Byron residents shoot down mandatory gun ownership

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Byron Selectman Patrick Knapp-Veilleux answers a question at Monday night's annual town meeting, telling about 50 people that the board put an article on the warrant to make gun posession mandatory for all residents to make a statement to the federal government at a resident's request. The article was soundly defeated. Selectman David Noyes, left, and Head Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds right, listen.

BYRON — Residents overwhelmingly shot down a mandatory firearms possession article at the annual town meeting Monday night.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Byron residents overwhelmingly vote to strike from Monday night's town meeting warrant an article that sought to make it mandatory for residents to possess a firearm after learning that a resident asked selectmen to place it on the warrant to make a statement to the federal government about Second Amendment rights.

Those who spoke against it said it was an embarrassment to the town, they didn't want to be told what to do and they didn't want anyone coming into their homes to ensure they had a firearm.

One man said he'd heard "all kinds of crap about this (article). What are we here for?"

The article asked, "Shall the town of Byron vote to require all households to have firearms and ammunitions to protect the citizens?"

"We're being told it's illegal and that we can't enforce it," the same man said.

"Why are they doing it? Because they want to make a statement to the government. They don't want to be dictated to, but we're getting dictated to by some people telling us we have to have it.

"I don't want to be strong-armed, and I don't want to be told I've got to have something," he said.

Byron Selectman Patrick Knapp-Veilleux said a resident asked selectmen to put the article on the warrant. Selectmen then voted to put it on the warrant.

"Personally, I think the wording could have been a little different," Knapp-Veilleux said.

"It is my understanding that this was put onto the warrant to make a statement to the federal government and anyone else who is listening that we're tired of all the restrictions that they put on each and every one of us as citizens of this country and each and every little small town throughout the country."

Head Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds said Thursday that all three selectmen favored it and expected residents to approve it. At Monday night's meeting, she said she was misquoted and that selectmen approved placing it on the warrant.

Selectman David Noyes said that he didn't favor the article, but did agree to place it on the town meeting warrant. Noyes said he would vote against the article.

Simmons-Edmunds said Thursday that Byron's proposed mandate was initially done as a tongue-in-cheek article, but then it became serious. She surmised that just about every household in this community, population 140, north of Rumford probably has at least one firearm.

"We're trying to prevent someone from coming into our town and trying to restrict our rights," Simmons-Edmunds said. "It's time to tell the government, 'Enough's enough. Quit micromanaging us.'"

If voters had OK'd the article, it would not mean the town would enforce it by checking every household to ensure residents legally have a firearm, she said.

It's not as if a gun in every household is needed to safeguard Byron against crime. The Maine State Police and Oxford County deputy sheriffs trade off patrolling the town every other week, Sheriff Wayne Gallant of Rumford said Friday.

"I don't think they did much research on the legal ramifications (of the article)," he said.

Additionally, he said Byron has a very low crime rate.

From Jan. 1, 2012, to Friday, deputies handled 29 calls for Byron. These included disabled vehicles, vehicles off the road, traffic accidents, an intoxicated person, 911 hang-up calls that turned out to be nothing, family fights, serving subpoenas, a property civil issue, an unwanted person, and one burglary.

"Twenty-nine calls for service and most of them just basic calls," Gallant said. "There is no serious crime. It's a quiet little town."

State police spokesman Stephen McCausland said state police don't keep crime records for Byron. Instead, they rely on the county and police departments for statistics for the state police's annual Crime in Maine Report. It's broken down by county.

"Byron doesn't have its own police department, so the rates are not broken out," McCausland said.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Catherine Pressey's picture

I'm not surprised

by those that shot this new ordinance down. It was not in the best interest of the town to pass something that was not going to be enforceable period. They said about 50 people at the meeting were told, why the article was brought forward so 50 out of 114 residents, attended. Glad they wanted no part of the thing. This all had little to do with owning guns in my opinion. You can not come into someones home and tell them what hammer to own or kind of TV. What to eat when to go to bed. Those that wish to own a gun of any kind have all the rights that our government allows. Now lets wait and see just what that is. Still was embarrassed for the small town, heck what are you thinking sending our Country leaders you message. The message is you can not make other do what one person wants or a couple want. This was brought forward by a certain person, how powerful he is. One out of 114 what is next.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Isn't that exactly what the

Isn't that exactly what the Federal Government is doing by forcing uninsured people to enroll for obamacare or face fines for not doing so?

Idiots

I hear idiots at work talking about guns constantly since President Obama talked about making it harder to buy certain guns...they are all working themselves up over nothing and they don't realize how stupid they sound..we had the same thing brought up in our town of Sabattus by a real gun fanatic who thinks the same...I smell something fishy about this "movement"..has the NRA put out the word to do this throughout the country...what the hell are they telling them that makes them think anyone is going to go to your house and take your toys??? grow up guys, this is not what is going on, but I suspect the only thing you guys read are gun books and listen to Fox (faux) News...I know this is the case by the men I work with...they have no clue about what is really going on...and if this offends you, then maybe you're one of the clueless...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

No, Linda, some of us

No, Linda, some of us actually watch CNN, PBS, and MSNBC to see what lies and fabrications of the news are actually being told in the media.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

First it was handguns. Now

First it was handguns. Now it's so called "assault" rifles and large capacity magazines. There are a large number of liberal twerps who would love to ban all guns. Wake up you foolish sheep. If that offends you go cry in the corner.

Tony Morin's picture

What is it with this kooky trend?

"I'm for personal freedom, smaller government, lower taxes........and a mandate that everyone in my town should own a gun!!"

Kim Waite's picture

"Paranoia will destroy ya"!

Thankfully the people of Byron used their rational brains to put an end to this kind of paranoia!

No one is coming for your guns.

The government cannot come into your house and steal your guns during the morning, noontime, or evening hours.

The president is not coming for your guns.

In the future, however, you may not be able to buy a tank, a shoulder rocket launcher, or varies kinds of guns, BUT, if you already have those things, then you get to keep them!

Jesus.

MARK GRAVE's picture

“No one is coming for your

“No one is coming for your guns.”

Actually if you look at some of the Whitehouse memos and memos from the New York legislature, there are some proposals for force confiscation of assault weapons. That said, some politicians would do just that if they thought they could get away with it.

IMHO, attempting to do so would be a flash point for civil unrest.

Never say never!

Kim Waite's picture

I think the government

has a right to confiscate guns from those who are forming anti-American groups on our soil with the intention of committing domestic violence (those two words are written in the US Constitution. Foreign & Domestic violence is what the government can protect us citizens from) against the local/county/state/federal government.

If you're a good guy with a gun who isn't conspiring a hostile violent takeover of your town/county/state/federal government, then you have nothing to worry about. Don't commit a felony either.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Are you saying all the

Are you saying all the Japanese Americans who were rounded up by the Roosevelt government and placed in internment camps during WWII were bad guys?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Who decides “intent”. People

Who decides “intent”. People do have a right of due process. As of today, one must take steps toward said action, not just have intent.

Well, perhaps Obama can label them as a “combatant” and send a hell-fire missile into there house.

Oh, by the way, there are already laws on the books that prevent felons from owning firearms. Yet, felons still know firearms. In some states, like California, I read that law enforcement knows felons who own firearms, but they lack the resources to follow-up. Law enforcement cannot enforce existing laws, how do you think they’ll be capable of expanding gun laws?

