iMail Tuesday June 15, 2004
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Ronald Reagan - In memoriam.

Kennedy Remembered
Robert F. Kennedy talks about jobs...

Upside Down Economy
IAM Research Economist, Beth Almedia, talks about the new unemployment figures.

Hillary Clinton's Challenge

Hillary Clinton speaks at the IAM Legislative Conference about the challenges ahead.

IP Buffenbarger Defends Tanker Modernization
IP Buffenbarger speaks about the Defense Department's decision to delay the modernization of the US's fleet of refueling tankers.

Higher Fuel = Hidden Tax
Working families have been hit hard during the last month by a hidden tax - gas prices.

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.

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.

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

Border Patrol Agents Issues Outsourced Uniforms

«New uniforms issued to the U.S. Border Patrol are made in the very country whose border the agents are patrolling.

Reminiscent of the 2001 debacle where Chinese-made black berets were supplied to U.S. soldiers, new uniforms issued to the U.S. Border Patrol, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, are made in the very country whose border the Agents are patrolling.

"Agents are amazed and embarrassed to find that their new shirts and trousers are manufactured in Mexico," said Rich Pierce, executive vice president of the 16,000-member National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department awarded a $30 million contract to VF Solutions of Nashville to supply uniforms for 30,000 border agents and customs inspectors.

Officials explained that the contract allowed the company to subcontract work outside the United States to plants in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The debate over the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to foreign countries is a hot topic in the presidential race and will likely intensify as November draws near.

Trade Deficit Soars Again

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday that the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widened to a record $48.3 billion in April.

The main factors behind the jump are the increasing shift of production overseas and skyrocketing oil prices. In fact, imports came in at a record $142.3 billion, while exports fell off slightly.

The threatening trade gap with China also saw an increase in April, jumping 15 percent to $12 billion.

It also appears that the overall U.S. trade gap will break last years record $496.5 billion deficit.

“It looks like our appetite for imports continues to outweigh our ability to export. At some point, we are expecting that the weaker dollar will help the trade deficit to narrow, but we haven’t seen that yet,” said chief economist at A.G. Edwards and Sons in St. Louis, Gary Thayer, in a Reuters article.

“Trade pundits are missing the point. American consumers aren’t demanding imported goods,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Consumers don’t have a choice where the product is made because American corporations are moving production overseas as fast as they can.”

Weyerhaeuser Employees Ratify Four Year Agreement

Woodworkers District W1 members in two states narrowly ratified a new agreement with the Weyerhaeuser Company for a four-year contract.
A key item on the table was health insurance, an issue all too familiar with workers across America. The new agreement with Weyerhaeuser maintains the health and welfare plan while providing affordable coverage for retirees plus improvements in pensions, wages and vacations. The agreements cover nearly 2,200 IAM members in Oregon and Washington State.


Negotiating Committee for the MEMC Maintenance employees. Left to Right; BR-Mark Conner, Allen Mills, BR-Mike Louis, Leon Rogers, Tom Breuer.

Silicon Wafer Giant Must Recognize 120 New Machinists

A 26-month battle to organize 120 maintenance employees at MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. in St. Peters, Missouri was won in the 8 th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 9 th. Business Rep and Organizing Coordinator Mark Conner said it was the toughest campaign he has seen in his 7 years as an organizer.

The company, which produces silicon wafers for semiconductors, fought hard to block the organizing drive. Conner filed more than 25 unfair labor practice charges against the company and the IAM prevailed for the workers at MEMC.

DBR Roger Poole congratulated all the members and District 9’s officers and staff who helped in the fight for representation. “It’s now time to focus and concentrate on the first agreement,” Conner added.

IAM Welcomes new Montigo Del Ray Members

Fifty-five workers from Montigo Del Ray Corporation in Ferndale, WA have recently joined IAM. Montigo Del Ray, whose parent company is Canadian Heating Products, Inc. located in Surry, BC, manufactures gas fireplaces and accessories.

Members and Business Representative Clarence Harper of District 160 overcame cultural barriers—the majority of Montigo Del Ray workers are Spanish-speaking citizens—to succeed in signing the new members with a 91% win in only three days.

The IAM welcomes our new members as does Harper who said, “I have been extremely fortunate to work with a great group of people including GLR's Paula Ross and Joel Ochoa, the Business Representatives of District 160 and the employees at Montigo Del Ray. I would especially like to mention Dan Morgan who traveled from Olympia to Ferndale daily to help with the campaign and show solidarity and support.”

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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.