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Commentaries

Rising Health Care Costs Threaten The Future of Employee Coverage

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Congress and the president can ensure that all Americans have access to health care - will they?

America's health care system is in crisis. That's the word from the street and from the boardrooms as well.

When the Kaiser Family Foundation asked people to rate their greatest personal concern, the cost of health care was number one. Nearly 40 percent of Americans rate health care costs as a bigger worry than the economy, the stock market, the war in Iraq, or the threat of global terrorism.

Reporter  V43N2

Let’s ensure a good future for all

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

IN HIS FIRST TERM, President Bush’s number one priority was lowering taxes. He succeeded to a degree that still amazes many observers. Though his tax cuts primarily benefited the wealthiest Americans and created our nation’s largest budget deficits in history, they sailed through Congress.

The tax cuts of 2001-2004 shifted more of the tax burden to middle-class working families and saddled our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars of government debt.

Reporter  V44N1

Administration's Budget Doesn't Offer Much For U.S. Workers

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Funding makes working families a low priority

IT IS THROUGH the federal budget that a president and his administration show their priorities. The budget for fiscal year 2005 makes it clear that taking care of American workers is not a high priority for this administration.

While the U.S. loses manufacturing jobs by the millions each year, the White House is proposing a 60 percent funding cut for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program with a proven track record in helping manufacturers modernize, increase productivity, and create and retain jobs.

Reporter  V44N2

U.S. needs a healthcare policy

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Healthcare costs are out of control, killing jobs and destroying lives

IN JUNE, GENERAL MOTORS (GM) announced they would lay off 25,000 workers over the next three years. One reason they cited was the growing cost of health care, which now adds more than $1,500 to the cost of each new GM vehicle sold and is rising at doubledigit rates, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Reporter  V44N3

Hurricane inspires heroic deeds

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

TRAGEDY OFTEN REVEALS our inner natures. We either give up, or we struggle to survive. We either withdraw into ourselves, or we reach out to help those around us. Hurricane Katrina has revealed the heroic natures of many of our Boilermaker members.

Reporter  V44N4

Unions Keep Holiday Spirit Alive

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

THIS TIME OF YEAR, we often remind our members that the only reason
workers now enjoy weekends off and paid holidays is because of the
efforts of union organizers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the
early decades of the Industrial Revolution, employers like Ebenezer
Scrooge were not the exception, they were the rule.

Reporter  V44N5

The U.S. Navy needs to build more ships

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

IN THE FIRST DAYS OF THE IRAQ War, the U.S. military launched 1,700 sorties in a strategy they called “shock and awe.” News media inspired the public with stories of the high-tech weapons in use — “smart bombs,” the stealth bomber, and remotely-guided, unmanned assault aircraft. But that was a distorted picture of the war effort.

Reporter  V45N1

As we head into the convention, there's reason for optimism

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

WITH THE 31st Consolidated Convention fast approaching, our union is preparing for some serious self-examination. Convention delegates will consider and vote on changes to our constitution, and they will elect officers to guide the union in the years ahead.

Reporter  V45N2

Convention sets pace for our future

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Delegates make changes needed to meet challenges

DELEGATES TO THE 31st Consolidated Convention sent me a message this July. They told me that Boilermakers are willing to do whatever is necessary to keep this Brotherhood united and strong.

Delegates made some difficult decisions in Las Vegas — and there was considerable debate before they could reach a decision on some issues. But in the end they did what needed to be done. They gave your International union the tools we need to continue to serve you for the next five years.

Reporter  V45N3

Elections create opportunity

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

THIS YEAR’S ELECTIONS were a welcome change for the United States — and one that was a long time coming. Pro-worker candidates took many House and Senate seats away from incumbents who have done little to help working families. I was particularly gratified to see that the seat formerly held by Tom DeLay has gone to a pro-labor Democrat.

Candidates friendly to labor unions and working families also won many open seats. Despite the media’s attention on Iraq, exit polls show that economic issues were a major factor in voters’ decision making.

Reporter  V45N4

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