Thursday, October 28, 2010

From Thom Hartman's Blog

Welcome to third world America, Germany's cheap labor depot..

.Just how bad has it gotten for workers in our country? Imagine foreign nations outsourcing jobs to the US for, you guessed it, cheap labor. German automaker BMW announced they are opening a factory in the US and they need laborers. Answering the call are a crowd of skilled workers with advanced degrees who have now been squeezed out of the American workforce thanks to the Chamber's outsourcing death grip on our economy. BMW is paying these workers $15 an hour. In Germany, the same worker would make twice that. Welcome to third world America, Germany's cheap labor depot.

$1 Trillion in Reserves, But Not Hiring: Is Business 'Anti-Jobs'? |

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Tea Party Movement: Deluded and Inspired by Billionaires

By funding numerous rightwing organisations, the mega-rich Koch brothers have duped millions into supporting big business
by George Monbiot

The Tea Party movement is remarkable in two respects. It is one of the biggest exercises in false consciousness the world has seen – and the biggest Astroturf operation in history. These accomplishments are closely related.

An Astroturf campaign is a fake grassroots movement: it purports to be a spontaneous uprising of concerned citizens, but in reality it is founded and funded by elite interests. Some Astroturf campaigns have no grassroots component at all. Others catalyse and direct real mobilisations. The Tea Party belongs in the second category. It is mostly composed of passionate, well-meaning people who think they are fighting elite power, unaware that they have been organised by the very interests they believe they are confronting. We now have powerful evidence that the movement was established and has been guided with the help of money from billionaires and big business. Much of this money, as well as much of the strategy and staffing, were provided by two brothers who run what they call "the biggest company you've never heard of".


Oregon School Bus Workers Choose Teamsters Union

Press Contact
Galen Munroe
(Washington, D.C.)

School bus workers with First Student in Woodburn, Oregon have voted by a 2-1 margin to become members of Teamsters Local 324 in Salem. There are 44 drivers, mechanics, oil checkers and lot maintenance workers in the bargaining unit.

“I thought the vote went great,” said Sabrina Conaway, a driver. “We work with children, which is important, but we are not treated very well. We joined the Teamsters so we can have representation and protection.”

“The organizing committee of workers took control and did great work. It was a team effort, from the workers, the International Union, Joint Council 37 and Local 324, that led to this overwhelming success,” said Chris Muhs, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 324.

The victory is the latest in an effort to organize private school bus and transit workers across the country. Drive Up Standards is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry.

Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 29,100 drivers, monitors, aides, mechanics and attendants have become Teamsters.

More Than 1,100 School Bus Workers Become Teamsters

October 25, 2010
More than 1,100 school bus workers with First Student and Durham nationwide are now Teamsters, after overwhelming votes in favor of Teamster representation.

In Wichita, Kansas, First Student school bus drivers and monitors voted 415-53 in favor of joining Teamsters Local 795, while in Woodburn, Oregon, First Student drivers, mechanics, oil checkers and lot maintenance workers voted 25-12 to become members of Teamsters Local 324.

Durham school bus drivers and attendants celebrated their 209-93 vote for Teamster representation in Jacksonville, Florida, becoming the newest members of Teamsters Local 512.

There are a total of 1,172 school bus workers at the three First Student and Durham locations. The workers voted seeking fairness, respect and dignity on the job.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Don’t Let the Chamber and Big Biz Gut Workers’ Say on CEO Pay

With trillions of dollars in pension funds, the collective power of working people’s money can begin to rein in the out-of-control CEO pay that is hurting shareholders and the economy as a whole. But a new law to hold the financial industry accountable is already in danger.

According to the AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, a CEO of a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 index company was paid, on average, $9.25 million in total compensation in 2009. At the same time, millions of workers lost their jobs, their homes and their retirement savings in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

The Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and other Big Business groups are lobbying hard for changes that would protect that exorbitant CEO pay by gutting the new law’s “say on pay” provisions, before they even begin.

The Business Roundtable has asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to give corporations more control over the proxy voting system, which is how most shareholders would cast votes on CEO pay. The Chamber wants to give Big Banks and Wall Street brokers power to vote on behalf of shareholders—knowing they’ll almost always vote to rubber-stamp excessive CEO pay.

