Grocery strike in So Cal is everyones business.pdf by censhunay


                                              The IAM District 190

  VOL. 6, NO. 2                                                                                                                                    February/March 2004
                                Serving the Active and Retired Members of IAM District Lodge 190

Grocery strike in So Cal is everyone’s business
                                                                                                                                             picket line,” Hahn said. “They know

         cross Southern California,
         70,000 workers are on strike                                                                                                        if you lose your health benefits,
         or locked out at the more                                                                                                           they’re next.”
than 800 Vons/Pavillions (owned by                                                                                                               Grocery workers in the crowd
Safeway), Ralphs and Albertsons                                                                                                              said the support comes at a critical
stores. So far, they’re solid—“hold -                                                                                                        time. “It’s vital to our morale. When
ing the line for health care.”                                                                                                               you see this kind of unity, you know
   But with the strike approaching the                                                                                                       you’re not alone,” said Martha
five month mark, union members are                                                                                                           Beach, who worked as a cashier at a
feeling the pinch. Only a few have                                                                                                           Ralphs in Torrance. “We know what
crossed the line, but many are being                                                                                                         we’re out there for, but it sure is nice
forced to find other jobs, as mort-                                                                                                          to have it validated.”
gages, health care and other payments                                                                                                            Also on January 31, about 500
are long overdue.                                                                                                                            supporters marched from Oakland’s
   The two key issues the UFCW                                                                                                               Mosswood Park to the Rockridge
members are fighting for are main-                                                                                                           Safeway, where 13 labor leaders and
taining decent health care coverage                   13 members of labor and community engage in non-violent civil disobe-                  Oakland City Council President
and opposing implementation of a                      dience at the Rockridge Safeway in Oakland on January 31 to support                    Ignacio De La Fuente were arrested.
two-tier wage system, where new                       the striking and locked out grocery workers in Southern California                         Other actions, including large
employees can never reach the earn-                                                                                                          demonstrations marked by civil dis-
                                                     20,000 union members and support-                including California Attorney Gen-
ings level of current employees.                                                                                                             obedience, were promised in a dozen
                                                     ers came to Inglewood for a boister-             eral Bill Lockyer and Los Angeles
   Business is way down at the                                                                                                               cities from Seattle to Baltimore, and
                                                     ous rally and march from the Forum               Mayor James K. Hahn.
stores, but the companies seem will-                                                                                                         a national boycott was promoted, as
                                                     to an empty, heavily guarded Vons                   Many of the speakers character-
ing to lose hundreds of millions of                                                                                                          leaders try to increase the financial
                                                     supermarket.                                     ized the battle as a watershed.
dollars rather than pay their current                                                                                                        pain of the grocery chains involved
                                                        In a sign of the heightened                      “The community is behind you;
and future workers the decent wage                                                                                                           in the dispute.
                                                     involvement in strike strategy by the            that’s why they’re not crossing the
and benefits package that make a
                                                     AFL-CIO, several national union
middle class lifestyle possible.
                                                     presidents presented giant checks for                                 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO

   Ramping up the fight                              a strike hardship fund. The rally also
  On January 31, an estimated
                                                     featured several elected officials,                                   SUPPORT THE STRIKERS
                                                                                                                          1) In Northern California, don’t shop at
                                                                                                       In Southern California, stay out of Vons/Pavillions, Ralphs
                                                                                                                              and Albertsons.
                                                                                                                       2) Donate to the strike fund:
                                                                                                           Hold the Line for Health Care Strike Fund, AFL-CIO,
                                                                                                          815 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20006. Or donate
                                                                                                                      online through the AFL-CIO at
                                                                                                                    3) Adopt a store (see story below)

                                                                                                      Support the strikers: Adopt a store
More than 2,000 union members and supporters in Oakland march in                                         Local 1484 member Frank Hon-        few key things: raising money to buy
solidarity with UFCW strikers, closing the Safeway store for several hours.                           ratto, who works at SSA Marine, has    food for picketers or donate to the
                                                                                                      adopted an Albertsons Store in Long    strike fund, and helping to maintain
                                                                                                      Beach, and you can too.                the picket line. Honratto takes up a
                 INSIDE THIS ISSUE                                                                       Honratto says that he ran into      weekly collection from his fellow
                                                                                                      some tough times several years ago     workers at the C60 Terminal and then
  What’s on the March 2 primary ballot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-3                 when his father and brother both       brings donuts every morning.
  Around the Locals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5        died suddenly. His co-workers at the       Union members in Northern Cal-
  Election Notice: Locals 1101 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6           C60 Terminal in Long Beach took        ifornia are urged to adopt a Safeway
                                                                                                      up a collection to help pay for the    Store, and support the strikers who
  Labor Dept. foiled in effort to punish unions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
                                                                                                      burials. Honratto vowed that he        are maintaining picket lines in an
  Shop classes decimated in San Leandro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6                    would always strive to help other      effort to educate the public about the
  Union people . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7   union members in need as a way of      strike. For more info about how to
  Celebrating completion of apprenticeship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8                 returning the kindness.                adopt a store, call your local Central
                                                                                                         Adopting a store means doing a      Labor Council.
       Page 2                                                  THE DISTRICT 190 SPARKPLUG                                                 February/March 2004

                                                      The March 2 Primary Ballot
   On Tuesday, March 2,                       date endorsements. We will,                 ment, and to those proposi-                  In addition to the candi-
 Californians will have the                   however, bring to your                      tions that impact our lives                dates, your primary ballot
 opportunity to vote in their                 attention those candidates                  and work, so that you can                  will also include several
 party’s primary election to                  who have a history working                  take that information into                 statewide      referendums,
 choose a Presidential Can-                   in or with the labor move-                  consideration.                             described below.
 didate. We’ll also be choos-                                                                                                          However you decide to
                                                         Two uses for ten minutes in America
 ing the candidates for U.S.                                                                                                         vote on the issues and candi-
 Senate, U.S. Congress, and                                                                                                          dates, we encourage you to
 the State Senate and Assem-                                                                                                         be sure to vote. Union mem-
 bly, as well as many local                                                                                                          bers can play a key role in
 offices.                                                                                                                            deciding California’s future,
   The IAM knows that our                                                                                                            but only if they come out in
 members hold a wide range                                                                                                           numbers and demand that
 of political views, so we                               Stand in booth                               Sit on ass and                 their voices be heard.
 generally don’t make candi-                             and mark ballot                              watch story on
                                                                                                    low voter turnout

