UnionMaine

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Republicans for Obama

Lost jobs, grab bags for the rich, tonight the Democrats promised no tax increases for the lowest 95% of taxpayers. If I was in the top 5% I don’t think it would be worth my while to pay an accountant to cheat my way out of a few dollars.

If you like the last eight years and want 100 more as J.M. promised vote for a Republican.

Former Republican Barney Smith:

Republicans talk about putting “country first,” but tell that to Marion, Indiana. They sent my job overseas.

America can’t afford more of the same. We need a president who puts the Barney Smiths before the Smith Barneys.

I’m going to put country first by voting Barack Obama for president.

The heartland needs change. And with Obama, we’re going to get it. Enter your Email

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August 28th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | MSEA, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, Tom Allen | no comments

Why vote for Obama? How could you vote for McCain?

This is a reprint of November 2007 post. I am putting this up as an answer to anyone that wants to elect John McCain as the Bush third term.

Now it is 2008, with the presidential elections coming up and you need to ask yourself if you will continue to elect cats. There is a link to the youtube video in the right hand column.


Mouseland

Mouseland, almost as told by Tommy Douglas in 1944 This is not about Mickey.


Tommy Douglas brought universal health care to Canada, a system that costs less and covers more people than in this country. I have paraphrased his famous “Mouseland” speech because even over sixty years later it is relevant. Mouseland is still relevant because it shows the danger of thinking there has been any change between the Reagan Republicans and the Bush Republicans. We need an alternative. Mr. Douglas was called socialist, communist, a destroyer of the country. It was said over and over that the system could never work.

With logic, not fear he made his points. I wish we had someone like him to speak for us now.

One of his points is that any health care system run by private enterprise will demand profit and the investors will demand ever larger profits. The only way you can increase profit in that type of system is to deny care.

By way of a quick introduction here are some excerpts and condensations from the Wickipedia article on Tommy Douglas.

Here is the Wickipedia article

7th Premier of Saskatchewan 1944 to 1961


Thomas Clement Douglas introduced universal public Medicare to Canada. Kiefer Sutherland is his grandson.


When young, Douglas would have had a leg amputated but for a doctor who agreed to help for free. This incident began Douglas’s belief that health care should be free to all. During WWI, his family returned to Glasgow. They came back to Winnipeg in 1919, during labor unrest in time for Douglas to see the police charging strikers with clubs and guns.

The Douglas government pioneered pro Union and Universal health care items, including:

  • The creation of Canada’s first publicly owned automobile insurance service.
  • Legislation that allowed the unionization of the public service.
  • A program to offer free hospital care to all citizens—the first in Canada.
  • The Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, legislation that broke new ground as it protected both fundamental freedoms and equality rights against abuse not only by government but also on the part of powerful private institutions and persons.

    In Michael Moore’s SiCKO, Tommy Douglas was mentioned by a Canadian golfer who tore his biceps tendon while golfing in America and faced a $24,000 health care bill even with Canada’s “out of country” insurance. Instead the Golfer returned to Canada, where all of his surgery and related expenses were free.

Mouseland

Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Congress. And every four years they had an election. They went to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, black, cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of black cats, you just look at the history of the United States and maybe you’ll see that they weren’t any stupider than we are.

Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They were nice, they conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws–that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouse holes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds–so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: “All that Mouseland needs is more vision.” They said:” The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we’ll establish square mouseholes.” And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever. And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?”

What we have been doing has not worked. Medical care is growing progressively more expensive and the only “cures” offered by the administration are to reduce premiums for doctors by preventing them for being sued for mistakes. OOPS! Wrong leg, so sorry. Here is a crutch on the house. The other cure is to claim that health care is socialism. A national health care program would no more be socialism than fire departments, police departments, a national army or any other group where we band together for the greater good. We will be judged not by what we do for ourselves but by what we do for the poorest among us.

The Tommy Douglas speech on Youtube will make you think it is in 2008 not 1937.

Yes We Can!

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August 27th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Temporary Outage

I have been kept away from my PC for several days do to an injury. Since I have a Union job I have sick time and a secure job to return to.
I can’t sit and spend time writing posts for several more days so if anyone has any ideas or items of interest please send them to narsbars@unionmaine.com.
Remember the first member of you negotiations team, for the executive branch, is going to be elected on the 13th.
Your ideas are what go to the table and if you don’t bring your ideas they won’t be heard.

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August 26th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Only with a union do workers vote

Next time someone tells you that the Employee Free Choice act is bad for workers rights get out your spray can!

From Jack McKay President of the Eastern Maine Labor Council. The EMLC still remembers why we need Unions and Jack does a better job of explaining the truth than many writers.
The EMLC offers training, outreach to nonunion employees, and much more. The lies that have been on TV and in the papers have been so bad that even Susan Collins had to come out and condemn them. Good move, but months late and only because she finally realized that Mainers do “have a clue” and can spot B.S. especially when it is piled high enough to make you walk around it.

One thing Jack does not mention in this space is an answer to one of the anti Union ads being run. They claim (wrongly) that the EFCA would take away the right to a secret ballot. The answer to this is the employer has taken the rights of free speech, because you can be fired for talking pro union at work, the right to free association, because you can be fired for hanging around with a union sympathizer. The right to equal justice under the law, wave bye bye, as after you are fired even if proven illegal the company faces no penalties other than back pay. If a company illegally stops a Union from being formed, no penalties, only an OOPSIE! The Union still does not get recognized. I guess that the big money behind these ads wants to maintain their right to deny your rights.

Training on organizing and EFCA along with outreach at Folk Festival

hosted by the Worker Center of Eastern Maine with training by MSEA organizer Mike Sylvester
9-12 Saturday, August 23rd
EMLC Solidarity Center
Media Event- the truth: Only with a union do workers vote
or the big lie of business, Collins and McCain in their attacks on unions
10:00 Wednesday, August 27th
Location to be announced
Labor Day Media Event:
Religious and community leaders stand up for truth and voting at work
2:30, Monday September
EMLC Solidarity Center
Brothers and Sisters,
As you all know, there is an enormous lie campaign going on about unions and the Employee Free Choice Campaign. Actually several lies. The biggest and most blatant is that unions are opposed to voting. The exact opposite is true. Only with a union do workers get to vote on wages, benefits, working conditions. Only with a union do workers elect officers and representatives. Non union workers never get to vote on any of these things. Ever.
Yet big business is trying to trick people into thinking that unions want less voting. But now they have overreached. Their lies are too blatant. Their chosen politicians like Senator Susan Collins and John McCain also pass off the same lie. And its time to call them out.
We need details on all our affiliates examples of voting in the past year. On contracts, elected officers, whether or not to go to arbitration. Any time your union voted. We will aggregate these numbers and put out the truth in the light of day.
We also need elected union officials to speak on Wednesday at our press conference.
Thanks for your support. Together, we can turn back this smear campaign and bring back truth to the public debate about organizing unions.
In Solidarity,
Jack

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August 22nd, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Here kitty, kitty.

These are viral pictures from everywhere on the web. Since the Union is starting up Contract Action Teams for contract talks. I just couldn’t help posting these. I don’t spam, I don’t pass along chain letters but here I am breaking my own rules. How would you like this guy on your C.A.T. team?
P.S. Thanks to one of the contributors to this blog for these pictures, thanks N.










WHITE TIGER SWIMMING

These photos of a White Bengal Tiger named Odin.

Odin is six years old and 10 feet long from tail to nose.
Odin lives at a Zoo in Vallejo, California, near San Francisco.

