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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:52 PM

Rapid Response Team from the Department of Labor for Hostess Workers

Rapid Response Team from the Department of Labor for Hostess Workers

by bluebarnstormer

And I'm not even joking. I have never heard of this and certainly didn't expect anywhere near this degree of response from the government, and rapidly no less!

On Tuesday at the Union hall we met with the Department of Labor's Rapid Response Team. They had representatives from both Kansas and Missouri Workforce Centers, a federal Department of Labor representative, and we even saw brief presentations of the different kinds of training classes and aid available. side note- A friend of mine came with a camera and filmed some of these workers. He got them in their own words. We will share that with you when he's got it ready.

There was also immediate assistance in getting approved for unemployment and a class to write a resume at, especially valuable to some of the older members with less computer skills. In my own arrogance I didn't think I needed it, then as I listened in I heard some pointers I would have hated to miss. I have already signed up for a course I discovered there about starting a business at UMKC, beginning in January.

Then on Friday we met with many of the same people at a job fair tailored towards us. It included a powerpoint of extremely detailed help wanted ads with an accompanying printout. I feel that I can say with certainty that the Union was right, we will all find jobs better than what the company was offering us. Some will no doubt make much more than they did at Hostess. Some will choose to enter training with programs tailored to moving these workers into skilled trades (HVAC, plumbing, welding,...). With financial help throughout.

The Friday job fair was the third time I have met up with my coworkers since the strike. The thing that sticks out to me most was the palpable improvement in the mood. Everyone seems excited about the options in front of them. Being told what is available is a lot easier than guessing, but being walked through the process is Heaven sent. And time saving. These people have at least some of the weights off their shoulders and it shows on their faces.

Filing for unemployment has been much more confusing than it needed to be and these meetings have dealt with all of it. There are many and varied things going wrong with unemployment benefits so far for different people. Everyone has received specific guidance about their individual situation from the Response Team.

I applied online and received approval. A week later I had my first payment. Then I received a letter disputing my claims and asking a bunch of questions. I showed it to the presenter on Friday and it turned out that a whole bunch of people had the same letter, but not everyone. She answered questions and we filled them out there. She then faxed all of them. It felt like progress anyway.

I was also glad to see some of the company supervisors at the Friday job fair. They were not in the Union and had to cross the line or be fired. I don't hold it against them, there is no Union protection for them. They were mostly on our side in the build up to the strike. They aren't stupid, they knew what the hedge funds were up to. I am glad to see they are steered to our job fair, I have no idea who told them. They may have received the same letter I did from the Kansas Workforce Center.

Next up from the Rapid Response Team I will take an assessment for career training today, Monday. I will take the test and it will match me to career fields and recommend training options. This will include classes or apprenticeships. There are apprenticeships were you can draw an hourly pay while training and emerge with a skilled trade. I hope to find that.

After I am assessed on Monday I will return Tuesday to go through training orientation. This will help me sign up for the programs and apply for financial aid. It is possible I could leave there signed up and ready to roll. Maybe not, but I will certainly have a better understanding of what's ahead after these next two days.

I can't even begin to explain how shocked I am by this process. I expected to do everything myself regarding unemployment and job searching. What a stress reliever! I probably wouldn't have even looked at training in a skilled trade, I would have thought I couldn't afford it. Instead the Union and Department of Labor have been an enormous help and have shown me otherwise. And not just me, any of the members who are using this service.

Is this the government Grover Norquist was trying to drown? I have some questions for Grover. He will never answer them of course because no actual journalist will ever ask.

Isn't this good for the economy? Even Grover's narrow view of it? Aren't the ultimate beneficiaries the super-rich who need people with the specific skills to do these industrial jobs? How many pipefitters are trained this way and will end up working on the Keystone pipeline for the benefit of the rich? Would it be better to let these people stumble through alone? Wouldn't that lead to missed opportunities? Wouldn't that have long term consequences on the entire economy including increased welfare? Isn't the Federal government the only entity that could realistically be expected to handle this?

