UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Apathy or a lack of information?

Dr. Uncle SamThis poster was put out during WW I showing how business and the Government had partnered to destroy the evils of Unionism. Look in the back at the greedy Union boss sneaking out with the money belonging to business and the Public. Listen to any right wing talk show, listen to the K.J. and you will hear the same talk.

Lack of member participation, interest, lack of concern and understanding about their own union and the Labor Movement in general, are reaching critical levels. Until 1/20/2009 the G. Bush labor department will be trying to disassemble a hundred years of labor gains. In Maine a portion of the legislature is preparing a devastating attack on wages and benefits under the guise of saving the public from the rapacious Unions. We will no longer be able to afford both the Mercedes and the Bentley. Some of us may have to fire one of the maids. The lack of concern for learning how to affect their future and the future of their families is a hugely frustrating problem for me. The MSEA has an outstanding monthly newsletter, staff and a website. The chapters have regular meetings; stewards are active and helping members every day. I publish this Blog and still the uphill fight to motivate members to act in their own interest is nothing but uphill over twenty miles of bad road.

Regardless of the web, and the efforts of the active members, we are not getting the level of support that will be needed. I realize that people are busy with jobs, children, and just trying to have a life and they can’t be bothered with one more thing.

We know the signs, the hype has started. State employees will be painted as the devils with the gold plated everything, stealing from the public. I can understand not being interested in the troubles of transit workers in France but I find it amazing that so many Union members seem to have given up the fight before it has started.

If Members are so apathetic, why bother?

I am publishing UnionMaine because I think our members need and want several things that they have not had or not known about.

1. The members need a place where they can freely speak out about what is on their mind. I also invite non-members because they say no one listens. If all it takes is someone to listen to bring them in, I will listen.

2. Members need to know that they can not use the remote to watch their unions and benefits crumble. There is no Tivo for wages and benefits.

3. I don’t know what it will take to get members active but they must learn that they are not alone and there is power in numbers. They need to know that other members share the same concerns. Wages, Health care, retirement and more. Talking to members is the core of the answer, find out what they want, and find out what they will do to help themselves. Most of all they need to know they can make a difference, there is truly strength in numbers.

The State will say “it is bad all around” and we have to take another cut in pay and benefits. State employees could understand a temporary sacrifice to help everyone in the State. With one exception, no cut is ever temporary, no benefits are ever given back The one exception was furlough days. When the State had to get along without State employees they soon realized how much we do to enable the business of government. We regained our lost wages and regained lost respect. Apathetic workers believe that the legislature will do what they will do regardless. They forget that the legislators don’t want to read in the newspapers about employees qualifying for food stamps and they want votes! A highly active Union in Maine could sway fifty to a hundred thousand votes. We have real power; we need to let Augusta know that we will use it.

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December 29th, 2007 Posted by narsbars | MSEA, MSEA ELECTIONS, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, Maine State Employees, SEIU 1989, STATE EMPLOYEES, TECHNORATI, federal mileage rate, msea maine, turnmaineblue | no comments

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