March 2012

The Royal Tour with the 1% Prince, Mitt Romney

Day 1

Yesterday, we over here at Good Jobs=Great Houston, hopped on 45 N to Dallas to meet with the 1% Prince, Mitt Romney as he fundraised. He  kicked off his Texas fundraiser tour last night over at the ritzy Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Dallas. Arriving around 445 pm, we happy to see a crowd already slowly gathering in front of the hotel. Folks from Occupy Dallas and Moveon.org were busy setting up their video cameras and trying to gain support of drivers getting ready for their evening rush hour commute.

Romney, planning to hold a very private event for top paying 1%er’s had no idea that the working/taxpaying 99%, who couldn’t afford even the cheapest ticket ($2,500), felt it was time he met with the folks standing up for the 99%! Especially when on the same day he was joking about his good ol’ Dad destroying factory jobs.  Showing us how out of touch he really is ( paying only a 13.9% Federal tax rate might have a helping hand with that).

“One of most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors…  They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign…Every time they would start playing ‘On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin.”

This is humor? Joking about job loss is humor? Maybe to the 1%, but NOT us!!

Marching two blocks down to the Fairmont, a wave of protestors representing the 99% and our favorite 1%er,  Mr. Gree D. Bastard making an appearance, came ready to roll out the red carpet. As we joined with Dallas natives, Houstonians representing the 99% laid out  on the street as the red carpet was rolled over them. The 1% had to walk over them somehow, so why not in style that their used to?

Singing songs like, “We Love Romney,” set to the old hymnal tune of  “Jesus Loves Me,” and chanting loud enough for the 1%. We were able to let the Prince know that we want him to pay his fair share of Federal Taxes and if he won’t come out to meet with us, the 99%, we will go meet him!

Saying our goodbyes to our Dallas brothers and sisters. We packed our bags and hit the road to San Antonio for Romney’s second stop on his tour. More to this story later on…

Day 2: On the Royal Tour with the 1% Prince, Mitt Romney

Al Neal, Member TNG-CWA Local 39521

It was a mid-morning surprise for the 1% prince, as his Royal tour made its second stop in San Antonio. While Prince Romney prepared to cozy up with his fellow 1%er’s and their needs, We, Good Job=Great Houston, pulled up in front of the Pearl Brewery, a private and semi-secluded restaurant. We piled out of the van to meet up with a growing group of San Antonian activists. With the help and coordination of Moveon.org in San Antonio, this special 99% reception was ready to kick off its welcome.

DREAM Act activists, occupiers, and union members from all over the Greater San Antonio area came out that day and got the chanting started as we prepared to roll out the red carpet with suit jackets and top hats back on. Our own brand of 1%ers started walking and dancing over members of the 99% under the carpet. As the real 1% made its way to the private reception you could hear folks chant, “Walk on the Carpet!”

The news media in attendance was not expecting such an outpouring of protest from the 99% and were able to get great live coverage. The prince never came out to meet with us outside as he had to be in Houston that same afternoon to receive President George H.W. Bush at his office.

We said out goodbyes to San Antonio and hit the road back to Houston where the fun was about to begin.

3:30 pm

Pulling up to the West Houston office of President Bush, we were greeted by a row of news vans, secret service and HPD. We pulled off to the side, unloaded our vans and joined the rest of the Good Jobs=Great Houston crowd to begin a march down the sidewalk to deliver our message. With the rain pouring down on us, we once again rolled out the red carpet for Bush and Prince Romney, as the 99% Picket march circled around the red carpet.

“We are the 99%!”

“Hey you millionaire, pay your taxes!”

Those chants were heard loud and clear through the rain as the Princes’ caravan drove right past us. As they entered the building and began their meeting we had to jump up and head out to the Royal Tour’s last stop at the St. Regis Hotel. We marched away letting everyone know that, “We would be BACK!”

5:30pm

St Regis Hotel, conveniently located across the street from HOPE Local 123′s office was the last and final stop of the Royal Tour. Marching down with drums keeping a steady beat, we made our way two by two to the front end of the hotel. With cheers and jeers from drivers passing by on their way home we loudly delivered our message to the crowd of 1% onlookers across the way from us inside the hotel. With an intersection dividing the sidewalk into two corners, we split and made sure we could be heard from both sides. As one side chanted loudly, the other side would try going even louder. It became a back and forth that sounded like:

“We pay taxes, yes we do! We pay taxes how bout’ you!”

