Thursday, June 16, 2011

Evidently it takes a spotless soul to be a Democrat in office these days. Republicans are exempt.

Rarely do prestigeous people experience sincere relationships in such glib methods as the internet. 

It is always about money.  The latest were college photos.  How much did they pay for those?  And why?  There is no credibility in them.  Whatever.

The crowd at the press conference was verbally abusive trying to intimidate and embarass further.  The 'ideas' that came out from the hecklers were actually educational.  Some 'ideas' would have never occurred to me.  Wow.

Sorry to see Former US House Representative Weiner leave due to harassment of the Right Wing.  Yet another is unable to carry out the responsiblities he was elected into because of undisciplined and maligning media.

I believe Huma was correct in allowing her husband to take responsibility in announcing his resignation alone to his constituency and the Democratic Party. 

...After much speculation, (click title to entry - thank you) Huma Abedin did not appear at husband Anthony Weiner's side as he resigned from Congress on Thursday afternoon.

The outgoing N.Y. Democrat resigned nearly three weeks after the revelation that he had been sending a number of women lewd pictures of himself on the Internet.

Weiner apologized to Abedin during his resignation speech, and expressed the hope that "my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused."...

"Facing South" is a very interesting publication. It seeks to expose the underhanded and oppressive labor environment of the Southern USA. (click title to entry - thank you)

In an article not long ago they discussed the Jacksonville, Texas "Walmart" and how majority butchers taht voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.  It got ugly after the vote to organize was passed and Walmart was faced with having a unionized shop in their midst.

Walmart didn't handle it well.  See, union organizing is based within the US Constitution as a right to assemble, freedom of speech, contract law, etc., etc., etc.  So, if anyone states unionization is unconstitutional they are ignorant.  The rights of unions are strongly based within constitutional law and it is safe to venture a statement that destroying unions is a direct assault on the US Constitution.

Jacksonville, Texas: Why We Need Employee Free Choice (click here)

Posted on March 23, 2009 by webteam

If there was ever a example of why we need the Employee Free Choice Act, its the saga of Wal-Mart workers in Jacksonville, Texas.
In February 2000, workers at a Wal-Mart meat department in Jacksonville, TX voted to form a union by 7-3 margin. Instead of honoring the vote and opening negotiations with UFCW, Wal-Mart took the standard company option: it closed all in-store butcher departments in favor of pre-packaged meats. If Wal-Mart’s union-busting reputation was ever in question, this case erased any doubt years ago....

Walmart is vicious regarding union organizing.  They are not only vicious in the American Southland, they are vicious globally.  As a matter of fact, Walmart with its global reach and obvious ability to degrade local economies is nearly 'an instrument' of Wall Street is a very big way.

Examples:  South Africa in 2011.  Walmart purchased a 51% share of a retail store chain called "Massmart."  South Africa is very, very union centered.  The diamond mines alone are enough to give any self-respecting South African pause to realize the extreme working conditions employees undergo to simply earn a paycheck. 

Walmart Executive Vice President and board member opening called union members, "blood sucking parasites."  The contract with Massmart exists for another three years and Walmart is determined to destroy the union when negotitations open.  What has that done to their 'Wall Street' name and brand?  It provides a 'model' for success in union busting to Wall Street.  If a company has enough liquid capital and wants to destroy unions, which also means destroying their own market base, they can venture into those waters and attempt to destroy them along with a vital Middle Class.

It isn't just South Africa either.  In 2004, in Jonquiere, Quebec, the workers voted to join the UFCW (click here) a union focused on supporting labor in Canada and the USA.  After voting to join the union, the store was simply closed for business.  That is pure stupidity.  It provides a very bad public comment to the local economy.  When the store opens again, the unions will be there anyway.

The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union is responsible for the union organizing at the controversy surrounding a "Target" store in New York.  It is the first store to even consider unionizing within Target and it is being scrutinized by Wall Street.

..."Will the store close if the union gets in?"  (click here)
The company answer: "There are no guarantees."
The Valley Stream store performs in the middle of the pack companywide, making its closure unlikely. But it stands alone among the 1,754 Targets: On Friday, its 260 workers will decide whether to join the largest retail union in the country.
The outcome could have ramifications not just for the company but for the industry, organized labor and potentially consumers nationwide, giving organized labor a rare beachhead into big-box retail.
If the union wins, "that's big news," said Chris Tilly, the director of UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. "It shows [unions] have potential that people thought wasn't there."
The tenor of the company's flier was noteworthy to John Budd, a labor relations professor at the University of Minnesota. "It suggests Target is quite nervous," he said.
The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union says it intends to organize other Target stores in the New York area, and the company and the union are already accusing each other of resorting to unfair and illegal tactics...

