Heroes of American Labor The UAW and the Saturn Car
Company join forces to put together a guide showcasing union
Driven by the inspiring stories of three determined rank-and-file
workers who are willing to put everything on the line, American
Standoff captures the Teamsters union's high-stakes battle against
trucking giant Overnite Transportation.
HBO, June 10, 8pm
Three West Coast governors
John A. Kitzhaber,
Gary Locke and
Gray Davis -- were interviewed recently on the IAM’s Third Shift program. Jobs, healthcare and college costs were some
of the issues affecting working families that the governors addressed.
Find out about health care in your state:
The Kaiser Family
Foundation's State Health Facts Online
resource contains the latest state-level data on demographics,
health, and health policy, including health coverage, access,
financing, and state legislation.
Get Your Convention Gear
Check out gear for the
Friday, May 31, 2002
Jobless Figures Remain Sky High
Despite a dip in new unemployment insurance
claims, the government’s official unemployment rate remains high, with
many economists predicting the jobless rate will hit 6.5 percent by
For the week ending May 25, the Labor Dept.
reported 410,000 initial unemployment claims. The same report showed the
number of unemployed workers who continue to draw jobless benefits rose
to 3.89 million – the highest weekly level since Jan. 15, 1983.
“The figures reflect an economy where jobs
are hard to find and harder to keep,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The
fallout from last year’s interest rate juggling by the Federal Reserve
Bank continues to devastate working families across this country.”
Zero Tolerance for Passenger Rage
The Detroit Metropolitan Airport will be the
site of a pilot program designed by the IAM and Northwest Airlines to
aggressively address incidents of disruptive behavior by airline
passengers before they board the aircraft.
The program will provide for revised
employee training, including an incident reporting system, swift
prosecution of offenders and support from the airport authority.
The Detroit initiative will be used to
develop a program that can be exported to other airports around the
country. The program also will rely heavily on input from airport
employees. “Our front line employees have to deal with disruptive
passengers every day,” said District 143 president Bobby DePace. “Their
ideas and input into correcting these situations is a critical component
of successfully eliminating incidents of passenger rage.”
Seniority Rules at Hamilton in Connecticut
An innovative program of temporary summer
furloughs, offered ">
by seniority without loss of insurance benefits,
holiday pay or pension credits is working for IAM members at aerospace
firm Hamilton Sundstrand in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
The contract language authorizing the program was
negotiated at the request of IAM Local Lodge 743, where some members
expressed an interest in temporary layoffs, especially during the summer
Management is required to first offer the
temporary layoffs to the most senior workers in an affected work area.
Involuntary layoffs, if necessary, will occur from the bottom of the
seniority list. Workers taking part in the voluntary layoff program do
not receive severance pay, but are entitled to unemployment insurance
District 143, Alaska Airline Begin Negotiations
District 143 began negotiations for 3,200
Alaska Airlines Clerical, Office and Passenger Service (COPS) Employees
by exchanging contract openers with the carrier on May 29, 2002. IAM
negotiators presented 103 proposed changes to the current agreement,
which becomes amendable on October 29, 2002.
“Alaska Airlines recently won a ‘Best Airline Service Award’ because of
the efforts our members make every day on the job, “ said District 143
President and Directing General Chairman Bobby DePace. “Our members
deserve proper compensation for their hard work, and together we will
attain that compensation.”
America’s senior citizens are
surging across Canadian borders to buy drugs—prescription drugs that are
substantially cheaper in Canada than in the United States. To focus
attention on the exploding costs seniors must pay and the growing need
for a Medicare prescription drug benefit, the Alliance for Retired
Americans is sponsoring more than a dozen “Rx Express” bus trips from
U.S. border cities to Canada in coming weeks.
Several members of Congress will join the bus trips departing from such
cities as Burlington, VT, Detroit, MI, Grand Forks, ND, Seattle, WA, and
Anchorage, AK. The bus trips, said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, show just
how “ludicrous it is for U.S. citizens, especially older Americans, to
have to go to Canada to purchase lower-cost medicines because of the
lack of a prescription drug benefit under Medicare.”
According to the Alliance, older people make up 13 percent of the U.S.
population, but account for more than one-third of the drug
expenditures. Nearly one-third of older Americans, 11 million, lack drug
coverage of any type.
CBTU Delegates Map
Executive Assistant Diane
Babineaux led an IAM delegation to the recent session of the Coalition
of Black Trade Unionists. Using the theme, “Keep the Hammer Down”,
delegates discussed strategies to ensure that voting irregularities that
tainted the presidential election—particularly in Florida—are not
repeated and that all votes are counted in the upcoming election in
November and again in 2004 presidential campaigns.
At the same time, five Democratic senators questioned the Justice
Department’s investigation of alleged voter irregularities in Florida.
The group charged the Department did not address the most politically
sensitive issues in the 2000 presidential election in Florida. Those
issues include allegations that voter lists were purged illegally and
that minorities were denied their voting rights.
The Senate group asked Attorney General John D. Ashcroft to provide
“detailed information” on nine voting rights investigations that were
closed without any charges being filed.
United Way Honors
The United Way presented the
Platinum Award, it’s highest honor, to the IAM for the union’s
participation in the 2001 United Way Campaign, reports Maria Cordone,
who heads the Community Services and Retirees Department. “This is based
on the per capita level of participation in the charity’s fundraising
drive, and this honor could only be achieved by the generosity of all of
those who participated,” she said.
Every Vote Counts
IAM Business Representative Dale
Martin won his primary election for the West Virginia House of Delegates by the
slimmest of margins – exactly three votes. In a recount concluded last
night, Martin picked up six votes to reverse his election night
“We are grateful that ‘Landslide Dale’ will be headed back to
Charlestown,” said GVP Warren Mart. “There he will be able to continue
the fight for working families, a fight he waged so effectively in the
last two years that his opponents were gunning for him.”