Labor Union & Workers Resource Website
click below to read the
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
200 Constitution Ave., NW, Rm N-1519
Washington, DC 20210
The Office of Labor-Management Standards of the U.S. Department of Labor administers and enforces most provisions of the Labor-Management reporting and disclosure act of 1959 (LMRDA). The LMRDA primarily reports union democracy and financial integrity in private sector labor unions through standards for union officer elections and union trusteeships and safeguards for union assets. Additionally, the LMRDA promotes labor union and labor-management transparency through reporting and disclosure requirements for labor unions and their officials, employers, labor relations consultants, and surety companies.
Civil Investigations conducted by OLMS relate to:
- the conduct of union officer elections
- financial audits of union books and records
- and other violations
You can find more on this information at:
You can also find Criminal Enforcement Actions by the year on this page. There are many but here is an example of three of them from 2015.
(1) March 4th, 2015. Former V.P. of UAW Local 2297, charged with a nine count indictment, one count of aiding and abetting an embezzlement of over $12,000 in union funds, etc. ...
(2) March 3rd, 2015. Former President of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 6066 sentenced to one year probation and ordered to pay restitution of $7,649 after pleading guilty to one count of embezzlement.
(3) February 18th, 2015. Former Treasurer of Charleroi Area Education Association (CAEA) charged with one felony count of Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition and two felony counts of Theft by Deception. She was charged with embezzling $65,963 in association funds.
Officers have a fiduciary responsibility to protect all members dues. Misuse of the union funds, personal use of union funds, fraud or deception in the use of union funds, failure to pay payroll taxes (which is theft from employees) must be reported if known by any fiduciary officer or steward.
If you have been elected to any union position, please take your role seriously. It is easy to step over the line, even if a little. You are entrusted with the proper use of members dues and union funds in general. If you know of a violation, you must report it.
If you are ordered by a union officer to take paid hours for personal business, that is theft and it must be reported. Not reporting a violation is also an offense and may be construed as aiding and abetting, conspiracy, or failure to report the misappropriation of funds.
CWA4309 item of interest ... election for President of of Local in a runoff to be held in January or February 2015.
Local 4309 Election Results
Second Runoff Election Results for President:
President - Erica Dismukes
Vice Pres - Carol Green
Sec/Treas - Tanisha Tate
Member-at-Large - James Block
(I apologize for any name mispellings)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Watch this 2 minute 27 second video of Professor Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary under President Clinton. Trade Deal TPP (Trans Pacific) is like NAFTA on Steroids. It will suck more jobs out of the U.S. and will have other nasty consequences.
We Must Fight to Get Back Lost Leverage
Without leverage, we have no power as workers to negotiate anything with employers. To get back leverage, we need to change our contracts at contract time to allow instant and unexpected strikes when the contract provisions or fair treatment, etc. are broken and the company refuses to negotiate. Strikes cost company's profit and that is our leverage. We have agreed to arbitration instead of strikes. Big mistake. Arbitration takes so long before an issue can be heard that the employee or employees involved have long been fired, suspended, loss of pay, and other negative impacts have occured that can no longer be righted. Because of this, union officers are forced to only take a small handful of cases to arbitration and give up the rest. It is a hard decision and good workers with good cases fall by the wayside because only so many cases can be taken to and heard at arbitration. If we could have instant arbitration or within a week, there would be some justifiable reason to accept it.
Leverage is also lost when companies can just decide to offshore the work if unions and union members fight for things that companies don't want to give. They are like the kid with the ball who will take it somewhere else if you don't agree to their terms. We are held hostage to their whims and decisions. They often ignore past agreements that they don't like. So because companies can offshore labor to dollar an hour (or less) to other cheap labor countries, they can make bigger profits and not deal with regulations or unions. Access to cheap offshore labor means we are forced to try and compete for jobs at low wages if we ever wish to work again.
It breaks unionization because unions have no power for workers if they have no leverage. So offshoring creates desperate workers in the U.S. and destroys unions.
We Must Get Back Worker Unity
A union has no power to negotiate for workers if the workers are not unified around each issue that the union is fighting for. When union members break unity on an issue, the company smells blood and tries to further break the resolve of other workers and we lose the whole battle for helping all of the workers.
