Actors' union in ugly blacklist scheme

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Fascistic union edict usurps workers' constitutional right to dues option

With the resumption of SAG's contract talks in limbo, the guild's toughening up its ban on members working for nonunion producers. The Screen Actors Guild recently notified its 120,000 members in a "Check Your Backside" message that, starting on Jan. 1, it will "vigorously" enforce the ban on nonunion work for new-media productions.

"Rule One states that 'no member shall work for a producer who is not signatory to the appropriate SAG agreement,' " SAG said in the missive. "Rule One is printed on the back of every SAG membership card. SAG members may also work on new-media projects if they are covered under an AFTRA collective bargaining agreement."

SAG's master contract expired June 30 - the same day the majors made their final offer - and members currently work under the expired contract's terms in features, primetime and new media. SAG's negotiating committee met Wednesday with federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez about its stalled contract negotiations, but no date's been set for restarting talks between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

Earlier this year, SAG's national board unanimously OKd the move to launch the Rule One campaign. "The goal is to make sure that members insist on basic protections when they work in new media," national director of organizing Todd Amorde told Daily Variety.

Guild leaders have become increasingly concerned in recent years over actors circumventing discipline under Rule One. SAG announced last year that members filing for "financial core" status -- under which a member resigns SAG membership and withholds dues spent by the guild on political activities but can still work on union jobs -- generally won't be allowed back into the guild.

Aside from expulsion, Rule One violators can be fined or suspended after a trial board hearing.

With SAG and the majors awaiting the next step in the mediation process, the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees and the AMPTP will return to the bargaining table today -- seven months after they concluded three days of negotiations without reaching a deal. Both sides have set aside three days for the talks.

The current IATSE deal expires in August and covers about 25,000 West Coast workers in 18 locals. If the AMPTP can make a deal with IATSE, it will mark the sixth such pact signed by the majors this year, following deals with the DGA, WGA and casting directors plus two TV agreements with AFTRA.

Before turning to mediation, SAG unsuccessfully attempted to restart negotiations Sept. 30 by announcing a trio of "threshold" issues: new-media jurisdiction for all productions, rather than the $15,000-per-minute budget threshold the majors propose; securing residual fees for made-for-Internet productions when those productions are reused on new-media platforms; and continuing force majeure protections for actors, which the majors have sought to eliminate.

For its part, the AMPTP's insisted it won't change the final offer to SAG and stressed that its terms are similar to those in the WGA, DGA and AFTRA deals.


Obama for 'No Vote' unionization

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Union secret-ballot news - Nov. 11

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Stories-of-the-day concerning Organized Labor's #1 priority.

Obama's Union Bailout - 'Instant unionization' scheme on fast-track ... Perhaps Barack Obama's early priorities should give us a clue. While Rahm Emanuel has spoken of children's health and stem cell research as the first initiatives out of the box, it's clear that card check and the auto bailout are also on the fast track. Those are the top priorities of Big Labor -- which spent $450 million to put Barack Obama in the White House, and desperately needs government help to remain viable. (weeklystandard.com)

Barack Obama win means unemployment surge ahead ... Barack Obama has embraced a pro-union agenda that would strengthen the labor movement. And union leaders, who spent more than a quarter-billion dollars and enlisted more than a quarter-million volunteers to win working class swing voters, expect Democrats in both the White House and Congress to make good on their campaign promises ... Business leaders ... contend that the consequences would be to jeopardize jobs and force some small and midsized firms to close their doors because of higher wages and decreased work force flexibility. (stltoday.com)

Union bigs pin recovery hopes on Job-Killer Act ... Big Labor spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting Barack Obama elected president--SEIU members alone contributed about $85 million--and they'll expect to be rewarded once his administration sets up shop at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There's a theory that Congress and the new administration will address some of these issues, putting aside for a while the most controversial items--health care reform and the Employee Free Choice Act, the bill that would make it easier for unions to organize. Don't count on it. Instead, expect the union organizing bill to be front and center on the legislative agenda. "Labor's eggs are all in one basket," says Mike Asensio, a labor attorney with the law firm Baker Hostetler, of the bill. However, the measure, also known as "card check" because it would allow unions to organize by workers' signing union cards instead of voting in a secret ballot election, provokes stark opposition from business groups. That's not stopping labor groups. "We want it taken up early in the year because we think it's so central to the economic recovery," says AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel. (forbes.com)

