iMail Tuesday, May 25, 2004
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Transportation Dept. Courts the Future
Two separate groups of students visited the Winpisinger Center for Education and Technology this year.

IAM in New Pact at Boeing

On May 23, 2004 members of District 837 voted to ratify a new three year agreement with Boeing in St. Louis.

Stonecipher Honored at Boy Scouts Reception

The Boy Scouts of America performed a great deed last week bringing together labor, management and government for the annual National Capital Area Council Scouting awards dinner.

The IAM's Third Annual Day of Action

The column of marchers stretched from three blocks during the IAM Transportation Department's third annual Day of Action.

Vice President Cheney Cheers Wal-Mart Wages
Vice President Dick Cheney was out stumping for Wal-Mart last week declaring that the chain exemplifies some of the very best qualities in our country.

2004 Legislative Conference
Machinists took the fight for good American jobs directly to the doors of Congress during the annual IAM Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.

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

Machinists Ratify Accord with Boeing-St. Louis

«The Machinists of District 837 build the most advanced weapons systems in the world today.

Members of IAM District 837 who build the F-15 fighter and the F/A-18 Super Hornet voted 1,221 to 808 on May 23 to ratify a new three-year agreement with Boeing-St. Louis.

Highlights of the new contract include a three percent wage increase in the first and third year and a $3000 signing bonus. IAM members will also receive a $2000 lump sum payment in the second year of accord. Job security language under the new contract was described as “some of the best in the industry.”

“The IAM agreement with the Boeing Company in St. Louis is one of nearly 4,500 contracts that are regularly renewed under U.S. labor laws,” said IP Buffenbarger in a union-wide bulletin to IAM Communicators. “It stands out, however, as an example of how this country’s defense workers can and should bargain aggressively for better wages and working conditions in the midst of large-scale military operations overseas.”

IAM District 837 represents approximately 2,800 Boeing workers in St. Louis, Patuxent River, MD and China Lake, CA. Click here for additional information about the new three-year agreement.

UAL Continues Assault on Retirees

In a move that drew sharp criticism from retiree representatives, attorneys for United Airlines filed a motion in Bankruptcy Court that would sharply increase the amount retirees pay for their health care coverage.

If approved by the judge, the motion would require former employees who are now on fixed incomes to make substantially higher contributions to maintain their health care. The bid to rebuild the bankrupt carrier on the backs of its former employees comes despite assurances to the thousands of UAL employees who retired prior to July 1, 2003 that their health care costs would not be increased.

In a May 20 letter to United Airlines CEO Glenn Tilton, the IAM and a coalition of retiree representatives objected to company proposals that imposes cuts that far outlast United's bankruptcy recovery plan. "The Company is demanding that retirees make a sacrifice that is unlimited in time or amount," said the letter. The retiree coalition also charged company negotiators with failure to bargain in good faith. "In response to each of our proposals, the Company's negotiators repeatedly made fundamentally the same proposal that had been made in March. Intransigence is not good faith negotiations."

Gas Prices Hit New Record

Sky-high gas prices are not expected to return to earth any time soon despite a pledge by Saudi Arabia to increase the worldwide supply of oil. The price of light crude oil hit a record of $41.85 in trading early last week before falling slightly to $39.93 after Saudi Arabia announced it would pump an additional 500,000 barrels of crude per day beginning in June. The increase in supply is not expected to affect retail gas prices in the U.S. for several months.

High prices at the pump are gouging consumers nationwide with drivers in San Diego paying $2.36 per gallon of regular, the highest average per gallon price in the nation.

The price of gas is rapidly becoming a political issue, with Sen. Kerry calling for investments in alternative fuels and tax credits to make energy efficient vehicles more affordable. Meanwhile, gas prices are fueling a growing public sentiment that President Bush is mishandling the U.S. economy. In the latest CBS poll, 65 percent now say the country is on the wrong track. In the same poll, support for the job President Bush is doing dropped to 41 percent – the lowest overall job rating of his presidency.

