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Showing posts from 2007

Edwards Moving up in the polls with help from Steelworkers and SOAR

Steelworkers and members of SOAR brave the Iowa cold to support John Edwards for President. This photo was taken in Dubuque, Iowa. All those pictured are from Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.


Steelworkers and members of SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees) greet John Edwards in Dubuque, Iowa as he continues his travels throughout the state in his bid for President of the United States. Both organizations have endorsed John because of his positions on issues affecting working families and retirees.

Smart And Safe Trade Policies-John Edwards

"Behind all these numbers and statistics are the faces of millions of Americans forgotten in our trade deals. Well, I can tell you that I will never forget them. I saw what happened when the mill that my dad worked in all his life, and where I worked myself when I was young, closed and the jobs went somewhere else. It wasn't just devastating to our community economically - it was devastating to the pride and dignity of the people who worked hard every day trying to make a better life for their Kids."
(Remarks on "Smart Trade that Puts Workers First," August 6, 2007)

"If we want trade policies that work for working Americans, we need John Edwards. He's the only candidate with real plans to ensure that working families get their fair share of the benefits of economic growth."
-Leo Gerard, President, United Steelworkers

The Promise of America

“I carry the promise of America in my heart, where my parents placed it. Like them, like you, I believe in people, hard work and the sacred obligation of each generation to the next."

“This is our time now. It falls to us to redeem our democracy, reclaim our government and relight the promise of America for our children.”

“We have to stop using words like ‘access to health care’ when we know those words mean something less than universal care. Who are you willing to leave behind without care? Which family? Which child? We need a truly universal solution, and we need it now.

“I donʹt believe you can sit down at a table with lobbyists for drug companies and insurance companies and negotiate your way to universal care. They are dead‐set against this. Itʹs going to take a president who can take them on and beat them. Thatʹs what Iʹve been doing my whole life."

John Edwards

Source: The Plan to Build One America by John Edwards

What's The Most Important Meeting?

"The most important meeting.............is the meeting after the meeting"
Lynn Williams, SOAR President, Emeritus

John Edwards' Declaration of Independence For Older Americans

A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FOR
OLDER AMERICANS

“It’s time for a new kind of declaration of independence – a commitment to helping older Americans live independently, with choice over their health care, financial security and lifestyle. It’s not enough to congratulate ourselves on living longer, if we are not living stronger.

“Social Security is one of the most successful government programs in history, but it is also more than that – it is a promise between generations. I am committed to honoring the promise and protecting retirement benefits for working Americans.”

Summary

John Edwards’ agenda for older Americans is based on the values of security, dignity and choice to help every older American live as independently as they desire.

The Edwards Plan for Seniors
Ensure financial independence Guarantee health security Promote living with dignityEnsure Financial Independence
Keep the promise of Social Security.Honor pension promises and help families save with a universal, portable retir…

John Edwards Plan to Build One America

Dear Friend:
America is facing great challenges. We need bold ideas for change that are equal to the problems we face. And especially now, our country needs to hear the truth from its leaders.

The truth is that Washington is broken – rigged by the powerful special interests and lobbyists to benefit the very few at the expense of the rest of us. Because our government no longer works for most families, we risk becoming the first generation of Americans that fails to pass on a better life to our children.

This is not the America I believe in. Together, we can reclaim our government and redeem the promise of America for our children. You have a uniquely important responsibility. You are the guardians not only of what kind of president we’ll have, but what kind of future we’ll leave to our children.

You deserve real substance, not mere rhetoric. By describing my detailed plans, I hope this will allow you to make an informed decision. It includes my proposals to:

End the War in Iraq: We should …

Gaining Union Recognition

Q. How do we organize our workplace?
A. First, employees sign “Union Authorization” Petitions which state they want to be represented by USW.
Once 65% of the employees indicate they want a union, the USW will seek recognition with your employer, which usually means holding a secret ballot election through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to verify that the majority want union representation.

Q. Can we be disciplined or demoted for supporting a union or USW?
A. NO. It is illegal for your employer to treat you any different than other employees because you support organizing at your workplace. But there is strength in numbers so everyone has to actively support forming a USW union.

UW International Union…

Building Power

For Quality Jobs

For Fair Wages & Benefits

For Worker Safety

For a Real Voice And Vote on the Job!

