Posts filed under ‘Unions’

Why Every Human Being on Earth Should Join a Union

Union

(Image via prwatch.org)

The red line is the share of income going to the 1%

The blue line is union membership.

(Via.)

 

June 5, 2014 at 10:07 PM 2 comments

If Banks and Oil Companies Can Write Off Their Expense, Why Can’t Teachers?

This is what happens to the tax system when it’s permissible for corporate lobbyists to throw megabucks at people who are supposed to represent, ah, We the People. Hardscrabble teachers’ (and other) unions crawl on their hands and knees in an attempt to be heard but they aren’t.  They don’t have the

$5,000 bill

(Image via Wikipedia)

This is so wrong:

Tweet of the Day 5-10-14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM 1 comment

So Do I Get to Ignore Subpoenas Now Too?

This is a horrible, horrible precedent for our so-called leaders to set.  You know, the people who are sworn to uphold the laws of the United States?

I can only imagine what it will be like around here when this “trickles down:”

S  U  B  P  O  N  A

U.S. Senator Bob Corker’s office said Wednesday that he will ignore a subpoena from the United Auto Workers to testify at a hearing next week in Chattanooga.

The latest controversy follows the disclosure of confidential documents by NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

The UAW had subpoenaed Corker and two aides to testify at a hearing of the National Labor Relations Board.

The union claims Corker was part of an orchestrated effort to thwart a union election at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga — and they want the NLRB to order new elections.

Corker’s chief of staff Todd Womack said in a statement, “Everyone understands that after a clear defeat, the UAW is trying to create a sideshow, so we have filed a motion to revoke these baseless subpoenas.”

He added, “Neither Senator Corker nor his staff will attend the hearing on Monday.”

More…

Say I get subpoenaed for jury duty.  I guess I can now say fuck that!  The trial’s a “sideshow.”  Huh?

OMG, I feel for the little babies who are going to grow up in a country that’s unrecognizable from the one I knew.

Back in my day, nobody but nobody ignored a subpoena.

 

April 16, 2014 at 7:28 PM 3 comments

Hate Your Union Job, Good Benefits and Paid Vacations? There’s a Cure for That

Take Anti-Unionol, a long-lasting anti-worker suppository (this is great):

(Good job AFSCME!)

 

 

April 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM 2 comments

Obama, Tell Us: Which Side Are You On?

‘Which Side Are You On?’ is a song written by Florence Reece in 1931. Reece was the wife of Sam Reece, a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1931, the miners of that region were locked in a bitter and violent struggle with the mine owners. In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, Sheriff J. H. Blair and his men (hired by the mining company) illegally entered their family home in search of Sam Reece. Sam had been warned in advance and escaped, but Florence and their children were terrorized in his place. That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to ‘Which Side Are You On?’ on a calendar that hung in the kitchen of her home. She took the melody from a traditional Baptist hymn, ‘Lay the Lily Low’, or the traditional ballad ‘Jack Munro’.

(Via.)

 

January 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM Leave a comment

The USA is the “New India”

The only thing the USA! USA! USA! is #1 in is the number of people incarcerated and the number of people with adult-onset diabetes:

Union made

I’m so old I remember when “union made” labels were everywhere — from clothes and tools to pamphlets.

America has become a RINO: rich in name only. By every measure, we look like a broken banana republic. Not a single U.S. city is included in the world’s top 10 most livable cities. Only one U.S. airport makes the list of the top 100 in the world. Our roads, schools and bridges are falling apart, and our trains—none of them high-speed—are running off their tracks. Our high school students are rated 30th in math, and some 30 countries have longer life expectancy and lower rates of infant mortality. The only things America is number one in these days are the number of incarcerated citizens per capita and adult onset diabetes.

[...]

he destruction of labor has been so comprehensive that first-world nations now offshore their jobs to the U.S. In other words, we’ve become the new India. Foreign companies now see us as the world’s cheap labor force, and we have the non-unionized South to thank for that. Chuck Thompson, author of Better off Without Em, writes, “Like Mexico, the South has spent the past four decades systematically siphoning auto jobs from Michigan and the Midwest by keeping worker’s salaries low and inhibiting their right to organize by rendering their unions toothless.” Average wages for autoworkers in the South are up to 30 percent lower than in Michigan.

