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Town Meeting Day: Support AFT-NH Contracts In Your Local Town

Dear Union Colleagues and Supporters,

Your Union colleagues around the state have spent countless hours negotiating fair and reasonable contracts with their employers. On Tuesday, March 14th contracts will be presented to voters in many districts. There are five AFT-NH contracts on ballots on this date. There will also be important votes to approve budgets, stop outsourcing and save police department positions. On Saturday, March 18th, there will be an important town meeting in Pittsfield where we are asking people to show up and vote to restore the two police officer positions which are being cut. Public safety matters! We are asking that if you live in one the towns below that you take the time to be sure to vote in support of these contracts and encourage your friends and family to vote. When we act in unity, we make a difference every time!

Together by supporting those who work with our children and adequately funding our schools, we can reclaim the promise of public education. We also must make certain that vital public safety services are funded appropriately.

Please remind folks that they can register to vote at the polls with proper identification and proof of residency! There’s still time to get an absentee ballot for voting on 3/14 if you will be out of town or unable to vote. Voting locations and times are provided below!

Thank you for supporting your fellow union members or for being a supporter of AFT-NH members.

In Solidarity,

Doug Ley

AFT-NH President

 

VOTING INFORMATION FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 14TH

Farmington School District

Farmington School Custodians, AFT Local #6212

Please vote YES on Warrant Articles #4 and #5.

A three-year contract.

Farmington Town Hall: 8am-7pm

 

Hillsboro-Deering School District

Hillsboro-Deering Support Staff, AFT, Local #6219

Please vote YES on Warrant Articles #6 and #7.

A three-year contract. The H-DSS members have been without a contract for 3 years.

Deering:                      Deering Town Hall                                               11am to 7pm

Hillsboro:                    Hillsboro-Deering Middle School Gymnasium   7am to 7pm

 

Newfound Area School District

Newfound Teachers’ Union, AFT Local #6557

Please vote YES on Warrant Article #5.

A two-year contract.

Alexandria:                  Town Hall, 45 Washburn Road                                 11am-7pm

Bridgewater:                Town Hall, Route 3A, Mayhew Turnpike                12pm to 6pm

Bristol:                        Old Town Hall, 45 Summer Street                             8am to 7pm

Danbury:                     Town Hall, 23 High Street                                          11am to 7pm

Groton            :                       Groton Town House, 754 North Groton Road          11am to 7pm

Hebron            :                       Community Hall (Hebron Church)                             11am to 7pm

New Hampton            :           Town House, 86 Town House Road                          11am to 7pm

 

Raymond School District      *Outsourcing Alert

Raymond Educational Support Staff, AFT Local #4823

Please vote YES on Warrant Articles #4 and #5.

A two-year contract.

*Please stop the outsourcing of the Raymond Schools’ cafeteria program. 100% of the employees live in Raymond. Voters have rejected it in the past but the school board is trying to do this again.

Please vote NO on the School Board’s Article 9 and YES on the Citizens’ Petition Article 10.

Iber Homes Gove Holmes Middle School Gymnasium:   7am–7pm

More information on the outsourcing proposal in PDF below. 

 

Timberlane Regional School District

Timberlane Support Staff Union, AFT #6530

Please vote YES on Warrant Articles #4 and #5.

A three-year contract.

Atkinson:        Community Center, Rt. 121      7am – 8pm

Danville:          Community Center, Rt. 111      8am – 7pm

Plaistow:         Pollard School , Main St.           7am – 8pm

Sandown:        Sandown Town Hall, Main St.   8am – 8pm

 

VOTING INFORMATION FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 18TH

Please support our Pittsfield Town Employees, AFT #6214 at their annual town meeting. The Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee have recommended cutting two police officer positions. The Town has had the benefit of receiving a COPS grant which is a three-year contract. The decision to reduce the number of police officers, in addition to the grave concerns about public safety, also exposes the Town to paying back $40,000 +/- for not fulfilling the obligations of the grants. Please attend the meeting, support public safety and vote YES on Citizens’ Petition Article #8.

Pittsfield Elementary School Gymnasium     10am

New Hampshire Pittsfield COP budget v2

 

RAYMOND OUTSOURCE HANDOUT 2-3-17 REVISED

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 England Protesters Call Out Donald Trump’s Outsourcing Record and Divisive Rhetoric

Concord, N.H. — Donald Trump’s visit to New England concluded with a stop in Manchester yesterday. Protesters were on hand at every turn to stand against his divisive rhetoric and his businesses outsourcing jobs overseas, despite his claims of favoring American workers.

“Donald Trump’s claims of being for American jobs are utterly disingenuous,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “His companies employ low-wage workers in China, Bangladesh and Honduras, among others, because it means more money in his pockets. It is has been clear that throughout his career and his presidential campaign, he is only out for himself.”

Protesters also sounded the alarm on Trump’s racist and insulting rhetoric on Latinos and Muslims. At the Manchester event, Trump joked that a “Mexican plane” was flying overhead, “ready to attack,” and suggested that he was “looking into” banning TSA workers from wearing hijabs.

Highlights of the protests

New Hampshire

WMUR

 

Eagle Tribune: Trump talks trade in NH visit

Trump and his trade remarks came under fire from the Clinton campaign and Democratic leaders, including New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.

“New Hampshire, and the United States, deserve a president who will fight for workers and their families, not a fraud who will do anything to get ahead and cares only about himself,” Buckley said. “Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States, and voters across America will make that quite clear come November.“

NH1


Maine

WLBZ

Portland Press Herald: Trump takes aim at Clinton during raucous rally in Bangor

[Maine Attorney General Janet Mills] said Trump and his companies represent the outsourcing of jobs that has hurt manufacturing in Maine and other states. None of the products he touts or wears is made in the United States, she said.

“Donald Trump has nothing in common with the working men and women of Maine and no interest in helping them,” Mills said. “He has lined his pockets with cheap foreign labor at the expense of Maine workers and American workers. The ‘King of Debt,’ so-called, who says wages are too high, will be no help to the people of Maine.”

WGME


Massachusetts

CBS-Boston: Donald Trump’s Private Boston Fundraiser Target of Protestors

A group of about 100 protesters that included Congressman Michael Capuano and Ayanna Pressley held signs and chanted across the street from the hotel in Post Office Square more than an hour before Trump’s arrival.

NECN: Protesters Gather Outside Trump’s Closed Fundraiser in Boston

“Donald Trump needs to know that his disastrous message on the economy and is bigoted hate speech is not welcome in Boston, it’s not welcome in Massachusetts and that’s what people here want to let him know,” said Dan Hoffer of the Service Employees International Union Local 888.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano was among those protesting the real estate mogul outside the Langham.

“This is his welcome to Boston,” the Democrat said of Trump.

DoD Union Applauds House Vote to Protect Civilian Jobs from Outsourcing

Amendment to Defense appropriations bill retains department-wide ban on conducting privatization studies

WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is praising the U.S. House of Representatives for including a bipartisan measure in next year’s Department of Defense appropriations bill that will protect civilian jobs from being outsourced.

AFGE Sunders“The Armed Forces rely on civilian employees for a range of services that are vital to military readiness, from training warfighters and maintaining equipment to treating the wounded and sustaining facilities,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “The House action ensures that these jobs cannot be outsourced, since the current privatization process is biased against federal workers.”

The House on June 15 included a provision in the fiscal 2017 DoD Appropriations Bill that bans conducting public-private contracting studies under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76.

The provision was added as a bipartisan amendment offered by Reps. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Don Beyer of Virginia, and Rob Bishop of Utah. The House approved the amendment by voice vote.

“A ban has been in place since fiscal 2010 because of systemic problems with the contracting out process and DoD’s failure to produce a full and meaningful inventory of its contractor workforce,” Cox said. “Some lawmakers have proposed lifting this ban, even though these well-documented problems remain in place. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the four members of Congress who pushed to include a DoD-wide ban in the Defense appropriations bill.”

The Senate dropped the moratorium from its version of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and failed to consider a bipartisan amendment that would have restored the ban. This is the first time a DoD-wide ban has been included in the Defense appropriations bill.

“Civilian employees are the backbone of our military and no effort to outsource their jobs should move forward until DoD can show it has an unbiased process in place for conducting privatization studies,” Cox said.

AFGE represents more than 270,000 DoD civilian employees nationwide and overseas.

Union Members Don’t Love Donald Trump As He Claims

Image by Gage Skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore

‘Looking for love in all the wrong places’

By BERRY CRAIG
AFT Local 1360

Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, bragged about his “tremendous support within unions.” “The workers love me,” he claimed.

The Donald likely would be looking for love in all the wrong places if he campaigned in some deep western Kentucky union halls.

“When Donald Trump says that American workers are overpaid, obviously then he’s not in love with the union member,” said Jimmy Evans, business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 816 in Paducah. “Union members don’t love him.

“He’s pro-‘right to work.’ He’s one of the biggest outsourcers of manufacturing his own apparel. My union members are not going to say they love Donald Trump.”

Dusty Owens is one of Evans’ members and he’s not a Trump lover. “If he’s for the union man, why are all his factory overseas?” asked Evans, Local 816 Political Action Committee chair.

Jarrod Shadowen

Jarrod Shadowen

Training director Jarrod Shadowen said if Trump dropped by Local 816’s hall, “We would probably tell him no, we don’t love him, and he can leave.”

The comments by Evans, Owens and Shadowen were echoed by several other union members at a recent meeting of the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council. The umbrella organization represents AFL-CIO-affiliated union locals in the Bluegrass State’s 13 westernmost counties.

Western Kentucky is arguably the most conservative corner of the Red State Bluegrass State, whose GOP caucus he won. Trump vowed he’s “going to get millions of people from the Democrats,” presumably union members among them.

He had nobody at the Paducah union meeting.

“We’ve never lived like he has and he’s never lived like we have,” said Howard “Bubba” Dawes, directing business representative for International Association of Machinists District Lodge 154 in Calvert City. “There’s no way we’re going to support him.”

Jim Key, vice president of Paducah United Steelworkers Local 550, doesn’t “have the time of day for Donald Trump.” Added Key: “You take a man that’s filed for bankruptcy as many times as he has, and closed down every initiative that he has started up–he’s not for the working men and women of this nation.”

Jim Rodgers, a Local 550 trustee, mused that if Trump visited his hall, “I’d have to ask him to give me a name of one of those union members who he says loves him–just one.”

Lou Nell Busby, a member of Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 277 who was visiting from Henderson, Tenn., issued a challenge to Trump. “If he can find any union women who would love him, I’d like to meet them.”

Brandon Duncan

Brandon Duncan

Gary McManus, council financial secretary-treasurer and retiree from Calvert City USW Local 227, was incredulous over Trump’s claim that unions love him. “He’s crazy. There’ s no way that all union people love him. There’s no way.”

Brandon Duncan of Paducah, Local 227 president, said Trump “is about division and divisiveness. “We as Americans can either head down his path, which will take us back years and years, or we can stick together and be progressive and make this country better.”

Jarrod Shadowen

Council President Jeff Wiggins doesn’t mince words about his lack of love for The Donald. “He’s a union-busting, union-hating good-for-nothing,” said Wiggins, who is also president of USW Local 9447 in Calvert City.

Leo W Gerard: Murdering American Manufacturing: ‘Strictly Business’

Via YouTube

Via YouTube

In the week before Valentine’s Day, United Technologies expressed its love for its devoted Indiana employees, workers whose labor had kept the corporation profitable, by informing 2,100 of them at two facilities that it was shipping their factories, their jobs, their communities’ resources to Mexico.

A few workers shouted obscenities at the corporate official. Some walked out. Others openly wept as United Technologies shattered their hopes, their dreams, their means to pay middle-class mortgages.

Three days later, 1,336 workers at Philadelphia’s largest remaining manufacturer, Cardone, learned that company planned to throw them out too and build brake calipers in Mexico instead. Two weeks earlier, a Grand Rapids, Mich., company called Dematic did the same thing to its 300 workers.

No surprise. In the first decade of this century, America lost 56,190 factories, 15 a day.

Republican presidential candidates talk incessantly of building a physical wall to keep impoverished Mexican immigrants out of America. What they fail to offer is an economic barrier to prevent the likes of United Technologies and Cardone and Dematic from impoverishing American workers by exporting their jobs to Mexico.

2016-02-21-1456072225-9430429-UnitedTechnologies.jpg

The president of Carrier, owned by United Technologies, gathered the Indianapolis factory employees, skilled workers who earn an average of $20 an hour, and informed them that the corporation planned to kick them to the curb but expected them to perform to the highest standards until Carrier opened a new plant in Monterrey, Mexico, where workers will be paid $3 an hour.

Carrier President Chris Nelson told the group, “This was an extremely difficult decision.”

Such difficulties for poor, poor United Technologies! It was making a nice profit at its Indianapolis and Huntington factories. But it was not the big fat profit it could pocket by paying Mexican workers a mere $3 an hour, providing no health or pension benefits, and doing it all in the nation with the longest work weeks among the 36 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

It would be “extremely difficult” for United Technologies to abandon Indiana after the corporation grabbed $530,000 from the pockets of hard-working Hoosiers over the past nine years as the state’s economic development agency forked over taxpayer cash to the corporation.

It would be even more “difficult” to turn its back on America considering that United Technologies grabbed $121 million from a federal tax credit program established specifically to ensure that green manufacturing jobs remained in the United States. Carrier took $5.1 million of those tax credits in 2013.

“This is strictly a business decision,” Nelson told the jeering workers. It wasn’t because of anything they had done. It was just that Mexico allows corporations to exploit its people in ways that America does not. It permits $3-an-hour pay, while the United States requires at least $7.25. For now, at least. Some GOP president candidates (Donald Trump) have said they think that’s too high.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ensnared Mexican and American workers in a race to the bottom. And the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade deal among 12 countries instead of just three, would place American and Mexican workers in an even worse competition. They’d vie for jobs with forced and child labor in places like Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Under NAFTA, cheap American grain shipped to Mexico without tariffs destroyed peasant farming. And that prompted migration north. Meanwhile, American factories saw desperate Mexicans willing to work for a pittance, a government unwilling to pass or enforce environmental laws, and because of NAFTA, no tariffs when the goods were shipped back to the United States. That propelled factory migration south.

Before NAFTA, the United States had a small trade surplus with Mexico. That disappeared within a year, and now the annual trade deficit is approximately $50 billion.

Though it has been 22 years since NAFTA took effect, a report issued last week by the AFL-CIO says, “Labor abuses in many cases are worse now than before NAFTA. . . In short, NAFTA has contributed to labor abuses, not improvements.”

The report says the Mexican government fails to enforce labor laws and refuses to ensure that workers can form independent labor unions to try to protect their own rights. In fact, the report says, “The human and labor rights situation in Mexico is rapidly deteriorating.”

As a result, workers are powerless and completely at the mercy of corporations. So corporations like United Technologies can pay them $3 an hour and get away with it. This is not good for Mexican workers. And it’s not good for American workers.

The AFL-CIO report makes it clear that the TPP would worsen the situation because it would give corporations like United Technologies the option of moving to places like Vietnam where they could pay trafficked workers and child laborers $1 an hour. Or less.

Just like with NAFTA, there’s nothing enforceable in the TPP that would stop the labor abuses. It would facilitate corporations forcing workers from Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Monterrey, Mexico, into competition with 14-year-olds laboring 60-hour-weeks for $1-an-hour in Malaysia.

Just like United Technologies, these corporate CEOs would say it was “strictly business” to offshore American mills, industry that had served as city centers for decades, even centuries, factories so synonymous with towns that the communities took their names like Ambridge (American Bridge) and Hershey, which, by the way, laid off workers at its Pennsylvania home in 2007 and opened a chocolate plant in Monterrey, Mexico.

The AFL-CIO investigation of the TPP determined that it would do nothing more than increase corporate profits while sticking workers – in the United States and elsewhere – with lost jobs, lower wages and repressed rights.

For 22 years NAFTA has destroyed subsistence farming in Mexico and good, middle class factory jobs in the United States. Maybe corporations have made out like bandits. But the banditry should be stopped for the heartache it has caused on both sides of the border.

As Carrier President Nelson told the Indianapolis workers, members of my union, the United Steelworkers, that he was taking their jobs from them so that shareholders and corporate executives could make a few extra bucks, the workers protested. Nelson kept saying, “Quiet down. Let’s quiet down.”

That’s exactly the opposite of what American workers and communities should be doing. They should shouting from rooftops, “No TPP!”  For the love of American manufacturing, they should be yelling bloody murder.

Free Trade Strikes Again As 1,300 More Manufacturing Jobs Are Shipped Out

file photo from US Gov Image by Jason Frost.

file photo from US Gov
Image by Jason Frost.


The failures of so-called free trade agreements continue to plague American workers.

Last week, Carrier announced that they would be moving 1,400 jobs over the next two years to a new plant in Mexico.  This move will allow Carrier, and their parent company United Technologies, to continue to rake in billions in profits and reduce their labor costs at the same time. The average HVAC worker at Carrier in Mexico will make around $6.00 an hour.

On Monday, Philly.com reported that Cardone, an auto parts manufacturer, will be moving 1,300 jobs to their plant in Mexico.

“Cardone, the Philadelphia auto-parts rebuilder which calls itself the city’s largest remaining manufacturing company, will shift 1,336 workers from its brake caliper plants at 5501 Whitaker Ave. and 5670 Rising Sun Ave. to a plant in Matamoros, Mexico, just south of Cardone’s warehouses in Brownsville, Texas over the next two years.”

Back in 2011, the Cardone CEO Michael Cardone III said he was committed to Philly when rumors surfaced that the company would be shifting jobs to their Texas and Mexico plants.

“We’re committed to Philadelphia. We’re committed to staying here, and we’re committed to job retention.”

Kevin Feeley, a spokesman for the company, told Philly.com Monday, that the “company was moving the brake work to Mexico because the “entry level” manufacturing work is “particularly sensitive” to cheap foreign competition.”

Again we see exactly how these so-called free trade agreements are destroying American jobs.  Chinese manufacturers are bringing in products cheaper, because they pay workers slave wages and US manufacturers are moving moving overseas to preserve their profit margins.

“Since 1998, U.S. manufacturers have eliminated 3.4 million jobs as China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to $201.6 billion from $57 billion. Industries such as clothing, office products, furniture and toys have already ceded much of their production to Asia,” reported Bob Fernandez, staff writer for the INQUIRER.

Now we are on the cusp of another so-called free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that has been labeled NAFTA on steroids.

Though some have labeled the TPP as the “gold standard” many, including the AFL-CIO, say that the TPP fails to address the chronic labor abuses currently plaguing workers in these countries.

“Calling the TPP’s labor rights provisions a gold standard is a mirage,” said Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO Trade Policy Specialist. “We know from experience that the discretionary dispute settlement model does not work for vulnerable workers, and the highly touted ‘new’ labor provisions do not provide meaningful new protections for abused and exploited workers.”

So what is to be gained from theses corporate driven trade policies?

More income inequality as greedy corporations continue the race to the bottom, finding new ways to pay workers even less while still protecting their record profits.

We must work together with our elected leaders to stop the TPP and fix our trade policies that encourage corporations to shift their manufacturing overseas.

America Needs Good Jobs Now!

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 5.38.31 PMBy Richita Anderson for Unions Matter

In my job as a Labor Services Representative for the New York State Department of Labor for over 30 years, I witnessed the unending loss of decent paying jobs. I saw too what this loss does to people—their struggles to support a family, get medical care, their inability to afford a college education for their children. Many people today are stuck in a minimum wage job with no future and very little hope.

The poor job market manifests itself in a controversial and cruel situation. Numerous sectors of the economy, including large retail stores like Target and Urban Outfitters and many fast food chains, subject their employees to grueling on-call schedules. With these a worker doesn’t know how many days and hours he or she will be called to work in a given week, or whether they will work at all. This makes being able to pay one’s bills and arrange child care all but impossible. In a market where jobs are plentiful, employers would never be able to get away with such exploitative behavior.

Why Aren’t There More Good Jobs?

In an article in the New York Times this past July 2, 2015, there was this telling headline: “The New Jobs Numbers Are Weaker than They Look.” Author Neil Irwin writes:

With revisions that wacked 60,000 jobs off the April and May numbers, there is a modest downward trend evident in job growth in the last few months.

