October 24, 2002
The Washington Post reports that business lobbyists are “laying plans to take swift advantage if Republicans complete the triple crown of the White House, the House and the Senate.”
“We can’t let that happen,” warns IP Tom Buffenbarger. “The GOP’s pro-business agenda means a Social Security system that tilts toward Wall Street rather than retirees, healthcare policies that benefit drug companies, tax cuts for corporations, skyrocketing CEO pay and stagnant wages for workers,” Buffenbarger said.
“Business lobbyists and corporate PACs are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in the campaign coffers of their political water carriers,” Buffenbarger said. “If money could buy elections, it would be all over. But we have something they don’t have. We have the votes. Money can’t buy our votes. With our votes, we can make the difference. Don’t let them buy this election. Make your voices heard. Make your votes count.”
Help Needed in Pratt
At least 70 people are believed to have died from brain tumors caused by the disease, glioblastoma multiforma. All of them worked at P&W plants in the state. A work group meets regularly to share information, ideas and ways to communicate to the workers and to the public. The group includes several IAM safety representatives from District 26 and IAM local unions which represent workers at those plants.
Two members of the work group are widows whose husbands died from the virulent brain tumors. The widows started the Worked to Death group, which represents families of the cancer victims. You can visit their website at www.workedtodeath.net
Any past or present P&W employees who may have helpful information on this issue or who may need assistance should contact www.goiam.org/visit.asp?c=3695 for the names and telephone numbers of union representatives who may be of service.
Action Urged for
“The Airline Workers Relief Act (H.R. 5678) is a vital piece of legislation for airline workers and the national economy,” said GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “A recent study of airline workers in New York found more than half of those laid off remain unemployed – many facing serious health problems without medical insurance of any kind.”
From coast to coast, the crisis for airline employees is worsening. The New York-area study found significant increases in depression, high blood pressure and sleep disorders among displaced employees. “Forty four percent also reported they had either moved involuntarily since the attack or feared they would soon be forced to do so,” said the report, which was sponsored by the IAM and the City University of New York.
GVP Roach called on airline and non-airline members to contact their elected representatives immediately and express support for H.R. 5678. The bill would provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits and subsidize 75 percent of employees’ COBRA health insurance cost. The bill would also provide job training and establish a hiring preference for airline workers who apply for unfilled federal security screener positions.
Click here to send a message to Congress in support of the Airline Worker Relief Act.
Magazine Honors Local 1720
The award was earned, in part, because the workers have implemented the IAM’s High Performance Workplace Organization (HPWO) process. The union brought the HPWO plan to ISP managers in 1996.
“The atmosphere here is the kind I always wanted to work in,” said Monty Newcomb, Local 1720 president. “Both sides benefits so much from this working partnership.”
In addition to the Industry Week honor, the ISP facility and its employees won the University of Louisville cooperative labor-management award earlier this year.
Machinists' Choice Appointed
The IAM Information and Resource Committee at US Airways presented Mr. Mantineo's name to IP Buffenbarger last week in accordance with the recently ratified US Airways restructuring proposal. The proposal included provisions allowing the Machinists Union to select a representative to US Airways' Board of Directors.
"Joe Mantineo has an extensive background at US Airways," said Buffenbarger. "His experience will be an asset to the airline. I am proud to accept the Committee's suggestion and recommend Joe as the IAM's representative on the Board of Directors."
Mantineo has 39 years experience as an Aircraft and Powerplant Mechanic at US Airways, retiring in 1996. He served for twelve years as Secretary Treasurer for IAM Local Lodge 1445 in Newark, NJ, and was involved in the mergers of Allegheny and Mohawk Airlines, US Air and PSA, and US Air and Piedmont Airlines. Mantineo began serving on IAM negotiating committees in 1957, and became a District 141 General Chairman in 1991. "I have worked alongside Joe Mantineo for more than 25 years," said General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. "He is the right choice to oversee our members' investment in US Airways."
The appointment will take effect immediately.
Labor Demands Proxy Vote Disclosure
Speaking for the AFL-CIO’s 66 national and international unions, Trumka urged the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to act on a proposed rule requiring mutual funds to disclose how they vote on key issues during annual meetings.
“Full disclosure of mutual fund proxy votes is the only way that working families can ensure that their retirement savings are not being used to support runaway executive pay, conflicted auditors and entrenched boards of directors,” said Trumka.
Mutual fund holdings by unions and members are considerable. Individually and through a variety of benefit plans, union members have over $5 trillion invested, included $400 billion in union-sponsored pension plans.