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02-11-2012, 02:53 PM #1
Thank a Union Member: 75th Anniversary of the Flint Sit-Down Strike
I took this from another web forum I visit often. Considering the involvement of machinists in this strike, I thought it would resonate with some here.
Here it is:
That's right, boys and girls, seventy-five years ago today, the newly-formed, two year old UAW decided to take on the big boys, General Motors, in a company-controlled town (Flint, Michigan) in a big gamble to organize the entire automotive industry. The environment inside the plants was horrible; the workers were paid piece rate (which meant for every part they installed, vs. a salary) and the faster they worked, the more they got paid. In theory this was meant to keep production humming. In practice it meant the men had to work like dogs just to keep their jobs, nevermind to make a decent wage. Layoffs occurred whenever inventory increased or sales slowed, no matter the reason, the slowest going first. And as the workers got faster, the piece rate got smaller. GM would change the rules at will, working them men like demons for a few weeks as they sought to get a few extra dollars then lowering the wage by a few cents. Workers would get home after a twelve or fourteen hour shift so tired they were crawling to bed.
And they weren't by any means getting rich, either. The average auto worker took home about 900 dollars a year in 1935. 1600 a year was the bare minimum the US Government said a family of four could live decently on. And every year they had three to five month layoffs during which they'd change over to the new years' models, during which idle autoworkers didn't get paid and had to rely on loans (from Generous Motors, of course) just to survive, which they were of course expected to pay back, with interest, once they started working again. This usually added up to about 10% of your average workers' pay per year; a wage which had already been shown not to cover basic family needs.
What was probably the straw occured in July of 1936, when a heatwave hit Michigan and hundreds of deaths occurred inside the un-air conditioned plants throughout the state. Keep in mind I've been in these exact same buildings during the summer, with air conditioning, and it still got up over ninety degrees.
And it was a gamble, make no mistake. Flint was the heart of GM, and GM was the heart of Flint. And this was in the midst of the Great Depression, remember. The union knew that if they simply called a strike, there'd be more scabs lined up to cross the picket line and take their jobs than there were positions. It was also dangerous. The town was like a police state; they knew the union wanted in, and GM wanted to keep them out by any means necessary. They had spies everywhere, they spent almost a million dollars a year on detective services, and they had less than legal means at their disposal: a group that called itself 'The Black Legion' would tar and feather, assault and even murder union activists. These pleasant gentlemen were almost certainly funded by GM.
Sam Walton ain't got shit on Al Sloan.
This family still runs Flint to this day.
The UAW officer in charge of organizing the city got death threats from the minute he checked into his hotel room. The local union was small (122 members out of a workforce of 45,000), weak, and filled with GM stooges. The local workers were cowed by the stranglehold GM had on the local government, including the police, who could get real violent. He actually had to work secretly, visiting workers in their homes and keeping the list of new members from even the UAW HQ for fear of persecution or worse.
Slowly but surely union membership grew. A few agreements were won at Chrysler Dodge, and workers began sneaking union stickers on cars as they went down the assembly line, spreading the word that they were there to others who might be too afraid to join up or speak publicly. During the second week of November 1936, no less than six work stoppages were called, each time a pay cut or a speed up was called.
I will let the BBC describe what happened next:
On 12 November, 1936, a foreman at Fisher Body Plant Number One eliminated one man from a three-man unit and told the other two to do the work by themselves. Those two men, who were not in the union, stopped working and were fired the next morning. Beginning with the incoming night shift, indignation and outrage spread throughout the plant... So did a plan: 'Nobody starts working'. The 7000 employee plant was at a standstill. When the foreman began marching the employee who had been removed from the three-man unit to the plant superintendent's office, a union member stepped forward and stopped him. The entire assembly line was watching. A committee was selected to meet with the superintendent on the spot. Nothing like this had ever happened at Fisher Body before.
The superintendent agreed to rehire the two workers who had been fired and agreed not to dock the employees for the time lost in the stoppage. That wasn't enough. The men demanded that the two employees who had been fired be brought back to the plant. They wanted to see action, not just hear words. The company finally broadcast over local and police radio to find the two men, one of whom was on a date with his girlfriend. Work didn't resume until he had driven her home, changed his clothes and taken his place on the assembly line.
