iMail Thursday June 3, 2004


Southern Territory Reports Organizing Wins
In a pair of elections held one-hour apart in two states, employees in Florida and Texas voted unanimously for IAM representation.

In the first win, workers in the Supply Clerk and Key Entry Operator classifications at Lockheed Martin Aerial Targets at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida voted “yes” for improved pay and benefits that can be achieved with collective bargaining and the Service Contract Act.

In the second election, 18 technicians employed by Ahntech, Inc. at the Electronic Scoring Site in Snyder, Texas also voted unanimously for IAM representation. The workers there are following in the footsteps of fellow Ahntech employees in Pecos, Texas, who voted last year to join the IAM.

“Our emphasis on organizing is paying off,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, who welcomed the new members and congratulated Special Representative Ray Moffatt and Business Representative Paul Black and the organizing team for a job well done.


Ontario Workers Choose Machinists
Employees at Omni Facility Services in Owen Sound, Ontario who are seeking a liveable wage and good benefits recently voted 100 percent to join the IAM. The new members provide custodial services for the main mall and several government buildings in Owen Sound.

"Word is getting around that the Machinists Union is the place to be in Owen Sound and elsewhere in Ontario," said Scott Jackson, IAM Organizer. The IAM already provides good representation for 160 employees at nearby Hobart Equipment in Owen Sound.
The IAM in Canada represents members in manufacturing, at the municipal level, the Canadian Mint, the Toronto Transit Commission and many other locations.


‘The Other Side of Outsourcing’
A three-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist takes a close look at the mass migration of knowledge-based jobs to India in Thomas L. Friedman Reporting: The Other Side of Outsourcing.

The one-hour documentary airs Thursday, June 3, from 10-11 PM EST/PT. The program, a special presentation of the Discovery Channel and the New York Times, will be repeated on Monday, June 7 at 9 PM ET.

The documentary examines the ingredients that led to tens of thousands of high-tech jobs being relocated to cities in India where English-speaking workers are trained to use American accents and catchphrases yet earn fraction of what their U.S. counterparts were once paid.

Friedman, currently a foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, looks at how global free-trade barons capitalized on India’s colonial history and emphasis on a strong education system to take advantage of thousands of highly-trained workers eager to work for less than $100 per week.

Illinois Senate Candidate Backs Maytag Workers
Senate candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) called for tax breaks to keep jobs in America during a recent appearance in Bloomingdale, Illinois.

Under his proposed rewriting of the tax codes, companies would only gain tax breaks if they retain at least 90 percent of their jobs and 5 percent of their research and development within the U.S.; companies that move jobs overseas would have to pay higher taxes.

IAM members facing layoffs as Maytag plans to close production at its facility in Galesburg, Illinois also spoke up at the Bloomingdale meeting. Dave Bevard, president of the IAM lodge, noted that Maytag received more than $9 million in subsidies in the 1990’s to help the company keep production in Galesburg.

“There are faces and families behind the statistics” of job loss, Obama said, noting that more than three million jobs were lost during the Bush Administration. “It’s not the American people who don’t get it, it’s the White House.”


Army Seeks Foreign Producers for U.S. Military Ammo
At a time when demand for military ammunition is at the highest level since the Vietnam War, the Army recently awarded a multi-million dollar contract for 70 million rounds to state-owned Israel Military Industries Ltd.

The increased demand stems from fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined with additional training needs for new soldiers.

The Army is also seeking to contract with a “systems integrator” to coordinate the outsourcing of ammunition production on a worldwide scale increasing U.S. dependency on foreign trading partners and raising the possibility of vital military supplies being held hostage to policy disputes between governments.


Working Women’s Survey Spotlights Top Concerns in 2004
Job security and job benefits top the workingwoman’s list of priorities in today’s economy, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the AFL-CIO.

Almost half of the women surveyed said that they, a relative or a close friend has been out of work recently. And one-quarter to one-third of employed women said they lack benefits such as affordable health insurance, prescription drug coverage, pension or retirement benefits, equal pay and paid sick leave.

"This survey dramatically demonstrates that the jobs crisis deeply affects America's working families," said Linda Chavez-Thompson, AFL-CIO Executive Vice-President. "New jobs being created offer 20 percent lower wages, on average, than those that have been lost. Many don't offer basic benefits. Women from all backgrounds and from across the country fear for their future, because they find it harder and harder to find good jobs."

If you would like to participate in the survey log onto IAM website,, and visit the Women’s Department web page at


Layoff Forecast Confirms Economic Weakness
Planned job cuts jumped for a second straight month in May, according to the outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The group reported that planned job cuts rose by 1.6 percent to 73,368 in May compared with 72,184 in April. The jump comes after a 6.1 percent increase in April. The report also indicated that job cuts in May this year were 6.9 percent higher than they were in May of 2003.

While the layoffs are not the worst they have been during the Bush administration’s tenure, they are not yet back to pre-recession levels and some economists remain wary.

“Increased job cutting in the retail, financial and industrial goods sectors is not what one would expect in a strong recovery situation,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a Reuters article on MSNBC.