Where did we get unemployment insurance? - A union in Wisconsin
Where did we get workmans comp? - A union in Wisconsin
If IBM had recognized The Alliance CWA union years ago, we wouldn't be here today!
We wouldn't know all those friends and family that have been fired by the thousands and thousands and thousands.
We would still have the same pension we signed up for when they recruited us out of school. A real pension. A defined benefit pension. Not this 401k crap.
I wouldn't have had to engage in a 10 year lawsuit to fight for the pension we earned for all our hard working career.
All you retirees on the FHA would have the same health insurance plan as the 'old timers'.
You would be working a 40 hour week and be able to take your earned vacation time.
NONE OF THIS HAD TO HAPPEN IF WE HAD A UNION!!!!
Dino, don't even bother blaming the Wisconsin union for what others don't have. They stuck it out. They paid their dues. They entered into collective bargaining. They can't get fired or written up for doing so because the law protects them. And what do we get? Open door? Are you serious???? Pensions, pay, time worked/off, and medical are exempt from Open Door. What a joke.
We have no one to protect us, to work for us, to fight for us, to care for us, unless we have a Union.
I noticed that not only are the teachers protesting but Firefighters, Police, and other emergency teams are also demonstrating in Wisconsin. As Ben Franklin said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately".
Please consider writing/email all the Democrat Senators that fled the state of Wisconsin and show your support of their actions. Like I said before, I like to see a democracy in action. Beats the hell out of the Egyptian's methods.
http://www.endicottalliance.org/ (Just go there and start reading.)
What is hurting the American economy is a war industry taking most of the money and the rich not paying their fair share of taxes. That some Americans are so stupid to blame it other working Americans is just a sad state on the sense of today's American, previous generations did not buy into such bull. As my late uncle said many people today are 'educated beyond their intelligence'.
Taking money away from those who pay more of their income in taxes, e.g. union members than the percentage paid by the super rich is not the way. The rich when they are not pulling their fair share should be demonized. The richest amongst the U.S. have been living off the rest of us tax-wise for 30 years now. It is time to go back to the ideas of normal Republicans, e.g. Theodore Roosevelt, La Follette and not those of today's [re]publican nut-bags like Walker, Christy, Palin etc.
If one is lucky enough to be born rich, or make money then one SHOULD pay the most in taxes in percentage and in real amounts as the above mentioned Warren Buffet noted. THAT is American tradition, not having an aristocracy of corporations as was feared by the founders of the U.S.
This is not a new war – the battle against private sector unions has been waged successfully for years as the density of unionization in America has been in steady decline since 1955 when the provisions of the union busting, Taft-Hartley Act (passed in 1947) took root. ...
To get some sense of just how successful the effort to destroy the union movement in the private sector has been, check out this statistic - According to Harvard University expert Elaine Bernard, in 1973, one in every four private sector workers in this country was a union member. Today, just one in thirteen carries a union card.
With this in mind, does anyone imagine that it is a coincidence that worker wages have been falling or remained stagnant since 2001? Is it also coincidental that in this time of union decline, the amount of wealth concentrated in the hands of the top 1% is the largest since 1929, the time in our history immediately preceding the era when the modern union movement was taking hold? ...
What the Governor of Wisconsin is doing is using the problem of a pension program that might require modification as an excuse to destroy the public worker unions in his state. There is absolutely no reason why Governor Walker could not simply deal with pension and benefits issues without proposing the complete destruction of collective bargaining. ...
No rational individual would dispute the preeminence of corporate interests in America. While most of us are not happy about this, we don't really know what we can do about it as we simply do not have the money or clout to buy the power corporate money can buy.
That's where the unions come in. Without the collective bargaining powers that unions bring as the only real offset to corporate greed and without the organizing strength unions bring to political action, there will be no counter-balance to corporate power. I promise that you will not like the result if our unions should disappear – even if you are not a union member.
For these reasons, I would argue that anyone who does not find themselves among the 5% of the wealthiest in America, should stand up and declare, "Today, we are all Cheeseheads." Failing to support Wisconsin unions would be a mistake for which we will pay dearly for generations to come.
I know people get tired of hearing us ask people to join as members, but that is the only way we can finance the Alliance office and its 1 full time staff person and 1 part timer. We have to pay for all the things a union office needs. Everything from equipment to stamps.
