Thursday, November 30, 2006

USW Blasts J.P. Morgan Analyst



USW Blasts J.P. Morgan Analyst Patel's Misinformation about Goodyear Strike
Union condemns analyst's "shoddy research"

For Immediate Release November 29, 2006

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today sharply criticized the latest analysis of the USW-Goodyear strike by Himanshu Patel of J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. as a "deliberate attempt to hype the company's stock through promoting Goodyear's campaign to break the union by creating unfounded fears amongst the membership, families and communities."

Yesterday Patel wrote that "a key date for the strike could be January 3, when health care coverage for striking workers is cut off, which could spur increased pressure from union members to reach an agreement."

"Another projection that's dead wrong by a guy who just doesn't do his homework," said USW International vice president Tom Conway. "We want Goodyear to stop stone-walling and return to meaningful negotiations. But the facts are that the real cut-off date is in mid-April. COBRA legislation gives you 60 days to make a decision to continue coverage and another 45 days before you have to make payment."

"The real problem is how consistently inaccurate his forecasts are. They seriously cloud any possibility of a clear-headed analysis of the strike, and how it might be resolved," said Conway.

In October, Patel wrote that inventory and reduced production should provide supply for around four months. Three weeks ago, the Washington Times and others were already reporting shortages. In the same report, he stated that the USW had only one response -- a strike, and that it had already utilized it, completely ignoring the USW's vast repertoire of strategies to pressure the company in other ways.

"What's most disturbing is that this supposed independent analyst talks exclusively to the company and does nothing but parrot their lines," said Conway. "Other more sophisticated analysts take the time to hear the USW point of view. "Patel's willful ignorance causes him to grossly underestimate our resolve and our ability to impact the company, added Conway. "He needs to either do his research or admit that he is nothing but a shill."

CONTACTS: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Consumer Safety Alert

Will Goodyear tires be safe for your family?

The experienced workforce at Goodyear has been forced out on strike due to the company’s demands to gut their healthcare, close factories and bring in tires made in China and other low-wage countries.

For now, Goodyear is using replacement workers to make tires to be sold here in America.
Why is this important to you?
An independent Princeton University study has linked labor strife, including the use of replacement workers, with the production of defective tires.

The Princeton study examines the causes of the Firestone and Ford recall of 14.4 million tires in 2000. You may remember the rollover accident that caused so many deaths and horrific injuries on our nation’s highways.

These tires were linked by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration to complaints involving 271 fatalities and more than 800 injuries.

So ask yourself:

Can you afford to trust Goodyear?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Goodyear Action Call

FIRST DAY OF ACTION AGAINST GOODYEAR TIRE

We will be protesting Goodyear's assault on the economic security and
basic rights of working families and Union members, as well as current and
future retirees.

When: Saturday, November 18, 2006

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Where: Goodyear "JUST TIRE" store located at 6154 S.
Kedzie, Chicago, IL

We will handbill customers and pedestrians, and hold a brief rally.
This will be the first of many days of action.

There will be a bus leaving McBride Hall, 1301 Texas Street, Gary,
Indiana at 9:00 a.m. Saturday. For additional information and/or to reserve
your seat on the bus call the District 7 office at 219-886-2596 or
800-932-8007.

Wear a union or SOAR hat if you have one.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Goodyear Condemned

AFL-CIO Executive Council Statement
November 14, 2006
Washington, D.C.

CONDEMNING GOODYEAR FOR ABANDONING AMERICA’S WORKERS,
RETIREES AND COMMUNITIES

WHEREAS the Steelworkers Union, on behalf of its more than 15,000 members and 30,000
retirees and their families, reached an innovative collective bargaining agreement with the
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 2003, in which they made significant sacrifices to bring
the company back from the brink of bankruptcy; and,

WHEREAS these sacrifices included closure of the Huntsville, Alabama, plant; wage and benefit reductions; massive changes to improve productivity and efficiency; as well as increased retiree contributions to health care benefits; and,

WHEREAS these sacrifices have restored Goodyear’s profitability to $228 million after taxes
last year alone, which the company’s executives have used to grant themselves
multi-million dollar bonuses; and,

WHEREAS Goodyear has ignored the sacrifices made by Steelworker members and retirees
during the current negotiations, driving Steelworkers out on strike at 16 North American
locations by rapaciously demanding more plant closings and more wage cuts while radically
increasing investments in low-wage countries where workers are brutally oppressed; and

