iMail for Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Saskatchewan’s Newest Local Ready to Fly

The training of temporary officers for the newest member of the IAM family in Canada, Local Lodge 32 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was completed in mid February 2006.

The new temporary officers reviewed their responsibilities, the movement of funds, examined sample bylaws as possible templates for their lodge’s own bylaws, reviewed the District 140 bylaws, makeup and convention, and set dates for LL 32’s first meeting and the election of Executive Officers.

LL 32, the first ever in Saskatchewan, represents 125 workers at the Bombardier NATO Flight Training Centre where they maintain and service BAC Hawk jet and Harvard II turboprop trainer aircraft. Pilots from more than a dozen NATO-member countries, including Canada, train at the facility.

LL 2319’s Andrews Named Sister of the Month

The IAM Women’s Department named LL 2319’s Sheree “Sherlock” Andrews its U.S. Sister of the Month for March 2006. LL 764’s Noreen Schmitt is the pick for Canada (where the honored sister is picked quarterly.)

Andrews is the first woman to be elected LL 2319 Vice President. She considers it an honor and privilege to have held that position for the past 12 of the 21 years she’s been an IAM member. In addition, she’s the Educator for her local and has been very active in education and organizing for District Lodge 143.

The Sister of the Month program is an effort to spotlight the dedication and hard work of IAM women. Their stories will serve to provide inspiration and motivation to those who might be lacking the confidence to become more involved with their union. If you’d like to nominate someone for Sister of the Month, download the form and submit it to the Women’s Department.

Support IAM Strikers at Buffalo Wire

Despite years of cooperation and dedication to the company, and pay and benefit concessions, Buffalo Wire Company management demanded even more concessions. So the IAM went on strike against Buffalo Wire on November 5, 2006.

Since then, there has been an outpouring of support from the Buffalo labor community, local businesses, and the general public. This was made evident at a recent rally for the strikers.

Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker, Jr. spoke to the strikers at the company gates: ”This strike is about standing strong against those who are trying to destroy a decent standard of living that all American working families have a right to. Their fight is our fight. They are true patriots.”

The Buffalo Wire strikers ask those who wish to contribute to make checks payable to: Strike Relief 2005 BW330 and mail them to IAMAW D-65, 257 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222, Attention: Strike Fund.

They are also asking members in New York to contact state legislators and tell them that Buffalo Wire should not receive state funding as they did in 2004 if this is how they treat their workers. Tell them that tax dollars should be used for community economic development, not union busting.

Bill Benefits Katrina Victims

The approximately 140,000 workers left unemployed by Hurricane Katrina will start running out of federal jobless benefits this month unless Congress takes action. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill, the Katrina Emergency Assistance Act, that would extend those benefits by 13 weeks.

The U.S. House of Representatives needs to take immediate action to help these workers get the assistance they need. Help Katrina survivors today by writing your representative and asking him or her to support the Katrina Emergency Assistance Act.

There is an enormous amount of work left to be done to rebuild the Gulf Coast and the lives of those displaced by Katrina. Passing the Katrina Emergency Assistance Act is only one part. But it means immediate help for 140,000 workers whose lives were torn apart, and it is crucial that the House pass this bill soon.


Flight Attendants at Continental Micronesia to Vote

Flight Attendants at Continental Micronesia will soon begin voting on a tentative agreement with the highest pay rates in the industry, furlough protection, profit sharing and the IAM National Pension Plan.

“This agreement addresses the Flight Attendant’s economic and job issues to the greatest extent possible while considering the company’s current condition, enabling it to compete in the turbulent times the industry is encountering,” said District 142 President William O’Driscoll.

“Your solidarity and support made this agreement possible.” The tentative agreement was unanimously approved by the District 142 Negotiating Committee.

Anti-DeLay Documentary Debuts in Texas

As the long-anticipated anti-DeLay documentary, “The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress,” is released today in Sugar Land, Texas, voters head to the polls in the state primary to determine who will be on the November ballot. DeLay faces three opponents in the Republican primary.

The film features July 25, 2003 footage from C-Span 2 which includes scenes of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in January in a federal political corruption investigation, praising DeLay.

“Never before has an individual who has been steadfast to our principles risen as high as Tom DeLay.” said Abramoff on the broadcast. “Tom DeLay is who all of us want to be when we grow up.”

DeLay is spending Texas’ primary night in Washington, D.C. at a fundraiser hosted by two Washington lobbyists. Entry to the fundraiser costs $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 for political action committees and $500, $1,000 and $2,100 for individuals, according to an event invitation.