iMail for Tuesday, April 25, 2006

McHugh, Olsson, Canning Tapped for New Posts

IAM President Tom Buffenbarger has announced two key personnel changes. IAM Associate Legal Counsel Mary McHugh will join the staff of the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center and Grand Lodge Representative Bruce Olsson will be the new Assistant Legislative Director of the IAM’s Legislative and Political Action Department.

“Mary McHugh and Bruce Olsson (at left) are dedicated trade unionists who have done an outstanding job,” said Buffenbarger. “In their new roles, they will have the opportunity to continue their fine work and make the IAM an even better organization.”

A native of Minnesota, McHugh graduated with honors from both Princeton University and Michigan Law School. She served more than four years on Capitol Hill as the Legislative Assistant to U.S. Representative Jim Oberstar of Minnesota. McHugh joined the IAM Legal Department as Associate General Counsel in 1995.

Olsson is a 26-year member of Local Lodge 1746 in East Hartford, Connecticut where he worked as a layout inspector for Pratt and Whitney. He has a long history of political activism, serving on both his Local and District Lodge Legislative Committees and as the Political Director for the Connecticut State Council of Machinists.

Olsson has worked in the IAM’s High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) Department since it was first established in 1997.

Olsson’s appointment is effective June 1, 2006. McHugh will join the staff at the Winpisinger Center on July 1, 2006 and will assume the Assistant Director post on January 1, 2007.

In other changes, Margo Howe, a 26-year IAM employee who worked as a Research Analyst in Strategic Resources has retired. Howe will be replaced by Teresa Canning (at left) who will work as a research analyst and take over surveys and aerospace contract issues. Canning begins in the new position on May 1, 2006.


Equal Pay Day Highlights Wage Disparity

Workplace discrimination on the basis of sex is alive and well in the United States and no better example exists than the fact that women still only earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar men make in comparable positions.

Each year, Equal Pay Day highlights this national embarrassment and serves to galvanize the forces seeking to bring pay parity to the millions of women who must work nearly 16 months to earn what men take home in just 12 months. Despite the best efforts of labor unions, women’s groups and human rights organizations, the 23-cent pay differential has remained constant for the past decade.

“Half the working population in this country is being systematically penalized on the basis of gender,” declared IAM Women’s Dept. Director Cheryl Eastburn.

“Not only is it financially unfair and morally offensive, it represents one of the biggest unresolved human rights issues we face in this country today.”
The wage gap costs the average American full-time woman worker between $700,000 and $2 million over the course of her lifetime.

Labor unions are among the leaders in the movement to secure pay equity in the workplace, with collective bargaining agreements that provide for non-discriminatory pay rates, raises and advancement opportunities.

Others pressing to eliminate the gender pay gap include Brandeis University economist and former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Murphy, who is calling for women to set up local “Wage Clubs” that provide support and training to help women successfully confront underpaying employers.

Murphy is also author of “Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men – And What to Do about It.”


IAM Welcomes America West Maintenance Instructors

The National Mediation Board has extended the IAM’s certification for US Airways Maintenance Training Specialists to cover Maintenance Instructors from the former America West Airlines.

“These new members will join their US Airways colleagues under the existing IAM contract and begin accruing benefits under the IAM National Pension Plan,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “We look forward to providing the same IAM benefits to America West’s Mechanics and Fleet Service personnel in the very near future.”

The IAM National Pension Plan provides US Airways Maintenance Training Specialists a monthly benefit of $148.66 per year of credited service and is scheduled to increase this July.


‘Workin’ It’ Premiers on Air America Radio

A new one-hour radio program called ‘Workin’ It’ begins broadcasting this week on Air America Radio affiliates nationwide and promises to bring much needed balance to the nation’s talk radio airwaves, currently dominated by far-right talkmeisters.

‘Workin’ It’ is produced in partnership with American Rights at Work and hosted by comedienne, author, and former union organizer Jackie Guerra. The program aims to provide humorous and thought-provoking insights and to encourage more people to become active in the labor movement.

Actor and activist Danny Glover, Senator John Edwards, and Congressman David Bonior will be featured in early shows.


Dreamliner Contract Buoys LL 1542

IAM members of LL 1542 in Arnprior, Ontario will supply parts for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner as part of a multi-year contract awarded by Spirit AeroSystems Inc., to Arnprior Aerospace Inc.

“We’ve landed significant work with this contract,” explained GLR Bill Shipman. “This tells the aerospace world that we’re in the game and we can compete. It’s recognition of the skilled workforce and the production capabilities of the Arnprior facility”

Spirit AeroSystems Inc., of Wichita, Kansas, awarded Arnprior the production responsibility for the E1, E2 and E8 racks for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Arnprior Aerospace President and CEO John Wilbur described the award as a “significant step towards becoming a global leader in avionics assembly, test and integration.”

The 359 members of Local Lodge 1542 signed a new five-year collective agreement with Arnprior Aerospace in March 2006. The agreement was considered a key component in landing the new contract award. Deliveries for the multi-year contract are scheduled to begin in 2006.


New Orleans Votes Under a Cloud

As expected, thousands of New Orleans residents were unable to participate in that city’s first major election since Hurricane Katrina rendered much of the city uninhabitable and forced many residents to evacuate.

The closely watched race for mayor pitted 22 candidates against each other. Only thirty-six percent of the city’s 297,000 eligible voters participated in the election. Current Mayor Ray Nagin received 38 percent of the vote while Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu received 29 percent. The two will face off in a May 20 runoff.

The voting process failed to accommodate mainly black New Orleans residents who were forced from their homes by Hurricane Katrina and evacuated out of state. On March 16, the U.S. Justice Department approved state and city officials’ election scheme, which allowed only three ways of voting: voting in person; voting at satellite polling places around Louisiana or by absentee ballot. A state Senate committee rejected a bill that would create satellite polling places in other states housing Katrina evacuees.