June 3, 2003
GVP Robert Roach details the challenges IAM members face in the airline and railroad industries at the 2003 Transportation Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This year’s conference brings local and district representatives together in the shadow of unprecedented events. “Massive layoffs, bankruptcies and financial restructurings made headlines on a daily basis since our last conference,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “Our immediate future is no less challenging.”
Delegates are assigned to one of 14 standing committees including: Organizing; Collective Bargaining; Legislative and Health & Safety. Each committee is tasked with producing specific recommendations that can be quickly implemented.
Among the numerous guest speakers slated to address this year’s conference are IP Tom Buffenbarger; Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Clayola Brown, UNITE! International Vice President; Neil Abercrombie, (D-HI), Cameron Findlay, Deputy Secretary, Dept. of Labor and Rodney Slater, former U.S. Secretary of Labor.
House Bill Targets
The cynically misnamed legislation undermines the 40-hour workweek and promises pay cuts for working families, many of whom depend on overtime pay to meet their living expenses.
Congressional Republicans and Corporate America claim that substituting “comp” time in the future for overtime pay today gives workers more flexibility in their schedules. Employers, however, retain veto power over employees’ decisions about when to take their time off.
That “flexibility” remains totally in the hands of the employer, explained Ross Eisenbrey, a vice president and policy director of the nonprofit Economic Policy Institute. “It’s nothing more than a scheme to allow employers to avoid paying for overtime—a scheme that will result in longer hours, lower incomes and less predictable workweeks for working men and women,” he said.
A vote could come as early as June 5. To make your voice heard on this issue, visit www.unionvoice.org/campaign/otvotejune5.
Job Losses Tied to
Flawed Trade Pacts
Government leaders and others believed for much of the 90s that the country was moving from a manufacturing-based economy to a knowledge-based one, he told delegates to a manufacturing summit in Asheville, NC. “Then the tech bubble burst and we began to learn a very hard lesson. There’s only a few ways to create wealth,” he said. “You either have to farm something, mine something or manufacture something.”
The economy is changing to a “Wal-Mart-based economy” of low-paying jobs, Tantillo said. The U.S. manufacturing sector has been declining for the past three years and the number of manufacturing workers today is less than in 1962. Policy makers have bought into the idea that free trade lowers prices with few ill effects, he added.
Consumers may save a little at the cash register because of the availability of cheap imports, but we all pay in the long run because of lost jobs, lost wages, a shrinking tax base and serious damage to our communities.
State Workers Win
The FMLA, passed by Congress after a long campaign by union activists and their allies, was the first legislation President Bill Clinton signed into law after his 1992 election.
“Without the FMLA, we could all be just one accident or tragic illness away from losing our job,” said Judith Lichtman, president of the National Council for Women & Families, a national advocacy group that fought alongside union activists for passage of the law. “No one should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for their families.”
IAM Assists NTSB in Public Hearing
Monitoring air safety in the public interest and participating in the investigation of catastrophic aircraft accidents are among the responsibilities of the District 141-M Flight Safety Committee.
Present at the NTSB hearing were Director of Flight Safety Mikle Peat, Deputy Director Jay Hiles, Air Safety Investigators John Hall, Rudy Quevedo, Mike Madia and Phil Simpson. The hearing marks the 19th major aircraft investigation the District 141-M Flight Safety Committee has participated in since 1970.
No Defense for Cyber
In the June issue of Wired Magazine, correspondent Joshua Davis uncovered the extent to which the U.S. military is relying on internet-based chat rooms and commercial help desks to relay critical logistical support to front-line troops.
Davis describes visiting a military command center in Qatar where soldiers managed an array of servers and regularly contacted a Microsoft help desk to correct browser and connection problems.
Yet, Microsoft has been on a mission recently to offshore as much work as possible. If defense functions such as tech support are sent overseas, U.S. troops could be counting on help from low-bid overseas contractors. That creates a number of potential national security issues, to say the least. Visit http://www.cyberlodge.org to read the full article.
Trustee to Oversee
“Having been through a major Chapter 11 case only a few years ago, I know the employees have been through trying times,” said Monahan. “They are one of the strengths of the airline and I will be communicating with them continuously throughout the restructuring process.”
Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris last month approved a request by Boeing Capitol to authorize a trustee to oversee Hawaiian Airlines' bankruptcy restructuring.
See who works for you, how the IAM is structured, and what services the IAM offers. Go to: IAM profiles for 2003.
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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.