iMail for Thursday, October 02, 2008

IAM Supports NASA Space-suit Decision

When Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar module in 1969 and became the first man to walk on the moon, he was wearing a space-suit made by IAM workers at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks, CT. The company is now known as Hamilton Sunstrand, a division of United Technologies (UTC).

Citing errors in the latest round of bidding for a new space suit, NASA announced it is canceling a $745 million contract that would have awarded the contract to a new company and moved that work out of Connecticut.

Following concerns raised by the IAM and the Government Accountability Office, NASA now plans to re-bid the contract next year.

“In a fair competition, IAM workers and companies can deliver the best products in the world,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr., who credited the re-bid decision to lobbying efforts by John Harrity, GrowJobs CT, District 26 DBR Everett Corey, Local 743 President Mark Hebert and the staff at District 26. “If UTC continues to partner with the IAM, I am confident that together, we will prevail in this fight.”

For more information on GrowJobs CT, visit the special website here:

California Auto Techs on Strike at Grace Honda

Seventeen members of Local 1414 in San Mateo, CA, are walking picket lines outside Grace Honda in San Bruno, CA, after unanimously rejecting the dealership owner’s “last, best and final” offer.

The rejection was triggered by an array of proposed concessions, including wage changes, reduced number of holidays and productivity-based health insurance coverage.

IAM members at the dealership are also concerned over unauthorized deductions from their paychecks and a “no talking” rule within the shop, allowing the technicians to speak only with management for business but not with each other.

“Strikes are always a last resort,” said District 190 Business Representative Don Barbe, who led the negotiations. “But these members expect a decent wage, without anyone tinkering with their paychecks and to maintain their health care and holidays.”

“This is a talented group of members who are seeking a fair and reasonable contract from their employer,” said Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson. “I’m proud of their solidarity on the picket line. They care about the customers they service and the work they perform, and they should be rewarded for it.” For additional photos, click here.

New Procedures for Winpisinger Center Airport Pick-Up

Beginning on Saturday, October 11, 2008, there will be a permanent change in the pick-up procedure for participants arriving at Baltimore Washington Airport (BWI) for classes at the IAM William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center.

After their arrival at the BWI airport, participants will be picked up at the 2nd curb outside of Door 14 (baggage claim, lower level) and transported to the W3 Depot. The Winpisinger Center shuttle from the Airport to the W3 Depot will run every half hour from 4:00 – 8:00 PM.

The shuttle will be clearly marked with IAM logos on both sides. As in the past, participants will wait at the W3 Depot until 8:30 pm when the bus will leave the W3 Depot for the Winpisinger Center (arrival time approximately 10 pm).

Click here for more information on the new procedure.

Provost Named Eastern Territory Special Representative

Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr., announced the appointment of District 4 DBR Tony Provost as an IAM Special Representative for the Eastern Territory, effective October 1, 2008.

Provost was employed at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in 1987 and joined the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America (IUMSWA) which later merged with the IAM. Tony was elected Shop Steward and Vice President of Local S6 as well as serving on the Negotiating Committee before becoming a District 4 Business Representative in 1998. Provost became DBR of District 4 in 2005.

“Tony brings a strong background of organizing and negotiating experience to the staff,” said GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “His background and expertise in the Service Contract Act will be a huge asset in the future.”

USA Member Wins New Triton Bass Boat

USA Sportman member Lonnie Tiner, right, wins Triton boat made my members of IAM local 1947 in Wisconsin.

Lonnie Tinder of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) is the lucky winner of a brand new Triton 18 Explorer bass boat and a matching trailer given away by the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance. The Triton 18 is built in the United States and features a Mercury 90ELPT two- stroke engine built by IAM Local 1947 members in Fond du Lac, WI.

The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is a hunting and fishing club exclusively for union members, retirees and their families. As a program of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) and 20 AFL-CIO affiliated unions, the USA extends union member benefits to the woods and water while supporting the TRCP’s efforts to preserve America’s hunting and fishing heritage. One of those benefits is ongoing giveaways for USA members, including firearms, knives, trips and the Triton boat.

Tinder thought the concept of an alliance of union members with a common interest in the outdoors sounded like a great idea, so he joined the USA as one of its founding members in October 2007. 

His first thought upon learning he won a Triton boat and matching trailer valued at approximately $25,000 was “is this true or is somebody pulling my leg?” He knew, from visiting the website that the USA was giving away a boat, but he had never won more than a t-shirt or hat in his life.  “Whenever these things are given away, it seems like it’s always to someone back east. I just couldn’t believe I had won,” said Tinder. “A lot of my fellow union members have asked ‘when are we going fishing?’” said Tinder.

For more information on the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, visit