iMail for Tuesday, August 29, 2006


IAM Poised to Unveil Major Internet Campaign

Machinists will have a unique opportunity to make their voice heard and felt on issues that matter most to them in the upcoming elections when the IAM unveils a nationwide internet campaign on Thursday, August 31, 2006.

A key feature of the “Hell, Yes!” campaign will be a virtual wall, accessed via a simple website, where IAM members can inscribe their name beneath a pledge to vote in the upcoming election. “We would like to see every IAM member’s name on that wall,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “With 36 states poised to elect governors in the upcoming election, the potential impact of this election on our members, their families and their finances is enormous.”

Additional information will be posted in this Thursday’s iMail, in the next ‘Have you heard’ bulletin for Communicators and on the homepage of www.goiam.org starting on Thursday, August 31, 2006.

Katrina’s Disastrous Anniversary

A year after Hurricane Katrina devastated hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast families in the nation’s worst national disaster, the Bush administration’s failure to respond to the crisis remains evident.

Despite repeated promises to rebuild the area, which suffered more than 1,800 deaths and $81 billion in damage, many residents still live in wretched conditions, lacking basic services such as housing, electricity and proper health care.

A Congressional report by House and Senate Democrats released last week says the Bush administration has failed to provide the resources to get the area back on its feet and help residents rebuild their lives. There are 7,500 families still waiting for trailers promised by FEMA, according to the report.

In New Orleans alone, less than half of the city’s pre-storm population of 460,000 has returned, according to a report from Think Progress. The report also finds sixty percent of homes still lack electricity, six of nine hospitals remain closed and one-third of public schools have yet to reopen.

Video: A Year Later and Still Recovering From Katrina

Machinists Welcome New US Airways Members

IAM District 142 held Open House meetings in Phoenix, AZ and Las Vegas, NV for former Teamster-represented America West Mechanics. Earlier this month the National Mediation Board certified the Machinists Union as the designated representative for all US Airways Mechanics following that carrier’s merger with America West.

A team comprised of Grand Lodge Representatives, Education and Communication Representatives, a representative from the IAM National Pension Plan, District 142 General Chairmen and the District’s Flight Safety Director welcomed the Mechanics to their new union.

The former America West employees showed their support for the Machinists union by signing membership applications and requesting IAM shirts to wear at work.

Enroll Now for Spanish Leadership I Course

The call has been issued for a new Spanish Leadership I pilot program to be held November 12-17, 2006 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. “With the Spanish Leadership I pilot program, the IAM is continuing our tradition of making our resources available to our diverse membership,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger.

While the course content is the same as provided in Leadership I, all classroom instruction and materials will be done in Spanish. Space in the pilot program is limited and lodges are urged to submit enrollments as soon as possible. Click here for enrollment information or contact the Winpisinger Center at 301-373-3300

Wal-Mart Apologist Links Critics to Terrorists

A leading member of a Wal-Mart-sponsored front group, Working Families for Wal-Mart, is drawing harsh criticism after he labeled critics of Wal-Mart as “Hezbocrats,” an association to the Hezbollah organization.

Herman Cain, hired by Wal-Mart to help defend the mega-retailers business practices, singled out such 2008 potential Democratic presidential candidates as Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Joe Biden (D-DE) and John Kerry (D-MA) in a column posted on the opinion website Townhall.com.

Wake Up Wal-Mart, an organization opposed to the giant retailer’s practices, is calling on Wal-Mart to apologize for Cain’s outrageous remark. Visit http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/feature/hezbocrats/ to help demand an apology.

IAM Videos Worth Watching

The latest IAM video releases provide a closer look at stories that all too often escape the attention of so-called mainstream media.

In Jobs Saved at Kansas Hydraulics Plant, more than 300 members of Local 1992 employed at Eaton Corp. in Hutchison, KS have a new appreciation for their union membership when months of negotiations produced an agreement that will keep their facility open and their jobs here in the United States.

Genetics in the Workplace takes a look at the spread of genetic testing, which is quickly becoming an important issue for today’s workers and tomorrow’s.

In Granholm Offers a Uniquely American Solution, Michigan’s governor talks about maintaining a healthy middle class with strategies to keep good jobs in America.  As the first in her family to attend college, her story mirrors millions of middle class Americans. 

Southern Territory Notches Organizing Wins

Twenty-six aircraft and base maintenance personnel employed by CSC Applied Technologies LLC at Vance AFB in Enid, OK, voted overwhelmingly to join Local 898 in Enid. They join several hundred other workers at Vance already under IAM contracts.

The victory is the latest in a string of Flight Simulator organizing victories in the Southern Territory, including fourteen Flight Simulator Product Support workers at Boeing Aerospace Operations at Ft. Hood, TX.

Also joining the IAM were a group of hazardous materials workers employed at Creative Contracting, LLC at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, TX and radar repair technicians employed at K-MAR Industries at Ft. Rucker, AL.

Additionally, Auto Truck Transport in Laredo, TX voluntarily recognized the IAM after seven workers petitioned for the IAM.

“Our industry-leading contracts continue to attract new members when workers can see how important an IAM contract is for workers in the south,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “Congratulations to our organizing teams, and welcome to our newest members.”