Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

New study points to effectiveness of Project Labor Agreements


May 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

New study points to effectiveness of Project Labor Agreements


LEHIGH VALLEY, April 19th- A new study commissioned by the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University affirms the fact that Project Labor Agreement (PLA’s) do not discriminate against employers and workers, do not limit the pool of bidders, and do not raise construction costs.

The study, “Project Labor Agreeemtns in New York State: In Public Interest,” was authored by Fred B. Kotler, the Associate Director of the Construction Industry Program at the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and reviewed the background and legal standards for the appropriate use of PLAs on public works projects in New York City and State. It also tests, and rejects, the validity of the claims made by opponesnts of PLAs, focusing on the studies conducted in recent years by the Beacon Hill Institute.

In its conclusions, the study states, in part, “A key point is that there is no evidence to support claims that project labor agreements either limit the pool of bidders or drive up actual construction cost. Such claims by opponents are based on inadequate data and faulty methodology.

“Project Labor Agreement’s in New York City and State and elsewhere have proven very successful at saving costs while respecting fair labor standards,” Mr. Kotler stated.

The unions affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Department of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), an association of 13 national and international unions representing approximately 2.5 million construction workers in the United States, have suggested for years signing a PLA with the building trades council would not increase the costs of projects. The Building and Construction Trades Council of the Lehigh Valley in Allentown is affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Department. There are 20 local unions affiliated with the labor federation.

Mark H. Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department in Washington, DC, agrees with the study findings and stated, “As we have known for some time, and which this study re-affirms, is that Project Labor Agreements are a valuable tool for ensuring a quality returm on construction investments.”

Former garment workers union disaffiliates and joins SEIU


May 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Former garment workers union disaffiliates and joins SEIU


LEHIGH VALLEY, April 5th- On March 20th former UNITEHERE members gathered in Philadelphia for their first meeting since disaffiliating from the international union several weeks before and joining the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

UNITEHERE was formed in 2004 when the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE).

UNITE was formed in 1995 when the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) merged. The two unions mostly represented workers employed within the garment industry including throughout Pennsylvania.

HERE represented workers employed at casinos and hospitality services including hotels and restraurants.

According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), UNITEHERE had approximately 450,000 active members before UNITE disaffiliated from the international union.

According to UNITE, in early March rank and file leaders of UNITEHERE Joint Board voted overwhelmingly to disaffiliate from the union. Since then, more than 75,000 workers have signed petitions voicing support for the disaffiliation.

Approximately 375 delegates were invited from every part of the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada to participate in the meeting in Philadelphia. The meeting was the first founding convention for the new union and was attended by union representatives from the Pennsylvania Joint Board, which represents UNITE members in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania including workers at Tama Manufacturing.

The union has an office at 1017 Hamilton Street in Allentown.

UNITE stated for many reasons the merger did not work. Spending went up, while membership went down. The union claims UNITEHERE lacked agreement on priorities, strategies to win for members, and a shared vision of the future.

“Eventually, these leaders and members realized the only way to rise up was to get out of UNITEHERE,” stated UNITE.

Wages of service sector workers raised by unionization


May 2009 Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Wages of service sector workers raised by unionization


LEHIGH VALLEY, April 19th- According to a study released jointly by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, DC, and the Keystone Research Center (KRC) in Harrisburg, unionization raises the wages of the average service sector worker in Pennsylvania by nearly 9 percent. Nationally, unionization raises the average service-sector wage by 10.1 percent.

Pennsylvania workers, like workers across the nation, have seen their wages stagnate or grow slowly in recent decades, but the report shows that being in a union significantly boosts the wages of Pennsylvanian workers employed in service industries, the report shows.

“In many people’s minds, unionization is linked to manufacturing jobs, to well paid work in industries like steel production and auto making,” said Mark Price, a labor economist for KRC. “But today, more than three-quarters of all jobs in the country are service jobs, and there, as in other sectors, union provide important benefits.”

In Pennsylvaia, according to the report, more than 77 percent of the workforce is in service sector jobs, and the unionization rate in those jobs is 14.7 percent. The median wage for unionized workers in the service sector in Pennsylvania is $19.31, while for non-union workers it is $14.27.

Service sector jobs include healthcare, childcare, and food service workers, clerks, housekeepers, and janitors. Essentially all jobs except those in agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, manufacturing, and construction.

The report, “Unions and Upward Mobility for Service-Sector Employees,” was released on April 18th. It analyzes data on workers from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, covering the years 2004 through 2007.

The study found that the impact of unions on service-sector employees in low-wage occupations was especially substantial. For workers in the 15 lowest paying jobs, unionization raised wages by 15.5 percent.

The CEPR is an independent think tank established to debate on most economic issues while the KRC is a similarly oriented non-profit organization which studies the Pennsylvania economy.

“Decades ago, it was unions that transformed tough jobs in Pennsylvania’s coal mines and steel mills into family sustaining jobs. These new data shows that although the economy has changed radically since then, it is still unions that give the biggest boost to workers in the lowest-paying jobs,” Mr. Price told the newspaper.

Mr. Price added however, as the economy has changed and employers have increasingly thwarted efforts by workers to join unions.

“Just as it took new federal laws in the 1930s to protect the rights of Pennsylvania workers seeking to join unions, it will take new legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act to protect workers seeking to join unions today, in our new service based economy,” added Mr. Price.

The study also found that unionized service sector workers are also more likely to have a pension and employer provided health insurance, with unionization increasing those odds by 25 percent and 19 percentage points respectively.

Mr. Price can be contacted at (717) 255.7158 or (717) 440.2360. His e-mail is

National Labor Relations Board conducts Union election at Americold Bethlehem warehouse


May 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

National Labor Relations Board conducts Union election at Americold Bethlehem warehouse


BETHLEHEM, April 11th- The International Brotherhood of Teamters (IBT) Union Local 773, Hamilton Street in Allentown, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia requesting the agency conduct an election to determine if the employees of Americold Bethlehem want to be represented by the union and on March 31st the workers voted against unionizing.

