He made the trains run on time and controlled the Unions

image - October 23, 2003

Fascism is recognized to have first been officially developed by Benito Mussolini, who came to power in Italy in 1922. To sum up fascism in one word would be to say "anti-liberalism".

...............Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century."

Image Source Page: http://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/glenn-beck-champions-u-s-pro-nazi-text/

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index

Don’t get bored. We are talking about your paycheck. The CPI applies to your salary, your mortgage costs, and who you may want to elect for office. Ask anyone that was ever on a bargaining team and they will tell you how important it is to know the real CPI. If you are a member of the MSEA-SEIU thank Steve Butterfield for giving your teams a real education so they can’t be snowed.

You would be amazed at how many citizens of Maine think State Employees get an automatic cost of living raise every year and then get raises during contract talks. If I got a cost of living raise every year bargaining would take a lot less time. The truth is we have been losing money for years and the State paying 44 cents a mile the use of your car doesn't even allow you to break even.

Your wages buy less now than they bought in 1990, while the truly rich complain that you have benefits, meanwhile their income keeps going up, up, up.

According to government figures the U.S. has had only mild inflation for over a decade but you have to know you have less money.

Why is it that we make more but it seems so much harder to get ahead? Looking past the official numbers, the truth is that prices are rising and have risen for years at a faster rate than wages. The truth has been hidden by a a cooked CPI.

You know salaries have not kept up with inflation for a long time. The government says you are wrong. According to the government CPI gas is still 81 cents a gallon and heating oil 87 cents. Ronald Regan started this fake out by changing the way the inflation rate was calculated.

The economy as a whole has grown faster than inflation, but the gains have gone to the top ten percent and the top one percent.

No matter how well Wall Street was doing, you didn’t see the gains. Now Wall Street wants you to bail them out. The Republicans are still fighting any help for people facing foreclosure, calling them "speculators".

Official Figures

Official figures claim inflation is at a 3 percent annual rate.

The official numbers don’t tell the difference in how the CPI is calculated today as compared to previously. Don’t fall asleep, watch the walnut shells to see where the pea is hidden.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the supposed gold standard for measuring inflation has been rigged and it not only affects your paycheck it affects state pensions as they are based on the CPI. In the 1970s, the index was based on a clear formula. A "basket of goods" that that you might buy in a grocery store and other day to day real life needs like fuel, food and laundry detergent was purchased and the cost recorded. That price became the standard to measure against.

In the 1980s the politicians started tinkering with the formula. They were not solving the problems, they were looking for a way to put lipstick on the pig. They changed the rules. The new CPI created a falsely low inflation rate so that military pay, Social Security raises, and government pensions were kept artificially low.

During the Bush years the Bush EPA cleaned up the air by raising how much pollution had to be in the air before being called bad.

Remember that Ronnie R. wanted to call catsup a vegetable on school lunches?

The CPI basket had contained brand name goods and high quality items, that a family might buy to feed and take care of their families. Cheap substitutes were put in the basket. A box of macaroni and cheese was the same as a home cooked meal for four. More changes were made “to improve accuracy” but the real goal was to create a false reading on the real rate of inflation.

Even now the official figures claim a 3 percent rate of inflation, figured by the old method the CPI is over 8 percent in the most recent figures.

The biggest scam is the "core" inflation rate used by the Federal Reserve. We no longer count energy or food. Drive to a grocery store and then fill up your car and let me know how cheap it was We no longer count energy or food. .

Your house

In 1983 the cost of owning a house, mortgage and taxes was dropped from the CPI. From 1995 to 2005 real house costs skyrocketed but were not included in the inflation rate, allowing more false CPI numbers.

By the old measure inflation has been above eight percent since 2000 while the government claims an official rate of 2.4 percent.

During the Bush presidency as we recovered from a recession only the rich saw their incomes actually rise. The Bush years are the first time in history that the workers of this country have not shared in the wealth.

Ever increasing profits for corporations in the U.S. was not enough. Anti-Union labor laws were passed due to a continual Republican drumbeat blaming Unions for every economic ill. The "Unions are at fault" song was popular during the last eight years and during the terms of both Bush 1 and Ronnie. The search for greater profits and cheaper and cheaper labor supported by tax breaks given to companies sending jobs out of the country sent formerly American industries to anywhere but here. Many times these moves were subsidized by the taxpayer with tax breaks paid to companies that were closing American factories. The pharmaceutical industry was moved nearly completely to Puerto Rico. This policy continues today with the taxpayer giving Billions to the oil companies and bailing out Wall Street.

