from the IAM communications department
R. Thomas Buffenbarger
GVP IAM Headquarters
|Friday, March 2, 2001
IAM Objects to TWA Sale Terms
Attorneys for the Machinists Union and District 142 filed objections in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to the proposed sale of TWA to American Airlines. “Until TWA can provide more complete answers to our members’ questions regarding this transaction, we have no choice but to formally object to the sale,” said William O’Driscoll, District 142 president and directing general chairman.
The IAM is seeking detailed information regarding assurances that all IAM members at TWA will be offered employment at American if the deal is approved. Terms of job offers by American, while encouraging at first, now appear to fall short of expectations.
“We need to nail down the employment offer by American Airlines,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “We do not want to wait until after the sale agreement is approved to determine what it means for our members.”
The February 28 bankruptcy court’s deadline for bidding on TWA’s assets brought additional offers for the St. Louis-based carrier. The bankruptcy court will now weigh the competing bids for TWA and determine which is the “highest and best” offer. The court considers which group is best able to live up to the terms of their offer and the extent to which each deal serves the needs of creditors and employees.
Recent media reports suggesting Machinists union involvement with investors connected to investor Carl Icahn are false. “We are prepared to review all legitimate proposals regarding TWA, with the exception of those that include Mr. Icahn, who recently terminated pension plans for 16,000 IAM members at TWA,” said Roach.
The IAM will request meetings with all other bidders to review their proposals and determine which is in the best interest of our members. The court will announce the winning bidder on March 9.
Merger Protection Rights Sought at UAL
Representatives of IAM airline districts representing nearly 44,000 members at United Airlines met in Washington, D.C. with senior officers of United Airlines to outline merger-related protections that must be in place prior to any approval of the proposed UAL-US Airways merger.
The 5-hour meeting centered on establishing guarantees to prohibit any involuntary relocation or displacement of members as a result of the proposed merger. “Relocation protection is essential,” said GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “No IAM member at United or US Airways will be asked to pay for this merger by uprooting themselves or their families.”
The guarantees sought by the IAM would be included in a transition or ‘bridge’ agreement and would take effect upon approval of any merger.
“Mergers of this size are often paid for with layoffs, pay cuts and forced relocation of employees,” said Randy Canale, president of District 141, representing 30,000 United employees. “We are determined that that will not happen here.”
Ergonomics Standard in Jeopardy
After years of struggle, workers finally won an ergonomics standard to prevent repetitive strain injuries and back injuries, the nation’s biggest job safety problem. Every year, more than 600,000 workers suffer serious injuries caused by heavy lifting, repetitive work and poorly designed jobs.
Now, Big Business and its anti-worker allies are trying to kill this important worker-protection safeguard with an extreme, undemocratic, never-before-used congressional tactic called the Congressional Review Act. If they succeed, this hard-won standard will disappear forever and millions more workers will be injured, many crippled for life.
Your help is needed. Call your senators toll-free at 1-800-393-1082. Urge them to oppose this extreme attack on worker safety. Urge them to stop this brazen attempt to kill the ergonomics standard. Make those calls now.
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