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Business Economist And Industry Shill Now Chair Of Health Economics At UNH

unh-peter-paul-schoolThe University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics just hired one of the business industry’s biggest shills in the fight against raising the minimum wage.

Dr Joseph Sabia

Professor Joseph Sabia

Professor Joseph J. Sabia has been well quoted in newspapers for his work opposing the minimum wage. Lobbyists for the National Restaurant Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, and the National Federation of Independent Business also use Sabia’s work to convince lawmakers to oppose any wage increases by saying it will kill jobs and hurt low-income workers.

The New Hampshire Union Leader just printed one of Sabia’s hit pieces in the editorial section of Friday’s paper. The editorial, “Another View — Joseph J. Sabia: The $15 minimum wage is an empty promise to the poor,” attempts to prove that raising the minimum wage will hurt New Hampshire families. He says that poor people are just lazy and there is not connection between the minimum wage and poverty.

A $15 minimum wage has been championed as an anti-poverty measure. But the majority of poor people do not work and will not benefit from a higher minimum wage. According to 2014 Census data, less than 40 percent of poor individuals actually work.”

This 40% lie has been busted by a variety of economic institutions. The Economic Policy Institute published a report in 2015 addressing this claim specifically and found that over 63% of those living in poverty do work.

Despite what some policymakers and pundits might have us believe, a significant share of the poor work. This means that policies that boost employment and wages are important and underappreciated tools for reducing poverty. To boost wage-growth and reduce poverty rates, a policy agenda must include provisions to raise the minimum wage, raise the overtime threshold, eliminate wage theft, and strengthen workers’ collective bargaining rights,” wrote Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute.

rick-berman

Richard Berman, Lawyer and Lobbyist

Professor Sabia and his work also have direct ties to Rick Berman’s public relations firm. Berman’s firm is widely known for their work pushing Right to Work, creating misleading -borderline untruthful- information about the minimum wage, and helps corporations like Wal-Mart block unionizing efforts.

In 1991, Berman founded the Employment Policies Institute that began lobbying against raising the minimum wage. “Berman also founded the Center for Consumer Freedom, which lobbies for meat, drink and tobacco industries, and the Center for Union Facts, which lobbies against unions,” wrote Ben Schiller at Fast Company online.

Sabia has been doing anti-minimum wage research for years at different colleges and universities across the country. Most recently he was at San Diego State University where he pumped out reports with grant money from Berman’s public relations firm.

Eric Lipton of the New York Times wrote about this in 2014:

Joseph J. Sabia, an associate professor of economics at San Diego State University, who has collected at least $180,000 in grant money from Mr. Berman’s group over the last eight years to deliver seven separate reports, each one concluding that increasing the minimum wage has caused more harm than good — or at least no significant benefit for the poor.

As noted above, in 1991, Berman created the Employment Policies Institute or EPI as they like to call themselves. If the acronym EPI rings a bell, that is what Berman wants. They did it intentionally to confuse people the Economic Policy Institute that has been publishing detailed economic reports for over 30 years and “whose staffers are very unhappy with the alphabetical confusion.”

The Employment Policies Institute is a wholly disingenuous group funded by companies that stand to lose from minimum wage increases,” wrote Ben Schiller at Fast Company online.

Why do Sabia and Berman’s Employment Policies Institute create these reports? To get them directly into the hands of the lobbyists who work for the corporations that fund Berman’s public relations firm.

What is clear is that the reports by the Employment Policies Institute are a critical element in the lobbying campaign against the increase in the minimum wage, as restaurant industry groups, in their own statements and news releases, often cite the institute’s reports, creating the Washington echo chamber effect that is so coveted by industry lobbyists,” continued Lipton of the New York Times.

You see the Employment Policies Institute is just another one of Berman’s nonprofit businesses in name only, as they do not have any employees. Berman’s public relations firm completes all of the work that is sent out by the Employment Policies Institute. Berman then bills “EPI” for his services and boom, corporate money laundering complete.