                                                      Statewide Ballot Measures
      Proposition 55: ü YES                                 ures–including changes in spending and potential-
                                                            ly significant increases in state tax revenues in
                                                                                                                         port Prop 57, the budget will be in chaos and there
                                                                                                                         will have to be even deeper cuts.
   Kindergarten-University Public                           some years. Impacts would depend on the com-                 Arguments against Proposition 57:
   Education Facilities Bond Act of                         position and actions of future Legislatures.                    The question is whether we should support the
                                                               The Budget Accountability Act will:                       concept that it is appropriate to borrow to pay for
               2004                                          • Require legislators to deliver a fair budget on           the ongoing cost of government operations or
This $12.3 billion dollar bond issue will provide              time. If the budget is late, legislators won't get        whether taxes should be raised to pay for those
funding for necessary education facilities to                  paid and can't take time off until it's done. No          costs. If you borrow, then the debt service reduces
relieve overcrowding and to repair older schools.              budget, no pay and no vacation or action on               the possibility of increased spending in future
Funds will be targeted to areas of the greatest need           other bills.                                              years. In addition, the debt bonds crowd out infra-
and must be spent according to strict accountabil-           • Show voters how the money gets spent and                  structure borrowing that actually creates jobs and
ity measures. Funds will also be used to upgrade               how their elected officials vote on the budget.           stimulates the economy. Do we want to put our
and build new classrooms in the California                   • End budget gridlock by changing the legisla-              children in debt to pay for the cost of services that
Community Colleges, the California State                       tive vote requirement to pass a budget and                they will not receive?
University, and the University of California, to               related taxes from two-thirds to 55%.                     NO RECOMMENDATION
provide adequate higher education facilities to              • Set up a “Rainy Day Fund” to protect services
accommodate the growing student enrollment.
These bonds may be used only for eligible proj-
                                                               in bad times.                                                          Proposition 58
                                                            Recommendation: Vote yes on 56                               The California Balanced Budget Act
Fiscal Impact: State costs of about $24.7 billion                                                                        • Requires enactment of a balanced budget
to pay off both the principal ($12.3 billion) and            Supplemental Ballot Measures                                   where General Fund expenditures do not
interest ($12.4 billion) costs on the bonds.                                                                                exceed estimated General Fund revenues.
Payments of about $823 million per year.                                   Proposition 57                                • Allows the Governor to proclaim a fiscal emer-
Recommendation: Vote yes on 55                                The Economic Recovery Bond Act                                gency in specified circumstances, and submit
                                                                                                                            proposed legislation to address the fiscal emer-
                                                                 • A one time Economic Recovery Bond of up to
      Proposition 56: ü YES                                          15 billion dollars to pay off the state’s accumu-      gency.
                                                                                                                         • Requires the Legislature to stop other action
     The Budget Accountability Act                                   lated General Fund deficit as of June 30, 2004.
                                                                                                                            and act on legislation proposed to address the
   Permits enactment of budget and budget-relat- • The Economic Recovery Bond will only be                                  emergency.
ed tax/appropriation bills with 55% vote.                            issued if the California Balanced Budget Act is
                                                                                                                         • Establishes a budget reserve.
Legislature, Governor forfeit compensation each                      also approved by the voters.
                                                                                                                         • Provides that the California Economic Recovery
day budget is late.                                              • The bonds will be secured by existing tax rev-
                                                                                                                            Bond Act is for a single object or work.
Fiscal Impact: Varying impacts from lowering                         enues and by other revenues that could be
                                                                                                                         • Prohibits any future deficit bonds.
the vote requirement for budget-related meas-                        deposited in a special fund.
                                                                                                                         Fiscal Impact:
                                                                                    Fiscal Impact:
                                                                                                                         • Unknown net state fiscal effects, which will
                                                                                    • One-time increase, compared
                                                                                                                            vary year by year and depend in part on actions
                     The IAM District 190                                             to a previously authorized

                                                                                                                            of future Legislatures.
                                                                                      bond, of up to $4 billion to
                                                                                                                         • Reserve provisions may smooth state spending,
                                                                                      reduce the state’s budget
                                                                                                                            with reductions during economic expansions
                                                                                                                            and increases during downturns.
                                                                                    • Annual debt-service savings
       The Sparkplug (USPS 007966) is published bi-monthly for $3 per year            over the next few years.           • Balanced budget and debt limitation provision
  by District Lodge 190, International Association of Machinists, Oakland,          • Above effect offset in subse-         could result in more immediate actions to cor-
  Calif., a non-profit organization. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland.             quent years by high annual
                                                                                                                            rect budgetary shortfalls.
       The Sparkplug is the official publication of District Lodge 190 and its                                           Arguments for Proposition 58:
                                                                                      debt-service costs due to this
  affiliated local lodges and notification of any meeting or election in this                                               The Legislature is out of control and it needs
                                                                                      bond’s larger size and the
  paper shall constitute official notice per Article B, Section 4 of the IAMAW                                           external controls to discipline itself.
                                                                                      longer time period for its
  Constitution and Articles V and VII of District Lodge 190 By-Laws.                                                     Arguments against Proposition 58:
                                                                                                                            The provisions of this measure don’t really do
       Postmaster: Send address corrections to: The Sparkplug, 7717 Oak-            Arguments for Proposition 57:
  port Street, Oakland, CA 94621.                                                      The Governor and the
                                                                                                                         NO RECOMMENDATION
                                                                                    Republicans will not vote to
                 Beagle & Bleiweiss Communications                                  increase taxes and so this is the
                   Debra Chaplan, Managing Editor                                   best we can do. If we don’t sup-     NOTE: Propositions 57 and 58 must both pass
                                                                                                                         for either one to go into effect.
   February/March 2004                                       THE DISTRICT 190 SPARKPLUG                                                                    Page 3