So join the Alliance. Be a union member in IBM. Join the national fight for collective bargaining rights. Help keep the union movement alive. The writer is right. It is the union movement holding the line. Lee
It is, they insist, the first counter-strike in a class war being waged against workers.
The urgency for reform of an economic system that enriches the few from the labor of the many was a recurring theme as some 100 workers and friends gathered to pledge mutual support and strategize on how to build on the momentum loosed at the historic Capitol rally earlier in the day that drew more than 10,000 demonstrators. ...
Although touted as a budget fix, the removal of collective bargaining rights from most public workers on everything but salary, as Walker proposes, would have no impact on the deficit, Kathy Wilkes, a retired writer and editor, said in an interview. "He's demonizing workers as the cause of the economic collapse — that we know came from Wall Street and the shipping of jobs overseas — instead of talking about the corporate elite and their gargantuan salaries. This is a class war." State Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, told the crowd Tuesday that conservatives are "trying to shove this down our throats, and this is where we draw a line in the sand." ...
The success of a grass-roots uprising in Egypt in toppling strongman Hosni Mubarak was a source of inspiration for many of those who brainstormed Tuesday in Madison about resistance to attacks on U.S. workers in several states. It helped fire a passionate expression of solidarity by Bryan Pfeifer, an organizer of part-time faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit. "We are calling on people from throughout the Midwest to descend on Madison and make a stand. We did not create the economic crisis and we are not going to pay for it," he declared to cheers and applause. "Fight like an Egyptian!"
My parents continue to spend BECAUSE of the safety net. Their spending drives revenues and profits. When we decided giving the wealthy a big tax-break would grow jobs back in 2002, did anyone care to measure how many jobs grew from this?
The public sector is now being demonized so we can pay for the lower tax-rates on the wealthy. Progressive tax-rates actually help the wealthy in the long run.... the middle-class keeps the economy going, which keeps the wealthy in the black too. Now we've had mass layoffs in the middle-class and a hope that a new consumer class will grow in Asia to take their place and continue to drive revenues.
Fine, but these folks will not spend what would be 20% of their yearly salary on an i-Pad. Ooops there goes your fat profit margin. If you study economics you see there are such things as multiplier effects, and the enrichment of the middle-class is an example of the multiplier effect that caused them to GIVE THE MONEY RIGHT BACK in the form of expenditures on goods and services. The system is getting quite broken now.
I know people in the public sector who barely scrape by yet the hard-liners always trot out the example of the city commissioner making $150K. The vast majority of public sector workers do not earn so much and have been relying on a pension that they were promised. Now once again someone has to be told, sorry, that money need to go for tax-breaks for millionaires but hey, here's a 401K, see how much you can save 6 years from your planned retirement.
I just can't understand people who want to outlaw collective bargaining for any employees, private or public. Lastdino1, I've seen folks with your attitude before. It's "I've got mine, screw you". I feel sorry for you.
As for facts - we know that the state of Wisconsin had a budget surplus going into 2011. The new reichwing governor then cut taxes for the rich and now there is a budget deficit and an excuse for breaking the unions. Let's not fall for that. Let's support the teachers and all public employees.
Cons: IBM executive ranks are focused on management and are very thin on leadership. Very few of the executives have any profile in the industry. It is getting harder and harder to find people to look up to. When it comes to employee relationship, IBM has lost its moral compass. The company has completely transitioned from what have been the hallmarks of IBM culture such as "respect for individual" in to the least common denominator approach. As a result, the level of trust between employees and executive management has diminished greatly. The employee pride and loyalty that IBM used to enjoy is completely gone.
On the product side, the cache that IBM technologies used to poses is no more. The old adage "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" does not work in the world where Google and Apple drive customer perceptions. The company seems to be unable to deal with disruptive trends in the industry. Rhetoric and bravado are standard tools used instead of acknowledging the need for change and course correction.
Advice to Senior Management: Look back at what made IBM a success in the past. Reinstate the values and be serious about it. Institute the level of transparency required to regain employee trust and loyalty. IBM is in the people-intensive business, don't dilute your key resource.