Take action now to help stop their proposals in their tracks by sending a public comment to the SEC. Don’t let these groups representing Big Business sneak through these seemingly “technical” changes while nobody’s paying attention. Submit a public comment now here. But hurry, the comment period ends Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The 'Little Guy' Is Losing In American Politics

By Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa
Published By The Detroit News on October 13, 2010
If you understand politics as a battle between liberal and conservative, then you don't understand politics at all. The central political battle today is between the corporate billionaires on one side and the little guy on the other. The fight is about whether the government should protect corporate power to enrich a few billionaires, or restrict corporate power to protect the liberty and property of the average American.

I'll tell you who is winning: It isn't the little guy.

Corporate power explains why the U.S. hasn't made the transformation to renewable energy. It's why we can't trust our food, drugs or toys to be safe. It's why we're struggling to develop new industries. It's why workers' wages have stagnated or fallen over the past decade and why so many families are losing their homes.

It's why so many jobs moved offshore so quickly. U.S. multinationals now employ one-third of their work force overseas.

Here's an example of corporate power at work: FedEx has held up a funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration. The company's billionaire chief executive, Fred Smith, hates a provision that would put FedEx back under the same labor law as his competitors. So he has held up funding for the entire agency that runs the nation's airspace.

Fred Smith is devious about masking his agenda. He claims his competitor is seeking a bailout — when it's FedEx that has long enjoyed special government treatment.

Similarly, corporations have been wily about disguising their plans to further concentrate their wealth and influence. They're adept at creating phony populist groups that claim to support individual freedom.

To understand how corporate billionaires do it, just turn on Fox News, owned by multi-billionaire Rupert Murdoch. Everything those talking heads on Fox advocate would be good for Rupert Murdoch: fewer taxes for the rich, less government regulation, weaker bargaining power for workers. You can bet most of those talking heads are getting fat paychecks from billionaire-funded think tanks and nonprofits. And yet Fox claims to be "fair and balanced."

For all those tea partiers who believe in individual freedom and smaller government, I have a message for you. Concentration of wealth in too few hands will lead to extraordinary abuses of power and the destruction of your property and liberty.

It's the banks, not the government, that are taking people's homes away from them without even making sure they have the right to foreclose on them. Last month, Jason Grodensky paid cash for a home in Florida, only to have the bank sell it out from under him in a foreclosure "mistake."

Just the other day, Nancy Jacobini was alone inside her Florida home when she heard someone breaking into her front door. She locked herself in the bathroom and called 911. It turns out the intruder was someone who worked for JP Morgan Chase. He was changing the locks on her home, something he had no legal right to do.

The corporate billionaires will say the banks can correct their own behavior. The little guy will say the government needs to make sure they don't do it again. It makes no sense to describe one as "liberal" and the other as "conservative." It's the many of us vs. the few of them.

We'll see which side prevails on Nov. 2.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Examples of Employer Conduct Which Violate the NLRA Are:

•Threatening employees with loss of jobs or benefits if they join or vote for a union or engage in protected concerted activity.
•Threatening to close the plant if employees select a union to represent them.
•Questioning employees about their union sympathies or activities in circumstances that tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act.
•Promising benefits to employees to discourage their union support.
•Transferring, laying off, terminating, assigning employees more difficult work tasks, or otherwise punishing employees because they engaged in union or protected concerted activity.
•Transferring, laying off, terminating, assigning employees more difficult work tasks, or otherwise punishing employees because they filed unfair labor practice charges or participated in an investigation conducted by NLRB.

Examples of Your Rights As An Employee Under the NLRA Are:
•Forming, or attempting to form, a union among the employees of your employer.
•Joining a union whether the union is recognized by your employer or not.
•Assisting a union in organizing your fellow employees.
•Engaging in protected concerted activities. Generally, "protected concerted activity" is group activity which seeks to modify wages or working conditions.
•Refusing to do any or all of these things. However, the union and employer, in a State where such agreements are permitted, may enter into a lawful union-security clause requiring employees to pay union dues and fees.
The NLRA forbids employers from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of rights relating to organizing, forming, joining or assisting a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes, or engaging in protected concerted activities, or refraining from any such activity.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Teamster Teleconference about the YRCW Restructuring Plan held on October 5.


