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Showing posts from December, 2013

48th Wedding Anniversary

It was 48 years ago today that I married Elaine Adams. We got hitched at the City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana on December 11th, 1965 with a dinner afterwards at the Hotel Gary.When I think of how long I’ve known Elaine I really do have to think about it. Let’s see…I met her in 7th grade. We were in the same home-room together. Home-rooms were the first period of the class day and were made up of students according to alphabetical last names.I remember so well how pretty I thought she was. Although I had my eye on her, she wouldn’t give me the time of day. As a matter of fact, she teased me. She sat a few seats in front of me and I do remember our eyes meeting once and she just batted them at me. I couldn’t let anyone know I was interested in her because I was on the football team, and we weren’t really supposed to be very interested in girls. Most of the gals dated Freshman boys anyway.
It wasn’t until we were Juniors that we began dating. It was in August at the beginning of fo…

Education Is The Key

How do we get our fellow retirees and active union members to become more active in the fight to preserve Medicare and Social Security?  We must continue educating them. 

On October 3, SOAR Chapter 11-4, a SHIP (Senior Health Information Program) Representative presented a Medicare informational program to help our retirees better  understand and weave through the tangles of information.  Members of SOAR, AFSCM, AFGE, and people of the community attended.  Attendees had many questions and sharing of their own problems and successes dealing with the program. SHIP Representatives are volunteers who go through extensive training, so they are eager to share with any group or individual who many need help. 

I learned of SHIP through SOAR and I encourage all of our chapters to reach out to the SHIP Representative in your area.

Thank you to SOAR for keeping us educated so we may continue to educate our members.

Bonnie Carey, President of SOAR Chapter 11-4, Bettendorf, Iowa

Report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are here and while this may be no sweat for folks who have prepared, it’s a bit stressful for those of us with some shopping left to do.  Because Congress is clearly uninterested in putting more Americans back to work, your pals at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) are asking Santa for “more jobs.” But while we wait on Washington and hope St. Nick can help, we can still take the power of job creation into our own hands.

How? Buy American. We spend billions of dollars every holiday season on gifts for our loved ones. So let’s put that money to good use and support manufacturing jobs in the process! Why? When we invest in things made in our own communities, we invest in the future of our country. And there are several websites and directories that can help consumers do just that.

Here are two websites with products made here, at home, in union businesses. In the United States, Labor 411 hosts a directory of over …

Senate Finally Fixes The Filibuster

The U.S. Senate finally voted to change the rules and end the practice of filibusters on presidential nominations to the executive branch and to the courts (except the Supreme Court).

The abuse of the filibuster to undermine policies that the minority could not defeat through the normal legislative process has harmed our democratic institutions and had to be addressed. With this change, the Senate has restored fairness and honor to the nomination and confirmation process for executive and judicial nominations.

Prior to this reform, the Senate was unable to act on issues important to all Americans. The President will be able to fill executive positions critical to creating middle-class jobs, fixing the housing crisis, cleaning our air and water, holding big corporations accountable, and so much more.

The Senate can now move forward and end the crisis in our judiciary system. Too many vacancies exist in our federal courts. They can now confirm judicial appointments ending the empty-benc…

Keeping Health Care Promises

Much has been written and televised lately about a commitment to allow people to keep their health care if they like it. Our politicians in Washington are crying out that a promise made should be kept and that other options are more expensive. I agree to a point.

What I do not understand is why all of a sudden it is a miscarriage of justice to change health care plans for people. This has been happening for years to our retirees and other workers around the country. Many tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of our retirees have received similar letters in the past notifying them of a change or cancellation of their health care by their former employers. The big difference, as I see it, is that we had a written agreement, not a campaign promise, which was broken. Why did they not speak up for us then?

The USW has been in court many times defending our position that we traded raises for benefits and have that understanding in writing. Too many times the courts have ruled we d…

Beneficiaries Celebrate the New Year with a COLA

Many people ring in the new year with champagne. People who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) get to ring it in with a COLA. For 2014, more than 60 million Americans will get a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefit payments.        The 1.5 percent increase begins with benefits for more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2014, and payments to more than eight million SSI recipients in late December 2013.
Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $117,000, up from $113,700. Of the estimated 165 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2014, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result.

Learn more by reading the press release at

Source: Social Secu…