However, the newspaper has learned the union filed a complaint with the NLRB alleging the company violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct) during their campaign.

Local 773 filed the petition on February 20th requesting the agency conduct the election to determine if approximately 215 full-time and regular part-time forklift operators, cleaners, maintenance, inventory control, cycle counter, and line leaders workers of the food products warehouse operated by the company on Brodhead Road in Bethlehem wanted to be union represented.

The workers voted 118 against unionizing to 70 being represented by Local 773.

On April 14th, the union amended their Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed with the NLRB that was first filed on February 17th. The Union alleges the Employer, through its representatives, beginning November 1st, 2008 has engaged in unlawful conduct against Union organizers and pro-Union employees.

The complaint alleges the Employer threatened employees with loss of their jobs because of their support of the Union; discriminated against pro-union employees by threatening them with loss of their jobs engage in Union activity during work time while simultaneously allowing anti-Union employees to engage in anti-Union activity during work; and telling certain employees who attended group meetings to keep the content of the meetings confidential and not to share them with other employees.

Charles Harrison is the employer representative named to be contacted on the ULP.

The complaint is under investigation by the NLRB.

Democrats Pardoning Specter For Horrific Votes


Democrats Pardoning Specter For Horrific Votes
by: John Morgan
Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 11:51:50 AM EDT

Arlen Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party is already blinding many Dems to his horrific George W. Bush voting record. Scores of people who protested the war in Iraq, torture, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, the shredding of the Bill of Rights and the other innumerable crimes and offenses of the Bush Administration are already lining up to pardon Snarlin’ Arlen and re-elect him to the Senate.

Gov. Ed Rendell and President Barack Obama are leading the charge much to their shame. How could you campaign against everything President Bush did then embrace one of his chief enablers? Sen. Specter was actually quite a reliable vote for W. Everything from military tribunals, the denial of due process rights, destroying the separation of powers, in all of this Sen. Specter was there with his strong support for Bush. He was a pivotal figure in the politicization of the Department of Justice and inserted the provision enabling AG Gonzales to fire prosecutors.

But now Democrats are suddenly blinded to this by one simple act: Arlen Specter changed his Party affiliation. Wow, it doesn’t take much to brainwash Democrats does it? Talk is that Gov. Rendell has, once again, promised to clear the primary field of challengers as he did in 2006. Isn’t it time for Ed Rendell to simply go away and allow the people of Pennsylvania to select their Senators?

Joe Torsella’s days as a candidate are numbered and numbered in single digits. His campaign was supported with Rendell money and that will now evaporate. Ed Rendell has been dictating for too long now and today is the day Pennsylvania Democrats finally need to restore democracy to their Party. Reject Rendell, Specter, torture, wars of choice and the undermining of our rights and reject this imposition upon your choices. I will vote Green again if Arlen Specter is the only Democrat allowed to run. Do NOT take away our rights as citizens tor un for office or vote for whom WE choose. Gov. Rendell has no right to choose who can run and who cannot.

AFL-CIO Statement on Specter Joining the Democratic Party


AFL-CIO Statement on Specter Joining the Democratic Party

by Tula Connell, Apr 28, 2009

Sen. Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania announced a short while ago he is switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party. Specter’s vote on the Employee Free Choice Act has been pivotal in determining whether the critical working families’ legislation will pass. Here’s AFL-CIO Legislative Affairs Director Bill Samuel on Specter’s announcement:

We look forward to continuing an open and honest debate with Senator Specter about the issues that are important to Pennsylvania and America. We move forward with the understanding that America’s workers support elected officials based on their positions on issues that matter to working people, not political affiliations.

This is a new day for the Employee Free Choice Act and labor law reform. Sen. Specter has said all along that he recognizes the need to reform our broken labor law system and we will continue to work with Congress to give workers back the freedom to form and join unions and pass legislation that stays true to the principals of the Employee free Choice Act.

The Employee Free Choice Act is built on three fundamental principles and we believe a bill that stays true to these will become law:

Workers need to have a real choice to form a union and bargain for a better life, free from intimidation;
We have to stop the endless delays; companies can’t just stall to stop workers’ choice;
There have to be real penalties for violating the law.

Change to Win Statement on President Obama’s First 100 Days In Office



Change to Win Statement on President Obama’s
First 100 Days In Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Change to Win executive director Chris Chafe issued the following statement regarding the first 100 days of the new Obama presidency.

“From investments in energy, education, health care and infrastructure, to repairing our leadership role in the global community, the first 100 days of President Obama’s Administration has inspired new optimism and hope, and introduced a new era for America’s working families. Through his bold actions he has proven his commitment to restoring the economy, rebuilding the middle class and renewing the American Dream.

“In his first 100 days President Obama has laid the groundwork for a Working Families Agenda. He has appointed nominees that workers can count on to stand up and fight for them – from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to his most recent NLRB appointments. He created the White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families, reversed three Bush-era anti-worker executive orders, and strengthened the voices of workers against discrimination with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

“He worked with the House and Senate to pass an economic recovery package and budget that invests in putting America’s workers back on the path of prosperity, from extending unemployment benefits, to balancing tax relief for working people, to putting a down-payment toward real health care reform. He has provided significant investments in sustainable projects that will create good green jobs, strengthen our energy independence, and protect our planet after decades of mismanagement.

“As President Obama said during his acceptance speech on election night, ‘the road ahead will be long,’ and the ‘climb will be steep,’ and during these tough economic times, that couldn’t be more true. But as the last 100 days have proven, with a leader like Obama at the helm, workers once again have a shot at achieving the American Dream.”