After that, workers began signing up for union membership by the hundreds.
The union members had planned on striking after the new year, when a new friendlier governor would take office (Democrat Frank Murphy) and targeted two specific die plants where the car body components were stamped, one of which (Fisher #1&2) was in Flint (the other in Cleveland). Without the die plants, no cars could be made elsewhere. Shutting those two plants down would halt a lot of GM's auto production within days.
Unfortunately for their cunning plan, the Cleveland guys jumped the gun and declared a strike on December 30, 1936. GM, not being stupid and realizing their Achilles' heel, made plans to move the dies out of Fisher #1. The organizers found this out when the night shift came in to see railway cars being loaded up with manufacturing equipment, including the dies. Word spread fast, and a red lamp was hung in the union office window across the street from the plant, which was the agreed-upon code for an emergency lunch our meeting. Lots of men showed up and they decided that equipment leaving the plant would mean their jobs. All at once they rushed the gates of the plant and ran every which way, shouting 'strike on!' to the workers still inside. The train engineer just nodded, waved at the brakeman to stop, and walked off.
The Sit-Down Strike had begun.
Why sit down? What's a sit down strike? Where's the picketers? Well, that's your typical strike; the workers leave the plant, form a picket line, and harass the guys crossing it, but work continues. GM knew how to deal with that kind of strike. So the workers decided to occupy the plant to keep any scabs or even management out so that no production could occur, making sure the plant was kept idle. They had their own elected officials, kept the plant swept and clean, and wives and sympathizers brought food and spare changes of clothes in to help keep the strike going and picketed and marched outside.
The workers barricaded every entrance with car bodies, welded the doors shut, placed metal sheets over every window that had had holes carved into them through which they could shoot fire hoses, soaked clothes in water for covering their faces in the event of tear gas, and stockpiled metal parts for weapons.
These boys weren't fucking around.
You can imagine how well this went over. A state court judge issued an injunction, telling them to GTFO. The UAW discovered said judge owned a cool 200K in GM stock and while he claimed this had no bearing on his decision, the injunction was never enforced.
GM's security forces tried to enter on Jan. 11 1937 and were repulsed by workers inside the plant using fire hoses (this is January, in Michigan, mind. It was probably well below freezing) and chucking car parts at them. The cops responded with tear gas. The wives and members of the women's auxiliary broke out windows to help clear the gas out of the plant. Then the cops showed up, tried a few more times (the union members outside the plant shouting over a PA system warned the workers where the next wave would come from and generally directed the battle) and, frustrated, the motherfuckers fired almost point-blank into the crowd of union supporters. The union's sound truck battery was running low. Things were looking grim for our heroes.
Then this bad-ass broad stood up and grabbed the mic.
Rosie the Riveter wasn't just a chick on a poster
Originally Posted by Genora Johnson
And that is how the strikers won 'The Battle of Bulls Run' (Bull being slang for a cop at the time, Bull's Run a famous Civil War battle). Sixteen strikers had been wounded (mostly from gunshots) and eleven police hurt by the two-inch metal door hinges thrown by the sit-downers from the roof of the plant. Thankfully, there were no deaths.
This was national news now. The Vice-President at the time, John Garner, wanted to send in the feds to intervene to end the strike but good ol' FDR forbade it. GM tried a second injunction. The union decided to seize another plant. Since they knew they had rats in the ranks, they took thirty of their most trusted members (making sure some spies were in the ranks) and announced to them they'd be heading towards plant #9 (strongly union and easiest to take). They told the union leaders at #9 they only had to hold the plant for thirty minutes, as the real target was plant #6 (also a diversion for the few spies left in this even smaller group). Only six guys were trusted with the real target: Chevy #4, the largest, most well-defended, spy-riddled plant in GM's line up, and the sole maker of Chevy engines.
On Feb. 1 they called for a general action at Plant #9. Thousands of people showed up, Women's Auxiliary, kids, sympathizers, supporters, union workers from other unions including the bus drivers (whom the striking autoworkers had supported in their own strike the year before) all descended on Plant #9.
A woman rushed up to the leader with a slip of paper, the guy announced 'they're attacking our boys in Chevy #9' and they rushed the plant. (The paper was blank). The diversion worked; Chevy Four sent all of its hired goons, security and coopted line workers alike to go quash the uprising at Plant #9, leaving #4 undefended. The security guards waded into the crowd at #9, busting heads.
And the union workers at #4 shut everything down. Half the workers, those not part of the union, just went home instead of helping the foremen restart the lines, leaving their lunch boxes behind in a pile for the strikers to help themselves. The other half took over the plant.
The UAW had captured the crown jewel of GM without striking a single blow.
These cunning bastards would later go on to defeat Hitler.
After driving out the remaining union sympathizers at Plant #9, the security goons and collaborators returned to find #4 held by the union men. They tried to get back in but were beaten off until the red-bereted Women's Brigade showed up, locked arms in front of the gates and again forbid them entry.
Now GM was sweating; two key plants were down, one for over a month. It brought them to the bargaining table where CIO founder and president of the United Mine Workers, John Lewis, bargained for the UAW while its president was kept busy on a speaking tour since GM refused to be in the same room with any UAW members. Governor Murphy acted as an intermediary between the UAW/CIO and GM as a result. Governor Murphy sent in the National Guard, to 'keep the peace' (while he was a union sympathizer, he had GM breathing down his neck as well. John Lewis talked him out of having the guards clear the plants, and instead just had them be a show of force).
He wasn't fucking around, either. That's a machine gun.
On February 11, 1937, 44 days after Fisher #1 was taken, a six-month agreement was signed between GM and the UAW that recognized the UAW as the exclusive bargaining representative between GM and any employees who were members, nationwide. This was the first time in the history of the United States that any employer had granted exclusive bargaining rights to any union on a national basis. David had struck a blow against Goliath.
Originally Posted by The BBC
You can hear oral history about the event from actual strikers here.
More details here, since this was already hella long, including details of the settlements and another incident that left a man shot in the stomach.
This is the thread to share stories and pictures if you have any of the Sit Down strike or hell, any interesting labor history.
Enjoy your 40 hour work week, your benefits, your weekend, your minimum wage and your time and a half overtime. And if you don't have those things, maybe the time has come again to ask, why the hell not?
Found some actual footage on youtube: from Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story The wives would bring the worker's kids to visit their fathers, lifting them up through the windows, if you're wondering what the deal is with that. The kids weren't there 24/7 or anything.
02-11-2012, 09:53 PM #2
U.S. TARIFF HISTORY 1821-2000
YEARS……………..AVERAGE EFFECTIVE TARIFF (% tax on all imports)
The United States had an even larger tariff increase after WW I than during Smoot-Hawley and our economy did not go into a depression - we had the roaring 1920s':
YEAR....................FREE AND DUTIABLE TARIFF RATE
From 1920 to 1923 the tariff rate increased from 6.38% to 15.18% - that is an increase of 138%.
Did the U.S. economy go into a Great Depression and did our trading partners start a "trade war"? The U.S. economy expanded until 1929.
The Smoot-Hawley increase from 13.5% in 1929 to 19.8% in 1933 is only a 46.6% increase.
As the tariffs dropped, U.S. corporations could fire expensive union labor, outsource to slave labor markets and bring the product back into the U.S. market duty free.
Unions lost jobs, profits went to the CEO's and shareholders.
“Specifically, when income is equitably distributed, there is little question as to its ultimate disposition. It is spent or it is saved, invested and thus spent. There are no large pools of funds that are held in idleness because no one, or not many, have sufficient income to support such accumulations.
The United States in recent times has had both an unequal and an increasingly unequal distribution of income. Paul Krugman has estimated that in the 1980s “70 percent of the rise in average family income [went] to the top 1 percent of families....The 1 percent of families with the highest incomes received about 12 percent of overall pretax income, while the wealthiest 1 percent of families had some 39 percent of net worth.”
The counterpart of this concentration of income and wealth was a damaging unreliability as to its use. In established and orthodox economics, savings are invested and spent no less reliably than the money that goes to the supermarket. In real life, if money goes to individuals in very large chunks, it may be neither spent nor invested. It may be held in liquid form; some of it, as in the 1980s, may be absorbed by functionless debt creation, such as that which financed the mergers and acquisitions and the leveraged buyouts....
The poor spend what they receive in good times and bad. So, on the whole, do those with middle class incomes. The rich have a choice. When they neither spend nor invest, a new equilibrium is set by the reduced demand....
