iMail for Tuesday, January 10, 2006

IAM Unveils New Campaign at Halleen Chevrolet

The IAM is launching an air campaign to force Halleen Chevrolet, in North Olmstead, Ohio, to recognize the rights of its workers to seek union representation.

A 30-second ad began running this week on Cleveland-area cable television stations asking viewers to hold the dealership accountable for denying its employees the same democratic rights Americans have fought and died for: freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

The ad goes directly to the heart of the issue: “How long will America stay free if keeping your rights means losing your job?”

The auto repair techs at Halleen petitioned for IAM representation in May 2005, with 100 percent of the employees declaring their desire to form a union.

When the dealer refused and the technicians demanded Halleen recognize their legal rights, the dealer hired replacement workers, paying them a $2 premium over the technicians’ old pay rate. Halleen Chevrolet is currently operating with scab labor, despite a steady outpouring of support from the community, including rallies at the dealership held in support of the former technicians.

The ad urges viewers to get involved and call 888-369-7441 to leave messages of support for the former technicians.

IAM Names Two New Auditors

GST Warren L. Mart announced this week the appointments of two new Grand Lodge Auditors: LL 1976’s Patrick Smutney and LL 751’s Bruce Spalding.

Smutney will take over Auditing Zone 5 which covers Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, plus Panama and Puerto Rico.

Spalding will take responsibility for Auditing Zone 14 which includes Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Guam.

The General Secretary-Treasurer oversees sixteen Grand Lodge Auditors who cover the continental United States and Canada as well as Panama, Puerto Rico and Guam.

GOP’s Hammer Loses His Grip

Former GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, nicknamed the “Hammer” for his iron-fisted tactics in the U.S. House of Representatives, finally lost his grip on power and announced he would not seek a return to his leadership post.

DeLay was forced to step aside as Majority Leader after being indicted by a Texas grand jury for alleged fundraising violations. DeLay’s fall comes shortly after guilty pleas for bribery by former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a former aide to DeLay Michael Scanlon, a business partner of Abramoff’s. DeLay benefited from trips and other gifts arranged by Abramoff, including a lavish trip to a golf resort in Scotland.

While House Majority Whip and later House Majority Leader, DeLay brought partisan politics to new heights. He imposed a virtual one-party rule in the House and shook down corporations and lobbyists in return for access.

DeLay’s tactics ensured the House passed fast track authority, which allowed more unfair trade deals. Seniors now have a phony Medicare prescription drug program and drug companies don’t have to negotiate for lower prices because of DeLay and his allies.

DeLay also personally blocked action on stopping the abuse, including forced abortions, of thousands of workers in Saipan, a U.S. Territory.

New York State Rips Bogus Union-Made Claim

The New York State Attorney General’s office recently found Stone Enterprises, Inc., has engaged in deceptive practices by falsely advertising many of their products, including their key chains, lapel pins and patches, are 100 percent “union made”.

In addition to paying $250,000 in penalties and fines, Stone Inc., was forced to provide the Attorney General an “Assurance of Discontinuance” saying they will no longer claim any product to be “union made” unless all or virtually the entire product is made in the United States by union labor.

The action was a victory for Machinists who work day in and day out to produce quality union-made products for companies such as Bastian, which produces lapel pins, key tags, belt buckles and a number of products produced solely by union members.

Deadline Near for March Web School

Friday, January 20, 2006, is the cutoff day for applications to the March 26-31, 2006 Basic Web Development school at the Winpisinger Technology Center in Hollywood, Maryland. Those interested in attending the school should contact the IAM Communications Department immediately at 301-967-4520.


Milestones

Retired former LL 1487 President and 54-year IAM member Donald C. Bernson died last month at 82. Bernson was the full time Committee Chair for Trans World Airlines in Chicago and held numerous local lodge positions as well as a member of the Greater Chicago Council of Senior Citizens and board member of the Alliance for Retired Americans. He retired in 1982.