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Showing posts from February, 2011

Stand up against the Attacks on All Working Families!

Despite historic joblessness throughout our State, Indiana Legislators have already slashed unemployment benefits by 25%.
They have introduced broad proposals to lower our wages, decimate the public schools and strip us of our rights for collective bargaining. This is an unprecedented attack on unions, and we are all affected, whether we belong to union or not. Unions set standards for benefits, wages and working conditions. Without collective bargaining rights, the livelihoods of all Hoosiers are driven downward.
We support the Democrat Representatives who have taken a stand to slow down this radical agenda.
This is a historic fight and the voices of all workers must be heard. The time is now to work for good paying jobs, advanced manufacturing, and quality public education. This is not the time to attack the people who make Indiana strong!

Be there. Get on the Bus to Indianapolis.

Buses Leave Every Day Mon-Fri;Feb. 28-March 4 at 7:30 a.m.                               McBride Hall, 1301 …

GOP Anti-Union Bill Dispenser

Social Security victory shows organizing is the way

An Essay by: Bruce Bostick

The developing struggle to protect Social Security from the Republicans and the federal Fiscal Reform Commission won a victory recently in President Obama's State of the Union address. There's an important lesson for us here.

In his speech, Obama said: “To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. And we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities, without slashing benefits for future retirees, and without subjecting American's guaranteed income to the whims of the stock market.”

This is a solid statement that won praise from activists fighting to defend Social Security. Obama took a position in opposition to the findings of the Fiscal Reform Commission that he appointed. His state- ment, further, is in opposition to the divisive push by corporate forces to split young folks from retirees, central to their drive …

Attack on the Public Sector

From The Director’s Desk
All across the country governors and state legislators, as well as local elected officials, are trying to balance their budgets on the back of hard working public employees. All the states and most local municipalities are running huge deficits because they receive less money from the federal government than in the past; not because of the salaries paid to people, who teach our children, plow our snow and maintain our infrastructure. The simple fact of the manner is; our states and local governments are expected to provide more services with less support from our federal government.
The federal and state governments are providing considerably less financial assistance to our local municipalities than they did 30 years ago. The need for the services didn’t go away. The burden of financing these services was forced onto the municipalities and dramatically shifted the costs onto us via local taxes such as property, school and local sales tax.
I read in a recent arti…

Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott

STATEMENT: President Guyott on the defeat of "Right to Work"For Immediate Release
Contact - Jeff Harris, 317-632-9147
Mike Uehlein, 317-610-6634

Statement by Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott

February 24, 2011

Working families in Indiana are thrilled to hear that Governor Daniels, Speaker Bosma, and Senate Leader Long have abandoned the falsely-labeled “right to work” bill. We agree with Governor Daniels’ position that the members of the Indiana General Assembly did not campaign on these issues and so bringing it up during this General Assembly was indeed “a mistake,” as Senator Long termed it.

After rallying all week at the Statehouse, these developments show that when Hoosiers join together and raise our voices in pursuit of fairness and an economy that works for everyone, working families can make a difference. Working people agree with Governor Daniels – now is not the time to be having this conversation – our leaders need to focus on creating middle clas…

Wisconsin's Governor Walker Tells All

Right now a critical battle is playing out in Wisconsin over worker rights.  In an effort to prevent a vote on anti-worker legislation, Democratic legislators left the state.  Thousands of union members and allies continue to rally against the attacks. 

A strong supporter of the legislation, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unknowingly engaged in an extended tactical conversation with a blogger who claimed to be billionaire David Koch.  Read on and view the video below.

The following is an excerpt from an Associated Press article:

"On a prank call that quickly spread across the Internet, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was duped into discussing his strategy to cripple public employee unions, promising never to give in and joking that he would use a baseball bat in his office to go after political opponents.

Walker believed the caller was a conservative billionaire named David Koch, but it was actually a liberal blogger. The two talked for at least 20 minutes - a conversation in which…

The Right to Work for Less

It’s happening again. All across the country efforts are underway to expand the so-called Right to Work laws. To set the record (and the name) straight, right to work for less doesn’t guarantee any rights. In fact, by weakening unions and collective bargaining, it destroys the best job security protection that exists: the union contract. Meanwhile, it allows workers to pay nothing and get all the benefits of union membership. Right to work laws say unions must represent all eligible employees, whether they pay dues or not. This forces unions to use their time and member’s money to provide union benefits to free riders who are not willing to pay their fair share.

