Clearing air on erroneous beliefs about our Union

President’s Column-Rocky Mountain Teamster
By Steve Vairma, President Joint Council #3

Two facts discovered by a recent membership survey of Teamsters Local 455 in Denver were surprising to me.

One was that our membership doesn’t realize that the Teamsters Union uses only volunteer money for political campaigns. We do not spend your hard earned dues money on politics, and that fact counters blatant lies of our anti-union enemies who are waging war on the workers of this country.

Even though most Local 455 members (58 percent) know that the Teamsters Union does not contribute dues money to political candidates, a relatively large number – 35 percent – said they didn’t know the union’s political contributions were voluntary. It is interesting that 58 percent the same percentage that knew that union political contributions were voluntary – said the union should be involved in politics.

The money contributed by the Teamsters Union to candidates comes from DRIVE, our Democrat-Republican-Independent-Voter-Education program, which, in Local 455, is funded by about 27 percent of the members.

A second fact is that many members don’t realize that both the federal and state governments have the power to abolish the workers’ rights negotiated in a labor contract by a union and management.

Eliminating workplace rights is a common practice. In fact, some 23 states have passed so-called right-to-work laws, which essentially eliminate much of the protection afforded by union contracts while depressing wages and working conditions.

The state of Wisconsin passed a law last year prohibiting collective bargaining. Ohio tried to do it, too, but after the law was passed there, it was repealed by voters. These are not isolated cases; there have been many instances where states have eliminated workers’ rights in areas such as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and workplace safety, among others.

On the national level, presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced he supports right-to-work laws. His so called “Plan for Jobs and Growth,” which was released for his presidential campaign, says he “believes that right-to-work legislation is the appropriate course for states, and he will use the bully pulpit” of the presidency “to encourage states to move in that direction.”

Teamster President James Hoffa recently cited an incident in which Romney, campaigning in Wisconsin, related a “humorous” story about his father closing an auto plant and laying off workers in Michigan. Afterward Romney was criticized for being “out of touch.”

But Hoffa recognized Romney’s real motive: “I think the problem with Mitt Romney is that he doesn’t believe working families should have good jobs at good wages.”

Because of the unfortunate Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court just two years ago, more than $100 million has already been injected into our political system through so-called superpacs.

And – unlike the Teamsters’ political contributions – superpac contributions aren’t voluntary, nor are they identifiable. They come from massive pools of corporate profits, which we all pay into but have no control over.

Their money is spent almost exclusively to support candidates seeking to make all working men and women scapegoats for a lousy economy.

They want us all to earn $8 an hour, with no benefits, no job protection, long hours and higher taxes.

They are now able to outspend us by a 20 to 1 ratio, and the gap is growing each day. In number, though, we are far more than they. That is our only weapon.

We must mobilize and beat them at the ballot box.

Saying of the Day

     Our Savior from Citizens United!Thankfully the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision didn’t come along until the DVR had been created.

   Now the billionaires can spend millions putting their lies into commercials, and we can fast forward through their crap, wasting those millions for them.
    Somebody is watching out for us.

                 For every action, there is an equal, and opposite reaction.

C’mon…..Retirement is GREAT in any State

10 Worst-Rated States for Retirement

Cost of living, climate, crime rates and more factor into’s rankings

It’s not uncommon to find a list of the best places to retire, either here or abroad. But a list of the worst places? That’s what the folks at pulled together.

The finance website looked at such factors as crime rate, climate, longevity and economic conditions, including taxes, job opportunities and cost of living, to compile a ranking of the 10 worst states for retirement.

Some of the bottom dwellers might come as a surprise. Maine finished dead last in the rankings. The high cost of living and harsh climate dragged down the state’s appeal to retirees. Joblessness and tax burdens weighed on runner-up Michigan. Massachusetts received a poor ranking because of cold weather and the cost of living.

