Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Phil Antonucci 1953-2012 RIP

Phil Antonucci passed from this life on Monday, August 27, 2012 at 11:36pm. Phil was a fixture at the audio console of TV production trucks outside stadiums, arenas, and concert halls for over three decades. An immensely talented audio engineer and musician with a truly generous spirit, Phil trained a generation of audio professionals and set an example of professionalism and joyous living for us all.

In an e-mail announcing Phil's passing, Greg Calvin, IATSE Local 100 Business Representative wrote; 
"Phil was a personal friend and mentor of mine so I would like to say a few words.  I don't think I have ever had more fun at work than the days that Phil was the mixer of WPIX Yankees. 
Between Phil, Dulio, Phil Rizzuto, Tom Seaver and John Moore I never stopped laughing and all of this happened on a TV truck that if you breathed wrong the patch cords would start dropping signals.
Phil and Corina Rose
Phil also mixed the NJ Devils games with Joe O'Rourke, Doc Emrick and Chico Resch and he ended his career mixing the Mets with Bill Webb, Gary Keith and Ron.  Phil was a class act who taught me a lot about audio and a lot about life.  He will be truly missed."

Phil Antonucci earned an Emmy award for his work as a recording engineer and sound technician. His clients included Fox, CBS, YES, SNY and Cablevision. Phil was the mixer on more than 2,200 live TV shows.

Phil and Alexa
Phil Antonucci was born on June 21, 1953 and grew up in Hicksville, Long Island.  Many of us had the pleasure of enjoying the music he began playing five decades ago. Starting in bands at the ripe old age of eleven, Phil's ear and technique developed very early and gave him a solid foundation in which he built a solid playing career. 

Hear Phil's music here;
Having obtained a degree in Music from  Long Island University C.W. Post in the 70's, he continued performing in all types of musical genres including his most recent endeavor "BEGINNINGS, the Chicago Tribute". Phil owned a recording and video studio in Huntington, NY.,  Highpoint Studio

Phil married Dee Charletta Antonucci on April 23, 1988. Together they raised two wonderful daughters, Alexa and Corina Rose.

Phil had served as president of the Huntington High School Band Parents Association and as the announcer at the band's shows.

 A benefit previously scheduled for Sept.12 will go on. In planning the benefit, friends wrote, "With his musical genius, his irascible wit, and his boundless love of his family and his many friends and fans, Phil Antonucci has touched the hearts of Long Islanders throughout most of his 59 years. A professional musician since his school days at both St. Ignatius and Holy Trinity in Hicksville, Phil has worked alongside a veritable Who’s Who of Long Island’s most noted musicians, entertainers, and media figures."

The benefit will begin at 7 p.m. at the Huntington Elks Lodge.

 "Phil Antonucci was an incredibly generous, passionate and talented man.  He devoted thousands of volunteer hours to our band program and other music programs," said Joan B. Fretz, director of fine and performing arts for the Huntington schools. "His knowledge of audio engineering and sound systems was of great assistance in many school projects. For instance, Phil was responsible for the complete design and installation of our new sound system in the high school auditorium.

 "A great musician, gifted mixer, funny fellow, good friend, and, of course, devoted dad and hubby. Our hearts and prayers are with the Antonucci family," one person wrote on his Facebook page.

Another wrote, "Heaven has gained an amazing musician. They are now blessed to hear the beautiful the music you made for your family & friends. You will be truly missed."

"There was passion in everything Phil did. He was the proud voice you heard announcing the Huntington Band competitions and we loved hearing him sing and play guitar in his Chicago tribute band. Phil had a heart of gold and was a true friend to every staff member, parent and student in our school.  We will miss our wonderful friend."
Here is a tribute to Phil and his music by Phil's cousins, Marc and Joe Williams.

Funeral arrangements for Phil Antonucci
M.A.Connell Funeral Home
934 New York Ave
Huntington Station NY

Wednesday August 29, 7pm-9pm

Thursday August 30, 2pm-4pm
Mass Friday, August 31, 9:45am
St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church..
Main Street Huntington,N.Y.