We had just gotten it as loud as our voices could possibly go when the Princes’ tour caravan was seen pulling into a side entrance-trying to avoid the 99% at all costs. We shuffled further down the sidewalk to make sure Romney was able to hear us loud and clear. As we began marching goodbye, “we’ll be back” was heard down the line until the last activist crossed the street back to the HOPE office. The royal tour was at its end…. But, that doesn’t mean this story is over. Tax day is right around the corner!

Also, check out all the great media coverage of all the stops where Good Jobs=Great Houston was at:

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/national-politics/20120328-mitt-romney-visits-dallas-for-private-fundraiser.ece

http://www.ksat.com/news/Holds-private-fundraiser-amidst-protests-outside/-/478452/9765262/-/c1nwlw/-/

http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/1333063808-Protesters-Chant-As-Romney-Waits-For-Bushs-Endorsement.html

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/article/Romney-picks-up-third-Bush-endorsement-drops-3442268.php

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/politics/article/Protesters-greet-Romney-at-Pearl-3444629.php

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/local/120329-romney-picks-up-powerful-endorsement-in-houston

http://www.foxsanantonio.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/vid_9698.shtml

http://radio.woai.com/cc-common/mainheadlines3.html?feed=119078&article=9970203

http://www.ksat.com/news/Group-protests-Romney-s-SA-appearance/-/478452/9758238/-/sh2bhm/-/index.html

http://www.kens5.com/news/Romney-stops-in-San-Antonio-protesters-swarm-the-Pearl-144926545.html

Leave a comment

Extra Oil Please! A Lunch Time Surprise for Senator John Cornyn

It was a lunch time surprise over at Sen. John Cornyn’s office today. Good Jobs=Great Houston, jokingly represented the 1% as big oil lobbyist. The 1% “posers”  went bearing gifts, urging the Texan senator to do the right thing and continue to support “Big Oil” subsidies. We knew that he would support “Big Oil” because “Big Oil” has helped fund many Republican campaigns.  Going waaaay back to 2010, big oil and its top executives managed to put in their pockets a total of $73 million dollars; paid out to them by the 99%, in the form of tax breaks and subsidies. Meanwhile, it’s been a tough few years for working families here in Texas, who still continue to tighten their belts as our jobs get shipped overseas and corporations keep getting millions in the form of tax breaks.

With our 1% suit jackets on and our trays of “dirty” money, we marched straight up to the door ready to deliver our message, “Big Oil needs more Tax Subsidies.”

We rang and rang over and over again, but sadly, everyone was out possibly enjoying a gourmet lunch. So we left them dessert… a heartfelt note along with our trays of oil drenched money:

Dear Sen. Cornyn

We, the 1% of oil lobbyists want to say thank you by leaving you this gift of oil and money in the hope that you will do the right thing and vote for more big oil subsidies.

Sincerely,

The 1%

For good measure, we left his office hallway adorned with signs reminding him of the support we expect for the 1% . We the 99% won’t forget that every “Yes” vote he gives will support only the wealthiest 1% (big oil and their well funded lobbyists) while ignoring the 99% of Americans paying out for all that oily money.

This week Congress will vote to end giveaways to big oil, proposed by Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) which would stop the wasteful subsidies. As Republicans continue to rant and rave that we can’t afford public education, child care services or alternative forms of energy; they continue to support their friends in the oil business by handing out cash anytime they can. Enough is enough!

As quoted by Sen. Menendez, sponsor of the bill, “At a time when families are feeling the pain at the pump and our deficit keeps growing at an alarming rate, we simply can’t afford to keep giving away billions in taxpayer handouts to oil companies that are doing nothing to help lower prices. The ‘Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act’ is based on a simple premise: we need everyone to do their share to lower the deficit, not just working families and the elderly,”

Leave a comment

Mic Check!! Stand Up Houston!!

Today, we have another Tax Dodging visitor in our City, Chicago Mercantile Exchange CEO, Craig Donohue. In honor of our Chicago “Shareholders” we decided to deliver a message from 1,000 Miles Away.

