Date: Sun, 22
Oct 2006 11:06:26 a.m. PDT
I am a retired public employee, having worked for both the State of Nevada
and Washoe County. I read your article in this mornings paper and
was very curious about the statement in it that referred to Mr. Gibbons'
proposal to gut the Public Employees Retirement System. I had not heard
anything about this until now. Could you please explain his idea to me
and or let me know where I can find out more about this. Thank you in
advance for your help.
Glad to. Not only does GOP gubernatorial nominee Gibbons present a true
risk to retirees, but Democratic Sen. Titus could also use a little labor
it and weep, spread the word, be well, raise hell. Andrew
Get it straight
It is time to put to rest your specious "corporate
welfare" in Sparks comments. The Nugget PAYS taxes including
property, income, SSI, Medicare, Workers Comp. etc. Any legal tax deduction
is NOT welfare. Why don't you move to California where you can pay a nice
state income tax?
Dear Mr. Vincent:
All you submit in the industry's defense is that it
pays anything it is forced to pay in order to do business and make huge
profits. My heart bleeds.
Gaming lobbyists admitted in 1997 that the "Lucky
Bucks" tax break was a giveaway to the casinos, pure and simple.
It acts as a true license to print money, allowing them to deduct funny
money coupons at face value from their state tax payments. The weak rationale
for the tax break was that subsidizing casino coupons would allow the
clubs to promote more and generate more revenue and thus more gaming taxes.
In reality, the casinos simply had enough lawmaker
votes and decided to cash in a few campaign contributions. Please read
the news stories about it posted at www.joeneal.org.
A bill by Sens. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, and Dina
Titus, D-Las Vegas, to close the loophole never got a hearing in 1999.
Steve Wynn's art tax break has bled tens of millions
from Nevada school children. Justify that -- I dare you.
Those are the actions of megabucks welfare queens,
sir, any way you slice it.
Thanks for writing.
Be well. Raise hell.
Dog Eat Dog Films/The Awful Truth
If you can get to http://www.renogazettejournal.com/news/business/ anytime
today, please look closely at the photo. There's an extremely unattractive
guy with a beard wearing a 49er jacket and black CWA baseball cap carrying
a "Jobs with Justice" picket sign. You may recognize the book
cover bearing a photo of another guy in a baseball cap in the upper right-hand
corner of the placard.
The photo will probably disappear at 11:50 p.m. PST
You may access the accompanying story at http://www.rgj.com/news/stories/business/950942526.html
We will be posting it at NevadaLabor.com, where you
and Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken still appear on our
labor linx page.
demonstrators were protesting against the
cruel and unusual punishments imposed upon those unfortunate enough to
have to go to work every day in Reno casinos. Circus Circus, the Reno
Hilton and the Reno Flamingo Hilton are stonewalling on contracts.
Circus Circus is a renewal, the Hiltons are unionized
everywhere else in the country but have busted unions and fired people
in Reno for the past eight years. Circus Circus busted out its security
guards union without ever bargaining in good faith on a contract.
It was ironic that our march took us past the Reno-Sparks
Gospel Mission which feeds a lot of full time casino workers every day.
Many of them simply don't make enough money to both pay rent and eat.
Marchers included some of the Reno Hilton's illegally
fired security guards who have beaten Hilton in every round up to the
DC Court of Appeals. Hilton is now in its fifth day of ignoring a court
order to put the people back to work. The United
Plant Guard Workers of America (based in Roseville, Michigan) are
one tough little union. We chanted "Downsize This!" thru the
streets of Reno on many occasions before Friday.
The abovenoted photo veritably drips with irony. It
appears in today's Reno Gazette-Journal, a Gannett paper, which, as you
are aware, has locked out its workers at the Detroit News for the past
three years plus.
The publisher of the Reno paper, Sue Clark-Johnson,
sits on the board of Harrah's, for which she has been roundly castigated
by readers and journalism pros nationwide.
