from the IAM communications department
GVP Western Territory
GVP Midwest Territory
GVP IAM Headquarters
GVP Southern Territory
GVP Eastern Territory
|Wednesday, May 16, 2001
Buffenbarger: ‘We Will Make Our Voices Heard’
Buffenbarger added: “Unions exist to raise expectations” of its members and “those expectations are met through political action.”
Politicians and the decisions they make touch every facet of our lives, he stressed. Issues ranging from a safe and healthy workplace to a sound Social Security system are rooted in political soil. “The very right of working men and women to form a union and bargain for better wages, hours and working conditions can be re-written and totally changed by politicians,” Buffenbarger warned.
He pointed to the need to revise outdated labor law, including the Railway Labor Act, and reminded delegates that it was politicians and their decisions that sparked the de-regulation frenzy. “Deregulation has been an unmitigated disaster in every instance, whether its transportation, banking, savings and loan or energy policies. It has been a complete disaster.”
More than 300 participants cheered as GVP Bob Thayer urged them to focus their attention on Election 2002. “It’s ours to win,” he said. “Our theme here is ‘defend Democracy—mobilize.’ Our members want us to stay mobilized,” he said. “Fair trade, Social Security, worker rights and other progressive policies are under the gun. We cannot walk away from this fight.”
Delegates heard from a list
of distinguished speakers, then fanned out over Capitol Hill for meetings
with their congressional delegations. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Senate
Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-SD; and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt,
D-MO, were among the scheduled speakers.
Contest Deadline Nears
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