In Lieu of Flowers Please Make Donations to the Children's education Fund:Scholar's Edge P.O.Box 80, Huntington N.Y 11743

Should Labor Boycott Charlotte?

Holding the party fĂȘte in the least unionized state in the country hasn't done much to repair the frayed friendship between unions and Democrats.

The Democratic National Convention is less than a week away, and liberals are getting fired up. But at least one of the party's key constituencies isn’t quite so excited.

That group is organized labor.

Last July’s announcement that the convention would be held in the staunchly anti-union city of Charlotte, North Carolina—the least unionized state in the country—set off a firestorm of protest in the labor movement. A year later, dissatisfaction still simmers, and there's a case to be made for an unprecedented move. The message is simple: maybe labor should sit this one out.

To a large extent, politics is about resources. How an organization decides to deploy those it has available says a lot about its values and priorities. So why would labor want to channel limited funds into bolstering a local economy organized around avowedly anti-union principles? By opting for North Carolina as a convention destination, rather than a swing state with stronger union infrastructure such as Ohio or Wisconsin, the Democratic Party created an entirely avoidable disaster.

Anti-Union Territory 


Unions have already scaled back their involvement in the convention.  


If the labor movement decided to altogether avoid devoting members' time or money to attending, the Democrats could not claim they hadn't been warned.  


The party did not seek union input or prioritize supporting organized workers when selecting the convention location, and as soon as the news went public labor pointed to some glaring shortcomings: North Carolina is a so-called “right to work” state; Charlotte has virtually no unions among its building trades, construction firms, or service workers; and Charlotte has not one unionized hotel. 


Four years ago, labor contributed heavily to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, including a $100,000 donation from the AFL-CIO and several individual union contributions of over $1 million. 


This year, union members looked askance when the Democratic Party approached them to help fund its gathering, and such support has reduced to a trickle. 

As Politico reported, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, "We won’t be buying sky-boxes, hosting events other than the labor delegates’ meeting or bringing a big staff contingent to the convention."

If the relationship between Democrats and labor was already sore, the convention has rubbed salt in the wound. 

Unions have felt that the Obama administration has done too little to stand with them in places such as Wisconsin or to champion pro-worker legislation nationally. Republican obstruction in Congress hasn’t made it easy for the White House to push labor's legislative agenda. But the lack of action on the legislative front renders symbolic acts like the choice of a convention location all the more important. 

A More Strategic Political Investment 

Tensions between labor and the Democrats have been brewing for a while. In the 2010 midterm elections, unions' difficulty in generating excitement was part of that year's fabled "enthusiasm gap." 

In the 1990s, Bill Clinton antagonized erstwhile labor allies by failing to push forward legislation that would have banned businesses from permanently replacing striking workers, a key union priority at the time. Clinton showed no such reticence in passing NAFTA.

Arguably, President Obama has followed a similar pattern. On the campaign trail, he raised expectations by speaking the language of workers’ rights. 

Yet his administration, once in place, did not make the labor-backed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) a priority, and that bill suffered a quiet death. 

Subsequently, Obama implemented a wage freeze for federal workers and pushed some controversial "free trade" deals of its own (including one with Colombia, where union organizers are routinely murdered).

By walking away from the Democratic National Convention, labor would communicate to would-be suitors that union support must be earned, not taken for granted.

To advocate such a stance is not to rehash the stale debate about whether labor should break with the Democrats. With the election cycle in full swing, there is no question that unions will need to pitch in to ward off attacks by rabidly anti-union Republicans. 

Nevertheless, there is a live question about how labor can best spend its limited resources. 

Sitting out the convention would free up funds for embattled worker-friendly candidates and to targeted ballot initiatives drives across the country. It would signal a more strategic approach to electoral action: instead of supporting the Democratic Party from the top-down, unions could spend time and money supporting candidates that would be the strongest champions for working people.

Worth the Risk? 


The counter-argument? Internal disagreements between Democratic constituencies must be set aside to focus on the larger project of winning the election. The national conventions are theater, and labor’s absence from Charlotte would create a distracting sideshow. This, the argument goes, would weaken the Democrats at a critical time, courting a Romney win that could spell doom for what remains of organized labor.

For such reasons, some union leaders have taken more conciliatory public stances in recent weeks, stepping back from their initial anger. 

 In July, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’(IBEW) president Edwin Hill told National Journal that unions need to put the convention kerfuffle behind them: “There’s all kinds of issues laying out there that we can’t seem to wrap our hands around because of all of the infighting, and we need to get back on track.”

Some pro-labor analysts, however, support a more antagonistic stance. "I think it's a smart—and necessary—strategy for labor to withhold its support from the convention," says Dorian Warren, associate professor of political science at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. "Along with African Americans, Latinos, gays and lesbians, and women, organized labor is a so-called captured constituency in the Democratic Party. That is, the Party takes all of these groups for granted because they know blacks, or unions, won't defect and vote Republican in significant numbers. So Democrats have few incentives to work hard to represent their interests."

"The only leverage labor has is to threaten to withhold resources," Warren explains. "That means support for delegates, money to support Democratic candidates, and, most of all, ground troops on Election Day."

"Of all the captured core constituencies, only organized labor has this leverage," he adds. "But if the strategy of withholding support worked, it would increase the power of all progressive forces that are forced by our two-party electoral system to work with the Democrats."

Whether unions decide to make a pointed display with their absence in Charlotte, or whether they choose to make nice for the sake of Party unity, a shift from top-down support for the Democratic National Committee would mark a positive turn. 
A realignment of resources to true champions of working people will convey an insistence that organized labor be regarded as a loyal ally rather than as a virtual captive with no place else to turn.

About the Author
Amy Dean is a fellow of The Century Foundation and principal of ABD Ventures, LLC, an organizational development consulting firm that works to develop new and innovative organizing strategies for social change organizations. Dean is co-author, with David Reynolds, of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.

Broadcast Union News noteUntil the AFL-CIO, unions and our members across America stop giving our hard earned dollars to Democratic Party candidates that do not support Labor, we will continue to be the poor step children of the political scene. We need to mobilize our members to become local Democratic Party District Leaders and take back the party one municipality, one County, one state at a time.

Steven Poster, ASC ICG Local 600 National President, on Labor Day

 By Steven Poster

Next Monday is Labor Day. In between burgers and beers, I hope you'll take a minute to think about what it means to be in a union. 

Here are some of the achievements that the Labor movement has fought for and won:

  • Ending child labor
  • Establishing the legal right of workers to form unions and collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions
  • Winning the 8 hour work day and paid overtime
  • Winning workers' comp benefits for workers injured on the job
  • Securing unemployment insurance for workers who lose their jobs
  • Ensuring a guaranteed minimum wage and in many cities a "livable wage" 
  • Creating workplace safety standards  
  • Winning pensions for many workers
  • Fighting for health insurance for workers and for national health care for all Americans 
  • Securing paid sick leave, vacations, family leave and holidays as standard benefits for most workers
  • Winning passage of the Civil Right Acts and Title VII which outlaws job discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • Winning passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Winning passage of the Family Medical Leave Act
  • Winning passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act  
This is just a partial list of what we owe to those unionists who came before us. Our lives and our careers would be very different if it wasn't for their courage, activism and solidarity.

But unions are facing a greater threat today than we ever have. Across the country, but especially in California, corporate billionaires are waging a fierce campaign to knock unions out of politics.   

It's more important than ever that, this Labor Day, each of us takes a minute to decide how we can be an active part of protecting our rights as workers. Because, if legislation like California's Proposition 32 passes, it would be impossible for unions to even contact their members to fight for rights like the ones listed above. And if we can't fight to protect them, they will quickly be eroded. 

So please, remember that so many of the workers' rights we take for granted were won through long, hard fights by union activists. Ask yourself what you can do to make sure we remain strong for the future.  
Also, a reminder that elections are coming up. If you are out of town or just don't want to wait in line at the polls, make sure to register for your vote-by-mail ballot soon.