But I still make more money, right?

Take away the incomes of the top ten percent from the equation and incomes show a continual fall during the last thirty years.

Why have most Americans lost money every year for thirty years? Easy----- money goes to money. Thirty five years ago the top 10 percent received a third of America's wealth. In 2006, the top ten percent got over 46.percent. At the same time the richest 1 percent got about nine percent of U.S. wealth. Now it is by some measures nearly 40 percent.

As MSEA-SEIU members your teams can’t be fooled by B.S.

Steve Butterfield does an amazing presentation on the economy to your brothers and sisters. What is more impressive is that the State recognizes his skill and will accept his numbers and his integrity. They may be unwilling to fund our needs, but they know they are arguing with the facts. Steve won’t lie to us and he won’t lie to them. Knowing the real a real CPI allows a level playing field to start.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Friday, September 26, 2008

Live Blogging the debate

Sorry, this is written while listening. No filters, no planned writing. This is the way I heard it.

John McCain continues to defend tax cuts to the rich. Obama makes a mistake, he counters right wing ideology with intelligence. McCain says he is a maverick and his support of George Bush proves his point. When asked about his tax plan he says that he will tax any employee paid health care benefits and calls it giving you a choice. I am waiting for Obama to ask John McCain about his laughing at any "buy American" program. Obama says that if we know where Osama BinLaden is we shoudl take him out. McCain says no. McCain says he supported the first Gulf war, but he opposed Somalia. I guess oil was more important than genocide. John M continues to say that our army is begging to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan until they win. So far the Republican has no definition of what winning is.

Obama makes the point that we forgot Afghanistan, BinLaden, and just rushed to war with Iraq.
Sen. McCain say that Iran and nukes is a threat to Israel and makes an obvious play to the pro Isralei vote. Oh yeah, they did both brush buy the $700,000,000 (how many zeroes?) but both candidates must have thought this was too complicated for the voting public.

Obama's intelligence does seem to miss the gut level impact of the McCain answers. McCain says the boogey man will get us ifwe don't fund the military at the cost of all other programs.

Obama say he reserves the right to meet with whoever he thinks he wants to if he believes it will serve the United States. McCain says that (my take) do it our way or we don't talk.

Obama says that in talks we need to claim the high ground. We sit down, we talk, and then we have it out.

John McCain hits back hard it looks like a hard shot to the jaw.

The seven hundred Billion sure seemed to go by fast.

J.M. says that Russia's behavior in Georgia is not acceptable, but offers nothing except a claim that we will stand for Georgia (hear WWIII?).

The lack of understanding of Russia shown by JM is amazing. We will just face them down and be tough. What the hell can we do? We have no standing, after attacking Iraq we say don't attack a country? Obama recognizes that Russia is making a comeback. Obama says we have to plan for a world wher Russia has a huge proportion of the old world oil assets. Obama says we must be independent from foreign energy.

JM, Drill, Drill, Drill, ignoring science and the amount of oil that is really there.

Question? Another 911

JM We are safer, and quotes Liberman, his first choice for VP that his handlers would not let him choose. We won't torture, we must work with our allies, WE ARE SAFER, WE ARE SAFER.

Obama: We are safer, but we have not done enough, we have done nothing to prevent suitcase nukes, and then returns to the root. We must chase Alqaeda, not Iraq, not other topics.

Obama: The administration has spent eight years in Iraq, we have ignored China buying the country, we have ignored Afghanistan, our economy, science. Obama makes the point that if our economy tanks how the BLEEEEEP can we provide veteran benefits or even support our military.

JM: I'll support veterans, I'll keep us safe.

In the past the US inspired the world. Our ideals, our leadership inspired the world. We need to recapture those ideals.

JM: I can help veterans.

Both candidates spoke well, both presented their viewpoints well.
I rate this debate as a tie. The debate could have been an Obama smackdown but he stayed away from the strongest feeling of many in the country. Americans are afraid of losing their homes, not taking care of their kids.

This was supposed to be a JM advantage for foreign relations. Obama held his own.
This is the way it is supposed to be, we need to know wher they are coming from.

