Monday, January 26, 2009

U.S.A.`s Biggest Export is JOBS !

New Report: 30 Million Service Jobs May Be Shipped Overseas
by James Parks, Jan 23, 2009

Recent telecommunications advances, especially the Internet, could theoretically put more than 30 million U.S. jobs at risk of being exported overseas. Services previously needed to be performed domestically theoretically can be done anywhere in the world through the Internet, four U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) analysts say in an article appearing in the agency’s Monthly Labor Review (subscription required).The 160 occupations considered capable of being performed in other countries account for some 30.3 million workers, one-fifth of total U.S. employment and cover a wide array of job functions, pay rates and educational levels. More than half of the vulnerable jobs in the BLS study are professional and related occupations, including computer and mathematical science occupations and architecture and engineering jobs, and many office and administrative support occupations also are considered susceptible. Since 2000, corporations have shipped more than 525,000 white-collar overseas, according to the AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees (DPE). Some estimates say up to 14 million middle-class jobs could be exported out of our nation in the next 10 years. Accountants, software engineers, X-ray technicians, all are losing their jobs as corporations look for low-wage workers in countries such as India and China. Meanwhile, the jobs being created in the United States often are low-wage jobs that don’t offer health coverage or ensure retirement security. Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s workers labor in jobs that generally pay less than the $8.85 hourly wage the U.S. government says it takes to keep a family of four out of poverty. Sixty percent of such workers are women, and many are people of color. Among the occupations most susceptible to being sent overseas, the BLS analysts say, are those that produce information and do not require “face-to-face” contact. Among the most vulnerable are office and administrative support jobs, with relatively low education or training requirements, including telephone operators, payroll and timekeeping clerks, and word processors and typists. Another 11 of the highest ranked jobs are professional and related occupations, which generally possess higher educational requirements. They include pharmacists, computer programmers, biochemists and biophysicists, architectural and civil drafters, financial analysts, paralegals and legal assistants.Among the occupations least likely to be shipped overseas are financial managers, food scientists and technologists, front-line retail sales managers, and training and development specialists.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Unions Save Lives in More Than One Way !

This Miracle Brought to You by America's Unions
They're calling it a miracle--the successful landing of a US Airways jet in the Hudson and subsequent rescue of all 155 passengers. They're detailing the heroism of all involved, starting with the pilot and including cabin crew, ferry crews, and first responders. What they're not telling you is that just about every single one of these heros is a union member.
There's the pilot: What might have been a catastrophe in New York — one that evoked the feel if not the scale of the Sept. 11 attack — was averted by a pilot's quick thinking and deft maneuvers, On board, the pilot, Chesley B. Sullenberger III, 57, unable to get back to La Guardia, had made a command decision to avoid densely populated areas and try for the Hudson, When all were out, the pilot walked up and down the aisle twice to make sure the plane was empty, officials said. Sullenberger is a former national committee member and the former safety chairman for the Airline Pilots Association and now represented by US Airline Pilots Association. He--and his union--have fought to ensure pilots get the kind of safety training to pull off what he did yesterday. Then there are the flight attendants: One passenger, Elizabeth McHugh, 64, of Charlotte, seated on the aisle near the rear, said flight attendants shouted more instructions: feet flat on the floor, heads down, cover your heads. They are members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. Yesterday's accident should remind all of us that flight attendants are first and foremost safety professionals--they should not be treated like cocktail waitresses. There are the air traffic controllers: The pilot radioed air traffic controllers on Long Island that his plane had sustained a "double bird strike." They're represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Someday, they'll rename National Airport for the work these men and women do to keep us safe in the air.
There are the ferry crews: As the first ferry nudged up alongside, witnesses said, some passengers were able to leap onto the decks. Others were helped aboard by ferry crews.
They're represented by the Seafarers International Union. They provide safety training to their members so they're prepared for events like yesterday's accident.
There are the cops and firemen: Helicopters brought wet-suited police divers, who dropped into the water to help with the rescues. They're represented by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association (IAFF locals).They're the men and women who performed so heroically on 9/11--and they've been fighting to make sure first responders get the equipment to do this kind of thing.
Bob Corker
and Richard Shelby like to claim that union labor is a failed business model.
But I haven't heard much about Bob Corker and Richard Shelby saving 155 people's lives.
Sullenberger's union membership corrected, UFOA added.

Friday, January 16, 2009

CEO Tom Kilgore Needs Another Raise !

TVA`S Disasters !

