Tuesday August 6, 2002
Boeing Workers In ‘Stand United’ Rally
Teamsters, firefighters, operating engineers, food service workers, pilots, drivers and security guards all pledged support for IAM members in their fight for a fair contract with job security, better pensions and health insurance. “We’re with the Machinists, side by side,” declared Charles Bofferding, executive director of SPEEA, whose members begin contract talks with Boeing in October.
The IAM and Boeing will hold daily meetings until the start of ‘round the clock’ talks on August 15. The fast-paced negotiations will conclude with IAM members voting on a so-called ‘last, best and final’ offer from Boeing on August 29.
Latest Homeland Bill Target
The legislation is also running into opposition from Republicans over language that would require the new department observe the Davis-Bacon Act, the 1931 law requiring prevailing union wages on federally financed construction projects.
“Davis-Bacon requires government-funded contractors pay fair wages to workers, whether they are unionized or not,” said IP Buffenbarger. “The law ensures quality construction when that construction uses taxpayer’s money. It’s unfortunate some legislators want to use the Homeland Security bill to turn back the clock on common sense wage rights that go back more than 70 years.”
Supports Stronger Amtrak
A total of 1,012 adults were given three options regarding Amtrak funding: End federal aid; increase federal aid or keep federal aid the same? Only 29 percent favored cutting all funding, with 58 percent favoring increased federal aid. Thirteen percent responded, “don’t know.”
News of the poll was welcomed by the IAM, which fought for years to expand and stabilize rail service. “Passenger rail service deserves the same support in Congress that is has throughout the country,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “Proposals by so-called ‘reform groups’ to carve up Amtrak and end service on key routes should be rejected.”
Win Highlights Diversity
A determined effort by Spanish-speaking IAM volunteers and District 8 staff led the way to strong support among the Hispanic workforce at Universal SPC, Inc., a high-tech machine shop making parts for mass transit systems, including the Chicago Transit Authority.
“The right to safe working conditions and a secure retirement transcends language,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “To be successful, organizing must appeal to the goals we all have in common.”
“Wins like this show we can overcome language barriers in the fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions,” said Alex Bay, GVP, Midwest Territory. “Special thanks go to DBR Carl Gallman, GLR Cristina Munoz, GLR Macario Carmolinga and Local 701 Retiree Paul Espinoza.”
for Machinists at Tyndall AFB
The workers include mechanics, technicians and remote pilots for full-scale and sub-scale drones used by the U.S. Navy.
At the same time, 175 newly organized IAM mechanics at Lockheed Martin Logistics Management achieved similar terms in a three-year agreement. These workers provide maintenance for F-15 engines, components and parts at Tyndall AFB.
“I’d like to thank the Business Representatives and DL 75 Organizer Ray Moffatt for bringing home strong first agreements for our members,” said Southern Territory GVP George Hooper. “They have done an incredible job in organizing, bringing the members through the bargaining process. I commend them on their excellent job.”
Communicators in Voter Registration Drive
The drive will also encourage members who are already registered to find one family member, friend or co-worker and get them registered. The goal is to double the number of Union members at the polls in the upcoming election cycle.