[...]

In Sweden, the minimum wage is $19 per hour and workers enjoy a minimum of five weeks paid vacation every year. In the U.S. the minimum wage is a tick above $7 per hour and workers can expect no more than 12 days of annual vacation. So guess what? IKEA has set up a factory in Virginia. Volkswagen has set up in Tennessee, and the likes of Hyundai, KIA, BMW, Honda, and Toyota have all set up in the South to take advantage of the world’s latest cheap labor source. Moreover, the profits of these foreign companies goes toward stimulating their economies instead of ours.

More…

The Republican effort to turn non-union workers against union workers — and to thus let the destruction of unions go essentially unchallenged — has been just fab-u-l-ous for the corporataocracy.  For workers?  Not so much.

December 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM 1 comment

Right-Wing Legislatures Screwing Workers Left and Right

I was getting ready to post my Tweet of the Day when I inadvertently took a detour through this paragraph:

…[A] slew of other laws passed in the two years following the 2010 right-wing electoral romp. Among them: Michigan banned safety regulations covering repetitive motion. Florida banned local paid sick leave mandates. Wisconsin banned compensatory and punitive damage suits over employment discrimination. New Hampshire made it easier for companies to classify workers as “independent contractors” lacking the legal rights of employees. Maine allowed employers to apply for employees to be considered disabled, and to determine what fraction of the minimum wage to pay employees classified as such.

More…

Now, here’s that tweet:

Tweet of the Day 10-31-13

October 31, 2013 at 10:23 AM 2 comments

Michigan’s “Right to Work” Law Bought and Paid For by the Koch Brothers

Alec Exposed

(Image via AlecExposed.org)

The millions of dollars the Koch Brothers are spending buying Republican politicians paid off yesterday when Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed that state’s new “Right to Work” law.  In that law, the Kochs got exactly what their organization, ALEC, proposed.

Go here to compare ALEC’s wish list to what ALEC’s wholly owned Republican legislature rammed through.

 

December 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM Leave a comment

Here’s Lookin’ at You Michigan Republicans

This is the cover of the Detroit Free Press today:

Detroit Free Press 12-13-12

(Image via JeffRae on Twitter)

I think Michigan Republicans might just have lit a fire under a whole lot of workers.

December 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM 2 comments

JFK Airport Security Workers May Strike Due to Horrendous Working Conditions

The big story here — according to the “liberal media” — is how this could inconvenience holiday travelers.  The big story to me is that these folks are getting paid a pitiful $8 an hour to do yeoman’s work:

JKF Airport Logo

Security guards at New York’s JFK Airport are threatening to strike just before Christmas, demanding significant improvements to their working conditions.

About 300 workers will vote tomorrow to authorize the strike, which would begin December 20. They are also considering unionization.

The workers, who are employed by two private companies, Air Serv and Global Elite Group, are responsible for inspecting planes for explosives and contraband before takeoff, and checking airport staff who have access to aircraft.

They are also in charge of directing terminal traffic, according the the New York Post.

The guards are currently paid $8 an hour without benefits

[...]

“We want to be issued enough of the proper equipment to be able to do our job and keep the public safe,” Prince Jackson, an Air Serv employee, told Crain’s. “We want more money and benefits.”

Michael Allen, a spokesman for the Service Employees International Union, which is advising the guards, told The Post:

These security officers feel responsible for the safety and security at JFK Airport. They feel it is their duty to bring attention to these gaping holes in preparedness and safety standards.

More…

I find it outrageous that folks who are responsible for keeping BOMBS OFF OF AIRPLANES are paid $8 an hour and they’re working without adequate equipment.  I presume that somewhere along the line, money from the Department of Homeland Security trickles down to these people directly or to the companies they work for.

The president has asked congress to authorize $68.9 billion (BILLION) for that agency in his 2013 budget.