If Target closes this store in retaliation of a passing vote to bring the union into its employees, the UFCW will be in a strong position to move against the company in court.  The tactics of Walmart in Canada can be presented as 'Wall Street Precedent' in violating the 'free will' of people when they want to protect themselves from poor wages and exploitive management practices.

In of all places, Bangledesh, labor supporters for employees of Walmart,  Babul Akhter, Kalpona Akter, and Aminul Islam were imprisoned and tortured.  They could face the execution for destroying property where are false charges.  Walmart Corporation could easily stop this hideous attrocity in a place where the struggle for human rights has gone on for decades.  But.  Walmart isn't making an effort because it acts as oppression to the "blood sucking parasites" that are employees to the company.

The list goes on and on with a definate global 'attitude' by Wall Street to 'keep the peasants down' at any cost, even their lives.  Reading about this very much reminds me of the beginnings of unions in the USA.  It was very dangerous and people died to protect others and build the foundation of the modern union movement.  One of the big topics for unions in the beginning wasn't even wages, so much as working conditions.  Working conditions is a huge insult to workers globally and the reason alone for outsourcing. 

Macy's loves people. Their unions are important to them. Unions are not unreasonable.

(Reuters) - Macy's Inc (click title to entry - thank you) and the union representing 4,000 workers at four of its New York area stores, including its famed flagship, reached a tentative new labor agreement on Thursday, averting what would have been the department store's first strike since 1972....

...Macy's did not disclose any of the terms of the contract, but spokeswoman Elina Kazan said in an e-mailed statement that the deal "addresses the economic and business realities of the retailing industry, while keeping jobs at Macy's among the best in the department store industry."...

If anything, unions are far to willing to get along with their employers when the facts are on the table.  But, it has to be a two way street.  When I was a Union Representative we not only ran seminars and meetings to increase and maintain the expertise of our members, but, we also brought ideas for improvement for the business in the market place.  Management has to be receptive to the insight union expertise can bring, not only in supporting labor, but, in supporting the market place for their goods.

One other thing, by supporting our members with educational opportunities, was an expense their employer did not have to budget because these opportunities were open to all the employees, not just members.  We felt peers were just as important to a good outcome as much as our members.  It was a nice work envrionment.  The Middle Management had their own union, too.

Target used union actors for anti-union film

Oh, the irony! Target Corp., (click title to entry - thank you)  long locked in a battle with labor organizers, filmed a notorious internal anti-union video with union actors and under the jurisdiction of one of the biggest unions in the entertainment business....
This film simply shows there is a right to "Freedom of Speech" no matter how much of the content is deceptions and flat out lies.

The actors and actresses did a great job.  They didn't attempt sabotage regardless of their own status.  Congratulations.  It's work, right?

...and in New Jersey there is the same 'horse play' as in Wisconsin. No origiality by the Republican Governors.

Christie Continues To Catch Grief For Chopper Ride To Son’s Game (click here)

Everything is MONOTONE?  Really?  Yet, New Jersey is so very different from Wisconsin in its income and expenses, but, the attack on unions goes on.

Helicopter rides for the Executive Branch, but, no money for employee benefits.  I'll be darn.

...Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (click title to entry - thak you) said Tuesday it was important to get public debate under way, but she's not committed to putting the bill up for a full Assembly vote. It will be heard by the Budget Committee on Monday.

Oliver's announcement came the day after former Assembly majority leader Bonnie Watson Coleman urged colleagues in a strongly worded letter to stand up for core Democratic principles. Watson Coleman said her party should unite in opposition to Republican Gov. Chris Christie's policies, starting with a refusal to vote on any legislation that infringes on collective bargaining.

"It now pains me to see how we have been strategically and systematically manipulated to compromise the value of our majority in support of this governor's agenda," she wrote. "How are we allowing ourselves to be dragged down this governor's right-wing alley of pain and devastation that is targeting the middle class, frail, elderly and poor, and support an agenda that upholds and indeed lifts the wealthiest?"...

