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New Hampshire Labor News for Sunday 10/16/11, talking about Good Jobs Rally, Charter Schools and Unions, and Right To Work!

NH UNION LEADER wrap up of the weeks events in New Hampshire Politics, by Tom Fahey:

Sparring to heat up over managed care | New Hampshire NEWS0604: “Another House session has come and gone, and still no movement on Gov. John Lynch’s veto of HB 474, the right-to-work bill.
Union members, including firefighters, retired teachers, AFL-CIO members, state workers and others have turned out for each House session anticipating an override vote that Speaker O’Brien has yet to allow.
The thinking now is the veto will come forward in January, whether or not O’Brien has votes for an override.
Jan. 4 marks the end of the first House session year and the beginning of a new one.
Moore said a veto override for any of the five Lynch vetoes still not acted on “has to be in this session year.’’ Override attempts would likely be taken as the old session wraps up, he said.”

Crowd gathers in Port City for jobs rally
New Hampshire; and NH House Speaker William O’Brien for attacking labor unions and supporting the Right-To-Work bill, which Barnes said is unfairly letting those who do not pay their dues with the union to still benefit from collective bargaining.

Rally in city asks: ‘Where are the jobs?’ | SeacoastOnline.com: PORTSMOUTH — Solidifying the theme of Saturday’s workers rally, business owner Nancy Beach repeatedly asked the change-seeking crowd “Where are the jobs?”

“Approximately 75 small business owners, unemployed and underemployed workers, and others gathered in Prescott Park, calling for job growth and support of President Barack Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act, which is opposed by Senate and House Republicans for its spending components and increased taxes on the wealthy. The rally was organized by the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and Protect New Hampshire Families.”

Read the entire Press Release from the New Hampshire AFL-CIO on the Portsmouth Good Jobs Rally here

Online city election guide available – NashuaTelegraph.com: “As is the case in all important elections, The Telegraph has created special pages to collect information about the election. They include information that’s prosaic (if you don’t know where your ward polling place is, we have a map) and pretty detailed, including biographies of most candidates and responses to an issue question or two.
Seats on the ballot include the mayor, who is running uncontested; 10 aldermen, most of which are contested races; five uncontested Board of Education seats and a short-term seat; three members of the Fire Commission; and two members of the Board of Public Works.”

Charter schools among union’s questions for BOE hopefuls – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““I do not believe that charter school employees should be able to unionize – if they want the safety, administrative constraints and benefits of the standard public school, then they shouldn’t choose to teach in a charter-designated school,” Hallowell said.
Elizabeth Van Twuyver, seeking her first political office, said union membership shouldn’t be required in a charter school.
“The purpose of charter schools is to provide education devoid of some of the restrictions that public schools have,” Van Twuyver said. “Charter schools should not have to join a union.”
“Charter schools among union’s questions for BOE hopefuls – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Bob Sherman, president of the Nashua Teachers Union, said not only should employees of a public charter school be able to form a union, but state law requires they be granted that right. The American Federation of Teachers has charter schools among its members, he said.”

Also very much in this weeks news is the Occupy New Hampshire events that started on Saturday in Manchester. Read all the different articles including “We Are The 99% here in New Hampshire” by clicking here

Local 7 Ironworks celebrate Vetrans in Topping Out Helmets to Hardhats Ceremony.

This is a message from Shawn Cleary BA for the Iron Workers, Local 7. I have also included a short Video of Shawn presenting an award to two of the apprentices who helped to build the Service Credit Union as part of the Helmets to Hardhats program.

Helmets to Hardhats places quality men and women from the Armed Forces into promising building and construction careers through organizations like the Iron Workers Union.

Acceptance into the building and construction trades is the first step to a great future. Careers in the building trades enable current and former military members to earn while they learn and get rewarded for hard work. Being a member in the building and construction trades entitles qualified candidates to competitive salaries with consistent raises, pension plans, excellent medical benefits and flexibility when it comes to taking time off.

Most candidates will enter an apprenticeship program where they learn a trade through on-the-job training, supplemented by classroom instruction at state-of-the-art training facilities. Through the Iron Workers Local 7 Apprentice Training Program there is no charge for the training and apprentices are  paid for the time they are working. An apprentice’s pay increases periodically over the course of the program and as the apprentice becomes more skilled. Many apprenticeship programs, including the Iron Workers have arrangements allowing individuals to obtain college credit for classroom work. Upon graduation, apprentices become  journeymen — a craftsperson recognized for his or her knowledge and ability in the selected trade.

Shawn Cleary

Business Agent/Industry Analyst

Iron Workers Local 7

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Call Congress Now!

Attacks on Workers Rights Continue In Washington!
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is the independent agency charged with remedying unfair labor practices by employers and enforcing FAIRNESS in Union Elections.
Some Members of Congress continue to attack Labor Rights!
Call Congress Now!
VOTE NO ON H.R. 2587
Our union rights must be protected!

Call your Member of Congress today at:
Tell them to oppose H.R. 2587.
Congress is proposing to eliminate the NLRB’s power to stop corporations from shipping jobs overseas. Instead of punishing employers who break labor laws, Congress wants to give them a pass. Call Congress Today.
Link to find your member of congress.
CWA Local 1400 • 155 West Road • Portsmouth, NH 03801 • 603-436-4388

OSHA Fines Concord Company $176,000

Unions throughout history have always stood for safety in the workplace.  The safety of the workers is one of the most important thing a Union can do.  This becomes more evident when you see a press release (below) from US DOL (OSHA) who is fining a Concord company $176,000 in fines.  It should be noted that the fines proposed “reflect both the severity of these hazards and the fact that the company was well aware of the machine gaurding and lockout hazards”.  

Remember that without Labor Unions we would have no OSHA. And without a Union and OSHA you could end up working in a place like this that is willfully placing you health at risk.

Region 1 News Release: 11-1295-BOS/BOS 2011-311
Sept. 8, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: 617-565-2074
Email: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov

US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $176,000 in fines
against Stowe Woodward LLC for hazards at Concord, NH, plant

CONCORD, N.H. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Stowe Woodward LLC for 16 violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection at its Concord plant. The company, which refurbishes large metal rolls for the paper industry, faces $176,000 in proposed penalties.

Inspectors found several instances where operating machinery – including grinders, extruders and lathes – lacked proper guarding to prevent workers from coming in contact with moving parts. The machines also lacked adequate procedures to lock out their power sources to prevent unintended startup during maintenance. As a result of these conditions, the company was cited for two willful violations with $125,000 in fines. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

“The sizable fines proposed here reflect both the severity of these hazards and the fact that the company was well aware of the machine guarding and lockout hazards,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s New Hampshire area director. “Stowe Woodward has been cited in the past for similar or equivalent hazards, including citations issued in 2005 and 1999 for machinery-related fatalities at its facilities in Louisiana and Georgia. For the safety and health of its workers, this employer must take effective steps to correct and prevent these hazards not only in Concord but at its other locations.”

Eleven serious violations with $49,000 in fines involve a lack of frequent crane inspections, ungrounded fans, inadequately guarded grinders, propane cylinders stored near an exit door, blocked access to an electrical disconnect panel, respiratory protection deficiencies and the company’s failure to inspect forklifts. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Three other-than-serious violations with $2,000 in fines were cited for inadequate record keeping. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

TheStowe Woodward LLC citations are available at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/StoweWoodwardLLC_314046335_0906_11.pdf* andhttp://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/StoweWoodwardLLC_29229_0906_11.pdf.*

Stowe Woodward LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Concord Area Office; telephone 603-225-1629. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov

Our friends at the APWU asked us to share this with all of you. This Op/Ed explanes the real problems the US Postal Service is facing.  To my surprise it is not due to the messages coming from Washington.  The post office is in trouble, real trouble, because they are being forced to fully fund their retirement system for the next 75 years by 2016.  This means that the USPS must pay 5.5 Billion Dollars a year to fund retirements for people who do not work for the USPS yet in some cases have not even been born yet.  

Another of the biggest problems with the spin coming out Washington is that it is “Labor Costs” that are making this problem worse.  When in reality the APWU signed a new contract with major concessions and a reduction of “Labor Costs” of over 4 Billion dollars.  The APWU did this to ensure that nobody would be laid off.  Now the Postmaster General is calling on Congress to break their newly agreed contract in order to lay off over 100,000 postal employees.

Pleas take a moment to fully this editorial written by Chuck Zlatkin. He is the Legislative and Political Director of the New York Metro Area Postal Union, the largest local of the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO. After you read this article take a moment to contact your congressman and tell Co-Sign H.R1351. When the time comes tell them to Vote For H.R 1351 to save to USPS.
Please Visit this site to tell your Congressman to Support USPS Employees and H.R 1351

Destroying the Postal Service in Order to Save It?

The big lie seems to be working. Most Americans now believe that the U.S. Postal Service is on the verge of a financial collapse. The explanation seems logical: email, too many post offices, unnecessary six-day delivery, overpaid and underproductive workers. Unfortunately, these are half-truths, misinformation or outright lies.
It is true that the nature of mail has changed because of the Internet but it is also true that three biggest years in volume in the 236-year history of the Postal Service were 2005, 2006 and 2007, well into the Internet era. The bigger impact upon the Postal Service was the financial collapse of 2008.
But the root cause of the financial distress that the Postal Service is going through is overwhelmingly caused by Congressional mandates that were imposed upon the Postal Service. Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), which was signed into law by President G.W. Bush on December 20, 2006. Under the guise of modernizing the Postal Service for the 21st Century, it actually doomed the Postal Service. If not for the PAEA, the Postal Service would be functioning fine even with the impact of email and the financial collapse of 2008.

The story continues here

Businesses against “Right To Work” in New Hampshire

Are you a business owner or know an owner who would like to help Protect the Middle Class?  Local businesses have come together to show their opposition to “Right To Work” by signing this petition.  Sign the petition here


New Hampshire Businesses Stand with Working Families

Our businesses depend on a strong middle class. We believe that, if passed, the current legislation to cut social services, weaken collective bargaining rights and turn New Hampshire into a Right to Work for Less state will drive down wages, erode health care benefits and weaken the middle class.

We strongly support the true New Hampshire advantage: a highly trained and skilled workforce and a vibrant middle class. We oppose any efforts to weaken this, the foundation of our state’s economy.

We urge the legislature to reject these initiatives and instead pursue sound economic proposals that provide for the creation of good jobs with benefits for the working families in our communities. Our businesses, and our state’s economy, depend on it.

1 World Trading Co
3 R’s Home Repair and Improvement
A Little Confection
A Pocketful of Rye
All Beads Considered
Atlantic Air Products
Atlantic Media Productions
Bella Bronze LLC
Blue String Marionettes
Bogart Computing, LLC
Bucket-A-Suds Homemaking Services, LLC
Carribean Affair
Celtic Crossing
Charles P Blouin Inc
Chuck’s Barber Shop LLC
City Room Cafe
Claremont Custom Framing
Concord Camera Store
Creek Cottage Gardening
Dermadesigns LLC
Ellies Oxygen Lounge
Evision Eyecare
Framers Market
Fritz Belgian Fries LLC
Green Energy Options
HVAC Unlimted, LLC
Just Be Boutique
Law Firm of Leahy & Denault, LLP
Le Club Boutique
Loki Lobster
Low Family Trust
Madeleines – Elegance Defined
Maureen Westrick, Fine Residential Architecture
Mike Wilber Contracting
Mizula, LLC
Mulberry Tree Buidlers
Nixon, Raiche, Vogelman, Barry, Slawsky & Simoneau
North Country Smokehouse
Northeastern Sheet Metal
Northroad Wood Signs and Sign Graphics
Old Ferry Landing
Pattie Shack
Seacoast Chair Car Service LLC (SCCS)
Sheafe Street Books
Skele-Tone Records
Speakwell Training
Studio 99
Tekon – Technical Consultants Inc.
The Bresler Group
The Food Basket
The Garden Party Floral Boutique
The Sandwich Depot
The Works Bakery & Cafe
Three Graces Gallery
Tiffany Cleaners
Twisted Fitness & Reaching Roots Yoga Co.
Twomey Law Office
Uniques and Antiques
Urban Insulation, Inc.
Vitto’s Dry Cleaners
Weller & Michal Architects
WineNot Boutique
World Fellowship Center
Worldly Goods
Your Home Your World

