Saturday, September 23, 2006

More States Losing Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) August jobs data for the 50 states and Washington, D.C. shows that the recent slowdown in job growth is spreading through more states even as growth remains strong in others.

Fourteen states lost jobs in August and nine states lost jobs over the two months of July and August. States losing jobs over the past two months include Nebraska, Michigan, Oklahoma, Kansas, Rhode Island, Alabama, New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin. Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Connecticut also faced near stagnation in their jobs market as a total of 20 states had less than 0.15% job growth over the two-month period.

At the same time, several Mountain and Southwest states – and a rebuilding Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi – enjoy strong job growth.

Louisiana and Michigan continue to have fewer jobs yr/yr and a total of 20 states – from Kansas and Rhode Island to Oklahoma and Illinois have added less that 1.1% to their job market over the past 12 months. (Despite losing –9.0% of its jobs over the past year, the “un-employment” rate in Louisiana is only 3.4% -- one of the lowest in the country – illustrating just how misleading is the overemphasis on “un-employment” rates.)

Job losses in Information Technology services and in Manufacturing have slowed job growth in many states for the past six years and continue to do so. Job growth in Construction, Finance/Real Estate and other services that have benefited from the recent, exuberant housing boom is weakening but continued in most states through August.

A recent Census report on median household incomes in all 50 states and DC also shows that the purchasing power of median household incomes in 29 states and D.C. fell over the five years 2000 to 2005. Some of the declines are severe. For the US as a whole, real median household incomes fell –2.7% during the period.

This long period of declining household incomes explains much of the current weakness in the jobs market in many states.
Source: USW Alert

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Truth About Right to Work

by David Chlebek, Vice President USW Local 12775

To most people, right to work sounds like something that we should all be in support of. In a perfect world everyone should have a right to a job. However, right to work is far from that. Simply put, right to work legislation are laws at the state level that legally ban workers who by a majority vote decided to form a union in their workplace. The truth is that no one has the inherent right to work for a living or the right to a job. By Federal law unions must represent all workers-members and nonmembers-in contract negotiations and other workplace issues. This means that your dues dollars pay for helping nonmembers get the same contract benefits that you have.

Currently there are 22 states that have right to work laws. Oklahoma is the most recent. A right to work law would allow nonmember workers to get all of the benefits of a union membership and pay nothing while forcing unions and their members to foot the bill for those not willing to pay their fair share. Non-union workers in right to work states are only required to pay a "fair share" for union representation. How would you like to wait in line behind a non-union worker, waiting to have your grievance heard, while your griever is off representing a nonmember?

Right to Work-For-Less

Union contract negotiations are extremely difficult in right to work states. Non-union workers in right to work states earn on average about $5,333 less than a union member. This statistic comes from the Bureau of Labor. In 1986, Idaho became the 21st state to pass right to work. After it was passed, the average annual wage of carpenters dropped from $33,000 to $22,000. Hispanic union members earn 45 percent more per week than a non-union Hispanic. Women and African-Americans earn 30 percent more if they belong to a union. The rate of on the job fatalities in right to work states is a staggering 51 percent higher, according to the Bureau of Labor.

Right to work laws don't just affect our workplace, they devastate our communities as well. In right to work states, 21 percent more people are without health insurance compared with workers in free-bargaining states. Right to work states spend $1,699 less per elementary and secondary pupils than other states. The infant mortality rate in right to work states is an alarming 17 percent higher than in other states, and the poverty rate is 12.5 percent of the population compared to 10.2 percent in other states. This information comes from the Current Population Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau.

When the poverty level is higher, a state has to pay more in welfare benefits to support these families. The same goes for people that don't have any health insurance coverage. This means that less tax money is available for other things like roads and public development projects (infrastructure).

When workers make less money ($5,333 less), they pay less in state income taxes. Workers can't afford to buy better homes, which mean that they pay less in property taxes that go to fund public education.

Where Does Indiana Stand?

Currently, House Bill 1050-Employees Right to Work, which was authored by Rep. Gerald Torr R-Carmel, has been referred to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures. There are not enough votes in favor of right to work to bring it out of committee. However, that could change in the future. There is a Indiana Committee For The Right to Work based in Speedway, IN that is soliciting support for the bill.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Seeking a political candidate who will do something about the 44,900 manufacturing jobs American workers are losing every month. A candidate who will get our government to start enforcing the trade laws it refuses to enforce now, so we can stop countries like China, India and Brazil from stealing American jobs.

Send resume to: the voters

Friday, September 01, 2006

Chocola no friend of Seniors

Trial Lawyers Get the Word Out on High Prescription Drug Costs…

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) on Tuesday launched a $500,000 television and radio ad campaign in five congressional districts blaming GOP lawmakers for not seeking lower prices for Medicare’s prescription drug program. The ads accuse the lawmakers of blocking provisions that would have required Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for the best prescription cost. Members of Congress singled out by the ads are Reps. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, Deborah Pryce of Ohio, Chris Chocola of Indiana, Charles Taylor of North Carolina and Don Sherwood of Pennsylvania. “An ATLA spokeswoman has accused these lawmakers of ‘voting repeatedly to restrict access to justice,’ and she is absolutely correct,” said George J. Kourpias, President of the Alliance. The trial lawyers' ads will run through Sept. 7, and air as the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll shows 49 percent of seniors favoring the Democrat in their congressional district, with 41 percent favoring the Republican.

Source: Friday Alert, September 1, 2006 Alliance for Retired Americans