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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Union Modus Operandi


Alaska World Affairs: Wow, I had no idea and stand corrected. See, when Brian Williams was under attack because he may have told a little “white-lightning” lie with respect to journalism, he was chastised - even more severely then when Bill Clinton refused to have a “sexual relationship with that woman”. So I was a little setback when I saw the MSNBC anchors – like Rehearsal MadCow, Chris “Miss the Point Completely” Mathews and the rest – well they showed no intentions to protest the temporary firing of a colleague. Now I never would have expected any sincerity from the air-rage commentators at the FOX, but what the hell with NBC and its MSNBC affiliate? Then I was informed that MSNBC anchors and workers are under a “Union” contract, with a “No-Strike” clause! So they really couldn't walk off the job in protest, as some “No Strike” clauses call for jail time - especially if financial harm is the fallout of such truancy! Now it is my understanding that Joy-Ann Reid, Ronan Farrow and Chris Hayes did protest, and have lost their contracts. Way to go “Brothers & Sisters”. For the “others against brothers”, like Mathews and the MadCow and Andrea Mitch McConnell, may as well go work for FOX! I like Ed, but would never fly in his “private” plane to his “private” fishing lodge in Canada, as trying to play out a ”Red Baron” role model and targeting pipelines, not too cool. I believe Ed is one of them “closet” environmental pirates, that perform acts of defiance in efforts to “tear down the Industrialized Wall – Mother Fletcher”! Ever notice how the “You-Tube” - that was once free after that 3-second addition of an advertisement for constipation medicine - now it finds a 15-second long winded commercial? It's medicine that lets you take a good dump, I don't need the specifics! And Ed is following suit, as a few weeks ago it was a 2-minute sports caption and then 10-minutes and soon the ED Show will be all “sports” - way to go as the news was starting to fall-out of perspective. And Al Sharpie? Anyway, it was a relief to see that “Union” support, going to bat for Williams regardless of the consequences. But in today's real world, one must be cautious of the “Union” label, as for many localized “unions”, it has become a generation like family affair – sometimes almost impossible to break into the mold of lucrative jobs with “protection”. I can't blame such confinement, as it required years and years in efforts to build such security, and Scott Walker has already signed a declaration if he becomes the 45th U.S. Presidential Ass-wipe, that “ALL Unions SHALL be Abolished By the Break of Dawn – heel Hitler”! I worked for the IBEW Local 1547 in Anchorage, Alaska. It was an interesting position that came about through an illegal “Strike”, yes a “Walk-off” not condoned by the “1547 Union” itself but orchestrated by some disgruntled workers. It occurred at Elmendorf Air Force Base – today JBER. The IBEW maintained an operation & maintenance contract for the power plant located on the base. One night, the crew decided to walk off because the management put a stop to playing video games when on duty! The union boss was pissed when others started calling in sick, as this was a “mission critical” military base – so they had to get replacement help right now, regardless of one's union or non-union affiliation. Now a few days later, when the union bosses and the “brass” settled their indifferences, it allowed the union contract to remain in effect. Those that walked off thought their jobs were secure, as the contract was still in full force and it was all just a “misunderstanding”! Not so, as the base commander remained pissed and would not allow those that walked off ever again to enter that power plant – and when you have machine gun toting Military Police at the gate, you don't mess around! So needless to say, the replacement workers became permanent and started paying IBEW union dues. Those that walked off were eventually put to work, as they were still union members, but it was work at lower pay and outside the base confines – so they screwed themselves out of a good thing. In the end, after some minor confusing issues were resolved, all was cool. The new crew came up to speed and kept the runway lights on so F-15 fighter jets could safely land. Until, well until Alaska's Congressional delegation became involved in military matters. See, at one time the “Military” was its own boss. But when Congress realized it could control not only the purse-strings but where that “loot” ended up, it started to play “General Eisenhower”. This is a story of how individuals engaged in politics will screw anybody that gets in the way of their line of reasoning. See, the military presence in Alaska was growing because a fortune telling lady saw a “Bush” on the horizon and that meant “War”! With that, privatized infrastructure was gaining popularity with the brass as a ways and means to save the U.S. Taxpayers some loot – as it was reasoned that the “private sector” could maintain a business climate more efficiently then when under civil service. So there came a $400-million dollar investment by Uncle Sam to provide “New” military housing at Elmendorf. Now once that housing was built and ready for occupancy, well no longer could the Air Force owned power plant provide electricity to that complex as it was not considered a “public utility” – as privatization was new and all the wrinkles had not been ironed out. Now all was somewhat OK, until the “land” the complex was situated upon was annexed away from the base, by MoanaLisa MurCowpiefly because she loves to get into land swindling deals and this her first move as the “nepotism” senator was in favor of a guy named Rubini – a good friend of Ted Stevens and Don Young. So MoanaLisa had her marching orders! Now once annexed, wherein Ted Stevens made $millions$, that land was no longer “military” so could not be supplied by the power plant, as Uncle Sam could not consider itself a “utility” due anti-trust laws and the requirement of “open ended” competition from local utilities. So over-time with new housing getting bigger and bigger, with more land annexed away for pennies on the dollar, well the power plant became so inefficient that it was subjected to a wreaking ball. Sad, as it was a natural gas fired plant, so somewhat cleaner then coal and held long-term gas contracts that were very favorable in light of gas cost increases when SEMCO came to town with the intent to ride around on the “Fun Bus” looking for more customers. And when the power plant operator - a Native Corporation - tried to convince the delegation to transfer ownership over to private entity control, so it could continue to provide the base with low-cost electricity, well that attempt fell on blind ears. Because Ben was already trying to carve a nitch for himself with the gas companies! Yes, Alaskan's have only heard a small fraction of the infractions! Now even though Uncle Sam could not consider itself a “utility”, the electrical load required by the base housing was still there – so somebody had to take over that responsibility, to supply electricity, which was none other then ML&P. See, there was already a tie-line between the base and the town grid, so this was a done easy deal. Now regardless of who supplies the power, we started loosing our jobs as with less load, it meant less workers required to keep things running. And it was just a matter of time before..last one out the door turn off the lights! Well low and behold, other IBEW personnel were taking over our jobs, as ML&P was also under an IBEW 1547 contract and the power plants under ML&P were gearing up to handle the additional loads required for the base, when the wrecking ball commenced to knocking out our paychecks – a complete violation of the “International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Constitution”! Yes, Joe Blowhard was getting his kids and friends hired, to take over our jobs! It is when I started to see the sad side of “Unionization”, this preferential treatment. So, we “Stood Our ground”, as this was not what a “Union” stood for and we paid for representation – well we lost! See, the IBEW bosses wanted to keep lucrative contracts and get rid of our low-life contract, as it meant more money that Uncle Sam must put out every month for the same damn service. So our contract was replaced by a contract already in effect with ML&P, which realized 2x the dues collected each month per member which meant a higher pay scale. That was the main reason we lost our jobs, because the union bosses looked at what was in it for themselves. It sucked, and left me with a sick feeling, that this is why “Unions” are loosing the fight – as they are involved in cutthroatism. But I didn't give up the fight. I filed hundreds of John & Jane Doe complaints, against brothers and sisters of the local union taking another union member's job away. I received threats and was banned from the “Out of Work Book”. I even filed a risky complaint against the 1547 bosses, with the “International President” and soon it appeared somebody saw that something wasn't right way up in Alaska. Relief came to my displaced “Brothers and Sisters”, as eventually they were put to work, because we were stubborn and demanded we be allowed to get on the “A” book. So in the end, well we union members that were left out in the cold, we had to fight NOT the business owners which is usually the case and bone of contention, but fight our own damn union because of “Greed”! And it was all because of MoanaLisa MurCowpiefly in her attempts to annex away some property without first checking the repercussions – as that is her modus operandi, what's in it for herself and her sugar daddies! The sad thing, every damn union worker on the 1547 roll call understood what was going on, the reason we have “Union Meetings”. But not one, not a single member would rock the boat in our defense – as that meant stepping on toes and maybe seeing that lucrative paycheck see a setback. When this kind of “mindset” sets in, this “fear”, what have we gained? This was the time when the IBEW was under the legal counsel of Bill Wielechowski, now a State Senator. So hopefully that “Union” has learned a lesson, don't screw with your own! With that said, I am glad that some of the MSNBC folks have come to the plate – and let's hope it means a “Home Run”!

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