Looking forward to the next one.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Eight Years


Iowa nurse and SEIU member Connie Gallagher sent a “Dear John” letter to Senator John McCain, asking him to give a clear answer at Friday’s scheduled presidential debate regarding what victory in Iraq means to him, and when he will bring our troops home.

“Dear John,

“I am a hospital nurse here in Iowa, and I spend my days taking care of people in some of their greatest hours of need. I care for people when they are sick and when they are hurt. And I also care for their families who are themselves sick - with worry for their loved ones and anxiety about how they are going to pay for the medical bills.

“Health care coverage is critically important to a healthy life and a healthy family. You would think that since I am on the front lines of healthcare it would be easy for my family to find affordable healthcare coverage, but this is often not the case. It was certainly not the case for my son James.

“James was a plumber’s apprentice making $10 an hour with no benefits. He was frustrated that after two years he was still making such a low wage with no healthcare access. One day, he surprised me when he told me he had joined the National Guard.

“I tried to stop him. I thought he shouldn’t give up on a career he had spent so long working on and I was worried about him being sent to Iraq. But he wanted to serve his country—and he’d have access to healthcare.

“James served 16 months in Iraq. Thank God, he came home to us last August. But one of the major reasons he went to war and put his life on the line was to get healthcare. Nobody’s child should face this decision, especially in a war that was started on a lie and has been continued for years with no end in sight.

“There has been a lot of talk about what success in Iraq looks like. But what is success for you? When will you bring our sons and daughters home? And what about the money that we are wasting there, that could be used to fix the problems we all have here?

“No mother should have to sit up nights like I did worrying if they are going to get a knock at the door saying something has happened to their child.

“Senator McCain, will you finally stand up and answer these questions for mothers like me?”

I found the flag picture at a blog that does not seem to be doing much posting any longer, but what a picture. Found at http://falafelsex.blogspot.com/
Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chain Letter

You know those chain letters that you open and then send to the trash? Not this one. I got this and since the facts are accurate and the letter is well written I thought I would make it a post by itself.

Let me see if I have this straight . . .If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic," "different"Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers - the quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack, you're a radical, unpatriotic MuslimName your kids Willow, Trig and Track -you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard Law School and you are unstable.Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating - you're well-grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter-registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend twelve years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend eight years as a State Senator representing a district with over750,000 people, become chairman of the State Senate's Health and Human ServicesCommittee, spend four years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13,000,000 peoplewhile sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign affairs,Environment and Public Works, and Veterans Affairs Committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is - local weather girl (sportscaster), four years on the city council and six years as the Mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, twenty months as Governor of a state 650,000 people - then you're qualified to become the second-highest ranking executive ofthe United States.

If you have been married to the same person for nineteen years while raising two beautiful daughters - all within Protestant churches -you're not a real Christian.

If the person you're married to cheated on his first wife and had an affair with a rich heiress, then left his disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you have Christian values.

If you teach responsible, age-appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are irresponsible and eroding the very fiber of society.

If, while Governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only with no other option in sex education in your state's school system, and you were pregnant when you got married, you are very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.

If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude," with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25, and once was a member of a group that advocated the seccession of Alaskafrom the USA, your family is extremely admirable.OK. Much clearer now.

Married to the same woman, faithful, Harvard grad. P.S. don't forget the scholarships he had to win to get though Harvard. What a weirdo!

Enter your Email

Preview Powered by FeedBlitz

Friday, September 19, 2008

Idaho Invaded

There must be some explanation for Idaho.

Republicans pull ahead

The Democratic candidate is stalled. LaRocco is stalled and the formerly undecided voters seem to have jumped ship from sanity and moved to the Republican party. Back in the 1960's this must have been the type of place cheering when as the motorcycles burned at the end of Easy Rider. Some of the old horror movies with no modern special effects could sometimes make you feel that you were in a broken world, the people were broken, and you were the last survivior of rationality.

In Idaho, McCain is now at 62-33.

Remember the "pods"? When you went to sleep you were surrounded by a loving family, (rational Americans) and then when you woke up they were all giving you this creepy John McCain grin and suggesting you get some sleep. The Republicans are hoping that the country has been asleep for eight years and they are urging you to just get another four year nap and when you wake up everything will be fine.

Not noticing might be a little hard for those that have lost a home, or those lucky enough to still have a car to live in, and when your healthcare plan is a visit to the ER.

The good news is that the rest of the country is starting to listen to the Republicans and they don't like what they hear. More tax breaks for the rich and the same approach to health care that we took to economics.