Cons: Near-complete loss of the human touch; absentee-landlord supervisors who are geographically distant, too thinly spread, unmotivated to develop subordinates or even maintain contact. A tendency for rank-and-file employees to 'get lost in the backdrop' if not constantly beating the bushes, often resulting in inability to find billable work. Soulless mechanized policies governing everything imaginable. Review and ranking processes which seem little more than check-the-box lip service; strong-and-still-growing neglect of 'team,' 'talent,' and 'workload,' instead choosing to focus on 'deals,' 'margins,' and 'utilization.' Strong behind-the-scenes office politics, with cliques and old boys' clubs -- lack of unified corporate strategy leads to disparate divisions undercutting one another. Frequent churn and reorganization at partner and exec ranks.
Advice to Senior Management: One notes with some irony that the IBM orientation video depicts a throng of suit-clad workers singing along to The Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else." Though occasional victories (e.g., Watson on Jeopardy) inspire surges in corporate pride, a common perception continues to circulate regarding IBM employees as nameless faceless assets, disposable line-items, "just another microscopic cog in the machine," etc. Workforce reductions and outsourcing have exacerbated this mindset, but are not at its origin. Loyalty and solidarity are two-sided constructs; some attention must be returned to the human element, as noted above, or further slippage (with accompanying brand damage) will bring Big Blue still closer to that bygone Mediterranean empire.
"He's basically trying to be everything to everybody," said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, a nursing union that claims 160,000 members and is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. "Until you look at the policies, and then it's clear he's there for the corporate sector." ...
Now, many union leaders are bristling at White House efforts to reset its relationship with corporate America. Unions were opposed to the extension of tax cuts for the wealthy in the December deal Obama struck with Republicans. Some have criticized his call for a review of regulations, including the temporary withdrawal last month of one proposed rule governing how companies report certain worker joint and muscle sprains. And most unions oppose the South Korea deal.
The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue. Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle. Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
Since it was established, Social Security has paid every nickel it owed to every eligible American, in good times and bad. As corporations over the last 30 years destroyed the retirement dreams of millions of older workers by eliminating defined-benefit pension plans, Social Security was there paying full benefits. When Wall Street greed and recklessness caused working people to lose billions in retirement savings, Social Security was there paying full benefits.
Despite its success, Social Security faces an unprecedented attack from Wall Street, the Republican Party and a few Democrats. If the American people are not prepared to fight back, the dismantling of Social Security could begin in the very near future. ...
Just about every day, one conservative or another tells us that Social Security is in crisis, that it is going bankrupt and that the Social Security Trust Fund contains nothing more than a pile of worthless IOUs. As a result of this barrage of misinformation, many young Americans have been convinced that when they reach retirement age, Social Security will not be there for them.
So what are the facts? ...
Further, despite the manufactured hysteria about a crisis, Social Security has not contributed one penny to the very serious deficit situation the United States faces. Social Security is fully funded by the payroll tax that workers and their employers pay; it's not paid for by the Treasury. Our deficit has been, in recent years, largely caused by the cost of two wars, tax breaks for the rich, a Medicare prescription drug program written by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and the Wall Street bailout — not Social Security.
Why has there been such a concerted effort to privatize Social Security, raise the retirement age or cut benefits? First, Wall Street stands to make billions in profits if workers are forced to go to private financial establishments for their retirement accounts. Second, as the Republican Party has moved far to the right and become more anti-government, there are more and more Republicans who simply do not believe government has a responsibility to provide retirement benefits to the elderly, or to help those with disabilities.
I won't spoil it for you by a lengthy summary here. Suffice it to say that, while "most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence," the research found that actually "we often base our opinions on our beliefs ... and rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions."
These studies help to explain why America seems more and more unable to deal with reality. So many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the "Do Not Disturb" sign, that they pick and choose only those facts that will serve as building blocks for walling them off from uncomfortable truths. Any journalist whose reporting threatens that belief system gets sliced and diced by its apologists and polemicists (say, the fabulists at Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the yahoos of talk radio.) Remember when Limbaugh, for one, took journalists on for their reporting about torture at Abu Ghraib? He attempted to dismiss the cruelty inflicted on their captives by American soldiers as a little necessary "sport" for soldiers under stress, saying on air: "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation ... you [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?" As so often happens, the Limbaugh line became a drumbeat in the nether reaches of the right-wing echo chamber. So, it was not surprising that in a nationwide survey conducted by The Chicago Tribune on First Amendment issues, half of the respondents said there should be some kind of press restraint on reporting about the prison abuse. According to Charles Madigan, the editor of the Tribune's Perspective section, 50 or 60 percent of the respondents said they "would embrace government controls of some kind on free speech, particularly when it has sexual content or is heard as unpatriotic."
