from the IAM communications department

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger

General Secretary-Treasurer 
Donald E. Wharton

GVP Western Territory
Lee Pearson

GVP Canada 
Dave Ritchie

GVP Midwest Territory
Alex M. Bay

GVP IAM Headquarters 
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern Territory 
George Hooper

GVP Eastern Territory 
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.

Tuesday, March 7, 2001

2001 Aerospace Conference Kicks Off
One of the largest IAM Aerospace Conferences on record kicked off Sunday as 185 delegates from across the U.S. and Canada gathered in St. Louis, Missouri.

The five-day conference, dubbed Aerospace Odyssey 2001, is moving “to change the way this industry does business,” IP Tom Buffenbarger told the opening session.

“The employers used to love it before we had designated IAM Aerospace Coordinators for each company and sector, because they could divide us up, and keep us busy fighting ourselves,” he said, recalling the days before the Aerospace Department was formed in 1997. “But now we’re taking them on just like they take us on, as an industry  -- in a united, coordinated manner. By doing that, we’re forcing the employers to change the way they do business with this union,” Buffenbarger added.

“IAM members and leaders need to take a different view of the union, too,” said GVP Bob Thayer, who chairs the Aerospace Conference. “We need to see ourselves as stakeholders in this industry because we have invested our working lives, our skills and our futures. We take the position that our investment is at least equal to any investment of money. We have earned a real voice in the key decisions that affect us, and we’re going to fight for that,” he said.

Delegates broke into sector workshops -- including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Jet Engines – and will spend the next several days discussing industry trends and forging common strategies. Sector reports will be posted on the IAM website later this week.

Related Links:
IAM Aerospace

TWA: Going Once, Going Twice…
The IAM attended the auction for bankrupt Trans World Airways this week on behalf of 16,000 members at TWA. Bids were unveiled from American Airlines and others as part of the process to determine who will end up with the assets of the 75-year-old carrier.

Attorneys for the IAM filed limited objections to the American Airlines proposal when TWA moved to delete portions of IAM-TWA labor agreement. The IAM represents 16,000 employees at TWA, including mechanic and related, passenger service and flight attendants.

The IAM is requesting meetings with TWA and American to define the job status, transition terms and contract protections for IAM members under American’s proposal. If such an agreement is reached prior to Friday’s hearing, the IAM is prepared to withdraw its objections.

From the several bids presented at the auction, TWA is expected to choose the proposal by American Airlines, which includes $500 million in cash and the assumption of $3 billion in debt. Additional bidders may appear at the bankruptcy court hearing in Delaware on March 9, where the bankruptcy court judge will rule on all legitimate bids and objections.

The IAM will support and cooperate with any bid that provides verifiable job protection for our long-time members at TWA. The IAM will not entertain or support any proposal that would include former TWA owner Carl Icahn.

Friday’s decision of the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Delaware will be subject to approval by the U.S Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation.

Related Links:

IAM Transportation
District 142

Important Milestone for Communicator Program
The new Communicator program approved by delegates at the 2000 Grand Lodge Convention is about to mark an important milestone with this week’s release of the first “Have You Heard” electronic bulletin. The new bulletin will go out to more than 500 local and district lodge Communicators via e-mail. Communicators will then print and post the bulletin in their workplaces and further distribute it via their own e-mail network.

Senate May Vote Today to Kill Ergonomics Standard

Big Business is wasting no time calling in election favors from Congress. As early as today, the Senate could vote to kill the ergonomics standards put in place by the Clinton Administration. The GOP’s Senate Majority Whip Don Nickles, R-OK, introduced a resolution to use the obscure Congressional Review Act to overturn the ergonomics rule. The new ergonomic standards are based on more than ten years of study to find ways to reduce repetitive strain and back injuries, currently the leaders in workplace injuries. The business-backed resolution not only kills the current standard, it bars OSHA from issuing a similar standard in the future.

Call or e-mail your senators today and tell them “Hands Off the Ergo Standard.” To call your senators, use the AFL-CIO’s toll-free number 1-800-393-1082. For members with e-mail capability, go to the “Urgent Action Alert Ergo Vote Tuesday or Wednesday” link on the IAM website at to send a message directly to your Senators.

A copy of the attached “Hands Off the ERGO Standard” flyer is available for download from the AFL-CIO website at

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