Page 1

3917 E MacArthur Rd. Wichita, KS. 67210 A Publication for “The Fighting Machinists” Representing the Workers of Spirit AeroSystems

Vol. 3 Number 10

President’s Corner

October 2009

everything and everyone. How many times have we heard some of these?

By Kathy Petersen

I’m going to retire before the 2010 contract. (It’s getting closer; have you ordered your retirement packet?)

Most of us have said or done things we shouldn’t. Likewise, we are guilty of not doing things we should. When confronted about our shortcomings, do we accept responsibility and admit we are at fault, or do we make excuses? Typically, we make excuses. Making excuses isn’t anything new. It can be traced back to biblical times when God asked Adam if he had eaten the forbidden fruit of the tree. Adam blamed Eve, and in turn, Eve blamed the serpent

The dues are too high. (Being a member of the union is worth every cent of your dues – what is the value of your negotiated benefits? Do you know where your dues monies go?)

The leadership is not doing enough. (Do you really know what they do? What do you want them to do that you think they aren’t?)

I didn’t get what I wanted when I belonged before. (Did you vote? Everything won in the past can be taken away unless the union is strong enough to keep it.)

Excuses negate personal responsibility. Excuses allow us to pass the blame onto others. If we repeat our excuses often enough, we start to believe them to be the truth. Excuses are harmful because they can prevent us from succeeding.

I didn’t like what happened at the sale. (Do you think any of us did? But we got a “first” contract to build from.)

Excuses, Excuses

(Genesis 3:12-13).

That is what is happening right now to our union. Some members are not doing all they can to support our union. Some members are not organizing like they should. Most are not volunteering to help out as they should. I see the same 20 or 30 people working at every event I attend. When I have asked some members why they don’t come to the monthly meetings, they say, “that’s what my Steward’s job is,” or “those meetings are boring,” or “I don’t have the time,” or, worse yet, “I have to work that day.” While some of these excuses may have a little merit, most do not. It takes all of us to make the union strong. What will happen to the union when those 20 or 30 people get burned out? Non-members have a lot of excuses for why they don’t belong to the union. They blame

Collective Bargaining Timeline By Roger Stamback, Educator

The outcome of the collective bargaining process is directly related to the amount of planning, work and preparation that is invested by the Negotiating Committee and the membership in the months prior to the actual negotiations. At 12 months out, the Negotiating Committee was formed; they will develop a detailed bargaining calendar. They will work back from the expiration date to the present. They will initiate awareness about upcoming negotiations to the membership, utilizing officers, stewards and our communication network. At 6-9 months out they will begin researching the company and costing the contract. They will survey the membership (date to be determined) and determine the membership’s issues and priorities. At 3-6 months out they will activate the negotiation support committees and have continuous communication with the membership before and during negotiations, this is a must. Membership mobilization will begin with education, awareness, support, and solidarity. Members will be informed of the results of the bargaining survey. Language

As union members, we have a responsibility to the IAM. We have a responsibility to become the largest, best, and most successful union possible. If we do not grow and progress, we cannot achieve our goals. We cannot be successful in negotiations and improve our collective bargaining agreements without the support and dedication of the majority of Spirit employees. It takes all of us working together to accomplish our objectives. Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Let’s quit making excuses that are harming our union. Will you accept personal responsibility and step up to help, or will you have an excuse? issues in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement will be identified and evaluated. A formal bargaining agenda will be developed and a draft of the proposed contract language and their alternatives will be formed. At 2-3 months out there will be a review of the communication strategy. Expectations and a discussion of the contract ratification process will take place. The importance and the reasons for a pre-bargaining strike sanction vote will be explained to the membership. A date for a strike sanction vote will be communicated, usually 30 prior to the ratification meeting. At the ratification meeting, on or about June 25th, there will be a review of the proposed language changes and economics. A negotiating committee recommendation for accepting or rejecting the proposal will be presented with the reasoning behind that recommendation. The membership will then vote to accept or reject that proposal. If rejected by 50% plus one, the strike sanction vote must carry by 2/3 of the membership present, if the strike sanction vote fails, even if the proposal is rejected, the proposed contract is accepted.

Pg. 2

It’s Only Three Minutes!” By Michael E. Burleigh Local Lodge 839

The lack of understanding that a total of three minutes can get you terminated from your job is probably one of the most common reasons for the Company to charge you with Violation of Company Policy. Being your Business Representative, I’ve sat across from individuals who have had their worlds turned upside down because they never believed that they could lose their jobs over a total of three minutes of tardiness. The attitude that the Company is not going to worry about one employee who clocks in a few minutes late is a misconception that many skilled employees truly believe. This misconception has lost many hard working employees their good paying jobs. Your Union is duty bound to protect every employee from the Company when they abuse the written words of the labor contract and their policies and procedures, but don’t make it easy for the Company to suspend or terminate you.

