Category Archives: politics

Keystone Senate Vote March 22nd, 2013

Friday night there was an important vote in the US Senate on the Keystone Pipeline. The pro-Keystone amendment would not have changed the process at all, it was simply an opportunity for Senators to get on the record either supporting or opposing the Keystone Pipeline. Local 49 spoke to representatives from both MN Senator Klobuchar and Franken’s offices and asked them to support this pro-Keystone amendment. While both MN Senators are with us on most issues, they were not with us on this one. It is important that members know when our friends stand with us, and when they don’t. And in this case, Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar voted against our jobs.

Local 49 will continue to provide you with unbiased, member driven information on the critical issues related to job creation. We will not spin for politicians; we will always tell you the truth. And the truth is: on this vote covering the Keystone XL pipeline some of our friends didn’t stand with us.

On a positive note: The entire Senate delegation from the Dakotas voted YES in support of Keystone. We thank Senator Heitkamp (D-ND), Senator Hoeven (R-ND), Senator Johnson (D-SD), and Senator Thune (R-SD) for their support of good paying union pipeline jobs.

The intent of the amendment was to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Vote Counts:
YEAs
62
NAYs
37
Not Voting
1

Grouped By Vote Position, ordered alphabetically:  Read the rest of this entry

Right to Work? Yeah, right.

Pull the other one – it’s got bells on!

Nobody is ever forced to pay union dues, even if they work at a mostly-union job. But the spin from big-money corporations makes it sounds like union organizers are thugs, not the heroes that built our middle-class.

AFL-CIONobody’s union dues ever go to political campaigns, either – all that spending is strictly regulated by federal law already: any union spending on political causes or campaigns comes from strictly voluntary contributions, totally separate from union members dues. The national Chamber of Commerce has decided that only businesses should be able to bargain collectively – not regular workers – so they lobbied politicians to take that right away from us.

So why the big push by lobbyists and big corporations? Because they want to keep more money for the CEOs, plain and simple.  Bigger bonuses, bigger paychecks, and more spending on their lobbying, which can only mean less for the actual, productive workers who provide the goods and services these fat cats are relying on for their perks, benefits, bonuses, huge pensions, and salaries. You can bet they’re motivated by money, not concern for your paycheck or pension.

How fair is that?

Sure, the name sounds great – but since we all already have a “right” to work, when you think about it you’ll realize that name was carefully chosen to obscure the real agenda by keeping us from thinking hard about what’s actually in the bill.

Workers in and out of unions must fight back against the negative stories the national news media is parroting from talking points only vaguely connected to reality. The AFL-CIO is spear-heading an overdue pushback about how critical the middle-class wages and benefits are to our future and our economy by establishing a Message Movers team–folks who are willing to talk back when they hear biased stories about unions and big business by politicians or through social media and email. Read the rest of this entry

MN Congressman Ellison introduces Financial Transaction Tax bill to U.S. House

MN Rep Keith Ellison introduces Robin Hood TaxMinnesota Rep. Keith Ellison introduced a bill in Congress this week that would restore a tiny tax on Wall Street trades – a “Financial Transaction Tax” or FTT also called the Robin Hood tax in some circles, including by the Nurse’s union that has been pushing on behalf of the middle class.

Read the rest of this entry

Operating Engineers Local 49 Endorses Republican incumbent Congressman Cravaack in Minnesota’s 8th District

IUOE Local 49 logoInternational Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 49 Announces Endorsement in MN 8th Congressional District

Earlier this week members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 gathered in Duluth to screen candidates for Congress in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.  This screening was open to all Local 49 members that lived in the 8th District, and was widely advertised on our website and distributed via email.  Members came from across the 8th District to participate.

After hearing from all 3 candidates running in the Democratic Primary, and Congressman Cravaack, we had what turned out to be a very difficult conversation about who we should stand with in this election.  The conversation centered around jobs, our union, and the ability of our members to earn a good living.  These are the core issues that bind us together as a group, and we decided that this should drive our endorsement.

The members held a secret ballot vote the night of screening Read the rest of this entry

Will Congress continue to hold its breath or will they encourage job creation?

United States flagIt’s crunch time for Congress: They can continue to try to make the President look bad by stalling, or they can get to work before the crisis in Europe drags our economy back in the wrong direction.  It’s time to pass a transportation bill and clean energy measures to encourage job creation now.

Read the rest of this entry

Rams issues w/ Edward Jones Dome put Vikings Stadium deal in good light

Rams & officials “far apart” on $700 million renovation.

Among issues: Retractable Roof

The Saint Louis Rams want a retractable roof added to the renovations proposed to 17-year old Edward Jones Dome. Monday the price tag for the Rams wish list of improvements and upgrades came in at $700 million – much higher than the St Louis Convention and Visitors Commission projection of around $125 million, and close to the price-tag for an entirely new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings (assuming the Minneapolis City Council gives the deal a stamp of approval.)

But once you factor in the projected revenue losses of an additional $500 million which Jeff Rainford, St. Louis Mayor Slay’s chief of staff, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch results from taking the stadium out of play for convention business while the upgrades are being made, the Minnesota stadium deal starts to look very shrewd indeed Read the rest of this entry

Packer’s Woodson Defends Unions & Membership

That pretty much sums it up:
Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers on Unions.

At a breakfast sponsored by Politico in Washington, DC, Green Bay Packers’ star Charles Woodson defends Wisconsin workers’ freedoms and rights: “Wisconsin workers and workers in general should have the right to be a union and they should have a right to fight for whatever rights they believe in. We talk about having freedoms in this country. They should have the freedom to fight for their rights!”
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