I really do believe in citizen participation in govenrment decision making.  It can be effectively done by allowing a "Public Comment Period" previous to any plan for a budget.  A Public Comment Period could last 60 to 90 days and precede the writing of any budget and certainly before any vote.  The Budget seems to be the favorite place for Republican Governors to hack away at bargaining rights and union benefits, so make the public a part of the process and legislate it in as part of the process to STABILIZE budget prioritizing and spending every year REGARDLESS of whom is the Governor. 

Let me see if I get this right. Christine Quinn is running a pep rally for New York City unions?

...City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (click title to entry - thank you) had asked Municipal Labor Committee Chairman Harry Nespoli to come to the table to discuss ways to prevent the layoffs. Talks centered on tapping into the Health Insurance Stabilization Fund, which is run jointly by the city and the unions.
But Mr. Nespoli released a terse, pessimistic statement this afternoon following the committee meeting, which he said lasted several hours.
“I can tell you that there is a lot of mistrust of City Hall based upon the way we have been treated in the last eight months or so,” the statement said. “That is all I am going to say right now.”
The reference appeared to be to the mayor's refusal to give ground on his layoff threat.
Not all of the committee's 90 unions are against the deal, but enough are resisting it to put its outcome in doubt.
The United Federation of Teachers, which stands to lose the most, is in favor of the deal, the details of which have yet to be ironed out between the mayor's office, the City Council and the unions. One labor insider said the deal “was neither blown up nor locked up.” The insider said that some unions wanted a no-layoff guarantee to be extended for a period of longer than one year....

It would seem as though New York City unions have been meeting with the New York City Council representatives to attempt to come up with a plan to BAILOUT New York City.  This would be at least the SECOND TIME in history New York City was bailed out of poor management in order to stay afloat.

The unions were willing to bailout the city to prevent layoffs by usings funds in their Health Care Stabilizaiton Fund, which is a really good idea by the way.  BUT.  That wasn't enough for the City Council, they will only commit to one year of layoff free STABILIZATION of its budget.  One year of no potential layoffs so New York City can come back and drain more monies from the city workers. 


I don't think so, because, when I looked at the city's budget for Fiscal Year 2011 it is balanced WITHOUT any monies coming from the unions.  I am not an expert at reading all this, but, at first glance it looks as though the city revenues on page 18 of report Number 3 of the city budget is $868,000,000 US.   Report number 1 on page 5 of the city 2011 Fiscal Budget shows the budget balance . (click here)  Why can't the city do the same think for Fiscal Year 2012?

Because according to the mayor himself the entire Fiscal Year of 2012 for New York City, is seeing a revenue increase of $2.7 billion US.  Is the City Council and Mayor actually saying that the State cuts are MORE than $2.7 billion to NYC?  Really?

Because according to the 2012 Budget Summary, on page 3, (click here) the City is boasting how it is making up the 20% state and federal cuts by injecting $2 billion into education, which is exactly where the City wants to ? layoff ? more workers.  On that same page, page 3, the City also boasts how it does so much more with so many less employees.  I can't help believe 'the poor mouth' New York City Council is crying to the unions is simply 'jazz' and manipulation to 'break the backs' of their unions.  It sure looks that way. 

What is this Republican Union Busting?  Any excuse will do?  Looks like the NLRB has its work cut out for it this year.
Will the unions please do their homework on this?  Please?  It seems as though there are a lot of meetings and a lot of talking but not much REALITY ORIENTATION to management.   I am getting the feeling this is all gamsmanship on the part of the City and not realtiy.  Or Bloomberg is blowing smoke of New York City residents' skirts.

The 2012 Executive Expense Budget is $65.7 billion. This is the thirty-second consecutive budget which is balanced under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), except for the application of Statement No. 49 of the Government Accounting Standards Board (“GASB 49”) which prescribes the accounting treatment of pollution remediation costs.

Major highlights of the Executive Budget and Financial Plan are:
• Forecast revenues have increased between fiscal years 2011 and 2012 by $2.2 billion. Baseline tax revenue
is projected to increase by $2.1 billion.
• Controllable Agency Expenses increase by $778 million or 3.7% from fiscal years 2011 to 2012 after
implementation of an agency expense program.
• The agency program totals $633 million and $1.2 billion in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, respectively.
• Debt Service increases by $562 million or 11.7% between fiscal years 2011 and 2012 while Non-Controllable Expenses increase by $3.7 billion or 19.7% over this period. The increase in Non-Controllable Expenses includes $1.8 billion for Pensions and Fringe Benefits, and $509 million for Medicaid.
• The above actions leave the City with a forecast Operating Deficit of $3.2 billion in fiscal year 2012 that
is balanced using $3.2 billion of surplus funds accumulated in prior years. The forecast gaps for fiscal years 2013 through 2015 are $4.8 billion, $5.1 billion, and $5.3 billion, respectively....

