iMail for Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NMB Backs off Anti-Worker Rule

After months of intense lobbying by the Machinists Union and pressure from Congressional leaders, the National Mediation Board (NMB) rescinded its proposal to make it more difficult for unionized airline workers to retain union protection when merging with unrepresented carriers.
“Due to the concerns and confusion expressed by the commenting parties, the Board has decided that it will not implement the Manual revision proposals at the current time,” said NMB General Counsel Mary Johnson in a memo to all carriers and labor organizations.

“This is a major victory for all airline workers,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “This win is a result of a concerted effort by the IAM Transportation Department, Legislative Department, Legal Department, Strategic Resources Department, Air Transport District 143, its affiliated Local Lodges and personal appeals from members.”

Under the current procedures, whenever there has been a merger between an un-represented and a represented group and the represented group has a majority, the NMB has extended the certification of the representative. The NMB wanted to adopt a rule that would have changed the simple majority needed to “more than a substantial majority as determined by the Board,” signaling a deviation from decades-long precedent without any demonstrated need or justification.

IAM Members Hit Hard by Hurricane Ike

The extent of wind and water damage from Hurricane Ike is still being calculated across South Texas and Galveston, TX, where electricity and basic utilities may not be restored for weeks. The number of IAM members affected by the storm is expected to reach into the hundreds.

“I’ve talked to NASA, where many of our members work, and they’ve gotten heavy damage. We’re trying to get hold of our members in the Galveston area, because we know many have been completely wiped out,” said District 37 DBR Preston Brown. “We’re still trying to get a handle on what’s happened.”

The IAM Community Services Department is already working to provide assistance for victims of Hurricane Ike, just as they did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

“The proud hallmark of our union has always been the generosity of our members,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “You’ve been there for us in the past, and we need your help now, more than ever. Please be generous in your donations.”

A formal letter for support will be sent to all IAM Districts and Locals, but donations can be sent directly to the IAM Community Services Department at 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

Still Time to Enroll for Women’s Specialized Training Class

The Women’s and Human Rights Department is still accepting enrollment applications for the Women’s Basic Specialized Training scheduled for November 16-22, 2008 at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center.

The course is part of the Women’s and Human Rights Department’s training program that give Sisters in the IAM the opportunity to network and build the necessary skills for more active involvement in the union.

Click here for the official call and enrollment form. For more information, contact the Women’s and Human Rights Department at 301-967-4747. Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2008.

Alliance Urges Retirees to Weigh In

The Alliance for Retired Americans is launching ‘Retirees with the Write Stuff,’ a new campaign to encourage retirees to write letters to the editor about Social Security, Medicare and other issues of critical importance to seniors. “It’s more important than ever for retirees to make their voices heard in their local communities,” said former IAM International President Kourpias.

Kourpias is encouraging retirees to take full advantage of their local newspaper’s Letters to the Editor section as a means to get their message out to a wider audience. The Letters to the Editor section of a local newspaper is frequently the most widely read section of a newspaper.