UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

Fools, Liars, and Right wingnuts






The right wing leadership, Fools and liars,

I realize this is a hard time to pick on you. You lost after trying to destroy the U.S. You were stopped while there was still something left. A mostly left, Union supporting black man has been elected to the presidency. Did I say you lost?


You have been lying for years, blaming the left and blaming the Unions while asking us not to look at the billionaires behind us with their hands in our pockets.


I know that the talk shows must paint Obama as the devil in order to get more of your hard earned money. Did they tell you, you lost?


While still blaming even a bad hair day on Clinton, now you have a need for Obama to be seen as a fraud, or a conspirator because otherwise your world view will be shattered.


Having lived so long in a world with no integrity or character keeps you from from being able to believe these characteristics can exist. No one can blame you after eight years of George Bush.


You lost, and you say your loss can be blamed on crooked dealing, dishonesty, a lack of character, and lies.

You are right, you lost because of crooked dealing, dishonesty, a lack of character and lies: yours. I left out incompetence to be nice.


We both know that truth is hard to explain from a right wing viewpoint, even harder for your base to understand, damaging to your candidates, and just too complicated for your voters.

Please try to stick to your game plan, don’t speak truth, do worship Sarah Palin. Please make her your next candidate. Stick with the far right religious fringe. Please stick to your principles.


You need to stay the course, now that a Democrat is in power. You must push every fantasy, like the fairy tale about the $72.00 an hour UAW worker, you must keep pushing delusional fantasy as long as a Republican politician or talk show host is willing to talk about your dreams.


Stay the course, while there is no proof of your claims, no evidence, you have to keep on keeping on. You need to feed the talk show hosts.


Could we pretend we live in a world where we could, for a moment have a rational debate?

What has Obama done that is dishonest? Hold on: Do you have proof? OK….I see you don’t have any proof, only belief. See?, you have to stick with the religious right, they will understand operating with belief and no proof. They certainly will be against any attempt to evolve into a better party.


Is there anything Obama has done about the election, his appointments, or even his birth certificate that have been proven illegal?

Did he send money to Blagojevich to buy a Senator? I guess Blagojevich explained that on the tapes when he said he wouldn’t take gratitude.


No proof, no facts.

Isn’t your job to find proof? Doesn’t America deserve facts? Are accusations enough to convict? Oh yeah, I forgot Guantanamo.


Until you come up with more than dire warnings of what Obama will do, even before he is in office, unless you come up with more than lies based on fantasy instead of facts you will be stuck with only one fact.


You lost.


We may be entering a depression at least as bad as the Great Depression and just maybe it is time to pull together behind our elected leader, look like Americans and use the truth when we know it.


Don’t stop looking for the truth, the Democrats did not stop for eight years and see how that worked. Keep digging, investigate, that’s how we are supposed to do it in America.


I know you didn’t get any practice digging for truth from 2000-2008, or we might not be entering a depression.


You could come back if you learned how to tell the difference between talk shows and truth. You should at least look for truth so you can do a better job of hiding it the next time you are in power.

Don’t forget, you lost.


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December 18th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | 2009 contract, UAW, VEBA, bailout | no comments

The South Shall Rise Again!


Kill the big three? Punish Unions for greed?

The American car industry is not dead, but we could be buying GM cars from South America if we don’t do something now.

The $14, $15, or even $34 billion is probably only a down payment on what is needed to keep car making alive in the US.

If $34 billion on the table is only a down payment on what it will cost to save car manufacturing consider that we have spent nearly $400 billion bailing out banks that produce NOTHING except profits for those with money to risk.

Why is the right fighting against the bailout?

Payback, Payback, and Profit. Consider the recent election.

Michigan and Ohio are bluer and bluer every year.

The UAW has been earning Republican hate for a long time.

The last stronghold of the GOP is the south, home of right to work and the home of Japanese auto manufacturers.

Republicans are out to screw the Unions, Michigan and Ohio, and the big three.

They want payback for themselves and profit for the foreign manufacturers in the South. The Republicans don’t care that bankruptcy for Detroit would mean a collapse of the U.S. auto industry, costing millions of jobs.

While the big three only employ about 250,000 the fallout would be huge, not to consider the blow to the

American image of leadership. The Republicans are so short sighted they don’t think that the foreign transplants will lose and business. Shifting the country into an even deeper recession will most certainly damage their sales too. Republicans hate unions will punish them, no matter who gets hurt if they have the chance. .

Even if helping the industry that started the industrial revolution in the last century is not enough reason, why should we help rescue bad management and greedy unions?

Three million jobs, bread lines, the US as a third world country owing everything to China, is enough reason for a bailout. The loss of three million jobs would be bad enough, but even worse would be the death of the American dream of a job that earns security and can provide for the families of the workers.

It’s not only the loss of jobs, the massive unemployment, loss of health care and pensions; it is the destruction of the American dream.

If we bail out banks and not companies that produce real goods it will mean the death of hope. I always thought my children could do better than I did, now I think they may be living with me as long as I can hold a job. We have spent $350 billion and if $34 billion buy time to recover, that’s a bargain.

It is much more than the car companies and the UAW, there are many reasons to at least delay the fall of the big three. It is impossible to describe the damage the greed and incompetence the last eight years of both governmental and corporate mismanagement have caused.

In the recent past the executives of the big three have repeatedly laughed at and spent fortunes avoiding building high mileage cars and based their future on selling SUVs and luxury vehicles.

Now after being given a blindfold and a last cigarette there could be a last minute pardon, the Chevy Volt and the UAW are leading the way. The Volt could allow Chevy to jump ahead, the cars will become cheaper with production. The UAW is giving huge concessions in contract language and pay.

In 2009 UAW pay rates will be equivalent to non-union foreign manufactures in the US. Foreign manufactures still enjoy a huge advantage due to the nearly universal presence of national health care, dropping the cost of their cars by nearly ten dollars an hour per employee (for better health care) while their governments tax American car imports at up to 150%.

The big three need a bailout; they make real things rather than manipulate money.

The American working class created the suburbs, the highway system, the dream of a secure retirement whether it was social security or a good company pensions.

The middle class has been mugged repeatedly since the Reagan administration promoted the trickle down theory, while wealth has “trickled up” and poverty trickled down due in part due to continuing attacks on organized labor.

We can start by blaming both labor and management. Beg for billions, show up with three private jets, enough said about management?

The UAW compromised, cut wages to lower than a Toyota plant in Georgia, how can we blame Unions? The Union is willing to work for further compromises. The Republicans want to enforce bankruptcy, smash the Unions, and let the south rise again.



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December 16th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | 2009 contract, MSEA contract, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, SEIU 1989, Thomas Maher, UAW, UNIONMAINE | no comments

Why do we have to fight for benefits?


Congress couldn’t reach an agreement to bail out the Auto Industry and the right placed the blame placed on the greedy Unions. The Senator from Alabama with three foreign manufacturers in his state wants American industry to die, the Republican Union haters are hoping that the big three will die before Obama gets sworn in.

True irony shows up when George Bush may be the white knight riding to save the day by ordering part of the original $700,000,000,000 to be spent on companies that actually make things instead of glorified accountants. (Apologies to accountants)

The right blames Unions and cites the demand for gold plated health care, retirement pay, and high wages. The non-union plants of Honda, Toyota, and Mercedes are the examples given to pin blame on the Unions.

The Unions are painted as so evil it would justify destroying the big three just to burn them out.Checking out the facts on wages brings out the truth; in 2006 GM reported the highest paid hourly GM workers received $27 an hour, somewhat less than the claims of $72.00 to $80.00 made on talk radio.

Workers in Toyota and Honda plants earn about the same. In 2007, Toyota’s non-union plant in Georgetown, Ky., paid higher wages than UAW contracts, averaging $30 per hour with bonuses.Why do we keep hearing $72.00 and hour?

