iMail for Thursday, June 28, 2007

Local 1930 Member Wins Congressional Primary

Local 1930 member and Long Beach Assemblywoman Laura Richardson finished atop an 18-candidate field in a special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by the death of Juanita Millender-McDonald.  Richardson will now face a runoff election on August 21st, against the top vote getter from the other party. 

Richardson had 37.8 percent of the vote, while the top Republican candidate had only 7.64 percent. Richardson will be the overwhelming favorite in the predominately Democratic 37th Congressional District, which includes Compton, Carson, much of Long Beach and parts of South Los Angeles.  The winner will serve the remainder of Millender-McDonald’s two-year term. The congresswoman, who was re-elected in November, died of cancer on April 22 at the age of 68.

Richardson, a former Millender-McDonald aide who served on the Long Beach City Council until being elected to the Assembly in November, is backed by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, and the California Legislative Black Caucus.

On the City Council, Richardson was instrumental in securing funding for alley maintenance by the City of Long Beach and initiated the planning process for a Senior Transportation Program. She advocated for the first ever 50 million dollar commitment for economic, open space and housing development and created critical outreach programs and events designed to motivate, inspire and empower city residents. Additionally, Richardson worked to bring the first new bank to the Central Area of Long Beach since the 1992 riots and is responsible for opening the first job training center for working families in the inner city.

Members Ratify Contract with General Electric

Machinists in eight states voted to ratify a new four-year contract with General Electric Co. that provides improvements for more than 3,000 active and retired members and preserves key health care and pension benefits for current and future employees.

“The negotiations with GE took place against a backdrop of some of the most extraordinary economic and social forces shaping our country today,” said GVP Richard Michalski, who led the IAM bargaining committee. “The issues of affordable health care, job security and secure pensions were front and center in these negotiations, just as they are at nearly every bargaining table and every kitchen table in this country. I want to thank the members of our negotiating committee for their extraordinary efforts and the members themselves for their support and solidarity through these negotiations.”

The IAM took part in the negotiations as a member of the Coordinated Bargaining Committee (CBC) of GE Unions, an 11-union coalition that includes the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA); the United Electrical Workers of America (UE); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the United Auto Workers (UAW); the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE); the United Steelworkers of America (USWA); the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA); the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT); the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices (UA); and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Texas Hall of Fame Inducts Retired DBR Pat Lane

Retired District 776 ( Fort Worth, TX) Directing Business Representative Pat Lane was inducted into the Texas Labor-Management Hall of Fame this week at the annual Texas Labor-Management Conference.

The Hall of Fame was created to recognize members of the labor, management and academic communities who have made major contributions to labor-management collaboration. “Pat Lane’s career was all about representing his members to the best of his ability,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Labor-Management Conference. “He’s made a big difference in Labor-Management relations in Texas, and this recognition is well-deserved.”

The late Southern Territory GVP George Hooper is also a member of the Texas Labor-Management Hall of Fame.

International President Tom Buffenbarger was a keynote speaker at the conference and urged employers to invest in programs such as the IAM’s High Performance Work Organization Program (HPWO), which fosters cooperation and joint decision making by workers and management. “If the goal is to keep good jobs in America, IAM Representatives like Pat Lane will be more than happy to sit down and work with you,” said Buffenbarger.

National Labor College Honors IAM Graduates

Twenty IAM members recently earned Bachelor of Arts degrees and one received a Master’s degree through the AFL-CIO’s National Labor College (NLC) in Silver Spring, MD. Sixteen IAM graduates were on hand at the College’s graduation ceremony that honored more than 100 union members.

“We’re proud of these IAM graduates. They’ve worked hard to earn their degrees,” said IAM Headquarters GVP Rich Michalski, who represen ted the IAM at the ceremony along with Winpisinger Director Chris Wagoner and Educational Representative Charlie Micallef. “The National Labor College is a great opportunity for union members to finish their college education. And with the additional benefits provided by our Winpisinger Center, IAM members have greater flexibility when it comes to getting a degree,” said Michalski.

The NLC is the nation’s only union-based college. Union members can earn their college degree in a program that balances the needs between work, family and study by combining online course work and periods of on-campus study at the college. IAM members have an added advantage because the NLC coordinates their program with the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, allowing IAM students to use the Center to complete part of their course work. Also, many of the Winpisinger Center programs are now accredi ted and can be used for college-degree programs.

For information about earning a college degree through the National Labor College, contact Charlie Micallef at 301-373-3300.

Home Mortgages with the Union Label

If you are shopping for a home mortgage and want to see the difference the IAM label makes, be sure to check with Entrust Mortgage Partners, a company with 42 years of residential and commercial lending experience and staffed by IAM members.

“We want to give our union brothers and sisters the best mortgage experience available,” said Managing Partner Jim Rennie. “We offer 30 minute response times, the ability to lend in all 50 states, 42 years of combined lending experience, seamless process from application to close, reduced title and appraisal fees, and reduced rates and costs.” First-time home buyers who are IAM members may also qualify for a special no closing costs option.

“We’re proud to have Entrust Mortgage Partners as an IAM company,” said General Secretary-Treasurer Warren Mart. “It gives IAM members a choice of using a union –represen ted mortgage company for one of their mostimportant investments, the family home.”

To find out more about the products and services available from Entrust Mortgage Partners, call (877) IAMAW-US or (877) 426-2987 or visit Click here for other “IAM preferred” services and information on buying union-made products.

Health Care Key to Iowa Strike Settlement

Members of Local 1426 in Sioux City, IA voted this week to ratify a new four-year agreement with Prince Hydraulics, ending a strike over increased health care costs that began on March 26. The new accord provides a $1.90 wage increase over the life of the agreement, a better pension plan and more equitable distribution of health care costs.

“It is important to our members that the insurance increases be spread out more evenly so that higher prices in fuel, food and housing can be budgeted for with less of a hardship,” said District 6 Business Representative John Herrig. “I am pleased that Prince eventually came to the same realization.” All 95 workers at the facility, who manufacture hydraulic cylinders and pumps, will return to work by July 9.