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August 21st, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

An eleven year old post

I know I usually write about politics, union issues, and all that dreary stuff. The reason I work for good jobs for employees is because I owe it to my family and seeing the greed of the right take away so much of what the American worker stood for has made me sick.
For me it is all about my family and I need to keep a promise to my daughter Tara. Tara here it is.

http://makemybeanie.ty.com/mkmybeanie/mkMyBeanie_vote_indv.php?id=10807

My daughter is eleven, a Beanie Baby junkie and an aspiring artist. I promised I would put a link to her picture on my Blog. If she wins nobody gets rich, she can win a T-shirt or they can use her beanie as a model. This is really all about her drawing which I am trying to encourage. Do me a favor if you have a moment and click the link and vote for her picture.
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August 19th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Forward! Into the past with McCain.


Speaking of the past

KEATING FIVE:
McCain and four other (D) senators split $300,000 in campaign contributions from Keating

McCain got the most, $112,000. McCain’s wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986 The paper also reported that the McCains, made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating’s Bahamas home.

The other four senators were (D), but they are not running for president under the straight talk banner.

We can see how McCain looked in the past. Now let’s see how well he could predict the future.

Who said the following?

“There’s not a history of clashes that are violent between Sunnis and Shiahs. So I think they can probably get along.”

” I believe that the success will be fairly easy.

“We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. “

“But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.”

“But I believe that the Iraqi people will greet us as liberators.”

“It’s clear that the end is very much in sight.”

“This is a mission accomplished..”

What does McCain stand for? Maybe the better question is will he still stand for the same thing next week?

1. Social Security Privatization.
2. Raising – and Slashing – Defense Spending
3. First Term Balanced Budget Pledge.
4. . The Estate Tax
5. FISA, Domestic Surveillance and Telecom Immunity.
6. Restoring the Everglades.
7. Divestment from South Africa.
8. Fighting Job Losses in Michigan. Helped the companies that wanted to get rid of the jobs and his campaign manager made over a half million dollars working for those companies.
9. Opposing Hurricane Katrina Investigations.
10. Alternative minimum tax was for repealing it, now wants to phase it out.
11. Litmus test for judicial appointees, for against it, now he’s for it.
12. 1999: was against off-shore drilling; now he’s for it.
13. 2001: “Cannot in good conscience support tax cuts”
14. 2005: McCain anti-torture amendment, 2008, voted against the ban. Any man that can live through what he lived through and vote for torture will sell his soul for a twinkie.
15. 2006: McCain immigration bill, 2008 DID NOT vote for it!
16. Was Pro-Choice, now he’s Anti-Abortions under ANY circumstance.
17. 2000: Called Jerry Falwell and Pat Roberts “Agents of Intolerance”; 2006, pandered to Falwell and spoke at his college.
18. 2008: open to a higher payroll tax for Social Security, despite previous vows not to raise taxes of any kind

A short history of John McCain


1954: Gets into the Naval Academy. Daddy is an Admiral.
1958: Graduates in the lower 10% of his class.
1960: Graduated flight school where he earned a reputation as a “party man” and the “worst flight student ever”.
1963: Stationed abroad the USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise where he crashed twice and once collided with power lines.
1965: Marries a beautiful woman who waits for him while he is a POW>
1967: Shot down, beaten, and sent to a POW camp
1968: VC realize he is the son of the Commander US Forces in Vietnam and provide “preferential treatment
1969-1972: Makes propaganda films for NVC.
1969: His wife suffers crippling/disfiguring accident. She does not tell McCain because she does not want him to worry.
1973: Released from POW camp.
1979: McCain meet Cindy Lou Hensley. McCain starts an affair with Ms Cindy Hensley. McCain leaves wife.
1980: McCain divorces his wife of fifteen years.
1980: McCain marries Cindy Hensley.

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August 17th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

AFL-CIO Starts a Blog

ELECTION 2008

ALERT
Current Campaign News from

MAINE AFL-CIO


I suppose some would say we are not supposed to get along with the AFL-CIO or with AFSCME but the AFL-CIO has just started a blog and it show us we are not alone. Sometimes being in the MSEA-SEIU all we get surrounded by a sea of purple and forget that there are thousands of othre Union members in Maine, thousands of Mainers that think the way we do.