Perhaps you have made a case for enforcing existing law, not a case for any new laws.

Kim Waite's picture

Yup, felons cannot own guns

but they can buy them illegally at gun shows or from another person. This is why gun shows should be shut down and why it should be law that one person cannot sell his or her gun to another person. I would love to see guns only being sold to the police or a state backed gun exchange.

Ann Power's picture

Hmm

Guess that was a dumb idea

Fred Stone's picture

Tally?

The article indicates the article was defeated, but doesn't say what the tally was?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

2 Quotes off the photos

Off the underline of top Main photo; "The article was soundly defeated. "

Off the underline of group raising hands of smaller photo; "Byron residents overwhelmingly vote to strike from Monday night's town meeting warrant an article ."

The word soundly; Definition: soundly ... "he was soundly defeated"; (`good' is used informally for `thoroughly' as in "we beat him good") ...

The word Overwhelmingly; Definition: Overpowering in effect or strength: incapable of being resisted.

Those two words would say that the larger majority, slapped it down hard.

Now it could be that the vote was not available to the press, due to By-Laws of the Council, or it was never verbally announced due to embarrassment.

MARK GRAVE's picture

What in the hell is wrong

What in the hell is wrong with government at all levels. Forcing residents to possess firearms is just as loony as taking them way from residents.

Have we all lost the concept of freedom of choice in this country? Politicians on both ends of the extreme should be shown the door at the ballot box.

Has the world gone insane?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Everything is upside down,

Everything is upside down, backwards, inside out, and off the wall, and you ask if the world has gone insane? We live in a world where the impossible has become commonplace. The fabric of our society is being unraveled one thread at a time, and our government will have orchestrated the entire concert. Let's not forget; we are getting what we voted for.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Who knows? Maybe local

Who knows? Maybe local government can go after 32-oz soda’s, salt, and snacks next. Actually, junk food kill more people than guns.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

32-oz. sodas and junk foods

32-oz. sodas and junk foods are a masterful way of keeping the herd properly culled. How else would we be able to keep up with our presentations of the "Darwin Awards".?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Ask those that passed

Has the world gone insane? I can bet you the murdered children and family's would love to be able to answer your question.

MARK GRAVE's picture

There is plenty of insanity

There is plenty of insanity to go around. Let's take your position on assault weapons ban for example. FBI statistics clearly shows a small percentage of annual gun deaths each year are due to long guns, which includes assault weapons.

Banning assault weapons will do little to protect people; ignoring the number is a form of insanity.

Who dares to don the glass slipper?

ANTHONY NAZAR's picture

Think think think

Use your head, Mike. No one is saying all murderers are using long guns.

The point is that while most murders are committed by handguns, murder on a scale that we saw it at Aurora, Columbine, Newtown etc probably could not occur if the shooter had a Colt Peacemaker or even a Colt 45 Army. Were ours a truly rational and unselfish society instead of being made up of people who think the world revolves around them, we might make it impossible for people to wander the streets of Portland or Lewiston flaunting their manhood - er - weapons. It works it Canada, Britain, Japan, many other first world democracies. We do not live in Mogadishu. The difference is Americans are selfisjh and call themselves libertarian - perhaps they are just selfish libertarians.

The 2nd Amendment right to have a gun was written in a time when guns were single shot muzzle loaders. Our forefathers were concerned with keeping a weak, thinly populated country free of foreign control or demagogues who would force us to buy guns or pay taxes or not criticize those who must be obeyed. It is an anachronism.

Your right to play gunslinger does not trump my right to live - it's that simple.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Fear, Fear, Fear....

“The point is that while most murders are committed by handguns, murder on a
scale that we saw it at Aurora, Columbine, Newtown etc probably could not
occur if the shooter had a Colt Peacemaker or even a Colt 45 Army.”

How about a shotgun with buckshot? This “could” cause more damage than an assault weapon – correct? So you want to ban those too?

“The 2nd Amendment right to have a gun was written in a time when guns were
single shot muzzle loaders.”

What was the state of the art weapon of that time?

“Your right to play gunslinger does not trump my right to live”

I’m sorry you live in so much fear that you think you are going to be gun down every when you step outside. Actual statistics don’t support your fear. Perhaps we can ban 32-oz drinks and salt along with those scary guns.

How about removing the bad people off the streets? This is a fare easier task since there are few of them then there are guns.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Speed and loads

I agree long weapons are no different than short, the real issue is ammo and the amount of load capacity. Ammo is what kills. Being that automatic to semi is from one long squeeze to multiple fast squeezes. I own both, but;

we need to recognize there is a massive problem to resolve, that works on a level of common sense and responsible to all of our lives, such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to live in harmony for all users and non. Compromise for users is easier for resolve, than those on the manufacturing - selling factor, whereas they are just like the cigarette sellers looking at shares and profit instead of the health of human lives.

There was a ban for 10 years and was it really all that bad? People say oh it is the Dems reacting on the murders, but then Nixon wanted bans with just the shooting of Wallace and Reagan of Brady. It is clear that it is those that died or seriously wounded, is what sparks these arguments, evidently it means there is a problem, on not for either political side, but on Americans.

When can they on both side of the aisle see we need to be better than this and set standards and uphold the laws on the books too.
The founders of the 2nd amendment did not have foresight on the mass population and the mass construction of the weapons today. Had they known, maybe the amendment would have been written differently....then what?

It is late my friend and I am tired from working on my well all day , so good night....

David Marsters's picture

working on well all day

I see that you must be an Obama supporter. Big union man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

problem???

do you have a problem with that ??? unions are good for us working people so we don't have to live in poverty...I work for a union and could not afford to live in my own home without the pay I get...and I too support Obama...it's not your way or the highway buddy...at least the people of this state are working with a full deck...enough with the everyone owning a gun, Rambo...it didn't fly in Sabattus to your dismay I'm sure, and it won't work in other towns...nobody can make us own a weapon of any kind...so get over it and get a hobby..how about helping out in a soup kitchen or hospital...do something constuctive with your free time...it may make you feel better about yourself instead of looking for ways to rile up people..

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Unions are fine if you don't

Unions are fine if you don't mind paying to have a job.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Do the math

I paid in working dues about $1500 a year with $180 year local union dues...I made 80K with benefits...5K month with pension, math doesn't lie...

David Marsters's picture

Problem

I belong to a union also, teamsters. I don't believe in paying a union to get a job. It is great to be retired from police, military and getting Social Security sitting back and getting people riled up. I like dropping the bomb and leaving!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I forgot the military medical is the best. Keep your eye open, better things to come!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great St. Patrick's Day.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Oh I forgot the military

"Oh I forgot the military medical is the best."
Short arms inspection notwithstanding?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Absolutly

With my 40% disability is great for medical and prescriptions. The VA today is 100% better in treatment and assistance then it was 40 years ago. I owe it to them to get me on the road to sobriety with the treatment program and a better outlook on life for the last 30 years.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

Unions were great for

Unions were great for Hostess.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

You are correct

It gave them 85 years of profits...

Catherine Pressey's picture

Eric LeBlanc

It was not the Union that decided to close the Hostess products. It was the greedy owners that, first of all their product was not so good. YUCK, though lots of people did like the twinkle, not me. Anyway Unions, I grew up in a Union home and why don't you read about the Ship yards in Maine and how many people were dieing on a daily basis due to the safety issues and work issues that the Union came in and cleaned up. Now Unions are no different that the people that are running the businesses, and yes greed and corruption is in every thing we do. Has been like the Men that built America... Greed drives some to kill or injure their employees. Like the coal mines, all kinds of construction jobs put men at risk. If it weren't for the unions my dad would not have had a safe job so you can blame the union all you want about Hostess, not the people that were union workers were to blame. The issues were what the owners did with the retirement monies, and other legit issues. The owners new that they now being rich enough could turn around and sell the remaining company assets and come out smelling like a rose. UNIONS ARE FOR THE PEOPLE AND AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED I SHOULD HAVE TO PAY THOSE DUES IF I GET THE BENEFIT OF THE UNION. RAISES BENEFITS ETC. ERIC, go to your history books or Google how the Unions really improved your life. Now that they are mostly beaten down our quality of life here in this country is gone back. You got people forced to work 12 hour shifts rotational no less that is anti-family in the name of the all mighty buck. Where there was once a great Company owned by a good man, you now have greed and the lack of the old man that was family orientated, now you work awful hours no union. Scared to loose your jobs if you whisper union. I speak of a local Company in Auburn. Once the owner of that one had integrity.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The union people at Hostess

The union people at Hostess went on strike. The company told them if they didn't go back to work, they would shut the place down. The strike continued; Hostess shut the place down. The strike caused the shutdown, not the company.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Hostess shut the place down,

is what you just said, you can not have it both ways Hostess made the unfair demands, not fair bargaining, the owners shut it down like in yesteryear. Because they could careless they made all the money they needed to live well. Hogwash to you Mr. St. Jean.

MARK GRAVE's picture

News flash: When you own the

News flash: When you own the business, then you in the driver’s seat, not the employees. Perhaps a concept hard for most liberals or socialist to understand.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Obviously, you read only half

Obviously, you read only half of my post and then responded. If you read the whole thing the meaning, which is very clear, will come to you.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Left is right, up is down in

Left is right, up is down in your world. Unions always make the demands in the real world. You are fooling no one but yourself.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Ha

You keep telling yourself that...so much as the reverse of the other....black and white has a tint of gray....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

The gate keeper

I never knew that the union workers held the keys to close the doors?

That is a lot of power for non owners or even an ESOP owner.

Strikes mean negotiations are in question for conditions and wages that it seems the owners wanted to no longer share the wealth with that made hostess what it was for all those years. So they may do elsewhere and made their wealth and profits and bailed on the workers and the consumers.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"I never knew that the union

"I never knew that the union workers held the keys to close the doors?"
To hear the average union worker tell it, that has always been the case. I've been a union worker (once) back in the late 50's. Went into management in early 60's and never looked back.
Managed a printing, warehousing and distribution plant in eastern PA in late 60's. This plant was unionized; The International Brotherhood of Electricians and Aerospace Workers. What a farce. At one time, we found ourselves having to replace the plant foreman. Our goal was to promote from within, and the most qualified individual happened to be the Shop Union Steward. After a couple of interviews with him, it occurred to him to raise a relevant point by asking, "If I take this offer will that make me part of management?" When I replied in the affirmative, his response was, "F*** that!!"
And there, ladies and gentlemen, lies the union mentality.

MARK GRAVE's picture

That is the only way unions

That is the only way unions can control the masses. They have to inculcate employees with the thought the management is the enemy. The same technique Obama uses with the democrats against the republicans. That form of puppetry has been with humans for millennium. For example, how many times do you hear the left on this media spout that all corporations are evil?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Total BS

I know for a fact just like my boy,whose job is for a large department store branch is inculcate against organizing and unions and they are threatened by firing if they are to indulge or discuss it with their piers. Walmart and many other CORPORATIONS do the same.

I have salted in job applications on such the occasions and that are threatening and putting the fear of unions for only one reason to control the masses and work them as puppets....

You are dead wrong and blinded by your political association of the other.

We as a union educate all workers of those benefits that are available and about fairness in the workplace, not that corporations are bad or Evil as you so coldly put it...That is just plain stupid...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You're entitled to your

You're entitled to your opinions, Jerry. Ergo, we should be allowed to express ours as well without being told they are total BS. If that's how you want to play the game, let us know.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Reality is mostly served cold.

Let me restate something I’ve said previously in a slightly different way. When you own the car keys, you get to choose how it is driven.

Here are some choices if your son is not satisfied:

1. Go work for a unionized company.
2. Go start his own business.
3. Just walk away.

It really boils down to simple supply and demand. When there is a surplus of low-skilled employees available, why does a company need to respond to union pressure? They currently have the upper hand.

See, I deal with reality, not fancy. You’re an old hammer that views a changed world like an old nail. Those who fail to adapt will struggle for a life time, perhaps like your son with a life in retail sales.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Bottom line is the workers

Bottom line is the workers put themselves out in the street. The company saw to it that they stayed there.

MARK GRAVE's picture

The only obligation a

The only obligation a corporation has to employees is written in contract or written in law – nothing else.

Lastly, remember basic laws of physics. For every action, there is a reaction. Action – strike, reaction – lock the doors.

Hostess was transparent on what the reaction would be.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Transparent

You mean like they already had plans to close and sell out to another buyer. Lets put the blame on the workers Union. Profits were down and the one day old stuff was still not selling. Look at the stock market and the shares cost and if I recall those workers had taken many concessions.

SO lets not just say a strike is what closed the doors, management and profit shareholders were failing and falling. Monies were owned to the pensions and what better way to turn the obligation of dollars into cents by the PBGC.

MARK GRAVE's picture

All businesses have a

All businesses have a breaking point where it is no longer profitable to continue operations however that is measured, so the only alternative is to sell or walkway. Perhaps the Union’s refusal to return to the production line was the preverbal straw that broke the camel’s back. Actually, it was in regards to Hostess.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

From Right Wing wake up america

The Company said its debtor-in-possession lenders have agreed to allow the Company to continue to have access to the $75 million financing facility put in place at the start of the bankruptcy cases to fund the sale and wind down process, subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval.

In fact, when Hostess attempted to throw out its collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters in court, the Teamsters fought back and won, ensuring that Hostess could not unilaterally make changes to working conditions during the several months’ long legal process that recently ended.
Teamster Hostess members were allowed to decide their fate by voting on the final offer conducted by a secret mail ballot. More than two-thirds of Hostess Teamsters members voted with 53 percent voting to approve the final offer.

The BCTGM chose a different path, as is their prerogative, to not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process. BCTGM members were told there were better solutions than the final offer, although Judge Drain stated in his decision in bankruptcy court that no such solutions exist. Without COMPLETE information, BCTGM members voted by voice votes in union halls. The BCTGM reported that over 90 percent rejected the final offer and three of its units ratified the final offer.

Bottom line; lack of communications and facts of all parties closed down the 85 year old business.

MARK GRAVE's picture

1. Today is a new day.

1. Today is a new day. Globally, there is a surplus of low to semi-skilled labor. Perhaps distribution channels and distribution costs are but a few reasons from a dwindling set of reasons to geographic ties for a corporation. That is the world we live in today whether we like it or not.
2. Globalization in part has changed the level of costs a company is willing to tolerate before closing up shop permanently or moving elsewhere. Yet another reality we have to deal with.
3. Businesses are in the business of making money. A business that does not grow will die. It is consumed by the competition. Yet another reality.
4. Unions are a drag on businesses and for the reasons above do not have to tolerate it in many cases. There are few private sector unions left. Unions today are predominately public sector jobs where efficiency is not a concern as we see with the mounting public debt.