A John McCain Quote:

"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation. " What planet has he been living on?

The Obama movement must be more successful than I hoped. Remember TV, Radio, Newspapers, and most of the web is owned by Rich, White, Conservatives. Even they are reporting that Obama is opening up a big lead. Think how large it must really be.

We can do this! Yes we can.

Now for a message from our sponsor:

Amaze your friends! Predict an election!

Send $10,000,000.00 to Diebold and the results you are predicting.

Predictions of a Republican victory guaranteed by the supreme court.

Sign up for Email updates. Enter your Email and get notified when new posts are up.

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Executive Branch Negotiations Team Elections Held

On Saturday the 13th the first four members of the negotiations teams for the Executive Branch were elected. You should be getting your post cards with a listing of all the other members within a week from today, September 16.

I was elected the first member of the Pro-Tech bargaining team (Tom Maher). I intend to do my best in what looks to be very tough times. Today the stock market fell over 500 points and by the time you read this post it may be worse. We will need the very best people we can get to go to the table for us this time. I met one of the candidates for the Pro-Tech team today and I can tell you that he is sharp, concerned for all State Employees and I am certain he will give his best for Pro-Tech. I was very impressed by his distaste for single issue bargaining. I certainly hope our candidate has a sense of humor. I didn't tell him I put up illustrations and photos on my posts.
Please read this post from Hector Cyr.

Hi to all,

My name is Hector Cyr. I am a fire inspector with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, in the Pro- Tech bargaining unit and asking for your support to put me on the Bargaining Team to support your wants and needs.

I have only 7 ½ years in the State system but during that time have noticed many disparities in the way the state is treating it’s union members. I want to try to change that by being your voice at the bargaining table and meeting face to face with the STATE to fight for your needs.

I originally attended bargaining committee meetings because I had a single agenda in mind that our shop wanted brought before the committee. After attending two meeting I decided that there are many more issue than I ever imagined. That is why I am wanting to be on your bargaining team. I come with not just one agenda and am willing to learn and fight for your needs. We are a unit the needs to be together in bargaining for all. Not one that is driven by single issues. We collectively need to present the State with our needs and convince them that we are serious.

If you are wanting an individual that will work for your needs and not just one issue, support me with your vote for the bargaining team.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pretending to sound like a Republican

I try to be fair and present topics in an even handed manner. The following is an opinion piece driven by the disgust I have over knowing that Carl Rove is trying to steal another election from America. Everything in this post is presented as my opinion and only my opinion. If you agree, great, if you don't...........................the dotted line is supposed to represent a short pier.


I am not going to be accused of being too subtle like many of my Democratic friends.

I was for the bridge, before I was against it. I am against pork but I kept the bridge money anyway said Sarah Palin. John McCain took tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions and said “oops”. John McCain dumped his faithful wife after she waited years for him, after he found that she had been in an accident and was no longer the beauty she was. First he cheated on her, and then he dumped her. McCain lied about his cheating before the facts came out.

Can you say moral majority? He is so out of touch with America that he thinks it is OK to forget how many houses you have. She took payments from her state to work at home. She says she loves and respects her husband. Well he thought Alaska should secede from the U.S. She still loves him.

If you are a woman she does not think you have the right to control your own body. If you get raped and beaten by an AIDS carrying psychopath she would lock you in a barn and force you to have the child

If Sarah McCain’s Palin says Obama and any other words the other words are lies or meant as sarcasm. She and McCain are both constant liars. Political advertising has sunk to a new low, thanks to McCain, Palin, and here in Maine Susan Collins, by the way, she is a liar too. Claiming to vote for Maine when she has been a tongue hanging out, tail wagging, fetch the ball, lapdog for George Bush. Did I mention that she is a liar?

McCain says Obama will raise your taxes. If you can commute to work on a private jet or yacht your taxes will go up. If you are worried about the cost of gas, your taxes will go down.

McCain says he will lower your taxes. Well if you get any health care at all from your employer he is going to tax those benefits in order to pay for the tax cuts for the rich. Any Union member voting for McCain should use their benefits while they still have them for a psychiatric exam.

Local lies.

Susan Collins promised to serve only two terms. Susan Collins lied. We owe it to her to help give her the strength to keep her word. She said in an interview that she had talked to Union members during an organizing campaign. She lied or had so little concern for labor that she couldn’t remember where or when.

