from the IAM communications department

Web Highlights 

With little regard for his own safety, LL 1788's Richard Cook braved a fiery wreckage to save a life. Read the whole story.


Solidarity at LL 1988
IAM members at Illinois Forge in Rock Falls, IL have been on strike since June 10, 2000. Not one IAM member has crossed the picket line in 9 months.

The IAM's 
Executive Council

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.

Monday, April 9, 2001

Bush: Taking Care of Big Business
President George Bush drew rousing applause from the right lane of the political freeway for his strongly pro-business tilt in the early days of his administration. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich praised Bush for unraveling many of Clinton’s pro-worker initiatives. He said the Bush moves were “ ideologically driven” and “clearly palatable” to Big Business.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce buys into that thinking, too. “Bush was never a mystery on the campaign trail, and he’s certainly not a mystery as he begins to implement his vision for this country,” said Bill Miller, the Chamber’s political director. “He was an unabashed, pro-business candidate.”

Bush recently declared he would ignore new carbon dioxide emissions required under the 1997 global warming treaty. He also junked tough new standards for arsenic in drinking water and new energy efficiency standards for appliances. His Agriculture Department announced a decision to end salmonella testing for ground meat sold for school lunches, a move roundly applauded by the American Meat Institute, but the White House quickly backed away from that stance.

“That one ranked right up there with the Reagan Administration’s view that ketchup is a vegetable,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger.

Gingrich dismissed such criticisms, claiming such White House actions simply reflect political reality.  “For the team that won to favor the people who elected it…strikes me as being pretty normal American politics.”

Memorial Services Set for Mike Day
Memorial services for Michael J. “Mike” Day will be held April 21 at Callaghan’s Mortuary, 3833 East Avenue, Livermore, CA. Services begin at 1 pm, a reception will follow, reports GVP Lee Pearson.  Brother Day, 58, was the directing business representative for IAM District 190 and chaired the Host Committee at last year’s Grand Lodge Convention. He was a member of the Law Committee and had just been re-elected to that important post. A political activist, Brother Day devoted his life to improving conditions for working families.

“Mike was a true trade unionist and a good friend,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger.“On behalf of the Executive Committee, I extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family.” 

Survivors include his widow, Joyce, four children and three grandchildren. A 37-year IAM member, Brother Day passed away March 28. Contributions in his memory may be made to Guide Dogs of America, 13445 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar, CA 91342. 

Kourpias Hammers High Cost of Prescription Drugs
Former IP George Kourpias is still at the forefront of the battle to win affordable prescription drug coverage for senior citizens and retirees. Kourpias now leads the Alliance for Retired Americans and spoke to union activists and elected officials at a Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Town Hall meeting.

“The Alliance believes the solution to the problem is a universal, voluntary, affordable and comprehensive prescription drug benefit that is part of the Medicare program so it is available to all Medicare beneficiaries as a defined benefit,” said Kourpias. “At the same time, the Alliance will work to protect the traditional fee-for-service Medicare program from being turned into a ‘voucher’ program.” 

The Alliance for Retired Americans is the nation’s fastest-growing organization of seniors and retirees. With the backing of more than 2 million retirees, Kourpias and the Alliance are calling on Congress and the Bush administration to recognize the needs of millions of senior Americans by enacting a real prescription drug benefit under Medicare.

No Recession For Executive Compensation
Despite massive layoffs and plunging stock prices sucking the economic ground from under working families and small businesses, it appears compensation for corporate executives is bucking the trend and rising dramatically.

The average paycheck for a chief executive at one of the top U.S. companies topped out at a record-breaking $10.8 million in pay and bonuses for the year 2000, a 16 percent increase over 1999. Stock options jumped 28 percent to $6.4 million and annual bonuses rose 20 percent to more than $2 million. Base salaries increased 4 percent, accounting for only 10 percent of executive’s total compensation.

American companies have slashed nearly 400,000 jobs since December and the layoff rate at new and old economy companies continues at a rate of 100,000 cuts per month. By comparison, layoffs never exceeded a monthly average of 56, 483 during the 1990’s. If the perverse relationship between rising layoffs and rising executive compensation continues, 2001 promises to be a record-setting year for corporate pay.

Organizing Class Slated on Service Contract Act
The Aerospace and Organizing Departments scheduled a specialized training class on organizing under the Service Contract Act (SCA). The act covers private sector workers employed by companies under contract with the federal government. The class covers both legal and practical aspects of the SCA and is open to full-time staff.

Classes are scheduled for June 23-29 at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Placid Harbor, MD. Enrollment forms may be obtained by calling the IAM Organizing Dept. 301 967-4752. They must be completed and returned by May 1.

Legislative Conference Reminder
Those delegates attending the IAM Legislative Conference in the nation’s capital are reminded they must complete and return the delegate questionnaire to the Legislative Department. The conference will be held May 13-17. Please complete the attached form and return it as soon as possible.


imail Archives 
Comments, suggestions, or story items for imail

Contact IAMAW via email or at 301-967-4520