Moderate Dems may oppose Union Bigs ... At the top of labor's wish list is passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it harder for companies to fight union-organizing drives. "It is the most important issue that we have," said John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to fight for the legislation, but whether it is introduced in the first 100 days of his administration could signal how strongly he is aligning himself with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, say political consultants. Moderate Democrats and those who have just won seats in traditionally Republican states are expected to argue against making the legislation an early priority. (online.wsj.com)

Liberals against choice ... Obama has made no secret of his plan to pass "card-check" legislation, which some have described as the most radical revision of labor law since 1935. It would permit unions to eliminate secret ballots -- against the wishes of 78 percent of union members -- which would represent a radical blow to democratic principles ... If you believe the left is tolerant, open-minded and democratic, you're in for a rude awakening. (townhall.com)

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

Prez Bam's first broken promise

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Unions' creepy push against the secret ballot

The first campaign promise Barack Obama should break is to push through the Employee Free Choice Act. That harmless sounding piece of legislation would let union organizers do an end run around secret-ballot elections: Companies would have to recognize a union if most workers signed cards in support of it. We're not children here. We know how those majorities can be reached. There's repeated harassment, bullying and more inventive tactics, such as getting workers drunk, then sliding sign-up cards under their noses. Meanwhile, any strong-armed tactics by employers can be dealt with.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

Unclear is why unions even want to go there. Their decline is one reason for the falling fortunes of American workers, particularly those without college educations. Unions have an interesting product to sell. Surely, they can persuade workers to support them in the privacy of a voting booth. That's how Obama and the enhanced Democratic majority in Congress got where they are.

Former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern, a pro-labor liberal, has come out against the so-called card-check provision. He calls it "disturbing and undemocratic."

This may sound obvious, but friends of labor should want what's good for laborers. Some of the best companies to work for -- Whole Foods, for example -- are not unionized. Such employers offer superior pay and benefits precisely to keep their workers happy and not eager to organize. They worry that unions would reduce their flexibility in managing labor.

What's wrong with letting companies that do not want to be unionized compete for the workers' affections? If the employees don't get an acceptable deal, then they will join a union. The notion that they wouldn't vote their interests in a secret ballot makes zero sense.

Your writer has belonged to several unions -- the Teamsters and two Newspaper Guild chapters. To her, the unions have giveth, and they have taketh. Thanks to them, her pay was often better than it would have been otherwise. But at times, the union work rules hindered career advancement. And let's face it: A good part of union dues goes to the administrators' own compensation and junkets.

Some of my union officials had watched too many B-movies. That would explain the occasionally dismissive or threatening lines with which they addressed the rank and file. A threat was once directed at me on the first day of the job. Actually, it was more of a pre-emptive warning, lest I "ever, ever" go over the shop steward's head -- something that had never, never occurred to me. (You can guess which union that was.)

The point is that while unions are often good for employees, they're not always. We shouldn't start with the assumption that a unionized workplace is better than a non-unionized one. The secret ballot lets workers make that judgment without an organizer (or company official) breathing down their necks.

The argument for private voting is evident, which may be why supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act spend so much time vilifying its opponents -- the Chamber of Commerce, Wal-Mart, even McGovern -- rather than explaining its merits.

With Democrats ascendant in Washington, labor leaders will have ample opportunity to fight the Chamber. And I hope they unionize the daylights out of Wal-Mart the fair, old-fashioned way. But they should leave the brave McGovern alone.

Whatever a new President Obama and his supercharged Democratic majorities owe labor can be paid in other ways. The ridiculously named Employee Free Choice Act really is disturbing and undemocratic -- and can be easily caricatured as such by the Republican opposition. It is also bad PR for unions. If they have so much to offer, why are they afraid of a secret ballot?

- Froma Harrop


Socialists: Job-killing changes are coming

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Fascistic labor landscape collides with shaky economy

Post-election statements issued by the nation’s major labor federations, union press conferences, the Senate record of President-elect Barack Obama and bigger Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, taken together, indicate that in the coming period the labor movement is on the verge of winning as many as eight major legislative changes.

Topping the list is possible passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would help level the playing field between workers and bosses in organizing and bargaining.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

The EFCA would automatically allow card check recognition of unions, increase fines for labor-law breaking, order arbitration if unions and employers cannot agree on a first contract in 120 days and simplify procedures for getting court orders to stop corporate dodging of labor law.

