IAM Suspends Local
In a letter to Local 709 members, Machinists Union International President Tom Buffenbarger outlined the issues that led to the officials’ suspension and the steps taken to restore full compliance with legal guidelines and IAM Constitutional requirements.
“We take any misuse of members’ dues to be the most serious breach of an officer’s financial responsibility,” said Buffenbarger. “Every effort was made to correct the practices of this particular local lodge, and when those steps were not fully successful, we took additional steps to ensure full compliance.”
According to IAM’s financial review, the amount of questionable reimbursements and unreported tax liabilities could exceed $150,000 for the indebted officials.
As required by law,
the IAM presented its findings to the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as
its reasons for not continuing a formal suspension of Local Lodge 709, a
move that would postpone upcoming local lodge elections. “We want those
elections to go forward and for you – the members of Local Lodge 709 – to
determine who can best correct the Lodge’s financial mismanagement,” wrote
House Votes to Take
Amtrak to Brink of Shutdown
TTD leaders said that the House vote means, “Amtrak could face financial collapse, thereby stranding millions of passengers and eliminating more than 20,000 jobs.”
If the recent vote in
the U.S. House of Representatives is allowed to stand, Amtrak would once
again be brought to be the brink of a national shutdown, according to the
leaders of 35 AFL-CIO transportation unions.
Unions Vow to Oppose
“The WTO is little more than a puppet organization controlled by the world’s wealthiest nations,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Until they acknowledge the human suffering and exploitation caused by their current agenda, we will oppose them wherever and whenever they meet.”
Meanwhile, in testimony before the House Small Business Committee on WTO challenges to U.S. tax rules governing small businesses, IAM Trade & Globalization Director Owen Herrnstadt urged the committee to reject a proposal offered by Rep. Bill Thomas, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. “Among other things, it is filled with a series of corporate tax cuts,” said Herrnstadt, who warned, “The Thomas approach could present (even) more incentives for corporations to shift manufacturing jobs out of the country.”
before the House Small Business Committee:
Workers Choose Machinists
Following the vote, the employer placed legal obstacles in their way, obliging them to be present at the Labor Board on two separate occasions. Fortunately, this only made them more determined. “Despite the hurdles they had to go through, our members kept at it - and that just made them stronger,” said IAM Organizer, Scott Jackson.
The new members are employed at two facilities which provide
youth detention and custody services within the City of London. The
members sought out the Machinists after learning that we would represent
them and help to ensure that they would be treated with respect. They will
join members in London-area Local Lodge 756.
The two-year grant will provide current workers with specialized training in composite technologies, the hard, plastic-like material used by aerospace companies to build modern aircraft. Laid off workers will be provided with training in basic structural assembly as well as assistance in resume writing, job interview skill and help with job placement. Lockheed agreed to offer “preferential interviews” for applicants who complete the program.
The innovative program
was on the brink of shutting down when Pat Lane, president and directing
business representative of Local Lodge 776 and a Lockheed representative
approached Rep. Kay Granger (R-Ft. Worth) about additional federal money
for the program. The Texas representative told a local newspaper she was
surprised the request was approved so quickly. “It was the funding we
asked for, and we got it in record time,” said Granger.
North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia are still digging out from damage and debris left behind by Hurricane Isabel, now officially among the ten most costly storms to hit the U.S. since 1900.
The storm that hit the East Coast was less severe than the Category 5 storm that threatened to sweep in from the Atlantic, but high winds and a 7-ft coastal storm surge left millions without power and caused 38 deaths. Property damage from the storm is expected to reach into the billions.
IAM headquarters in
Upper Marlboro, MD was shuttered due to a loss of electrical power from
Thursday, Sept. 18 through Monday, Sept. 22.