from the IAM communications department

During his election campaign, President George W. Bush promised to be a "uniter, not a divider," and to place high priorities on working family concerns. This site separates the rhetoric from reality.


Respect Work, Strengthen Family
Make sure your voice is heard by filling out the third Ask a Working Woman survey. All survey responses are kept completely confidential. 

LL 2524 Hits The Bricks
IAM Local 2524 in Ajax, Ontario (employees of PaintPlas) went on strike on March 3, 2001. The Local refused the company's poor offer and walked off the job.

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.

Thursday, April 19, 2001

IP Buffenbarger Hammers AMFA’s Northwest Pact
“Where’s the money?  Where is that $40 per hour that AMFA said Northwest mechanics would earn,” asked IP Tom Buffenbarger in a broadside leveled at the raider association now attempting to represent mechanics at United Airlines?

“If this were golf, negotiating anything less than $30 per hour would be called a gimme,” said Buffenbarger, mocking the tentative agreement that was nearly a thousand days in the making. “The aircraft mechanics at Northwest Airlines are worth more than $28 per hour, and their so called ‘fraternal association’ couldn’t get it for them. 

“AMFA’s tentative agreement sets a senior mechanic’s base wages at $28 per hour,” said Buffenbarger. “A whopping $3.90 more than the tentative agreement worked out 992 days ago” by the IAM and Northwest.”

Related Links:
IAM Transportation

IAM Backs Missile Defense Plan
“In the next 15 years, rogue states with chemical, nuclear or biological weapons will also have missiles capable of reaching American cities. Prudence dictates that we pursue a national missile defense system that works,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Machinists union members build many of the weapon systems that defend us today,” continued Buffenbarger. “We want to be sure that Americans living in the cities most at risk can rest easy in the future.”

“Bombs Bursting in Air,” an in-depth look at the national missile defense (NMD) program in the Spring 2001 edition of the Machinists union magazine IAM Journal, outlines why it makes sense to build the system and the role IAM members play in its design, building and testing programs. “Complex defense systems like NMD cannot be developed on a political timetable,” warned Buffenbarger. “It takes time to get the engineering right, time to get the system integration right. That’s why the IAM supports a robust, realistic testing program.”

Related Links:
Boeing - National Missile Defense
Ballistic Missile Defense Organization

AFL-CIO Website Targets CEO Pay
The AFL-CIO kicked off a new campaign on its Executive PayWatch website that gives shareholders new “e-tools” to slow the exorbitant increases in CEO compensation. The site now allows investors to discover whether their mutual funds or pensions invest in companies that are among the worst offenders and lets them send an e-mail urging their investment managers to join shareholders in challenging CEO pay.

PayWatch points out that while stock prices are falling, the average CEO made a record-breaking $20 million in 2000—that’s nearly 50 percent more in stock options and 22 percent more in salary and bonuses than last year. The typical hourly worker received a three percent raise last year. In 1999, CEOs made 476 times what the average blue-collar worker made. That’s up from 42 times more in 1980 and 85 times more than in 1990. Log on to and compare your pay to what your CEO earned last year. Play the new board game, Greed, where the winners grab golden parachutes, stack the Board of Directors and cover up poor performance.

Bush Plots ‘Fast Track’ Trade Ploy
That confounded “fast track” trade gimmick has more lives than the proverbial cat. President Bush pledged to make the measure a top priority with Congress and said he will “intensify this effort” beginning next week. His comments came during a session with the Organization of American States (OAS) on the eve of a special trade meeting in Quebec this weekend.

Bush will meet with leaders from 33 other countries to draft an expanded NAFTA-type trade agreement covering the Western Hemisphere. He pledged to push adoption of the Free Trade of the Americas—a hugely expanded NAFTA—from the Canadian Arctic to the tip of South America by 2005.

Any such agreement would come at a high cost for workers. Despite all the praises sung to NAFTA and free trade, working families have paid dearly. The U.S. lost more than 776,000 jobs and saw its trade deficit soar since that agreement took effect.

The so-called ‘Fast Track’ authority lets the White House ram trade agreements through Congress without any amendments. Congress can merely vote on such agreements. It cannot amend or change them in any fashion. 

IAM Member Named to State Safety Post
IAM member Ron Harrell has been tapped for a three-year term on a Washington State Industrial Safety and Health Administration panel. Harrell is the newly named communicator for both Local 79 and District 160. He earned his college degree from the George Meany Center for Labor Studies where he specialized in global trade issues. He works as a crane electrician at Ederer Inc., a major manufacturer of overhead bridge cranes and other specialized lifting equipment.

He is a shop steward and member of the Local 79 safety committee. He has always been active in workplace safety and health issues, an interest that was spurred to a higher level when a co-worker died in a tragic industrial accident.

Related Links:
IAM Western Territory Nears Launch Date
The IAM soon will open a new information web portal,, to local and district lodge officers. Access to this important new tool depends upon the submission of an Officer’s List for the year 2001. Officers should check with their local or district lodges to be sure they have complied with this requirement.
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