For more information contact:

United Steelworkers District 7 Office
Jim Robinson, Director
1301 Texas St., Room 200
Gary, IN 46402
1 (800) 932-8007

Who Will Run Our Local Union?

YOU WLL!

In the USW, the members make the decisions!

YOU Elect your own Local Officers.
YOU Run your own Local Union affairs.
YOU Elect your own Negotiating Committee.
YOU Make the decisions on your own union contract.
YOU Choose your own shop stewards.
YOU Decide important policies and actions of your Local union by majority vote.
YOU Elect your own delegates to the international union conventions.
YOU Elect your International Union Offices.
YOU The membership—is the final voice of authority on decisions in your USW Local Union.
YOU Are the UNION!

America Works Best
When We Say..
UNION YES!

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 11: Globalization

What do they Really Mean?
This week our defining of “Corporate Agenda” terms wraps up.

Corporate Agenda Term #4: Globalization

What they say:

"Globalization is a way of life and the way of the future.
Outsourcing is what we need. We have obligations to our stockholders."

What they mean:

We want to take advantage of cheap wages, non-existent safety standards, and minimal environmental laws around the globe to make more profit.
Money is more important than any commitments to U.S. workers, even though they built and made our company successful – and they’re the ones we have to rely on to buy the stuff we make offshore.
We need every U.S. business to run like the “Wal-Mart Model” where we can pay low wages, not worry about health care costs, be able to drive out all competition with our presence, and keep costs cheap by searching the globe for the most exploitable people to make our products.
We aren’t worried about finding U.S. workers who will work for next to nothing (they’ll have n…

YOUR CONTRACT

Q. Who will negotiate our contract?
A. After the employees successfully organize, you and your co-workers will nominate and elect a bargaining committee representing all shifts. A USW representative with the assistance of your committee will negotiate a contract with your employer. Once a contract is successfully negotiated the members vote by secret ballot to approve it before the contract goes into effect.

Q. Does the USW support Team Concepts?
A. Yes. The USW actively educates the membership how to get the most from employee involvement programs and assists in negotiating competitive Gain Sharing Programs which protect both employee and employer interests.

Q. Can our employer close or move if we vote for union representation?
A. It is illegal for your employer to close or even threaten to close your workplace because the employees organize with the USW. If your employer makes this kind of threat, let us know as soon as possible.

Q. Our employer told us that “bargaining starts from scratc…

New Green Jobs for Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Report: Clean Energy Manufacturing Could Bring
39,000 New Green Jobs, Stronger Economy to Indiana
Sierra Club, United Steelworkers, Environment America Call for
National Renewable Electricity Standard to be Included in Energy Legislation

Mishawaka, IN - The Blue-Green Action Alliance, the public policy partnership of the Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers, and Environment America released a new report, “Indiana’a Road to Energy Independence,” detailing the thousands of new green jobs that could be created by manufacturing the components for wind turbines, solar panels, and other renewable energy equipment. The study, prepared by the Renewable Energy Policy Project, found that 1,321 firms in Indiana could benefit from 39,221 new jobs—including 25,180 from wind turbine manufacturing and 7,485 in solar manufacturing.

“Why order wind turbines from Denmark to put up in South Bend when we know that Indiana has the workers and the factories to make them right here i…

Union Dues

UNION DUES

Q. How much are Union Dues
A. USW dues are 1.3% of your gross wages per month or 2.5 hours maximum. About half of your dues stays in your own Local union treasury to be used upon members approval.

Q. When do I start paying Union dues?
A. It is the policy of the USW that “No Contract, No Dues!”

Q. Will we have to pay an initiation fee?
A. NO. Employees working at the facility at the time it is organized do not pay any initiation fee.

Q. How are Union Dues spent?
A. Union Dues are divided between the International union and the members’ own local union. Dues pay for the many services offered to the members of USW International Union.

These services include:
Contract negotiation Research & education
Pension & Insurance
Health & Safety
Legal Services

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 10: Small Government and Economic Stability

What do they Really Mean?
Our defining of "Corporate Agenda" terms continues.

Corporate Agenda Term #2: Small Government

What they say:

"Get government off our backs! What we need is small government."

