Job Security given
voice at Pratt & Whitney strike. An article from the
|Vernon Thorpe, Transport
Workers Union, reflects on what it meant to work at
|Order your 2002 IAM Calendar
Now. The 2002 calendar features winners of this year's IAM Photography
Send a check for $5.00 to:
c/o IAM Communications
Upper Marlboro, MD
Local Lodges and Districts
a bulk order form for large calendar requests.
December 11, 2001
IAM Leaders in White House Meeting
Government bailout money
provided to United Airlines was the issue today at a meeting between White House
officials and Machinists Union leaders seeking new contracts for 45,000 United
employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers (IAM).
"Today's meeting was requested by the IAM to determine if this administration's
alleged concerns over United's use of bailout funds is preventing our
negotiations from moving forward," said Scotty Ford, IAM District 141-M
president and lead negotiator for 15,000 mechanic and related employees at
"White House officials indicated they would not stand in the way of our
negotiations," said Randy Canale, IAM District 141 president representing 30,000
United employees. We remain concerned, however, their involvement is guiding
United management toward additional delay at the bargaining table."
"A level playing field for all employee groups is essential to rebuilding United
Airlines," said Robert Roach, Jr., IAM General Vice President. "United
management must return to the bargaining table prepared to resolve employees'
legitimate concerns regarding pay and job security. Rebuilding employee
confidence is the first step toward bringing the flying public back to United
Social Security Panel
Offers 'Raw Deal'
A presidential panel created
to shore up the Social Security safety net and head off a deficit predicted by
2038 failed on both counts, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy
"Both President Bush and Congress squandered our best chance to strengthen and
protect Social Security when they blew our federal budget surplus on a huge tax
cut for millionaires," said IP Tom Buffenbarger. "The only people who benefit
from this concoction are investment bankers and Wall Street brokers."
The EPI study, Undermining Social Security with Private Accounts, faults the
Bush commission's recommended private investment options as a "raw deal" that
would leave coming generations of retirees with a reduced standard of living and
require massive infusions of new tax dollars to pay for the changeover to
The study faults the commission for overlooking an obvious and fair solution:
remove the arbitrary cap on earnings that are subject to the Social Security
payroll tax-a change that would cover at least three-fourths of the predicted
deficit. The complete EPI study can be found at
Economic Stimulus Bill
Lurks in Senate
The White House and its GOP
allies in the Senate hit choppy waters. Their economic stimulus bill-huge
giveaways to Corporate America and hefty rebates to wealthy taxpayers-was left
adrift as supporters scrambled to round up votes.
The GOP's stimulus package returns every nickel corporations paid under the
alternative minimum tax law for the last 15 years! That hands a $1.4 billion
dollar stocking stuffer to IBM, another $1 billion to Ford, $833 million to GE
and $600 million to Daimler Chrysler.
Call your senators now, toll-free at 800-718-1008 and urge them to vote
against this outrageous rip-off. Ask them to focus on the real needs of working
families. We can make a difference.
IAM Publications Win
The IAM Communications
Department and several IAM local and district publications won awards in the
annual International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) Journalism contest.
The ILCA is an AFL-CIO allied organization of trade unionists involved in print,
broadcast, film and web-based communications. The ILCA represents hundreds of
locals, districts and international unions throughout North America with a
combined circulation total of more than 27 million.
The IAM's website, GoIAM.org, won top honors
as the best website among international unions. The IAM Journal took second
place in general excellence among international unions and two awards for
in-depth articles on CEO pay (Jan/Feb 2000) and prison labor (May/June 2000). An
IAM-produced video on NAFTA for the 2000 Grand Lodge Convention took first place
in the Film and Broadcast contest.
Other IAM winners included a second place general excellence award and a first
place best front page award for Local 1759's Fly Paper edited by Al Abromitis.
District 751's Aero Mechanic, edited by Connie Kelliher, received an honorable
mention for general excellence. Local 141's Transporter, edited by Harry
Katopodis, won a third-place award for best cover and two Saul Miller "Awards of
The IAM has been a strong supporter of the ILCA since its founding in 1956. Bill
Upton, Assistant Director of the IAM Communications Department, serves on the
ILCA Executive Board and was re-elected at the ILCA convention to a second term
as a vice president.
"These awards demonstrate the talent and dedication of our members at every
level of our union" said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. "The IAM has always
played a leading role in the ILCA. I urge all of our locals and districts that
have newsletters or websites to join and remain ILCA members."
The benefits of joining the ILCA include a monthly graphics packet, the ILCA
Reporter, and access to communications and other resources. For more
information and a complete list of contest winners, go to the ILCA website at
or call 202-637-5068.
Union Leaders, US
Airways CEO Meet
IAM representatives met with US Airways' Chairman Stephen Wolf for the first
time since Rakesh Gangwal resigned as president and CEO on November 27. Also
present at the meeting were union representatives of pilots, flight attendants
and ticket agents at US Airways.
Wolf, now US Airways Chairman and CEO, expressed a desire to maintain current
hub operations and for increased flying to and from Washington National and New
York's LaGuardia airports. The former head of United Airlines, Flying Tigers and
Republic Airlines also repeated his goal of increased regional jet operations as
part of a plan to restore US Airways to profitability without selling, merging
or significantly shrinking the nation's sixth largest airline.
Unemployment Hits 5.7
Massive job losses continue
to rock the U.S. economy, according to government figures that show a recession
with the highest level of unemployment in six years. Nearly 1.2 million
Americans lost jobs in October and November, pushing the labor department's
total unemployment figure to 8.2 million.
Interest rate cuts and continued job losses are expected despite some forecasts
of an economic recovery in 2002, due to employers who will try to absorb
increased demand without hiring more workers. "If the economy were turning, the
last place you would expect to see it is in the labor market," opined economist
James Glassman of J.P. Morgan Chase Securities.
Economists agree it will take growth of at least three percent to stop the rise
in unemployment. "Unless there is a change in direction from Washington,
unemployment will continue to rise throughout 2002," said Larry Mishel of the
Economic Policy Institute.
Canadian Machinist Wins
On December 5, 2001, Canadian
Communications Representative Frank Saptel won a landslide victory to become one
of two Vice-Presidents of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)
Representing Visible Minorities. Saptel, an active member of the Coalition of
Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Asian
Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA) won the
vice-presidency in his first-ever bid for elected office. "This is something I
felt strongly about," said Saptel. "Its also something I knew I could
accomplish. Promoting the rights of people of color within the labor movement
must be an ongoing process and providing leadership training is of the utmost
Canadian GVP Dave Ritchie said of Saptel's election, "The work done at the OFL
to represent people of color is the future of the union movement. I was very
pleased that Frank decided to run for the position and I know he will do an
excellent job at the Federation."
suggestions, or story items?