She said she doesn’t like third party ads...

She has not disavowed the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, the out of State money behind the campaign of anti-union ads that has been on constantly since the spring.

The ads claim that they are on the air to help protect workers right to vote. When was the last time a Wal-Mart employee got to vote on working conditions? Only Union members get to vote!

I am insulted not only as a Union member but more importantly as a Mainer. The fat cats don’t think Mainers have the ability to look beyond the lies and question the motive.

These ads are paid for by groups that have fought Unions since the New Deal. Billionaires and poor millionaires trying to take back the time when the boss was “The Man” and if you crossed “the man” you lost everything, maybe even your life.

It is not just a matter of money it is a matter of raw power, “the man” can not stand to share power with anyone.

The amount of money spent during the last fifty years on political influence could have paid for the benefits and working conditions that Unions have fought for.

What is the immediate goal? They think that all Mainers including rank and file Union members are dumber than a box of rocks. They think if they tell you enough lies long enough you will fall for it. I have more confidence in Mainers than that.

If they were more honest in the ads they would tell you that the real intent is to save you from voting on a contract, or a health care plan. They want to save you the worry of wondering what to do with the raise you and your Union negotiated for you. They want you to sit down, shut up, and let the smart guys (them) make all the decisions. You will pay all the taxes. You will be on the bottom of a two level outhouse enjoying trickle down economics. You will finally be able to relax knowing that the economy will get so much better that even more will trickle down. You will jump for joy knowing that you have enabled the government to stop taxing the billionaires.

Unions have historically backed Democrats. This November the Republicans only have one goal. They must keep the Democrats from reaching 60 Senators because if they don’t it won’t matter even if McLiar and Paliar get elected the congress can’t be stopped by just a few Republicans selling their souls for oil money.

The ads are well done, what do you expect from a company that even took on Mothers Against Drunk Driving? The whole ad is based not on interpretation, but lies. The Employee Free Choice Act, which Allen and most major U.S. unions’ support, does not deny members the option of secret balloting in contract votes. It would strengthen legal protections for workers and put penalties in place for illegal firing of employees or illegal threats made against employees.

I won’t argue that Union leaders sometimes abuse their power of members. One of the ads says 2000 claims and then 600 indictments. That means that seven out of ten accusations are thrown out immediately. The ad never says how many convictions. The ad never says that over thirty thousand employees were to receive back pay in 2005 due to illegal actions by crooked employers.

That is over thirty thousand convictions against employers.

The ad is full of lies. Oh yeah, and more lies...

Electing politicians who support the Employee Free

Choice Act won't get you a raise in a week. Electing the wrong politicians will guarantee that employers and investors will get even more power. If they want to ship your job to China they will make you train your replacement and then kick you out the door. Remember the term YoYo economics when you think Republican. They will kick you out the door, they will bail out the millionaire investors in Wall Street failures, but when your kids need help YoYo, you’re on your own.

While the ads focus on the method Americans use to choose to join a Union, a method called majority vote, they don’t tell you that when they are trying to bust a Union they can come to your house, threaten your job, and then only need three out of ten votes to force an expensive decertification campaign. This technique has been used over and over in order to force dues money into the pockets of Union busting lawyers and keep it out of the hands of the members it belongs to.

A strong Union is a strong political force, a force that could throw the bums out. Fear and greed, hate for democracy, and while they picture themselves scraping you off the bottom of their shoes as something they stepped in they can wipe their shoes off with hundred dollar bills.

Just remember they fought family leave, collective bargaining, the forty hour week, safe working conditions and tried fought off an increase in the minimum wage any time they were in control.

Sept. 14 update: Maybe you think Susan Collins loves the working class because she has tried to get work to the Bath shipyards. How does that square with the fact that she would let John McCain tax every health care dollar those workers earn? She would let their pay be cut by an effective ten to twenty percent. The shipyard owners would still make money, but the minds, muscle, and sweat that build those ships would be punished for not being rich.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jack McKay tells Susan Collins to "Do your homework".

Editor: Just like Sarah Palin Susan Collins must think that if you lie long enough and loud enough you will be believed. Susan Collins is sucking down the out of State money. She does nothing for Maine except vote to help destroy the economy and ship jobs abroad with her bud G. Bush.
All of the highlighting is mine, added for emphasis.

