Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Economic Meltdown-So Let's Strike!

Everytime someone mentions how much better teaching in Texas would be if we just had unions, a story like the one below comes through and disproves it. It seems that in the worst economic meltdown since the Big One in 1929, Bell Helicopter was willing to give workers a bonus to offset higher healthcare expenses. The cost would be a loss of janitorial jobs. For some reason, being a janitor at a Bell facility is a union job. So although the union leaders supported the accord, the rank and file voted it down. (Must take a breath here before I explode) Do you know ANYONE that is getting a bonus this year? We may not even get our regular increases! As for the health care costs, I have to laugh. Ask any teacher in the state of Texas system about the cost per family for health insurance.

And...to top this off, just in the past hour the word came across that the agency that controls military repairs is removing the license from this facility and the FAA is thinking about following suit. So my hats off to you union guys! You stood your ground and not only scuttled a very fair contract, but possibly created a situation where the entire facility will be closed and EVERYONE WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS! What were you guys thinking?

Bell Helicopter union to strike
HURST, Texas, June 15 (UPI) -- Union workers at Bell Helicopter in Texas rejected a contract offer and voted to begin a strike at midnight Monday, the United Auto Workers said.
"The membership said they were not going to buy this. I hope Bell Helicopter listens," Tom Wells, chairman of Local 218 told the Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram Monday.
Union members voted 1,177 to 680 to reject the contract that with
cost-of-living adjustments included a total wage increase of 18.7 percent over the life of the contract.
The contact also included a $4,500 cash bonus an 11.7 percent increase in monthly pension benefits for new retirees.
The contract, however, would have eliminated 44 janitorial positions, by absorbing janitors into higher paid positions, although union members still balked at voting to erase jobs.
"No employees would be bumped or laid off from this event," said Bell spokesman Tom Dolney in an e-mail.
But union member Alexander Martinez disagreed. "What they're offering is wrong. They're trying to eliminate jobs," Martinez said.
The strike includes Bell manufacturing plants in the Forth Worth, Texas, area, but not the military helicopter plant in Amarillo, which is not covered by the UAW contract, the newspaper said.--UPI Wire

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