Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

Screwing our retirees is HOW WE ROLL

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 heart

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. 

It  validated everything he has done to date, including the hiring of union buster Randy Stedmen, his public union baiting, his illegally withholding of union wages, his attempt to make union employees 'pay him back' for health insurance already provided etc etc . In short every single unethical thing that has been done by Mr Mcfarlane and his staff has proved a success

Mr Mcfarlane can brag about his bridges, his trains, and how he took on the union and came out ahead. It took 'him' more then five years but in the end he got exactly what he wanted.

He will most likely get a HUGE bonus or raise from the Trimet board.

 This is a brilliant man, even more so than I originally thought.

 He (and his handpicked staff) has masterfully manipulated public opinion, the union and the union employees.

I sat on the sidelines from day one of his appointment watching  and have to say, I am indeed impressed.

You have to respect brilliance, even if it is hurtful to other human beings.
We do live in a society that rewards people like Mr Mcfarlane after all.

Congratulations Mr Mcfarlane,  you're one hell of a master manipulating executive!

Enjoy your raise and bonus which comes at the expense of your employees and retirees.

Friday, October 24, 2014


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.

This sort of vote has not occurred anywhere else around the country. No concessionary contract was just accepted immediately. This is unique to Portland.

But when you look at the forces that were pushing for the yes vote and the make up of the Trimet union employees  its not surprising at all. 

Trimet workers are so completely opposite from BART/MUNI/AC (and all the east coast transit workers)   in how they approach labor/management issues

In terms of solidarity, it just doesn't exist among the drivers. It does among the mechanics, signal techs, track maintainers etc but not among the drivers and the drivers make up the huge majority of the votes.
(there should be different contracts for all the different factions, like mechanics, retirees, etc)

Why would people actually approve of cutting their own wages and benefits?
All I can think of ignorance.
We do know that Trimet and its union lap dogs controlled the conversation, no dissent allowed
The union did frame the discussion as "if we don't take this we will all die"
This was the reason I heard from everyone that I knew that did vote yes on this.
we are all going to die - YouTube
And the union reps had weeks to canvas all the employees during work time to convince them to vote yes! 

 I did spend 15 years of my life amongst that crowd. 
I was always an outsider in that culture.
 I found the general level of consciousness over there very disturbing to be honest.

And the poor retirees, the ones that get hurt the most, they have been locked out of this process.

There is also no way to verify if there has been no vote tampering because there is no way to know who did and who didn't return ballots.

Internal dissent within the union was squashed.

All in all the whole process reeks, I have to decide now whether I want to support an organization that locks me out of votes that affect my life.

It might be time to leave the union.
And don't blame the Koch brothers for this one!


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.


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

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



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



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!


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

 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 |

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) 


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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You have to wonder.....

Where ATU757 members would be right now if these two gentlemen were in charge of the union

Randy Stedman presents the union contract to the board


76 or 1 executive for every 19 union employees. Figure does not include, managers or supervisors.
Mcfarlanes empire

Proof that Trimet OPEB numbers are suspicious

The numbers are changed at the will of the Trimet executives!

Joe Rose gets tour of the Trimet type 5 train

Lots of yellow vested people crawling around. (a train is a train is a train, is there gonna be any legroom for riders is the only question that needs answering)


I've been communicating with quite a few operators who have been communicating with quite a few of their peers and the assumption that all the newbies will be voting for this contract may not be a correct assumption after all.

What I thought was going to be a landslide is starting to look more like a neck and neck horse-race.

At this time from the people that I have talked to its an even split, 1/2 will vote in favor and 1/2 will vote against.

We here at blog central recommend a

I can live with it if it passes
(there better be some impartial monitoring of the vote counting)

Trimet employees are getting assaulted and its not getting reported

Trimet gets yet another pork barrel grant

 What a load of crap. Money always around for this sort of stupidity at Trimess the leader of stupid transit nonsense

A $108,000 state grant awarded in August and $19,000 from TriMet will let the regional transit agency hire a consultant to gather best practices from around the world and make recommendations to TriMet about bike parking, how best to carry bikes on trains and buses, how to build transit lines with bike access in mind and other issues.
“We can’t think of everything ourselves, and outside ideas are really beneficial and powerful,” Owen said. “A lot of it might be things that we’re aware of, of course, but they could really bring some new ideas and creative thinking into it.”
TriMet scores grant to study the world's best bike + transit ideas -

Health insurance premium costs for Trimet employees/retirees

This figure is just the premium cost, the deductibles and co-pay are an additional expense
click on pic for better view

37% down-23% to go

Joe Rose reports from the Trimet board meeting that Mcfarlane and his henchmen have  succeeded (pending union members approval which looks pretty certain) in trimming the OPEB by 37% with this ATU757 concessionary contract. 

