Article 43

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The 90 Day Rule

class-warfare.jpg

it is in America, not China, where life is regarded as cheap
- Bad Moon Rising Part 50

The 90 Day - Screw The Worker - Rule

It’s not enought to be DENIED UNEMPLOYMENT because you got a serverance lump sum from the place that layed you off.

It’s not enough to have the minumum wage lowered to $2.13.

It’s not enough to hire someone as a NON-EXEMPT temp, make him TAKE CHRISTMAS OFF with NO PAY, then ask him WORK LATE the day after WITHOUT COMPENSATION.

In Florida - the first ninety days of your new job may not be counted towards unemployment benefits.

Here’s THE LAW - 443.131(3)(a)(2)

(3) VARIATION OF CONTRIBUTION RATES BASED ON BENEFIT EXPERIENCE.
(a) Employment records. The regular and short-time compensation benefits paid to an eligible individual shall be charged to the employment record of each employer who paid the individual wages of at least $100 during the individuals base period in proportion to the total wages paid by all employers who paid the individual wages during the individual’s base period. Benefits may not be charged to the employment record of an employer who furnishes part-time work to an individual who, because of loss of employment with one or more other employers, is eligible for partial benefits while being furnished part-time work by the employer on substantially the same basis and in substantially the same amount as the individuals employment during his or her base period, regardless of whether this part-time work is simultaneous or successive to the individual’s lost employment. Further, as provided in s. 443.151(3), benefits may not be charged to the employment record of an employer who furnishes the Department of Economic Opportunity with notice, as prescribed in rules of the department, that any of the following apply:

2. If an individual is discharged by the employer for unsatisfactory performance during an initial employment probationary period, benefits subsequently paid to the individual based on wages paid during the probationary period by the employer before the separation may not be charged to the employers employment record. As used in this subparagraph, the term “initial employment” probationary period means an established probationary plan that applies to all employees or a specific group of employees and that does not exceed 90 calendar days following the first day a new employee begins work. The employee must be informed of the probationary period within the first 7 days of work. The employer must demonstrate by conclusive evidence that the individual was separated because of unsatisfactory work performance and not because of lack of work due to temporary, seasonal, casual, or other similar employment that is not of a regular, permanent, and year-round nature.

Unsatisfactory performance can be anything NOT ILLEGAL.  For instance , in America it’s NOT ILLEGAL to BULLY WORKERS, or ask someone to WORK 24 HOURS A DAY, seven days a week, and if the worker can’t handle that, get rid of him for unsatisfactory performance.

Do that within 90 days - and the worker - even though he worked, and should be entitled to Unemployment Insurance - will never, ever get it.

Boy do we NEED UNIONS.

Posted by Elvis on 09/25/12 •
Section Dying America
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Monday, September 24, 2012

IO6 Wifi Death

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For some wireless hardware, devices running on Apple’s IOS version 6 released September 20 may not be able to connect, or worse - crash the wireless network.

I got a wireless access point that won’t let my IPHONE connect after the OS UPGRADE two days ago, and called Apple to complain, but all I got out of the the English challenged rep - whose every sixth word was “buddy” - was “Have you tried rebooting your router buddy?” and brushed off as a computer illiterate that can’t work his phone.

From one POOR SYSADMIN:

After upgrading from iOS 5.1.1 to iOS 6, iPhone 4S devices can no longer connect to an open wi-fi network on our campus.

We have a controller based WLAN from HP/H3C managed by a WX5004 controller with AP models WA2620-AGN and WA2620E-AGN.

Symptom: In the Wi-Fi dialog on the iPhone, out open campus network with SSID “CampusUniPassau” is displayed. After tapping this SSID, the iPhone tries to connect for a few seconds and then displays the error message ‘Unable to join the network “CampusUniPassau’.

Our WLAN controller logs the following errors:

*Sep 21 08:40:46:336 2012 ac1 WMAC/7/ERROR : Invalid Extended Capabilities IE length (4).

