Monday, January 31, 2011

Indiana AFL-CIO Reacts to Chamber Study

For Immediate Release: Monday, Jan. 31, 2011


INDIANAPOLIS – Today Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott issued the following statement responding the to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s “study” on the so-called right to work law.

“It is disappointing that at a time when we should be having an open and honest debate about building an economy that works for all Hoosiers, the Chamber would publish such misleading and distorted documents.

Despite the leading questions, the deceptively appealing slogans and the overinflated promises of jobs, the simple fact remains that this legislation will devastate Indiana’s working families. Based on experiences of other states we know that wages will be driven down, benefits will be cut, workplace safety will suffer and the overall quality of life will decline.

Given all the facts, this is something no Hoosier could ever support.

The Chamber clearly has its own agenda and will do and say whatever it takes to implement it. However, if Indiana is to achieve true economic sustainability we cannot always put profits before people and ideology before facts.

We must restore balance so that our businesses, communities and workers can all have access to economic opportunity and that’s why defeating the so-called right to work law is so important.”

The Indiana State AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) is a federation of 800 local unions across the state belonging to 50 International Unions. In total, the Indiana State AFL-CIO represents more than 300,000 working Hoosiers.

For more information on please visit www.in.aflcio.org or call 1-800-638-1217.

Friday, January 28, 2011

There is Power in Unity


There's nothing more satisfying than to be able to help workers against an employer that has no regard for those who have made the company profit. This company in Elkhart, Indiana by the name of American Electronics Components has been in negotiations with USW Local 1056 for two or three months. The local union consists of nine ladies.

This company refuses to bargain after offering their workers a raise of only 18 cents over three years. Oh, they also offered to increase their workers medical insurance premiums 40% for an employee and an increase in premium of 60% for a family member. Some workers pay more than $200 a week for their health care.

This company should be ashamed to have the name "American" in its name.

Power to the workers, and shame on this company and its management.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nine Ladies Need our help

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

If you live in Northern Indiana, I'm pretty sure you're not going golfing tomorrow so why not take a leisurely drive for breakfast or lunch.

A company in Elkhart, Indiana by the name of American Electronics Components has been in negotiations with USW Local 1056 for two or three months. The local union consists of nine ladies.

This company refuses to bargain after offering their workers a raise of 18 cents over three years. Oh, they also offered to increase their medical insurance premiums 40% for an employee and an increase in premium of 60% for a family member. Some workers pay more than $200 a week for their health care.

The company needs assistance from our retirees in learning why it's a good idea to bargain in good faith.

If you can help us with an informational picket tomorrow, January 27th, please do so. The picketing will be at 1101 Lafayette St., (near Oakland Ave) in Elkhart, Indiana, from 9 am till 11 am EDT.

We would appreciate your being with us, but if you will be unable to help with the picketing, perhaps you could make a phone call to the company and encourage it to come back to the bargaining table. Their phone number is 574-295-6330. The plant manager name is Keith Vanderbosch. If he's not there, ask to speak to the owner.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Social Security and Unemployment Cure

The truth is ... If Congress does nothing — makes no changes at all — Social Security is projected to deliver full guaranteed benefits until at least 2037. Even after 2037, again without any changes, the trust funds will continue to pay more than 75% of benefits for decades into the future.

To date, Social Security has paid benefits in full and on time for nearly 75 years. If Congress enacts modest changes, Social Security will be able to meet 100% of its benefit obligations indefinitely. As one of the most successful government programs ever, the administrative costs to run it — less than 2% — are far below what Wall Street will ever charge investors for private retirement accounts.

What really needs to be done is to scrap the cap. Everyone should be required to pay the same percentage of Social Security taxes regardless of income. Currently, I think the cap is about $105,000. In other words, once a persons income reaches that amount, they don't pay any more into Social Security. Well, they should.

