2008 NFFE & IAMAW Conventions
Rick Brown reelected as President of NFFE; Local 1998 reps attend convention
October 6-9, 2008: Rick Brown was reelected for the fourth time as President of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) at the Union's 48th convention held in Milwaukee, WI.  Secretary-Treasurer Bill Dougan was also reelected to his position.  Highlights of the convention included addresses by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) and IAMAW International President Tom Buffenbarger.  The attendees made numerous changes to the NFFE bylaws, voted for officers, heard a number of informative and moving speeches, and received one day of representational training by NFFE staff.  Local 1998 Union President Colin Walle and Local 1998 Union Steward Claude Scott (Chicago) attended the convention as delegates.  Local 1998 was one of six locals to receive an "Organizing Award" for membership increases since 2004.  Elected as NFFE National Vice Presidents were: John Obst, Joe Drozdowski, Patricia LaSala, Kolleen McGrath, Tim Ostrowski, Debbie Ransom, and Colin Walle (the first time someone from Local 1998 has been elected to a NFFE National position).  

Sen. Obama addresses IAMAW convention
September 12, 2008: Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), candidate for President, addressed the 2008 IAMAW convention by live video feed.  The Senator's remarks were prefaced by a warm introduction by International President Tom Buffenbarger, and a raucous greeting by approximately two thousand Union members waving Obama-Biden placards.  The members all wore bright orange hunting vests, titled "IAM TNT", in keeping with IP President Buffenbarger's call to hunt for votes on November 4th.  The "TNT" acronym stands for "The November 4th Team".  The IAMAW gave a full-throated endorsement to Senator Obama on September 8th.
Click on these links to see Senator Obama's address (must be done at home, NOT on work computer):  PART A  PART B  PART C  PART D

IAMAW convention tackles difficult issues and numerous proposals for amendments and resolutions
September 8-12, 2008: Delegates to the 2008 IAMAW convention voted on scores of proposed amendments to the IAMAW Constitution as well as dozens of proposed resolutions, but no issue was more contentious than a proposed increase in Union dues.  The proposal by the Executive Council in advance of the convention was to make dues 2% of salary starting in 2009, but that met with near unanimous resistance.  An initial substitute proposal from the law committee that would have increased the dues using a dollar amount addition to the current dues failed, but a second substitute amendment passed.  The delegates appeared to be unanimous on two aspects of the dues increase - first, no one wanted to increase the dues, but second, nearly all felt it was necessary, as the IAMAW has faced shortfalls in the last seven years due to declining membership.  The exact amount of the dues increase as it affects NFFE FL 1998 members should be known in November.  The losses in membership have been caused by "[l]ayoffs, outsourcing and aggressive political opposition to union organizing", according to the Convention Highlights report on the financial state of the Union.  Two of the biggest sectors represented by the IAMAW are airline workers and airplane manufacturers, and both were powerfully and negatively affected by the attacks on September 11, 2001 as well as airline deregulation and a troubled economy.  

NFFE Union Reps attend IAMAW convention 
September 7-12, 2008: Over half a dozen members of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) attended the 2008 IAMAW convention.  NFFE affiliated with the IAMAW in 1999, so all NFFE members are IAMAW members.  NFFE President Rick Brown (Directing Business Representative - IAMAW Federal District 1) attended as a delegate for NFFE FL 2109.  NFFE Business Representatives Steve Flory (delegate for NFFE FL 1295) and John Griffin were also in attendance, as was NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin.  In addition, NFFE Executive Board members Joe Drozdowski (3rd Vice President for NFFE, and delegate for FL 2086), and John Obst (6th Vice President for NFFE, and delegate for NFFE FL 276) were also in attendance.  NFFE FL 1998 President Colin Walle attended as a delegate on behalf of our local.

2008 IAMAW convention theme: FDR's "Four Freedoms" 
September 8-11, 2008: The 2008 IAMAW convention had for its theme the "Four Freedoms" speech by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, given in his 1941 Inaugural Address.  The Four Freedoms are: 1) freedom of religion, 2) freedom of speech, 3) freedom from want, and 4) freedom from fear.  Each day of the convention, the attendees watched a short video presentation and then heard speakers and a panel discussion on the topics.  The convention noted how the Labor Movement contributed to or embodied each of the Four Freedoms.  President Roosevelt once famously remarked, "If I went to work in a factory, the first thing I'd do is join a union".  President Roosevelt's grandson, James Roosevelt (President and CEO of Tufts Health Plan), addressed the convention on September 8th.  The convention was also addressed by Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R), AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker, and AFSCME Union President Gerald McEntee - who came bearing a $100,000 donation to the IAMAW strike fund to assist the 27,000 members on strike at Boeing.  

Newest IAMAW member Hillary Clinton makes motion to endorse Barack Obama for President
September 8, 2008: The 2008 IAMAW convention welcomed Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who gave an address to the convention and thanked the IAMAW for its endorsement during the Democratic Party Primary.  IAMAW Chairman Tom Buffenbarger announced that Senator Clinton is now an honorary IAMAW member, only the third such person to receive the honor in the last 60 years.  As a new member, Sister Hillary made a motion that the IAMAW endorse Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.  The Convention approved the motion on a unanimous vote.  

IAMAW Convention kicks off on September 7th; Sen. Hillary Clinton to address delegates
September 5, 2008: The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) convention will commence on Sunday, September 7th, at the Coronado Springs Hotel in Orlando, FL.  The convention will run through Friday, September 12th (weather permitting).  Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will address the delegates on Monday, September 8th.  The National Federation of Federal Employees affiliated with the IAMAW in 1999.  The IAMAW convention is held every 4 years.  NFFE Local 1998 Union President Colin Walle will serve as the local's sole delegate to the convention - the first time that Local 1998 has sent a delegate.  



Rick Brown, re-elected as President of NFFE, stands with Local 1998 Union Steward Claude Scott at the NFFE Convention held in October, 2008 in Milwaukee. 

Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) addresses the 2008 NFFE convention 

Organizing Award presented to Local 1998 at the NFFE convention in Milwaukee, WI on October 6, 2008 
Senator Barack Obama received a rousing greeting from IAMAW members when he addressed the convention on September 12, 2008.

NFFE delegates to the IAMAW convention: Joe Drozdowski (FL 2086), Colin Walle (FL 1998), John Obst (FL 276), and Rick Brown (NFFE President) 

IAMAW International President Tom Buffenbarger addresses the delegates 
Newest IAMAW member Senator Hillary Clinton speaks to the 2008 IAMAW Convention

NFFE delegates at dinner reception: John Obst (FL 276), Steve Flory (FL 1295), and Colin Walle (FL 1998) with Cameron Walle on shoulders

1998-2009 NFFE FL1998 

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 Updated March 6, 2009