The paper has always added a disclaimer to gambling
industry editorials noting that the boss did not participate in forming
the opinion because of her cushy Harrah's moonlighting gig. They made
an exception on Feb. 9 when the paper blasted Sen. Joe Neal's initiative
petition to raise the gross gaming tax on the state's largest, most obscenely
profitable casinos. The only conclusion is that they either forgot or
Ms. Clark-Johnson did indeed participate and they're too ashamed to admit
Sen. Neal's petition calls for a pay raise for the
Nevada Highway Patrol, giving them parity with the highest paid officers
in the state. NHP troopers are grossly undercompensated.
Union painters in your home town of Flint, Michigan,
make $23 per hour, which is more than a seven-year Nevada highway patrolman
earns. How do I know? Mike Wiltse
recently resigned as president of the Nevada Highway Patrol Association
to go back to Flint to take a teaching job. His brother is a painter.
Their family knows yours.
Sen. Neal and I and the rest of the Nevada chapter
of Mike's Militia eagerly await the news season of "The Awful Truth"
on Bravo cable.
Keep up the good work and remember that your troops
out here on the Sagebrush Plantation remain ready to move at a moment's
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, CWA Local 9413
The Daily Sparks Tribune
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 15:00:25 EST
Subject: Re: Downsize This! on the streets of Reno, Part Deux
andrew -- you are awesome!!!!!! keep up the great
BE POLITE: DRIVE SAFELY IN WORK ZONES
Due to the lack of knowledge many of the
traveling public have on our roadways, especially in safety construction
zones, I'd like to refresh their memory.
First, when you approach an intersection with flaggers, save every one
involved some time and use your turning signal. It takes at least 30 seconds
for the flagger to figure out where you want to go when you are pointing
through your tinted windows. It takes maybe half a second to turn your
signal on (located on the left of the steering column).
Secondly, flaggers are not present to give driving lessons. They are there
for the safety of the public and workers. Slowing down and showing simple
common courtesy would be the responsible and safe action to take. Flagging
is certainly not easy money. Most go to work with the hope of returning
home to their fam ilies unharmed. Unfortunately, that is not always the
case. Construction workers are killed due to careless, self-centered drivers.
To the people who are patient, friendly and cautious, thank you.
To others, you need to slow down, pay attention, don't brush your teeth
while driving, wait for a safe place to converse on your phone and please,
wave with all five fingers.
Kings Beach, Calif.
Editor's note: This
letter to editor by Ms. Cory Williams, a member of Laborers' Union Local
169, appeared in the 8-24-99 Reno
Gazette-Journal and is reproduced here with the writer's permission.--
Read more about the Flagger Moms' Safety Campaign
A UNION BROTHER'S THANK YOU
I just wanted to thank you for Barbwire, and your activism for labor.
I am a member of IBEW local 46 in Seattle, and serve as our Political
Action Instructor (our PAC also teachs members how to get involved in
political campaigns). The Chairman of my District Democratic Organization.
During the 1998 election cycle I unsuccessfuly ran for the Washington
State House of Representatives (lost by 5000 votes to a popular Republican
incumbent) and have already started campaigning for 2000.
I want to thank you for your involvement and ask you to continue to motivate
Union Members to get involved. Any suggestions that you may have to help
motivate more grassroots involvement in Washington State Politics would
Brother Rich Hildreth
IBEW 46 (Seattle)
THANKS FOR YOUR SITE
Thanks for the good work in pro-labor issues. I just found the nevadalabor
site....I just signed up today to distribute the initiative petition for
campaign finance reform.
Andrew, your column rules!
SMOKING OR NON?
Are the hotel workers in Nevada unionized? I am curious because I would
like to know if hotel workers, especially dealers are required to sign
any waivers indemnifying the hotel/casino for health related problems
due to tobacco smoke?
David Brotman, c. July, 1999
smoke study expanded to northern Nevada
RENO, Nev. (AP 5-26-02) - Researchers are expanding a four-year, $2.3
million study on the effects of second-hand smoke in the workplace to
Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno want to include a Reno
site where non-smokers work in smoky environments. Chris Pritsos, chairman
of UNR's Department of Nutrition and the lead researcher on the project,
is trying to recruit 375 non-smoking workers for the study and already
has 51 taking part in Las Vegas. He wants to learn whether a combination
of antioxidant vitamin supplements might reduce the health risk for
bartenders, cocktail waitresses and others who work inside smoky casinos
and bars. "We wanted to expand the study so we could include more
workers in multiple sites and draw broader, more conclusive findings,"
he said. Volunteers will be split into groups taking different levels
of supplements to find out which are most effective. Participants will
take them for two years. A preliminary 1997 study Pritsos conducted
showed promising evidence that a combination of supplements might provide
some protection against second-hand smoke.
