iMail Tuesday, April 27, 2004
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GVP Roach Discusses Changes at US Airways
GVP Robert Roach Jr., talks about recent changes made at US Airways.

Union Influence in the Boardroom
Unions are increasingly flexing their muscle in corporate boardrooms. This year more than 200 corporations will face union sponsored shareholder proposals influencing such policies as executive pay, golden parachutes and even human rights.

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

Union Pride Featured at Show

"America at its best" was the theme of this year's Union Industries Show held in St. Louis, Missouri.

From 1874, when cigar makers affixed the first union logo to boxes containing their products, to earlier this year when millions of shoppers honored picket lines set up by striking grocery workers, the union label remains a powerful symbol.

And despite wholesale outsourcing of unionized industries to low wage countries, the annual AFL-CIO Union Industries Show, held this year in St. Louis, MO, still provides tens of thousands of visitors with the best examples of why union-made American-made products are still worth looking for.

"This Show has everything from union-raised, union-trained seeing eye dogs to union-made wedding cakes, motorcycles and blue jeans, all under one roof," said Charles Mercer, president of the Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO, which produces and manages the free event.

More than 300 exhibits covering an area equal to four football fields helped bring to life the theme of this year’s show: “America at Its Best.” The IAM fielded a large presence at the Union Industries Show, with 17 exhibits staffed by members and representatives describing what goes into a product before the union label goes on.

“High value, union-made products are the backbone of this nation’s economy,” said GST Warren Mart. “The annual Union Industries Show is a terrific example of why unions and union members deserve credit and thanks for their role in creating and protecting the economic security we all rely on.”

Contract Countdown Continues at Boeing-St. Louis

Main table negotiations between IAM District 837 and Boeing Co. began this week in St. Louis, MO for a new contract covering 2,800 workers who build jet fighters and high tech munitions for the nation’s armed forces.

Key issues in the talks, which commenced on March 15, are health care costs, outsourcing and job security. By a 70 percent margin, members listed healthcare issues and job security at the top of their overall priorities. IAM members and negotiators are also concerned by Boeing’s growing use of subcontractors to perform work that could be done by some of the 1,500 Boeing workers currently laid off. The company is expected to present its so-called “last, best and final offer” to union negotiators by May 18.

On May 23, 2004 IAM members at Boeing-St. Louis will cast ballots to “Accept” or “Reject” the company’s offer. If a majority accepts the contract proposal, that proposal becomes the new contract. If that proposal is rejected, members will then vote to authorize a strike, again by secret ballot. Two-thirds majority vote to strike is required in order for a sanctioned strike to begin.

Click here for background information, a timeline of important dates and up-to-date bulletins about the progress of negotiations with Boeing are available at.

New Study Shows Bush Tax Cut Just a Tax Shift

President Bush’s tax cuts are rapidly accelerating the shift of America’s tax burden from progressive taxes on the wealthy to regressive taxes on working families, according to a new report by United For A Fair Economy entitled create link “Shifty Tax Cuts: How They move the Tax Burden Off the Rich and onto Everyone Else.”

One of the biggest tax shifts is from the federal government to the states. In the last two years, states have scrambled to fill $200 billion in budget shortfalls. They have raised local taxes and cut services. Oregon shortened its school year by three weeks. Other states increased college tuition, raised property taxes, laid off firefighters and police officers, closed libraries, cut children’s health insurance and let roads, bridges and playgrounds go unrepaired. These cuts hit middle and low income families the hardest.

In the past, the federal government provided relief to the states. But Bush’s 2002-2004 budgets budget provided just $20 billion in state aid while his tax cuts delivered almost $194 billion to the wealthiest one percent of Americans (families earning more than 337,000 per year).

Another key shift is from progressive income taxes to regressive payroll taxes. The study finds that since 1980, payroll taxes have increased by 25 percent, but taxes on investment income and large inheritances dropped between 31 and 79 percent.

Bush’s tax plan lowers taxes on wealthy individuals, corporations, investment income and large inheritances. That leaves payroll-based taxes as the primary source of revenue. Payroll taxes, like state taxes, cost middle and lower income families a larger percentage of their income in than wealthy families.

Corporations are getting away with even more. Their contribution to total federal revenue has dropped by two-thirds since 1962, while contributions from individuals has risen.

As billionaire Warren Buffet said, “If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning.”

FDA Blocks Seniors Drug Bus

In an incident that heralds a potentially dark new role for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a busload of seniors who traveled to Canada to purchase low-cost drugs were detained and questioned by FDA agents upon their return. The incident, which occurred last fall, was made public last week after Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN) filed a complaint with the FDA.

“The FDA officials’ inspection was extremely stressful to some of the elderly riders and has caused alarm among prospective riders,” wrote Sen. Dayton. “Was this harassment the intent of the inspection?” asked Dayton, who donates his entire Senate salary to pay for the bus trips from Minnesota, allowing seniors to take advantage of the much lower drug prices in Canada.

Despite FDA opposition, more than 2 million Americans bought medication from Canada last year. Several U.S. cities also purchase discounted drugs for employees and retirees from Canadian pharmacies, while Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states have launched programs to steer citizens to low cost Canadian pharmacies.

Senate Rejects Industry Friendly Asbestos Bill

Efforts by asbestos and insurance industry lobbyists to pass legislation that would limit the amount victims of asbestos-related illnesses could receive failed last week after an intense campaign by labor unions and consumer groups.

A Senate vote on the Hatch-Frist Asbestos Injury Resolution Act (S. 2290) fell 10 short of the 60 votes needed to consider the bill. With the exception of Sen. Zell Miller (D-GA), all Senate Democrats voted against the White House-backed bill.

Under the proposed legislation, victims of asbestos-related illness could be forced to wait years before receiving any compensation while manufacturers would be shielded from additional lawsuits by victims and their families. Asbestos, a fireproofing material widely used in manufacturing and railroad industries, is known to cause serious respiratory illnesses, including cancer.


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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.