iMail for Tuesday, December 16, 2008

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Reminder to Sign Free Choice Act Cards

Don’t forget to sign a card to support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), the most important change to U.S. labor law in a generation. The card campaign is part of the AFL-CIO Million Member Mobilization to show the new president and Congress that there is widespread support among working men and women for stronger laws to protect the right to choose a union and stop unfair employer tactics against organizing and bargaining a first contract.

“Corporations and their allies are launching a major attack on the Employee Free Choice Act with misleading ads and divisive tactics,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “Union membership is the best way to preserve family-wage jobs and benefits and a right that every American should have free from employer intimidation.”

The Employee Free Choice Act had bipartisan support in the current Congress and passed in the House of Representatives but was blocked by a GOP filibuster in the Senate. Despite a strong campaign against unions by business interests, a majority of Americans still say they would join a union if they had the chance.

Employee Free Choice Act cards were sent to every IAM local and district lodge in the United States. Signed cards should be returned to local or district lodge representatives who will then forward them to their respective territory offices.

For information about the Employee Free Choice Act, including a fact sheet and other background information, click here.

To sign an online version of the AFL-CIO card, click here.

TCU Member in Florida Dies from Workplace Injury

Transportation Communications Union (TCU) Local 1908 member Alice Roth died November 14, 2008, from a brain hematoma, five days after suffering an on-the-job injury at the Walt Disney Old Port Royale Caribbean Beach Resort in Orlando, FL. Roth, 71, hit her head after a fall while working at the Resort’s concierge desk.
“This was a tragic incident,” said TCU Local 1908 Local Chairman Gary Lamboy. “All of us here at Local 1908 send our condolences to her family.”

Roth is survived by her son Gene H. Benson and daughter Katherine Roth Double; sisters Judith Bankus Cooper, Valerie York and Denise Bunny McDermott; and her grandchildren Alexander and Meghan Double.

Get Passports Now for 2009 Communications Conference

The 2009 Communications Conference will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia on Sept. 13 – 16, 2009. While the official call for the conference will not be issued for several months, members interested in attending are reminded that a valid and current U.S. Passport is now required for all U.S. citizens traveling to and from Canada.

Passport applications are processed by the U.S. State Department and can take from several weeks to several months to process. Additional information, instructions and a passport application form are available at:

December 2008 Sister of the Month

Elizabeth Melara is the featured Sister of the Month for December. Melara has been an IAM member of Local 48 in Chicago, IL for nearly 11 years.  In addition to her many duties at the local lodge, she is currently serving as the Educator for District 8.

Like so many union leaders, Melara was raised in a union family. Her father was an organizer in the 1940s. Following in his footsteps, Melara was instrumental in organizing her workplace, the municipal employees in the Village of Oak Park, IL.

To overcome the challenge of organizing a workplace with multiple shifts, Melara created an Advice to the Workers newsletter in which she penned the column “Ask Juanita.” In this column, Melara provided answers about union membership, dispelled rumors with facts and brought attention to all the anti-union scare tactics the company was using.

As the Educator for District 8, Melara’s talents are being put to good use. She encourages all her union sisters to get involved in their locals so issues pertaining to working women will have a voice and the attention they deserve.  Melara is particularly thankful for the guidance and support she received from IAM union leaders with whom she has worked and adds that it is important to utilize any and all training and resources available.

The IAM Sister of the Month program spotlights the dedication and hard work of IAM sisters. To nominate someone in your lodge, download this form and submit it to the IAM Women’s and Human Rights Department.

Place Order Now for 2009 IAM Calendar

Local and District Lodges can order bulk quantities of the 2009 IAM Calendar, featuring winners of the IAM Photo Contest. Calendars are an excellent way to showcase the IAM in the workplace. Also, two dollars from the sale of each calendar goes to the IAM-sponsored charity, Guide Dogs of America.

All Lodges that order 100 or more calendars get a price break from seven dollars to five dollars per calendar. For shipping before the holidays, orders must be received by December 18, 2008. Click here to download a bulk order form.

For individual calendar orders, click here to download an individual order form.

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