Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Buffenbarger Blasts Bush,
Bogus Congressional Ploys
A feisty crowd of delegates and guests
sent waves of applause ricocheting through the hall as IP Tom Buffenbarger
flayed the Bush administration and a complacent Congress in a ringing keynote
address to the MNPL National Planning Committee, holding its annual meeting in
Buffenbarger scoffed at Bush’s “smoke-and-mirrors economic policy” and
castigated Congress for acting with unseemly haste to bail out Big Business
and the rich, while ignoring jobless workers and the truly needy. He pointed
out that Congress speedily found $15 billion for a floundering airline
industry in the wake of Sept.11. “But here we are two days after Ground Hog
Day and they haven’t come up with one red cent for laid-off airline
workers,” he declared.
Bush promised to leave the Social Security trust fund untouched, Buffenbarger
explained. “He lied. Bush blew the budget surplus he inherited from Bill
Clinton with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Now he’s going to sop up
the Social Security pensions so many working Americans count on for their
On another front, he demanded that Congress keep it hands off the contentious
negotiations impasse at United Airlines, where Bush invoked a Presidential
Emergency Board to thwart the bargaining process.
“Our members at United have every right to determine their fate. Let our
members and UAL management settle that contract, not Congress,” he
He praised the delegates for their dedication to the fight for social justice
and economic security for workers, adding: “It is time to make serious
changes. It is time to elect a Congress that cares more about working families
than it does about Big Business. We can make that happen. Indeed, we must make
Rich Michalski, legislative/political affairs director, said IAM members
raised nearly $2.8 million in voluntary contributions last year, just a
fraction less than the record $3.1 million in 2000, a presidential election
year when political interests are much higher.
Harley Members Ratify New
Kansas City IAM members who make the
country’s most famous motorcycles voted to accept a 5 ˝ year contract
proposal, giving workers and the legendary company a degree of stability that
is unusual in the current economy.
“The new contract increases wages, benefits and health insurance for union
members in Kansas City,” said Jim Pinto, IAM Director of Collective
Bargaining. “We also continued our agreement that put into place the High
Performance Work Organization, in which many decisions to run the business are
made by consensus of both parties.”
Nearly 720 workers are covered by the pact, including IAM members of Local
Lodge 176 and members of Local 5-0760 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial,
Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE).
The long-term deal was reached even though two years remain on the union’s
current contracts. Harley Davidson will now focus on expanding facilities in
Tomahawk and York, PA as part of plans to boost overall production.
Call goes out for 2002 IAM
The 2002 IAM Aerospace Conference will
be held May 4-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Seattle, Washington. The Conference
will focus on new ways of building a stronger domestic aerospace industry,
with expanding union employment, greater job security and better conditions in
the globalized economy.
To obtain the special
Conference hotel rate of $139.00 a-night room rate (single or double
occupancy), make reservations directly with the Crowne Plaza by calling 800-521-2762
or 206-464-1980. You must tell the hotel you are attending the IAM
Aerospace Conference and make your reservations no later than March 29.
Conference registration will take place Saturday, May 4, noon – 6 p.m. and
May 5, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., when GVP Robert Thayer opens the first session.
The Conference will close at noon Thursday. Registration is $65.00,
which includes a buffet dinner and entertainment Monday evening at Tillicum
Village, a Native American cultural center. (Guest tickets for that event are
Locals and Districts are responsible for all delegate expenses, including
registration fees. Delegates will participate in corporate-wide meetings,
according to their employer: Boeing; Lockheed Martin; Jet Engines and
Raytheon; Light Aircraft and All Others.
The all-union Metropolitan Travel Agency is prepared to handle air travel
arrangements for all IAM Lodges who desire their services. Call 800-662-6363
at least 30 days before your departure date to receive the least expensive
Judicial Nomination Draws
Union, Civil Rights Fire
The IAM is joining the NAACP, the
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the AFL-CIO and other civil rights
groups in opposing Charles W. Pickering’s nomination to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Pickering first came to public attention as a law student and author of a
controversial article about how the Mississippi legislature could change state
law to criminalize interracial marriage. As a State Senator he voted to deny
full voting rights to African-Americans and opposed full implementation of the
1965 Voting Rights Act.
As a U.S. District Court Judge, Pickering voted to support the “Sovereignty
Commission,” a state-funded agency established to oppose integration
following the landmark desegregation decision in Brown v. Board of
A hearing on Pickering’s nomination is scheduled for Thursday, February
7. The Senate Judiciary Committee will then vote on whether to approve the
nomination and send it to the floor.
Nominates Knapheide Manufacturing Company For Labor-Management Award
and productive labor relations are the general rule in unionized work places,
even though the conflicts usually make headlines. That is why the AFL-CIO’s
Union Label & Service Trades Department recognizes employers who go the
extra mile to establish positive relationships that qualify as exemplary. IAM
IP Tom Buffenbarger nominated Knapheide Manufacturing Company of Taylor, MO
and Quincy, IL for the 2002 Labor- Management Award.
“This IAM-represented company proudly displays the IAM logo and has provided
good jobs for our members for many years,” said Buffenbarger.
award is presented annually at the opening of the Union-Industries Show,
scheduled this year for April 5, 2002, in Minneapolis, MN. More information is
available at www.unionlabel.org.