                                                          Some key Local Races
              Voters in Contra Costa have opportunity to slam Wal-Mart
   We have many important battles directly compete with and tend to
on the March 2004 primary ballot undercut unionized grocery stores.
that affect union rights and our qual- A concern for IAM members is
                                                                    Vote YES on L
ity of life. In Contra Costa County,        that Wal-Mart pays low wages,                        Phone banks:         Monday-Thursday • 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
there is a battle brewing that will         encouraging its workers to rely on                                        Martinez and Pittsburg.
impact wages and health benefits            public assistance. Few Wal-Mart
paid to union workers.                      workers get health insurance, so they             Precinct walks:         Every Saturday at 9 am
   AYES vote on Measure Lwill pro-          often use the ER for routine health                                       February 7: Richmond
hibit the development of big box            matters, driving up costs for those of                                    February 14: Concord
superstores—those 90,000 square feet        us who are insured.                                                       February 21: Antioch
and larger—that devote more than 5%            Wal-Mart’s push to expand super-                                       February 28: GOTV (everywhere!)
of their total sales floor to non-taxable   stores into California will have a                     For more information on the schedule and locations,
items like groceries. These stores          devastating impact on our neighbor-                        contact the Labor Council at 925-228-0161.
                                                                  hoods,       our
                                                                  locally owned        fields in unincorporated Contra           ing, gender discrimination and mis-
                                                                  businesses and       Costa County, the area of our last        treatment of workers.
                                                                  our workers.         remaining open space. Wal-Mart is             We are on the front lines of the bat-
                                                                  In their quest       on record as willing to spend over $1     tle for justice. The October 6, 2003
                                                                  for profit over      million to defeat Measure L.              issue of Business Week called Contra
                                                                  c o m m u n i t y,      Whenever a big box superstore          Costa County, “the most hotly contest-
                                                                  Wal-Mart has         comes to town, local businesses are       ed battleground” to control the size
                                                                  rolled over the      forced to close. For every two jobs       and location of big box superstores.
                                                                  will of the          created at a Wal-Mart superstore,             A victory in March for Yes on L
                                                                  people       and     three jobs are lost. Often, those three   will be a victory for Labor in our
                                                                  forced a vote        jobs are good union jobs with health      fight to preserve good-paying union
                                                                  to allow them        benefits and competitive wages. The       jobs in California, and to beat back
                                                                  to build super-      two jobs created are low paying and       the Wal-Martization of our state. To
                                                                  stores the size      offer no benefits. Wal-Mart also has      learn more about the campaign log
                                                                  of five football     a horrible track record of union-bust-    on to

Health care roll-back on November ballot                                                                   Key dates to remember
    A judge has blocked the measure         tax credit to assist them.
on the March election ballot that              SB2 was approved last year by
would have asked voters to repeal the       the legislature and signed by Gov.           February 17: Last day to register to vote before pri-
labor-sponsored Health Care for             Gray Davis before he was recalled.            mary election (or re-register in case you moved or
Working Families law (SB2).                    Led by the Chamber of                              want to change party affiliation)
However, the referendum was                 Commerce and the California
approved for the November ballot.           Restaurant Association, opponents                       March 2: California Primary Election
    In barring the referendum from the      of the law gathered more than
March ballot, Sacramento County             620,000 signatures of registered                             November 2: General Election
Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly         voters to force a voter referendum
ruled that the description of the refer-    on the insurance law. They say it
endum was “inaccurate and mislead-
ing.” The summary of the bill mis-
                                            would be too costly to business.
                                               Efforts to support the bill and
                                                                                                           New jobs, lower wages
leadingly stated that the bill would        defeat the referendum are continuing.          Not only has America lost mil-        expanding industries such as
apply to employers of 20 or more            A committee, Californians to Protect        lions of jobs since 2001, but the        leisure and hospitality—$44,570-a-
employees. In fact, employers of 20-        Our Health Insurance, has just been         few new jobs being created pay           year jobs are being replaced by
49 employees would only be included         formed to help defeat this anti-health      lower wages, according to a new          $35,410-a-year jobs.
if the legislature and Governor pass a      care ballot initiative.                     study by the nonprofit Economic              This shift to lower-paying jobs
                                                                                        Policy Institute.                        could significantly slow the growth
                                Endorsement                                                The study found the average pay       of living standards for working
                                                                                        in industries where jobs are declin-     families, the report says.
                    TORRICO for Assembly                                                ing, such as manufacturing and              For more information, visit
  Fremont, Newark, Union City, Milpitas, Hayward & Castro Valley                        information technology, is 26% 
    The IAM urges members in Assembly District 20—Fremont, Newark,                      more than the average pay in
 Union City, Milpitas, Hayward and Castro Valley—to consider voting for
 Alberto Torrico. John Dutra, a good friend to labor, held this seat for six
 years but has reached his term limit.
    Torrico has earned your support. As a labor attorney, he’s represented
 union members, fought for fair contracts and prevailing wages and helped
 Head Start workers organize.
    We encourage all of our members in the Fremont area to vote for Alberto
 and urge your families and friends to do so as well. Phone banks and precinct
 walks are being organized throughout February in Fremont. For more infor-
 mation on how to get active in the campaign, contact the Alameda County
 Central Labor Council: 510-632-4242.