But union leaders cannot just tell workers to unite. It is an ongoing process of educating workers about how unions work, what unions have gotten for workers through large sacrifices that furthered the causes of todays workers, why they need to stick together, show them the history of unions, show them the conditions of workers before unions existed. Workers need to understand that companies will not pay them anything unless we can demand it of them as a large group of workers united. All profits must be distributed to the greedy and wealthy investors. That is their top priority. Paying workers more or giving them any needed work condition costs money and that is money taken out of the mouths or their wealthy investors. Accountants are constanly looking for ways to cut costs and distribute more of the profit to the investors. Labor costs are considered the best item to cut and re-distribute to the investors. This ends up taking food out of the mouths of the workers.
So we cannot expect workers to blindly follow. Workers need information on an ongoing basis. Workers need to be informed about what jobs are saved and other issues. Workers need to know what the union reps are doing and have done for them every month or they forget. Workers need to know what the company is doing that may help or harm them. We need to make companies earn worker loyalty.
The investors may own the machine called a business, but it is the workers that fuel that machine. Unfortunately, companies now have an offshore source of that worker fuel. We need legislation to remove the unfair advantage of cheap overseas labor. Instead, republican legislators and our President surprisingly are trying to fast track another bad trade deal that will suck more jobs out of our U.S. job market and money out of our economy.
Companies have PR PEOPLE AND MARKETING STRATEGISTS. Unions need these people as well. Not having them is one reason why members are not loyal. They dont always buy what were selling them or we are being outsold by the companies that do have these professionals working for them.
Yes, workers need to do all they can within reason to help the companies they work for make money. The better the profits, the more money available to provide continued employment, more raises, better benefits .... but the companies do not give these freely. These have to be negotiated for and there is no power to negotiate without unity, which is one form of leverage. Eliminating offshoring and eliminating the current form of limited arbitration that does not take place in a timely manner, will help us keep our leverage.
We have lost about 2/3rds of unions and members over the last 30 years due to loss of leverage and loss of good organizing and educating workers. It would be great to have a citizens union that had no company boundaries ... a citizens union that united all workers and potential workers regardless of their workplace. A contribution of $10 a year to support the education and information process using a monthly internet ezine report of legislation that threatens workers rights and causes. This would include the list of political legislators who are siding against the workers and informing workers via internet would be affordable, It would also give us a means of contacting all workers without the massive expense of going through costly media with short 30 second soundbite commercials. Citizens need to understand issues and soundbites, as appealing as they are crafted to be, dont give people all of the facts they need to know. So they are duped by slick polititians who get their soundbites from think tanks that are expert at influencing people to do things that will actually hurt them.
A Brief History of Unions
People forget why we have and want unions in our workplaces. No one that I know of is still alive that directly experienced what it was like to live and work in the early 1900's.
The "WHY" is still important today. Workers pay, workplace conditions and the availability of work at liveable wages has been backsliding as workers forget what unions have done for workers.
The power of unions is only as strong as the unity of workers and of the numbers of workers that are unified. Please watch this video as a reminder of why unions are so important to YOU and why YOU are so important to unions.
Please ask your fellow Union Members to watch this video. Thank You!
More information on the History of Unions, Unions Today and Confessions of a Union Buster can be found by clicking here.
NOTE 2014: Most of this website information is old yet still relevant. The concepts and positions of these articles remain just as important now as in the past years. For this reason, these articles remain on the home page of this website as a reminder of what we are working for and of the deception we (the majority, the workers of the U.S.) face ... the deception that clever politicians skillfully use to shrink our unity of purpose and our resolve.
Our "unity" and "resolve" is the only thing that can give us any say or control over law makers, legislators, our congress and senate.
We must also make sure that those who run the management and direction of our unions are looking out for us workers both in pay and worker treatment. We must add to this, some oversight of legislation regarding trade policies and offshoring laws. These are the two areas outside of the workplace that moves the concept of supply and demand of "access to cheap labor" in favor of increasing profitability for big investors while reducing job opportunities in the U.S. (supply) at liveable wages. U.S. workers cannot and should not be made to compete with workers paid $1 an hour or less. Any level of skill that U.S. workers can provide, can be duplicated by a foreign offshore workforce willing to work for exrtemely low wages because of the level of their country's economy.
Fix the Trade Policy and Jobs will return to the U.S., the deficit will stop growing and start being paid down. Why are our legislators not making this a big deal?