What they mean:
We don't want to deal with government regulation and rules; we should be able to do what we want, when we want.We don't want to worry about resources for anyone that becomes disabled or can't work, the poor, their children, the elderly, or anyone without health care - they should have to fend for themselves.Rules tie the hands of corporations. We should just trust them to do the right things.In the words of Grover Norquist, we need to cut government "to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." (Norquist is a right-wing extremist who advocated for abolishing government departments such as the FDA and the Department of Education.)Corporate Agenda Term #3: Economic Stability

What they say:

"We need to focus on keeping inflation …

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 9 What Do They Really Mean?

We already know that Corporate America and their allies in govenment are setting the rules these days. When we watch the news or maybe even sit down at the bargaining table, we hear terms like “labor market flexibility,” “globalization,” “small government,” and “economic stability.” When these issues come up, they’re usually code for something that will benefit corporate interests and leave workers and America’s middle class behind. The next few weeks we’ll take a look at these terms and what they really mean, starting with labor market flexibility today.
What they say:

"We need labor market flexibility to run a profitable business."

What they really mean:

We want to use temporary employees instead of permanent employees; we want to contract the work out to other companies.We don't want to pay overtime.We want to schedule employees at the last minute and on irregular shifts. And, we want to mandate overtime.We don't want to pay health care or provide defined benefit…

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 7: The "Rules" and What They Mean for Us

The Rich Get Richer While the Poor Get Poorer

We left off talking about how those in power make the rules. Where workers and their allies once made laws and enacted standards that grew the middle class, we're now on a course that is dangerously shrinking the middle class. We've heard that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, and it's true.


Source: USW Rapid Response

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 6: Think Lead Isn't Serious?

Think Again.

It's dejavu all over again: Former USW President George Becker led the successful fight in the 1970's to force OSHA to act on reducing workplace exposure to lead. Now, 30 years later, courtesy of our global economy, lead is back. It's in Boy Scout merit badges. It's in lipstick. It's even in kids' cups. But, what does it really mean for lead to be back in such a big way? What does it mean for the child that chews on a toy coated in lead paint? What does it mean for the overseas worker who made that toy?

While adults and kids are both impacted, children are particularly susceptible to lead. They are more likely to put their hands or other objects with lead on them in their mouths. Their bodies absorb more of the lead, and their nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects.

High levels of lead in children that go undetected result in:

Damage to the brain and nervous system,Behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity),Slowed growt…

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 5: Poison Toys, Anti-freeze Toothpaste, Deadly Pet Food...

What’s Next?

The Taking Back Our Economy Series is highlighting how a corporate, anti-worker agenda is now the norm in our country. Through the Anti-Sweatshop bill action we dealt with one of the results: A global economy that de-values human beings and disregards human rights in favor of fattening corporate bottom lines. Now we’re seeing another related result: Toxic products entering our markets and homes.

Is it any surprise that a global economy that allows a 12-year-old girl to work 16-hour days in a dangerous factory making products for the U.S. marketplace ALSO gives us products laced with lead for our kids?

Just in the last few weeks, 544,000 items have been recalled. All were due to excessive lead in the products, and all were made in China. The following is included in that list:

• 150,000 bookmarks and journals, as well as bracelets that are sold with them from Antioch
Publishing.
• 35,000 Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks.
• 192,000 key chains and 63,000 Frankenst…

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 4: Whose Rules Are We Playing By?

Reviewing Where We’ve Come So Far

When Steelworkers ask why we keep enacting more job-killing free trade agreements, why we aren’t doing more to ensure a decent environment, or why wages aren’t keeping up, the answer all has to do with economics.

Economics is about the decisions on three questions: How do we allocate resources? How do
we produce things? And, who benefits?

Over time, the answers have changed.

In the 1930s, workers won great battles, establishing Social Security, unemployment and
other pro-worker reforms. We were taking control of the economy and making it work for us.
Post World War II, workers and employers shared power, and we saw productivity and worker
wages rise and the start of programs that benefit workers such as OSHA and the
establishment of the minimum wage. At that time people realized that some rules for an
imperfect free market were a good thing to ensure all benefited. Since the 1970s, that power
has flipped in favor of a different way of thinking that wants to l…

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 3: We Make it; They Take It

In the last post, we shared information on different periods of time where labor – workers – had more power. In the timeframe of 1947 to 1973, productivity doubled along with average
wages. Then, when the balance of power changed in the early 1970s, productivity continued
to grow, but wages have stagnated.

