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This week I am looking at signs from the Republican Convention that say: “I built it.” This confuses me. Have you ever heard of a millionaire who has done it without anyone’s help? The millionaire who gathered all his food, found his own teacher that he paid for out of his own pocket, or invented or created the internet, the millionaire who drove to work on roads that he paved alone, burning oil that he drilled and refined on his own, driving a car that he built with his own hands? Have you ever met that guy? I haven’t met him either. It’s the Union member who built those roads and drilled the oil and built the car; the middle class that we so desperately need to revive.

Selfishly proclaiming “I built this” without acknowledging the network of people and infrastructure that helps to make businesses possible and successful is ignorant. The first step to restoring America’s workplace ,is recognizing that we all need each other to make it happen, including the Government. That includes taxes set so everyone pays their fair share.

Ann Romney

Ann Romney cast her husband’s business record as a testament to his capacity to bring the nation back from tough times. However Mitt suffers a big deficit among female voters. He is 10% behind in the polls among women. Romney and Ryan envision an economy and society that does not help women. They try to destroy the best vehicle for the middle class - Unions. Republican Akin’s comment that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape” is absurd and demeaning to women. This shows the deeper problem within the GOP. It is a party that claims to support women, but their policies assume women cannot make their own “legitimate” choices, and don’t deserve equal pay or reasonable pay for their work.

Young women represent economic progressivism and are the key to this election. They are not beholden to the fundamentalists on the right. That is why President Obama continues to outpoll Romney. Young women who vote will change the economic outlook in the future.

Double Dip Anyone?

Business does not lay off workers because of government; business lays off when there are no buyers. Business needs sales to encourage them to hire workers. Women are a HUGE part of the overall demand for goods and services. Women are also more than half of the electorate.

If Romney’s plan were to be introduced now, then we’d likely experience a double-dip recession next year. Support for this view has been expressed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which argued in a report that the U.S. economy would slide into recession in fiscal 2013 if Congress fails to act to maintain current tax rates and avert deep cuts to federal spending. Those steps - more tax cuts and spending cuts - are part of the Romney-Ryan plan.

Romney and Ryan are obsessed with putting the squeeze on public spending, especially social welfare and education. Their plan means that workers get trapped in a low-skill, low-pay cycle of disadvantage. The increasingly part-time, no benefits, low skill labor market is reinforcing that pathology, particularly for women.

War on Women

As strange as it sounds, the worst of these effects may well be, thankfully, nullified by the GOP’s ongoing War on Women voters. I think Obama will do better as Romney’s tax issues bring more revelations and the GOP War on Women becomes center stage.

Today’s Union woman understands that elections have consequences and we will come together to support the best interests for our children, our families and our workplace. We will support President Obama.

ELM 434 Out of Schedule

The ELM allows the Employer to temporarily change the hours on a weekly basis by giving advance notice not later than Wednesday before and paying them Out Of Schedule (OOS) premium to compensate workers for temporary changes to their schedule. There is no provision for making permanent schedule changes through the payment of OOS. Specifically the language in 434.6 states:

"If notice of a temporary change is given to an employee by Wednesday of the preceding service week, even if this change is revised later, the employee’s time can be limited to the hours of the revised schedule, and out-of-schedule premium is paid for those hours worked outside of and instead of his or her regular schedule."

OOS is dependent upon timely notification to the employee. The new JCIM on page 47 addresses Article 8.4.B. stating that:

"When timely notice is not given, a full time employee is entitled to work the employee‘s regularly scheduled hours or receive pay in lieu thereof. In such case the regular overtime rules apply to the hours worked outside of the employee‘s schedule, not the OOS premium rules."

Therefore, we can argue additional hours worked as a result of schedule changes made without advance weekly notice are compensable as overtime hours.

This article is reprinted from the Michigan Messenger

Who Built It?
Built It?
Linda Turney, National Business Agent