Right to work laws lower wages for everyone. The average worker in a right to work state makes about $5,333 a year less than workers in other states ($35,500 compared with $30,167).
Weekly wages are $72 greater in free-bargaining states than in right to work states ($621 versus $549).Working families in states without right to w…

A Great Time At the Indiana Capital

What a great time we had yesterday and today at the Indiana State House. Rallies and demonstrations and prayer services to stop the anti worker legislation that the Republicans are trying to pass.
Finally, today, the Democrats in the House of Representatives went to Illinois to prevent the Republicans from having a quorum and to slow the business down.

I am so proud of them for continuing to look out for Hoosier workers.

They are the greatest.

Is It Ironic or just Sad?

You’ve seen it all on the news. There are crowds of protestors and people speaking out against those in government - and I’m not talking about the Middle East, or am I? Doesn’t it seem strange that there are people half-way around the world fighting to get some of the rights we have here in our country, while good hard-working Americans have to fight to keep those very same rights?

America has been the standard for many over the years for where they would like to be. An example of good hard-working people that stood firm on their convictions, principles and were willing to fight for them.

The “American Dream” was the goal of more than just those of us living in the U.S. Recently we have seen good examples of people rising up saying that they want a better life. They want good jobs and good schools. Many have pointed at the U.S. for what they wanted.

And yet, state after state is turning into a battle ground, because the “haves” are wanting to take out an even bigger piece of the pie …

Steelworkers Lobby in Indianapolis

On February 15th, SOAR members from District 7 joined more than 600 Steelworkers in Indianapolis, Indiana to meet with and lobby their members of the General Assembly. The issues were:

1. The so called "Right to Work" legislation (the freeloader bill) that would reduce wages and increase poverty, and decrease the number of people that have health insurance.

2. Another issue was the Republicans wanting to reduce Unemployment Insurance by 25% making Indiana the fifth lowest state in the country for average UI benefits.

3. A bill that restricts the ability of teachers to bargain for anything other than wages and benefits.

4. And finally, we lobbied for full funding of the CHOICE program which allows seniors to stay in their homes rather than have to go to a nursing home.

By the looks on their faces, you can tell that our SOAR members love to help their union and haven't forgotten the power of unity. The photograph above represents just some of our SOAR members that partici…

The Foxx In The School House

"the worst week ever for workers at the Indiana Statehouse."

Indiana Steelworkers:
More Action Needed NOW!   

“It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this has been the worst week ever for workers at the Indiana Statehouse.”

- Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott

Multiple bills designed to destroy our way of life and take away our rights have been introduced this past week in our state legislature.

Last week we asked you to write letters to Speaker of the House Brian Bosma telling him NOT to hold a hearing on right to work legislation.  Over 5,000 letters have been written to date.  Keep those letters coming!

On Tuesday, 600 Steelworkers converged in Indianapolis to fight back against this anti-worker legislation.  We need to do it again!

We Need More Action Now!

Indiana Steelworkers are being asked to come to the Statehouse next week to show our legislators that they can’t legislate us away.

We need members to come to the Statehouse on the following days:

Monday, February 21, 2011 beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 beginning a…

USW To Congress: Stop Focusing on CEOs

and Help Americans Get Jobs GOP Leadership Fails to Renew Trade Assistance

For Immediate Release: Feb. 16, 2011

Contact: Roy Houseman, 202-778-4384

Pittsburgh -- The United Steelworkers (USW) is urging Congress to reinstate funding for the enhanced Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program begun in 2009 that covers service workers and those whose jobs were exported to China or India due to unfair foreign trade.

The program had services slashed over the weekend when Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to block a bill extending the provision. The program assists workers who have been impacted by trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with job retraining and financial assistance. Opponents are trying to link the passage of future job off-shoring trade agreements to TAA.

Last week's vote reduces services for up to 170,000 Americans, from laid off steelworkers whose work was sent to China to office workers whose jobs have been outsourc…

Is Indiana Senator Ed Charbonneau Anti Union?

Indiana Senate Bill 575 takes away bargaining rights from our school teachers by limiting the bargaining to only wages and benefits.

It does not allow bargaining over working conditions.

Can you imagine working for some misguided, uncaring, nincompoop administrator in a school system and not being allowed to straighten that person out through collective bargaining?

Not all schools have nitwit administrators but when you have one with no common sense, you need to be able to negotiate changes in working conditions.

The saddest thing about this piece of right wing nutty Republican legislation is that my own State Senator is one of the authors and or sponsor.

Ed Charbonneau, from Indiana Senate District 5 is a sponsor of this bill and that really tees me off. This guy should know better.

