iMail Thursday July 29, 2004
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Obama Calls For A United America
In a Presidential election year it's natural to get lost in all the political posturing and turn a deaf ear to what is demanding to be heard.

Faces of Unemployment
Hourly wages for many U.S. workers have dropped to a two year low.

Federal Employees To Receive Equal Pay

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, July 22nd went against President Bush and approved legislation to provide equal pay adjustments for military and civilian federal employees next year.

Greenspan Sees Disparity In Wages

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledged that the wages of hourly workers have "barely budged" according to the July 22nd E Commerce Times.

Hourly Pay Falls in June

Hourly earnings for production workers fell 1.1 percent in June even after accounting for inflation, according to a July 16th report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Where Do Your Dues Dollars Go?

Studies Attack Bush Overtime Revisions
A study released by the Economic Policy Institute on Wednesday claims that the revisions to overtime rules proposed by the Bush administration could result in the loss of overtime pay for 6 million workers.

We're Taking Back America - Labor Day 2004
Labor Day was a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

Retiree Drug Benefits Could Be Cut
Employers will reduce or eliminate prescription drug benefits for 3.8 million retirees when new Medicare benefits take effect in 2006, according to a July 15th New York Times article.

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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

IAM delegates at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston rose to their feet again and again this week to cheer speakers who pledged a positive campaign in the race to retake the White House.

(photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

Convention Speakers Deliver Positive Message

IAM delegates at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston rose to their feet again and again this week to cheer speakers who pledged a positive campaign in the race to retake the White House. “The speeches were very passionate and sincere,” said Melvin Montford an IAM member of Local W369 and alternate delegate from North Carolina.

The call to political arms was frequently cradled in eloquence. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter gave speeches that many said were among the best of their careers. “We all want good jobs, good schools, health care, safe streets, a clean environment,” said Clinton, recalling middle-class issues that mattered before homeland security overtook the political landscape.

North Carolina Senator John Edwards accepted the vice presidential nomination on Wednesday night, telling the crowd over and over: “Hope is on the way.” Edwards drew the loudest applause when he promised to reject “hateful” politics and pledged to work with Sen. Kerry toward healing the racial divide that still exists in the United States.

Earlier in the week, the delegates heard from Illinois senatorial candidate Barak Obama, who delivered a keynote address that cemented his status as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Obama called on all Americans to help those in need. “I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, IL, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico, and now having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour.”

Among the convention’s most memorable moments was the appearance of 13-year old Ilana Wexler, the founder of Kids for Kerry, who chided Vice President Dick Cheney for swearing on the floor of the U.S. Senate. “I think he should be put in a timeout,” said Wexler, who then designated Sept. 21 “National No Name Calling Day.”

IAM Files Suit Against Top UAL Officers

The IAM today filed a complaint in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois charging United Airlines (UAL) officers with a breach of fiduciary duty in electing not to fund employee pension plans.

The airline announced on July 23 that it would no longer fund pension plans due to terms it negotiated for new Debtor in Possession (DIP) financing. The IAM’s complaint follows a warning from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to United that, “any such covenants would be inconsistent with ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code and contrary to public policy.”

Named as defendants in the suit are UAL Chief Executive Officer Glenn Tilton, Chief Financial Officer Frederic F. Brace, Chief Operating Officer Peter McDonald and the Pensions and Welfare Plans Committee of United Airlines, Inc.

“As fiduciaries of the pension plans, the defendants had a responsibility to compel United to meet its funding obligations,” said Robert Roach, Jr., IAM General Vice President of Transportation. “Clearly, they failed. The IAM has a responsibility to utilize all possible measures to protect the interests of our members. We will not fail.”

The IAM is seeking judgment against Tilton, Brace and McDonald for the amount owed the pension plans by United Airlines and a court order requiring the three UAL officers to administer the pension plans, including the funding obligation, in accordance with the plans' governing documents, IRS regulations and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Additionally, the IAM seeks to require the defendants to take all necessary steps to secure funding from any available source to meet the plans’ funding requirements.

“United Airlines must get the message that they cannot abandon employee benefits at will,” said IAM District 141 President Randy Canale. “They will not be allowed to continue their slash and burn approach to restructuring without realizing serious consequences.”

Rights Group Features U-Haul Workers

American Rights at Work, an educational and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the climate in which workers can exercise their rights in the workplace, featured the organizing struggle by workers at U-Haul who are fighting vicious anti-union efforts by their employer (.

Workers at U-Haul facilities in Las Vegas voted overwhelmingly for IAM representation in May, 2003. U-Haul has fought the effort at every turn. To help workers at U-Haul and others who want the right to organize strengthened, Congress is considering “ The Employee Free Choice Act.” If Congress passes the Employee Free Choice Act, stronger enforcement provisions will deter violations of labor law and help workers reach contracts quickly and fairly through a mediation process, instead of getting dragged through multi-year negotiations.

What happens to workers is wrong. The legal system created to protect workers’ rights is failing us. You can help change it. Urge your lawmakers to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.

IAM Members Work on Solar Car

In Tucson, Arizona, IAM members are working on the University of Arizona solar car project. The picture above shows some of the wheels used by the car that were made at the Raytheon facility. Ultra Precision/Fabrication Operator Bruce Himes, a member and shop steward for Local 933, has delivered new wheels to the Arizona Solar Car Racing Team. The team is a student-run organization at the University of Arizona. The solar car is used at competitions across the world. Raytheon has been a platinum sponsor of the team for the few years, assisting with design support and supplying machined components.

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Union Label Week 2004 begins on Labor Day, Monday, September 6 and runs through Saturday, September 11. The message this year: Support Good Jobs - Buy Union!

Across North America IAM members work day in and day out in jobs that are the heart of the economies of both countries proving the Machinists are North America's Might. Read it now in the online edition of the Summer 2004 IAM Journal.

ake your voice heard regarding the new overtime regulations set to take effect August 23. Urge your senators and representative to stop the overtime take away before it starts.

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.

Check out NewsBriefs, a regular online news service for IAM editors, webstewards & communicators. En Francais.

FlatRateTech is an organization “created for and by Ford and Lincoln Mercury service technicians solely to speak as one loud voice rather than 50,000 smaller voices.” according to their website The fast-growing site offers forums for Ford customers, technicians and dealers to exchange information.