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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.


Tuesday, April 9, 2002

OSHA Issues ‘Voluntary’ Ergonomic Guidelines
The Bush administration betrayed U.S. workers last week when it announced its long awaited policy on workplace ergonomic standards. The meaningless guidelines call for voluntary industry compliance rather than legally enforceable workplace protections. Under the Bush policy, companies bear no responsibility for the repetitive stress injuries that seriously harm 1.8 million workers and cost the U.S. economy $50 billion each year.

The new policy represents a victory for industry lobbyists who waged an all-out fight to relieve their corporate clients from responsibility for injuries caused by prolonged exposure to certain working conditions. “If corporate CEO’s were experiencing these injuries instead of secretaries and cashiers, we would see a very different policy coming out of this administration,” said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Repeated activities such as bending and lifting have been identified as causes of painful injuries and chronic syndromes such as carpal tunnel.

IAM Members Submit UAL
Shareholder Proposals

UAL Corp. shareholders will vote on two important proposals submitted by IAM members at this year’s annual meeting in Chicago.

Resolution Number 5 on the UAL proxy ballot seeks to separate the CEO and the Chairman positions and create an independent Chair position on the UAL Board of Directors. The change would provide a level of oversight at the airline that is impossible when the Chair and the CEO are one and the same.

Resolution Number 4 calls for executive pay to be linked to the company’s core air transportation business. In a letter to members at United Airlines, the IAM Active Ownership Committee said it was critical for the company to concentrate on rebuilding the traditional air carrier business – rather than seeking new and riskier ventures.

Ballots for IAM members holding UAL shares are in the mail now and members can review the text of the shareholder proposals online at alongside recommendations from the IAM Active Ownership Committee at United Airlines.

Harley CEO Named to
Presidential Workforce Council

Expect Jeffrey Bleustein to bring a unique perspective to his newly appointed position on the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce. As the head of the legendary motorcycle manufacturer, Bleustein makes no secret that his company’s success is due in large part to a highly evolved relationship with the IAM and other unions at Harley Davidson.

Faced with a recent need to increase production, Bleustein described his approach. “We needed to increase the motorcycle output of our existing factories, but we also had to build a new factory to get the job done. But instead of running off to a right-to-work state and setting up a non-union plant, we decided to take our two unions, the IAM and PACE with us.”

The decision to build the plant in Kansas City was made by a team of executives and union representatives and serves as an example of good labor-management relations. “The Harley Davidson vice president and general manager share an office with the presidents of the two local unions,” said Bleustein. “In this environment, there are no walls, no partitions, no secrets.”

Union Industries Show Big Hit in Minneapolis

Two future riders try out an IAM-made Harley-Davidson motorcycle at the AFL-CIO Union Industries Show.

The IAM joined with dozens of other unions in Minneapolis this past weekend to host the annual AFL-CIO Unions’ Industries Show. Thousands of show visitors got a close up view of America’s union workers and the products they make as union members demonstrated the work they do and passed out free merchandise.

The show’s intent was to showcase union-management cooperation and as part of it, IAM-represented companies donated products to be raffled off in a number of free drawings which included a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a John Deere tractor, Southwest Airlines and US Airways tickets, Savage and Winchester firearms, Red Wing work footwear, and hundreds of other prizes. Next year’s Union Industries show is slated for Pittsburgh.

IAM Local 701 Continues To Grow

IAM Local 701 welcomes 97 new IAM members at Scaletta Moloney Armoring Co. in Bedford Park, IL and Elk Grove Village, IL. These newly organized members reconstruct vehicles and add armor to them for the United States government. The win represents the largest organizing victory in Local 701 history.

Higher pay is a top issue for the new members. "This is a very strong group. They are highly skilled and carry a huge responsibility for creating secure vehicles,” said IAM Local 701 Organizer Dave Mullin. “They deserve the pay that goes along with that skilled work and responsibility. The other big issue is the high cost to employees for health insurance."

Midwest Territory GVP Alex Bay cites Herb Elam, Local 701 directing business representative, Dave Mullin, organizer for IAM Local 701 and retiree Paul Espinosa for their hard work and dedication. IAM Local 701 is located in Countryside, IL. And has more than 8,600 members in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Global Economy Claims U.S. Icon
A legendary pants maker that traces its history to the roaring days of the California Gold Rush will soon go the way of those grizzled prospectors who made blue jeans a symbol of American ingenuity. Levi Strauss & Co, a 149-year-old firm that invented blue jeans, says it will lay off 20 percent of its workforce and close all but one of its U.S. plants. Its legendary blue jeans will become just another foreign import. Low-wage workers in poverty-stricken nations without trade unions or worker protections will now produce those dungarees. “Most of those workers won’t be able to buy the jeans they make,” lamented IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Those ‘free trade gurus’ seldom mention that dismal fact.”