In closing, the world has changed. Those who don’t change with it will suffer the same fate as the buggy maker. Keep looking for those glory days as you assemble your buggy.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Clueless

4. Unions are a drag on businesses and for the reasons above do not have to tolerate it in many cases. There are few private sector unions left.

I would bet to differ since the Union contractors prefer Trained, Skilled, Professionals.....not hacks or coyotes...or employers on the illegal mis-classifications of workers and stealing billions of dollars from states on lies and deception.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Question: Who are the

Question: Who are the predominate consumers of union contractors?

Catherine Pressey's picture

Eric LeBlanc

It was not the Union that decided to close the Hostess products. It was the greedy owners that, first of all their product was not so good. YUCK, though lots of people did like the twinkle, not me. Anyway Unions, I grew up in a Union home and why don't you read about the Ship yards in Maine and how many people were dieing on a daily basis due to the safety issues and work issues that the Union came in and cleaned up. Now Unions are no different that the people that are running the businesses, and yes greed and corruption is in every thing we do. Has been like the Men that built America... Greed drives some to kill or injure their employees. Like the coal mines, all kinds of construction jobs put men at risk. If it weren't for the unions my dad would not have had a safe job so you can blame the union all you want about Hostess, not the people that were union workers were to blame. The issues were what the owners did with the retirement monies, and other legit issues. The owners new that they now being rich enough could turn around and sell the remaining company assets and come out smelling like a rose. UNIONS ARE FOR THE PEOPLE AND AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED I SHOULD HAVE TO PAY THOSE DUES IF I GET THE BENEFIT OF THE UNION. RAISES BENEFITS ETC. ERIC, go to your history books or Google how the Unions really improved your life. Now that they are mostly beaten down our quality of life here in this country is gone back. You got people forced to work 12 hour shifts rotational no less that is anti-family in the name of the all mighty buck. Where there was once a great Company owned by a good man, you now have greed and the lack of the old man that was family orientated, now you work awful hours no union. Scared to loose your jobs if you whisper union. I speak of a local Company in Auburn. Once the owner of that one had integrity.

David Marsters's picture

Unions

I belong to a union, Teamsters, but agree that people should not be forced into paying union dues for the elected officials so someone can work. Most union officials have brand new Caddy's, great expense accounts and give to the politicians and have grand old banquets for themselves. Every time the union negotiated contract they would automatically go up 10% on the union dues. In regards to Hostess, you said, "were great for Hostess". What happened was the big wigs of union would not budge. So now Hostess is gone and you are probably on unemployment.

Have a good day!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Wrong and far stretched

"forced into paying union dues for the elected officials so someone can work. " Guess you never read "Becks Law", you have the right to NOT pay dues, and you still legally get representation, and if you failed to pay your dues in any organization you would not be allowed to remain a member if it was anything of a Union.

BUT I can bet you you didn't cry or complain about the annual wage and benefits increase though?

Union members dues was for political contributions would be on an average of PENNIES of your monthly or weekly working dues that was pooled and is spent on all of Dems or Repubs that were Labor friendly on Union issues, depending on those affiliates deductions and if you refused to pay dues then it was ZERO....

Not all Union officials have Cadi's or drove even big vehicles, BUT, you leave out the fact that those vehicles are Rentals or belong to the Organization that are traded yearly for cost effective, maintenance and longevity of assets. I suppose that they are to drive to functions or meetings or pickup leaders or wow even dignitaries in beat down vehicles since image of successfully business is to have a poor image.

(Everytime) the union negotiated contract...automatically 10% union dues...BS....I sat years on negotiating committees and worked with Teamsters agents and other business agents of the private sector and we were all lucky to get a 3% to 4% negotiated package.

It be accurate to say that every year that maybe working dues was ever increased to 1% or 2 % of what was ratified for just the wage package alone.

So again your comments of falsehoods doesn't amaze me...I can bet the people of Sabattus see through your smoke...

Kim Waite's picture

Those who pay dues

(Union or not) get the benefit of the Union which is something the republicans hate the idea of. :D

My dad was a Teamster too (Pulp & Paper).

MARK GRAVE's picture

Pause, take a deep breath,

Pause, take a deep breath, look into the mirror, and ask yourself how is the pulp and paper industry is doing these days.

Kim Waite's picture

Has nothing to do with the Unions...

....has to do with the use of computers! Paper is still needed, but even today, many are downloading a book to their Kindle to read. Sad, but true!

SD Warren in Westbrook had a proud Union workforce and then a South African company bought it out (now Sappy Paper) and the Union was busted. Nice huh? I bet you support Americans losing their jobs or having their wages reduced! Wait until there are no unions left and the American workforce becomes a low-waged country like China.

MARK GRAVE's picture

"I bet you support Americans

"I bet you support Americans losing their jobs or having their wages reduced!"

Really, you think I revel in the fact that some people have lost jobs. That statement shows you have no clue the world has changed out from underneath you.

The days of hoards laboring in U.S. manufacturing are gone; those jobs are gone and they are never coming back - never. The fact is that we are competing with lower wage laborers in China, India, Mexico, Costa Rica, ... etc.

As individuals, we must take on the responsibility of retraining ourselves into fields that are less vulnerable to off-shoring.

Let's deal with the present, control what we can, and adapt to the new economy.

Kim Waite's picture

Yes, I really believe that you revel

in the loss of American jobs. Tons of our jobs since the 1980's have gone overseas and if you notice lately.....many Northern jobs are going to the South. At this rate, the unions up here in the North will be completely busted and the whole country (along with all of the South) will be bragging like Texas currently is that everyone is employed but they're making minimum wage!

We could bring those jobs back from overseas if our government starting fining those companies $1,000,000/day (my figure) so they will stay here.

Americans can make our own products. It's the corporations who want uber profits fast to impress their Wall Street investors! Such a shame.

Unions are the backbone of our nation. The more Unions busted the worst our nation becomes!

MARK GRAVE's picture

There are no absolutes in the

There are no absolutes in the world, so when you say everyone makes minimum wage, readers say hogwash.
Perhaps if you want more than minimum wage, you need to learn a skill. Ask yourself, do register nurses make minimum wage in Texas – no they don’t; do accountants make minimum wage in Texas – no they don’t; do car mechanics make minimum wage in Texas – no they don’t; so on and so on....

“We could bring those jobs back from overseas if our government starting fining those companies $1,000,000/day (my figure) so they will stay here.”

That is more hogwash you are splashing on your face. First, there is a little thing called freedom that gets in the way. Second and most importantly, don’t you think that tyrannical behavior would drive the entire company to move overseas to avoid such a fine. All a corporation has to do is to move their incorporation into a more business friendly country, not in person, just in paper only. I think this idea is a candidate for the business Darwin award.

