Monday, December 11, 2006

Tunnel Vision and Health Insurance

Greetings, it’s that time of the year. Time for cutting down and decorating Christmas trees, building snowmen, drinking eggnog, snowshoeing (if it would snow), and nomination papers for local elections. I’ve got two sets going here for candidates and I thought if I’m going to be doing this, I better start becoming more aware of what the issues are going to be out there. I admit, I’m much more in tune with what is happening at the state level then the local level. So, having a bit of time at the computer today, I started looking at what was out there for some of the declared City Council candidates.

My first stop was Kent Monte’s blog ( I was attracted to the thread on Union Contracts that was started last week Monday (12/4/06). The gist of the discussion is that personnel costs are the largest portion of the City budget and how the City Council has little influence on the negotiation of those contracts. One of the big parts of the labor costs is for health insurance. What a surprise! In reading the 94 postings (as of tonight) that responded to Mr. Monte’s posting, it was obvious that the majority of those participating in that Blog would be in favor of pulling health insurance or at least reducing the benefits of the City employees. After all, “I don’t get dat kind of benefit from my employer. We gotta pay a lot for our health insurance, so should dose city employees”. Oh ya, and the City Council should also get the State Med/Arb. Laws changed, because that’s the biggest road block in being able to screw over the City Employees. These folks actually believe that all of the problems that the City of Oshkosh faces would be solved by reducing the benefits of the City employees. Oh and the service we would get would be fine after that. Exactly what kind of employee are you going to have willing to work for the peanuts these folks are willing to offer. Here is a thought from one Labor Chick to those bloggers.


Health insurance and the skyrocketing cost of this benefit to employers is probably the biggest challenge facing every employer in this country. Look at the problems being faced by Ford and GM….it’s about benefits that the companies can no longer afford to pay for. What was one of the reasons that Federal Signal moved the Leach plant out of Oshkosh---cheaper health insurance in Canada. There is example after example that I can come up with that shows that health insurance is the biggest issue facing the middle class of this country. Unfortunately, instead of facing up to the issue and trying to work to find a solution, many folks look at their neighbor with the attitude, you have something I don’t have, if I can’t have it, you shouldn’t either. “I work for Bemis and I have to pay more for my health insurance, if you work for the City, so should you.” Instead of this selfish point of view being exhibited by the posters on Mr. Monte’s blog, I’d suggest that we work together to find a solution to the Health Insurance crisis. In the State of Wisconsin, several groups, including yes, the AFL-CIO have developed proposals to start looking at a solution. Mr. Monte and his followers might do a little research on that as a solution to the problem. Just go to the Wisconsin AFL-CIO website ( and click on the box about the Wisconsin Health Care Partnership Plan. This will tell you more about this idea. This is not Universal Health Care (aka Hillary Clinton). This bill would be a start by making health insurance available to those who cannot get their own health insurance (either because of economics or pre-existing conditions). One of the options would give individuals the opportunity to buy into the same health insurance pool that State Employees participate in. There are also discussions to offer local governments this opportunity. Last December, the Winnebago County Board voted to support the AFL-CIO plan, knowing that it would save money with their employees. Perhaps the City Council could also add their support to this plan.

Instead of embracing these ideas, many middle class workers listen to the big business endorsed concept of Health Savings Accounts. All these do is switch more of the cost to the worker, and give those who make more money a better opportunity to get better health care. It doesn’t do anything about the juggernaut that the Health Insurance industry has created. This is why the Health Insurance industry supports the candidates who are against reforming Health Insurance and push the HSA’s. These are not the answer folks.

Bottom line, it’s time for middle class workers to stop being selfish and work together to change the system. Whether you are working in a union represented position or not, you can support the concept of Health Insurance reform. Wisconsin could be the first state to accomplish this with all of our support. We were a front runner on the issue of Worker’s Compensation, let’s show the country that we can be innovative and fresh.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hogwash and Nerds

It's Sunday night and life is slowly going back to normal. No more 9:30 strategy meetings at headquarters, no more lit drops, no more phone calls (I'm sure everyone is happy about that).

LC1 pretty much summed up the experience of working on Gordon Hintz's campaign, but, I thought it was time to add my thoughts---especially since a union bud in Madison begged us to post (are you happy now Mitchell?).

I'm still amazed that we started campaigning with Gordon over two years ago, taking on what seemed like a Goliath candidate. A guy who had been in office for 17 years that everyone seemed to like (or so it seemed). I personally didn't think he was that awful (hey he wasn't John Gard, OK). He was a little out of touch with his constituents and an entrenched, wrong thinking, Republican. That is until the day he kicked us out of his office because we didn't agree with his view on TABOR and we didn't thank him for all the wonderful things he had done for state employees. Representing his constituents was his job for crying out loud, I sure don't get thanked everytime I do something at work. That was a declaration of war to the Labor Chicks!

Anyhow, two years ago, Gordon Hintz ran a campaign that spent way less than $50,000 and we were proud of the showing he made in that race against the entrenched encumbent (EE) and two other candidates (Green Party and Independent). He did well enough to show the "EE" that he may not be as secure as he wanted to be. We still wonder if that entered into EE's decision not to run (HMMMMM.....).

Well, two years later, money in this Assembly campaign was ridiculous! I never imagined that we would be involved in a race where the candidates spent at least a quarter of a million dollars----on an Assembly campaign. That of course includes all the input from WMC and "All Children Matter". I give Gordon credit for not accepting special interest money this time around. That's despite the special interest money flowing to help the Pung-Leschke campaign. What that means is that the money he raised to run against WMC and all the other nasty groups came from donations from many community members, along with supporters and friends from around the state and country. The chair of the Winnebago County Republicans, Michelle Litjens, had a problem with a fundraiser Gordon had in Milwaukee, complaining about "out of district money". Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black Michelle? "Your girl" (your words, not mine), Julie, had money coming from Michigan based groups. To you Michelle, I give you a big dose of your own HOGWASH!!!!

The other thing that was so inspiring was the number of community members who volunteered to help Gordon's campaign in one way or another. The folks coming for the lit drop the last weekend before the election was awesome! There were folks from all types of backgrounds and ages, kids and retired folks. You'd see folks all over the city that weekend dropping lit house to house, and it was Gordon's stuff! The only sign of the challenger's campaign that weekend was two guys in a red Toyota pickup. Hey, you gotta walk up to the houses, not just drop off the lit in newspaper boxes and behind mailbox flags. Didn't you see it all piled up, no one was looking at it.

One more thing that LC1 forgot to Stew Rieckman of the Northwestern...

You must have taken your happy pills before writing todays column, how things have changed since you called Gordon a nerd a few weeks ago. All I can say to that is, don't ever forget, in the movie "Revenge of the Nerds", the nerds won and so did we!

In the meantime, it was great to do whatever I wanted this weekend and not feel guilty about what I should be doing on the campaign (Craig, you brainwashed us). After January 3, I'm looking forward to walking into Gordon's office and putting my feet on his desk (just once). Oh ya, and being able to visit offices on lobby day that have Donkeys instead of stupid Elephants. My dream come true.

Almost Monday.... back to the real world.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Buh bye

Oh, and a big post-election buh bye to John Gard. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. We won't miss you.

Maybe Daddy can get you a job on the farm, since you are just a Lena farm boy. Bet you'll miss that extra $88 per day in per diems.


We're tired but happy

The Labor Chicks are really tired. After 2 1/2 years of helping Gordon Hintz with his campaign to be our representative for the 54th Assembly District in the legislature, we can proudly say we helped him win--with 62% of the vote! He won in every single ward in the city. The Labor Chicks had a lot of adventures in the 2 weeks they were off work to help with GOTV on his campaign.

We now know where all the network television stations in Green Bay are located after our trip up there a couple of weeks ago to bring ads to them (and write really big checks) to put on Green Bay network TV for Gordon. Keep in mind, not everyone has cable (the candidate and now Representative-elect does not have cable).

I have gained a new respect for pollworkers, as both the Labor Chicks had to wait around for vote totals at a ward on election night and report them to Madison. We were there until 10PM. The pollworkers were nowhere near ready to leave when we left. They were all grandpa and grandma age and we salute their dedication to keeping our democracy running. Let me just say, I will never vote absentee again after seeing the trouble it causes. My advice--go to your City Hall and vote early.

We also had the experience earlier on election night of being called to the UW Oshkosh campus voting ward to help with registration of new voters. Nearly 1800 people voted on campus. It was really inspiring to see all those new voters waiting in line to cast their first ever ballot.

I should charge Gordon's campaign for new shoes for all the literature I dropped at people's doors. I felt he might win when the Labor Chicks were making member-to-member phone calls to find out how AFL-CIO folks might vote and for the most part, union people from all different kinds of unions were saying they were voting for Gordon. I didn't want to jinx it by even thinking or saying he might win out loud, so I kind of kept it to myself.

At about a week out from election day, the opponent's treasurer called it quits on her campaign. It was after that happened, combined with the negative ads and literature being put out by special interest groups such as All Children Matter and WMC, that we heard reports of people removing their Julie Pung Leschke signs from their yards and some of them put up Gordon Hintz signs. My personal feeling is that WMC and all the special interest ads created a backlash effect and helped her demise as a candidate along.