*Sep 21 08:40:46:336 2012 ac1 WMAC/7/ERROR :  Error while processing information elements

#Sep 21 08:40:46:652 2012 ac1 WMAC/4/Station Association Fail: Station Assoc Fail:1.3.6.1.4.1.2011.10.2.75.3.2.0.4<h3cDot11StationAssocFailTrap> StaMac1:68:A8:6D:87:XX:XX StaMac2:68:A8:6D:87:XX:XX StaMac3:68:A8:6D:87:XX:XX Radioid:2 SSIDName:CampusUniPassau Cause:1 Desc:Unknown Failure APID:210235A42MB102000054

With iOS 5.1.1, all worked well, so this should be an iOS 6 bug.

Are there any workarounds until Apple releases a bug fix?

I don’t think so buddy.

From a Netgear owner:

I few others have touched on firmware issues with the WG102 - I have just downgraded from 5.0.3 to 5.0.1 and my 4s will join the network. Success!

From another poor soul:

I have an ADDON MAGIC 9500 wireless router. There is no alternative firmware from Addon, so I can’t solve the problem as Netgear routers owners have done by downgrading their firmware.

I have two wired connection to the router and various wireless devices also accessing the router. Everything operates fine and can connect to the internet all devices until I try to connect to the network with my iphone 3gs IOS6 over wifi.

Very soon after I connect to the router with my iphone the router appears to lock out / crash. It is still broadcasting the network name but ALL my wired and wireless devices lose network connection and therefore the internet permanently. I can still see the network on my iphone but I am unable to join it again.

The only temporary fix is to turn off wifi on my iphone and reset the router. Then my computers and laptops can connect to the internet fine once again.

Four days later - no fix, and no announcement from Apple or any of the vendors above.

Should have got a DROID.

Posted by Elvis on 09/24/12 •
Section General Reading
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Why We Need Net Neutrality Post

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AT&T FaceTime Restrictions Spark Net Neutrality Complaints With Consumer Groups

By Sinead Carew; editing by Gunna Dickson
Reuters
September 18, 2012

Three public interest groups plan to file a formal complaint accusing AT&T Inc of violating U.S. Internet rules if (it already did. ed) the wireless service provider goes ahead with a plan to limit use of Apple Inc’s FaceTime application to certain (those WITHOUT A SHARED DATA PLAN. ed) customers.

The groups—Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute—gave AT&T notice in a letter on Tuesday that they plan to file a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, unless the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider changes its policy.

Both AT&T and the FCC declined to comment on the letter.

Apple’s FaceTime video conferencing application will work on cellular networks after the iPhone 5 hits store shelves this week. Until now, the service was only useable over Wi-Fi short range wireless connections, which are often free to use but have a limited coverage range.

AT&T’s iPhone 5 customers will still be able to use the service without charge on Wi-Fi networks.

But the advocacy groups are complaining because AT&T is only allowing subscribers to its shared DATA PLANS, which include its highest rates for data, to use FaceTime on its cellular network.

In comparison, AT&T’s bigger rival Verizon Wireless says all of its data customers can use FaceTime. Use of the service would be counted against their monthly data allowance rather than their voice minutes allowance.

The advocacy groups say AT&T is breaking FCC rules as they believe that it should give all customers who pay for its mobile Internet service the option to use any Internet application they want to use regardless of which data plan they buy.

“When you sign up to use the Internet, you’re allowed to use the Internet,” said Free Press legislative director Joel Kelsey.

He noted that some consumers may want to use FaceTime to talk without having to dip into their monthly allowance for voice minutes.

Sarah Morris, policy counsel for the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute said the AT&T decision was a “direct contradiction” of FCC rules.

“For those rules to actually protect consumers and allow them to choose the services they use, the Commission must act quickly in reviewing complaints before it,” Morris said.

Kelsey said the group sent a letter to AT&T’s General Counsel Wayne Watts, as it is required to give the company 10 days notice before it files the official complaint.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/22/12 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Prescription Drug Blues

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Why Americans’ Prescriptions Are Going Unfilled

By Karen Rowan
MyHealthNewsDaily
September 13, 2012

n increasing number of Americans are not filling prescriptions for their medications because they can’t afford to, according to a new survey from Consumer Reports.