Steven Poster, ASC 
ICG Local 600 National President

Warren’s Response to Christie’s RNC Speech? Sorry, Chris, but Wages, Pensions, Health Care and Unions Defined the Greatest Generation

by Steve Cooper
The newest tool for the New American Workforce

As Mike Elk points out in his latest article, top Democratic officials are sometimes reluctant to speak openly about their stance on unions. Such is not the case, however, with Elizabeth Warren, a universally loved party favorite. 

Last night, after Chris Christie’s misleading keynote, Warren rebutted the New Jersey Governor’s suggestion that policies like those conservatives advocate for today had something to do with the prosperity the nation experienced following the Great Depression.

"New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave a speech tonight at the Republican National Convention about the Greatest Generation.

Let’s talk about what really made the Greatest Generation so great.

Coming out of the Great Depression, America was at a crossroads. The future of our economy — and our democracy — was at stake.

We made a decision together as a country: To invest in ourselves, in our kids, and in our future. For nearly half a century, that’s just what we did.

And it worked. For nearly 50 years, as our country got richer, our families got richer — and as our families got richer, our country got richer.

And then about 30 years ago, our country moved in a different direction. 

New leadership attacked wages. They attacked pensions. They attacked health care. 

They attacked unions. 

And now we find ourselves in a very different world from the one our parents and grandparents built. 

We are now in a world in which the rich skim more off the top in taxes and special deals, and they leave less and less for our schools, for roads and bridges, for medical and scientific research — less to build a future." 

About the Author: Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the editor of We Party Patriots. He educates union members on the benefits of social media, offering instruction on engaging on Facebook and Twitter. When not ruining his posture and finger muscles through endless computer use, Cooper is an avid chef and musician. The Chopped Pork and Mustard Slaw pictured is his own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mario Cilento Unanimously Reelected of the New York State AFL-CIO

On Monday, August 20, 2012, Mario Cilento was reelected unanimously by the delegates of the 32nd Constitutional Convention of the New York State AFL-CIO to a four year term as president. Cilento was first elected president by the organization’s Executive Council in December 2011 to complete the term of Denis Hughes who retired.

Cilento thanked the delegates for their faith and trust, and credited them as the strength of the Labor Movement. Cilento said, “We have 2.5 million members throughout the state – public sector, private sector and building trades, and we’re going to make the most of that strength. We will educate and engage them year-round from Buffalo to Montaulk and Plattsburgh to Brooklyn. Elected officials will understand that there is a connection between legislation and politics, and those that do not support our members – their constituents – will not earn our support on Election Day.”

Cilento presented a plan to mobilize union members at home in the neighborhoods and communities that they live in. He spoke of better coordinating at the local level in terms of legislative, political, grassroots, and communications activity to build a stronger statewide Labor Movement. In addition, Cilento spoke of efforts to improve the perception of unions and their members to ensure that they are seen for what they are – hard working, skilled, taxpaying citizens.

In addition to Cilento, Terrence Melvin was reelected Secretary-Treasurer, and members of the Executive Council were elected. The oath of office was administered by national AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, who addressed the delegates earlier in the day.

Referring to the convention theme, Cilento added, “We are Stronger Together. Our opponents may be able to outspend us by vast amounts, but they will never be able to buy our heart or the commitment and dedication we have to one another.”

Support Grows for a New Labor School at CUNY

The delegates unanimously ratified the New York State AFL-CIO Executive Council recommended resolution calling on state officials to establish a new school for labor and urban studies within the City University of New York (CUNY) at the federation’s 32nd Constitutional Convention on Tuesday.  

Graduates of the CUNY Murphy Institute MA in Labor Studies program spoke passionately about the value their experience at Murphy has had in their lives and careers.

As envisioned, the new school, an outgrowth of CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, will prepare the next generation of union and community leaders, while providing a wide range of educational opportunities for workers in general.