"Determining the best level and which antioxidants
to take is important because the vitamin and mineral industry is loosely
regulated," he said.
"Often the general public is led to believe
that more is better - which may or may not be the case." The research
project is being funded by the National Institutes of Health, and is
the first major study into the effects of workplace exposure to environmental
tobacco smoke. The Nevada School of Medicine is working with UNR on
the study, which was launched last year. A study published last year
in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found Nevada
had the fewest smoke-free work environments in the nation. Nevada ranks
second only to Kentucky in the percentage of adult smokers, and has
the highest rate of asthma and deaths from smoking-related illnesses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 2,600
people die each year in Nevada from smoking-related illnesses.
Source: Associated Press
Alas, your question has three answers: yes, no and maybe so. In southern
Nevada, the majority of hotel workers - but not casino dealers - are represented
by unions. In downtown Las Vegas and Clark County, which includes the
famed Strip, more than 45,000 workers belong to Culinary Local 226 and
Bartenders and Beverage Local 165. Other unions also have a strong presence
at southern Nevada resorts, e.g., the Operating Engineers and stagehands
Laughlin, at the southern tip of in Clark County at the Arizona border,
Flamingo Hilton workers are represented by the United Steelworkers.
northern Nevada, Culinary Local 86 represents workers at only one hotel,
Circus Circus in Reno. Such was not the case 23 years ago when a consortium
of Reno-Sparks-Lake Tahoe hotels decided to fight renewal of the union's
contracts. They obstructed the culinary union at every level of the National
Labor Relations Board and the federal judiciary, eventually ending up
at the U.S. Supreme Court.
all was said and done in 1993, culinary attorney Richard McCracken lamented
that he had won every round but that there was little membership left
to enjoy it.
northern Nevada culinary vacuum was filled briefly by the carpenters union,
which tried to organize several Reno hotel-casinos in the mid-90's. In
1994, they won an election to represent the majority of Reno Flamingo
Hilton non-gaming workers. They lost elections in 1993 and 1995 to represent
a similar group at the 2,001-room Reno Hilton (formerly the MGM Grand),
northern Nevada's largest gambling property.
Reno Hilton was found guilty of 66 labor law violations by the NLRB, but
a change of presidents at the international level in 1995 resulted in
the carpenters union discontinuing its hotel-casino organizing effort.
They left a clear field for the culinary union, which promised continuation
of the carpenters efforts.
culinary union now says that it is making Reno an issue in current negotiations
to renew contracts along the Las Vegas Strip. Two major stumbling blocks
remain. The first is an extra 10 cents per hour for hotel maids, without
which a newly-hired worker could not qualify to purchase an entry-level
home. The second is recognition of the union at both Hilton Reno properties.
of culinary, several unions represent a few hotel workers in northern
Nevada, but the percentage is small compared to Las Vegas. The carpenters
represent maintenance workers at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks and at
some South Lake Tahoe casinos. The Plumbers and Pipefitters have long
had a contract with the Reno Flamingo Hilton. The Stationary Engineers
represent workers at the Reno Hilton and Reno Circus Circus. IATSE represents
stagecraft employees at the Reno Hilton. Elevator Constructors members
also work at that hotel.
Plant Guard Workers of America Local 1010 represents security guards at
the Reno Hilton and Circus Circus, although both of those situations are
currently tangled up in NLRB appeals. (A full update will soon appear
at www.nevadalabor.com. In the interim, see the Nov. 30 installment of
Barbwire by Barbano, "Baby Rape: coming soon to a casino near you."
Click on the Barbwire icon on the Nevada Labor'zine home page.)
carpenters' 1993-95 Reno/Flamingo Hilton elections included a smattering
of casino employees, such as change personnel and slot machine mechanics.
The union did a lot of work representing those workers at both properties.
Other than the two Hiltons and an occasional slot mechanic (such as Circus
Circus-Reno/Stationary Engineers), I know of few gambling workers who
have enjoyed union representation.
is especially true of the frontline dealers who eat cigarette smoke every
day. Casino employees in Atlantic City, NJ, have several times voted down
unions in elections marred by charges of company intimidation and NLRB
complaints. High-priced professional union busters are masters at instilling
and exploiting worker fear.
their long oppression, casino dealers have always been difficult to organize.
Now, with more than 10,000 professional union busters working for corporate
America, the potential looks bleaker than ever.
no union protection, dealers have had to resort to the courts. Nevada
jurisprudence is filled with cases of dealers who have sued for relief
of workplace hazards (Harvey's-Lake Tahoe, pesticide poisoning; Circus
Circus-Reno, carbon monoxide) and discrimination (Sands Regency-Reno,
age and gender; Reno Hilton, race and gender; Las Vegas Hilton, age and
gender.) All of the above resulted in worker wins, save the recently filed
carbon monoxide case. (You will find several references to these cases
in the Barbwire archive.)
Nevada courts have given workers little while maintaining the Silver State's
pro-employer, fire-at-will environment. Without a personal services or
union contract, Nevada workers have no rights under state law.
Nevada Casino Dealers Association and others sprang up in the 1980's in
reaction to a common foe, the Internal Revenue Service. The NCDA remains
today as an strong advocate, albeit not a dealers union. While the association
cannot bargain collectively and enjoys none of the federal union protections,
it does meet with management to resolve grievances. The group also lobbies
with the fabled Los Angeles drywall strikers of the early 1980's, the
NCDA serves as one of my models for the guerrilla union of the future.
Both have enjoyed success while effectively operating outside the strictures
of federal labor law with its momentum-killing endless appeals.
NCDA's longtime head is Tony Badillo. You can reach them at (702) 474-9766.
They are located at 1120 Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Mr. Badillo can
bring you up to speed on casino-tobacco issues. Secondary smoke has been
a hot issue lately in Nevada media. However, despite the establishment
on non-smoking areas, the gambling-industrial complex caters to its smoking
lawyer Harvey Whittemore, the gambling industry's top lobbyist, also represents
big tobacco. He was directly responsible for passage of the toughest "tobacco
pre-emption" law in the nation. No Nevada local government may now
pass a more restrictive anti-smoking statute than exists at the state
level, and our state law is as loose as they come. For more information,
contact Mark Savage (email@example.com), legislative affairs director
of the Nevada chapter of the American Cancer Society. His office phone
number is (702) 329-0609. His pager/voice mail is (702) 858-9055.
gamblers long ago learned that their bedrock customer suffers from an
addictive personality and is thus highly susceptible to abuse of liquor,
gambling and smoking. Casino marketers push for the compulsives. The pros
know that their highest effectiveness lies in catering to all seven deadly
sins, including gluttony and lust.
casinos have failed because addictives prefer patronizing full-service
providers. I still consider my 1989 column about the bust of the non-smoking
casino at Reno's Ponderosa Hotel as the definitive work on the subject
(not because the column was so insightful, but because the issue has largely
been ignored by anyone else).
have never heard of employees being forced to sign liability waivers for
secondary cigarette smoke, but, given the long history of Nevada gamblers
crushing their workers at every opportunity, it would not surprise me.
for your interest in an issue of great importance
well. Raise hell.--AB
'ZINE ME UP, SCOTTY!
Although you are not a union website but an E-zine you will be considered
for [a link to our web] page. Sorry for any delay this may cause.
Dear Brother McHugh:
Yesterday I could not spell E-zine and today I are one. Thanks for the
compliment and reality check. I'll tell the sales staff it's time to reposition
LEADING EDGES AND CUT THROATS
The web page is great. You're a leading edge kind of guy.
MESSAGE FROM MAHATMA MOORE
Keep up the great work!!
MMFlint@aol.com (Michael Moore)
BREATHLESS IN BEANTOWN
It's a breath of fresh air. I am so tired of having my news filtered and
spoon fed to me complete with the same old tired one sided opinions. I
really enjoyed hearing the other side of the story and will come back
for more news from this website.
PATCO IS NEVER FAR AWAY
Three cheers for the UPS teamsters. As a former PATCO member, you can't
imagine how glad I was to see someone finally make some progress in what
has been an up hill struggle for labor since the slaughter of our union
in 1981. Ronnie (Reagan) kicked our butts good and the 16 year-old lockout
continues to this day. The scabs killed us, a vindictive president and
his band of merry men buried us and the present occupant of the White
House (his rhetoric aside) has thus far refused to unlock the gates to
a former PATCO member, I'm torn between emotions when it comes to labor
issues/problems. On the one hand, I feel guilty about my involvement in
an event that made it easier for big business, the far right, and other
anti-worker groups to beat hell out of organized labor. Likewise, I can't
help but rejoice when victories are won. I could go on and on but have
found that it's better not to.
found [your website] in a couple of places. I'm a member of the American
Postal Workers Union and happen to be on Bobby Donelson's e-mail list
where he posted some of your stuff. I did an Excite Netcaster search looking
for labor and found you there also.
for your interest and I wish you well in your struggle.
(Mr.) Terry W. Gloege
2052 Westridge Court
Wichita KS 67203-1063
PATCO AS PHOENIX
May I suggest as a link, NATCA Voice? That is a union of Air Traffic controllers.
The membership is about 10,000. Covering skilled professionals, it is
not the sort of union one would expect to be really pro-active on the
new labor movement. Still, it is a GREAT site, covering ALL of labor with
The NATCA Voice is a grassroots newsletter and website. We belong to NATCA,
the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. Our site is dedicated
to labor issues and not just NATCA issues. We have an extensive archive
of labor articles and links on line. We will add a link both in our permanent
labor section and also in the UPS section. Thanks for letting us know
I created the website for the Ashland local of UPS. Although their strike
is over, I am trying to get them to designate someone for the site I can
work with and post ongoing newsletters, etc., for their union.
interest in this? My husband is a member of USWA Local 12004 and they
were locked out of the workplace for six months last year. I had never
seen how a union sticks together and helps each other until then. Doing
a website for them was one way I could help. That's why I jumped in and
did the UPS Teamsters site.
URL for my husband's union which I maintain is: http://CyberView-USA.Com/USWA12004
just moved it there from GeoCities and some of the links are not in place
yet but I hope to get it cleaned up in the next few days. I will add your
URL to the links page at that site.
(Linda J LaCarte Livingstone)
MICHAEL JORDAN, CALL YOUR OFFICE
Look at all the wonderful reasons Nike is thinking of moving to Nevada.
According to the recent chart in the Reno Gazette-Journal, I thought Gee,
they couldn't be better off unless they moved to Bangladesh. They can
move right in here, bring their Oregon employees to dump on the schools,
not pay taxes for their impact. No unions, no taxes. We're just like a
third world country and we're right across the border.
we the lucky ones?
Carol Walton, President
American Federation of Government Employees Local 2152
Ioannis A Lougaris Veterans Administration Hospital, Reno
They'd invite Michael Jordan to cut the ribbon, but I don't think his
contract requires him to visit the third world. Maybe they can get Ben
Johnson or Mike Tyson. I understand both need some work.--AB
Editor's note: The
following letters came in during the 1997 Teamsters national UPS strike.
MEMO FROM A MEMBER
This memo has arisen our of disappointment and anger to an attitude of
ignorance and arrogance from a couple of full-time brothers during our
myself, am a part-time, dues-paying, sign-carrying member for two years
now. During our picket, I was chatting with some others when one driver
blatantly stated that "you (part-timers) can live on $55 (picket
pay). I can't."
excuse me, but what the hell is that supposed to mean? I calmly reminded
my uninformed brother that the vast majority of us part-timers also have
AT LEAST one other full-time job, as we do not share in your good fortune
(yet) of entertaining ONLY ONE GOOD FULL-TIME JOB. We have to do
12-16 hours a day to make up the difference, remember?!! By the way, isn't
this what we are all fighting for, job security??
another full-timer, during a heated moment, blurted out "Hey, this
is MY JOB I'm fighting for!" Well, the last time I checked, we were
all in this thing together. As I am sure that all full-timers don't share
this attitude, I was just really upset about this. After all, that is
what UNION, COLLECTIVE BARGAINING and SOLIDARITY stand for. We
are, in fact, all together and no one person, situation or job stands
alone above another!
may all be out here together for awhile and, God willing, may it be a
professional, peaceable and profitable demonstration for us all.
