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Unemployment soared and manufacturing jobs in North America were wiped out in record numbers, yet Congress did nothing to help workers in danger of losing everything they have. In the 2000 Spring IAM Journal, IAM members from across North America tell how it feels to be losing it all. is a new website run by the USBIC Educational Foundation, dedicated to protecting American interests against the damaging effects of international trade.

With more than 700 people dying of hypothermia yearly, the IAM Safety Department wants you to know how dangerous it is to work in cold environments.

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


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.


Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Machinists Strike for Job Security at Lockheed
Angered over managements’ refusal to protect jobs, 2,800 IAM members in three locations struck Lockheed Martin this week, halting operations at one of the defense/aerospace firm’s largest U.S. facilities.

“Only 12 years ago, more than 14,000 IAM members worked for Lockheed Martin in Georgia, Mississippi and West Virginia. Today, there are only 2,800 IAM jobs left, and all the company wanted to discuss were ways to outsource and subcontract even more jobs,” said IAM Aerospace Coordinator John Crowdis.

The strike affects the massive aerospace shop in Marietta, GA (represented by IAM Local 709) and two “feeder plants” in Meridian, MS and Clarksburg, WV, represented by Locals 2386 and 1027, respectively. The members rejected the contract by 78% and voted by an 82% margin to strike.

“The company can easily afford some basic job security protections. Lockheed Martin just won the $200 billion Joint Strike Fighter contract, the largest defense contract in U.S. history. That’s on top of winning the F-22, which will replace the F-15,” he continued.

“We are on strike because the biggest defense company on earth wants the freedom to wipe out good-paying, skilled jobs in Georgia. We say they owe us and this community much better than that,” Crowdis said.

Related Links:
Local Lodge 709

Local Lodge 2386
District 725
IAM Aerospace

NFFE Local 1781's Laurie Forni, James Silverstone, and Mac Heller
(background) are fighting  for a Forest Service job upgrade .

Union Fights for Jobs Upgrade
Union reps from NFFE Local 1781 know that dispatchers at the Camino Interagency Emergency Command Center (ECC) in Camino, CA, are grossly under-paid for the work they do and they are determined to do something about it.

The USDA Forest Service used an outdated job description to classify the positions, the union believes. The agency ranks the positions as GS-7s. “We maintain they should be GS-9s,” says Erik Holst, Local 1781 president.

“All across the board, our fire personnel are underpaid,” explains Randy Meyer, a member of the union’s grievance committee. Firefighter pay ranges from $10 to $12 an hour, he said, “and for that, they put their lives on the line.”

Related Links:
Forest Service Council News

Rail Talks Back on Track
Negotiations for a new agreement on the nation’s railroads have been slated for March 13 and 14, reports Robert Reynolds, president and directing general chairman, IAM District 19. “This is a tedious process,” he notes. “If no progress is made here, we will devote our full efforts to applying pressure to the National Mediation Board and to Congress to move these talks along.”

Unions Launch Global Organizing Effort
Women workers around the world may find it easier to organize as free trade unions launch a global organizing campaign under the slogan “Unions for Women, Women for Unions”, notes Cheryl Eastburn, IAM Women’s Dept. director.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), the AFL-CIO and the Coalition of Labor Union Women hopes to double the number of women members and to improve working conditions for women in the trade union movement.

The campaign will contribute significantly to the effort to achieve genuine equality between men and women at every level. The number of women union members is at an all-time high of 6.77 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women make up nearly 42 percent of union membership worldwide and unions continue to step up organizing efforts for women members.

OPM Sets Leave Rules in 9-11 Aftermath
The Office of Personnel Management issued final regulations regarding annual leave that are intended to aid workers responding to the terrorist attacks Sept. 11. The new rules make it possible to restore excess annual leave that could not be taken because of the attacks and the emergency arising from them.

While there are some limitations, most affected federal workers should be able to recoup any lost leave time forfeited under earlier regulations. The final regulations are effective April 3. Additional information is available from Sharon Herzberg at 202-606-2858 or email at

Lockheed Martin Stands by Enron Director
Overseeing the largest – and potentially most criminal – business bankruptcy in history would seem to disqualify someone as a director of other corporations.

Apparently, Lockheed Martin does not agree.

IP Buffenbarger twice asked CEO Vance Coffman to remove Frank Savage from the Board of Directors. Savage serves on the Board of Directors for Enron.

But Coffman refused, telling Buffenbarger in a letter this week that “Savage enjoys a long and distinguished association with our Corporation…He has been instrumental in creating Corporate financial disclosure practices that are commonly considered exemplary in our industry.”

“Where were Frank Savage’s exemplary financial practices while Enron was being looted from the inside? He was a director. Was he even paying attention? This is not the sort of job performance a company like Lockheed Martin should endorse,” said Buffenbarger.