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The nation's largest public utility said Monday tests showed slightly elevated levels of contaminants in the Tennessee River downstream from an Alabama coal-waste spill, but the samples still met federal standards for safe drinking water. Results of tests performed by a private laboratory for the Tennessee Valley Authority showed the levels of more than a dozen substances were a bit higher downstream than upstream from the spill at the Widows Creek power plant, located in extreme northeast Alabama. The tests of water found elevated levels of metals including aluminum, arsenic and magnesium, but the amounts were still below the levels allowed by federal environmental regulations."So far there's nothing to be concerned about," said Jessica Stone, a spokeswoman for the Knoxville, Tenn.,-based utility. Officials in the town of Stevenson, located downstream from the Widows Creek plant, were still testing groundwater but said they were pleased with the initial tests of the river, which provides the city of nearly 1,800 with drinking water. "It's something to be concerned about ... but right now I don't think it's too big of an event," said city utilities manager Brent Blackmon. State regulators said as much as 10,000 gallons of waste spilled from a pond that is used mainly to hold water and gypsum, which is used in scrubbers that reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide emitted by burning coal. Gypsum contains calcium sulfate, and the tests showed elevated sulfate levels in the river downstream from the spill. The utility said damage from the Widows Creek spill appeared far less severe than from a spill that dumped about 1 billion gallons of coal ash at one of its plants at Kingston, Tenn., last month.TVA, which has 9 million customers in seven Southeastern states, has similar ponds in several locations.
Editorial : I know, we can give CEO Tom Kilgore another 1/2 $ million Dollar raise, that will cure the problem ! Is the Board of Director`s NUTS ! It seems to this writer, that not only is Mr. Kilgore not qualified for a raise, but he is not qualified for the job !

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Union Busters Make > MONEY ! They Sell Out to GREED !

Berman Exposed’—the Facts Behind the Smoke and Mirrors
by Seth Michaels, Jan 14, 2009

Did you hear that mercury in fish isn’t dangerous, that earning a minimum wage is bad for workers and that Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a menace to society? If you have, chances are you’ve heard that from mega-lobbyist Richard Berman. Now, a new website is shining a light on the man and the money behind many, many myths. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has launched “Berman Exposed,” a great new website detailing Berman’s background and just how he winds up in the middle of so many controversial issues. Berman is an award-winning spinner of distraction, disinformation and outright falsehood. We’ve written frequently about Berman, because he’s an influential political mercenary, the guy the biggest corporations hire when they want to keep their fingerprints off a misleading and nasty public relations campaign. He hides behind self-created organizations with deliberately misleading names like “Center for Union Facts” and “Center for Consumer Freedom.” Through these front groups and the op-eds and advertisements placed under their rubric, Berman is an industry unto himself—and a driving force behind some of the misleadingly named front groups leading the charge against the Employee Free Choice Act. When Big Business wants to hide its agenda, Berman is there to take the call—and the big check. Yet it seems the press must have Berman on speed dial, too. It’s all too rare that a news story on the Employee Free Choice Act doesn’t give the first quote to Berman or another corporate hack. He’s cited as an “expert source” instead of what he is—a bought and paid for shill. “Berman Exposed” is a useful corrective to the corporate-funded disinformation campaigns that are distorting our public debate. Thanks, CREW, for shining a light on the creepier corners of how Big Business tries to mask its influence on public policy.
Editorial :“Union busting is a field populated by bullies and built on deceit. A campaign against a union is an assault on individuals and a war on the truth. As such, it is a war without honor. The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

David R. Radtke`s..Letter About My Dad !

Sen`s. Richard Shelby, Bob Corker & Mitch McConnell Hate My Dad
Home > Media Center > Point of View
By David R. Radtke