There is, as I've said, a social case for equitably distributed income, but the latter, to repeat, is also functionally necessary for the effective operation of the modern market economy. That the recession cum depression of the 1990s came first to the United States and spread out to the world from here should surprise no one;
as to widely distributed and therefore reliably expended income – the first essential of modern capitalism – we are far from the best case.”
John Kenneth Galbraith
A Journey Through Economic Time, 1994
If you don't understand why distribution of income has an effect on employment and recessions/depressions, go here and read. It comes straight out of a college economics text book -
This union organizing episode I posted in the Boeing thread -
Tragedy on the TP&W
Death of two unarmed strikers on February 6, one of them a member of our Brotherhood, shot down on a public highway, and the wounding of three others by gunmen in the employ of George P. McNear, Jr., is a tragic example of the ruthless tyranny that characterizes his attempts to force substandard wage and operating conditions upon Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad employes.
The dead are Brothers Arthur Brown, TP&W engineer, member of Lodge 926 of our Brotherhood, and Kenneth Paschon, head timekeeper of the road. Wounded were Brothers Howard Williamson, Russel M. Esslinger and Amos Vinson. Brother Williamson is a striking TP&W engineman and a member of Lodge 926.
In a statement issued by Vice President Keiser who is representing our Brotherhood and serving as chairman of the committee of the thirteen organizations involved, it was set forth that the two strikers were killed and the three injured by gunfire that entered their backs.
It had been known McNear was securing guns and ammunition to use against the strikers. State police stopped a car loaded with firearms as it was leaving the state highway to enter TP&W property. The occupants were taken to the East Peoria, Illinois, police station where the guns were confiscated subject to instructions from Springfield. The next day the weapons and ammunition were released to McNear's representative.
Not only in the immediate vicinity has this tragic event aroused tremendous sentiment, but throughout the country as well. Murder charges have been filed against the four men who did the shooting and the U.S. District attorney announced that he had requested an FBI investigation.
In Peoria the unions arranged a public memorial service in the state armory for Sunday, February 17. It was attended by some 3,000 friends and sympathizers.
How President McNear plans to escape responsibility for the tragic affair remains to be seen. Certainly the gunmen were under his employ and direction, and as they were acting as his agents the accusing finger points directly at him.
Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen's Magazine
Vol. 120, March 1946
02-11-2012, 10:21 PM #3
So I would suppose w/ the passing of the 16th amendment in 1913 (income tax amendment), the income formerly generated by tariffs on imports gradually was supplanted by income tax levied on the population.
Do you feel good about all the cheap imports you now have access to? Are they really that cheap when you consider the income tax you pay?
Last edited by morsetaper2; 02-12-2012 at 07:30 AM.
Calibre liked this post
02-11-2012, 10:31 PM #4
The income tax was created in 1913, just in time to be around to fund WW I :
YEAR.....INOME TAX REVENUE.....TARIFF REVENUE
Up until 1916, the tariff was the largest single Federal revenue source.
1917 was the first time in U.S. history that the income tax surpassed the tariff and we've never looked back since then.
2007 IMPORTS AND TARIFF REVENUES
IMPORTS = $2,345.983 billion
(source: http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/09s1260.pdf )
TARIFFS = $26.010 billion of which $1.339 billion came from trust fund revenues.
(source: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf Table 2.5 p.50 of 342)
$26.010 - $1.339 = $24.671 billion
$24.671 / $2,345.983 x 100% = 1.0% EFFECTIVE TAX RATE
U.S GDP = $13,841 billion
(source: http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/09s0645.pdf )
Imports as a percent of U.S. GDP are now a staggering 16.9% of GDP yet only pay 1.0% effective tax rate.
Percent of Federal revenues paid by tariffs in 1905 was 47.4%
In 2002, 49% of all Federal revenue came from the personal income tax.
The entire U.S. economy now suffers under a 30% effective tax rate.
There is no free lunch in economics.
Either you pay high prices for American-made products and have a balanced trade position or you pay in the following ways.
If you purchase imports and run trade deficits, you have many problems:
1. Print more money to replace the foreign holdings of your dollars. This devalues your dollar and eventually those dollars will come home. Then the actual cost of those cheap imports will come due in the form of horrible inflation.