Of course, she was no help to her campaign. (This is the "meow" portion of this post) Not to denigrate mothers, but perhaps she should have not concentrated so much on telling people she's a mom to four boys and actually done a little research into the issues. It never came up as an issue in the campaign per se, but she continually kept saying how much she loves the University in Oshkosh--yet she sent 3 of her 4 boys (one is still in high school) out of state to private universities. Apparently her love isn't that genuine.

Now, I'm sure she is a perfectly nice woman. She just shouldn't have been running as a candidate. Perhaps she should concentrate on community service work or her music.

The Labor Chicks made a lot of new friends while we were helping Gordon. We want to say "hi" to Craig, Glenn, Nathan, Ian, Erin, Marcia, Erika, Elias, Dan, Jef and everyone else who helped on his campaign. You guys helped keep me personally going. I love you guys! I'm sure we'll be seeing you all at Gordon's swearing in on January 3, 2007. I wouldn't miss it for the world. A special thanks to Craig, Glenn and Nathan for taking off of work from their jobs at the Capitol to come and help us here. We could not have won without you. Thanks for teaching us more about running a political campaign. The Labor Chicks attended Camp Wellstone, but learning and doing, as we all know, are two different things.

Well, soon it will be time for candidates to take out nomination papers for Oshkosh Common Council positions (like, December 1). I hope I am rested by then--because we start all over to help a friend get re-elected to City Council!

One more thing--thank you to Gordon, from the bottom of my heart for putting yourself out there and running to represent us. It's been a long campaign and we're all tired. I am sad that we're sending you away to Madison where we won't see you all that often, but happy that you will be representing our interests. We're glad to have become personal friends with you and we hope you won't forget us while you're there.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why political involvement matters to union people

I've been reading stuff on other blogs, comments on stories lately about why unions involve themselves in elections. There have been plenty of other rude comments about unions on them as well, but I won't get into that now. Perhaps another time.

Anyhow, for some of us who belong to unions, especially public employees, whomever is in political office often has a direct effect on what happens at our workplaces. For example, the Republicans in the state legislature (and beyond also) seem to think TABOR/TPA is the neatest thing since sliced bread. This sort of legislation directly threatens the way we do our jobs and provide services to the people of the state of Wisconsin. If there is less money or if there are less people to operate with, folks will be faced with longer lines at DMV offices (aren't they long enough already?), less books and research materials for students who attend school at our University system (while the students pay more and more for school), less people, money and equipment to maintain roads--well, you kind of get the picture. This kind of legislation hurts John and Jane Q. Public in many hidden ways that they may never see or think much about. Hence, the political involvement, at least on my part, to try and get people into office who will at least give a little thought to what effects passing legislation will have not only on the welfare of the general public but also it's effects on the employees who have to serve those people directly.

I'm not asking that our legislators to pander to unions, but keep in mind what benefits unions have fought and won for workers over the years that people take for granted. A few examples are: the 40 hour work week, 8 hour days, and child labor laws. People died for many of these rights. It's up to us to make sure that people who respect working people get elected to public office. We all have choices in our lives--some of us can't just sit on the sidelines any more and hope that good people get into elected office. We choose to continue the fight that our union brothers and sisters began as early as 1791 when Philadelphia carpenters went on strike to try and get a 10 hour working day.

When we fight--we win!

In solidarity,

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hey Oshkosh Northwestern, there are still local people involved in some 54th AD campaigns!

Like the Labor Chicks, for example. We have been involved with Gordon Hintz's campaign since 2004. We think he's a good guy and he should represent us in Madison. That's not just us as in organized labor talking, we mean it as citizens of Oshkosh also. We resent it when folks try to say that Madison is totally calling the shots, because they are not completely. Our opinion is if you don't want the impression that Madison is controlling the campaigns, get involved and be down there talking to the Madison folks (and the candidate himself) so that you as a local citizen have input into their thought process. Don't be lazy like so many folks and an armchair quarterback, as Stew Rieckman of the Oshkosh Northwestern, calls himself. We admit, that's fun, but not terribly productive. The only way we can change what's going on down in our state capital is to get involved and make your whining count!

In Craig Trost's (Gordon's campaign manager) defense--we like him. He's a sensible young man who actually does listen to local input and tries, we believe, to fit that input into what the campaign is doing. He went to school here and does know what's going on in our city, believe it or not.

Now get up off of that sofa and get your butt down to our headquarters (683 North Main Street) and volunteer to help--there are only 3 weeks left and we need you to help us counter what's going on down in our state legislature!


We support labor candidates

The Labor Chicks went on a little road trip last evening to attend the 55th Assembly District Candidate Forum in Menasha at UW Fox Valley. The folks under the microscope for the evening were current 55th AD Representative Dean Kaufert (R) and his challenger, Fox Valley Labor Council President Mark Westphal (D). Yeah, it's out of our district, but our local does have members who are in that district and therefore we have more than a passing interest in what happens in this race.

We got there a little late, so we missed any opening salvos that may have been fired during the intro section of the forum. We did get a couple of our questions answered during the forum, which made us happy. Not that we didn't know what the answers would probably be from the candidates, but sometimes it's fun to see what they're going to say--this is live and you never know what's gonna happen.

Well, on to the issues:

On health care--

Dean Kaufert (DK from now on): he took credit for creating Family Care. This Labor Chick did check on this and he actually was an author of that bill.

Mark Westphal (MW): everyone deserves affordable health care and we should have some form of universal health care.

On raising the minimum wage--

MW: Thinks raising the minimum wage is OK, but believes more work should be done to make wages more family supporting.

DK: has voted for increases in the minimum wage and says that he believes people should be paid more and treated fairly.

Should there be a mandatory 15 minute break for every 2 hours of work?

DK: Doesn't think that businesses should be forced to provide breaks after 2 hours of work.

MW: Workers are losing rights at an amazing rate. Worker protections have been rolled back and workers have been abused.

Indian gaming and video gambling macines--

MW: Doesn't think that video gaming is a problem. Doesn't think that there should be a big expansion of Indian gaming.

DK: Thinks we have enough gambling and casinos in Wisconsin.

Who should control the UW System-- the Board of Regents or the state legislature? (a Labor Chick question)--

MW: Make sure the Board of Regents keeps control of the UW System.

DK: Says we don't need to change the way we do things now and keep the Board of Regents in control of the UW System.

Should state spending be tied to the rate of personal income growth (formerly known as TABOR/TPA--also a Labor Chicks question)--

DK: Likes TABOR/TPA and tieing state budget growth to the rate of personal income growth. Doesn't believe that putting limits on state and local spending would cause cuts in services.

MW: Does not support TABOR in any form. Says it makes problems for local and county governments. Would like to see legislature create plan to stimulate growth.

Concealed weapons--pro or con?

MW: Opposes.

DK: Supports.

Campaign finance and ethics reform--

DK: Supports SB 1 (and says he voted for it!) and elimination of partisan caucuses.

MW: Claims DK voted against SB1 (he's right, DK did vote against it!). Says DK does one thing but says another on ethics and campaign finance reform. MW says he supports ethics and campaign finance reform.

Death penalty and civil unions bills--

MW: against both bills.

DK: for both bills.

Harley Davidson expanding out of state and union vote on contract at Harley Davidson--

DK: Labor and management need to work together. Blames DNR for driving Menards warehouse and distribution centers expansion out of Wisconsin (near Eau Claire).

MW: Companies are being driven away by rising costs of providing health care to employees. Believes disagreement between Menards and DNR could have been worked out.

Nelson Knowles Stewardship Program--

MW: We need to preserve wetlands and natural areas.

DK: Says initiative was to cap fund. Thinks there should be a limit to how much land we set aside as natural areas.

Winnebago County Sales Tax--

DK: Against. Says county should prioritize spending and that the sales tax initiative is not well thought out.

MW: The reason Winnebago County feels this is necessary is because of the levy freeze put on local municipalities by the state legislature. The county is trying to preserve the services they provide to the citizens of the county.

Anti bullying legislation (as it relates to schools)--

MW: in favor of legislation to help teachers.

DK: would support some form of legislation. Won't deal with Frank Lasee's arming teachers proposal.

How do you control taxes and balance the budget?

DK: The legislature won't raise your taxes. They should prioritize spending.

MW: Increase tax revenue by shifting the tax burden around so that average citizens are not footing the tax bill and make businesses shoulder their fair share of the tax burden.

What can be done to eliminate the highly partisan atmostphere in the legislature and Wisconsin?

MW: Campaign finance reform and ethics reform could help here. We need to clean up state government and restore our image. We need to elect people who will do what's right for the citizens of the district even if it goes against the party line.

DK: Treat others with respect. Stay away from negative campaigning. Campaign finance reform and ethics reform could help clean up the problem.

We would like to thank the League of Women Voters for putting on this forum. You've read what the candidates said on these issues. Now get out there and help whoever you can and VOTE on November 7! We know who we're supporting and sadly, we cannot vote in this race. But our members can.

Our next report will be after the 54th Assembly District candidate forum in Oshkosh, which occurs at 7PM Thursday, October 19, at Oshkosh's City Hall, 4th floor. Be there with your questions!


Friday, September 08, 2006

It's primary time!

Soon we'll all know who the contenders are for the upcoming November elections. We like the following candidates:

Gordon Hintz running in the 54th Assembly District
Peg Lautenschlager for Wisconsin Attorney General
Jim Doyle for Governor (even though we have misgivings about him, we still support him)
Mark Westphal running in the 55th Assembly District
Susan Garcia Franz in the 56th Assembly District
Richard Spanbauer in the 53rd Assembly District (we know, he's a Republican--but he's better than the incumbent)
Joe Manske for Winnebago County District Attorney

and even though it's not in our Congressional District, we like Steve Kagen for Congress.