  If you plan to move or have moved already, please notify your Local Union
    office immediately. Use the mailing label on this newspaper, or write your
        name, local number, and address clearly and send it to your Local.
             See Calendar on page 8 for your local union’s address.
      Page 4                                                 February/March 2004

                                                                                                                                            AROUND TH
        THE GOOD NEWS . . .                                                         a new contract. And these days, it’s able to keep this company under con-
                                                                                    fairly unique that a new owner will hire tract,” Hatch said.
                                                                                    back all of the employees and negotiate
  Penning a deal at Penske               over the four years, the health insur-
                                                                                    a new contact rather than scuttling the       Filtering more money
   Members across the District, from     ance contributions will increase about                                                 The ten Local 1596 members who
                                                                                    trained workers and trying to dump the
Locals 1546, 1414 and 1101 ratified a    13% per year, which should be enough                                                work at U.S. Filter in Petaluma settled
                                         to cover costs, and there were addition-
new four-year agreement with Penske                                                    This heavy-duty truck repair facili- and ratified a two-year wage reopener
                                         al improvements in contract language,
Truck Leasing. “The most important                                                  ty, formerly known as Petroleum Tank in January. This comes after they had
                                         vacation days, and shift premiums.
thing about this agreement is that by                                               Lines, had been passed down from voted to strike in December.
the end of the term, all three Locals       Bought out and still union              father to son. “But last year, the son      “Wage increases ranged from 5.5%
will have parity,” says Area Director       Local 2182 Business Rep Skip            decided he wanted out of the business,   to 16% the first year, and an average of
Glenn Gandolfo. “Then we should be       Hatch reports that the ten employees at    so he sold the equipment and inventory 7% the second year,” reports Business
able to negotiate a master contract.”    Omega Tank and Truck Repair, located       and leased the facilities to a new Rep Tom Brandon.
   The wage increases and the pension    in West Sacramento and in Chico have       owner,” Hatch said.                         “Because wages had been so low,
increases both come to close to 12%                                                    “The new owner has expansion          people were using this company as a
                                                                                    plans. They want to ramp back up to a training facility,” Brandon said. The
   Local 1546 honors shop steward of the year                                       24/7 operation like it used to be.”      company finally agreed that the opera-
                                                                                       Hatch says that the members agreed tors were way behind the rate paid by
                                                                                    to concessions in the first year to help municipalities and that this was caus-
                                                                                    the new owners get started, but there ing staffing problems.
                                                                                    will be a wage re-opener in 12 months.      “This should have been a slam
                                                                                       “Our members aren’t thrilled about    dunk,” Brandon said. “But we had to
                                                                                    the concessions, but these days, we convince the company that paying
                                                                                    have to see it as a victory that we were more was not only better for us, it was
                                                                                                                             better for them.”

                                                                                                   ORGANIZING WINS
                                                                                      Employees at Silgan Antioch vote Yes for union
                                                                                          The election at Silgan Antioch on        says Tomassi. “They had a company
                                                                                       January 7 was important for two rea-        plan, where each employee paid in a
                                                                                       sons. First, the employees voted to be      lot of money out-of-pocket—but the
   Wayne Meranda receives his plaque from Area Director Don Crosatto                   represented by Local 1528. And sec-         amount varied from person to person.
      Local 1546 awarded its 2003 Al     at Stoneridge when it was a non-              ond, this was the last Silgan plant in      Our goal is to negotiate the union
   James Memorial Steward of the         union shop, and he was instrumen-             Northern California to be non-union.        plan, which they have at the other Sil-
   Year Award to Wayne Meranda, a        tal in organizing it and getting a               The Antioch plant is the smallest        gan facilities. It provides better cover-
   member for more than 30 years who     first contract. And then in a short           of Silgan’s facilities. Twenty-seven        age and should cost less all around.”
   served as steward at Stoneridge       eight years, the company’s pension            employees run two coaters and a coil           “We have a long history with Sil-
   Chrysler Jeep. Meranda retired just   contribution went from zero to                line. They cut plate, coat it and ship it   gan because of the plants under con-
   prior to the December stewards’       $700 a month—which is the most                out to the other plants in the area.        tract in the Valley,” says Business
   dinner.                               of any dealership in the District.”              George Tomassi was the primary           Rep Gilbert Gonzalez. “We have a
      “Wayne is unique—he’s respect-        Business Rep David Asplin met              organizer on this campaign with help        good relationship with this compa-
   ed by the members as an effective     Meranda when he first joined the              from Joe Coy and Gilbert Gonzalez.          ny, and expect it will be the same in
   advocate, and by management, as       union in the 1960s. “He was always            Tomassi had been talking to employ-         Antioch.”
   the foreman,” says Area Director      an active member and a strong                 ees for over a year, including the time        The election was a squeaker, but it’s
   Don Crosatto.                         union brother,” Asplin says. “And             when he was out on disability               been certified. The union and company
      Business Rep Craig Andrews         now, he retired—because he could.             because he had shattered his leg.           are setting dates to hold negotiations
   explained that Meranda was an         He did things right for Stoneridge               “The biggest issue for these             for the first contract.
   easy choice. “He had gone to work     for many years.”                              employees was health and welfare,”

     Arthur Robbins                David Twomey                    Doug Okazaki                       Eric Bart                      Harold Watts                   Jackie La
The Ford Store—San Leandro    The Ford Store—San Leandro     The Ford Store—San Leandro     The Ford Store—San Leandro       Marina Pontiac—San Leandro        The Ford Store—
       Local 1546                    Local 1546                      Local 1546              Local 1546Kimo Bowden                    Local 1546                       Local
“Give the schools more       “Keep our unions strong.”       “What were you thinking?!      “Be honest and sincere           “Keep going in the direc-         “Get realistic a
money, so that there                                         Now that you stopped the       about what you say               tion you’re headed at             es especially
aren’t so many closures.”                                    car tax, where’s the money     you’re going to do, and          least in terms of what you        Take care of o
                                                             going to come from? Figure     follow through. If you say       say you’re doing. Time will       and kids and
                                                             out what’s going on with       you’re going to do it,           tell.”                            And get us ou
                                                             Lotto somebody gets that       then do it.”
                                                             money, but not the schools.”
                                                                             THE DISTRICT 190 SPARKPLUG                                                         Page 5


