iMail, Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Southern Territory Scores Big Win in Georgia

Capitol Hill wasn’t the only place for victory celebrations last week. Just ask the 579 workers at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, who won IAM representation in one of the Machinists’ biggest organizing victories in recent months.

The new IAM members, who will join District 96 in Savannah, GA are employed by Eagle Group and provide maintenance and logistics support for the U.S. Army at Ft. Stewart.

“Congratulations to GLRs Al Granado and Ray Moffatt, Apprentice Organizer Mike Cooke and all who assisted on this campaign,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, Jr. “This team worked long and hard to get the job done, and made sure the workers at Ft. Stewart understood their rights and the benefits that an IAM contract could bring.”

“This campaign lasted three months,” said Organizing Director Larry Washam, “Al, Ray, and Mike worked tirelessly to bring about this win. They and all the workers at Ft. Stewart deserve a warm welcome and a big thank you.”

Work Begins on MLK Memorial

A crown of nearly 5,000 gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this week to break ground for a memorial honoring legendary civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. The long overdue memorial, set to open in the spring of 2008, will be the first on the Mall to honor an African-American and the first that does not memorialize a president or war hero.

Former president Bill Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and a host of others joined many of King’s fellow civil rights activists to speak of King’s legacy and the importance of spreading his message of racial equality and social justice. They also stressed that there is much more that needs to be done to continue King’s work.

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau just a day after the groundbreaking event shows racial disparities in income, education and home ownership still persist today. The report found white households had incomes two-thirds higher than blacks and 40 percent higher than Hispanics last year.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. worked tirelessly for social justice, racial equality and basic human rights,” said IAM Executive Assistant Diane Babineaux. “This memorial will serve as a poignant reminder that we have yet to reach the level of social equality he dreamed of.”

Negotiations to Resume at AK Steel in Ohio

Machinists union negotiators in Middletown, Ohio are set to return to the bargaining table with AK Steel on November 16 th. Union members at AK Steel have been locked out by the steelmaker since February 28. Members have twice rejected company offers over contracting out and return to work issues.
Workers in Middletown had their own independent union, the Armco Employees Independent Federation (AEIF), from 1943 until members voted in July to affiliate with the IAM. For a timeline of the AK Steel lockout visit: http://www.goiam.org/index.php/news/iam-news/2006-iam-news-archives/4891-aeif-lockout-at-ak-steel-timeline.

District 140 Welcomes Halifax Health Care Workers

Health care workers at the Braeside Home for Special Care in Middle Musquodobit, Nova Scotia have joined the Machinists Union.

“These people joined the IAM because they no longer wanted to be the ‘have not’ health care professionals in this province,” said District 140 General Chairperson Ken Russell. The 31 new members of Local 2797 include personal care workers, activities/rehabilitation aides, continuing care assistants and housekeeping workers.

“Many of these new members perform the same duties as a registered nurse with the exception of the administration of medicine, but they’re paid far less,” explained Russell. While improvement in wages and benefits were important, these workers are also seeking the creation of a wage progression grid, a protocol for promotion and a valid seniority list.

“This is the first time the Machinists have organized a professional health care group in this province and we view it as a growth area for our union,” Russell said.

Ron Miller Named to National Safety Council Post

IAM members now have one of their own speaking up for their safety concerns. Ron Miller, Ground Safety Coordinator for IAM District 142, was sworn in earlier this month to a one-year term as Chairman for the Labor Division of the National Safety Council.

The Labor Division meets bi-annually to address the safety concerns of the labor community from various industry sectors such as Maritime, Construction, Transportation, Manufacturing and Utilities.

Miller has been active in his local and district safety committees since 1980 at the US Airways Maintenance facility in Pittsburg, PA. He also serves on the NSC board of Delegates and as an advisor on the Masters of Science, Safety Science Program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Transportation Department on the Move

The IAM Transportation Department’s satellite office in Washington, D.C. has moved to a new location in downtown Washington, D.C.  The new address is 888 16 th Street, N.W., Suite 690, Washington, D.C. 20006.  The telephone number is 202-974-8250, but the old number will continue to work for a short time.

The Transportation Department’s field staff and District Lodges utilize the satellite office for negotiations, organizing and political action activities because of its close proximity to the U.S. Capitol, National Mediation Board, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration.