NALC Legislative Update June 20, 2014

Click here to read the complete NALC Legislative Update by Kori Blalock Keller,
NALC Director of Legislative & Political Affairs. Issues discussed are the Highway Trust Fund—USPS offset, House subcommittee appropriations measure without six-day language, and the shakeup in House leadership.

 

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NALC Legislative Update: Six-day Under Attack

from Kori Blalock Keller, NALC Director of Legislative & Political Affairs

Once again, Congress is dropping the ball on postal reform. Rather than working on legislation that fixes the crisis it created with the 2006 mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, and rather than formulating smart reforms that will allow the Postal Service to innovate and thrive in the 21st century, Congress instead focuses on counterproductive service cuts. This coming week, we face two new threats to Saturday delivery. Both are distractions from what Congress should be doing to fix the Postal Service.

Click HERE to read the complete report.

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Maine AFL-CIO: Troy Jackson delivered a stirring, passionate speech at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor

(From the Maine AFL-CIO Weekly Update) Troy Jackson delivered a stirring, passionate speech at the Maine Democratic Convention in Bangor last weekend. It was a call for working people to stand up and stand together. Did you see it?  Take a minute to watch it. Click here to watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD9GAqKX53Y

Tuesday, June 10th Maine voters have a chance to nominate State Senator Troy Jackson for U.S. Congress. As you can see from the speech, Troy has the workers of Maine as his number one priority, and he will fight for us every single day in D.C.

WE NEED YOU to help elect Troy. Can you volunteer three hours of your time between now and 8 pm Tuesday when the polls close to make sure Troy’s supporters get out to vote?

Please call us at 622-9675 or email sarah@maineaflcio.org if you can take a shift to make sure our supporters don’t forget to get out to the polls Saturday.

 

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Rolando: House GOP plan to aid transportation fund by degrading postal services would damage economy, not achieve goals

May 31, 2014—NALC President Fredric Rolando said the proposal by House Republican leaders to temporarily fund highway construction by degrading postal services would damage the economy while failing to achieve desired transportation goals. Click here to read President Rolando’s full statement.

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Postal Unions Form Alliance

Declaration promises joint efforts

Declaring that “the U.S. Postal Service is under unprecedented attack,” the four postal unions have formed an alliance to fight back to preserve America’s postal service for the benefit of the public.

Click here to learn more on NALC.com.

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‘Highly encouraging’ report reveals $765 million USPS profit

Today, the U.S. Postal Service released its financial report for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, which covers the last three months of 2013. “The Postal Service figures are highly encouraging and show why the postal network must be maintained and strengthened, not degraded,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “The announced operating profit of $765 million for the first quarter is dramatic in itself—and it continues the operating profitability that began last year.” Click here to read the president’s full statement.

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S. 1486 clears Senate committee, 9 to 1

Today, the Senate committee with Postal Service oversight, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, finished its mark-up of the modified Carper-Coburn postal bill, S. 1486, and approved the measure by a vote of 9 to 1. “Unnecessary and damaging attacks on the Postal Service’s vital networks and its employees—such as those unfortunately included in S. 1486—would only send the USPS on a downward trajectory,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. Click here to read more.

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Budget negotiators reject Saturday delivery cut, unfairly target future federal employees

Dec. 11, 2013—NALC grassroots activists and the American public scored a huge victory on Tuesday when efforts to include elimination of Saturday mail delivery in the emerging budget agreement for 2014 failed.

To read more on the NALC website, click here.

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100 CITIES, 100 FAST-FOOD STRIKES “$15-AN-HOUR AND A UNION!”

On December 5, 2013, low-wage fast-food workers are planning one-day strikes in 100 cities across the U.S. Support rallies will be held in an additional 100 cities, including in Ellsworth. Maine. Thursday’s action at McDonald’s is sponsored by Ellsworth’s Community Union coalition.

John Curtis, a retired letter carrier and union activist, is a contact for Community Union, and can be reached at 667-4877.

Click here to read the official Press Advisory.

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Flashmob for Union Support at Walmart in Ellsworth

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

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NALC Statement on USPS/Amazon Parcel Post Agreement

Letter carriers, like Princeton, NJ Branch 268 member Josef Thompson (above), have begun delivering Parcel Select packages in more than 900 ZIP codes nationwide as part of a test involving Sunday delivery of packages from a major online retailer.

Click here to read the complete statement.

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Ten Companies Paying Americans the Least

What do Starbucks, TJX Companies (TJ Max, Marshalls), Macy’s, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster), Sears, Yum Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), Kroger, Target, MacDonald’s, and of course Walmart, have in common? They are the ten companies that employ the most low- and minimum-wage workers while paying their CEOs obscene amounts and making billions of dollars in profit.

Click here to read the entire article on 24/7WALLst.com.

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USPS: Operating Profit of $600Million, But a Net Loss of $5 Billion

The USPS today reported an operating profit of $600 million for fiscal 2013, but a net loss of $5 billion due to the 2006 congressional mandate to massively pre-fund future retiree health benefits. Click here to read the  statement by NALC President Fredric Rolando.

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Top 1% Get Biggest Slice of Total Income in 100 Years

When is enough, enough? Apparently never if you’re in the top 1%. According to an analysis by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University, IRS figures dating to 1913 show that the top 1% collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, the most since 1927. While the 1% incomes rose 20% last year, the remaining 99% only saw an increase of 1%.

Some more facts from Emmanuel Saez, an economist from University of California, Berkeley:

Top 1% incomes grew by 31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012. Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.

Not bad for a “socialist” president.

To read more, click the links below.