    Local 1584 retirees tally more than 900 years                                                       THE BAD NEWS . . .
                of union membership                                                           Rexam Beverage to close                trols in Richmond won’t be manufac-
                                                                                                                                     turing temperature and pressure control
                                                                                              Just before Christmas, Rexaman-
                                                                                           nounced they’re closing down effective    valves any more.
                                                                                           February 28. Established in 1948 in          “This is a 50-year old company,”
                                                                                           San Leandro as National Can, this         says Local 1584 Business Rep Chris
                                                                                           company, at one time employed 750         Rasmussen. “They sent the WARN
                                                                                           people, but is now down to 62 mem-        notice in January, and that’s that. We’re
                                                                                           bers of Local 1584.                       just trying to make sure the severance
                                                                                              “In 1991, the company was sold to      is as good as we can get.”
                                                                                           Pechiney,” explains Administrative         Dealerships change hands
                                                                                           Assistant Herman Howell. “This is a         Local 1173 Area Director Vern Dut-
                                                                                           French outfit that came in and demand- ton reports that Sonic is selling Con-
                                                                                           ed a $4 wage cut from day one. The cord Nissan to the Dirito Brothers.
                                                                                           workers never gave back a penny, but “We’ve had some effects bargaining
      Local 1584 celebrated the union service of its long-time members at the              the company eliminated 400 jobs.”
   annual Retirees luncheon on December 2 at Francesco’s in Oakland. They                                                           with the company. We want them to
                                                                                              In 2002, Rexam bought the compa- cover H&W, which, so far, they’re
   paid special tribute to those retirees who topped the 35, 40, 45 and 50 year            ny from Pechiney. To justify the clo- refusing to do. We don’t know which of
   mark (pictured above). Retiree Club President Daniel P.L. Borrero, greeted the          sure of the San Leandro plant, they our members the new owner will keep.
   retirees and their guests with a message of why they are still needed to keep           stated that they only needed two facili- We’ll just have to deal with it as we
   the union alive and thriving.                                                           ties that make pull top ends for beer find out.”
                                                                                           and beverage cans instead of three.         Lithia Sun Valley Ford and VW got
                                                                                              Howell says that the Local asked sold while Local 1173 was in the midst
                                                                                           Rexam to do the right thing and pay the of negotiations for a new contract.
                                                                                           severance pay as outlined in the con- “Suddenly the company cancelled the
                                                                                           tract. “True to form, the company is talks, went back to the shop and told
       The key to a strong union is ORGANIZING—and                                         refusing, based upon a clause that says the employees that they were selling,”
            you can help keep District 190 strong!                                         ‘benefits shall not be paid to employees says Dutton. “The buyer is an individ-
        Do you know people who work in your industry but don’t have a                      who are eligible for an immediate pen- ual who’s not from this area so we
     union? Often non-union workers have the same wages as union employ-                   sion benefit’,” Howell explained.        don’t know what to expect.”
     ees—but that’s all they have. Talk to people in non-union shops about the                On January 14, Herman Howell,            Local 1101 has been plagued with
     benefits of having a contract, a grievance procedure, a pension and good              Shop Stewards Jim Duran and Bernice sales of union dealerships as well,
     union benefits. If they’re interested, ask if one of our organizers can call          Taylor, and attorneys Isaiah Roter and reports Glenn Gandolfo. As of January 1,
     them. (Remind them that the call will be completely confidential.)                    Jonathan Siegel met with the company McHugh Lincoln Mercury was sold to
     Here’s a contact form for you to complete and send to District 190.                   to let them know that they are in viola- Bob Lewis who only hired back a small
                                                                                           tion of age discrimination laws. The group. Raines Chevrolet sold to the
     About you:                                                                            union’s position is that they are liable Rydel Group and they didn’t rehire any
     Name:                                                                                 for paying the 22 weeks severance, no union members. “The new owners
     Where you work:                                                                       matter what the conractual language brought back a Service Manager that the
     Your phone number:                                                                    says. “We are waiting for their techs despised, so they all withdrew their
     Please call the following to tell them more about IAM representation:                 response,” Howell adds.                  applications and left,” Gandolfo added.
     Name:                                                                                    Thirty-two IAM members worked at         On a positive note, Sunnyvale Toyota
     Company:                                                                              this company for more than 30 years was sold to Tom Price, who kept the
     Home or cell phone Number:                                                            and are eligible for pension. “This entire crew and service manager, and are
     Best time to be reached:                                                              company is nothing if not consistent,” operating under the expired agreement.
                                                                                           Howell adds. “They’re always trying to
     Please return this form to: District 190, 7717 Oakport Street, Oakland,                                                           Gandolfo also reports that he’s heard
                                                                                           screw their employees.”
     CA 94621. (Feel free to copy this form, or just include the info on your                                                       rumors of a sale at Sunnyvale Mazda
     own paper.)                                                                              AMOT Controls to close                and Los Gatos Honda. “This would be
                                                                                              After March 5, the 35 members of too bad, because we recently settled
                                                                                           Local 1584 who work at AMOT Con- decent contracts at both dealerships.”

