iMail for Thursday, June 1, 2006

Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants Ratify Agreement

Three hundred IAM Flight Attendants at Continental Micronesia voted to ratify a new contract that preserves pay rates, establishes job security and provides a defined benefit pension plan through the IAM National Pension Plan. Stock options and enhanced profit-sharing terms are also part of the new accord.

“This agreement addresses the Flight Attendants economic and job issues to the greatest extent possible while considering the company’s current condition, enabling it to compete in the turbulent times the industry is encountering,” said District 142 President William O’Driscoll.

O’Driscoll credited the work of the negotiating committee and the solidarity of the membership for making the industry-leading agreement possible.

More information is available on the District 142 website at


District 1 Organizes New Jersey Municipal Workers

A group of New Jersey public works employees are the newest IAM members in the Eastern Territory, thanks to efforts of District 1 Organizer Gary Anthony, Grand Lodge Representative Stephen Miller and Directing Business Representative Danny Chmelko.

The 13 new members include water, sewer and road crew workers in the Borough of Runnemede, New Jersey, located in southwestern New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia.

“Please join me in welcoming these new members into the IAM family,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “I want to extend congratulations and a special thanks to all of the team for a job well done.”


Deadline Extended for Communicator Course

The deadline for applications for the IAM Communications Department’s new Communicator Course has been extended to June 8, 2006. The course is designed for Communicators who are not publishing websites or newsletters and need help in basic skills such as news writing, internet research, desktop publishing and creating a web page from a template.

The course will be held from August 6 through August 11, 2006 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center at Placid Harbor, Maryland. Contact the Communications Department at 301-967-4520 for further information or click here to download the official call and enrollment form.


Profits, Prices, CEO Pay Fuel Outrage at Exxon Meeting

Angered by retired Chief Executive Lee Raymond’s gaudy $400 million retirement package, shareholders at Exxon Mobil’s annual meeting adopted a resolution over the objections of Exxon’s board of directors calling for directors to get a majority of votes to win a spot on the board.

Officials believe it is the first time in Exxon’s history that shareholders have adopted a resolution over the objection of the company’s board. It is also a clear sign of the growing outrage over gas prices approaching $3 a gallon in the face of record profits and corporate compensation by oil companies.

While the average price for a gallon of gas fell 2.5 cents to $2.87 last week, gas prices are still 77 cents higher than they were a year ago. Exxon, meanwhile, pulled in a record $36 billion profit in 2005.


Woodworkers Notch Organizing Win in Oregon

IAM organizers scored an election victory this week in Bend, Oregon that holds the prospect of bringing in additional members as the manufacturing facility goes forward with plans to expand production.

Workers at Beko Membrane Technology, who make filters for dry air and air compressors, voted 6 to 1 for IAM representation in a May 31 NLRB election that left little doubt about the unit’s determination. A steady diet of increased work and frozen benefits at the facility fed the drive for change and a greater say in the workplace.

“I want to thank GLR Tom Mason, Woodworker BR Mike Rose and Grand Lodge Apprentice Organizer Loren Guzzone for leading a successful organizing campaign,” said IAM Organizing Director Larry Washam. “Organizing victories can come in all sizes, and the best ones just get bigger and bigger.”


IAM Calls for Federal Control of Canada Airport Security

IAM airline representatives in Canada told an advisory panel reviewing the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) that the federal government should take back direct responsibility for security, including screening, the pass system and funding.

“Having the federal government in direct control is essential for accountability and coherence of the system,” said IAM Canadian GVP Dave Ritchie. “If the job of passenger screeners, our front line of airport security, is truly important, they deserve to be regular employees of the federal government.”

For decades, the IAM has decried the low priority placed on air transport security by the federal government in Canada; in particular, contracting out of passenger screening to the lowest bidder.

“This low bid system has led to inconsistent standards, high turnover of poorly-paid screening personnel and a lack of accountability,” explained Ritchie.

The problem was compounded in the 1990’s when control over federal airports was offloaded to local airport authorities, adding yet another layer of bureaucracy.

“The federal government’s creation of CATSA in response to the events of September 11, 2001, has solved nothing,” said Ritchie. “The combination of unaccountable airport authorities, the CATSA structure and the continuation of the contracting-out process raises major concerns about the potential for conflicts of interest and self-dealing.”

Ritchie was also adamant that unions representing the screening workers maintain successor rights when a screening contract is transferred.

The IAM represents more than 16,000 workers in Canada’s air transport sector.


Western Territory Honors Organizers

Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson this week named new members to the Western Territory’s Organizing Honor Roll.

“There is a lot of hard work and long hours that go into organizing a new unit and these individuals sacrificed to bring dignity to workers who were reaching out for help,” said Pearson. “I applaud them, and offer my support to the efforts to bring a quality first contract to these new members; one that will meet their needs and send a message to all the other workers in their community that the IAM is the way for them to have a better life.”

Among the honorees is District Lodge 725 Organizer Joe Young, who successfully organized 23 workers at the Pratt and Whitney Aftermarket Services, Inc. located at Edwards Air force Base, in California.

“This is a great win for the district and the territory,” said GVP Pearson who congratulated Young and DBR Gary Holt saying it has been a while since we won a campaign in the Aerospace Industry that was not a service contract. “My hope is that this is the beginning of many good things to come.”

District 725 Organizing Director Brian Miller followed up with a campaign victory for six L3 Vertex workers located at March AFB in Riverside, California. The victory came the very next day after the Pratt & Whitney win. In addition DL 725 Bus. Rep Mike Cook DL 725 Business Rep signed a recognition agreement for two new members at DynCorp, located at Mather Field in California.

In addition to the wins at District 725, District 190 Organizer Pedro Mendez was also successful in organizing a group of four workers from SecTek Inc. who voted unanimously to go with the IAM.

District 160 Organizer Cristina Tangonan was successful in organizing a group of nine Federal Security guards at Fort Lewis, Washington. “District 160 has been the only district in the IAM that has met the Convention-mandated goal of 250 new members each year by every district in the IAM,” said GVP Pearson. “They are well on their way to doing it again. Once again, congratulations to DBR Don Hursey and his crew.”

Mark Blondin of DL 751 signed a recognition agreement with IAM CREST to represent the workers in Washington state.