As you may have guessed, like many wealthy CEOs Craig Donohue came to Houston expecting a warm welcome from his fellow 1% executives.What he got was a VERY  special greeting from an unexpected source…the 99%, standing in for the taxpayers of Chicago and Illinois. Inside the Eight Annual Energy Trading Conference during Donohue’s keynote address we did a quick little check…a Mic Check!!

It went a little something like this:

Mr. Donohue

As you stand here today

Preparing to give the 1% tips

On how to get even richer

You are 1,000 miles away from the struggling families

Of Chicago and Illinois

And they are further from your thoughts

Even though CME will line its pockets

With over 1 billion of their tax dollars

Over the next ten years

You were only able to get that money

by making empty threats to relocate

The 99% of Chicago and Illinois can’t afford to travel here

So we are here to ask you a question

On their behalf

And on behalf of all 99% families everywhere

“What will working families get for their 1 billion dollar plus investment?”

On the outside we had the drums and  voices of the middle class telling Donohue and his #CME comrades to pay their fair share. Give Chicago what its owed! When the Illinois state legislature, pressured by empty threats of relocation, voted in late 2011 to give the CME Group over $1 billion in tax breaks over the next ten years, the working families of Chicago and Illinois became unwilling stakeholders in the highly profitable exchange. Unfortunately, the 99% has received absolutely nothing for their large investment, even though the CME is Chicago’s most profitable corporation, raking in $2 billion in profits last year alone.

This Spring, we will NOT stand for this! Houston Stand UP!! Chicago Stand Up!! WE ARE THE 99%!!

Tell us what you think on Twitter: GoodJobsHou

Leave a comment

Verizon Wireless: Can You Hear Me Now?!? No Job CUTS!!

Dozens of 99%ers posted outside of Verizon Wireless

March 22, 2012: Verizon Day of Action

Al Neal, Member TNG-CWA Local 39521

It was a sea of red and white as the Good Jobs=Great Houston Coalition today joined CWA members from Locals 6222 and 6186 outside a Verizon wireless store in downtown Houston to Protest: job cuts, outsourcing and union busting!

Verizon, while still in contract negotiations with CWA back east (trying to cut pay, job security, and benefits for current and retired members) has decided that it would be a great move to close its Houston based call center.  This would destroy a thousand good middle class jobs and hurting Houston’s struggling economy as reported by the Houston Business Journal.

Lining the sidewalk, activists marched up and down waving signs for drivers to see and chanted loudly, “Save Jobs for America, Stop outsourcing!”, “Jobs not Cuts!” and While out on the road, drivers showed their support by honking their horns and waving out their windows.

Leave a comment

Stand Up for Verizon Workers!

Stand Up for Verizon Workers!

Having a respect and a voice on the job is one thing, having no voice, no respect and no contract is quite another. However, this is exactly what is happening to thousands of workers employed by Verizon Wireless and Verizon call centers nationwide.


As CWA’ers in Districts 1 and 2-13(east coast) continue fighting for a fair contract, Verizon CEO’s keep trying to union- bust any efforts by Verizon Wireless workers to organize and gain collective bargaining rights. Currently, only about five dozen Verizon Wireless workers are represented by CWA.


Verizon, showing little interest in member issues has spent the last nine months of negotiation targeting benefits, job security, pensions and work rules for termination; while continuing to make record profits. In fact, in the last four years, the top five Verizon executives made a combined total of $283 million dollars and paid zero federal income taxes from 2008-2010, while still getting nearly $ 1 billion dollars in tax rebates, courtesy of hard working folks.


But, that’s only back east. It doesn’t affect us down here in Houston right? Wrong!


Just last week the Houston Business Journal broke the news that Verizon is going to  close its Houston call center; cutting 1,000 jobs right here in our own town. Claiming it was a “difficult decision” Verizon stated that this move meant to “maximize existing company resources and real estate assets and enhance customer service.” Displaced customer service representatives have been given the option to pack up and move to similar positions around the country, receiving a $10,000 dollar relocation package. If they decide not to take that offer a severance package will be given. Though this sounds like a good deal. Verizon fails to realize the hardships this closing will have on call center employees and that picking up and relocating isn’t as easy as cutting a check from a cozy high-rise office. They also fail to realize how it will affect the economy here in Houston.

Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Wells Fargo (now pay your taxes!)