# # #

** Note: Media representatives interested in scheduling an interview with Change to Win leaders should contact Noreen Nielsen at **

About Change to Win

Change to Win, a partnership of unions representing six million members was founded in 2005 to organize workers of the new American economy. Change to Win committed to restoring the American Dream so that all workers have a paycheck that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure and dignified retirement, and the opportunity for the next generation to be better off. The seven affiliated unions are: Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers’ International Union of North America, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and United Farm Workers of America.

UAW Reaches Settlement Agreement with Chrysler, Fiat


UAW Reaches Settlement Agreement with Chrysler, Fiat

by James Parks, Apr 27, 2009

Just days before a federally imposed deadline, the UAW announced last night it had reached a settlement agreement with Chrysler, Fiat and the U.S. Treasury Department.

After rejecting Chrysler’s viability plan in February, President Obama gave Chrysler workers and the company a second chance, union officials said. This concessionary agreement, while painful, takes advantage of this opportunity, the union said.

The settlement agreement, subject to ratification by UAW members at Chrysler, meets the requirements of U.S. Treasury Department loans to the company. It includes modifications to the union’s 2007 collective bargaining agreement and the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association trust.

“We recognize this has been a long ordeal for active and retired auto workers, and a time of great uncertainty,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

The patience, resolve and determination of UAW members in these difficult times is extraordinary, and has made it possible for us to reach the agreement we will present to our membership.

In the face of incredibly trying circumstances, UAW Chrysler members have risen to the occasion, day in and day out, building top quality vehicles in a productive manner.

UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who heads the union’s Chrysler Department, says the ratification process must be finished by April 29. He says every stakeholder must step up to save the company.

Once again, our active and retired members are being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices in order to help Chrysler return to viability. In order for the company to have a sustainable future, all stakeholders will have to show the same willingness to contribute to the common good that has been demonstrated repeatedly by our membership.




CONTACT: Bette Phelan (202) 224-2441


WASHINGTON (April 27, 2009) - Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement in response to news today that General Motors (GM) plans to undergo a massive restructuring of its operations and financing:

“Our Senate offices continue to monitor the GM restructuring situation as it unfolds.

“We are in contact with senior GM and UAW officials both in Delaware and in Detroit.

“Our goal is to protect, to the best of our ability, the interests of Delaware, and especially the workforce at the GM plant on Boxwood Road.

“There is a remarkable spirit of labor-management cooperation that has infused virtually everything that happened at our GM plant for many years.

“It’s largely that cooperation that has enabled the Boxwood Road plant to survive while every other auto assembly plant on the East Coast has been closed over the past two decades.

“We will continue to work closely with company and union officials as well as with local and state offices to provide full support for the employees at the GM plant, their families and our entire community.”

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Welcomes Senator Specter’s Return to the Democratic Party and Will Continue to Encourage Him To Reconsider his Decision on the Employee Free Choice Act.


Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Welcomes Senator Specter’s Return to the Democratic Party and Will Continue to Encourage Him To Reconsider his Decision on the Employee Free Choice Act.

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Bill George said today that working men and women of Pennsylvania are pleased with Senator Arlen Specter’s decision to re-join the Democratic Party which has traditionally been the party of working Pennsylvanians. “Working people are turned off by extremist slash and burn politics and intimidation which are dominating the Republican leadership and are inconsistent with the views of the working people of Pennsylvania and with the philosophy and style of Senator Arlen Specter. The majority of working men and women support moderation and fairness in finding common sense solutions to our problems. We look forward to continuing an open and honest debate with Senator Specter about the issues that matter most to working Pennsylvanians; putting America and Pennsylvania back to work in good jobs that sustain families and communities; quality, affordable health care for all; making it easier for workers who want a union to have one; and fair trade policies that protect and promote good jobs for working families and strong communities. The politics of fear and intimidation is a failure in the political arena and is a failure in our workplaces when workers try to organize unions to bargain for a better life. We will encourage Senator Specter to reconsider his decision on the Employee Free Choice Act and the Freedom to Organize without fear and intimidation by corporations and their hired union busters. We do not evaluate candidates based upon party affiliations. Our evaluations are based upon the voting records and positions of candidates on issues that matter most to working Pennsylvanians.” We will continue to evaluate Senator Arlen Specter’s future votes.

Specter Deserves A Democratic Primary Opponent


Specter Deserves A Democratic Primary Opponent

Most Pennsylvania Democrats are Democrats for good reasons. It is not because they like the letter “D’ more than the letter “R”. They are Democrats because they support the Democratic approach on a wide array of issues more than they support the Republican policy positions on those issues.

While I welcome Specter to the Democratic Party, I am not convinced that he holds mainstream Democratic values. His record and stated policy positions remain largely Republican.

Specter has made himself a major obstacle to passing the Employee Free Choice Act. He supported almost all the Bush agenda for 8 years. Without Specter, we probably would not have Alito and Roberts on the Supreme Court.

Specter has not protected American jobs leaving the country because of unfair “free” trade deals. He has done almost nothing to help get us out of Iraq. He has opposed government provided universal healthcare. He has opposed the vast majority of Democratic policy positions during his long political career.

Pennsylvania Democrats should have a real Democrat running as the 2010 Democratic Senate candidate. Specter is an honorable man but hardly the best choice to represent mainstream Pennsylvania Democratic values in the 2010 Senate race.

It is highly unlikely that the winner of the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Primary will lose the general election. Pennsylvania Democrats do not have to compromise their values to take this Senate seat and should not be pressured into making such a bad choice.

Pennsylvania politics has shifted dramatically in a Democratic direction. Fielding a Democratic candidate holding a majority of policy positions that are Republican Right in nature would in my opinion be a betrayal of all those Pennsylvania Democrats yearning for real change. Specter with his current policy positions cannot deliver the change those voters desire.

Organized labor and the progressive community in Pennsylvania are very strong and growing. Specter offers almost nothing to either group. Local Democratic activists are not fans of Arlen Specter. The core of the Democratic coalition in Pennsylvania deserves to have a mainstream Democratic Senate candidate who reflects their values and supports their policy positions on at least 80 to 90% of the issues. Complete political purity is not required but Specter currently fails the minimum test.

Specter needs to change his positions on a wide array of issues before he is given a clear field in the Democratic Primary. He needs to move toward the center in a major way. No candidate opposing the Employee Free Choice Act, supporting right-wing federal judges or job-destroying “free trade” deals and the like should go unopposed in any Democratic primary election.

Pennsylvania largely reflects the general values of America. While a candidate with Specter’s policy positions would be a big improvement over Senators like Corker and Alexander of Tennessee, Shelby and Sessions of Alabama or Vitter of Louisiana, he is not really at the center of the American political spectrum on a vast majority of issues. Specter is close enough to the center to shift his positions on enough issues to win a Democratic primary but has not indicated any willingness to do so!

Working class and middle class Pennsylvanians deserve a Senate candidate with values and policy positions that fully embrace the changes promised by the Obama Presidency. Nobody including the Senate Democratic leadership, the Democratic National Committee or even President Obama should attempt to keep Pennsylvania Democrats from having a choice in the 2010 Democratic Senate Primary that fully reflects Democratic values. Senator Specter should have the opportunity to compete but the field should not be cleared of major league Democratic competitors.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party would be seriously harmed by any attempt to limit the field of Democratic Senate competitors in 2010. Union activists and progressives deserve an opportunity to field serious candidates who fully reflect their views. Specter does not currently fill that need although he can do so if he so desires by merely changing his policy positions.

Specter was definitely going to lose the Republican Senate Primary in 2010. It was in his interest to switch to the Democratic Party. However, adding a “D” after your name on a ballot does not make you a mainstream Democrat.

If Specter wants to win a Senate seat from Pennsylvania as a Democrat, he needs to become a mainstream Democrat. He is highly unlikely to do so without a strong Democratic Primary opponent. Certainly, Specter can be beaten in the 2010 Democratic Senate Primary by any serious challenger holding “real” mainstream Democratic values.

Written by Stephen Crockett (host of Democratic Talk Radio and Editor of Mid-Atlantic He can be reached by email at or by phone at 443-907-2367.

Democratic Talk Radio airs Thursday mornings on WGPA SUNNY 1100AM in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The mailing address for Democratic Talk Radio is: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702.

Feel free to publish or reprint in full without prior approval.

Here’s How to Buy American-made Tires


Dear Stephen S. Crockett,

Last week the United Steelworkers sent out a press release about the filing of a major trade case against the flood of imported consumer tires from China that have led to thousands of job losses and a growing number of plant closings throughout the U. S. and in Canada.

In response to this news, many of you have asked how you can be sure that you are buying union-made, American or Canadian tires. Below is the information you seek, so be sure to look at the sidewall of the tires for the DOT codes. And thank you for asking!




The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all tires sold in the United States carry a code which shows, among other things, the company and plant that made the tire. The code would look like this: DOT BE XX XXX XXX (where the X’s stand in for numbers and/or letters that are not part of the plant ID code)

The two symbols (either two letters or a letter and a number) which follow “DOT” indicate the company and the plant where a tire was manufactured. For example, the above code indicates a tire made by B. F. Goodrich in Tuscaloosa, AL. The following is a listing of U.S. unionized tire DOT codes. By comparing this list to the code on the tire you are buying, you can be certain you are getting a USW-made tire.

Look for the following codes for union-made tires made in the United States: AN, BE, BF, CC. DA, DY, D2, E3, JJ, JE, JF, JN, JT, JP, MP, PL, MC, MD, MJ, MK, MM, PJ, PY, PT, PU, TA, UP, UT, VE, W1, YE, YU, Y7, 2C, 2M, 3M, 4D, 5D, and 8B.

Codes for tires made at the Goodyear plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada include: JU, PC and UK.

In addition to company brands, these codes will also appear on “Associate Brand” and “Private Brand” tires manufactured at the USW-represented plants. The key, then, to being sure of getting a USW-made tire is the DOT code. Be sure and check it with this listing.

Philadelphia May Day Celebration!



Since May 1, 1886


Elmwood Park @ South 71st St. and

Buist Ave. in Southwest Philly (19142)


➢ Pat Eiding – President, Philadelphia AFL-CIO

➢ Tom Paine Cronin – Director, Comey Inst. of Industrial Relations @

St. Joe’s Univ./Pres. (Ret.) AFSCME DC 47

➢ Cathy Brady – SEIU Healthcare PA / Friends of Elmwood Park

➢ Kathy Black – President, Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW,

Philadelphia Chapter)

➢ T. J. Buonomo / Aaron Hughes – Iraq Veterans Against the War

➢ Rev. Chester Williams – President, National Alliance of Postal and

Federal Employees Local 509

➢ Royce Adams – International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA)

Local 1291

(Other Labor and Community Speakers • Music to be Announced)

Sponsored by: The Pennsylvania Labor History Society (PLHS) and the

Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH)

For more info: Contact us at 215-301-2633 or

“MAY DAY” is the Global Day to

Honor All Workers. Come and Learn

of the True American History of MAY

DAY and The Connection to The

Historic Struggle for The 8 Hour Day.

Sponsoring Organizations

PA Labor History Society


Supporting Organizations

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) D.C. 47

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1723

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2187

American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Tn-County local and the APWU Bulk Mail Center

The Battle of Homestead Foundation

Brotherhood of Maintenance and Way Employees (BMWE) Local 2910

CATA (Farm Workers Support Committee, S. Jersey, S.E. PA, DelMarVa Peninsula)

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Phila., Chapter

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) National

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) Phila. Chapter

Communications Workers of America (CWA) Dist 13, Phila. Area

Delaware Valley Veterans for America

Jewish Labor Committee

Kaolin Mushroom Workers Union

Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU)

League for Industrial Democracy (Johnstown Pa.)

Lehigh Valley Building Trades Council

National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees (NUHHCE/AFSCME), District 1199C

National Writers Union (NWU) Phila.

New Jersey Industrial Union Council

The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

Pennsylvania Federation, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division/IBT

Pennsylvania State Education Association, Southeastern Region

Pennsylvania State Education Association, Staff Association

Philadelphia AFL-CIO (Retirees Chapter)

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (Retirees Chapter)

Philadelphia New Sanctuary Movement

Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network (PRAWN)

Social Democrats USA (Johnstown Pa.)

Student League for Industrial Democracy (Johnstown Pa.)

United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America Local 155

United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 10-234

Young Social Democrats USA (Johnstown Pa.)

To have your organization listed, pass the MAY DAY Resolution

on our website ( and contact us

Labor Singer Anne Feeney in Concert at Temple University


From the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO



in Story and Song




$5 Admission at the door

Free for Temple students with OWLcard

TAUP (Temple Association of University Professionals, AFT Local 4531), along with CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women, Philadelphia Chapter), Jobs with Justice, Temple AFSCME (District Council 47, Local 1723), Temple Student Labor Action Project (SLAP), and TUGSA (Temple University Graduate Students Association, AFT Local 6290), will sponsor a musical evening on May 2, featuring labor singer extraordinaire, ANNE FEENEY.

The concert will be made possible in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Labor Education Center, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, of the PA State System of Higher Education (

Pittsburgh-based agitator Anne Feeney performs music designed to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” For the past 35 years she has lived her life on the front lines, performing at thousands of demonstrations, rallies and picket lines. Learn more about Anne Feeney’s songs, work and CDs at, and sign up for her wonderful “Fellow Travelers’ Advisory” (

Anne Feeney has been called “the best labor singer in North America” by Utah Phillips, and “a catalyst in the topical song movement” by Peggy Seeger. Please come, enjoy the music and spread the word.

Temple’s Student Center South is on 13th St. between Cecil B. Moore and Montgomery. From the CB Moore stop on the Broad St. SEPTA Line, walk one block east, and turn left on 13th St. The Student Center South is the second building on the right. See you on May 2!

For information:


Teamsters on Radio


Richard Negri wrote on April 20, 2009 at 2:09pm

Although he is a burgeoning celebrity in central Pennsylvania, Rick Smith says he is an average man—and that might just be what makes him so popular.

A truck driver for Roadway Express, Smith is a member of Local 776 out of Harrisburg. On the weekends when he’s not on the road, Smith can be found in the studios of WHYL AM 960, broadcasting his voice—and his opinions—over the airways.

Host of a self-titled radio show, Smith provides the listeners in his area with something he calls unique and different—the perspective of a working-class, union man.

“Everything here is very conservative and very far to the right. In our area, my radio show offers a progressive point of view. I look at things through the eyes of a working man because that’s what I am,” Smith said. “I discuss the struggles of keeping a roof over my head and food on my table; I think people can identify with that.”

Labor Education

Smith isn’t the only Teamster radio host with which the public identifies. Tackling many of the same issues is Gary Washington, host of the WRFG 89.3 show “Labor Forum,” which is based in Atlanta.

A Teamster member since 1972, Washington uses his air time to discuss issues that are close to his heart. He takes his cues from civil rights and labor activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a result, “Labor Forum” has become one of the most listened to programs on WRFG, with fans tuning in from near and far.

“On my program, we always try to keep people in tune with the work of Dr. King,” Washington said. “Labor was always an important thing to him. Although his plate was full, he always made time for labor.”

Aside from promoting King’s messages of peace and equality, Washington also uses his radio show to highlight activities of Teamster members. Often, his guests include workers who are trying to organize.

“We are putting out the message of the Teamsters Union that it is important to be organized,” Washington explained. “You can complain, but you won’t get anywhere. One voice is just a voice in the wilderness, but voices together are like an ocean with the strength of a tornado. You have to organize.”

Many of the guests on his show are also college students and Washington said that isn’t coincidental. Without a strong labor curriculum in public schools, Washington takes it upon himself to educate Atlanta’s young people about the labor movement and the importance of labor unions.

Forum for Labor

While Washington aims to educate others about labor, Smith’s goal is to offer the average working American a friendly forum for open discussion. His show was originally set to be a program “of, for and by the working people,” but over the years it has morphed into something more—an answer to right-wing talk radio programs which have controlled the AM airways for years.

“What I like best is taking on the right wring. I like the combative nature of the program,” Smith said. “Once you start putting out a reasonable argument and start to answer the far-out right wing talking points, people begin to understand.”

In the four and a half years since Smith started his show—dubbed “The Rick Smith Show”—he has tackled nearly every labor-related topic, ranging from the Employee Free Choice Act to the government bailout of the “Big Three.” His guests have included such high-profile figures as then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Ted Kennedy and Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.

Aside from inviting guests to voice their opinions on his program, Smith also makes it a point to tell his own story—one that involves hard work, dedication and the American dream.

“I grew up in a housing project on the west side of Cleveland. By American standards, we were poor. Thanks to hard work and help from the union, I now live in a good neighborhood and I have health care and a pension. I could still be in the projects working myself to the bone like a lot of people, but I’m not because of the union,” Smith said. “I hope that what I have done in my life shows people that unions are good things.”

Top Ratings

Although finding new and fresh topics for the program can sometimes be a challenge, Smith says it is one from which he never tires—and neither do his listeners. Since its debut in 2005, Smith’s weekly show continues to score high ratings, always falling among the top five most-listened to WHYL shows each week.

“They’ve kept us around because the show is surprisingly popular,” Smith said. “There is nothing in this area like it.”

The same can be said for Washington’s show, which has received attention from laborers in Canada, Australia, England and France.

“The Rick Smith Show” can be heard every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. More information about The Rich Smith Show can be found at

“Labor Forum” with Gary Washington can be heard every Tuesday from 4:30 to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. More information about the show can be found at

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Article reprinted from the Teamsters Facebook pages.

Podesta Group, other top Democratic lobbyists lead fight against Employee Free Choice Act


Podesta Group, other top Democratic lobbyists lead fight against Employee Free Choice Act

If you missed, Tom Frank had a provocative column in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the likely demise of the Employee Free Choice Act ## the bill that labor has made its #1 priority for the new era of Obama and Democratic politics.

First, it’s important to note the EFCA isn’t dead yet. Labor has vowed it will keep fighting, and as Roll Call reports they were in full force during the recent Congressional recess:

Union organizers held more than 400 grass-roots events, sent more than 27,000 letters to Members of Congress and put in nearly 100,000 calls supporting EFCA. Additionally, the unions spent more than $1 million on two TV ads over the recess, AFL-CIO spokeswoman Amaya Smith said.

But after the defections of key Senators like Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln ## and even pro-labor stalwarts like Ohio’s Sherrod Brown (D) predicting it will be watered down ## Frank observes that the EFCA as we know it won’t pass:

After massive lobbying both by labor and by business, it appears that the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which, as it now stands, would allow workers to organize in many cases merely by signing cards instead of holding elections, will not have the 60 votes required to get past a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

Even Andy Stern of the Change to Win labor federation is signaling compromise is on the horizon given the math.

But it’s important to step back a moment and ask how, after the rush of hope that surrounded the victory of Obama and Congressional Democrats ## backed by millions in labor contributions ## did we get to this point?

Many have pointed to the well-financed corporate opposition to the act ## a war chest which, among other things, has been used to fund dubious research warning that the labor bill would cost “thousands of jobs.”

But Frank points to an important and under-reported piece of the story ## lobbying firms with strong ties to Democrats who are helping deep-six labor’s agenda. After asking why Democrats seem treat labor like an ATM machine for campaign cash, only to turn their backs on them in Congress, Frank offers these devastating set of facts:

[M]aybe it’s just the money. Consider the lineup of lobbyists that retail giant Wal-Mart has assembled to make its case against EFCA. According to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the House and Senate we find that Wal-Mart’s lobbyists include Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti (which employs former presidential candidate John Kerry’s liaison to Congress during the 2004 campaign), a former legislative director for Rahm Emanuel, and a former assistant to Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

Wal-Mart has also secured, according lobbying disclosure forms filed with Congress, the services of Tony Podesta, of the Podesta Group, one of the hottest lobby shops in Democratic D.C. Mr. Podesta is joined in pushing Wal-Mart’s views on EFCA by a former assistant to Democrat Mark Pryor, the other senator from Arkansas. [FS note: The firm was co-founded with John Podesta, a lead Obama advisor, although he’s no longer listed on the group’s manifest.]

The real standout on Wal-Mart’s labor-issues roster, though, is D+P Creative Strategies, which wears its liberalism as proudly as last week’s tax protestors did their three-cornered hats. According to its Web site, D+P “highlights partnership, shared benefits, and a commitment to advancing social justice goals.” The disclosure form for its Wal-Mart EFCA activities lists a former assistant to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. The bio of its principal, Ingrid Duran, who is also listed as a Wal-Mart lobbyist, declares that the firm’s mission is “to increase the role of corporate, legislative and philanthropic efforts in addressing the concerns of Latinos, women, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) communities.”

There’s much more evidence of the ties between these firms to the Democrats. For example, this month the Podesta Group ## which proudly boasts [pdf] of its special access in the new Democratic administration ## announced the addition of six new principals to their lobbying army. Half have solid Democratic resumes.

The case of the former aide to Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) ## Walter Pryor (no relation) ## now lobbying against the EFCA for Wal-Mart is especially bizarre. As Wal-Mart Watch pointed out last month, Walter Pryor’s lobbying filing for Wal-Mart lists him as still being an aid to Sen. Pryor ## which is impossible, because legislative aides aren’t allowed to lobby.

Melhman & Co. started out as a mostly GOP shop, but ever since 2006 has been cultivating its Democratic Party connections.

Labor has mobilized people and money in unprecedented amounts to get the Employee Free Choice Act passed. But at the end of the day, the money and connections of the corporate opposition ## including Democratic lobbyists ## may carry the day.

Sen. Sherrod Brown: Clean Energy Can Bolster Industry


Brown: Clean Energy Can Bolster Industry

April 20, 2009
By Sen. Sherrod Brown
Special to Roll Call

Everyone knows that Ohio and the industrial Midwest have been hit especially hard by this recession. What many people don’t understand is that climate change legislation can make our region and our country

Across my state, manufacturing towns such as Toledo, Cleveland, Dayton, Youngstown and Columbus are leading the way in advanced manufacturing for new clean energy technologies. Our state and our nation need this boost in manufacturing, because in important ways, manufacturing jobs anchor our nation’s middle class.

Manufacturing jobs can provide wages and benefits that enable homeownership and economic security for working families. Manufacturing jobs tend to have a strong multiplier effect on economic activity that bolsters our nation’s gross domestic product, and they are critical to supporting vital public services and schools in communities across the nation.

But clean energy policy is far more than a means of bolstering U.S. manufacturing. If we care about the world in which we live and the
generations that will follow us, then we must no longer dismiss the lethal risks global warming poses to our planet. We must craft an aggressive strategy to combat global warming, and we must do it now.

And there’s yet another reason for focusing on clean energy policy. The United States cannot safely remain dependent on foreign sources of energy. We cannot break free of this dependence without getting serious about producing our own energy sources and increasing the efficiency with which we use the energy available to us.