This arrangement effectively means that the nonprofit is a moneymaking venture for Mr. Berman, whose advertising firm was paid $1.1 million by the institute in 2012, according to its tax returns, or 44 percent of its total budget, with most of the rest of the money used to buy advertisements.

Berman has even created a new app for IPhone and Android to help employers fight against minimum wage increases.

If companies are worried that they might be forced to actually pay their workers enough to live, they have a willing ally in the Employment Policies Institute… Wage Engage allows business owners to track minimum wage legislation in states relevant to them, and to offer their opinion about the impact of such increases,” added Schiller(Read more about “Wage Engage”)  

Peter T Paul (UNH Photo Services)

Peter T Paul (UNH Photo Services)

Sabia was hired as Professor of Economics & Forrest D. McKerley Chair of Health Economics at the Peter T Paul College of Business and Economics. The school was recently renamed after UNH Alum and wealthy California businessman Peter T Paul after a very sizable donation to the school. In addition to having the school named after him, Paul also is a member of the school’s Board of Directors.

Many people do not know much about the man the school is named after. Paul founded Headlands Mortgage known for creating and selling “Alt-A” mortgages that many attributed to the financial collapse in 2007.

Headlands Mortgage, which he founded in 1986, called them Alt-A loans: Alternative “high-quality” loans. The California-based company examined the worth of the home and the down payment, the amount of cash in the bank, and the credit history, but was looser on income verification,” wrote Bob Sanders of the NH Business Review.

Paul sold his lucrative mortgage company to GreenPoint for “$473 million” reported Sanders.After selling GreenPoint, Paul started Paul Financial, which flourished and later failed, resulting in large losses for himself and his borrowers. And it became the target of a class-action truth-in-lending suit that was settled last November for $1.75 million.”

Then Paul decided he wanted to get more involved in New Hampshire politics. Paul created a Super PAC to support his friend and former UNH Business School Dean, Dan Innis in his run for Congress in 2014.

Mother Jones reported, “Paul created a super-PAC, New Hampshire Priorities PAC, and financed it with $562,000.

In 2014, Innis lost his primary bid for Congress to the corrupt Congressman Frank Guinta. This year, Innis chose to run for New Hampshire State Senate and guess whom he is bringing with him? 

“I am excited for the opportunity to refocus NH Priorities PAC on state races during the 2016 election cycle. In particular, the PAC will be focusing on recruiting and supporting candidates for the Executive Council, State Senate, and House of Representatives who are committed to offering fiscally responsible solutions to the issues impacting our great state,” wrote Peter T Paul on the NH Priorities PAC website.

So why do I find this newly hired economist to the University of New Hampshire so dubious? Because the minimum wage is one of the biggest issues driving this election cycle.

We have a Presidential election between Hillary Clinton, who supports a minimum wage increase and Donald Trump who says workers are already paid too much.

We have a US Senate race between Senator Kelly Ayotte who opposed minimum wage legislation in the Senate and Governor Maggie Hassan who has pushed for an increase in the minimum wage since her time in the NH State Senate.

We also have a Gubernatorial race between Executive Councilor Chris Sununu who opposes increasing the minimum wage in New Hampshire and Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern who advocates for a higher minimum wage and suggested a baseline of $12 an hour. Van Ostern also says he will sign any increase to the minimum wage that passes the Legislature.

For the first time in many, many, many years we are really close to getting the Legislature to raise the minimum wage and that is scaring some of the greedy CEO’s who fund groups like Berman’s Employment Policies Institute.

They are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to cover up the truth about the benefits of raising the minimum wage. By convincing people that raising the minimum wage is wrong they are trying to convince voters to reject candidates who support the increase.

I refuse to let Berman, a D.C. front man for the restaurant and business industry, Peter T Paul, a wealthy Wall Street gambler from California, and Sabia, an economist for hire funded by grants from a fake “institute” tell me what is best for the people of New Hampshire.