Information supplied from Protect NH Families.Org

Monday 9/6 NH Labor News

Members from around New Hampshire gather to show their support for the NH AFL-CIO at their annual Labor Day Breakfast. From Union Leader…

“We have a voice, we are the labor movement, and we are not going to stand for that treatment for working men and women,” AFL-CIO New Hampshire President Mark MacKenzie told a cheering audience at the organization’s annual Labor Day breakfast at the Executive Court Banquet Facility on Monday.”

For the fifth year in a row National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) members from around New England walked in the Milford Labor Day Parade.

Approximately 50 members from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island handed out small wooden airplanes and foam balls with the NATCA logo on them and saying “NATCA We Guide You Home.”  Also in attendance this year was NATCA’s National President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Patricia Gilbert.

Rochester Times graphics Public school teachers in each of the Rochester Times readership areas average less income per year than their counterparts statewide. The average from these eight towns and cities is $46,012

Rochester area teachers lower than state averages.
From the Fosters.com

STRAFFORD COUNTY — City councilors and selectmen throughout Strafford County have been wrangling with teacher salaries as the economy has continued its slump over the past few years. The difficulty lies in attracting and retaining talented, qualified teachers while not overburdening taxpayers.

Farmington and Milton voters recently rejected pay raises for their public school teachers. Farmington Selectman Charlie King noted that employees on the city side of the budget had not received raises in over two years and purse strings were getting too tight for taxpayers.

State Workers ‘Labored’ All Weekend in Irene’s Aftermath
CONCORD, N.H. – As Granite Staters head back to work after the Labor Day weekend, the weekend has been anything but “labor-free” for more than 1000 New Hampshire state employees. Crews have worked around the clock to restore roads and bridges throughout the state in the aftermath of tropical storm Irene.

Bill Boyton, spokesman for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT), says that last week there were more than 200 local roads and 55 state roads closed. He says northern New Hampshire suffered the most damage due to flooding.

News on the First In The Nation primary:
  Romney on message to the Tea Party, from CNN

“Romney for months has been courting tea partiers with his push for Right to Work for Less, his support for ending Medicare as we know it and his pledge of allegiance to the tea party on spending cuts versus revenue increases in an Iowa debate,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.”

PSNH says power back on for virtually all NH customers

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the IBEW for restoring the power to the thousands who lost power durning Hurricane Irene. The dedicated men and women work hard every day but really show their stuff when we have a major storm like Irene. They brave the wind, rain, sleet, snow, ice, and cold to make sure that New Hampshire has the power they need.

This Labor Day be sure to thank these hard working men and women!

PSNH says power back on for virtually all NH customers – NashuaTelegraph.com: “The power is back on in New Hampshire.
PSNH said Thursday that by midnight Wednesday, it had restored power to virtually all of the 125,000 customers who lost power following Tropical Storm Irene.
The finished restoration effort makes New Hampshire the first New England state to get power back to all residents, according to the company.
On Wednesday, line crews focused on several dozen customers who were still without power in hard-hit areas near Wakefield and Milton, including a number of remote camps and vacation homes, the company said.
PSNH crews are still busy, though, with trucks dispatched to Connecticut to help restoration efforts there.”