2. Your domestic industry is destroyed - the same industry that pays high wages and taxes to support your government and spends consumer dollars to support the economy.
3. You destroy tariff revenues. Somebody has to pay for your government. You must replace lost tariff revenues with internal (income tax) revenues.
4. You destroy your national security which is founded on your industrial capacity.
5. You put up for sale your national assets as some of the trade deficit comes back in the form of foreign investment (that portion of the trade deficit that isn't held in foreign dollar reserves). Overwhelmingly foreign investment is spent on the purchase of U.S. assets - not building factories. The biggest is U.S. securities that fund our debt. Thus interest payments on the national debt funded by foreigners goes overseas.
02-12-2012, 06:06 AM #5
I lived a good life because of those strikers,never thought in my widest dreams that it would end in less than a life time.
The propaganda machine has won again.joe 6 pack& sister betty bertha better than you think Union workers are over compinsated.
02-12-2012, 12:06 PM #6
"Do you feel good about all the cheap imports you now have access to? Are they really that cheap when you consider the income tax you pay?"
excellent point, until the importers of OUR manufactured goods impose their tariffs.
02-12-2012, 03:04 PM #7
This is only MY opinion and it may not be correct.
If unions want to regain their status, the members must take back from the "leaders" the power of the unions. The leaders are, with the co-operation of politictions, heading the whole country towards a socialist ruin.
Unions had their use in getting 'rights' established, but have been hi-jacked by the very evil they were created to battle. These union 'bosses' now are little different then the company bosses that once were the targets.
If the Constitution means anything to union members, why is it the efforts to usurp this document is being funded by union money? Obamas healthcare fiascle is a direct affront to our freedom and was written by several union entities, SIEU comes to mind just for one. This 'law' is already being used to undermine religous freedom, ie the contraceptive/catholic thing. If fully instituted the law will be used to control anything the Gov. deems unhealthy. And that can be whatever is the current whim.
My Grand father was a locomotive engineer at the time of the RR unions' were being formed and he was all for them. They were nessecary and he knew people that had died to get them created. My father also was a union man and a loco-chairman for the BLE. I can remember him saying how Granddad would be turning in his grave at the way the union was being run. My experiance, though short, with the UTU showed me the union was unresponsive to the membership.
But to take the fees of the members who concider themselves to be good Americans and use those monies to subvert the very documents which make it possible to strike and bargain is reprehensible! I have been unable to understand why the membership lets this happen.
Now, as I opened with, this is my view and it may not be entirely correct. But my experiance and observations have brought me to these conclusions.
Watching my country heading towards communism. With union help!
02-12-2012, 04:07 PM #8
The repubs are the ones who want to take away collective bargaining (and other) rights, not dems. Wisconsin?
The Healthcare bill is the worst example of "Taking away our rights", ever!!! To have a problem with contraception is one of the best marks of being a retard...EVER!!! Any religion that is against it deserves any flack, infringement, WHATEVER, comes their way. If someone doesn't understand this they are DANGEROUSLY stupid/delusional. Religious freedom shouldn't extend INFINITELY. Anyway, it takes care of itself...If you are Catholic or have a problem with birth control...DON'T USE IT!!! NO ONE IS MAKING ANYONE USE IT!!! NOT OBAMA, NOT ANYONE!!!!!
02-12-2012, 04:45 PM #9
Yeah we got almost 7 billion people on this rock,not enough work for them,lets stop free birth control,have another 3 or 4 billion more lookin for work!,freedom to become a plauge,thats your desire?wtf?
02-12-2012, 04:52 PM #10
probably want to ban birth control just so there can be an excuse to castrate everyone.
02-12-2012, 04:55 PM #11
Krutch - you made the mistake of stating your opinion (which you are entitled to and I am mostly in agreement with for the very reasons you state) in the context of about the most intolerant mindset on the board.
Unions have a place - yet for the most part, their purpose has been co-opted by the very attitude and methodology that they were created to stand against. Shoe doesn't fit well in either place. The pendulum never stops swinging.
And why we should thank a Union member today for something that happened before any of them were born is . . .
No doubt the posts that follow this one will demonstrate this intolerance of opinion in all manner of shades of red -
02-12-2012, 05:40 PM #12
How many unions wanted these bills passed?
NAFTA (H.R. 3450) November 17, 1993 roll call 575
GATT/WTO (H.R. 5110) November 29, 1994 roll call 507
WTO Withdrawal (House Joint Resolution 90) June 21, 2000 roll call 310
Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 3009) July 27, 2002 roll call 370
U.S.-Singapore Trade (H.R. 2739) July 24, 2003 roll call 432
U.S.-Chile Trade (H.R. 2738) July 24, 2003 roll call 436
CAFTA (H.R. 3045) July 28, 2005 roll call 443
U.S.-Oman Trade (H.R. 5684) July 20, 2006 roll call 392
NAFTA (H.R. 3450) November 20, 1993 roll call 395
GATT/WTO (H.R. 5110) December 1, 1994 roll call 329
Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 3009) August 1, 2002 roll call 207
U.S.-Singapore Trade (H.R. 2739) July 31, 2003 roll call 318
U.S.-Chile Trade (H.R. 2738) July 31, 2003 roll call 319
CAFTA (H.R. 3045) June 30, 2005 roll call 209
U.S.-Oman Trade (H.R. 5684) June 29. 2006 roll call 190
Republican 1,418 – 268.....84.1% Pro Free Trade
Democrats 662 – 1,068.....38.3% Pro Free Trade
Republican 290 – 57.....83.6% Pro Free Trade
Democrats 154 – 180.....46.1% Pro Free Trade
This is corporate control of Congress - not union control.
Deregulation of coal industry behind fatal accidents in US mines
By Samuel Davidson
9 March 2006
Most if not all of the deaths this year in US coal mines could have been prevented if safety measures proposed for nearly two decades had not been blocked and eventually killed by officials from the Clinton and Bush administrations.
In recent years, officials from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), under orders from the Bush White House to promote a “partnership” with the coal companies, have overturned several safety procedures in place for years and drastically reduced the enforcement of existing safety standards. In addition, government officials have not mandated the use of safety equipment widely used in other countries that has proved to save lives and prevent injuries.
To date, 21 coal miners have died on the job this year in the US. Another three miners working in metal and non-metal mines have also been killed. The most recent fatalities occurred on February 16 and 17. On the first date, 33-year-old Tim Caudill was crushed to death when a section of roof fell at the TECO coal mine near Hazard, Kentucky. On the following day, 35-year-old William Junior Miller was crushed to death between two coal cars in an underground pit in Maryland.
While the investigations into this year’s fatal mining accidents—including the Sago Mine disaster that killed 12 West Virginia miners—are still continuing, initial evidence indicates that the elimination of previously existing federal and state regulations, the suppression of additional regulations and the lack of enforcement of existing regulations all played a direct role in these tragedies.
Thirteen of the 21 fatalities in 2006 have been the result of asphyxiation after an initial fire or explosion. While it appears that one of the miners was killed instantly by the January 2 blast at the Sago Mine, it is possible that several of the other men trapped underground may have lived at least 10 hours after the initial explosion, according to notes recovered from one of them. The only survivor, Randall McCloy, Jr., was rescued after 42 hours underground but suffered severe brain damage.
Another two West Virginia miners, killed in a January 19 conveyor belt fire at the Aracoma Alma Mine, were overcome by smoke.
Each of the 13 miners who died from asphyxiation was equipped with a respirator that provided only one hour’s worth of oxygen. On September 24, 2001, MSHA withdrew a proposal that required mine owners to stock caches of additional respirators that would give miners more time to escape or be rescued.
Another portion of the rule change quashed by MSHA would have required more training on the use of the respirators known as Self-Contained Self-Rescuers or SCSRs. These devices are more complicated than the type of oxygen masks found in airplanes. Since pressurized oxygen containers would be an explosive hazard, SCSRs produce oxygen through a chemical reaction. Working them requires miners to perform several steps to start the chemical reaction that supplies a clean airflow.
There have been repeated incidents in which the failure to properly train miners in the use of these devices and to have sufficient supplies of the respirators had fatal consequences. In 1987, a MSHA report on the death of 27 miners in a Utah mine three years earlier found that the miners had not been properly trained in the use of the device and that there were not enough of them in places accessible to the miners.
George W. Bush’s appointee to head MSHA, David Lauriski, could not complain of being ignorant of these findings when he withdrew the proposal to mandate mine operators to provide more SCSRs. In 1984, Lauriski was the safety and training director at the Utah mine where the 27 miners were killed.
Though the Bush administration killed the proposal for the SCSRs, the Clinton administration had simply delayed its implementation when it was in charge of MSHA until it lost office. The Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, subordinate the safety of coal miners to the profit needs of the coal industry.
It is noteworthy that the head of the MSHA under Clinton, Davitt McAteer, who helped stall the implementation of the respirator proposal, is now in charge of the Sago Mine investigation in West Virginia.
It is useful to take note of the timeline on the enactment (or non-enactment) of mine safety improvements. The terrible mine accident in Utah, killing 27 miners, occurred in 1984, under the Reagan administration. In 1987, under the Reagan administration, MSHA issued its reports and proposed that ventilation standards be revamped. The Clinton administration, which came into office in 1993, began studying changes to mine ventilation standards. In 1999, after seven years of study—virtually the entire time Clinton was in office—MSHA announced it was ready to “begin the process” of making rule changes. The proposals were then left for the next administration to enact—a measure that virtually guaranteed they would be killed. The Bush administration, elected with the support of Big Coal, did precisely that, withdrawing the proposals in 2001.
This is corporate control of the Federal government - not union control.
Gramm and the ‘Enron Loophole’ - NYTimes.com
Gramm and the ‘Enron Loophole’
By ERIC LIPTON
In 2000, Senator Phil Gramm played a central role in writing the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, a law that would open the door to unregulated trading of credit default swaps, the financial instruments blamed, in part, for the current economic meltdown.
But there was another aspect of this legislation that, earlier this decade, helped produce another financial meltdown: the collapse of Enron, the Texas energy company.
The commodity futures act, in addition to allowing unregulated trading of financial derivatives, included language advocated by Enron that largely exempted the company from regulation of its energy trading on electronic commodity markets, like its once-popular Enron Online. The provision came to be known as the Enron Loophole...
Enron was a major contributor to Mr. Gramm’s political campaigns, and Mr. Gramm’s wife, Wendy, served on the Enron board, which she joined after stepping down as chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Keynes, Capitalism, And The Crisis John Bellamy Foster Interviewed by Brian Ashley
But the real action right now is elsewhere, in the direct government salvaging of financial capital. This has little to do directly with Keynesianism and in fact reflects the continued dominance of financial capital in the crisis. Keynes was far from being a big supporter of speculative finance and argued for the "euthanasia of the rentier." In the course of this downturn the United States has committed up to $10 trillion in aid to financial institutions, by such means as guarantees of bank debts and asset-backed securities, direct investments, the establishment of currency swap lines with central banks, and programs for the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. In comparison to this, Obama's total fiscal stimulus is less than $400 billion a year. The annual public works spending for the entire country in the stimulus package is less than what Bank of America by itself has received in financial support commitments from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury in this crisis. What we are seeing therefore is a socialization of private financial losses on a scale never before conceived. None of this has much to do with Keynesianism as such.
This isn't "union-controlled government" - this is "corporate controlled government".
02-12-2012, 05:52 PM #13
Oh, I don't know...maybe because they (HOPEFULLY) still believe in the principals that unions are all about. Like NOT HATING THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKER! Now I know that most will claim that they DO NOT HATE the average American worker...if true, stop advocating horse shit that SURE MAKES IT LOOK THAT WAY!
P.S. but of course, you don't have to thank a single person for anything if you don't feel like it. It is more a figure of speech.
machinehead61 liked this post
02-12-2012, 05:55 PM #14
02-12-2012, 06:08 PM #15
Again, I think, as Mr. Hartquist said, you have an historical situation that goes back 50, 60 years. At the time, obviously, the inverted tariff was the reflection of a need to encourage the capital investment, the large capital investment, that was necessary for purposes of tube and glass investment. That was big, big investment, and I think the historical reason for the inverted tariff, which, again, is contrary to the typical situation where you're trying to encourage value added at the labor end, in that situation there was a desire to encourage the capital investment, and the way to do that in glass and picture tube was to establish a 15 percent tariff. That was the historical foundation on this. What I was referring to, and this goes to your point in terms of the policy aspect, and really this is a policy issue, I think if you look at the history of some of the trends in this industry and, particularly, some of the trade litigation that has occurred here, I think it's very telling.
In the late seventies, early eighties, there were dumping orders in effect on TVs from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. As a result of that, those orders were very successful. What happened, Korean and Japanese producers set up assembly operations in the United States.
What then happened was a massive inflow of color picture tubes. Regardless of the 15 percent tariff, color picture tubes came surging into this country. A case was brought by the color picture tube producers. The case was successful. Antidumping duty orders were imposed on color picture tubes.
A result of that was the building of new color picture tube plants by companies like Matsushita. One of the great ironies -- I recall saying this at another time -- is that the day the Commission voted affirmatively on the color picture tube case, the president of Matsushusta stood up in Tokyo and announced that he was going to build the largest color picture tube plant in the United States in Troy, Ohio.
LAURENCE J. LASOFF
Attorney representing the IBEW, IUE-CWA, and Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America, as well as Five Rivers Electronic Innovations, LLC, a manufacturer of color televisions
based in Greeneville, Tennessee.
Testimony before the United States International Trade Commission
In the Matter of China dumping TV sets in the U.S. market.
April 15, 2004
In March 1988, the Torrington Company filed a petition with the Department of Commerce alleging dumping by bearing firms from nine countries an unfair subsidization of bearing imports from two countries. This caused price rises almost immediately.(8) Commerce ruled in Torrington's favor (i.e. found dumping) in all six product categories under review, however, the International Trade Commission determined in May 1989, that injury to the U.S. bearing industry occurred in only three categories - ball bearings, cylindrical roller bearings and spherical plain. Therefore, although dumping was identified in the other three product categories (needle bearings, slew rings and spherical roller bearings), antidumping duties were not imposed in light of the negative injury determination. Countervailing duty charges alleging export subsidies by the Governments of Thailand and Singapore were also verified. In addition, antidumping duties were instituted against tapered roller bearings from Hungary, Italy, Japan, the PRC and Romania.
The antidumping margins were large, and provided an immediate impetus for the major foreign companies to accelerate investment in their U.S. operations. In addition, a worldwide demand surge that began in the second half of 1987 and held through 1989 helped sustain the higher prices that the dumping margins generated. (9)
(8) Torrington's petition covered all antifriction bearings (except tapered roller bearings covered under an earlier petition submitted by Timken) and a plain bearing called spherical plain bearings (rod ends). The antidumping petition named West Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Romania, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. The countervailing duty (unfair subsidy) petition named Thailand and Singapore.
(9) Between 1987-1989, imported ball bearing prices (which were most affected by dumping duties) rose by one-third, while overall imported bearing prices rose 18 percent.
National Security Assessment of the Antifriction Bearings Industry
U.S. Department of Commerce
Bureau of Export Administration
Office of Industrial Resource Administration
Strategic Analysis Division
Our trading adversaries have the U.S. market to lose in a trade war.
We own the trade deficit - not China, the EU, Japan, South Korea, Canada, etc....
Last edited by machinehead61; 02-13-2012 at 12:00 PM.
02-13-2012, 04:06 AM #16
No body said anything bout killin babies here smalltime,just talkin aboot not makin em,
see the difference? prolly not,
02-13-2012, 06:23 AM #17
02-13-2012, 06:33 AM #18
Thank you for proving something I've noted and mentioned many times:
love how you anti-union folks just can't help yourselves from making a snide comment......so, in a reciprocal way:
Remember, boys and girls....... Hitler and Stalin both hated trade unions, too!
aerodark liked this post
02-13-2012, 07:22 AM #19
i wonder if the anti folks have taken the time to actually think it through?
by the logic put forth by some perhaps we should not be celebrating such things as Veteran`s Day or Independence Day?? it happened a long time ago- why thank them?
if the unions are as some say what would be the outcome if they no longer existed?
would the(assuming the anti`s are right) upper management that are just as bad as said unions all of a sudden be nice guys?
don`t like unions? don`t join.
the anti`s are trying to force their personal beliefs on everyone else-
hmmm.... what is the name for that?
pretty bad that a thread such as this has to be shat upon.
02-13-2012, 08:08 AM #20
And, by godwins law, you just lost the debate
(before blowing your gasket, look up what godwins law is, if you're unfamiliar)