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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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Age Bias? Tell Us About It

By Rob Walker
New York Times
July 9, 2015

The Workologist has a problem. The question below has been in my inbox for over a year. I cant answer every query, of course, so I periodically clear out older emails. But IҒve never been able to delete this one. So Im asking for your help in (finally) responding to it:

I am a 52-year-old clinical research coordinator who has been looking for a new position. A contact told me her firm was hiring; the job involved marketing experience that I dont have, but she assured me this wasnҒt an issue. And the company did indeed set up an interview. I was told this would involve a short PowerPoint presentation. I stated I did not know PowerPoint but would learn it, and again was told that was fine.

During the interview, I met with several of my potential new colleagues all women in their 20s and 30s. One asked: דAre you sure you wouldnt mind reporting to women who are so much younger than you?Ҕ Then she quickly added, Forget I said that. What I meant is, you have so much depth of experience on your rөsum, and this is an entry-level position. I said this wouldn锒t be a problem Iגd rely on their judgment as I learned this new area. Everyone seemed satisfied.

Afterward, the H.R. person called to say the job required a PowerPoint expert,Ӕ but the company had been impressed and wanted to set up another interview to bring me on as a consultant. I told her I was thrilled; I even sent an upgraded version of my presentation and followed up by phone and email. But I never heard back.

What happened? Could age discrimination be a factor?

E. R., PHILADELPHIA

This touches on an important subject: the challenges of being, and also managing, an older employee. Now, before you start attacking me for suggesting that age 52 is anything less than the prime of life, please note that I mean the term olderӔ comparatively a mathematical age difference of a decade or two between a worker and supervisor, or job-seeker and hiring manager.

The Workologist has elsewhere addressed other details raised by this question ח age discrimination, the vanishing recruiter but itגs this issue, lurking under the surface, that I keep coming back to: Our work culture and the culture in general ח does seem to put a premium on more youthful qualities (perceived tech fluency among them), often shortchanging the value that could come with a more seasoned perspective. And this can manifest itself in subtle and even unintentional ways.

But what, as a practical matter, can real-life workers and managers do about it? And that, readers, is what I want to ask you. Are you a worker on the older side who has figured out how to overcome the not-always-conscious biases of a youth-venerating workplace? Are you a younger manager who has learned how to see past age differences? What advice would you offer to job-seekers who suspect that the market puts a premium on younger prospects?

The occasion for this turning of the tables is the approaching two-year anniversary of this column. Id like to mark that by offering you the floor to counsel fellow readers. Send your advice to workologist at nytimes.com.

Scheduling Scrutiny

When I was hired, my boss (who does not work out of this office) told me that I could choose the hours I wanted to work.

I chose to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. My colleagues either work those hours or from 7 to 4. Sometimes I have altered my schedule to suit my needs. Recently, for example, I came in at 7 so that I could leave early. I did not ask permission, because I was told that I could choose my hours. I know that others sometimes do the same thing. But one of my colleagues, M., has started criticizing me for not clearing my schedule changes with everyone else in advance. She is not my superior, but she is close to our boss. Now she says I need to ғcoordinate any changes to my schedule ahead of time.

Others (including M.) come and go early and late without saying a word to me, so why should I not be able to do the same? ANONYMOUS

Your boss’s scheduling system sounds like a recipe for chaos. That’s not your fault. But giving your colleagues advance notice that you’ll be leaving early seems straightforward. If you dont want to position this as asking for permission, state your plan as a fact, presented as a courtesy.

This approach is likely to give you more autonomy. If you wait until you’re asked why youre skipping lunch, you end up on the defensive. And even if your behavior is technically defensible, you come across (intentionally or not) as indifferent to the office at large. It is not your job to think up a better scheduling scheme. But sometimes it’s easier to use your own better judgment to rise above a poorly designed system.

