IAM editors and webstewards stepped in the spotlight at this year's Communications Conference. See who won what in the IAM's Newsletter & Website Contest.

A close look at how big business wants to expand NAFTA
Free Trade Area of the Americas

A video interview with Dr.Chrisitan E. Weller, from the Economic Policy Institute. 
Economic Stimulus Package

The IAM 
Executive Council

 International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

 Secretary Treasurer
Donald E. Wharton 

 GVP Western 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada 
GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern 
GVP Southern
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern Territory GVP Eastern
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.



The IAM's 
Executive Council


Friday, November 16, 2001 

Everyday Heroes

The IAM's Executive Council this week initiated the Everyday Heroes project - an effort to collect 100 hours of historic interviews with workers who responded to the attacks of September 11th. Those videotapes will be edited into a half hour documentary early next year.

You can keep track of the progress of the Everyday Heroes project by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the GOIAM homepage. It will take you to a videotaped interview with Jimmy Willis, a TWU shop steward who worked at Ground Zero in the hours following the September 11th attacks. Each day another thumbnail sketch of one of workers who responded to this crisis will be posted to the site.  

"It is not necessarily the individual acts of heroism that we are trying to capture," explained Jim Conigliaro, Assistant Directing Business Rep of District 15. "It is the epic and heroic efforts of workers who responded to this tragedy. Some dug for survivors at Ground Zero, some helped evacuate millions, some fed the hungry or protected the children, some figured out ways to find jobs for the unemployed, some began the process of rebuilding, and some just did whatever needed to be done. We are capturing their stories."

Everyday Heroes
is an ongoing video chronicle of those stories. You can view it at http://www.goiam.org.

Senate GOP Stalls Stimulus Package
Senate Republicans blocked a pro-worker economic stimulus plan because it favored working families at the expense of corporate America and wealthy taxpayers. Democrats offered the $67 billion plan that would have provided extended-and improved-unemployment insurance benefits, helped pay for health insurance premiums and other assistance for laid-off workers.

 It was designed to help working families who have lost their jobs in the current Bush recession and the economic aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Using a parliamentary procedure that required 60 votes to overcome, Republican leaders effectively killed the bill even though its supporters had a 51-47 majority.

Earlier, the GOP-dominated House passed a $100 billion package that targeted $9 of every $10 to Big Business and the wealthiest taxpayers. Senate Republicans want a similar bill, as does President Bush.

"The stalemate is unlikely to be resolved until after the Thanksgiving break. That would be a good time to schedule appointments with your Senators and Representatives," suggested IP Tom Buffenbarger. "Tell them how you feel about these issues. Tell them that working families power this economy. That's where the focus should be."


Aviation Security Legislation Advances
Ideological objections by House Republicans were swept aside as congressional negotiators agreed on an aviation security bill requiring the federal government to hire, train and deploy nearly 30,000 airport baggage screeners within 12 months.

The government takeover of airport security was blocked for weeks by security company lobbyists and conservative legislators who zealously opposed the creation of a federal workforce with higher pay, benefits and the potential for union representation.

The proposed legislation, which is expected to be signed by the President before the Thanksgiving recess, calls for airlines to pay up to $1 billion to defray the cost of the new security measures. Included in the bill are provisions to allow a limited number of airports to conduct pilot programs testing the use of private contractors, but screening would remain under federal supervision.

Senate and House negotiators agreed on the measure, which gives the federal government a much stronger presence than the GOP and the White House wanted. The baggage screeners will not have civil service protection nor the right to strike, but they can join unions.

Workers Protest Sidetracks 'Fast Track'
The GOP's congressional brain trust admitted it lacked the House votes to pass a controversial Fast Track trade measure and delayed further consideration until after the holiday recess. The decision is a clear signal that the opposition from working families and their allies effectively stalled the proposal, which would allow the president to quickly bargain trade pacts while effectively shutting Congress out of the debate.

Republican House leaders say they will pull out all stops in a desperate attempt to pass the contentious measure before Congress adjourns, fearing it will be all-but impossible to pass it during an election year. Hill sources say the GOP needs to pick up 30 to 40 Democratic votes for passage, but count barely half that number currently.

 "Let's keep their feet to the fire," urged IP Tom Buffenbarger. "There is nothing for working people in this package." He urged members to call Congress, toll-free, 800 393-1082, and tell their Representatives to vote "no" on this unfair trade ploy.

Countdown to Oblivion for Amtrak?
A 6-5 vote by the Amtrak Reform Council (ARC) to begin a 90-day countdown could be the beginning of the end for the nation's passenger rail system. The council will now draft a reorganization proposal and Amtrak is required to develop a liquidation plan. The Senate will then choose between the two plans, develop its own plan, or do nothing.

"The narrow-minded views of the ARC may result in a permanent derailing of Amtrak at a critical time for the nations transportation system," said General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. "Since the September 11th tragedies, people have been increasingly turning to passenger rail. Ending Amtrak service and eliminating 25,000 jobs is irresponsible."

The ARC was formed to monitor Amtrak and determine if it could meet a Congressional mandate to break even by next year. The vote was held over the objections of the labor representative on the council and the Secretary of Transportation.

Bulk IAM Calendar Forms Available
Bulk order forms for the popular IAM Wall Calendar went in the mail from IAM Headquarters last week. This year's calendar features winning photos submitted by IAM members for the new IAM Photo contest.

The price stays at $5 per calendar this year, and it drops to $4 per calendar for locals or districts that order more than 100 calendars in bulk. As always, $1 from the sale of each calendar goes to Guide Dogs of America. A copy of the order form is attached. Please use this form for bulk orders only. The individual calendar order form is in the Fall 2001 IAM Journal.

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