This new law will be difficult to win because it is expected to draw bitter and well-funded opposition from big business. At a Nov. 6 press conference the Chamber of Commerce dubbed the EFCA its top priority for defeat in the coming period.

The second priority for labor, even before the Obama administration takes over next January, is passage of a meaningful economic stimulus package when the current 110th Congress returns for a lame-duck session Nov. 17.

Unions want extension of federal unemployment benefits from the current 26 to 39 weeks, billions of dollars in spending for infrastructure projects – rebuilding highways, airports and bridges that would result in good-paying jobs – and extending aid to the states to deal with the rising costs of Medicaid. Medicaid has been hard hit by rising costs associated with the growing numbers of uninsured

A third priority for labor, when the new administration takes over, is legislation that reverses the. Supreme Court’s Lilly Ledbetter ruling, which virtually barred anyone from suing employers for pay discrimination based on sex – or any other factor – except within 180 days of being hired.

Labor-backed legislation overturning the Court’s Ledbetter ruling passed in the House this year but was killed by a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

A fourth priority is a new law that will expand the Family and Medical Leave Act and also, for the first time, enact paid family leave. A bill instituting seven days of paid leave passed the House Education and Labor Committee this year but failed to go further.

Fifth on labor’s list is a law that would overturn a ruling by President Bush that barred airport screeners from unionizing. Unions that represent government workers have already been assured by Obama that he will allow what they consider the anti-labor National Security Personnel System, imposed by Bush on Department of Defense workers, die when its renewal comes up next year.

Sixth is a bill called the Respect Act. It would overturn a National Labor Relations Board ruling that allowed millions of workers to lose the protection of labor law by re-classifying them as “supervisors.”

A seventh priority for labor is to ask the incoming Obama administration to reverse the government’s refusal to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to bargain a new contract with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

An agreement between the FAA and the union was reached in the closing days of the Clinton administration but was trashed by Bush when he took over in 2000. He imposed longer hours, wage freezes and cuts. Since then controllers have been retiring en-masse, causing air traffic problems across the nation.

Patrick Forrey, president of the controllers union, said, after the election, “Our workforce has been in crisis, attacked and disrespected by an anti-union administration. But change is coming. It is imminent. We will be there to welcome, embrace and escort it as we work together for a safer, more efficient system. No longer will the employees at the FAA be treated like the enemy.”

An eighth priority for labor will be fair trade. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Steel Workers President Leo Gerard held a joint press conference recently where they predicted a new push for the labor-backed Trade Act. That measure, introduced this year, would set new rules for U.S. trade pacts, ordering trade bargainers to write enforceable labor standards into the texts of any proposed law.


Avoiding the card-check train wreck

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How employers can mitigate 'No-Vote, Instant Unionization' law

With the Democrats' achieving substantial majorities in Congress and with Barack Obama's taking the White House, employers should prepare for some version of the Employee Free Choice Act to become law soon.

The measure would make it easier for unions to organize by allowing them to skip elections if a majority of prospective members signed authorization cards. Enabling this process, commonly known as "card check," tops organized labor's wish list, and the president-elect has supported it.

Related video: "Employee Forced Choice Act"

This means that employers who don't want to cede control of wages, benefits and other working conditions to strangers must develop a workforce that is educated and resistant to union tactics and propaganda.

A card-check measure passed by the House in 2007 had the following features:

If a majority of the employees in a prospective bargaining unit sign authorization cards, the National Labor Relations Board is prohibited from ordering a secret-ballot election and must certify the union.

The employer and union must begin negotiations no later than 10 days after certification.

If there is no contract after 90 days, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is to mediate the dispute.

If there is still no agreement after 30 days of mediation, an arbitration panel appointed by the mediation service will determine the terms of a two-year contract.

If the labor board determines that an employer has discriminated against an employee because of union activity, the employee is to be paid damages of three times lost pay. If the board finds that an employer has willfully or repeatedly interfered with union activity or discriminated against employees for engaging in union activity, the employer may be fined up to $20,000 for each violation.

Under current federal law, employers and employees have the right to settle the issue of union representation by secret-ballot elections. If the employees select a union, the employer is obligated to negotiate with it in good faith. If no agreement is reached, the union is allowed to conduct a work stoppage, and the employer has the right to lock out employees in an attempt to force an agreement.

