iMail for Tuesday, October 11, 2005


IAM Solidarity Ends Alabama Lockout

Two hundred Machinists at Pemco World Air Services in Dothan, Alabama are back at work today after ratifying a new contract by a three-to-one margin. The contract ends a two-month lockout by Pemco and represents a complete turnaround from the original company proposal rejected by Local 1632 members in August.

In the previous proposal, Pemco demanded a five-year contract with no raises, poor health care, no pension raises, outsourcing of many job classifications and heavy use of contract workers.

“We won 3.5 percent raises every year of the three-year deal, good health insurance and a raise in our pensions,” said District 75 Directing Business Representative Steve Pridgen.

“There are no jobs being outsourced, and we won a great apprenticeship program for the Wiregrass area.”

“It’s a fantastic win,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “This is a strong and powerful group of people. With the community, other unions and the IAM behind them, they stood their ground until they won their demands.”

” I’m very proud of the members of LL 1632. They truly are Fighting Machinists. Congratulations to them all.”

Plan Now to Attend November 19 Guide Dogs Banquet

The cutoff date for discounted hotel room reservations at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel is fast approaching for the 2005 William W. Winpisinger Charity Banquet to benefit Guide Dogs of America.

A special room rate of $139 per night is available only until October 14, 2005. Room reservations made after October 15 will be significantly higher. Call the Paris Las Vegas Hotel directly at 1-888-266-5687 to make your reservations. Be sure to identify yourself as attending the Guide Dogs banquet to get the special rate.

The twenty-fifth annual charity banquet will take place on November 19, 2005 and will honor IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger; Kevin Kelly, president of Kelly Press and Mark Egan of K&R Industries for their steadfast support of the Sylmar, CA-based puppy breeding and training facility.

Since its founding through donations by the IAM in 1948, Guide Dogs of America (GDA) has helped blind men and women recover their ability to move freely and regain independence through partnership with these remarkable animals. GDA services are free of charge to the blind community and rely solely on voluntary donations, bequests, fundraising events, clubs and organizations to support the program.

To breed, raise and train a fully-qualified guide dog and provide instruction in the use of these special dogs costs approximately $38,000. Because of the continued support we receive from our donors, GDA has succeeded in providing all its services – guide dogs, specially designed harness, individualized in-residence training and lifetime follow-up, at no cost, to more than 2,500 blind recipients .

Local 354 on Strike in Connecticut

IAM members of Local 354 in Newington, CT hit the picket line at 12:01 AM on October 4, 2005 after weeks of negotiations failed to produce an acceptable agreement with management representatives for Hartford Compressor.

“After notifying the federal mediator and agreeing to extending the contract a few extra days, in an attempt to work things out, the company’s offer remained the same,” said Carl Bailey, President of Local 354. Key issues in the strike are wages, sick leave, severance pay and work rules.

“We would like to give a special thanks to District 26 Directing Business Representative Everett Cory and Business Representative Steve Merrick for their assistance and support,” said Bailey. “We appreciate all the help we’re getting.”

Local 41 Member Takes Top Photo Contest Honors

The IAM has announced the winners of the annual IAM Photography Contest. Local Lodge 41’s Benjamin Castic won first-place for his photograph entitled, “Submerged Arc Welding” showing IAM member Gary Gorham welding a 72-inch diameter gear blank. David B. Cummins from Local 2003 won second-place, and Local1345’s Ellen O. Arbogast took third-place honors.

Winning photographs are included in the 2006 IAM calendar. A portion of proceeds from sales of the calendar are donated to the Guide Dogs of America. The IAM raised more than $25,000 for the GDA from the 2005 calendar sales.

Winning photos from this year’s competition and earlier years can be found at:  http://www.goiam.org/publications/pcwinners/winners2005.htm

Virginia Governor Race Gets Close

The gubernatorial race in Virginia is heating up with Democratic candidate Timothy M. Kaine moving into a virtual tie in the polls with Republican candidate Jerry W. Kilgore. By taking a strong stance on issues that matter to working families, including education and social security, Kaine has steadily gained ground on Kilgore and is now positioned to overtake his challenger in the weeks leading up to the November 8 election.

With 280 volunteers canvassing Virginia, union households are doing their part to get Kaine elected. Currently, 68 percent of union members in Virginia are registered to vote.

In the only other state holding a gubernatorial election this year, New Jersey Democrat Jon Corzine continues to hold a 7-point lead over Republican Doug Forrester.