Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Little Labor History To End The Year

Until recently, some people would say that unions were no longer needed....that we have all of the protections that we need already.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

American workers in 2008 are beginning to feel a strong and stinging economic pinch - the result of years of allowing corporate greed to fester RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES.

Years of allowing politicians, who were really bought and paid for by rich business owners, to twist those labor laws that we thought we had backwards and upside down.

It is the fault of the middle class people too, for being so naive. In plain english, we as a group are easily bullshitted.

Our politicians pass laws that hurt workers but creatively name them so they sound like they help workers. All because they know that most people won't look past the headline or title.

Now in 2008, we find that what we thought was there to protect us, is almost gone. The chickens are not in every pot anymore and in fact, they have finally come home to roost.

The good news is that history does repeat itself and the American workers are awakening to the fact that unions give them security and strength.

When American workers are pushed around, they will stand together to survive. Union membership increased last year for the first time in decades - Get ready for 2009 because real change is coming in more ways than one.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Real News Exposes A Very Real Agenda

What goes on behind the scenes in Washington is very interesting. Most Americans have no idea about what some in Congress are doing as the water boys for BIG BUSINESS.
Coming soon to a government near you - a lengthy time period where it's not going to fly anymore.

In this coming decade, American workers will be joining UNIONS and banding together in record numbers to preserve the American Middle class way of life. Soon, the CORPORATE THUGS and their high priced labor avoidance partners will be neutralized by the Employee Free Choice Act!

No longer will unfair employers be able to break the law at will in order to hold their employees back from organizing.

The American people achieved every single right and liberty they cherish by joining together. To stand in the way of that,especially in regard to how they support their families, is absolutely un-American.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mayor James Sottile Ruins Mans Christmas

Looks like Mayor James Sottile gets the Grinch Award for Christmas 2008. A man who worked for the City of Kingston in the Recreation Department was among those to be cut in the Mayors careless budget proposal. The Common Council, while reviewing the Mayors work did some basic math and realized that there were ways to trim the budget and save some of the peoples jobs.
The Common Council rejected the Mayors proposal and later, unnanimously voted to override the Mayors VETO of their changes, once again saving those jobs.

With the Councils budget, this particular Recreation department job wasn't totally salvaged but it was brought back to a part-time position. The man that was involved was grateful even though it would still a dramatic change for him and his family.

Much to his suprise, he received word that the Mayor was laying him off totally. The Mayor would not fund the position no matter what the Council voted for.

The saddest part about this is - The man finds out about this out during the week of Christmas. How nice of the Mayor!

So listen to the words in the video about the Grinch and think about how those words so fittingly apply to the Mayor of the City of Kingston.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gee, But My Boss Says Having A Union Can't Help Us! Still Another Reason To Pass The Employee Free Choice Act!

Here is an interesting fact. When faced with an organizing campaign -most companies will tell their employees that unions can't do anything for them. If having a Union couldn't help the workers, why would a company spend money to stop the people from having one???

Because UNIONS improve the people's standards - that's why - and it's worth the thousands of dollars that it costs them to stop their own people from improving themselves.

Here is a sample of what is available for them to buy to hold their employees down......this is BIG BUSINESS at its best!

Supervisors Can Keep You Union-Free© Video Series

Your company wants to remain union free and your front line is made up of supervisors. They interact with employees daily, they represent the company to employees, and they are your most effective communication tool. Yet, when you need them most, when a union organizer comes calling... are they ready?

Your supervisors need to understand unions, union organizers and the issues surrounding a union organizing drive. It's essential if your supervisors are going to help maintain your company's union-free status. "Supervisors Can Keep You Union-Free," is the most comprehensive video series on the subject available today, and has been updated and improved to offer you an unsurpassed supervisory training tool.

The "Supervisors Can Keep You Union Free" training series consists of 5 programs and a training manual and can be purchased as a package or individually:

#1 - "Unions: How they Affect Supervisors, Companies and Employees"
When they find out how much a union can disrupt their work life, supervisors become willing, passionate participants in the union-avoidance campaign. This video lays the groundwork for the series, and gives the audience a taste of life under a union contract.

#2 - "Making Unions Unnecessary" The best way to win a union campaign is never to have one in the first place. This video shows your supervisors how good, basic management skills can keep a union from ever getting a foot in your company's door.

#3 - "How To Stop Cardsigning"
Once the organizer shows up, your supervisors need to move quickly and confidently to stop the union's momentum.

#4 - "The Union Campaign: Communicating To Employees" The winner in a union campaign is usually the side that does the best job of communicating to the employees. This video shows your supervisors what they can't do or say...but more importantly, it shows them what they CAN and MUST do and say to beat the union.