Let the games begin!


Wal Mart is still evil

Well, it is. Here's an article about Wal Mart and their ties to financing conservative organizations:

"Conservatives help Wal-Mart and Vice-Versa", from the New York Times

You can't make this stuff up.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

WCLC/AFSCME Locals 579 and 48 Candidate Forum is on the air!

The Winnebago County Labor Council and AFSCME Locals 579 and 48 hosted a Candidates Forum on July 25, 2006 in Oshkosh. Invited were candidates for the 53rd, 54th, 55th and 56th Assembly Districts in Wisconsin. The forum was taped by the Labor Council secretary and the 53rd and 54th AD forum is currently playing on Oshkosh Cable Access channel 2. Air times for the rest of the week are:

8/26: 1:30 and 7:00PM
8/27: 9:00PM

In addition, there are other interviews, etc. of candidates also running on cable access. The Labor Chicks encourage everyone to become an informed voter--it's your civic duty!


Rep. Steve Nass-ty has a new target

State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) has found a new enemy--Workers Independent News, a radio and print news service which highlights issues important to working families and union members. What is this guy's problem? He just doesn't seem to think that issues like academic freedom and exposure to other's ideas is a good thing. What a boring world it would be if we all thought the same thoughts. What would we have to talk about?

Read more about it here:

You will notice the Labor Chicks have added a link to Workers Independent News on their site. Heh heh, Rep. Nass, come and get us!


Monday, July 24, 2006

We're not dead-we're baaaack!

The Labor Chicks have been extremely busy since May, so they have not had time to breathe, let alone post on their blog. We will be posting more stuff soon. We just returned from the AFSCME Council 24 state convention. Perhaps we'll post some stuff about it.

Have to run now,

Friday, April 28, 2006

The sleep of the damned

After a marathon legislative session last night in which the Wisconsin State Assembly narrowly passed a much watered down version of TABOR, our assembly representatives are surely sleeping the sleep of the damned. I'm sure that when a lot of citizens of Wisconsin awoke this morning to hear the news that the assembly had spent another vampire session in the dark of night passing bad legislation, a lot of folks yelled out, "Damn those legislators!" all over the state. I personally yelled so loud that I scared one of my cats.

It will be the State Senate's turn next week. Oshkosh's State Senator, Carol Roessler is still on the fence on TABOR. C'mon Carol, make up your mind. In the words of George W Bush, "You're either with us or against us". If you want to help Carol make up her mind, call her at 888-736-8720.

This Labor Chick's opinion is that if legislators such as Frank Lasee, who believes that TABOR is necessary because state legislators can't control themselves personally to not spend taxpayer's money, (therefore we need to have controls permanently put in place in the state constitution to in essence, let us do their job for them) should let us help them along in their quest to not spend our money and let us kick them out of office in the voting booth. Why is it that those folks don't want to do the job we hired them to do? Is it perhaps because they would rather be up to other mischief, such as attempting to write discrimination into the state constitution, forcing women into unwanted pregnancies by attempting to curtail their access to birth control, and letting people carry weapons into places of worship and libraries? What the hell is wrong with these people? Are these really the folks who represent the prevailing opinions of the residents of the state of Wisconsin? If it is, maybe I better find a new state to live in, because that's just scary.

Rant over, for only the moment.......


Friday, April 21, 2006

To TABOR or not to TABOR, that is the question...and other rants

It's kind of fun watching the Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature fight over who has the better TABOR/TPA proposal these days. The really unfortunate part is that if they're not careful, someone is going to get hurt, most likely public employees, the whipping boy of the State Legislature. We are encouraged that two of them, state Sens. Sheila Harsdorf and Ron Brown have sort of come to their senses and said, whoa, maybe we shouldn't put this bad legislation into the state constitution. That being said, it's still bad legislation no matter what way it's put into effect--but at least it's easier to get rid of if it's not in the state constitution.

Our opinion is that TABOR/TPA in the form of a constitutional amendment is a cop-out by the elected officials in the State Legislature. They were put there to do a job and part of that job is to reconcile the state budget every couple of years. If they don't wanna do it any more, they can be replaced by new people who want to.

If you out there in blog-land want to help fight this, call your state Senator and Assembly person ASAP and register your opinion on TABOR/TPA. It's going to be coming up for a vote in the next week or so. Oshkosh's state Sen. Carol Roessler has been an apparent fence-sitter for a couple of years on TABOR. Either that or she just doesn't want to share her opinion with her constituents. It's time to push her off that fence so that at least we know which way she's going to vote. I think she owes us that much. I mean, how long does it take to read this stuff and understand what a mistake it would be to lead us down the potholed road Colorado is now on?

One more rant--if the legislators of Wisconsin are so concerned about how much tax money is being spent every year, why don't they vote to stop the per diems they can claim just for going to work every day? I don't get the chance at $44 or $88 extra dollars every day just for showing up at work. It wouldn't be much money that would be restored to the state budget if they gave them up, but sometimes it's the symbolism that's important. That and rewrite the legislation restoring tax fairness to the state of Wisconsin so that the tax burden is not increasingly put upon individual/family taxpayers. Corporations should pay their fair share and not be able to get around it with all the loopholes in the tax laws that are out there.

You can find your state legislator's email/phone numbers here:


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Godfather" of the 2nd Assembly District

The Labor Chicks took some of their personal vacation time to attend the previously mentioned TABOR forum at UW Fox Valley on April 11. One of the featured speakers was the "godfather" of TABOR in Wisconsin, 2nd Assembly District Representative Frank Lasee. It was apparent to this Labor Chick that the "godfather" seems intent on putting out a hit on employees who work for state, counties and municipalities all across Wisconsin. Mr. Lasee is a real piece of work and I believe he showed everyone in the room how much he would like to lord the power the voters of the 2nd Assembly district have granted him by putting him into office over all of the rest of the good people of the state. I have to give him this much, he surely knows how to offend a wide range of people all at once just by opening his mouth. I tried pointing out to him after the forum, before he could get away, that the people who will be hurt by this ill-conceived legislation, are ordinary working people who genuinely care about their jobs and the people they serve. Can't blame a girl for trying, but I believe what I said to him won't matter much in the long run. His mind is made up and there's no getting any new ideas in there.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006 more thing on Library Workers

"I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group. ... You think they're just sitting at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn't mess with them." Michael Moore

National Library Workers Day

Today, April 4th, is National Library Workers Day - a day to celebrate the fact that "Libraries Work Because We Do".

I can remember over a decade ago, a small group of library support staff (those without their Masters degree) from around the country were discussing the fact that there was a day for Nurse's and "Administrative Professionals" other professions, but, nothing for Library Workers. This group of "Support Staff" activists along with the now out of print "Library Mosaics" magazine did something about it and held the first Library Workers Day. Today, the American Library Association recognizes the Tuesday of National Library Week as Library Workers Day and celebrates all of those who work in libraries and make information available to all, no matter how rich or poor you are.

Just another example of how a small group of people can make a change!

What does this have to do with Unions you might ask. Well, AFSCME International is the first union to have a committee for Library Workers and as a result of that Committee's work, is one of the major sponsors of Library Workers Day. Here are a couple of links to the AFSCME website and the ALA website about Library Workers Day.

In the meantime, go to your library and thank your favorite worker there and help Celebrate National Library Week!

UW Oshkosh Polk Library will be holding it's 2nd Used Book Sale on Wednesday April 5 in conjunction with National Library Week. Stop by and see what kind of interesting items are available for sale, as low as 50 cents a piece! For more information, go to


Monday, April 03, 2006


TABOR Fight Enters Final Month
Source: John Keckhaver, Wisconsin Council on Children & Families

While the legislative session is winding down for the year, the new version of TABOR, dubbed the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, will likely still be voted on, either in a limited floor period in late April or early May, or in an extraordinary session. With legislators wanting to get home for the upcoming campaign season we believe the limited floor period is when the Taxpayer Protection Amendment will be brought to the floor of both houses for a vote.
That means we're entering the final month or so in this fight against one of the worst policy ideas to hit the state in a long time. A lot of people believe that a defeat this session could spell the end of TABOR in Wisconsin. They may well be right.

A number of legislators are holding information sessions or listening sessions in their districts over the next month. They need to hear about the ill-effects such a draconian constitutional amendment would have on Wisconsin, on critical social services that impact children and families around the state, on job-creation and workforce development efforts, and on our education and health care systems.

We will send out notices whenever we learn of new hearings or listening sessions in your area that you can attend and that you can spread the word about. Here is a couple we just learned of:

Upcoming Forum in Fox Valley on Newest TABOR Proposal
When: Tuesday, 11 April 2006 @ 12:10 pmWhere: UW-Fox Valley Student Union, 1478 Midway Road, Menasha, WIWith Whom: Rep. Frank Lasee and UW-Fox Valley Dean Jim Perry will present alternate views and there will be time for audience questions and participation. There will be a moderator.What you can do: Show up and ask the hard questions that have yet to be answered by TPA proponents such as: what do you think is going to happen to Medicaid access for the elderly and the poor, what is going to happen to the cost of a UW education, and so on.