None of these men have the best interests of working Granite Staters’ in mind when they are pushing their agenda. These men are only interested in maximizing their personal profits and taking from the hard working people struggling every day to get by.


Related Reading:

Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties

Rick Berman and the Libertarian Shell Game

UNIONS MATTER: The American Worker, Labor Day, & the Importance of Unions!

Painting of Lawrence Ma, during the Bread and Roses strink in 1912 by Ralph Fasanella

A painting of Lawrence Ma, during the Bread and Roses strink in 1912 by Ralph Fasanella

By Steven Weiner for Unions Matter

I am a labor activist who loves unions, and was proud to be a Local 2627, DC 37, AFSCME Executive Board member and Shop Steward My union fought for the benefits we now enjoy from the New York City Department of Education, which now include for me, a measure of economic security in retirement that never would have been otherwise.

As I study Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by the great American philosopher and critic, Eli Siegel, I’ve been learning about the tremendous meaning of unions and how much they have done for the American worker. It was Mr. Siegel who explained with compelling evidence: “Labor is the only source of wealth; there is no other source except land, the raw material.” I love this statement, and have seen its truth and its value! I’ve also learned that because of the success of unions over decades, enabling workers to earn increased pay and benefits, there has been a determined effort by corporate America and some state governments to weaken unions and even crush them. The reason: Every additional dollar earned by a union man or woman is that much less in the pockets of shareholders.

My studies include learning about individual men and women who had to do with the rise of the union movement. One such person is Ralph Fasanella (1914-1997), union organizer and painter, whom I admire very much. He fought for economic justice and depicted the struggle of working people in his paintings. He was called “Friend of the Worker, Artist of the People.” In a public seminar titled “A Man’s Dissatisfaction: What Makes It Right or Wrong?” presented at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York, I spoke about the meaning of his life and what he did. His deep-seated dissatisfaction with the conditions under which people were forced to work is part of the true meaning of Labor Day. That holiday recognizes the sacrifices millions of men and women made—some with their very lives—to have unions succeed.

Ralph Fasanella was born to Italian immigrant parents who had to work very hard to support their large family. Witnessing their valiant efforts to survive on meager wages and under brutal working conditions, he became keenly aware of what all workers had to endure. After returning from fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War, he became part of the American labor movement because, as he said, unions were:

“the beginning of the working man getting a break in this country. For the first time he had a right. He had a right to a holiday, forty-hour week. Vacations with pay. Pension plans. Job security.”

As a United Electrical Workers union representative in the early 1940s, Ralph Fasanella spoke passionately to firefighters, elevator operators, and hospital workers; and he led successful organizing drives at General Electric, Sperry Gyroscope, and AT&T. His life was rich and useful, and I’m glad to have learned about him.

I think Ralph Fasanella would have cared for and benefitted from what Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, has shown about the tremendous importance of unions. For instance, in No. 1348 of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, titled “Unions and Beauty,” she quotes this central principle of Aesthetic Realism, as stated by Mr. Siegel: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Continuing, she writes:

“There are millions of people in America grateful to unions, and many more should be. And there are persons, including in government, who have been trying to destroy unions. But Aesthetic Realism is that which shows that a union, a true union, is aesthetic: like a concerto, a novel, a painting, it is a oneness of opposites. And its aesthetics is its power.”

And about opposites crucial in every labor union—oneness and manyness—she explains that in a union:

many people become powerful by working as one, in behalf of justice…. A union is based on each single person saying, My well-being depends on trying to have all these other people get what they deserve. It’s based on all people saying, Together we’ll try to have each individual get what he or she deserves.

Painting by Ralph Fasanella

Painting by Ralph Fasanella

I believe oneness and manyness are opposites that Fasanella put together well in much of his work. For instance, here is a detail from one of his numerous paintings about the textile workers strike of 1912 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

We can see how the artist took multiple elements: buildings, churches, smokestacks, railroad cars, many and varied windows, striking workers, and so much more, and arranged them into a coherent, stirring composition. There are many people showing they have power, working together for one proud purpose: to have their strike succeed!

To read the entire issue of Unions and Beauty:

 

Despite Declines in New Hampshire Poverty Rate, Economic Stability Remains Out of Reach for Many Granite Staters

Concord, NH – New data released today by the US Census Bureau finds that New Hampshire’s poverty rate declined to 8.2 percent in 2015, a drop of one percent since 2014. New Hampshire once again ranked first for the lowest state poverty rate in the country.

“While New Hampshire maintains the lowest poverty rate in the nation at 8.2 percent, this figure demonstrates that there are still far too many Granite State families struggling to achieve economic stability,” said John F. Shea, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute.

The official poverty threshold understates the degree of economic insecurity in New Hampshire and elsewhere, as a family of three is considered “not poor” if it earns a collective income of $20,000. Due to a relatively high cost of living, New Hampshire families require a significantly higher level of income in order to afford housing, child care, health care, transportation, and food, among other basic necessities.

NHFPI’s recent report, Taking the Measure of Need in the Granite State, outlines the shortcomings of the official poverty measures and examines alternate methods of assessing what it takes to afford a modest standard of living in various regions of the state. The report also finds that a sizeable number of jobs do not pay wages sufficient for many New Hampshire families to be able to make ends meet.

“These latest findings underscore the need for policy changes to ensure that all Granite State families and children have the supports they need to achieve economic stability and to have the opportunity to succeed, ” said Shea. “New Hampshire could take steps to bolster wages and to ensure all families have access to affordable child care, which will enable them to remain in the workforce, acquire new skills and training, and access improved employment opportunities.”
New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Learn more at www.nhfpi.org.

Rep. Mary Stuart Gile files for Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance

Concord – Today, Rep. Mary Stuart Gile filed a legislative service request for paid family and medical leave insurance. Rep. Gile has worked on this issue for almost two decades, including a number of study committees. Rep. Gile and Sen. Dan Feltes serve on the Taskforce on Work and Family, which helped work on a successful grant application to the US Department of Labor to study the costs and benefits of paid family and medical leave insurance in New Hampshire.

Recent research shows that 80% of Granite Staters support paid family and medical leave insurance, and 69% would be willing to allow a withdraw of $5 per week from their wages to establish the insurance.

Rep. Gile, and co-sponsor Sen. Feltes, released the following joint statement:

“After years of study, it’s time to finally move forward with paid family and medical leave insurance, and Granite Staters of all backgrounds and political affiliations agree – in fact, eighty percent (80%) of Granite Staters agree. This legislation will be uniquely New Hampshire, it will be bipartisan, and it’ll help us attract younger working families to New Hampshire. Insuring some short-term wage replacement will allow workers to care for an aging family member, care for a new child, and care for themselves, including getting needed substance misuse treatment. We look forward to working with members of both parties, the business community, and all stakeholders, including at the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Summit hosted by the N.H. Women’s Foundation on September 21,” said Rep. Gile and Sen. Feltes.

Granite State Progress and the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance for Action helped to push for paid medical leave as part of their Stand With Women campaign last year.

“Workers need time off to care for themselves and their loved ones,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “It’s unreasonable that most families in our country cannot take time off during medical emergencies or for the birth of a new child without fear of losing their job. Paid family and medical leave insurance is an opportunity to put systems in place so that during these limited but intense times, families can focus on staying strong and healthy instead of facing economic insecurity.”

In early 2016, Rep Gile and Sen. Feltes were successful in passing SB 416 (13-10), a bill to prohibit retaliation against employees who request “flexible work schedules.”

We will continue to follow this bill as it makes it way through the Legislature next year.

Leo W Gerard: Dishonest Don

Donald Trump likes to brag on the campaign trail that he’s the best at bribing politicians. He said, for example, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”  But then, when he got caught giving and getting exactly what the hell he wanted, he claimed that’s not what happened.

Not only that, Trump promises as president he would surround himself with the best advisers. The best! Just like he says he did as a businessman. And he claims he’s a great businessman. The greatest! Well, maybe he forgot about his four bankruptcies that left hundreds of small businessmen and craftsmen unpaid. And maybe he forgot about the fiasco surrounding his namesake foundation illegally giving a “donation” to an attorney general who then decided to drop a fraud investigation against him. The advisers in that case? Not exactly the best.

Much has been made lately about the Clinton Foundation. But Donny’s got one too. Unlike the Clinton Foundation, to which the Clintons gave $1 million last year, the Trump Foundation hasn’t seen a cent from Donny’s pocket since 2009.

2016-09-11-1473608006-4625377-Trumpmoney.jpg

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Both foundations get lots of money from wealthy donors; the big difference is in how it’s spent. Among the Clinton Foundation focuses are providing access to HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB drugs in developing nations. Among the Trump Foundation programs are those providing gifts to Florida attorneys general considering whether to investigate allegations of fraud against Trump University.

Though the Trump Foundation gave this illegal “grant” back in 2013, the IRS was alerted to it only recently.

Like attorneys general in many states at that time, Florida’s Pam Bondi, a Republican, received numerous complaints that Trump University was a scam. Angry students who felt they got short shrift for their tens of thousands in “tuition” wanted Bondi to charge Trump and other university officials with fraud or at least help them get their money back.

Bondi’s spokesperson admitted to the Associated Press that Bondi personally asked Trump for a donation at the same time her office was deciding whether to join a lawsuit against Trump University proposed by New York’s Democratic attorney general.

Bondi got a $25,000 check. And isn’t it funny how quickly after that she decided against joining the lawsuit against Trump?

That left the individual Floridians who felt cheated to pursue reimbursement on their own. By contrast, in New York, the attorney general went ahead with the suit, representing students in his state that he believes were fleeced by Trump University in a bait-and-switch scheme.

When reporters questioned Trump about the $25,000 gift, he denied Bondi talked to him about a contribution. “I never spoke to her about it at all,” he claimed at first. But later, his spokeswoman admitted Bondi asked Trump for the money.

Trump didn’t take the $25,000 out of his own wallet. He took it from the foundation.

And see, here’s the problem. Non-profit foundations are prohibited by the IRS from making political contributions. And lying to the IRS about it is worse.

Here is how Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization and treasurer for the Trump Foundation explained the bungling that led to the foundation paying a $2,500 fine to the IRS earlier this year.

First, Weisselberg claimed, a Trump clerk was asked to write a check for $25,000 to an organization called And Justice for All, which was Bondi’s political action committee.

Weisselberg swears that the clerk found a charity named And Justice for All in Utah, which helps people with disabilities, and wrote the check for And Justice for All intending it to go to a charity in Utah.

And then, he says, the check, somehow, he doesn’t know how, got sent to Bondi.

And that’s not all, folks!

Weisselberg blames the next blunder on Trump’s accounting firm. When the firm listed the foundation’s 2013 donations for the IRS, it didn’t list either And Justice for All from Utah or And Justice for All from Florida. Instead it listed an entirely different group, Justice for All from Kansas.

It was just a typo or something, Weisselberg claims.

So on the 2013 IRS form, first the Trump Foundation told the federal government that it had not spent money for political purposes, when, in fact, it had spent $25,000 for political purposes. Then it told the IRS it made a grant to a group it had not, in fact, given money to.

All this fumbling from what Donnie promises will be the very best advisers in the world. The greatest!

The IRS never would have discovered this on its own. Its staff has been decimated by Republican budget cutting. Republicans don’t want billionaires like Trump to get pinched for tax cheating. So they take care of that problem by eliminating the tax cops.

When they did, Donnie denied any of it was done on purpose. Now, don’t forget, Donnie’s the guy who keeps saying things like this on the campaign trail: “I’ve given to everybody because that is my job. I gotta give to them. Because when I want something, I get it. When I call, they kiss my ass.”

In Bondi’s case, though, Donnie denied she kissed his anything. He said they were just friends.

 “I’ve just known Pam Bondi for years,” he said. She was a great attorney general, so he sent her $25,000 when she asked for it while she was considering investigating his university and then he concealed the donation through his foundation and she dropped the investigation. Nothing to see here, folks!

Just like his tax returns. He keeps saying there’s nothing there. He claims he’s told Americans everything they need to know about his finances. But after this whole Bondi affair, it’s probably better to go with a new version of the old Reagan admonition when dealing with the Trump tax returns: distrust and verify by seeing the actual forms.

“Moral Day of Action” in Concord Monday, September 12

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – On the day before the state primary election, faith leaders and social justice advocates will rally by the State House at 11 am to call for a “moral economy” that pays living wages, supports family-friendly workplaces, and respects human and civil rights.

The rally at City Plaza on North Main Street will feature a reading of the “Higher Ground Moral Declaration” and speakers who will highlight the call for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

Similar rallies will take place at 25 other state capitols, all at 11 am local time.

The “Moral Day of Action” is a part of “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values,” a national multi-state tour to redefine morality in American politics. The tour challenges leaders of faith and moral courage to be more vocally opposed to harmful policies that disproportionately impact vulnerable communities.

Local sponsors include the NH Voices of Faith, a group which has conducted prayer vigils inside the State House in support of workers’ rights, health care, and living wages.

The “Higher Ground Moral Declaration” (currently signed by over 10,000 people of faith and 1,500 clergy) calls on elected officials and candidates for office to advance a moral public policy agenda that responds to the urgent needs of the poor, people who are ill, children, immigrants, communities of color, and religious minorities.

The “Higher Ground Moral Declaration” was delivered to both the Republican National Convention and Democratic Convention in July, prior to each party’s 2016 presidential conventions. 

“The Revival” is co-led by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, and architect of the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina; and the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., senior minister emeritus of The Riverside Church, president of Healing of the Nations Ministries, and national minister for the Drum Major Institute. 

Sen Sanborn Raises Over $100K But Only $1080 Came From Within District 9

 Jeanne Dietsch reports 171 individual donors from District 9 towns,
Sanborn reports 9

Peterborough, NH—State Senate candidate financial filings posted on the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website Thursday revealed a surprising finding: District 9 incumbent Sen. Andy Sanborn (R-Bedford) has reported only 9 individual donors who live in the district. Jeanne Dietsch, seeking the Democratic nomination on September 13 to challenge Sanborn, had 171 in-district donors. Dietsch’s in-district donors outnumbered Sanborn’s by a margin of 19 to 1.

“I’m proud to have the most donors from Senate District 9 of any candidate,” said Dietsch. “It’s a sign that our commitment to reaching voters one-on-one – knocking on the doors of more than 3,300 voters in all 14 towns across the district – is paying off.”

Sanborn’s major corporate donors include: health insurers Cigna ($1,000) and Anthem Blue Cross ($250); pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca ($750), and Merck ($500); and cable and telecom companies Comcast ($1,000), AT&T ($250), and NE Cable and Telecom ($500). His major PAC contributors include the GOPAC Election Fund ($3,000) and the NH Liberty Alliance ($1,000).

Sanborn’s nine individual donors from the district – six from Bedford, one from New Boston, one from Hancock, and one from Peterborough (with none from the remaining 10 towns in the district) – gave a total of $1,080. Sanborn has taken more money from health insurance and drug companies than from residents of District 9.

“Whose side will Sanborn be on when it comes to protecting consumers from insurance rate hikes or prescription price gouging?” Dietsch asked. “I’m out talking every day with the voters I will represent. I’m committed to working for – and being accountable to – the people of District 9.”

NH Senate District 9 includes the towns of Bedford, Dublin, Greenfield, Fitzwilliam, Hancock, Jaffrey, Lyndeborough, Mont Vernon, New Boston, Peterborough, Richmond, Sharon, Temple and Troy. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, September 13.

