Cheryl Randecker, Sensata worker whose job is being outsourced. Aside from his offshore tax havens – Romney also wants people to ignore what’s happening at a factory in Freeport, Illinois. That factory belongs to Sensata Technologies – or at least it did – until Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital took it over. And with Bain Capital in charge – all 170 workers at that factory are about to lose their jobs. Over the last few months – Sensata workers have been watching chunks of their factory packaged up and shipped off to China – and all their jobs will be following suit by the end of the year thanks to a decision made by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital. Romney doesn’t want you to know this is happening – especially since he’s running as the guy who will create 12 million AMERICAN jobs in his first term. But those workers at Sensata do want you to know what’s going on.
Archive for August, 2012
from Democracy Now!
… the old-school industrialists, like Mitt Romney’s father, they were men and women who built communities. They had factory towns. They were very anxious to leave, you know, hard legacies that people could see: hospitals, churches, schools—you know, the Hersheys of the world, the Kelloggs. But these new owners have absolutely no allegiance to American workers, American places, American communities. Their only allegiance is to the investors and to themselves. And so, it’s not at all uncharacteristic to have these situations where people are pleading for their jobs or they’re saying, you know, “We’ll tighten our belts, if you just make this concession and keep us.” That’s irrelevant to the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital/Carlyle Groups of the world. They’re entirely about making profits. And if that means shipping jobs to China or eliminating jobs, that’s what they’re going to do. And that’s the new generation of corporate owners in this country. — Matt Taibbi
A new article by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone sheds new light on the origin of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s fortune, revealing how Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Taibbi writes: “What most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: By borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.”
from the Chicago Teachers Union
For Immediate Release: August 29, 2012
Contact: STEPHANIE GADLIN firstname.lastname@example.org
Chicago Headed Toward First Teachers Strike in 25 Years
CTU files 10-day strike notice with labor board; strike date has not been set
CHICAGO – Today, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) filed a 10-day notice with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board indicating more than 26,000 public school teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals may go on strike in coming days. The notice is a legal requirement defined by state law. No date for a strike has been set by Union leaders. The House of Delegates will meet Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to talk next steps.
Should CTU members call for a work stoppage, this will be the first “teachers’ strike” in Chicago since 1987. “This is a difficult decision for all of us to make,” said union President Karen Lewis. “But this is the only way to get the Board’s attention and show them we are serious about getting a fair contract which will give our students the resources they deserve.”
“CPS seems determined to have a toxic relationship with its employees,” Lewis said. “They denied us our 4 percent raises when there was money in the budget to honor our agreement; they attempted to ram a poorly thought out longer school day down our throats; and, on top of that they want us to teach a new curriculum and be ready to be evaluated based on how well our students do on a standardized test. It has been insult after insult after insult. Enough is enough.”
CTU has been in contract negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) since November 2011. Teachers have been without a contract since June of this year after its five-year agreement with the District expired without a new agreement in place. Labor leaders have said they are negotiating for a “better day, job security and fair compensation for employees.”
Labor talks have been productive on some fronts such as winning provisions for nursing mothers, ensuring textbooks will be available on day one, teachers will have access to functioning computers and counselors and social workers will have appropriate, private workspaces to serve students. But the bigger issues such as wages, job security and evaluations are on the table and the two sides remain far apart. “We will have a contract,” Lewis said, “and it will come the easy way or the hard way. If our members are on the picket-line, we will still be at the negotiating table trying to hammer out an equitable agreement. There’s a larger picture here.”
Teachers, paraprofessionals and school clinicians have been vocal in their opposition to CPS’ draconian policies. In May, nearly 10,000 of them marched in downtown in preparation for a strike authorization vote which drew a 98 percent approval from CTU membership. Only 1.82 percent of CTU members voted against authorizing a strike. Member angst was driven by CPS’ overly aggressive push for a longer school day without indicating how the District would staff and pay for the program. Educators were angry that the Board made no commitments to offering students the much needed art, music, physical education and world language classes they needed.
In July, and much to CPS’ chagrin, a much anticipated “Fact Finder’s Report” recommended, in part, that CPS’s longer school day amounts to a 19.4% increase on average that teachers will have to work, and he determined that CPS cannot expect its employees to work nearly 20% more for free or without fair compensation. Accordingly, the Fact-Finder’s report recommends both a general wage increase and an additional increase due to the length of the school day: A general wage increase of 2.25% for School Year 2012 — essentially a cost of living increase — without any changes to existing steps and lanes. He also recommends an additional increase of 12.6% to compensate teachers for working a longer school day and year representing a combined first-year increase of 14.85%, plus existing step and lane adjustments. Both the CTU and the Board rejected the findings.
“We have chronic underfunding and misplaced priorities in the system,” said high school teacher Jen Johnson. “CPS would rather shut down schools rather than give them the resources they need. Thousands of students have been displaced by CPS’ school actions. Teachers are losing their jobs and parents have no choice but to keep their child in an under-resourced neighborhood school or ship them off to a poor-performing charter operation.”
Lewis said members are also concerned about the Board’s plan to close over 100 neighborhood schools and create a half public-half charter school district. “This education crisis is real especially if you are Black or Brown in Chicago,” she explained. “Whenever our students perform well on tests, CPS moves the bar higher, tells them they are failures and blames their teachers. Now they want to privatize public education and further disrupt our neighborhoods. We’ve seen public housing shut down, public health clinics, public libraries and now public schools. There is an attack on public institutions, many of which serve, low-income and working-class families.”
In what could be the “smoking gun” proving the planet is rapidly changing as a result of climate change – sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is now sitting at its lowest recorded level ever – breaking a previous record set in 2007.
from Democracy Now!
After repeatedly touting his business experience as an asset towards reviving the U.S. economy, Mitt Romney has been put on the defensive by Bain Capital workers who are fighting back against the outsourcing of their jobs. One hundred and seventy workers at a Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport, Illinois — of which Bain is the majority owner — are calling on Romney to help save their jobs from being shipped to China. The factory manufactures sensors and controls that are used in aircraft and automobiles, but has been dismantling and shipping the plant to China piece-by-piece — even as it requires the workers to train personally their Chinese replacements, who have been flown in by management. We’re joined by two workers from the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois: Tom Gaulrapp and Cheryl Randecker. Both worked at Sensata for 33 years and were told their jobs would be terminated by the year’s end.
from Democracy Now!
Set up for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the “Romneyville” encampment is similar to Hoovervilles of the 1930s Great Depression. Residents of Romneyville are calling for an end to foreclosures, homelessness and the criminalization of poverty. We hear from Shamako Noble, a Romneyville resident and executive director of the Hip Hop Congress. And we speak to Cheri Honkala, the Green Party’s vice presidential nominee in the 2012 election and the National Coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
from The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann (RT)
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange & Code Pink joins Thom Hartmann. Harkening back to the days of the Great Depression – when Americans took up living in tent cities across America named “Hoovervilles” – a group of demonstrators have set up their own tent cities in Tampa in protest against the RNC. They’re called Romneyvilles
DecodeDC.com founder Andrea Seabrook and Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings join Cenk to call out journalists for clogging up the media with so-called news from both Republicans and Democrats, regardless of whether it’s truthful or relevant
Only decades ago women suffered through horrifying back alley abortions, or they used dangerous methods when they had no other recourse.
So when the Republican Party officially promotes forcing rape victims to bear the children of their attackers as part of its assault against a woman’s right to choose–we had to ask:
Why is Romney & Ryan’s GOP trying to send women back. . . to the back alley?