Tuesday, August 20, 2002
“We have only 12 days left to reach an agreement and Boeing made it very clear, we are miles and miles apart on every major issue – jobs, affordable health care and improved pensions. Boeing expressed no interest in moving on anything. Our members don’t have time to play their game and these issues are way too important for that. This contract is way too important to the future of the people in the Puget Sound, Wichita and Portland,” said Mark Blondin, president of the 19,500-member IAM District 751 in Seattle.
“It is highly unusual to request a mediator so early in negotiations, but right from the get go Boeing showed zero interest in listening or engaging us on the issues. Perhaps they need another voice urging them to drop their hostile intransigent tone and get serious about this contract,” said IAM Chief Negotiator Dick Schneider.
sit on US Airways Bankruptcy Panel
The purpose of the committee is to represent the interests of the class of unsecured creditors by monitoring the debtor's operations during the bankruptcy case and by expressing its opinion as to the best means to achieve a successful reorganization.
IAM Airline Coordinator Jim Varsel represents the IAM membership on the committee. He began his career as an Allegheny Airlines aircraft mechanic in 1962 and is currently a member of Local Lodge 1976 in Pittsburgh, PA.
Bush Veto Threatens
WTC Site Workers
“Actions speak louder than words,” noted Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger in a scathing response to the White House declaration. “Don’t lionize our fallen brothers in one breath then stab us in the back by eliminating funding for our members to fight terrorism and to stay safe.”
The funding was targeted for setting up health screening programs to track workers who loaded and hauled debris, restored utilities and performed other cleanup work that exposed them to several toxic substances.
Some medical experts estimated at least half the workers cleaning up the Ground Zero site would require treatment for serious health problems after being exposed to asbestos, carcinogens and other health hazards.
Celebrates 67th Birthday
Social Security faces no near-term crisis, despite the scare stories festering in the news media and within certain political circles. Revenues currently exceed benefit payments and the surplus will allow benefits to be paid in full through 2041, according to the fund’s trustees.
More than 60 percent of all seniors depend on Social Security for more than half their income. Yet, despite its proven value to older Americans there are those, including President Bush and many members of Congress, who want to “privatize” the program by investing a portion of payroll taxes in Wall Street accounts.
“We had ‘privatization’ for 160 years,” pointed out IP Tom Buffenbarger. “During that time, citizens were left free to invest as they chose. Those who earned good money or inherited wealth lived well. Those who saved little, usually because of low wages, spent their final years in the county poorhouse.”
Because of the Social Security program, only 10.2 percent of the elderly live below the poverty line.
Drive Gains Steam
The campaign encourages members who are already registered to canvass family, friends and neighbors and get them registered. The goal is to double union turnout in the November elections and return the Congress to a more worker-friendly leadership.