The answer is simple. The U.S. simply has to be the most business friendly country and business will come back on their own. Force never works.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Perhaps if you want more

"Perhaps if you want more than minimum wage, you need to learn a skill."
Here's another one; if you want more than minimum wage, get off your ass and show management you're worth it. This notion that minimum wage should be a living wage is a bunch of hogwash that's been fed to the lower echelon workers by the democrats. Minimum wage is not, never has been, and should not be a living wage. It is a starting wage and that is where it should remain.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Hogwash

to you Mr. St. Jean, your just a full of crap and you have always been those minimum wage jobs are just as important to the company production as your dear Aunt when she made piece work the difference is she was able to make a good living by pushing herself. Faster in that job, now those managers want the production for a flat minimum wage with no chance of piecework or a bonus, Yes, oh your so good at understanding that not all persons can be a boss or lawyer or CEO, hogwash to your kind of thinking. You Republican skilled fool. And the minimum should be a livable wage, as long as the company can pay its bills and the CEO's do not need more than two vacation homes. There is plenty of money to go around. What you want is a whole bunch of working slaves that owe their souls to the company store. Yep! Mr. smart guy hogwash to your self.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Soooo...I guess you disagree,

Soooo...I guess you disagree, huh? By the way, name calling does not become you.

David Marsters's picture

Has nothing to do with unions

It appears that the unions are forcing companies, cities, towns to get rid of union demands. The unions have gone to far in regards to pay, benefits etc. Pensions alone are killing the cities, towns, companies. They get the benefits but the cities and towns don't fund them until you retire and that is when they get into trouble. Look at a lot of unions, you pay into the union pension and the officials steal your money and you get nothing. Unions use to be good in the early days but the way things are, they are forcing companies to close down, Look at Twinkies, bakery union, gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New company will not bring back the union that was there.
Any way have a good St Patrick's Day. Bars open at 6AM.

Kim Waite's picture

Guess who doesn't need welfare benefits?

UNION MEMBERS! See? It's the republicans of this country who want to bust all the unions so the middle class will have to settle for low pay and will have to go on welfare at some point (not only for food but for insurance!). Republicans create a welfare society for the wealthy corporations/shareholders.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You overlook one important

You overlook one important fact. Most non-union corporations are smart enough to know that the best way to keep unions out is to provide a decent benefits package and pay a fair wage. And, guess what? A large number of companies do just that.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Fact

When we are organizing and educating which I personally did for 2 years for non union workers in the field showing what their wages, benefits, prevailing wages should be for doing the same job, those owners did the right thing and provided increases and stayed on track with the laws. Reasoning; only to make us go away...

So Kudos for those owners that owned up to provide better alternatives, even though we did not get everyone of those to join our union, a lot were thankful that we educated, agitated the owners to comply with fair area standards. We have had those workers personally thank us for approaching them and the owners because they receive fair area standards. In many other cases we were able to show through our apprenticeship schools where we invest over 1 million dollars annually on training, in our 5 state district, our members and other testimonies to have the owners join our organization.

Many other workers have left and joined our Union to have a continuation of wages on a same package with choice of working for multiple contractors nation wide for the same package or more and not work for less that some owners want to provide.

So for us as a Union it was a win, win as long as we are helping, informing the working man for better working conditions and wages whether they join us or not.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

So, if I'm making $1500 a

So, if I'm making $1500 a week in a non-union facility, it's because some union had tried to get in a few years back which forced the company to upgrade their pay scale? Really? And here I thought I was just a lucky guy.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Fact

Unions have set the standards for wages, benefits, working conditions, holidays, overtime...you should be saying thank you, sir can I have some more...

Fact; the Carpenters gave you Labor Day...read up on P.J. McGuire and Samuel Gompers...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I still can't wrap my head

I still can't wrap my head around paying some know nothing beer belly x dollars a month just so I can have my job secured.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

That

is just dumb for an answer...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Ever read, really read, any

Ever read, really read, any of your own stuff?

MARK GRAVE's picture

fixed typo

You are probably right on that point, unions will not go extinct; but they will continue to diminish in number for some time. History seems to run in cycles, so perhaps unions will become relevant again someday in the future.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You can sling all the mud

You can sling all the mud that you want, but the fact is unions are taking the same path as the dinosaurs; they are becoming extinct.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Sure

They have declined, in numbers, but will never become extinct, just as so much as the republican tbagger party...

MARK GRAVE's picture

You are probably right on

You are probably right on that point, unions will not go extinct; but they will continue to diminish in number for some time. History seams to run in cycles, so perhaps unions will become relevant again someday in the future.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

PJ McGuire

Gave you the 8 hour day...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Who the hell works an 8 hour

Who the hell works an 8 hour day?

MARK GRAVE's picture

Only union workers...and some

Only union workers...and some get paid for not working at all, especially if you are a government worker.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Dilusional

That is the largest bunch of crap I have ever seen come out of any ones mouth.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

not part of the union contract.

The guideline is laid out in the Postal Service manual, but is not part of the union contract.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Most places I've worked, the

Most places I've worked, the hourly paid guys get 10-12 hour days; so do the salaried guys. It's all good. No unions. 0O:)

Kim Waite's picture

My father when he was a Teamster

would work two 8-hour shifts back to back and sometimes would sleep at the mill if there was a 4 hour space of time between shifts. He worked many weekends and when us kids got older, he would work Christmas/Thanksgiving day. He was Union, but he got paid well, had job security, and has a retirement. Those making hourly salaries or who are not Union don't have the benefit of keeping their job,because the employer sees they have a 'right to work' or in other words: the right to work for lower pay, no job security, and can fire that person for any reason whenever the employer wants to!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Maybe so, but they're not

Maybe so, but they're not paying some union boss to keep their jobs, either. If a person is doing their job within the confines of the job description, they have no more to fear about losing their jobs than the union people; plus they're not paying dues.
When I was 19, and at the only part of my life that I was ever a union member, there had been a threat of a strike because contract negotiations had come to a standstill. I was pretty dumb then, like most 19 year olds, but I had figured out for myself that my paychecks were being signed by an officer of the company, not the union president and I was ready to cross the picket lines. Fortunately, the strike never went down. I've never needed a union to negotiate on my behalf, and in over 55 years of working, I've never collected a dime in unemployment benefits. I suppose many workers feel they need unions to be secure. I'm fortunate enough not to be one of them.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

One sided or short sided?

First off not every job would or needs union representation if they are being treated fairly. Your other switchblade contrast to unions is no different than those employers company thugs for them carrying guns and bats as well to force workers to their intimidating tactics for working under their rules such as coal miners or other large manual labor jobs.

You see your hindsight is that because you didn't need a union and that you are willing to work 10-12 hours with no set standards only says you were the fool to take what they wanted to give you, when and IF they wanted to give it to you,whether it was of what might of been legal or fair or just.

Some people live by principals some lack that, since common sense is not in everyone's thought process , some do not have the whits or the intellectual abilities to know how to fight for their rights and they join unions for that very representation. What ever the elementary reason you feel that EVERYONE is like you is really short sighted on those that do not live to your expectations or your exuberant, I did it my way, instead of equally respecting those that went a different path in life.

Unless you have experience the full road of both and I mean the FULL road, then you are speculating on only your small portion of your life compared to MILLIONS of others. Some are lucky and blessed and some are just blinded by what they have with righteousness and not how others have to battle in life to achieve theirs since they might of had trials and tribulations in their lives that really shit on them to have such choices as yours or even mine. That is why they say to each his own. You slam Unions since it did not work for you or you say it in your rose tinted glasses, but those that worked those textiles mills when I grew up worked hard and feed their families and created a balanced middle class and today is shrinks from less opportunity and all those great jobs of the industry, gone for the 1% to live better and for others to have less.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Feel better?

Feel better?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Depends

Was that with or without the knee pads? Are you in the trades or management ?
Provide some facts since we have no idea what you do.
Somebody had to set those wages for you before you ever worked there, funny how that works.....
I was taking in $1200 a week take home, NET with full benefits.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What I do is really of no

What I do is really of no concern to anyone participating in this forum. Just so you know, negotiations can take place without knee pads--or switchblades, for that matter. Bargaining in good faith, believe it or not, is not a practice that is limited to unions.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Kim what the republicans want

Is to make sure that all their money invested in companies, off shore get the work. Thus giving them huge profits, thus making a army of working class poor, that now become slaves to the company store. Never will America be the same if our Government continues to accept products coming here from away. Those products many of which are inferior to those once made on our soil. Take the cordless phones, has anyone found that they do not work right, and or in a year you can bet you need to replace them. I can remember buying one Ans. phone cordless that lasted for years. Most of what is being brought into this land is junk merchandise, and Mark would have us believe that the Republicans are not getting rich or the corporations with off shore employment. Making junk and killing the economy here, while destroying the people in the countries where the jobs went. Like China awful working conditions is what is happening over there. As well as what the lack of regulations for the environment is hurting the globe. Yes it cost money to stand tall here on our soil, but when you make a quality product and pay a higher price for the same. You pay you employees a decent wage, with benefits. Those employee's pay a decent tax amount and social security thus all is going to help the very poor that can not climb out of that pit, without a ladder. Or jobs manual type that is available to those off shore labor. Republican did create a welfare society. The Men that built America were Greedy and still are, our Unions came to pass when the workers stood tall and banned together to fight for that livable wage. Livable wage is not $7.50 per hr. Nor $9.50 per hour, one would have to make at least $15+ to even be able to feed a family pay rent or a mortgage. And at best that would be still difficult, even if one is gifted in the art of being good with money and can squeeze a dollar. Like the old addage ya canna get blood out of a stone and stones is what our country figures we should now eat. While those that have, dine on the very best and laugh at those of us at the bottom. Look at Mit Romneys remark about the 47%, takers we are welfare bums they think. Funny many of us are not poor enough to live in a cardboard box yet but we are on our way. As for the real topic here our right to own guns, guns of any kind or not own guns. I truly am divided on my stance, here for the ownership of those rapid fire weapons. I can see the light, and can see the possibility that one day WE THE PEOPLE JUST MAY HAVE TO STAND TALL AND DEFEND OURSELVES AGAINST OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. As it sit now they are moving the retirement age up to 70 think of it, I am over 60 myself and my dad never made it to 60, after working long cold days in the construction field of years past and finding out that MS had gotten him, 57 yrs was his last. Health of we at the bottom whom work hard just to stay alive while the rich laugh at that bunch. The Government pillaged the Social Security funds. And now want the seniors to continue to work, our Government let our jobs go off shore, our government (and this is the rich) let our country get into this mess it is in. Yes! I can see a light and possible fight against our own leaders. So if we do not stand tall keep our right to own all guns, we are truly doomed. I on the other side do consider the extremist with those guns. What is happening is we at the bottom are being asked to have our babies figure out how to keep them warm, feed them educate them and offer them a pride in our Country like some of us had in the past. Like FDR whom said we the citizens of this country have certain rights and was working on placing them in writing just before he passed. That never got done, those rights would include the right to fare bargaining in our employment. ????? How far are we going to be pushed down before we realize we have to stand up and say enough us enough. REPUBLICANS are the same as the greed that built America and greed is taking her down. Period.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Like FDR whom said we the

"Like FDR whom said we the citizens of this country have certain rights and was working on placing them in writing just before he passed."
Are you speaking of the same FDR who rounded up all the Japanese American citizens and placed them in internment camps during WWII? Where were their "certain rights"?

Catherine Pressey's picture

Spoken by a true Republican

Now I was not speaking about that phobic time in our country, both parties must have been on that camp. I'll read up on that however we help set Japan new gov. up after the War as well as Germany and Germany adopted what FDR had wanted for we American, Germany employees have the right to bargain for fair pay with Vacation and benefits. So go ahead change the subject Mr. St. Jean, what we did to the American Japanese was so wrong, and so is expecting a worker to work for a pay that is not a livable wage. Thus making them working poor, you are of French decent by your name. They also went thru. hell on the home front and they were working hard and doing piece work and the owners paid them well enough that they could have self respect. Yes Mr. St. Jean many awful things happened to good people. Now We the people face no jobs and the few for the manual labor jobs are almost non existent. Gone with our countries blessing and the Rich Corporations. To China that is winning the war against America with the help of our own wealthy. Yes your so right, Free trade open global markets. Yep! how’s this working for us.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

For the record, I am not nor

For the record, I am not nor have I ever been a republican.
No one expects a worker to work for less than a living wage. It is up to the worker to do what he has to do to provide that for himself. If one job doesn't pay enough, find another. If that doesn't do it for you, then work two jobs. There are other ways of providing for one's family without just sitting back and waiting for the government to do it for you. You and I want the same things; except I blame myself for my failings; not my employers, not the government.

MARK GRAVE's picture

“For the record, I am not nor

“For the record, I am not nor have I ever been a republican.”

Don’t hold your breath. I get accused of being a republican all the time because I don’t agree with the liberal thought. With them, there is “us” or republicans, no other political views.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The Pirate can always rely on

The Pirate can always rely on MGR to get it right.

MARK GRAVE's picture

IMHO that class of

IMHO that class of individuals always needs to blame someone for their real or perceived short comings. For me, I prescribe to class who view life as a struggle but persist and overcome obstacles. I don’t blame others and I don’t look to others to carve my path in life.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

A winning formula for

A winning formula for certain.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Americans have the right to

Americans have the right to collectively bargain with their employer. The employer has rights too. The can bar the door for example, like Hostess.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"As it sit now they are

"As it sit now they are moving the retirement age up to 70 think of it,"...
Which would you prefer, full benefits at 70 or half (or less) benefits at 65 or 62?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

What type of retirement Plans

Defined Benefit, or Defined Contribution, 401K, ESOP's

DB plans have it that you may get less at early retirement, but the same allotted amount is paid out at a reduced payout monthly, but for a longer pay period. If you live past those years you actually catch up to the total payout if you retired 10 years later.

But being in the Construction, labor industry for anyone to work to 65 is a hardship on the body in those working conditions on a whole. So those potential pensioners never make it to retirement, in the plan and end up working at Walmart greet for work until they make 65 or 70 which is just totally wrong for anybody to have to wait that long.

So the way to get a good retirement is an education or a steady job and hope you make enough to invest monthly for 40 years, for compounded daily interest. That would be $800 a month contribution for a comfortable retirement package on interest compounded with a great stock market return . Work in a Trade Union for great wages and benefits or an Employees Union that helps to provide that road of investing into a pension programs. Or hope that you can steal others pensions like Bain Capitol.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Really? What you say does not

Really?

What you say does not make any sense. Seventy percent of the U.S. economy is based on consumer spending, so the plan is to make everyone poor, so, what, no one has any money to spend? Just how will that make corporations rich? Isn't that selfdefeating for corporations?

Moreover, who will be paying for all that welfare if the masses have no money, corporations? Again self-defeating agenda. It simply does not make sense.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You're trying to pick up the

You're trying to pick up the turd by the clean end, old buddy.