Here are the 10 worst states for retirement, with No. 1 being the lowest-ranked, according to

10. Wisconsin
9. New York
8. Washington
7. Rhode Island
6. Maryland
5. Alaska
4. Connecticut
3. Massachusetts
2. Michigan
1. Maine

Don’t lose that 1.75 seconds per stop

                  Delivery Drivers to Pick Up Pace by Surrendering Keys


There’s One on Every Route

What would happen if I were to go to the UPS Store or even to the UPS Terminal in Evansville and drop my packages just inside the door? Would they be properly taken care of, picked up, addressed, and delivered in a timely manner? I’m going to go out on a limb and assume they wouldn’t, nor would UPS employees be too pleased with me dumping boxes right inside their breeze way where people walk.

So, I have to ask, why is it ok for a UPS driver to assume he’s the center of the business universe and drop packages at the most convenient place for them? 99% of the UPS drivers I encounter are bent on interrupting my business to sign for a package, that may or may not even be within seeing distance. I’ve been interrupted on the phone, while talking with another customer, even bothered when on my way to the bathroom.

NOTICE – UPS Driver, you are not the most important person in my day to day dealings, wait your turn and do your job.

I am paying for a service, which includes picking up packages in a designated area in my business and delivering packages to my recipient. Delivery does not mean what’s easiest for the driver. Delivery should mean they are handed either to the individual receiving or dropped off in a designated area for receiving items. I will no longer sign, nor tolerate receiving packages that are out of my eye sight, nor will I walk through my warehouse searching for where they were dropped off. UPS drivers be warned, you will be wasting yours and my time if you fail to do your job properly.


Corporatist’s Are After What’s Left of the American Dream

    Our Future as We Know It? We’ve watched a number of trends over the last few decades, in business sectors mostly, but more recently in the realms of the working person. We stood by and watched while large, successful companies were bought out by other large corporations with the sole purpose of gutting the original company for it’s “assets”. Of course the word asset does not include the effort and worth of the people that are employees of the destroyed company.
      Unfortunately one of the major “assets” sucked into the corporate vacuum has been the worker’s pensions. These large sums are simply absorbed by the corporations, never to be seen or used by the people that earned them, again. The other assets of these companies are then sold off and the company ceases to exist or at least exist in any mirror of their former glory. Meanwhile these huge corporations move on to their next victim with a yawn, and disdain for the working people they’ve left behind.
     Strewn behind these massacres are the “average Joe” trying to get by with maybe a small house, mortgaged to the hilt, an older car with a dozen payments left, and a couple of kids that now have no healthcare.
     Scenarios like this have played out coast to coast across these United States. Many of the corporate attackers have been foreign corporations, that have dumped billions of dollars into our political system to open the regulatory doors to allow the destruction of our companies. Not only have these corporations moved many jobs overseas, they have continued to destroy our way of life in the U.S.
     Americans will remember during World War II that it was our “American” companies that rose to the occasion, and defeated the Nazis and their fascist regime by becoming the most productive manufacturing force ever created on this earth. Now that manufacturing force is being dismantled from within, by people with the same mentality, only a different tactic.
     Think about it, is there any electronic item in our country that could run without the use of Chinese, or Japanese manufactured parts? Is there any vehicle that could move down the road without parts made in India, Mexico, or Canada? Is there any plane flying without parts, and metals, imported from foreign countries?
     The fact is there is not. Almost everything we use in everyday life is foreign made. When push comes to shove are we going to be the formidable power we were during World War II should some dictator or another rise up against us with the support of these manufacturing giants in the world?
     Through greed we have let our “business” ideals be sold out to the detriment of our national security. Not to mention just the small ideal of being a Patriotic American.
     Now these huge corporations are after our government. They are legislating out of existence all of the safety nets built in to our governmental system that protect real Americans. They are attacking our children through the unreasonable cost of a college education keeping our populace “dumbed down”. They are attacking our healthcare system keeping us weak, sickly, and poor through the horrendous cost of staying healthy. They are attacking the Unions that give the workers voice in the Corporate world. They are making it harder, and harder to vote. They are stealing the wealth out of the pocket of the average working American.
     Our upcoming election is a crossroads to the future, and what the future holds for our children and us. We are being told that politicians that have participated in the gutting of America are now the most qualified to run our country. They continue to tell us that regulation is damaging the economy’s ability to recover and we should set the corporations free. They continue to get rid of jobs, pensions, healthcare, education, all things important to the average worker in our country. They continue to sell out America.
     Think about it! They’re coming for you next, and you are about to vote for them!