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Showing posts from October, 2007

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
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 or 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…