As always, for a quick look at TABOR/TP talking points, the Council's testimony given at the first public hearing on TP, along with other information on the proposals, click here:

SEPAC Note: You can also read AFSCME's testimony and learn more about TABOR / TPA by visiting the SEPAC website at:

Friday, March 31, 2006

First Amendment RIghts

It's been an interesting week in very many ways, and not a very good Friday I might add. Hopefully the weekend will make things a bit better. Anyhow....

The good people of the City of Oshkosh are getting some interesting Civics lessons lately. How else will our First Amendment Rights be tested and debated? First there are the religious issues with the "Christmas Box Angel" in Menominee Park. Now we've got freedom of speech being tested in the blogging issue. It will be interesting to watch this roll out......

Lots of other things to talk about, maybe more this weekend


Freedom of speech on blogs

The Oshkosh blog scene is all atwitter today about a lawsuit filed in Winnebago County (and now transferred to Fond du Lac) concerning naughty things a poster put on someone's blog. As a staunch supporter of first amendment rights, this is worrying to me. Would it not have been better to simply ask for the offending posts to be removed? Certainly the person named in the posts has a right to be upset--what woman wouldn't be? However, censorship is not the answer. My goodness, if we took the approach that every time something uncomplimentary or usavory is published in the paper and the offended party filed a lawsuit to have the paper shut down, we wouldn't have any newspapers in the country publishing any more. Particularly in the case of our Dear Leader, Bush, who would have them all toe the line and only print cheery articles that only give good news and ignore what's really going on in the world. But I digress.

Certainly the posts are libelous to the woman named in them, but, I hardly think that shutting down one blogger's site is going to cure the problem. Someone else will undoubtedly take up the shut down blogger's cause and well, there you go.


Union busting at it's finest

The following article from the New York Times of March 31, 2006, details the dirty deal that Delphi wants to pull on it's workers in it's impending bankruptcy hearings. They are grossly misusing the bankruptcy laws to try and get out of their negotiated contracts with the UAW. Our hope is the court tells them to stick this where the sun don't shine. If this is allowed to get through the courts, are any union contracts safe?

Read on....sorry for the length.


Delphi to Ask Court to Void Union Deals

Published: March 31, 2006
Filed at 10:04 a.m. ET

DETROIT (AP) -- Auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. said it will ask a federal bankruptcy court on Friday to void its labor contracts as part of a controversial restructuring that calls for layoffs of up to 8,500 salaried workers and the sale or closure of 21 of its 29 U.S. plants.
The moves carry huge risks: It may lead to a strike by unionized workers at Delphi that could cripple the U.S. auto industry and push General Motors Corp., its former parent and largest customer, closer to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
GM accounted for around half of Delphi's $29 billion in revenues in 2004. The world's largest automaker already is struggling with declining U.S. market share and spiraling costs and is in the midst of its own restructuring. But a strike would hurt other companies and smaller suppliers as well, since Delphi supplies every major automaker, including Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.
Delphi, the largest U.S. auto supplier, is filing a separate motion asking the court to reject some unprofitable contracts with GM. Delphi also said it will freeze its hourly and salaried pension programs later this year and move employees into a defined-contribution plan.
''We are clearly focused on Delphi's future,'' Delphi Chairman and CEO Robert S. ''Steve'' Miller said in a statement. ''Emergence from the Chapter 11 process in the U.S. requires that we make difficult, yet necessary, decisions.
The United Auto Workers responded by saying Delphi was misusing the bankruptcy procedure in a way that should be ''a concern for every American'' and had never been serious about negotiating with its unions.
Troy-based Delphi filed for bankruptcy in October. The company said it intends to emerge from bankruptcy during the first half of 2007. Delphi said it wants to exit certain product lines and sell or close noncore plants by 2008.
Delphi's motion to void its labor contracts was widely expected; the company had delayed similar motions three times before. The company says it was saddled with uncompetitive labor agreements when it was spun off from GM in 1999 and wants to cut the wages of its 34,000 U.S. hourly workers as part of its restructuring.
Delphi, GM and its unions spent months negotiating but were unable to reach a wage agreement. Under its most recent proposal, which was rejected by the UAW and other unions, Delphi proposed dropping pay for current hourly workers to $22 per hour from $27 per hour through September 2007, then to $16.50 an hour, but that would include a one-time payment of $50,000.
The UAW criticized Delphi's filing on Friday.
''Delphi's misuse of the bankruptcy procedure to circumvent the collective bargaining process and slash jobs and wages and drastically reduce health care, retirement and other hard-won benefits or eliminate them altogether is a travesty and a concern for every American,'' the union said in a statement.
GM said Delphi's motion to reject its GM contracts was a common practice for companies in Chapter 11.
''We disagree with Delphi's approach but we anticipated that this step might be taken,'' Rick Wagoner, GM's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. ''GM expects Delphi to honor its public commitments to avoid any disruption to GM operations.''
Delphi said it plans to keep negotiating with GM and its unions even though the motion has been filed, and some analysts have said the added urgency could help the parties reach a deal.
Judge Robert Drain has scheduled a hearing on Delphi's request for May 9-10 and won't decide whether to void Delphi's contracts until after that hearing. If Drain does decide to allow Delphi to void its contracts and Delphi takes that step, the UAW and other unions have threatened to strike.
Delphi said it also plans to cut 25 percent of its salaried work force, or around 8,500 workers, including up to 40 percent of its corporate officers. Delphi said that measure should save $450 million per year.
The company has identified eight U.S. plants that are considered critical to its U.S. operations. They are located in Brookhaven, Miss; Clinton, Miss.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kokomo, Ind.; Lockport, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y.; Warren, Ohio; and Vandalia, Ohio. Delphi said those plants will focus on product lines such as safety features, electronics, diesel and gas powertrains and climate control products.
Twenty-one other plants that do not make core products -- including those that make brakes and chassis, instrument panels, door modules and steering components -- will be sold or closed. Delphi said it will provide further details on those plants in its filing, but they include plants in Dayton, Ohio, Saginaw and Flint.
''We believe many of these product lines have the potential to compete successfully under new ownership that has the resources and capital to invest in them,'' Delphi President and Chief Operating Officer Rodney O'Neal said in a statement.
Delphi said it will ask the court to reject unprofitable contracts with GM. The initial motion covers around half of Delphi's annual volume with GM. Delphi said the judge is expected to consider the motion on May 12, which gives both companies time to continue negotiating prices.
''We simply cannot continue to sell products at a loss,'' Miller said.
In addition, Delphi sent a letter to GM Friday that will begin the process of resetting terms for more than 425 commercial agreements that have expired since Delphi filed for bankruptcy. Those terms will be negotiated outside of bankruptcy court.
Delphi also said it will freeze pension benefits for hourly workers on Oct. 1 and for salaried workers on Jan. 1 and will replace them with plans that require employee contributions with company matches. Workers will still have access to any accrued benefits.
The company may ask for relief from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the Internal Revenue Service and possibly Congress so that when it emerges from bankruptcy protection it won't immediately owe billions of dollars to its underfunded pension plan. The company expects it will take at least six years to fully fund its pension plan.
Despite unions' fury at Delphi's wage proposals, Delphi said it is encouraged by its progress in negotiations so far and hopes to reach an agreement outside of court. GM's cooperation in a settlement is key, since Delphi would depend on GM, its largest customer, to supplement its wage offer or provide benefits. For example, in Delphi's latest proposal, wages would fall to $12.50 an hour if they weren't supplemented by GM, the UAW said. GM has said a Delphi settlement could cost it between $5.5 billion and $12 billion.
Delphi, GM and the UAW did agree last week to a buyout offer for approximately 17,000 U.S. hourly workers. Under that agreement, workers will be eligible for a lump sum payment of $35,000 to retire. Also, up to 5,000 Delphi workers will be eligible to return to GM.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Russ Feingold, hero of the Republic

I know this has nothing to do with labor unions, but I just liked this story from the March 14th edition of "The Nation" online.


A Peculiar Politician
William Greider

Senator Russ Feingold is an embarrassment to the US Senate, which makes him an authentic hero of the Republic. The Wisconsin senator gets up and says out loud what half of the country is thinking and talks about every day. This President broke the law and lied about it; he trashed the Constitution and hides himself in the flag. Feingold asks: Shouldn't the Senate say something about this, at least express our disapproval? He introduces a resolution of censure and calls for debate.

Well, that tore it in the august chamber of lawmakers. Democrats scurried away like scared rats. And Republicans chortled at the thought. You want to censure our warrior President, the guy who defends us every day against terrorist attacks? Let's have a vote right now, the Republican leader demanded. Yuk, yuk.

The joke is obvious to everyone in the Washington club--politics trumps principle, especially when it is about something as esoteric as the Constitution. It's a nonstory, the club agrees, not a constitutional crisis.

The Washington Post runs an obligatory account on page 8, quoting Mr. Anonymous Democrat Strategist on the unwisdom of Feingold's gesture. The New York Times story on page 24 quotes the esteemed constitutional authority Dick Cheney. The House Republican leader (who replaced the corrupt House leader who resigned) denounces Feingold's resolution as "political grandstanding of the very worst kind." Like the Republican impeachment of Bill Clinton for fellatio in the White House? Go away, Feingold, let us get back to the people's business.

