iMail for Tuesday, April 18, 2006

IAM and Hamilton Sundstrand Win OSHA Safety Award

The OSHA Voluntary Protection Program flag was proudly raised on April 11, 2006 in a ceremony at Hamilton Sundstrand in Windsor Locks, Connecticut for their efforts in working with the IAM and another union to achieve OSHA’s highest level of voluntary participation. In attendance were Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr., Connecticut Congressman John Larson, GLR Bill Rudis and Local Lodge 743 President Mark Hebert.

“Open and honest communications are part of the culture that exists here,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D.Tucker, Jr. (pictured above) “Two-way communication helps build the trust that leads to cooperation. Trust, honesty, and open communications are fundamental labor values.”

The voluntary program encourages private and public sector efforts to improve occupational safety and health. Companies must have in place an effective safety and health management system that meets rigorous performance-based criteria. OSHA looks at employee involvement as one of the attributes of the safety and health management system that is required to qualify as a VPP site.

Hamilton Sundstrand qualified  for the VPP Star level, which is awarded to exemplary worksites that have implemented successful safety and health management systems and achieved injury/illness rates below the national averages for aerospace manufacturing firms.

Read GVP Tucker’s remarks. 

Workers Memorial Day Set for April 28

Although decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions, the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous.

Each year more than 56,000 workers die from job injuries and illnesses and another 6 million are injured. The unions of the AFL-CIO remember these workers on April 28, Workers Memorial Day.

On April 28, 2006, the IAM will remember those members who died on the job during a ceremony at William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center located in Hollywood, Maryland. The IAM Workers’ Memorial Lighthouse was dedicated during the 2001 Annual Safety and Health Conference and has a special place on the grounds at WWW’s Memorial Park. Names of fallen workers are immortalized in a brick barring their name and date of death around it’s base.

The IAM website contains more information about Machinists commemoration plans.

The first Workers Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada.

Every year, people in hundreds of communities and at worksites recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job. Trade unionists around the world now mark April 28 as an International Day of Mourning.


Bush Refuses to Extend ‘Prescription Drug Tax’ Deadline

Once again shying away from the confusion that has marred the flawed Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the Bush administration has said they do not have the authority to extend the May 15 deadline for seniors to enroll in the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Yet, the law establishing the drug benefit says the Department of Health and Human Services has the ability to extend the enrollment deadline for Medicare Part D by declaring a “special enrollment period” for exceptional circumstances. Earlier this month, HHS extended the May 15 deadline for roughly 2 million low-income seniors who they deemed met the “exceptional circumstances”.

“If a delay in the enrollment deadline is good enough for low-income seniors, it is good enough for all seniors – regardless of income,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) told the Associated Press.

Despite a bewildering array of choices and little reliable information about which drug plan to choose, most seniors currently eligible for the plan will face higher costs if they sign up after the May 15 deadline. Premiums will rise by 1% a month after them deadline.

Visit the IAM’s website to learn more about the Bush administration’s flawed Medicare prescription drug benefit. There you can send a letter to your Congressional representative urging them to fix the flawed prescription drug plan.


Canada Post Honors CLC With Commemorative Stamp

As the three-million member Canadian Labour Congress celebrates its 50th anniversary, Canada Post will issue on April 20 a single domestic rate (51 cents) stamp to commemorate its establishment.

Formed in 1872 as the Canadian Labour Union, the CLC represents the majority of national and international unions in Canada, including 12 provincial and territorial federations and 135 district labor councils.

Montrealer Steven Spazuk created the stamp with photography by Marc Montplaisir. An accomplished painter and graphic designer, Mr. Spazuk designed Canada’s first customized stamp, the 1994 Greeting Stamp, and has developed various frame designs as the product evolved into Picture Postage.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post’s website, and a downloadable high-resolution photo of the CLC commemorative stamp is in the Newsroom’s Photo Centre.


Outsourcing Saves Less than Predicted

A recent survey by outsourcing advisory firm Technology Partners International (TPI) found that while more companies are outsourcing than ever before, they are saving a lot less than expected.

Firms typically outsource critical information technology functions like help desk support and customer service to low-cost countries like India or China. In India, most programmers and service workers are paid about 80 percent less than their U.S. counterparts. However, the overhead costs associated with outsourcing, such as transition, legal, advisory and management services, typically means companies only save about 15 percent on functions they outsource.

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