iMail Thursday, November 30, 2006

$57 Million Paid to 19,000 Boeing Machinists

Nearly 19,000 IAM members employed by the Boeing Co., in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR and Wichita, KS are receiving $3,000 lump sum checks as part of the contract ratified by members following a 28-day strike in 2005.

The IAM contract with Boeing, which also increased pensions and preserved health care plans, calls for a pair of $3,000 checks to be distributed to members by Dec. 1 in 2006 and 2007.

The $57 million in checks for members at Boeing is separate from the $246 million in cash and stock that will be distributed to IAM members employed by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS.

Unions to Rally Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C.

More than 2,000 union activists are expected at a midday rally on Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C., to tell lawmakers that restoring workers’ rights in the U.S. must be a top priority for the 110th Congress. Elected officials will have a golden opportunity to deliver on promises of support made to union members during the recent campaign by quickly passing the Employee Free Choice Act.

The Employee Free Choice Act, which drew bipartisan support in the 109 th Congress, would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to allow private-sector workers to form unions by signing a card or petition. The act also would impose penalties on employers who violate the law and allow for arbitration to settle first-contract disputes. The Dec. 8 Rally will kick off three days of activity that will culminate with International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the ratification of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognized the right to join a union and bargain as a basic human right.

UN Agency Backs Union Rights for TSA Screeners

The International Labor Organization, an agency of the United Nations, issued an opinion earlier this month claiming baggage and passenger screeners at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should be allowed to unionize. The opinion rejects the Bush administration’s claim that collective bargaining rights for TSA screeners would compromise national security.

The ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association said in their opinion it was “concerned that the extension of the notion of national security concerns for persons who are clearly not making national policy that may affect security may impede unduly upon the rights of those federal employees.”

The non-binding opinion, coupled with a Democratic takeover of Congress, could lead to a strong push early next year to grant the TSA’s 45,000 screeners collective bargaining rights.

Union Plus Announces 2007 Scholarship Program

The Union Plus Scholarship Program is currently taking applications for its 2007 Scholarship competition. Current and retired members of AFL-CIO unions participating in any Union Plus program, their spouses and their dependent children can apply for a Union Plus Scholarship, with awards ranging from $500 to $4,000. All applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2007.

The program is open to students attending or planning to attend a college or university, a community college, or a technical college or trade school, and is a one-time cash award sent to individual winners for undergraduate study beginning in the Fall of 2007. Applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of the value of working families and union membership.

Click here for more information on the Union Plus Scholarship Program and to download an application.

Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship Program, which is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 5,800 union families. Last year, 108 students representing a wide sampling of backgrounds, union affiliations, goals and accomplishments received awards, including five IAM families.

Speaking of scholarships… there’s still time to apply for a 2007 IAM Scholarship as well. The deadline for mailing applications for an IAM Scholarship is February 23, 2007. Find the information you need by clicking here.

Telemarketers, Cell Phones and the Law

Despite emails circulating across the U.S., your cell phone is not about to be bombarded by telemarketing calls. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “consumers should not be concerned that their cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketers at any time in the near future.” And here’s why: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations make it illegal for telemarketers to use automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers don’t call consumers on their cell phones without their permission.

But IAM members may still want to take advantage of the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Established in June 2003, over 125 million phone numbers have been registered. The registry is nationwide in scope, covers all telemarketers (with the exception of certain nonprofit organizations), and applies to both interstate and intrastate calls. Registration is good for five years.

If you would like to register your phone number, you can do so by clicking here, or by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236). You must call from the phone number that you want to register. The DNC Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines.

Machinists Making Montréal Safer for the Holidays

Local 712 in Montreal, Quebec, is supporting a campaign developed in the city of Montréal to assist drivers who may have had one too many at the local bar or their office Christmas party. It’s called “Operation Nez Rouge” or “Red Nose” and Local 712 is one of the six major sponsors. “This is a very good cause because it makes the roads safer,” said Local 712 President David Chartrand. “We decided this year to get involved on a larger scale so that people would see the Machinists Union more visible in the community.”

“Red Nose” coupon books were distributed to neighbourhood dépanneurs – convenience stores which also sell beer and wine – that include a phone number which people can call to request a “Red Nose” ride home after ‘a night on the town’. Teams of three volunteers – driver, navigator and escort driver are dispatched from Olympic Stadium in one vehicle to pick up the client at the given address. Two of the volunteers – the volunteer driver and navigator – drive the client home in his or her vehicle and the escort driver follows in second vehicle to pick up the rest of the team once the client is safely home.

With 500 vests distributed in Montréal and 150 in the Laurentian Region, the Machinists are very noticeable when volunteers arrive to pick up a client.” Twenty Local 712 members have volunteered for “Red Nose” duty starting on December 16 th which is the busiest evening for office Christmas parties.

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