iMail Thursday August 5, 2004
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Democrats Unveil Truth Squad
Democratic leaders announced the formation of a ‘Bush Truth Squad’ on Tuesday.

DOL Trade Assistance Program

When workers find that the company they've devoted their lives to decides to leave the US for cheap labor in Mexico or China they are stripped of their ability to provide for their families.

Grievance Doesn't Reflect True Value
Grand Lodge Representative, Ed Pierce, fought the fight against TVA to win the largest grievance for the IAM.

John Kerry Reporting For Duty
John Kerry reported for duty on Thursday, July 29th when he accepted the Democratic presidential nod.

Edwards Looks To Secure America's Future

When John Edwards took the stage in Boston it was to remind all Americans that we can achieve a stronger more secure America.

IAM Files Suit Against Top UAL Officers

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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

Layoffs Up, Income Down

Layoffs are on the rise and individual income fell sharply, according to two new reports that throw cold water on Bush administration claims of a robust economic recovery.

A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the rate of adult workers permanently dismissed from their jobs reached 8.7 percent —5.3 million workers— in the two-year period between 2001-2003. The current rate comes very close to the highest recorded layoff rate of 9 percent from 1981 to 1983. The report also found that over 50 percent of those who said they found employment elsewhere were making less money at their new jobs.

A separate study revealed Americans’ overall income fell during the past two years. The analysis of Internal Revenue Service statistics by the New York Times found individual income fell 9.2 percent between 2000 and 2002.

Meanwhile, every element of compensation for a CEO in the United States rose last year, according to a new report by the Corporate Library, a Portland, Maine research firm. CEO compensation at surveyed companies listed on the S&P 500 stock index grew 22 percent in 2003, double its increase the year before. While most workers rely on a single, regular paycheck for their income, top executives have many income sources. The report revealed that every element of CEO pay rose—base salary, annual bonuses, restricted stock, long-term incentive payouts and the value realized from the exercise of stock options.

OSHA Ordered to Release Injury Data

A federal judge ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide a list of the 13,000 companies with the worst safety and injury records for the year 2002. The ruling is in response to a Freedom of Information request filed by New York Times reporters and overturns OSHA’s attempt to suppress the data, claiming the information should remain confidential.

OSHA argued obtaining the information would “squander its [OSHA’s] time and resources in gathering information for its [the New York Times] reporters,” because they would need to contact all 13,000 companies before releasing the data, which could require 30,290 staff hours, or about 15 years. OSHA said the contact information of the companies is available on the OSHA website so reporters could contact the companies themselves to obtain the information.

However Judge Scheindlin disagreed: “The Court’s clerks expended considerable time searching OSHA’s web site for these names and addresses, but were unable to locate them. This is likely because OSHA’s web site is extraordinarily difficult to navigate.”

The New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize this year after investigating workplace deaths and the “culture of bureaucratic reluctance” at OSHA.

Brazil to Build U.S. Spy Plane

A massive $6 billion Pentagon contract awarded to Lockheed Martin will be used to purchase aircraft parts from Brazil, Spain and Chile for use in the U.S. Army’s next generation of spy aircraft. The outsourcing deal is the latest example of U.S. taxpayer dollars being used to create jobs overseas and purchase equipment from foreign owned facilities rather than U.S. manufacturers.

The Army’s new Aerial Common Sensor Reconnaissance plane will be a military version of a regional jet built by Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer. The fuselage will be built in Brazil, the wings will be built in Spain and additional components will be made in Chile. Lockheed beat out Northrup-Grumman, which planned to use a Gulfstream aircraft built by American-based General Dynamics.

Decision Near on Freightways Settlement

A bankruptcy court could decide as soon as August 27, 2004 on terms of a settlement on behalf of about 250 IAM members at Consolidated Freightways. They were thrown out of work on Labor Day weekend, 2002 when Freightways abruptly ceased operations and declared bankruptcy. The company is now in liquidation and will not reopen.

The IAM and other unions filed suit against Freightways for violating provisions of the WARN Act which requires employers to notify employees of a possible layoff. The proposed settlement for full-time IAM members would mean approximately $2,000 per person in wages and $1,000 per person in benefits. If the settlement is approved, payments could begin as early as December, 2004.

Vance AFB Signs HPWO Agreement

Members of Local Lodge 898 in Enid, Oklahoma, this week signed a new agreement with DynCorp and Trend Western for a High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) program at Vance Air Force Base.

The HPWO agreement is the first in the service industry and the first at any Air Force base. Local Lodge 898 represents some 900 workers providing services throughout the base, from aircraft maintenance to landscaping.
International President Tom Buffenbarger, Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, Resident GVP Bob Thayer, and HPWO Director Don Kennedy toured the facility and attended the signing ceremony in the base’s T1 hanger, along with a few hundred employees.

“In our union, and with some of our employers, and with the customer, we like to think we look at change in a positive way,” said IP Buffenbarger in his address to the crowd. “We recognize it when it comes, we work to define it, study it, shape it, mold it, and make it work for us. And when we do that, the future knows no bounds.”

“This HPWO signing is an unlikely event,” said GVP Bob Martinez. “But the leadership of the union and the companies put old animosities behind them to join together in the best interests of their mission at Vance and the community of Enid. I commend everyone involved for their vision and foresight.”

Organizing Win for Auto Techs at Fury Motors

IAM District 77 brought 10 new members into the IAM and Local 737 with an organizing win at Fury Motors, Inc., in South St. Paul, Minnesota. The new members are auto technicians at Fury.

“The main issues in the campaign were seniority rights, the cost of health insurance, and the lack of a pension plan,” said District 77 Business Representative Steve Galloway. "This group was solid from the beginning. They sought the benefit of IAM membership and a collective bargaining agreement." 

Midwest Territory GVP James E. Brown congratulated DBR Gary Schmidt and BR Steve Galloway on the organizing win. "We thank them for their hard work and dedication."

Service Contract Act Success at Dyncorp

The IAM Midwest Territory is bringing new members into the IAM with a “voluntary recognition” through the Service Contract Act at eight different Dyncorp International LLC locations in the Midwest.

The new IAM members maintain various aircraft for the government’s C-12 program. There was 100 percent participation at all eight sites showing employees’ strong desire to seek the benefits of IAM membership.

The locations our members work at are in Jefferson City, Missouri, Lincoln, Nebraska, Rapid City, South Dakota, Ankeny, Iowa, Decatur, Illinois, Bismarck, North Dakota, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Sparta, Wisconsin.

GVP James E. Brown congratulated GLR Darrin Nedrow, GLR Rod Hoffman, GLR Russ Wittkop, GLR Mike Woltz and SR Luther Williams on a job well done.

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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.