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During the past seven years of Conservative government in Ontario, working people and their unions have been under attack by the provincial government. Changes to labour laws have left Ontario with the worst employment standards laws in the country. It's time for Ontario Government decertification.

Hector Ramirez
tells how he loaded as many people as he could on his train, rescuing them from the Courtland Street - WTC Train Station.

Get Your Convention Gear Check out gear for the 2004 IAM Convention

Order your 2002 IAM Calendar Now
. The 2002 calendar features winners of this year's IAM Photography Contest. 
Send a check for $5.00 to: 
IAM Calendar
c/o IAM Communications 
9000  Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, MD
Local Lodges and Districts can download a bulk order form for large calendar requests.


Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

Secretary Treasurer
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada 
GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern 
GVP Southern
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.


Friday, February 1, 2002

Seniors Blast Bush ‘Bogus’ Drug Plan
A prescription drug plan floated by President Bush drew heavy fire from senior citizens who say it does very little for millions of Americans who desperately need help as prescription drug prices escalate.

“The President’s plan includes a bogus discount drug card program and a token plan to help only a very few low-income seniors. It’s just another patch on an already threadbare quilt—a quilt that is too thin to provide any real protection for the average older American,” said former IP George Kourpias, who now heads the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA).

Kourpias said a discount card is a very poor substitute for a comprehensive Medicare prescription drug benefit. He pointed out that high drug prices paid by older and disabled Americans are the result of price-gouging by the pharmaceutical industry—not the neighborhood pharmacist.

“The main issue,” Kourpias declared, “is the need for a universal prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries. It’s that simple.”

Bush Budget Blunts Benefits for Jobless
Despite rising unemployment rates, President Bush’s budget includes deep cuts in jobs training programs for laid-off workers and young adults who are most affected by the rising jobless rates.

The United States Conference of Mayors blasted a Bush proposal to cut “youth opportunity grants” to $45 million next year, down from $225 million this year. The mayors said the cuts would hurt some of the poorest communities including parts of Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A New York Times article points out that the “number of unemployed people rose 40 percent last year, to 8.3 million in December from 4.9 million in January, according to date published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

In his State of the Union address, Bush said: “…my economic security plan can be summed up in one word, jobs.” 

“Cutting training and employment programs for the jobless seems an odd way to create ‘good jobs,’” says IP Tom Buffenbarger.

Federal Workers Fear Enron Fallout
Arthur Andersen, the auditing firm under investigation for its role in the Enron scandal, has ties to the board that runs the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP is the federal government’s 401(k)-type retirement saving plan.

Recent allegations of document-shredding and shoddy accounting practices by Andersen and Enron cast heavy shadows over the auditing firm, which has seen its once-pristine reputation come under heavy scrutiny.

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which manages the TSP, has used Andersen since 1998, according to a spokesman. Ten federal agencies had almost $60 million in contracts with one or both of the companies as of the third quarter of Fiscal 2001, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

IAM to Lockheed Martin: 
Boot Enron Director from Board

Enron Director Frank Savage should be removed from the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin Corp., IP Buffenbarger wrote in a Jan. 29 letter to company CEO Vance Coffman.

“As both employees of Lockheed Martin and shareholders of the Company through the saving plan…we are gravely concerned about the reappointment of Mr. Frank Savage,” Buffenbarger wrote.

“In addition to removing Mr. Savage from the Board, I request that we have a meeting to discuss Lockheed Martin’s plans for avoiding an Enron-like meltdown,” he continued, adding “as the lead supplier of defense products to the United States government, it is doubly important that positive measures are taken to avoid any appearance of impropriety.” Click on the link below to view the leter in entirety  

Legislative Conference set for May 13-17
The Official Call is in the mail for the IAM Legislative Conference in the nation’s capital May 13-17. IP Tom Buffenbarger heads a list of distinguished speakers and is slated to deliver the keynote address.

Delegates planning to attend the conference should schedule meetings with their senators and Congressional representatives. There will be no afternoon sessions so that delegates may visit Capitol Hill and urge Congress to adopt policies and programs benefiting working families.

In addition, a retirement dinner honoring assistant GST Bill Engler will be held in conjunction with the conference. The call includes reservation forms and ticket orders for the retirement dinner.

The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Washington. Call 202-737-1234. Hotel reservations must be made by April 14.