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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,  December 3, 2002


UAL Mechanics to Vote
Mechanic & Related members at United Airlines will decide on Dec. 5 whether or not to take part in a recovery effort described as the best chance to keep their contracts from being shredded in bankruptcy court.

Following a narrow rejection of an initial accord, District 141-M representatives met with United officials in an effort to resolve members’ concerns. “The membership identified quality of work life issues and the inability to select which vacation days will be unpaid as the primary reasons for refusing the tentative agreement,” said Scotty Ford, District 141-M president.

In negotiations that followed, IAM representatives secured a written commitment by UAL CEO Glen Tilton to address outstanding labor-management issues and a clarification to allow IAM members to designate which four vacations days would be unpaid.

The all-day vote will take place Thursday, Dec. 5. Results are expected late that day or early on Dec. 6 and will be posted at www.iam141m.org and www.goiam.org.

IAM-UPS Negotiations Resume in Atlanta
Contract talks between the IAM and United Parcel Service (UPS) will resume in Atlanta this week on behalf of 3,200 employees who maintain the company’s ubiquitous fleet of trucks and vans.

IAM representatives from UPS locations across the country will address wage and benefit issues for members under 21 separate IAM-UPS agreements. Local work rule issues were largely resolved in previous meetings.

Progress reports of the upcoming round of talks will be provided on a special IAM website at www.goiam.org.

Pharmacy Peddling Anti-Union Snake Oil
The largest mail-order pharmacy facility in California is overdosing badly in response to successful union organizing drives by pharmacists and pharmacy support staff.

Following a campaign by the Paper, Allied Chemical & Energy Workers International Union (PACE) to organize employees at PacificCare/Rx Solutions, the company immediately announced plans to eliminate 20 percent of the pharmacist jobs by moving them to a non-union facility.

Anti-union intimidation tactics abound at RxSolutions, a subsidiary of HMO PacificCare of Santa Ana, CA., including the hiring of anti-union consultants, captive audience meetings, defacing Union flyers and tactics aimed at stalling bargaining unit determination.

In a letter to AFL-CIO affiliates, PACE President Boyd Young urged customers of RxSolutions or PacificCare to contact the company and demand an end to this anti-union behavior. “We believe that most trade unionists would agree that the behavior of RxSolutions and its parent company, PacifiCare, is deplorable and not worthy of any union health care business,” said Young.

Bankrupt US Airways Seeks Deep Cuts
Management at bankrupt US Airways notified employees last week it wants an additional $200 million in annual cost reductions from work rule and benefit changes to help the carrier emerge from bankruptcy.

The carrier also announced it will furlough an additional 2,500 employees and closed a maintenance facility in Tampa, Florida, forcing more than 500 IAM members out of work.

The bankrupt airline is proposing to outsource aircraft mechanic work, including receipt , dispatch and deicing of aircraft, daily maintenance checks and plant maintenance work. From Fleet Service employees, the company is seeking to outsource aircraft catering, mail and cargo operations, and the removal of Fleet Service employees from stations with less than 28 weekly flights. Additionally, US Airways is proposing to double employee contributions for medical benefits and wants an immediate 5 percent “wage deferral” if the United States goes to war with Iraq.

“The leadership of Districts 141 and 141-M are in agreement that additional changes to our collective bargaining agreements are not acceptable,” said District 141 President Randy Canale and District 141-M president Scotty Ford in a joint statement. “IAM members have already answered US Airways’ distress call, and acted responsibly. US Airways needs to work within the framework they designated to find solutions to their latest situation.”

White House Whacks Federal Pay Hikes
Hiding behind his “war on terrorism,” President George Bush cut federal pay raises most civilian workers were scheduled to receive. He said the raises “would interfere with our nation’s ability to pursue the war on terrorism.”

“This is the same president who blithely used his inherited budget surplus to finance huge tax cuts for wealthy Americans and Big Business,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “Tax cuts for rich folks and huge giveaways to Corporate America will not help us win the war against global terrorism,” he added.

Bush gained sweeping powers to hire, fire and transfer workers in the new 170,000-strong Department of Homeland Security into which some 22 separate agencies will be merged. Many of those workers will lose civil service protections and collective bargaining they have long enjoyed.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg in what is becoming an increasingly anti-worker Administration,” Buffenbarger warned.

Nation’s Health Care System in Crisis
A prestigious group of scholars and researchers finds that the nation’s health care system is in a state of crisis and the Bush administration should explore innovative solutions to the growing problem.

The National Academy of Sciences said universal health insurance coverage is an obvious solution. The panel found that one in seven Americans is uninsured and the number of uninsured is on the rise.”  According to the study, problems causing the crisis are the increasing cost of private insurance, rising at an annual rate of more than 12 percent, and individuals forced to pay more out-of-pocket for health care while receiving fewer benefits.

The 16-member panel recommended a pilot program in which three to five states would pursue a goal of “affordable coverage” for all citizens and legal residents.

Drug Industry Licks Chops
Corporate bigwigs from the pharmaceutical industry wasted little time before cashing dividends from their hefty investment in the recent congressional elections. The last votes had barely been counted before drug industry executives held a “strategic planning retreat” just outside Washington, DC to decide how to capitalize on their newly elected friends in Congress.

“Having spent $30 million to help elect their allies to Congress, the major drug companies are devising ways to capitalize on their electoral success by securing favorable new legislation and countering the pressure that lawmakers in both parties feel to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” said the New York Times in a recent article.

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.