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Showing posts from February, 2009

SOS - Save Our Services 2009


LOCALS 12775 and 13796


OUR CUSTOMERS – As proud Steelworkers and NIPSCO employees, we have always understood that our responsibility is to provide the public with courteous, dependable gas and electric service – service that starts when a union member takes the call and ends only when a union member completes the job.

OUR COMMUNITIES – As proud Steelworkers and citizens of our communities in Northern Indiana, we have always understood that safe, reliable gas and electric service is fundamental to sustaining our quality of life, economic development, and good jobs for our families, friends and neighbors.

OUR FUTURE – As proud Steelworkers, we have always understood that by our own unity, as well as by supporting the customer and the public, we can provide our families with a decent standard of living and a secure future.

We have acted on th…


The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is demanding that their poor old shaky retirees pay more for their medical insurance premiums.

Although NIPSCO has agreed to meet periodically with specified members of the United Steelworkers Union to confer and make recommendations for the most efficient and cost-effective operation of the medical plan, and to agree on projected premium and other plan costs, get this, NIPSCO has refused to meet with the specified union members.

Now I want to know who the liars are. What NIPSCO management people agreed to meet periodically with specified members of the union but won’t do it? Do the liars work for NIPSCO or do the liars work for NiSource? I would assume that the liar or liars work for NIPSCO because the agreement was made by NIPSCO.

So, is the Liar Gary Neale, or Doug Bobillo, or Tim Dehring, or Bret Mcintyre, or Mel Stasinski, or Jerry Godwin, or Joel Hoelzer, or Jim Petroskey? In other words, which one of the above persons will…

Letter to NiSource

In this morning's newspaper, the headline article explains that the NiSource (parent company of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company) Directors are paid $165,000.00 per year for attending about a dozen meetings.

Since I heard yesterday that NIPSCO wants to put the screws to their retirees by increasing their medical insurance premiums, and at the same time is wanting to increase my electric rate by 15%, I've decided to try to find a part time job.

After thinking long and hard about it, I've decided to put my name in the hat for a directors job.

If someday I'm selected for this job because of a vacancy, I promise to earn my $165,000.00 by attending each and every meeting. In fact, I'll come an hour before the meeting starts and stay one hour after it ends.

Thanks NiSource.

Stinking NIPSCO

I just learned today some of the things the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is wanting to do to their retirees.

Today, the Executive Board's of USW 12775 and 13796 started the development of the bargaining policy for the 2009 Contract negotiations. Today was the first time I realized that these crooks at NIPSCO attempted to steal the medical benefits from many of our retirees. Nothing beats a good kick in the pants for a job well done and giving your entire working life to this rotten company.

I'll be doing my best to find out what else NIPSCO is trying to do, not only to their retirees but to their active bargaining unit members as well, and at the same time, their wanting to raise their stinking rates. Do you believe that? NIPSCO wants to raise their rates and screw their retirees at the same time.

Keep tuned, because this blog will be used to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about this infamous company.

War did not end the Great Depression

by Morton J. Marcus

War did not end the Great Depression

It’s time to set the record straight. It was not World War II that moved America out of the Great Depression.
When we talk about the American economy, we discuss the actual or “Real” goods and service produced in this county. To compare one year with another, we must remove price changes so that we can measure output in constant dollars.

This measure of economic activity is called Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2008, the real value of goods and services produced in this country stood at $11.7 trillion, adjusted to prices of 2000. In 1929, GDP peaked at $865 billion in the constant prices of 2000. Thus our economy last year was 12.5 times larger than in 1929.

From that peak of $865 billion in 1929, the U.S. economy contracted to $636 billion in 1933, a decline of 27 percent. Those four years of contraction (1930 to 1933) saw annual decreases in Real GDP of -8.6%, -6.4%, -13.0%, and -1.3% respectively. Thereafter followed four y…

We Won on Buy America. Now Let's Make It Work.

AAM Action Update
February 21, 2009

We won an important victory last week when Buy America rules, which require the purchase of U.S. materials for infrastructure projects, were included in the final economic recovery bill signed by President Obama. (Visit our AAM Action page to see your terrific work in communities like Elkhart, IN; Peoria, IL; and Ft. Myers, FL.)

Only massive public support for Buy America (84% of the American people) helped push this through a reluctant Congress. And your voices didn't just help. In this fight, all of you who called and emailed Congress actually made it happen.

But there's more work to do. Believe it or not, we could still be thwarted. There is still well-placed opposition that can block Buy America during the actual implementation phase.

So, step two involves getting Buy America resolutions passed at the State and Local levels to ensure that the promise of the law is fulfilled for American manufacturing. Our Alliance for American Manufact…

Propagandists mask Free Choice Act facts

February 8, 2009

By Beth Thew
The Spokesman-Review

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls it “Armageddon.”

Home Depot’s CEO called it “the demise of a civilization,” and said his fellow corporate executives who didn’t contribute big bucks to defeat it “should be shot, should be thrown out of their (expletive) jobs.”

What has Corporate America so apoplectic with fear and anger? A fatal epidemic? A terrorist nuclear threat? A new Michael Moore movie?

It’s legislation before Congress called the Employee Free Choice Act. It would increase fines and penalties against employers that refuse to negotiate union contracts or that illegally threaten or fire workers who support forming unions.

But the provision that strikes fear in the heart of Corporate America is allowing the workers to decide for themselves whether they want to form a union through the traditional government-supervised ballot election or by signing authorization cards.

