Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

This is a sticky post written the day we first appeared on the internet: Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously.  Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  Check out THE CENTRAL OFFICE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATIONS, TELEPHONE TRIBUTE, and THE READING WORKS websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

Update 8/11/07 - As we head into the next depression, fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC US government, MIKE WHITNEY has a solution that makes a lot of sense to me:

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous subsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rise Of The Temp Workers Part 7

Its Part-Time Work or No Work for Millions of Americans

By Sienna Beard
Wall Street Cheat
September 8, 2014

Part-time employment seems to be a growing trend, with more people working part-time in the United States, but also in other countries. 13.5 PERCENT OF US EMPLOYEES WERE PART TIMERS IN 1968, but that number reached 20.1 percent in January, and remains close to that number now.

Part-time work can be beneficial for employees who want flexibility, want to be at home with kids part-time, or want a second job. Workers are often forced to work part-time because their companies cut hours, or they cant find a full-time job. Companies who employ part-time workers see many advantages: Often, they don’t have to pay the workers as much or give them full (or any) benefits. Although there are some more permanent part-time jobs, many jobs are seasonal or temporary, which makes it easier for employers to part ways with the part-time employers when they need or want to.

Although part-time employment has decreased slightly in the U.S. since 2010, the numbers remain high. According to The Washington Post, in June, the number of part-time workers rose by more than one million, to 27 MILLION WORKERS. While we might be out of the recession, many Americans are not finding the jobs that they want, with the hours or pay that they need.

Part-time workers face many challenges, including the possibility of no health care benefits. Although this may not be such a big problem for workers who have a full-time job in addition to their part-time job, for workers who solely depend on their part-time job, the lack of benefits can be difficult. In addition, often part-time workers make less than their full-time equivalents.

They also might be more dispensable to their companies: especially workers who are hired on a temporary assignment, or seasonally, can often be let go easily. Workers who take a temporary job because they need a job, then face the prospect of finding another job much sooner than they might wish. Even part-time workers who feel that they have a fairly steady job, might not have the same responsibilities or say as other workers.

ECONOMISTS HAVE NOTICED, and are worried, about the amount of part-time workers in the job force. According to USA Today, if the economy is getting better, we should be seeing workers spending more hours at work, but this ISN’T THE CASE for part-timers. Experts also wonder if the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT is affecting how many part-time EMPLOYEES COMPANIES are hiring, but it’s difficult to tell for sure. Hiring part-time workers can be a way to cut costs, regardless of HEALTH INSURANCE.

There are many advantages for companies to hire part-time employees. ADVANTAGES INCLUDE the fact that hiring part-time employees can cut costs, and can allow the company to have flexibility in scheduling.

However, companies that hire many PART-TIME WORKERS also face potential disadvantages. Part-time workers may be less committed to their job or the company, which can lead to more turnover. Part-time workers also may have less knowledge about their job or the company because they dont work as often and may not stay at the company for as long. So although companies can save money by hiring part-time workers, they do lose out in other ways.

Full-time work isn’t always the best situation for some workers though; part-time work is ideal for certain workers. Those who already have a full-time job, but want to have a little extra income, or pursue a passion, can benefit from part-time work. Sometimes parents want to work, but they also want to be home with their kids, and creating part-time jobs that are flexible but also challenging and rewarding, can attract very talented and intelligent workers who do not wish to work full-time. Although many part-time jobs are less desirable because they are designed for workers who have less professional training, this doesnt have to be the case.

Part-time work isn’t just a trend in the United States. As of 2011, the average employed person in Austria worked just over twenty-seven hours PER WEEK, people worked an average of just over twenty-five hours per week in Germany, and nearly twenty-eight hours in Belgium. The JOB MARKET IN JAPAN also seems to be favoring more part-time work.

Part-time work may be a trend thats going to develop and continue, and for some people, that isn’t a bad thing. However, for the many workers in America, and across the world, who want to work full-time, and need the benefits, the threat of part-time work steadily increasing is a serious one.

SOURCE

Hat tip: Eduardo Felix

Posted by Elvis on 09/13/14 •
Section Dying America
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Will the Real Unemployment Rate Please Stand Up?

By B. Rose Huber
Woodrow Wilson School
September 10, 2014

America’s unemployment rate—most recently reported as 6.1 percent—has long been used to gauge the country’s economic well-being. But a new working paper released by Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs highlights the difficulty in estimating the exact unemployment rate, though changes in the official measure still signal important movements in the economy.

THE RESEARCH, published by the NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, finds that the true unemployment rate may be higher or lower than recent reports indicate. In fact, the authors writethat published unemployment rates have gradually become more difficult to interpret over time, especially in the last two decades. The researchers cite survey design changes as a likely culprit, in large part because the changes corresponded with an increase in nonresponse rates by Americans.

“It is potentially a huge issue,” said ALAN KREUGER, the Bendheim Professor in Economics and Public Policy at the Wilson School and former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “But our results do suggest several important avenues for future research and improvements in the data.”