Plus, allowing people to retire and collect Social Security benefits at age 55 would open up the job market and alleviate the unemployment problem.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Super Circus Begins Today

Today's House of Representatives promises to be a real circus as Republicans argue as to why the Health Care Reform law passed last year should be repealed.
Call your U.S. Representative and tell him/her to absolutely vote no and to keep the law in place. They are scheduled to vote tomorrow.
  • Republicans want to take away discounts on prescription drugs that seniors get when they fall into the Medicare Part D donut hole.
  • Republicans want the donut hole to never go away.
  • Republicans want children to be denied medical insurance if they have a pre-existing condition.
  • Republicans want to deny free annual check ups and preventive screenings for seniors.
  • Republicans want your medical insurance company to be able to have annual and life time caps on how much they have to pay out for care.
  • Republicans want seniors with chronic conditions to go to nursing homes rather than stay at home.
  • Republicans want Medicare to go broke.
  • Republicans want millions of people to be denied coverage.
  • Republicans want to add $230 billion dollars to the deficit.
  • Republicans want to take subsidies away from employers who wish to provide insurance to retirees.
  • Republicans want your insurance premiums to be used to pay their CEO's as much as they want.
  • Republicans want your children to be denied the ability to stay on your medical insurance until they reach the age of 26.
Today is the day for ACTION

Friday, January 14, 2011

Health Care Repeal Vote Next Wednesday!

After delaying a vote in the House of Representatives to repeal the health care reform law in the wake of the shootings in Tucson, the U.S. House Republican leadership announced on Thursday that the House will debate H.R. 2, the repeal bill, next Tuesday and Wednesday, January 18 and 19. The House will begin debate Tuesday evening, and the vote will occur on Wednesday evening. The Alliance sent a blast fax today to all members of the House opposing H.R. 2. The letter states that repealing the law will negatively impact America’s seniors in the following specific ways:

• Revokes significant drug discounts for Medicare beneficiaries who fall in the Part D doughnut hole;
• Revokes free annual check-ups and preventive screenings;
• Revokes subsidies for employers who provide health care coverage for their retirees; and
• Revokes Medicaid options that allow older Americans with chronic conditions to live at home rather than in institutions.

Furthermore, the 2010 law extends Medicare solvency by 12 years and cuts the federal deficit by $230 billion the first ten years - and by more than $1 trillion in the next decade. Therefore, repealing the law would be detrimental to Medicare’s finances and add to the nation’s deficit. To view the letter, go to http://bit.ly/ht1vqN.

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What Social Security Opponents and Many on the Fiscal Commission Don’t Want Young People To Know...

If you believe seniors earn too much money, then raising the Social Security retirement age is right for you!

(Raising the retirement age would reduce benefits. Benefits are already too low. The average monthly benefit for a worker is $1,164.)

If you like the idea of continued benefit cuts, then raising the retirement age is right for you!

(The normal retirement age has already been increased, for some it is as high as 67. This means a 30% reduction in benefits for those retiring at 62.)

If you like the idea of competing with your grandkids for jobs, then raising the retirement age is right for you!

(In April 2010, the unemployment rate for workers 55 and older was 6.7%, it was 19.6% for those under 25.)

If you welcome working more years before retirement, then raising the retirement age is right for you!

(In 1899, a 20-year-old could expect to work 39 years. In 1949, a 20 year-old could expect to work 42 years. Today, they can expect to work 45 years. Raising the retirement age would increase this number further.)

If you think the hard-earned benefits of a retired worker should be used to pay down the deficit, then raising the retirement age is right for you!

(Social Security has a dedicated funding source and has not contributed a penny to the nation’s economic woes. The deficit is the result of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, two wars, and the lingering effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression.)

If you think raising the retirement age will only affect seniors, think again!

(Raising the retirement age will not affect those already retired, but those 50 and under.)

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Obama Created More Jobs In One Year Than Bush Created In Eight


This morning, the Labor Department released its employment data for December, showing that the U.S. economy ended the year by adding 113,000 private sector jobs, knocking the unemployment rate down sharply from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent — its lowest rate since July 2009. The “surprising drop — which was far better than the modest step-down economists had forecast — was the steepest one-month fall since 1998.” October and November’s jobs numbers were also revised upward by almost 80,000 each. Still, 14.5 million Americans remain unemployed, and jobs will have to be created much faster in coming months for the country to pull itself out of the economic doldrums.