Today, average wages are only 15 percent higher than average wages in 1980, despite a 67
percent increase in productivity. And, consider the facts that U.S. workers:

Are the most productive workers in the world, Work longer hours than workers in any other developed country, and Live in a country whose economy generates over $13 trillion a year in income.
The productivity-wage relationship was the foundation of an understanding between workers
and employers after World War II, when there was a rough balance of power between the
two. Workers were sharing in the benefits of economic growth. Today, that power balance is
gone, and the understanding has fallen apart, leaving workers behind.


Sou…

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 2: Who is Deciding for Us?

Economics are the choices on how we allocate resources, how we produce things, and who benefits in the process.

Those in power make economic decisions, whether that’s tax breaks for the rich, trade legislation that kills jobs, or some other policy.

We have to understand that politics and the economy are not separate things. The economy doesn’t just happen. Government and those that can successfully influence government make the rules for the economy. Those rules once served our interests, but not any more:

1930s Workers were rising up, staging general strikes, and winning battles. We won Social
Security, unemployment benefits and overtime pay. The conversation was about how to make the economy work for workers, not just how we can work for the economy.

1940s - Late 1960s
Organized labor was powerful enough to negotiate the first health care benefits and pension plans. People generally thought that the market was imperfect and could use some government intervention to make it work, including…

Taking Back Our Economy-Part 1: It's All Tied to Economics

“Every time we’re at the bargaining table, the company tries to take away more and more of our healthcare benefits.”“All around my state, factories and plants are shutting down and moving out of the country. I’m worried for my job."“There are frightening warnings everywhere about global warming, but I don’t see any action being taken.”“Last week I found out that my daughter’s toys are filled with lead paint. I’m angry, and I’m worried for her. If a Chinese company thinks this is acceptable, how does that same company treat their workers?”“Prices for everything seem to keep rising and rising, but why isn’t my paycheck keeping up?”“I’m doing better than my parents did, but I doubt that my children will be better off than me.”

Why? It’s all tied to economics..

Economics is simply about the choices that are made:
How do we allocate resources? How do we produce things?
And, very importantly, who benefits? It matters who makes those decisions. As the
statements above suggest, the current ch…

Supporting Mexican Drug War Bad for U.S. Policy

By United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard

November 13th, 2007

Last summer, while Americans worried about whether President Bush was going to attack Iran, he was secretly planning to get them involved in another war, this one closer to home.

It’s Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s drug war. Bush announced last month that he wants to give Calderon $500 million worth of military equipment and training – Bell 412 helicopters and CASA CN 235-300 surveillance aircraft and the like. This would be to help Calderon win the war he started with the country’s drug cartels by dispatching more than 20,000 soldiers to wage battle shortly after his hotly-contested election.

This engagement between the army and the cartels has left more than 2,000 dead this year and has been described by some as Calderon’s civil war. Most victims are members of competing trafficking cartels, but they also include many soldiers and police officers and some innocent bystanders like a 25-year-old school …

Why Join a Union?

Dignity: The presence of a union means employees must be treated fairly by their employer, and that you have a voice and vote in important decisions that effect you.

Power: An employee has little power and almost no way to improve wages, benefits, or working conditions. Collective Bargaining balances the power that an employer has over its employees even in a “Team” or high performance work environment.

Protection: Without a union there is no due process at work. Unions provide a grievance & arbitration procedure which ensures fairness for all employees.

For more information contact:
United Steelworkers District 7 Office
Jim Robinson, Director
1301 Texas St., Room 200
Gary, IN 46402
800-932-8007

You are invited

To take part in the Healthcare Now Road Trip!
Yes there is an answer
To our healthcare problems! and
YOU,
Can be part of the solution.

Free showing of SiCKO, Michael Moore’s telling documentary about the failure of our healthcare system.

Following the movie, there will be a discussion with the HealthCare-NOW team members on your problems and what we have to do to fix our broken healthcare system.

WHEN: Monday, November 12, 2007

TIME: 6:30 P.M.

PLACE: United Steelworkers McBride Hall
1301 TEXAS STREET
GARY, INDIANA.

(From 80/94 go north on I-65 and exit on to 15th Ave.
Take a right (west) to Texas Street
Turn right (north) on Texas Street and go to the end of the road to McBride Hall.)

All who are concerned about what’s happening to our failing health care system and what to do about it are encouraged to attend.