Kim Waite's picture

Catering to the rich people & corporations

during a time of war is what has sunk our nation!

Americans have money to spend. The Oxford Casino showed a $10,000,000 profit in 2 MONTHS. Where did that money come from?????? From China or out of the pockets of Americans????

All that welfare should be paid for by the wealthy who have gotten a hefty tax cut! How's that sound? They're getting the most benefit from our nation and it's people,so since they've had the most play.....they must pay. I would be all for it!

MARK GRAVE's picture

First, locals that spend

First, locals that spend money at the casino probably just stopped spending it on some other trivial item. Casino spending is a result of poor choice in my opinion. How about using that money for a little savings or investment? I’ll even go out on a limb and say that most of those individuals who squandered their money in a Casino are not the most well off; the poor tend to have bad spending habits - a generality.

The wealthy do pay for all the welfare as it stands today. The simple fact that the poor pay very little to no federal income tax is definitely an indicator.

Sure, some people take advantage of others to make money. Take Casino’s for example. That said, individuals do make a conscious choice to spend money there instead of saving it. Freedom means people are free to make bad choices. That said, the well-off people that I know, work very, very hard for what they make, they don’t squander it in Casinos’, and they keep pushing to better themselves. For most, there is a correlation between wealth and effort.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Mark Gravel correlation you

say between wealth and effort, so that must make you well-off too! you say you know some, well those well off persons probably pay less taxes than the people that work for them. And if those employees pay more than the well-off people as well as Mitt Romney that claimed he thought it fair he pay less than his maid, really. So if we at the bottom and those making less than $250,000 or those making less than $50,000. pay more than Mitt Romney than we those same people are paying for our friends and people we know that are on welfare. Not as you claim those that are wealthy do. Those wealthy people and those tax accountants make sure to use every loop-hole they can find, thus paying less than the maid, for Mitt Romney. And our great Republicans refuse to blame the inequality on them selves, better blame those on welfare. If the very poor can not pay a penny, and the very rich can find a way not to pay as much as the maid it is a wonder that there is not enough money to keep the country going. It is all on the middle class and the lower middle class that can not hide money and use loop-holes. Many of whom have to file short form with little or any deductions. I take it your claiming that the middle class on the bottom end do not work equally as hard as those with all the tax loop-holes. Also your claiming the the poor make bad choices by gambling at a Casino. So Mark show us the proof that the very wealthy do not squander plenty of money on those things that they like to do. Sailing boats ten Vacation homes all on the backs of those that work for them and get paid so little that they can not even afford heating oil. The huge difference between those that have and the have not’s is not that the have not’s squander money that they do not have to start with. It is the haves that are greedy and think they are entitled to have all they have on the back of the working poor. I do take a special interest in facts and your facts are not here to prove anything you say. However Mitt Romney clearly proved my stance. It is not the rich paying for the poor it is the middle class that struggles for the piece of the Pie, that carry their neighbors. If the rich would pay their fair share all would be well here because than maybe they the rich owners of corporations would appreciate providing those on the bottom with good paying jobs. And bring our jobs back home, rather than see them sit on their butts as you seem to imply. Claiming they are lazy and make bad choices. Those many of whom can not get a break or a job with livable wages through no fault of their own, THAT FAULT FALLS IN THE LAPS OF THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS THAT MOVED THOSE JOBS OFF SHORE. MANY TO CHINA where workers are paid 18 cents per hour. And are very abused yes Mark by the same greedy men that built America. Period.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Officials steal pensions

It is called Bain Capital (Mitt Romeny and crooks) that put those promised pension monies into their pockets and the shareholders....
Unions have made concessions, taken no raises for two years in some states, and those companies and unions agree to those arrangements. That is why most pensions pay out at 65, so the mortality would expire before payouts. Our pension was at rule of 59 (age plus years of service into the fund) and was forced to changed to Rule 55, because of the Republican rules changing laws due to funds becoming highly deposited into the stock market for returns, from membership contributions. I was fortunate to retire at 55, 3 months before we changed the rules to 65, to merge our funds with another pension fund to protect funds for other retirees going forward.

The REPUBLICANs made law that those monies had to be dispensed instead of a 13th annual check, that we had to payout to retirees. So rules were changed to follow the new law. All this while Bush is in office and the market and the jobs went overseas and down the drain and now the Unions pensions were in dire strait since they had to pay out more to retirees and the government failed to realize that no jobs or work created hardships to these funds, like no contributions to fund those promises, go figure. Just like they frucked up the Post Office...

Now given that the mortality rates have increased so have the newer pension adjustments on some and grandfathered older rules.

I had always said that the unions would price themselves out of the market, too. I even had the balls to confront our International General President at a function and was chastised for it. You know what, that same GP eventually said the same thing 4 years after I brought it up, but it got better and now those same contractors are increasing wages and benefits to make up for those concessions, since they TOO want to remain union contractors for their successful businesses. Having said that, the unions still save workers in all respects to livable wages, working rights and dignity in the workplace and if it is up to the Kochs and others they want a Plutocracy and control just like it was in the 30's...History repeats itself...

Stay sober...

David Marsters's picture

Retired

I retired at age 49. Almost 20 years ago. Life is still good. Have a Happy St Patrick's Day. Maybe I will see you in southie at the big breakfast.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Good for you

I too am glad I retired after 27 years, so that I could enjoy life. I was going to go return to the current admin. But I chose to move on and and helped the current admin beat his butt out, since I was not on his staff anymore to being threatened and I had all kinds of information of the guy and his staff. So I assisted in the new election to remove the real bad prick that frucked up what I built in the IT R&D Dept and other SOP's of 12 years. The guy was a power hungry mutt, that I had sat with on the Board of Trustees where he was just an evil man, who made it a point to being surrounded with nepotist/family ball lickers for a staff. I made it clear I was not his patsy or one of his followers.
Timing is everything and I qualified for the out at 55,
so the wife wanted me to retire before they carried me out on a gurney from anger or in handcuffs.

I had testified against some bad boys, on tax evading, failure to pay pension/vacation funds, compensation fraud, mis-classification of workers on 1099, two books and more with a gone bad Union company to a corrupt Non - union contractor partnership. I was one of the upper command and stayed on as a plant, back in New York/Conn. 20 years ago. It was great taking out the trash then and now.

So life is to short and I no longer need the stress and I enjoy the good things in life now.
Sorry can't make the big breakfast..

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Blame whom always, the Union, Right!

Sure continue to blame them, Unions...not supply and demand, not poor management, or corporate greed, competitors or cost of just doing business on all scales.

So simple to blame the workers and those wages, benefits and pensions to keep them off the government dole, that they work hard for and really do put their lives on the line to make the big boss his profits...

I worked in those plants like at the Jay Mill in 1984 and almost died from a chlorine tank exploding when I was 80 feet up on a scaffold and trapped and nearly made it down.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

I've done contract work in

I've done contract work in all the local paper mills in the past and I can say as a fact that most of the union workers employed by those mills do nothing 95% of the day but sit around on their big fat lazy overpaid behinds. Unions may have been necessary 100 years ago but today they're nothing but terrorists.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Koch's

Yesterday, we learned the Koch Brothers, the right-wing billionaires, are looking to buy up newspapers across the country, including the LA Times and the Chicago Tribune. In a recent company newsletter, they promised to do "everything we can to persuade politicians" to accept their far-right agenda. Apparently, this includes purchasing large chunks of the news media.