Write your Congressmen, Senators and President Obama to ask why this is not
on the table as a priority.
Restart trade import fees but they need to be based on the difference of "cost of goods manufactured/assembled including wage differences" between the importing country and the U.S.
This will equalize competition, not stop trade, between countries
with disequal economies. This will put U.S. companies on equal competitive footing with third world country import prices. No country should complain about an equal playing field (although they will complain about taking away thier advantage due to low costs, no regulations to protect the environment, workers or consumers, and low wages). Every time we spend our money hard earned in the U.S., U.S. jobs, too often it gets spent on products made in foreign countries. It is a challenge to find U.S. made products these days. So when you spend your money, most of it leaves the U.S. and supports the companies and low wage workers in foreign countries with huge profit margins for the multi-national companies who have created these overseas operations moving U.S. jobs to other countries for the sake of optimizing profits for the investors at the cost of U.S. job opportunities. The more money leaving our country, the more our deficit and loan balances owed to China, and the less consumer demand for U.S. manufacturing and assembly jobs. Trade may create export jobs, but they in no way match the number of lost U.S. jobs and wage levels that are needed to support families in the U.S. economy.
Most of the importing companies overseas are actually former U.S. companies with new corporate identities as a multi-national corporation doing business in foreign, usually third world countries. They relocated to foreign soil to take advantage of the low wage, no regulation costs, and other low manufacturing costs in order to achieve enormous profit margins. That's just how business works. They seek the lowest costs and highest profits as their mission. Jobs are merely a byproduct or doing business, a necessary cost to get products to customers. Business will seek lowest costs where possible and minimal number of jobs needed to produce and service consumer demand. Business is not in business for the purpose of creating jobs, but to minimize jobs and job costs in order to optimize profits. So a person like Mitt Romney who claims his business experience makes him an expert at creating jobs is ridiculous. Business is not in business to create jobs. It is a necessary evil. They hire only the minimum number of employees needed to match the consumer demand made on the company. They make money by minimizing the number of employees and minimizing the wage levels and benefits of employees which means they are more profitable by sending jobs overseas to third world economic countries. Corporations will increase hiring only when consumer demand is higher than their present number of employees can handle. Some companies by their nature can only hire U.S. local employees, but many companies can handle the increase needed in manufacturing and assembly by hiring more overseas workers. This is why we must either encourage stimulus investment in the U.S. for things like infrastructure which requires local employees to do the work (and we would hope that legislation would include that materials, supplies and tools used come from U.S. companies using U.S. employees.) Other stimulus spending like tax breaks may increase consumer spending, but mostly on items made in overseas factories with cheap labor. Even with infrastructure spending, the paychecks will go to U.S. citizens, but then will likely be spent on foreign made products with U.S. brand names on them. This is why we must demand that trade policies between countries of disequal economies be corrected to be fair so there will be an equal competitive playing field for U.S. companies with U.S. labor. This will require trade import fees to equalize the difference in cost of goods manufactured including differences in wage levels. Until then, we will continue to have a big gaping hole in the side of our U.S. economic and employment ship. Hopefully we can get these changes made before our ship sinks.
This is another reason why unions, a unified workforce, is necessary, in order to obtain liveable wages and benefits to live a normal life rather than became desperate workers as exist in third world countries. The only hope for workers is honest unions. I don't just mean a union in a single workplace, because not all locals do the best job they can (it depends on the leadership, and the skills of who is in charge .... so be careful who you vote into office in your local ... and don't hold it against "unions" for the bad actions and choices of a the few bad local operations out there) but the need for as much union presence as possible all over the U.S. Numbers count. The number of union workers who understand why there are unions and stand up for the principles that protect each other as workers counts when it comes to legislation and Presidential elections. To get passionate about unions, workers need to know about the history of U.S. workers and how demeaning it was to beg for a job paying almost nothing just to buy a loaf of bread for your family and the demand by companies that workers work as long as they wanted them to work, on whatever schedule they wanted them to work, without breaks, in heat and cold and under unsafe conditions or be told they were fired. Yes ... some union officials did some nasty things to fight back during the early days of unions. It was an all out war with companies on the offensive and holding all the cards. The only leverage union officials had in the early days were protests (which usually led to violence against protestors), property destruction, and more violence. With labor laws, we have some semblance of law on the workers side, but that is being slowly wiped out by lobbyists asking Replublican legislators to weaken or eliminate labor laws or the entire labor department. Republican state governors are outgunning democratic legislators and instituting "right to work" legislation which weaken the leverage of unification of union workers. Unification, all taking the same strong stand on issues is the strength unions have. If all employees do not unify, leverage ceases to exist.