Berry Craig: Trump Could Create American Jobs Right Now

trump-lies-720

Image by Bill Day all rights reserved

By BERRY CRAIG
AFT Local 1360

To hear GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump tell it, jobs will fall upon the land like manna from heaven if he’s elected.

But why wait, Mr. Trump? You can prove you’re a job creator right now: Start making your duds and other stuff stateside instead of abroad.

“Trump’s products have been made in 12 other countries,” claims an ad from the campaign of Hillary Clinton, his AFL-CIO endorsed Democratic foe. TheWashington Post verified the charge.

“We know of at least 12 countries where Trump products were manufactured (China, Netherlands, Mexico, India, Turkey, Slovenia, Honduras, Germany, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Korea),” wrote the Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee. All but the Netherlands and Germany are low-wage countries.

“Further, Trump products traveled through other countries through the packaging and shipping process — meaning workers in more than 12 countries contributed to getting many of Trump’s products made, packaged and delivered to the United States.”

Two western Kentucky labor leaders are on to Trump’s hypocrisy on jobs. “He says he wants to bring jobs back to America, but all of his signature lines are made somewhere overseas,” said Jeff Wiggins, president of Steelworkers Local 9447 in Calvert City and president of the Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council in Paducah.

“Why doesn’t some reporter stick a mike in Trump’s face and say ‘When are you going to bring your jobs back?'” asked Jimmy Evans, business manager of Paducah-based IBEW Local 816 in Paducah and a council delegate.

Meanwhile, Trump, though a proven big league outsourcer, continues to lambast outsourcing and trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, which grease the skids for American companies like his to shift production and jobs—and often bust unions in the process—abroad, usually to cheap labor countries.

So think about it.

Would a President Trump really deep-six trade deals and stop outsourcing, moves that would hit him where it hurts him the most—in his bank account?

Oh, Clinton, as Trump loves to point out, was for NAFTA before she came out against it. But mum’s the word from Trump about how he was cool with outsourcing before he ran for president.

But here’s another point to ponder: Clinton doesn’t make a pile of money off products made in low wage countries and shipped stateside. Trump does. Hence, who’s more likely to put the kibosh on trade deals and outsourcing–the candidate who fattens his wallet off outsourcing or the candidate who doesn’t?

Anyway, the other day I heard a Bernie Sanders booster, who I’d bet the farm won’t vote for Clinton, blame her and the whole Democratic party for NAFTA and other job-killing trade deals. Trump would love this guy who fancies himself a liberal and claims to be a Democrat.

It’s true that President Bill Clinton backed NAFTA in 1993. But most Democrats in Congress didn’t. The Republicans got NAFTA passed.

In the House, 102 Democrats voted “aye” and 156 “nay.” The Republicans were for NAFTA 132-43. One independent voted no. His name is Bernie Sanders and he’s now in Clinton’s corner and in the Senate.

On the Senate side, the GOP went for NAFTA 34-10. The Democrats were 28-27 against NAFTA. (One Democrat did not vote.)

Donald Trump Right to WorkTrump, too, is fine with American companies moving jobs and production from one state to another. Almost always, the migration involves a unionized company closing down and pulling up stakes in a non-“right to work” state and reopening non-union in a RTW state.

Trump prefers RTW states to non-RTW states.

Trump is like the Kentucky horse trader of old. He’s happy to show you his teeth, but not the horse’s.

New Polling Data Shows Trump Is Not As Favored By Union Members As He Says He Is

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Do Union members really support Donald Trump as much as Trump says they do? 

Donald Trump said and continues to reiterate, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.

Everyone knows that Trump likes to stretch the truth a little and nobody loves Trump more than Trump, but the truth is that union members really don’t like the idea of a Trump presidency.

Today, the AFL-CIO released new internal polling data that shows “Trump is at 36 percent among union members in the five battleground states of FL, NV, OH, PA and WI.”  