This revising of job growth numbers downward has continued, and as the article also notes wages are not going up. This crippling stagnation of wages comes from an enormous loss of jobs over these last few decades.

As a job interviewer, I saw firsthand the agonizing loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs in every borough of New York City. There was, for instance, the A&P food packing plant staffed by United Food and Commercial Workers union members. The company left Brooklyn for upstate New York, where they got large tax breaks from Albany and paid wages considerably lower than in Brooklyn. Then, a few years later when the incentives expired, the company pulled out and relocated to a new area where persons were desperate for jobs. They received another round of government tax breaks which we, the taxpayers, paid for. As was described in an earlier post on this blog, A&P has declared bankruptcy. Today they are selling off their stores at auction, and the likelihood for its unionized workforce to get good paying jobs elsewhere is painfully uncertain.

The Cause of Unemployment & Economic Injustice

I’ve learned from the education Aesthetic Realism a clear explanation of this ongoing and massive loss of jobs and the resulting poverty wages now so current across the U.S. In an issue of the international periodical The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, writes: (TRO 1826)

We should be very clear. The cause of unemployment is the profit system: the fact that you’re able to work only if some individual can make profit from your labor….I have written often about what Eli Siegel, in the 1970’s, was the philosopher, educator, historian, and economist to show: economics based on seeing people contemptuously, in terms of how much money you can get out of them, no longer works….Today, in order for profit economics to continue at all, people have to be made poorer and poorer….

The increasing poverty in America is caused by the desire of certain persons to keep the profit way going when it is a mortally ailing thing. The situation can be described quantitatively. The wealth generated when something is produced is of a certain amount. Today, in order for owners and stockholders to get a lot of that amount, they must make sure less and less goes to the workers. That is why various persons are on such a ferocious, lying campaign to destroy unions: because unions fight for what workers deserve.

A Vivid Instance in Sparta, Tennessee

A shameful instance of making people poorer and poorer while corporate executives and shareholders rake in profits is told of in an article titled Losing Sparta: The Bitter Truth Behind the Gospel of Productivity by Esther Kaplan, published in the Virginia Quarterly Review in 2014. Ms. Kaplan writes about a profitable factory in Sparta, Tennessee, which made lighting fixtures, produced by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers members, who were skilled and turned out quality products as they earned wages that enabled them to support families and live with some decency. The factory, however, was bought by Philips, a multinational corporation which began laying workers off and outsourced the jobs to Mexico. There, workers doing the same jobs are paid as little as $9 a day, an obscenely pitiful amount clearly insufficient for anyone to support a family—or themselves, for that matter. The jobs lost as a result of the brutal layoffs in the Philips plant have not been recovered and those workers in White County, Tennessee, are still unemployed, or working part-time in whatever work there is to be found—which is mostly close to or at minimum wage.

What happened in Sparta, including the ultimate destruction of the union there, made me—a proud union member with PEF (Professional Employees Federation) for 25 years—more determined than ever to fight for justice to the working people of our great nation. The people of Tennessee and every state of the union deserve to have productive, useful, and happy lives. I passionately believe the study of what Aesthetic Realism shows about the economy and unions is the path to that happening!

The Viable & Urgently Needed Solution to Joblessness

What is the alternative to our profit driven economy which has ruined countless lives? Mr. Siegel put the matter succinctly and resoundingly. He said: “Jobs for usefulness, not profit.” And in issue 1348  ofThe Right Of, Unions and Beauty, Ellen Reiss writes:

The question Americans now have to answer is one I have asked here before: What should be sacrificed—decent jobs for millions of Americans; or profits of individuals who didn’t earn them, so that millions of people can have decent, dignified lives? There can no longer be both. Another question is: If no one were making personal profit from the work of others, and everyone were making a good living and feeling expressed—would that be good? Would that be beautiful? ethical? truly American? The answer is yes!


Richita Anderson grew up in Horseheads, NY. She graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in history and served as past president of the New York City subchapter of District 1 of the International Association of Workforce Professionals. Today she is the Aesthetic Realism Class Registrar and a consultations coordinator at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York City’s SoHo.


 

Originally posted on Unions Matter and reposted with permission.