Surely we can come up with proper equipment and more than $8 an hour for these people, particularly if we respect and value what they’re doing. If we don’t, then let’s stop playing games and admit we don’t — that keeping bombs off planes isn’t really all that important.

December 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM Leave a comment

People Acting Up in Lansing

Looks like there’s a good turnout this morning of people protesting how Republicans are trying to screw workers in Michigan. I’d be there if I could:

Protesters in Lansing 12-11-12 via  JameeUrrea on Twitter

(Image via @JameeUrrea on Twitter)

 

December 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM Leave a comment

If You Need Riot Gear to Pass a Law…

“Some say” as many as 10,000 people could demonstrate today on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol in opposition to the “right to work for less” law rammed through the state legislature by Republicans over the last few days.

Michigan State Capitol via nmu.edu

(Image via NMU.edu)

This morning, the Detroit Free Press reports that:

Riot gear was stockpiled in a back room at the Capitol on Monday as State Police prepared for what’s expected to be one of the largest demonstrations in Lansing history today, as the House takes up right-to-work legislation.

Officials were also seen Monday briefing more than a dozen undercover officers — dressed as working people in jeans and ball caps — on how to blend in with the crowd today and respond to any trouble or suspicious activity.

“Because of lessons learned in Wisconsin and Ohio, we are taking precautions,” including riot gear that will only be used if needed, said Inspector Gene Adamczyk. “The State Police have come here prepared.”

More…

Corporations love “right to work” laws because they tend to cause wages to fall overall, making it so they get to keep more of their profit.  Republicans love the laws because they weaken unions, who tend to mobilize and vote Democratic.  So what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is the Michigan State Police being used to beat back We the People on behalf of those two interests.

USA!  USA!  USA!

 

December 11, 2012 at 7:52 AM Leave a comment

Hostess Wants to Pay $1.75 Million in Bonuses to 19 Managers

Gee, silly me.  I thought people got bonuses when they did a good job, so what’s with Hostess wanting to pay $1.75 million to 19 managers when the freakin’ company is going bankrupt?

(Image via Wikipedia)

Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt baker of Twinkies and Wonder bread, is seeking permission to pay bonuses to key managers while closing operations that will leave most of its 18,500 workers unemployed as it begins a liquidation that may attract bids from private-equity firms and rivals.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain is to consider Hostess’s request to close its distribution centers and 36 bakeries at a hearing today in White Plains, New York. Hostess said Nov. 16 that it would shut down, claiming that a weeklong strike by its bakers’ union forced liquidation. The union blamed management’s concession demands, while some employees blamed both sides.

[...]

In seeking court permission for its demise, Hostess said it wants to pay as much as $1.75 million in incentive bonuses to 19 senior managers during the liquidation. Hostess is asking the judge to approve its plan — which would result in the firing of thousands of employees — to shut down 36 bakeries, 242 depots, 216 retail stores, and 311 hybrid depot-store facilities, according to court filings. There are 58 other leased or owned sites used for storage, warehousing of products or parking.

More…

November 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM Leave a comment

First Responders and the Most Expensive Apartment Building in New York City

You probably heard about the “partially collapsed crane”

(Image via Reuters)

that’s hanging over the streets of New York City tonight.

The top of the crane, which was being used to help construct the One57 building just south of Central Park, was flipped over and bent by the wind today during Hurricane Sandy.  As the bent end sways and flexes in the wind tonight, the metal bars holding it to the base could snap, sending the four or five story downward-pointing end crashing onto the street below.

Backing up a bit, One57 is the hottest, most expensive building in New York City right now.  The yet-to-be-completed penthouse apartment recently sold for — get this — $90 million.  (Wonder what the HMO fees and taxes are.)

That said, I found this short video of New York firefighters — you know, the folks Republicans used to love but now want to fire — touching in that they probably make something like $60,000 a year (putting their lives on the line) but they’re spending the night protecting the public from some selfish I-don’t-give-a-damn builder who probably cut corners and has now put the whole area in danger:

We mustn’t take them for granted and we mustn’t let the powers that be disrespect or denigrate them.