Collins: Do your Homework!

watch on channels 2 and 5, WERU, WKIT next week

Workers and members of Food AND Medicine, a Brewer, based non profit Food AND Medicine whose mission includes support for worker rights

Over 25 members of Food AND Medicine demonstrated today in front of the Federal builsing calling on Senator Collins to "Do your homework!. They demonstrating petitions to Senator Susan Collins about her arrogantly telling workers what's best for us, without have ever talked to a Maine worker involved in an organizing campaign!. Senator Collins participated in the filibuster of the Employee Free Choice Act, hasn’t conducted investigations into worker rights violations during organizing campaigns in Maine despite requests to do so and is now echoing the lines of the current anti-union ads. Participants provided first hand testimony of organizing a union in Eastern Maine along with evidence of the misinformation campaign on unions that currently benefits Senator Collins.

see press release below.

Food AND Medicine

In the richest country in the world, no one should have to choose between food and medicine

20 Ivers Street - Brewer, ME 04412



Bangor, ME- Members of Food AND Medicine today protested Senator Susan Collins’ efforts on worker rights generally and specifically on the Employee Choice Act specifically.

Food AND Medicine is a Brewer based non-profit whose mission is to support worker rights and aid laid off workers.

“Last year Senator Collins filibustered the Employee Free Choice Act, whose purpose is to aid workers organizing into unions. To our knowledge she hasn’t talked to a single Maine worker who has actively supported organizing a union. That’s like filibustering legislation on banking without ever having talked to a banker,” said Food AND Medicine director Jack McKay.

McKay adds, “We met with her on Monday and for the first time she had the chance to listen to a worker, Steve Husson, who has been in an organizing campaign. She claimed that she has met with workers in organizing campaigns and when we asked who, she said a worker at Hannafords and one at a paper mill. The Hannaford worker was not engaged in an organizing campaign and the paper mill was organized in the 1940s.”

“And now, with these anti-union ads, Senator Collins is using the exact same ridiculous talking points. She says she can’t in good conscience take away the private ballot of a worker in an organizing campaign. She doesn’t seem to get that the only workers who vote by private ballot on worker conditions are those in unions. Her filibustering has directly hindered workers from getting a voice or a vote on the job.”

McKay adds, “It’s just incredible that she has failed to do her homework, filibustered this bill and still doesn’t get it.

Steve Husson, a board member of Food AND Medicine and a former DHL worker who participated in their organizing campaign, “I finally got a chance to speak to Sen. Collins about what really happens in the process of a union election from my experience at DHL. How unbalance the election becomes when the company has a captive audience. I told her that it is as fair an election in Zimbabwe. A short description of what happened after we won the vote: we were fired for supporting the union. Democrats like Mike Michaud and Tom Allen met with us to support us. Republicans like Sen. Carol Weston, Paul Davis and Richard Rosen all met with us. We tried to speak with Senator Collins, but got no response. Sen. Collins stuck with her standard position on the private ballot and offered no proposals. She seemed to be close minded to the reality of what goes on in organizing campaigns.”

William Rice, a board member and Secretary of Food AND Medicine states that “by blocking EFCA, Collins is actually denying workers the ballot, not guaranteeing them the ballot- because only union members vote.”

Jack McKay, Director
Food AND Medicine
20 Ivers Street
Brewer, ME 04412

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Friday, September 5, 2008

Read this post or Union Thugs will get you!

Brothers and Sisters,

I take pride in the MSEA-SEIU and the position our union holds in the labor movement in Maine. A new contract is coming our way and it will come with or without your involvement as only those interested enough to raise their voices and become involved will be heard. I was honored when four years ago and again two years ago you voted me to be one of your Pro-Tech representative on the negotiations team.

Our negotiations team must be about more than SEIU staff and your elected team members. In order to work for the best contract for all of our Union it must be about the members not just a team that forms and then breaks up again in a few months.

Over the past two years the gap between wages and inflation has become ever plainer. How many of you are looking at the coming heating season and trying to figure out what you will have to cut in order to keep oil in your tank? How much does it hurt when you fill your tank?

Labor leaders must place the needs of our members first and not just try to settle their own pet issues. But what is your team supposed to do if they don’t hear from the members? If the members say “Let the Union do it” then your representatives will have to make the best call they can when they are at the table with management. Without your input they will be working in the dark. Your teams need your help, your ideas, your information on working conditions and problems especially in tough times with a State short on money and long on right wing talk shows and editorials.