Results show that 45 percent of people under age 65 who don’t have insurance coverage for prescriptions said they had not filled a prescription in the last year because of the cost. Last year, 27 percent of this group said the same.

Additionally, 84 percent of working-age people in the U.S. without insurance coverage for prescriptions said they had taken some action - such as spending less on groceries or postponing paying other bills - in order to pay for their medications, an increase from 71 percent last year.

About 15 percent of people in the U.S. don’t have insurance coverage for their prescription medications, said Consumer Reports editor Lisa Gill.

In the survey, Consumer Reports researchers also aimed to find the biggest source of financial problems for consumers that put a dent in their general purchasing power.

“For people who regularly take a prescription medication, their medical bills and medication bills, when they have financial problems, those are their No. 1 problem,” Gill said.

The survey results showed that 50 percent of people without prescription drug coverage, and 15 percent of those with drug coverage,said that in the past six months they have been unable to afford their medical bills. Smaller percentages said they were unable to afford gas for their car (32 percent with coverage and 15 percent withoutcoverage)or that they had missed a mortgage payment(8 percent and 2 percent).

The researchers also found an increasing number of people taking “potentially dangerous” measures to save money on their health care. Among those without prescription drug coverage, 63 percent said they put off a doctor’s visit, whereas 48 percent said the same last year. And 62 percent said they declined a medical test because of the cost, compared with 33 percent last year.

People also reported cutting pills in half and skipping doses to stretch their medications, Gill said.

There are better ways that people can save money on their medical costs, she said.

“Ask if there is a generic drug that is equivalent to the brand-name drug that people are taking,” Gill said. About 75 percent of brand-name drugs have a generic version.

She also suggested looking for the prescription drug discount plans that many stores now offer Kmart, Target, Walmart and many others all offer discount programs. The plans vary some involve a fee to join, and each has its own list of drugs that are available for a discount. “Shop around,” she said, “and if your drug isn’t on the list, ask if they have another discount program with a different list.”

Finally, she said, for those who need to take a brand-name drug that isn’t available for a discount, pharmaceutical companies offer programs that may provide some financial help. They offer 30-day free trials, or a small discount on the price for a limited time.

“These programs aren’t great, and you have to read the fine print,” Gill said. But they do offer something to consumers, she said.

The telephone survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of households with telephones. Researchers conducted interviews with 1,158 adults who currently take prescription drugs. This is the fourth year that Consumer Reports has conducted the survey.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/16/12 •
Section Dying America
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Article 43 Turns Eight

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America as the land of opportunity has passed into history.
- Return of the Robber Barons - August 2007

Her part-time position pays $250-$350 a week - a far cry from the $72,000 a year she made as a loan processor, but Jones says she is quick to pick up extra shifts when she can to help make ends meet. She has never stopped looking for a full-time job.  “At this point I will take anything,” Jones said.
- Under Employed and Under The Radar - October 2008

Despite trillions of dollars spent on “shovel-ready” jobs, the jobs are conspicuous by their absence.
- Why Everyone Suffers When Job Seekers Give Up - July, 2010

For 90 percent of American workers, incomes have stagnated or fallen for the past three decades.
- All Work And No Pay - July 2011

It doesn’t have to be like this. No external dynamic is keeping unemployment at more than 8 percent and consigning a generation of young workers to an economy in which risk is plentiful and opportunities scarce. It is only a failure of political will - and an almost universal embrace of conservative voodoo economics that is keeping us mired in this dark economic moment.
- End This Depression Now, Paul Krugman - May 2012

Now I can say I’m working, but can’t say Im paying the bills, or feeling any inkling of security, or hopeful about a better tomorrow.  The new job simply slows down the bleeding of my retirement savings to meet expenses.  And I’m still keenly aware, and deeply afraid, that one catastrophic illness is all it takes to face devastating financial ruin. The gen-y younger adults that got hired with me said they-re getting good pay and medical benefits.
- The Beaten Baby Boomer - August 2012

If you demonize a people long enough, they will become the demons you’ve made them out to be.
- Ahmed Said - September 2012

Cinderella Revisited

Article 43 turned eight on September 4.  And I started another DISPOSABLE temp job about a month before that.

Just when I thought the SCREWING OF THE PROFESSIONAL AMERICAN WORKER couldn’t get any worse - it did.
.
Since our first post - the middle-class has been CRUSHED, while the POOR and unemployed BABY BOOMERS have been OUTCAST by GOVERNMENT and SOCIETY - with NO END IN SIGHT.

People like me are SYMBOLS OF THE SYSTEM - layed off from good jobs and promising careers in CORPORATE AMERICA - now revolving from one low paid temp job to another - for less money than we made twenty years ago - A TREND that’s been going on for so long, it’s HARD TO SEE IT CHANGING.

I’m nearly CONVINCED that long-term UNEMPLOYMENT OR UNDEREMPLOYMENT is my future, and that I’m going to loose the house, wind up in the street, and die penniless and alone.  Five million other jobless middle-aged Americans may be thinking THE SAME.

WHO WOULD EVER IMAGINE the AMERICAN DREAM would become a NIGHTMARE.

Pep talks like “Take one day at a time” are things we’re forced to hear our incere and ignorant FRIENDS tell us, while hoping our LUCK changes.

The psychological impact of CORPORATE DOWNSIZING and PROLONGED downward social mobility MOVING FROM middle-class, to living year after year as a disposable temp - with it’s PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, and FINANCIAL stresses - isn’t fully UNDERSTOOD, ACKNOWLEDGED, or APPRECIATED.

Do you have any idea how many jobs I applied for this year, just to be deemed “overqualified” and denied?

A lot.

If a guy with 20 years experience applied for an entry level job at my company, I’d take him in a heartbeat and consider myself lucky.  But these days overqualified REALLY MEANS too old. A bad thing.  Us DISCARDED AND DEMORALIZED folks OVER 40 gotta live with that.

Then there’s the labor pool.  With hundreds of DESPERATE and VULNERABLE unemployed people applying for one job - big business employers GOT THE UPPER HAND.

Managers that are smart enough to value the SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE OF US OLDER WORKERS - take advantage of our desperation.  HR departments call it “being competitive”, but let’s call it what it is - EXPLOITATIVE.

After submitting at least a hundred jobs a month the past six months, all I got was about a dozen interviews - and finally accepted - out of desperation - a temp job whose salary is insulting.

Seven years ago temp agencies CONTRACTED me out as a day laborer to their customers. Now a customer just hired me as a low paid, disposable TEMP. That cuts out the middle man, and still leaves people like me with a TINY PAYCHECK, no SICK LEAVE, no vacation, NO CHRISTMAS OFF, no MEDICAL or HEALTH insurance, no DENTAL coverage, no benefits, no hope, and no future.

SEVEN YEARS AGO as a contracted Sprint engineer for a staffing company, I had to deal with this:

FEUDALISM and SERFDOM at Telecom companies.

The thick divider between temps (often called contractors) and employees is clearly illustrated by listening to conversations between workers.

Overheard at the water cooler in engineering:

Mary to Betsy (they work for the company) - My husband and I are going to Hawaii for vacation next week.

Bill to Steve (they work for a staffing company doing the same job as Mary and Betsy) - A collection agency called me twice this weekend demanding $500 a month for my wifes hospital bill last year.  The most I can afford is $50.  The guy threatened me.  I said I’m sorry and hung up.

Donnie to Frank (work for company) - I got a 5% raise and $5,000 bonus this year.  Ill be new car shopping this weekend!

Eddie to James (work for staffing company doing the same job as Donnie and Frank) - We’ve been working at this telco two years as temps with no benefits, medical insurance or paid time off.  When is the exploitation of labor in this country going to turn around?  By the way, what time is it?  My watch battery died last month, I cant afford to replace it.

The boss’ email to everyone - The company will give all employess three paid days off for Hurricane Wilma. Contractors (ie: contracted employess of staffing agencies) will not get paid if they dont come in.

Last week at my new, month old job, I listened to the boss talk about her new car, then was asked to join my non-temp workmates for lunch Friday at a restaurant. 

