iMail Tuesday, April 20, 2004
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Defying 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.

OT Cuts 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.


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

LL 1833 kicked off the election season with an all-day educational conference for stewards, officers and local committee members.

Minnesotans Mobilize for Election Year Action

More than 150 stewards, officers and local committee members from Airline Local 1833 in Bloomington, MN gathered on April 19 for an all-day educational conference to prepare for the upcoming election season.

Surrounded by signs that declared “JOBS! Worth Fighting For,” local lodge leaders heard IP Tom Buffenbarger chronicle the pain and hardship that working people have endured during the past 4 years. “It’s time to do something about it,” exclaimed the IP, who blamed the Bush administration’s free trade policies and love of outsourcing for hundreds of thousand of lost jobs.

Local 1833 President Ken Hooker echoed the theme, explaining how the conference was part of an effort to ensure every one of the airline local’s 7,500 members is registered to vote and fully informed about the issues on Election Day.

Besides voter registration, activities at the conference included workshops on political action, face-to-face communications with members and an address from Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch, who called for government involvement to resolve the nation’s growing health care crisis.

Delegates at the conference also heard from Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr., District 143 President Bobby DePace and IAM Legislative Director Rich Michalski.

View additional photos of this important leadership conference.

Connecticut Machinists Rally for Healthcare

Hundreds of union members from across Connecticut rallied in front of the United Technologies Corporation (UTC) headquarters building in Hartford to demand a fair contract with job security and health care for members of IAM Local 743 at UTC Hamilton Sundstrand.

Speaking to the huge crowd in front of the ‘Gold Building,’ Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. said UTC should be ashamed to ask those who have worked so hard and for so long to gave back what they rightfully earned. “If they want us to give them something, we’ll give them a strike,” declared Tucker, who was joined by GVP Bob Thayer who pointed to the $11.1 million in compensation for UTC Chairman and CEO George David in 2003.

“UTC must withdraw their contract proposals to take away retirees’ medical and life insurance benefits and work with the Machinists to find ways to provide affordable health care for their workers,” said IAM Chief Negotiator James Parent. “Shifting the cost to the workers is not the solution to this country's health care crisis.”

“This isn't just the Machinists Union’s fight, but everyone's fight, in Connecticut and across the country,” said District 26 DBR Everett Corey. “This fight has become a war and they’ll find we’ll fight for jobs and healthcare.”

The contract between the IAM and Hamilton Sundstrand expires on May 2, 2004. The District 26 website contains more information about the negotiations and photos of the rally.

IP Buffenbarger: ‘We Must Rebuild U.S. Energy Systems’

In an editorial that appeared in the April 22 edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer, IP Tom Buffenbarger called for massive investmentin America’s energy infrastructure, including: high speed rail systems; hybrid automobiles; a modern electrical grid and advanced energy technologies such as solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells.

“An investment on this scale would not only improve our national security by freeing America from our dangerous dependence on oil, but also help revitalize blighted urban areas and create more than 3 million new jobs,” said Buffenbarger, who urged support for the Apollo Project, a $10 billion jobs and energy investment plan supported by the IAM and national coalition of unions, businesses and environmental groups.

“For workers in states like Ohio, the alliance's plan holds special promise,” explained Buffenbarger. “For example, most workers who had been employed at GE's Evendale plant have skills and training that could easily be adapted to producing high-performance wind turbines, fuel cells and other advanced energy technologies; or making the next generation of high-performance American cars and appliances. I know. I worked at Evendale as a tool and die maker.

“Not surprisingly,” concluded Buffenbarger, “the oil industry argues that the new energy systems the Apollo Plan envisions are costly and impractical. They always say that, and they're always wrong. For too long the debate about our nation's energy future has asked us to choose between good jobs or a clean environment. In fact, we can have both.”

(from l.) Committeeman Don Rogers, LL 2535 VP Sonny Hibbard, arbitration award winner Avrel Delong, Committeewoman Patty Repyneck, DL 34 Business Rep. Steve Graham, Chief Steward Daryll Pergram, Committeewoman Etta Hogston and Local 2535 President Steve Puckett.

Local 2535 Member Wins $9,000 Settlement

Thanks to an IAM contract and hard work by members of the Local 2535 Grievance Committee, IAM member Avrel Delong is back at his job at Magellan Aerospace Corp. in Middletown, OH with $9,000 in back pay.

The local, which is part of District 34, recently won the pre- arbitration grievance settlement after Delong was laid off from his job on the 15 th day after completing his 14 th day trial period.

“Brother Delong received $9,000 back pay with full recall rights to his old department,” said District 34 Business Representative Steve Graham, who credited members of the Local Grievance Committee for the win.

Local Lodge 2535’s contract with Magellan is due to expire in July of this year. The company is a major aerospace sub-contractor for engine components, aircraft and space structures, including missile control surfaces. The bargaining committee had their first meeting on April 23 rd with Aerospace Coordinator Frank Santos who stated, “This committee is united and they will have the full power of the IAM behind them.”

On behalf of the Eastern Territory Office and its members, Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. congratulated District Lodge 34 Business Representative Steve Graham, Directing Business Representative David Brandenburg, Local 2535 President Steve Puckett, Vice President Sonny Hibbard, 1 st shift Chief Steward Daryll Pergram and Shop Committee members, Patty Repyneck, Donnie Rogers, Etta Hogston, and James Breehne

U.S. Broadband Population Reaches 48 Million

High-speed Internet connections are becoming more widely available in the United States with two out of every five Internet users now signing on via cable modems and DSL phone lines.

Nearly 48 million, or one quarter of American adults have access to the Internet via high-speed residential connections, according to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Among college-educated adults age 35 and younger, more than half are hooked up to a high-speed connection.

The study also highlighted rapid growth in the use of high-speed connections. As of February 2004, 39 percent of U.S. users had broadband access at home, up from 31 percent in November and 27 percent last March. The telephone survey found 128 million Americans now use the Internet via computers at home or at work.

Majority Supports Drug Re-importation

A majority of Americans support legalizing the importation of prescription drugs from countries such as Canada as a way to address the rising cost of prescription drugs, according to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Despite the fact that 64 percent of those polled favored allowing drugs from Canada, which are up to 70 percent cheaper, the Bush administration has sided with the drug industry and opposes the import of drugs.

“Until there's a comprehensive Medicare law that has a real prescription drug benefit with real ways to bring down prices, our seniors need to go elsewhere to get drugs now,” said George J. Kourpias, president of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

With several state and local governments looking to Canadian imports to combat the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs, the idea of loosening the restrictions on importation continues to gather support in Congress.

Responding to growing public demand, prominent members in the House and Senate are readying a proposal that would legalize the importation of lower-priced prescription drugs approved by the U.S. It is not yet clear whether the bill would include importation from countries other than Canada.

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Go to:pc2005.

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