Category Archives: Union Rights

To Fix VA Waits, Hire More Staff | Labor Notes

“I love the VA and would never work in the private system again,” said one provider. “I used to spend an hour or two a day on the phone with private insurance companies or writing letters to them… [At the VA] it’s not about making a buck.” (The agency tries to rein in press contact, so some providers asked us not to use their names.)

The real solutions to the agency’s problems may sound familiar. The VA needs to hire more frontline staff, fewer managers. It needs to update an antiquated computerized scheduling system, expand facilities where need is growing, and reduce missed appointments by offering rides.

It needs to use data such as wait time statistics as tools for improvement, not bludgeons. And it needs to act on feedback from concerned workers, instead of squelching it.

via To Fix VA Waits, Hire More Staff | Labor Notes.

Erdogan’s visit riles German government – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

{Why did Caliph-wannabe visit Germany? Votes!}

Turks outside of Turkey will for the first time be allowed to vote in these elections. This makes the nearly 1.5 million votes in Germany crucial for Erdogan. German politicians are also aware of this and reflected it in their remarks prior to Erdogan’s Cologne appearance.

Thomas Strobl, the deputy chairman of Merkel’s conservative parliamentary bloc, for example, said, “It would have been better if Mr. Erdogan had recognized ahead of time that at the moment there are tasks in Turkey that are more important than a campaign appearance in Cologne.”

The same view was repeated by left-wing German politicians. Martin Schulz, the Socialists’ candidate for European Commission president, said, “I’d prefer it if Prime Minister Erdogan concerned himself with Turkey’s problems instead of waging election campaigns abroad in Cologne. But, we are a tolerant and democratic country in which of course a foreign leader can speak.”

The German media was, however, less diplomatic. “Erdogan, you’re not welcome here! We do not want politicians like you,” the mass circulation Bild newspaper declaimed in its headline in both Turkish and German, highlighting in its open letter to Erdogan his increasingly authoritarian policies.

via Erdogan’s visit riles German government – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

Gary Walkowicz for UAW President 2014 – Statement

At the UAW Convention in June 2014, I Will Run for President

Gary Walkowicz:
Bargaining Committeeman and Convention Delegate
Dearborn Truck Plant, Local 600

When I ran for delegate to the UAW Convention, I said that I believe the top leadership of the UAW has been taking the union in the wrong direction. I said that, if elected, I would speak out against their policies.

At the UAW Constitutional Convention in June, I intend to run for UAW President because I believe it is the best way to draw attention to the issues that people in the Dearborn Truck Plant, and other UAW members, are concerned with. I will run for President because it is the best way to speak for a different policy.

When the recent concessions began in 2005, the UAW leadership said that giving up concessions would save jobs. But in 2005, we had 598,000 UAW members. Today, we have 370,000. We gave up concessions and LOST over 200,000 jobs. And the answer of the leadership to this loss of jobs is to increase our union dues!

When the concessions began, the UAW leadership said that autoworkers should sacrifice until the corporations were more profitable and then we would get everything back. But when the auto companies got back their high profits, what did the autoworkers get?

  • Seniority workers have not had a raise in 9 years and had one raise in the last 12 years.
  • Entry-level workers, working for 2nd tier wages and 2nd tier benefits, face a worse-off future than their parents. Despite promises, not a single entry-level worker has been brought up to 1st tier wages. And UAW workers doing outsourced work get paid 3rd tier wages.
  • With alternative work schedules, reduced break time and increased workloads, our bodies and our health are paying the price.
  • Retirees face an increasingly worse off future, having to pay more and more out of pocket for their health care, due to an under-funded VEBA.

These concessions are a result of the “partnership” our top leadership forged with the corporations. We shouldn’t be “partners” with corporations who keep taking from us.
It is going to take a fight to get back the concessions we have lost!

I don’t know how things will be at the Convention. I don’t know how many delegates will be willing to speak up and say what they really think. I don’t how many votes I will get from the delegates. But I am going to run for President in order to speak for all the UAW members whose voices are usually not heard. I am going to run for President to say that what the UAW has been doing is not working and that the UAW needs to make a fight.

Gary Walkowicz
Bargaining Committeeman and Convention Delegate
Dearborn Truck Plant, Local 600 (313) 737-3166

May 12, 2014 labor donated