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“This is our moment.  To reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth; that out of many, we are one.  That while we breathe, we hope and where we are met with cynicism and doubt and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.”

President Barack Obama

In order to understand solidarity and how to achieve it, we must first identify the enemy.  The enemy is that hostile unit or force that is harmful to our cohesion – THE CORPORATION.  How did we go from the labor movement, civil rights movement, economic fairness, the endeavor to achieve social justice and opportunity for all, to the supplantation of new breeds of cynical hustlers who trade in fear: color-coded fear of foreign terror; fear of losing your job, home, health insurance, fear for fear itself? What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  When did it get replaced by torture, repression of dissent and the pursuit of an empire?  We need to know because it happened on our watch.

How did “We the people” become “They the corporations“? How did it happen?  How did the scaremonger-striving to impose both a right-wing and corporate agenda-convince us to listen to their scary worldview story that other people are evil strangers and are to be treated with distrust?    No more Love thy neighbor.” What is also essential to the formula is the notion of every man for himself, and everyone must grab as much as they can, as quickly as they can-while the grabbing [getting] is good.

So the plutocrats, autocrats, theocrats and kleptocrats spin the tales of aggrandized barons of free trade; the rise of dot-com, Enron and derivative billionaires, while their newspapers, radio and television stations – privately owned by only 6 corporations* – extolled the privatization of all things public; while unionists and environmentalists are trivialized and now demonized.  They have now zeroed in and ramped up the attack on Public Unions, by outright lying about their salaries and pensions, calling them greedy and robbers.   Yet they wallow steadfastly in stories of “family values,” while proselytizing against socialistic concerns for the larger human family.  This is to distract the public into believing that its okay to take from the union worker, your neighbor, your brother, your sister, your mother, your father etc., to disguise the tax breaks to the rich while union workers wages have actually been stagnate for the last decade.  So now New York Gov. Cuomo comes in and freezes the pay of the public worker for 1 year.  Yet we still haven’t stood up, so I can assure  you that Private unions  are next.

How did we sit on the side lines and watch while “The Powers That Be” and their political enablers continue to turn out carefully constructed, focus-group-tested reports that maintain fear?  It’s only aspiration is to make us think that what they want is the same as what we want. So where are our voices as the progressive story of America?  Where is the ongoing message that will lead us toward a just and hope filled society?  Barack Obama came along and re-awakened that sense of justice and hope not seen since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A dream Speech.  But once he became President Barack Obama, we again became the bewildered herd, listening again to sound bites of engineered news passed off to us as “BREAKING NEWS:” The Pres. fails to…. or  Obama angers…. or No compromise….etc.In the mist of all of this manipulation, the citizenry repeats, what has been sold to them as news, to the next unsuspecting recipient who will then defend it with vim and vigor, while passing it on as fact instead of propaganda.

The sentiment went from hope to “I think I’m going to vote for a republican this time because he didn’t keep his promise.”  While giving this administration less than 2 years to undo the damage started by President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and deregulation and system breakdown under the final onslaught of tax cuts and deregulation by Pres. Bush , 29 million of us did not bother to go to the polls to vote in the mid-term elections so that he could continue to work on what he promised.  Neither did we begin to understand that he cannot accomplish this without our involvement.  Government is not a spectator sport.  We must be involved in the process.The people at the top who are the puppeteers of Corporate America and the Republican party continue to manipulate the truth through media, in order to advance their suppressive, covetous, and anti-democratic agenda.  We have to begin to plan to take back our government from these corporations that now control them. In order to do so, I believe that we have to remove the corporate money from our U.S. Congress and Senate.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court has now given personhood to corporations, now allowing unlimited amounts of money to be spent in the corruption of our government, the only way to undo that damage would be to amend the constitution which we are not YET united enough to do.  So in the meantime we must begin to push and insist on campaign finance reform.  With this method equal amounts of our tax dollars are given to each qualified candidate and they must use that money to build a campaign. Since the airwaves belong to the commons, they should receive free air time (to be explained later) so that the public can hear their message. This way the congress and senate can be about the business that we sent them to Washington to do and not spend 5-6 hours out of each working day on the phone raising monies from these corporations as they do now in order to be re-elected.

Simultaneously, we must push for card check [The Employee Free Choice Act]  to be passed.  Our membership is dwindling by the day, and there are millions of workers who want to establish a union.  This bill would allow a union to be certified as the official union to bargain with the employer if they get a majority of signatures from the workers.  This would take away the right of the employer to demand additional, separate ballots from over half the employees who had already signed the petition.  It would also require employers and unions to enter binding arbitration to produce a collective agreement at least 120 days after a union has been recognized.  And lastly, the bill would increase penalties for employers who discriminate against an employee for union involvement.

These two must be at the TOP of OUR agenda because you cannot get anything done when Corporate money controls the people who you send to represent your needs.

On January 5, 2011 the 112th congress will be in session.  New rules will be voted on by the Republican majority.  Among those new rules: each new piece of legislation will now have to include a statement regarding its constitutionality – (it would behoove us to get a copy of the constitution*) – while the Democrats previous rule known as PAYGO requiring all new legislation to be paid for by cuts to other programs – will be dismantled to exclude tax cuts for rich people having to be paid for.  But the most brazen new rule created by the Republican majority is one that gives the new Republicans Chairman of the Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, “stunning and unprecedented” powers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Under this new rule – if there is a disagreement between the House and Senate Budget Resolutions – which is likely this year in a divided Congress – then Chairman Ryan will have the power to set spending levels completely on his own – without debate. Ryan has already made his intentions clear – he published a memo entitled “Roadmap for America’s Future” in which he calls for the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, handing both over to Wall Street who helped fund his election campaign.  If these new rules pass – Paul Ryan will become one of the most powerful men in congress.  He will be able to carry out his corporate agenda with just the stroke of the pen and without debate.


These are the things we must pay attention to.  These are the need to know things.  We need to know how the corporation -[the enemy] – works in confluence with our government to get legislation written to favor their dominance through deregulation and union destruction.  I will be showing a documentary that explains the inner workings of a corporation and is ironically called  “The Corporation”.  When you see this film you will get an unprecedented inside view of the purpose, functionality and morality of the corporation.  You will then begin to understand what we are up against and then become part of the planning to WIN.  So lets hear your opinion on these issues.  Do you agree or disagree?  Do you have ideas?  We are in this together and we must learn together.  WHAT’S YOUR OPINION?


** Our entire media (newspaper, radio and  television/cable/satellite) is owned by these 6 corporations: Disney Corp., CBS Corp.(old Viacom/CBS), GE(General Electric Corp.), Time Warner Inc., News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch/Fox Broadcasting Co.) and National Amusements (new Viacom).

If we don’t stop this control over our information, we can soon add the internet to the list!


What are you thinking? Lets hear it!


Penny McQuaig


Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

HOW DO WE WIN?  WHY DID WE LOSE OUR WAY?  We need to go back in order to move forward.  We need to reflect on where we took that wrong turn.  We need  to know why we continue to reject information that is vital to our strength and survival.  We need to be informed so why don’t we have the time or will?  Why is the Jets game more important than a Union meeting?  Why is shopping more necessary than getting educated about union issues?  These are the things we need to examine.  Why have union members become so detached from our wholeness as members?  Why do they only respond to union when they feel that they have been overlooked for overtime or wrongly disciplined?

We had a general membership meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 23rd, 2010, and for the first time we had standing room only attendance.  The membership attended out of anger and frustration.  How did things get so far out of hand where the membership is now drawn into accusations of corruption by the E-Board?  How did the E-Board get so far out of control where it no longer realizes that it speaks to its membership [its employer] with outright disdain?  When the E-Board loses respect for its members and the members loses trust in its E-Board, the only winner here can be the CORPORATION.  So why did we [the members] wait so long to get involved?  We got the right to vote line by line but only when the E-Board mails them out.  Why didn’t anyone ask the E-Board why it was insistent on doing things against what their members wanted?  We must answer these questions in order to move forward with purpose and an understanding of where we want to go and how do we get there.

I previously spoke of the role of the media and the information that we are not getting in order to make informed decisions.  We now need to link that with union.  Each and every day the pundits on the networks and cable stations speak of how displeased they are with union.  “The unions have to give back”, “the unions are the problem” and the best one is, “he’s strong, he stands up to union”.  Not one of them ever points out when it is said that [the “unions have to give back”], that the wages have been suppressed for years and now spends like the 1970’s when adjusted for inflation.  The union worker is now doing the job of 3-4 workers (due to downsizing and offered retirement packages) for less pay.  What more does he have to give?  Why must his lifestyle be diminished even more?  When they say “he’s strong, he stands up to union”, not one of the pundits ever asks what they are standing up to?  Are they saying that the union worker doesn’t deserve a living wage while the corporate CEO’s salary increased 400 times that of the union worker and is still increasing?  The New York Times reported that U.S. corporate profits hit a record high of $1.659 trillion dollars in the 3rd quarter of 2010, showing the growth chart.   Yet they require the unions to give back.

This is the biggest profit in the history of America yet they want UNIONS to give back. These profits are not being kept a secret yet each day they talk about what the unions need to do to help the economy.  They get away with this because they purposely want the non-union worker to believe that their trouble is not only the illegal immigrant and welfare queen, but it’s also the union worker who the corporations have to give too much in pay and benefits so that they can’t hire new workers.  Those same corporations own the media so they put this message out over and over again and the public (including union workers) believe it.  Those that don’t, believe some of it and feel marginalized.  Why do they keep attacking union?  They do it because union is the last barrier to totally controlling the public thought and actions.  Once they get rid of what is left of the unions, the non-union worker is totally at their mercy or [lack of].  They can then do away with minimum wage and health benefits.  They can even get rid of the 40hr work week, overtime pay and pensions.  These are gains that were done by union organizing.  Once they have the public believing that the U.S. worker [in order to be more competitive in the global market] must work longer more productive hours like China, Sri Lanka and now Africa, they have won this drive to complete globalization of low wage workers.  Yet we [union] are silent, and go about our day as if all is well or takeover is inevitable.

This is why I believe that we must arm ourselves with information so that we do not fall prey to the lies and distortion planned and delivered through corporatism.  We have to understand that the union and democratic policies represent our collective will.  We cannot blame others if we choose not to fight.  We cannot blame others if we choose  not to be informed, not to consciously seek ANY and ALL information that will allow us to refresh, restart and rebuild.  The public needs us to stand up and rise to the challenge.  Lets begin to channel the anger and discontent into a network of useful information and informers.  We must begin to learn how the system works, how it affects each and every one of us and how we can direct and construct a system that works for us.

Let us start the New Year with a commitment/resolution to create a union like they have never seen before.  Let’s begin by making a pledge to LEARN, TEACH and REACH the membership.  And never give up on our RESPONSIBILITY  to those who came before us.  For it was they who built and negotiated a way of life [middle class] which we SELFISHLY ENJOYED and never built upon, but let diminish.  [I] will make that pledge to you!

*************HAPPY HOLIDAYS*************

Penny McQuaig