-more -

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/10/1168538/-Rapid-Response-Team-from-the-Department-of-Labor-for-Hostess-Workers







Note:

Kos Media, LLC Site content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified


19 replies, 1581 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rapid Response Team from the Department of Labor for Hostess Workers (Original post)
ProSense Dec 2012 OP
Cha Dec 2012 #1
ProSense Dec 2012 #3
Control-Z Dec 2012 #2
ReRe Dec 2012 #4
ProSense Dec 2012 #6
ReRe Dec 2012 #9
ProSense Dec 2012 #10
Cha Dec 2012 #12
southern_belle Dec 2012 #5
freckleface Dec 2012 #7
sheshe2 Dec 2012 #8
Cha Dec 2012 #13
sheshe2 Dec 2012 #15
Cha Dec 2012 #16
sheshe2 Dec 2012 #17
Cha Dec 2012 #18
sheshe2 Dec 2012 #19
Sadiedog Dec 2012 #11
Scurrilous Dec 2012 #14

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:01 PM

1. This is really good to see, ProSense.. thank you!

I can't even begin to explain how shocked I am by this process. I expected to do everything myself regarding unemployment and job searching. What a stress reliever! I probably wouldn't have even looked at training in a skilled trade, I would have thought I couldn't afford it. Instead the Union and Department of Labor have been an enormous help and have shown me otherwise. And not just me, any of the members who are using this service.

Is this the government Grover Norquist was trying to drown? I have some questions for Grover. He will never answer them of course because no actual journalist will ever ask

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Response to Cha (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:32 PM

3. It really is. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 05:24 PM

2. Great post!

K&R

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:38 PM

4. So glad you are getting this great support from the Dept of Labor!

I've never heard of them doing this before. Good luck to you and keep on keeping on. So many of us are thinking/praying for all of you! Hang in there and keep your chin up.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:56 PM

6. To be clear,

this isn't my story. It's a great one, and well worth spreading.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:45 PM

9. Well, if I wasn't so old and decrepit, I would have noticed that!

I stand corrected. Thank you for bringing this to DU from Dailycos. Maybe I should go over there and post it?

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Response to ReRe (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:52 PM

10. Nah, it's just hard to tell sometimes.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:38 PM

12. Kicking 'cause it's a Good Information!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 07:41 PM

5. Glad to hear!

Wishing you and your former co-workers all the best. Thanks for sharing.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:05 PM

7. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is awesome!

Elections have consequences. Can you imagine this happening under a Romney regime?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:09 PM

8. Thank you ProSense. This is so very good news to hear.

I went through the heartbreak of a business closing rather abruptly 7 years ago. I had worked for them for 12 years. I had hopes of retiring from that job.

I was able to navigate through getting unemployment, and Cobra payments, much to my disbelief were also covered.(If a friend hadn't told me to apply for this I would not have known).

What I found most difficult was how to look for a job.I was adrift. At my age the prospect was frightening. The new norm was apply by internet only.

Most places said thanks, don't call us we will call you. When I went to interviews I was offered a salary that I had made 17 years ago. It took me 5 months to find work...sure it was a pay cut. However it was work.

So happy to hear about the rapid response and to the support these victims are getting. They deserve that respect.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:42 PM

13. That is heartbreaking, she2.. I went through that in

the '80s.. but, it was long enough ago that I found a job soon after. The business was an organic restaurant and my next job was on an organic farm.

Still I really liked cooking at "In the Garden"~

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Response to Cha (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:44 PM

15. Hey Cha...my youngest niece is co-owner/ worker at an organic farm.

She is our free spirit...and I have to say takes after me! Love her!

Where was " In the Garden"?

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:42 PM

16. Escondido, California and the farm was

Little Creek Acres in Valley Center, Calif. Bio-Dynamic.

Where's your Free Spirited Niece's O Farm?

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Response to Cha (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:25 AM

17. Northampton Ma!

So many beautiful farms there...Peaceful!

Sometimes I feel like packing my bags and moving there...I could work for her!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:29 AM

18. Not a bad backup plan~

To me there's not much more beautiful in the world than an Organic Farm..including the hard work and the sustenance it provides.



http://www.commongroundinpaloalto.org/books.htm

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Response to Cha (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:03 AM

19. What a beautiful picture of Michelle!

So very wholesome and organic!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:58 PM

11. This makes my heart happy.

I just am still mad that from what I read the workers lost their pensions. Does anyone know what happened in the bankruptcy court? Just wondering if management got those large bonuses that they were after. Shouldn't`t the pensions be paid before any bonuses go out?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 10:29 PM

14. K & R

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