iMail for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kennedy Space Center Negotiations to Resume

IAM negotiators announced today that mediated negotiations with United Space Alliance (USA) will resume next week in a bid to resolve the 134-day strike by nearly 500 members of Local 2061 over pensions and health care costs.

Negotiations will take place Oct. 29 in Cape Canaveral, FL, and are scheduled to continue on Oct. 30, according to Aerospace Coordinator John Crowdis, who was notified today by Federal Mediation Regional Director John W. Pinto Jr.

“The Local 2061 Negotiating Committee is looking forward to the resumption of talks with USA and we will be ready with a proposal for a fair and equitable end to this strike,” said District 166 DBR Johnny Walker. “The issues that put our members and their families on the picket line are familiar to workers across this country: health care, pensions and justice for the next generation of workers.”

2007 Photo Contest Winners Announced

The results of the 2007 IAM Photo Contest are in and the winners are: Thomas Costea, Local Lodge 1639, won First Place for his entry entitled, “Makin’ It Right,” which depicts fellow member Bill Africa removing cracked welds with a carbon arc at Norfolk Southern Juniato Locomotive Shops in Altoona, PA. Taking Second Place this year was two-time winner Ben Castic of Local 41 for his “Watchful Eye,” a picture of Drago Dudaric line boring a straightening roll positioner at Southside Machine Works in St. Louis, MO. Rounding out the top three was Local 2296 member James Miller for his entry called, “METS Maintenance,” in which he captured Norman Gallman checking the cable adjustment on a Modular Egress Training Simulator.

Honorable Mention winners are: Randy Hatfield, Local 2339-C; Milford Hopp, Local 1516; Deborah Tisovec, Local 2319; Liz Melara, Local 48; Mike Bell, Local 2191; Roger Buchop, Local 956; Jeremy Finch, Local 519; Michael Carosone, Local 837-B; William Remular, Local 1245; Charles Fleegle, Jr., Local 1400; and Dan Cox, Local W-130.

Winning photographs will be included in the 2008 IAM calendar. As always, a portion from the sales of the calendar will be donated to Guide Dogs of America. The IAM raised more than $24,000.00 for the GDA from last year’s calendar sales. Look for calendar order forms in the Fall 2007 IAM Journal or click here to download an individual order form.

“Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who participated,” said Rick Sloan, Director of Communications. “We hope more and more members will take advantage of this great opportunity to showcase their talents and their fellow members at work.”

Click here to view the winning photos.

GVP Michalski Defends U.S. Aerospace Jobs

The $40 billion battle over who will build the new fleet of aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. military took a new turn after the European Union provided more than $100 billion in subsidies for Airbus.

“The Bush administration has rightly responded by filing the largest lawsuit in the history of the World Trade Organization against the European Union,” said IAM GVP Rich Michalski in an op-ed printed this week in the Wichita Eagle. “But The U.S. Defense Department is poised to countermand the administration’s own trade negotiators by insisting that Airbus be one of the two competitors in the award for the U.S. Air Force’s crown jewel of airframe contracts.

“The Boeing tanker is American-made and would never be held up or left unsupported by a country whose government suddenly went from ally to enemy. An award to the American manufacturer could support some 44,000 jobs and hundreds of communities here at home. In Kansas alone, this contract could mean 3,800 jobs and more than $145 million in annual revenue.

“But if Airbus wins the contract, the Defense Department will create tens of thousands of jobs in France and reward the very company that our trade representatives have sued as rogue violators of trade laws,” concluded Michalski.

You can read the complete text of GVP Michalski’s editorial by clicking here.

 ILCA Honors Labor Journalists

Labor journalists who traveled to New Orleans, LA, for this year’s International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) convention got much more than the customary workshops and panel discussions.

Designed as an ambitious experiment in concentrated reportage, ILCA conference organizers fielded more than a dozen teams of labor journalists, videographers and photographers to create a multi-media archive of workers and their families who continue to struggle in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The three-day conference began with local labor leaders describing to delegates how Gulf Coast residents still face massive challenges, including schools that remain closed, hospitals damaged beyond repair and a still-crippled transportation system.

The government-sanctioned assault on public education, housing and transportation services is taking a heavy toll on those who are trying to rebuild, according to Brenda Mitchell, president of United Teachers of New Orleans. “We residents of New Orleans are the canaries in the coal mine. And the canaries are dropping off,” said Mitchell. “Don’t think closing schools and cutting transportation is something that can’t happen somewhere else. The same people who built our jacked-up levies are the same ones who built your bridges and roads.”

 Scholarship Applications Now Available

The 2008 Union Plus Scholarship application, which provide cash awards from $500 to $4000 for students attending or planning to attend a college or university, community college, or a technical college or trade school, are now available for download.

Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $2.4 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their secondary education.

Application deadline is January 31, 2008.