Today is Wells Fargo’s 160th birthday. We couldn’t let America’s 4th largest bank, and one of America’s biggest tax dodgers have their special day without paying them a visit. As we all know, Wells Fargo traditionally celebrates in style.  In 2009, as a birthday present to themselves, they acquired Wachovia while giving off the illusion of tightening their belts. To add icing to the cake, they even got the taxpayers to foot the bill by writing off $74 billion in “losses” on their federal income taxes as a result of the acquisition. To that type of juggling, we say, “You’re welcome, Wells Fargo.”

Of course, Wells Fargo has been getting big gifts from the taxpayers since 2008. Despite being a large and wildly profitable brokerage and bank, Wells Fargo got $680 million in federal income tax benefits INSTEAD of paying taxes over the last three tax seasons, and spent over $11 million on Washington lobbyists. I imagine the parties were hearty in all 58 of their overseas subsidiaries in countries designated as tax havens. CEO John Stumpf and the Wells Fargo board all enjoyed $141 million in total compensation during that same time period. Stumpf took home $13.8 million in 2008 alone. Wells Fargo always celebrates their birthdays lavishly, they just make the guests pay for the cake. And the presents. And the ice cream. And the DJ.

So today, a group of about 30 visitors bearing gifts, a cake, and even a clown came to Wells Fargo’s home base in Houston to wish the tax dodgers a happy 160th birthday. Check out the video to see what happened!

Leave a comment

Houstonians Disrupt El Paso Shareholders’ Meeting

At first, El Paso scheduled their shareholders’ meeting for Tuesday, March 6. Then they got the word that there were going to be protesters there, so in a surprise move unprecedented in corporate American culture they got scared and moved their shareholders’ meeting to Friday, March 9.

But they didn’t deter the protesters from rallying 100 strong outside. And they certainly didn’t expect the protesters to also be shareholders on the inside.

Inside

We had roving “mic checks” with groups of 4 apiece, talking about a different issue relating to El Paso’s greed. One mic check referred to the proposed Kinder Morgan acquisition that we wrote about here. One mic check talked about El Paso’s tax dodging habits, netting them a $41 million federal income tax refund on $4.1 billion in profits since 2008. Another mic check mentioned that the $41 million El Paso got back in refunds could offset HISD’s expected budget cut of $41 million for the following year. Our people on the inside made up over half of the total crowd at the shareholders’ meeting.

Outside

There were over 100 people rallying outside of El Paso’s HQ, who had marched that morning from City Hall. There was plenty of visual spectacle– pig suits, Doug Foshee puppets, drumming, and plenty of great chants like:

WE’RE NOT BROKE / THAT’S A FACT / FUND OUR SCHOOLS / WITH CORPORATE TAX

HOW TO END THE DEFICIT / TAX EL PASO AND THE RICH

EL PASO’S TAX RATE IS A JOKE / PAY YOUR TAXES, WE’RE NOT BROKE

41 MILLION DOLLARS / TAX REFUNDS THAT MAKE ME HOLLER

YOUR TAX REFUND IS TOO BIG / TAX THE GREEDY CORPORATE PIGS

HEY EL PASO, READ OUR SIGNS / SCHOOLS AND JOBS ARE ON THE LINE

TAX DODGING IS THE WORST / FUNDING SCHOOLS / SHOULD COME FIRST

It was a great end to a week full of action against corporate tax dodgers, particularly against El Paso. Check out the pictures below, and be on the lookout for video of the inside coming soon! We even got mentioned nationally in Reuters, and locally in the Houston Business Journal!

Leave a comment

Protesters Shake Up the El Paso Shareholders Meeting

Today a landmark merger happened here in Houston and we made our mark! El Paso Corp  held its shareholders meeting to announce the merger with Kinder Morgan. We had an army of a hundred who represented the voice of the people inside and outside the shareholders meeting. We let El Paso, the tax dodging, job cutting, corporation know it’s time they pay their fair share.  El Paso knows that the pressure is on and the we, the 99%, are on to their tax dodging tactics and are aware of the fuzzy math they use to calculate the supposed income taxes they paid.

Earlier this week reps from El Paso told the press they paid over  $750 million in federal, state and other taxes during the period 2008-2010 and had an effective tax rates of 24 percent for 2008, 46 percent for 2009 and 29 percent for 2010. Booooo! We looked at the reports and the money does NOT add up. What they forgot to mention is that they made $1.2 billion in profit and received a federal tax refund of $4 million, a -0.3% federal tax refund. They also didn’t mention how they skipped out on the bill to repair roads, provide infrastructure and keep our city safe when they didn’t pay their fair share.

