Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Update to Boeing Strike Mailing Address for Support.

Hi there,

Our mailing address is 9125 15th Place South, Seattle, Wa. 98108. Attention Susan A. Palmer, Secretary-Treasurer.
Please make checks out to the District 751 Hardship Fund. We appreciate any help you can give. We’re all in this fight together!

In Solidarity,

Susan A. Palmer
District Lodge 751, IAM&AW

Machinists Union On Strike Against Boeing

I have sent an email asking for a mailing address so that any members who wish to send them a strike support donation, will have the information. They are in their 19th day on the line and as we know, the more support they receive the better they will stand. As soon as I get the information for donations I will post it here. Their website is very informative on the current strike events. Here is the link:

A video from one of the striking members posted on Youtube, reminded me of many of the sights and sounds we experienced last year. Here is the video:

Obama Calls on Senate and House Leadership to Renew America's Commitment to NASA

Since the IAM announced their Endorsement of Barack Obama on September 9th, the District Lodge felt the members of the Local Lodges would be interested in this press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama today sent the following letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling to renew our country's commitment to NASA and to provide a budget with sufficient resources for success in its critical missions - space exploration and human spaceflight, science and aeronautics research.
The text of the letter is below:

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Madam Speaker Pelosi:

This Administration's lack of leadership for our nation's space program has left Americans without access to space or the ability to support its astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) without paying Russia for transportation. The ISS is a world-class research facility, built with approximately $100 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money. With the planned retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2010, the U.S. will be paying Russia for rides to and from the ISS, and for emergency lifeboat services, using their Soyuz spacecraft. Furthermore, at the end of 2011, NASA will no longer even have the legal authority to continue paying Russia for Soyuz flights, so unless we act immediately, the U.S. will abandon its role in supporting, and benefiting from, missions to this amazing facility, leaving it to our international partners.

The Bush administration's plan to have astronauts explore beyond low-earth orbit, returning to the Moon and then on to Mars, has never been funded adequately. In order to pay for this program, all other NASA programs have been short-changed ─ from our important earth and space science missions to investment in critical aeronautics programs. The very engine of innovation for our nation, investment in research and technology, has been all but eliminated at NASA. America needs to renew its commitment to NASA and to provide sustained, stable direction with an honest budget and sufficient resources for success across all of its critical missions: Human Spaceflight, Science, and Aeronautics Research.

As Dr. Michael Griffin, the NASA administrator, said recently, "In a rational world, (NASA) would have been allowed to pick a Shuttle retirement date to be consistent with Ares/Orion availability, (NASA) would have been asked to deploy Ares/Orion as early as possible (rather than "not later than 2014") and we would have been provided the necessary budget to make it so" [NASA e-mail, 8/18/08]. Regrettably, the current administration has not behaved rationally and, with the Russian invasion of Georgia, NASA is now left with more limited options, all of them much worse than if the administration and their Republican allies in Congress had thought through the strategic consequences of these decisions five years ago.

Because of this failure of leadership, America is now faced with three less-than-optimal options:
∙ Ask Congress to renew the existing waiver for the Iran-North Korea-Syria Non-proliferation Act (INKSNA) and rely on Russia to launch and retrieve our own astronauts on the Space Station between the imminent retirement of the Space Shuttle and the first launch of an operational replacement for the Shuttle.

∙ Do nothing and abandon American commitments to the International Space Station between 2012 and 2015, relinquishing our $100 billion dollar investment to the Russians and our other international partners.

∙ Increase NASA's funding significantly to extend our use of the Space Shuttle beyond 2010 as partial mitigation for the gap in American access to low-earth orbit and for our dependence on Soyuz, while also providing a smoother transition of NASA's Shuttle workforce, infrastructure, and capabilities to new systems.

Administrator Griffin has initiated an analysis of the third option to determine its feasibility, cost, and schedule implications. The results should be available in the November timeframe so that the President-elect's transition team can prepare appropriate action along with appropriate FY2010 budgeting. NASA's appropriators, however, should be prepared to consider increasing NASA's budget to extend safe Shuttle operations beyond 2010 and to accelerate government and private-sector efforts to provide human access to low-earth orbit. Any effort to extend the Shuttle program must receive adequate funding, ensuring that progress on developing new vehicles is not further delayed by diverting funds to the Shuttle.

In the meantime, while we await the results of NASA's Shuttle study, there are three concrete steps that Congress should take immediately. I urge you to:

∙ Extend NASA's waiver of INKSNA so we keep that option open for allowing U.S. astronauts to utilize the ISS beyond 2011.

∙ Demand that NASA take no further action that would make it more difficult or expensive to fly the Shuttle beyond 2010.

∙ Provide additional funding in FY2009 above that contemplated in the pending appropriations bills to support the single extra Shuttle flight already approved overwhelmingly by both House and Senate authorizers earlier this year.

NASA should be funded appropriately to carry out its important goals. In 1961, President Kennedy inspired America to explore the heavens. He set difficult goals for NASA but, importantly, he and a Democratic Congress provided NASA with the resources necessary for success. And succeed they did. NASA helped America win the Cold War without firing a single shot by dazzling the world with our technological and moral leadership. It is time to dazzle them again.

Barack Obama United States Senator

For more information on Barack Obama, visit

Hurricane Ike Relief Appeal

As Hurricane Ike roared toward the Texas coast, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger established a task force to assist Machinists Union members impacted by the storm.

Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez, Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr., and Community Services Director Maria Cordone are coordinating the efforts of IAM Grand Lodge Representatives on the ground and staff from several affected District Lodges.

First job for the task force is to account for IAM members in the storm-ravaged areas and help provide access to much-needed resources. As many as 5,000 IAM members in South Texas may have been affected.

“We have a far larger density of IAM members in the South Texas area than we’ve had in past disasters, and we’re working hard to find out the extent of our members’ losses,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “The scale of our task is far larger than Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma combined. We are counting on the generosity of our IAM family to help in this time of need.”Any member who has been impacted by the storm, or has information about other impacted members is asked to contact the Machinists Union at

Contributions of non-perishable food, clothing can be sent to: District 161, 330 Belden Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601 (337) 433-2000. Monetary donations can be sent directly to the “IAM Disaster Relief Fund” in care of the Community Services Department, 9000 Machinists Place, Upper Marlboro, 20772.

“As quickly as these funds are received, they will be distributed directly to IAM families on the basis of need,” said IP Tom Buffenbarger and GST Warren Mart in a letter being mailed to locals and districts. “Fellow members of our union need our help. They need it now. We are confident you will join us in responding to that need.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Support the Employee Free Choice Act.

The online "card" can be found at :

With your help, our unions will present the new president and Congress with 1 million signatures urging them to enact the Employee Free Choice Act.
Add your name today.

The Employee Free Choice Act will:
1. Strengthen penalties against companies that coerce or intimidate employees trying to form unions and bargain;
2. Establish mediation and binding arbitration when the employer and workers cannot agree on a first contract; and
3. Enable employees to form unions when a majority signs authorization cards.

Sign the Online Card to help us reach our goal: 1 million signatures urging the new president and Congress to enact the Employee Free Choice Act.

This is also called the "Card Check" which will allow employees to form a collective unit without being harassed by an employer. At this time the process involves card signatures and then the NLRB will schedule an election normally several months after the initial drive has been completed. During the time lapse, employers harass the employees into rejecting the union through illegal practices and normally the use of outside "Union Busting" consultants. The Employee Free Choice Act will stop the bottom feeding consultants from tampering with the process of forming a collective barganing unit. That said, it is no wonder they have fought to keep this bill from becoming law.