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Showing posts from January, 2008

How the Country Has Come to Find Itself in the Current Ecomomic Mess

By Leo Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers Union

As the Senate moves to consider the wholly inadequate stimulus package passed by the House -- zip for the jobless, no increase in food stamps, squat for the nation's crumbling infrastructure -- it's useful to consider how the country has come to find itself in the current economic mess.

Part of the reason we need a "fiscal stimulus package" under what President Bush continues to claim is a strong economy is the bad behavior of a government operating in cahoots with corporate America over the past 30 years. This shameless cabal has given us a reckless stock market, a sub prime mortgage crisis that is taking down homeowners while threatening banks and insurers, health care and gasoline costs flaming out of control, an endless war that violates international law and savages the budget, rising unemployment and income inequality, and the off-shoring of manufacturing jobs that is undermining real wages.

This, as New Yo…

Jill Long Thompson for Indiana

On Friday, January 25, 2008, the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees Chapter 30-18 composed of union retirees of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company unanimously endorsed Jill Long Thompson for Governor of Indiana.

During her many years in public life, Jill Long Thompson has built an impressive record as a fighter for working families and as an advocate for responsive, responsible government. Inspired to politics as a youth, Long Thompson served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana's 4th Congressional District from 1989 to 1995. Long Thompson spent more than five years as U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture from 1995 to 2001.
In Congress, Long Thompson compiled a pragmatic voting record by opposing all new tax increases while protecting investments in education, Medicare, and Social Security. Long Thompson also served as Vice Chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, a Democratic policy organization.

Long Thompson's first election to Con…

Another NIPSCO NiSource Blunder

The NIPSCO NiSource Runaround

NIPSCO……….

Pay death benefits in a timely manner.

What do you think a death benefit is for, anyway?

Is this another job you’ve outsourced to Costa Rica?

Pay the lousy death benefits!

Learn to have a little empathy or compassion for crying out loud.

You know the one I'm referring to.

Pay it quick cause I'm pissed!

NIPSCO safety

January 24, 2008


On January 23, 2008, a call out took place in the Gary LOA at midnight, for a hit 34kv pole on 5th Ave., east of Tennessee St. along the South Shore Railroad right-of-way. Three spans of static wire (Copper weld 3 #8’s) and one span of 34 kv conductor (336.9 mcm) were down, the pole was not broken. The South Shore equipment attached to the pole consisted of a #6 copper 2300 volt DC signal conductor, and a 1500 volt DC main conductor. Three spans of the #6 copper 2300 volt South Shore conductor were on the ground. The 1500 volt conductor was intact.

The original repair crew consisted of six members, four journeymen and two apprentices. Another journeyman and an apprentice joined in later. The South Shore repair crew was already on-site when the NIPSCO crew arrived, and they informed the NIPSCO crew that the South Shore lines were cleared.

The NIPSCO crew was informed that because of the heavy volume of commuter traffic, they would have to clear off the South Shore right-o…

Iraq War

Number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq prior to President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech in 2003
139

Number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq as of January 3, 2008
3,907

Number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq prior to "Mission Accomplished" speech in 2003
542

Number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq as of January 2, 2008
28,661

Number of Iraqi deaths after the U.S. invasion
1,139,602

Source: iCasualties.org. "Iraq Coalition Casualty Count." January 3, 2008; Just Foreign Policy. "Iraqi Deaths Due to U.S. Invasion." January 3, 2008.

Toxic Toys Rally

It's time that our legislators wake up to the fact that lousy trade deals are killing our children. Those who don't wake up and do something about it, will soon bite the dust because we all deserve better.

Stop Importing Toxic Products

Thousands of Steelworkers. One hundred congressional offices. One union. One day.

Today, January 16, members of the United Steelworkers and its allies will take its “Stop Toxic Imports” campaign to the nation’s policymakers. In this National Day of Action, the union will demand that Congress take immediate action to protect Americans from the dangerous threat posed by the millions of lead-laced toys and other unsafe products infiltrating our country.

The USW will be joined by dozens of allied community, environmental and health organizations from across the country, as well as the AFL-CIO and other labor groups.

“The massive toy recalls this holiday season drew attention to the much larger problem of the countless dangerous imports – tires, toothpaste, fake drugs, pet food – making their way on to U.S. store shelves,” said USW President Leo W. Gerard, who has spearheaded the USW “Protect Our Kids – Stop Toxic Imports” campaign. “People are starting to realize that we’re paying the price …

Edwards speaks to the Issues

To see John's position on the issues that no other candidate is talking about,
click here.

We're in Good Hands with the next generation

While in Dubuque, Iowa, helping our union with the John Edwards campaign, Jessie DuBois (right) was our Coordinator. Jessie is a “Casual” employee for the USW, but she did a great job of directing us all.

Kaitlin DeCero, (left) was an intern at the USW International in Pittsburgh last year. Kaitlin came to Dubuque during her Christmas break and was a natural when it came to phone calling and door knocking. She is a Labor Studies student at Indiana University.

Kaitlin is from Munster, Indiana, and Jessie is from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Both of these young people gave me assurance that our Great Union will be around for a very long time.

Happy New Year from Dubuque

After a long day of door knocking and phone calling in Dubuque, Iowa, Steelworkers, SOAR members, and friends of labor, take time out to ring in the new year.