from the IAM communications department

Web Highlights

If you think you may be laid off, or if you already have been, you may find the web links and suggestions on this page to be a valuable resource. 

IAM Community Services

The IAM's 911 
Disaster Relief Fund
An open letter from IP Tom Buffenbarger and GST Don Wharton

From Disaster to Hope
A message from Community Services Director Maria C. Cordone about the September 11 tragedy.

Terror Strikes America's Working Familes
A special report from the AFL-CIO on September 11's aftermath.

News and updates about what happened.

Unions are providing ways to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Find out what you can ddo to help. 

What the AFL-CIO and the labor movement have to say about the tragedy


The IAM's 
Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

General Secretary Treasurer 
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western Territory
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada 
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest Territory 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP IAM Headquarters 
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern Territory 
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern Territory 
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.

Breaking News for Friday, September 28, 2001

Buffenbarger Calls for Airline Worker Protection
International President R. Thomas Buffenbarger sent the following letter today to urge everyone in the IAM to take action on behalf of our members affected by the September 11 tragedy. Congress bailed out the airlines, but intentionally left aerospace and airline workers out in the cold. Please write letters and call your Senators and Representative and tell them to support steps to lessen the impact on working families.

IAM members can send a letter directly from the “Action Item” section on the Politics and Legislation page at

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The September 11th tragedies made a huge impact on our union. Our members who perform work in the air transport industry immediately felt the sting – they were laid off. The job loss rapidly spread to 30,000 of our brothers and sisters at Boeing. The total impact to date may exceed 130,000 members and their families, who are the economic victims of this ongoing tragedy. The job loss in the service, subcontractor, and supplier businesses will only increase these figures. 

We requested that the George W. Bush administration and Congress provide a veil of protection for our brothers and sisters in the aerospace and air transportation industries. However, on September 21st, the White House disagreed by omitting a provision in the airline bailout bill that would have protected workers within those industries. All through this legislative process, Members of Congress assured us that our members would be taken care of. That didn’t happen. Employee protections were included in the House version of the Bill, but Majority Whip Tom Delay stripped them at 3:30 that morning. As a result, airline executives were given an immediate five billion dollar infusion of cash, another ten billion dollars in loan guarantees and subsidies. We were intentionally left out.

President George W. Bush flew to Chicago O’Hare Airport on September 27, 2001, and stood with airline employees. He never addressed our thousands of laid off members who are now on the outside looking in.

Brothers and sisters, I ask you to rally to a call of action. Alert our members everywhere and ask them to contact their Members of Congress to defend the workers in the air transportation and aerospace industries.

We have asked this Congress and our President to provide basic items for our brothers and sisters and their families:

1) Guaranteed 104 weeks of unemployment benefits;

2) Supplemental compensation and training/retraining programs;

3) Eighteen months guaranteed medical insurance coverage;

4) Protection from creditors. (Our members did not expect to be laid off and may have credit card debt, rented a larger apartment, or bought a bigger home. They need protection from judgments, personal bankruptcies, and foreclosures.)

5) Buy American. (Airlines asked for and have taken our taxpayer money. They should buy American. Members of Congress debated this issue at last week’s hearings. At that time the airlines took the position that it was improper to demand that they buy American).

The Executive Council and I are committed to protect our members from acts that have resulted economic terrorism for the hundreds of thousands of families that reside in the United States and Canada.

We must ensure that equality is provided for the workers, not just for corporations and their executives. Please act today. Contact your Senators and Representative. Ask them to support the five principles listed above. Forward your progress as well as any letters you send to the Legislative and Political Action Department, fax 301-967-4595

In solidarity,

R. Thomas Buffenbarger
International President

California Governor Davis Helps Airline Workers
Democratic Governor Gray Davis responded to the wave of layoffs facing California’s airline workers by issuing an executive order to waive the one-week waiting period for applying for unemployment benefits.

“We applaud Governor Davis for stepping up to help airline employees,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “Congress, the President, and other Governors should take notice and do what’s right for all airline employees affected by the terrorist attacks. In the rush to bail out the airlines, the employees who are the true heart of the aviation industry should not be forgotten.”

The order applies to all airline employees and other workers at California’s airports who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits and are unemployed due to the temporary grounding of all major airline traffic after the September 11 tragedy. The waiver of the one-week waiting period is in effect until December 31, 2001.

“These workers and their families will face significant financial hardship resulting from the loss of employment,” said Governor Davis. “They will need immediate financial assistance to mitigate the effects of this emergency.” 

The text of the order is available at Go to the press room section, then Executive Orders section and look for Executive Order D-45-01.

Comments, suggestions, or story items for imail? Contact IAMAW via email or at 301-967-4520

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