Geezus. Look at those guys.  What a thankless freakin’ job.

I hope (beyond hope) that the builder is fined for all the resources — as in our tax dollars — the city is using to protect against his recklessness.

October 29, 2012 at 7:05 PM Leave a comment

Chicago Teachers Vote to End Strike

Can’t wait to hear the details.  This is all we know right now:

(Image via Chicagoist.com)

Chicago Teachers Union delegates voted on Tuesday to suspend their strike, several delegates said as they departed a meeting of union leaders.

[...]

Some 800 delegates representing the union rank-and-file ended the strike after more than two hours of debate on a new three-year contract with the school district. The compromise deal gave Emanuel part of the reforms he wanted, and teachers got some guarantees on employment.

More…

 

September 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM Leave a comment

Want Small Government? This is What You’ll Get

If you buy the Republican line about how “small government”  is the way to go and taking a hands-off approach to the “free markets” is cool and letting corporations “innovate,” this is what you’re asking for:

(Image via Al Jazeera)

 

Factory fires in two major cities in Pakistan have killed at least 314 people and injured dozens more, including some who had to leap from windows to escape the flames, officials and survivors have said.

The most deadly blaze broke out on Tuesday night in a garment factory in the southern port city of Karachi, where at least 289 bodies have been recovered so far, according to Roshan Ali Sheikh, a senior government official.

At least 25 others were killed hours earlier in a shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore.

[...]

Most of the deaths were caused by suffocation, as people caught in the basement were unable to escape when it filled with smoke, said the top firefighter in Karachi, Ehtisham-ud-Din. There were no fire exits, and the doors leading out of the basement were locked, he said.

Such safety issues are common throughout Pakistan, where buildings also lack emergency equipment like alarms and sprinklers and municipal rules are rarely enforced. [Love that small government, hey?]

Workers on higher floors of the five-storey building struggled to make it out of windows that were covered with metal bars.

Mohammad Ilyas, a factory worker who was injured as he jumped out of the building, said he was working with roughly 50 other men and women on one of the floors when suddenly a fireball came from the staircase.

“I jumped from my seat, as did others, and rushed towards the windows, but iron bars on the windows barred us from escaping. Some of us quickly took tools and machines to break the iron bars,” he said. “That was how we managed to jump out of the windows down to the ground floor.”

[...]

Sheikh said the factory’s managers had fled and were being sought by police.

[...]

“The owners were more concerned with safeguarding the garments in the factory than the workers,” said employee Mohammad Pervez, holding up a photograph of his cousin, who was missing after the fire.

“If there were no metal grilles on the windows, a lot of people would have been saved. The factory was overflowing with garments and fabrics. Whoever complained was fired.”

More…

This is a lesson about worker rights and unions.  Corporations already have an inordinate amount of power.  Their rights are being protected big time by our corporate-owned media and our corporate-owned congress.  Who’s looking out for us?  Unions.

 

September 14, 2012 at 6:57 PM Leave a comment

Wisconsin Judge Rules Against Governor Scott Walker

It’s a step!

More to come…

September 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM Leave a comment

For the First Time in 98 Years, the Fraternal Order of Police Will Not Endorse a Presidential Candidate

This is big:

(Image via Wikipedia)For

Mitt Romney has been turned away by a large union whose endorsement he hoped to win.

The 330,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, the country’s largest police union, announced that it would back no candidate for president this year, the first time the group had passed on an endorsement in its 98-year history. The union backed the Republican nominees in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and backed President Bill Clinton in 1996.

The rebuff came less than three months after Mr. Romney met with the order’s top brass in June seeking the group’s endorsement. “We had a lengthy and comprehensive meeting with Mr. Romney,” said Jim Pasco, the group’s executive director.

“The important challenges faced by our rank-and-file officers, the real issues in public safety, and the problems that our criminal justice system is facing are not the focus of either campaign,” Chuck Canterbury, the group’s president, said in a statement.  “It would be irresponsible for us to support either candidate.”

