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Executive Council

International President 
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 

Secretary Treasurer
Donald E. Wharton 

GVP Western 
Lee Pearson 

GVP Canada
Dave Ritchie 

GVP Midwest 
Alex M. Bay 

GVP Headquarters
Robert V. Thayer

GVP Southern
George Hooper 

GVP Eastern
Warren L. Mart 

GVP Transportation
Robert Roach, Jr.


Tuesday,  November 19, 2002


Aerospace Report Includes IAM Dissent
The sole labor representative on the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry took exception to the final report released Monday, charging the Commission failed to adequately address the industry’s ballooning employment crisis. 

“In key areas, the report reads like a wish list for multinational aerospace corporations,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Recommendations for increased privatization, outsourcing and international collaboration will be welcomed by global defense contractors, but the impact on U.S. jobs and the risks to our national security are too high a price to pay.”

The congressionally mandated 12-member commission was formed last year to assess the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and to make recommendations for federal action to ensure a robust domestic aerospace industry.

“Despite the Commission’s mandate, the final report hardly acknowledges the hundreds of thousands of aerospace jobs lost in the past decade,” said Buffenbarger. “Until the negative effects of globalization on this industry are adequately addressed, I consider the commission’s mandate to be unfulfilled,” said Buffenbarger. “I applaud the effort that went into this report, but the Commission was tasked to produce solutions to the job crisis in the U.S. aerospace industry. On that critical issue, much work was left undone.”

Read IP Buffenbarger's Dissent:

Airline Talks Share Common Goals
The IAM is fighting to protect thousands of airline workers as the industry continues to feel the effects of 9/11 and the travel recession it caused.

“Each week brings new developments,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr.  “At Southwest, Northwest and Alaska Airlines, traditional contract negotiations continue. At United Airlines, US Airways and Aloha Airlines, we are faced with carriers on the edge of a financial cliff. In each case, however, our objectives are the same: fair treatment and protection for members from overzealous management seeking to take advantage of the greatest upheaval in this industry’s history.”

“Restructuring is just the latest business buzz word for cutting employee pay and benefits,” said Roach. “Despite this industry’s reputation for treating employees badly during a crisis, we will not allow today’s extraordinary circumstances to be used as an excuse to unilaterally eradicate decades of hard won progress in wages, pensions and benefits.”

GOP Pork Lards Security Bill
The new Republican majority wasted little time flexing its muscle and shoveling congressional largesse to its Big Business patrons and wealthy campaign backers. The GOP operatives used the Homeland Security measure, President Bush’s number one priority, to reward the pharmaceutical industry, which dumped millions into the party’s campaign coffers during the last election. Runaway corporations that acquire overseas mailing addresses for huge tax write-offs also benefited.

Federal workers, the men and women who will staff the new Homeland Security Department, got a slap in the face. These workers stand to lose the collective bargaining rights and civil service protections they have long enjoyed. Apparently the White House believes union workers are not patriotic enough to make America safe for democracy.

“It’s a slap in the face of every working man and woman who helped make this nation such a bastion of freedom,” declared IP Tom Buffenbarger. “I would remind both the White House and Congress that those brave firefighters, police officers and emergency rescue workers who sacrificed so much at the World Trade Center were also union members and proud of their craft.”

The bill contains language that protects big drug companies from liability when they produce vaccines that may harm children and encourages the federal government to do business with businesses that rent post office boxes in Bermuda or other off-shore locations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Even some Republicans gagged at their party’s brazen pork-barrel politics. “This deal gives sausage a bad name,” Sen. Arlen Specter, R-PA, although he said he will “swallow hard” and vote for the bill. “If this is a homeland security bill, let’s keep it homeland security-related,” said Sen. Tom Daschle, D-SD. “Let’s take out all this terrible special interest legislation that has nothing to do with homeland security.”

Matt Bates Wins Steinbock Award
IAM Journal reporter Matt Bates received the Max Steinbock Award, the top award for labor journalists, given annually by the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA). “It’s time Matt got recognition for being one of the best, if not the best, labor journalist working today,” the ILCA Judges Report said.

Bates won the award for his searing expose of the U.S unemployment insurance system in a way “that makes it easy to read and easy to understand—just what a good reporter should do with a complex subject,” the report added.

The winning article, “Reality Checks”, came out “almost a year before the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the National Employment Law Project released a comprehensive study that illustrates the failing of the system state by state,” the judges pointed out.

Bates is a 20-year member of the IAM and has been on the Journal staff for the past 15 years. He is a two-time winner of the award. Bates earned the honor in 1992 for a series of articles probing a tragic fire that killed 25 workers in a chicken-processing plant in Hamlet, NC. The series ran in The Machinist newspaper.

IAM Publications Take ILCA Honors
The IAM Journal and website, as well as several of the union’s District and Local newsletters and websites took a dozen awards in the 2002 International Labor Communications Association’s Journalism Contest.

The Journal took the first place award for best news story for “Reality Checks” which the judges described as a “well-written analysis of what’s wrong with the unemployment insurance system, an article chock-full of facts, along with the IAM’s agenda for needed reforms.”

The magazine also won a second-place award for best cover for its “Dream Stealer” story about Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and a third-place award for best use of graphics. Both awards were attributed to the skill of Cornel Dunmore as the IAM’s graphic artist. The IAM Journal took a third-place award for general excellence and the IAM’s website, www.goiam.org, took third-place honors as well.

Additionally, District 190 publication, The Sparkplug, won second-place honors for general excellence, District 751 Aero Mechanic took a third-place award for best original cartoon and swept second-place honors for best feature. The District’s website, www.iam751.org won a second-place award.

The Transporter, a consistently well-done newsletter for Local 141, Romulus, MI, took first place honors for best cover, which the judges said was “one of the cleanest, best balanced covers in the contest.”

Finally, Flypaper, Local 1759’s fine newsletter drew honorable mention in the same category. The judges described its cover as “very basic, but irresistible. One can imagine this lying around a break room and being read by almost everyone in the local.”

Guide Dogs Gala Honors Benefactors
More than 1,000 guests attended the 22nd Annual William W. Winpisinger Charity Event honoring Dan Sass, District 24 secretary treasurer and Jeffrey L. Bleustein, chairman and CEO of Harley –Davidson Inc. The event raised more than $1 million for the IAM-sponsored Guide Dogs of America facility, located in Sylmar, CA.

The event featured a golf tournament and a Hawgs for Dogs motorcycle ride.

This is the day IAM editors and web stewards have been waiting for; The Winners of the 2002 Newsletter & Website Contest and a report for the judges, too.

Financial markets will not generate adequate
retirement income for average household; a briefing paper from the Economic Policy Institute.

The Fall edition of the IAM Journal focuses on the
November 5 election. Read the online edition of the IAM Journal at:

Winners of the 2002 IAM Photography Contest.

First Place
Edward W. Griffith,
Local Lodge 2061
Rockledge, Florida, United Space Alliance
Ready for Blast Off
Click here to see the winning entries.