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IAM Calls for Trade Sanctions on China
The IAM and AFL-CIO call for China trade sanctions.

The Fox Is In the Henhouse
The man hand-picked by President Bush to shore up the nation's struggling manufacturing sector laid off 75 American workers after he moved part of his company offshore to a factory in China.

Jobs Are Still Missing
In Action

The unemployment numbers for February were released last week and the picture is not pretty.

Video: The Outsourcing Battle Begins
On Friday, hundreds of union workers joined Senators on Capitol Hill to rally against the outsourcing of American jobs.

Fighting Back
Last week nineteen U.S. Senators sent a letter to United Airlines CEO, Glenn Tilton, urging the airline not to cut health benefits for its 35,000 retirees.

Still No railroad Contract
Negotiations for more than seventy five hundred freight rail employees have dragged on for more than 50 months.

AFL-CIO Endorses  Kerry
Hundreds of people from dozens of unions gathered in Washington at AFL-CIO Headquarters for a rally.

Bush Promotes Sending More Jobs Overseas
President Bush declares exporting jobs is a good thing, a slap in the face to more than 8.3 million Jobless Americans.

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

Secretary-Treasurer Warren L. Mart

GVP Western  Territory
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.

GVP Eastern
Lynn Tucker 

GVP Southern Territory
Robert Martinez

GVP Midwest Territory
James Brown



Tuesday, March 16,  2004

Wei Jingsheng, (right) imprisoned for 18 years in China then deported ― said through an interpreter (left) the Chinese government has failed to enforce any of the internationally-recognized workers' rights standards cited by the Trade act of 1974.

IAM Demands China Trade Sanctions
The IAM and the AFL-CIO are calling for trade sanctions over China’s brutal suppression of workers’ rights and says such treatment constitutes unfair trade practices under current law.

The petition for sanctions, filed under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, represents the first time that China’s human rights record has been formally invoked as an unfair trade practice. The Trade Act authorizes the President to impose sanctions against countries that engage in “unreasonable trade practices.”

“Jailing and killing workers to keep them under control is all too common in China,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “These abuses distort trade, depress wages and demean workers.” The President of the United States has 45 days to respond to the petition.

The petition also documents China’s violent history of suppressing free and independent labor unions and its failure to implement minimum workplace health or safety standards.

“China routinely violates fundamental human rights, including the right of its workers to freely form their own unions and to engage in collective bargaining” said Buffenbarger. “The 301 petition proves what we have been saying for many years: China’s harsh control of its workers artificially drives their labor costs down, making their products cheaper and allows their industrial sector to flourish at the expense of our own.”

In addition to today’s petition, President Buffenbarger sent a letter to Chinese officials urging them to immediately release two worker activists who are serving jail sentences following peaceful protests in 2002 seeking wages and benefits.

Read the IAM's Press Release

Help Block DoD Union Busting Campaign
The IAM Government Employees Department is sounding the alarm over the Defense Department plan to gut collective bargaining rights for nearly 750,000 civilian workers employed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Last November, Congress gave the Defense of Department (DoD) authority to revise personnel rules to better meet this country’s national security needs. Despite clear instructions that labor rights should be safeguarded, the DoD is proposing changes that would virtually eliminate collective bargaining and prohibit as many as 200,000 DoD employees from joining a union of their choice.

The scope of the changes being proposed represents a clear violation of the legislation approved by a majority of House members from both parties. It also represents a McCarthy-like attempt to use fear and national security as excuses to roll back decades of progress for government workers and their union representatives.

All IAM members are urged to go immediately to the IAM's Legislative Action Center, send an email to their representative in Congress and ask their lawmaker to support government workers in their fight to continue serving their country without sacrificing their rights at work.

Members can compose an email, or use the pre-written version that includes a "Dear Colleague" letter from Congressman Chris Van Hollen which supports government worker rights.

Read about the Defense Department's union-busting campaign.

This week IAM C.R.E.S.T. is providing classroom and hands-on training in Occupational Safety ahd Health Standards for General Industry at Space Gateway Support.  In attendance were members from IAM District Lodge 166, Local Lodge 2061 and Transport Workers Union Local Lodge 525 and management.

Space Center Workers are Serious About Safety
IAM representatives from Local 2061 in Cape Canaveral, FL completed the first half of a two-week program designed to improve awareness of OSHA Health and Safety standards and to reduce accidents on the job.

The first week of training, provided by IAM CREST (Corporation for Re-employment and Safety Training), also included management representatives from Space Gateways Support (SGS), where more than 900 IAM members are employed.

The second week-long program was developed specifically for SGS based on the injuries that occurred in 2003. The training is taking place on site in Cape Canaveral and provides basic knowledge needed to perform accident investigations and workplace hazard identification.

SGS provides facilities maintenance and launch vehicle support to Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral.  The company and its employees maintain a successful safety record that is greatly improved by IAM CREST’s training approach and courses, according to the SGS Safety Director John Storm.  Since 2001, IAM CREST representatives have delivered approximately 260 hours of safety and health training to 150 union safety representatives, safety committees members, SGS managers and supervisors. 

An Alphabet Soup Dispute
Along with the barrage of election year ads from organizations known by their initials, voters will soon be hearing from a new group, backed by conservative extremists bent on the privatization of Social Security.

In a move certain to draw attention, if not lawsuits, the newly formed organization is calling itself the Alliance for Retirement Prosperity (ARP). Two other organizations share similar titles, but completely different agendas. The Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), headed by former IAM IP George Kourpias is comprised of retired union members and fiercely opposes privatizing social security calling it a Wall Street gimmick that benefits brokers and investment banks.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is another national retiree group that recently distinguished itself by endorsing the President’s Medicare plan, triggering a mass exodus of members opposed to the new legislation.

ARP will be led by failed GOP vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp and former House Majority leader Dick Armey. Also involved will be GOP insiders Steve Moore, president of the Club for Growth and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

IAM Members Pitch Cost Savings to US Airways
In response to demonstrations at US Airways' airport terminals in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Boston, the airline met last week with the Machinists Union representatives to discuss items IAM members have identified that would provide significant cost savings without amending current labor agreements.

"Our members are tired of watching US Airways claim poverty while running an inefficient operation," said GVP Robert Roach, Jr. "If US Airways' management truly wants the airline to succeed, they will take action on the ideas our members have presented."

IAM District 141 Fleet Service employees identified more than a dozen items that would provide the financially troubled company substantial cost savings. Mechanic & Related members from District 141-M explained the financial advantages the company could realize by repairing certain aircraft components in-house with IAM members instead of shipping the components to vendors.

IAM and US Airways financial experts are currently working on the valuation of the IAM's proposals. Additional meetings are scheduled to continue evaluating and refining the ideas.

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Should Martha Stewart Serve Time in Jail. . . more

President Bush keeps saying the recession is over, but in counties across America, families struggle to find work. JOBS will be a driving force in the 2004 election. Read the Spring 2004 IAM Journal.

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: pc2005.

See who works for you,
how the IAM is structured, and what services the IAM offers. Go to: IAM2004

President Bush's promise of new jobs is falling far short. Find out how much at www.jobwatch.org

FlatRateTech is an organization “created for and by Ford and Lincoln Mercury service technicians solely to speak as one loud voice rather than 50,000 smaller voices,” according to their website http://flatratetech.com. The fast-growing site offers forums for Ford customers, technicians and dealers to exchange information.


The official site for the 36th Grand Lodge Convention to be held in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio is now online. Check it our for convention news, sponsorship offers, and convention gear.