Carl Barelli, USF Holland, Chief Steward
And a 30-year member, LU41, Kansas City, MO following is a transcript of comments made by Brother Barelli during the
Teamster Teleconference about the YRCW Restructuring Plan held on October 5.
“Thank you Tyson. The reason I wanted to talk to everyone tonight, I don’t want to talk to you as a
Union brother but as a family man. Ultimately the important decision we have to make will affect
Our family and way of life and our ability to keep them safe and secure!
“For 30 years I have been fortunate enough to work under union contracts. Not only have I had
Superior wages and benefits but the most important thing I’ve had is a voice in the work place. I
Can tell you after working under union contracts I would hate to have it any other way.
“Everybody knows that for 2 ½ years, FedEx, Conway and all the other non-union carriers through
Predatory pricing and the rumors of bankruptcy have tried to destroy us. Somebody needs to tell
Them we are still here.
“I want to share with you a story about the meetings we had over the weekend. While we were
Having our stewards meetings Friday to discuss the presentations we were having over the weekend
A delivery came to our local. It was a rug that the President of our Local ordered for the office the
Rug got there it was a 5x5 black rug with gold teamsters on the rug. Nothing was wrong with the rug,
The problem was that FedEx delivered the rug and I can’t tell you when he told them to take it back,
I’ve never been more proud of him because he did the right thing.
“Our leaders in Washington are doing the right thing. They are putting their careers on the line to
Do what are right by the membership and for that General President Hoffa, Tyson Johnson, and Gordon
Sweeten, I have to say thank you. I think all of our Local leaders around the country need to take
This example and put it to use.
“Right now is not the time for division. We need to rally the troops and we need to dig in. The old
Timers that raised me would in no way understand anybody wanting to vote no. Think about it. A
No vote would put the power into the hands of FedEx, Conway and all those companies that tried
To destroy us exactly what they wanted and I say if they want it they need to fight harder than that.
“I went through this 7 or 8 years ago maybe 9 years ago with Consolidated Freightways and I can
Tell you when the rug gets pulled out from underneath of you and you lose the way to take care of
Your family and you have no chance in saving that job it is the most gut wrenching experience that
You would ever go through and I would not wish it only worst enemy.
“I can tell you this. We are fortunate. Because of the strength of the teamsters we have an opportunity,
Not just to save YRC but to save the legacy of the Teamsters, the freight division. When you
Think of the Teamsters you think of trucking. That’s what this union was built on, on the back of
All of us, all those that came before us! We need to remember that.
“We need to honor the old timers by doing the right thing and voting yes. You vote yes you
Honor their memory. We need to vote yes so we can preserve our jobs and we need to vote yes so
That anyone behind us will have a better way of life. Having said that, I would like to thank you
For the opportunity to talk to everyone. God bless you and God bless our Union.”

Job Tracker

See what company's in your area who are exporting American jobs.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Young and Worried About Retirement

By Mike Hall On October 7, 2010 (2:50 pm) In Economy, Legislation & Politic

Melissa, a college senior, says she never thought about retirement until she saw her parents dip into their retirement savings to help make ends meet after her father lost his job. Now it’s one of her top worries.

Melissa told her story at Retirement USA, where an online survey finds that 83 percent of respondents say younger workers will fare worse in retirement than current retirees. There are some real good reasons for this pessimism, too.

First off, Social Security—which is even more vital than ever for younger workers, most of whom don’t participate in any kind of retirement plan—is under attack. Even though Social Security does not contribute a cent to the nation’s budget deficit, the federal budget deficit commission has it in their sights and there are reports...

Article taken from AFL-CIO NOW BLOG -
URL to article:


1,975 YES
78 NO

Congratulations to all Teamsters.

Freight Teleconference Clears Up YRCW Restructuring Questions | International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

Freight Teleconference Clears Up YRCW Restructuring Questions | International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)

FedEx Canada News

More dates have been established before the Federal Labour Board. The next dates are Nov. 2, 2010 and Nov. 16 through the 19th, 2010.

The purpose of these hearings is to determine if automatic certification should be granted to the two groups (Admin and Pkg Handlers) at the FedEx Ground hub in Mississauga Ontario.

Joe Nuno And Ray Mercado In Memphis Tn.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Daily News of Memphis

If you look at FedEx’s history, they have demonstrated that,” Sterling said. “Particularly in their Express segment, and I see tremendous opportunity for growth through earnings per share and then the marginal expansion will come as they put more freight through their network.”
It came as no surprise, however, that FedEx Freight workers are apprehensive about their job security. Two employees attended the meeting and questioned the company’s efforts to look after its employees.
“Unfortunately, try as we might, we cannot pay people when we have no work for them to do,” Smith said in response.
FedEx is estimating a cost of $150 million to $200 million related to the move for things such as employee severance costs and lease terminations.
Bill Logue, CEO of FedEx Freight, said a strong, healthy company is the right future for all its employees long-term.
“We’ve worked very hard to make sure we’ve done the right thing for our employees on the front side,” Logue said. “Our goal is to reduce the 1,700 losses because our objective is to impact as few employees as possible.”