No wonder many people still believe Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, as his birth certificate shows; or that he is a Muslim, when in fact he is a Christian; or that he is a socialist when day by day he shows an eager solicitude for corporate capitalism. Partisans in particular - and the audiences for Murdoch's Fox News and talk radio - are particularly susceptible to such scurrilous disinformation. In a Harris survey last spring, 67 percent of Republicans said Obama is a socialist; 57 percent believed him to be a Muslim; 45 percent refused to believe he was born in America; and 24 percent said he "may be the antichrist."
As TPP's leaders entrench themselves in Washington, local activists the group represents have accused them of exploiting the grassroots for their own fame and fortune while failing to deliver any meaningful political results. "Tea Party Patriots? I can't attribute one victory to them at all," says Laura Boatright, a former TPP regional coordinator in Southern California who has become an outspoken critic. "Where's the success with what they've done with all this money? My view is that it's just a career plan" for its national leaders—namely Jenny Beth Martin, who in 2010 was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Mark Meckler, now a regular commentator on Fox News. (Meckler and Martin did not respond to a request to comment for this story.)
How Much Is A Billion? Some Wall Street types (and others) make over a billion dollars a year – each year. How much is a billion dollars? How can you visualize an amount of money so high? Here is one way to think about it: The median income in the US is around $50,000, meaning half of us make less and half of us make more. If you make $50,000 a year, and don't spend a single penny of it, it will take you 20,000 years to save a billion dollars
What do people do with all that money? Good question. After you own a stable of politicians who will cut your taxes, there are still a few more things you can buy. Let's see what $1 billion will buy...
Those reductions -- averaging just over $100 billion each year -- are achieved mainly by squeezing social programs. A deal struck to extend the Bush tax cuts for just two years, meanwhile, increased the deficit by $858 billion dollars. More than $500 billion of that bargain constituted tax cuts, with billions more funding business tax breaks and a reduction in the estate tax. Roughly $56 billion went to reauthorize emergency unemployment benefits.
The president's budget was expected to mostly target "non-defense discretionary spending," which makes up less than one-quarter of the overall budget, making balancing the budget with such cuts mathematically impossible.
Part of the reason lies in a group of people who pour money into our political system but don't necessarily want the same things that ordinary Americans want. In fact, some of these people benefit from municipal crises, breaking teachers unions, and increasing the fear of the workforce. They fall disproportionately into the group that Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig identified as "the funders" in his recent TedX Talk in San Antonio, Texas. The increasing power of this group produces political contortions by buying results in Congress that do nothing for regular folks. Their influence also steers President Obama to focus on his reelection rather than trying to change the climate of opinion and become America's Great Persuader. The public has now heard the conservative mantra that government is the problem and not the solution for 40 years. Couple that with the experience of valid rage following the bank bailouts, and it's not surprising that the public overwhelmingly feels that the government has become an instrument of the wealthy and powerful. Strong leadership is needed to challenge this narrative. But the President seems content to conform to the prevailing suspicion of government. He fails to convince the public that the government can have an active response to the jobs crisis — a response that benefits them, not monied interests.
And that suits many funders in the top 3 percent of the wealth distribution just fine.
As top key administration officials appeared before the Senate banking committee on Thursday to plead for more money to enforce the so-called Dodd-Frank act, Republicans admitted that they were aiming to dismantle and defund the law.
"We should slow a lot of that down," said Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the panel. "A lot of us voted against and oppose Dodd-Frank. Obviously, we'd repeal it. So I certainly don't think we should rush to implement it."
When asked whether taking down funding levels is a "legitimate" way to slow the process of implementation, Shelby responded: "Always." ...
But there's a risk for Shelby and other Republicans who want to break up the Wall Street law — financial reform didn't rattle voters the same way the health debate did. The GOP will have a tougher case to make against Dodd-Frank while still appearing sensitive to the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown and its residual effects. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) warned Thursday that failure to fund the reform law will be "a step backwards, and it is a dangerous step for the American economy."
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