To calculate the unemployment rate, the U.S. CENSUS BUREAU and U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS administer the Current Population Survey (CPS), which collects extensive demographic data to better understand labor market fluctuations and economic conditions. The CPS consists of a sample of nearly 60,000 households in all U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Households are surveyed monthly for four consecutive months, left alone for eight months and then surveyed again monthly during the final four months. In any given month, there are eight “rotation groups,” depending on how many months the households have been in the survey so far. Each rotation group is designed to be representative of the population. The official unemployment rate is a weighted average of the eight groups.

Krueger and his collaborators—Alexandre Mas, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton’s Wilson School, and Xiaotong Niu, an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office—found that in the first half of 2014, the unemployment rate among people in the first month of being interviewed was 7.5 percent. However, for those in the final month of being interviewed, it was only 6.1 percent. Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics weights the first interview more heavily, the official unemployment rate for this period was 6.5 percent.

This disparity between interview groups, known technically as “rotation group bias,” isn’t new. But Krueger’s paper is the first since 1975 to explore the growing magnitude and evolution of such discrepancies. This new paper shows that rotation-group bias has doubled since 1994, when the CPS underwent a major redesign.

“It is unclear which rotation group provides the most accurate measure of the unemployment rate,” said Krueger. “The unemployment rate for each rotation group tends to rise or fall together over time.”

Two decades ago, the CPS moved from pen-and-paper questionnaires to computer-assisted phone interviews. They also changed the language and logic behind some of the questions. Shortly after the redesign, CPS began seeing a large rise in nonresponse rates.

Interestingly, the study shows that this same kind of bias isn’t found when looking at data from the United Kingdom and Canada, which also use rotating groups to measure their unemployment rates. This finding suggests several avenues for future research including examining the details of the surveys themselves, like the nature of the questionnaire, the interviewing methods and the survey response rates. All, Krueger said, play a pivotal role in shaping the unemployment figure outcomes.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/12/14 •
Section General Reading
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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Labor Day 2014

“Most people adapt surprisingly well to changes in their lives. Even after tragic events such as the death of a family member or a chronic disease, they restore their former wellbeing, if not always completely (Clark et al 2008). There is one event, though, for which this appears not to be true unemployment. Compared with other negative experiences, the life satisfaction of the unemployed does not restore itself even after having been unemployed for a long time.”
- The Psychological Scars of Unemployment, Washington Post

“Short of death or a debilitating terminal disease, long-term unemployment is about the worst thing that can happen to you in the modern world. It’s economically awful, socially terrible, and a horrifying blow to your self-esteem and happiness.  It cuts you off from the mass of your peers and puts stress on your family, making it likely that further awful things, like divorce or suicide, will be in your near future.”
- Long-term Unemployment is a National Catastrophe, Mother Jones

7 Reasons Why I’m Not Celebrating This Labor Day

By Ann Brenoff
Huffington Post
August 28, 2014

You know how some people get a case of the blues around the winter holidays? Well, I feel that way around Labor Day.

I jokingly tell people that I suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to my job. I have one now, but for two years during the recession, I didn’t. I was laid off in 2009 from the newspaper where I worked for almost two decades and then spent two years freelancing until I was hired by The Huffington Post in 2011. By most standards, I did pretty well for myself for those two years freelancing—no one in my family went hungry, was without health insurance, or became homeless. But don’t kid yourself: The experience left scars.

Here’s what being laid off taught me and why I think many mid-lifers may still not be celebrating this Labor Day:

Job security is just a myth.

When I entered the work force, you had a job for life. Sure, you made moves to advance your career but that was generally accomplished by staying within the same company. When people retired at 65, the company threw big parties for them and gave them gold watches to thank them for their 40+ years of service. Loyalty to your company was a given and the company rewarded that loyalty with annual raises, end-of-year-bonuses and even turkeys at Thanksgiving. One of the tasks of the personnel office was to send flowers to your wife in the hospital after she gave birth.

That all ended in the years leading up to the recession. As companies focused more on the bottom line, they began to refer to workers as “assets” and when times got tough, they looked at which “assets” to cut. “Do more with less,” “Get rid of the fat,” and “leaner and meaner” were the propaganda slogans that sent chills down workers’ spines.

Older workers quickly read the writing on the wall: Those with higher salaries were led into the gas chambers first while corporate lawyers dangled “don’t sue us if you hope to get a dime in severance” agreements in front of our stunned faces.

We signed. All of us did. I STILL QUESTION how this coerced agreement signed under duress was legal and not protested. Why didn’t the ACLU jump in to protect workers from the slaughter? But everyone WHO COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT instead turned deaf, dumb, and blind.

And the result is that what we are now left with is a workplace culture riddled with insecurity and restlessness. When people are afraid of losing their jobs, they strive to be compliant, not creative. Toeing the line has replaced pushing the envelope. And COMPANY LOYALTY went the way of the THANKSGIVING turkey—killed, roasted, and gobbled up while CEOs belched all the way to the bank.

Older workers stay out-of-work the longest.

This has been long-documented, but we can regurgitate it here for the millennial disbelievers.