We are organizing and bringing new members into MSEA-SEIU but it has to go farther than that, we have to reach out to all Mainers and all Union brothers and sisters. We all need to make sure that John McCain is not the next term for George Bush.

The AFL-CIO blog is a good one with a lot of good news, a lot of positive ideas that will bring some support for all of us.

I did notice that although they had a number of Labor Leaders of the week there was no one from MSEA. I am going to make a small step by placing this link in this post and by adding them to by blogroll.

Please check them out, see what other Union Mainers are thinking.

http://www.maineaflcio.org/

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August 14th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Wal-Mart Bureau of Motor Vehicles



Why do Unions want to reach out to non-Unionized workers? Because they are suffering as much as Union members and more. Non-Unionized workers generally have less benefits, earn less money, and have almost no job security. We need to help them and in turn they will help us.

Only in the past few weeks have gas prices fallen below $4 a gallon.

Food prices continue to go up. Whether you believe in global warming or not the carbon dioxide, coal dust, and a thousand other poisons are in the air we breathe. If the air can kill you, does it really matter if it is a little warmer than last year?

Maine’s economy is facing threats from all fronts, energy costs are out of sight and winter is coming, and while right now you may only be having problems that make you cut back on weekend yard sales, but if nothing is done about the problem things will get a lot worse. This week a new ranking for taxation levels across the country was released by the same group that said Maine was the most highly taxed State in the US. OOPS! They found that ware are not now and have not been are the most highly taxed State in the country. Fifteenth place isn’t great but it is a big improvement.

California has been a leader in both technology and Union activism but is now showing where we as a state may be headed. They face the same issues with fuel, heating, cooling and a broken budget. The right wing is taking this chance to blame social programs and a Union workforce for the problems California State employees are facing. Arnold’s symbolic move threatening State employees with pay cuts and lay offs. This was coincidentally at the same time State employees were negotiating a new contract.

The right wing is wrong. The California problems are not caused by the Unions or by social programs. “Social programs” is a thinly veiled reference to anyone needing State aid. California, like many states came to expect the Federal government to continue to support the programs that the Fed voted in to law, Federal programs the States must maintain. The Bush administration decided that no one deserves your money more than the the top 1% of earners in the country and handed out tax breaks to the rich. Programs depending on everyone carrying a fair share fell apart. When the Federal government started handing out bills to the middle class, bills for blood and money while subsidizing the rich the economy came to a brick wall.

There is only so much income whether it goes to a few or is spread around. When you exempt the largest incomes from carrying the same load as a laborer or a secretary aid to those in need must be cut. In order to fuel the largest growth in wealth for the top one percent (McCain wears $500.00 imported shoes) the incomes of the working class have become stagnant while energy costs continue to rise. If you can afford the trip to the grocery store you can’t buy as much food. The right wing and many Republicans along with some Democrats wish to start gutting State government in the same way as California where the governor has ordered thousands of jobs cut.(McCain helped to destroy 8,600 good jobs and lied about it).

Cutting State government is not a move to save money, it is a plan to move money to the from the public to private corporations. Since the middle class is running out of cash the next source the corporations are looking at is public services such as roads and health care. If the same amount of money is spent or even less to replace State employees the road to profit is clear, reduce both the quantity and quality of services provided to the public in the name of profit.

This will be a MISTAKE. Laying off State employees, and we all know it is never the big salaries that get hit will cause these same employees to make use of the already strained social services and will amplify the problem. There won’t be enough funds to support the demand and there won’t be enough employees to provide the services the public needs. This will inevitably lead to a cry to outsource State functions to the private sector in order to save money. More money will then be directed to fewer employees, earning less money, and requiring more services from the tax payer because their jobs won’t come with benefits or health care. The owners will pay less taxes than their employees so in the end the State will have even less income for services.

