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Take 2 Minutes To Help Workers At American Airlines Find Their Collective Voice

From Beth Allen, Communication Workers Of America

Normally I’d be excited to let you know that because of your support, workers at American Airlines will finally get to vote for union representation next month. But this vote has me worried.

American Airlines has used every trick in the book to deny their passenger service agents the chance to vote to join CWA. Heck, they’ve even written some new chapters, claiming in court that an election would cause “irreparable harm” to the company’s relations with its employees.

Each delay has given the airline time to lay off more workers and outsource more jobs. Now they’ve asked the Supreme Court to intervene to stop the election. If they get their way, there’s no guarantee that this election will ever happen.

American Airlines passenger service agents are in Washington today, meeting with members of Congress about the election delays. Support these workers by asking your members of Congress to tell American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton to stop the delays and let the agents vote.

Why do the workers want Congress to weigh in? Well, over the past year American Airlines’ actions have shown that it doesn’t care much about its workers or passengers. Outsourcing has not only led to job loss, but hundreds of flights have been delayed as undertrained contractors took over the jobs of experienced workers.

But Congress passes a lot of legislation that affects how airlines do business, so the opinions of members of Congress matter to CEOs like Thomas Horton.

During this long battle the National Mediation Board, the Department of Justice, and even the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has told American Airlines that the election must go forward.

It’s time to stop the delays. Send your letter today.
http://action.cwa-union.org/c/1372/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5048

Keene Celebrates Collective Bargaining On City Employee Appreciation Day

This past Friday, the dedicated public employees from Keene were honored.  After numerous battles with the state legislature over the collective bargaining rights, the town’s unions were honored in a special ceremony held by Mayor Kendall Lane.

You can watch the entire 10 minute prestention below or via this link

Mayor Kendall Lane presented the towns unions with this proclamation.

The Full Employee Appreciation Proclamation (PDF) can be downloaded here.

Keene Public Employee Unions are honored at City Employee Appreciation Day

In the video you can see that John MacLean, City Manager, reiterated that employees have made sacrifices and a variety of contributions. He feels that these sacrifices and contributions are made because “employees believe in this community, believe in the City as our employer, and believe we are treated fairly.” The City’s relationships with its employees and collective bargaining units “are unique and are to celebrated and appreciated.” Employees have made “big contributions to the Monadnock United Way and are involved with civic organizations, schoolchildren, and the community at large.

“Our employees also represent something important to our society––collective bargaining, which protects our society in many ways. Sometimes the negotiations process can be difficult but, at the end, we come together with an agreement that works, and the City of Keene has been well served through this system.”

Sherri Beckta, President of Keene City Employees, AFT-NH and her officers

Even though the town of Keene has seen some tough financial times, the employee unions helped the town move forward by taking serious concessions.

AFT-NH was especially honored at this event.  AFT-NH represents the Keene City Employees, Keene Police Officers’ Association and Keene Police Supervisors’ Association. During the last few years during these challenging economic circumstances, the three Unions along with other city unions have worked collaboratively with the City in an effort to save jobs. Concessions made by the Unions have been in an effort to help stabilize the budget and recognize economic realities, according to Attorney Terri Donovan, Director of Field Services and Collective Bargaining at AFT-NH. “It was hard work but done in an atmosphere of mutual respect.”

AFT-NH President Laura Hainey attended the ceremony and stated , “It is refreshing to see management work together with our local unions and to acknowledge how valuable collective bargaining can be to all parties involved. Collective bargaining has strengthened our middle class and is a voice for all workers.”

If We Don’t Stand Up For Our Rights, Nobody Will

If you’re a union member today, go to the union hall. Look around and feel the history and realize that you are in a sacred place. This is the altar that upon which the middle class was born. All that we gained, all that we enjoy as a labor force started here. It was baptized in the blood of our forbearers’, built upon the broken and battered bodies of the first to stand up for our workplace rights. Our early leaders were beaten, stabbed, shot and jailed as traitors by greedy industrialists. They persevered down through the decades. Our children went to schools instead of the mills because of the sacrifices the men and women made. Our wages became better and set standards for non union workers. The workplace became safer through their tireless work. We attained forty hour work weeks, vacations, overtime pay, pensions and health benefits. People starved, lost their shelter and sometimes their families so the dignity in our labor would be recognized. The country as a whole gained status and pride. We became that shining beacon that people from afar strove to come to or duplicate.

IUPAT Logo

That is being lost now. Big business, in collusion with corrupt and bought politicians has staged an attack of unprecedented proportions upon us. We are locked out of the workplace in an effort to force us to give back the hard won gains. This is being done in a time of record profits, record pay and bonuses for CEO’s and upper echelon management and a shrinking job market due to outsourcing. They use these massive profits to form shadow groups in the form of patriotic organizations, usually starting with the names Americans, Liberty and Freedom to cover their real purpose of destroying the unions. We are their biggest threat. These groups write laws, set educational agendas to further the rich and enslave the rest of us. They use propaganda and lies through their fascist, biased TV stations and radio talk shows. These are nothing but bought and paid for ignorant ‘spokespersons’ used to vilify the very foundation of our country. They attack teachers, schools and the processes in which our students are taught. They seek to lessen education with slick programs such as “No Student Left Behind”, Charter Schools under little guidance from real educators. They, the well educated, seek to stop programs that would teach people High Order Thing Skills. The biggest educational threat to them is people with reason, logic and analytical skills. Workers with these skills question, they do not mindlessly perform tasks that are unethical.

These elite one percenters and their paid puppets are not patriots. They do not believe in the American way of life. They hide their wealth overseas and they use their massive wealth to skew the tax code for their profit, put their people in positions in government agencies to obfuscate the policies and rules that protect us. The problem is that they are winning, they have the money, they political power and the will to keep up the attack. They feel it is their destiny to rule this country and every one shall bow before their mighty power.

We need to look to our hall, realize our strength comes from the righteousness of our honest labor and our solidarity. We need to step up, step to the front and attack back nationwide in the same way they have attacked us. If we don’t do this our children will be back in the mills instead of schools, our workplaces will become death traps and we will have to work to our deaths. We will not be able to retire. We have to press our politicians for radical changes and if they feel it is much too risky to their coveted positions to put forth; we have to start looking at forming a new party. A party made up of working class men and women who understand the issues of the men and women who built this country, the working class not the rich elites. The present system does not work, it must be changed.
Steven Kloppenburg
Retired IUPAT member

NHLN Exclusive: Pittsfield Board Of Selectman Trample Labor Rights Of Town Employees

In Pittsfield, town employees have been under assault since the new Board of Selectmen was sworn into office in March. This small group of employees represented by two unions, Teamsters and AFT-NH are defending their collective bargaining rights in multiple cases filed with the New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board. The Teamsters Local #633 represents the police patrolman and AFT-NH represents a variety of town employees. As you may recall this is the same Board of Selectmen that thought it acceptable to issue a gag order on the free speech rights of public employees back in April and they finally rescinded the order after much public outcry.

The Concord Monitor reported last week that “The state labor relations board ruled the town of Pittsfield violated a contract with police officers by refusing to assign private details, one of several complaints town employees have against selectmen.

In a ruling issued on last Thursday, Douglas Ingersoll, Executive Director of the labor board, ordered the town to resume assigning detail work and reimburse officers for earnings they lost this year so far.”

This a big win for the patrol officers and Teamsters in the town. What is amazing that even though the Board of Selectmen has yet to acknowledge the upside for the taxpayers of Pittsfield. By refusing private details the town is losing thousands of dollars in absolutely free money.

“In 2011, the town received $80,000 in payments from private details, $47,000 of that going to the officers or to cover administrative costs of arranging the detail. The rest was revenue for the town.”

Just to make sure we are all on the same page. A private company like, PSNH or Fairpoint hires a police officer through the town.  Then the company pays the town, the cost of the officer and an additional amount that goes directly to the town’s bank account. For every detail the Pittsfield officer works, he gets extra money, and the town gets free money. It is a total win-win.  I don’t know why the selectmen would not be encouraging more details. As of today, the Town has yet to comply with the cease and desist order issued by the labor board and no details are being offered to the patrol officers.

That is not the only case against the Pittsfield Board of Selectmen.

AFT-NH, representing Pittsfield’s ambulance department employees, town workers, and police sergeants, filed another unfair labor practice in May alleging the town violated employees’ free speech rights, denial of details, unilateral change in schedule, bad faith bargaining and contractual rights to overtime. No decision by the PELRB has been issued yet.

AFT-NH informed the NH Labor News that there are three additional Unfair Labor Practices that have been filed as recently as yesterday. One ULP alleges another violation of the contract is that the Town has unilaterally decided employees can longer swap shifts, which has not cost to the Town. The second ULP defends the Police Chief, also a member of AFT-NH, against a verbal warning and unilateral changes to his schedule. The discipline was issued since the Board of Selectmen have been insistent he conduct an investigation into his police officers based on anonymous complaints of when and how the police officers had lunch breaks during the Pittsfield Balloon Rally., He concluded they performed their duties in accordance with their contract. The Selectmen are not happy with the answer and he was issued a verbal warning.

One case was heard last week. The main issue in that case is that the EMT’s allege that the selectmen are violating the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by requiring a doctor’s note for missed work after one day.  AFT-NH filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) on behalf of the employees. The current CBA says that employees do not have to supply a doctor’s note’ until after the fifth day.

The fact that their rights are being trampled by the town selectman was taken to heart by one EMT, Alyssa MacGlashing.  She felt so strongly about this ULP and her rights under the CBA that she came out to testify last Thursday.  Not only did she testify she brought her two week old baby with her.  That’s right, only two weeks after have a child she was before the PELRB defending her rights.

“It is the dedication from members like Alyssa, who are willing to appear and testify before the labor board just two weeks after having a baby. She knows she is defending the principles of fair play and honoring a collective bargaining agreement; this is just one of the many reasons I truly love my job and have a great respect for our members,” said Terri Donovan, legal counsel for AFT-NH.

Donovan did want to note that the town employees in Pittsfield are residents and taxpayers too and as such negotiated a recent contract that included no pay raises, no steps and increased contribution to health insurance.

“Our members stepped up to the plate and they have been slapped in the face by this Board of Selectmen,” stated Attorney Donovan.

Pittsfield EMT Alyssa MacGlashing

 

Scott Walker Headlines NH GOP Convention

The NH GOP welcomes their self-proclaimed hero Scott Walker to New Hampshire this week.

Gov. Walker will be headlining Saturday’s GOP Convention at Pinkerton Academy.

Get a good look at him while he’s here.  Find out what he stands for, and who he stands with.  Remember, Walker is the role model for the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate: Ovide Lamontagne describes himself as “Scott Walker on steroids.”

Walker became famous for his direct attack on middle class families in Wisconsin, repealing the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Walker ignited the war on workers.  His actions sparked protests by more than 100,000 people in the streets of Madison.  Twenty thousand of those protesters were inside the Wisconsin State House.

At first, Walker claimed that the anti-union amendment would be a cure for Wisconsin’s budgetary problems.  But then 14 Democratic state senators fled the state in an effort to stop the anti-worker amendment.  Without them, the Wisconsin Senate did not have the quorum required to change fiscal laws – so Walker removed the language from the budget bill and stated that it had no fiscal impact.  With no fiscal impact, the bill could be immediately passed because no quorum was needed.  The change in process proved there was no budgetary justification for attacking the state’s service unions.

Walker’s story is far from over.   Much of Walker’s signature anti-union legislation has already been ruled unconstitutional.  But Walker hasn’t backed down from his ideological fight, just because his law violates the constitution.  Walker has already appealed the federal court ruling issued in March.  He is also appealing last week’s decision by a state judge, who ruled that other provisions of the law were unconstitutional.  Walker doesn’t seem to care whether the law is constitutional or not – he just wants to bash unions.

Here in New Hampshire, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne says he ”will be Scott Walker on Steroids.”

What does that mean?

We already know that Lamontagne supports “Right To Work (for less)” legislation – is that what he means when he says ”Walker on Steroids”?  Does he want to repeal the New Hampshire’s 40-year-old collective bargaining law? Is that what he means by ”Walker on Steroids”?

If he is elected Governor, and he repeals collective bargaining and representational rights, Lamontagne could make sweeping changes affecting state employees.  How about a 10% pay cut? A 20% cut? Maybe a 50% pay cut?  If there is no contract to protect the workers, Lamontagne could do that.  Is that what he means by “Walker on steroids”?

Would he just wipe out entire departments?  He already wants to privatize the Department of Transportation.  When he says “Walker on Steroids”, does he mean eliminating public services and firing public workers?

Here in New Hampshire, we have thousands of Republicans who are proud union members – and are appalled at Walker’s casual disregard for their constitutional rights and their collective bargaining rights.  What message is the GOP leadership sending to these Republican members, when they invite Walker to headline the state convention?

What would ”Walker on Steroids” look like here in New Hampshire?  I do not know – and I definitely do not want to find out.  I do not want to see the state I love, and my home, destroyed by a radical extremist in the Governor’s seat.

If you are a Republican, please contact the New Hampshire GOP and let them know what you think of having Scott Walker headline the state Convention.  http://www.nhgop.org/

Nurses Use Collective Bargaining To Save Lives

This is a new adverstizement from a progressive organinzation in Michigan.  They are fighting to preserve collective bargaining right in Michigan.  They have a ballot initiative for voters to pass that would make it extremely difficult to repeal their bargaining rights in the future.

Here is one I thought also be good here.  Nurses and collective bargaining.  Collective Bargaining in many jobs like Nursing, Police, and Fire are about protecting the people they serve.  Negotiating staffing levels to ensure that enough people are working to do the job at hand.



New Advertisement Shows How Collective Bargaining Helps Nurses Save Lives (press release from Protect Working Families)

In a new 30-second ad, the Protect Working Families campaign shows how collective bargaining helps nurses save lives.

Collective bargaining gives nurses a voice to speak up to improve patient care without fear of being fired or facing other retribution.  It also puts nurses and management at the same level during negotiations so meaningful improvements to care can be instituted.

The ad features Mary Ann Beauchamp-Sayraf, a nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital. In the ad, she says:

“Nurses work hard at a stressful job, because we care about helping people get better.

But when hospitals won’t put enough of us on duty, that puts patients in danger.

With collective bargaining we can negotiate with employers on these safety issues.

If politicians take collective bargaining away, nurses who speak up for their patients can be fired.”

Nurses fight for safe staffing levels using collective bargaining. They also can use collective bargaining to negotiate for ongoing training and the time needed to complete that training.

Staffing levels can dip without collective bargaining, impacting patient care. Assigning additional patients to a nurse increases the likelihood of a patient dying within 30 days of admission by 7 percent, according to a 2002 American Journal of Medicine report.

Corporate special interests want to take away the right of nurses and other frontline safety professionals to collectively bargain as corporate bosses look to squeeze out every bit of profit for themselves.

Proposal 2 on Nov. 2 helps nurses save lives by allowing them to have a say in fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

The Chicago Teacher Strike Looks Like It Will End Today!

Great news, the Chicago Teachers Union will decide today if they are going to end the strike against the Chicago Public School.  They have been on strike now for almost one week.  The strike, which was mis-categorized as a fight about money, was truly a fight about the children.  The evidence of that is in what they are agreeing to in order to end the strike.