Sponsored by the HealthCare-NOW coalition of activists and union supporters to fix our broken healthcare system by supporting an improved Medicare…

Go See SiCKO

This Might Hurt a Little in Indiana

Hoosiers lead the nation in medical bankruptcies.

800,000 Hoosiers have no health insurance.

Watch the movie. And Act!

7PM, Friday, Nov 9
Earth House Coffee+Books
237 N. East Street,
downtown Indy

corner of New York and East.
Inside Lockerbie church,

Free
Donations accepted for Hoosiers for a Common Sense Healthcare Plan.
call 317-354-3207 for more info.

Lousy Safety Program at NIPSCO

The safety manual for the employees of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company used to say something about it being the responsibility of every employee to read the darned safety manual once in a while and become familiar with it.

Having retired about ten years ago, I don’t have a copy of the safety manual any more, but my guess is that it still says the same thing.

Well, It’s time for NIPSCO management to require each and every member of their management team to do just that before they end up murdering another worker or a member of the public.

Reports going around my neck of the woods are indicating that NIPSCO is playing the “blame game” rather than providing a good safety program and I am expecting that to change. Get it NIPSCO?

Who’s in charge of that outfit these days, any way? Start doing your job!

And more importantly, who's in charge of the Safety Department? Who is insisting that workers work unsafely? Who is doing the lying to OSHA?

We don't need any more workers gett…

Please buy Union made candy this Halloween

This info came from the UFCW, AFT and BCTGM web sites.

If you plan to distribute candy to trick-or-treaters this Halloween, show support for union –made products by choosing union-made candy. Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) as well as USW members make the sweets to line the candy bags of our children. Union candy suppliers include:

Annabelle Candy Co. makers of Rocky Road, Big Hunk, U-No, and Abba-Zabba

Ghirardelli Chocolate

Herman Goelitz maker of Jelly Bellies, Chocolate Dutch Mints, Candy Corn, Chocolate Temptations, Dimples, Goelitz Confections, Goelitz Gummi, Pet Rat, Pet Tarantula and Sweet Temptations and other confections

Hershey Chocolate USA makers of Hershey Kisses, Special Dark, Mr. Goodbar, Krackle, Nuggets, Swoops and Zagnut, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, York Peppermint Patties, Jolly Rancher and 5th Avenue. Nestle Treasures, Laffy Taffy, Flips Pretzels and Kathryn Beich specialt…

SCHIP Update, by Ken Kovack, Legislative Director for the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

Authorized funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance program ends in mid November. After this important legislation was vetoed by President George W. Bush, the legislation was adjusted to address the objections of the president.

The compromised legislation enjoys bipartisan Congressional support, support of the Governors Association and public opinion polls showing support has reached as much as 80%. The President has suggested a compromise proposal requiring, for example, a family of four with an income of $32,000 to pay 39% of their income for private health insurance and a family of four with earnings of $54,000 to pay 20% of their income for private health insurance. (Source: Bureau of National Affairs, Health Care Policy Report, 10/22/07). Bush also opposes funding the bipartisan compromised bill by a 6% increase on the tobacco tax. Instead, the President would opt for a tax deduction plan to offset the cost of insurance premiums. Another major problem is the Presidents op…

Fires, Floods and the “Vicissitudes of Life”

''We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life''...Franklin Delano Roosevelt

It was true 73 years ago and as this week’s devastating fires in Southern California remind us, it’s still true today. But whether it’s destructive flames on the West coast or devastating floods in the Gulf coast, we’ve seen just how quickly life’s circumstances can take a turn. One of the great untold stories during these times of national crisis is the Social Security success story.

8,700 Social Security checks have already been sent to residents in Southern California. Unfortunately, some of those checks will arrive even though residents have evacuated and their homes have been destroyed. But staff at the local Social Security offices will coordinate efforts to get those checks to California seniors, the disabled and their families who will need them. In its seven-decade history, Social Security has never missed a payment and it…

The Future of Social Security and Those Who Depend on It

Private Accounts and Benefit Cuts
For decades, opponents of Social Security have attempted to privatize the program. They propose diverting some of the funds that normally go into the Social Security trust funds into private investment accounts. Some would also cut benefits by changing the formula to calculate initial benefits from a wage-indexed system to a price indexed one, and raising both early and normal retirement ages above the current law.

