iMail Tuesday, April 20, 2004
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Labor issues you care about  . . . in streaming video

Video: In Defiance of the Patriot Act
Campaigning in Pennsylvania this week, President Bush made the case for expanding the government search and surveillance powers of the Patriot Act.

Video: OT Cuts Still Prevail in New Rules
President Bush's scuffle with Congress and American workers on cutting overtime pay is back in the news today as the final overtime rule changes are being issued by the Department of Labor.

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.


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

Bush Rewrites U.S. Overtime Regulations
Despite withering criticism and shrinking poll numbers, President Bush is pushing forward with a new plan to eliminate overtime protection for U.S. workers.

Under a revised administration proposal, hundreds of thousands of workers will lose overtime protection, with additional workers’ pay threatened by guidelines from the Department of Labor (DOL) that helps employers skirt the new regulations.

“The Bush administration’s attack on overtime pay is part of a strategy to roll back every major worker’s rights statute enacted since the 1930s,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “From workplace health and safety laws to Social Security and Medicare, this administration is relentless in its assault on generations of social progress for hard working Americans.”

The initial Bush proposal to gut overtime laws was put forward despite millions of letters, faxes, phone calls and comments from outraged workers who rely on overtime pay to maintain a middle class standard of living.

The Senate voted last year to block the administration from issuing Bush’s overtime regulations, but after pressure from the White House, Senate GOP leaders stripped the provision from the final version. The new regulation can be imposed as soon as April 21, 2004 without further Congressional input.

Click (here) for more information on the new OT regulations and (here) to view an IAM video "OT Cuts Still Prevail In New Rules."

US Airways CEO Resigns
US Airways CEO David Siegel became the latest U.S. airline executive to resign amid the sustained travel recession that blossomed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Arlington, VA-based airline announced on April 19 that Siegal will be replaced by Bruce Lakefield, a current US Airways board member and former CEO of Lehman Bros. International.

IAM Transportation leaders welcomed the change and pledged to work with the new CEO to revive the struggling airline. “US Airways is an airline in trouble, but it is an airline that could be saved and should be saved,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “Our members have provided the company with all the tools necessary for the carrier to succeed. The missing piece has been effective leadership willing to work with employees, instead of attacking them.”

In a statement, GVP Roach urged Mr. Lakefield to embrace our members’ ideas for providing the company substantial cost savings while preserving current collective bargaining agreements. “Unfortunately, David Siegel was more interested in violating our agreements than developing an effective business plan,” said Roach. IAM District 141-M represents 5,000 Mechanic & Related employees at US Airways. IAM District 141 represents the airline’s 4,450 Fleet Service Employees.

Harley Riders Rally for Harley Workers
A full-throated crowd of 100 union supporters rallied outside Skagit Harley in Burlington, WA to support workers fighting for collective bargaining rights. The rally quickly proved why employees at this dealership need union representation.

Skagit Harley owner Fred Smith blocked off the motorcycle dealership’s parking lots with garbage cans hung with signs that read “union trash” and repeatedly screamed obscenities at the crowd. Smith also turned on the sprinkler system in an unsuccessful effort to disperse the union supporters.

Workers at the dealership have endured harassment and discrimination since voting for IAM representation on Oct. 7, 2003. According to IAM organizers, management hired a union busting firm, cut workers’ hours, eliminated positions held by union supporters and fired one worker for not being ready for work… she had wet hair.

The disdain for unions by a dealer selling union-made Harley-Davidsons is unusual. "The labor community makes up more than 50 percent of this dealership's business," said IAM Organizer Jesse Cote, Jr. “Our members build the bikes, we buy 'em, and ride 'em. Who are these guys to say we shouldn't service 'em?” Good question.  Why not ask Skagit Harley owner Fred Smith yourself?  His email address is

Power Ford Techs Say ‘IAM Yes’
Maintenance and repair technicians at Power Ford in Torrance, CA., voted twenty-eight to nine to join the IAM in an important organizing victory at an AutoNation dealership.

The victory caps an intense effort by Ford workers and IAM organizers to win collective bargaining rights for skilled technicians at the California dealership. AutoNation is the largest automotive dealership corporation in the U.S. and fiercely opposed to unions at its facilities.

A notorious AutoNation dealership in Las Vegas, NV was recently found guilty of twenty-five labor law violations during efforts to organize technicians there.  The NLRB ordered the dealer to recognize the IAM as the bargaining agent, and the Federal District Court of Nevada issued a "10-J" order to bargain.

“This is a great win,” said Western Territory GVP Lee Pearson, who congratulated everyone involved in this latest campaign. “The real heroes are the techs who wouldn't fall for the intimidation tactics and the hollow promises of this employer.” The Ford workers will be part of IAM District 725.

Rising Trade Deficit Sinks Manufacturing Jobs
The presence of a policy that address the rising trade deficit could bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute. The report, "Shifting Blame for Manufacturing Job Loss: Effect of Rising Trade Deficit Shouldn't Be Ignored", contradicts free trade supporters who say the exportation of American manufacturing jobs is inevitable.

"The proposition must be abandoned that trade is blameless for the recent loss of manufacturing jobs and that the decline in manufacturing employment is a natural phenomena that cannot (and should not) be arrested,” says Josh Bivens, author of the study. “There is nothing desirable, sustainable, or irreversible about the present enormous trade deficits in manufactured goods that the U.S. currently carries,"

Manufacturing employment is at its lowest point since 1958 and the report states the rising trade deficit accounts for roughly 58 percent of the drop in manufacturing jobs from 1998 to 2003, a figure that translates into 1.78 million jobs.

Organizing Win Brings Back IAM Members

Photo: Right to left, back: Jeremy George, Jeffrey Skaggs, Jessie Newsome, Beth Newsome, Howard Restel. Front: Bob Cannon

Former IAM members working for Labat Anderson at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina are glad to be back in the IAM . “ Many employees were members as government workers, but their jobs were privatized. They realized how important the Machinists Union is to their jobs, and they're back,” said District 110 Directing Business Representative Joe Greaser.

“It's a feeling you just can't describe, we took back the power that was taken from us before,” said new member Jessie Newsome.” Also happy is Howard Restel, a retired Marine who served in Korea and Vietnam and is surviving Agent Orange. “It's been a long hard struggle and it feels really good,” he said.

“These folks provide logistical service - shipping and receiving - for the 2 nd Marine Corps Air Wing, in defense of our troops in Iraq,” said Greaser. “We're really happy to have them back. We appreciate the help from Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez and Organizing Leader Bobby Sapp.”

"This is a big win for District 110 and the Southern Territory. I want to congratulate DBR Greaser for another win for his growing District," said Southern Territory GVP Martinez.

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The World Series, like the U.S. presidential election, is fast approaching. Which team do you predict will win the Fall Classic? More>>

President Bush keeps saying the recession is over, but in counties across America, families struggle to find work. JOBS will be a driving force in the 2004 election. Read the Spring 2004 IAM Journal.

Photo Contest 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:pc2005.

IAM2004 See who works for you, how the IAM is structured, and what services the IAM offers. Go to: IAM2004

Job Watch President Bush's promise of new jobs is falling far short. Find out how much at

Flat Rate Tech FlatRateTech is an organization "created for and by Ford and Lincoln Mercury service technicians solely to speak as one loud voice rather than 50,000 smaller voices," according to their website The fast-growing site offers forums for Ford customers, technicians and dealers to exchange information.

Cincinnati Skyline The official site for the 36th Grand Lodge Convention to be held in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio is now online. Check it our for convention news, sponsorship offers, and convention gear.