I am a part-time loader for UPS. Before I worked for the company, I worked
at a bank for 17 years before I was laid off when they moved their operations
to another area. I have a terminally ill son and tried for a year to find
any state, federal, local or any aid I could get to help out. Since my
spouse works, it was useless.
searched out the best companies with good reputation and benefits and
picked UPS. Because of UPS and the Teamsters, they both made our lives
more bearable. When we went on strike, I was torn between them both. Should
I be faithful to the company that hired me or the organization that has
helped me in so many ways? There's no question about it, who I should
be faithful to.
strike has had a big effect on business and UPS alike, but for the family
of the employee, it's much more than just money. It's dignity and honor.
Since this strike, I realize that the union is a family-oriented group
of individuals that bond together to fight for what they believe in and
I'm with them all the way.
myself, and my family and friends want to say thank you to Local 533.
Name witheld by request
Is there a place where we can send contributions to striking Teamsters?
Thanks for the idea. No one has mentioned it on the front lines, but the
$55 a week strike pay due to start in a couple of weeks won't go far.
I'll pass along your suggestion about strike fund contributions. Watch
this space for a reply. AB
UPDATE 8/10: Preliminary
feedback is that strike fund contributions from individuals are fine.
We'll let you know more shortly. Workers have expressed appreciation for
the suggestion. The $55 a week strike pay, when it starts to come in,
won't go very far--AB
WE FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS
As a fellow Nevadan and American, you and I enjoy and take for granted
some wonderful privileges. We are ensured freedoms that others are denied
by the minute. Freedom of speech and religion, right to bear arms, right
to equality whether you are a woman, minority or handicapped (some of
us have to fight a little harder).
for myself, I am not willing for one second to give up any of these freedoms
without a fight. Tell me why, then, are we as Nevadans and Americans so
willing to relinquish all rights and freedoms for which we have worked
don't believe that is necessary and the only strength we have is in collective
bargaining. As a UPS employee and as a Teamster, we just want a fair contract
with job security, good full-time jobs and the protection of our health
and welfare plan for Americans and their families.
support us in our fight for our rights and urge UPS to negotiate and settle
this dispute. Call them in Atlanta, (404) 828-6161, or toll-free 1-800-PICK-UPS
for your support.
THE HON. WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON:
"I am asking today for your assistance in a matter that greatly impacts
my business and thousands of other businesses."
begins a letter from Mr. Frank Lombardo, manager of a Mail Boxes, Etc.,
franchise in Carson City. One of my old talk radio listeners now works
for him and put him on the phone with me, feeling I could present the
workers' point of view. I faxed him the executive summary of the Teamsters'
study of UPS part-time work released by the union earlier this week. The
study is http://www.teamster.org
available on the web in the bargaining information section. It's worth
your time to read.
also sent Mr. Lombardo the truth about the UPS pension plan raid, a scheme
to disqualify years of work which employees have put toward retirement
while getting non-UPS pensioners to subsidize company payouts to future
Lombardo sent me his letter to the president and told me honestly where
he got it. UPS prevailed upon Mail Boxes, Etc., corporate management to
distribute to franchisees a form letter for the president and local papers.
The exact same letter, from a different small business in the south, was
featured on CNN Friday afternoon.
you see a letter starting with the above sentence and asking the president
to end the strike in the name of national security under the Taft-Hartley
Act, you'll know who planted it.
ironic footnote: Mr. Lombardo was in the process of applying for a UPS
delivery job when the strike happened. He plans to keep his Mail Boxes,
Etc., franchise, too.--AB