Transportation Communications Union (TCU) International President Bob Scardelletti is calling on all 65,000 active and retired TCU members to support New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) in her campaign for President of the United States. The TCU Executive board joined the IAM and endorsed Sen. Clinton following last week’s ‘Conversation with the Candidates’ forum in Orlando, Florida.
“The forum confirmed my belief that the best candidate for our members and all of labor is Hillary Clinton,” said Scardelletti. “She gives American workers the best opportunity to have a friend in the White House and an advocate pushing their issues.”
“Sen. Clinton is without a doubt the right candidate for our members,” added TCU International Vice President Bob Davis, who serves as TCU National Legislative Director. “She has earned our support by the positions she has taken for workers. She is right on Amtrak, she is right on pensions and she is right on workers’ rights.”
“Clean, safe and affordable housing is one of those things we work our entire lives for,” declared GST Warren Mart at this week’s dedication of the William W. Winpisinger Apartments in Cleveland, OH. “If Wimpy were here today, he would agree that few things matter more.”
GST Mart, IP Tom Buffenbarger, Headquarters GVP Rich Michalski and Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker were among speakers at the dedication who paid tribute to the former International President for his commitment to workers and retirees. The original dedication event, planned for February 13, 2007, was postponed when a snowstorm dropped a foot of snow on Ohio and disrupted air traffic for days.
“There are now two extraordinary facilities that bear Wimpy’s name,” said IP Buffenbarger. “The Education and Technology Center at Placid Harbor and now these apartments for seniors here in Cleveland. Both are fitting tributes for a man whose life was dedicated to helping others.”
The Winpisinger Apartments, a joint effort by the IAM, Cleveland, state and federal agencies and Ohio’s Elderly Housing Development & Operations Corp., will provide 42 units of safe, secure housing for Cleveland-area seniors, in addition to support services for residents.
IAM member Laura Richardson was sworn in Tuesday as the newest member of the House of Representatives by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Richardson, who has been an IAM member of Local 1930 since 2000, won two elections to replace the late Democratic Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, who died of cancer in April.
“I respectfully stand today on her legacy as I reach toward my own destiny,” said Richardson, who will represent California’s 37th Congressional District, which includes Long Beach, Carson, Compton and parts of Los Angeles.
The party breakdown in the House now stands at 232 Democrats and 201 Republicans. Two vacancies remain to be filled in the 435-seat House, one left open by the departure of Rep. Martin Meehan, (D-MA), who resigned to become chancellor at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and an additional vacancy that occurred this week after the death of Ohio Republican Rep. Paul E. Gillmor.
Nearly 600 delegates at the annual legislative conference for the Alliance for Retired Americans welcomed Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton as the keynote speaker for their week-long event in Washington, D.C.
Senator Clinton pledged her support for improving health care for current and future retirees and outlined a five-point plan that would provide all Americans with health insurance. The Democratic front runner also promised that under a Clinton administration, Social Security privatization would be “off the table” and that she would not raid the Social Security Trust Fund.
The Honor Roll of great IAM negotiators grew longer by one recently when retired Western Territory GLR Alvin “Al” Schultz, passed away on August 24 at the age of 85.
Shultz spent 37 years as an IAM representative negotiating contracts for auto shops, shipyards and rail workers, but was best know as the tough-as-nails negotiator for Boeing workers in the 70’s and 80’s. It was through his efforts, that Boeing employees got cost-of-living allowances and dental coverage in their contracts, according to former colleague and District 751 Business Representative Ron McGaha. “The thing about Al was, if he told you something, you could take it to the bank,” said McGaha.
Following his retirement in 1985, Schultz was active as a volunteer for charity organizations while remaining active as an IAM retiree. He became chairman of the board of directors for the King County chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as for the United Way chapters of King and Snohomish counties.
Shultz served as an inspiration and a resource for a new generation IAM leaders who followed in his footsteps. Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson praised Shultz’s vast knowledge regarding the aerospace industry but also his large heart and fun loving personality. “He wasn’t above giving you a good ribbing if he thought it was necessary, and he almost always thought it was necessary,” said Pearson.
Vince Bazzachini, president of Local 1833 from 1994 to 1999, died of an apparent heart attack August 24 at his home in Eagan, MN. Bazzachini, 54, was a former IAM member at Northwest Airlines, and led Local 1833 during a turbulent period in the 1990s. At the time, the Local represented about 13,000 ticket agents, mechanics, ramp and other ground workers.
“Vince was a good friend and a solid trade unionist,” said IAM Legislative & Political Action Director Tom Trotter, who worked with Bazzachini at Northwest. “He brought a tireless work ethic with him wherever he went, whether it was knocking on doors or walking picket lines or trying to steer his local through difficult times. It was his integrity and his humor that set him apart. He’ll be truly missed.”
Bazzachini was one of the original four who started the first “Hawgs for Dogs” charity motorcycle ride for Guide Dogs of America. He also served on the board of directors for the Minnesota Chapter of Guide Dogs and served as Sergeant-at-Arms with the St. Croix Valley Riders.
He is survived by wife Janet; their three children, Emily, 28; Erin, 25; and Leah, 23; granddaughter, Kendall; his mother, Eileen; brother, John; sisters, Kathy and Linda; and a multitude of friends.