Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorializing Manufacturing

It is Memorial Day weekend, and in the spirit of remembering those people who gave their lives for our country, we should also remember the things that made America great. With that, I offer to you the following obituary I wrote while waiting to pick up my son from school today. Enjoy:

INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING IN THE UNITED STATES, 130, died early in the first quarter of 2009 after a wonderfully productive life. Between 1870 and 1900 and lasting for decades afterward, the United States became the world's foremost industrial nation, emerging as the leader in meatpacking, timber and steel production as well as in mining and automobile production. The nation experienced a stunning growth in the scale and pace of industrial production, which transformed business, the environment, the workplace, the home, and everyday life. The workers responsible for the creation of massive wealth did well themselves, and led to the formation of a group of millions of citizens known popularly as the "Middle Class"; A class with modest means, nice homes, health insurance, retirement benefits and the ability to properly educate their children. Manufacturing created the awesome, mind-boggling power of the United States Armed Forces, enabling the country to not only defend itself , but to liberate hundreds of countries from enemies all over the world. Later in life, American Manufacturing was shunned and fell from favor among the wealthy and the "upper class", seeking to keep more for itself, began the practice of manufacturing important goods in foreign countries at substandard wages and working conditions. Thus began the famed "race to the bottom", and after such a proud history of enriching citizens from every social class, American Manufacturing ended up a bare-bones operation and a shadow of its former glory. The people who once depended on American Manufacturing are now unknowingly supporting the notion of low-wage slave workers in foreign factories by shopping endlessly at places like Wal*Mart. American Manufacturing passed away unceremoniously with relatively few people noticing after battling a years-long illness and conspicuous neglect.

Industrial Manufacturing in America leaves behind millions of workers who depended on it for jobs, an honest living and the dignity that comes with working a 40+ hour week. It will one day be sorely missed and fondly remembered by the wealthy nation that turned its back on hard work and instead focused on greed. Just like the Romans.

Condolences, expressions of sympathy and memorial gifts may be sent to your local unemployment office.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

2009 Southwest Festival

With the unofficial beginning of summer being just days away, I hate to rush things along to October, but time marches on. This year's Southwest Festival will be upon us in a mere 4.5 months, and this year the Festival is set to be better than ever. From The Local Weekly:

At the last Southwest Community Festival Board meeting an idea of another balloon glow at Sun Valley was raised. Kentucky Telco Bank on Greenwood Road has offered the use of their balloon and others for the event. Having another balloon glow will be reviewed further by the Festival Board as a possible event to add to the Southwest Community Festival.

HERE is a link to the Southwest Community Festival website, and the promotional video can be seen below.

Thursday Fun in the Sun Update

- It is nearly Catholic Picnic season in Louisville, and I have a link for you that lists the 2009 schedule. Click HERE for the goods.

- In a moment eerily reminiscent of the President Bush "Mission Accomplished" announcement, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has stated storm debris clean-up has been completed. Check WHAS11 for more.

- Metro Animal Services is on the hot-seat again, only this time something will undoubtedly come loose. Employees are talking, and what they are saying is revealing more problems. Fox41 has the story HERE.

- The weather has been perfect the last few days and the forecast is for more of the same until Sunday evening. Get out of the house and have some fun today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mayor Vetoes Local Worker Ordinance

The labor ordinance that would have put more local residents to work on government-financed construction projects was vetoed by the mayor yesterday. He and his GLI acolytes spun the issue as one of high, unrealistic wages and other phony, nonsense arguments. The ordinance was less about wages than where the wage earners come from. Everyone can see that.

Everyone can also see that since the mayor receives a portion of his income from GLI, it makes sense that he would follow the wishes of the Chamber of Commerce rather than the will of the citizens. The mayor wants you to forget that fact. The mayor wants to tell you that your wages are too high. This veto action has only insured that we will continue to have high local unemployment while out-of-town workers reap the benefits of government-financed construction in Louisville. These are your tax dollars going into the pockets of out-of-state corporations with out-of-state workers.

So, Mayor Abramson, keep drawing that big check from GLI while you can. We know where your allegiance lies.

FOP Wins Again Vs. Mayor

As expected, the state Labor Cabinet has ruled in favor of police officers in the take-home car dispute. The Cabinet says the collective bargaining agreement was violated by the city when it imposed fees to drive the cars home. The Courier Journal has more HERE.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mayor on Verge of Denying Local Jobs for Local Workers

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson will reportedly decide this week on the fate of the labor ordinance that would guarantee more local jobs for local workers on major, government-financed construction projects. The ordinance was passed in the middle of the night Thursday by the Metro Council, after several hours of fighting over the definition of "small business".

As expected, the ordinance is being opposed by the chamber of commerce and some small business organizations.

The Courier Journal's story lists highlights of the ordinance as follows:
•Payment of prevailing wage on all aspects of projects that meet the $500,000 threshold. Prevailing wage is defined by state statutes as the “predominant” wage paid to trades in a locality, in this case Jefferson County. It is calculated by taking the average of wages paid on all public projects, similar private projects and union wages.

•A goal that at least 75 percent of the project’s jobs be given to residents of counties within the five-county Louisville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

•A goal of at least 20 percent minority participation, including workers and certified minority-owned businesses.

•A goal of at least 5 percent female participation, including workers and certified women-owned businesses.

The fact that the mayor has to "think about" signing the ordinance only speaks to what side he really represents. It sure as hell isn't the people who carry their lunch to work everyday. This ordinance is not about union versus non-union workers. It is about employing Louisville residents to work on projects the government helps pay for. Why bring in out-of-town workers when we are experiencing 10% unemployment? Call Jerry and ask him. Then tell him to sign the ordinance.