Some the gains they made in this proposed new contract:

  • 600 additional art, music, physical education and world language teachers.
  • Prep time for paraprofessionals and clinicians.
  • Teacher evaluations limited to 30% of the student test scores.
  • Up to $250 reimbursement for school supplies, which are often out of pocket for teachers.
  • Additional wrap-around services, including hiring of nurses, social workers and counselors.
  • Books on day one for teachers and students. Teachers had to wait for up to six weeks for materials to arrive

This strike, which will hopefully end today, is all about providing the best education for the children.  It once again proves the through collective bargaining teachers everywhere can make the necessary changes to our local education system.

This six day strike was just what America needed to really dig deeper into the problems that face America’s public school system.  People everywhere are talking more about the changes being proposed in the Chicago schools and what that could mean for schools in their districts too.

My hope is that the strike will end today and all the workers and students will be back to school tomorrow.

FULL Press Release from the Chicago Teachers Union local 1:

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU)’s ruling body will decide whether or not to call off its strike against the Chicago Public Schools during a 3 p.m. House of Delegates meeting tomorrow at Operating Engineers Hall, 2260 Grove Street.  The Bargaining Team is expected to share new details about proposed contract language which includes a number of victories for teachers, paraprofessionals, clinicians, and students.

The earliest teachers and other school personnel could return to their schools could be Monday; however, no decision has been made to do so. Delegates, the elected leaders of their schools, have the authority to suspend or lengthen the strike. They could also ask for at least 24-hours to talk to individual members in their schools before making a decision on what to do next. The 29,000-member CTU has been on strike since Sept. 10.

“We are a democratic body and therefore we want to ensure all of our members have had the chance to weigh-in on what we were able to win,” said CTU President Karen GJ Lewis. “We believe this is a good contract, however, no contract will solve all of the inequities in our District. Our fair contract fight has always been about returning dignity and respect to our members and ensuring resources and a quality school day for our students and their families.”

The new proposed CTU/CPS contract will:

  • Secure Raises & Ensure Fair Compensation:  The CTU wants a three-year contract.  It will secure a 3% raise  in the first year, 2% raise in the second and 2% raise in the third, with the option to extend to a 4th year by mutual agreement at another 3% raise.
  • Defeat Merit Pay: The CTU successfully fought the star of national misguided school reform policies. The Board agreed to move away from “Differentiated Compensation,” which would have allowed them to pay one set of teachers (based on unknown criteria) one set of pay versus another set of pay for others.
  • Preserve Steps & Lanes:  The new contract will preserve the full value of teachers and paraprofessionals career ladder (steps); and, it will increased the value of the highest steps (14, 15 and 16)
  • Provide A Better School Day: The Board will hire over 600 additional ‘special’ teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other classes to ensure students receive a better school day, a demand thousands of parents have called for since last year
  • Ensures Job Security: Creates a “CPS Hiring Pool,” which demands that one-half of all of CPS hires must be displaced (laid-off) members.
  • Adds An Anti-Bullying Provision: No more bullying by principals and managerial personnel.  The new language will curtail some of the abusive practices that have run rampant in many neighborhood schools.
  • Paraprofessional & Clinicians Prep Time: The new contract will guarantee preps for clinicians.
  • Racial Diversity: The CTU continues to fight the District on its lay-off policies that has led to a record number of African American educators being laid off and eventually terminated by the District.  The new contract will ensure that CPS recruits a racially diverse teaching force.
  • New Recall Rights & Tackling  School Closings:  Acknowledging, the CTU will continue its ongoing legal and legislative fight for a moratorium on all school closings, turnarounds and phase-outs, the new contract requires teachers to “follow their students” in all school actions. This will reduce instability among students and educators.  The contract will also have 10 months of “true recall” to the same school if a position opens.
  • Fairer Evaluation Procedures:  The new contract will limit CPS to 70% “teacher practice,” 30% “student growth” (or test scores)—which is the minimum by state law.  It also secures in the first year of implementation of the new evaluation procedures there will be “no harmful consequences” for tenured teachers. It also secures a new right—the right to appeal a rating.
  • Reimbursement for School Supplies: The contract will require the District to reimburse educators for the purchase of school supplies up to $250.
  • Additional Wrap-Around Services:  The Board agrees to commit to hire nurses, social workers and school counselors if it gets new revenue. Over the past several months, the CTU has identified several sources of new revenue, including the Tax Increment Financing program.
  • Books on Day One: For the first time, the new contract will guarantee all CPS students and educators have textbooks on day one and will not have to wait up to six weeks for learning materials.
  • Unified School Calendar:  The new contract will improve language on a unified calendar. The District will have one calendar for the entire school district and get rid of Track E and Track R schools.  All students and teaching personnel will begin on the same schedule.
  • Reduced Paperwork: The new contract ensures the new paperwork requirements are balanced against reduction of previous requirements.