The real story--naturally overlooked by cynical editors--is that an honest truth-teller is loose in the fun house and disturbing the clowns. Man bites dog, senator defends Constitution.

Feingold has a reputation for such quaint deviations--a naïf who voted against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. On principle! How naïve is that? He talks like he might run for President, yet he seems tone-deaf to the artful resonances of power politics--the cutesy games insiders play and the press cherishes. Hey, what is this Constitution thing anyway?

The senator is peculiar in this era of decaying democracy. There was a time, believe it or not, when his type was a familiar presence in the Senate. I think of Sam Ervin of North Carolina, a conservative Democrat on most matters but always a lion on the Constitution. Ervin is remembered for his heroic role in the investigation of Watergate. Old-timers remember that before Watergate, Senator Sam led courageous hearings on the illegal spying on civilians by the Army and FBI (Democratic scandals predating Nixon).

When liberalism was in flower, the Senate always included a good mix of such maverick voices. They were party loyalists but departed on principle in ways that sometimes kept the majority honest. Voted against the President's war in Vietnam and never let up. Ernest Gruening of Alaska, Wayne Morse of Oregon, Albert Gore Sr. of Tennessee. Phil Hart of Michigan was his own one-man reform party. George McGovern of South Dakota was another.

We might ask why the Republican Party has not produced a similar collection of independent thinkers. We might mourn the fact that pursuing a career in the Senate no longer seems compatible with stubborn self-directed character. The media, instead of kissing off Feingold as a dumb politician, might do a little honest reporting on the substance of what he is saying.

For the moment, however, let us celebrate the man. The club will try to shove him in a closet and forget his little unpleasantness ever happened. I hope they fail and other Dems are properly embarrassed. Amid scandals in high places, Senator Feingold is fresh air. The country should rise up and sing.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Colorado's politics aren't looking to bad these days!

Besides the obvious relationship with Colorado's TABOR experience and the attempts to pass TABOR/TPA in Wisconsin, the Laborchicks watch Colorado politics because of friends out there. One of them was pretty involved with the Dem. Campaigns out there in Fall '04, going so far as to get kicked out of a Bush event for sneaking in wearing a Kerry t-shirt. Gotta keep your eye on those retired librarians, you never know what they're going to do!

Anyhow, this is an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor....

Once-Republican Rockies now a battleground

By Josh Burek | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

DENVER – Streaks of blue are turning red-state Colorado as purple as its mountain majesties.
Liberal hues began to multiply in 2004, when Democrats seized control of the general assembly for the first time in 30 years. They intensified last fall, when voters loosened TABOR, a government- spending chastity belt long extolled by fiscal conservatives. This year, Colorado's color wheel is downright dizzying, as a bill to ban public smoking heats up the legislature.

This is Marlboro country?

The state's transformation from Rocky Mountain redoubt for conservative values to a proving ground for progressive policies is yielding more competitive elections here - and offering Demo- crats across the country a model for resurgence.

"We're probably the No. 1 battleground in the country," says pollster Floyd Ciruli, based in Denver. Democrats nationwide, he says, "are anxious to replicate what's going on out here."

What's going on is a flurry of victories for Democratic forces.

In 2004, despite a major voter- registration advantage for Republicans, and the popularity of President Bush, voters added two Democrats - brothers John and Ken Salazar - to its congressional delegation. That same fall, voters famous, or infamous, for parsimony approved $4.7 billion in transit funding, siding with Denver's Democratic mayor instead of the state's Republican governor. Democrats have been piling on victories ever since. Just last week, Senate Democrats passed a bill that would make driving without a seat belt a more serious crime. And this fall, Democrats have strong prospects to win back the governor's chair.

"The left has made substantial strategic strides," says John Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colo. But "that doesn't mean Colorado's voter base has changed."

To stage a comeback, he says, the state's fractured Republicans must decide whether to act more like Democrats, or less like them. "It's make-it-or-break-it time for the right here," he adds.

Elsewhere in the West, a swaying

It's a tipping point that spans the Continental Divide. In 1999, every state in the region - Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona - had a Republican governor. By the end of 2006, only Utah and Idaho may have one.

But the Democratic gains don't necessarily reflect broad conversion to liberal ideology. Instead, analysts see a backlash to years of GOP dominance. "It's not something fundamental that's changing so much as the far-right agenda that has pushed too far, and people in the West ... are pushing back," says Mark Cavanaugh, an analyst at Denver's Bighorn Center, a centrist policy group. "In the short term, we'll switch back and forth in this state."

The state's leftward lurch was immediately apparent to Denver native Ian Siparsky when hurricane Katrina blew him back home after five years in Louisiana. Taking time out from his job as a barista at "ink! Coffee" in Denver's Tech Center, he explains the changes he's seen. "It's become more liberal in aspects of health," he says, citing the antismoking bill - which he opposes. The state is still fiscally conservative, he adds, but the growing number of young people in Denver is helping progressive politics blossom.

Analysts credit an influx of independent voters with helping the state's political pendulum swing so freely. One-third of the electorate is new since TABOR was enacted in 1992, notes Mr. Ciruli.

"The state is full of informed, unaffiliated voters," says Mr. Cavanaugh. Colorado voters, he says, are "not driven by bumper-sticker-like messages."

Ciruli points out other factors. The 2001 recession, he says, hit Colorado particularly hard and pulled the political center of gravity away from issues like tax cuts and spending limits, and toward funding gaps and government services. The growing clout of a quartet of liberal financiers has also been instrumental in pushing a liberal agenda.

Those developments have favored Democrats. But that doesn't mean Colorado voters are fickle - just pragmatic, Ciruli says. "They'll ignore party labels if an individual is moderate and offering something intriguing."

Image often trumps party loyalty

Sen. Ken Salazar (D) is a case in point. President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry (D) here by 5 percentage points in 2004, but Senator Salazar picked up enough Republican votes to win.

His triumph, though, may say less about partisan trends than about the primacy of image. "It's not always political policy that drives who's in office" in Western states, says Mr. Caldara. "It's often likability, personality, and imagery.

"Ken Salazar never wore a cowboy hat until he ran for Senate. Today, it's stapled onto his head," he adds.

He and others point out that Colorado and neighboring states retain their bedrock conservative values even as they embrace Democratic issues and leaders.

"Colorado's political identity is increasingly independent," says Colorado's poet laureate Mary Crow. "Independent with a strong conservative streak."

A state where the biggest issue is often access to water may be easily dismissed as having a bit part on the national political stage. But observers here insist that Colorado should command the spotlight.

"Colorado is a bellwether state - the bellwether state," says Caldara. "Every year, Colorado becomes more important to the national scene.

Indeed, this fall, Colorado is set to become the first state to offer citizens two ballot questions about gay marriage - on opposing sides of the debate.

Monday, March 13, 2006


(from the AFL_CIO NOW email update)

Wal-Mart’s ‘Everyday Low Vices’
It hurts the economy and the national quality of life if a company treats its employees badly. But when the largest retailer in the world does that, the consequences could be enormous. So it is with Wal-Mart, says T.A. Frank in “Everyday Low Vices,” an article in Washington Monthly, which is posted on the Alternet website.

Frank says the current generation of Wal-Mart bosses seems to have forgotten founder Sam Walton’s second tenet of doing business—make your employees feel like they’re part of the company. The first, of course, is to make as much money as you can.

As a testament to their loyalty to that tenet, five Walton family members are listed in the top 21 of Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s richest people.

It is Wal-Mart’s size, however, that makes it different from other bad employers, Frank says:

Wal-Mart really is different. In terms of annual revenue, Wal-Mart is nearly four times the size of The Home Depot, the country’s second-largest retailer, and almost twice the size of Target, Costco, and Sears (which includes Kmart) combined. That means the company exerts pressure on the entire sector to imitate its methods–including its treatment of workers. That would be less worrisome if Wal-Mart’s record didn’t stand out within the sector. But there are strong indications that, when it comes to how it treats its employees, Wal-Mart really is worse than the rest. The company finds itself in trouble because, since the death of Sam Walton 14 years ago, something ugly has happened to the way it does business.

It won’t be easy for Wal-Mart to change its ways, Frank says. But the post-Sam Walton generation may be forced to because of increased scrutiny and pressure from government, media and unions. We hope he’s right.

by James Parks

Friday, March 03, 2006

TABOR/TPA video online and Wisconsin Labor Today

Here's a link to a video online about the problems TABOR has caused in Colorado, put out by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. It's 13 minutes and may take a while to load on dial in accounts. It's worth it!

And speaking of TABOR, please tune into a new episode of "Wisconsin Labor Today", which begins next week on Oshkosh cable channel 2. The first airing is on Monday night at I believe, 8PM. The above TABOR video will be shown and Steve Dedow, president of the Winnebago County Labor Council and Sarah Rogers of the AFL-CIO will discuss TABOR.


Just thought this was interesting.....

From Hotline On Call---the National Journal's Daily Briefing on Politics

February 28, 2006
Mea Culpa: Unions And Turnout
Appearing at an AFL-CIO press conference to unveil its '06 political gameplan, AFSCME President and longtime Dem political strategist Gerald McEntee admitted yesterday afternoon that "progressives learned a hard lesson" in the '04 cycle: relying on paid turnout efforts is a recipe for failure.

Without being asked, McEntee, who also chairs the AFL's political cmte, stated bluntly that the millions of dollars Dems and liberals put into the 527s for GOTV in '04 were ineffective in the face of the GOP's volunteer effort. Or, as McEntee put it, the Dems' "stranger-to-stranger" ground game was "trounced" by the GOP's "neighbor-to-neighbor strategy."

McEntee is one of the brightest political minds in the labor movement and is credited with delivering Bill Clinton his first nat'l labor endorsement in '92. McEntee also engineered an early AFSCME endorsement for Howard Dean in '04. But he also was deeply engaged in the collective union/527 GOTV effort for John Kerry and the Dems in '04.

That he would, at the outset of the '06 cycle, so publicly and candidly admit their '04 grass-roots and strategic failure is striking. It is especially so in light of the post-election comments made by many involved with the 527s in '04. We're thinking of folks like ACT's Steve Rosenthal, himself an ex-AFL political director, who spent so much time praising their ground game as super-but-just-short-in-Ohio.

The AFL, which is holding its winter executive meeting at the luxurious Hotel Del Coronado just outside San Diego, also said it is committed to spending $40M on "education and mobilization" of its members this cycle, the most it has ever spent on a mid-term election. These funds will target GOV and SEN races in 21 states, keying particularly on those states that have both competitive races and significant union membership -- CA, FL, IA, MI, MN, NY, OH and PA. AFL political director Karen Ackerman said also that they will play in as many as 40 different House races across the country. Ackerman added that the unions which withdrew from the nat'l AFL will be allowed to join their effort at the state and local level.

Although AFL-CIO president John Sweeney made clear in his statement that they would aid "pro-worker" candidates and not just Dems, he admitted that he hoped the vast majority of the endorsements would be for Dems. And when asked which pro-worker GOPers they may back, Ackerman deflected the decision as being made at the local level. Similarly, she also made clear that the nat'l AFL had little interest in getting involved in primary contests -- with one exception.

All of organized labor, Ackerman said, was behind ex-Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D) in his bid to reclaim TX 28 from Rep. Henry Cuellar (D). Cuellar has raised the ire of labor and liberals for his vote in support of CAFTA and backing of other business-friendly measures. Asked about payback for the other so-called "CAFTA 15," Sweeney noted that while the nat'l AFL would not directly weigh in, that did not necessarily mean that these wayward Dems would not "be punished." [JONATHAN MARTIN]

Posted at 10:34 AM

From the UW Oshkosh Announcements list-Thanking Gregg

Please join us for an event with Representative Gregg Underheim...

UW Oshkosh's Coalition Against the Amendment is honored to recognize Representative Gregg Underheim for his bold stance against the proposed amendment that would ban civil unions and same-sex marriage. Representative Underheim was the only Republican to vote against the amendment in the state Assembly.

Rep. Gregg Underheim Thank You Event...

What: An opportunity for the Oshkosh campus and community to thank Rep. Underheim for voting against the proposed amendment. There will be a presentation of a large "Thank You" card signed by UWO students and faculty.

When: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 at 6:30 PM

Where: Reeve 201

Questions: Contact Coalition Against the Amendment,


The Coalition Against the Amendment is a non-partisan organization formed to fight the proposed constitutional amendment. The group consists of students from a variety of different student organizations on campus and is continuing to grow as people become more aware of this issue. They focus on education and outreach to the UW Oshkosh campus and community

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Duck just became more lame.....

Well, after my last posting about Rep. Underheim, I feel like I have to at least acknowlege that he did the right thing yesterday in voting against the civil unions and marriage ban.

It's interesting that his comment on Channel 2 was that something like this didn't belong in the State Consitution. I'll remind him of that when the vote for TABOR comes up, because that doesn't belong there either.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Quack, quack

An AFSCME Brother & Sister who attended AFSCME Lobby Day last week Wednesday gave the Laborchicks an update on our favorite Oshkosh Lame Duck State Representative, Gregg Underheim. Two years ago, when AFSCME members were visiting his office, he complained that they had not thanked him for everything he had done for them (ya, supporting the 5 month delay on a contract is real support). When he got tired of the questions about TABOR, he kicked the entire group out of his office. Several months later, he added insult to injury when he shunned the Labor Council and AFSCME Locals at a Candidates Forum. He had important work in Madison that night, yeah, attending a Republican Fundraiser. He paid dearly for that one, his empty chair on the video of the event on OCAT and the Northwestern endorsing Gordon Hintz in the Assembly race. Anyhow, this time, rather then meeting with his constituents, he was seen "ducking" out the back door of his office to avoid the questions. Probably didn't want to miss out on the fun at the WMC shindig at Monona Terrace.

Great work Gregg!

Winnebago County Labor Council Solidarity Dinner



6:00PM TILL 10:00PM

Special Guest Speaker TBA
(Past speakers have included: Peg Lautenschlager, Spencer Black, Marc Pocan, & David Newby)


Name: ________________________# of tickets______________________

Address: ______________________________________________________

Union: ________________________ Total Enclosed: $ _________________

Please Mail by April 18th, 2006 to WCLC 2211 Oregon Street, Suite A3 Oshkosh, WI 54901

Lipstick, pigs and TPA/TABOR

From WisPolitics:

Greater Wisconsin Committee: Radio Ad - "Taxpayer Protection Amendment" is New Name for Same Bad Idea

CONTACT: Michelle McGrorty 608/279-5199

The Greater Wisconsin Committee, an issues advocacy group, launched a radio campaign today warning listeners that the ill advised constitutional amendment once called “TABOR,” is back with a new name, the “Taxpayer Protection Amendment.”

The ad says that you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig, and is punctuated by pig grunts and squeals.

“This was a bad idea the first time around and this new version is just as bad. People will not be fooled,” said Michelle McGrorty, the group’s executive director. “Wisconsin doesn’t need gimmicks to protect taxpayers. We need legislators who are willing to stand up to special interests and make tough decisions about spending priorities” McGrorty said.

In Colorado, a similar proposal led to larger class sizes, decreased access to health care, job losses and devastating cuts to critical services. Recently, voters there passed a referendum that limits TABOR after experiencing its devastating effects.

Wisconsin newspapers, including the Beloit Daily News, Oshkosh Northwestern, Capital Times, Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Appleton Post Crescent and Marshfield News-Herald all have editorialized against the amendment.

The commercial says that local officials, seniors, nurses, firefighters, teachers and retirees are all opposed to this amendment, because they know it will squeeze and cut the delivery of vital services to the people who need them most.

“We just don’t need the amendment. We need legislators with the backbone to say no to wasteful spending,” said McGrorty.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee ran a radio and telephone campaign that helped defeat the original TABOR amendment in 2004. The organization also has run grassroots lobbying and media campaigns on raising the minimum wage, protecting lead paint poisoning victims, supporting state budget vetoes to protect school funding and freeze property taxes, and upholding the governor’s veto on concealed weapons.

The commercial started running statewide in targeted legislative districts on Tuesday, urging citizens to call their legislators and oppose the amendment. Greater Wisconsin declined to disclose how much it was spending or how long the spot will air.

Script Follows

“LIPSTICK” Greater Wisconsin Committee

They say you can put lipstick on a pig – but it’s still a pig. (SOUND EFFECT: OINK!)

An ill-advised constitutional amendment, once called TABOR, is back with a new name, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment.

But it has the same flaws as the earlier version, the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern says.

Taxpayers need protection, all right – protection from this same old bad idea.

The Beloit Daily News calls it “gimmicky nonsense.”

The Appleton Post-Crescent says it’s “an example of wrong-thinking government.”

Local officials, seniors, nurses, firefighters, teachers, and retirees are opposed to the amendment. They know it will cut vital services for the people who need them the most.

Wisconsin doesn’t need a constitutional amendment to hold down spending. It needs state legislators who will make some tough decisions.

Call your legislators today at 1-800-362-9472. Ask them to oppose the so-called Taxpayer Protection Amendment. (SOUND EFFECT: OINK!)

Paid for by Greater Wisconsin Committee

In memoriam (LC1 here)

On this Mardi Gras 2006, I would just like everyone to take a moment to remember those union workers who lost their lives last year in the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast. May their souls find eternal rest.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Forget D.C.—the Battle is in the States

This is the opening of an interesting article. The group ALEC, referred to in this one of the right wing groups that is pushing for the passage of TABOR Amendments and other anti-union/worker issues. The article talks about how unions and other groups are fighting back.

Speaking to a packed room of 2,000 state legislators and business lobbyists gathered in Grapevine, Texas, last fall, George W. Bush thanked the crowd for its work on behalf of the conservative agenda. He wasn't talking about work they'd done on Capitol Hill, but about their collaboration to push the corporate agenda forward in statehouses across the country. The meeting was the 32nd annual gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a membership association for conservative lawmakers. As its chairman, Georgia State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, said of the president's speech: "It was like the governor of a state talking to his legislative leaders." This is the critical point: The highest echelons of the conservative movement and corporate America treat state legislators not as members of 50 different institutions, but as a single set of leaders who can be mobilized on a national basis. Recognizing this reality, the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) was formed in fall 2005 to create a counterforce to the right in statehouses across the country. Supported by groups like MoveOn and the Center for American Progress, along with unions like SEIU, AFSCME, the AFL-CIO and the Steelworkers, PLAN is working with state legislators across the country to move both a united agenda and strategic plan to take on ALEC and its allies throughout the country

View the entire article at:

Municipal Collective Bargaining Under Attack-Please Help

Senate Labor Committee Moving Forward With Bills Undermining MERA

On Wednesday, March 1 the Senate Committee on Labor and Election Process Reform will take public testimony on two bills that threaten to undermine Wisconsin’s Municipal Employment Relations Act (MERA), which has maintained labor peace for decades. The two pieces of legislation, Assembly Bill 268 and Assembly Bill 857, were authored by Representative Mark Gottlieb (R-Port Washington) and gut collective bargaining rights for public employees.

