The Fact Checker frequently warns readers to be wary of claims by politicians that various policy initiatives will yield tens of thousands of jobs. Such claims are often based on studies that rely on a variety of assumptions, any of which can be called into question. So we were interested when we received a call from a reader who wondered how the administration calculated that a proposed international trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would support some 650,000 jobs.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/30/the-obama-administrations-illusionary-job-gains-from-the-trans-pacific-partnership/
It seemed like a good idea before the public actually heard about it. That’s probably what Indiana Gov. Mike Pence thought after he pulled the plug just days after word got out that he was planning to launch a state-run, taxpayer-funded news service that would offer pre-written news stories and breaking news about his administration.
“After thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing you to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately,” Pence wrote in a statement.
Critics quickly nicknamed the proposed news spin cycle as “Pravda on the plains,” likening it to the state-run media outlet of the former Soviet communist party. Pence’s service was expected to launch its website in late February and be overseen by a former journalist from the Indianapolis Star. Reports indicated the service initially would cost taxpayers $100,000 in salaries to maintain it.
Initially the Pence administration defended the service as a “resource,” but critics weren’t buying it – especially in light of the governor’s dalliance with a run for President in 2016.
“This is a propaganda outlet, plain and simple,” said Mike Tully, an Indianapolis Star columnist, in a scathing response to the announcement. “This is a politician, one who already has an army of press secretaries trying to seize more control of what you read about the things he says and does.”
Pence hosted a conservative talk radio show that helped launch his election to Congress in 2002, so he knows the power of spreading a message unfiltered by objective reporting. He also bragged about continually voting to defund public broadcasting while in Congress. As governor, Pence has taken flack for deleting negative comments from his administration’s state-run Facebook page.
The irony of Pence’s about-face didn’t escape Tully. “It looks like nothing less than a lazy attempt to fool the public with fluffy stories and feel-good headlines that politicians historically have had to earn with smart policies and legislation. Hey, why work hard to earn those headlines when you can just write them yourself?”
The IBT Training and Development Department will conduct a training for new Teamster business agents, April 20-24, 2015 at Teamster Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
(SAN FRANCISCO) – In a letter to the CEOs of six East Bay-area companies, Rome Aloise, International Vice President and President of Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif., urged the executives to call on their transportation contractor, Compass Transportation, to cease its anti-worker, anti-union tactics and proceed with a representation election.
MIAMI, Florida - An AFSCME retiree who is a life-long resident of Miami, a 31-year veteran employee of Jackson Memorial Hospital and a grandmother, made an emotional appeal to a panel of state legislators to restore cuts in social programs that Florida’s children desperately need.
“Simply put, I believe we are failing our children,” Melba White told a panel of state lawmakers from Miami-Dade County, referring to the harmful cuts to state agencies like the Department of Children and Families (DCF – Florida’s child protective services).
White should know. As a procurement specialist at Jackson Memorial Hospital, she worked with nurses and other health care professionals to make sure they had the equipment they needed best to provide quality care for their patients. White took her job very seriously because she knew that failure to procure the right equipment at a hospital could mean the difference between life and death.
Now retired, she was advocating on behalf of her seven grandchildren and other kids who might be left behind, citing a recent report on harmful cuts to the state workforce. “As a result of cuts to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), over 500 children, some from Miami, have lost their lives due to abuse or neglect,” she said. “Their deaths are a scandal, and a stain on our state.”
The report White mentioned contains shocking information, including the fact that massive cuts to Florida’s child protective services prevented the agency’s ability to monitor at-risk children and even prevent deaths. The issue has come to light most recently as an investigation is launched into a horrific incident in which a man is accused of having thrown his five-year-old daughter off a bridge. The man had been previously reported to DCF’s abuse hotline, and the investigation is ongoing.
“Our society must protect people who cannot help themselves, including the elderly and those who have fallen on hard times,” said White, urging lawmakers to do the right thing by voting to fund state services when they return to Tallahassee for the legislative session that begins March 3. “Every child we fail to protect, for me, as a grandmother, is one too many.”
Watch Melba’s speech, and add your name to fight for workers’ rights and to maintain critical services in Florida.
The Koch Brothers' recent disclosure that they plan to round up nearly $900 million to spend on the 2016 elections is the biggest sign yet that the political system needs to be fixed.
Teamster Pipeline Members: There are a growing number of job opportunities for American pipeline members across Canada.
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for January 30, 2015.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/01/teamster-news-today34.html
The IBT Training and Development Department is conducting a Teamsters Leadership Academy on collective bargaining, March 24-27, 2015. The program will be hosted by Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia, PA and is open to all IBT affiliates.
Ever wonder what the benefit is to being in a union?
Well here’s a big one: On average, union members make $207 more dollars a week than non-union workers. That’s $10,000 more each year, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
No wonder studies show union members are happier.
But it’s not just about us. It’s about the whole country. As U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez noted last week:
Take action today: Sign up here for AFSCME text message alerts. AFSCME defied the odds last year and grew by nearly 132,000 members, thanks to the hard work of rank-and-file members who volunteered to talk with their fellow workers. This is how we can rebuild the middle class, by staying involved.
We’ll send you localized updates about ways you can help grow our union, defend the public services we provide and make a difference in your community.
Lee Saunders is the president of AFSCME.
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for January 29, 2015.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/01/teamster-news-today_29.html
Today, Teamsters President James Hoffa sent a letter to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in support of greater disclosure and financial transparency of tax abatements by state and municipal governments.