iMail archives


visit goiam.org

print version

iMail signup


Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

Secretary Treasurer
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.


Thursday,  January 16, 2003

GE Striker Killed on Picket Line
Union member Kjeston Michelle Rodgers died while protesting General Electric’s attempt to shift rising health care costs onto the backs of its employees and retirees. Rodgers was walking a picket line in front of GE’s facility in Louisville, KY, when she was struck and killed by a police car. She was a member IUE-CWA Local 83761 and the mother of three teenaged girls.

Two unions, the IUE and the Electrical Workers, mounted a two-day strike to protest GE’s actions on the health care hikes. The company said it would seek further increases when national bargaining with its unions, including the IAM, begins later this spring.

“Sister Rodgers stood up to corporate greed and she paid the ultimate price. We salute her courage and her commitment,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “On behalf of this union and all of its members, I offer our condolences to her family.”

The CWA has established a fund to assist the Rodgers children. Contributions may be made to the IUE-CWA Rodgers Children Benefit Fund. Contributions may be sent to Communications Workers of America, 501 Third St. NW, Washington, DC 20001, attn: Janine Brown.

Army’s ‘Third Wave’ Erodes U.S. Security
The Department of the Army’s so-called “Third Wave Initiative” could affect as many as 200,000 key military and civilian jobs and undermine national security, if allowed to stand, notes Frank Carelli, the IAM’s Government Employees director.

The “Third Wave” ploy would outsource highly skilled, core positions that are essential to both wartime readiness and national security. “We’re talking about jobs that are so critical that they have always been protected from outside influences,” Carelli said.

Nearly 70 House members have signed a letter calling for congressional hearings on the initiative.

“With our nation already involved in one war and preparing for another, our national defense could be severely encumbered due to the loss of institutional capabilities, technical competencies and human resources through implementation of this plan,” the letter said. “It would be unconscionable to put our fighting men and women in harm’s way in such a chaotic transformation.”
You can make your voice heard.

Go to:
http://capwiz.com/iamaw/issues/alert/?alertid=1232001 and send a message to Congress. Urge them to study this matter carefully. You can make a difference.

Bush ‘Ally’ Pans Tax Plan
Even President Bush’s first choice for Treasury secretary gagged at an economic “stimulus” plan that funnels billions of tax dollars into the pockets of the already wealthy. Paul O’Neill, booted from his Treasury post in December, said money from the president’s $674 billion tax-cut plan would be better spent shoring up Social Security.

The blunt-spoken O’Neill once characterized a House GOP economic stimulus package as “show business” and described traders on Wall Street as people “who sit in front of a flickering green screen” all day, not the sort of people you want to help you think about complex questions.

At the same time, numerous economists warn that the massive Bush tax cut, combined with a looming war against Iraq, could push federal deficits to historic highs, as much as $350 billion as soon as next year. That huge shortfall easily eclipses the $290 billion deficit record set in 1992, the last year of George H.W. Bush’s administration.

It is also a far cry from the record $236 billion surplus Bush inherited from the Clinton administration.

When interest on the federal debt is added into the Bush plan, its price tag soars to a staggering $925 billion.

Bush’s plan is “remarkably inefficient as stimulus, costing $925 billion to inject barely $100 billion into the economy…remarkable in its fiscal profligacy, swelling budget deficits for years to come, and remarkably tilted toward those at the pinnacle of the income scale,” notes the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Lockout Prompts Call for Coors Boycott
A lockout that began without warning in July 2002, at Graphic Packaging Corporation in Kalamazoo, Michigan, triggered calls for a national boycott of Coors Brewery Co., Graphic’s parent company.

AFL-CIO and PACE (the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers International Union) are urging union members to boycott companies whose products are packaged in cartons from Graphic Packaging, including General Mills, Quaker Oats and Kraft Foods.

“It is my firm belief that the Coors family is engaged in union busting,” said PACE President Boyd Young, whose union represents the 429 locked out workers. “Rather than trying to reach a compromise, the Coors family and Graphic Packaging have made further regressive proposals since the lockout.”

The packaging company has operated with inexperienced replacement workers since the lockout began on July 27, 2002. On November 8, 2002, a temporary worker was crushed to death.

Southern Territory Notches Texas Win
District 776 announced an organizing win in Corpus Christi, Texas at Raytheon U.S. Customs. The unit is comprised of 54 workers at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. "The vote was big in favor of the IAM," said District 776 Business Representative Norm Huddleston. "Everyone is very happy to be able to call themselves Machinists."            

The workers service the U.S. Customs surveillance aircraft. They are comprised of mechanics and parts people. "We had a lot of help from Local Lodge 2916 members, also on the base. They helped a lot with the organizing. They would let the folks know what the union did for them," said Huddleston.

Southern Territory General Vice President George Hooper said, "Congratulations to District 776 for the win. We work hard to be the best union to represent people who support our national security efforts. I want to welcome our newest IAM members."

Communications Conference in March
Hotel rooms are filling fast for the 2003 Communications Conference at the historic Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. Newsletter editors, web stewards and local communicators are reminded to make arrangements and complete an application prior to the February 8, 2003, cut-off date for special hotel rates.

The Conference will feature workshops, guest speakers and a tour of labor landmarks in the Chicago area. This year’s event will also honor winners of the 2002 IAM Annual Newsletter and Website contest and announce recipients of the 2002 George Kourpias and Robert J. Kalaski awards.  For a list of contest winners, go to:

Why it matters to you who is appointed to lifetime federal judgeships. Opinion by former Ohio Senator, Howard Metzenbaum.


The official site for the 36th Grand Lodge Convention to be held in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio is now online. Check it our for convention news, sponsorship offers, and convention gear.

The Winners of the 2002 Newsletter & Website Contest and a report for the judges, too.