With a focus on issues confronting today’s workforce and working class communities, the new school will offer courses in such topics as labor relations, public policy, labor law, politics, and economics.  In addition, the school will work with CUNY colleges to establish academic programs in a range of other fields, providing the education and credentials workers need for career advancement.

“We’re looking to strengthen labor in an era when corporations are willing to spend limitless money and resources to try and weaken it,” said New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. “We need to educate our members and the general public about workers’ rights and the role of unions in defending them: it’s time for a school for labor.”

CUNY is the largest urban public institution of higher education in the nation with over a half million students and a long history and tradition of serving the needs of working people.  It offers more than 1,200 academic and technical programs at 24 colleges and schools. 

CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies has been serving union members and adult workers for nearly three decades.

Studens in the M.A. in Labor Studies at CUNY’s Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies explore issues from many perspectives, including economics, sociology, history, political science, global studies and cultural analysis. The curriculum combines theory with practice and includes internship opportunities. Graduates are prepared to work with unions as representatives, organizers, researchers, educators and communications specialists, among other staff and leadership positions. Others pursue careers in law, labor relations, human resources and government.

 · Earn a professional degree to enhance career opportunities in Labor, HR, and related fields.

· Develop a deeper understanding of work, workers, and workers’
in a global society.

· Become a more effective advocate for labor rights, human rights, and social justice.

· Study with world-class faculty and outstanding practitioners in the field.

· Obtain professional experience through exciting internship opportunities

The New York Union Semester is an innovative semester-away scholarship program for select local, national, and international students. Open to undergraduates, graduate students, and college graduates, t his unique 15-week program combines a New York City based Union internship with labor studies courses for a full semester of undergraduate or MA in Labor Studies college credit. Students work 32 hours a week and receive a weekly stipend and partial tuition scholarship.

For more information contact: 
Laurie Kellogg 
(212) 642- 2055

Friday, August 17, 2012

WPIX and 3 Other Tribune Stations Go Dark on Cablevision Amid Dispute Over Retrans Fees

Several Tribune Broadcasting stations, including WPIX-TV in New York, went dark on Cablevision at midnight Thursday amid a dispute over retransmission consent fees.

The cable operator accuses Tribune of demanding fees that are too high because of its parent company's financial woes, but Tribune says it's asking for "less than a penny a day per subscriber."

Other stations that were affected include CW affiliates WCCT, carried in a small portion of Connecticut, and KWGN in Denver, which is carried in some of Cablevision's Optimum West markets, as well as MyNetwork affiliate WPHL in Philadelphia, available in a small portion of New Jersey.

In a statement, Cablevision accused Tribune asking for retrans fees that are too high because of parent Tribune Co.'s financial troubles.

"The bankrupt Tribune Co. and the hedge funds and banks that own it, including Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co. and others, are trying to solve Tribune's financial problems on the backs of Cablevision customers," Cablevision said. "Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees for WPIX and other stations they own. They should stop their anti-consumer demands and work productively to reach an agreement."

For its part, Tribune said it wasn't notified that Cablevision was dropping its stations and that the move happened while the two companies were in the middle of negotiations.

"Cablevision took this action despite our offer of an unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued," Tribune said in a statement. "To be clear, Tribune was willing to provide Cablevision subscribers access to the valuable programming on these stations while working toward a new agreement."

"Tribune never made any threat to withdraw these stations or any demand that Cablevision remove them. Tribune makes a substantial annual investment in local news, live sports and high-quality entertainment programming. Cablevision has never compensated Tribune for the retransmission of its local stations, which are among the most highly watched channels on Cablevision's lineups."

The company said it has proposed a new deal that would amount "to less than a penny a day per subscriber," which is less than what Cablevision pays to other "less well-watched channels."

Sam Zell
Earlier this year, Tribune was embroiled in a similar dispute with DirecTV that resulted in a four-day blackout of 23 TV stations and WGN America on the satellite TV provider.

