Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 Labor Day Events Around the State

September 05 - Fox Valley / Neenah-Menasha

10:00 A.M. The Parade Route starts in Menasha on Milwaukee Street to Main Street down Tayco Street to Neenah Commercial Street and turns on Wisconsin Avenue ends at the intersection of Church and Main Street.

Neenah Labor Temple 157 S Green Bay Road, Neenah, Wisconsin LIVE MUSIC BEAKER STREET 11:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. LITTLE VITO & THE TORPEDOES 3:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. Corn Roast, Paddlewheel, Beverage & Food Tents, Huge Crafts & White Elephant Sale. FACE PAINTING by BEST FRIENDS BADGER BOUNCERS

September 05 - Kenosha Laborfest

12:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  This is the annual Kenosha Laborfest featuring booths from all labor organizations in the Kenosha area. Exceptional variety of food vendors at reasonable prices and free kids activities. Raffle prizes, beer tent and activities for the whole family. Rain or Shine!  Sponsored by: Kenosha Central Labor Council.  Location: St. Therese Picnic Grounds, 9005 22nd Ave. (91st. St. & 22nd Ave.), Kenosha, WI 53142

September 05 - Marinette Labor Day Picnic
Noon to 5:00 PM.  City Park, Marinette.  We will have food, beer, and a first class blues band (Kilborn Alley Blues Band- http://www.kilbornalley.com/) to celebrate solidarity. The local police and firefighters will also be having events for children. Show up and join the fight. 

September 05 - Greater Green Bay Labor Council Annual Labor Day Family Picnic

11:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Bay Beach Park.  Food and Refreshments, Rides, Raffles, Music, Bingo, Games for the Kids.  Click here for flyer and agenda.

September 05 - Oshkosh Labor Day Picnic and Car Show 
The Winnebago County Labor Council will be hosting the Annual City-Wide Labor Day Picnic and Car Show in South Park in Oshkosh Wisconsin.  Along with the picnic we will be having our 11th Annual Antique and Classic Automobile Show all day in the park. Food and refreshments will be sold from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.  Live music will be from 12 noon till 4:00 P.M.  Raffle prizes will be given away and BINGO will be played all day at the picnic. We hope to see you there!!

September 05 - Wausau Labor Day Parade 
Assembly @ 3:00 p.m. (On West Wausau Ave between 1st And 3rd Ave).  Parade Starts @ 4:00 p.m.  Grand Marshal Donna Seidel Rep from the 85th Assembly District.  Citizen of The Year John Spiegelhoff AFSCME Bus Rep.  Labor Day Parade Food Drive: We will be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations. Donations will be given to the Neighbors Place. (Look for vehicle and staff at the end of the parade or drop off at the Labor Temple parking lot.)  For more info Contact Randy Radtke @ cell 715-370-8908, home715-845-7094 or rkradtke@solarus.biz or check us out on the web @ www.marathoncountylaborcouncil.org

September 05 - Milwaukee Labor Day Parade & Laborfest
Parade assembly begins at 9:30am with kick-off at 11:00am from Zeider Union Square Park. Laborfest is held on the Summerfest grounds and runs from noon until 5:00pm. There is plenty of food, fun and speakers. Please join the festivities!!  Click here to print poster

September 05 - La Crosse Labor Fest

The Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO LABOR DAY Parade begins at 10 a.m. on the North Side of La Crosse.  Labor Fest runs from 10 a.m. until approximately 2:30 p.m. at the north end of Copeland Park. Food Sold by Pogy’s Catering: Brats, Hot Dogs, Chips and Candy (cash must be used to purchase this food, no tokens accepted)  City Brewery Beer and Pepsi Products Sold by the Labor Council. Bingo Games hosted by IAFF Local 127 -- approximately 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Music provided by Vic Stone, Disc Jockey.  Saw Dust Pile with coins for the Kids (time to be announced)  To buy labor day tokens before the event, please contact Mike Koziara at (608) 317-9755.  Click here for flyer & parade route.

