Thursday, March 13, 2003
“Workers will decide whether we win the battle for jobs, jobs worth fighting for.” His remarks reflected the conference theme—JOBS! Worth Fighting For, a theme emblazoned on colorful posters throughout the conference hall.
delegates, primarily newsletter editors, communicators and web stewards,
that “we speak for all Americans” when we demand job security,
affordable healthcare and a safe and healthy workplace. “You’ve shown
what you can do,” he said, “now use your skills to build a better world,
a better life for all Americans.”
Earlier, delegates enjoyed a spirited give-and-take with a trio of working reporters from the Chicago-area news media. The three journalists, Cheryl Corley of National Public Radio (NPR), Phil Le Beau of CNBC, and John Schmeltzer, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter at the Chicago Tribune, urged delegates to “open a dialogue” with their hometown media.
“We have to talk to
each other,” Le Beau said. There was unanimous agreement on that point.
“Workplace issues are important issues,” Schmeltzer stressed. “We have
to build relationships,” Corley agreed.
Bush Medicare Plan
That proposal ran into fierce opposition from seniors and politicians on both sides of the aisle.
With his latest plan, the President is still trying to make seniors leave the traditional Medicare plan. If they want the insurance, that will allow them to receive prescription medicines.
“Seniors don’t want to leave Medicare,” Kourpias said. “They don’t want to leave the doctors they trust in order to get the medicines they need. Why is that so hard for this administration to understand? What seniors do want is a prescription drug benefits under Medicare that allows them the freedom to stay with the doctors they choose, the doctors they trust.”
The Alliance supports the Medicare Rx Drug Benefits and Discount Act of 2003, sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, and Rep. John Dingell, D-MI. The measure meets the needs of seniors and allows them to remain in the Medicare plan and still get the medicines they need, Kourpias explained.
“This is not true with the President’s plan, which falls short…again.”
IAM Women’s Dept. Takes Action
“State and local governments are facing their gravest fiscal crisis since World War II, forcing deep and drastic cuts in education, health care and public safety,” said Cheryl Eastburn, IAM Women’s Department Director.
Urging members to send a blizzard of e-mails to President Bush and members of Congress, Eastburn is directing union activists to an Action Alert on the IAM web site http://capwiz.com/iamaw/issues/?style=D& where messages can be created and quickly routed to lawmakers.
“Working families want Washington to know that funding shortages in the states are a serious matter, and they want the federal government to play a role in helping those states pay for education, health care and homeland security,” said Eastburn. “Let your voice resonate - from the White House to the Halls of Congress.”
More Charges Against
Woodworkers, Hubbell Passes Away
Administrative Assistant for the Woodworkers Department, Bill Hubbell, passed away Saturday, March 8. Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 13 at 11:00 a.m. at the New Life Foursquare Church in Canby, Oregon. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Guide Dogs of America in Bill's memory.