, TX, Laredo, TX, Springfield, OH, Portland, OR, and Dublin, VA facilities. Automotive Coordinator Boysen Anderson opened the negotiations. The current agreement is set to expire October 31, 2007.

The IAM leadership and negotiating committee sent a strong message to the company that health care, wages, job security and subcontracting are key concern for members at Auto Truck Transport.

“Times are lean in the trucking industry and our members want to protect their jobs and benefits. The company is taking advantage of our members by outsourcing work. The IAM leadership and negotiating committee have let the company know we are determined to win a contract that protects our members’ jobs and their families’ futures,” said Automotive Coordinator Boysen Anderson.

 

Register Now for Advanced Women’s Training Program

The registration deadline for the 2007 Advanced Women’s Training Program is quickly approaching. While there are still some seats available, all interested lodges should take immediate action to secure a seat in the class to be held November 4-9, 2007, at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, Maryland.

Successful completion of the Basic Women’s Training class is a prerequisite for members wishing to attend the Advanced Women’s Training class. Both the Basic and Advanced Women’s Trainings are now college accredited courses.

Click here for a copy of the official call letter and an enrollment form.

Solid Gains Win Approval at BAE in Washington

Members of District 751 who are employed by BAE Platform Solutions in Redmond, WA, voted unanimously to accept a new contract this week. The three-year agreement contains a four percent General Wage Increase (GWI) in the first year of the agreement and a three percent GWI in the second and third year. IAM members at BAE test and install precision electronic equipment for Boeing aircraft.

The new contract also includes a $2.45 per hour contribution to the IAM National Pension Plan and an increase in the company matching contribution to the 401k plan. The bargaining committee held down health care costs while making improvements to bereavement leave, personal time off, and other scope language.

“This was a first-rate job by the entire bargaining committee,” said Aerospace Coordinator Mark Blondin. “District 751 DBR Tom Wroblewski, AA Jim Bearden, BR Ron Bradley and BR Richard Jackson delivered an excellent agreement and the unanimous ratification confirms they met the members’ expectations.”

The contract ratification in Washington comes just weeks before negotiations open for nearly 400 members of District 776 working at BAE in Irving, Texas.