September 05 - Eau Claire

Greater West Central Area Labor Council Labor Day Walk, Rally and Picnic.  Walks from 4 locations around the city of Eau Claire to Phoenix Park in beautiful down town Eau Claire begin at 10AM.  Rally at Phoenix Park 11-Noon. Picnic, music, and prizes 12-3 PM. Raffle for $ with proceeds to “Feed My People” in West Central Wisconsin.  Open to “All Who Labor” but we ask for a non-perishable food item for our food bank.  Contact information to Jack Connell (715-529-3426). 

September 05 - Fond du Lac Labor Day Parade and Picnic
The Fond du Lac Labor Day Parade begins at 11:00am followed by a picnic at Lakeside Park in Oven Island. Food and refreshments will be served and live music will play from 1:00 - 5:00.

September 05 - Madison LaborFest
Annual Labor Day Celebration. Two bands, food & drink, kids activities, display tables, Solidarity Roll Call

September 05 - Racine County Labor Fest

Runs from noon to 5:00P on Monday, September 5th. Through the generousity of the tavern league,local unions, and their members food, beer, and soda are free. Games for the children, antique auto show, and political speeches. The three annual awards will be presented by 2:00 PM.  Franksville Park, 9700 Northwestern Ave., Franksville, WI 53126.  Click here for flyer.

Source: Wisconsin AFL-CIO

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tea Party Joe

Joe gets up at 6 am and fills his coffeepot with water. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, Joe takes his daily medication. His medicine is safe because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but ten dollars of his prescriptions are paid by his employer's medical plan, because liberal union workers fought for medical insurance -now Joe gets it too. He prepares bacon and eggs for breakfast. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meatpacking industry.

Joe takes a shower and reaches for the shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its proportion of the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. .

Joe walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. He saves a lot of money in parking and gas because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, benefits, retirement, and paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker's comp or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is lunch time and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some· bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car, which is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by the Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe doesn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car to drive home, and listens to a talk radio show. The host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection Joe enjoys throughout the day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big government liberals running our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

This piece has been circulated in various forms on the Internet.

PPA Reprint: The Communicator

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PPA Conference – Orlando FL August 10, 2011

Attached is an excerpt from and interview between National APWU President Cliff Guffey and Radio and Television Host Ed Shultz on Progressive Radio in Madison, Wisconsin today.

Editors look on as the interview between Guffey and Schultz is played live.

Part of the interview revolves around the over-prepayment of $75M in funds by the Postal Service.

The entire interview will be linked at a later date.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died ...a letter from Michael Moore

Friday, August 5th, 2011


From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, "When did this all begin, America's downward slide?" They say they've heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent's income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how "lowly" your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated.

Young people have heard of this mythical time -- but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, "When did this all end?", I say, "It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981."

Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to "go for it" -- to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.

And they've succeeded.

On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who'd defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.

It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only three unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?

Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started -- a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.

Reagan promised to end all that. So when the air traffic controllers went on strike, he seized the moment. In getting rid of every single last one of them and outlawing their union, he sent a clear and strong message: The days of everyone having a comfortable middle class life were over. America, from now on, would be run this way:

* The super-rich will make more, much much more, and the rest of you will scramble for the crumbs that are left.

* Everyone must work! Mom, Dad, the teenagers in the house! Dad, you work a second job! Kids, here's your latch-key! Your parents might be home in time to put you to bed.

* 50 million of you must go without health insurance! And health insurance companies: you go ahead and decide who you want to help -- or not.

* Unions are evil! You will not belong to a union! You do not need an advocate! Shut up and get back to work! No, you can't leave now, we're not done. Your kids can make their own dinner.

* You want to go to college? No problem -- just sign here and be in hock to a bank for the next 20 years!

* What's "a raise"? Get back to work and shut up!

And so it went. But Reagan could not have pulled this off by himself in 1981. He had some big help:


The biggest organization of unions in America told its members to cross the picket lines of the air traffic controllers and go to work. And that's just what these union members did. Union pilots, flight attendants, delivery truck drivers, baggage handlers -- they all crossed the line and helped to break the strike. And union members of all stripes crossed the picket lines and continued to fly.

Reagan and Wall Street could not believe their eyes! Hundreds of thousands of working people and union members endorsing the firing of fellow union members. It was Christmas in August for Corporate America.

And that was the beginning of the end. Reagan and the Republicans knew they could get away with anything -- and they did. They slashed taxes on the rich. They made it harder for you to start a union at your workplace. They eliminated safety regulations on the job. They ignored the monopoly laws and allowed thousands of companies to merge or be bought out and closed down. Corporations froze wages and threatened to move overseas if the workers didn't accept lower pay and less benefits. And when the workers agreed to work for less, they moved the jobs overseas anyway.

And at every step along the way, the majority of Americans went along with this. There was little opposition or fight-back. The "masses" did not rise up and protect their jobs, their homes, their schools (which used to be the best in the world). They just accepted their fate and took the beating.

I have often wondered what would have happened had we all just stopped flying, period, back in 1981. What if all the unions had said to Reagan, "Give those controllers their jobs back or we're shutting the country down!"? You know what would have happened. The corporate elite and their boy Reagan would have buckled.

But we didn't do it. And so, bit by bit, piece by piece, in the ensuing 30 years, those in power have destroyed the middle class of our country and, in turn, have wrecked the future for our young people. Wages have remained stagnant for 30 years. Take a look at the statistics and you can see that every decline we're now suffering with had its beginning in 1981 (here's a little scene to illustrate that from my last movie).

It all began on this day, 30 years ago. One of the darkest days in American history. And we let it happen to us. Yes, they had the money, and the media and the cops. But we had 200 million of us. Ever wonder what it would look like if 200 million got truly upset and wanted their country, their life, their job, their weekend, their time with their kids back?

Have we all just given up? What are we waiting for? Forget about the 20% who support the Tea Party -- we are the other 80%! This decline will only end when we demand it. And not through an online petition or a tweet. We are going to have to turn the TV and the computer and the video games off and get out in the streets (like they've done in Wisconsin). Some of you need to run for local office next year. We need to demand that the Democrats either get a spine and stop taking corporate money -- or step aside.

When is enough, enough? The middle class dream will not just magically reappear. Wall Street's plan is clear: America is to be a nation of Haves and Have Nothings. Is that OK for you?

Why not use today to pause and think about the little steps you can take to turn this around in your neighborhood, at your workplace, in your school? Is there any better day to start than today?


Michael Moore

P.S. Here are a few places you can connect with to get the ball rolling:

Showdown in America
Democracy Convention
Occupy Wall Street
October 2011
How to Join a Union, from the AFL-CIO (They've learned their lesson and have a good president now) or UE
Change to Win
High School Newspaper (Just because you're under 18 doesn't mean you can't do anything!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Office of Inspector General Report: Oshkosh, WI Processing and Distribution Facility Consolidation

We performed this review as a result of a congressional request on the consolidation of mail processing operations from Oshkosh, WI Processing and Distribution Facility (P&DF) imageinto the Green Bay, WI Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). The objectives were to determine whether a business case exists to support the consolidation and to assess compliance with established area mail processing (AMP) guidelines.


Although the consolidation would result in cost savings, adequate facility and machine capacity does not exist at the Green Bay P&DC to process the additional mail volume and service could be negatively impacted. Our analysis also indicated that: (1) No career employees will lose their jobs at either location although there may be some reassignments; (2) Oshkosh P&DF is more efficient and processes its mail volumes at a lower cost than Green Bay P&DC; (3) Mail processing cost savings were overestimated, but significant savings still should be achieved; and (4) Some AMP guidelines were not followed, but had no impact on the business case.

Click here for full report