iMail for Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Ohio Machinists Endorse Strickland for Governor

As the race to replace outgoing Ohio GOP Governor Bob Taft heats up, the Ohio State Council of Machinists endorsed Rep. Ted Strickland (D-OH) to become the next governor of the Buckeye State.

“Strickland will restore dignity and integrity to the State Capitol,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker, Jr. “Ted really understands Ohio’s working people. Under his direction we can expect to recapture jobs for Ohio’s working women and men.”

Restoring integrity to Ohio politics and protecting jobs are expected to be key issues in the 2006 gubernatorial contest. Unlike 2005, when only New Jersey and Virgina held gubernatorial elections, a total of 35 states will hold elections for governor in 2006.

“I am truly honored to receive the support and endorsement of the State Council of Machinists,” said Strickland. “The members of this union are among the hardest working men and women in the state. If elected governor, I pledge to move our state forward for all working families. Together, we can rebuild our economy, revitalize our state’s education system and restore integrity to our state government.”

The Ohio State Council of Machinists represents more than 25,000 members in Ohio. More than 97,000 Ohio workers and retirees are represented by the unions that have thus far endorsed Strickland for Governor.

“Change is driven by ideas from people who stand on the principle of fairness,” added GVP Tucker. “Today more than ever we need a leader like Ted who will work to restructure, rebuild and prepare our communities for the future.”

IAM Urges NASA to Suspend New Horizons Launch

The IAM is calling on NASA to cease launch preparations on the plutonium-powered New Horizons project due to safety concerns over Boeing’s use of inexperienced replacement workers.

IAM representatives were informed by NASA that all work on the New Horizons spacecraft with replacement workers would cease, but the IAM has learned that contrary to the statements made by Boeing, work is scheduled to continue on the New Horizons project with replacement workers.

“The personnel currently working on this project do not meet Air Force requirements for hazardous operations such as cranes, tools and test equipment,” said the IAM. “This is an out-of-the-norm spacecraft and the most dangerous part of Boeing’s work is yet to come.

IAM-represented technicians employed by Boeing at Cape Canaveral struck on Nov. 2 after Boeing proposed massive concessions in health care for current and future employees. The same proposals led to a costly four-week strike at Boeing’s Commercial Aircraft facilities in Kansas, Oregon and Washington.

“For the success of this mission and for the safety of everyone involved, the Machinists union calls on NASA to stop all work with replacement workers immediately,” said the IAM in a statement.

December 10 Week of Action Begins

Union members and their allies are staging events in dozens of U.S. cities this week leading up to International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2005. A key goal is to rally support for the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation requiring employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers sign cards authorizing union representation.

According to a recent study by Cornell University, the right to organize a union is under widespread attack: ninety-two percent of employers forced employees interested in forming a union to attend closed door meetings; nearly 80 percent required supervisors to deliver anti-union messages and 75 percent hired anti-union consultants.

As part of the International Human Rights activities, union members in the Washington, DC area will stage a rally on December 8, 2005 at 11:45am at AFL-CIO headquarters and then march to the White House.

The event will support efforts to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and protest the new National Security Personnel System (NSPS) being imposed on federal workers. NSPS strips civilian Defense Department and other federal workers of important collective bargaining rights and civil service protections.

For more information about International Human Rights Day, the Employee Free Choice Act and to locate Dec.10 activities in your area, please visit the special AFL-CIO website and watch for regular updates on

Monthly Per Capita Tax Set for 2006

General Secretary-Treasurer Warren L. Mart has notified all IAM District and Local Lodges that the Grand Lodge monthly per capita tax for 2006 will be $20.86. The figure is based on computations from 774 local lodges using their memberships’ weighted average hourly earnings as of August 31, 2005.

All IAM locals were directed to submit their weighted average hourly earnings information to the GST office by October 10, 2005.

The IAM Constitution mandates that the minimum per capita tax to District Lodges shall be equal to forty percent of the Grand Lodge per capita tax rounded to the nearest five cents.

Based on the 2006 Grand Lodge per capita tax of $20.86, the minimum District Lodge per capita tax for 2006 will be $8.35.

District 1 Holds Appreciation Night

District Lodge 1 held their annual Officers and Stewards Appreciation Night in Sellersville, Pennsylvania recently, with more than 70 members and guests including IP Tom Buffenbarger, GST Warren L. Mart, and GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. Also present were Special Assistant to the GST Tim Cross, Assistant Legislative Director Rick de la Fuente and Grand Lodge Representative James D. Smith.

District 1 DBR Danny Chmelko presented the District’s “Man of The Year Award” to Organizer Gary Anthony for his outstanding achievements and dedication to the labor movement. The event also raised $30,000 for the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL).

“On behalf of the Eastern Territory, I extend our thanks and congratulations to the Officers and Members of District Lodge 1 for a job well done,” said GVP Tucker. “A very special thanks to District 1 DBR Danny Chmelko, Assistant Directing Business Representative Bill Wheeler and Business Representative Gene Woodruff.

Ohio, Connecticut Auto Techs Vote IAM

Automotive mechanics, service employees and parts workers at dealerships in Connecticut and Ohio voted recently to join the IAM’s growing roster of highly-skilled auto technicians.

District 34 recently won three organizing elections at Bob Townsend Colerain Ford, in Cincinnati, Ohio, bringing 23 new members into the IAM including 13 Automotive Technicians, six Service Employees and four Parts workers. The new members will join Local 804.

In addition to the Ohio win, District 26 recently brought seven new members into the Machinists union from County Line BMW, Inc., in Watertown, Connecticut.

“Please join me in welcoming these new members into the IAM family,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr.

IAM Certifies Screeners at Six B.C. Airports

The IAM has certified pre-board screeners at six regional airports in British Columbia.

The 128 new members of Local 16 are employed by Gardaand provide security-screening services at airports in Campbell River, Penticton, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Nanaimo and Kelowna.

“This sector of Canadian air transport has seen tremendous growth in the last two years and pre-board screeners in this province have turned to the Machinists for representation because of our experience in this industry,” said IAM Assistant Deputy Mike Clegg.

“Our membership will continue to grow as the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority expands the capabilities of these airports with the introduction of new security programs and equipment. Non-passenger screening and Hold Bag screening will require additional personnel and our membership could double by 2007.”

Local 873 Celebrates 50 year Anniversary

Hundreds of retirees, active members and two charter members recently gathered at LL 873 in Horicon, Wisconsin to celebrate the local’s fiftieth anniversary. The two charter members, Palmer Miescke and Donald Karel, were guests of honor.

LL 873 was established on November 1, 1955. At the time of it’s founding, Local 873 had 47 machinists, 47 specialists, 2 mechanics and 326 production workers. The wage rate for tool and die makers was $1.76 at that time. LL 873 currently represents approximately 900 members at the John Deere Horicon Works.

John M. Massetti: 1940 – 2005

Longtime IAM-member and District 143 Secretary-Treasurer John Massetti died this week in Minnesota.

”John was the epitome of a trade unionist,” said District 143 PDGC Bobby De Pace.

A strong supporter of Guide Dogs of America, Massetti helped found the organization’s Minnesota chapter and its annual golf tournament fundraiser.

There will be a celebration of Massetti’s life on Friday, December 9 from 5:00 – 9:00pm at the Cremation Society of Minnesota Edina Chapel, 7110 France Avenue South, Edina, Minnesota. For information call 952-924-4100.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred for Guide Dogs of America, 13445 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar, California, 91342.