iMail Tuesday, August 10, 2004
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30 Seconds Over Tilton
In an August 3rd message to United Airlines' employees, UAL CEO Glen Tilton criticized District 141 President and UAL board member Randy Canale for boycotting board meetings and filing lawsuits over the decision to halt funding for employee pension plans.

An Economist Looks at the Democratic National Convention
Economist, Lee Price of the Economic Policy Institute discusses his views of the Democratic National Convention.

Democrats Unveil Truth Squad
Democratic leaders announced the formation of a ‘Bush Truth Squad’ on Tuesday.

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

Where Do Your Dues Dollars Go?
This video package focuses on where the IAM's workers' dues dollars go. This video is a valuable resource that shows members and potential members alike how the IAM works for its members and the value that comes with IAM membership.

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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

Only 32,000 net jobs were added to payrolls in July, contradicting Bush administration’s claims of an economy that has “turned the corner.”

Job Growth Lags Behind Bush Predictions

Only 32,000 net jobs were added to U.S. payrolls in July, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Labor Department, contradicting the Bush administration’s claims of an economy that has “turned the corner.”

The number was the smallest gain in hiring since December and is well below the 215,000 to 240,000 analysts had predicted.

The Labor Department also announced that job growth numbers from June had to be revised down from 112,000 to 78,000, adding to the prospect of the Bush administration overseeing first net job loss since the Hoover administration.

“The President keeps saying we’ve turned the corner. But unfortunately, today’s job numbers further demonstrate that our economy may be taking a U-turn instead,” Democratic Presidential hopeful John Kerry said in a written statement.

Comp Time Targets Overtime

President Bush is renewing his call for legislation to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act, the landmark 1938 worker rights bill that established the 40-hour workweek.

The administration’s proposal would gut the 40-hour work-week standard and allow employers to “offer” workers paid time off as compensation for overtime hours worked.

This sounds great at first, but it’s all just slick marketing. In reality, comp time will reduce worker income, lead to longer work hours, and result in unpredictable schedules.

Additionally, the administration doesn’t mention that employers can veto the employee’s request to use banked comp time. Employees will have no guarantee of time off when they want or need it.

Once one looks past the false marketing it is easy to see that the proposal does not offer employees more flexibility. Rather, employers benefit by eliminating the requirement for premium pay for work in excess of 40 hours per week.

30 Seconds Over UAL’s Tilton

In a recent message to United Airlines’ employees, UAL CEO Glenn Tilton criticized District 141 President and UAL board member Randy Canale for filing multiple lawsuits over the decision to halt funding for employee pension funds.

Canale, who represents 37,000 active and retired IAM members at United, spoke for many employees at the airline when he declared: “Every last bit of credibility this company had is gone. We are at war with United.”

For opening the door to corporate vultures who would squeeze every last dime from UAL workers and setting a pattern for entire industries to follow, Glenn Tilton deserves to be remembered alongside Enron CEO Ken Lay and former TWA Chairman Carl Icahn, who terminated pension plans for more than 20,000 workers.

One person who does seem to sympathize with Glenn Tilton is airline industry leper Frank Lorenzo, who recently surfaced to encourage United to continue its attack on employee pensions and health care plans. View an IAM video about UAL CEO Glenn Tilton’s pension plan decision.

Study: Wal-Mart Costing California Taxpayers

Retail giant Wal-Mart’s low wages and minimal benefits cost taxpayers in California $86 million annually to provide health care and other public assistance to Wal-Mart workers, according to a study by the University of California Berkeley’s Labor Center.

The analysis, ‘Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs’, estimated that Wal-Mart workers make roughly $9.70 per hour, compared to the $14.01 average of other large retailers. The study also found that taxpayers in California are forced to contribute an average of almost $2,000 for every Wal-Mart worker.

“At these low wages, many Wal-Mart workers rely on public safety net programs — such as food stamps, Medicare, and subsidized housing — to make ends meet. The presence of Wal-Mart stores in California thus creates a hidden cost to the state’s taxpayers,” said the study’s authors Arindrajit Dube and Ken Jacobs.

The authors also expressed concern that other large retailers have started to cut back on wages and benefits in the state because of concerns of competition from Wal-Mart.

Boeing's 7E7 Poised to Cut Carriers’ Costs

Boeing’s fuel sipping 7E7 could well be a savior for U.S. airlines, who cited record high oil prices among reasons for a second-quarter loss of $2.1 billion. Experts say the plane, which will go into service in 2008, could redefine airline economics.

While the 7E7's 20 percent improvement in fuel conservation is well known, Boeing hopes to lure customers with additional cost savings. It aims to build each 7E7 in half the time it takes to crank out a wide body jet, allowing for faster delivery when demand returns. Most U.S. carriers are reluctant to buy new planes, however, several have shown interest in the 7E7. Meanwhile, foreign carriers ordered 62 7E7s, and Boeing expects 200 more orders by year's end.

Increased commercial airliner orders would boost already strong defense sales at Boeing. Defense contracts helped the company post second-quarter income of $607 million on $13.1 billion in revenues, reversing a year-ago loss of $192 million. Boeing also hiked its 2005 earnings forecast due to renewed strength in its commercial business.

Northwest Airlines Arbitration Update

IAM District 143, representatives for Northwest Airlines Customer Service Agents and Skycaps, completed their final day of hearings on August 2 and are now awaiting closing arguments for a September arbitration case.

At issue is Northwest Airlines’ decision to move some of the Skycaps into the airport and begin acting as skycaps at the ticket counter. The skycaps’ wages are set with the knowledge that they’ll receive tips, moving them into the concourse reduces their earnings.

This decision also took work away from Northwest Airlines Customer Service Agents, whose ticket counter work faces added threats from self-service devices.

TVA Cancels Offshoring Agreement

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the largest public sector electricity supplier in the United States, will cancel a contract with an outsourcing firm that employed workers in India, after criticism of the outsourcing deal.

TVA will finish work in September with Access Systems International Inc. of New York, which used 27 workers in India to convert decades-old engineering drawings of coal-fired power plants into a computer format that allowed design changes for upgrades.

A new requirement in TVA contracts specifies using only domestic workers and a competitive bidding process led to Pinnacle Infotech Inc. of Houston landing the contract for the work, a TVA contracts manager said. Pinnacle could receive up to $300,000 a year if TVA is pleased with its work.

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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.