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Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 6-8, Minneapolis Convention Center. More information.


Worker's Memorial Day
April 28, 2002
Read all about how it helps to remember the injured  and honor the fallen.

Unemployment soared and manufacturing jobs in North America were wiped out in record numbers, yet Congress did nothing to help workers in danger of losing everything they have. In the 2002 Spring IAM Journal, IAM members from across North America tell how it feels to be losing it all.

Get Your Convention Gear Check out gear for the 2004 IAM Convention


Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

Secretary Treasurer
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada 
GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern 
GVP Southern
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.


Friday, April 5, 2002


Bush Seeks Speedy ‘Fast Track’ Vote
Buoyed by inflated poll numbers, President Bush wants speedy action on Fast Track legislation that essentially gives him free rein in trade policy. If he wins, Congress gives up any right to amend, reshape or turn back any trade deal Bush wants.

Democrats hope to link any trade measure with worker protections against job losses stemming from such measures. If Bush wins, look for quick action on the Free Trade Area of the Americas ( FTAA), modeled after NAFTA, a measure which has cost the U.S. more than 800,000 jobs

The White House and its congressional allies have refused to support any worker protections, including re-training or relocation for workers who lose jobs through such trade provisions.

NAFTA Claims Locomotive Repair Shop

Seventy-five years after it opened for business, the VMV locomotive repair shop in Paducah, KY is closing it doors – the latest victim of the recession and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

As recently as 1999, some 600 skilled workers at the facility were working two shifts, rebuilding 30 locomotives a month. By the fall of 2000, however, the recession cut sales and the work force in half. The layoffs continued and last week the company put the remaining 240 employees on the street.

“NAFTA really impacted this place,” said Bob Reynolds, president and general chairman of IAM District 19. “The industry started sending work to Mexico where labor is about $2 an hour and never looked back.”

Reynolds said the union would help members with unemployment and health insurance while seeking new owners for the historic repair shop. “We can’t afford for this shop to be dismantled,” said Reynolds. “If they start removing assets, it will never open again.”

Meanwhile in Washington, President Bush wants Congress to expand NAFTA by approving a hemispheric trade deal known as the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Blue Ribbon Meetings Begin
in Albuquerque, Alberta

On April 13, IAM members in Albuquerque, Houston, Alberta and Pennsylvania can take part in the first 2002 Blue Ribbon Commission meetings. The town hall-style gatherings will take place in 40 cities over the next two months and will guide the policies and agenda of the IAM.

“The meetings in 1995 and 1998 helped launch some of this union’s most innovative programs,” said IP Buffenbarger. “We intend to make sure the IAM remains the organization our members want it to be.” A full schedule of the Blue Ribbon Commission meetings is available online at

Members Can Block Savage Board Choice
Fresh from a stint as a board member at bankrupt Enron Corp., Frank Savage is running into opposition in his bid for reelection to the board of Lockheed Martin Corp.

Institutional investors and pension fund managers are joining IAM shareholders and withholding their votes for the Savage nomination on the annual proxy ballot.

“Enron’s employees couldn’t afford this guy, and neither can our members at Lockheed,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The difference is, at Lockheed we can still do something about it.”

IAM members at Lockheed hold approximately 5 percent of the company’s outstanding shares. “We believe Mr. Savage’s record at Enron disqualifies him from a similar position at Lockheed,” said Steve Sleigh, director of the IAM Strategic Resources Dept.

 “We are urging all Lockheed shareholders to WITHHOLD their votes on the election of directors,” said Sleigh. “The pension you save could be your own.”

Mediators Set April 10 For Lockheed Meeting

Twenty-four days after IAM members at three Lockheed plants struck the aerospace giant, federal mediators are calling both sides to Atlanta for an April 10 meeting in an effort to resolve the dispute.

IAM representatives say the meeting does not signal a return to the bargaining table or an imminent end to the strike. “It’s not unusual for mediators to probe at this stage of a strike to see where the parties stand,” said John Crowdis, IAM Aerospace coordinator. “They will find our members standing firm. We have the support of our families, our communities and thousands of fellow union members across the country.”

Lockheed Martin is the country’s richest and most successful defense contractor with billions in military contracts. IAM members are holding out for an agreement that protects their jobs from outsourcing and provides adequate health insurance for retirees.

May 8, 2002: Transportation Day of Action

Machinists’ Union members transport more than 1,000,000 passengers each day. On May 8, IAM members will assemble at airports and passenger rail stations to remind the public of the important roles they play in America’s transportation system.

The ‘Day of Action’ was originally designed to demonstrate the strength and solidarity of the Machinists Union in the transportation industry. Following the events of September 11, however, the focus shifted.

“With an airline industry still in a recovery mode and the future of passenger rail being debated in Congress, we want the public to see the faces of the people who work every day to provide them with a safe and dependable transportation system,” said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr.

To take part in May 8 activities in your area, visit the IAM’s Day of Action web site for more information.