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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.


Thursday,  December 5, 2002

IAM Rips UAL Loan Denial; Vote Canceled

Reaction from the IAM to a decision by the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) to reject  United Airlines' application for a federal loan guarantee was swift and to the point:

"The ATSB has miserably failed its mandate of assisting distressed airlines," said IP Tom Buffenbarger.

"The ATSB has exceeded its statutory directive and is playing with the livelihoods of the working men and women at United Airlines," said GVP Robert Roach. Jr.

The Board was created in the wake of 9/11and was intended to help airlines battle financial losses the attacks had caused. The Board cited shortcomings in the UAL business plan In denying the airline's application.

IAM District 141-M, representing United's Mechanic & Related employees, had scheduled a vote on participation in United's recovery program for December 5, 2002. The terms being voted, as well as those previously ratified by IAM District 141 and all other labor groups, was contingent on the ATSB's approval of United's loan guarantee application.

"As a result of the ATSB's irresponsible actions," said Buffenbarger, "a vote on the current recovery package would be pointless, and has been canceled."

IAM Wins New Agreement
at United Parcel Service

The IAM won a tentative agreement today with United Parcel Service (UPS), covering 3,200 mechanics and maintenance employees at more than 100 UPS facilities nationwide. The tentative agreement is endorsed by the full IAM negotiating committee and will be presented to members nationwide for ratification voting.

The 7-year accord includes pay raises for employees in 36 job classifications; major increases in pension benefits and a company-provided national health care plan that sets new standards for affordability and quality. Some IAM members who participate in a joint trustee health plan will remain in those high quality programs.

“Both sides bargained hard,” said Boysen Anderson, overall coordinator for the 21-person IAM Negotiating Committee. “Local work rules were largely addressed before this week’s talks, which focused on pay, pensions and health benefits. We quickly developed a good working relationship with UPS’ negotiators and were able to resolve the outstanding issues.”

IAM members at UPS are currently covered by 21 separate agreements, with different pay rates, benefit levels and expiration dates. Under the agreement reached today, all local agreements will be amended to include the new national economic terms with a common expiration date of July 31, 2009.

Back-Door Bonuses for Bush Appointees
Only days after President Bush nixed pay raises for rank-and-file federal employees, saying they would, "interfere with our nation’s ability to pursue the war on terrorism," reports of cash bonuses worth tens of thousands of dollars for White House political appointees have come to light.

Earlier this year, the White House quietly reversed a 1994 Clinton administration that outlawed the bonuses. President Clinton had set the rule in place because of abuses of the bonuses in the final days of the presidential administration of President Bush's father.

Approximately 2,100 political appointees are eligible for the bonuses which can run as high as $25,000. These appointees typically earn between $115,000 and $138,200 a year.

"It doesn't get much more cynical than this," said IP Tom Buffenbarger. "

SEC Eyes Mutual Fund Secrecy
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a rule, proposed by the AFL-CIO, requiring mutual fund companies to tell workers and other investors how they vote on corporate decisions.

“It’s our money,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger. “We should know how it’s spent. We should know whether it’s being used for outrageous pay deals for CEOs or bonuses for shoddy performance.”

Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the world, is fighting the SEC proposal. Fidelity—which like other mutual fund companies, tends to vote in support of corporate management. The firm wants to keep a veil of secrecy over how fund managers use our money in shareholder votes.

As a top shareholder of such companies as Enron, WorldCom and other alleged corporate wrongdoers, Fidelity may well have used investors’ voting power to endorse those scandalous executive pay packages and permit conflicts of interest on boards of directors and audit committees.

The proposed SEC rule will help investors guarantee that their mutual funds are used to promote corporate accountability rather than to protect corporate greed. To make your voice heard on this issue, click on http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/thebigsecret/6iwbwao75mj. Send the SEC a message of support for this crucial issue.

IAM Backs Layton for Canadian NDP Post
The IAM endorsed Jack Layton in his bid to become Leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP). Dave Ritchie, the IAM’s Canadian GVP, announced the endorsement and cited Layton’s “good solid relationship with our trade union movement and with the working men and women we represent.”

Ritchie said he was impressed by Layton’s “vivid, effective and persuasive communication on issues of vital concern to all Canadians, and in particular to the men and women we represent in our labour movement.”

He further cited Layton’s refreshing candour and intelligence” and his firm grasp of detail. Ritchie said he looked forward to working with Layton “to build a stronger, richer alliance between our labour movement and the NDP.”

The IAM represents more than 50,000 members in Canada.

Texas Dow Workers
Reject Substandard Contract Offer

Union members from 11 different unions, part of the Texas City Metal Trades Council, voted to reject a contract offer by Dow Chemical Company in Texas City Texas. The negotiating committee pointed out problems such as the length of the agreement, ten years, and subcontracting work.

“We have voted two times against Dow’s proposal, while facing threats of a lockout and decertification,” said Metal Trades Council spokesperson Bob Wood. “We will not accept a substandard agreement. It’s that simple.”

Workers will be free to strike after Tuesday, December 10. “Dow’s negotiating posture is forcing labor strife, not us,” said Wood. “We are still ready to negotiate a settlement. All we need is a willing partner.”

Southern Territory Scores Wins
In separate elections, more than 150 employees at McDill Air Force Base voted for IAM representation. Chugach workers chose the IAM by a 56-42 vote, while their fellow workers at Del-Jen voted 31-6 for union representation. The workers at these two contractors provide a range of base services, including electricians, wastewater techs, boiler plant workers, and HVAC and construction inspectors among other areas.

GVP George Hooper credited organizers David Leibeck and Ray Moffat, as well as a solid in-plant organizing committee for the wins. “These new members will be a great asset to District 166,” he said.

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.