Stagnant wages state wide and a mix of misleading lies TV and radio spots are making for a lethal atmosphere for the next round of contract talks. With rising costs for all Mainers for food and fuel we face both a short term and a long term threat.We need to help other Mainers become unionized. We need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act and open a path to a good job to all Mainers.

In the short term, we face a contract with the prospect of any raises being immediately eaten up by food and fuel costs. In the long term we face a move by the right to get rid of government employees and move their paychecks into only the hands of the rich while providing fewer services at a drastically lowered quality.

This will not only threaten State employees but will not only threaten the Public with higher costs and fewer services it will make no one accountable for the public monies spent. For an example of how corporations pull this trick consider that Anthem reported an 89% increase in profits while only adding 2% to customer base. Did they do such a good job they got tips or did they find a way to take it out of the services they provide that policy holders are expecting?

If we don’t get involved and help our fellow Mainers and work to educate them and ask for their votes you may not only be hearing “Welcome to the Wal-Mart Bureau of Motor Vehicles”, you may be the greeter.

It can’t be us and them, we all live here, and we share the same world. If imagination fails then the only game in town will be the blame game. We must look for savings. Do you know of a wasteful contract? Do you know of “temporary” consultants that have been on the payroll for years? No one sees more of the employers business than the employee. We have to help find savings to fund our needs. We have to show that our services are more efficient than outsourcing. We can work to devise policies address energy, like a four day week. We can show millions going to private industry with no oversight. Money can be saved for the taxpayer and some of those funds can then be used to help pay your heating bill and pay for your groceries.

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August 11th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

Dual Post from 771 Website

Helen of 771 is doing a great job. She keeps us all informed and this is one of the many answers to the attacks that the scared right wing is throwing at Unions.
Check out UnionMainenews771 Helen’s Blog at Local 771

Corporate Attack Dogs Targeting Rep. Tom Allen for Support Working Families

Last week brought us news of Wal-Mart pressuring employees to vote against Democrats like Rep. Tom Allen who are fighting for working families. Now we’re learning that corporate front groups are taking it a step further and unleashing vicious, misleading attacks on Allen.
Corporate-financed groups like the misnamed “Coalition for a Democratic Workplace” and “Center for Union Facts” are on the attack because Rep. Allen supports the Employee Free Choice Act to restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain without employer harassment. Across the country, these front groups are running misleading TV, radio and newspaper ads attacking candidates who are doing the right thing.
It is important that Rep. Tom Allen knows you are behind him and the other candidates 100 percent.
Please take a minute and tell Rep. Tom Allen that you appreciate their support for the Employee Free Choice Act.
The Employee Free Choice Act, when enacted, will restore balance between corporate power brokers and workers trying to form unions. Right now, corporations have ALL the power—
Corporations decide how workers will form their union.
Corporations illegally fire workers for supporting a union.
Corporations force workers into intimidation meetings with supervisors.
Corporations threaten to shut down if workers unionize.
Corporations delay contract negotiations.
And corporate fines for violating our rights are so insignificant that these fines are treated as just a regular cost of doing business.
And as a result, 60 million workers who want to join unions cannot. Which means millions of working men and women are intentionally denied the higher wages and better benefits that come with a union card—and America’s middle class dwindles.
Please thank Rep. Tom Allen for supporting the Employee Free Choice Act.
The Employee Free Choice Act isn’t complicated. It would enable workers to choose for themselves whether to form a union by majority sign-up or through a National Labor Relations Board election. It would strengthen penalties when corporations trample the rights of workers trying to organize and bargain. And it would ensure that once workers form a union, the company can’t indefinitely delay reaching a contract.
With wages stagnating, prices rising, health and pension benefits disappearing and the middle class shrinking, what could be more important than giving every working man and woman a fair chance to bargain for a better life?
Please take a moment to let Rep. Tom Allen know that you support the Employee Free Choice Act, too.

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August 8th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments