Machinists Union Warns Against Blaming Auto Workers, Retirees


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington D.C., December 02, 2008 –The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today called on Congressional leaders to support a financial rescue package for the U.S. auto industry and to reject efforts to impose draconian and punitive measures against autoworkers and retirees as a condition for any assistance.

“We have witnessed a campaign of half-truths and outright lies designed to block any assistance for the U.S. auto industry,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “It is up to Congress and its leaders to make sure this critical and far reaching industry receives the same emergency support that was so quickly and unconditionally rendered for the U.S. financial industry.”

The IAM agrees with the United Auto Workers (UAW), who believe that automakers should submit a business plan to Congress that demonstrates the industry’s viability, accountability and provides a road map for avoiding bankruptcy.

“A business plan that includes limits on executive compensation, prohibits companies from paying excessive dividends and gives the government an equity stake is warranted in this extraordinary circumstance,” said Buffenbarger. “What is unwarranted is any requirement designed to penalize employees or retirees whose unions have already negotiated substantial cost-cutting measures with automakers.”

The IAM is among the nation’s largest industrial trade unions, representing over 700,000 active and retired members in airline, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, railroad, woodworking and shipbuilding industries. For more information, go to www.goiam.org.