Thursday, April 1, 2004
A 2,300-mile bus journey for workers from 51 states ended as the Show Us the Jobs Tour arrived in Washington, D.C.
Jobs Tour Arrives in Washington, DC
Under skies as gray as the nation’s economic outlook, the AFL-CIO’s “Show Us the Jobs” caravan rolled into Washington, DC, where workers from 51 states met with lawmakers and supporters after a 2300-mile bus journey through 8 heartland states.
In a packed Senate hearing room, the workers evoked depression-era America as they shared heartbreaking stories of personal struggle and wondered aloud what was becoming of the American Dream. “Something is seriously wrong in this country,” said one rider, “when our economy can recover without creating any new jobs.”
Representing Iowa and Wyoming on the tour were two IAM members: Jerry Nowadzki of Local 831 in Cedar Rapids, IA and Bernia Robertson, a member of NFFE Local 2191 in Wyoming. Both described the 8-day journey as difficult, but noted with pride how their fellow riders took up a collection during a stop in Ohio for a pair of single mothers facing hardships not unlike their own. “They were at the point where they were choosing between food for their kids and paying the rent,” said Robertson. “We were glad to help.”
Throughout the trip, the workers maintained a fighting spirit that was in full bloom by the time they arrived in Washington. “We’re serious when we tell people they better start fighting like there’s no tomorrow,” said Nowadzki. “Because that’s exactly where we’re headed.” Click here to view video interviews with the riders and click here for more information on the tour.
Airport Screeners Win In Canada
The controversy involved Aeroguard, a company employing 700 IAM-represented airport screeners, and Securiguard, a contractor named by the Canadian Transportation Security Authority (CATSA) to provide screening services on April 1, 2004 when the current contract with Aeroguard expires.
When members did not ratify a tentative agreement with Securiguard, the company issued a statement ordering Aeroguard personnel to report to work on April 1 or face termination. Additionally, Securiguard alleged the IAM was promoting an unlawful strike by Aeroguard employees in violation of Canadian Labor Code.
The issue was doubly resolved this week when the CIRB formally dismissed Securiguard’s charges and CATSA dumped Securiguard and returned the contract to Aeroguard, where IAM officials expect negotiations to quickly produce a new contract.
Loathing at US Airways
"Siegel's business plan seems to be centered on scaring employees," said District 141 President Randy Canale and District 141-M President Scotty Ford. "Unfortunately, he is 20 years too late to scare airline employees into believing that repeated concessions could save an airline. Airline after airline has demonstrated that no amount of employee concessions could save a company from its own incompetent management."
In contrast to Siegel's panic, IAM Representatives have held positive and constructive meetings with Dr. David Bronner, Chairman of the Board at US Airways, and other members of management to ensure US Airways remains a viable and competitive airline.
"David Siegel must begin working with, not against, his most important asset, his employees," said Canale and Ford. "Otherwise, he should step aside and give the job to someone capable of handling it."
Tanker Issue Sparks Action
“The suggestion that a heavily subsidized, foreign-owned consortium would be invited, and even encouraged, to displace thousands of US aerospace workers is outrageous,” said IP Buffenbarger, who ripped into legislators who remain silent on the issue. “Allowing key components of our national defense to be outsourced to foreign vendors is a recipe for disaster.”
Boeing’s tanker contract remains on hold pending the outcome of several government investigations despite a recent Pentagon study that found no reason to suspend the deal.
Go to the IAM's Legislative Action page to add your voice to the dispute over Airbus v. Boeing.
‘Ask a Working Woman’ Survey
“Working women continue to face a laundry list of unfair working conditions that should be ancient history by now,” said IAM Women’s Dept. Director Cheryl Eastburn. “Despite laws that mandate equal pay for equal work, women regularly earn less than men for the same work. And despite laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring and promotion, women in every level of the workforce still must overcome prejudice and unequal treatment. It’s time once again to shine a light on these issues and demand justice for all workers.”
The confidential survey
is conducted every year by the AFL-CIO, and asks women to sound off on
workplace issues including: wages; hours; child care; health insurance and
retirement concerns. members can learn more and view
results from earlier surveys.
Hundreds are expected to attend this year’s induction ceremony at United Food and Commercial Workers Local 876's union hall in Madison Heights. Last year, the induction ceremony was held in New York City and drew about 200 people.For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, call 313-961-0800.
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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:
President Bush's promise of new jobs is falling far short. Find out how much at www.jobwatch.org