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More labor reporting from Comrade Omar:
GREENFIELD, MA-- On April 1, the members of UE Local 274 ratified a two year contract with Kennametal (formerly Greenfield Tap & Die) that included substantial wage increases and no concessions.
Five years ago, the Kennametal workers fought for nine months without a contract in an attempt to prevent the company from adding tiered wages and personal/sick time for new employees, among other concessions demanded by the company. Eventually the tiers were reluctantly agreed to. Last year, Kennametal closed an operation in Vermont and moved the work to the Greenfield plant, doubling the workforce there. Of course this now meant half the workforce was on the lower tier, and that when the contract came up for negotiations in March, eliminating the tier would be the top priority.
Both top and bottom tier employees unanimously agreed prior to negotiations that elimination of the tiers was the number one bargaining priority. Unfortunately, the excise tax of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/"Obamacare") threw a monkey wrench into those plans. The company already wanted to force workers into its company-wide high deductible health plan known as Flex, the terms of which they would not bargain with the union, nor guarantee the plan would not significantly change during the term of the life of the contract. Besides that the current health plan for Greenfield union employees would exceed the cap when the tax goes into effect in 2018, triggering the 40% "Cadillac" excise tax.
Since the union made clear they would not agree to the "Flex plan," nor would they agree for the members to incur all costs of an excise tax on the current plan, the company, wanting to avoid a showdown on these issues, suggested a two year contract. While this would avoid a big battle over health insurance it would also prevent the union from being able to close the gap in the wage tiers over the life of the contract, especially after the company insisted from day one they would NOT eliminate the tiers under any circumstance.
Instead the union committee, which consisted of all top tier employees except for one member, concentrated on getting large wage increases for the bottom tier in this contract. Assisted by membership activity, the committee was able to negotiate a 4.5% general wage increase for bottom tier workers in each year and a 2.75% lump sum in each year for the top tier-- closing an over 12.5% gap to within only 3.5% in only two years, hopefully making the job of closing the gap entirely in the next contract much more manageable.
In addition to the wage increases, employees kept their present health insurance plan without design changes, and only modest increases to the payroll contributions. Sickness and Accident benefits also increased, and the union and company negotiated the terms of a new weekend shift to help the company get caught up on its backorders in a way that was also beneficial to UE members.
The bargaining committee consisted of [redacted redacted]
I'm glad to hear it. Me and La Principessa are back together again, too.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
That's my girl!
Also, it tickled something in my THC-addled memory. Hold on a second...
And all my comrades are talking about Yemen, but I have yet to see any articles.
Weather forecast looks likes it's going to snow tomorrow, which would make moving The Black Goblin's Pregnant Libertarian Dreadlocked Girlfriend difficult. Maybe I can squeeze out another day in Brooklyn?
I already helped The Black Goblin move his new gun safes into the Free NH Goblin Resistance Hideout, soon to be renamed something more domestic. Gun safes, it turns out, like everything else have brand names. One was dubbed "Revolution" and the other was "The Ammo Can."
"What is that?" I quipped in between exertions, "The title of the biopic they're gonna make about your life?"
[Hollywood trailer narrator voice]
"He was an anarcho-syndicalist Teamster, she was a Ron Paul-voting welder; together their love was going to overthrow the government! Coming this April to a theater near you, Revolution and the Ammo Can!
Older one making the rounds due to the impending Scott Walker visit to my fair state:
Fave lines: "IF THE popularity of Fifty Shades reveals anything, it's the deep hunger for depictions--any depictions--of female sexual pleasure outside of the framework of porn aimed at straight men. Given the Motion Picture Association of America's puritanical standards on nudity and sex, and particularly on images of women enjoying sex, the film gets away with quite a lot. It's occasionally funny, and once or twice, it's even clever."
Struck shop was right around the corner from La Principessa's school. Had a nice time familiarizing myself with New York's labor activists, then marched through Brooklyn, called La Principessa and she ran outside to hold hands and take pictures. God, I love that woman.
Hung out with a young machinist comrade from Pittsburgh who was disgusted. "This is what they call a labor action?!? They pretend to picket and then the cops pretend to break the strike?!? Where are the mass pickets lines that no one dare cross?!?" God, I love that man.
Afterwards we all chatted and then La Principessa went back to work and we went to a Dunkin Donuts. While there, I receive the following text:
"Hey. Thanks for getting me today. Can we talk later? I'm kind of uncomfortable with you calling me 'baby' in front of other people."
I text back, "Can we skip the talk and just get to the part where I apologize for infantilizing you?" and make a mental note to complain about it on Paizo.com.
[Shakes head in exasperation]
Last couple of days have been pretty harsh as La Principessa alternately rages and cries about her freeloading alcoholic previously undocumented Northern Irishman estranged husband and his unwillingness to pay his fair share of the taxes. As Comrade Omar once told me, "You gotta get rid of this clown; if anyone should be mooching off of her, it oughtta be you!" Comrade Omar, of course, is an incurable romantic.
Anyway, I was bored earlier today, waiting for her in-between class phone calls and wandered through the Gay Gamers thread, which I haven't visited in a while. While there, found an interesting article with an interesting inset. Wondered how I'd do, so, lessee:
1) Check, although it was only this morning that she told me that you're supposed to take out the teabag prior to serving. Apparently, she's been swallowing a lot of bitter tear for love, but ironically, she hasn't once made me a cup of coffee. Also, instant coffee with almond milk and honey is terrible.
2) That's what I use Facebook for. I've also found that copying out Petrarchan sonnets with "Laura" crossed out and replaced with "Francesca" will work in a pinch. Other details sometimes have t be altered. For example, she's never worked as a shepherdess.
3) Being sartorially challenged myself, I need to work on this one. Although I often tell her how much I like seeing her in boots...and nothing else.
4) I tag along when she walks the dog. Nothing says romance like "Penny, do business!"
5) Hug, kiss, fondle, fornicate. Check.
6) She doesn't have a dishwasher. But I do at least 75% of the dishes.
7) I'm broke. Although we did go see Mockingjay together. It kinda blew.
8) We're both not terribly good cooks, but today I chopped the onions for the chicken tacos and the other day I had to visit three bodegas to find tomato paste. Why are there so many poorly stocked bodegas in Brooklyn?
9) Yeah, no. She's thirty-eight and was trapped in a sexless marriage for years. I can't even touch her shoulders without her wanting to do it.
10) Her car wash is on strike. Also, I'm terrified of driving in NYC.
11) She thinks manicures, spas, etc. are "bourgie."
12) Fifty times a day at least.
Gonna have to find another list.
Doodlebug, I really have to wonder... are there any walls in your house, are they all just bookshelves?
I had been telling my hawt commie NYC schoolteacher girlfriend that she should start filling the available wallspace in her apartment with shelves now. When she came up to visit, she looked at the books in my room and said, "Yeah, I don't think all of these are going to fit." When she asked why I was making such a hangdog face, I replied "I've also got 14 boxes stashed in various attics across New England."
I didn't even bother showing her my record collection.
Not Spoilered For Disgusting Goblin Sexiness
I have been privy to a few conversations between female comrades (mostly Mrs. Comrade and La Principessa, but not limited to them) in which they agree, and say that many of the other female comrades agree, that leftist men are, by and large, useless in bed.
I don't know if it's the demographic of nerdiness that often goes along with leftism, or if it's something about dudes who are down with women's liberation through socialist revolution, or what, but apparently the male comrades are largely incapable or unwilling to engage in the kind of Mick Jagger-esque rooster-y swagger that appeals to their baser instincts, nor the "slam me against the wall, hold me down" ravishing that, apparently, a great many of them crave, with or without the influence of Fifty Shades of Grey.
I'm learning as I go.
Anyway, I believe it was Citizen Home above, in a summary of the rape fantasies that he's read about, who brought up the whole "I'm so hot, he lost control of himself" thing, which, IIRC, is what Freud referred to in female sexuality as narcissism, but anyway, that's been a big thing with her, too. "Oh, Doodlebug, when you touch me, I lose control of my body, I want to do that to you, too." "Baby," I reply, "I'm just happy to be here."
Anyway, she just got back from walking the dog after we got back from the Newark commie rally, so, uh, I gotta go...
Well, In These Times seems to think it was a victory. Good enough, I guess. Four for four, baby!
[Reads first section]
Man, what a shiznitty contract.... :(
Vive le General Ludd!
Pfft. I've been posting about The Wire my entire time here. Came up in the first politroll conversation I ever entered, back with Comrade Derek back in '0whatever.
As for Wire, the band, c'mon, Comrade Meatrace. I've got ten years working in used record stores under my belt.
I'm cooler than all of you!
I linked to my summation post; there are posts before and after. Also, of course, I don't claim to be any kind of expert, it was just the result of googling shiznit as the conversation went on.
Although, La Principessa and I were talking about Patricia Arquette and the gender wage gap and then all of a sudden I saw her regurgitating my talking points on Facebook. I kinda cringed a little and thought "Ooh, baby, you should probably research that stuff before taking my word for it."
Up real early to get things going for the last day of prep for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X rally and just saw this:
No details yet, but hopefully it's some kinda win.
Partly for selfish reasons: One of Comrade Longears's American co-thinkers (and an SEIU organizer) made a comment a whiles back that my local commie branch is kinda like a good luck charm for strikes; thus far, with a record of three for three (Insomnia Cookies, Lifelinks, Weir Valve), any picket line that we visit wins.
It'd be nice if that kept being a thing.
One day longer/One day stronger!
It's been a while, I admit, since I've carried a sign that read "For Open Admissions, Free Tuition and a Living Stipend for All Students!" but I have been encouraging my hawt commie NY schoolteacher girlfriend to start an "opt out of Common Core testing" campaign.
It's either that or listen to her scream "Why won't they let me teach!!!!" every time I go down to Brooklyn.
