Volunteers needed for standouts for Martha Coakley & Maura Healey

  Please contact any member of the 264 Legislative Committee to volunteer and learn where to meet for these events. South Side can contact Jim Mastandrea or Dave Fetherston.  North Side can contact Jeb Mastandrea or Read more

Charlie Baker’s outsourcing problem

  Via Blue Mass Group. The photograph – apparently taken in late summer of 2008 (it’s undated, but that’s when the story it accompanies was published), when the economy was teetering on the edge of catastrophe Read more

WBZ Governors Debate Videos

Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates, Charlie Baker, Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively and Jeff McCormick squared off in a live debate in the WBZ studios on Tuesday, October 7. The debate was moderated by WBZ Read more

Volunteers needed for standouts for Martha Coakley & Maura Healey

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Please contact any member of the 264 Legislative Committee to volunteer and learn where to meet for these events.

South Side can contact Jim Mastandrea or Dave Fetherston.  North Side can contact Jeb Mastandrea or Bob Walker Jr.

Or just email iam264boston@gmail.com

 

Standout1Standout2

 

Charlie Baker’s outsourcing problem

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Charlie Baker receiving his "Outsourcing Excellence Award" for sending jobs from Massachusetts to India.

Charlie Baker receiving his “Outsourcing Excellence Award” for sending jobs from Massachusetts to India.

Via Blue Mass Group.

The photograph – apparently taken in late summer of 2008 (it’s undated, but that’s when the story it accompanies was published), when the economy was teetering on the edge of catastrophe – says it all.  There’s Charlie, in a tux, holding his award for his awesome outsourcing work.  LOL

The Boston Globe has most of the key details.  In brief: in the course of his work at Harvard Pilgrim, Baker outsourced most of Harvard Pilgrim’s IT work to Perot Systems (yes, that Perot).  Nothing wrong with that, exactly – Harvard Pilgrim apparently couldn’t handle the work on its own and needed outside expertise.  But then it gets dicey.

This relationship [between Harvard Pilgrim and Perot Systems] includes some offshoring components. [Harvard Pilgrim Deputy CIO Bob] Trombly explains that healthcare insurance is a low-margin business; “a one percent annual fluctuation can make or break us. There is constant pressure from employers and regulators to reduce administrative costs. In our recent contract renegotiation, we challenged Perot Systems to help us aggressively reduce costs. One of the things they brought to the table was a proposal to reduce administrative costs by sending some of the work offshore.” …

Trombly is the first to admit he had “fears and misgivings” at the outset. But his view changed when he visited Perot Systems’s facilities in India. When he came home, he told his oldest son, who is heading to college this fall, “You better get off your butt because the rest of the world is ready to compete. It’s one thing to read The World is Flat; it’s another to see it in real time.”

He says “the staff in India is very well trained, doing great work, and eager to take on more. I think that’s a sobering lesson to everyone about the global marketplace.”

Charlie Baker sent Massachusetts jobs to India.  There’s a campaign ad that writes itself.

You might wonder (I did, anyway) why the story of Baker outsourcing jobs to India and getting an award for it has not surfaced before now.  After all, Baker has already been involved in a hard-fought statewide campaign in which his work at Harvard Pilgrim was a major topic of discussion.  The answer might be as simple as this: Baker’s name does not appear in the “Outsourcing Center” story reporting the details.  So if you (or a hypothetical opposition researcher) were spending all your time Googling “baker outsourcing” or the like, this story probably wouldn’t come up.

WBZ Governors Debate Videos

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govrace_candidates
Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates, Charlie Baker, Martha Coakley, Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively and Jeff McCormick squared off in a live debate in the WBZ studios on Tuesday, October 7. The debate was moderated by WBZ political analyst Jon Keller.

PART 1
Candidates discuss how they would avoid mismanagement in the Executive Branch and whether taxes will go up, down or stay the same if they are elected governor.

PART 2
Candidates answer the following questions:

What was the most difficult decision you have made in your professional life?

Is Massachusetts a magnet for terrorists? What would you do as governor to stop that?

Would you support a repeal of the health care law?

Would you honor the voters’ will if they repeal the casino law?

The Good News of Accelerating Job Growth is Tempered by Lagging Wages

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President Barack Obama tours the Millennium Steel Service in Princeton, Indiana, Friday, October 3, 2014, before speaking about the economy as part of Manufacturing Day.

President Barack Obama tours the Millennium Steel Service in Princeton, Indiana, Friday, October 3, 2014, before speaking about the economy as part of Manufacturing Day.

By Michael Madowitz |

This column was originally published on MarketWatch.

Friday’s jobs report for September was a crowd pleaser. In the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, numbers, there was something for everyone: employers reported 248,000 total jobs added, the unemployment rate fell from 6.1 percent to 5.9 percent, there were strong upward revisions to previous months’ jobs figures, and we saw strong gains among ethnic groups that have been left out of the recovery so far. We can all take heart in an improving real economy, and Federal Reserve watchers will be pleased to know this comes without signs of wage pressures. While the pace of job growth ticked up, the report is actually strongest beneath the top line numbers.

Starting with August’s report, where revised data added 38,000 jobs to a disappointing report, additional revisions added another 31,000 new jobs to the economy in July. The three-month average job growth is now 224,000 jobs. It is a reflection of both how bad the recession was and how well the economy is performing today that job gains are still strengthening more than five years since the official end of the recession.

We saw much broader strength in the economy with this report than in recent ones. It’s true that the employment-to-population ratio was flat overall at 59 percent, but if you control for age, the share of people who are working age and have jobs was significantly higher at 76.7 percent.

Arguably, the strongest signs for the economy come from demographic breakdowns in the BLS report’s household survey. Latinos and African Americans saw significant reductions in unemployment rates while the labor-force participation for both groups grew significantly. In September, Latinos gained 173,000 jobs, and their unemployment rate fell from 7.5 percent to 6.9 percent. African Americans made even stronger gains, with 288,000 jobs gained and a fall in the unemployment rate from 11.4 percent to 11 percent. The share of the African American population with jobs increased by nearly 1 full percentage point, from 54 percent to 54.9 percent, a truly striking gain for a single month.

Not only is this welcomed relief for two groups that have struggled during the recovery with unemployment rates much higher than the population as a whole, it’s good news for the entire labor market. Both African Americans and Latinos are younger than the population as a whole, and the fact that job gains are starting to affect these younger groups is an important indicator that the labor market is becoming more robust.

Does this mean mission accomplished? Not for a while.

Economists from the left and right—along with reporters—pointed to the percentage of working-age Americans without jobs and the tepid wage growth seen in Friday’s numbers as a sign of considerable slack remaining in the labor market.

JobsDay_Sept-fig

Unfortunately, economists, journalists, and pundits are not the same as Congress—where gridlock, along with austere budgets, continues to make the Federal Reserve’s job harder. The fact of the matter is monetary policy will be both the accelerator and the brakes on the economy for a while longer.

The depth of the recession remains a challenge for the Federal Reserve, which must weigh an economy that added almost one-quarter-million jobs last month against an army of unemployed estimated at more than 6.3 million—on top of the 9.3 million people officially counted as unemployed. This is why the Fed is less hawkish about inflation than it otherwise would be with today’s unemployment rate and why it’s now using a much broader set of labor-market indicators to judge when the recovery warrants tighter money.

For workers, the good news is that hiring really is picking up steam, and the Fed isn’t—and shouldn’t be—hitting the brakes. However, the bad news is that we don’t see any signs of wage pressure and shouldn’t expect wage increases anytime soon, especially with this many prime-aged workers on the sidelines. Absent action from lawmakers, we will need a string of job reports like this one before we see wage growth start to reach most Americans, which is a real problem for an increasingly squeezed middle class.

Make no mistake, this is the best jobs report that we have had in a while, and it’s reassuring to see job creation strengthening for all Americans. But this is what a well-run economy is supposed to look like in normal times. For policymakers to do anything to slow things down in the short-term would be more than tone deaf; it would be irrational.

Michael Madowitz is an Economist at the Center for American Progress.

Charlie Baker is set to wage all out war on Unions.

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BakerTheUnionBreaker

Local 264 MEMBERS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS MUST get out the vote to secure our FUTURE against Charlie Baker.

Charlie Baker became a name in politics in 1992, the month he turned 36, when he took over as secretary of Health and Human Services—the largest department in state government—thanks to then-Governor Bill Weld. He is the son of a well-connected Republican who had worked in the Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan administrations. He has undergrad degree from Harvard and MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and married to the daughter of a Fortune 500 CEO.

He helped draft and push policy as the co-director of the conservative think tank, The Pioneer Institute which was created in part by Baker’s dad.  The Pioneer Institute wrote this in June 2013 about Local 264 workers . The Pioneer Institute was targeting both Massachusetts Sen. Marc Pacheco and the Machinists. The statements in this blatantly misleading article were studied and countered with the real facts which were pointed out on truthout.org right here by Ellen Dannin who is a Fannie Weiss Distinguished Faculty Scholar and professor of law at the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University, and an expert in the labor law of New Zealand and the United States.

