iMail Tuesday, September 14, 2004
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Campaigns Fail to Reach Young Voters
Politicians are not reaching young people because campaigns are failing to think outside the box, according to a recent poll.

Early Ballots Allow Election Day Ease
In some battleground states this year, voters will be able to cast their votes nearly six weeks before Election Day.

Poverty On the Rise in America
Data released by the Census Bureau last week shows that a frightening number of Americans are now living below the poverty line and without health insurance.

Anti-Labor Day at DOL

On Monday, August 23rd, Machinists, Laborer's, Teachers, Nurses, Professional Employees, Teamsters, Bricklayers, and other union members picketed in front of the Department of Labor to bring attention to the Bush administration's attack on working families.

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 members at Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas overwhelmingly approved a new three-year agreement.

Local 774 Ratifies Contract for 4,300 at Cessna

Members of Local 774 at Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, KS voted overwhelmingly on Sept. 11 to ratify a new 3-year agreement with wage increases of 10 percent over the life of the accord; significant improvements in retirement benefits; a choice of health insurance providers and a $2,500 signing bonus.

The contract contained late-breaking improvements over an earlier offer by the company, which was revised following a massive march in downtown Wichita, where IAM members demonstrated their willingness to fight their for jobs and a contract that met their demands.

"The members of Local Lodge 774 should be very proud. Their voice on the shop floor and at the downtown rally broke a stalemate that would have given the members a disastrous contract to have to vote on," said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “A union is only as strong as their members, and the members at Local Lodge 774 are powerful indeed. Congratulations to them all."

"Hard bargaining and membership solidarity were the keys to winning this contract," added IAM General Vice President Bob Thayer. "Congratulations to the negotiating team and the members of Local 774. They made this agreement possible.”

“This membership came together as never before, and sent a message,” said IAM Aerospace Coordinator Ron Eldridge.

“They told Cessna they would strike, and they meant it.”
Nearly 4,300 IAM members at Cessna will receive benefits under the new agreement.

Visit the Local 774 website for more information, pictures of the rally and complete terms of the ratified agreement.

US Airways’ Management Declares Bankruptcy

“The IAM is prepared to aggressively represent our US Airways members through every step of the bankruptcy process,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr., following news that US Airways had filed for its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in as many years.

“Our members recognized the poor state of US Airways seven months ago and offered the airline much-needed cost savings proposals, but were turned away,” said Roach. “We are determined that any restructuring should not be at the exclusive expense of employees who already provided $1.5 billion to fund US Airways’ last bankruptcy restructuring.”

“This latest bankruptcy filing is a disappointment, but sadly it is not a surprise,” said William O’Driscoll, President of IAM District 142. “Immediately after exiting their first bankruptcy, this airline began subcontracting our members’ work in violation of our contract. The animosity and distrust this created made it impossible to foster the positive labor-management relationship necessary for the company to succeed.”

“US Airways management has thus far demonstrated an overwhelming inability to look beyond labor costs for any means to replenish falling revenues,” said IAM District 141 President Randy Canale. “This coming fight to save US Airways could find employees and management on opposite sides of the table or on the same side. Management's choice in this matter will determine if the airline succeeds or fails.”

IAM District 141 represents 4,600 Fleet Service employees at US Airways, and District 142 represents the airline’s 4,500 Mechanic & Utility employees. Formore information go to the IAM's Transportation web page.

FDA Threatens States Over Drug Importation

The Food and Drug Administration is considering legal action against a handful of states that allow their citizens to buy prescription drugs from foreign drug companies.

The threat by FDA Associate Commissioner William Hubbard came in response to Vermont’s recent lawsuit claiming that the FDA abuses its power to prevent states from importing more affordable prescription drugs.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich shrugged off the threat and says he plans on continuing with the State of Illinois’ effort to create a website making it easier for its citizens to order prescription drugs from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Despite skyrocketing drug prices, both the FDA and the Bush Administration continue to oppose moves that would allow seniors to access prescription drugs at more affordable prices.

“Why doesn’t the Bush administration put as much time and energy into reining in the cost of drugs as they do in preventing seniors from affording them? It’s clear that the president has chosen to side with the drug industry instead of what’s best for American seniors,” said Ruben Burks, secretary-treasurer of the Alliance For Retired Americans.

Illinois, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Minnesota and Wisconsin have all already taken measures to help their citizens deal with high drug prices by making it easier to order them from foreign outlets.

Job Displacement Reaches Crisis Levels

The latest evidence of an ongoing crisis in the nation’s manufacturing sector comes from a study by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research (CERP). The study examined the so-called economic recovery period of 2001 to 2003 and found almost one in ten manufacturing workers was displaced from a job they held for at least three years. The longer-term toll of displacement is even larger. From 1991 to 2003, the study’s authors estimated between 17 and 26 percent of all manufacturing workers were displaced at least once from a long tenure job.

The numbers translate to serious economic hardship for millions of working Americans. Nearly 5.3 million workers were displaced between 2001 and 2003, compared to 4.5 million during a similar 2-year period between 1991 and 1993.

The survey also found that one third of the workers displaced between 2001-03 had not found new work when the survey was taken. Three-quarters of those that did find new work took a dramatic cut in pay. Nearly 40 percent of manufacturing workers saw their inflation adjusted weekly earning drop 20 percent or more at their new job.

My Vote, My Right

As part of a non-partisan “My Vote, My Right” campaign, the AFL-CIO announced that to guard against voting abuses, they will monitor polls in the various battleground states on Election Day.

The 2000 presidential election was marred by confusing ballots, understaffed polls, glitches with voting machines and registered voters mistakenly removed from the rolls.

The campaign will also provide citizens with information about their voting rights and encourage voters to take advantage of new voter protections under the Help America Vote Act, which was passed by Congress in 2002.

“We’re determined to make sure every eligible voter who goes to the polls has an opportunity to cast his or her ballot and to ensure that every vote is counted,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

The AFL-CIO has created voter advocacy teams in 32 cities in 12 states, including Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

IAM Member Sworn in as Florida Mayor

IAM member Frank Ortis was sworn in as Mayor of Pembroke Pines, Florida, the second largest city in Broward County. Ortis won the mayor’s race by a landslide after serving as a city commissioner since 1996. He defeated three other candidates, receiving 65.5 percent of the vote.

“He’s had the most local experience in Pembroke Pines,” according to voter Andrea Brown. “He’s served as a local elected official and he seems to support things that Pembroke Pines needs.”

Ortis is a member of IAM Local 368 and is the former president of the Florida State Council of Machinists.

The IAM Has a Better Idea for Ford

The IAM joined with the Michigan State AFL-CIO and the Detroit Metropolitan AFL-CIO at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan for an informational rally in support of organizing efforts at Ford dealerships.

Grand Lodge Representative Karl Heim said, “Secure pensions, health insurance, and paid vacations are key differences between union and non-union dealerships. No wonder skilled technicians in Michigan are looking to the IAM for a better deal.”

The IAM represents more than 40,000 auto and truck mechanics, painters, and body repair technicians across the U.S. and Canada.

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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.

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.