People familiar with the group’s decision said leaders had been disturbed by Mr. Romney’s statements of strong support for several antiunion initiatives, particularly the move in Ohio to restrict the collective-bargaining rights of public-union employees, including police and firefighters. The measure was overturned by voters in Ohio last year.

More…

Romney made his bed on this one as did Obama.  Too bad Obama doesn’t have the guts to be — in both word and deed — more supportive of union workers.  We need to lift all workers up, not bring everyone down to the level of compensation made by burger flippers at McDonald’s which the corporatocracy wants to do and is doing.

September 11, 2012 at 1:04 PM 1 comment

Rahm! Rahm! Rahm!

False News is cheering Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today because he’s standing against the Chicago Teachers’ Union. Oh, and did you know Rahm is ahem, a Democrat?  So Fox is peeing its pants because gosh, this proves even Democrats hate unions, thus EVERYBODY hates unions.

Way to go Rahm:

 

 

 

 

September 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM Leave a comment

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day to every American who has ever worked a day in their life.  Today is our day!  This day is about us.

This day began when Americans died in 1894 trying to secure the rights we’re celebrating and that we have now.  It all began with the Pullman Strike. Men were shot and killed for asking for a day off and a fair wage.  The corporatoracy and the federal government killed them.

(Image via Encyclopedia.com)

In the 100+ years since then, this is what the labor movement has done for us:

For starters, Ron Paul wants to abolish the minimum wage to “help poor people.”  What the?

Minimum Wage

Child Labor Laws

Do you get ten, 12 paid vacation days a year?  Thank a union.  Imagine five weeks:

Paid Vacations

Employer Health Care, Dental, and Vision Insurance

Pensions

Do you literally risk your life to do your job?  Paul Ryan’s budget shrinks the Occupational Safety and Health Administration such that it might have the ability to protect you anymore.

Safety Conditions

Collective Bargaining

How does a seven-day work week sound?

Want a weekend?

Weekends

Got sick leave?

Sick Leave

Want your employer to require you to work 12-hour days without a distinction between regular work hours and overtime?

Overtime

I’ll say it again:  Want your employer to require you to work 12-hour days without a distinction between regular work hours and overtime?

8 Hour Work Day

Have a 40-hour work week?

40 Hour Work Week

Unemployment Benefits

Wrongful Termination Laws

Think it’s fair that you get regular pay raises or should you work at the same rate for 30 years?

Pay Raises

Get paid for holidays?

Holiday Pay

Get six (pitiful) weeks off for paternity/parental leave?  Some countries grant as much as a year.

Pregnancy and Parental Leave

Should you have a voice if your boss or your company treats you like shit or are corporations the only ones who have a say?

The Right To Strike

Well, sorta:

Equal Pay For Women

Laws Ending Sweatshops

———————–

If you’re paying attention, you know the goal now is to destroy these meager rights because gosh dang, corporations just can’t operate under such tight restrictions.  Poor babies.  They want Every.  Thing. They want us to be Their.  Slaves.

As Ted Kennedy said, when does the greed stop?

(Via.)

 

September 3, 2012 at 1:08 AM 1 comment

Polish Union Breaks With Its Old Boss Over Romney

Mitt Romney should be arriving in Poland right about now on the third leg of his hilarious “foreign relations” tour (during which he’s trying to show Obama how to do it).

One of Romney’s main events in Poland is a meeting with Lech Walesa, the former head of the Solidarity union (and former president of the country itself), who organized workers in the 1980s to oppose the then-authoritarian regime and to bring it down.  Amazingly, Mr. Walesa has cozied up to Romney, apparently having forgotten from whence he came.

Anyway, today we learn that the Solidarity union has broken with Walesa in a big way:

(Image via Buzzfeed)

Right on!

For a larger, more readable version, go here.

July 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM 1 comment

Airbus Prepares to Exploit Desperate American Workers

I just got a tweet from the shysters at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce jumping up and down about Airbus building a manufacturing plant in Alabama:

Here is the press release you go to if you follow the link in the tweet.