We’re no longer going to let these corporate pigs bring home the bacon with out paying their fair share.

Check us out in action outside of El Paso:

http://www.39online.com/newsfix/kiah-tax-protest-turns-into-pig-chants-20120307,0,3528729.story

"Pay Your Fair Share!!!"

Leave a comment

Want a good job?

The IUOE (Int’l Union of Operational Engineers) is offering apprenticeships with good wages and a shot at the big time here in Houston! Here’s all the information you need to apply. If this is up your alley, don’t hesitate to call/email these guys and let them know you’re interested!

———————

CAREER DAY APPRENTICESHIP INFORMATION

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local Union 450 Apprenticeship and Training Fund is a skilled based, minimum 3 year, 6,000 hour paid on the job training program with non-paid related classroom instruction of 144 hours a year for a total of at least 432 hours of classroom training during the course of the program. There are no guarantees for job placement as to when employment will start or how long it will last.

This program is designed to train heavy equipment operators to work safely on forklifts to large cranes and other equipment in the industrial and commercial construction field.

This is not a technical, civil or survey engineering program.

Operating Engineers can expect extremes of noise, dust, wind, rain, cold, heat and at times prolonged periods of temporary unemployment. However, it can be a very rewarding career choice for those that are attracted to outdoor work with good wages, family health insurance and a true lifetime pension plan or an annuity fund or both pension and annuity fund.

This program is committed to following an equal opportunity pledge without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

The period for accepting applications is open throughout the year with applicant interviews twice a year. Scheduled interviews will be conducted in the Spring and Fall, usually April and September to accept a pre-determined number of new applicants for the Apprenticeship Program with the deadline for accepting applications set approximately 2 weeks before the interview. All applications received past the deadline will be considered for the following scheduled interview. Applicants must sign the Log-In Sheet to receive an application.

It is advised that applicants read the Standards of Apprenticeship and the front cover sheets before filling out the application to gain some knowledge about what the Operating Engineers and the Apprenticeship is comprised of and what is expected of an apprentice while in the program. The Standards and Program information can be viewed at www.iuoelocal450.org.                       1

Applicants must be physically capable of performing the essential functions of the Apprenticeship Program; at least age 18; provide official transcripts with High School diploma and any secondary education or training records or a GED Certificate with transcripts; provide a copy of their Social Security card, Birth Certificate, a valid Driver’s License and possess reliable transportation; be able to qualify for and obtain a Class A CDL Driver’s License; be considered acceptable for employment on most industrial and commercial premises throughout the jurisdiction of Local Union 450 through graded background checks that will allow the applicant access to at least half of the area’s industrial facilities; furnish proof of USA Citizenship or a legal permanent resident or in the process of becoming a citizen of the USA; and veterans must submit a copy of their DD-214. All copies and records must be submitted along with the completed application to be eligible for the Apprenticeship Interview.

Apprenticeship wage schedules start at 65% of journeyman wages resulting in a scale between approximately $12.50 per hour to over $19.00 per hour for first period probationary apprentices due to the different types of Collective Bargaining Agreements. Apprentices receive 5% periodic wage increases for  every 1000 hours of On-the-Job-Training throughout the course of the program. Applicants are probationary for the first 1000 hours.

Due to the  nature of the occupation of Operating Engineer and the devastating consequences that can occur due to operator error as a result of mental or physical impairment caused by the influence of controlled or illegal substances, a zero tolerance drug policy will be enforced using the latest most effective drug testing method available. The Pyschemedics’ hair follicle analysis will be used for all required tests including random testing throughout program participation.

Members are dispatched for work as long as they are qualified for that particular job, from an out-of-work list in Central Dispatch following the list in numerical order according to the date and time that the member phoned in for placement on the out-of-work-list. Probationary Apprentices can get on the Out-of-Work-List after completing registration; experience, qualifications and certifications will be considered in being dispatched for a job assignment.

2

Upon completion of the probationary period, applicants will be required to join the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local Union 450. The primary purpose of the union is to represent workers on their job and to negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements that improves wages, benefits, working conditions and protects workers from unfair treatment.

