Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trimet board of directors discuss the new contract



How Trimet plans to keep people from walking into their trains and dying on MLR



You still have time to buy a piece of the now defunct "Gresham TC Living Room'

Rare Chance to own a piece of Trimet Public Transit Art

I have for sale 2 pieces of the couch from Gresham's Living Room at the Gresham Central Transit Center. The TV, Lamp, Chair, & Coffee Table were returned to the artist Tamsie Ringler who at the time of commission was an art instructor at Mt.Hood Community College. The couch was demolished. I was in the transit center after the couch was demolished. The next day the debris was gone, but I had picked up a few pieces the night before to keep as mementos or desk decorations. Public art at the transit station includes "The Living Room", a sculpture comprising vintage furniture cast in concrete and a faux television set cast in bronze, which was installed in 2001 through a public art program. TriMet announced the work would be removed in October 2013. TriMet paid $25,000 for "the living room" in 2001. The artist in 2008 said she valued it at least $150,000. Ringler, reached by phone at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., where she teaches sculpture, was saddened to learn her sculpture, one of Gresham's first pieces of public art, was to be removed, particularly since city leaders are simultaneously working to bring new public art to a public plaza under construction downtown. Ringler says the busy transit center would face the same kind of issues whether or not the sculpture was there. So if you want to own a piece of controversial public art with a checkered past this is your chance. I also have put together a collection of news reports and photos covering the decommission.
Rare Chance to own a piece of Trimet Public Transit Art
 

SUING FOR RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS

 It's just amazing how similar Trimet cuts are to GE cuts. Americans are being systematically stripped of promises that were made to them yet they continue to support the people that are destroying them!
You just can't fix stupid I guess

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two retirees have sued General Electric in federal court alleging that the company violated federal law by dropping its supplemental health coverage and placing retirees in a health care exchange.
. Estimates are that more than 65,000 retirees and their families will be impacted.
GE executives, for their part, contend that other large companies have taken similar steps and that retirees still will receive quality coverage under the new system.

"GE will provide former salaried retirees with access to a private health care exchange, and will help pay for eligible expenses. ...

It allows GE to offer greater choice in coverage while striking a balance among our obligations to employees, retirees, and shareowners," corporate spokesman Dominic McMullan said in a statement.
The suit says GE notified employees in September 2012 that they wouldn't be eligible for the company's post-65 retiree health care benefit if they had not turned 65, retired or enrolled in the plan on or before Jan. 1, 2015.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Even lowly MATRA union members are under attack by the transit executive class

And they are all using the exact same formula, just like Trimet did! Ignorant and unsuspecting public eat the whole thing up
(and MARTA driver's don't get shit)

2,900 members of the Amalgamated Transit Union have run headlong into a
012, a KPMG report called MARTA’s economic model “unsustainable,” saying the agency needed to cut $25 million a year so the public could continue to sit in rail cars and watch strange people talk to themselves.

For months, it seemed the negotiation’s sticking points were the same things you hear these days — rising health care costs, onerous pensions, frozen pay stubs. 

MARTA vs. union | www.myajc.com

Trimet bus drivers face peril everyday

DISPATCH HERE!

DISPATCH 2

DISPATCH-3 

DISPATCH 4 (I wonder if bus drivers realize that when someone falls when bus is moving they get charged with a preventable accident? No bus driver should ever move the bus till everyone has sat down, ever)

Alan Eisenberg Speaks to the union contract and current state of affairs

Mr Eisenberg is a former union officer
Mr Eisenberg has never had any problems speaking his mind
Hi all--yes we were fucked and along with us every union member now and future and across the country.This pile of crap was rejected when the "green" contract was being negotiated. management got raises(just like McGowan did) and we got bupkes. I want to thank every officer for this, thanks for cutting what we worked for, thanks for giving up the right to strike, thanks for letting Trimet steal money from us, and thanks for giving away seniority. .. This is the most depressing contract. Thanks for fuckin' my life. atu as a union just plain sucks. It is dead and I spit on the grave. Hurray for the officers that walked out. I would have too. The union no longer protects its members. Remember this at election time.

Alan gave one of the most entertaining presentations to the board of directors ever in 2011! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Trimet general manager report

Sorry Neil, You're still a dickhead

Portland Streetcar decides to go with Personal Rapid Transit



So why didn't ATU 757 publish the results of the vote? UPDATED!

We have the 'official' union tally thanks to a member of Facebook that is still my friend. (lost bunches of them over this contract stuff)

So there ya have it folks, our professional union at work.
So the yes vote was actually a minority vote.
The no and the abstain actually carried the majority

So why didn't ATU 757 publish the results of the vote?