What the Chamber fails to mention — natch — is this:

The Airbus plant advances the company’s strategy of expanding production outside its home base. The company, jointly run by French and German management and with plants in several European countries, wants to expand in China and India as well as the United States.

[...]

The Mobile operation will join Airbus assembly plants in in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Tianjin, China.

The southern region of the United States is traditionally unfriendly to unions, which will likely mean lower labor costs compared with the company’s other factories in France and Germany.

Translation:  The United States has become as attractive a place as China and India due to the willingness of its citizens to work for low wages. I.e., to be exploited.

July 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM Leave a comment

Happy May Day!

On May Day, 2012, I honor these brave souls:

(Photo via Lauren Petty, NBC Chicago)

Hundreds of workers at Joliet’s Caterpillar facility went on strike Tuesday morning after they turned down a proposed contract offering no pay raise and more expensive health benefits.

The union workers told NBC Chicago the contract offer was so unfair they’d rather be picketing outside the plant’s main entrance. They reported for work at 11 p.m. Monday then walked off the job at 12:01 a.m.

Union leaders said 94 percent of the approximately 780 machinist union workers voted to strike after the contract offer was voted down Sunday.

The deal was six years with no pay increases, and workers would be required to pay twice as much for health care. The workers say it’s unfair, especially given Caterpillar’s $1.5 billion first-quarter profit.

More…

May 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM Leave a comment

Epic Battle Between the 1% and the 99% Happening at Lockheed Martin

This takes guts:

3,600 Lockheed Martin Workers Go on Strike in Texas

Strikes involving thousands of workers in the “right-to-work” state of Texas are extraordinarily rare. Yet on Monday, 3,600 Lockheed Martin workers, members of IAM Local 776 who make F-35 and F-16 fighter jets in Fort Worth, Texas, went out on strike to protest proposed healthcare and pension cuts.

Workers are upset about a proposed contract that would make workers’ pay much higher insurance deductibles. Lockheed Martin has already implemented this plan for its nonunion employees.

Workers are also upset about a plan that would eliminate defined-benefit pensions for new hires. In recent years, many other unions have agreed to this concession while retaining defined-benefit plans for current union members—a group of 15,000 GE workers agreed to a similar change for future hires last summer. Lockheed workers in Texas, however are fed up.

“The first time…, they take away pension for new hires. Next time around, when new hires [are in the union], they say ‘we are going to freeze the pension.’ Of course, the new hires that don’t have a pension aren’t going to strike, so then the pension is frozen,” says IAM spokesman Bob Woods. “Companies like Lockheed Martin simply want to eliminate defined benefit pensions plans.”

[...]

The union feels confident, though, that Lockheed Martin—the largest federal defense contractor, with $17.34 billion in federal projects last year—would be unable to operate the Texas plant without the skill of its unionized workforce.

[...]

“Every three years they want to come and take some other benefit. Everyone is sick and tired of it. These folks are prepared to be on strike for a long time” says Wood.

More…

And there’s this just out this morning:

Lockheed Martin Profit Rises 20% as Stevens to Retire

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the world’s largest defense company, reported first-quarter profit rose 20 percent as Robert Stevens, the chairman and chief executive officer, announced plans to retire.

More…

Again, these workers must have balls of steel be really, really pissed to strike in this environment when it’s fashionable to hate unions and when replacement workers are a dime a dozen.  I admire their courage.

It will be very interesting indeed to see what happens here.  Not only does this involve a relatively large under of people (harder to ignore) but it is a strike against a company that sucks in Our Tax Dollars as if it’s breastfeeding.  What should we require — if anything — of companies that rely so heavily on Our Tax Dollars?  Seems to me that in this instance, given it’s 20% profit increase, it’s trying to shift more and more money upward by slowly but surely screwing the workers and heck, I’d rather have the workers get good pay and good pensions than give even more (of my tax) money to the honchos.

Oh, and speaking of honchos, in 2010 the CEO of Lockheed Martin (Robert Stevens, the guy who’s retiring), raked in a total compensation package of $19,118,612.  $19+ million.

This is a battle between the 1% and the 99%.

