July 30, 2002
“President Bush says Fast Track will create more jobs in the U.S., that’s absolutely ridiculous,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “NAFTA has destroyed close to a million jobs in the U.S. alone. This Fast Track vote sets the stage for new trade agreements that will send millions of jobs out of North America. The twenty-five Democrats who voted for Fast Track should be ashamed.”
Both the House and Senate passed earlier versions of Fast Track legislation. Differences in the two versions meant the final bill had to be hammered out in a House and Senate conference committee. Negotiators from the House and Senate met behind closed doors on July 24 and rammed through a final version by July 25. They stripped provisions out of the Senate version that would have protected American workers and they gutted language to stop illegal dumping of imports into the U.S.
After rushing through the conference committee, GOP leaders scheduled a sneak vote for the next day. The House voted late Friday night and by 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning the deal was done.
“The House got Fast Track rolling last December when they approved the initial version 215 to 214. Now the final version squeaked through by just three votes. We can stop future Fast Tracks if we take back just a few key seats in the November election,” said Buffenbarger. “We need to register to vote and turn out at the polls in November.”
The Senate will vote on Fast Track this week.
Action Alert: Tell
Senate to Stop Fast Track
IAM members can use the AFL-CIO’s toll-free number 1-877-611-0063 that will connect directly with the capitol switchboard. Just ask for your Senator’s office when the operator answers. Members can also send an email message from the Politics and Legislation page of the IAM website, www.goiam.org. Look for “Tell Senate to Say ‘NO’ to Fast Track” in the Action Alert section.
Workers Sue Stanley
The suit charges Stanley violated ERISA protections when they accessed voting records and pressured employees at home and at work to vote in favor of the move. Many Stanley Works employees hold company stock in 401k accounts and are eligible to vote on the re-incorporation scam.
“Stanley’s offshore aspirations threaten to turn this company into the poster child for what’s wrong with Corporate America,” said Machinists Union president Tom Buffenbarger. “After sending thousands of U.S. jobs overseas, management couldn’t resist rigging one more opportunity to take care of itself at the expense of its workers.”
The suit asks the Court to force Stanley Works to honor the Plan’s confidentiality requirements and to appoint independent trustees and Proxy solicitors who will not share confidential voting information with officials of the company.
Pratt Slapped for
The federal agency, charged with protecting workers’ health and safety nationwide, characterized the violation as “serious,” but did not provide details of the citation.
“Dozens of workers at Pratt have died from brain tumors,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “A major study is underway to discover the cause. Those records could have made the difference.”
Pratt & Whitney admitted to destroying 12-18 boxes of employee medical records. The IAM filed a complaint with OSHA when a member requested personal medical records and was told they were destroyed in what the company called a ‘routine purge.’
For more information, read the article titled “Worked to Death” in the Summer 2002 IAM Journal.
The bill, which would consolidate 22 existing federal agencies and employ nearly 170,000 workers, is hung up on language that would allow the president to unilaterally revoke civil service protection and collective bargaining rights for federal employees of the new department.
“This administration want to turn back the clock to a time before federal workers enjoyed civil service protections and union representation,” said Frank Carelli, IAM Director of Government Employees. “This anti-labor agenda has no place in the bill, or in the debate of how best to secure the freedom and safety of U.S. citizens.”
Carelli urged IAM members to visit their representatives at home during the upcoming recess and tell them to support collective bargaining and Title 5 rights for federal employees.
The Eastern Territory, headed by GVP Warren Mart, added to its successful organizing record, a record built on signing up new members in small as well as large units. “Each and every new member is a valuable addition to this union,” said GVP Mart.
District 60 will represent the new members of Ryder Transport and District Lodge 1 will represent the new members of Flight Safety Service, Inc.
GVP Mart extended thanks and congratulations to the entire organizing team including: District 1 DBR Danny Chmelko; District 60 DBR Don Riffee; Business Rep Bobby Atanasovski; Organizer Paul Urbanczyk and Grand Lodge Representative George Meyers.
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