We need a strong Federal Labor Department, which Republicans want to eliminate. The labor department is responsible for implementing laws and enforcing laws that protect workers rights than unions have spent decades fighting for. Things like 40 hour weeks with weekends off. Overtime over 40 hours a week. Safe working conditions. Fair treatment and fair pay for workers. Minimum wage which Republicans want to eliminate along with all the other provisions mentioned.
Business went from using slave labor, to indentured servants, to child labor, to immigrant workers at low wages, to women working for less than men (only becuae they were forced to by labor laws passed). They have a history of seeking lowest costs for wages. When all these were ruled agains the law, they went overseas and again are now hiring children to work in factories along with desperate adults for unliveable wages. This needs to stop and fixing the trade policies will take away their unfair competitive advantage. When they can no longer have this advantage that gives them huge profit margins, they will return to the U.S. where workers are highly skilled and dedicated but demand fair wages.
Right now, Repubican Governors in many states are trying to make their states "Right to work" states. Right to Work just means that it is very difficult to unionize a workplace and workers have the option of not being part of a union even if the majority of workers want a union. It allows corporations to brow-beat, underhandedly threaten workers if they vote to be in a union. What all this does is dis-unify the workers which make it very difficult to then bargain for any workplace rights, fairness or fair wage levels. Workers lose their leverage to make Corporations treat them and pay them fairly.
So it is time to bring back U.S. jobs and ask our politicians why trade policies are so heavily weighted against the U.S. Many politicians said it was no big deal because we were just giving away low tech jobs like making plastic products and toys while we kept the high tech industries. There is no shame in making plastic products and toys. These are good manufacturing jobs that should still be in the U.S. We don't mind competing on a fair playing field, but we don't want to give away our jobs. Every job counts. We can't all be high tech workers or scientists or inventors or business owners. We have millions of citizens, millions of workers with various skills and educational levels, ready to go to work if an opportunity at a fair wage becomes available. We don't need to be re-educated. When you are raising a family and have no job, there is no money and no time to be reeducated for two to four years or more to find a job that doesn't exist anyway. We need a variety of jobs for all our workers. Let our politicians know this. Write them. Do not hesitate. Politicians respond only when enough letters, calls or emails reach their desks. Get on your social networks like Facebook and Twitter and get friends and aquaintences/followers involved. Standing back and waiting for someone else to take action doesn't work. You/We need to do it ... all of us. Thanks for your attention.
What's good for the American Worker, is good for the U.S. economy. What's bad for the American Worker hurts the U.S. economy.
American workers are the majority in the U.S. The opinion and needs of the American worker represent the majority opinion in the U.S.
We have a government that was set up to represent the majority ... "We the people ... a government for the people, by the people."
So why do some Congressmen and Senators, especially Republican Legislators, represent the opinions of the wealthiest 5% of our population?
They say the majority of people in their districts voted for them based on the views they expressed during their campaigns.
That may be so ... but what they expressed as promises were lies, partial facts cloaked in omissions ... incomplete expressions of what they intended to do when in office.
The Indians called it speaking with "forked tongue." Today, we call it spin. ... but what it is ... is just plain lies intended to appear as if they will do something the majority of the public wants, but meaning something entirely different ... something that hurts the majority of the public.
Three Biggest Lies in Today's Repubican Politics
1) "We will cut the budget because your taxes are too high and the government is overspending."
This gave us the impression that "wasteful spending" would be cut. Cuts in things that don't matter to citizens. The furniture in the government offices. The size of the offices. The unnecessary trips in special cars and planes. Meals paid for by the taxpayers. Bonuses when times are difficult for average workers. Tax breaks for businesses who intentionally set up competition for locations between the states. I'm sure if we all took a look at the checkbook, not the budget itself, we would find things that we would be amazed at. But what did get cut in most states was public workers incomes and public services or public service budgets and socially necessary programs to keep citizens, families and children from becoming homeless and hungry. Cutting education programs, police, fire, EMS, sanitation workers, postal workers, etc. .... All of these directly impact the quality of our citizens lives. The wealthy don't feel the need for most of these services and would rather not participate in our "society" where they have to contribute to the social needs of those temporarily down on their luck and opportunity.