The Chicago-based Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy in 2008, a year after the company -- which owns 23 TV stations and several big newspapers -- was purchased by financier Sam Zell in a $13 billion leveraged buyout. In June, a Delaware bankruptcy judge approved a restructuring plan for Tribune Co. to emerge from Chapter 11.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Call Center Outsourcing Opponents To Get Endorsement Of Communications Workers Union

Broadcast Union News Note: McGraw-Hill is offshoring another 1,000 jobs to India. At McGraw-Hill owned Standard & Poor's the company is adding insult to injury by bringing replacement workers from India to New York to be trained by the 45 Newspaper Guild, of New York, CWA Local 31003 represented employees whose jobs they are taking.

The Communications Workers of America is working to stop this practice, see the HuffPost article below for details.


Call Center Outsourcing Opponents To Get Endorsement Of Communications Workers Union

By HuffPost

Citing the results of a new poll, the Communications Workers of America union said it intends to devote its resources to candidates who oppose the outsourcing of call centers. 

According to a poll commissioned by the union, 78 percent of voters rank call centers negatively. Voters also overwhelmingly back anti-outsourcing proposals, such as allowing calls to be transferred to a domestic call operator, and preventing companies that outsource call centers from receiving grants or tax breaks. 

"There are, frankly, very few polls that show this kind of unanimity, this kind of intensity in America today," Celinda Lake, president of the polling firm Lake Research Partners, told reporters on a conference call Tuesday afternoon. The firm primarily does polling related to organized labor and liberal causes. 

With that polling evidently in mind, CWA announced it will back candidates -- through radio advertisements and social media -- who support legislation intended to prevent companies from outsourcing call centers. 

Ron Collins, the union's chief of staff, told reporters that CWA would be rolling out radio ads this week for Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), Wisconsin Senate candidate Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

Those candidates all support a CWA-backed bill, the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act, which would make companies that outsource call centers ineligible for federal grants or guaranteed loans. 

Collins also said the union will also launch a social media campaign to promote the issue and to support anti-outsourcing candidates, as well as using its legislative political action teams to lobby elected officials.

Companies in the telecommunications and banking industries have often outsourced call centers. Roughly 500,000 call center jobs were lost in the United States between 2006 and 2010, according to the union

Monday, August 13, 2012

IBEW Local 1212 Contingent at Workers Stand For America Rally

IBEW Local 1212 Business Manager Ralph Avigliano and Senior Business Representative Vinny Butler, along with a group of Local 1212 members took the long bus ride to Philadelphia for the Workers Stand For America Rally.  Our membership can be proud of the turn out from our Local and the members who stepped up and went to Philadelphia in this time of struggle for all.

The dozens of charter buses that lined the Ben Franklin Parkway leading up to the museum testified to the magnitude of the event. They came from places including Florida, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

The IBEW Local 1212 contingent was among the 40,000 union workers that converged on Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on Saturday in solidarity with one another and with workers across America. They came together to convey a message that Washington's war on organized labor and the crippling of the American economy for the benefit of the wealthiest  will not stand.

They stood in protest of an ineffective Congress that has no real plans for putting Americans back to work. They denounced the record levels of unemployment, massive outsourcing, tax breaks for the rich while raising taxes on the working middle class, and denial of collective bargaining rights, that has been the hallmark of the GOP dominated political scene as they implement the dismantling of the American dream.

IBEW International President Ed Hill took a stand for solidarity and the steps necessary to bring IBEW members together in the birthplace of our nation to speak out for all American workers. All IBEW local unions answered the call and were surely well represented with a sea of neon yellow shirts as far as the eye could see.

CWA, Utility Workers, and UAW members were out in force as well.

According to, as of June 2012, as many as 10.5 million good middle class jobs have been outsourced from the United States to China, India, and Indonesia.

The thousands packed in and around Eakins Oval heard speeches, including a video-taped message from President Barack Obama, live messages from Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-1, of Philadelphia and U.S. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 

President Trumka said that it is work that connects us all and “Work defines us….But hard work alone never led to decent wages and retirement. It takes hard work and activism."

