Tuesday, May 20, 2003
IAM Legislative Conference Kicks Off
than 350 delegates and guests made their voices heard on Capitol Hill as
the IAM held its 2003 Legislative Conference in the nation’s capital.
Spread over four days, IAM members met with their hometown senators and
representatives and urged them to put the needs of working families high
on the congressional agenda.
“Remind them that
they work for you,” IP Tom Buffenbarger stressed in his keynote address.
“Remind them our members and our nation are tired of seeing our jobs
shipped to low-wage, sweatshop countries around the globe. Remind them
that we’re tired of greedy CEOs looting our retirement accounts. Remind
them that high-quality, accessible and affordable health care is a right
all working men and women deserve.”
out that the unemployment rate stands at six percent, that means 8.8
million jobless workers. “But that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he
added. When the discouraged workers and under-employed workers are
added, that number jumps to 22 million. “It’s wrong for Congress to let
GVP Bob Thayer, who
chaired the conference, voiced similar concerns. “We have our work cut
out for us. We’ve lost 150,000 jobs just in the airline industry since
9/11 and now Boeing is preparing to ship several thousand jobs offshore.
For every one of those jobs that goes overseas, another three or four
are lost in support industries,” he said.
scheduled to appear include Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton, D-NY and
presidential hopefuls Representative Dick Gephardt, D-MO, Senator John
Edwards, D-NC, Dennis Kucinich, D-OH and Vermont Governor Howard Dean.
GVP Bay Calls for Ouster of Maytag CEO
As a 2004 closure date looms over the Maytag plant in Galesburg, IL, GVP
Alex Bay ripped CEO Ralph Hake and called for his replacement (http://www.goiam.org/territories.asp?c=4360).
Bay accused Hake of
using generalizations about poor quality and safety at the facility as
the reasons for its closing.
“He seems to have a
short memory,” said GVP Bay. “The Galesburg facility has been going
through an extensive overhaul for many years now. In the last several
years the plant has been well known for quality and safety within the
Bay said Hake himself gave awards to the workers and management at the
facility for the “best” safety record in the Maytag organization.
comparison, internal documents from Maytag’s Reynosa, Mexico
facility—where the work from Galesburg, Illinois is slated to move—
clearly indicate that facility should be dropped as a vendor because of
extremely poor quality.
“Moving the Galesburg production facility to Mexico is about corporate
greed and paying poverty wages. Saying the Galesburg plant has poor
quality and safety ratings is a smoke screen, unfounded and untrue,”
IAM Makes Gains at Northrop Grumman
Lodge 575 members employed
at Northrop Grumman in Azusa, California, ratified a new
four-year agreement. The new contract provides for general wage
increases—12.5% over the contract’s life—a signing bonus and many other
improvements including a pension benefit increase from $42.00 to $45.00
per month per year of service and an additional $2.00 per month for each
year of service (bringing the actual benefit up to $47.00 per month for
each year of service).
Grow Wichita Off to Flying Start
IAM members in Wichita, Kansas have gotten off to a good start in their
campaign to keep aerospace companies and aerospace jobs in Wichita. In
just two weekends, members have collected more than 5,000 signatures in
support of their plans. They hope to use the broad groundswell of
support as leverage in preventing subcontracting of work and job losses.
The campaign is based on a similar successful approach used in
The IAM is joining other labor unions in backing a campaign by the
Center for Rural Strategies to block plans by CBS to take a real family
from rural America and put them on display in a Beverly Hills mansion as
part of a new reality-based program tentatively titled "The Real Beverly
Hillbillies." Many rural families face a host of difficult challenges.
The purpose of the program is to hold them up to insult and ridicule.
“To be frank, the
premise of this show is despicable,” IP Tom Buffenbarger said in a
letter to CBS television brass. “Many IAM members come from rural areas
and would be offended by how you plan to portray them. I know I am.”
To learn more about the Center for Rural Strategies and the campaign to
block “The Real Beverly Hillbillies,” go to:
LL 2515 Members Give Nod To Pact
Members of IAM Local Lodge 2515, in Alamogordo, New Mexico, have
ratified a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The new agreement is for
three years and delivers significant benefits to the membership. The
workers at New Tec test and develop defense systems. New Tec is located
at the White Sands Missile Range.
Last Chance for Web Class
are still unfilled spots for September’s Basic Web Development school at
the Winpisinger Center in Hollywood, MD. The week-long course provides
hands-on instruction in the creation of a union website. If you are
interested, please call Donna Georgallas immediately at 301-967-4520,
or email her:
May 21 is ‘Day of
2003 IAM Transportation Day of Action activities in Washington, DC will
begin at 12 Noon EDT with a march from the Hyatt Regency Hotel on
Confirmed speakers for the 2003 Day of Action include:
R. Thomas Buffenbarger, IAM International President
Robert Roach, Jr., IAM General Vice President of
Representative James Oberstar, (D) Minnesota
Representative Joseph Crowley, (D) New York
Representative Shelley Berkley, (D) Nevada
Senator Richard Durbin, (D) Illinois
Senator Patty Murray, (D) Washington
Representative Charles Rangel, (D) New York
Representative Albert Wynn, (D) Maryland
Representative Peter A. DeFazio, (D) Oregon
Senator Maria Cantwell, (D) Washington
Ed Wytkind, Executive Director, AFL-CIO Transportation
Contact your local
lodge for information on activities in your area.
Newest Rail Members
50 employees of Gunderson Rail Services’ Hodgekins, Illinois repair
facility voted this week for the benefits of union representation by
joining IAM District 19.
“District 19 President and Directing General Chairman Robert Reynolds,
and General Chairmen Dell Babcock and Robert Moore were instrumental in
this organizing effort,” said General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr.
“However, this campaign would not have been successful without the drive
and dedication of the in-plant organizing committee.”
Services operates railcar, wheel and axle refurbishment facilities
throughout the United States.
See who works for you, how the IAM
is structured, and what services the IAM offers. Go to:
IAM profiles for
The 108th Congressional Directory . . .
get your copy. Send $5 to the MNPL Education Fund,
IAMAW, 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, MD, 20772.