a France             Jerry Thomas Nelms                    Jimmy Fuller                     Joe Ortiz                    John Reid                      Jose Perez
—San Leandro      Marina Pontiac—San Leandro        The Ford Store—San Leandro      Marina Pontiac—San Leandro   Marina Pontiac—San Leandro     Marina Pontiac—San Leandro
1546                       Local 1546                       Local 1546                     Local 1546                    Local 1546                     Local 1546
and raise tax-    “Keep doing what you’re           “Keep your promises.            “Don’t ask me for advice!”   “Stay out of politics. This    “Don’t take money out of
 on the rich.     doing and back up what            (Actually, I don’t know                                      is definitely not an acting    social services or schools.
our schools       you said you’d do. And            whether he can or not.”                                      job.”                          Look someplace else for
 old people.      keep the acting out of it.”                                                                                                   the money.”
ut of debt.”
   Page 6                                                  THE DISTRICT 190 SPARKPLUG                                         February/March 2004

                                                          IN OTHER NEWS
DOL foiled in attempt to punish unions—for now
   In a victory for organized labor, a    any reasonable justification for
federal judge Gladys Kessler issued       requiring such far-reaching changes
a one-year injunction blocking con-       to take place in seven weeks.”
troversial Department of Labor               Unions estimated the new rules
(DOL) regulations designed to sad-        would cost local and national
dle labor unions with costly and time     unions as much as $1 billion each
consuming reporting requirements.         year. In contrast, when the U.S.
   In October, the Bush administra-       Securities and Exchange Commis-
tion announced the new rules less         sion required corporations to elec-
than 24 hours after the U.S. House        tronically file financial information,
of Representatives, spurred by            that federal agency delayed imple-
union-member lobbying, voted to           mentation for 13 years.                      Buried in the Labor Department’s proposed new overtime regulations
block the Bush administration's              In her ruling, Judge Kessler said         are detailed cost-cutting suggestions that would allow employers to
attack on overtime pay. Then on           there would be no discernable harm           avoid granting extra pay to the 1.3 million workers that the regula-
Nov. 10, the Bush administration          to the public interest by keeping the        tions are supposed to benefit.
announced it would begin enforcing        existing reporting rules, “especially
the new rules Jan. 1.                     when that status quo has been
   U.S. District Judge Gladys             deemed acceptable by the Depart-
Kessler said that Labor Secretary
Elaine Chao “simply failed to offer
                                          ment of Labor for over 40 years.”          Shop classes—an endangered species in
                                                                                     San Leandro
                                                                                        It used to be that young people     give the required prior approval for
                           Local 1101                                                learned about the trades in school.    disposing of school property.
                       NOTICE OF ELECTION                                            Auto shop, wood shop and metal
                                                                                     shop were a staple for high school
                                                                                                                               An inventory of the discarded
                                                                                                                            equipment includes a lathe, a pedal
 Secretary-Treasurer, Trustees (3), Executive Board (1), Auditors — for              boys and a few girls, too. Certainly   shear, two 4-ft. brakes, a bar folder,
                        the term ending December 2007                                those who excelled in shop and had     tig and mig welders, a vertical mill,
    In accordance with Article L, Nomination & Elections of the Local’s              an interest in the field were prime    transmission jacks, hoist stands,
Bylaws and Article B of the IAM Constitution, please be advised that an elec-        candidates for automotive appren-      electronic tire balancing machines,
tion for the above listed offices will be held at the Lion’s Blind Center (regu-     ticeships and machinist jobs.          five Briggs and Stratton engines,
lar meeting hall) on Thursday, April 8, 2004 from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.            But as the economy has shifted      tap and die sets, a sand blaster and
    Nominations for the above positions will be held at the same location, Thurs-    towards the high-tech information      an alignment rack.
day, March 11, 2004 at the regular local lodge meeting starting at 6:30 p.m.         and service sectors, this once ripe       “Pretty much everything from
    Only members in good standing for one (1) year prior to nomination and
                                                                                     training ground for high wage          the metal shop is gone,” says wood
working for a Union employer are eligible to hold office. No member can
                                                                                     mechanic positions is ceasing to       shop teacher Lance Gunnerson, as
accept nomination for more than one (1) office and officers can not be audi-
tors of the local lodge.                                                             exist.                                 are 15 drafting tables and a wide
    The member receiving the highest number of votes in each position will be           In fact, schools are literally      range of supplies.
declared the winner or in the case of more than one (1) position per office,         throwing it away.                         San Leandro High School hired a
such as Trustees, the three (3) members with the highest number of votes will           According to the San Leandro        new auto shop teacher, Andy Shy-
be declared the winners.                                                             Times, equipment from the San          ers, in the fall, even though there is
    When voting the member must be in good standing, present their dues card         Leandro High shop classes, estimat-    no equipment and no auto shop. The
or other identification, and if ruled eligible shall receive a ballot from the       ed at $50,000 in value, were thrown    class is taught from a textbook
authorized teller.                                                                   away over the summer and fall          without hands-on learning.
    Members who reside in outlying districts more than 25 miles from the des-        semesters. The maintenance staff          The school district is conducting
ignated balloting place, members who are either confined because of verified         says they were ordered to discard      an investigation into how the inven-
illness or on leave qualifying under U.S. family leave laws, or on vacation, or      the equipment by the school princi-    tory was initially conducted and
on official IAM business approved by the Local Lodge or District Lodge, or           pal, on orders from the previous       how the decisions to discard school
Grand Lodge, or on an employer travel assignment, or reserve military leave,         school superintendent.                 property came into effect.
as the case may be, shall be furnished absentee ballots. In the case of absentee        Much finger-pointing ensued            Meanwhile, many businesses
ballots, please contact the office for further details on obtaining and establish-   when the issue came to light,          and individuals have contributed
ing eligibility for this method of voting.                                           because the school board did not       equipment to restore the auto shop.

