iMail Thursday October 21, 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.

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

Negotiations Begin at Pratt & Whitney

IP Tom Buffenbarger, center, shakes hands with Pratt & Whitney Vice President James Miller as negotiations for a new contract at P&W get underway. Joing the IP for the opening round of negotiations are, from left, GVP Robert Thayer, District 26 ADBR Jim Parent and Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker.

Talks for a new contract covering more than 4,400 IAM members at jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp, got underway this week with healthcare costs, pensions and job security among the top issues at the bargaining table. "I am here today to demonstrate our solidarity from the top of the union down to the newest steward," declared IAM President Tom Buffenbarger.

Despite a slump in aircraft engine orders after the Sept. 11 attacks, Pratt & Whitney recently reported a 13 percent increase in third quarter profits while parent company United Technologies also reported a 13 percent increase in third quarter profits.

"It's time to give the dividends to those that make the dividends possible," stated IAM GVP Robert Thayer. In the three years since the last agreement was ratified, Pratt & Whitney has reduced the number of workers covered by the contract from 5,119 to 4,415. Restoring IAM jobs at Pratt and developing a "work force of the future" will be among the long-term goals for negotiators, according to James Parent, District 26 Assistant DBR.

Since 1985, Pratt & Whitney has moved thousands of jobs overseas and closed plants across Connecticut. The current contract expires on Dec. 5, 2004.

Eastern Territory GVP Lynn Tucker pledged his support to the IAM Negotiating Team saying, "We are not here to negotiate a strike, but to get a good agreement our members deserve."


Workers Warm to Kerry’s Stand on Safety

A recent New York Newsday newspaper article focused on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s record as a long-time advocate for stronger regulations to protect workers, consumers and the environment.

The article contrasts the Kerry record with efforts by the Bush administration to eliminate workplace protections that it frequently derides as “burdensome regulation.” IAM Director of Safety and Health Mike Flynn is quoted in the article expressing the view of many union members: “The Kerry administration would be a lot more receptive to promulgating standards that are going to look at worker protection,” said Flynn. “They would listen to our voice.” Other worker advocates were equally supportive of Sen. Kerry. “He’s never voted against us on any of the safety issues we’ve worked on,” said Joan Claybrook, president of consumer advocate Public Citizen.

Worker health and safety regulations have been dramatically loosened in the four years since President Bush took office. In one of his first acts as President, Mr. Bush repealed newly issued OSHA rules covering repetitive motion injuries and then halted progress on 140 other rules to protect workers and consumers.


Missouri CEO’s Invest in Outsourcing

Corporate executives in Missouri that outsourced jobs in the “Show Me” state gave 13 times as much money to the Bush campaign than to the Kerry campaign, according to an eye-opening study that examined the link between outsourcing and executive campaign contributions in the 2004 presidential election.

The report, “No Holiday for Missouri’s Outsourced Workers: Outsourcing, Executive Campaign Contributions and the 2004 Presidential Election” examined all companies that were approved for the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program for sending Missouri jobs overseas since January 2001.

“Executives who sent Missouri’s jobs offshore favor George W. Bush by a wide margin,” said Robert Hickey, author of the report. “Of the 76 companies that have sent Missouri jobs overseas since 2001, top executives at thirty of the companies have made political contributions to the presidential candidates. Executives at 20 outsourcing companies gave exclusively to President Bush.”

The study’s conclusion offers little comfort for the 10,800 Missourians whose manufacturing jobs were sent overseas since 2001 but provides a clear picture of what these executives expect in return for their contributions: “If you are a corporate executive who plans to increase profits and improve shareholder value by sending jobs from Missouri to low-cost countries abroad, Bush is clearly your candidate of choice.”


IAM Welcomes Stanislaus Forest Employees

From left, Jim Junnette, Debi Marez, Bud Gross, Jonathan Ruhan, Robert Brown, Vicki Smith, Freddie Rodrigues, Luke Rutten, Dan Duefrene. Other stewards not pictured are Ian Smith, Bill Seib and Sue Forbes.

Forest Service workers at Stanislaus National Forest in central California recently took part in two Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) elections and overwhelmingly voted to join the IAM.

The vote marks the first time Stanislaus workers have been represented by any union. The new bargaining unit will be part of NFFE Federal District 1 and includes non-professionals and professionals, permanent and temporary workers.


Oil Prices Hit Record High

Crude oil prices hit another record high this week, topping $55 a barrel. Oil prices are up 80 percent since the beginning of the year and have jumped more than $10 a barrel in the last month.

Many analysts now believe oil prices will exceed $60 a barrel, thanks to problems in the Gulf of Mexico and a decline in inventories for heating oil, diesel and jet fuel.

In an effort to take pressure off the Bush administration, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan dismissed the record prices, claiming the economy can “absorb” the increases without triggering a recession. The national average for gas prices topped $2 a gallon on Monday, according to the AAA motorist group’s daily survey. The AAA also reports that average gas prices are more than 42 cents above their level a year ago.


Kansas City Members
Awarded 50-Year Certificates

Local Lodge 778 in Kansas City, MO recently sponsored an IAM Life Member Banquet where 29 retired members from the Kansas City area were honored with Gold Membership Cards for 50 years or more of IAM service.

The banquet took place at the Retirees’ Club meeting earlier this month at Local 778’s newly re-modeled meeting hall. Executive Board members and full-time staff joined a room full of guests to honor the members who fought so hard for the benefits we enjoy today.

President Leo Berroteran and DBR Joe Capra made the Gold Card presentations with GLR Joe Cooper calling out the names of the distinguished IAM veterans.

Click here for photos of the award ceremony.


Southern Territory Welcomes Jeff Smith

IP Tom Buffenbarger named Jeff Smith of Daleville, AL to join the Southern Territory staff as a Special Representative, effective October 1, 2004.

He will handle the National Labor Relations Board business at the Dallas office.

“Jeff Smith brings years of experience in all facets of grievances, arbitrations and representing members,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “I’m confident Brother Smith will be a vital part of our territory and its future.”

Smith initiated into the IAM June 1980 in Local 2003 while working as an A&P Licensed Mechanic at Fort Rucker, AL. A succession of leadership positions followed, including shop steward, grievance committee, local lodge vice president, district lodge delegate, and delegate to the Alabama AFL-CIO. He became a Business Representative for District Lodge 75 in January 1998.




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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.