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Commentaries

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

Bush health care plan doesn’t address problem

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Tax breaks don’t ensure access for all or control costs

IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION speech, President Bush outlined a health care plan that he claimed would put basic health care insurance within the reach of those who now do not have it. But the plan he outlined does not address the main problems facing our health care system: universal access and rapidly growing costs.

Reporter  V46N1

Bush, Congress Must Like Red Ink

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Tax cut, budget will raise deficits, slow down the economy, and benefit wealthy at expense of poor

If you think the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime was accomplished in record time, take a look at the U.S. federal government's budget and our country's economy.

In just two years, the U.S. has gone from having a long-term budget surplus, a strong currency, and a decreasing national debt into a country with a long-term budget deficit, a weakening currency, and soaring national debt.

Reporter  V42N3

U.S.-Made Ships Are Key To Security

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

The war with Iraq was over almost before it began. There was never any doubt that the U.S. armed forces would overwhelm Saddam's army and his private guard. The U.S. military is without peer.

The only question was whether Saddam would unleash chemical or biological weapons. He didn't, and we won with relatively few U.S. casualties.

I only hope that this swift victory 6,000 miles from our shores does not make us overconfident about handling threats closer to home.

Reporter  V42N2

Enron & Deregulation Still Haunt Us

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

FERC didn't learn from California's crisis

If a foreign power conspired to artificially raise the price of electricity, costing our country $40 billion, damaging the national economy, and forcing millions of Americans to do without electricity during "rolling blackouts," someone in Washington would be calling for their heads.

But when U.S. corporations do it, that's another matter. In the case of the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, the federal agency charged with overseeing the production and transmission of electrical energy just looked the other way.

Reporter  V42N1

Without Unions, Workers Can Never Enjoy Domestic Security

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Bush's success in denying worker rights to federal employees should not be ignored

The end of the year is traditionally a time when we reflect on the past and plan for the future. It is no accident that the month of January was named for the Roman god Janus, whose head had one face in front and another one behind.

Reporter  V41N6

Use Your Vote To Tell Congress That Working Families Matter

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

We can't outspend corporations — but we can outvote them

IT'S ELECTION TIME again in the United States — time to give Congress their report card. Election day is the best opportunity working families have to send a message to Washington that our lives matter.

What we do matters. We matter.

For nearly two years now, the Bush administration and the Republican-dominated House of Representatives have been acting as though working people are unimportant. They have insulted and injured us, while passing legislation written by lobbyists for large corporations.

Reporter  V41N5

Bush Can't Revive The Economy By Giving More Tax Breaks To Business

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

His tax cut and corporate greed weakened the economy and destroyed faith in corporations

In a two-week period in July, the U.S. stock market lost $1.41 trillion in value, as stock prices dropped an average of 20 percent. There is no better evidence that the American public has lost faith in corporate America.

It's not surprising investors have lost faith in the stock market and in corporations. Over the past nine months, one billion-dollar corporation after another has gone bankrupt after revelations that they have been grossly overstating their financial strength.

Reporter  V41N4

We Must Build More Navy Ships

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Our fleet is shrinking to dangerously low levels, weakening our defense & shipbuilding industry

In the first days of the war on terrorism, the U.S. Navy amassed 50 ships in international waters in the Arabian Sea, 500 miles south of land-locked Afghanistan. From that distance, they were able to launch missiles and send jet fighters on sorties into the interior of Afghanistan 500 hundred miles away.

Reporter  V41N3

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