iMail for Thursday, February 22 , 2007

Machinists at Harley Ratify New Contract

Local 175 IAM members in York, PA, today voted to ratify a new three-year contract with Harley-Davidson that preserves established healthcare coverage, boosts wages and ends a three-week old dispute at Harley’s largest U.S. facility.

The contract was approved by 83 percent following a unanimous recommendation by the Local 175 negotiating committee. “This agreement is a significant improvement over the proposal rejected by workers earlier this month,” said Tom Boger, lead negotiator and District 98 Directing Business Representative. “I applaud the Machinists in York for their determination to win a better contract for themselves and the next generation of workers.”

Among the key issues in the dispute were healthcare costs and wage rates for new employees. Under the new contract, Harley will continue to pay full healthcare premiums for employees and new hires will progress to the same top pay as current employees. Wages will rise 12 percent over the life of the accord to a maximum hourly rate of $27.89.

“There is a time for sharing sacrifices and a time for sharing success,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “And after eighteen straight quarters of record profits and sales at Harley, these workers know what time it is.”

Harley-Davidson earned nearly $1 billion in profits last year amid surging worldwide demand for the company’s iconic line of motorcycles and related products.

Additional information about the agreement and a return-to-work schedule for Harley workers in York will be posted on the Local 175 website at http://www.iamlocal-175.org.

Beno Named to IAM Law Committee

District 190 Directing Business Representative (DBR) Jim Beno of Oakland, CA is the newest member of the IAM Law Committee. Beno was chosen to fill the unexpired term held by Mark Blondin, who will leave the Committee when he assumes the duties of IAM Aerospace Coordinator after the retirement of Dick Schneider.

“It’s an honor to be asked to serve,” said Beno. “Many people I admire and respect serve or have served on this important committee, and I’m humbled by the opportunity.” Beno, a 30-year member of Local 2182, has been a representative for District 190 over 20 years, serving the last six as DBR. Last November, Beno was honored at the 26th Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet for his devoted work raising money for Guide Dogs of America.

“Jim Beno will be a valuable member of the Law Committee,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “We look forward to working with him as we prepare for the IAM Convention in Orlando, FL in 2008.

Beno joins current members DBR Phil Zannella, Jr., Local 1363; DBR Jean-Leo Cote, District 11; DBR Roger Poole, District 9; and P/GC Randy Canale, District 141. Elected by the membership every four years, the Law Committee reviews proposed amendments to the IAM Constitution at the IAM Grand Lodge Convention.

Missouri Members at RTI Tradco Ratify New Contract

Members of District 837 who fabricate and machine aerospace parts at RTI Tradco in Washington, MO, ratified their first contract after winning the right to bargain in May 2006.

The four-year agreement includes a signing bonus, health care benefits, an additional holiday each year, the creation of a joint Labor-Management Safety Committee, seniority rights and shift work guarantees. In addition to wage hikes in each year of the contract, the members are entitled to an incentive plan that guarantees at least a $1,000 bonus each year.

“This is the first of many improvements we can expect to see in the lives of our newest members,” said District 837 President Rick Smith following the vote. “The people have chosen a better way of life for themselves, their families and their community. We look forward to working with their Company to prove, as we have in so many other shops, that Machinists are the best workers in the aerospace industry.”

The IAM sponsored an organizing drive at RTI that led to certification by the National Labor Relations Board on May 24, 2006. The next eight months were spent hammering out the agreement just ratified by RTI workers.

Canadian Agreements Provide Significant Wage Boosts

Members of IAM Local Lodge 1522 in Chalk River, Ontario have ratified a new five-year agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, securing significant wage gains over the course of the contract.

The 65 members, who provide maintenance services for the Canadian designed and built Chalk River reactor, will see wage increases of 3 percent retroactive to January 4, 2006, 3.5 percent retroactive to January 4, 2007, 4 percent in the third year and 3.5 percent in years four and five.

Members of IAM Local Lodge 412 in Ottawa, Ontario will also see significant wages gains as a result of their new four-year agreement with BA International Inc.

“We were able to secure a sizeable increase to the members’ hourly rate as compensation for changes to their hours of work,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Bill Shipman. “The membership is extremely happy with the results of the bargaining.”

The 12 members perform machine shop and maintenance services for BA International, which prints currency paper for the Bank of Canada.

Airport Screeners Closer to Collective Bargaining Rights

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week approved an amendment that would grant more than 40,000 airport screeners at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) collective bargaining rights.

The amendment, which repeals a portion of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) that gave the Bush administration authority to terminate collective bargaining for employees of the Transportation Security Administration, was part of legislation to follow through on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

The House in January passed similar legislation that would give airport screeners at the TSA collective bargaining rights. If the bill is ultimately signed into law, airport screeners at the TSA will gain bargaining rights, appeal rights and whistle-blower protections.

Eastern Territory Appoints New Education Rep.

The IAM Eastern Territory has announced the appointment of Donna Perinetti as the Eastern Territory Education Representative. The appointment will be effective on March 1, 2007.

“We’re proud to welcome Sister Perinetti to the Eastern Territory staff,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker. “She has done an outstanding job and her experience in organizing will be a tremendous help in our education program.”

Perinetti joined IAM Local Lodge 2363 in 1994 while working at Human Service Providers in Cranston, Rhode Island. Later that year, she was elected President of her local and served in that capacity until 1998.

After serving as an Apprentice Organizer, Sister Perinetti became the Organizer for District Lodge 26.

Perinetti has been very active during her time with the IAM, serving on the Rhode Island AFL-CIO Executive Committee, the IAM Blue Ribbon Commission and the Grand Lodge Convention 2004 Host Committee.

Enrollment Open for May Human Rights Class

The enrollment deadline for the IAM Human Rights Department Class to be held May 20-25, 2007, at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center is March 16, 2007. The May 20-25 class is the first of two training classes held by the IAM Human Rights Department. The second class will be held October 21-26, 2007.

The course will help local or district lodges set up an effective Human Rights Committee and focus on strategies to better protect members’ rights for lodges with existing Human Rights Committees.

Go to www.goiam.org for a copy of the official call (http://www.goiam.org/uploadedFiles/HR%20Call%20Letter.pdf) and enrollment form. (http://www.goiam.org/uploadedFiles/HR_Seminar_Enrollment_Form_2007(1).pdf ) For more information, contact IAM Human Rights Department Director Charlotte Sund at (301) 967-4572