Just as many other Americans are turning away from Trump’s extreme rhetoric and xenophobic statements, among union members Trump has lost over five points in these key states over the last two and a half months.   

“We are educating our members and demonstrating the dangers Trump’s reality show poses to our reality. It’s making a difference. And we’re not letting up,” wrote the AFL-CIO. “’Every poll shows it.’ He can keep saying it, but like most things with Trump, the claim is just hollow words – and it won’t come true on Election Day.”

Trump is really not as pro-union as he claims.

Culinary Union 226Union members across the country are watching the ongoing labor dispute between Trump’s Las Vegas Hotel and the Culinary Workers local 226 (Unite Here) as real guide to how Trump works, or doesn’t work, with unions.

In April, after Trump Hotel Las Vegas disputed the union election, the Regional Director for the office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) covering Las Vegas overruled the Trump Hotel Las Vegas and certified the Culinary and Bartenders Union as the legal collective bargaining representatives to the more than 500 workers at the hotel.

Since then Trump Hotel Las Vegas has tried to “negate their employees’ right to unionize and instead of recognizing the results of the federal government union election, hotel management has undertaken a hostile anti-union campaign” wrote the Culinary Workers Union in recent press release. “Employees of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas are calling on their boss, the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, and co-owner Phillip Ruffin to negotiate a fair union contract.”

The Culinary Workers Union is also working to “educate and inform the travel industry about the serious ongoing and escalating labor dispute” at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.

In July, the Culinary Workers Union and AFSCME teamed up to hold a rally highlighting Trump’s union busting tactics.  Maria Mendoza was one of the thousands who showed up to protest the Trump’s failure to negotiate.

“I work hard everyday, but with the low wages I’m paid, I really struggle to provide for my daughters,” said Maria Mendoza, a guest room attendant at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. “Mr. Trump says that he wants to ‘Make America Great Again,’ but I work for him and want him to negotiate a union contract so my coworkers and I can have fair wages, job security, and good health benefits.

Culinary Trump Protest

The ongoing battle between union members and Trump’s Las Vegas hotel is not the only thing that union member have taken offense to. Earlier in the campaign Trump professed his love for “Right to Work.”  Trump told the crowd that Right to Work is “better for the people” and “gives great flexibility to the companies.”

Union members have been fighting for decades against these so-called Right to Work laws. Right to Work (for less) does nothing but lower wages, reduces a workers chance to have any type of retirement benefit, weakens collective bargaining, and is just a tool to bust unions.

So-called Right to Work laws hurt all workers.

“The average worker in states with Right to Work laws makes $5,971 (12.2 percent) less annually than workers in states without right to when all other factors are removed than workers in other states,” stated the AFL-CIO.

Trump’s continued support of anti-worker policies like Right to Work and his company’s refusal to negotiate with workers will only drive down his support among union workers further.

Donald Trump Right to Work

NH COSH To Host Workplace Violence Seminar And OSHA Refresher

The New Hampshire COSH will be hosting two events in the next couple of months.  The first, Shatter The Silence II, is the follow up to last years discussion on ending violence in the workplace.

“Workplace violence is a growing concern for modern workers and takes many forms. It is one of the leading causes of death and traumatic injury on the job and costs industry millions of dollars. In this conference we will examine what can be done in the workplace to reduce workplace violence as well as how to de-escalate potential violent situations.”

The seminar will be held Thursday September 15 from 8:30 to 4 at the IBEW Local 490 Hall in Concord.

2016 Shatter the Silence Flyer

The second event is an Emergency Response OSHA refresher.  The class will be held at NH COSH’s office in Hooksett on October 18th. This 8-hour program meets the requirements of Hazardous Waste Site Worker Refresher Training 29 CFR 1910.120 (e)(8) & Emergency Responder Refresher Training 29 CFR 1910.120 (q).

Registration and further details can be found at NH COSH’s website http://www.nhcosh.org/

2016-10-18 health officer training

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