The next time a Republican candidate says they want to cut your taxes and our budget, ask them to tell you specifically what budgets they will cut and who will be impacted.
Would you have voted for Governors like Kasich from Ohio or Wisconsins Governor if they had run on the campaign promise to cut Teachers, Police, FIre, EMS, Sanitation Workers and take away the right for unions to bargain for employees when the employees want the union to represent them. the fact that union employees earn about 5% to 10% higher wages should tell you that most large business budgets have those percentages available to pay employees but would rather give it to the investors or the officers of the company in bonuses. They would try to turn you against a fellow worker making a little more than you do as a non-union worker, while their officers are earning 50 times, 100 times, even 350 times what the average worker earns. I believe in rewarding risk. I believe in reward that come with the stress of building a successful business, but 100 to 350 times the average worker salary is over rewarding, not socialism.
2) "We will make our state Business Friendly to bring jobs back to our state for you."
Of course bringing jobs back to your state sounds like what we want. But what they mean is that they will try to compete with importing countries like China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, etc. To do this, they will lower the wages to be paid to workers and lobby to get rid of minimum wage because they really need to pay you below minimum wage to really compete for corporate profits. They will remove any regulations or laws that say companies have to pay you benefits, sick pay, vacations, etc. There will be no more FMLA. Mandatory overtime will be expected to avoid hiring more employees. Days off regarless of why you need them will no longer be tolerated and you can expect to be fired if you miss work. somebody is already wiaitng in line, desperate for your job, because most families will be hungry and living in whatever shelter they can find for their families. Who can support or sustain a normal life for a family on minimum wage or below. Republican Presidential candidates are already professing to get rid of the Departments of Education, Energy, Labor, and others. These are regulatory bodies that protect workers and consumers from irresponsible behaviors or corporations who have a single minded purpose to optimize profits at any cost. AND THAT IS BUSINESS FRIENDLY ... THAT;S HOW TO ATTRACT A BUSINESS TO YOUR STATE ... SELL YOUR WORKERS INTO NEAR SLAVERY CONDITIONS OR AT LEAST BELOW STANDARD OF LIVING FOR THE U.S.
3) "The Democrats are stopping Job Creators from creating jobs for the workers because they want to increase taxes on investors and business owners and keep costly regulations eating up money that could be paying for new workers."
You have to understand economics to understand this one. You have to think it through. You own a business with 50 employees and sell 6000 units of product per month at a profit of $100 per unit or $600,000.00 per month gross profit. The average cost of each employee is $4000 per month for a total of $200,000. Your overhead costs including reinvestments in the business are $150,000 monthly. That leaves $250,000 per month for owner and officer salaries ... $100,000 to the CEO, $75,000 to the CFO aand $75,000 to the COO monthly. (this is simplified for example). Let us say the government cut taxes and regualtions saving
the budget $10,000 a month in employee costs and $7,500 a month in overhead costss. That $17,500 could be used to hire an additional four employees at a cost of close to $16,000. That would be an increase in employment of 8% for this company.
BUT WHY WOULD ANY SANE BUSINESS PERSON HIRE A SINGLE EMPLOYEE MORE IF THE CONSUMER DEMAND AT 6000 UNITS PER MONTH WAS NOT CHANGING AND COULD BE HANDLED WITH THE CURRENT NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES? THEY WOULDN'T!
They would pay themselves or their investors more. Would they buy new equipment? Not if there current equipment was handling the current demand. But perhaps there is a new piece of equipment that could increase unit production by 20% per employee? They might buy this piece of equipment because once it is installed, they can layoff or fire 20% or 10 of their workers. That would save them $40,000 a month. But what about the workers? IT'S NOT ABOUT THE WORKERS. IT'S ABOUT OPTIMIZING THE PROFIT MARGIN, even if at the cost of putting workers out on the street putting their families at risk of going bankrupt, losing a home, not feeding the family, sending the kids to school humiliated because the had to clean up at the local gas station sink on the way to school.
There are so many other lies by omission or false cause effect reasoning proclaimed in order to get an average citizen to vote people in office that will actually harm them with their new policies.
... and they can LABEL it as SOCIALISM, when a politician has a concern for a fellow citizen, their family, their children's wellbeing. That's human empathy. That's Christian behavior to care and to share if you've been blessed. THAT'S NOT SOCIALISM, THAT'S JUST CARING FOR YOUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS.
... and we certainly don't need to blame all the wealthy people. Many wealthy people built their business from the ground up, may have failed numerous times before succeeding, may have lost a home and their life savings in the process before succeeding. These people are worth the rewards of a high income. But these same people are usually big philanthropists giving back alot of their earnings. Many agree that they have been handled with kid gloves by legislators. Many agree that they should pay a progressive tax since they have bee so blessed. They realize they only need so much wealth to live a great life without being a pig about it trying to get more and more. So let's blame those hiring the lobbyists and those legislators voting in favor of the minority opinion instead of the majority opinion.
... more to come!
on 'Right to Work' ...
Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights.
Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions for everyone ...
Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer, and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961 (h/t Economic Policy Institute)
... and if our weapon is our vote, then the Republican leadership is also trying to disarm us with voter suppression laws demanding identifications that most financially disadvantaged citizens do not readily have.
When a few dollars means whether your children eat today or not, we cannot expect these citizens who have a right to vote, to spend that money on getting an ID from a state run BMV which will try to make them prove their identity to get identification.
Call and/or write your legislators to demand these voter suppression attempts stop now. Call for yourself, your family and for those who cannot do so for themselves.
* * * * * * *
This website is now the "unofficial" website and resource for labor union members and workers across the U.S.
I believe in the value of Unions to members and even non-member workers all over the country. Unions are under massive attack from large Corporations, Republican leadership in congress, and Repubican State Governors. It is a well planned and well funded attack using methods currently beyond the reach of labor laws. Only Union members can stay united, get others to understand the value of unions to all workers, and fight back with your voice and your vote. You can fight back with your voice bvy staying informed as to what is happening in politics (beware of the spin and lies from the Republican puppets of Corporate America). Spread the word wtih firends face to face, by email, by social media, writing your federal legislators on issues, writing your governor and state legislators, writing letters to the editor of your local newspapers.
I will continue to write for union members providing news about events of concern to union and non-union workers in the U.S.
This website will remain a resource for Union members and other workers wanting to fight back against the pressure to lower wages, reduce or eliminate benefits, pensions, social security, medicare, and other essential safety net programs paid for by your tax money and provided by your government.
Let me start with this ...
Business Friendly and what it means politically ...
Repubicans say they can create jobs by making the U.S. "business friendly." This is "bad spin" from the Repubican dirty politics playbook. Business friendly means no say in your job, low-wage levels, few benefits if any, demands for higher productivity, work schedules that are not confined to day shift or weekdays and will vary for the needs of the business and demands of the boss. Here is what history tells us that "business friendly" means to big corporations ... slavery (govt abolished), indentured servants (govt abolished), illegal immigrant workers (govt abolished ... but still occuring), child workers in early 1900's to about 1930 (govt abolished), taking advantage of low-wage female workers (govt laws to equalize wages within job titles) ... and when these were abolished, trade laws were changed, lies told about the benefits to the U.S. and consumers about the value of Free Trade without import fees, resulting in millions of U.S. workers out of work as their manufacturing and assembly jobs were moved overseas so corporations could take advantage of desperate low-wage workers in foreign countries ... using children, teens and and anyone who will work 12 hour days in unbearable locations for pennies a week. No wonder big business and their Republican puppets want to shrink government and eliminate government regulations for business (with the excuse that it will lower costs for U.S. business operations so we can compete and hire more workers). But this is a fallacy. Regulations create new jobs. There is an even playing field in this respect for U.S. businesses ... but foreign imports don't have these costs and they can underprice U.S. businesses because of the low-wages in their countries. So don't ruin our country like their country. Instead, charge the appropriate trade import or tariff fees to equalize the cost of doing business between trading countries. This eliminates the huge profits big companies get when they move business from the U.S. to low-wage countries. Business would no longer have the motive to move jobs out of the country and foreign companies could no longer out compete U.S. businesses because of their low-wages and low-standard of living.
These jobs have not become obsolete... just another lie to rationalize the socially irresponsible movement of U.S. jobs to foreign countries to take advantage of low wages and low standards of living for the purpose of increasing corporate profit margins and officer bonuses to obscene levels ...
These jobs are not obsolete. They are being handled by foreign workers. Almost everything in the store you pick up is made or assembled in a foreign country with a U.S. company distributing it. Even if exports could match the imports in volume, this doesn't help workers. The U.S. has millions of people of different education levels, different backgrounds, different physical abilities etc. We need our vast array of decent paying jobs that Republicans call "low-level" jobs. There is value and honor in all labor. The physical and mental efforts and time of every individual should be valued and not taken lightly. Time, physical labor, mental capabilities, skill use are all part of a person's life ... and if Republicans value life as they say they do, then let them start valuing the life energy and labor of the average worker in the U.S. Otherwise, they are showing great disrespect for the life energy of willing workers to get jobs done. If you don't think these jobs are of value, try to run a business without them. Businesses may fix product value based on supply and demand, yet it doesn't really reflect the value of the product or service to the customer. If we had ten qualified executives for every one position, do you really think they would pay the executive CEO, COO, CFO less than the line worker who needs technical knowledge hard to come by? When it comes to valuing people and their skill or trading their labor, their lifes energy, strength, endurance, etc., supply and demand should not lower anyone's opinion of the worker. If we want a fair workplace and a business that can compete with foreign improting companies, fix trade policies to reflect an even playing field in "wages and cost of goods manufactured" for fair competition (Fair Trade not Free Trade) and bring back our jobs.
... more to come!
Occupy Wall Street Movement
Our efforts in occupying state government for the purpose of repealing SB5 and similar efforts in Wisconsin that were on the news seemed to have triggered the occupy Wall Street movement. AFL-CIO supports the occupy Wall Street movement and encourages our members to be involved.
Occupiers may not be able to express a single focused reason why everyone is there to protest but that's because there are many reasons for the protest, many reasons for wanting to change the status quo. Protesters may not know exactly why the U.S. has changed, but they feel and know that legislation is no longer being passed for the good of U.S. citizens, the majority, the working class people ... many who no longer have a job or a job that can support a family.
How is it that with "one person, one vote" in the U.S. that 99% of the population is losing ground while the top 1% are profiting. Whoever is making the playing rules is fixing the game. Business and Workers play the game while governments make the playing rules or at least set the boundaries of fair play. What is happening here is that the minority is being represented by our legislators, mostly Republican legislators, while those representing the majority in the legislature, mostly Democrats, are being overpowered. The practice and law of "one person, one vote" is supposed to be the only determinant on who influences legislators votes and how much. So why are the 99% upset? Because it is those in the minority who have wealth and use that wealth to influence our legislators to vote on the behalf of the 1%. While laws or lack of laws currrently allow such thiings to happen, in the spirit of the entire principle "one person, one vote," this is just dead wrong. So why are so many average people angry and willing to get past their inhibitions to show it? You have your answer here.
Why does the supply of money outweigh citizen votes?
Politicians need to raise massive amounts of money and leave them owing those who donated large amounts to their election campaigns.
When laws change to limit businesses and unions from directly funding a candidates election, they go to the next level of influence. They use their money and the skill of high paid influence experts to create grass roots groups and use psychological persuasion principles and propaganda skills to make average working citizens think that voting for the Republican candidate will work for them in improving their life. For those of us who have studied social psychology and other effective practices of influencing people against their own good, the techniques they use are obvious and it is frustrating that they are working too often. The opinions expressed by large groups of people (the grass roots groups falsely created) seemingly of the same background as the average voter, will influence many other average citizen voters. It's called the "Bandwagon Effect."
Who's Really Running the Grassroots Show?
Someone behind the group with money, have the PR machine already in place and spinning out press releases to the media. They also direct the leader of the grass roots group on how to get the crown stirred, where to show up in numbers, who and how to heckle, etc. These are skills and strategies the average grass roots people don't have. Who do you think is pulling all the strings?