Nothing in the current law would lead to the imposition of contract terms by a third party. Even if the illegal conduct of an employer resulted in an order from the labor board that it recognize and deal with a union, neither the board nor any court would have the authority to impose contract terms.

Unions are largely unregulated in what they do or say to get employees to sign membership cards under current law. That's because of the labor board's faith in the corrective effect of secret-ballot elections and pre-election campaigns, during which employers and unions can freely express their opinions.

The labor board's theory is that an employee who is deceived or coerced into signing a union-membership card in a local bar will have an opportunity to reverse his decision in the secrecy of a voting booth.

It's worth noting that, if the House-passed version of the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, there would be no change to the permissive environment that surrounds card-signing, and no means by which employers could challenge the validity of an employee's written authorization.

Reason would dictate that some checks and controls be written into the law or its implementing regulations. But such controls, in all likelihood, would be opposed by labor unions and, possibly, a Democratic Congress beholden to its organized-labor supporters. Furthermore, the regulations would be written by regulators appointed by a president who co-sponsored last year's bill and has stated his continued support for it.

One unintended consequence of card check will be that employers will have to constantly educate employees about unions and unionization. If they don't adopt this continuing campaign mode, their employees may sign union membership cards out of ignorance, triggering a process that will ultimately deprive employers of control over their businesses.

Employers should be developing programs now that will be better than anything a union could provide, including steps to increase employee involvement and to allow peer resolution of disputes. Such programs will ensure that their employees will not be interested in joining a union.

Making nonunion workplaces better for employees could be the real unintended consequence of the Employee Free Choice Act.

- James R. Redeker is a labor lawyer with Philadelphia-based WolfBlock


Redistribution of Wealth

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Forced-dues deduction restored

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Big Apple sells out gov't workers to union bigs

A transit workers union that went on strike three years ago and shut down New York City's subways and buses can once again automatically deduct dues from members' paychecks.

The Transport Workers Union Local 100 lost the dues checkoff right in court after the 21-day strike just before Christmas 2005. It's illegal for public employees to go on strike in New York. The 38,000-member union's revenues fell dramatically, as many members stopped paying dues on their own.

A Brooklyn judge on Monday approved the union's petition to restore the dues checkoff privileges. Last month union president Roger Toussaint filed an affidavit pledging the union had no plans to go on strike again.

City attorneys said they wouldn't oppose restoring the dues privilege because of Toussaint's filing.


ACORN - Al Franken's savior?

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Union-backed voter-fraud group leaves its mark on 2008 election

ACORN’s scandal-ridden voter registration campaign filed more than 43,000 new registration forms in Minnesota this year, raising concerns about the ultimate outcome of the Sen. Norm Coleman-Al Franken battle beyond the wire.

That registration tally of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now accounted for 75 percent of all new registrations in the Gopher State, where Republican Coleman’s lead over his Democratic challenger has slipped from 725 votes out of about 2.9 million cast Nov. 4 to 204 Monday. That original slim margin triggered an automatic recount that is to start Nov. 19.

The closing gap is resulting from the fact that election officials in certain precincts are correcting alleged typo graphical errors in reported vote results, according to John Lott, writing for Fox News. Those corrections supposedly gave 435 additional votes to Franken and took 69 votes from Coleman, Lott wrote.

Strangely, corrections posted in other races "were only a fraction of those for the Senate where gains for Franken were 2.5 times the gain for Obama in the presidential race count, 2.9 times the total gain that Democrats got across all Minnesota congressional races, and five times the net loss that Democrats suffered for all state House races," Lott wrote.

Raising more eyebrows was the fact that almost all of Franken’s new votes came from just three out of 4,130 precincts, and almost half the gain (246 votes) occurred in one precinct: Two Harbors, a small town north of Duluth along Lake Superior. That is a heavily Democratic precinct where Obama received 64 percent of the vote, and where the vote tallies were not changed for any other races, Lott reported.

This single precinct’s corrections accounted for a significantly larger net swing in votes between the parties than occurred for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, or state house races, Lott wrote.

Two other precincts — Mountain Iron in St. Louis County and Partridge Township in Pine County — accounted for another 100 votes each.

"The change in each precinct was half as large as the pickup for Obama from the corrections for the entire state," Lott noted, adding that the Minneapolis Star Tribune attributed these types of mistakes to “exhausted county officials.”

Although that might be true, the sizes of the errors in these three precincts are surprisingly large, Lott said.