WHEREAS Goodyear has announced that it will double the volume of tires it imports into the
U.S. and is committing to a tenfold increase in tires imported from Communist China, where
workers’ fundamental human rights are violated; and

WHEREAS Goodyear’s top executives have nonetheless engaged in shameless hypocrisy by
publicly proclaiming that they are “trying to save American manufacturing” and “fighting to
preserve American jobs;” and,

WHEREAS Goodyear has unconscionably proposed to abandon totally its moral and legal
obligations for retiree health care coverage while rejecting innovative Steelworker proposals for sufficient contributions to a benefit trust to ensure continuing health care security for retirees; and,

WHEREAS Goodyear’s abandonment of health security for retirees exacerbates America’s
health care crisis; and

WHEREAS Goodyear has publicly misrepresented the specifics of its bargaining proposals in a
blatant attempt to break the solidarity of Steelworker members; and,

WHEREAS Goodyear has revealed the depth of its commitment to the global race to the bottom by opposing even the Chinese Communist government’s recent move toward labor law reform; and

WHEREAS Goodyear has poisoned the atmosphere for a reasonable and equitable settlement
with the Steelworkers by hiring scabs at its North American facilities; and

WHEREAS an independent study has cited the use of scab workers during tire industry labor
strife as a factor in the production of defective tires that the federal government has linked to 271 deaths and 800 injuries in automotive accidents; and

WHEREAS the Steelworkers have launched an information campaign throughout North America to expose the risks that Goodyear’s hiring of scabs poses to consumers and to reveal the company’s unconscionable demands, its abandonment of workers, retirees and their
communities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO and USW launch a nationwide Day of
Action with all participating AFL-CIO affiliates to protest Goodyear’s assault on the
economic security and basic rights of working families and Steelworker members, as well
as current and future retirees; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the affiliated unions of the AFL-CIO will, whenever and
wherever possible:

• Discredit Goodyear’s abandonment of American manufacturing, workers, retirees and
their communities;

• Join with Steelworker members on informational pickets at stores selling Goodyear
products;

• Condemn Goodyear’s assault on the health security of its workers and retirees as
destructive to organized labor’s ongoing efforts to win accessible and affordable health
care for all;

• Encourage employers with whom affiliates have contracts, both private and public, to
abandon the use of Goodyear tires as original or fleet equipment, until such time as
Goodyear relents in its unconscionable demands and shameless hypocrisy and reaches a
reasonable and equitable agreement with the United Steelworkers.
# # #

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Goodyear Update

Nationwide Protest Will Target Goodyear for ‘Abandoning America’s Workers, Retirees and Communities’
Tuesday, November 14, 2006

PITTSBURGH — The AFL-CIO will join the United Steelworkers (USW) in launching a nationwide Day of Action against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE:GT) “to protest Goodyear’s assault on the economic security and basic rights of working families and Steelworker members, as well as current and future retirees,” the USW and AFL-CIO announced today.
In a meeting in Washington today, the Federation’s Executive Council voted unanimously to:
  • Discredit Goodyear’s abandonment of American manufacturing, workers, retirees and their communities;
  • Join with Steelworker members on informational actions at stores selling Goodyear products;
  • Condemn Goodyear’s assault on the health security of its workers and retirees as destructive to organized labor’s ongoing efforts to win accessible and affordable health care for all; and
  • Encourage employers with whom affiliates have contracts, both private and public, to abandon the use of Goodyear tires as original or fleet equipment, until such time as Goodyear relents in its unconscionable demands and shameless hypocrisy and reaches a reasonable and equitable agreement with the United Steelworkers.

“Together, the Steelworkers and the AFL-CIO will make sure the tire-buying public understands the real facts about Goodyear’s demands to abandon America’s workers, retirees and communities,” added USW President Leo W. Gerard.

Goodyear forced 15,000 USW members in 16 plants in North America out on strike October 5. Despite innovations delivered by the union and concessions taken by its members and retirees in the 2003 contract that contributed to a billion-dollar turnaround in the company’s bottom line since 2002, Goodyear continued to insist on additional plant closings and more concessions in this round of bargaining.

