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Showing posts from April, 2009

Rally to Save American Jobs

Click on the flyer above to enlarge
Suggested transportation:

§ CTA Blue Line comes right to Federal Building

§ South Shore train from N.W. Indiana to Van Buren Station arrives at 1:17 p.m. and cost is $11.00 roundtrip, $5.50 for Seniors.

§ Van Buren train station is 5 blocks from Federal Plaza.

Russ Stilwell on Employee Free Choice

Representative Russ Stilwell is the Indiana State House Majority Leader and also a former member of the UMWA. A friend to labor, Representative Stilwell has always stood up for the working class of Indiana and now is no different. Rep. Stilwell understands why America needs the Employee Free Choice Act and is not shy about telling people.

“The opponents of this legislation, mainly big greedy corporations, think that after years of trampling all over workers rights that now we’re going to believe them when they say they want to protect their employees by forcing the secret ballot election process on them, that is just ridiculous,” said Stilwell. “We know better than to trust that these corporations have their employees best interests in mind, if they did they would allow their workers to organize if they wanted to. Not to mention the Employee Free Choice Act does not do away with the secret ballot, it just lets the employees decide if they want it or not.”

“I encourage all of you to…

Unions and Rights

Chicago - In this wonderful Country of ours where freedom of speech is a tradition, the spokesman for the National Right to Work Committee abused the privilege with his confusion about unions, in his letter to the "Voice of the People" last week.

The truth about the Right to Work Committee's philosophy is the so-called right to work in a union shop getting:

union wages and benefitsunion protection and securityunion representation, and
union collective bargaining...all without paying union dues.

Isn't that the same as:

Getting the benefits of a community without paying taxes?Subscribing to the Tribune without paying the carrier?Being a member of a (religious) congregation without contributing?If a worker does not want to pay union dues he has the free, American right to find a job where the workers have not elected to have a union. In this Great Country a citizen does not say the President is not my President because I did not vote for him. In this Great Country a worker…

Marijuana – what a beautiful plant it is.

Believe it or not, graduating from high school in 1961 and serving in the navy during the Vietnam era, and living several years in Starke County, Indiana, where the stuff is (so I’m told) growing all over the place, I just never did know what it looked like.

Then one day, a friend of mine brought the subject up and I mentioned that I’d like to grow a plant to see what it looked like. He brought me five seeds which I planted. The one that germinated first looked the most healthy, so I discarded the others and nurtured the one plant.
Eventually, after repotting it several times until it was finally in a pot about a foot in diameter, it reached the ceiling of my greenhouse. What a georgeous plant it was with such beautiful leaves.

I was going on vacation, so told my friend that he better come and get it. It wasn’t until later that I learned that growing the stuff was against the law.

What a stupid law, and what a dumb thing it is to try to eradicate it. The state police and sheriff’s off…

Unemployment Insurance Benefits at Risk

Click on Flyer to enlarge it.

Let’s make our voices heard – Please:
Get on the Bus and help us tell our
Representatives to protect benefits for
laid off workers!
Bus leaves McBride Hall at 6:00 A.M. sharp &
will return around 3:00 P.M. – a morning snack and a box lunch provided!
Seating on the bus is limited ACT NOW

Please call 219-886-2596 to reserve your spot on the bus.

Don’t forget that you will pass through metal detectors to enter government building.
Call Robin at 219-881-6224 if you have any questions regarding the trip.

CEO Pay A Bitter Pill for Seniors

Struggling to afford your medicines? Wondering where your prescription money goes? The AFL-CIO’s new Executive PayWatch web site, reports that much of it goes straight into the CEOs’ wallets. And I’m not just referring to the drug companies, either.

A few examples of annual pay:

Johnson & Johnson $29.1 million
Abbott Laboratories $28.3 million
Merck $25.1 million
Wyeth $24.2 million
NiSource $2.5 million

According to The New York Times, the 2003 Medicare Part D drug law has proven to be “a financial windfall larger than even the most optimistic Wall Street analysts have predicted.” The law prohibits Medicare from negotiating volume discounts with drug manufacturers, and as a result retirees in the now-privatized Part D plans pay 58% more than under plans administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs which is allowed to negotiate price discounts. NIPSCO retirees fall into this category.

Greedy CEO’s are ruining our country. Would NIPSCO see their way clear to increase the pensi…

Robert C. Skaggs Jr., CEO of NiSource Inc.

According to the AFL-CIO Executive Pay Database:

Robert C. Skaggs Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
NiSource Inc.

