IAM in Iowa to Make JOBS! Issue #1
Leaders and members of the Machinists Union will assemble at Harmony Lodge
831 in Cedar Rapids, IA on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004 at 2 PM to kickoff a week
of events aimed at making jobs, outsourcing and trade policies the pivotal
issues for union voters in the upcoming Iowa caucus contest.
Speakers will include: Tom Buffenbarger, IAM International President;
James E. Brown, IAM General Vice President - Midwest Territory; Joe
Ironside, IAM District 6 Business Representative; Jerry Nowadzky, IAM
District 6 President and Ron Hunt, Teamsters Local 238 Business Agent.
The event will feature a flatbed trailer with the infamous "Wall of Shame"
bearing the names of more than 1,000 Iowans whose jobs were destroyed due
to plant closings and outsourcing. The wall and trailer will appear at IAM
events across the state during the week leading up to the January 19
Lou Dobbs CNN Series Targets Maytag
The highly acclaimed CNN series "Exporting America," hosted by newsman Lou
Dobbs, regularly features segments about the destructive effects of free
trade agreements. In the latest installment, the program examined
Galesburg, IL, which is bracing for a huge spike in unemployment following
a decision by Maytag CEO Ralph Hake to move refrigerator production from
Galesburg to Reynosa, Mexico.
In poignant interviews with Maytag workers, viewers heard the anger and
frustration that comes from the knowledge that their jobs are leaving -
and not coming back. "There are no jobs left here," explained Jackie
Collins, who lost her job at Maytag in September.
Fellow Maytag worker Scott Ward echoed the concerns of manufacturing
workers across the U.S. when he said, "Making a good product is not what's
going to keep your job here. You have to understand they can move to
Mexico or to the Pacific Rim and have your job done for
Other interviews contained more defiance than despair. IAM Local 2063
President Dave Bevard placed the blame squarely at the feet of U.S. trade
policy. "Let's say it loud and clear," said Bevard. "Free trade is a
failure. It does not open markets. It does not help people. If you get rid
of the middle class, you have destroyed the basic foundation of this
The story concluded with a powerful refrain. "At the heart of this story
is a broken promise," said the CNN correspondent. "Free trade agreements
promised workers at plants like this one a chance to export their products
to new markets around the world. But the reality is, the only thing being
exported from this city is American jobs."
DOL Offers Employers Tips to Avoid OT
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reaffirmed its position as corporate
America's favorite federal agency when it released guidelines to help
employers avoid paying overtime under new rules proposed by the Bush
"As many as 8 millions workers stand to lose overtime eligibility under
the new rules," said IP Tom Buffenbarger. "And now the DOL is offering
tips to employers on how to dodge its own guidelines. It's getting harder
and harder to see why anyone would want four more years of the most
anti-labor, anti paycheck administration in memory."
The Labor Department's suggestions to help employers dodge OT include
cutting workers' hourly wages to make regular and overtime pay equal to
the original salary. Such a "payroll adjustment," the summary suggests,
could result "in virtually no, or only a minimal increase, in labor
The DOL also indicated they expected employers to take full advantage of
the loopholes. "Most employers affected by the proposed rule would be
expected to choose the most cost-effective compensation adjustment
method." For some companies, the financial impact could be "near zero."
To join the effort to
save overtime pay, click
here to send a message to your representative and Senators in Congress
and then click here
to join the AFL-CIO’s online petition campaign. More than 240,000 people
have signed the petition so far.
Link for OT action alert:
Link for online
Texas GOP Guts Minority Voting Rights
In a move that Texas Rep. Martin Frost described as a repeal of the Voting
Rights Act, a three-judge panel approved a Republican-backed redistricting
map that carves up minority districts and strongly favors future GOP
congressional candidates. If allowed to stand, the decision would "turn
back the clock on 40 years of progress for minority Americans," said
Ruling only on what it called the legality, rather than the wisdom of the
controversial plan, the judges agreed that the new congressional districts
may indeed diminish the influence of minority voters in Texas. But the
judges said they could not find the legal grounds to block the
unprecedented GOP plan to weaken minority voters power by splitting Black
and Hispanic neighborhoods into different districts. Congressional
districts are redrawn every ten years following the national census.
"The real victims are some 3.6 million Hispanics and African Americans in
Texas, and minority Americans across the nation whose fundamental voting
rights will no longer be protected if this dangerous and far-reaching
decision is allowed to stand," said Rep. Frost.
District 12 Scores Organizing Win
Local Lodge 193 in Washington, DC will welcome 10 new members following an
organizing win among janitorial employees at County Building Service in
Washington DC. GVP Lynn Tucker credited work by District 12 Business Rep
Rick Compher, Directing Business Rep Vickie Fultonberger and the entire
organizing team for a job well done.
Deadline Nears for Basic Editors' School
Register soon for the IAM Communications Department's Basic Editors' class
set for March 21 through March 26, 2004. This will be the only Basic
Editor class offered in 2004. The class focuses on the fundamentals of
publishing a lodge newsletter including training on news writing, desktop
publishing, layout and design and digital photography. Contact Pam Kinney,
William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center at 301-373-3300 for
registration information, the deadline is January 19, 2004.
Because of the Grand Lodge Convention in September 2004, there will not be
a full schedule of Web Development and Editor classes this year. Other
classes offered by the Communications Department in 2004 are:
Basic Web Development: May 2 through May 7.
Advanced Web Development: October 17 through 22.
Advanced Editors: November 7 through November 12.
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Two candidates came to Cincinnati to vie
for the IAM's endorsement for President in 2004.
Only one came away with the prize. Read all
about it in the online version of
The IAM Journal.
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fast-growing site offers forums for Ford customers, technicians and
dealers to exchange information.
The 108th Congressional Directory . . .
get your copy. Send $5 to the MNPL Education Fund,
IAMAW, 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772.
official site for the
Lodge Convention to be held in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio is now
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