Tuesday, April 22, 2003
“The IAM is proud to take its historic role of fighting for justice on the job and service to the community into the realm of corporate governance,” Buffenbarger said. “We have seen far too many examples of unshackled corporate greed and the devastation it brings to working families and to their communities,” Buffenbarger said.
The campaign kicks off April 23 at Raytheon Corp.’s shareholders’ meeting in Lexington, MA. “That’s a fitting location,” Buffenbarger pointed out. “That’s where those ‘embattled farmers stood and fired the shots heard round the world’, “ he said, referring to one of the first battles of the American Revolution.
“Raytheon’s severance packages for senior executives are outrageously bloated,” Buffenbarger charged. “These bonuses are a huge drain on company resources that could be better directed towards retirement security for workers and their families. Raytheon’s ‘golden parachutes’ must be held to a higher level of scrutiny than in the past,” he charged.
Similar actions are scheduled at Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
Despite Bush, Workers
Win Pay Extension
President Bush has consistently praised workers in public while working behind the scenes to undermine them. He praised labor’s incredible response after 9/11 and then opposed funding for more police and firefighters. He praised members of the armed forces for their service in Iraq, yet proposed a budget that cuts veterans benefits.
As the 26-week unemployment extension was working its way through Congress, President Bush said that “The Administration strongly opposes the provision in the Senate bill that provides extended unemployment insurance benefits to workers who are displaced from the airlines and related industries.”
The President’s allies in the Senate tried to cut the proposed extension to 13 weeks and limit it to just airline workers. House GOP leaders blocked adding the extension to an appropriations bill. Yet with strong Democratic support and help from key House and Senate Republicans, the final bill had the full 26-week extension and it applied to workers in the airline, aerospace, airport and related industries.
For the complete record of President Bush’s initiatives, from gutting overtime pay rules to denying federal workers the right to join unions, see the AFL-CIO’s BushWatch at www.aflcio.org.
Make Your Voice Heard
Tell them that America needs good jobs and a strong economy, not more tax breaks for the rich. That $550 billion for the tax cut that President George W. Bush is peddling comes from programs that benefit working families. That huge sum comes from cuts in education, health care, veterans’ benefits, worker safety programs and the growing need to rebuild our national infrastructure—roads, bridges and schools.
At the same, the White House is demanding regulations that limit workers’ overtime pay and congressional Republicans are pushing legislation that allows employers to offer comp time in lieu of overtime pay.
Make your appointments now. Let them know how you feel. Make your voices heard. To download fliers about the tax cut or or the Bush attack on overtime pay, visit www.workingfamiliestoolkit.org.
Local 701 Racks Up a
“Their solidarity and their commitment only increased as the employer’s opposition to their campaign mounted,” said Dave Mullin, Local 701 organizer. Their main issues were fair pay and health care for themselves and their families, Mullin explained.