from the IAM communications department

Web Highlights

Local 831 Strikers Picket Quaker Oats 
Strikers from LL 831 staged an  informational picket at the annual stockholder's meeting in Chicago. 

The Rest of the Story
President Bush recently issued an executive order about employees rights and union membership. Only, he forgot some other very important employee rights. Read the Rest of the Story.

The IAM's Safety Department says we should be as careful at home as we are at work with dangerous chemicals such as pesticides.

The AFL-CIO presents an interactive photo essay on the history of the labor movement. ( A Flash Plug-in is required.)


The IAM's 
Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

General Secretary-Treasurer 
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western Territory 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada 
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest Territory 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP IAM Headquarters 
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern Territory 
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern Territory 
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.

Friday May 4,  2001

Social Security: Under the Gun Again
President Bush put the nation’s most successful social program squarely in the crosshairs of those Wall Street predators aching to sink their teeth into Social Security’s trust funds. Bush packed a Social Security study commission with members who share his views on privatization.

“Once again, working families have been pushed aside in favor of Corporate America,” warned IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Make no mistake, we will make our voices heard. This commission is neither objective nor bipartisan. Its findings will be written by Wall Street, but working families will pay the fees.”

Corporate executives pledged to privatization dominate the panel, with a scattering of academics as camouflage. 

Democratic leaders also weighed into the fray. In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt, his House counterpart, scorched the new commission and its creator: “President Bush has again failed to follow through on his promise of bipartisanship. Instead of working with us, he has decided to appoint a commission to validate his plan to divert Social Security funds into the stock market.” 

The furious Democrats pointed out that the panel does not “represent the range of views among Democrats or among Social Security experts generally… they were selectively chosen to give the commission the appearance of bipartisanship and cover for a pre-ordained outcome—the Social Security privatization plan the President has long advocated.”

Even Bush’s press secretary, Ari Fleischer, admitted that the “commission will, of course, be composed of people who share the President’s view that private accounts are the way to save Social Security.”

UAL Resolutions Draw Shareholder Ire
“We intend to make United Airlines management more accountable to the employees who made it the company it is today,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger as he cast his vote against two recommendations of United’s board of directors. 

Buffenbarger declared his intentions in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where he stated he would support resolutions to limit compensation for board members to stock only, rather than the current practice of stock and cash compensation. United Airlines employees hold more than 55 percent of UAL stock with IAM shares controlling more than 20 percent of the 117.6 million shareholder votes. Buffenbarger encouraged all United employees to vote their shares prior to the May 17 Board of Directors meeting. “Let’s send them a message,” said Buffenbarger. “If they don’t like their pay held back, maybe they’ll understand how 44,000 IAM members at United feel about this company’s deliberate delay at the bargaining table.”

Buffenbarger also indicated he would support a management-opposed resolution to allow shareholder balloting on all future airline acquisitions. “It’s time for the employee-owners to make their voices heard at every level of this company,” said Buffenbarger. “The workers own 55 percent of United, yet this management repeatedly acts without regard for that fact.”

Related Link:
IAM Transportation

UTC Unions Hold Jobs Summit
The IAM brought together union reps and workers from throughout the sprawling United Technologies Corp. (UTC) to forge a common agenda to save jobs and draw public attention to the importance of UTC jobs in Connecticut’s economy. IP Tom Buffenbarger and GVPs Bob Thayer and Warren Mart told participants that job security for UTC workers was a special priority for the IAM.

The session in East Hartford was followed by a “GrowCT” rally to encourage communities and elected officials to press UTC to expand jobs in the state, rather than export them. “Our issues are about the future,” explained Jim Parent, District 91 directing rep. “This is another step in a march we will continue until UTC commits to that future.”

Related Link:
Eastern Territory

Arkansas Legislature Backs Railroad Retirement Act
The Arkansas General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Railroad Retirement and Survivors Act of 2001.With all Arkansas congressmen and senators on board, the resolution of support will be forwarded to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
The rail retirement bill, introduced as H.R. 1140, improves benefits for widows and dependants of rail workers and lowers the age at which workers may retire with full benefits. The bill has broad bi-partisan support and is identical to a bill that passed the House last year by a 391-25 margin.

The IAM supports this overdue legislation and welcomes the support of the Arkansas legislature. “The bill contains benefits for railroad companies as well as rail workers, “ said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Every IAM member should contact his or her representative and encourage them to co-sponsor and support this important legislation.” 

Related Link:
Southern Territory

Worker Memorial Set for Winpisinger Center
A handsome memorial will soon be in place at the Winpisinger Center honoring IAM members who lost their lives to workplace injuries or illnesses. Well-known New York artist Bruce R. Bleach designed the bronze, granite and stainless steel monolith. Member names, local lodge memberships and dates of demise will be inscribed on bricks making up a patio surrounding the monument.

The memorial will be dedicated in August during the IAM’s annual Safety and Health Conference, explained Mike Flynn, Safety/Health director. District and local officers are urged to send information on such members to the Safety and Health Department by June 8, he said. For additional information, contact the Department at 301-967-4704.

Related Link:
IAM Safety & Health
Winpisinger Education & Technology Center

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