“Democracy dies in the darkness.” Your dues will not hire professional contractors to build you a contract; they have built you a strong Union structure, but you must be involved if you want it to work. If you’re not there to provide information and support our chances for a good contract could” die in the darkness”.

  • Silence before bargaining weakens us as we are try to gather the information needed to enter negotiations for 10,000 employees, threatening the Executive branch contract threatens all the smaller units that rely on us to be strong and lead the way.
  • Silence during bargaining will leave you with no input in the negotiations with our employers, will leave your team and your staff on their own to try to guess what is most important to 10,000 employees.
  • What can happen? Maybe your team will settle for far less than what the State may have been willing to offer. Maybe they will have to give up items at the table because the State will be able to rightly say there is no real show of interest in a particular proposal. Maybe your proposal will never be made in the first place.
  • When the final deal is struck you can be sure that your team members will have done everything they knew how to do but they will be able to do more with your support.

This is your Union and when it is at its best it stands for the principle of one member, one vote and the belief that members must have a seat at the bargaining table and the right to vote on all agreements that affect them. To function in bargaining a Union must involve members at all levels providing rank-and-file workers with the information they need to choose a direction and win good contracts.

Let me be clear. I am running for a place on the Pro-Tech team again this year and I will do everything I know to win a good contract. If called on to make a decision I will make that decision and stand by it.

My determination is not enough, and the experience and skills of all the negotiations team members will not be enough without you. Union members have fought bled and earned a voice in their working conditions and their pay. That voice is the most precious right we have earned. When was the last time a Wal-Mart worker got a chance to vote on working conditions? That voice is the real power of our union.

You can still contact the Union and sign up for the bargaining committee which might take a half dozen Saturdays between now and 2009. You can run for the negotiations team which will take time and effort enough to wear you down, but whatever level of involvement you reach team member or calls to the legislature when this next contract is done you will have tried your best to help your family and your friends.

Please get involved. CALL 1-800-452-8794 and ask how.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tom Allen's response to the attack ads

We have to keep getting the message out about the E.F.C.A. Passage of the law will ad protections to employees not take away anything.

Picture the poor woman when the big guy comes along and puts his hand down in a threatening manner. Then picture the real words. "If I see you or hear you supporting a Union, you are fired!" That is the intimidation going on. Don't let Susan Collins ride to another term on lies and her record of being a lap dog for Bush.



CLAIM: “Since 2001, one group has been involved in embezzlement and racketeering, and been the target of more than 2000 criminal investigations, and 600 indictments. Now the same group is planning to expand its power base. Who has this record of corruption and embezzlement? Organized Crime? No. It’s organized labor.”

Organized Labor is NOT Organized Crime.

There Are 67,000 Union Members in Maine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are approximately 67,000 union members in Maine. Union members in Maine make up over 11 percent of Maine’s workforce. [BLS, 2007]

Employee Freedom Is Targeting Democrats All Over The Country And Has Already Run Ads in Maine.

Employee Freedom Is Affiliated With Center For Union Facts – Both Anti-Labor Groups That Have Been Running Ads In Multiple States. Both anti-labor groups have been running ads in Colorado, Oregon and Maine against Democratic candidates for Senate. [KUSA 9 News, 6/18/08]

Employee Freedom Has Launched Similar Negative Partisan Attacks Against Tom Allen. Last month, Employee Freedom ran full page ads in Maine’s largest newspapers attacking Tom Allen for his support of the Employee Free Choice Act. [PolitickerME, 6/12/08]

CLAIM: “Today labor bosses have a new scheme to target you and your money. They want to change the law to make it easier to pressure you into joining their union. Under their plan, you will lose your right to a private vote. Instead of being able to make your choice about joining a union using a private ballot, union bosses can come to your home to pressure you to make a binding decision to pay dues.”

Employee Free Choice Act DOES NOT Eliminate The Secret Ballot. The Employee Free Choice Act does not take away the ballot-election process. The act adds another option, the majority sign-up process, in which workers seeking to form a union could sign cards indicating their desire to do so. Majority sign-up is much faster than the government-run balloting process and leaves less time for employers to harass and intimidate workers so they will back off from joining a union. [HR 800 text of legislation; WCCO CBS 4, Fact Check Segment, 7/9/08]

The Employee Free Choice Act Has Bi-Partisan Support In Both The House and Senate. The Employee Free Choice Act has bi-partisan support in the Congress – with 46 co-sponsors in the Senate and 233 Representatives in the House. [HR 800, introduced 2/5/07; S 1041, introduced 3/29/07]

Research Shows That 60 Million Americans Would Join A Union If They Could. According to a December 2006 poll, 60 million American workers say they would join a union if they had the option. [AFL-CIO, “The Union Difference: Union Advantage by the Numbers.”]

