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Labor 2004:
Get Out the Vote

Thousands of Union volunteers are going door to door and talking to members about where the presidential candidates stand on the key issues of good jobs and affordable health care.

Democratic Push for Jobs

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats unveiled their "American Jobs Plan."

Uninsured Numbers Explode
Eighty two million Americans went without health insurance at some point in the last two years according to a new report by a private health care group.

Airforce Secretary Wants to Discipline U.S. Plane Makers
U.S. Airforce Secretary James Roach wants to open up defense contracts to foreign sources in an effort to discipline the big U.S. airframe makers.

Special Interest Takeover
Special interests are taking over, while the welfare of the public continues to be brushed aside, according to a study by The Citizens for Sensible Safeguards Coalition.

Rising CEO Pay
CEO pay rose 7.2 percent in 2003 while eighty percent of American workers saw their hourly earnings fall.

Working Woman Survey Results
The AFL-CIO recently released the results of their "Ask a Working Woman Survey."

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.

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

Cessna Workers Vote to Authorize Strike

IAM members of Local 774 in Wichita, KS voted by a 99 percent margin this week to authorize a strike at Cessna Aircraft if the company fails to make a satisfactory offer once contract negotiations begin on August 12, 2004.

Local 774 represents nearly 4,300 Cessna workers who fabricate and assemble the company’s line of private and corporate aircraft. Workers cite rising health care costs, job security, wages and Cessna’s desire to outsource more work as key issues in the upcoming negotiations.

The talks with Cessna are expected to have far-reaching implications. Additional negotiations between the IAM and with Kansas plane-makers Raytheon and Bombardier will take place in 2005 and 2006 respectively. “Solidarity will be a critical element in all of these negotiations,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, who pointed to the strong showing in this week’s strike vote as a great beginning. “We need every member’s help to protect the wages, benefits and working conditions that took generations to achieve.”

Local 1725 Member Dies in Heroic Rescue

Kent Sandefur at the 2003 Local 1725 annual summer picnic.

Funeral services were held this week in Charlotte, NC for Local 1725 member Kent Edward Sandefur, who perished while rescuing two small children from the waters off Tybee Island, Georgia.

According to police, Sandefur was walking along the beach with a group that included his minister’s children, ages 9 and 6, when all three were swept into deep water by what witnesses described as a rogue wave.

The 36-year old utility worker at US Airways in Charlotte, NC successfully fought waves and currents to bring both children back to safety. At one point, Sandefur held one child over his head while urging the other to keep going toward the shore. Bystanders pulled the children the remaining yards to safety, but Sandefur never made it back. A search by police, lifeguards and the U.S. Coast Guard for Sandefur’s body was called off the following morning.

Fellow union members had nothing but praise for their co-worker, who rarely took vacations and worked hard to support his family. “He was always talking about his little boy,” said Rich Buschel, editor of Local 1725 Victory News. “He worked so hard he once fell asleep at the wheel going home and wrecked his truck.” Kent Sandefur is survived by his wife and three sons, ages 5, 14 and 17.

U-Haul Campaign Moves Forward Despite Obstacles

The IAM is keeping its eye on the prize in the year-long campaign to win contracts for workers at U-Haul in Las Vegas and other locations. Despite numerous Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) charges filed by the IAM and favorable decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), U-Haul management continues to harass, intimidate and discharge union supporters.

The nation’s largest truck rental company recently hired a battery of attorneys in an effort to overturn NLRB rulings and further delay the representational process. A trial conducted by the NLRB is now in its sixth week. Meanwhile, U-Haul employees in Fremont, CA walked off the job last week after the company discharged two union supporters. A 70 percent majority of employees at the Fremont facility recently signed a petition calling for IAM representation.

The campaign at U-Haul began last year after employees contacted the IAM regarding widespread sexual, religious and racial discrimination at U-Haul of Nevada. IAM Local Lodge 845 began collecting authorization cards and by March 7, 2003, over 70 percent of U-Haul employees in Nevada had signed a petition demanding union representation.

Take a Walk; Make a Difference

AFL-CIO union members will take to the streets on June 26 in the latest round of neighborhood walks aimed at increasing union voter turnout on Election Day. The walks are part of the AFL-CIO’s ‘Labor 2004’ campaign, aimed at mobilizing union households around key issues in the upcoming presidential election.