While the Right Wing has found 'the fire in the belly' to demonize unions, I found this article. It is interesting.

Arthur B. Shostak
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104

...Organized Labor, down now to only 13 percent of the American work force from 35 percent in the 1950s, confronts at least three major threats to its existence: The first, its loss of jobs sent overseas, is obvious.  The second, a recent rise in well-being of certain members, poses an ironic risk.  And the third, confusion about using computer power, while a threat least well-recognized in and outside of Labor, is arguably the most critical hazard of all....

It is an article by labor about labor.  I think it is well done.  One of the 'myths' circulating in the Right Wing Media today is how President Obama wants to slash technology to increase job growth.  I think they said, the President wants to take away automation to increase the cost of making stuff, but, employing more people. 

The Right Wing Media really plays people for fools.  There is no other way to look at it.  Unions, in the year 2011, represent highly technical fields such as nursing, teaching, engineering (both public and private), machinists, aerospace workers, Longshore workers, letter carriers, theater and stage workers, newspaper workers, glazers. iron workers, flight dispaters, meterologists and operation specialists, Flight Attendants, Pilots, food and commercail workers, university professors and staff, hospital workers, electrical workers, elevator workers, dry wall tapers, plumbers, linoleum and soft tile workers, communication workers, carpeters, brick layers, construction and building trade workers, boiler workers, heat and frost and insulation workers, Municipal, State and Federal employees, steel workers, actors and actresses, writers and film industry workers, sheetmetal workers, the maritime industry workers, seafarers, sailors, painters, police officers, paramedics and plasterers and cement masons.

Tell me one job there that does NOT use technology in the year 2011.  How is it that President Obama is anti-technology in order to 'dummy down' the nation to create more jobs?  It is hideous. 

The article noted in this entry examines THE REAL CAUSES of union membership decline.  I found it to be a welcome understanding to a greater dynamic that creates 'disinterest' in workers and their ability to secure good pay and benefits.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

I especially like this paragraph:

...Many well-off workers may think unionization unnecessary, at least as long as they continue to "feel" financially comfortable (a social-psychological effect known since the 1960s as the "embourgeoisification of the proletariat").  This can take the form of workers - newly indifferent to Labor - employing what is known to academics as the Exit Strategy (quitting one job to take a better one) in preference to choosing the Voice Strategy ( sticking with the union and fighting for gains).  Especially in a culture like that of America, where class membership is lightly and unevenly held, where it is somehow odd to seeing oneself as a beneficiary of collective representation, unions have long been buffeted by this sort of conscious drift away from collective bonds toward "Me, first!" individualism....
Ah, reasons beyond what one might think.

The Unions are finally in the best venue to defend themselves.

Several unions (click title to entry - thank you)  filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday to block a law that limits collective bargaining rights for public workers in the state. A day earlier, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reinstated the law, overruling a lower court’s decision to halt it because it had been passed improperly. The unions, which represent teachers and state and city workers, say provisions of the law violate the Constitution by singling out only some public workers and not others.

It would have been best if the Supreme Court of Wisconsin simply upheld the "Open Meeting Rule" rather than making excuses for the court's lax attitude.  "There was an opportunity to attend." is not a proper decision.  It is definately a corrupt opinion and I don't care if there was a majority to back it up.  The Open Meeting Rule not only demands the opportunity to attend, it demands a CERTAIN attendance by important members of the State legislature be present.  The Open Meeting Rule states that for a reason and it isn't to make sure the chairs in the room are filled.  It is to insure there is NO HORSE PLAY with the purpose of the meeting.  The Court that ruled, "There was an opportunity to attend." completely discarded the entire rule out of practice.  The Court's ruling needs to be appealed AGAIN. 

But, that aside the venue now for the unions is a court of law where they can clearly illustrate the underhanded and corrupt nature of the Walker Budget with unequal burden to children in classrooms.  It might be teachers that are effected, but, the ultimate victim to that budget are the children, the futures and ability to compete in the real world.  The Budget is highly discriminatory and victimizes the youngest members of our society. 

No only that, but, it discriminates along the lines of campaign donations and favors.  Shame on them.