Whether it’s reducing carbon emissions to combat global warming, increasing energy efficiency or securing U.S.-based energy sources, all of these goals underscore the importance of clean energy manufacturing. It’s important to note that such manufacturing is not a narrow sector defined by finished products such as wind turbines and hybrid engines. Current industries - such as steel, glass, aluminum and cement - are necessary for the construction of our nation’s renewable energy future. A modern wind turbine, for example, requires the same amount of steel as 250 midsize sedans.

We must not simply trade our dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on foreign manufactured renewable energy sources. The right, clean-energy-oriented climate change policy will not only spur demand for new energy sources, but it will also put in place the foundation for these technologies to be developed and built here in America.

And what is true for manufacturing is true for all industries. Climate change legislation must ensure that the steps we take to reduce our
reliance on fossil fuels does not simply shift the smoke from our stacks to those in the developing world.

Some people would say that our current economic crisis compels us to delay action on comprehensive climate change legislation. I disagree. Inaction is not an option. Capping carbon emissions can create new jobs in a clean energy economy. Without action, we face dangerous consequences. We risk the health of our citizens, the viability of our coastal areas, the productivity of our nation’s farms, forests and fisheries, and the long-term economic and national security of our country.

We can enact climate change legislation that does not needlessly pick winners and losers among regions, workers or industries. Done right, climate change legislation will improve our nation’s competitiveness by creating new jobs and developing new technologies. We must confront the twin challenges of our economy and environment with a robust and thoughtful response. And we must recognize that climate change legislation is an opportunity to rebuild our nation’s manufacturing base.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees and chairs the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy. Brown is the author of the Green Energy Production Act and the Regional Economic Recovery Coordination Act.

Specter Staff Threatens to Trash Letters in Support of Employee Free Choice


Specter Staff Threatens to Trash Letters in Support of Employee Free Choice

by Seth Michaels, Apr 20, 2009

Pennsylvania union members have delivered tens of thousands of letters in support of the Employee Free Choice Act to Sen. Arlen Specter.

Is it common practice for congressional staff to throw away letters from constituents hoping to have their voices heard? That’s what some of Sen. Arlen Specter’s staff threatened to do to thousands of Pennsylvanians who support the freedom to form unions and bargain.

Specter, who once co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act before he flipped on the bill last month, announced he would support a minority filibuster to prevent it from coming to a vote. Despite once saying he was “delighted” to support it, Specter now is advancing falsehoods about the bill, parroting the extremist charge that it would take away the secret ballot process, which it would not.

Rallies asking Specter to support the Employee Free Choice Act have taken place across the state.

In response, thousands of union members, community activists, religious and civil rights leaders and other members of the broad coalition in support of the Employee Free Choice Act have taken action across the state to make their voices heard. In the past two weeks, they have held seven rallies outside of Specter’s offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, Wilkes-Barre and Scranton. Supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act have gathered more than 50,000 letters, 35,000 postcards and 12,000 petitions from Pennsylvanians who support the freedom to form unions and bargain.

Specter’s staff grew increasingly aggressive at every event, Pennsylvania union members report. At Specter’s Wilkes-Barre office, where union members and allies delivered thousands of letters and petitions, United Steelworkers (USW) member Tim Waters reports that they were told by a staffer, “as soon as you leave, your letters will go straight in the trash.”

Hello? These are Pennsylvania residents whom the senator represents. This is the way you treat your constituents?

Hundreds of Pennsylvanians took time out this week to make their feelings known to their senator, bringing with them postcards, letters and petitions from tens of thousands of supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act.

They deserve a respectful hearing.

Workers Memorial Day 2009 in Pennsylvania


Workers’ Memorial Day Radio Advertisement

Mourn for the dead and fight for the living. Words spoken over a century ago by Mother Jones, labor leader and union organizer who helped inspire hundreds of thousands of coal miners to organize to abolish child labor and hazardous working conditions in the mines. Today it means renewing our commitment to a safe workplace for every worker in this nation. The week of April 28 hundreds of thousands will join in observing Workers Memorial Day across Pennsylvania and around the country. Families of those who lost their lives, injured workers, union workers elected officials and more join hands in remembering fallen workers and fighting for safer jobs. Each year thousands of workers are killed and millions more injured or diseased because of their jobs. After eight years of neglect and inaction by the Bush administration we now have the opportunity to change the direction of this country to strengthen job safety protections and to make sure workers’ voices are heard. Join us in observing Workers Memorial Day. Contact the AFL-CIO Central labor Council or area labor federation to participate in the event in your area. This message is from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO: Bill George, President; Rick Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer
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Workers’ Memorial Day 2009 for Pennsylvania

On April 28 workers around the country and in Pennsylvania will join in observing Workers Memorial Day remembering those who have suffered or died on the job and renew the fight for safe jobs. Thousands of workers will be participating in events (listed below) in Pennsylvania. You and your members are encouraged to join in helping make these events a complete success. If you know of an event that is not on this list please contact Jim Deegan 717-231-2867 or with the details. Help us win the fight for safer jobs for all workers

Allegheny County Labor Council, the United Steelworkers,
the Labor and Religion Coalition of Western Pennsylvania,
and the Washington/Greene County Labor Council
Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 12:00 Noon
PLACE: Market Square, Downtown Pittsburgh
SPEAKERS: Most Reverend David A. Zubic, Bishop of Pittsburgh
Sean McGarvey, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades
Reverend John Welch, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Chief Chaplain
Jim Klingensmith, Exec. Vice President, Allegheny County Labor Council
Rich Stanizzo, President, Joint Board, Pitts. Building and Construction Trades
CONTACT: Joe Delale, 412-456-6851

Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council Workers’ Memorial Service

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM
PLACE: Erie Municipal Bldg. City Council Chambers
606 State Street, Erie, PA
SPEAKERS: to be announced
CONTACT: Erie-Crawford CLC, 814-455-4752

Harrisburg Region Central Labor Council and Pennsylvania Federation of Injured Workers
Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremonies

DATE: Tuesday, April 28, 2009
EVENT: Memorial Ceremony at Labor’s Grove
TIME: 9:00 AM
PLACE: Riverfront Park, 300 Block of South Front St. Harrisburg, PA
SPEAKERS: to be announced
CONTACT: Harrisburg Region CLC 717-561-7830

DATE: Tuesday, April 28, 2009
EVENT: PA Fed. Of Injured Workers Press Conference/Ceremony
TIME: 11:00 AM
PLACE: State Capitol Rotunda Gallery
SPEAKERS: to be announced
CONTACT: Dennis Straub, PFIW, 888-376-7942 or Bob Scholeck, PFIW, 570-366-8660

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 12:00 Noon
EVENT: Workers’ Memorial Day Lunch
PLACE: United Steelworkers Local 1688 Hall, 200 Gibson St. Steelton, PA
SPEAKERS: to be announced
TICKETS: Lunch tickets are $7.00 per person, phone 717-561-7830 or e-mail;
CONTACT: Harrisburg Region CLC, 717-561-7830

Indiana – Armstrong – Clarion Central Labor Council Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremonies

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
EVENT: Young Democrats of Clarion Univ. and Organized Labor Workers’ Memorial Observance PLACE: Clarion Campus Student Union Bldg. Rooms 250-252
Corner of Payne St and Wilson Ave. Clarion, PA 16214
SPEAKERS: Area labor leaders , teachers, and students will share the
speaker’s podium for Improvements in Job Safety
CONTACT: Aaron Fitzpatrick 814-590-4886 or
Important Note: You will need a parking pass. Call or e-mail Aaron Fitzpatrick

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 12:00 Noon
EVENT: Indiana – Armstrong - Clarion CLC and PA Center for the Study of Labor Relations
Indiana Univ. Workers Memorial Service
PLACE: Indiana University of PA.
SPEAKERS: to be announced
CONTACT: Cynthia Spielman, 877-314-0581

Greater Johnstown Regional Central Labor Council
20th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Banquet and Essay Contest

DATE/TIME: Friday, May 1, 2009 at 6:00 PM
PLACE: Christ the Saviour Educational Center
307 Garfield Street, Johnstown, PA
SPEAKER: John DeFaFazio, Director, Dist. 10 United Steelworkers
Essay Scholarship Contest winners to be announced
Scholarship Co-sponsors: Congressman John Murtha; Ameriserv Financial;
USW Local 6521; and Cambria County Commissioners
CONTACT: Ernie Esposito, President Greater Johnstown CLC 814-535-7621

Lehigh Valley Labor Council
Workers’ Memorial Day Observance

DATE/TIME: Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 1:00 PM
PLACE: Workers’ Memorial Monument, Bethlehem Rose Garden
8th Avenue and Union Blvd.
SPEAKERS: Brief speakers program followed by reading of names of 700 workers who
lost their lives while at work in Lehigh Valley
CONTACT: John Werkheiser, 610-513-9969 or

Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO
Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH)
21ST Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Breakfast and Memorial Service

DATE/TIME: Friday, April 24, 2009 at 8:30 AM Registration and at 9:00 AM Breakfast
PLACE: Sheet Metal Workers Hall, 1301 S. Columbus Blvd. Philadelphia 19147
March to the Great Plaza Penn’s Landing for Memorial Ceremony at 10:45 AM
SPEAKERS: PA AFL-CIO President Bill George
Congressman Patrick Murphy, D-8th C.D.
Dr. Arthur Frank, Chairmen, Dept of Occupational and Environmental Health Dept., Drexel University
Rosalie Hetrick, widow of fallen worker
CONTACT: Patrick Eiding, President, Phila. AFL-CIO 215-665-9800 or
Barbara Rahke, Dir. PhilaPosh 215-386-7000

York/Adams County Central Labor Council
Workers’ Memorial Day Observance

DATE/TIME: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 6:00 PM
PLACE: Kiwanis Lake, York, PA
SPEAKERS: Robert Garraty, Exec. Dir. PA Workforce Investment Bd.
CONTACTS: Clark Ruppert, Jr., President, York/Adams CLC 717-764-0537 or cell 717-683-7793
Kittie Hake, Chair Workers’ Mem. Committee 717-843-8911

Tell Obama to stand with American auto workers and retirees!


Dear Stephen Crockett,


Once again, it’s time for all of us to stand up for active and retired U.S. auto workers. Please contact President Obama today at 1 (202) 456-1414, or send him an e-mail via

The Obama administration has established tight deadlines for the restructuring of Chrysler and General Motors. For the federal government to provide additional assistance to the automakers, the restructuring of Chrysler must be completed by the end of April, and the General Motors restructuring must be completed by the end of May.

The UAW is actively involved in the complex restructuring negotiations, which involve the Obama auto task force, Chrysler and GM management, Fiat, bondholders and secured lenders, dealers, parts suppliers, and other stakeholders. These negotiations will have a major impact on wages and benefits for active and retired UAW members.

UAW members, friends, families and supporters can speak up by calling the White House at 1 (202) 456-1414, or sending an e-mail via

We need President Obama and his auto task force to stand up for the interests of workers and retirees in these restructuring negotiations. Please call or e-mail President Obama right away on this critically important issue. Tell him to insist that workers and retirees must be treated in a fair and equitable manner in any restructuring plans!

Again, you can call the President at 1 (202) 456-1414. Or you can send an e-mail to the White House Web site at

Thanks in advance for your efforts on this priority issue.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is my email sent to President Obama:

” The President needs to act to save the American auto industry without punishing American auto workers or retirees.

The biggest contibutor to this current mess has been free trade without universal healthcare. Whatever it takes to keep the Big Three functioning should be done while you correct this insane trade-healthcare policy error!

How are American manufacturing going to compete with foreign companies when our companies are saddled with healthcare costs while foreign companies benefit from governments paying healthcare costs for employeees, retireees and their families?”