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Thursday,  April 24,  2003

IAM Wins Shareholder Rights at Raytheon
Shareholders at the annual meeting of the Raytheon Company rebuffed the company's board of directors and passed an IAM-supported resolution requiring shareholder approval for ‘golden parachute’ severance packages for company executives.

"The vote is a major victory for IAM-represented employees at Raytheon and shareholder advocates everywhere demanding an end to shady boardroom deals routinely hidden from public view," said Frank Santos, IAM Aerospace Coordinator and lead negotiator for 8,000 IAM members at Raytheon. "Multi-million dollar severance packages for senior executives have been the law of the land for too long."

The resolution calling for a shareholder vote on executive severance was presented at Raytheon's annual meeting in Lexington, MA, by an IAM delegation including members from Local Lodge 933 in Tucson, AZ and Local 733 in Wichita, KS.

The action by shareholders was quickly followed by the announcement that Raytheon chairman and CEO Daniel P. Burnham will step down effective July 1, 2003. William Swanson, currently president of Raytheon will succeed Burnham as president and CEO.

"We look forward to a more productive relationship with Raytheon's new leadership," said Santos. "Employees, shareholders and ultimately the company itself will benefit from a more open and forthcoming management team."

New Tool Available for IAM Communicators
Local and District Lodge communicators, editors and web stewards have a new online forum to learn techniques about handling the ever-increasing flow of information needed by IAM members and their families.

Located online at
http://communicatebetter.goiam.org, the site provides technical assistance on maintaining websites, adding text, photo and video content, and links to problem solving discussion groups on what can and cannot be published on IAM websites and local lodge newsletters.

Communicators, newsletter editors and web stewards are encouraged to visit the new forum and share their questions and comments with experts and novices across the web.

Retirees Call for HMO Reform
A coalition of retired IAM members will gather for a press conference at the New York State Capitol on April 29, 2003, to demand Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) reforms at the state and federal level.

The retiree group is protesting wide differences in New York state for cost and availability of HMO coverage under Medicare between less populated areas and the higher-density urban areas such as New York City. “Because of the differences in federal reimbursement rules based on locality, a retiree in Long Island must sacrifice to meet a $140 per month HMO premium while a retiree in New York city gets similar coverage at no cost. It’s not a fair system and we want it changed,” said IAM Retirees and Community Services Director Maria Cordone.

The IAM retirees support federal legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Steve Israel (D-Huntington) that will increase federal Medicare HMO reimbursements to less populated counties. Two bills moving through the state legislature will make it harder for HMOs to drop Medicare coverage and will require HMO’s to notify seniors when similar coverage is available at comparable or lower rates.

Health Care v. Tax Cuts
Presidential hopeful Dick Gephardt is calling for a repeal of current and proposed Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthy as a means to pay for a health insurance plan that would provide coverage for more than 41 million uninsured Americans.

Gephardt’s proposal would require employers to offer a health plan in exchange for a refundable tax credit worth 60 percent of their premium costs. Employers currently deduct about 30 percent of health insurance premium costs.

In announcing the plan, the former Democratic House leader was severely critical of the President’s handling of the economy, calling Bush a president who was "killing the economy right before our eyes.

"This president doesn't believe in lifting families up. He only believes that if you fall down, that's your problem, not his," said Gephardt. "He has no plan, no vision, no answer beyond simplistic knee-jerk tax cuts for the wealthiest among us."

Appeals Court Reverses Beck Notice Rule
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out a lower court ruling that blocked President Bush's 2001 executive order requiring federal contractors to post notices informing workers of their right not to join a union.

The order required all companies with government contracts worth more than $100,000 to post notices telling employees that they cannot be required to join a union or pay agency fees for nonrepresentational activities.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called the decision shortsighted. “Workers deserve to be fully informed of all their rights on the job, including their freedom to form a union,'' he said. “In singling out for posting the right workers have not to join unions, while ignoring all the other rights and protections, the Bush administration ... once again shows its absolute lack of any commitment to promoting workplace democracy or to improving life for workers on the job.'' 

Pressure Grows to Block Maytag Move
Union members, politicians, community leaders, students and citizens will rally at the Maytag’s annual shareholders meeting in Newton, IA on May 8, 2003, to protest the planned closure of Maytag’s Galesburg, IL facility.

More than 1,600 IAM members will lose their jobs when Maytag completes its shutdown of the refrigerator manufacturing plant. It is estimated that an additional 4,000 to 5,000 jobs will be lost in 9 surrounding counties due to the plant closing.

The shareholders meeting and rally will be held at the Sodexho Marriott Conference Center at 600 North 2nd Avenue West in Newton, Iowa. The rally will begin at 6:30 a.m. and guest speakers will begin their remarks at 7:30 a.m.  The rally is expected to last throughout the stockholders meeting.

Pacific Rail Services Goes IAM
The maintenance and service workers at Pacific Rail Services in East St. Louis, Illinois voted for IAM membership bringing 25 new members to District 9. The new members perform subcontract service work for CCX railroad.

According to IAM District 9 Organizer Mark Conner, seven former IAM members working at Pacific Rail Services “deserve much of the credit for explaining the benefits IAM membership that produced a very strong vote for union representation.” Big issues in the campaign and win were the runaway cost of health care insurance and the lack of a pension plan.

See who works for you, how the IAM is structured, and what services the IAM offers. Go to: IAM profiles for 2003.

Everyday discounts
and benefits for union members.
Go to: Union Privilege


Like to take pictures? Good with a camera? Then you should enter this year's IAM Photography Contest.
Find out more information

Tell Congress that any war funding should include airlines and out-of-work airline employees.
Take action now!

The recession and misguided government policies for trade and the economy are wiping out millions of jobs. The IAM brings together economic and policy experts to find ways to create and keep good-paying jobs in North America. The Spring 2003 IAM Journal.

The AFL-CIO has set up an exciting new website that will focus exclusively on state legislative issues. It will be password protected to enable state federations and central labor councils, affiliate unions, and union-friendly legislators to share information about state and local legislation.

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.