What Do These Bills Do?

AB 268 – Allows employers to privatize public services without bargaining the effects of privatization with public employees.

AB 857 – Caps final offers to arbitrators in the collective bargaining process at a level equal to or less than revenue limits placed on local governments. Essentially, if this bill became law, when combined with a property tax freeze and/or TABOR, it would create a Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) on all public employees.

What Can You Do?

Contact your State Senator and tell them to…, oppose AB 268 and AB 857 and any and all proposed changes to Wisconsin’s Municipal Employment Relations Act.


If you are available come to the hearing Wednesday, March 1 at 1:00 pm in room 400 Southeast of the State Capitol, and testify or register against AB 268 and AB 857.

How Do I Contact My Legislators?

Call the legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472 and leave a message for your State Senator.


go to and click on ‘Who Represents Me’ to get their email address or direct Capitol office phone line

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Comments on Labor Council Endorsements-LC2

I just spent the last few minutes reading the comments on other blogs regarding the Labor Council endorsements. I wasn’t surprised. As expected, there are some that are having “issues” with the endorsements.

The Labor Council endorsed Mark Madison, a progressive candidate who is in favor of the Five Rivers development. I might add that Mark is a member of AFSCME, the largest group of represented employees in the City of Oshkosh and Winnebago County. But, that is not the only basis for his endorsement. There seems to be a belief out there that to be a labor supporter, or should I say “the working man’s candidate”, you have to be tight fisted and against progress. B.S.! Development creates jobs…. construction of the magnitude of Five Rivers will give work to many in the trades. It is important that we have individuals on the City Council that understand the value of development and the importance of using contractors who are union. There were several of the candidates that didn’t understand the concept of prevailing wage, and even after having it explained couldn’t say whether or not they supported it. This included one of the other candidates who is a union member. Mark also understands TIF districts…which I can’t say is true of many of the other candidates. Folks want to believe that it is the TIF districts that drive up the property taxes, but this is not true.

Some of the other candidates that we interviewed were willing to look at Privatization as an option, and several didn’t understand the issues involved with contracting out services. It was obvious that Mark had “done his homework” on labor issues and also understands the issues within the city.

There is concern that we did not endorse another candidate who is a union member. It was pretty clear to me that this candidate did not understand the issues as they relate to organized labor, or at least that was not reflected in his answers. My suggestion is that perhaps, if you are a loyal union member, you should attend you local meetings (if you aren’t) and learn about current labor issues. I was also concerned about the “parochialism” displayed by this candidate. We should only care about Oshkosh residents, we shouldn’t be concerned about trying to get folks from other places to come and visit Oshkosh. With that kind of attitude, we may as well give up on any kind of development other than building a really big toilet along 41 so people can make a rest stop between Fond du Lac and Appleton.

There is discussion on several other Blogs about Paul Esslinger not attending the meeting. Neither did Dennis McHugh. Dennis McHugh did not respond to his invitation. Paul Esslinger wanted all the union members to be present at the meeting. The endorsement process does not work that way. Just as the citizens of Oshkosh elect individuals to represent them on the City Council, the unions in Winnebago County have representatives for each of their locals on the Labor Council. I don’t think the City Council would get much work done if the entire city was involved in the decision making process and the same is true of the unions. If our members don’t like the decisions we’re making, then we can be replaced, just like City Council members. If Mr. Esslinger wants to truly be the “working persons” candidate, he needs to learn how organized labor really works. As I’ve said before, as a union leader, I don’t appreciate it when others, who are not in organized labor think they speak for us. Enough said about Mr. Esslinger.

As to Jef Hall’s endorsement… We did not hold a question and answer for County Board candidates. Jef requested our support, and answered the questions we provided. Sometimes, we endorse based on the candidates actions. Jef has been a supporter of union issues and union activities in the past and we felt his history spoke for itself. We made the same call when the Winnebago County Labor Council was among the first to back Peg Lautenschlager for AG. If there are other County Board candidates who would like the Labor Councils endorsement, they should follow the same process and we will consider their request. Our next meeting will be on March 28th.

Finally, several individuals have said that the Labor Council endorsements are worthless and just another rubber stamp. Hmmm…there sure is a lot of angst and hand-wringing out there over who we did endorse. I’ll leave it at that for tonight…..

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Is WMC afraid of AFSCME????

From the 2/24/06 AFSCME Political & Legislative Tidbits...BUS LOADS OF AFSCME GREEN MAKE IMPRESSION AT THE CAPITOL

Over 300 AFSCME members from all three Councils joined in solidarity this past Wednesday to send a clear message to the legislature. The messages were clear: TABOR is unacceptable; don’t erode our collective bargaining laws; and health care for all. An interesting side note is that the Wisconsin Association of Manufacturers and Commerce had scheduled their lobby day on the same day as ours. Apparently, upon hearing about ours, they decided to invite legislators to Monona Terrace, rather than compete with us in the Capitol for legislators’ attention. It was “big green” vs. “the suits”. We need to keep the pressure on. Keep contacting your legislators about ill-advised legislation, such as TABOR (now called the “Taxpayer Protection Act”). Thanks to all who gave their time and energy to come to Madison and participate in this outward sign of solidarity and strength.

Authority: Martin Beil, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 24

Friday, February 24, 2006

Winnebago County Labor Council endorsements for Spring 2006 elections

LC1 here....

The Winnebago County Labor Council interviewed and voted to endorse candidates at the monthly meeting last night. Here's the press release:

Press Release
Winnebago County Labor Council AFL-CIO
Contact: Stephen Dedow

Winnebago County Labor Council Endorses Candidates for April Elections

The Winnebago County Labor Council, the local AFL-CIO chapter, held its annual candidate forum on Thursday, February 23rd for the purpose of endorsing individuals running for local offices.

The following candidates were endorsed by the WCLC:

City Council: Mark Madison
Oshkosh School Board: Dennis Kavanaugh, Lee Wilson and Amy Weinsheim.
Winnebago County Board District 17: Jef Hall

The forum questions included individual positions on the Tax Payers Bill of Rights (TABOR), tax incentive accountability and economic development, new ideas for attracting and maintaining good paying jobs, the right to organize, shared revenue reductions, privatization, gender equity, and prevailing wage laws.

Candidates in attendance included: Burk Tower, Amy Weinsheim, Wayne Traska, Kent Monte, Dennis Kavanaugh, Brian Poeschl, and Mark Madison. Michelle Monte and Jef Hall requested and submitted questionnaires for consideration, while Paul Esslinger and Dan Becker respectfully declined the invitation to attend.

Council President Stephen Dedow stated that all the candidates in attendance gave thoughtful, honest and considerate answers to our questions. I believe that the intentionally loose format of the forum created an atmosphere of openness which allowed all those who participated to exchange ideas freely. Most of the candidates had similar view points such as the nearly unanimous opposition to TABOR. The individuals we ended up endorsing simply were closer philosophically to our overall position as organized labor and as such would represent our concerns effectively.

The current endorsements follow earlier recommendations in support of Peg Lautenschlager for Attorney General and Karen Siefert for Judge in Branch 4.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Just received the email below, haven't taken a look at this yet....

Today, we are announcing the official launch of AFL-CIO Now, our new blog for America’s working families. Please take a few minutes to check out AFL-CIO Now:

On AFL-CIO Now, you’ll find the latest news about the issues that matter most to working families—health care, wages, job exporting and more. You’ll learn about efforts to protect our freedom to form unions and bargain. You’ll read about what workers, their unions and allies are doing to stop greedy corporations and anti-worker politicians from making life harder for working families, and how you can get involved.

Visit AFL-CIO Now today for this special preview of our new blog:

AFL-CIO Now is unique. It’s a news blog with attitude, pulling together information from every part of the country affecting every type of worker. We post breaking news and updates all day long, every day—so you’ll want to check back often. AFL-CIO Now is THE source for the news and information you need about the issues shaping your life on the job, in your community and in the national economy. And you can send us important stories that you think we should feature.

More on TABOR-LC2

TABOR reared it’s ugly head again at the State Capitol earlier this month. This time, the Republicans want to fast track this amendment through the Legislature so there is little time for debate and education among the masses. It’s obvious this is their plan, since they held a so-called hearing on Feb. 15, by invitation only. There may be a public hearing on the issue down the road, according to one of the bills authors, but I’m sure the sponsors will try to keep it under covers as long as possible. Heaven forbid that people understand and have the opportunity to speak out on what they might have to vote for down the line. Not only do the Republicans want to rush it through, but, I’m assuming they’re campaign support from the evil empire of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) is riding on their performances in getting this passed.