I’ll keep you posted.

April 26, 2012 at 1:16 PM 2 comments

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Rips President Obama

 

Last month, the AFL-CIO endorsed Obama, quieting all the talk about any rift or lingering differences between the President and organized labor. Many Dems hope enthusiastic union support will help Obama limit losses among blue collar whites in the swing states — something that could prove decisive in the 2012 election.

Those hopes may have hit another snag: That rift has cracked open a bit once again.

In an interview just now, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka ripped into Obama for taking a key step this weekend towards the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement — which Trumka claimed would have domestic political ramifications for Obama. Trumka said continuing betrayal of labor would make it harder to turn out supporters this fall and was already muddying Obama’s efforts to draw a sharp contrast with Mitt Romney over who represents the 99 percent.

More…

Bravo to Trumka.  We don’t need another NAFTA.  The corporatocracy has Obama’s ear and if labor (as in we workers) has to scream to get his attention, tragic as it is, so be it.

 

April 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM Leave a comment

Vote Results in Dane County, Wisconsin Bad News for Gov. Scott Walker

On Monday I posted about an important referendum on the ballot in Dane County, Wisconsin:

The Dane County ballot features an advisory referendum that asks: “Should all Wisconsin workers have the right to seek safe working conditions and fair pay through collective bargaining?”

Placed on the ballot by the County Board with support from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, the measure provides an opportunity for voters to signal their clear opposition to the anti-union policies of Gov. Scott Walker.

And now we have the results of that vote and they don’t bode well for the June recall election of Governor Scott Walker (R):

A majority of Dane County voters also backed an advisory referendum that referred to the collective bargaining debate that dominated the state Capitol most of last year. More than 65,000, or 68 percent of voters, said yes to the question, “Should all Wisconsin workers have the right to seek safe working conditions and fair pay through collective bargaining?” Thirty-two percent, or 31,171 voted against the measure.

A 68 percent vote of approval is pretty darn decisive; a clear “signal” in “opposition to the anti-union policies of Gov. Scott Walker.”  I hope this foretells what will happen when Wisconsinites go to the polls to vote on recalling Koch-tool Walker on June 5.

April 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM 5 comments

What “At Will” Employment Looks Like

Being employed “at will” means employers can fire employees for any reason absent an employment or union contract.  Employees work for employers “at [the] will” of employers.  For all intents and purposes, employees have no rights whatsoever.  Every state in the United States operates under the “at will” doctrine (with some minor exceptions) meaning that unless a worker has a union contract, they’re screwed:

Law firm fires 14 employees for wearing orange shirts

(Photo: Michael Laughlin, Sun Sentinel)

They weren’t wearing sagging pants or revealing clothing. But dressing in an orange shirt is apparently enough to get fired at one Florida law firm, where 14 workers were unceremoniously let go last Friday.

In an interview with the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, several of the fired workers say they wore the matching colors so they would be identified as a group when heading out for a happy hour event after work. They say the executive who fired them initially accused them of wearing the matching color as a form of protest against management.

Orange is widely considered to be one of the most visible colors to the human eye. Orange vests are worn by most hunters as a safety precaution and by school crossing guards. Most prisoners are required to wear orange jump suits.

The color orange is arguably Florida’s defining color. The self-described “Sunshine State” is widely known for its orange juice exports.

The law offices of Elizabeth R. Wellborn, P.A. offered “no comment” to Sun-Sentinel reporter Doreen Hemlock, but four ex-employees tell the paper they were simply wearing their orange shirts to celebrate “pay day” and the upcoming Friday group happy hour.

Hate unions?  If so, you’re a good little sheeple.  The corporate media wants us to hate unions because, as the propaganda arm of corporate America, they want to maintain this system.  If American workers were unionized they’d actually have a voice but of course, the powers that be don’t want that.  They want to be able to treat us this way because that keeps us docile and quiet and scared and willing to put up with just about anything.  Hey, they have it made.

So the next time you hear anti-union stuff on “the news,” remember these 14 workers.  My rule of thumb is, if the corporate media is against it, I’m probably for it.