#5 -"Getting 'NO' Votes"
An NLRB election date is scheduled, and the union activity increases. In this video, your supervisors see and hear what to expect, how to counter the union, how to promote the company...and how to eventually win the election.

The Trainer's Manual

"Supervisors Can Keep You Union-Free" is supported by a Trainer's Manual that helps the discussion leader reinforce the lessons and information provided on the videos. The Manual provides materials that can be used in the discussion sessions, and makes specific recommendations for achieving maximum results. The Manual's "user-friendly" design facilitates additional learning through interactive discussion points, handouts, role-play exercises and much more. Get A Free Sample

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finally, A New Secretary Of Labor Who Is Not Against Labor

Cuts to overtime pay. Safety regulations gutted. Tax dollars used for corporate giveaways. Mining disaster cover-ups. Weakening every law on the books that protected American workers

These are just a few "highlights" from Elaine Chao's deplorable tenure as President Bush's Secretary of Labor. What a disaster she was for all of us who work for a paycheck.

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao made a mockery of her office, stripping workers of basic protections and promoting corporate interests.

But change is coming. President-elect Obama has just named Rep. Hilda Solis of California, a Board Member of American Rights at Work, as the next Secretary of Labor.
We will finally have a Secretary who will actually protect working people – not just big business.

Rep. Solis has been a member of that board for over five years, and she's been a champion of progressive causes for decades. The AFL-CIO wholeheartedly supports her for this important position.
She has her work cut out for her – it will take years to undo the damage caused by Secretary Chao's irresponsible policies.

What should be first on Rep. Solis' list of priorities?

Passing the Employee Free Choice Act: The Employee Free Choice Act will make it easier for workers to form unions and bargain for better wages and benefits.
Supporting Workplace Safety: Elaine Chao's policies contributed to more than 400,000 worker injuries and five deaths. It's time to keep workers safe by strengthening and enforcing worker protections and holding mines and other companies accountable for illegal actions.
Protecting Workers from Wage Theft: The Labor Department must ensure that workers are paid what they earn or are due; employers who break the law should be held accountable.
Raising the Minimum Wage: Not only does minimum wage need to be raised, but the Earned Income Tax Credit needs to be increased so that all full-time workers earn a living wage.
Supporting Working Families: Workers shouldn't have to choose between being productive workers and good family members; paid sick days, family leave and flexible work arrangements mean healthy, secure families and a robust workforce.
Ending the "Supervisor Scam": Under Bush's leadership, workers were stripped of their right to organize when mid-level workers – from nurses to retail employees – were suddenly named "supervisors," and thus prevented from joining unions.

This is a welcome change that will directly affect each and every worker in the United States. The last eight years brought nothing but anti-worker decisions from this important office. Now we will once again see what a real Secretary of Labor does to protect the interests of all working people. The last one, Chao - was a political puppet bought and paid for by big business.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader On The Auto Bailout: Republican Senators Motive Is To Break Unions

The following is a statement from consumer advocate Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman, director of the advocacy group Essential Action:
In an effort to break the United Auto Workers -- a union that historically has been responsible for raising wages and benefits not just for unionized auto workers but for all working Americans -- Senate Republicans are apparently willing to permit the collapse of the U.S. auto industry.

Unionized auto workers have made steady concessions over the last quarter century, including in the 2007 contract, which will have many new workers start jobs at $14 an hour. These employees will be making about half of what their co-workers earn.

It is both an outrage and illogical for the Senate Republicans to suggest UAW worker wages and benefits should be driven down to the levels at non-unionized Japanese plants in the United States. It is an outrage because it disrespects the hard and dangerous work done by auto workers, explicitly aims to undermine the benefits of workers joining together to exercise their right to bargain collectively, and accelerates the United States' trajectory to ever-descending wages and benefits. It is illogical, too. Although the Japanese plants keep wages close to UAW rates as an anti-union strategy, they can always lower their wages further, on a unilateral basis, in a never-ending race-to-the-bottom.

The action by the Senate Republicans is extraordinarily reckless, challenging the most important institution for advancing working peoples' living standards -- unions -- and threatening to worsen drastically an already severe recession.

Even the Republicans' sense of political self-interest seems dimmed by their anti-union zealotry.
Senate Republicans may think they gain political points by standing against assistance to a major industry, but they will suffer political damage lasting generations if they permit the U.S. auto industry to collapse.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bad Economy and Bailouts? Don't Blame The Unions!

Every working person - union and non-union should watch this and pass it on.

It's about time that the line of crap that comes out of the rich mouths of management and those bought and paid for by them are exposed for what they are - bullshitters.