"The 504 total new votes for Franken from all the precincts is greater than adding together all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, and state house races combined,” Lott wrote. "It was also true that precincts that gave Obama a larger percentage of the vote were statistically more likely to make a correction that helped Franken."

Lott contended that an Associated Press story with the headline “Most Minn. Senate ‘undervotes’ are from Obama turf” misinformed readers about what undervotes really imply. The Minneapolis Star Tribune headline similarly claimed "An analysis of ballots that had a vote for president but no vote for U.S. senator could have recount implications."

Lott concluded that it appears to be too much of a coincidence that Minnesota's one tight race just happens to be the race with the most "corrected" votes by far.

"The real travesty will be to start letting election officials divine voter's intent,” he wrote. “If you want to discourage people from voting, election fraud is one sure way of doing it."


Teamsters take huge dues hit from DHL

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Labor-state job loss means red ink for militant union

Package delivery giant DHL Express, squeezed by the contracting economy, will be shutting down operations in Needham, Stoneham, and Shrewsbury, potentially eliminating hundreds of jobs next year as part of a larger cutback of more than 300 shipping and receiving stations and 9,500 jobs across the nation.

DHL, which will stop making express deliveries domestically on Jan. 30, said it will keep open its South Boston distribution center to handle shipments of US international packages. It also will retain a pair of affiliates, DHL Global Forwarding in Charlestown, which handles heavyweight air and ocean freight, and DHL Exel, a supply chain logistics company with a half-dozen sites in Massachusetts.

But the company wouldn't say how many of the 793 jobs it currently has in the state will be preserved.

Michele Nadeem, DHL vice president of corporate communications in Plantation, Fla., said the size of the company's workforce in Massachusetts next year will depend on the volume of international business. "We don't know how many employees we'll end up with," she said. "The more shipments we have throughout the system, the more employees we'll need to service it."

Nadeem said DHL will be consolidating operations at its South Boston station, "and there'll be improvements made there." She said she couldn't specify the nature of the improvements.

Based on the percentage of union jobs DHL is shedding nationwide, Sean O'Brien, president of Local 25 of the International Brother hood of Teamsters in Charlestown, estimated 300 to 400 of his members working for DHL in Eastern Massachusetts could lose their jobs.

O'Brien said the company already has pared 75 to 100 jobs in the region since last spring, after it negotiated a five-year contract with the Teamsters union. O'Brien blamed the cuts on "mismanagement." Asked about DHL's promised improvements to the South Boston site, he said, "The only improvement they're making is in their profit margins."

Yesterday's news at DHL came as the pace of layoffs continued to accelerate nationally. Telecommunications equipment maker Nortel Networks, which employs 740 workers in Billerica and other Bay State sites, said it plans to cut 4 percent of its workforce worldwide, or 1,300 workers. Nortel spokesman Jay Barta declined to say how many employees would be affected in Massachusetts.

Electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc., meanwhile, said it would seek protection from its creditors in federal bankruptcy court as the holiday shopping season approaches. The company last week disclosed it will shut 155 stores, none in Massachusetts.

DHL's retrenchment was revealed in Bonn yesterday morning by its parent company, Deutsche Post World Net, which said it would seek to slash US operating costs by more than 80 percent. The company said it would close its US ground hubs and reduce the number of its stations here to 103 from 412.

The moves will eliminate 9,500 jobs in the United States, on top of about 5,400 cut since the beginning of 2008. When the rollback is complete, DHL will have 3,000 to 4,000 US employees working exclusively on international shipments.

DHL, which acquired Airborne Express of Seattle in 2003, has stumbled in integrating the two operations and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States in recent years, said John Fontanella, vice president at AMR Research, a Boston consulting firm specializing in logistics and supply chains. Fontanella said the economic downturn was the final catalyst in forcing the company's hand.

"Right now freight is down really across the board," he said. "United Parcel Service and Federal Express have also been faltering for the last couple of quarters. But DHL has been the hardest hit."

Teamsters Local 25 president O'Brien said his members are bracing for the worst. "The hard reality is we could lose 300 or 400 members when it's said and done," O'Brien said. "These are good middle-class jobs that provide good healthcare, good retirement, and livable wages. But they're going to run it bare bones."


Teamsters strike enters week 8

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Militant unionists stop working 'for as long as it takes'

Teamsters for Wenatchee’s Oak Harbor Freight Lines would rather be driving their trucks, but for the last seven weeks the only steering they’ve done is of public opinion. Some eight striking workers picket the entrance to the Auburn-based company’s East Penny Road warehouse over three shifts from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. They also sometimes follow those company trucks destined for local routes and picket when the strike-defying driver stops for a pickup or delivery.

