iMail Thursday, April 15, 2004
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Corporate Profiteering
A glimpse of corporate profits versus workers salaries since 2001 reveals a startling picture of todays economy.

Danger — Educated Union Members
This spring, 36 IAM Representatives and staff members began a journey in pursuit of their college degrees.

White House Uses Fuzzy Math for New Jobs Numbers

On first glance the news on the jobs picture this month looks good. The Bush administration is boasting an increase of more than three hundred thousand jobs...

Show Us the Jobs
The AFL-CIO Show Us the Jobs bus tour crossed eight states in eight days making the point at each stop that the so-called "Jobless Recovery" is devastating families in every state of our great union.

Snow Job on Trade
Treasurer Secretary, John Snow, said in an interview in The Cincinnati Enquirer quote, you can outsource a lot of activities and get them done just as well, or better, at a lower cost.

Republicans Run From Overtime
Why would Senator Tom Daschle say that Senate Republicans would rather force American companies to pay tariffs to Europe than protect overtime pay for American workers?

Medicare Disaster
George Kourpias, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans, talks about the medicare bill passed by Congress.

Boeing Tanker Contract in Jeopardy
A twenty seven point six billion dollar Airforce contract hangs in balance as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld weighs the idea of reopening bidding to foreign owned companies.

Defending the Rights of Defense Workers
Frank Carelli, Director of the IAM Government Employee's Department talks about the Bush and Rumsfeld plan to wipe out Defense Department workers basic right to have a voice and union on the job.

Officers & Territories

R. Thomas Buffenbarger
International President

Warren L. Mart

Lee Pearson
GVP Western Territory

Dave Ritchie
GVP Canada

Robert V. Thayer
GVP Headquarters

Robert Roach, Jr.
GVP Transportation

Lynn Tucker
GVP Eastern Territory

Robert Martinez
GVP Southern Territory

James Brown
GVP Midwest Territory

IAM members can use a combination of real world experiences and classroom training to earn college credits toward an associate or bachelor degree.

IAM College Program Opens Doors

Thirty-six IAM representatives went back to school last week in a unique program that will allow union members to use a combination of real world experiences and classroom training to earn college credits toward an associate or bachelor degree.

The degree program, developed by the staff at the William W. Winpisinger Center and the National Labor College, awards college credit for educational experiences gained outside the classroom as well as providing traditional college-level classroom instruction.

Students enrolled in the program will progress toward individual goals based on previous education and the degree they wish to receive. “It will carry the same weight and credentials as a college degree from Ohio State or Indiana University,” said Jim Leslie, Director of the WWW Center. “The degree can also be transferred toward a masters or doctoral degree.”

Future class will be open to representatives and members from across the IAM. For more information about the degree program, contact the WWW Center at 301-373-3300. Watch Danger — Educated Union Members, an online video about the program.

Pentagon Seeks to Repeal ‘Fly American’ Law

In the latest outsourcing outrage, the Department of Defense is asking Congress to repeal a law that bans foreign-owned airlines from bidding on contracts to transport U.S. troops and cargo during wartime.

The current law requires Pentagon contracts go to air carriers that are no less than 50 percent American owned. The Defense Department proposal, quietly inserted in the Pentagon’s 2005 appropriations request, would allow foreign carriers to bid against domestic airlines on contracts to fly American soldiers and supplies from U.S. bases to overseas military installations.

If approved by Congress, the proposal could place foreign-owned carriers in direct competition with the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a group of 24 U.S. passenger and cargo airlines that moved 161,000 tons of equipment and nearly 500,000 troops to and from the war zone during the initial stages of the Iraq conflict.

The reserve fleet includes United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Delta Airlines. The largest cargo carriers include Atlas, Evergreen, Polar, Gemini and World. Under current law, foreign carriers can be contracted only if no American airline is willing or available.

Survey: Swing Voters Will Decide Election

A key survey of 1,000 likely voters finds the electorate sharply polarized on issues and candidates with only 4 percent not sure whom they would vote for if the election were held today.

The outcome of the presidential race could ultimately be decided by African American or Hispanic voters. Hispanic voters are currently evenly split in their preference for Bush and Kerry, according to Battleground 2004, a closely watched voter preference survey conducted by the Tarrance Group, a national survey research group.

A majority (fifty-seven percent) of voters polled believe the country is headed off on the wrong track, compared to just 37 percent who believe it is on the right track. Fully one third (33 percent) of voters feel angry about the direction of the country, with only 10 percent declaring themselves as satisfied with the country’s direction.

Voters listed the economy and jobs as their top areas of concern. In the so-called “battleground states,” one quarter (24 percent) say the economy is their top concern and 15 percent choose unemployment. Eighteen percent say they worry most about terrorism.

Every indication points to another extremely close election, according to an analysis of the poll. “In the 13-year history of the Battleground Survey, we have never seen a Presidential race so polarized so early out from Election Day.”

Asbestos Bill Would Aid Manufacturers

A new GOP-sponsored bill to create a trust fund for victims of asbestos related illnesses would severely restrict payment to victims while shielding manufacturers from future personal injury lawsuits.

The revised asbestos bill, “Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act” (S. 2290) is being criticized for limits it would place on victims’ compensation. “Providing only $25,000 in compensation is a cruel joke on victims suffering asbestos-related lung cancer,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Leahy also claimed the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), threw out months of bipartisan negotiations on a previous bill (S. 1125) in favor of a new version favored by asbestos manufacturers.

During the past 50 years, tens of thousands of workers in building trades, shipbuilding and railroad industries were exposed to asbestos, causing severe and long-term respiratory problems, including cancer and asbestosis.

Rail workers are currently guaranteed injury compensation for asbestos-related illness under the Federal Employee Liability Act (FELA). The new legislation would severely limit that protection. The IAM and the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department are aggressively campaigning on Capitol Hill to defeat this legislation.

New District Scores Two Organizing Wins

Newly formed District Lodge 171 scored a pair of organizing wins this week, bringing IAM representation to 24 workers in Oklahoma.

Ten clerical and accounting employees at Dyncorp Technical Services at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, OK and fourteen Water Treatment Specialists at DynPar LLC at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City voted ‘IAM Yes’ in elections held this week.

The Vance workers will be folded into the existing Dycorp/Trend Western contract as part of Local 898, and the Tinker workers will become part of Local 850, according to Directing Business Representative Jerry McCune.

“We are actively pursuing all non-represented workers at both Vance and Tinker,” said McCune. “The win at Tinker is the first for Brother Tony Bennet as District Organizer,” said McCune. “I want to thank him for a job well done.” Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez also welcomed the new members and congratulated District 171 for both wins.

Union Industries Show to Open April 23

Mark your calendars for the 59th AFL-CIO Union-Industries Show, April 23–26 at the America’s Center in St. Louis. Sponsored by the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department and the unions and union employers of Missouri, the show explores the theme “America at Its Best” and will feature “If I Had a Hammer,” a project that gives elementary school students hands-on instruction in constructing a miniature house. The show displays quality union-made goods and services and helps visitors of all ages better understand how their communities benefit when workers have a union voice on the job. For more information, call 202-628-2131.

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Go to:pc2005.

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