Thursday, April 24, 2003
"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."
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Retirees Call for HMO
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
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."
Reverses Beck Notice Rule
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
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