President Trumka continued; "We built this country. We wake it up every day, we make it run and we put it to sleep every night—and it's time that we took it back for the American worker. Anyone who says America can't afford retirement security, or health care, or decent pay for honest work, or great schools, or a postal service, or cops or firefighters and teachers and nurses—well, they don't know what they're talking about and we won't accept their defeatism.

"You built the middle class, you're going to continue to build the middle class,' Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told the crowd. "You help people who are sometimes not even in a union, because you lift all boats when you fight for those rights."

The 40,000 protesting union members called for a second Bill of Rights as they they carried signs and wore shirts with messages such as “Dignity and Respect" – "Build Union" – "Buy American”, “Jobs Create the Tax Base”, and “Stop the War on Workers.”
  • Full employment and a living wage.
  • Full participation in the political process.
  • A voice at work.
  • A quality education for all.
  • A secure and healthy future.
The fact that this is an election year is not lost on the workers nor the politicians. The country’s unemployment rate is at 8.2 percent, a number that’s not lost on anybody. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee, says the Workers Stand for America rally is sure to send a message to lawmakers about what’s important to America’s working class. “The second bill of rights is so incredibly important so that we make sure that we can reinforce our focus on fighting for the middle class and working families.”

Democratic party chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz speaks during the "Workers Stand for America" rally on behalf of middle-class workers in Eakins Oval. ( RON TARVER / Staff Photographer )

The union leaders, members, and supporters of job creation, collective bargaining rights, fair wages and benefits, affordable healthcare and education, turned out in their thousands to send a message to both Democrat and Republican politicians; We are Union, over 14 million strong, we are angry, and we vote!

America is not a plutocracy to be governed by and for the ultra wealthy, but a democracy which must continue to bestow power to its people and provide equal opportunity to all.

Click here for video of the entire event, here for photos and comments on Facebook and here for photos on Flickr

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Newspaper Guild-CWA, New York Local Seeks Full, Public Investigation of Photographer`s Arrest, Treatment by NYPD


Following is a statement by The Newspaper Guild-CWA: 

Robert Stolarik, with camera, just prior to arrest
Freelance photographer Robert Stolarik’s account of being roughed up by New York City police officers and having his camera equipment confiscated while he was attempting to do his job is deeply disturbing. 

The incident Saturday night, Aug. 4, occurred as he was working for The New York Times, photographing the police breaking up a street fight and making an arrest. 

Mr. Stolarik’s report and the police version are vastly different, but that is not uncommon. 

Janet Alexander posted images of The New York Times photographer's arrest on

 NewsGuild-CWA, and our New York local, the Newspaper Guild of New York, call on the NYPD to fully and transparently investigate this incident, which appears to have had numerous witnesses. 

If Mr. Stolarik’s account proves accurate, we add it to a litany of verified incidents showing the NYPD is using excessive force against journalists trying to cover stories involving police action. 

It is deeply troubling and wholly unacceptable for any citizen to be treated this way, and it becomes a crime of concealment when it involves journalists. 

The only way to begin to restore the public and the media’s confidence in the NYPD is with a thorough investigation and a full public reporting of the facts. 

Since the economic collapse brought on by financial institutions in 2008 many in America are seeking a way to make their voices heard. Their stories need to be told. 

But too often authorities are harshly suppressing dissent and targeting the journalists covering these events. This should not be a political issue; as Americans we all value the rights we are granted under the First Amendment to speak out, to assemble and to report on what we see and hear. 

New York City is not the only U.S. city where authorities are attempting to silence people’s voices. It’s time to take a hard look at what’s happening to our First Amendment freedoms and remember the example that we set for the world. 

Janelle Hartman

Obama vs Romney: Finally An Objective side by side comparison, using info from each candidate's website.

Obama vs Romney: Finally An Objective side by side comparison, using info from each candidate's website.

The main reason to vote for, or against President Obama and for or against Gov. Romney should be based on their positions on issues. Here is a side by side comparison, using only information from each candidate's public website.

The source for all the information comes directly from the candidates public websites:

by George Packer May 14, 2012
No spin, no opinions other than those expressed by the Dem and GOP in their official platforms.
Robert R. Daraio