As we've reported right here the goal of the  Trimet executives is to cut 50% of the OPEB. They are off to a pretty good start.
(I bet this is gonna translate to nice fat raises or bonuses for Mcfarlane and his henchmen)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Class action update-part 3

How Trimet cheats its employees out of wages
Shelly Lomax deposition

Q-Is there a section of Trimet operator training program on:
a-under what circumstance you time slip?
b-when do you time slip?
c-how do employees complete the time slip?

(not one employee that I know can remember any such topic during training)


Another assault reported


How Trimet cheats you out of your  wages!
Shelly Lomax deposition
Q-Why are there no time slips available in the Trimet route pouches that each route has?
Q-How do drivers who have been relieved on the road time slip when they are late?

There are no time slips in the driver pouches...ever!
Score 2 for the prosecution.

Class action update

How Trimet cheats employees out of  wages.  

Shelly Lomax deposition 

Q-Why is there no mention of time slips in the Bus Operator Standard Procedures?

Score one for the prosecution!

Trimet adds more noise pollution to MAX trains

"The doors are closing, train is moving please hold on" at every single stop? Whoa!
You've gotta have good headphones to be a successful Transit rider!

Dan the bus driver man

Why didn't Trimet totally crush the union?

Trimet got what it wanted, that is they will only pay for the 80/20 health insurance till 2016. When 2016 gets here they have made it clear that all bets are off. 

So why didn't Trimet push the union back into another arbitration where they could have exacted even more brutal cuts against its union workforce? 

Don't forget that in the last arbitration Trimet placed into its proposal all sorts of nefarious items some that were clearly illegal and courts ruled as much.

With this Oregon idiotic arbitration law 'winner takes all' you can really stick it to your union workforce when you are victorious. 

We may live in a blue state but we have an anti union governor. 

They could have easily won another arbitration, there's no doubt about that, even our own union admits they didn't have a chance.

So why didn't they totally break the union?

There is only one reason---THE ORANGE LINE OPENING
This new light rail line needs every one of the major players to fall into line, including the union.

(and the fact that Trimet and union need each other in the same way as Democrats need  Republicans)


I'm using myself as the example but the numbers are relevant to any retiree who uses the Blue Cross insurance.
This is another part of the story that the useless mainstream media won't cover.

1-My Gross pension is $930/mo

 Taxes equal 18% or  $167 (rounded off). Taxes are paid on the total pension BEFORE the health insurance is taken out

2-That leaves $763.

For me to continue with the last arbitration award (my spouse and myself) will now cost of out pocket $187/mo. That supplies me with 90/10 coverage. I believe the maximum out of pocket is $3000 per person  (I could be wrong however. I could also sign up for the 80/20 insurance for $100 less but if I or my spouse actually got sick it would actually end up costing significantly more out of pocket in the end)

3-That leaves $576/mo. or $6,921 a year to live on.

If I actually get sick enough to have to spend that $3000 (and its not that hard to spend lots of money when it comes to Amerika's sick health care system) that would leave me with 
4-$3,912 for the year to live on or $326/mo.

We retired thinking that our health care would be paid since that is what was promised.

What has happened to  retirees  (because we retired after 1992) is that our pensions were stolen by Neil Mcfarlane and his demolition crew.

This affects 900+ retired union employees and the bottom line is this, and its quite simple:

(Mcfarlane and his handpicked staff of destroyers will all get nice fat pensions, evil people always seem to be rewarded in the world we live in.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mcfarlane may have out smarted the union but he's still the fool on the hill

'MAD MAX' MCFARLANE from al m on Vimeo.


If you are not "retired" as of 1992 you ain't getting 100% of your medical covered.
Some of the old timers thought they were in a protected class but they were wrong

Readership back up to 1000+ views a day thanks to mainstream media

Thanks to mainstream media's total blackout of news regarding the Trimet/Union contract readership on this blog is back up to 1000+ views per day.

We've have our share of detractors just praying 'we'd' (i say 'we'  because even tho my name appears on the posts this blog is a collection of lots of folks material) go away.

But as we saw during the Lane Jensen false prosecution, this blog is vitally important for the flow of information that would not be found anywhere else if this blog did not exist.

This blog covers plenty of news that will not be found in the puppet media and I can assure readers we will continue to exist. We maintain the blog as a labor of love, not for profit, and completely unaligned to any existing institutions

The 'church of light rail' begins

These are pictures from the opening of the Blue line Gresham to Portland. Light rail has since become a federal priority and is being funded to the tunes of BILLIONS all around the country.

There was 'light rail' long before it started in Portlandia but somehow Portlandia became the face of light rail. "transit oriented development" started right here in puddle town

For the first time in who knows when I am actually looking forward to the Trimet board meeting

The next board meeting is THIS WEDNESDAY and I for one can't wait to hear how Trimet management spins this 'victory' over the union. It should be fascinating to say the least.