You need to be creative with math to get to a $72 an hour figure. First you add up all wages, then you add all pensions and benefits paid to retirees and only then do you divide by the current workforce.

The newcomers, Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes don’t have more than a few hundred retirees. Leaving out the cost of retirees a US worker makes about the same as the non-union employee.

GM is $48 billion in debt, not due to the high cost of the employees and retirees; it is a failure to plan.

Necessary money that should have been invested to pay for the future was spent on dividends, private jets, huge bonuses for executives.Legacy costs add as much as $2,000 to the price of an American vehicle. Made in America vehicles could still be sold abroad if they didn’t face VAT taxes that can add up to 150%, taxes that Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes don’t face when they import to the US.

How can they make cars and afford to ship them to the US?In Japan and the EU there are guaranteed health benefits, pensions and retirement provided by the government.

The employers typically give six weeks or more vacation for every employee. When these costs are taken from the employer Unions negotiate over working conditions, training, without worrying where the money to pay for a hip replacement in old age will come from.

Union leaders in the US have been urging the US to support national health care for over six decades, starting in the 1940s.Do we solve this by breaking the Unions? cutting their wages, canceling their benefits, and throwing the retirees under the bus?

It has been shown that the UAW wages are not any higher than non-union workers. Secondly we have to consider what steps the Unions have already taken. In 2005 and 2007 the UAW agreed to freeze wages for four years and cut pay for new employees to about $14.

New company pensions were scrapped, new hires would invest in a 401(k), pay higher co-pays on health care, and lose paid holidays and benefits previously negotiated.

Cost of living increases were given up to help offset escalating health care costs. GM is currently in talks with the UAW to put of paying its share of the VEBA money meant to pay for the health care of current employees and retirees.The Union, traded raises while facing inflation in order to keep their health care, and that doesn’t sound like greed.

The Union negotiated for the issues important to its members, issues GM management had been unable and unwilling to face for years.

The Union negotiated for Health care, a promise to freeze outsourcing and plant closings.The UAW forced GM to do what U.S. government and GM management refused to do: institute long-term planning, provide security over short-term profitability, and lifted most of the health care costs away from the employer, with the agreement that the Union would become responsible for maintaining the health care plan in the future.

The Union made sacrifices for the good of the employer in order to secure their employment.Bush, McCain and many Republicans have blamed unions for “gold plated” health care plans that are nearly as good as what both Bush and McCain get for free.

Do we need to break the hold of organized labor, reduce health care benefits, and slash wages?

Unions created the middle class. That is not to make the claim that Toyota, Honda, and Mercedes are trying to destroy unions, they are paying what would be a fair wage in a country that that provided health care, pensions, and cared for the elderly.

The US is a competitive society, how is it that the country has turned against the working class but not the hundred million dollar executive? The billionaire pays a lower tax rate than the janitor.

Tax rates for corporations are lower than at any time in history when loopholes are figured in.

The screams against a maximum pay, or a fair tax rate for these executives was so loud that there are no effective controls on companies receiving billions of dollars from the taxpayer, yet the Unions are painted as the living devil for trying to provide a living and a retirement for themselves.

If the employees had to cut wages and benefits enough save the auto industry it would mean accepting minimum wage, no benefits while dumping all retiree benefits and pensions. While we are at it why don’t we do away with overtime?

The executives would stay rich, American cars would be cheaper and we would have rolled back society a hundred years.Henry Ford got rich by paying employees far above what was needed to hire employees. The idea was he wanted them able to buy the products they were producing.Enter your Email and receive updates by email

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December 15th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | ATTACK ON UNIONS, Employee Free Choice Act, MSEA, MSEA 2008 bargaining survey, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, SEIU 1989, UAW, anti union talk show, state employee lay offs | no comments

$80.00 an hour


We can’t bail out the big three because the UAW bankrupted the big three; they raped and bankrupted the big three and now is the time to smash the Unions before they get into the Honda and Toyota plants. Translation: We must defend the foreign auto makers against a strong American work force.