Having a grassroots group well spoken leader in your pocket to influence the group, creates the illusion wanted. It creates the Bandwagon Effect. This alleviates many citizens from having to think through and evaluate who to vote for. These voters tend to have little time or will to understand completely the poltical promises and what they really mean, so rely on a group of other voters who they believe have examined and evaluated all the promises and claims. Republican spin experts call them low information voters because they are easier to unethically influence with lies and half-truths (the half that sounds good, while omitting the other half that reveals the part that shows the politician will actually be working against them.)
Efforts to stop legislators from passing legislation that hurts workers and increases Corporate profits hasn't seemed to work at all on the Republican leadership and even some of the Democratic leadership. The money is just too powerful an influence. Money goes to infuence groups of voters that will have an impact on many other voters. Money goes to media campaigns to influence voters for a candidate or against a candidate. Since most of the media is no longer independent of big money, but owned by big money, it is no surprise that most networks have shut down expensive investigative reporting when it comes to politics. News anchors and talk show hosts just run the script they are given by the people who pay their large salaries. Press releases spun out by the truck load on behalf of big money candidates hit the desks of those who put together what will be reported on the news. They no longer need to investigate or think, other than to think what will make an interesting story to attract readership or viewership.
Democrats don't have the big money behind them.
What they do hope to have, are voters who are knowledgeable enough and conscientious enough to think through the political promises made by their opponents. They have legitimate grassroots groups who most, unfortunately, do not have the resources, knowledge or skills to match the amount of PR being put out to the media. The wording is not as persuasive and not as newsworthy because they don't have the funds to pay highly skilled spin experts to help them with their messages. That's why the reporters at the "occupy wall street" movement kept saying, "they don't really know what they are rallying about ... no one is on the same page ... they don't have one cohesive and persuasive message." Of course not. These were true blue grass roots citizens who know something is wrong but don't know enough about politics, business, economics, and wall street to know exactly what it was that did go wrong. That's why when asked, they all expressed didfferent opinions and reasons for why they were involved in the "occupy" movement.
I'm not saying some large businesses don't give big money to the democratic Governor's or Presidential campaigns. They do this to cover their bets. In case the citizenry actually has their way and has been immune to the Republican and Big Business spin machine, they want some favor to call in if possible ... or at least an ear to lobby.
Get the Money Out of Politics
Starting on MSNBC's Dylan Radigan show, Dylan and a former lobbyist came up with a plan called "Get the Money Out" with efforts to create a constitutional ammendment that would eliminate political fundraising causing an "I owe you" attitude towards big contributors. For more information, type in Google search bar "Dylan Radigan, Get the Money Out."
Until we eliminate the big contributions to legislators, the working class majority will not truly have the voice they should have when it comes to passing legislation that supports the majority of voters and citizens. 94% of elections are won by those raising the most money. I don't know who said it but it rang very true when I heard them say "that's an auction, not an election!"
Check this website out ... unbelieveable boldness on major corporate involvement in writing "OUR" legislation:
Over 300 Multi-National Corporations have come together to plan, fund and lobby Republican leaders to enact legislation they wrote that sets the rules in their favor, often against the American workers best interests. They have been in existance since 1973, but have recently become more bold. it is believed that they are the force behind all of the anti-worker legislation being enacted in every state with a Republican Governor.
(excerpt from ALECWatch.org)
"The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) boasts �During the 1999-2000 legislative cycle, ALEC legislators introduced more than 3100 pieces of legislation based on our models, and more than 450 of these were enacted. . . . In the legislative Sessions of 2000, there were more than 2150 introductions promoting ALEC Policy.�
So why haven�t we ever heard of this group?
Because corporate America doesn�t want us to know. Close scrutiny reveals that ALEC is little more than a screen for hundreds of big corporations and trade associations to advance their legislative agendas in state capitals from coast to coast. "
AFL-CIO need all of us to join their "We Are One" Campaign ... and we need them. Click here to go to "We are One." Union members get their political leverage only because of our large number of members who will stand together for a common purpose. We need to rally our current members, our retirees, and even the supporting public, our friends and family.
- If it's not good for U.S. Workers,
it's not good for America! -
"First they came ..." is a famous statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller (1892 - 1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. The text of the quotation is usually presented roughly as follows:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
(excerpted from Wikipedia)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Why Labor Unions are Important to All American Citizens has been moved to its' own page titled
Thank You for Visiting the 2012
Labor Union & Workers Resource Website