2004 UAW National CAP Legislative Conference Day Three
By Region 8 Webmaster and Local 2195 Editor John Davis

Day three of the 2004 UAW CAP Legislative Conference began with the delegates filing onto buses and traveling over to the Hilton to meet as part of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council (IUC) legislative meeting. The IUC is made up of 14 unions that are coming together to address the national crisis of eroding manufacturing jobs in this country. The first join meeting was held last year during the 2003 CAP Legislative Conference.

Industrial Union Council Chair and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka called the meeting to order with the pledge of allegiance. Secretary-Treasurer Trumka offered his opening remarks.

“The past year has seen a lot of activity as we have laid the foundation to bring the manufacturing crisis in America to the forefront of the American consciousness and before Congress and the presidential campaigns. President Bush has the worse record in modern times on the jobs and economy. He proposed to offer goods made in foreign companies that supported the War in Iraq as American made. The recent move to eliminate overtime provisions for 8 million Americans wasn’t enough; he then had the gall to send notices out to employers to teach them how to get around paying overtime.

The Bush Administration Medicare Drug bill was another assault on working Americans, as it offered no real benefit for most Americans with the insurance and pharmaceutical companies reaping huge profits. This flawed bill actually encourages many employers to drop drug plans for their retirees.

To cap his year off, President Bush told hundreds of thousands of laid off workers just prior to Christmas they would not be receiving an extension on their unemployment benefits because “the economy was rebounding.” We have a New Year’s message for him that goes, “Out the door in 2004.”

This administration says the recesses ended two years ago. However, next month another 365,000 unemployed workers will leave the ranks of unemployment. Not because they found jobs, but because they have exhausted their unemployment benefits. Two weeks ago President Bush rolled out a 63-point plan for manufacturing, and named a cabinet position on manufacturing. His answer to the loss of 2.6 million manufacturing jobs during his term is to appoint one person. I guess he things swapping one job for 2.6 million evens the scales.

Guest speakers during the morning session included Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschel and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke of the need to make a change in Washington, to put manufacturing and working families ahead of corporate profits. Senator Daschel stated that three times they had proposed legislation to close the loopholes that allow corporations to move off shore for tax shelters, but the Bush administration blocked all three attempts.

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