According to AARP’s analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, workers age 55 and up remain unemployed for 45.6 weeks, compared with 34.7 weeks for workers younger than 55.

Sara Rix, senior strategic policy adviser with AARP’s Public Policy Institute, notes that recent research says many of these unemployed people “will never become re-employed.”

While we can safely claim that all generations were hurt by the recession, only one group has the least amount of time to mitigate the recession’s financial impact—and that group is older workers. If you lost your job in the mid-2000’s, you likely also lost your nest egg. And you can’t actually rebuild it unless you find a job, which isn’t happening for many. Time is running out.

Age discrimination is real.

Certain stereotypes exist about older workers—we can’t keep up technologically, we will spend all day reminiscing about the good old days, we don’t fit in to the current office culture.

These stereotypes are at the root of the discrimination. I’d also throw in the fact that employers want to hire the cheapest workers possible, and that’s less experienced folks.

But even the Washington Post is guilty of age discrimination. In an ad seeking a social media manager, the paper said it was looking for someone with the “ability to explain to those twice your age what Reddit or Snapchat or Whisper or Fark is.” I can explain those things to you and I’m 64. And then there was the Seattle Star, which ran an ad saying it was seeking someone “young.” The publisher was unapologetic when it was suggested that this was discrimination against older people. “So sue me. Sheesh,” he said. Can you imagine the outrage if he had written “white” for “young?”

Older unemployed workers have gone underground, and in doing so, have become invisible.

Older workers are the infrastructure of the so-called gig economy. They jump from one freelance and/or part-time job to the next. They work under contracts that don’t pay them when they get sick or offer them health insurance. Vacations? They are on their own.

Having been part of this group for two years, I salute these people. They are a creative lot who have figured out how to stay afloat, if only barely. They get their teeth fixed using Groupon coupons, they shop at thrift stores for their kids’ back-to-school clothes, and they make quilts to sell on Etsy to keep the lights turned on. Some have taken in rent-paying roommates to help cover the mortgage. They barter and exchange services; some times in a pinch, they ask for money. But somehow, each month, they find a way.

What’s truly unfortunate is that we’ve stopped counting them as unemployed. If they don’t collect unemployment benefits, they don’t exist—even though we all know dozens of people in this situation. This is why “unemployment” stats for older workers are lower than the national numbers.

Just don’t kid yourself: There will come a day when each and every one of these workers will no longer be able to exist on this tightrope. They are already calling it the SILVER TSUNAMI and it’s headed toward taxpayers.

“Get retrained” is easier said than done.

No one is arguing that today’s jobs don’t require a different skills set than jobs of old. But have you seen a lot of RETRAINING programs underway in your city? ME NEITHER. Community colleges have borne the brunt of older workers trying to learn new tricks.

My standard advice to every out-of-work mid-lifer is this: Go into healthcare. With the population aging and the need for health services growing, it would seem like a natural place to be.

The question no one has a good answer for is: What do you live on while you are busy getting retrained? It’s not like we can push the pause button on our living expenses while we figure things out. And forget government help. The government has offered very little in the way of retraining programs, let alone figured out how to help people stay afloat while they are being retrained.

Which leaves the old turning our hobbies into businesses. While many midlifers try their hand at entrepreneurial ventures, the wash-out rate is high. Entrepreneur magazine reports that first-time entrepreneurs have only an 18 percent chance of succeeding in taking their companies public. Bottom line: Just because you like to cook, it doesn’t mean you should open a restaurant.

Experience is worth less, if not altogether worthless.

I remember when I was looking for my first job and every place I applied wanted someone with experience. We’ve come a full 180 on this. Experience—probably because it comes with a higher price tag—is less desirable a qualification. Experience won’t get you far in today’s jobs market.

The big news this year is that Google, AT&T, and MetLife and about 250 other employers signed a pledge to “recognize the value of experienced workers.” I’m still LEFT STAMMERING that these major employers needed a pledge to actually do this.

Older workers tend to bomb interviews.

This, of course, assumes you even get an interview. But ask anyone over 50 who has had one what it’s like and the stories all start to sound the same. “The guy asked me a question and then just kept texting away while I was answering.” “I wore a great ‘interview’ outfit and he wore jeans; it was awkward.” “It was like we were speaking different languages.”

Times have changed in the personnel office. Not only aren’t they sending anyone flowers in the hospital, they are also checking out your digital footprint—googling you, reading your LinkedIn profile, checking what you posted on social media sites. The guy may be texting while you are speaking, but just remember that older workers aren’t the only ones who have taken a beating in the past decade: Manners may have too.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/02/14 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Dying America
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Clear Routine Phone Home

There’s always something NEW and INTERESTING in the SERVER LOGS.

Ever hear of clear-routine dot net?

A system generated email was addressed to them last month and another yesterday. 

The body is a bunch of numbers.

What did I download that’s trying to tell THEM something?

What is that SOMETHING they want to learn?

Am I an unwitting victim of some flyby download that’s phoning home?

Posted by Elvis on 08/15/14 •
Section General Reading
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In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear -- unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called 'the insolence of elected persons' -- in a word, free men. - Gerald W. Johnson

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