He wants to make government leaner, less unionized, and more business-friendly. This philosophy served him and his bank account well in his 10 years running Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, but not the workers or their families where he shut down the provider’s Rhode Island operations, leaving some 1,200 people out of work and 128,000 people  without health insurance. During his 2010 campaign, Baker said he would do the same for state government.

Now, cuts to state spending aren’t spelled out in his platform—they’re implied. Baker has ruled out new taxes and called for revenue cuts—at the same time proposing significant increases to local aid and at least two dozen new expenses. It sounds like a promise to taxpayers that they can have their cake and eat it, too—but Baker points out that Coakley has proposed far more expensive programs (for example, universal pre-kindergarten). His plans will require deep cuts in government jobs.

THE FOLLOWING PROPOSALS ARE DIRECTLY FROM CHARLIE BAKERS CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

Reduce construction costs by increasing competition –  Between $75M to $100M in savings

Public construction projects should be open to all bidders. Competition is important to ensure the best deal for the taxpayers. Only 20 percent of the construction industry is comprised of union workers, therefore project labor agreements exclude 80 percent of the market from bidding on projects. Several studies estimate that PLAs add at least 12 percent to overall project costs. This is significant considering that the state spends nearly $1 billion per year on capital construction projects plus another $600 million in municipal aid for the School Building Assistance program.

End union control of public contracts – Between $75M to $100M in savings

The Pacheco Law, passed in 1993, is the strictest-in-the-nation anti-privatization policy. The law severely limits the state’s ability to provide cost-effective services by allowing unions full control on the delivery. This law has required the government to perform services well beyond its core mission because all contracts over $500,000 for outside entities to provide services must be reviewed and approved by the State Auditor. The Auditor uses restrictive legislative conditions when reviewing the outside contracts. Absent repealing this law, these restrictions must be modified to allow for greater flexibility in making determinations.

Many states have used competitive bidding to save money and improve services. For example, Florida has used competitive sourcing more than 130 times, saving more than $740 million. These are opportunities for Massachusetts too. Examples include:

  • Highway maintenance
  • IT infrastructure
  • Vehicle fleet management
  • Medicaid billing
  • Toll collections
  • Professional licensing
  • Maintenance in state parks
  • Building management and maintenance
  • Parking garage operations

Click on an issue to read more on how Charlie Baker stands on it:

Project Labor Agreements

Pacheco Law

Health Care Costs

Collective Bargaining

Unemployment Insurance

Prevailing Wage

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE FACTS ON CHARLIE BAKER

 

Local 264 members, protect your job, your families well being, and pension and keep this Bill Weld clone OUT OF OFFICE,

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Anti-Privatization protest by Local 264 members outside Fellsway Bus Garage during the Bill Weld days. Remember Charlie Baker wants to do the same as his former mentor/boss Bill Weld.

A note from President Mastandrea

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Thank you to all the Local 264 members that took time to show up to a very important meeting this morning for the contract proposals and the nominations and subsequent election of your negotiating committee.

As always solidarity and being involved and informed are our best assets. It is very important to become and remain involved in what this great local does. This is your union and we are strongest when we all are working for the same goals that benefit everyone. Todays showing by the membership shows that we are ready for the challenges we face in the upcoming negotiations.

Congratulations to the Negotiating Committee Members.
Pat Desmond
Pete Mandile
Will Foley
Charlie Long

In Solidarity,
Jim Mastandrea

10-year-old Guide Dog Retires with Honors

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Faith, a 10-year-old guide dog, stands with her recipient Christian at the Guide Dogs of America facility in Sylmar, CA. Christian made the difficult decision to retire Faith after her eight years of service.

Faith, a 10-year-old guide dog, stands with her recipient Christian at the Guide Dogs of America facility in Sylmar, CA. Christian made the difficult decision to retire Faith after her eight years of service.

A 10-year-old guide dog was recently given a retirement and homecoming party to remember.

Faith, a black Labrador Retriever, is described by her raiser as a “special puppy.” She served her recipient Christian well for eight years. They had a very special relationship, says Guide Dogs of America (GDA) Puppy Department Manager Louise Henderson.

After Faith’s many years of service, Christian made the difficult decision to retire her. It was then that Amy Lyen, the woman who raised Faith, began her trip to bring Faith home from Orange County, CA to Portland, OR.

When she and Faith reached the Orange County airport, they were given red carpet treatment.

