Thursday, March 20, 2003
Machinists Meet with
U.S. Labor Secretary
“We believe the new LM-2 rules are politically motivated and will cost U.S. unions nearly $1 billion annually,” said Buffenbarger. “Labor unions already report far more financial information than corporations, including staff salaries, expenses and detailed spending records.”
The meeting at DOL headquarters was scheduled prior to the highly publicized confrontation between Secretary Chao and labor leaders at last month’s winter meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council.
“We had a cordial and professional meeting that lasted an hour longer than scheduled,” said the IP. “The Secretary was receptive and responsive to our concerns. It was a worthwhile and constructive exchange of ideas – unlike the meeting in Florida.”
Attending the meeting with IP Buffenbarger was GST Don Wharton, IAM General Counsel Allison Beck and Rich Michalski, Director of the IAM Legislative and Political Action Dept.
Click here to view an IAM Breaking News interview with IP Buffenbarger on the meeting.
AFL-CIO Unions Go to Court Over TSA Rules
Unions Aim to
Outsource Lockheed Director
Savage was narrowly reelected to Lockheed’s board last year after labor unions, shareholder rights organizations and state pension boards joined forces to hold Savage accountable for his failure to protect shareholders and employees while serving on the Enron board of directors.
“Thousands of Enron employees lost everything while senior executives at Enron bailed out of the worst bankruptcy in the nation’s history,” said Steve Sleigh, IAM director of Strategic Resources Dept. “As a director at Enron, Frank Savage failed completely to protect the interests of employees, shareholders and retirees. We see no reason to allow him do at Lockheed what he did at Enron.”
Named to New Post
GVP Ritchie saluted Blais as "an outstanding Administrative Assistant whose loyalty to his office and the Canadian membership has been of great value to all of us in our union." Brother Lee, a member of Local Lodge 235 and a former member of Local Lodge 1755, served as Auditor for Local Lodges throughout Canada since 1989. As a member of Local Lodge 1755, he served as President, Vice-President, Shop Steward, Plant Committee member, Financial Secretary and a member of the negotiating committee.
In making the appointment of Brother Lee, GVP Ritchie said he was "delighted by his willingness to serve our members. I am confident that given his long membership and experience with our union he will be an excellent Administrative Assistant.”
According to news reports, Raytheon is considering two Mexican companies, Aerotec in Chihuahua and Suntron in Tijuana as part of the company’s plans to eliminate U.S. production of detail parts and other assembly work, leaving only final assembly for U.S.-based workers.
Without confirming the plans, company officials said it was backing away from last year’s pledge to keep the jobs in Wichita. “We’re in kind of a different position now,” said Raytheon spokeswoman Jackie Berger.
U.S. firms cut more than 93,000 aerospace jobs in 2002 and the industry is operating at the lowest employment level since 1953.
Bankruptcy Court Confirms US Airways’ Plan
The IAM objected to the plan based on the manner in which pre-petition grievances would be "wiped out" upon emergence from bankruptcy.
US Airways’ pilots represented by ALPA and Flight Attendants represented by AFA joined the IAM’s effort, and the plan now contains assurances that pre-petition grievances will "pass through" the bankruptcy process.
Pending grievances will be processed normally and settled grievances will be paid in full.
US Airways is optimistic that the plan can be put into effect and the Air Transportation Stabilization Board loan guarantees can be obtained by March 31, 2003.
GOP Budget Cuts Draw Fire
“Where do they come up with these ideas,” marveled IP Tom Buffenbarger. “This administration inherited a booming economy, a balanced budget and a federal surplus. The President and his supporters blew it all in a matter of months with that ill-advised tax giveaway to the very rich. Now he wants working families to pay the price. This is just wrong.”
In an editorial, the Los Angeles Times asked: “Perhaps there is some waste in these programs, but why should the middle-class and poor bear the cost of tax cuts that predominately benefit the wealthy?”
Debate on that budget plan, and it’s Democratic alternative, should provide lively floor exchanges. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, said the GOP’s plan “takes the President’s blueprint and, by every measure, makes it demonstrably worse.”
In contrast, the Democratic plan “balances the budget, creates jobs, provides a meaningful prescription drug benefit through Medicare and keeps our promises to seniors, veterans, farmers and the working families of America,” Pelosi said