“This Union has proven the Chicago labor movement is neither dormant nor dead,” Lewis continued. “Our members are on the line because we all believe there is an assault on our profession and public education in general.  We will always do what is in the best interest of our students and our own children, many of whom attend these schools. We showed our solidarity and our strength, and with this new contract we have solidified our political power and captured the imagination of the nation. No one will ever look upon a teacher and think of him or her as a passive, person to be bullied and walked on ever again.”

How New Hampshire Compares To Right To Work States On Education

Yesterday, the pro-worker website We Party Patriots, posted a short article showing the relationship between Right To Work (for less) states and high school graduation rates.   After seeing this, I went to the local AFT office and made some inquiries about how New Hampshire compares to Right To Work (for less) on education.

 

Before I dig into the facts and statistics I wanted to give a little background on Right To Work (for less) laws.  Right To Work (for less) laws restrict collective bargaining.  The idea behind Right To Work it to take the power away from the workers and give more power to the management (or public entity).   When the collective bargaining process is weakened then teachers lose their voice.  It becomes hard for the teachers to make positive changes in their schools. This mentality has led Right To Work (for less) stateto fall behind in education.

 

So how bad are Right To Work (for less) states when you focus on education?  Using information from the National Center for Education Statistics, “Nation’s Report Cards”  (Nov 2011), I will show how New Hampshire ranks[i].

 

Reading:

  • NH students score higher than all 22 RTW states in READING at the 4th and 8th grade levels.
  • NH has a higher % of 4th and 8th grade students testing as proficient or advanced readers than students in all 22 RTW states.

 

Math:

  • NH 4th grade students outperform students in all 22 RTW states.  Their scores are higher AND a larger % of NH 4th graders rate as proficient or advanced in Math compared to students in these states.
  • NH 8th grade students outscore students in every 21 of 22 RTW states.

 

Early education is vitally important to a strong education.  Without a strong foundation students only fall further behind.  Some decide not to even finish school because they are so far behind.  What happens to these children as they age?  For this answer we turn to the book published by the US Census Bureau and US Dept. of Education statistics THE MEASURE OF AMERICA, 2010-2011[ii].

 

Their results found:

  • NH’s high school graduation rates in 2007 and again in 2009 exceeded those of 18/22 ‘right to work states’ (all but the sparsely populated Great Plains states of North & South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa).
  • In 2008, only one state (Wyoming) had a higher percentage of its adult population possessing high school diplomas.  The other 21 RTW states had a smaller % of their adult population having finished high school and obtained a diploma.
  • In 2008, New Hampshire featured a rate of adults possessing college degrees (Bachelor’s or higher) than 21/22 of the RTW states.  Only Virginia and Colorado exceeded New Hampshire.

 

There is one more stat that I think is important when looking at education and Right To Work states.  That is how do New Hampshire students hold up to other states in SAT/ACT scores.

  • In 2011, 18% of NH high school students took the ACT exam.  Their mean ACT composite score was higher than the mean composite score for students in EVERY ‘right to work’ states.
  • In 2011 77% of NH high school seniors took the SAT.  NH high school seniors had a mean SAT combined score higher than those in 21 of 22 ‘right to work’ states.