     Tomas Orozco                          Tim Kopp                           Shawn Yuill                   Ron Matias                   Richard Turnbull
Marina Pontiac—San Leandro        The Ford Store—San Leandro          The Ford Store—San Leandro     Marina Pontiac—San Leandro      The Ford Store—San Leandro
       Local 1546                         Local 1546                          Local 1546                    Local 1546                       Local 1546
“Open more schools for           “Keep the 40-hour week and          “No new taxes.”                 “Lower the taxes they          “Go, Arnie!”
our kids. Make sure edu-         8 hour day. Don’t whittle                                           keep going up.”
cation is funded.”               away at our workers’ rights.
                                 Look out for the people
                                 who work in this state and
                                 keep the standards high.”
  February/March 2004                                      THE DISTRICT 190 SPARKPLUG                                                                 Page 7

                                                            UNION PEOPLE
Gonzalez brings city experience to Local 1414                                                Give blood for fellow IAM member
   On December 1, Art Gonzalez
                                                                                        Sam McIntosh, a 25-year member of the Machinists Union needs your
was named Business Rep for Local
                                                                                    help. Sam has leukemia that requires him to get blood infusions. You can
1414. He will be representing mem-
                                                                                    donate blood in Sam’s name—that ensures that the blood is available, and
bers at the City and County of San
                                                                                    it keeps costs down.
Francisco, a few dealerships, cab
                                                                                        A member of Local 1528, Sam lives in Turlock and works at at Inter-
companies and some body shops.
                                                                                    national Paper.
   Gonzalez has been a union mem-
                                                                                        You can go to any Delta Blood Bank in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Calav-
ber for most of his life. After gradu-
                                                                                    eras, and Tuolumne counties and donate in the name of Sam McIntosh.
ating high school, he got his first
union job at San Francisco’s AAA
Shipyards. An 8-month stint there                                                  Local 1546 says goodbye to Jan Daley
led to an apprenticeship at Trail-                                                    After more than 16 years working
ways where he became a journey-          Art Gonzalez is up for the challenge
                                                                                   in Local 1546’s Financial Office, Jan
man mechanic.                            improve the hours, wages, working         Daley is retiring. Most members of
   Then he moved over to the City        conditions of all workers—that’s          the Local know and worked with Jan
and County of San Francisco and          the easy answer,” Gonzalez says.          because she was chiefly responsible
had positions at Muni, the Water         But more, he hopes to bring his           for handling membership issues, such
Department, Central Shops and            experience working for San Fran-          as dues and initiation fees.
finally, the Fire Shop. He’s worked      cisco to improve how the union               “She’s always had a cheerful
on busses, small engines, construc-      interacts with the city. “My goal is      smile,” says Bob Miller. “She’s been
tion equipment, lawnmowers, fire         to find creative ways to improve the      an efficient secretary, but more. She
trucks and more.                         contracts in these tough times.”          always goes above and beyond the
   Gonzalez has nearly as much              Art understands the challenge of       call of duty to serve the members and
union experience. As an active           advocating for union members in           take care of the job at hand. Jan will
member of Local 1305, he served          difficult times, but sees a silver lin-   be greatly missed.”
on the Executive Board, was Vice         ing. “From Arnold to the President,          Jan’s plans for retirement are to     Jan displays her thank-you certificate at
President and Trustee to the District    things are looking bleak. Maybe it’s      move to Oregon and get married.          her retirement lunch on January 30
Lodge, and was a delegate to the         a good thing…because from here, I
San Francisco Labor Council. He’s        can only go up!”
been a shop steward for about 15
years and participated in four sets of
                                            “These first few months have
                                         been a whirlwind. I’ve been putting
                                                                                                HEALTH & SAFETY
negotiations with the City and           in lots of hours, just to learn the
County of San Francisco.                 ropes,” he says. “But I look for-         District to work with Health Department on
   Why did he decide to leave the
                                                                                   N-Hexane study
                                         ward to doing what I can for the
city and work for the union? “To         members.”
                                                                                      Auto mechanics who have                  This request generated 14 techs
                                                                                   worked with N-Hexane, a substance        who were totally disabled from the
                                                                                   often found in brake cleaner, have a     use of N-Hexane—the first cases to
                                                                                   high potential for suffering neurolog-   be reported world-wide in the vehi-
                                                                                   ical diseases in their arms and legs.    cle repair industry.
                                                                                   Often the disease is misdiagnosed,          Now the Health Department
                                                                                   because a thorough study of the          wants to conduct a statistically-sig-
             ASSOCIATED THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATORS                                 health effects of N-Hexane has never     nificant study. District 190 has
                                                                                   been completed.                          agreed to help by mailing informa-
                    ATPA is the administrator for the                                 Three years ago the California        tional surveys to current and former
                                                                                   Department of Health’s Occupational      members—going back 10 years.
                           Automotive Industries
                                                                                   Health Section asked auto mechanics,        Members are urged to watch for
                  Pension and Welfare Trust Funds and                              through outreach in The Sparkplug,       the survey and complete it when it
                Machinist Health Plans (Active and Retiree).                       to call in if they had worked with N-    arrives. This study could lead to
                    Contact us at 510-836-2484                                     Hexane and had noticed a variety of      valuable health information and ben-
                                                                                   specific health problems.                efits for thousands of people.

     Philip Mendoza                      Peter Chan                       Pete Welborn                   Oscar Contreras                     Mike Wilkins
The Ford Store—San Leandro       The Ford Store—San Leandro         Marina Pontiac—San Leandro       The Ford Store—San Leandro       Marina Pontiac—San Leandro
        Local 1546                       Local 1546                         Local 1546                      Local 1546                        Local 1546
“Don’t cut education for         “Fix the economy and stop         “Spend some money on             “Help out the economy and        “Support unions and their
college or for young             lying. And stop catering to       schools. don’t worry about       bring it up.”                    ideals. (I know he won’t do
kids.”                           rich people. Pay attention to     space.”                                                           that, but he should.)”
                                 middle class people.”
       Page 8                                             THE DISTRICT 190 SPARKPLUG                                        February/March 2004

                          Annual celebration for graduating apprentices

Graduating apprentices with their Business Rep and representatives from the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards aboard the Commodore cruise ship

   On September 28, graduating           tion ceremony and relaxing day in       California working full-time and        working with their hands, like mak-
apprentices from Locals 1173, 1546       the sun.                                attending automotive-related classes    ing things work, and are challenged
and 1414 celebrated the fact that           In 2003, the program graduated       at a community college. Automotive      by constantly changing new tech-
they completed their apprenticeships     31 Automotive Mechanics, five Auto      Apprentices can work in the field of    nologies. The apprenticeship is an
by spending the afternoon on the San     Senior Parts Technicians, 14 Heavy      Auto & Truck Mechanics, Auto            opportunity to “learn while you
Francisco Bay.                           Duty Mechanics, two Body and            Body, Auto Paint, Truck and Trailer     earn,” taking classes while getting
   Sponsored by the Automotive           Fender Repair techs, and two Auto-      Repair, Service Advisor, Heavy          the hands-on, on-the-job experience.
Repair Trades Joint Apprenticeship       motive Painters, who are members        Equipment Mechanic and Part                For more information, contact the
Committees, this annual event takes      of Painters Union No. 1176.             Counter Person.                         Automotive Trades Apprenticeship
apprenticeship graduates and a fami-        Currently, approximately 650            An automotive apprenticeship is      Program. Oakland: 510-569-8450 or
ly member out on a Commodore             individuals are enrolled as Automo-     an ideal opportunity for young—and      San Jose: 408-291-2540 or e-mail
Cruiseship for a luncheon, comple-       tive Apprentices across Northern        not so young—people who enjoy           the program at:

                                                    UNION MEETINGS
                         Executive Board Meeting
 District                Fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.               Local 1528               Executive Board Meeting
                                                                                                          First Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
 Lodge 190               February 24 • March 23 • April 27
                         General Delegates Meeting
                                                                                 713 16th Street
                                                                                 Modesto, CA 95354        February 4 • March 3 • April 7
 7717 Oakport Street     Fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m.               209-529-9210             General Membership Meeting
 Oakland, CA 94621       February 24 • March 23 • April 27                                                First Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
                                                                                                          February 4 • March 3 • April 7

  Local 801              Membership Meeting
                         Third Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m.
  7717 Oakport Street,
  Oakland, CA 94621
                         February 19 • March 18 • April 15                       Local 1546             General Membership Meeting
                                                                                                        First Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
                         Meetings are held at the Carpenters’Hall, in Reno.      10260 MacArthur Blvd.,
                                                                                                        February 3 • March 2 • April 6
                                                                                 Oakland, CA 94605
 Local 1101               Executive Board Meeting                                                       Shop Stewards Meeting
                          First Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m.                                     First Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
 3777 Stevens Creek       February 5 • March 6 • April 3                                                February 3 • March 2 • April 6
 Blvd., Suite 320         Stewards Meeting                                                              Executive Board Meeting
 Santa Clara, CA 95051 First Thursday of each month at 8:00 p.m.                                        Thursday preceding membership meeting at 6:30 p.m.
 408-551-2280             February 5 • March 6 • April 3                                                January 29 • February 26 • April 1
                          General Membership Meeting                                                    Senior’s Luncheon
                          Second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.                                    First Wednesday of each month at 12 noon
 All meetings are held at February 12 • March 11 • April 8                                              February 4 • March 3 • April 7
 Lion’s Blind Center: 101 NOTE: New office hours: Mon-Thur. 7 am-5 pm                                   Alcoholics Anonymous: Every Saturday, 9 a.m.
 N. Bascom Ave., San Jose    Friday: 7 am-4 pm (Closed 12-1 for lunch hour)
                             For Reps: Call ahead for appointment/availability

 Local 1173
                         Executive Board Meeting                                 Local 1584               Membership Meeting
                                                                                                          Third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
                         Second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.              8130 Baldwin Street
 1900 Bates Ave., # H    February 12 • March 11 • April 8                        Oakland, CA 94621        February 19 • March 18 • April 15
 Concord, CA 94520       Membership/Shop Stewards Mtg.                           510-635-2064             Executive Board Meeting
 925-687-6421            Third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.                                        Preceding Monday at 7:00 p.m.
                         February 19 • March 18 • April 15                                                February 16 • March 15 • April 12
                                                                                                          Retirees Club
                      Shop Stewards Meeting
 Local 1414           First Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
                                                                                                          First Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m.
                                                                                                          February 3 • March 2 • April 6
 150 South Blvd.      February 5 • March 4 • April 3
 San Mateo, CA94402 Executive Board Meeting
 650-341-2689         Second Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
                                                                                                         Membership Meeting
                      February 12 • March 11 • April 8
                      General Membership Meeting
                                                                                 Local 1596              Third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
                                                                                 4210 Petaluma Blvd. No. February 17 • March 16 • April 20
                      Third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m.                  Petaluma, CA94952       Executive Board Meeting
                      February 19 • March 18 • April 15                          707-795-0085            Third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
                      Retirees Club
                      First Wednesday of June, Sept., Dec., March                                        February 17 • March 16 • April 20
                      at 11:00 a.m. All are welcome!
                      March 3 • June 2 • September 1 • December 1
                      Executive Board Meeting                                    Local 2182               Executive Board Meeting
                                                                                                          Second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
 Local 1484           Third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m.                  967 Venture Court,
                                                                                 Sacramento, CA 95825
                                                                                                          February 10 • March 9 • April 13
 1261 Avalon Blvd.    February 19 • March 18 • April 15                                                   General Membership Meeting
 Wilmington, CA 90744 General Membership Meeting                                 800-458-9200
                                                                                                          Second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
 310-835-6688         First Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.                                            February 10 • March 9 • April 13
                      February 3 • March 2 • April 6                                                      Retirees Club - VISTA CLUB
                      Retiree Club                                                                        Third Wednesday of each month at 11:00 a.m.
                      Third Wednesday of each month at 1:00 p.m.                                          February 18 • March 17 • April 21
                      February 18 • March 17 • April 21

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