Contract at Bath Iron Works Set to Expire

Union negotiators held a contract information rally on May 21 for the 4,600 members of IAM Local S-6 who build AEGIS guided missile destroyers . The current agreement expires on May 30 and workers will vote to accept or reject an offer at that time. A strike vote was conducted and members authorized a strike if necessary.

The Negotiating Committee reports that most non-economic terms were near completion. "The negotiations schedule is weeks earlier than previous negotiations," said District 4 DBR Brian Bryant who credited the support and solidarity of the IAM membership at Bath Shipyards.

IAM members of Local S-6 are ship fitters, welders, painters, electricians and mechanics in addition to other classifications.

RNC Denies it Outsourced Fundraising

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is denying published reports in the Hindustan Times and elsewhere that detail campaign fundraising and get-out-the-vote activities being outsourced to call centers in India.

The latest story cites two locations in Noida and Gurgaon, India, where 125 employees, working in seven teams, solicited contributions from U.S. voters during a 14-month period between May 16, 2002 and July 22, 2003. According to the articles, the Indian teams were assigned to mobilize support and solicit political contributions for President George W. Bush using lists of Republican voters provided by the RNC.

The contract to provide fundraising was originally awarded by the RNC to Capital Communications Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that provides consulting services to government and private clients. The fundraising contract was subsequently outsourced to India.

In a May 21 press release, the RNC denied the stories and charged the Kerry campaign with spreading “internet stories with no basis in fact.”

American Axle CEO Sounds Alarm

In a recent speech before the Detroit Economic Club, Richard Dauch, chairman and CEO of American Axle & Manufacturing, said Detroit’s auto industry must adopt an immediate action plan to address threats posed by “brutal, relentless and intense” foreign competition if the U.S. auto industry hopes to survive.

Dauch pointed to the loss of about 190,000 U.S. auto manufacturing jobs in the past three years and the two million factory jobs lost since 2000. He also called for greater investment in research and development, improved labor relations and more robust training and educational programs.

“The playing field for manufacturing is not level,” said Dauch. “Some of our trading partners impose illegal barriers to U.S. products and engage in rampant piracy of our patents and copyrights. Others engage in currency manipulation to keep their currencies undervalued so that their exports are cheaper.”

IAM Site is Eighth Wonder of World

The IAM finished in 8th place worldwide in the 7th Annual Labour Website of the Year, organized by the London-based labor news agency, LabourStart. The website competition garnered more than 5,530 votes for 468 trade union websites across the globe.

Newsletter/Website Contest Deadline is June 1

The deadline for this year’s IAM Newsletter & Website Contest is June 1. Winners of the contest will receive their awards at the 36 th Grand Lodge Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. The June 1 deadline is earlier than usual, but the time is needed to ensure that the judging panel will complete their job before the convention. If you have questions regarding the contest, please contact the Communications Department at 301-967-4520.

Wall St. Beats Financial Path to Bush Door

The Washington Post reports that financial and insurance interests have donated $12.14 million to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. The CEO of Merrill-Lynch asked subordinates to write $2,000 checks to Bush. The total was $279,750.
Donations are seen as good investments. Bush has supported laws such as dividend tax cuts and capital gains cuts that have saved billions of dollars for Wall St. firms. Taxpayers haven’t faired as well. They will have to make up for the more than $125 billion in tax revenues that won’t be collected.

IAM Announces 2004 Editor, Web Classes

The IAM Communications Department will hold the following classes during the remainder of 2004:

October 17-22 2004 Advanced Web Development

November 7-12 2004 Advanced Editors
The call for the 2004 Advanced Editors Class scheduled for November 7 through 12, 2004, and the Advanced Web Development Class scheduled for October 17 through 22 has been mailed to all locals and districts. The enclosed application for enrollment for all classes should be returned as soon as possible. For more information contact the IAM Communications Department at 301-967-4520.

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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

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.