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Showing posts from January, 2007

New Flag for NIPSCO

In 2005, Robert C. Skaggs, Chief Executive Officer of NiSource Inc. raked in $1,756,152 in total compensation including stock option grants from NiSource Inc..
And Robert C. Skaggs has another $32,935 in unexercised stock options from previous years.

You know what? I don’t give a rip how much this guy needs to have joy and happiness in his life. Heck, it’s a dog eat dog world out there, but you would think that someone worth this much would at least see to it that the widow of one of his deceased retirees would receive some explanation as to why a lousy $10,000 life insurance claim is taking so long to be paid to her husbands beneficiaries. Seven months seems a bit too long to me.

This Skaggs fellow has allowed the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) to outsource so much of what used to be done by usually efficient Hoosiers at NIPSCO to places such as Costa Rica. This is causing so much confusion among management and labor at NIPSCO, that I’m wondering if this guy really is …

POWERcast Episode 1

POWERcast is the United Steelworkers’ internet radio program, a fast new way to provide union news and reports of interest to all working families.

Episode 1 - January 29, 2006

This week, POWERcast features an interview with USW President Leo W. Gerard about the crucial role of solidarity in the Goodyear strike late last year.

Also, U.S. Rep. George Miller, the California Democrat who introduced the minimum wage increase in Congress and got it passed Jan. 10, talks about the Senate Republicans’ demand that the measure include tax breaks for small business.

We’ve got a special treat for you at the end of our POWERcast. We call it Creep of the Week. Here’s a clue about our winner: do you think you could screw up at work then get your company to hand you $210 million buckaroos to quit?

Click Here to listen to this POWERcast

NIPSCO Pay Your Bills

Hey NIPSCO! When people get their NIPSCO bill, you expect them to pay the damn thing or risk being shut off.
Well, how about paying your own stinking bills. What's the matter with you?
Your retirees have life insurance policys which were negotiated. Why put a widow through the hassle of waiting and waiting for you screw balls to pay up.
Either pay the stinking insurance claims, or tell people your just not going to pay, so they can sue your butts.
You got the most screwed up system I've ever heard of.
You didn't used to have this problem, but now you have so much work outsourced to out of state and out of country companies that it's no wonder your employees and retirees are upset.

Even your own management knows how screwed up you are.

Do I have to call Lou Dobbs or 60 minutes or the newspapers or what?

Pay up!

Charlie Averill

Bush Health-Care Proposal

For Immediate Release: January 24, 2007

Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-778-4384; 202-256-8125

USW Rejects Bush Health-Care Proposal
Tax scheme fails to expand coverage for all, erodes employer plans

Pittsburgh (Jan. 23) – Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers (USW), said American workers know a raw deal when they hear one and tonight’s State of the Union proposal by President Bush of a so-called standard tax deduction for health insurance doesn’t set any benchmarks for covering the uninsured while “sticking it to workers who have employer health care coverage.”

“Congress should reject this plan out of hand,” Gerard said. “It not only erodes employer coverage, where two out of three Americans now receive their health benefits, it’s a back-door attempt to saddle union workers with a tax for the health care benefits they negotiate through collective bargaining.”

“This proposal makes it more apparent than ever,” Gerard added, “that the Bush Administration doesn’t have a clue about h…

NIPSCO Cheats Widow

What Do I Have to Do?

My Dear Husband, David Letts, a retired NIPSCO employee, passed away on June 14, 2006. The following week I called the Benefits office in Orlando, Florida to see what I must do to have the $10,000 life insurance policy dispersed to his 5 children. David told me that he had changed the beneficiary listing to the five children after his divorce.

A nice gentleman, by the name of Steve, said that I would have to supply them with a death certificate and a listing of the children’s names, addresses and Social Security numbers. Within several days I received copies of his death certificate and typed up a listing of his children and all of their information, and sent it to Orlando.

Now, after over seven months since my husband’s death, I still can’t get any information as to why these claims have not been paid. I gave up writing down the dates and times of phone calls made to the Benefits office after the number reached ten. All I hear from them is that they are “waiti…

Which Marriages do better? Republican or Democrat?

I’ve just had an epiphany. At least I think that’s what they call it.

When I was working for NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company), occasionally, some boss would be so belligerent and bone headed that often times someone would say, “How would you like your daughter to come home with someone like that?”.

