Monthly Archives: April 2010


Yesterday we answered the call to take back America by rallying on Wall Street.  I was pleased with the turnout.  I applaud DC37  and CWA LOCAL 1180 who showed up strong and ready to fight.  There were the young and the very old.  There were not so young and the getting old and we all understood the urgency of standing up and being UNITED.  We cannot expect change if we don’t change.  I see that my local CWA 1101 needs a little more prodding and information on becoming a part of this history changing event, and change we must achieve or we will be handed defeat.  We must make this rally the starting point of revolt.  We must reject the plan that the corporations have for their dominance and mugging of union.  For they understand that if they defeat union, the rest of America will follow.  Union is the base for all working peoples salaries and minimum wage!  We are very important to the structure of democracy, for there can be no democracy with out the middle-class.  So we must stop this corporatocracy and get back to we the people.  We the people do the work and share in less and less of the profits. We must fight to take back our country from the Robber Barons!


This rally is a great opportunity for UNION members to UNITE and speak with one voice telling wall street that its time to do  what the U.S. Constitution meant for us to do as citizens. It states:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

While the Tea Party Patriots march for less government, we as union will march for the right to enforce the Declaration of Independence which tell us that all men are created equal, not just the wealthy has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We must make sure that the government does its job and not let this democratic republic turn into a feudal oligarchy.  Our founders fought a war against an aristocratic, oligarchic nation,  (see America The Story of Us on the history channel) and that requires  a VIABLE MIDDLE CLASS.


See rally info below:



By Penny McQuaig

On Thursday, April 22, 2010, Verizon announced that it had come to an agreement with the CWA EAST UNIONS on the IPP/Surplus issue, even though they had previously advised the members that their union had betrayed them and that there would be no further offers.  (Go to for full details).  I spoke about the reaction by the union members to the first offer, however I will now speak about how the members are expected to react about the new offer and point out to you how certain words are used to educe a certain reaction.

In the letter sent by Verizon, they tell you that ” The previously announced forced reduction is part of the company’s overall plan to reduce costs and realign its Wireline and VSO operations in order to address changing market conditions in a highly competitive environment.”  What they haven’t told you is that the loss of  “competition” is happening, not due to surplus and technology, but to the consolidation of companies and to deregulation of the markets. Technology has always produced jobs, not diminished them.  The corporation has become to the [middle-class] union worker the killer of the American Dream.  There can be no middle-class if there is no American Dream.  If there is no middle-class, there can be no democracy.  America becomes [has become] an Aristocracy {corporatocracy} that benefits only a small elite  who are organized around corporate power and inherited wealth.  It is a con game where the greedy use politics and philosophy (rhetoric) as a cover for their thievery of our common resources as a logical explanation for their growing wealth and society’s growing poverty. They are taking all of the wealth that we (the worker) helped to create.  By deregulating the market, they are able to ship jobs overseas, and reincorporate their companies offshore to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes.  They lobby our legislature for tax breaks and fight against inheritance tax and insist that they are only playing the game by the rules [the rules that they bought and paid politicians to make in their favor].  They are predators. 

They prey upon the American people by enacting agreements that they explain to us is good for “competition” , such as NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement) which lowers wages for the American workers and does nothing to create well-paying jobs.  It has created a record trade deficit that they no longer try to defend, they just moved on to the next agreement, CAFTA(Central American Free Trade Agreement), passed in 2005, which allowed corporate America to reap huge profits from the low wages they get by having non-union workers in non-democratic countries.  They are the robber barons of the nineteenth century. 

Without regulation, they now own the media (the vehicle) in which they disseminate exacted information to us by repetition.  They get us to agree to protect their wealth by telling us that the free market{businesses get to do what they want} is the way to create wealth, and that will create jobs-trickle down economics-thus sustaining the middle-class.  There is no such thing as a “free market”   It is part of the “smaller government” con game that screws the worker.  Without government there can be no voice of the people.  In a democracy, the rules are made by We the People, through our elections in our government and through union negotiations with the CEOs. 

In order for our union to be able to negotiate we must have a strong, educated and organized union that works only on the behalf of its members.  If that is the criteria for unions, then I would say that the members have got to also be informed and hungry for information at all times.  You will never be able to fight this war [against the middle-class] without knowing the history of union and what has happened to weaken us.

Know that Verizon offers nothing, union negotiates for what we rightfully deserve!  Don’t let the corporations convince you that you are not worthy of every dime!!!

For those who feel that the union is no longer worthy of standing up for because union is not strong, I am here to tell you that that can only be true if you are no longer strong!


By Penny McQuaig

Are congratulations in order for local 32BJ?  I would like to hear from those doormen, handymen, concierges who I am sure are relieved that a strike has been averted.  But I still want to point out that Howard Rothschild, who was negotiating for the realty board was demanding that the workers, who’s average salary is $40,500.00, give back five(5) of their ten(10) sick days and pay 10% of the family health insurance costs.   They also wanted to eliminate pensions for new employees.

In the end, the workers got a 10% increase over 4 years and they get to keep all of their ten(10) sick days.  However, according to Rothschild, $70 million will be saved in health care.  Now in order to save that much in health care, what was taken out of the health care package??

Why should anyone making as little as $40,500.00 give up anything?  Prices are rising for them and profits are rising for the employer. This is the new deliberate culture and we have been convinced that this is the normal order of things. 
Do we continue with this belief or change it to something that works better for us-WE THE PEOPLE? 


By Penny McQuaig

See Article written April 19, 2010 in the huffington post:


By Penny McQuaig

According to an article Thursday, April 15, 2010  in  Fortune on CNN MONEY.COM, the companies in this years fortune 500 list have slashed cost so fast and so deeply – especially labor – that even in a feeble recovery, their earning soared.  [see full article].

Well At&t has moved up from 8th to 7th with revenues of 123,018 million  and Verizon has moved up from 17 to 13th place  with revenues of 107,808 million and they have done so by slashing jobs. 

What would they have to take from you for you to get angry enough to fight back? This class warfare has gone on for over 30 years now and unless we fight back,  we might as well declare that the rich have won. 

Corporate and political powers have connived to keep wages down while shredding workers safety net.  Productivity has increased by 76% while wages increased by only 2%.  Since 2000, wages have been stagnant or falling.  We must fight for fair wages.  We no longer share in the American dream. Union is what preserves the middle class, but the constant drive to bust union added to our complacency that we no longer have to fight, has driven union members numbers from 1 IN 3 (1954) TO 1 IN 8 (2007) with a steady decline.  Union is good for the economy because we make an average of 27% more in wages than non-union doing the same job, so by spending extra, according to a survey done in 2007, union created 60,000 jobs in the los Angeles area.

The reality that people are living today is the American dream in reverse.  The average wage(adjusted for inflation) is lower than in 1970.  The minimum wage (adjusted for inflation) is lower than in 1950 and overall income and wealth for the middle class (adjusted for inflation) is lower than in the 1920s.  The workers are not sharing in the wealth that we helped to create. 

It used to be that when productivity increased, wages increased.  Now almost all of the benefits from the rise of productivity is going to the top of the upper class.  We have a great redistribution of wealth!  You are working longer hours trying to keep up with living standards and still you are making less in terms of what you could buy in the 1970s.  A couple with 2 children has to have 3 full-time minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. 

And we are told often that we have to do this [sacrifice by working longer hours] to make our country more competitive in the global economy, but in fact we are less competitive. They are driving it into the ground because the people at the top are raping it like a cash cow!

We haven’t gone to the streets because  28 yrs ago on August 5, 1981 Pres. Ronald Regan fired the Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO), which gave the green light for union busting.  We became so scared of losing our jobs and outsourcing that we now have jobs that instead of lifting people out of poverty, it sends people into poverty.  You take a job and now are afraid that if you say anything you lose your job and benefits. 

Did you know that Wal-Mart and McDonald’s are the biggest employers.  The average wage for Wal-Mart is around $22,500.00 per year which is about $1,000.00 over the official poverty line for a family of four.  The starting wage is based on what the minimum wage is. It’s a poverty wage.  It is dragging down buying power to less than what it was forty years ago. 

We are subsidizing Employers and stockholders.  We are creating value for the  shareholder, but the value is going to the top executives, shareholders and owners and the net revenues is not being shared.  It’s at its highest level of pathological greed. [Goldman Sachs].  It is the Greatest spread of inequality fo any industrialized nation. 

So much wealth concentrated in so few hands has consequences….Enron, WorldCom, mortgage crisis,etc.

We can change directions.  We can fight to take the high road.  We must fight for change or we perish!!



 By Penny McQuaig

Are we going to continue to let them take advantage of us?