CLAIM: “Incredibly, they say this is a better process than a private vote.”

Employee Free Choice Act Adds Extra Protection For Workers Seeking To Join A Union. The Employee Free Choice Act would reform the nation’s basic labor laws by requiring employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers sign cards authorizing union representation. It also would provide mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes and establish stronger penalties for violation of the rights of workers seeking to form unions or negotiate first contracts. [HR 800 text of legislation]

CLAIM: “Tell Tom Allen to stop supporting union schemes to take away private votes at EmployeeFreedom.org.”

Tom Allen Has ALWAYS Supported Protecting The Rights of Workers.

Tom Allen Supported Employee Free Choice Act. Tom Allen voted for the Employee Free Choice Act, which required employers to recognize a union if a majority of the employees sign "authorization cards" for the union. The bill eliminated the current right for employers to require an election as a second step before the union could be recognized, thereby easing the ability of unions to organize workers. Unions contended that many employers demand an election in order to have time to coerce workers to reject the union, while employers maintained that only a secret-ballot election can accurately gauge worker support for unionization. The measure also provided for a first labor contract to be imposed through binding arbitration if the employer and union cannot reach agreement within 120 days. [H.R. 800, Vote #118, 3/1/07; CQ House Action Reports Legislative Week February 26, 2007; Associated Press, 3/1/07]

Tom Allen Voted To Protect Collective Bargaining and Due Process Rights. In 2004, Tom Allen supported an amendment to the Defense Department funding bill that would have prevented the Pentagon from moving ahead with a plan for a new personnel system aimed at streamlining civil service rules and revamping union bargaining rights. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged rewriting of the department's personnel rules arguing that managers needed more freedom over the pay, discipline and deployment of civilian workers in fighting the war on terrorism. Yet the Bush Administration’s own director of the Office of Personnel Management skewered the plan, warning that it diminishes hiring preferences and other protections for veterans and may go too far in replacing collective bargaining with union consultation. The amendment to stop the plan failed 202-218. [HR 4613, Vote #283, 6/22/04; Washington Post, 6/23/04; Washington Post, 5/17/04]

Tom Allen Opposed Bush’s Ability to Deny Homeland Security Employees Right to Unionize. In 2002, Tom Allen voted to give employees the right to unionize if they were included in new homeland security proposal. According to the AFL-CIO, “As part of his homeland security proposal, President George W. Bush insisted on the right to deny collective bargaining rights to the workers slated to become part of the new government department. He threatened to veto any legislation that protected the workers’ current right to unionize. The House passed an amendment to the bill that would expand presidential power to deny employees the right to unionize.” [HR 5005, Vote #358, 7/26/02; 2002 AFL-CIO Scorecard]

Tom Allen Voted Against Legislation That Would Allow Employers To Fire Those Who Sought Union Representation. In 1998, Tom Allen voted against legislation that would allow employers to refuse to hire, or fire, those who sought employment to organize workers to join a union. [HR 3246, Vote #78, 3/26/98]

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, September 1, 2008

Employee Free Choice Act and the real Union Thugs

Click on the image for full size

Publish Post

The employee free choice act is the subject of a series of slick vicious lying ads.

The real problem is not the lies; the problem is that they are so well done that voters that are not familiar with the E.F.C.A. could be taken in by the lies.

The current ad makes a point of showing a “union thug” scaring an old lady into signing a card check form. Union thugs are going to be forcing other workers into signing these forms. I work with a lot of Union members many of whom are women over sixty years old. Many of these women are active in the Union as stewards and as organizers and have been involved it many organizing campaigns so it is only logical to think that they will be at the front lines when it comes to bringing the truth to unorganized workers.

I started trying to picture how this would play out in an attempt to organize a group of truck drivers or loggers.

Is this what the well paid out of state money is trying to tell us to be afraid of? Granny black belt?

This is the first of a series of short articles on the E.F.C.A.

Enter your Email and sign up for alerts when new posts are up

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz