iMail for Thursday, September 27, 2007

IAM Wins Recognition at Six UPS Freight Locations

Approximately 85 UPS Freight maintenance employees at six locations have won card-check recognition for IAM representation thanks to their strong determination to join the IAM and a team of lodges from coast-to-coast working together on the campaign.

Local Lodge 701 helped organize the Bedford Park and South Holland, IL locations; District Lodge 60 helped in Detroit, MI; District 190 helped in Reno, NV; Local 10 helped in Richmond, VA and District 9 helped organize the UPS freight facility in St. Louis, MO. The next step is bargaining a first contract. “Our intent is to sit down at the bargaining table and reach a standard IAM agreement for all locations,” said Automotive Coordinator Boysen Anderson. “Credit goes to these new members and to the skillful cooperation of the IAM representatives involved.”

“This is IAM organizing at its finest,” said International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Working together across lodge boundaries benefits all concerned. We look forward to continuing what’s been started here so that UPS Freight employees across the country can have an opportunity to reap the benefits of an IAM contract.”

 

Connecticut Jobs Program Wins Tax-Exempt Status

In a ruling that recognizes the public service value of GrowJobsCT, the IAM-initiated program was recently granted 501c3 tax-exempt status by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). GrowJobsCT is a coalition that brings together labor, businesses, community groups and elected officials to preserve and expand manufacturing jobs in Connecticut. GrowJobsCT was created by District 26 in Kensington, CT, with the support of Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. and the IAM Executive Council.

“Getting the tax-exempt status from the IRS means that GrowJobsCT can seek funding from major foundations that only give to 501c3 groups,” said District 26 DBR Everett Corey. “This will be a big help in continuing our work fighting for Connecticut jobs.”

GrowJobsCT has become an important player in bringing together non-traditional allies on issues crucial to a common goal – good jobs. U.S. Representatives John Larson, Joe Courtney and Rosa DeLauro all submitted letters to the IRS in support of the GrowJobsCT application, praising the work of the coalition. “It was not easy to win this ruling from the IRS, and we could not have done it without the backing of GVP Tucker and the entire IAM Executive Council,” said GrowJobsCT Director John Harrity. “We’re very grateful for that support and will take full advantage of the opportunities it creates.”

 

District 111 Delivers for Members at Clifford-Jacobs

District 111 in Herrin, IL, successfully negotiated a new four-year collective bargaining agreement at Clifford-Jacobs in Champaign, IL. Eighteen members at Local 1000 who work in maintenance and machining at the facility ratified the new pact that took effect September 24, 2007.

According to IAM District 111 DBR Steve Jones, the new contract provides for a $2.10 wage increase over the term of the agreement. ”We were able to negotiate a very accessible and affordable worker-friendly health care plan for our members,” said Jones. “Improvements in the IAM Pension will increase the employer contribution to $2 dollars per hour over the term of the agreement and we achieved improved jurisdictional protections for our members as well.”

Jones praised all the unions involved saying, “This contract is a significant improvement over the last agreement as a result of the solidarity of the parties at the table, including the IAM, Boilermakers and the IBEW.”

 

IAM Videos Examine Bankruptcy, Health Care

The IAM’s Machinists News Network has put out a trio of hard-hitting videos recently, taking a close look at key issues impacting working families.

Sharing Bankruptcy Backlash (http://www.goiam.org/index.php/news/latest-videos/309-sharing-bankruptcy-backlash) looks at Congress’ recent efforts to pass a new bankruptcy bill to protect the men and women who helped build the organization.

Uninsured America (http://www.goiam.org/index.php/news/latest-videos/354-uninsured-america), meanwhile, examines a study from Families USA that shows the health insurance issue in the U.S. is worse than it looks.

In Fresh Faces on the Hill: Congresswoman Laura Richardson (http://www.goiam.org/index.php/news/latest-videos/344-fresh-faces-on-the-hill-congresswoman-laura-richardson), the newest member of Congress, and an IAM member, sits down and talks about issues impacting IAM members.

 

And Now a Word from the Lunatic Fringe…

According to CNBC talk-show host James Cramer, there’s no reason to build cars in America and General Motors won’t be around much longer if they don’t “break” the United Auto Workers (UAW). That’s the sum of an outrageous exchange this week on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
http://www.crooksandliars.com/Media/Play/21773/1/hardball_cramer_eisenbrey.wmv
In his trademark hyper-caffinated style, Cramer nearly foams at the mouth as he gleefully describes the strike at GM as an opportunity to end union representation at General Motors. “This is all about saving American manufacturing,” bellows Cramer, “and the only way to do that is to break the UAW!”

The UAW represents nearly 73,000 members at GM where it recently secured a tentative agreement that protects pensions and retiree health benefits, key issues in the dispute. The accord also includes pledges by GM to invest in its U.S.-based plants, a move the UAW sought to secure a new generation of good-paying jobs at the Michigan-based automaker.

Cramer’s rant was cut short by Ross Eisenbrey, Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute, who reminded Cramer that the UAW strike is about keeping jobs in America and ensuring the promises made by companies to workers and retirees are promises kept.
“This is a problem that every American worker has a stake in and they ought to be rooting for the UAW here,” said Eisenbrey.

When asked by host Chris Matthews if he saw a future in 5-10 years when we don’t have an auto industry in this country, Cramer responded, “If you don’t break the UAW, we won’t. There’s no reason to make cars here.” Taking his case a step further, Cramer delivered the strongest argument for changing channels: “If GM wins and they bust this union, I’m telling you you’re going to have a five-fold increase in this stock, and in the end – this is America – that’s what we care about.”

 

Legislation Would End Sex, Gender Discrimination

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is moving toward a vote in Congress. The bill would protect working Americans from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

With support from the labor movement, ENDA was first introduced in 1994 but has never gone to a vote of the full House of Representatives. It was well received at a hearing held by the House Education and Labor Committee on Sept. 5, and is expected to move to the floor for a vote by the end of the month.

“Discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin and disability have long been illegal in the workplace,” said IAM Human Rights Director Charlotte Sund. “The time has come to also eliminate discrimination against our brothers and sisters on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Fairness in the workplace should be a fundamental right for all workers.”

Tell Congress to enact this important piece of legislation. Go to www.unionvoice.org/campaign/pawenda, and urge your Representatives to protect the rights of fellow workers by supporting ENDA (HR2015).