It could not be more obvious that Right To Work (for less) will have an adverse effect on the education in New Hampshire.  In turn weakening the collective bargaining process has the similar effects.  This is why the Chicago Teachers Strike is so important.  The teachers in Chicago are fighting for a fair contract and most of their issues revolve around the children.  They want smaller class sizes, better teaching environments, and fully funded schools.  All of these things will benefit the schools, the students, and eventually the state.

 

All of these things are accomplished with a strong collective bargaining process.

AFT-NH Local Presidents, representing over 4,000 Public and Private sector employees stand in solidarity with Chicago Teachers. (Via AFT-NH facebook page)

 


[i] National Assessment of Educational Progress, “The Nation’s Report Card:  Mathematics 2011” & “The Nation’s Report Card:  Reading 2011,” released November 1, 2011, available at National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/).

[ii] Lewis, Kristen & Sarah Burd-Sharps, The Measure of America, 2010-2011.  NY:  NYU Press & Social Science Research Council, 2010.

This Election We Will Make Our Collective Voices Heard

There is only one clear path to victory for Willard “Mitt” Romney and that is to win New Hampshire. If he loses New Hampshire he will most likely lose the six other battle ground states of Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. These states that have always traditionally voted Republican have not done so recently. In fact, New Hampshire hasn’t gone for a Republican president since 2000. That means that the national media that generally has the New Hampshire election under a microscope now will be using an electron microscope.

Leading up to the New Hampshire Presidential election we become the center of the political universe for a week. With Romney as a “quasi” native the media frenzy should be magnified exponentially. There will be three reporters for every opinion. The bigger the opinion IE; the more people attached to the opinion such as a large gathering, will certainly garner attention.

This is where Labor steps up to the plate. As I reported in the last article Labor will probably be out spent ten to one. They can stifle our voice in the main stream media but not on the streets. That’s where we excel. With plenty of cameras along we can really put forth an important message that we normally don’t get credit for.

There is an opportunity here that we cannot squander. We have all seen the misery Republican State  Legislatures have put onto the backs of working families with ALEC inspired legislation ripping up years and years of negotiated contracts to acquire a living wage and health benefits. Most often benefits in lieu of wages. We have not received the media attention that Wisconsin has seen but we have had just as onerous a State Legislature’s attack on the workers of New Hampshire. The difference has been a John Lynch veto instead of a Scott Walker signature. By the way, Ovide Lamontange, leading Republican candidate for Governor recently boasted “I will be Scott Walker on steroids if elected”. Sounds more like a candidate on “Crack ” to me.

So, if you’ve been waiting for a golden opportunity to be heard the next six months is your opportunity to do so. Newspapers will be clamoring for letters to the editor. Who doesn’t have a computer and a home address. That and fifteen minutes of your time to vent is all that is required. There will be plenty of events to jump on board with.

In the flash of an eye it will all pass and a golden opportunity will have been squandered. Just keep a daily eye on NH Labor News.

Today Is The Birthday Of A Great Man, Do You Know Who It Is?

I wanted to take a minute to celebrate the birth of a great man.  A man who was taken from us in his prime.  That man was John F Kennedy, and today would have been his 95th birthday.  The Kennedy family has always worked to make the middle class stronger and build America to the greatest nation in the world.   Though his time in office was short he helped the middle class greatly.

From The White House.Com

His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country.” As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty. 

Responding to ever more urgent demands, he took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. His vision of America extended to the quality of the national culture and the central role of the arts in a vital society. 

He wished America to resume its old mission as the first nation dedicated to the revolution of human rights. With the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps, he brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. But the hard reality of the Communist challenge remained.

He was a leader in the civil rights movement as well as the labor movement.  In January of 1962, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988 that allowed those workers in the Federal Government to form and join in a union.  The 1960s and 70s were the peak of Unionism in the United States but EO10988 is still in effect.  Shortly after its passage many of the states adopted their own version of public sector bargaining laws.  Now, public sector unions are the largest section of union workers in America.

Without President Kennedy none of this would have happened.  I thank you President Kennedy, and Happy Birthday!

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