 So we all have 'heard' that the vote was 82% in favor.
What we haven't heard is how many people actually bothered to return their ballots.
My sources tell me that less than 50% of active employees even bothered to return the ballot.
In other words more than 1/2 the active union members abstained from voting.
Why would they do that ya think?
Bottom line: less than 1/2 the active employees approved of this contract
(but we won't mention any of this, nope) 

Look how 'cute' Cindy Kassab was back in the day


Al M..am I disgruntled?

I've answered this question more than a dozen times but this is a good time to reiterate my position.
Am I 'disgruntled'? (Trimet did lie to me and 1100 other retirees about our retirement packages, that's sorta a good reason to be a little bit disgruntled don't you think?)

It depends on how that word affects your 'limbic brain'.

When most people hear that word they think that I am so pissed off that I harbor some sort of hatred for the people working at Trimet.

Nothing is further from the truth. I never harbored any hard feelings even though they were responsible for making my life pretty miserable the last couple years I was there.

They did what they thought they had to do, I  understand that.

I was not fired from that job and was never  in any trouble except for my blog.  
The Trimet masters thought my blogging activities  were a threat and wanted me to stop. I wouldn't stop so they made my life miserable. And then I left, on my own free will.

It's  true, there is not one person over there that I harbor bad feelings toward as an individual.

Now the 'institutional policies', that's a completely different story. And my interest in transit blogging has blossomed since I left there. Actually that's all I do all day now  when I am in Portland. (I do go back east quite frequently now and I do enjoy premium cable tv)

Trimet ended up not being just a job to me, Trimet (the institution) ended up actually being part of my continued consciousness, and here I am almost 3 years after I left their employ, still blogging away.

Business continues as usual at Trimet

Monday, October 27, 2014

ATU 757 BAILS OUT TRIMET MGMT INCOMPETENCE

Thanks to the ATU concessions Trimet managers now say they can afford its union personnel. Union members (especially retirees who had  to endure  Greek style cuts to their pensions) were forced to pay for Trimet's  funding light rail projects instead of their employees over the last 25 years.

The most vexing part of this to me is that these current and former executives continue accumulating massive wealth while at the same time literally stealing the pensions from their retirees. And what's worse than the Trimet executives stealing the pensions away is the unions complicity in this action.

In the presentation below we will see how much money this contract deal is saving Trimet. From what they are saying this should be the end of cuts for employees and retirees. Future employees will have to eat shit (but they take the job knowing that)  but at least this seems to be (if you can believe them which is not easy to do since Trimet executives have a long record of lying) the end of the give backs for the current crop of suckers that find themselves involved with this organization. Remember a year or two from now this testimony will be lost to the wind and the oligarchs can roll out whatever false propaganda suits them at that time.

Latest "Best of the Trimet tweets"

Transit riders of  Portlandia take to twitter to express their  feelings about  Portland's 'world famous' transit system  (Known to the locals as THE TRIMESS )
And if you want to know what's REALLY going on at Trimet check out TRIMETSCANNER

Metro says "We're fixing Cornelius"...then backtracks and says "Oh, this wasn't us"

Let's start with Metro, proudly proclaiming on Twitter that it's improving the streets of Cornelius:

Flunkie board member Esmonde says 'it's a fair contract'

TriMet board member Joe Esmonde, who’s also political director at IBEW Local 48, called it a fair contract for all concerned.
This guy is so full of shit I cringe when he talks. He's supposedly the 'union' man on the board but I don't remember him making even one defense of the Trimet union employees.

Hey he's a Kitzhaber appointee, did you expect him to actually support the union?
 Kitzhaber is a blue dog democrat, he is anti union.


Trimet come back for more?

You better believe it, just look at the the headline screenshot

Bruce did try to call me

I didn't take the call for a couple of reasons.

1-I knew that nothing I could say would change anything and there  was no possibility of him convincing me this would be a good thing. 
I think the retirees were abandoned by our union, period.

2-I had sent him several text messages over the last year which he ignored. It's always been that way with our union presidents. They ignore me until they need something from me.

Well I don't have to be fearful of  a union president anymore now that I am not working at Trimet. 
Don't forget that as an employee if the union doesn't like you they basically won't work for you involving discipline with the company.

Trimet financial report

Trimet's latest executive Dee Brookshire takes over for Auxier who goes back into retirement (i guess)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bruce gets himself a new union vehicle

ATU757 president Bruce Hansen
Why not right? After all that 'hard' work giving Mcfarlane what he wants why shouldn't he get a new union car to drive around in?

Harry Sapporta speaks on two high profile incidents

News you won't get in the mainstream media

ATU 757 MEMBERS dues down the drain

Below is the ad campaign that ATU757 members financed to the tune of $750,000 in a surcharge on their dues.
It all appears to have been in vain.
I sure would love to see an accounting of how that money got spent, to the penny.

Another MAX collision this morning

BLAST FROM THE PAST

The mainstream media false propaganda war on Trimet union employees began here

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trimet has hired 300 NEW bus drivers in just the last year!

Trimet is expanding so fast you can hardly keep your eye on them. The expansion by the way was the true cause of the Trimet budget problems. Through the skillful use of propaganda techniques disseminated by the main stream media Trimet was able to convince the whole world (including most of its own union employees) that it was the employees that were causing Trimet financial problems.

Trimet 'official' publication declassified and sent to retirees. Employees were threatened with termination in the past if any of this information appeared on my blog.  I guess they have had a change of hear. 33% of all Trimet bus drivers have been there for a year or less? That's incredible actually. 

Trimet just can't be honest...about anything


Trimet light rail fragility

It's obvious that any sort of 'real' disaster would mean the end of the Trimet light rail

Eyewitness to MAX deaths disputes Trimet's version of events

Thank you, councilmen and councilwomen, for allowing me the opportunity to address you on
the topic of Max travel safety. The Max train system serving our city and area is pretty
wonderful and is enjoyed greatly by many.

I need to discuss the terrible tragedy August 16th at the Gresham Central Max Station when
two people, one a wheel-chair bound woman, were killed by the Max train.
I was an eye-witness to this horrifying accident and was the first 911 caller.
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning and I was waiting on the south side of this train
station to pick-up a friend coming out to Gresham from Portland. When the train traveling cast
arrived at the station, I looked closely up and down the train cars for my friend's arrival. There
were few disembarking passengers and my friend had never made that train.

Neil Mcfarlane is by far the biggest winner in the contract deal

Trimet general manager Neil Mcfarlane is  the biggest winner now that the contract is approved.
This is his 'crowning' achievement. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

ATU 757 MEMBERS VOTE YES


It's rather astounding in many ways. Having watched many transit labor disputes around the country its somewhat surprising that Trimet union members would vote yes on cutting their own wages and benefits.

WHY WOULD THIS CONTRACT GET SUPPORT?


Reason #1- Bruce's union reps  were able to politic among the workers for FOUR weeks campaigning that this contract be passed or else we die

Reason #2- There was no dissenting opinions allowed. The voting members were only allowed one side of the argument.

Reason #3- Half  the people that are affected by this contract were not allowed to vote, that's the retirees.

That's our wonderful union at work

Driver who voted no remarks

(from one of the 18%)
The union steals our money and the company steals our benefits, lovely place to work

Majority of active Trimet union employees support this guy?

I already said they weren't the brightest bunch of folks
 Union employees voted to give away their wages and benefits? Doesn't make sense to me, really. We'll see if that  holds up in the next election which is coming up

I was a vocal Bruce Hansen supporter

This was one of the pictures I used during his campaign to support Bruce Hansen

 There's more than a few people that are angry right now, including myself.
If the retirees had a say in this I am sure the outcome would have been much different.
There are supposedly 900 retirees right now, just slightly less than active employees. I have no idea what the demographic is of the retirees.
But in terms of dollars and cents  I would wager that the retirees have put more congregate money into ATU757 than the active employees have. 
It's grossly unfair that they were dragged down like this.

But the facts are that this was taken to a vote and the majority of the members said yes.
So although us of the 'vocal minority' are as MAD AS HELL   Bruce apparently does represent the majority of the voting members.
So in a way you can't really blame Bruce for this, it wasn't shoved down members throats like throwing away the right to strike was.

It unfortunate that the retirees have to pay the most for this and they had no right to vote

And for that BRUCE has my eternal contempt.

He played the game that all politicians do, cater to the people that can put you in office and ignore the rest.  

I was a huge supporter of Bruce by the way, my campaign video for Bruce was featured in this
WILLAMETTE WEEK ARTICLE 

As far as I am concerned the campaign to get Bruce out begins now.

IS THIS A DRIVER ASSAULT?

TRIMET ORANGE LINE CLAIMS ITS FIRST VICTIM

Hansen's statement

Bruce Hansen, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 (ATU) said the Union’s members have voted to ratify a new TriMet contract. ATU ballots were counted today; TriMet’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the agreement earlier this week. The four-year contract goes into effect immediately, its term being December 1, 2012 through November 30, 2016.

Readership up to 1500 views a day

May not be close to mainstream media but that's still pretty good considering we have no institutional support and plenty of detractors!

How hard would it be to rig the union vote?

The ballots are mailed to members, there are two envelopes, one to put the ballot and the other to put the envelope with the ballot. 
Members are not required to sign or identify themselves on their ballot.
The ballots and envelopes themselves have no sort of coding!

So in other words, if someone had easy access to envelopes and ballots how hard would it be to 'rig' an election?