At Manchester Small Business, Shaheen Highlights Her Record Of Putting New Hampshire Jobs First

Shaheen Continues ‘GOTV-New Hampshire Tour”, Contrasting Her Record With Scott Brown’s Pro-Outsourcing Agenda

Shaheen-021109-18432- 0009Manchester – Senator Jeanne Shaheen continued her “GOTV-New Hampshire Tour” this morning at Dyn in Manchester, where she discussed how her record of supporting New Hampshire small businesses stands in stark contrast to Scott Brown’s record supporting out-of-state corporate interests, including companies that outsource American jobs. The Senator also held a Q and A with Dyn employees.

“New Hampshire deserves a Senator who is going to stand up for our small businesses, not someone who fights for corporate interests at the expense of the middle class,” said Shaheen. “I’ve fought to close special tax loopholes for companies that outsource American jobs and instead led the fight to pass legislation that cut taxes for our small businesses because I know that’s how we ought to be supporting our economy here in New Hampshire.”

“Scott Brown’s record is clear. He championed billions in tax giveaways to Big Oil companies, special breaks for Wall Street banks, and even voted for tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. That’s just further proof that he’s not for New Hampshire,” Shaheen added.

Jeanne Shaheen has been a champion for New Hampshire small businesses. She led the fight to pass the Small Business Jobs Act, which cut taxes for small businesses, increased businesses’ access to credit, and helped companies export their products overseas. That legislation has helped countless New Hampshire businesses grow and create jobs but as a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted against it.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown supported special breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that offshore American jobs. Since losing in Massachusetts, Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear Brown’s signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

Shaheen Visits Republican-Owned Small Business, Highlights Her Record Of Putting New Hampshire First

Shaheen Continues ‘GOTV-New Hampshire Tour”, Contrasting Her Record With Scott Brown’s Pro-Outsourcing Agenda

SenJeanneShaheenAmherst – Senator Jeanne Shaheen continued her “GOTV-New Hampshire Tour” this morning at LaBelle Winery in Amherst where she discussed how her record of supporting New Hampshire small businesses stands in stark contrast to Scott Brown’s record of supporting out-of-state corporate interests, including companies that outsource American jobs. At the event, Shaheen was endorsed by LaBelle Winery owner Amy LaBelle, a registered Republican, who cited Shaheen’s record of working to help New Hampshire small businesses grow and create jobs.

“Throughout my career I’ve worked to support New Hampshire small businesses and middle class families,” said Shaheen. “That’s why I fought to close tax loopholes for companies that outsource American jobs and instead led the fight to pass legislation that cut taxes for our small businesses, which create jobs and support our economy here in New Hampshire. Scott Brown didn’t just oppose that legislation; he championed special tax giveaways to Big Oil companies, Wall Street banks, and even companies that ship jobs overseas.”

“I’m a registered Republican but I know that when it comes to who will fight for New Hampshire and its small businesses, Senator Shaheen is the clear choice,” said Amy LaBelle, owner of LaBelle Winery. “Senator Shaheen has fought for small businesses throughout her career, while she was New Hampshire’s governor and now as our US Senator. She has been focused on the policies that help business owners like me create jobs.”

“Scott Brown’s record shows that he’s only interested in himself and in the big money corporate donors, who fund his campaign,” LaBelle added. “He’s voted against commonsense bills like the Small Business Jobs Act that help New Hampshire businesses. And what’s more is that while he was a Massachusetts Senator, he voted for tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas to places like China and Mexico. He’s not voting for companies that are creating jobs here.”

Jeanne Shaheen has been a champion for New Hampshire small businesses. She led the fight to pass the Small Business Jobs Act, which cut taxes for small businesses, increased businesses’ access to credit, and helped companies export their products overseas. That legislation has helped countless New Hampshire businesses grow and create jobs but as a Senator from Massachusetts Scott Brown voted against it.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown voted to support special tax breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that offshore American jobs. Since losing in Massachusetts, Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear Brown’s signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

At each of her events this week, Jeanne Shaheen is meeting with voters about what is at stake this November. She has deep roots in New Hampshire, raised her family here, and has a record of making a difference for New Hampshire families both as Governor and Senator.

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