iMail for Thursday July 27, 2006

Machinists Union Wins at AK Steel in Ohio

The IAM defeated the United Steelworkers Union (USW) in a two-day National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election to determine representation rights for the Armco Employees Independent Federation (AEIF) in Middletown, OH.

Of the 2,207 eligible voters in the AEIF bargaining unit, 1,056 voted in favor of IAM representation. The USW received 790 votes and 10 ballots were cast to keep the AEIF as representative. No votes were for “No Union” and the NLRB declared one ballot void.

“AEIF leaders contacted the IAM earlier this year seeking help to end the 5-month long lockout at AK Steel Corp. and to explore the possibility of affiliating with the Machinists union,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Today’s victory gives each and every AEIF member a seat of honor inside the IAM, and an opportunity for a secure pension with the IAM National Pension Fund (NPF).”

AEIF members were locked out by AK Steel on Feb. 28 in a dispute over health care costs, work rules and finding a replacement for the company-managed pension plan. IAM membership allows negotiators to propose a defined benefit pension under the IAM’s highly regarded multi-employer plan. AK Steel proposed to replace the current pension with a risk-based 401k plan.

“AEIF has a proud 63-year history representing generations of workers here in Middletown,” said AEIF President Brian Daley. “Partnering with the IAM gives us the opportunity to preserve our traditions and to negotiate a pension plan that is worthy of the men and women in this community.”

“The IAM pledged to conduct a positive campaign and we delivered on that promise,” said IAM Eastern Territory Vice President Lynn Tucker, Jr. “Despite efforts by the company to delay the election process, we look forward to quickly resolving the lockout and the issues that led to it.”


Western Territory Notches Four Organizing Wins

Business Representative Janet Wright addresses a group of the Long Beach City Workers and IAM representatives. More than 400 Long Beach city workers are new IAM members.

The IAM’s Western Territory recorded four critical organizing victories this week, bringing in 458 new members into the IAM.

“Four separate wins, over the span of two days, have us feeling very good about the hard work that we have been putting into organizing in this territory,” said Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson. “Organizing is difficult, but American workers are hurting and we offer them relief from what is ailing them.”

IAM District 947 in Long Beach, CA brought in 409 city employees, employed in professional occupations varying from librarians and analysts to doctors and nurses.
“This is a great victory, but it was only possible because of the hard work of a lot of people,” said Grand Lodge Representative Joel Ochoa, who helped coordinate the organizing drive.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, 35 flight simulator technicians working for Lockheed Martin at Kirkland Air Force Base voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM. Four flight technicians at DynCorp International, MCAS Miramar in San Diego, CA also voted to join the IAM as part of District 725.

At Bechtel Bettis in Idaho, Grand Lodge Representative Mike Wardle has gotten a card-check agreement with the company for two additional classifications that will bring ten more workers into the 219-person unit that was organized in March.


Senate Vote Could Stop NSPS

A big vote is expected next week in the Senate to discontinue funding of certain sections of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). IAM members, especially federal workers, should contact their Senators to ask them to support the measure.

The vote will be on an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, which will defund sections of the NSPS recently deemed illegal by District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan. Sullivan ruled in favor of federal workers declaring certain parts of NSPS infringed on employees’ collective bargaining rights.

Click here to send a message to your Senators to stop NSPS. “We won this vote a few weeks back in the House, now we need to win it in the Senate,” said IAM Government Employees Director Frank Carelli. “If the Senate amendment passes, it will send a very strong message to the Department of Defense that they’ve gone too far with NSPS.”


Patient Care Drives Nebraska Nurses Campaign

Nurses at BryanLGH Medical Center in Lincoln, NE believe nothing should stand in the way of giving their patients the best care possible.They also believe IAM representation and an IAM contract will help make that care possible.

Frustrated by staffing shortages, reduced pension benefits, limited educational opportunities and other cost cutting moves, the nurses at Bryan contacted the IAM and began an organizing drive as the Capitol City Nurses Association.

Hospital officials are fighting back with traditional anti-union rhetoric about wanting to preserve a “professional relationship” with the nurses, and how they have learned from past mistakes, but nurses at Bryan are looking for respect that only comes when they can sit down with hospital administrators as equals, rather than just employees.

A looming shortage of registered nurses is expected to increase the pressure and workload on nurses at Bryan. According to a report issued in April by the Nebraska Center for Nursing, the current 800 nurse shortage will blossom to a 4,000 nurse shortage by 2020 unless step are taken. A recent front-page article ( in the Lincoln Journal Star describes the history and issues in the nurses’ campaign for respect on the job.


Local 2775 Welcomes South Carolina Ambulatory Unit

New IAM members, from left, Latoya Myers, Angelina Watson, Local 2775 President James Morrison, Vanatta Bryan, Shirley Myers and Special Rep. Joe Greaser celebrate their organizing win.

A group of 41 drivers who transport convalescent patients for medical treatment in South Carolina have voted overwhelmingly for IAM representation. The drivers work for ATC/Vancom, a division of Veolia Transportation and will become members of Local 2775 in Beaufort, South Carolina.

The vote was held simultaneously at two locations, in Beaufort and Walterboro, SC. Some of the new members drove nearly an hour to Walterboro after a full day’s work to witness the election count and hear the results.

“Special thanks should go to Local 2775 President James Morrison, District 96 DBR Tony Wilson and Local 23 President Elwin Kennedy for their help making this organizing drive a success,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez.


Deadline Extended for Advanced Web Design

Lodges wishing to enroll their web stewards for the 2006 Advanced Web Development course can still enroll. The Application deadline has been extended to August 1, 2006. The Advanced Web Course builds on the skills web stewards learned in Basic Web and highlights a more sophisticated use of graphics using classic principles of design, and provides an introduction to HTML and cascading style sheets.

The course is scheduled for September 24 – September 29, 2006 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.
Click here to download enrollment form and course information. Fax in applications to the IAM Communications Dept., 301-967-4586.


Flight Simulator Techs Ratify NWA Accord

Flight Simulator Technicians and Simulator Support Specialists (SIMTECH) and Northwest Airlines voted this week to approve a new agreement with the bankrupt airline. With the ratification and signing of the SIMTECH agreement, all IAM groups at Northwest Airlines have now ratified new agreements with the carrier. 


New Staff in IAM Legal and Communications Departments

IP Tom Buffenbarger announced two staff changes in the IAM Legal and Communications Departments. Bill Haller, pictured at right, a long-time labor attorney, joined the IAM as Associate General Counsel on July 24. Haller, originally from Syracuse, NY, has lived in Philadelphia, PA the last 18 years. “Bill Haller spent the last 15 years fighting the good fight as a labor lawyer in private practice,” said Buffenbarger. “We’re very glad he’s chosen to join our team here at Headquarters.”

Joining the Communications Department is Bobbie Sullivan, pictured left. Since coming to IAM Headquarters in 1974, Sullivan has served the IAM in a host of capacities. Sullivan most recently served 9 years as Executive Secretary to recently retired General Vice President Bob Thayer. “Bobbie Sullivan will be an invaluable asset to the IAM in her new capacity,” said IP Buffenbarger

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