David R. Radtke is a partner in the Michigan law firm of Klimist, McKnight, Sale, McClow & Canzano and a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. I have a confession. My father is an autoworker. I know that some people will recoil in disgust upon learning that fact, but it gets worsehe's a retired UAW autoworker and he and my mother live on a pension and have retiree health care benefits that supplement Medicare. In other words, he is public enemy #1 to Sens. Richard Shelby, Bob Corker and Jim DeMint. According to these senators, my dad and his cadre of active and retired UAW-represented autoworkers are responsible for this country's economic downturn. In the color-coded chart of America's enemies, they are right below Al Qaeda and moving up fast. My dad is despised by the right and the left. Right-wing Republican senators rail against my dad on the Senate floor because he's lazy, overpaid and coddled. For some on the left, their view of class consciousness compels them to speak out against anyone who has middle-class existence without the rigors of a college degree. My dad also is detested by the rich and the poor. Rich people don't like my dad because if workers earn good wages and benefits, it somehow diminishes their own affluence. Many poor people don't like my dad because they have dead-end, low-wage jobs, nonunion jobs with no benefits. It's America's version of class warfare, where you hate other workers that have more than you but idolize their bosses. Since I've already established that my father is the scourge of "right-thinking" Americans high school educated, union member, blue-collar job and now retired with a pension and health care benefits. But let me tell you a little more about him. My dad grew up in Hamtramck, Mich., a Polish enclave surrounded by the city of Detroit. His mother was born in Poland and his father was second generation German-Polish. My dad graduated from Hamtramck High School in 1955 and, like nearly everyone of his classmates, went into the military. After two uneventful years in the peacetime Army, he returned home and married my mother. He got a job servicing office machines and my mom worked at the phone company. None of their friends or relatives went to college. None. They all got blue-collar union jobs in factories or driving trucks or working for the government. After a few years, me and my sister were born and my mom quit her job. My dad got into a tool-and-die apprenticeship program in a small factory and served a four-year apprenticeship. He also joined the UAW and my parents bought a three-bedroom, 1,300-square-foot brick ranch in Warren, Mich. After getting his journey mans card, my dad got a job at Chrysler. He worked at various plants in Metro Detroit as a tool-and-die maker. I remember he was laid off a few times and went on strike once. When my sister and I were in grade school, he was often on the afternoon or midnight shift, so he would wake up for an hour or so in the morning to see us before school. At some point, my parents bought a small, empty lot for $1,500 on a little lake in northern Michigan. My dad and his cousins built a little two-room cabin. Other than two weeks at Disney World, we spent every vacation at that cabin. I vividly remember the tension and unease in our house when Chrysler was in deep financial trouble in the late 1970s. After Congress gave Chrysler a loan (which it paid back early, with interest) we had a gold Plymouth Volare with a bumper sticker that said: THANKS, AMERICA. When I was six years old, I had a serious medical problem that required two surgeries, extended stays in the hospital and many, many doctor visits and tests. Because my dad had UAW-negotiated health care, our family was not financially devastated. Later, my dad transferred to an office job with Chrysler's parts division where he continued to use his knowledge of tooling and parts. It also was a UAW-represented job, but it was 9-to-5, so he saw my sister and I every day. Just weeks before I was to head off to college, my dad had a heart attack shoveling snow. He was hospitalized for a short time and was off work for a couple months. Because of the UAW contract, his medical treatment was fully covered and he received sick pay. The UAW contract also guaranteed that he could return to his job when he recovered. Because of these benefits, I didn't have to drop out of college and get a job. Instead, I was able to continue my education with my parents' help and student loans.When my dad retired after nearly 30 years at Chrysler, he retired with a union-negotiated pension and retiree health care benefits that supplement Medicare. My parents still live in the same three-bedroom brick house in Warren and spend a lot of their time with their five grandchildren. Other than the short time my dad was off after the heart attack, he never missed a day of work. He raised a family and now he and my mother have a comfortable life. But dad's not alone. Most of my parents' friends live much the same life. They are now in their 70s and they have modest, secure lives. They have lived what I was taught to be the promise of this country. Each generation progresses from the previous. Every person who works has financial security, decent health care and a dignified retirement. I learned this lesson in the public schools I attended and have heard it in speeches made by many politicians. So, when did it become acceptable to be against that ideal? How can U.S. senators stand on the Senate floor and denounce millions of Americans like my dad? Workers who spent their lives raising families, paying taxes, adding to their communities and laboring in good union jobs for a middle-class life the vaunted American Dream. Well, it's not acceptable and it is those senators who should be denounced.

Editorial : I could have written this letter, it is so factual ! It is so sad to say, but our Republican Senators have become the enemy of the working class and the champions of huge wealth !

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Life is Precious ! A Letter to/for "Linda"!

A Letter for Linda...1/01/09

It seems that the older I get, the more valuable life becomes! I`m not sure why ? Perhaps it is merely the reality that it is close to the ending of it, or that one has finally learned what is most valuable in life. I learned on December 29,2008 that my one and only sibling, my Sister has terminal cancer, and that it is a matter of days before her life is finished here on earth ! Linda has been fighting this cancer for about eight(8)months now, she has fought the good fight. It is now time for her family to accept this fact and make what they can of it ? There is one good thing in all of this, she is a practicing Christian. She will be in a better place ! To her husband Jerry, I say, what a wonderful Husband and Father you are ! You have stayed with her night and day and fought along side of her in this quest to avoid death. You too have fought the good fight. To her five(5) sons, I say "Thanks Guys" you too are wonderful young men. You helped aided and assisted where ever you could. Count your blessings, you had her for such a longtime. How fortunate you are/were ! Her memory will be like a blessing of life, in that you can draw on it, as you will. This writer is her one and only Brother, I can remember when we fought as all brothers and sisters do. How precious are the memory`s ! I`m not sure exactly when it happened, but we became not only friends, but close ! I`m afraid that I`ve not taken this as well, as I might have ? My eyes seem closer to my heart than they once were. You see, I too loved her. Linda' Thanks for being my Sister and all that being a sister entails. I know that when you pass from this life to heaven, what a day of reunion that will be ! Being what we are as human beings, we want to keep you here ! We know, we must let you go. it is just so difficult to do. With deep and lasting love, I remain

Your Brother, D.V. = Don

Update : My Sister Linda, passed away this morning Sunday 1/04/09 at 5:30 am. She went peacefully in her sleep...she just stopped breathing ! What a wonderful reunion took place in heaven this morning. Amen !