As a COUNTER OF PENNIES - I brown bag lunch and eat at my desk to save money, so they all went out - but me.

DejaVu all over again.

Flaunting the FLSA

This EXEMPT + TEMP worker’s compensation = no paid time off - including official company holidays, no benefits, and work overtime for free. 

In Florida - if one works for LESS THAN 90 DAYS at a company - that time may not even qualify for UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE.

After not getting paid for involuntarily taking off the LABOR DAY holiday - I’m expected to stay late other nights - UNPAID - until all work is done.  Can you spell CINDERELLA?  If you thought there’s LAWS against that - YOU’RE PROBABLY RIGHT

How do you think it feels to be DESPERATE enough to accept a position as an EXEMPT employee, working for a company that’s possibly breaking THE LAW by prefacing the position with the meaningless word temp, while ignoring the FAIR LABOR STANDARS ACT (see chapter 541.602)?

Now tell me how bad China’s labor laws are.

Shattered Spirit

How does one spend day after day, month after month, year after year, without having a mental or emotional breakdown - being USED like this - stepped on like a doormat, treated like a slave, and fearful of the future? 

If I were a BETTING GUY, I’d say a REVOLUTION by the WORKING CLASS may not be NOT TOO FAR AWAY.

PEOPLE can only take so much.

Us professional, jobless baby boomers need to ORGANIZE into a COLLECTIVE, and speak loudly in a single voice.

Not just for ourselves.

For workers everywhere.

---

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Census: Middle class shrinks to an all-time low

By Carol Morello
Washington Post
September 12, 2012

The vise on the middle class tightened last year, driving down its share of the income pie as the number of Americans in poverty leveled off and the most affluent households saw their portion grow, new census data released Wednesday showed.

Income inequality increased by 1.6 percent, the Census Bureau said in its annual report on poverty, income and health insurance. This was the biggest one-year increase in almost two decades and suggested that a trend in place since the late 1970s was picking up steam.

As a snapshot of a nation recovering from one of its worst recessions ever, the census report had both shadows and highlights. Median household income declined $777, to $50,054 before taxes. But the poverty rate, which many experts had predicted would rise to rates unseen in nearly half a century, inched down a hair to 15 percent, a decline of about 100,000 people. And fewer Americans were without health insurance, largely because of a provision in the 2010 health-care law allowing young adults to stay on their parents policies.

The new census statistics, coming out just two months before the presidential election, should fuel the ongoing debate over the shrinking middle class, income inequality and a gnawing fear that for many, the American dream is receding out of reach. This week, the Pew Research Center said a third of Americans now identify themselves as lower class or lower-middle class, up from a quarter four years ago. Among young adults, the percentage who see themselves as occupying the bottom of the heap is even higher.

For many economists, the most TROUBLING statistics were those on income INEQUALITY underscoring the middle-class squeeze.

The 60 percent of households earning between roughly $20,000 and $101,000 collectively earned 46.6 of all income, a 1.5 percent drop. In 1990, they shared over 50 percent of income.

In contrast, the census data show, the top fifth rose 1.6 percent in 2011 after several years of decline during the recession. The biggest gains went to the top 5 percent, who earn more than $186,000; their share of income jumped almost 5 percent in a single year.

Scholars said the disparate numbers underscore the many prisms through which different groups of people view the anemic economic recovery.

“It explains the disconnect between the numbers saying there’s slow improvement and job growth, and the way people feel, because they haven’t recovered,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, co-director of Measure of America at the Social Science Research Council. “Its partly because the recovery has mostly been felt at the top.”

Tim Smeeding, director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said the working class, whose pay tops out about $62,000, are bearing the brunt of the income squeeze.

“Their pay rate has gone down, the number of hours that everyone in the house works has gone down, their homes have lost value,” he said. “These ARE THE PEOPLE really ravaged by the recession.”

The political reaction to the census data was immediate.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/13/12 •
Section Telecom Underclass • Section About Article 43 • Section Personal
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In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

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The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust. - Politician Henry L. Stimson

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