This (what I’m calling an) epiphany came to me last week while watching the modern Republicans in congress whining about increasing the minimum wage, and having Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for our retirees and seeing how hard headed and belligerent they were.

All of a sudden it hit me.

Since George Bush refuses to negotiate with our enemies, and since the Republicans in congress refuse to negotiate with the Democrats, and since so many companies don’t want to negotiate with their workers, how in the world could people like this ever find a spouse, and when they do, how could they ever live together in peace and harmony?

As an example, NiSource, although a fortune 500 c…

Hillary is "IN"

Senator Hillary Clinton has opened a presidential exploratory committee in her first step toward a run for the White House.

She has a great website displaying among other things, a photo slide show and several video clips. It’s certainly worth a look see.

I remember shortly after 9-11 being in Washington D.C. with a number of Steelworkers and members of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees. We had great difficulty in finding our legislators as they were all in hiding from the anthrax scare. While walking to one of the Senators offices, we saw Hillary and asked if she would consider getting her photograph taken with us. She took time out of her busy schedule to do just that, however, when the photo was about to be taken, our photographer realized that he was out of film.

Later in the week, we again saw Hillary. She stopped to speak with us and then said, “Say, let’s take that picture again”. You can view that photograph here.

So, I can say that not only am I impressed with Hill…

The Good and the Bad

How did our Congressman in northern Indiana vote when they had a chance to help workers?

Pete Viscosky voted to increase the minimum wage.
Joe Donnelly voted to increase the minimum wage.
Mark Souder voted against workers.
Steve Buyer didn't vote.

How did our congressman in northern Indiana vote when they had a chance to help retirees?

Pete Visclosky voted to have Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for retirees.
Joe Donnelly voted to have Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for retirees.
Mark Souder voted against retirees.
Steve Buyer didn't vote.

hmmmmm.....I think I see a trend here.

Which congressman in northern Indiana has signed on to the Employee Free Choice Act?

Pete Visclosky is cosponsor to the Employee Free Choice Act.
Joe Donnelly is cosponsor to the Employee Free Choice Act.
Mark Souder...........nothing
Steve Buyer.............nothing

Workers and retirees, let us remember. Souder and Buyer are on their way out.

Goodyear Tires get the OK

The scab, temporary replacement tire builders at Goodyear plants have been canned.

Goodyear tires are now being built by experienced members of the United Steelworkers and have been removed from my personal boycott list.

My next set of tires will be Goodyear tires.


Republican Colors

The right wingers in the U.S. House of Representatives once again displayed their true colors yesterday as they did their best to persuade their colleagues to vote against requiring Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices with the drug companies to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

All day long they called upon their “free market god” to save the drug company donations in their pockets.

I wish I had a dollar for every time they said "let the free market take care of it." What the heck is a free market, anyway?

It’s funny that we don’t hear them call for the free market when it’s time to hand out no bid contracts, or to provide corporate welfare, or subsidies to their corporate pals.

They’ll do anything to hurt seniors. I think it has something to do with their family values. Or is this what they mean by compassionate conservatism.

Maybe they get it from one of the ten commandments. The one that says, “Honor your father & mother”.

Anyway, the bums lost their …

Message to U.S. House Republicans

What a sham.
Listening to the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives speak against raising the minimum wage is simply discusting.
I contend that they are not genuine Republicans.
They want us to see that they are cheap, stingy, and cruel, and mean spirited when it comes to helping the "least of these".
One even suggested that a person who receives the minimum wage, should get a "real job".
Many of this type Republican bit the dust in the last election. If those remaining don't change their ways, they'll also be looking for another job.

110th Congress Takes Office

Press Release

January 4, 2007

Washington, DC -- "I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

With these words, the Members of the 110th Congress took the oath of office today – marking 218 years of uninterrupted elected national government under the U.S. Constitution.

The House of Representatives proceeded to elect its officers:
· Speaker – Hon. Nancy Pelosi (California)
· Majority Leader – Hon. Steny Hoyer (Maryland)
· Republican Leader – Hon. John Boehner (Ohio)
· Majority Whip – Hon. James E. Clyburn (South Carolina)
· Republican Whip – Hon. Roy Blunt (Missouri)
· Clerk – Hon. Karen Lehma…