iMail for Thursday, May 21, 2009

Study Documents Employer Tactics Against Organizing

A new study finds private employers are pulling out more stops to prevent workers from joining a union.

Cornell University professor Kate Bronfenbrenner’s “No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing” reveals private sector employer opposition has intensified and become more punitive than in the past.

According to Bronfenbrenner, employers are more than twice as likely to use 10 or more tactics – including threats and actual firings – in their campaigns to thwart workers’ organizing efforts.

The report shows that from 1999 to 2003, 63 percent of private sector employers interrogated workers in one-on-one meetings with supervisors; 54 percent threatened workers in such meetings; 57 percent threatened to close the worksite; 47 percent threatened to cut wages and benefits; and 34 percent fired workers.

Bronfenbrenner says even when workers succeeded at forming a union, 52 percent went without a first contract a year after the election, and 37 percent remained without a contract after two years.

The study, published by the American Rights at Work Education Fund and the Economic Policy Institute, further illustrates the need for Congress to pass legislation that will protect workers and their right to organize and bargain for better wages, benefits and a secure retirement.

The Employee Free Choice Act will put an end to employers’ unfair, and oftentimes illegal, tactics. Click here for more information on the Employee Free Choice Act and to send a letter to your legislator that it’s time to protect America’s workers today.

For more information and an official press release, click here.

IAM Welcomes Evergreen Services

General Secretary-Treasurer Warren L. Mart is pleased to welcome Evergreen Protective Services to the IAM family. Evergreen Protective Services is located in Greenbelt, MD and offers security protection and related services in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC and internationally. Evergreen is expanding their services and anyone interested in a career in security can send an application online through the IAM’s Employment Services Department or access the application directly by clicking here.

New Program Helps Unemployed Workers Go Back to School

If you’re out of work and want to go back to school – you can. President Obama announced that unemployed workers can receive special government help to further their education and training. He has directed the U.S. Department of Education to relax the rules for unemployed workers seeking to return to school.

Beginning in July, the maximum Federal Pell Grant will be increased to $5,350, allowing community colleges, colleges, universities, trade and technical schools to increase their financial aid packets.

The initiative is directed at all unemployed persons. And, unlike in the past, those currently receiving unemployment benefits will not have to give them up – they can continue to receive their benefits while in school.

“Our unemployment insurance system should no longer be a safety net, but a steppingstone to a new future,” said President Obama. “It should offer folks educational opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have, and give them the measurable and differentiated skills they need to not just get through these hard times, but to get ahead when the economy comes back.”

Like the IAM’s call for more education and skills development, President Obama is asking every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.

For more information on this and other available education and training opportunities for the unemployed, visit

Airbus Steps Up Production in China

European-owned Airbus is stepping up plane production in China amid outsourcing concerns and a troubled economy back at home. Airbus executives are patting themselves on the back after receiving word the first A320 jet assembled in China made a successful maiden flight. Meanwhile, thousands of European aerospace jobs surrounding the very same model hang in the balance due to scaled back production.

Airbus plans to increase Chinese production of the A320 jet to four a month by the end of 2011. The aircraft company began assembling A320 jets in China last September. The company cut domestic production of the model from 36 planes a month to 34 back in October.

European unions say the move only exacerbates fears that more work could be outsourced at a time when European working families need the jobs the most. They also fear the loss of European technology to Chinese counterparts.

Adding insult to injury, Airbus also says it has more than 700 orders – most from the A320 aircraft family – from Chinese airlines, and that it anticipates China will need more than 3,000 large aircraft by 2025, including 180 super jumbo passenger planes.

Enroll Now for Women’s Advanced Specialized Training Class

The Women’s and Human Rights Department is still accepting enrollment applications for the Women’s Advanced Training class scheduled for July 26-31, 2009 at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center.

The course is part of the Women’s and Human Rights Department’s training program that gives Sisters in the IAM the opportunity to network and to build skills that are critical to a more active involvement in the union.

To take advantage of this excellent opportunity you will need to have completed Women’s Basic Training.

Click here for the official call and enrollment form. For more information, contact the Women’s and Human Rights Department at 301-967-4747. Applications will be accepted until Monday, June 8, 2009.