iMail Tuesday August 17, 2004
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OT War Declared on American Workers
On August 23rd, the Bush Administration's change to the Fair Labor Standards Act will take effect.

Voters Speak Out About Job Numbers
As President Bush spoke at an invitation only event in Southern Virginia, local voters gathered outside to make their voices heard.

Department of Commerce Rules With Mercury Marine

On Friday, August 6th the department of Commerce ruled that Japanese engine manufacturers have been selling outboard engines in the US at significantly lower prices than American manufacturers.

Dismal Job Numbers Fail to Meet Bush Promises
The Labor Department reported on Friday, August 6th that only 32,000 net jobs were added to US payrolls in July.

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.

To view these videos you will need to download the free Windows Media Player 9

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, PBGC Oppose UAL Pension Scheme

The Machinists Union and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) filed separate objections in a Chicago, Illinois bankruptcy court opposing United Airlines' motion to amend its Debtor in Possession (DIP) financing.

"The financing agreement should be denied because it is predicated on United halting its funding of employee pension plans, which the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has said is inconsistent with federal law," said Robert Roach, Jr., IAM General Vice President of Transportation. "United should include the IAM and its members in a search for other financing options. Thus far, we have been shut out of that process."

United Airlines entered into a July 23, 2004 financing agreement that effectively prohibits the carrier from making legally required payments to fund employee pension plans.

“United’s decision to stop funding its pension plans increases the risk of loss not only to the company’s workers and retirees but to participants in other plans insured by the PBGC,” said Executive Director Bradley Belt. “The bankruptcy court should reject this attempt to sidestep the statutory funding rules. Agreements between private parties must not take precedence over federal pension law.”

A hearing is scheduled for August 20, 2004.

More Employers Snubbing Vets

Many National Guard and Reserve troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are discovering their jobs are gone, benefits eliminated, and promotions forgotten despite the passage of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

An increasing number of employers are ignoring the 1994 law which returns National Guard and Reserve troops to their old job—or equivalent position—upon return from service. The law also requires employers to award raises and benefits as if the serviceman or servicewoman had never left employment.

The Labor Department said that close to 4,000 formal complaints have been submitted since September 2001. In previous years, the Department had fielded about 900 complaints per year. The Department upheld or settled one-third of last year’s complaints, another third were deemed to have no merit, and the rest are inactive or closed because the Department lost contact with the complainant, or they returned to active duty.

US Airways Seeks Pension Relief

US Airways announced it would seek IRS permission to extend its 2004 pension payments for IAM Mechanic & Related employees and Flight Attendants for up to five years.

“US Airways’ request does not affect the benefits received by current retirees or the accrual of benefits for active employees,” said General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “IAM pension attorneys are reviewing US Airways’ request and will monitor the situation to ensure compliance with our collective bargaining agreement and federal pension regulations.”

IAM-represented Fleet Service employees participate in the IAM National Pension Plan and are not affected by the request for waivers from the IRS.

The situation at US Airways differs from the one faced by United Airlines employees. United elected to stop making any payments into their pension plans. US Airways wants to spread their payments out over a period of time.

Kerry Pushes for Drug Re-importation

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry outlined his plan to lower prescription drug costs this week after receiving the endorsement of the Alliance for Retired Americans.

Kerry’s plan would allow the re-importation of safe, FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada as well as require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate for more affordable prices under Medicare. Prescription drug costs have skyrocketed under Bush’s watch, jumping 11.5 percent in 2003 alone.

“John Kerry stands with seniors and will be a ‘people over profits’ president. He has earned our respect and support and we will pull out all the stops to elect him the next President of the United States,” said Alliance President George Kourpias.

LL2296 President Jeff Toms, with committee members Regina Mcilwee and Grace Gillikin following the ballot count held by the FLRA.

District 110 Wins Under FLRA

After a ten-month battle with the Navy, District 110 won unit certification under Federal Labor Relations Authority for 113 employees who work for the U.S. Navy Fleet Industrial Service Center, Cherry Point Detachment.

The Navy had claimed that the North Carolina workers should fall under another bargaining unit housed in Florida. IAM Local Lodge 2297 President Teddy McNeal and District 110 Directing Business Rep. Joe Greaser successfully argued the case, winning representation for the group.

The new bargaining unit will be placed under Local 2297 at the Naval Air Depot Cherry Point. The federal employees of the Naval Hospital include RN's, LPN's, Industrial Hygienists and Clerks. They won respect on the job with a near 2- to-1 vote in favor of IAM representation. “The workers here are taking care of Americas heroes,” said DBR Joe Greaser. “These new members selflessly serve the Marines, their families and the surrounding community with true pride and professionalism.”

The Minnesota Chapter of Hawgs for Dogs has now exceeded one million dollars in pledges raised for Guide Dogs of America.

Minnesota Hawgs For Dogs Raises A Million

The Minnesota Chapter of Hawgs for Dogs has now exceeded one million dollars in pledges raised for Guide Dogs of America.

The 15th Annual Hawgs for Dogs all-Harley ride was held on July 10 and 11, 2004, at the Telemark Resort, in Cable, Wisconsin. More than 89 entries in the all-Harley ride made the 400 mile loop from Blaine, Minnesota to Telemark and back, raising over $81,000.

After a day of perfect riding weather the event concluded with a prime rib dinner and auction that raised $11,000 for the cause. Prizes were awarded to the participants in a drawing that featured a trip for two to Las Vegas.

Steve Cohan, President of the Minnesota Chapter declared this year’s event “a roaring success,” thanks to the people who attended, donated gifts, money, or their time.

“Because of you, we are able to keep giving people the gift of sight,” said Cohan.

Massachusetts List Corporate Freeloaders

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has become the first state to publicly acknowledge those companies who do not pay for employee health insurance, or pay employees enough to be able to afford to purchase their own health coverage. These employers depend on the state to bear the cost of their employees health benefits.

Those businesses with more than 50 employees who do not offer employee health benefits, will soon be part of public list of corporate freeloaders.

The law which established the list was enacted over the veto of Republican Governor Mitt Romney. It’s estimated that 41 percent of employed and uninsured workers in Massachusetts are employed at large, profitable companies.

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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.