iMail archives



print version

iMail signup

Keep up to date on Boeing negotiations on the "IAM Boeing News" page on Video, press releases, updates and news stories are available.

President Bush signed Fast Track legislation that will usher in a new round of NAFTA-style agreements.

To get the Facts about 'Free Trade'  and its damaging effect on America's workers, read "The Real Cost of 'Free' Trade" from Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders.

Live Here if You Dare

Join Eastern Territory IAM members in a tour of the Maquiladora area in Tijuana, Mexico to see firsthand the deplorable living and working conditions of Mexican workers.

Get Your Convention Gear Check out gear for the 2004 IAM Convention


Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

Secretary Treasurer
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.


Thursday,  August 29, 2002

FMCS Stalls Strike at Boeing
Negotiators for Boeing and the Machinists Union have been requested by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to consent to a 30-day extension of the current agreement and to report to Washington D.C. on September 4 for a resumption of negotiations.

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
Mechanical & Related and Fleet Service Employees at US Airways, voting separately, took different paths yesterday in nationwide voting on company-proposed restructuring plans. Fifty seven percent of Mechanical & Related employees voting rejected the proposal. Fleet Service employees voted 62 percent in favor of a separate proposal.

“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, and the District 141-M web site at 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
United Airlines met with union representatives in Chicago on August 28 and outlined a revised recovery plan that calls for $450 million in annual cost reductions from IAM members represented by District 141 and 141-M. United claims the savings are necessary to qualify for loan guarantees from the Air Transportation Stabilization Board and to avoid a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

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.

United Airlines’ proposals are posted for review by the members at and

Corporate Greed Exceeds Expectations
Just when it seems corporate corruption reached its peak, startling new revelations lurch onto center stage. A new study finds that the CEOs of failing companies under investigation for accounting irregularities made 70 percent more money than the average CEO.

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

Labor Day Message from IP Buffenbarger
In a moving Labor Day message, IP Tom Buffenbarger paid tribute to the everyday heroes who performed so magnificently in the wake of the September 11 tragedies at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon near the nation’s capitol.

“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

Worker Coalition Posts Oklahoma Win
Oklahoma workers made their voices heard and handed IBEW member Joe Smith a stunning victory in that state’s Democratic primary election. Smith handily upset a veteran state senator who was long-time champion of so-called “right-to-work-for less” legislation. Smith posted a 53-to-47 percent victory over incumbent state Sen. Dave Herbert, who was the lead sponsor of the state’s Right-to-Work initiative last year. Herbert held the seat since his election in 1986.

Retiree Alliance Sets National Conference
The Alliance for Retired Americans holds its first-ever national meeting for Sept. 3-5 in Washington, DC. Invited speakers include former Pres. Bill Clinton, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MS, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-MO, and other distinguished guests.

For additional details, visit the Alliance website at

Fire Fighters Chief Skewers Bush
The head of the Fire Fighters union zinged President Bush after he withheld $340 million for firefighters, including money for communications equipment that the union said could have saved lives on Sept. 11.

 “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.