“We’d just like everyone in the valley to know that we’re on strike and it’s not about money. It’s about working conditions and unfair labor practices,” said picketer Tim Smith, 53, of East Wenatchee. Oak Harbor employs some 1,300 people in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada.

Union drivers walked off the job Sept. 22, after Teamsters rejected the company’s “last, best and final offer.” They’ve been without a labor contract since October 2007.

Oak Harbor spokesman Mike Hobby denies company wrongdoing.

The union has filed charges against Oak Harbor with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the company has:

• Circumvented the union to deal directly with employees over solution of grievances and contract terms.

• Threatened employees that they’ll be replaced if they strike.

Promised additional benefits to employees who stay on the job.

Al Hobart, regional Teamsters spokesman, said all the charges violate federal labor laws. He said the board should rule on the charges in a few weeks.

“Oak Harbor has shown no sign of meeting us halfway,” Hobart said. “I believe their intent is to attack the union and get rid of the union at any cost. And their actions reflect that.”

Non-union drivers or union drivers who’ve crossed the picket line now pilot company trucks.

Hobby said the sides have failed to resolve their dispute despite nearly 30 meetings. He said 124 of the nearly 560 Teamsters have defied the strike and returned to work. The company continues to pay some 60 non-union contract drivers who work out of its Auburn and Portland facilities.

“We’re doing everything we can to get the unfair labor practice charges resolved,” Hobby said.

He said revenues are down about 35 percent from this time last year, and about half of total customers have decided not to use the company until the strike is resolved.

But he said statistics show on-time deliveries are up and the number of damaged or short shipments are down from a year ago.

“We have to operate the business,” he said. “Our families rely on us for jobs.”

On the Wenatchee picket line, striking drivers say they’re in it for as long as it takes.

“We’re into it this far. It would be foolish to all of a sudden give in,” said picketer Stan Radoslovich, 53, of Cashmere.

The picketers Wednesday said people have stopped by with spare ribs, pizzas, donuts and wood for their fire pit. One person gave them a $100 bill. Naysayers also surface.

While Smith and Radoslovich picketed Wednesday, a motorist yelled “Get a job!” as he drove by.

Smith yelled a quick reply and then said, “I’ve got a job. I’m just trying to hang on to it.”


Strikers shut down York University

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York University strikers frustrate students

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Students receive a lesson in collective bargaining

Hundreds of York University students, who remain shut out of classes because of a strike by part-time workers, are taking their frustrations to the Internet. There are at least four Facebook groups with close to 800 members.

Classes have been cancelled since Thursday when 3,400 teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty walked off the job. The last strike at the school lasted 11 weeks and the union said the workers are prepared to stay out that long again.

The union has scheduled a news conference on the picket line at noon, Monday.


United States of Social Justice

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New inspirations, belief system, role model, morality for U.S.

Nov. 4 2008, a day that will live in infamy. When America’s self-absorbed zombies indulged their envy and resentments, anointing a hustling, jibber-jabbering performance artist to debase our highest office in his pathological frenzy to score approval from his Kenyan deadbeat dad’s ghost.

When America’s snotty cosmopolitans disdained quaint, outdated role models like Jefferson, Jonas Salk, Lincoln, Clara Barton, Edison, Washington, Bill Gates, Carnegie, Walt Disney, Madison, Einstein and Rockefeller.

When America’s inspiration became Jeremiah Wright, screeching out the anti-American, Caucasian-hating rants of Black Liberation Theology, which denies personal accountability and demands adoption of victimhood as the core of one’s identity.

When America’s belief system became Saul Alinsky’s, Marxist father of “Community Organizing,” employing “agitation” of the underclass to “rub raw the sores of their discontent” about “greedy capitalist oppressors.”

When America’s role models became cowardly twilight-zone sociopaths like Malcolm X, Che Guevera and Bill “Night Bomber” Ayers.

When America’s morality became that of vacant-eyed abortion ghouls, Hollywood pornography and violence peddlers, venal ambulance chasers and organized crime/labor thugs like Tony Rezko.

Remember Nov. 4, 2008 with shame. But remember with pride the USA of those preceding 232 years.

- Norman K. Carrier, Flat Rock

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