Kerry Swings, Misses on
Calling former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s economic plan “vague” and U.S. Rep Richard Gephardt’s trade proposals “protectionist,” Kerry touted his own agenda, which more closely resembles the corporate-friendly policies of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Like Lieberman, Kerry voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and supported most favored trading status for China. Both moves are widely considered to be responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
“If Sen. Kerry had stood up for American workers during the NAFTA fight in1993, he might find more American workers at his side today,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Instead, his voting record is the single most compelling reason to ignore any claims or criticism he might have on the subject of jobs or job creation.”
The IAM endorsed Rep.
Gephardt last July at the IAM National Staff Conference in Cincinnati,
largely based on his decades-long record of support for IAM members and
his opposition to trade deals that opened the doors to widespread job
losses in the U.S.
Int’l Currency Rates
Cost U.S. Jobs
Currency exchange rates in China and Japan keeps the prices of their products extremely low, giving these countries a significant advantage in the global market. Despite pleading by U.S. business leaders for President Bush to address this problem, little has been done.
Among efforts to keep jobs in the U.S. is a bill sponsored by New York Rep. Charles Rangel to provide tax incentives to manufacturers who keep jobs in the U.S., rather than move to low wage, offshore locations. Rangel also introduced a resolution that asks the White House to "use all available means" to get China and Japan, as well as Taiwan and South Korea to stop manipulating their currencies.
Meanwhile, Textron Inc. announced last week that it will close two more
plants in Rockford, IL, pushing job cuts for the company to over 1,000
this year. Rockford, whose unemployment is 11.3 percent, has had an
especially rough year as Ingersoll International Co., Dial Machine Inc.
and Acme Grinding Inc. have all made significant job cuts.
FAA Bill Gets GOP
The GOP plan would remove about half of the 69 airport towers from the list currently slated for privatization. Republicans hope the move will shore up support in the Senate for the controversial FAA reauthorization bill, currently stalled over the outsourcing issue. Additionally, the bill includes provisions allowing foreign cargo carriers to service point-to-point markets within the U.S. and fails to make anti-terrorism training mandatory for Flight Attendants.
“We cannot allow partisan politics to permit foreign airlines
unprecedented access to U.S. markets at the expense of our hard-working
airline employees,” said GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “Furthermore, cash-strapped
airlines must not be given the option to refuse the critical training
Flight Attendants need to defend themselves, their passengers and their
The bad news is that
premiums for Medicare Part B, which pays for doctors’ services and other
out-patient care increase by 13.5 percent next year to $60.60 a month.
Bush Popularity Drops
Among Older Voters
Bush, who campaigned as a “compassionate conservative,” has seen his approval ratings drop significantly among older voters. Republicans hoped to make serious inroads among seniors, who vote in higher numbers than other age groups. Older voters are likely to play a major role in such swing states as Florida and Pennsylvania in the 2004 elections.
A New York Times/CBS News poll showed Bush had a 41 percent approval rating among 65-and-older voters, his lowest among any age group. That’s down from 63 percent in May.
“Analysts in both
parties cite the economy, the stock market and the situation in Iraq as
major factors in the slippage, along with more traditional concerns for
older Americans like Medicare and the cost of prescription drugs,” the
The ratified accords bring the total number of first agreements in the Eastern Territory to a total of 22 for the year.
Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker congratulated the new members in each location and thanked District 54 DBR Tom Frisbie, BR Dean Wright and District 26 DBR Everett Corey and BR Jeff Perinetti for their work on the new contracts.