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Reply #9: launched an attack on unionized American workers [View All]

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-04-06 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. launched an attack on unionized American workers

By Gerald McEntee (my International Union's President)

In February, a group called launched an attack on unionized American workers and their elected union leadership. So far, they haven't made much of a splash. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that a good deal of their website traffic is from union staffers and members checking out the hysterically and willfully inaccurate claims the site makes. is a sham group, reportedly financed by the Chamber of Commerce and run by a Rick Berman, a corporate shill who once urged pregnant women to consume more tuna despite toxic levels of mercury.

Why talk about them? Because Berman's latest broadside against public service employees is an insult not only to the decent men and women who make our communities run, but a threat to our very public health and safety.

In dishonest ads appearing in several states recently, Berman makes the charge that many public employees "work under conditions that most private-sector taxpayers would envy." As evidence, he sites the fact that Oregon public employees, for example, earn "8 hours of sick leave per month," "nine paid holidays," and "benefit dollars to spend on medical and dental insurance.

Oh, the humanity! Vacation time for 9-1-1 dispatchers??? Sick days for the folks who keep our water supplies clean and safe from terror attacks??? Health insurance for cops and firefighters???

In Berman's book, this is somehow exorbitant. And he's hoping that non-unionized workers will be so consumed with outrage that they'll lobby lawmakers to reduce compensation for public service employees instead of fighting for these same benefits themselves.

Mr. Berman obviously forgets what most Americans know: union wages and benefits have always set the standard for what's fair, even for non-union workers. And its unions, after all, that have been central in building America's middle class. Cutting them means, as Jordan Barab put it at Confined Space, a "race to the bottom" when it comes to compensation for all hardworking Americans.

And while we're at it, why doesn't Mr. Berman disclose his salary, vacation days and health benefits as chair of his own Berman & Co. public relations firm. I'm betting Berman's bloodlust for benefit cuts is pretty much non-existent when it comes to his own self interest.

We should all realize that this isn't just about attacking public employees, but our very public health and safety. Mr. Berman carefully chose to run his ridiculous ads in states where voters are considering so-called "Taxpayer Bill of Rights," or TABOR, measures.

TABOR is Grover Norquist's latest attempt to fulfill his promise to cut government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub" by starving public services of tax dollars. TABOR puts mandatory draconian caps on public spending, making it nearly impossible to meet health and safety needs.

The measure has had a disastrous effect in Colorado, where TABOR has stifled spending on highways and programs for the elderly. And the percentage of uninsured children has nearly doubled. That's why voters suspended it when they finally had their say on the measure in 2005; the Wisconsin legislature rejected it just this year.

But the right wing brigade marches on, trying to institute TABOR in other states. And working Americans are fighting to stop them. So is it any wonder why Mr. Berman is going after public employees?

Here are the real union facts: Mr. Berman's attacks on public employees only serve to weaken our public health and safety. We won't let him do it.

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  -Why Wont Workers Join Unions? 40,000 joined the CWA in recent months! Omaha Steve  Sep-04-06 10:11 AM   #0 
  - The Cingular union sucks  RagingInMiami   Sep-04-06 10:18 AM   #1 
  - Her general location?  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 10:22 AM   #4 
     - She's in Miami  RagingInMiami   Sep-04-06 10:32 AM   #14 
     - I was with the CWA for 25 years  ninkasi   Sep-04-06 12:21 PM   #19 
        - I had the same experience in CWA  mitchtv   Sep-04-06 03:56 PM   #22 
  - You're right about the stereotype thing. People forget what it took to  acmavm   Sep-04-06 10:20 AM   #2 
  - I just saw an add today that viciously denounced unions.  GOPBasher   Sep-04-06 10:22 AM   #3 
  - I kind of like that... Hate Unions? Then forfeit everything they have done  Union Thug   Sep-04-06 10:25 AM   #7 
  - launched an attack on unionized American workers  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 10:30 AM   #9 
     - Yes, that's the one!  GOPBasher   Sep-04-06 10:32 AM   #12 
  - Thx for posting...  Union Thug   Sep-04-06 10:23 AM   #5 
  - I effectively lost my second career over trying to help the employees  greyhound1966   Sep-04-06 06:26 PM   #31 
  - Simple  NOLADEM   Sep-04-06 10:23 AM   #6 
  - good points for consideration - not so sure about the framing  Union Thug   Sep-04-06 10:53 AM   #16 
     - So what have the unions done about this for the last 30+ years?  greyhound1966   Sep-04-06 05:10 PM   #24 
        - start here  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 05:28 PM   #25 
        - That's great and I hope she is a good one.  greyhound1966   Sep-04-06 05:59 PM   #28 
        - MORE on women that run unions!  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 06:03 PM   #29 
        - Another good profile. I take it you're not going to address any of the  greyhound1966   Sep-04-06 06:18 PM   #30 
           - I can only talk about the unions I have belonged to  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 06:38 PM   #32 
           - OK. n/t  greyhound1966   Sep-04-06 06:59 PM   #33 
           - I'm hoping others will come forward and share their first-hand knowledge  Doremus   Sep-04-06 07:31 PM   #34 
              - I'm very glad to hear this. All of my personal experience has been in  greyhound1966   Sep-04-06 07:44 PM   #36 
  - If card check is enough to certify, it will be enough to decertify  Solo_in_MD   Sep-04-06 10:29 AM   #8 
  - Absolutely not true  Gman   Sep-04-06 10:32 AM   #13 
     - What we have been hearing is that the repukes will codify that  Solo_in_MD   Sep-04-06 10:41 AM   #15 
        - That danger has always been there  Gman   Sep-04-06 11:01 AM   #17 
  - Ed Whitacre, CEO of the now AT&T, can take full credit  Gman   Sep-04-06 10:30 AM   #10 
  - Corp attitudes like this have existed for YEARS!  napi21   Sep-04-06 10:30 AM   #11 
  - I was in a union once. Being female, I got real tired of the "Brotherhood"  FloridaPat   Sep-04-06 12:11 PM   #18 
  - The NLRB is also for complaints from members about bad unions  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 05:46 PM   #26 
  - I wish that everyone had  FILAM23   Sep-04-06 12:34 PM   #20 
  - Majority rule. If the workers vote closed shop, closed it is.  Union Thug   Sep-04-06 02:12 PM   #21 
     - I know how they work and closed shop  FILAM23   Sep-04-06 07:40 PM   #35 
        - That is against the NLRB law and here is why....  Omaha Steve   Sep-04-06 07:48 PM   #37 
  - Go union.  senseandsensibility   Sep-04-06 04:44 PM   #23 
  - down politics.....  PresidentWar   Sep-04-06 05:52 PM   #27 

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