New York Times
USA Today
Miami Herald

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Southern Maine Labor Council Hosts 2013 Labor Day Breakfast

Breakfast is served by the Portland Baron Center's Kitchen, AFSCME 1373.

Breakfast is served by the Portland Baron Center’s Kitchen, AFSCME 1373.

The Southern Maine Labor Council hosted the 2013 Labor Day Breakfast at the Irish Heritage Center Monday. Douglas Born, President of the Southern Maine Labor Council, welcomed the 150+ workers, union members and elected officials to the annual celebration. Also speaking were Portland mayor Michael Brennen, Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO, Congressman (and our next governor!) Mike Michaud, Working Class Hero Award winner Bill Murphy, and Joel Pitcher and Rock Alley of the new 500-600 member Maine Lobsterman’s Union. Also appearing was the band Nine to Nine, a Portland-based band performing songs about the struggles facing working men and women.

Click here to see more Labor Day Breakfast photos.

Links to more Labor Day articles:

Portland Press Herald: Breakfast welcomes Maine’s new lobstermen’s union

Portland Press Herald: Our View: Middle class is strong when unions are strong

Nation of Change: Where Labor Day Came from, and Where it’s Going by Jim Hightower

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Labor Day Statement 2013

New York Times: This Labor Day

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Labor Day Breakfast in Portland, Labor Day BBQ in Lewiston

The 2013 Southern Maine Labor Council Labor Day Breakfast will be held at the Irish Heritage Center,  34 Gray St., Portland, on Sunday, September 2, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, followed by a march to Longfellow Square (weather permitting).
There will also be a Labor Day Barbeque September 2, 2013, from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM at the IBEW 567 Hall, 238 Goddard Road, Lewiston.
Hope you can make one, or both!
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GAO To Report On Effects Of USPS Withdrawing From FEHBP

The GAO will issue a report in July on the Postal Service withdrawing from the FEHBP. To read more at postalreporter.com, click here. To read more at the Washington Post, click here.
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MSALC 2013 Convention Held in Bangor

Central Maine Merged Branch 391 hosted the Maine State Association of Letter Carrier’s  2013 convention at the Hollywood Casino and Hotel in Bangor. Director of Retired Members Ron Watson gave an excellent presentation Saturday afternoon, mainly for stewards but of interest to any union activist, on filing successful OWCP grievances. If you missed it, or showed up late,  make sure to speak to someone who attended the entire talk to ensure you get this important information.
The Congressional Breakfast was held Sunday morning,and was attended by Congressman Mike Michaud and representatives of Senator King and Senator Collins. AFL-CIO Executive Director Matt Schlobohm, NALC Director of Retired Members Ron Watson, NBA John J. Casciano, and EAP representative Kevin M. Parker also spoke.
The General Business Session was held shortly after the breakfast, during which officers were elected for the 2013-2015 term. Click here for a list of current MSALC officers.
For photos of the convention, taken by Larry Woods, click here.
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ALCOM Fires Another Union Activist

Brothers and Sisters,
As I wrote yesterday, workers have been joining together with the Laborers (LiUNA!) to organize a union at ALCOM, a trailer manufacturer in Winslow. On Friday, four workers got fired.
Today I am writing to let you know that another worker has been fired at Alcom.
Shawn Nutt was fired on Monday after working at ALCOM for over a year and a half. Here’s what he had to say: “I like the work that I do, and I’m proud to be a good, dedicated worker. I have put nothing but hard work and extra hours in at ALCOM. It’s clear to me that I was fired because I support the union and want to have a voice on the job. The company is trying to scare us.”
Shawn and other workers need you to stand with them today. Below is information on how to send a message and make a call.
Thank you to the hundreds of you that have already taken action. If you have written a message already, please take a minute to tell your friends by clicking here.
In Solidarity,
Tracy & the Maine AFL-CIO
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ALCOM Fires Workers In Illegal Attemt To Stop Union Organizing Effort

afl-cio banner Brothers and Sisters,
Workers have been joining together with the Laborers (LiUNA!) to organize a union at ALCOM, a trailer manufacturer in Winslow.
On Friday, four workers got fired. 
We need you to tell ALCOM CEO Trapper Clark to stop breaking the law and reinstate these workers today! Click here to send him a message right now. Then call (207) 861-9800, and ask to talk to the CEO. (See below for talking points)
You know the story. It happens all too often. When workers join together to form a union, the boss breaks the law. It’s clearly illegal, but in 1 out of every 3 union organizing drives, the employer fires union activists. Only 5% of those workers are reinstated by the union election.
The effect is chilling and the message from the boss is clear, “If you stand with the union, you’re next.”
Take action and tell ALCOM CEO Trapper Clark that this is unacceptable. Click here to send him a message right now. Then pick up the phone and him at (207) 861-9800. Ask to talk to the CEO. (See below for talking points)
Workers deserve dignity and respect. Organizing for a  voice on the job and a seat at the table is their right and their freedom. Tell CEO Trapper Clark to do the right thing: reinstate the workers and stop the campaign of worker intimidation. Click here right now to send a message. 
In Solidarity,
Tracy Allen & the Maine AFL-CIO
Talking Points: 
Here’s what you can say when you call. First, ask to talk to the CEO Trapper Clark. You can leave him this message.
My name is ___ and I am calling because I am concerned about workers rights. Workers at ALCOM are organizing with a union, and some workers have been fired. I want to make sure you know it is illegal to retaliate against workers in any way for their union activity. I am asking that you reinstate all these workers immediately, and that you respect workers’ rights and their freedom to organize a union. Please do the right thing today.
Thank you.

 

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