The Inheritance Myth
The Bush administration asserts that private accounts would allow investors to pass on their accounts to their heirs when they die. What they do not say is that the Social Security survivorship benefit paid to the minor children and spouses of the deceased worker would e substantially cut. If a worker dies at a young age, no amount of inheritance would offset the loss of benefits resulting from the deep cuts in benefits and the potential offsets for diverting funds to a private account.

In recent years, the Alliance for Ret…

Understanding the Social Security Trust Funds

Each year, the U.S. government reports the amount of money in the Social Security trust funds, the amount added or redeemed in a given year and the interest earned.

By the end of 2007, the trust fund reserves are estimated to be $2,237 billion. The Social Security trustees project that these resources will be sufficient to pay full benefits until 2041 - one year later than last year's estimate of 2040. After 2040, revenue from taxes at the current rates will be enough to pay 75% of scheduled benefits in 2041 and 70% of scheduled benefits in 2081.

The projected actuarial deficit over the next 75 years is 1.95% of taxable payroll, a slight improvement over the 2006 estimate of 2.02%. The projected shortfall may be met in a variety of ways as described below.
Raising or eliminating the cap on taxable earnings. Raising the current cap of $97,500 to cover 90 percent of earnings would cut the 75-year shortfall by about 45 percent.Dedicating estate tax revenues above a certain limit to the …

Social Security, A Valuable Investment

Social Security is worth a ...


Retirement policy of $250,000Disability policy of $353,000Life insurance policy of $403,000Source: National Academy of Social Insurance

Social Security and the President's Proposed Budget

Social Security pays monthly cash benefits to retired and disabled workers and their dependents and to survivors of deceased workers. Benefits are financed by payroll taxes paid by employees, employers and the self-employed.

The Administration's 2008 budget for Social Security includes private accounts which would divert money out of Social Security and into private investment accounts.

The result would be:

Worsen Social Security's long term financingReduce Social Securitybenefits for future retireesTrade Social Security guarantees for the risks of the stock marketAdd trillions of dollars to the federal debt
Message:
Privatization would dismantle Social Security.

Close the back door budget approach to privatize Social Security!
Source: NCPSSM

Social Security-What a Great Program!

Social Security 2007

1. Social Security is more than just a retirement program. It provides life insurance to the spouse and young children of workers who die and it protects workers who become disabled and are unable to support their families.

2. Social Security does exactly what it was designed to do. It gives people a secure, basic income protected against inflation for as long as they live.

3. Social Security contributes to the well being of Americans by providing a foundation for retirement income that permits seniors to live in dignity.

4. Social Security is the largest single source of income for America’s retirees. Two-thirds of Social Security beneficiaries rely on Social Security for most of their income.

5. Without Social Security, nearly half of all retirees would fall into poverty.

6. Social Security is portable when you are working – you can take it from job to job.

7. Social Security is universal – 96 percent of Americans are covered by its protections.

8. …

Stop Toxic Imports

The recently launched United Steelworkers’ Protect Our Kids – Stop Toxic Imports campaign will combat the massive influx of toxic imports endangering North American families.

We’ve been flooded with everything from toxic toys to lead-laced baby bibs, poisoned pet food and tainted tooth paste. It’s time to tell politicians and corporations that a cheaper price tag is not worth endangering our families’ health!

Go to www.protect-our-kids.org or www.stoptoxicimports.org to find valuable resources, including how to request a lead screening kit and information about USW Safe Home events across the United States and Canada.

Please sign our online petition calling on government to fix this problem and peruse the Web sites to find out how else you can help.

Pitiless George Says No to Children

Sorry folks. No signing ceremony today. Afterall, it wouldn't be good policy for me to deny healthcare for children in the light of day. So, I decided to do it behind closed doors.

Having government paid healthcare is good for me and congress, but surely you don't think it's good for children too. Afterall, they can always go to the emergency room.

Some of you just didn't ever understand what compassionate conservatism was. Well, this is it!

Elect John Edwards for President

Sisters and Brothers,

When was the last time you heard a President of the United States say the word union?

When was the last time we had a President that fought to strengthen labor laws, to put an end to unfair trade policies and protect the worker's right to organize? In 2008 we have the opportunity to elect a candidate that has vowed to do all of this and more.