In 2007, Robert C. Skaggs Jr. raked in $2,494,755 in total compensation. In the previous year the CEO of this company made $1,232,745. Total CEO compensation has increased by 102%.

NiSource is the parent company of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO).

By going to the Executive Pay Database, you can see how that compares with your wage.

Generations Must Stand United for Employee Free Choice Act

By Barbara J. Easterling
President, Alliance for Retired Americans

Our nation’s economic crisis is affecting nearly everyone. Unless you are getting one of those big Wall Street bonuses, you are probably struggling to pay your bills, keep your home, or afford to see a doctor or fill a prescription. There is no longer any doubt that the fundamentals of our economy are broken.

One way out of this mess – and a way to help both current and future retirees – is for Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.

The Employee Free Choice Act recognizes that our middle class is in trouble because more and more, big corporations hold all the cards. As they lavish their CEOs with bonuses and golden parachutes, they slash jobs and cut all the wrong corners on customer service and safety. They break their promises to workers and retirees, leaving millions without health care and retirement plans.

But standing up for yourself by forming a union hasn’t been easy. One in five workers trying to form …

Religious Organizations and Faith Groups Working Hard for the Passage of the Employee Free Choice Act

Post by Stewart Acuff
March 10, 2009

Led by Interfaith Worker Justice, religious organizations and faith groups have been working hard for the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act.

A dozen faith groups and 50 faith leaders came together March 9 at the Methodist House on Capitol Hill to reaffirm their support for the Employee Free Choice Act and to discuss the theological foundation of that support from Judaism, Catholicism, and Evangelical Christianity.

Rev. Adam Taylor of Sojourners quoted liberally from both the Old and New Testaments including Isaiah 58, Jeremiah 22 and St. Luke to make the point that God commands the faithful to fight poverty and inequality. He went on to say that in a society and economy as unequal as ours, organizing unions and restoring collective bargaining is one of the most important ways to fight poverty and inequality.

Citing the Papal Novarum, now 150 years old, Dr. Joseph McCartin said that Catholic teaching has long held that forming unions and protecting…

IUN prof: U.S. needs Employee Free Choice Act

No word has been more overused and abused in recent memory than the word "free." After two decades of free markets and free trade, the U.S. economy is in crisis and spiraling downward. We have learned there was nothing free about unregulated markets; capital was "free" to invest in anything, including worthless paper. We, in contrast, are stuck with the bill. "Free" trade has stripped the United States of its manufacturing base and left us with declining wages and standards of living. In Indiana, the result has been a dramatic increase in plant closings as companies shipped their work first to Mexico and now to Southeast Asia. That certainly was never my understanding of the word "free." The Bill of Rights asserts some of our "freedoms" as citizens, including the right to free speech and free assembly. But these freedoms are equally misleading when it comes to workers and the workplace. When we are at work, we do not have the free…

Second Bill of Rights

The Second Bill of Rights was a proposal made by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944 to suggest that the nation had come to recognize, and should now implement, a second bill of rights. Roosevelt did not argue for any change to the United States Constitution; he argued that the second bill of rights was to be implemented politically, not by federal judges. Roosevelt's stated justification was that the "political rights" guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights "proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness." Roosevelt's remedy was to create an "economic bill of rights" which would guarantee: A job with a living wageFreedom from unfair competition and monopoliesHomeownershipMedical careEducationRecreationRoosevelt stated that having these rights would guarantee American security and that America's place in the world depended upon how far th…

Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps

Do you know a young person age 16-24 who is looking for a job. You may be able to help them with this program. It pays $8.50 per hour.
There are eligibility requirements, of course, but it's worth looking in to.
On the website is a way to apply and there are several questions answered.
Click here if your interested in knowing more about the program.

Sounds like a great deal to me for a young person looking for work.

Congressman Joe Donnelly Supports Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)

"As you know, I believe that it is the right of every worker to organize and bargain collectively for fair pay, benefits, and appropriate working conditions if they so choose. Currently, when non-union employees want to organize and join a union, they can petition their employer simply by collecting signed authorization cards. However, the employer has the option to force an election governed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The Employee Free Choice Act would allow workers who choose not to pursue the NLRB election process to certify a union as their collective bargaining representative by collecting signed authorization cards from a majority of the eligible workforce. In addition, the bill provides terms for mediation and arbitration during the negotiation of an initial contract and establishes stronger workplace enforcement of our labor laws.

I understand that good labor policy requires a careful balance between the financial challenges facing employers and the ne…