The Koch Brothers are responsible for paying politicians to deny climate change, and funding efforts to restrict voting rights. Now they want to control the news too?

Kim Waite's picture

And who is helping these

jerky billionaires take over the nation? That would be the brain-dead tea tards who are fighting against their own future for a couple of billionaire brothers who laugh at them and who are going to take that future away!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Buy stock in aluminum foil

Buy stock in aluminum foil folks; I sense a rush on the product. Don those foil hats.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

You should be thankful

If it wasn't for those Union negotiations you would not have the wages they are today, the benefits and pensions and safety standards.

Already today the union busters and employers like the Kochs want you to work longer hours, eliminate overtime by working you less hours, less pay, no safety requirements. Your ignorance is overwhelming..(.Terrorist.)...your mama must of really banged your head to many times in the toilet bowl when she bathed you....

You are blinded by your ignorance and hate since you probably was let go from the mills since you have negative thinking and bad working habits and attitudes or just shoddy work as a contractor.

Your comment of they sit on their butts is just an outright LIE, since they would be let go and replaced by another guy at the work hall ready to go to work...just like your stupid comment about the Unions putting the smog in the air you had to breath....

David Marsters's picture

Smoke

What are you smoking? Medical marijuana !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That maybe the Mo teamsters, not Mass.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

I wish

But gave up those habits 30 years ago with the other vises like the juices of the drunks of St Patty....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Wondering

Who was his union rep when he played copper for Mass. law enforcement?

Bet he judged others that he confronted on matters?

Old man yells at clouds.....

David Marsters's picture

Union rep

We had no union. We negotiated with the mayor and paid a fee for the attorney. It was an association and we were not forced to pay. We did better with contract than if we had a union. Members tried to get the teamsters but was always voted down.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Confusion is a sign of dementia

Being that I was a medic and worked on some geriatrics wards and other field assignments:

Lets see, you stated in comments above that you were in the Teamsters and make statements on what Unions do and what they drive etc.

Now you say that you were in an association and hired an attorney to negotiate for you?

Which is it?

It is great you are so close to Togus and can us those great VA benefits, since you might want to have an exam for dementia or Alzheimer's.

David Marsters's picture

Togus

I passed my last physical with flying colors. No Alzheimer's or dementia. I belong to teamsters now. The association was not union. Get it!!!!!!!!!

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Got it

Also know that the association is not Union too....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Ignorance is bliss

In my union, the MEMBERS Union nation wide not including Canada....42% Dem, 30% Repub, 25% Ind, 3% Unknown...since I was the IT/Exec Board member Dude with the data....

Ignorance precedes you, and that holds the reasoning that your town Selectman rejected your proposal.

So please continue attacking the Unions, your kind are affected as well....

So what has your comment have to do with the topic again? Or was that just an attack?

Kim Waite's picture

My father retired

as a 'big union man' from a local paper mill after 35 years working at it. Proud! SOLIDARITY! I've never understood those Americans who hate Unions who employ AMERICANS but support anti-Union companies who send AMERICAN jobs overseas.

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

Your father polluted the air

Your father polluted the air I breathe. Take your SOLIDARITY and shove it.

MARK GRAVE's picture

“I've never understood those

“I've never understood those Americans who hate Unions who
employ AMERICANS but support anti-Union companies who send AMERICAN jobs
overseas.”

It is called freedom. Perhaps American should create an environment where companies want to stay instead of attempting to force them to stay.

Freedom means people and corporations can walk.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

Many people have exercised their sense of Freedom

The list is long and gruesome - Hitler, Stalin, MacAuthur, Bundy all folks who exercised their personal freedom at the expense of society. Freedom is not an absolute ideal. It is something to maximize within restraints necessary for a peaceful and productive society. Looking at half the question leads to faulty conclusions.
32 oz soda's aren't the issue corporations which intentional engineer their products to addict people in this case as children to the detriment of their health is. Tobacco, Cereals, virtually anything in the food supply is killing Americans after first addicting them. Kellog has nothing on Columbian drug sugglers.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Let's deal with some facts.

1. An AR-15 in full auto mode can fire 600-800 rounds per minute depending on the internet source of choice. That is about 10 rounds a second on the low end. An AR-15 in semi-auto mode can only fire 45-60 rounds per minute depending on human reaction time. The facts show there is an order of magnitude difference between auto and semi-auto - your assertion does not hold water.

2. The assault weapons ban did not stop guns with the same fire power from being manufactured and sold. The assault weapons ban classified a weapon by a set of attributes, mainly looks. Individuals, like myself, bought weapons of similar fire power. When the assault weapons ban expired, we simply order replacement parts on line an converted our pre-assault weapons ban gun to post ban look and feel. All else remained the same. Moreover, exportation of the assault weapons band did not follow with an increase of gun violence. In fact, the number of gun homicides have been decreasing year-over-year since 1998 according to both FBI and CDC statistics.

In summary, making choices on facts, not fear, is the scientific method. Not dealing with the facts head on is like thinking with that male organ in the context of dealing with women - both are emotion based, not fact based.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

Mark, I agree as you know that an assault weapons ban

is silly, pointless, counter productive. But your argument that semiautomatic weapons are an order of magnitude less lethal than fully automatic firearms and therefore of no concern makes no sense.
Guns should be regulated based on their functionality; on how much damage they can do in a given period of time. Autoloading firearms have been shown in a theatre in Aurora and a schoolroom in Newtown to be too dangerous to be readily available in our society. And while regulating guns is one small piece of the overall violence problem; its an important piece.
Like the food issue the question is not one of personal freedom; Its an issue of corporate responsibility. Should corporations be able to manufacture and sell products they know to be dangerous if used as designed. The country decided no on tobacco and a majority seem to have decided no on semi-automatic firearms. Let's hope the laws catch up to the public will.

MARK GRAVE's picture

P.S. My claim is in direct

P.S. My claim is in direct response to Jerry who asserted there is no difference between auto and semi-auto: “Being that automatic to semi is from one long squeeze to multiple fast squeezes. I own both, but;”

In fact, there is a big difference.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

There is a difference

If I take an M-60 (there I am dating myself) with 100 round cloth bandoliers using M13 links and position it at the 50 yard line during a Eagles football game and fire into the crowd I will do much more damage than if I stand there with a AK-47 and 30 round mgazines. But the results will be socially unacceptable in either case. So from society's viewpoint there is no practical difference.

MARK GRAVE's picture

You are changing the argument

You are changing the argument from lethality to morality. Staying on topic is relevant in these discussions.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

Pretty desperate

I stayed right on topic.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Again, use the scientific

Again, use the scientific method and consult the statistics. Assault weapons are more dangerous, but handguns still kill many more people annually.

That says your fear is not realized.

Lastly, one just has to look at the run on assault weapons and ammunition to see where your public will lies.

Jonathan Albrecht's picture

No it doesn't

The percentage of households owning guns is hanging around the low 30%; way down from the 50% a generation ago. The same people are buying more guns; not more people buying their first gun.
Handguns do kill many more. one of the reasons the AWB is silly. My position as you know is to regulate semi-automatic firearms with detachable magazines which includes long guns and handguns addressin the real issue which the AWB does not..

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Bam ! Boom! Ouch! Flush!

Looks like those selectman are swirling down the drain come next election.....shows that logic overcomes ___________.

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