In April of 2010 I began writing about the Lake Nona VA Hospital that had just started construction. We in the Building Trades tried to warn VA compliance officers that because contractors on the project were hiring untrained and unskilled workers, the project was in danger of being sub-standard. Unfortunately, it is even worse than we had feared.
The Capital Building in Tallahassee belongs to the citizens of Florida and not to politicians and high-priced lobbyists.
Whenever there is a blizzard, climate change deniers are quick to scoff about manmade global warming, but when January temperatures are higher in South Dakota than they are in Florida, they call it an "isolated incident".
For some time, I have been critical of President Obama and his failure to live up to his campaign promises.
Observing the Republican party lately has been like watching the clown car at the circus.
One of Central Florida's greatest labor leaders has passed away. I hope in some small way, this blog will pay tribute to this fine man.
Can progressives be encouraged by the results of the 2011 elections, and do the results signal a backlash to conservative overreach?
In Brevard County, 11.6% of the population lives in poverty, that is a family of 4 with an income of $22,350 or less. 20.5% of Brevard senior citizens live in poverty.
Over 85,000 people (16% of the population), are food insecure meaning their access to good nutritious food is limited. of the 110,000 children in Brevard, 28,760 or 26% are food insecure. More than 1 in 4 children in Brevard go to bed every night hungry. 41% of the children in Brevard qualify for free or reduced school lunches. During the 2007-2008 school year, that number was under 30%.
There are 85 food pantries across Brevard County, all of which are stressed to the limit serving food to those in need. In 2006, 51,000 received assistance from food pantries. In 2010 number rose to 125,000 which is a 145% increase of people unable to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families.
I am so proud that the KLMC and Central Florida Building Trades are working together to raise funds that will help United Way of Brevard help feed the families and children of Brevard that are in such desperate need. I encourage every possible to do their part and helping their fellow Brevardians. Please contact United Way of Brevard to see what you can do to help.
United Way of Brevard
937 Dixon Boulevard
Cocoa, FL 32922
For general inquiries contact:
Donna F. Barber
Many uninformed people have complained how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is on the verge of collapse which will necessitate a "government bailout". Nothing could be further from the truth as the entire problem could be alleviated with common sense.
First of all, the USPS does not operate on taxpayer dollars. In fact, the USPS hasn't used a dime of taxpayer money in 30 years as all it's revenue is earned from the sale of it's products and services. Customer satisfaction and on-time deliveries are at record levels, labor productivity has doubled and over the past 4 years the USPS has earned a $611 million net profit.
So hwy all the fuss over the USPS losing money? It is manufactured crisis caused by the Republican led Congress of 2006 which passed a law that REQUIRED the USPS to "pre-fund" healthcare benefits for 75 years! That's right, the Postal Service has to fund benefits for people who aren't even born yet. No other entity, public or private has the liability to fund pension benefits for future retirees. The State of Florida's pension fund is about 80% funded, and considered one of the most solvent in the nation. That 75 year liability is causing the budget shortfall in the USPS. to This is nothing more than an attempt to place the USPS in such a precarious situation, that it will be forced to reduce services, close facilities, and lay-off workers. If this occurs, it will exasperate the problem, not make it better.
There is an easy solution to the financial problems the USPS is experiencing and that is to pass H.R. 1351. This will allow the USPS access to billions of dollars of it's own earnings currently sitting in surplus. This cost taxpayers absolutely ZERO in any bailouts or subsidies. I urge everyone to contact their representative and ask them to support H.R. 1351. Approximately 200 members of the House of Representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors.
Call the Capital Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative's office. You can also visit SAVEAMERICASPOSTALSERVICE.org
16 Deaths a Day.
Every day 16 workers die on the job, many due to company negligence. These disreputable companies will repeatedly violate the law by cutting costs on safety at the risk of employee's lives. If and when OSHA does cite these companies for safety violations, they would rather pay the paltry fines as opposed to implementing real safety reforms. And if an employee is killed on the job as a result of company negligence, that is just a cost of doing business.
The previous administration slashed funding to OSHA resulting in fewer inspectors and inspections. This allowed companies to literally get away with murder. And in the few instances that a company was found to be negligent, OSHA was pressured by the Bush administration not to forward the cases to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.
As workers, we should all ask our elected representatives to pass legislation that will increase fines for companies that knowingly endanger their employees. Funding should also be made available to hire and train more inspectors.