US Airways Lands in
Court Over Outsourcing
Earlier this week, US Airways announced it would subcontract heavy maintenance on 10 of its Airbus aircraft, a move the IAM considers to be a major contract dispute under the Railway Labor Act. The airline claims it lacks adequate facilities and equipment to perform the work, despite a long history of performing identical work on the airline’s non-Airbus fleet.
“All heavy maintenance
work, regardless of aircraft type, falls under the scope of our contract,”
said GVP Robert Roach, Jr. and leaders of District 141-M in a letter
(link) to members.
Challenges Gather Momentum
Under current rules, shareholders can nominate directors at a company’s annual meeting, but such efforts rarely succeed because most shareholders vote by returning a mailed proxy ballot before the annual meetings are held. These ballots are prepared by the company and typically do not include any information on shareholder-nominated directors.
Additionally, most shareholder-led initiatives are non-binding and sitting directors are relatively free to ignore large blocks of dissatisfied investors, including employees and pension fund managers seeking greater accountability and transparency.
“The recent corporate
crime wave that robbed millions of Americans of their jobs, savings and
retirements is more than enough reason to change the way current CEO’s are
allowed to operate,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The new SEC rules are an
important step toward repairing a system that allows a company like
Lockheed Martin to keep former Enron director Frank Savage on its’ board
despite overwhelming opposition by shareholders and employees.”
United Airlines to
Request IRS Waiver
The request, if approved, would not affect the amount United is required to pay into employees’ pension plans, nor would it reduce the amount of pensions due current or former United employees.
If the IRS grants United’s application for a waiver, the carrier would be given additional time to meet its pension funding obligations. Such relief is not without precedent yet differs dramatically from the liquidation of a pension plan, an action recently imposed on pilots at then-bankrupt US Airways.
In a letter to employees, the carrier said it is also seeking legislative relief in Washington D.C. from the current pension payment schedule.
“Few things are more
important to an employee than their pension,” said Randy Canale, IAM
District 141 President, representing 26,000 IAM members at United. “And
few things threaten employee pensions more than bankruptcy. If the IRS
payment extension puts United on the road to financial recovery without
reducing employee pensions by so much as a dime, then it should be
Hospital Errors Kill
The study appears in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association and identifies 18 common medical errors ranging from minor medical mishaps to post surgical infections that add an average of $58,000 in costs and 11 days to a hospital stay. Additionally, the study found post-surgical infections increase the risk of dying in the hospital by 22 percent.
“The study confirms
our strong belief that preventable medical errors are a leading cause of
the high cost of health care in this country today,” said Steve Sleigh,
director of the IAM Strategic Resource Dept., who also serves as a
director on the National Committee for Quality Assurance. “The issue of
quality health care and the steps we can take to ensure our members get
the most for their health care dollars can no longer be taken for
Justice for Janitors -
The IAM represents Dura Automotive, Crane Canada, Spartech
and Cedarcroft Nursing Home in the City of Stratford which is also the
birthplace of the Canadian Machinists, chartering Local Lodge 103 in 1890.
Héroux-Devtek join the IAMAW
“It is with great pride that I welcome all these new members
to the fold,” said District 11 organizer Gérald Tremblay. “After having
worked closely with the current leaders, there is no doubt in my mind as
to their ability to represent their members best interests during the
upcoming bargaining round.”
Highlight Jobs Lost to Bad Trade Deals