Daily Kos: Stephen Colbert highlights GOP voter suppression efforts around the country

I just wanted to share this with you. A little comedy from the Colbert Report. He is talking about the new push for Voter ID bills and names Speaker O’Brien right in the message.
On Daily Kos page you can also read the full transcript of the Colbert Report and a great write up on the Voter ID bills and Voter Fraud.
Best quote of the Show:

The most insidious form of fraud is people voting wrong. Ask Republican New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien, who back in January said this about college kids at the polls.

NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE SPEAKER WILLIAM O’BRIEN (1/13/2011): Voting as a liberal. That’s what college kids do. They don’t have life experience. They just vote their feelings. 

Yes, college kids lack the life experience to vote. It takes years of soul-crushing disappointment to be dead enough inside to elect someone like William O’Brien.

Daily Kos: Stephen Colbert highlights GOP voter suppression efforts around the country: “Last night, Stephen Colbert looked at all the Republican voter suppression efforts across the country in GOP-controlled state legislatures with restrictive voter ID laws. And by all means, if you come across a right-winger who complains about ‘voter fraud’ and the need for photo IDs, show them this clip from Stephen. This needs to go viral. Because other than for the 27% of crazy dead-enders, the rest of America can at least be reasoned with if you lay out the case for them. And in this clip, Stephen lays it out brilliantly.”

ALEC Exposed Voter ID laws in New Hampshire

In yesterday’s blog, I reported the ALEC (American Legislative Executive Counsel) and their involvement in New Hampshire Legislations.  I would like to bring up another example of how these laws are working their way into our Legislature from ALEC.

One of the biggest legislation arguments around the country are states pushing a new “Voter ID bill”.  As I reported in previous blog entries, “Voter ID Bills” are set up to lower voter turnout.  This in conjunction with “Same Day voter registration” take strikes at the elderly and students living in New Hampshire.  I have included a video from the NH Democratic Committee, where Speaker O’Brien is talking about these two pieces of legislation (at the time only proposals).  While the video is a little hard to hear but this is what he said:

“In towns like Plymouth, there are something like 900 same day registrations…which kids are coming out of the school….foolish voting as a liberal….takes away the towns to govern themselves.”

Even former President Clinton voiced his disapproval of these new “Voter Id and Registration laws“. Now how does this all tie into “ALEC”.  “ALEC” used their influence to help lawmakers craft these bills by creating sample bills for legislator to submit in their states.  Here is an excerpt from ALEC’s Voter ID bill:

This legislation requires any United States citizen[i] desiring to vote in a state to provide proof of identity at the polls, outlines permissible provisional ballots, and optionally[ii] provides for a free ID to those who do not have a driver’s license.

(a) “Proof of identity” means a document or identification card that: (1) Shows the name of the person to whom the document was issued; (2) Shows a photograph of the person to whom the document was issued; (3) Contains an expiration date, and is not expired. (4) Is issued by the United States or the State of Arkansas.

Now lets compare that to the Voter ID bill that passed the NH Senate and NH House:

This bill requires that a voter present a valid photo identification to vote in person. Voters without photo identification may vote by provisional ballot, provided that they subsequently appear in person before the city or town clerk and present a valid photo identification, official documentation of driver’s license suspension or revocation, a waiver issued by the secretary of state, or an affidavit of religious exemption. This bill also requires that the secretary of state pay the cost for a nondriver’s picture identification card upon presentation of a voucher to the division of motor vehicles.

While the wording may not be exactly the same the intentions are identical. It does even refer to providing a “Provisional Ballot” for those who do not have identification.

You be the judge, is someone outside of New Hampshire pushing our legislators to create laws that seem to be pointed at helping the GOP and lowering voter turnout of those “Foolish voting liberals”?

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