NFL Players Face Lockout by Team Owners

In early 2008, NFL team owners opted out of the current deal two years early. The owners threatened to lock out the Players when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expired on March 4, 2010. The Players are NOT threatening to strike. The Players would play under the current deal - they are not asking for more.The league generate $8 billion in revenue last year and has seen a 400 percent increase in revenues over the past decade. Each team is worth at least $1 billion dollars. The model has been beneficial to all involved in the business of the game. Since the owners opted out, the responsibility lies with them to answer one question: why doesn’t the current deal work? If the teams are losing money, the owners should share audited financial statements with the Players so that, as business partners, they can help correct the problem.Thankfully, the NFL has remained strong despite the weak economy that has affected most Americans. The Green Bay Packers released limited financial informat…
Event introduces federal bill: ‘Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act’ Contact: Gary Hubbard, 202-778-4384 (O); 202-256-8125 (C); ghubbard@usw.orgWashington, D.C. (Feb. 11, 2011) – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats and USW President Leo W. Gerard to raise their voices yesterday, sending a clear message that the number one national priority is to create jobs.“Americans are demanding that we put jobs first; that we act to invest in our future and help our economy grow,” declared Leader Pelosi at a news conference in a U.S. Capitol room jammed with more than 100 USW members and activists of the union’s Rapid Response Network.
Speakers at the U.S. Capitol Press Event (l-r): U.S. Rep. John Carney, Jr. (D-DE); Barry Mortimer, USW Local 1001 activist at Osram-Sylvania Co., Wellsboro, PA; Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Aaron Patterson, USW Local 1152-L President at Cooper Standard Automotive, Bowling Green, OH; Leo W. Gerard, USW International President; U.S.…

Republicans Can't Follow their own rules

Support Public Education

Will you join us in standing up for our kids and for public education?

The Indiana Federation of Teachers and the Indiana State Teachers Association are joining forces to hold rallies in support of public education in Indianapolis, East Chicago, and Anderson!

We'll be standing together to have our voices heard! Let's tell the General Assembly that they can't fix the education system by demonizing workers and draining funding from our schools. Please plan on attending one of these rallies to show your support for our kids, our schools and our future!

Indianapolis Rally
Tuesday, February 8th
Indiana Statehouse, South Atrium (inside the Statehouse)
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
5 p.m. Eastern Time

Lake County Rally
Wednesday, February 9th
4725 Indianapolis Blvd.
East Chicago, IN 46312
4:30 p.m. Central Time
(Outside event - Dress warm)

Anderson Rally
Thursday, February 10th
4610 S. Madison Ave.
Anderson, IN 46013
4:30 p.m. Eastern Time
(Outside event - Dress warm)

Join us at any of…

Hoosier Workers Under Attack in State Legislature

Backed heavily by out-of-state corporate interests, the Indiana legislature has introduced so-called “Right to Work” legislation that is designed to wipe out unions and weaken workers’ ability to bargain. Despite its clever name, “Right to Work” has nothing to do an individual’s ability to work. It is about trying to weaken or eliminate the strength of the collective voice of workers in the workplace.

Negative impacts of “Right to Work”:

Drives down wages for all workers: Union and non-union workers in states with these laws make an average of $5,538 less a year than those that live in states without the law.
Reduces benefits for all workers: Employers in “rtw” states are less likely to offer benefits and workers are losing health insurance coverage 70 percent faster than those in other states.
Drains Billions for Indiana’s fragile economy: With the reduction of wages and benefits, Indiana’s economy stands to lose an estimated $17.3 billion as fewer dollars are circulated through the ec…

"Right to Work" is Bad for Indiana

Corporate-backed politicians claim that “right to work” for less rules will help create jobs. In reality, these laws are another attempt by Big Business to force workers like us to give up the hard-earned wages and benefits we fought for at the bargaining table. “Right to work” for less:

Won't Create Jobs
We’re told this bill will create much- needed jobs, but that’s just what they told us about NAFTA, trade with China and deregulating Wall Street, too. It’s another corporate lie. “Right to work” for less laws actually lower wages, leaving workers like us with less money to spend and weakening our state’s economy.

Lowers Wages for Everyone
Greedy CEOs love “right to work” for less laws because they drive down workers’ wages and benefits. In fact, the average worker in states with these laws makes more than $5,500 less a year. In this economy, who can afford a $5,500 pay cut? (Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2010)

Endangers Worksite Safety and Health
These laws weaken unions so we ca…

A Memory Spoof

Indiana Senator Mike Delph's Bigotry

Indiana Senator Mike Delph, a Republican from the Carmel area has proposed that Indiana become like Arizona in dealing with "illegal immigration".

In an interview not long ago he said that he's "concerned about the exploitation of cheap labor for profit and the exploitation of human beings that's going on today in the state of Indiana."

I think if Senator Delph was truly concerned about the exploitation of human beings that's going on in the state of Indiana, he would be introducing legislation that would make it illegal for companies to permanently replace workers if they are locked out or find it necessary to strike a company.

To me, Senator Delph's proposed legislation is nothing more than his way of expressing his bigotry.