Send your workplace conundrums to workologist at nytimes.com, including your name and contact information (even if you want it withheld for publication). The Workologist is a guy with well-intentioned opinions, not a professional career adviser. Letters may be edited.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 07/12/15 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Letting Go of the Older Employee

By Nancy (Range) Anderson

If you know me, you know my story. I was happily employed for 21.5 years at a company that I loved and respected and doing the kind of work that I absolutely adored and was very good at (Im not bragging; I have the performance appraisals to show it). My co-workers and internal clients were top notch and I smiled a lot because I liked coming to work.

One day (Ok, it was June 8th) our entire group was called into a conference room and told that some of us would be receiving termination papers. We were to go back to our work stations until we were summoned one by one to the conference room to learn our collective fates.

After several long and agonizing minutes it was my turn. My manager silently led me to the conference room where I learned that the program that I taught was being eliminated. But what about other programs? No. Im a professional learning and development expert and can writenew programsԅ No. But what about? No, no, no.” I was later told that I slammed the door on my way out. To this day I don’t remember that.

One thing that I failed to mention is that it was 2008, a year after the beginning of the Great Recession. I was also 53 years old.

Today I met with an intelligent, articulate, youthful-looking woman for a coaching session. While she has a high level job and feels very lucky about that, she is starting to feel subtle nudges of isolation and ageism. Knowing that organizations look for ways to pare down the work force, she continues to stay current in her industry. She refreshes her skill set, reads about current trends and has learned to appreciate the parts of her job that were changed when upper management brought in fresh, young talent to take over. Her story today reminded me so much of my own.

Just because someone is over the age of 45 does not mean that they are obsolete. Of course if someone is not pulling his or her weight and not meeting organizational goals, then by all means, do what is necessary to coach that person or terminate their employment. Termination is “at will” in many states so organizations have every right to eliminate people for whatever reason. Still, that doesn’t always make it right.

This is what happens when an older person is let go:

1. They have a harder time finding new, meaningful work. (Up to a year and longer for the long-term unemployed).

2. No one wants to pay them their former salaries. (Earnings may be up to 19% lower than their former salaries).

3. They may take a couple of part time positions to make ends meet. Those positions may have absolutely nothing to do with their skill set and are mostly lower level (lower paying) positions.

4. They wait many more weeks than their younger counterparts to find work.

5. Many times they just give up and never return to work.

One of the things that personally bothers me about being released is that I didn’t get a chance to retire. That sounds kind of silly but it’s true. Some of the work friends that I’ve remained close with talk about their retirement packages and retirement events. For a person who personally aligned with the company values and who allowed my career to be one of the things in my life that brought me happiness and fulfillment; not retiring with them was a huge disappointment.

I’m not naive, I know about profit and loss, changing skill sets and making do with less. I know that many organizations are young and energetic (I give job search coaching to young adults too). Still, it is so much harder for people at this later stage in their careers and in my very humble opinion, the folks who are doing the hiring and interviewing should take into account the skills, knowledge and better yet, Wisdom of the older job seeker.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/30/15 •
Section Dealing with Layoff
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Two More Companies I’ll Never Do Business With Again

Did you read about my dealings with AMAZON and TAMOSOFT ?

Both companies lost a 20 year customer for good.

Here’s two more that recently did:

NewEgg

Why?  The last thing I bought from them arrived broke. What was inside the box was smashed. I got an RMA from their website for hidden damage, and spent $27 of my own money mailing it back, What did they do?  Sent me an email they won’t accept the return because they got it back damaged.  What did I do?  Called and explained over and over again to half a dozen people what happened, who all told me they won’t accept a return damaged, insisting that I file a claim with the shipper.  I finally filed a claim with the credit card company to get my money back.

Discount Electronics

Why? Because they sold me a refurbished Dell computer with a OEM copy of Windows and a restore partition instead of reinstall disk.  I used the restore partion to reinstall the OS, which erased the restore partion, leaving me no way to reinstall again. Discount Electronics refused to send a reinstall disk, and Dell told me to call Discount Electronics for one.