“Within a minute an Alaska Airlines employee rushed over and asked if we were going to Portland and if the dog was Faith,” said Lyen. “Each employee was quite emotional about the sacrifice that Christian has made in letting Faith retire and about the work that Faith has done. Before I knew it, the terminal had an announcement going over the general P.A. system that they were paging Faith and I. They went on and explained Faith’s history to the entire terminal and invited her up to the gate.”

“Our walk over to the gate was met with a standing ovation,” continued Lyen. “At the gate, the flight crew and gate agents were overcome with emotion as they proclaimed that this was Faith’s retirement party. They gave her a fresh flower lei, a gift bag of toys, a goody and took pictures. Then they honored her by letting us have special boarding. The flight crew was stumbling over each other to be the first to offer help, greet Faith, and talk to me to hear more about the program. Everybody on the flight was excited to have us onboard. There were few dry eyes on the plane.”

“We would like to thank all of the people at Alaska Airlines for making this day special for everyone involved,” said GDA Director Dale Hartford. “As you can see, our Puppy Raisers and graduates are very special people who truly understand and value the relationship between the blind or visually-impaired person and their canine partner. On behalf of her recipient Christian, we congratulate Faith on her retirement and thank her for her many years of service.”

“We commend Guide Dogs of America and the folks at Alaska Airlines for making this occasion so special,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Faith is retiring from an extraordinary organization. We thank her for her many years of service and wish her and Amy a happy, healthy and long retirement. ”

A guide dog’s working life is about six to eight years. They begin working at about 2 1/2 years old. When it is time to retire a guide dog, the guide dog user has the choice to keep the dog as a pet, give it to a family member, or return the dog to GDA. Returned guide dogs are put into the GDA Adoption Program, which first contacts the dog’s original Puppy Raisers and ask if they wish to adopt the dog.

If they do not, the guide dog is given to a prescreened individual from a waiting list. Currently there is a four to six year wait to adopt a “career change” dog or retired guide dog.

Proud To Be Union Thug

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Salt of the earth people who believe in being union through-in-through and if that leads to name calling by outsiders – it’s not going to bother this group.

Penn National Gaming Celebrates Topping out of Plainridge Park Casino

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IMAG0073
PLAINVILLE, Mass., Aug 27, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Penn National Gaming, Inc. celebrated the “Topping Out” of Plainridge Park Casino today in Plainville, Massachusetts. Hundreds of union construction workers, small business leaders, employees, and area residents attended the celebration and luncheon.

“Today marks another milestone in the development of Plainridge Park Casino,” said Jay Snowden, Chief Operating Officer for Penn National Gaming, who was in attendance to commemorate the day. “We are proud that this project has already employed over 200 union construction workers and that number grows daily. Their hard work has made today possible and we are honored to partner with the Massachusetts Building Trades Council.”

“The facility that we are topping out today has been constructed by hundreds of union tradesmen who support their families and invest every single day in the Massachusetts economy,” said Frank Callahan, President of Massachusetts Building Trades Council. “That is exactly what is at stake on November 4th – jobs and opportunity for working families. That’s why it is so important to Vote No on Question 3.”

“Topping Out” is one of the construction industry’s oldest customs, dating back to an ancient Scandinavian ritual. A tree is placed on the last beam fitted into the exterior, celebrating the completion of the structural components and marking the halfway point in the construction of a facility. Plainridge Park Casino is expected to open in June of next year, creating one thousand construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs, in addition to the over 100 employees currently working at Plainridge Racecourse.

IMAG0071IMAG0072

“We are committed to building the facility, creating jobs, and ensuring the 76% vote in favor of Plainridge Park Casino by Plainville residents last year is not ignored,” said Snowden. “This is the beginning of an industry that will create 6,500 construction jobs, 10,000 good paying permanent jobs, many of which are union jobs, and keep the $1 billion annually and hundreds of millions in tax revenue that leaves Massachusetts for neighboring states where it belongs – in the Commonwealth.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Penn and their Plainridge Park Casino project,” said District 15/Local 264 Business Rep Jim Foley. “We believe their plan is by far the best one for the working families of Plainville, the surrounding communities, and throughout the region.”
“Penn has an established record of working closely with local organized labor in projects across the country,” said District 15 DBR Jimmy Conigliaro. “Partnering with them to create good jobs, with good benefits is good for working families, their communities and the IAM.”

 

About Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino will include a fully integrated 106,000 square foot racing and gaming facility featuring live harness racing and simulcasting with 1,250 slot machines, an upscale casual dining restaurant, the first-ever Doug Flutie Sports Bar, four-venue food court, harness concourse bar, multi-purpose banquet room, entertainment lounge and casino bar, 1,620 structured and surface parking spaces, 26,000 square foot grandstand with box and reserved seats, and 13,000 square foot clubhouse with box seats.

About Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. At June 30, 2014, the Company operated twenty-seven facilities in eighteen jurisdictions, including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario. At June 30, 2014, in aggregate, Penn National Gaming’s operated facilities featured approximately 30,900 gaming machines, 790 table games and 2,900 hotel rooms.

 

Paterson NJ Machinist the real “Father of Labor Day”?

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Paterson NJ Machinist the real “Father of Labor Day”?

Files at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark show that Matthew Maguire of Paterson, New Jersey, [1855-1917], was not only a man to be reckoned with in the beginning days of the American labor union movement, but was very probably the man behind the creation of Labor Day.

Machinist Matthew McGuire from IAM Local 344.

Machinist Matthew Maguire from IAM Local 344.

Maguire’s passion was the improvement of working conditions and he led his first strike for a shorter work day in the 1870s. In 1882 Maguire, who by then was secretary of Paterson Local 344 of the Machinists and Blacksmiths Union, became one of the organizers of the Central Labor Union of New York and he became secretary of this organization too.

The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City on September 5, 1882 under the aegis of the Central Labor Union. (The first parade was on a Tuesday, not a Monday.) Matthew Maguire sent out the invitations and according to his grandson Matthew Feeney, Maguire and his wife rode in the first carriage at the head of the parade. The Maguires shared the carriage with Henry Ward Beecher, the famous social reformer, abolitionist preacher and brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the anti-slavery book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The number of people who marched in this parade (and went to a picnic afterwards), is unclear. Different sources give different numbers, but it seems the parade was at least 10,000 strong and could have had as many as 25,000 participants. Even 10,000 people is an enormous number for that time, when they didn’t have today’s instant communication…no broadcast emails in 1882! And Labor Day was not yet a holiday, so many of those attending gave up a day’s pay to participate.

If Matthew Maguire was so instrumental in the establishment of Labor Day, why haven’t we heard about him before this?

A couple of reasons.

For years another Maguire, Peter McGuire, was credited with the establishment of Labor Day. There is of course, the similarity of names. Peter McGuire was also active in the formation of New York’s Central Labor Council and in 1897 he claimed to be the founder of Labor Day, but it seems possible that Matthew Maguire’s politics might have been at the root of his relative public obscurity.

Matthew Maguire’s interest in social reform extended to active socialist politics as well as labor unions. He served for a number of years as an Alderman in Paterson and ran for Vice-President in 1896 on the National Socialist Labor Party ticket.

Ted Watts of Silver Spring, Maryland, author of a booklet, The First Labor Day Parade, feels Maguire’s radical politics were unacceptable to the mainstream of American Labor and in particular to Samuel Gompers and his American Federation of Labor. Mr. Watts suggests that Matthew Maguire’s involvement in the establishment of the first Labor Day was essentially swept under the rug to give labor a more moderate, non-political public face.

New Jersey was one of the first five states in 1887 to pass legislation making Labor Day a state holiday. A number of other states passed similar legislation and on June 28, 1894 Congress passed a bill designating the first Monday in September both as national Labor Day and as a national holiday.

President Cleveland announced he was giving the pen with which he signed the bill to Samuel Gompers of the A F of L. The Paterson (N.J.) Morning Call wanted to set the record straight and In a July 2, 1894 editorial, “Honor to Whom Honor is Due”, stated “the souvenir pen should go to Alderman Matthew Maguire of this city, who is the undisputed author of Labor Day as a holiday”. This editorial also referred to Maguire as the “Father of the Labor Day holiday”.

Other early sources which give the credit for Labor Day to Matthew Maguire include a note in William S. Walsh’s 1898 book, Curiosities of Popular Customs… “In 1882 Matthew Maguire, secretary of the Central Labor Union in that city [New York], with the approval of the Union, corresponded with the various Labor organizations in the State with a view to setting aside one day in the year as their own holiday…Maguire was made chairman of the committee to arrange for the first labor day celebration in that year”. In 1912 B.E. and E.B. Stevenson wrote of the “History of Labor Day” in their book Days and Deeds. “To Matthew Maguire, Secretary of the Central Labor Council of New York City belongs the credit for first actually putting the idea into execution”.

Peter McGuire was a speaker that first Labor Day and he was an active member of the Central Labor Union of New York, but it looks as though Matthew Maguire of Paterson, New Jersey just really might be the true “Father of Labor Day”!

Grace-Ellen McCrann
Special Collections Librarian
The New Jersey Historical Society
23 August 2000

 

 

Machinist Matthew McGuire from IAM Local

Machinist Matthew McGuire from IAM Local 344