The AFL-CIO is the nation’s largest umbrella organization of unions, representing 10 million working men and women nationwide. The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing more than 850,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada. Some 70,000 are employed in the tire, rubber and plastics industry.

http://www.fightbackamerica.net/default.asp
United Steelworkers AFL-CIO.CLC

Friday, November 10, 2006

Free Traders Sent Packing

At least 15 House of Representatives free-trade incumbents were beaten by fair trade challengers with another 10 races too close too call.

6 Senate free-trade incumbents were beaten by fair trade challengers.

Every single co-sponsor of the anti-sweatshop legislation (HR 5635) who was seeking re-election in the House of Representatives WON!

Every co-sponsor of the anti-sweatshop legislation in the Senate (S 3485) who was up for election also won as did Bernie Sanders (VT) and Ben Cardin (MD) who were co-sponsoring House members vying for Senate seats. The only co-sponsor to lose was House co-sponsor Harold Ford (TN) who lost his bid for the Senate.

Rapid Response expects the free-trade leadership of the Congress to quickly bring at least one NAFTA-like trade bill up for a vote in the next couple of weeks before the new Congress can be sworn in. We expect this to be the Peru Free Trade Agreement.

source: November 8, 2006 Rapid Response INFOALERT

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thanks from Joe Donnelly

Joe and Jill Donnelly

Thank You!

Thanks to all the phone callers, canvassers, volunteers, supporters and voters who made this victory possible. Together with my staff, these volunteers worked for months to spread the word about my campaign and get out the vote.

I will work tirelessly in Congress to make all your hard work meaningful and to represent all the people of the second district.

Thank you for your support.

Joe

The 2006 Election is Over

Mission Accomplished!!

A big thanks to working families and retirees!

We have taken our country back.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Totalitarian

Totalitarian

Websters New World Dictionary:

“designating, of, or characteristic of a government or state in which one political party or group maintains complete control and illegalizes all others.”

Brothers and Sisters, Ladies and Gentleman,

Our wonderful country has been trending in this direction for some time. You can help save our country.

Vote on November 7th!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Great News for USW Retirees and Spouses


Innovative Trust Fund Makes Payment to 40,000 USW Retirees and Spouses

For Immediate Release October 31, 2006

(Pittsburgh, PA) More than 40,000 United Steelworker retirees and spouses who lost health care coverage in the bankruptcies of four steel companies are getting financial help with their Medicare Part B premiums from an innovative trust fund bargained by the USW to assist them.

Checks will be mailed during the first week of December to 40,476 USW-represented retirees and spouses of Bethlehem Steel, LTV, Acme Metals and Georgetown Steel, said Thomas Duzak, director of pension and benefits for the USW.

The checks will reimburse eligible individuals for up to six months of Medicare Part B premiums paid during the first half of 2006. A single retiree will receive $531 and couples $1,062. Premiums were typically $88.50 a month for Medicare beneficiaries.

“This benefit payout reflects our continuing commitment to represent the interests of retirees who were abandoned by their former employers and betrayed by the bankruptcy courts,” USW President Leo W. Gerard said.

The one-time benefit is being paid for from a benefit trust fund, known as the Mittal Steel USW Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA).

The VEBA trust was established in 2002 through negotiations between the United Steelworkers and International Steel Group (ISG), which has since been acquired by Mittal Steel USA.

The VEBA is funded by contributions from Mittal, based on company profits and steel tonnage. Benefits are jointly determined by the USW and Mittal, depending on funds available in the trust and the needs of eligible retirees.

The VEBA also provides prescription drug coverage for approximately 24,000 retirees and spouses.

Contacts:
Columbus – David McCall, (USW District 1), 614-888-6052
Pittsburgh – Tom Duzak, (International headquarters), 412-562-2296
Cleveland – Mike Mormile, (USW Local 979), 216-441-3124
Northwest Indiana – Pete Trinidad, (USW Local 6787), 219-762-6787

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

National ARA Endorses Tom Hayhurst


On Monday, November 1st, 2006, the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Alliance For Retired Americans, Ruben Burks, announced the ARA endorsement of Tom Hayhurst, for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District, because of his stand on strengthening Social Security rather than privatize it, and his determination to get a decent Medicare Prescription Drug Program, absent any so called “Donut Hole”.
Additional photos can be seen by going to the Indiana ARA website.