Posted by Elvis on 06/29/15 •
Section General Reading
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why So Many Americans Feel So Powerless

America is slowly dying

By Robert Reich
April 26, 2015

A security guard recently told me he didn’t know how much he’d be earning from week to week because his firm kept changing his schedule and his pay. “They just don’t care,” he said.

A traveler I met in the Dallas Fort-Worth Airport last week said she’d been there eight hours but the airline responsible for her trip wouldn’t help her find another flight leaving that evening. “They don’t give a hoot,” she said.

Someone I met in North Carolina a few weeks ago told me he had stopped voting because elected officials don’t respond to what average people like him think or want. “They don’t listen,” he said.

What connects these dots? As I travel around America, I’m struck by how utterly powerless most people feel.

The companies we work for, the businesses we buy from, and the political system we participate in all seem to have grown less accountable. I hear it over and over: They don’t care; our voices don’t count.

A large part of the reason is we have fewer choices than we used to have. In almost every area of our lives, it’s now take it or leave it.

Companies are treating workers as DISPOSABLE cogs because most working people have no choice. They need work and must take what they can get.

ALTHOUGH jobs are coming back from the depths of the Great Recession, the portion of the labor force actually working remains lower than it’s been in over thirty years—before vast numbers of middle-class wives and mothers entered paid work.

Which is why corporations can get away with firing workers without warning, replacing full-time jobs with part-time and contract work, and cutting wages. Most working people have no alternative.

Consumers, meanwhile, are feeling mistreated and taken for granted because they, too, have less choice.

U.S. airlines, for example, have consolidated into a handful of giant carriers that divide up routes and collude on fares. In 2005 the U.S. had nine major airlines. Now we have just four.

It’s much the same across the economy. Eighty percent of Americans are served by just one Internet Service Provider—usually Comcast, AT&T, or Time-Warner.

The biggest banks have become far bigger. In 1990, the five biggest held just 10 percent of all banking assets. Now they hold almost 45 percent.

Giant health insurers are larger; the giant hospital chains, far bigger; the most powerful digital platforms (Amazon, Facebook, Google), gigantic.

All this means less consumer choice, which translates into less power.

Our complaints go nowhere. Often we can’t even find a real person to complain to. Automated telephone menus go on interminably.

Finally, as voters we feel no one is listening because politicians, too, face less and less competition. Over 85 percent of congressional districts are considered “safe” for their incumbents in the upcoming 2016 election; only 3 percent are toss-ups.

In presidential elections, only a handful of states are now considered “battlegrounds” that could go either Democratic or Republican.

So, naturally, that’s where the candidates campaign. Voters in most states won’t see much of them. These voters’ votes are literally taken for granted.

Even in toss-up districts and battle-ground states, so much big money is flowing in that average voters feel disenfranchised.

In all these respects, powerlessness comes from a lack of meaningful choice. Big institutions don’t have to be responsive to us because we can’t penalize them by going to a competitor.

And we have no loud countervailing voice forcing them to listen.

Fifty years ago, a third of private-sector workers belonged to labor unions. This gave workers bargaining power to get a significant share of the economy’s gains along with better working conditions—and a voice. Now, fewer than 7 percent of private sector workers are unionized.

In the 1960s, a vocal consumer movement demanded safe products, low prices, and antitrust actions against monopolies and business collusion. Now, the consumer movement has become muted.

Decades ago, political parties had strong local and state roots that gave politically-active citizens a voice in party platforms and nominees. Now, the two major political parties have morphed into giant national fund-raising machines.

Our economy and society depend on most people feeling the system is working for them.

But a growing SENSE OF POWERLESSNESS in all aspects of our lives—as workers, consumers, and voters—is convincing most people the system is working only for those at the top.

A traveler I met in the Dallas Fort-Worth Airport last week said she’d been there eight hours but the airline responsible for her trip wouldn’t help her find another flight leaving that evening. “They don’t give a hoot,” she said.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 04/29/15 •
Section Dying America
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In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

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Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories. - John Wilmont

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