Tuesday, March 11, 2003
“We are headed for trouble – big trouble,” warned Buffenbarger. “The so-called ‘stimulus package’ proposed by the Bush Administration, with yet another tax cut for the exceedingly wealthy, will do nothing any time soon – and probably not much ever – to create American jobs.
“It’s a catastrophe in the making,” said Buffenbarger in a speech to the conference of newsletter editors, web stewards and IAM officials from across the U.S. and Canada. “The last time we had only 16.5 million manufacturing jobs, John F. Kennedy was President – and the country had a hundred million fewer people.”
The IP was equally dismissive of proposals by Republican and Democrats. "I am sick of their flimsy excuses for not having a philosophy, for not having an industrial policy, for not having a jobs creation strategy. The Democrats are not as bad as the Republicans,” said Buffenbarger, “but they’re not a whole hell of a lot better either.”
speech and in a 12-page feature article in the latest issue of the
IAM Journal, Buffenbarger repeated the refrain he hoped would
ring in the ears of policymakers from Washington to Ottawa: “What we
need most are JOBS!” said Buffenbarger, “JOBS worth fighting for.”
Bush Doll: Texas Accent, Made in
Here’s another one for the collection, this one reported in The Hill newspaper, an irreverent weekly that delights in such exposes.
Seems that a popular battery-powered doll that looks like the president and sounds like the president carries the same “made in China” label. “I come from Texas,” the newspaper quotes the George Bush doll reciting one of its 16 sound bites. “We couldn’t find a factory in this country that could make the doll and keep the costs down,” claimed the chief of the California company that makes the doll.
The White House had no comment, the newspaper reported.
Cash Balance Pensions for
According to a new study by the Congressional Research Service, pensions for some members of Congress would be reduced by hundreds of thousands of dollars if the switch were applied to them.
A move by House Republicans is currently underway to lift the moratorium preventing corporations from unilaterally converting employees’ traditional pension plans to the controversial cash balance plans.
At companies where the switch occurred, senior employees often found their anticipated pension amount cut by as much as half, leading to hundreds of age discrimination lawsuits.
Railroading Labor Law
“The public relations and legislative campaign underway by the nation 's major air carriers is designed to severely undermine the collective bargaining process and weaken the rights of all airline employees,” wrote Roach in the Daily’s ‘Departures’ column.
“The changes currently being discussed would remove any incentive for the airlines to negotiate fairly, eliminating the possibility of workers and management reaching voluntary agreements.”
GVP Roach said the current law works for both labor and management when used properly.
“The RLA is effective when airline management approaches negotiations responsibly,” said Roach. “Since 1997, the National Mediation Board successfully resolved more than 600 mediation cases without strikes and service interruptions. During that time, only three cases resulted in strikes or lockouts.”
Click http://www.goiam.org/territories.asp?c=4097 to view the full article.
Medicare Plan May Bankrupt System
The Bush proposal is “more costly than the current system,” admitted Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. Medicare’s trustees say the system will remain solvent until 2030. In his presidential campaign, Bush pledged to set Medicare “on firm financial ground,” the Journal noted. Thompson said that insuring the system’s long-term growth would require further changes later.
In a related development, Families USA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a state-by-state report showing 75 million Americans went without health insurance at some point in 2001 and 2002. The report specifically attributes the burgeoning health care crisis to the ongoing Bush Recession and soaring health care costs.
The report came shortly after Bush unveiled a prescription drug plan that, according to the Washington Post, “health care economists said would be a bonanza for the pharmaceutical and managed-care industries, both of which are huge donors to Republicans.” Despite the growing crisis, the Bush proposal would provide little, if any, guarantees of coverage, critics claim.