The first wave of a projected 77 million baby boomers will begin retiring in just four years. This will cause huge increases in Social Security and Medicare spending. “Now is the worst possible time to be running up the federal debt,” said Buffenbarger. “Worse, we are paying for tax cuts that aren’t creating jobs today and will rob retirees of Social Security and Medicare benefits tomorrow.”
Click here to read the IAM Journal profile of Alan Greenspan, Dream Stealer.
Additionally, Bankruptcy Court Judge Eugene Wedoff last week recognized United’s retirees’ dilemma and ordered a special examiner to determine if the airline engaged in fraud by publicly encouraging employees to take early retirement while privately deciding to reduce retiree benefits.
To view a video about
the assault on UAL retirees, click on the link below:
Rail Campaign Gains
“IAM representatives met with Oberstar’s staff to express our concern over the NMB’s lack of action,” said GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “But we need every IAM member to contact their Senators and House Representative to pressure the NMB to move the process forward.”
Individual members can contact Congress directly through the IAM’s website at www.goiam.org/territories.asp?c=5089. The IAM has been in negotiations with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, representing the nations rail carriers, for more than four years. Click here to read Representative Oberstar’s letter .
As part of negotiations last summer, which kept the pension plans intact, the IAM and other unions at the airline agreed to support Air Canada in seeking relief from the strict funding provisions of the federal pension law.
Although details of the agreement could be released before submission to
the government, the IAM assured members there would be no changes to the
pension plan and the collective agreement between Air Canada and its
unions will remain intact.
Desert Toyota Ordered
The strongly worded bargaining order was issued after the IAM and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed suit in District Court, charging the employer with multiple labor law violations including; harassment, retaliation, threats of and actual termination of employees during a lawful organizing drive.
In addition to requiring Desert Toyota to post written notice of the decision, the judge ordered reinstatement with full back pay and benefits for Jorge Galindo, a mechanic at the dealership who was an early leader in the IAM organizing drive.
“This really is a
victory for all workers,” said GLR Dennis London. “Employers like these
can’t be allowed to ignore federal law and get away with it.”
In 1981, Steve became one of the first instructors at what would become the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Center in Placid Harbor, MD. He later became an Assistant General Chairman for Air Transport District 141 in 1988, and was appointed Grand Lodge Representative in 2000. Steve continued to be an active IAM representative until his retirement in 2003.
“Steve Cooke was a good friend and a strong union brother who lived a full and very active life until the end,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “Anyone who knew him was better for the experience. I extend our sincere sympathy to his wife Barbara, and his sons Jared and Christopher from his large family of friends in our union.”
“Steve helped build
this facility,” said Winpisinger Education & Technology Director Jim
Leslie. “He is part of this Center’s foundation. Every member who passes
through our facility will benefit from Steve’s work.”
Local 2777 Wins Big Arbitration Case
"It's great to see an injustice corrected," said District Lodge 75 Business Representative Jeff Smith. "It's been rough for Brother Sands. He was fired July 24, 2002, from his job at L3 Communications - Vertex Aerospace LLC in Pensacola, FL, shortly after reporting ethics violations at the company. His wife died earlier that year, and he's raising a son as a single father."
Following the discharge, Lead Steward Dennis Davis investigated the case with the Local Lodge 2777 Grievance Committee. "We all felt the accusations and facts of the case didn't add up," said Smith. "Sands had been at the company five years, with an absolutely spotless work record."
The IAM's grievance on Sands' behalf reached arbitration, where the judge ruled the company wrongfully terminated the employee, clearing the way for Sands’ return to work.
"Congratulations to Brother Sands, BR Smith and the Committee," said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. "An IAM contract with a strong grievance procedure was the only way for Brother Sands to have a fair hearing. The diligence and skills of our IAM Representatives pays off once again."
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The IAM is repeating its members-only photo contest again this year
and you are encouraged to enter. Photo entries should catch IAM members
at work in unposed photos. If your entry wins, you'll win a cash prize
and your photo will appear in the 2005 IAM Calendar. Go to:
President Bush's promise of new jobs is falling far short. Find out how much at www.jobwatch.org