iMail Tuesday October 19, 2004
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A Misstep For the Bush Admini-strations DOL
The Monday September 27, 2004, Washington Post reports that the DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy, didn't practice what they preach.

Mobolize, Organize, Get Out the Vote
Congressman John Lewis of Georgia spoke to the delegates and the Grand Lodge Convention on Friday, September 24th.

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.

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.

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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


Buffenbarger Slams Outsourcing
as ‘Economic Terrorism’

IP Tom Buffenbarger called the practice of outsourcing U.S. jobs to cheap labor markets nothing more than “economic terrorism” and said union members will hold Sen. Kerry to his campaign promise to review all U.S. trade agreements in the first 120 days of a Kerry administration.

“We have to do something substantial and meaningful with the trade agreements to keep jobs in America,” said Buffenbarger on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight. “The fact is we have to go back and change those agreements.”

In response to another question from Dobbs, Buffenbarger called for a stronger commitment by the candidate to protect jobs. “If that means we have to stake a position, put down a marker that says jobs belong here and your job belongs here, then we should do it and not be afraid to say it,” declared Buffenbarger.

“The most valuable thing any American worker has is their job,” said Buffenbarger, who cited a new study that predicted that 400,000 jobs will be lost due to outsourcing this year.

Judge Orders Cuts at US Airways

In the latest round of cuts at the nation’s seventh largest airline, a bankruptcy judge in Alexandria, Virginia, ordered an immediate 21 percent pay cut for unionized employees at US Airways. The judge also suspended contract provisions governing aircraft fleet size and authorized the carrier to make reduced payments to employee pension plans. Click US Airways 1113(e) Order to read the judge’s order.

Calling the situation at US Airways “a fiscal ticking time bomb,” Judge Stephen Mitchell granted nearly all the temporary measures requested by the bankrupt airline. Under Section 1113e of the Bankruptcy Code, any temporary modifications to existing labor contract must be “essential” to the company’s “immediate” survival. IAM attorneys and representatives argued the carrier is seeking to make permanent changes that will not generate any immediate savings for the airline.

The judge limited the changes at US Airways to four months, rather than the six months requested by the airline.


IAM Members Ratify New Pact,
St. Louis Strike Ends

Members of Local 777 in St. Louis, MO voted late last week to ratify a new 3-year agreement covering nearly 1,300 auto repair technicians, body shop workers and other service department workers at sixty-one St. Louis area dealerships.

The settlement brings a 76-day strike to an end and follows an accord reached last week for porters and parts department workers represented by Teamsters Local 618. Members of both unions walked picket lines together in front of the dealerships since the strike began on August 1.

The contract dispute, which was resolved with the help of federal mediators, centered on the attempts by dealers to expand the use of “helpers,” a lower-paid classification that many members felt could jeopardize the positions of higher-paid repair technicians.

Union representatives thanked the driving public in St. Louis for honoring their strike and urged them to return now that the strike was settled. “We hope the public comes back and does all their business with these car dealerships,” said Tony Rippeto, District 9 Assistant Directing Business Representative.

Strike Vote photos at

High Price of Healthcare Spurs Tragedy

A thirty-five year employee of the Ladish Company in Cudahy, Wisconsin, took his own life last week shortly after he learned his medical costs would be increased for a fifth consecutive year.

The 53-year old member of IAM Local 1862 became distraught at work after reading a notice on a company bulletin board informing employees of increased deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. The employee returned home and spoke with his wife about the situation. Despite her efforts to calm him down, the man walked across the street from his home and committed suicide.

“We may never know all the details that led this man to take his own life,” said Midwest Territory GVP Jim Brown. “But it is clear the pressure of ever increasing healthcare costs played a part in this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and I hope any member who experiences deep depression or despair can find the help they need to overcome these extremely difficult times.”


Bush Ignored Flu Vaccine Warning

The Bush administration is scrambling to dodge responsibility for a nationwide shortage of flu vaccine, a looming crisis that was brought to the administration’s attention more than three years ago.

In 2001, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a warning that an adequate supply of flu vaccine would be difficult to ensure due to the shrinking number of vaccine manufacturers in the U.S. Despite the GAO warning, no official action was taken and production of the life-saving vaccine was entrusted to overseas facilities.

When asked what he would do now to address the vaccine shortage, President Bush said he was working with Canada to supply the medicine. That response drew a rapid response from the Alliance for Retired Americans. “It’s hard to accept the president’s logic that it’s safe to get Canadian-imported flu vaccine, but somehow unsafe to import other necessary medicines from Canada,” said Ed Coyle, president of the Alliance for Retired Americans, who added “How can we trust this administration to protect us from the unexpected when we can’t even guarantee that all citizens, especially the elderly, are protected against the expected flu season.”


Outsourcing to Cost 400,000 U.S. Jobs

A new report confirms a widely held belief that U.S. government estimates regarding job loss from outsourcing to China and other countries are “grossly underestimated” and that as many as 406,000 U.S. jobs could be lost this year alone to the phenomena.

The study, released by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission ( ), described “a severe knowledge gap in our understanding of the nature and scope of U.S. production shifts to China and elsewhere.” The study examined the dramatic increase of production jobs moving from the U.S. to China, Mexico, India and other Asian countries during the past three years.

“This study confirms what IAM members know all too well,” said IP Buffenbarger. “Thousands of good jobs are being destroyed every month as corporations line up to take advantage of tax loopholes created by the Bush administration for companies that move U.S. jobs to foreign countries.”

Among its findings, the study also revealed that companies engaged in shifting production to foreign countries “tend to be large, publicly held, highly profitable, and well established.”

The study found workers in the U.S. Midwest to have been particularly hard hit and that Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers laid off due to overseas job relocation is poor, covering workers in less than a third of the cases. (click here to read the full report - pdf.version).



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The winners of the 2004 Newsletter & Website Contest.

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 held in 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Check the "Highlights" section for covrage of Convention events and photos.

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.