The authors claim that this is different than the original TABOR, so the decision was made to rename it as the Taxpayer’s Protection Act. They also want to separate it from all the negative connections to Colorado’s flawed and dying TABOR (see my earlier posting on this). Taxpayer’s Protection (TP) is actually a great name, since this belongs in the toilet anyhow. The bottom line is, no matter what it is called, this is still the same design that will essentially shrink the size of government and slowly erode the services that the citizens of Wisconsin have grown to expect. But, what difference will that make, in 20 years, we’ll all be rolling in the dough because we won’t be paying those high taxes. Oh goody, goody. No one will be around to pick up the garbage, plow the streets or renew your drivers license, but we’ll all have lots of money.

A professor, Andrew Reschovsky, at the LaFollette School of Public Affairs at UW Madison did a quick study of how the amendment would have affected state revenues if it had been enacted 20 years ago. According to his work, state revenues in 2005 would have been $5.2 billion lower than they actually were. This is more than the state spent on the UW System and medical assistance combined in the current budget. So where would this money probably be cut from in the future? I can only guess things like K-12 education, the University and medical assistance, in addition to the above mentioned services.

Reschovsky’s study concluded, as presented in an editorial in the Marshfield New Herald, “Property taxes aren’t out of control, and neither is government spending in relation to personal income, state and local government taxes are lower today than they were 10 and even 20 years ago.”

According to an article in the Capital Times that discussed Reschovsky’s study, Senator Glen Grothman, one of the authors of the new TABOR amendment, doesn’t really have an idea how much savings the amendments limits would create. I guess he just knows that things would be better than what they are now. In fact, at this point, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau can’t even predict the affect of the amendment. So, we should just trust Grothman, WMC and company and vote for something that could send Wisconsin into the dumper (or toilet if you will).

An editorial in The Marshfield News Herald shares, “Because TPA would limit growth of government revenue to inflation, it would result in ever-shrinking government services. Why? Inflation measures increasing prices among all consumer goods and services—groceries, day care, refrigerators, clothes, you name it.”

“But government spends most of its money on goods and services such as health insurance and gasoline, with price increases that have far outpaced inflation. So TABOR would result in massive program cuts.”

“’(The) impact of the amendment would be to continuously reduce the level and quality of public services provided to the residents of Wisconsin,’ Reschovsky concluded.”

In addition to the economic piece of the Taxpayers Protection Act, the amendmenet also includes a change in the State Constitution to only require one vote in the legislature before a Constitutional Amendment is voted on by the voters. Fortunately, that won’t be in place for the vote on the TABOR/TP. This proposed change would make it easier to put what should be legislation into the Constitution, handily sidestepping the Governor’s veto ability. So, if you can’t get an override on Concealed Carry, what the heck, just put it in the State Constitution.

On the local scene, Senator Carol Roessler is one of the major fencesitters on the TABOR amendment. To date, she has not committed one way or another on which way she leans on this issue. You can bet Sen. Roessler will be getting a lot of pressure from constituents to vote against this flawed plan.

Stay tuned…..the fun is just beginning.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A backward look at TABOR

In 2004, I wrote this about TABOR in Colorado and shared it with the members of my local. A shorter version was later published in our unions state newspaper. After reading it over today, I thought it was just as appropriate to share today as it was back then. Fortunately for Colorado, they voted this fall to suspend some of the TABOR restrictions, because of the serious effects it has had on the status of many services in the state.

In this piece, I refer to friends in Colorado. A year or so, I was talking politics to one of them, and he said, no matter what, don't let TABOR pass in Wisconsin, it's the worse thing that can happen to a state. Taking that to heart, I'm trying to make folks aware of this bad legislation. We need to have as many people as possible speaking out against TABOR, Taxpayers Protection or whatever name they want to call it. I have much more to say about TABOR, but for now, here is my summary of TABOR in Colorado in 2004


The State of Colorado passed a Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) in 1992 at the start of the “economic boom”. Until the recession started, TABOR didn’t have a lot of effect on the state, but, since the economic downturn that has changed. Colorado’s TABOR amendment causes the state to struggle to pay for basic services while the government is forced to return “surplus” tax money to residents. As a result of the cuts in services Colorado has sunk to 48th in high school graduation rates and 49th in job growth. According to an editorial in the Denver Post, the “state university system is nearing economic collapse”. At this point in time, the Colorado legislature is looking for ways to work around the constitutional amendment to resolve their economic crisis.

The Wisconsin Legislature is embarking on a “son of TABOR” journey. For the Republican majority in the Legislature, the hope is that the concept of surplus money being returned to the tax payers will be enough to allow this constitutional amendment to be approved by the citizens of Wisconsin. First, the bill must be passed by the Legislature during two sessions. Now is the time to stop the legislation, before taxpayers are lulled into a sense of false economy.

Several weeks ago, I contacted two friends who live in Colorado. One works in the library at one of the state universities, the other works for a state agency. I asked them how TABOR has affected their work and lives. Here are some of their comments:

“Our library lost around 12 positions last year due to the combined bad effects of TABOR, and two other Colorado amendments….We are cutting all the time. We are meeting this week to discuss programs that can be cut further”

“The benefits afforded classified staff in the state have not kept up with the industry. We pay more for health care now than ever before…I pay $550 per month [for my spouse and I]. Not too long ago, I carried both of us for less than $250. The state says that is because the average age of a state classified worker is 45. Well, the younger folks don’t want to work for the state because the pay and benefits are pitifully low”

The Denver Post editorial indicated TABOR “will affect everything from roads and highway maintenance, to government programs and services and the criminal justice system. In other words, bigger potholes, fewer hours at the local Department of Motor Vehicles office, and fewer criminals getting caught. If the ratcheting-down effect of TABOR continues to drain the amount of money left in the state coffers each year, it could ultimately lead to such drastic measures as letting inmates go free.” These sentiments were reflected in the comments made by my friend, talking about staff reductions in state agencies and departments across the board, including Higher Education and the Dept. of Corrections where they have cut back on probation programs. They go on to say that everyone working in state government is doing as best they can with the limited resources, but the resources only stretch so far and work gets backlogged or not done at all.

Having watched our Legislature deal with the budget over the past two years, these stories from Colorado sound all too familiar. Unfortunately, passing a TABOR amendment in Wisconsin would make our recent experiences the norm rather than the exception for dealing with reduced budgets. What we have experienced and seen would only be the beginning of the downgrade of the quality of life and services in Wisconsin.

Here are some sobering statistics to consider….

Wisconsin ranks 33rd in the nation in proportion of adults with a high school education.

Wisconsin ranks 30th in the country in wages

Wisconsin lost 82,000 manufacturing jobs over the last three years. Overall there has been growth in the number of jobs, mostly in the service industries, which in general pay less then the lost jobs in manufacturing.

Where will a Wisconsin TABOR amendment take us to on this road to mediocrity?

Although 41% of Wisconsin high school graduates go on to a four year college, many of those graduates leave the state after graduating. If TABOR is implemented in Wisconsin, how will the University of Wisconsin System look in 10 years? How many of those high school graduates will even want to attend? Will we lose them before they even start college?

Considering 31% of Wisconsin’s population are “baby boomers” and have already started retiring, what will our jobs look like in 10 years? Look at your coworkers, who will be left 10 years from now, and how will those retiring be replaced?

We have the opportunity to make sure that down the road Wisconsin is not facing the same hurdles that Colorado is up against. We need to let our legislators know that this is not the solution for Wisconsin or any other state. Please contact your legislators today and tell them what a bad idea this is, not just as a state employee, but a citizen of the state.

The Denver Post editorial warns, “If the rest of the nation will be watching Colorado, the least we could do is give them a warning: Do not implement a budget-hampering plan like TABOR”.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What's happening???

LC2 here...

I hope that we can give Oshkosh labor a voice in the blogosphere. Sometimes we've read or heard folks who think that they're speaking for us, but, really don't, so we hope we fill that void. I thought it would be appropriate to let you know what's going on right now. A fairly uncontroversial first post, I might add....

If you're not out this weekend enjoying all the new fallen snow that we're going to get tomorrow, you might run into the brand new season of "Wisconsin Labor Today" as you're channel surfing with your remote. This is the third season for the cable access program produced by the Winnebago County Labor Council (aka WCLC ) and hosted by our very own President Steve Dedow. This year we have a brand new set and some great guests. The new season should have started this week. Among the topics this season is an update on TABOR, renamed the Taxpayers Protection Plan (aka TP---appropriate). That program includes a video on the TABOR experience in Colorado and commentary by AFL-CIO VP Sara Rogers. Other guests will include representatives from the Wisconsin State Employees Union and IWW. Should be an interesting season. The series is on Oshkosh Cable Channel 2:


Also, speaking of the WCLC, our February meeting will consist of our candidate interviews for local offices that will be elected on April 4th. We will probably be the first to talk to the candidates following the primary on Feb. 21st, so it will be an interesting evening. This event is not public, but we will share our endorsements shortly after the meeting. So, stay tuned!

That's all for now.....let it snow!

Good morning Oshkosh!

Good morning Oshkosh! Labor Chicks is on the air!

We created this blog because we felt there is a dearth of information and discussion out there in blog-land on union issues. There is a lot about politics, which we also would like to make comments on in our blog, but alas, unions get ignored a lot. So, here we are.

The reason we included politics in our blog is that, at least in our union, politics and our union(and our jobs) are intricately intertwined and often cannot be separated one from the other.

We hope you enjoy what we write. Oh, and because we like to have the bully pulpit, we are not allowing comments on our posts. If you have a comment, email us. Maybe we'll get back to you, maybe we won't. Depends on our mood at the moment. Remember, we ARE girls!