Too damn easy!

When you think about the voting and all the secrecy that surrounded and all the rules on the gag order and that people who voted against can't speak out it makes you wonder. It's like the fix was in and they want to make sure they silence the opponents to ensure  a win

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And now for something completely different

Only on the bus!

Tomorrow is a big day for these two guys

Stedmen

Mcfarlane















After the mail is delivered to the union office tomorrow the votes will be counted!
If this contract is approved the two gentlemen above will be celebrating.
They will have achieved the victory that took them 5 years to to get!
Not sure how they finagled this since I wasn't part of the sphere of influence but they did it!
(I've always thought the company and the union were in collusion though)
As I said earlier, I have lots of contempt for these two men, but I respect their brilliance in pulling off this feat. 

And just so everyone knows what's about to happen, these two men can claim they have saved over $50 million for the four year term of this contract.
That will translate into HEFTY RAISES OR BONUSES because this is how these executives end up getting these huge salaries. 
Mcfarlane saved the company $50 million? His cut will be at least $100k bump in salary, mark my words. 
And who knows how much Stedmen will walk away with but it will be something nice.

Not bad guys if I do say so myself!

MAX OF THE 'RED LINE' SAYS TRIMET RETIREES OUGHTA SUE

Tri-Met Board Approves A New Contract

And it looks as though they got what they were after: a complete re-do of health-care benefits for retirees.
It requires current and retired union members to pay a portion of their health care premiums and make co-payments for services.
Oh boy, this one's bound to head into the courts. I'm not going to argue about whether or not the health-care part of the deal was too generous; that's not the point. These dorks signed a contract, and nobody held a gun to their heads. People who worked for the development agency under the terms of that contract have every right to see it upheld.
Tri-Met can certainly alter the terms of the contract for existing employees, but they don't get to alter the terms for retirees. If I were one, I'd get together with others and file a class-action lawsuit against these six-figure Tri-Met "managers".

Class action update-part 5

Today was Ken Zatarains turn to take the stand and be deposed.
Zatarain pretty much stonewalled and played stupid during the questioning
He either answered " I don't know" or the Trimet lawyer objected  to the questions and refused to let him answer.

As always these questions and answers are paraphrased

What happens if members refuse to ratify

Bruce has not posted anything in writing as to why 'we' should vote yes on this!
This was given to the board members during the last meeting and it discusses what happens if union members reject this contract. 

When you read this you can see that this is URGENT FOR TRIMET MANAGEMENT that this pass right now!

It also further shows that Trimet union employees have nothing to lose by rejecting this contract offer.

So why is  Bruce and his henchmen so hot to get this passed?

And what about this 'block signup' shit that everybody hates?

Something really stinks here

Everybody that voted has done it already, too late to change anyone's mind.

We are still predicting this will pass, by my unofficial count the yea's have it. But there are more nays than I originally thought.  Both the institutions (trimet/atu757) have been pushing this hard  
This blog/facebook/twitter doesn't have anywhere near the reach of those two institutions

trimet.org/pdfs/meetings/board/10-22-14/Res_14-10-52.pdf

 click for better viewing


Joe Rose's thinly veiled anti union contract story

It's not as bad as it could have been however the 'poll' he has attached to the story is definately has an 'anti union' bend.

As usual he ignored the toll this takes on retirees, can't get anybody in the mainstream to cover that.

Mainstream media is what it is, a mouthpiece for big business and government
TriMet contract: Compare your health care benefits to proposed plan for Portland bus drivers | OregonLive.com

Class action update-part 4-the "bombshell"

Although the mainstream media refuses to cover it and Mcfarlane won't tell the Trimet board about it (at least publicly) this is A HUGE DEAL for Trimet. These depositions are taking the entire day and even two days in some cases for these Trimet executives.

The prosecution asserts that Trimet management has intentionally created a system where claiming overtime pay is actively discouraged and made intentionally complicated.

We all remember what we were told by our line trainers (not a word about time slipping was included in the training itself) "if its 5 minutes or less we don't time slip." 

Then if you do time slip you have this long complicated form to fill out which discourages many operators from bothering with it. Most operators just want to get the hell out of dodge by the time the shift is over and don't want to add even more cumbersome time onto their day. They'd rather just lose the money.

Deposition of Steve Callas, manager of service performance and analysis 
(questions and answers are paraphrased) 

LAST DAY FOR ATU VOTES TO BE MAILED

If your ballot isn't mailed today it won't be counted tomorrow
Let the 'best man win' as they say.
I could be ok with this if there was some reasonable explanation for members to vote yes but the only reason I am hearing, and this comes from people that I respect, is "if we don't take it we will get killed in the arbitration"

I can't think of a worse reason to vote yes than that. It's the 'or else' proposition.