John Edwards has based his campaign for the Presidency upon the promise to make healthcare a human right, and not something that our unions must negotiate. He has vowed to end the global ‘race to the bottom’, and will demand strong labor laws that:

benefit working families.will not allow trade with countries that exploit workers, and the environment.
will eliminate tax incentives for companies that move offshore, andput an end to currency manipulation by countries like China and Japan
In the past six years the Bush Administration has put the privilege of corporations before the rights of working Americans. Isn't it time…

Edwards, Obama Promise To Walk Union Picket Lines

Edwards, Obama Promise To Walk Union Picket Lines Even After Taking White House
By Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer

CHICAGO (PAI)--In rousing pro-worker speeches to a packed hall of 1,000 unionists, two of the top three Democratic presidential hopefuls--Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)--promised to walk with union picket lines even after they are elected to the White House.

Edwards and Obama were greeted with roars and ovations by the delegates to the Change to Win convention, meeting in downtown Chicago. The third top contender, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), also gave a strong pro-union speech--not including that particular pledge--but was forced to talk via speakerphone after her plane, along with hundreds of others, was grounded on the tarmac at the Little Rock, Ark., airport.

The three hopefuls are among seven vying for support from the 7-union 6-million-member federation, while also campaigning for support from the rest of the labor. CTW Chair Anna …

Alliance Member on The Oprah Winfrey Show

Steve Skvara talks about losing his pension and health insurance,
asking “What’s Wrong with America?”

This Thursday, September 27, 2007, Steve Skvara, a retired steelworker serving on the Board of the Indiana Alliance of Retired Americans, will talk to Oprah Winfrey about losing his pension and health insurance, and asking his now famous question, “What’s Wrong with America?”

The Oprah Winfrey Show, “Sick in America: It Can Happen to You,” will be broadcast nationally Thursday, September 27, at 4:00 pm local time (airtime in most areas) on ABC-TV affiliate stations (check local TV program schedules for details).

“I am extremely proud of Steve for sharing his experience with the world,” said George Kourpias, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “This is only one example of how retirees will make their voices heard in the health care debate, and it is an important illustration of how powerful each of our stories can be.”

The broadcast will include a replay of Skvara's previou…

Pass the SCHIP Bill

President Bush and his compassionate conservative pals are wanting another 200 billion dollars for their “war” in Iraq, but when it comes to providing an additional 4 million children some health insurance at a cost of 5 billion dollars, they squeal like a herd of pigs.

The SCHIP Bill (State Children's Health Insurance Program) is now out of committee and will be voted soon in both houses of congress. Bush says he will veto it. So much for his compassion.

Surely, making health insurance available to children whose parents can’t afford private insurance is the right thing to do.

After all, without medical insurance, these children are taken to emergency rooms all over the country which only increases insurance payments for the rest of us.

Opponents are wrong if they think this is “socialized medicine”. That’s what England has. The doctors and hospitals work for the government.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a single payer plan like the Canadians, where you can go to any doctor you want …

We need healthcare for all--NOW!

Enough of this fooling around.

While we spend billions of dollars policing the civil war in Iraq, people in our own country are going bankrupt because of their medical bills.

So much wonderful legislation has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives only to hit a brick wall by Senate Republicans and the threat of Bush's veto.

There's only one way to bring sense to our government and that is to elect Congressman and Senators who care about the American people.

Healthcare for all Americans must be our number one mission. The phony crooks and liars in Washington need to get the boot. Their steering our wonderful country into oblivion.

Let's wake up and take our country back. The whole country this time, and make it once again a nation that we can all be proud of. One that cares about its own people for a change, and one that cares about our image to the rest of the world.

Floor Speech Against the War in Iraq, 2002

Former U.S. Senator, Paul Wellstone


3,791 dead American troops
27,848 wounded soldiers
1,000,000 dead Iraqi civilians
2,000,000 made homeless

When will the U.S. Senate come to their senses?

More troop deaths. For What?

Get the LEAD Out

Protect Our Kids – Stop Toxic Imports

We need your help in getting the lead and other dangerous products out of our homes while drawing attention to a broken regulatory system and unfair trade policies that perpetuate corporate greed. Please pass the word about our upcoming campaign so we can all work together to stop unfair trade that is threatening our jobs and our families.

Source: USW Website

What You Can Do

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China Trade-Summary

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Rockefeller Bill

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Currency Bill

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Non-Market Economy Bill

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Turning Things Around

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