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Showing posts from May, 2006

"The Labor Movement and United Action for Health Care for All"

Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) delivered this speech on May 18th in New York City at an event sponsored by the Central Labor Council and other progressive organizations.

Gerard's speech, is an important statement by the leader of America's largest industrial union.

A shortened version of the full speech was broadcast on the weekly radio show of AFSCME District Council 37 produced by Ken Nash on WNYE.

HR 676 has been endorsed by 141 union organizations including 24 central labor councils, two state AFL-CIO's (KY and PA), and two area labor federations.

Click here to hear the speech.

Baucus Co-Sponsors Employee Free Choice Act

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) became the 43rd senator to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, eight short of a majority. There are 216 co-sponsors in the House, just two short of a majority. The most recent supporter in the House is Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D) of American Samoa, who does not have a vote in floor actions.

The legislation (S. 842 and H.R. 1696) would require employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers signs cards authorizing representation. It also would provide for mediation and arbitration of first-contract disputes and set stronger penalties for violations of labor law when workers are trying to form a union.

Indiana Congressman Chris Chocola has thus far failed to co-sponsor this legislation which is so important to workers.

You can see the full list of co-sponsors by clicking here:

Nancy Dembowki for Indiana's Dist. 17 Representative


Nancy Dembowski has deep roots in Indiana’s 17th House District. Her parents lived in Knox their entire lives and her grandfather was a County Assessor and the longest-serving Fire Chief in Knox history.

Nancy was born and raised in Knox and has lived her entire life there. She graduated from Knox Community High School and married her husband Ed and they made the decision to stay in Knox and raise their family there. They have three children who live in Knox and eight grandchildren. Ed passed away in 1995. They have been married for 43 years.

While Ed worked as a union steelworker for 34 years, Nancy worked at W.K.V.I. Radio in Knox for 25 years. In 1984, Nancy was elected to the Starke County Council and received the highest number of votes among all county candidates. She was re-elected to serve on the County Council in 1988, again leading the county ticket. The County had a balanced budget all seven years Nancy served on the County Council. In 1990, Nanc…

Post Turtle Bush

While the right wing approves a $70 billion tax cut package for their rich pals, they at the same time are preparing to tax seniors for the rest of their lives, if they fail to enroll in the confusing Medicare Rx Program.

While the top 1 percent of taxpayers will pocket an extra $82,000 a year, the middle 20 percent will only see an extra $20.

Down with education, health and child care and other vital programs for working families. A typical Republican agenda. Anything to cause misery and suffering to “the least of these”.

Out here in the country, Bush and his buddies are referred to as “post turtles”. Those are turtles you might see on the top of a fence post. They don’t know how they got up there, they don’t know what they’re doing there, and they don’t know how to get down.

It’s up to all of us to help them get down.

Chocola No Friend of Retirees

Alliance for Retired Americans Congressional Voting Record
109th Congress, 1st Session
January 2005—December 2005

This past year we saw Congress once again enact legislation that worsened the nation’s budget and fiscal crisis at the expense of retirees and older Americans. In the face of the largest deficits in the nation’s history, Congress deepened the crisis and favored only the wealthiest Americans with tax cuts. In addition, even before the Medicare Part D prescription drug program went into effect, its many flaws quickly became evident. Yet Congress did nothing.

Budget and fiscal policies dominated debate in Congress during 2005. It took Congress thirteen months to enact a budget. The result was decidedly anti-retiree. Changes in the Medicaid program now mean that states can force higher premiums, deductibles, and co-payments upon seniors in the program. Hospitals and pharmacists can refuse service if a patient cannot pay. This is a sad state of affairs for the most vulnerable in ou…