Washington, D.C., July 01, 2009 – Newly installed leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today pledged an all-out effort to combat the economic hypothermia that is gripping industrial North America.
“We need an economic policy aimed at making North America the global economic powerhouse for the next fifty years,” declared IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in remarks delivered today at the formal installation of the newly elected IAM Executive Council. “We intend to push for a second economic stimulus, one aimed at the manufacturing and transportation sectors.”
Buffenbarger cited the absence of real job growth compounded by stunning numbers released in May by the U.S. Department of Labor: nearly 14.5 million unemployed, 9.1 million working part-time involuntarily and nearly 7 million who cannot find work. Tomorrow’s numbers from the DOL are expected to add to the overall figures.
To reignite the fires of global economic job creation, Buffenbarger called for an industrial policy that included making credit available to smaller companies, offering investment tax credits, renovating older plants and giving laid off workers the opportunity to upgrade their skills.
“By giving our laid off workers the opportunity to upgrade their skills, and giving our kids a career pathway from high school through community college and apprenticeships, we can raise expectations and the buying power of millions of factory workers,” said Buffenbarger, who said the IAM would press for support of such initiatives both inside and outside the labor movement.
To read the full text of Buffenbarger’s remarks, click here: http://www.goiam.org/index.php/news/recent-speeches/3074-remarks-of-international-president-r-thomas-buffenbarger-at-the-installation-of-officers-at-iam-headquarters
The IAM is among the nation’s largest industrial trade unions, representing nearly 700,000 active and retired members under more than 5,000 contracts in aerospace, transportation, shipbuilding and defense-related industries. For more information, visit www.goiam.org.