March 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM Leave a comment

Georgia State Legislator Pushing Bill That Would Have Landed the Founding Fathers in Jail

More dangerous, deranged wingnutery:

To many in the South, Waffle House is a family-friendly restaurant that serves up some of the best grits and hashbrowns around. But behind that iconic sunny yellow sign is a corporate agenda aimed at stripping Americans of their rights.

State Senator Don Balfour of Snellville, Georgia — a Waffle House vice president who serves on the board of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce — is pushing a bill in his state’s legislature that would effectively outlaw picketing outside of private homes. Although the bill is aimed at suppressing union protests at the “private residences” of business executives, its scope is actually much further reaching.

The bill is written to make it illegal for picketers to take part in actions that would be “interfering with the resident’s right to quiet enjoyment.” But historically, one group of activists took part in protests aimed at private residences intended exactly to disrupt the peace to make their point: the Founding Fathers.

[...]

If Balfour and Georgia’s Big Business titans have their way, these protests would be illegal, and Adams and many of the other Founding Fathers would’ve been arrested.

More…

Ah yes, the corporatocracy trying to pass laws to protect and insulate itself from we the little people.

March 8, 2012 at 12:41 PM Leave a comment

Ed Schultz Says “Krystal Ball” is a “Democratic Strategist”

When I worked on Outfoxed and at the Newshounds for lo those five years, I watched Fox “News” claim that every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane it slapped up on the screen was a “strategist.”

You wouldn’t believe how pitiful the credentials of some of those “strategists” were.  I.e., they had no business whatsoever being sold to We the People as experts.

So when I happened upon The Ed Show tonight on MSNBC and I saw Ed talking to a woman named Krystal Ball — who he billed as a “Democratic strategist” — I had to know more.

Krystal Ball?  Seriously?  Didn’t that name alone make Ed’s bookers just a teeny weeny bit suspicious?

Guess not.

This is from KrystalBall‘s website:

About Krystal

Krystal Marie Ball is a 29-year-old former Congressional candidate and current Democratic Strategist; in addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, software engineer, small business owner and mother. Krystal was recently named by Forbes Magazine as number 21 on the magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in the Mid Term Elections” list.

So, Krystal Ball has been a lot of things in her 29 years and one of her proudest accomplishments is ingratiating herself into the 1% club with bazillionaire Steve Forbes (a 1%-er extraordinaire).

Hum.

Ed Schultz claims to be a man of the people but he touts a “Democratic strategist” with a dubious background who’s on Steve Forbes’ — Steve Forbes’! — favorites list?

Hey Ed:  Read this to learn more about your gal pal Krystal.

November 29, 2011 at 9:43 PM 1 comment

Unions Die Another Death

Afscme Chief to Step Down After 30 Years

Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for three decades, said on Thursday that he would step down next June when his two-year term expires.

Mr. McEntee, one of the nation’s most powerful union leaders, has also served as chairman of the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s political committee for 15 years, playing a major role in revamping organized labor’s roles in presidential, Senate and House races.

Under Mr. McEntee, 76, the union grew to 1.4 million members, from 900,000, and became known for its political war chest. Mr. McEntee deployed his union’s and the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s political funds not just to back Democratic candidates, but also to defeat efforts to privatize Social Security and change Medicare.

“It’s been a long time,” Mr. McEntee said in an interview. “I’m not out of gas; I’d like to see some other people take over.”

McEntee is stepping down after 30 years.

That means he stepped up in 1981.

Seems like a hundred years ago.

I know unions. My husband is a member of the National Association of Letter Carriers and has been since 1977.

Unfortunately, there are no “other people to take over.”  Management — via the NLRB and the powers given to it by corporate-owned D.C. Democrats and Republicans — is in control.  Unions have been emasculated.  No wonder McEntee’s retiring and no wonder he’s “out of gas.”

So are unions.

For all intents and purposes, they’re dead.

Corporations rule.

To Mr. McEntee:  Thanks for serving our country.

 

 

 

November 3, 2011 at 10:25 PM Leave a comment

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