Responding the jobs report, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that President Obama and the Democratic Congress have created “more jobs in 2010 than President Bush did over eight years.”

Indeed, from February 2001, Bush’s first full month in office, through January 2009, his last, the economy added just 1 million jobs. By contrast, in 2010 alone, the economy added at least 1.1 million jobs. This chart, produced by Pelosi’s office, demonstrates the difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration on jobs:

As the Wall Street Journal noted in the last month of Bush’s term, the former president had the “worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records.” And job creation under Bush was anemic long before the recession began. Bush’s supply-side economics “fostered the weakest jobs and income growth in more than six decades,” along with “sluggish business investment and weak gross domestic product growth,” the Center for American Progress’ Joshua Picker explained. “On every major measurement” of income and employment, “the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms,” the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein observed, parsing Census data.

Source: Women of Steel

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't Fall For It

Wall Street executives want to convince people in their 20's that Social Security will not be there when they retire. It's a lot easier to take something away from people if they don't think they are going to get it anyway. Others on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are considering raising the retirement age as a way to deal with the nation's fiscal deficit. They hope you, your children and your grandchildren won't fight their efforts, but they are not telling you that it will drastically cut benefits.

Don't fall for it.

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans

Monday, January 10, 2011

So-called "Right to Work" Legislation

So-called “Right to Work” Legislation

· Backed heavily by out-of-state corporate interests, “Right to Work” legislation is designed to wipe out unions by bankrupting them and weakening their ability to bargain.

· Despite its clever name, “Right to Work” has nothing to do an individual’s ability to work. It’s about eliminating the voices of working people from the workplace and politics.

· “Right to Work” restricts the freedom of employers and workers to negotiate the agreement that is best for that workplace—a right which exists in most of America and most of the world. It substitutes the judgment of the government for that of the people doing the work.

· Being a traditionally industrial state with large Republican majorities in the Statehouse, Indiana is now the top target of these groups. If they are successful in passing “Right to Work” here, it will create a domino effect throughout the Midwest and the heart of the labor movement.

Negative impacts of “Right to Work”:

· Drive 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.

· Reduce 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 economy by Hoosier workers.

· Hurts workplace safety: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the rate of workplace deaths is 50 percent higher in “RTW” states.

· Reduces the overall quality of life: In addition to the decreased buying power of those in “RTW” states, the infant mortality rate is 16 percent greater while the poverty rate for all people is 19 percent higher and is 26 percent higher for children.

· Does not create jobs: Despite what the opposition would have you believe, “RTW” laws have no positive impact on state’s economies. Indiana’s unemployment rate is currently 9.8%. North Carolina, a state with a comparable population and economic base that has “rtw” laws on the books has an unemployment rate of 9.7%.

· Does not prevent businesses from expanding: A recent survey of business executives found that out of 26 factors considered when locating a business, “RTW” laws ranked 24th.
Source: Indiana AFL-CIO

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Crazy people in Congress

Over the past several months, we have worked hard to help congress and President Obama finally pass legislation that reforms our health care system and we were successful.

Because of these reforms, today:

  • Children can remain on their parents’ policy until they reach age 26.
  • Insurance companies can no longer impose annual or lifetime limits on payment for care.
  • You can’t be charged extra for obtaining emergency care at an emergency room that isn’t in the insurance company’s network of providers.
  • Your coverage can’t be canceled when you get ill and no child can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Insurance companies must spend a certain percentage of the premiums they collect on actual care.
  • Retirees on Medicare who end up in the Medicare Part D donut hole will get a 50% discount on brand named drugs.
  • Those on Medicare can get free screening for cancer and other diseases.
Anti working family and retiree forces were successful in becoming the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and today they become the majority.

Since right wingers only consider passing legislation that causes human pain, misery, suffering or death, one of the first things on their agenda is to take away these much needed benefits.

Fortunately, working families and retirees still have a majority in the U.S. Senate and we have a friend (President Obama) in the White House.

So, you must ask yourselves, why would Republicans try to overturn this health care reform legislation when they know full well that they’re wasting their time? The answer is plain and simple. They want to put on a show for their insurance company friends.