Oh MCFARLANE you dirty dog!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Clean Buses or Dirty Deacon?

A spotter once told me a grand total of three (out of 200+) buses at our garage get "cleaned" each night. This would entail wiping down every surface and washing the floors. Normally, a bus is emptied of garbage and sent back out into service the next day. But "cleaning" a bus at this rate, it takes about 10 weeks to get to each of them. Given that, you could say each bus is in-service nearly three months before it gets cleaned again. Taking it even further, that would mean each bus is cleaned an average of four times a year. Considering the personal hygiene habits of many of our riders, that just adds to the "yuck factor".
Questioning my fellow drivers, however, revealed there are a grand total of six bus cleaners district-wide. Each is reportedly given eight minutes to clean a bus. When doing so, they are dressed for it, unlike the operators who spend 8-12 hours driving the germy monsters. Most buses seem to make it through the wash rack on a regular basis, so they appear clean. But that's only aesthetics; the interiors are often mold-infested, bug-crawling germ factories.
One driver reports, "The sickening reminder comes as I'm walking back to my car, after a long day's work, and I see the brother and sister cleaners wearing full gloves, respirator masks, and practically dressed in hazmat suits just to get, safely, though their eight minutes!"
Read the full essay at: Clean Buses or Dirty Deacon? 

ATU-Trimet contract will pass easily

We here at blog central have polled various union members after they attended today's Informational meeting.

We predict that the contract will pass  easily. It appears that the fear of going to another arbitration is enough to convince union members that  is to their advantage to accept this contract.

Are they right? I have no idea.
(my information tells me that going into arbitration and losing will result in the exact same contract so voting yes or no wouldn't result in any actual difference in the end. The union painted itself against the wall, no right to strike,  a 'winner take all' arbitration procedure and an extremely passive union workforce have combined to hand this victory to Mr Mcfarlane. As I said in a previous post, you have to hand it to Mcfarlane for pulling this off. You have to remember who the players are in this game. Very sophisticated, well educated Trimet executives vs a bunch of people who were basically 'bus drivers'.  Who knows if they have any advanced education at all yet they become  union officers by winning popularity contests.  Is the union even worth belonging to as a retiree? I'm having my doubts. All that extra money that was collected from members last year is down the drain, and the union 'officers'  continue receiving their nice fat six figure paychecks. The motto of today's working man is 'be happy you're getting anything'. Time will tell how long the 'anything' will last.  ) 

Trimet/ATU contract timeline is suspicious

Nobody saw it coming, not a hint of a deal until the deal was announced.

Remember when these negotiations started there was a call for real transparency.

We all know that was all just talk and hoopla, neither the union or Trimet were serious about that.

I want to take a  look at the timeline of the events related to the contract:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How much will this contract deal really cost you?

Remember, click on pics for better viewing
This chart shows how the concession on wages has  will affect  each union employee. We are not talking about the increase in health related payments that has been passed on the union members but only the wage concessions here. (Active employees only).

The 'new' contract is costing active employees REAL MONEY. So Trimet walked away with not only the health plan it wanted but they also walked away with wage concessions.

I've been watching all the transit disputes from around the country and how they were resolved. I honestly think that Trimet workers got the worst deal from their management in terms of real givebacks of any transit workers in the entire USA

What really surprises me about the Trimet workers is how eager they are to give away their wages and benefits.

(actually, after spending 15 year of my life in that culture I'm not really that surprised)

What union members can expect when this contract expires

The area inside the yellow highlighting gives us a pretty good idea of where Trimet will be heading in the future.
We already know FOR SURE (the union leaders will not speak to this  even after I have directly asked them to comment) that Trimet leadership has as its goals to 'reduce the OPEB by 50% either by raising the amount employees pay or restricting coverage'. This has been stated several times by David Auxier in public meetings and documented on this blog.

So those of us who follow this material know this is just one stop along the way to greater goals that the Trimet management has.

Now look at the the area inside the  yellow circle. 'the possible utilization of a private exchange for 2016'.

What they are saying there in not so obstructed words is that they are intending to find more ways to cut the health insurance program.

So if union employees think with this contract they are done 'giving back' they are sadly mistaken.

The only ones smiling at the signing appears to be Bruce Hansen and Randy Stedmen



Friday, October 17, 2014

Every day we hear about that damn bridge

Ya ya its wonderful, its stupendous, there will be no cars allowed, it changes colors, the tourists will go wild over it, the bike crowd will be in bicycle heavan,   its the greatest invention since sliced bread, and its all here in the land of enchantment Portlandia.
(The whole project was only  $1.5 billion of your tax dollars to build.)
(Always read the fine print) 

People are so clueless as to how their minds are being influenced by this constant barrage of pro trimet propaganda.

After this bridge everybody will support anything that the Trimet does.

(Now if only they could get their system to actually be reliable now that would be a real achievement.)

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