Anyway, I know nothing about 50 Shades of Grey, the book or the movie, nor do I care.
However, being lucky enough to have recently fallen in love with a hawt militant commie NY schoolteacher, and, even luckier to have her fall in love with me, and listening to her tell horror story after horror story about either her past lovers or the lovers of her union sisters, I can understand the popularity of 50 Shades and can only rededicate myself to the cause of women's liberation through socialist revolution.
In the meantime, I totally support people squeezing out whatever pleasures they can during their short stay on this miserable f*@&ing planet. To each their own.
Freehold DM wrote:
Later in the same thread, we came to the conclusion that Samuel Jackson is evil.
Valentine's Day Musical Interlude that I originally secretly posted on Facebook for La Principessa's benefit and then later reposted for the whole world.
After one trip to the Christmas Basement, we were socializing with Mr. and Mrs. Comrade and the song came on. "Oh, I like that song," La Principessa said. "What a surprise" I quipped and then she hit me.
To Comrade Longears
La Principessa read the excerpts from The Teamster and the Termagant back before I tried to kick it to her and, occasionally, asks me when she's going to get her own "piso erotica short story."
I suggested that instead of a short story, she deserved a six-volume novel entitled 50 Shades of Red. She practically swooned.
I hate to impinge on the creative process, but if you could include the following acts, she would be much obliged:
Spoilered for Disgusting Goblin Sexiness
--being [redacted] and then [redacted]
--[redacted redacted redacted]
--looking up in hot lust and saying "[Redacted redacted redacted redacted]!"
Thanks in advance,
Went to a NY branch meeting where, apparently, there was quite a row.
I didn't notice 'cuz I was too busy doing childcare which consisted of acting out tales from In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World.
Most amusing bit was when he was Zeus and I was Pandora and he invited me up to hang out with him in the clouds. "Why would Pandora go and hang out with Zeus?" I asked. "We have a playdate!" he shouted gleefully. "Yeah, I hear Zeus has a lot of playdates..."
Second most amusing bit was reading a story from the Kono people of Guinea about Sa and Alantangana and he shrieked with mock terror, ran into the meeting and, when approached by La Principessa, confided that there was a "terrible old skullface in the hallway."
"In the beginning, there was chaos and darkness. And then there was death!"
"What were you doing to that poor boy?" she asked afterwards.
Love Among the Ultra-Lefts
So, La Principessa had a bunch of bad days culminating in a post-therapy session where she texted me saying I shouldn't call because she was crying so hard she couldn't breathe, nevermind talk. So I called her anyway and listened to her cry for an hour and a half and told her funny stories about all the pets I've ever had until she passed out. The next morning she called me and told me that I was the best man in the entire world and she didn't know anyone else that would've done that.
I'm not entirely sure that's true, but anyway, I spoke with my mother about it and, while sympathetic, she asked "Are you really sure that you want to do this for the rest of your life?"
And I thought about it and I realized that the answer was "F+~% yeah!" so I called out sick for the rest of the week, hopped on a bus to Brooklyn and showed up on her stoop unannounced.
[Cellphone conversation (yes, she made me buy a cellphone)]
"Hey, baby, I got two questions for you: How many essays did you grade?" [Long, rambling answer] "Okay, second question: do we have any condoms left?" [Long rambling answer] By this time I had navigated my luggage through her building, her elevator, and ended up on the sixth floor. "Hey, baby, I've got a confession to make. I lied to you. I didn't go to work today." [Knocks on apartment door] "Hold on, baby, someone's at the door. Who the f+** is knocking on my door this late at night, it'd better be good--" [Girlish shrieks and tears]
Long story short, I was all like, "Baby, I don't have a ring, but I do have a well-used copy of The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Will you marry me?"
She melted, but wouldn't say "yes" because, a) she's a communist and doesn't believe in marriage; and b) she's already married (I don't think I've mentioned that before--long story that I won't go into).
And I was all, like, "Look, you're a mess down here without me, and I can't get anything done up there without you, so, I'll have to talk to my steward, but I think the only conceivable course of action is that I go get tested, come back, knock you up, get married and then apply for a hardship transfer." She still wouldn't say yes, but was overjoyed nonetheless, and cried a little because nobody had ever asked her to get married before, and then we did it, twice.
This morning, before she went off to work she said, "I love you so much. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. It's gonna take some time to get some things worked out, but when they do, if you still want to, of course I will marry you."
Harrassment--Well, I don't think I do that.
Baiting--Guilty as charged.
Profanity/Vulgar Speech--Ummm [Looks around]
Malicious Speech--Well, I do advocate class war quite a bit...
Impersonation--I only used my Evil Houstonderek avatar four times!
Personal Content--I prefer to let it all hang out.
Spam--Does communist propaganda count?
Illegal Activity--[bubble bubble bubble]
I can't believe I've been on here for, like, five years now, and I've never read that document. And now that I've read it, I can't believe I've been on here for, like, five years.
Mea culpa, Paizo.com.