August 29, 2002
IAM negotiators agreed to a 30-day extension and will report to Washington as directed in the hope that additional talks will lead to a fair and acceptable contract offer.
The strike vote underway today in Seattle, Wichita and Portland will proceed as scheduled. IAM representatives continue to urge members to vote No on the contract offer and to authorize a strike at Boeing. “A strong NO vote on the contract and a strong YES vote on the strike sanction are necessary to give us a powerful bargaining position,” said Dick Schneider, chief IAM negotiator in a bulletin to union members.
IP Tom Buffenbarger ordered that all ballots be sealed and impounded until further notice. “No ballots will be counted for either ratification or strike vote, and all ballots boxes, or containers are to be sealed and kept at the appropriate Local/District Lodge office under jurisdiction of the Directing Business Representative and Negotiating Committee.”
Split Decision by Machinists at US Airways
“The changes approved by the Fleet Service membership will be made to their agreement,” said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “Our attorneys will defend our Mechanical & Related members and their contracts in bankruptcy court.”
Details about the proposals can be found on the District 141 web site at www.iam141.org, and the District 141-M web site at www.iam141m.org. The approved Fleet Service restructuring proposal will take effect on September 1, 2002.
District 141-M represents 6,800 Mechanical and Related employees. District 141 represents US Airways’ 5,400 Fleet Service Employees.
United Airlines Makes New Proposals
District representatives will conduct an immediate review of the company’s new proposal with financial and legal advisors and Grand Lodge representatives. No meetings are currently scheduled with the company and no formal response will be made until this review is completed.
The top executives of companies under investigation by the SEC, Justice Department and other agencies raked in an average $62 million annually. By contrast, the CEOs of firms listed in the annual Business Week executive pay survey is $36 million. By the same token, employees at the 23 firms under investigation suffered a total of 162,000 layoffs in the past 18 months.
Also, the same firms lost more than $530 billion in share value, about 73 percent of their total value. While the CEOs are cushioned by the huge sums they raked in, workers saw their retirement securities go up in smoke and shareholders are left holding a mostly empty bag.
The report points out that if worker pay had increased as fast as CEO pay over the past decade, the average worker would have earned $101,156 last year instead of the much more modest $25,467 in worker pay. The report was produced by United for a Fair Economy, a Boston-based advocacy group; and the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, DC, - based think tank. The report is available at www.FairEconomy.org.
Labor Day Message
from IP Buffenbarger
“They were invisible before Sept. 11. They are invisible today. Yet it was their strength, skill and courage that gave us hope last fall,” Buffenbarger said.
“On this Labor Day, let us see and celebrate these invisibles for what they are—everyday heroes who love their country, their families and their friends so much that they ran towards the sounds of the sirens,” he added.
For the full text of the message, click here (or go to www.goiam.org)
Posts Oklahoma Win
Retiree Alliance Sets
For additional details, visit the Alliance website at www.retiredamericans.org.
Fire Fighters Chief
“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 stay safe,” said Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters. His comments came after Bush said he would not spend some $5.1 billion Congress authorized for some of the nation’s top priorities.
More than $3 billion of the money Bush rejected was earmarked for defense and post-Sept.11 security spending. In addition to the firefighter funding, other rejections include $275 million in health care benefits for veterans, $480 million for emergency response programs for the nation’s military and $600 million for the Transportation Security Agency that would help keep our airways and railroads safe.