O F F I C E R S '
R E P O R T
| This report is submitted
to the thirty-sixth Grand Lodge Convention of the International
Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers to be held in
Cincinnati, Ohio, September 19 through September 25, 2004.
International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger, Executive Assistant Diane Babineaux, and Headquarters General Vice President Robert V. Thayer.
Wrenching and traumatic accurately described the last four years. Caught in a vortex of global events, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers fought to survive, protect its members from these man-made tornadoes, and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges.
Like a string of mid-summer storms, these tornadoes destroyed individual lives, devastated entire communities and transformed the North American landscape. The breadth, depth and duration of the destruction distinguished them from their natural counterparts. These storms were never acts of nature, but rather the acts of mendacious and malevolent men intent on destroying the work of decades.
Even as the IAM met in San Francisco in September of 2000, the plans, policies and plots that would turn our lives upside down and our institutions inside out were already in play. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had already started to raise interest rates. Osama bin Laden was training the suicide pilots that would fly planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
If the rest was history, we might be reading about it in a very different book. But we in the IAM experienced that vortex of events up close and personal.