iMail for Tuesday July 18, 2006

Mississippi Space Center Workers Vote to Join IAM

The second time was charm for the 121 employees of Jacobs Sverdrup (JS) located at Stennis Space Center, in Bay St. Louis, MS. After a disappointing two-vote loss a year ago, many workers who gave the company “one more chance” decided they’d rather have any future promises in an IAM contract.

Southern Territory Organizer Tommy Mayfield led the successful effort. “The in-plant organizing team members Tom Wolfe and Ken Powe did a great job building momentum and holding their co-workers together so that this election went successfully,” said Mayfield. “Also contributing much time and work towards this effort were Local 2249 President Brian Burleson, Vice-President Mickey Carr, District 73 DBR Benny Wallace and Business Representative Joe Harrington.”

“The workers and organizing team did a great job in the face of a tough anti-union campaign,” said Southen Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “A strong IAM contract will prove to be just what the workers needed. This is a great win for the IAM and for the workers at Stennis.”

 

AEIF Members Rally Over Lockout

Marching in the shadow of a giant rat, more than 100 locked-out workers delivered an unmistakable message of unity and defiance to managers inside AK Steel Corp. headquarters in Middletown OH.

Triggering nearby car alarms with their chanting and backing down company security guards when they approached union members, the marchers made their case: “We want this lockout to end, we want a secure pension and we want to get back to making steel,” declared Brian Daley, president of the Armco Employees Independent Federation (AEIF), the independent union representing 2,200 locked out workers at the mill.

The nearly five-month long lockout led AEIF leaders in May to propose joining with the IAM in a move that would give members access to the IAM National Pension Fund. Finding a replacement for AK Steel’s under-funded pension plan was a key issue for AEIF members and officers.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has set July 26-27 as dates for an election that will determine representation for the workers at AK Steel. Click here for more information.

 

Machinists Ratify Alaska Airlines Pacts

District 143 announced this week that its members ratified two separate contracts covering 3,056 Alaska Airlines employees.

Seventy eight percent of voting Ramp & Stores (RSSA) employees accepted their contract and seventy percent of the Clerical, Office & Passenger Service (COPS) group ratified their accord. Each agreement provides wage increases and a voluntary separation package.

IAM District 143 represents 485 active Ramp and Stores employees and 2,571 active Clerical, Office and Passenger Service employees. The RSSA agreement became amendable on January 10, 2004 and the COPS agreement became amendable on October 30, 2002. More information about the IAM at Alaska Airlines is available on the District 143 website, www.iam143.org.

 

IAM Inks Deals with Union Office Solutions

These days, it’s rare to find companies who appreciate unions and what they do. But that’s not the case with Union Office Solutions, provider of copiers and office products. The IAM signed a three-year contract the company, making the group the sole providers of copier support for IAM Headquarters in Upper Marlboro, MD and the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. The group will also service copiers at The IAM National Pension Fund offices in Washington, D.C.

Union Office Solutions, headed by CEO Rodney Eitland, is a company aiming to provide labor unions with a quality product at low cost. All Union Office Solutions service technicians providing copier support for IAM Headquarters and the WWW Education Center will become IAM members, allowing them to reap the benefits of the IAM National Pension Fund and the National IAM Benefit Trust Fund. IAM members of Local Lodge 1115 in LaCrosse, WI are also employed by Union Office Solutions, which has worked for the IBEW, the IUOE and many other labor organizations.

“It is great to do business with someone who understands and appreciates unions,” said IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Warren Mart. “I look forward to a long and productive partnership between the IAM and Union Office Solutions.”

 

Applications Available for 2006 Human Rights Seminar

Enrollment applications for the October 22-27, 2006 Human Rights Seminar must be in to the Human Rights Department by August 4, 2006. The call is out and applications are available on the Human Rights web page under Headquarters at www.goiam.org. This seminar is designed to provide the participants with practical guidance on ways to become a constructive and pro-active force for Human Rights in their Local and District Lodges through the establishment of a functioning and effective Human Rights Committee and to provide committee members with practical strategies for being effective and vigorous advocates for diversity, mutual respect, fairness, and equality in the workplace, in the Union, and in the community.

 

Voting Rights Act Renewed over GOP Objections

After making its way through the House by an overwhelming 390-33 margin, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on the Voting Rights Act this week.

The Voting Rights Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, S. 2703, would renew for 25 years key sections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including those requiring states with a history of voter discrimination to get federal approval for voting law changes.

While most of the Voting Rights Act’s provisions are permanent, several key parts expire in 2007 and must be renewed by the Senate before they adjourn in order to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to vote.

Like some extremist members of the House, a few senators are expected to try to derail renewal by stalling the legislation or adding crippling amendments. For more information, go to http://renewthevra.civilrights.org/