Bullshitters that attempt to brainwash working people to agree that having any type of standard of living in the workplace is wrong and bad. That kind of thinking and the effectiveness of those bullshit words on the middleclass mind is about to come to a quick end. Almost too late for some.

Just ask the IBM retirees across the country who trusted that IBM would "take care of them" as long as they didn't unionize. They are now openly questioning "Big Blues" intention for backing legislation to withdraw promised pension benefits - all while they are experiencing huge profits! IBM gave those employees everything they ever wanted except one thing - A CONTRACT!

Without that, they can give and they can take from you
"at-will" because without a contract in the United States you are referred to as an "at will Employee". Read your blessed company policy - last page.

That means they can screw you "at will" - even years later.

"There is an old saying - I pay my union dues now - you will pay your non-union dues later"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Free Air : Air Heads Tracking Wrong Employees

Hudson Valley Labor Report has a hot one for ya. It seems that a woman who works for the City of Kingston had a deflated tire and pulled in to the DPW garage to use the air machine.
The machine by the way dispenses free air.
I want to know what man on this earth would not want a woman with a deflated tire to be able to get air in it? Would you please show your face?

We have been told that the Mayor of Kingston got wind of this and called in the City Detectives to investigate it! Can you believe it?

I wonder if he let them borrow the $60 dollar pen to write out the report.

The disturbing part is that this particular woman who put the free air into her tire is also involved in the harassment suit against the city.

I am sure her attorney is using his $90 pen to add this to his briefs in that lawsuit right about now.

Does anyone see a continuing pattern here? Other women who also were involved in the harassment suit were mysteriously on the job chopping block in the Mayors version of the 2009 budget.

With all of the anti-employee behavior and rhetoric coming from city government lately you would have to begin to think that maybe Barney Fife has been advising the Mayor.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Alderman Prepares The Troops For Union Trouble

After his union bashing speech at the City Council meeting on the budget where he advocated slashing peoples paychecks to just put on a show and appear like a concerned politician, Alderman Senor needs to get the troops in order. He loves a good sound bite - here is a secretly taped video.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

City of Kingston Common Council Trims Tax Levy To Under 4%: Saves Additional Jobs While Doing It


Alderman Robert Senor: Kingstons Own Barney Fife

City of Kingston lawmakers adopted a 2009 spending plan last night by a vote of 7 to 2 that trimmed the 8.23% tax levy proposed by Mayor James Sottile down to a respectable 3.34%

Most of the Council truly tried to do everything they could to cut the tax levy and to make every effort not to hurt some long time employees by cutting their positions to half time. Many residents stood up,spoke out and somewhat pleaded with the council to not cut someones job if they could help it.

A point was made during the meeting that the job cuts proposed by Mayor Sottile would save the taxpayer just .11 cents a day or $40 dollars for a family of four for the entire year of 2009.

People did not want to see their fellow residents and their families hurt for such a small return on the drastic move that would have cut their jobs. Some calculations on the impact on the City of Kingston taxpayers if they kept some of the positions as is were even lower than .11 cents.

Thank you to all of the Alderman who balanced this additional concern along with the necessary need to drop the tax rate.

However, there is one Alderman that needs to be exposed as a bum.

Kingstons own Barney Fife, both in appearance, actions and words, none other than Robert Senor. He is a joke and a phoney.
It seems that his only agenda is to discredit anyone in a union. That is all he talks about - it's always the unions fault.

He couldn't care less if cutting those jobs only saved the taxpayers a dime a day.

It was interesting that the only time you can get Robert Senor to clam up is when you call for him to offer to cut HIS PAY. He wouldn't offer to cut a DIME off of that.

And that's all he is worth is a dime, and even that is overpaying him.
On another note, someone should ask him about prevailing wages for construction workers. He is very knowledgeable about the subject and always comes out publicly against it.

Does anyone think it is suspicious at all that Alderman Robert Senor was found to be working for a contractor who was in violation of that very law on 52 separate work orders - while doing work for the City of Kingston?

Is it just a coincidence that his contractor was keeping Robert busy doing work for the city and not paying the prevailing wage?

Is it just a coincidence that his contractor, who pays his personal paycheck, got that many "no public bid" work orders?

Is it just a coincidence that his contractor has dropped away from doing any further work for the City of Kingston - now that we need to play be the rules?

By the way, somebody ask Robert Senor how much money in back pay he got because the IBEW Electricians Union called in the Department of Labor to rectify his underpayments for him.

He didn't mind the prevailing rate when he cashed that check with Robert Senor printed on it.

.....and he didn't even thank the union for getting it for him.

If Robert Senor wants to play against the unions, he better have his own house and his own daytime job in order and start now building up a political war chest.