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Tuesday,  May 13,  2003

On Strike for Jobs at Stanley
Machinists in Connecticut voted overwhelmingly to strike Stanley Works after the company’s final contract proposal failed to address members’ concerns regarding outsourcing and subcontracting.

Under the direction of current CEO John Trani, Stanley has steadily siphoned jobs away from Connecticut to China, Mexico and other sweatshop locations, which the company euphemistically refers to as “Low Cost Countries” or LCC’s.

“For every U.S. job Stanley sends permanently overseas, three to four additional jobs in the community disappear forever,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Manufacturers like Stanley are systematically hollowing out the economic foundations this country was built on.”

The company’s offshore aspirations drew national attention last year when CEO Trani’s tax-dodging bid to move the company’s headquarters to Bermuda was defeated by a combination of street demonstrations, legislative pressure and IAM members’ legal action. The strike at Stanley is the first since 1968.

GOP Tax Cuts:
Check the Record, Can the Rhetoric

The Republican pitchmen peddling the latest GOP tax giveaway labeled it a “Jobs and Growth” package. That tactic worked well in the past, when similarly mislabeled packages sailed through Congress with the same predictable results: The rich got richer and working families paid the price.

Consider this: In 1981 then-President Ronald Reagan pitched a huge tax cut, the “Economic Recovery Tax Cut,” which then-Rep. Dick Cheney touted as: “the Republican tax cut plan that helps American working men and women the most.”  Congress dutifully went along, and the nation plunged into the deepest recession since the Great Depression and more than a million jobs disappeared in less than a year.

Want more proof?  In March 2001, the House passed President George Bush’s so-called “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act,” which Rep. Bill Thomas, who chairs the House Ways & Means Committee, said would “pull this economy out of its nosedive.”  Congress passed the bill and another 1,755,000 jobs disappeared in barely a year.

Most of these Republicans are slow learners. Now, they’re pushing another White House welfare-for-the-wealthy plan they’ve creatively packaged as the “Jobs and Growth Tax Act.” President Bush claims it will create 1.4 million jobs in the next year.

“Check the record of his past promises,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The Republican record on tax policies means more mismanagement of our economy.  So far, more than 2.7 million jobs have disappeared in the first two years of this administration. Another tax cut for already rich won’t cover that stark truth.”

Unions to Rally Department of Labor
With unemployment benefits for millions of jobless Americans set to run out on May 31, labor leaders and union members will demonstrate on May 14 in front of the U.S. Department of Labor to demand an extension of the federal benefits program.

Without an extension, nearly 80,000 workers per week will lose their benefits.

According to the Labor Department, the nation’s jobless rate jumped to 6 percent last month, with nearly 9 million people now out of work. The Labor Department figures do not include people who would like to work but have given up looking or those who are working, but not as much as they would like.

Additionally, the percentage of workers who exhaust their unemployment benefits before finding work is the highest in decades.

The Washington, DC rally for an extension to the unemployment insurance program will take place at 12 noon.

IAM Lobbies for Flight Attendant Certification
The IAM and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Dept. is calling on Congress to include language requiring Flight Attendant certification in the upcoming FAA reauthorization bill.

FAA certification of Flight Attendants will improve training standards, enhance knowledge and skills and heighten public confidence in the U.S. aviation system. The FAA currently uses a certification procedure to ensure qualification of pilots, dispatchers and aircraft repair technicians.

“Formal certification will also bring long over-due recognition for the critical safety and security tasks each Flight Attendant is required to perform,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr.

As a prerequisite for certification, Flight Attendants would meet the federal government’s new crewmember training and proficiency requirements for security and basic self-defense as called for in the Homeland Security Act.

Working Women’s Awareness Week Marked
The IAM joined with the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) in celebrating Working Women’s Awareness Week, May 11-17. In a mailing to all local and district lodge Women’s Committees, the union’s Women’s Department urged support for activities focused on issues affecting working women and their families.

“Women are under attack from the Bush administration pushing a tax cut package which undermines the needs of women, children and the elderly. It is undermining the 40-hour workweek and cutting overtime pay for millions of working women,” stressed Cheryl Eastburn, Women’s Department director.

Eastburn urged members to “join CLUW and the IAM Women’s Department to help make this week a great success.”  For additional information, visit www.goiam.org or www.cluw.org.

May 14 is National Call-In Day for Children
The IAM is joining the Children’s Defense Fund asking anyone who is concerned about children to call their Senators and Representatives toll-free at 1-888-280-6279 on May 14 and demand a halt to Bush administration plans to eliminate, freeze and dismantle crucial children’s programs.

“Head Start, Medicaid, foster care and low-income housing are all at risk if Congress passes new tax cuts on top of earlier Bush administration cuts,” said Cheryl Eastburn, Director of the IAM Women’s Dept.

Organizers of the National Call-In Day are also urging support for the Comprehensive Dodd-Miller Act to Leave No Child Behind (S.448 – H.R.936). “Not to be confused with the under-funded Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act, the Dodd-Miller bill will provide realistic funding and real assistance for children and families,” according to Eastburn.

IAM Wins at U-Haul
Seventy-seven U-Haul workers at two  facilities in Nevada, voted to join the IAM. Workers from 15  classifications will work with GLR Mike Wardle to gain a first contract. 

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

The 108th Congressional Directory . . .
get your copy. Send $5 to the MNPL Education Fund, c/o IAMAW, 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772.

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.