Take this sentiment apart further and you get rage, rage that Democracy worked and the Republicans were thrown out. The American public is seen as stupid because they didn’t elect McCain and the right intends to punish the UAW, blaming Unions for failed management and a failed regulatory climate under the Bush regime. The right hates the American worker, loving only the money they can make for themselves.

John McCain set the example laughing at the idea of buying American. Before the run up to the presidential election John McCain described requirements that materials for the US navy be purchased from American companies as “ludicrous” and “disgraceful”. During a Senate debate McCain sarcastically said: “I know we’ll sleep better tonight knowing that all our carbon plates (for Navy ships) are made in America.”

For years the treasury has been looted, providing “incentives” to move American jobs abroad. Not only did the pharmaceutical industry move most drug manufacturing off shore, they made the taxpayer reward them for losing American jobs.

Why else would a fifteen billion dollar package, and yes, I expect more to come be fought over so harshly? Consider the fact that the UAW ran ads in swing states costing millions, while union members volunteered for the Obama campaign. Obama wants to provide federal aid to bail out the auto industries so Americans can keep jobs where they make real things, not just shuffle billions on paper. Obama supports what corporations see as the anti-Christ, the EFCA.

While there is hardly a peep about AIG providing “retention bonuses” of millions of dollars for a single years work to executives, the talk shows rant “These greedy union workers don’t deserve taxpayer’s dollars” Today it seems like common sense to say that no company can afford to pay lifetime pension and medical benefits or to support workers for up to two years if laid off.

What happened to the money that should have been invested to provide those benefits? Like so many defined benefit plans the funds were seen as a pot of gold to steal from with no risk. Year after year dividends and golden parachutes were handed out by underfunding future promises. The money was there and it would be there now if regulations had been in place to prevent using the funds as risk free betting money. Management always knew it was heads we win tails you lose.

The right wants to follow the same pattern as the airlines, the Republicans made it easy to, like the airlines, declare bankruptcy, shed their pensions, break their Union contracts with the help of the government and then continue to hand out millions in bonuses. The real reason is always to break the unions.

Unions are not perfect, but Unions didn’t ruin these companies and should not be punished. In order to pay for the wages and benefits, auto companies passed the cost to consumers and then instead of investing they handed out bonuses and more dividends while lowering the quality of their cars to make even more profit. Taxpayers have paid enough for these greedy auto executives. They think they are entitled. The big Three have been setting up foreign operations for years and if they want funds the first plants to close should be in Mexico, not the US.

Foreign companies come to America and provide quality autos and good paying jobs. Why won’t the UAW take the same wages? Why are these companies paying good wages? They had to be or their plants would have been unionized. Last year when the UAW had to compromise on health care, Toyota for no reason except greed lowered benefits to its non Union workforce. What happens to Detroit will happen to the South.

Destroying the big three will cause wages to fall or to stagnate in the imported factories because there will be no better model to compare to any longer. The employees in these companies will find that they are truly working in “right to work for less state”.

If it is the Union’s fault because of pensions, vacations, and healthcare then any company providing the same benefits will be in the same boat…..right? The German auto industry isn’t collapsing. In the US, Boeing just settled a contract with wage increases and job security clauses. Boeing stock is looking good on Wall Street. You also can’t depend on company profits to be shared. Caterpillar tractor made billions and then more billions, but when it came to contract negotiations in 2005 threatened to move to Mexico. I am certain Bush would have allowed them to write off the costs. The UAW was forced to sign a contract severely cutting wages and benefits for new hires even after years of increased growth and profit that supported good jobs.

There is enough blame to go around, we have seen the private jet flying, arrogant and inept management team, greedy stock holders, Union inflexibility at times, greedy stock holders, and a right wing press still reporting that UAW workers make $80.00 an hour. Spread the wealth, why blame it all on the unions?

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December 12th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | ATTACK ON UNIONS, Employee Free Choice Act, MSEA, MSEA 2008 bargaining survey, MSEA-SEIU, MSEASEIU, UAW, state employee lay offs | no comments