I know I’ve written on this subject before but I continue to hear from employees who have been suspended or terminated that they never thought they would suffer so severely over clocking in late. These same employees tell me that they can’t understand, they are the best workers in their shop and they had just worked the weekend. They are grasping for every reasonable excuse why they shouldn’t have been suspended or fired, when the only answer, it is the responsibility of every employee to make it to work on time. The one excuse that I’ve heard repeatedly is that the supervisor had been called and was told they would be late; and that the supervisor responded, they understood, everyone is late every once in a while. Those are nice and friendly words but that does not excuse the fact that the employee was late. This same supervisor will remain totally silent, when the HR system automatically kicks in, reviewing the number of times that an employee clocks in late. There are a few occasions during my investigations, where I actually have managers or supervisors tell me that they liked the employee and that he/she is a hard working person,

October 2009 but they are unable to protect that employee from being disciplined. I say again, it is YOUR responsibility to be at work on time and to be there on every work day. It is also your responsibility to file a complaint with your Union Steward when you receive a verbal or written disciplinary action (CAM) regarding your tardiness or any other violation. By filing a complaint, it allows your Union Representatives, the opportunity to challenge HR’s action. You must be prepared to challenge your discipline memo, challenge all violations. Grievances Report: I have fifteen open grievances. The issues include Work Assignment Violations, Termination for Attendance, Suspension for Attendance, Jobs Issues, Job Description Issues and 787 Issues.

What Labor Day Means To me By Dennis Williams Communicator/Web Steward

As I reflect back on my 24th Labor Day as a Union Member, I realize how important organized labor is. Matthew McGuire, a machinist from LL 344, proposed a day for labor workers 117 years ago. Labor Day was first celebrated as a holiday on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885, Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. For many decades, Labor Day was viewed by workers not only as a means to celebrate their accomplishments, but also as a day to air their grievances and discuss strategies for securing better working conditions and salaries. However, for many years this country has lost sight the history and loss of life that labor unions have fought for. Labor Day is associated less with union activities and protest marches and more with leisure. For many, the holiday is a time for family picnics, sporting events, and summer's last hurrah.

Labor unions have fought diligently for the right to an 8-hour workday, 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, sick leave pay, vacation pay and weekends off. As I have seen the struggles of organized labor and membership dwindling, our right to organize is hampered. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), if passed by congress, would help rebuild the middle class and rebuild this country to the once great nation it was. With massive job losses, unemployment, Health insurance loss, nationalized health care must be passed now. Over the last eight years, the GOP or the Party of “NO,” who held control of the White House and both Houses of Congress for six of the last eight years, have hurt labor with anti-labor legislation and no resolution to the exploding cost of health care . With a labor friendly Government, we as laborers can hope that our Government will work for us and not the corporate lobbyists hired to take away the rights of labor unions who built this country one brick, one bridge, one train, one ship, one airplane, and one war at a time.

United Way kickoff By Larry Stafford

On September 1st a luncheon was held at the Best Western North to Kick Off the 2010 United Way Campaign for Labor. Mario Cervantes, the Labor Liaison to the United Way welcomed all of the Labor participants and thanked them for their continuing support, especially in these troubled times. He said our community is in crisis with over 16,000 unemployed. The need is greater today than ever and he hoped the rest of the employed would step up and help the rest of our Brothers and Sisters. He asks that we all give “5 minutes of pay each month" to help stabilize the donations. The theme for the 2010 champagne is “ Now Is The Time.” He announced that the campaign chair this year is Rita Rogers, District 70 Assistant DBR. She promised to help raise the money to get to the goal and told everyone to call her personally if they need help getting any workplace to become a partnering company. Photo by Larry Stafford

October 2009

10th Anniversary Car & Bike Show By Jarrod Lehman

The Recreation Committee and the Community Services Committee of Local Lodge 839 are proud to have hosted the 10th annual District Car and Bike Show on September 5, 2009. It was complete with a live D.J. from Dance and Karaoke Excitement, Moonwalks for Fun for the kids, and even a bicycle safety course held by Community Officer Floyd from the Wichita Police Department. The class consisted of a standard bicycle safety course, and after completing the course, five very lucky boys and girls won a brand new bike. Over 50 cars and motorcycles came out for the Car and Bike show; not as many as previous years due to cloudy skies. Each car and motorcycle was meticulously judged based upon everything from best rat rod, to best paint, and best engine. Many participants that

District 70 Poker Run By Craig Dunbar

Pg. 3

entered the show received a trophy. There were lots of raffle drawings for some magnificent baskets containing items donated by sponsors. The baskets were put together by the owner of M.R.S. Tea, who donated her time, materials and efforts. Volunteers and members of the Community Service committee and the Recreation Committee were busy doing everything from working in the kitchen, cooking and serving cheeseburgers, hot dogs, handing out water bottles, and selling raffle tickets, and T-Shirts. Very special thanks are due to so many of our brothers and sisters for all of the hard work that was done that evening. Without these volunteers, we would not be able to have such a successful event. Likewise, many thanks are due to all of the members of the community who brought their cars and motorcycles to the show for all to enjoy. The Car and Bike Show raised $500.00 more than last year which enabled us to increase our donations to each charity. The committees donated $2800.00 to both the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Guide Dogs of America .

Harley-Davidson, Dan’s Cycle in Hesston, Paul’s Place Bar & Grill and Freedom Cycles.

The morning for the Poker run started out with some rain, but it soon cleared off by the time registration began at 7:30. The bikes started showing up by then and the coffee and doughnuts were consumed.

The winning hand was a full house with queens, carried by Jeff Smith and second place was also a full house, only with threes, carried by Roger Stamback. The name of the owner of the worst hand has been misplaced; maybe they did not want their name posted. Kathy Petersen was the lucky winner of the morning 50/50 drawing. The comments by the riders were positive and many said they would be back next year and do it again. “It was for a good cause and it was a good ride.” The Poker Run benefitted Guide Dogs of America and MDA.

This year we registered 35 motorcycles for the run. That was a good increase from last year. The first bikes out were at 8:45 and included the cooks for the Labor Day Picnic, who needed to get going because this ride was for 110 miles and should take at least 4 hours to complete. The stops this year, in order, were Dream Machines, Alf’s

Car Show and Poker Run Photos by Stan Chapman

The Christian Motorcycle Association helped us this year by covering four of the stops with eight of their members. They handed out water, doled out the player’s poker chips and signed their cards. 50 poker hands were purchased this year by the participants.

Photo by Tony Nelzen

Pg. 4

Welcome To Our New Union Brothers & Sisters

By Stan Chapman

The winner of the August “End of Summer Picnic Basket” is Greg Treadwell. Greg is a second shift Union Steward in Department 2974, located in Plant II. Congratulations to Greg for having the winning ticket!

1 lb. round steak, diced 1 8oz. Can mushrooms-stems & pieces 1 8oz. Can cream of mushroom soup 1 8oz container of sour cream 4 green onions, diced 1 c. white wine 8 oz. extra wide egg noodles Bob Wood Communications Representative Southern Territory

Fruits of Our Labor There is a cook book being sold at the District called “Fruits of Our Labor.” All of the recipes have been submitted by Union members and their families from Locals and Districts of the Southern Territory, Transportation Department, Woodworkers & NFFE of the Machinists Union. The cost is $5.00. I will print a recipe each month from this book, starting with any entries

Union Quote for October Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

October 2009

Community Services Report

Beef Stroganoff

Brown the round steak, drain, add mushrooms and onions and sauté. Add soup, sour cream and wine. Cook on low for 25 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cook noodles according to the package directions. Serve mixture over noodles.

The “basket” contained items needed for a day of summer fun, like a Coleman water jug, a beach towel, a Frisbee, a mug and some drink mix. All the items were packed in a tub that doubles as an ice bucket. All set for a day at the lake! The Community Service Committee would like to thank the membership for the support given to us when you purchase food from the kitchen and tickets for the basket drawings. The money you spend enables us to procure additional items for baskets and raffles and allows us to help our members in need.

Betty J. Deason Roy D Frazier Mark W. Green Gerald R May James R. McKenney

Jerry W. Moore John Morphis James D. Page Josh Ritchie Tina Thome

Remember the Organizing campaign for signing up new members. The Organizing Committee pays a $10.00 bounty for every member you sign up.

Monthly Union Meetings 2nd Saturday of the Month Executive Board meets at 8:00 AM Regular Meeting at 10:00 AM

We draw for the baskets at the end of the Local Lodge meeting and a picture is taken to put in the newsletter. Please try and attend your monthly meetings and maybe you will be the lucky winner next time! At the meeting in October we will have a drawing for a basket. The theme has not been decided, but it will be a good basket, as always.

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 839 3917 E. MacArthur Rd. Wichita, Kansas 67210 IAM&AW THE FIGHTING MACHINISTS! Phone: (316) 524-1090 Fax: (316) 529-1277 Email:

Local Lodge 839 Get Ready to

Fight & Win In 2010 President - Kathy Petersen Vice President - Brent Allen Monthly Union Meetings 2nd Saturday of the Month Executive Board meets at 8:00 AM Regular Meeting at 10:00 AM

Recording Secretary - Larry Stafford Treasurer - Joni Pierce Conductor/Sentinel - Jeff Meis Trustees - Susan Hiebert, Stan Chapman, Terry Rodriquez Communicator - Dennis Williams Educator - Roger Stamback

The Fighting Machinists

Everyone is Welcome

1st Shift In-Plant Rep. - David Eagle

The Kitchen is open most meetings

2nd Shift In-Plant Rep. - Howard “HoJo” Johnson

Hamburgers and Drinks

Editor - Larry Stafford

We are the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. We belong to Local Lodge 839 of District 70 in Wichita Kansas. We represent the Fighting Machinists of Spirit AeroSystems. We work to give our members a voice on the job. Visit our web sit often at for helpful and timely information. If you have any questions, contact one of your In-plant Representatives at 524-1090. If you have any articles you want published, e– mail the editor at

All Content © IAM Local Lodge 839 2005-2009, All Rights Reserved

839 insert, Plain Dealer, 10/2009  

IAM Local Lodge 839 insert to Plain Dealer

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you