Hundreds of volunteers will fan out across neighborhoods in 13 states, including: Arizona; Florida; Iowa; Minnesota; Missouri; New Mexico; Nevada; Ohio; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Washington; Wisconsin and West Virginia. In many cases, children and spouses will accompany the walkers as they visit union households with literature that describes the sharp differences between Senator John Kerry and President George Bush.

IAM members are urged to take part in neighborhood walks by contacting the AFL-CIO coordinators here.

States Struggle to Survive Jobs Recession

Despite May’s modest job growth, thirty-five states still have fewer jobs than when the recession started in March 2001, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) Job Watch report.

The numbers in some states are startling. North Carolina, for example, has 96,600 fewer jobs than it did when the recession started, while Pennsylvania has 97, 600 fewer jobs.

The report goes on to show that since the recession began, job growth in 49 of the 50 states has failed to keep up with the growth of the working age population, explaining higher unemployment rates in 47 states.

The report points out that the latest numbers indicate the Bush administration’s job growth projections from their tax cuts have fallen well short of expectations. According to the EPI, the national economy has come up over two million jobs short of projections, with only one state, Hawaii, ahead of projections.

The report can be viewed here.

U.S. Job Quality Falls Dramatically

According to the CIBC World Markets' US Employment Quality Index (EQI), the past three years have seen an eight point drop in the quality of U.S. jobs. The data confirms a trend toward lower paying, less stable, self-employed and part-time jobs at the expense of higher-quality jobs in sectors such as the transportation, utilities, natural resources and manufacturing industries. The EQI report examines job stability, compensation and part-time v. full-time employment in establishing the EQI.

The report indicates the number of part-timers rose more than 5% since early 2002. Since the economic expansion got underway in late 2001, the number of jobs in high-paying industries fell by more than 2% while the number of jobs in low-paying industries rose by 1.2%. The report concludes given the swap of good for bad jobs it will take 20% more jobs than in the last expansion to generate the same salary gain.

The overall drop in the quality index in recent years means the vast majority of jobs lost were high quality and the labor market will have to close not only the employment gap but also the quality gap.

A copy of CIBC World Markets' Monthly Indicators Report is available here.

Wal-Mart Faces Massive Discrimination Suit

A determined band of working women are taking Wal-Mart to court on behalf of 1.6 million women who allegedly suffered sexual discrimination at the hands of the nation’s biggest retailer. The case, which was just awarded class action status, is the largest civil rights case against a private employer in U.S. history.

Six current and former Wal-Mart employees filed the case in June 2001, claiming it took women 4.3 years from the date of hire to be promoted to assistant manager, while it took men 2.8 years.

Despite a workforce that is predominantly female, women at Wal-Mart are severely under- represented in managerial positions. Only 33 percent of Wal-Mart managers are female, according to an article in the New York Times.

U.S. District Court Judge Martin J. Jenkins in San Francisco described the case as “historic in nature” and noted it falls near the 50 th anniversary of the groundbreaking racial discrimination case Brown v. Board of Education.

“This decision (class action status) means instead of facing six individual women with claims, Wal-Mart faces the claims of 1.6 million women,” said Brad Seligman, executive director of the Impact Fund and lead counsel for the women. “It changes the world.”

Wal-Mart has also been in the spotlight recently for refusal to pay entitled overtime and requiring employees to work long hours without so much as a bathroom break. They are also under federal investigation for knowingly hiring contract-cleaning services from low-paid illegal workers.

West Virginia Hosts Manufacturing Summit

The Center for Economic Options (CEO) hosted a “Made Right Here” summit June 20-21, 2004, in Charleston, WV. CEO is a non-profit, non-governmental organization working to develop a strong infrastructure to assist small-scale manufacturers access markets for their product.

“It is my hope this summit will provide an opportunity for small manufacturers to be recognized as an industry that plays a significant role in West Virginia’s economy,” said Senator John D. Rockefeller, who co-hosted the meeting.

The summit was designed to highlight the economic value of these small manufacturers and to generate economic and social returns while helping them grow their own businesses and provide jobs.

Sign Up Now for Advanced Editors and Advanced Web Classes

Districts and Local Lodges are reminded that the deadline for Advanced Editors and the Advanced Web Development classes are fast approaching.

The IAM Communications Dept. must receive applications for the Advanced Web Development Class no later than July 31, 2004. The deadline for Advanced Editors is August 2, 2004.

The IAM Communications Department classes for 2004 are scheduled as follows:

November 7-12

2004 Advanced Editors

October 17-22

2004 Advanced Web Development

For more information contact the IAM Communications Department at 301-967-4520.


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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.

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Take the Survey

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.