iMail Tuesday July 13, 2004
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Bush Declines NAACP Invitation Again
President Bush has declined to address the NAACP's annual convention for the fourth straight year.

GOP Pulling for Nader
Republicans in Michigan are working hard to collect signatures that would put independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the states ballot.

Freightliner Machinists Ratify Agreement
Machinists at Freightliner in Portland ratified a three-year pact by a narrow margin on Tuesday, July 6th.

Job Growth Slows

Despite the Bush Administration's repeated claims of an economic recovery, job growth took a sharp dive last month.

Kerry Chooses Edwards As Running Mate
Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry announced July 6th that he has chosen North Carolina Senator John Edwards to be his running mate.

Kerry Stands Up for Organizing Rights
Presidential hopeful John Kerry has received thousands of postcards and faxes from union activists thanking him for his support of the American worker.

US Chamber of Commerce President Promotes Outsourcing
US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue is promoting outsourcing of America's jobs to boost the economy.

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

More than 100 IAM, Teamster and UAW union members rallied outside Volvo Logistics and marched to the front gate to protest the loss of IAM jobs to a non-union trucking outfit.

Unions Rally With IAM to Protest Non-Union Switch

UAW members and Teamsters joined with the IAM to rally against a Volvo Logistics North America decision to replace IAM-represented drivers from Auto Truck Transport (ATT) with non-union drivers from Swift Transportation Company. More than 100 union members rallied across the street from the plant and then marched to the front gate.

Volvo Logistics awarded Swift the contract after the non-union firm agreed to buy 4,000 trucks from Volvo. The Roanoke, Virginia-based Volvo denied any connection between the truck purchase by Swift and the switch from ATT and implied it was nothing more than a business decision.

IAM Automotive Coordinator Boysen Anderson said, “This wasn’t a decision based on productivity and efficiency. It’s about a vendor who ordered 4,000 trucks.”

The switch from the union to the non-union company means approximately 100 IAM members will lose their jobs. ATT drivers earned 44 cents per mile and enjoyed paid family medical insurances and pensions. Swift drivers earn about 26 cents per mile with no benefits.

FAA Fails to Close Security Loophole

Nearly four months after a congressionally-mandated deadline to take action, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to turn a blind eye to curbing the dangerous practice of U.S. aircraft being repaired in unsafe and un-inspected foreign repair facilities.

“The Bush administration’s silence and inaction speak volumes,” said Edward Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD). “The interests of foreign corporations continue to prevail at the expense of the traveling public. This reckless disregard for the law and aviation safety must end immediately.”

“The White House has stonewalled every effort that has ever been made to close this dangerous loophole in our aircraft repair laws and now it acts like the law never passed,” Wytkind said, referring to new enhanced safety and security standards required by Congress.

By March 12, 2004, the FAA was supposed to submit a plan to ensure that foreign repair stations working on U.S. aircraft are subject to the same level of safety and oversight as required here at home.

Congress acted in the wake of the Bush Administration’s rejection of a petition from the AFL-CIO and TTD, on behalf of its mechanic unions, to suspend foreign repair until security audits could be performed. In July 2003 the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a scathing report sharply critical of the weak oversight of aircraft maintenance performed overseas by third-party contractors.

Kerry Rips Chamber Chief Remarks

Responding to a speech by U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue, the Kerry campaign said the remarks “slapped workers” that have lost jobs to outsourcing. Last week Donohue suggested that ‘job outsourcing’ may not be such a bad thing for the economy as a whole and that workers whose jobs have gone overseas should “stop whining.”

Noting the close ties between the Bush administration and the Chamber of Commerce the Kerry campaign has called on the Bush campaign to “disavow Mr. Donohue's comments and apologize to all those who have lost their jobs to outsourcing.”

Pointing to press reports saying that 995,000 U.S. jobs have gone overseas since March 2001, the Kerry campaign says the Bush administration has “blinders on” when it comes to the middle class.

John Kerry wants to stop tax breaks for companies that move jobs abroad and has suggested that companies sending jobs and profits overseas are traitors. Kerry has proposed to close every single loophole that gives companies incentives to move jobs abroad, including stopping American companies from setting up virtual headquarters in foreign countries to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

Bush Disses Blacks, Hispanics

Despite a pledge by President Bush to reach out to black voters, he declined to address the NAACP’s annual convention for the fourth straight year ― making him the first sitting president since Warren G. Harding not to address the NAACP.

“It is clear that Bush only uses African Americans when it is convenient for him, not because he’s sensitive to their issues. His civil rights record is abysmal,” said Devona Dolliole, a spokeswoman for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. The last time Bush addressed the NAACP was during his 2000 election campaign.

Last week, Bush also declined an invitation to speak at the National Council of LaRaza for a fourth time. That council is the largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country.

Michigan GOP Boosts Nader in Cynical Move

Believing that his presence on the presidential election ballot cost Al Gore the 2000 election, Michigan Republicans are working hard to get Ralph Nader on that state’s November ballot in an effort to take votes away from presidential hopeful John Kerry.

With Michigan likely to be a key battleground state, Democrats are furious at the Republican's campaign. “This clearly shows that a vote for Ralph Nader is a vote to re-elect George Bush. The Republicans know that, and that's why they are desperate to have Nader on the Michigan ballot,” said Democratic Executive Chairman Mark Brewer in an AP article.

54 Collins & Aikman Workers Go IAM

District 98 and Local Lodge 2424 brought 54 new members into the Machinists Union recently by organizing the employees at Collins & Aikman Operations in Havre De Grace, Maryland .

“Please join me in welcoming these new members into the IAM family,” said Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker. “ On behalf of the Eastern Territory Office and its members, I extend our congratulations and appreciation to LL 2424, District 98 Business Representative Henry Scott, Directing Business Representative Tom Boger and all of the LL 2424 team for a job well done.”

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