iMail for Thursday July 6, 2006

Be On the Lookout for AK ‘Scab Steel’

On February 28, 2006, AK Steel Corp. in Middletown, OH, locked out more than 2,700 workers represented by the Armco Employees Independent Federation (AEIF). 

The AEIF wants to become part of the IAM and the National Labor Relations Board has scheduled an election for July 26-27 when these union brothers and sisters will have an opportunity to become part of the IAM family. Over 60 percent of AEIF members have already signed IAM authorization cards.   

“Our understanding is that AK Steel has used up its inventory and is now shipping ‘scab steel’ made by managers and scabs who are trying to keep the mill operating,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker, Jr. “We can help the AEIF by being on the lookout for shipments of AK scab steel used to make appliances, auto parts or other products in bargaining units where employers use AK Steel.” 

Please leave a message at 1-888-369-7441 if you suspect shipments of AK scab steel are being used in your location and if the quality of the steel has started to go down.

Go to for additional information about the AEIF campaign to win IAM representation, a new contract and a secure pension for workers at AK Steel.

Florida Local 2061 Gives Discovery a Lift

After two weather delays, the space shuttle Discovery launched successfully into orbit Tuesday, marking the first launch of a space shuttle on the Fourth of July. Performing group support as well as base and crane operations, were more than 1,100 IAM members from District 166 and Local 2061 in Cape Canaveral, FL, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the launch a success.

“Launching the Space Shuttle was a great way to help celebrate America’s birthday,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “Our members play a vital role in America’s space program. Congratulations to everyone involved for making this a safe and successful launch.”

Machinists Poised to Benefit from Spirit IPO

IAM leaders in Washington, D.C., and Wichita, KS welcomed last week’s announcement that Spirit AeroSystems is seeking approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

“This is an important step for the company and positive news for IAM-represented employees at Spirit, who will be eligible for shares if and when the IPO process is completed,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The equity participation mechanism in our contract with Spirit is a good example of how smart collective bargaining can protect employees caught in a turbulent industry.”

The IAM represents nearly 5,250 production workers at Wichita, KS-based Spirit AeroSystems, which commenced operations in June 2005 after negotiating a purchase agreement with The Boeing Company. As part of the negotiations process, the IAM and Spirit’s parent corporation, The Onex Corporation, created a stock option program called the Equity Participation Program. According to terms of the program, IAM members will be allocated shares once the IPO process is complete and shares are publicly traded.

“Having endured considerable risk and sacrifice in this company’s creation, it is fitting that IAM-represented employees have an opportunity to share in its success going forward,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “As the largest parts manufacturer for the commercial aircraft industry, Spirit is well poised to benefit from a resurgence in the commercial aircraft sector.”

“This is good news for our members, their families and the community,” said District 70 President Steve Rooney. “The benefit of profit sharing extends beyond wage earners to local businesses, retail outlets and can become an economic driver for the whole region.”

Missouri Job Corps Workers Vote to Join IAM

Government employees at the Mingo Job Corps Center in Puxico, MO voted overwhelmingly to join the IAM recently and will be represented by the IAM’s government employees’ affiliate, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)/IAM Federal District 1 (

The new members will join more than 90,000 government employees represented by the IAM-NFFE, including nurses at Veterans’ hospitals, Defense Department employees, Passport and Forest Service workers and other government employees.

The win follows efforts by Gary Johanson, NFFE Business Representative for the Midwest Territory, Michael Krueger, Vice-President of the Job Corps Forest Service Council and Solomon Jones, President of IAM-NFFE Local 1855 in Flatwoods, VA.

“I would especially like to thank key Mingo Job Corps employees,” said Johanson.  “They worked hard gathering signatures and served as our points of contact in Mingo.  This whole thing would not have been possible without them.”

NLRB Readies ‘ Kentucky River’ Decisions

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) appointed by President Bush is preparing to issue three decisions that could impact collective bargaining rights for hundreds of thousands of workers, including nurses, skilled building trade workers and workers in energy, shipping and other industries.

The three cases, known collectively as the “ Kentucky River” cases, focus on the definition of “supervisor.” If that definition is broadened by the NLRB to include skilled, experienced workers who sometimes provide instruction for their coworkers, hundreds of thousands of workers could be stripped of their contract protections and union rights.

Despite the potential threat to organizing and existing bargaining units and despite pressure from Congress and the public, the NLRB has refused to hear oral arguments as it considers these cases. In fact, the Bush board hasn’t heard any oral arguments since 2001.

Send a message to your members of Congress to tell NLRB Chairman Robert J. Battista to reverse the decision not to hear oral arguments in these critical cases.

District 160 Exceeds Organizing Goal for Third Straight Year

For the third year in a row, District Lodge 160 in Seattle, WA has exceeded the organizing goal of 250 new members per district per year. A recent organizing win of 95 federal professional workers at the Department of the Navy Facilities Engineering Command Northwest put District 160 over the top.

“Directing Business Representative Don Hursey and the entire District Lodge 160 staff continue to meet the goals established by our union,” said Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson. “This is the kind of effort it is going to take to turn us in the right direction. My hat is off to District 160 for a job well done.”

Aviation High School Graduates Take Flight

The Machinists union this year continued its tradition of participating in the graduation ceremony at New York City’s Aviation High School. Graduates of the school’s unique program receive not only a high school diploma, but also the FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) licenses necessary for a career in aviation maintenance.

Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. awarded three graduates with professional tool boxes and presented the school with two $5,000 donations, one from the Grand Lodge and one from District Lodge 142.

The IAM has worked with Air Wisconsin and Pratt & Whitney to place Aviation High School graduates in jobs working under IAM contracts.