It doesn’t eliminate “secret ballot elections,” as you’ve been told. I…

Learn the Truth about the Employee Free Choice Act

As most of you know, passage of the Employee Free Choice Act is one of America's top priorities. The Employee Free Choice Act will help make the economy work for all of us again by ensuring that workers have a free choice and a fair chance to join a union. Today's workplaces are tilted in favor of lavishly-paid CEOs, who get golden parachutes while middle-class families struggle to get by. The Employee Free Choice Act gives us a chance to restore the balance, giving more workers a chance to form unions and get better health care, job security, and benefits.

The right wingers, corporate thugs, misguided souls and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are doing everything they can to misrepresent this legislation by saying that workers won't keep secret-ballot elections. The fact is that workers DO keep secret-ballot rights under the Employee Free Choice Act. They would simply gain an additional way to seek a contract and union representation through majority signup. The bi…

Recovery Bill Passes with little help from Renoblicans

According to U.S. government reports, the economy lost 598,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent. Congressional leaders said the country is facing its deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, one that calls for swift, bold action."

The stimulus bill provides $311 billion in appropriations, including the following critical investments that create jobs, support for the states and the country's future:

· Investments in infrastructure and science -- $120 billion

· Investments in health -- $14.2 billion

· Investments in education and training -- $105.9 billion

· Investments in energy, including over $30 billion in infrastructure -- $37.5 billion

· Helping Americans hit hardest by the economic crisis -- $24.3 billion

· Law enforcement, oversight, and other programs -- $7.8 billion

Funding for energy programs in the bill includes upgrading the energy grid, research into clean coal technology and $6 billi…

U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Wrong

Donohue Wrong

In the February 3 edition of the South Bend Tribune, Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce whined about the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) claiming that “Card Check” would eliminate secret ballots in elections where workers decide whether or not they want a union.

Donohue is wrong. His use of the term “Card Check”, more accurately referred to as “Majority Signup”, simply means that a union could be certified if more than half of the workers sign a card saying they want that union to represent them.

Under current law, if 30% of workers petition for a secret ballot unionization vote, they'll get it. Under the EFCA, if 30% of workers petition for a secret ballot unionization vote, they'll get it. The EFCA doesn’t change anything here. Workers would have the same right to have a secret ballot vote to unionize as they have today.

Here’s the difference. Under current law, if the workers come to the employer with a majority's worth of s…

Workers, Be Patient, Help is on the way

The Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has approved President Obama's choice for Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis.

How nice it will be for workers to finally have a Department of Labor that will once again be on their side.

Adios to Elaine Chao, former Labor Secretary who did as much as she could to cause human suffering and death by weakening safety standards and supporting Bush's big corporate buddies.

Hilda Solis should prove a big help when it comes to passing the Employee Free Choice act. The Corporate right wingers must be worried to death. The U.S. Senate should be voting on her nomination any day now.

What a difference an election makes.

President Obama in Elkhart, Indiana

〈 The President’s visit to Elkhart, Indiana today, where unemployment has tripled to 15% over the last year, underscores the impact of this economic crisis in real terms. Across the political spectrum people are looking for swift action.

〈 The President heard first hand from the people of Elkhart how dire their economic situation is. As we saw during the campaign, the conventional wisdom in Washington does not always reflect what people in America are thinking and experiencing. They are very clear that the Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is needed now.

〈 President Obama’s recovery plan will put Americans back to work doing the work America needs, creating or saving 3-4 million jobs over the next two years while transforming the economy for the 21st century.

〈 The Recovery Plan addresses long-neglected needs in energy, education, healthcare and infrastructure that are critical to laying the foundation for a robust and 21st century economy: investing in rene…

The Treasonous Right

For the last eight years, the right wingers have done nothing but spend, spend, spend on their wars and torcher rooms and give, give, give, to their rich friends.
The people have had it with Republicans and their rich friends and their tax breaks. So what did we do? We took over the congress and voted us a new President. So what do the right wingers do now? They do nothing. Nothing to help. Nothing to reverse the downward spiral they've caused while our country goes further and further into the toilet. The Sauders, and the Pences and the Buyers and the Burtons and the rest of these traitors are worthless....absolutely worthless. Unless of course, when it comes to causing human pain, misery, suffering and death. When it comes to those things, they can't be beat.

The Facts on 'Buy America' and Domestic Sourcing

As the House and Senate debate the merits and specifics of an economic recovery package for the U.S. economy, considerable misinformation has been spread on the impact of including domestic sourcing provisions for infrastructure investment. Some parties have erroneously claimed that such requirements are illegal or could serve as the basis for a wider trade conflict.

The bill that passed the House recently (H.R. 1) contains specific language requiring the use of American-made iron and steel for any infrastructure projects. It is possible that a Senate bill may expand this requirement to all manufactured goods. In truth, these ‘Buy America’ provisions are fully consistent with existing U.S. trade obligations and can help to strengthen the U.S. economy and create jobs.

Below is a string of popular myths being floated by conservatives to strengthen their opposition to the inclusion of the “Buy American” provisions in the economic recovery package and the facts that “debunk” them! Please re…

10 Key Facts about the Employee Free Choice Act

1. America’s workers want to form unions. Research shows nearly 60 million would form a union tomorrow if given the chance.

2. Too few ever get that chance because employers routinely block their efforts to form unions—and our current legal system is too broken to stop them. As many as one-quarter of employers illegally fire workers who try to form unions.

3. The Employee Free Choice Act would give workers a fair chance to form unions to improve their lives by:

* Allowing them to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation.
* Providing mediation and arbitration for first-contract disputes.
* Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first-contract negotiations.

4. In the 110th Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act had widespread support.

5. More than three-quarters of Americans—78 percent—support strong laws that make it easier for employees to bargain for better health care, pensio…