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Corporate America is lined up and ready to reap the return on the investment they made in this year's election. Straight Talk from IP Tom Buffenbarger

UAL Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Buffenbarger on Rising Unemployment
More Manufacturing Jobs

A Fresh Approach to Human Rights
IAM Leads on Health Care
Another HPWO and Harley Success Story

Gore Attacks Bush On Economy


Get Your Convention Gear Check out gear for the 2004 IAM Convention


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 12, 2002


Aloha Members Ratify Recovery Terms
IAM Members at Aloha Airlines voted to accept three separate agreements detailing employee participation in the company’s recovery plan.

Eighty-four percent of the Clerical and Customer Service employees endorsed their agreement, with eighty percent of Fleet Service employees approving their accord. District 141 represents both employee groups.

Mechanic and Related employees represented by IAM District 141-M also endorsed their agreement, with eighty-six percent of the voting membership approving the new pact.

Approved terms call for a ten percent reduction of scheduled pay rates for 36 months beginning January 1, 2003 with rates snapping back on December 31, 2005. Medical and pension benefits are preserved under the new agreements.

The contract will be amendable on May 1, 2006.
Details can be found on the District 141 and 141M web sites at www.iam141.org and www.iam141m.org.

S&P Should Bar Offshore Runaways
In a strongly worded letter to the president of Standard and Poor’s, IP Tom Buffenbarger called for the elimination of expatriate U.S. companies from the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index.

“I have been deeply disturbed by recent revelations of corporate misconduct and the resulting damage to our financial markets and economy,” wrote Buffenbarger. “The increasing practice of U.S. corporations incorporating outside the country to offshore tax havens, such as Bermuda, is of particular concern.”

“Not only do these paper relocations to an offshore tax haven threaten a significant portion of our nation’s tax base, they also weaken important shareholder rights,” said Buffenbarger. A recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission noted disclosure problems and difficulties faced by shareholders in offshore firms seeking to protect their rights and interests.

There are approximately 20 expatriate companies listed on the S&P 500 Index, including Ingersoll-Rand, Cooper Industries, Tyco International, Nabors Industries and Foster Wheeler Corporation.

For more information on Standard & Poor's:

Retirees Face More Bad News
Retired workers who receive health care benefits from a former employer can expect their costs to escalate over the next few years, according to a joint survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Hewitt Associates.

The survey drew from interviews with some of the nation’s largest employers and focused on their projections for the next three years. The study found that 82 percent of those companies say they expect to increase retiree premiums. Too, 85 percent plan to increase prescription drug co-payments or co-insurance. Even more worrisome, 22 percent say they will eliminate such health coverage for future retirees.

Thirteen percent say they terminated such benefits over the past two years.

Sen. Lott Apologizes for ‘Apology’
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-MS, finds the temperature rising as he struggles to escape the simmering controversy over racially tinged remarks that ignited a political firestorm. Lott praised Sen. Strom Thurmond at a birthday gala and said the nation would have fewer problems had Thurmond won his 1948 White House bid.

Thurmond carried four southern states, including Lott’s Mississippi, running as a Dixiecrat on a race-baiting segregationist platform.

Lott admitted to a “poor choice of words” and apologized to “anyone who was offended by my statement.” He later “apologized” for his initial apology.

Turns out, Lott had made nearly identical remarks concerning Thurmond at an earlier gala in Mississippi 22 years ago. That revelation added fuel to the already blistering blaze. Even a scattering of Lott’s GOP supporters privately cringe at the gaffe. “Lott’s comments could single-handedly set the party back a decade,” one GOP strategist told the Washington Post.

Neither President Bush nor any White House official has commented on the affair.

NFFE Battles ‘Third Wave’ Ploy
The IAM and its members in the federal sector pledge an all-out battle against the newest scheme to “privatize, out-source, contract-out or downsize” federal workers through Army Secretary Tom White’s latest brainstorm.

White claims his “Third Wave” initiative could impact more than 154,000 civilian workers, as well as 58,000 Army Department slots. Some of those slots include sensitive positions vital to national defense and historically immune to such tinkering.

NFFE, which represents the union’s federal workers, crafted a grassroots plan of their own to “Fight the Wave’, noted Rick Brown, president/DBR of Federal District 1. “We’re going to energize our members and demand that Congress look into this backdoor assault on our members and their jobs,” he said.

Both the Air Force and Navy, the nation’s other major military services, adopted a hands-off policy towards the initiative, which is based on a private sector study be the Rand Corp., that would hand major segments of White’s department over to corporate America.

“That should not be a surprise,” noted IP Tom Buffenbarger. “White earned his corporate credentials as a senior executive with Enron Corp.”

Southern Territory Mourns George Fedo
George Fedo, Special Representative for the Southern Territory, died Monday after a one-year battle with cancer. He was 58 years old. Brother Fedo joined the Southern Territory Staff on April 1, 2001. He was a member of Local Lodge 2771 in Wichita Falls, TX. He joined the Machinists in 1989 when the aircraft mechanics at Sheppard Air Force base organized into the IAM.

During his career, Brother Fedo held numerous positions such as Local Lodge President, District 776 Delegate, President of the Wichita Falls Trades and Labor Council and Vice President of the Texas AFL-CIO, District 9. He was an IAM Apprentice Organizer before his appointment to the Southern Territory Staff.

George was a very hard working representative who never stopped at the end of an eight hour day,” said General Vice President George Hooper. “He was a very successful organizer, winning five campaigns his first year as a Special Representative. George was an honest man with unquestionable character and high moral standards. I really loved the guy. He will be greatly missed by all the Southern Territory Staff.”

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.