The IUOE is an organization that encourages a higher standard of skill among its members with equal opportunity and without any discrimination; promotes, fosters and develops apprentice programs, training programs and other means to advance the skills, efficiency and working knowledge of its members; assists its members in securing and stabilizing employment; assists employers in obtaining skilled craftsmen; strives to cultivate feelings of friendship among the membership of the craft and those who may employ its members; promotes the health, welfare and safety of its members and their families; encourages brotherhood, equality and a sense of belonging and well being through its membership meetings, improved wages, and hours, working conditions, family health insurance, and lifetime pension plans.

The IUOE is committed and dedicated to training its members and apprentices through its National Training Fund and is convinced that having qualified safety orientated operators is the key to bringing construction workers home each night safely to their families and loved ones and the most cost effective way of doing business for the construction industry.

As with everything else, there are costs incurred in providing these services to our membership and these expenses must be paid for by our members through the use of union dues. These dues cover the salaries and benefits of its business representatives, office staff, secretaries, officers and organizers; building and office expenses such as meeting space, office space, equipment, supplies, maintenance and utilities; travel, lodging and vehicles expenses;                                                       union governance; per capita payments to the international union;                                                        handling grievances, collective bargaining and coordinating representatives; research concerning wages, contract language and job descriptions;                      legal fees such as attorneys, CPAs and taxes; training of representatives;                mailings, newsletters, publications, telephones, web sites and more.

3

Dues structure is based on $25 a month per member, probationary apprentice dues are $6.25 a week when working and applied toward membership, both groups are responsible for payments directly to the union, these dues are not withheld by payroll. Employers do withhold 3% of gross wages from payroll for working dues while working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

To be fair, consider that individuals working otherwise pay likewise fees if they participate in a 401-K or similar type of retirement and family health insurance plan through their employers. There is a huge difference between a 401-K and having a true lifetime pension plan that guarantees the same regular dependable monthly income despite an up and down stock market.

The Apprenticeship Program is partnered with the Houston Community College System and the only cost to our students is the HCC tuition of $100.80 per year. Our students will have the same benefits that HCC students have and will be granted 26 hours of college credit toward an associate’s degree at the completion of the program if they should decide to further their education. Certain details apply to this benefit but should not deter anyone from taking advantage of this opportunity. Everything else while in the Program is paid for by the Apprenticeship, some things such as drug tests and some certifications will require out of pocket costs but will be reimbursed when producing receipts and proof of passing the tests.

APPLICATION / QUESTIONNAIRE AND INTERVIEW SCORING PROCEDURES

All applications are graded. The applicant must score at least 70% on the application/pre-employment questionnaire to qualify for an interview.

The interview will be given by one person from management and one person from labor and graded by each. The interview scores will be combined with the application/questionnaire score to formulize the final total score.

A pre-determined number of applicants will be accepted starting from the highest score downward in descending order to 70% of the final total score (the minimum for acceptance), even if the pre-determined number has not been met. The applicant must score at least 70% of the final total score to be a conditionally accepted apprentice into the Apprenticeship Program.

4

Some of the RESPONSIBILITES OF THE APPRENTICE are to:

Perform diligently and faithfully the work of the occupation;

Respect the property of the employer and abide by the working rules and regulations of the employer, the employer’s client, the union and the apprenticeship program;

Obtain all required certifications by the end of the apprenticeship term. Attend on time and satisfactorily complete the required hours of On-the-Job-Training and related classroom instruction;

Maintain and make available such records of work experience and training received on the job and in related classroom instruction;

Develop and practice safe working habits and work in such a manner as to assure the apprentice’s personal safety and that of other workers;

Work for the original assigned employer until the end of the assignment;

Conduct themselves at all times in a creditable and ethical manner, realizing that much time, money and effort are spent to afford them an opportunity to become a skilled journeyman, be awake and alert at all times;

Follow authoritative instruction of all immediate supervisors including employer, journeyman operators, foremen, steward, and safety and site inspection personnel in a respectful and subordinate manner;

Sign and return on time all completed forms as required by the Program; Keep up-to-date telephone and address information current with Apprenticeship and Local Union 450 and respond ASAP when contacted by these offices;

Submit all applicable fees and dues required by IUOE Local Union 450 and keep their monthly financial status current and in good standing;

Submit to and pass all required drug tests and stay free of the influence of controlled substances or alcohol while on the job;

Be acceptable for employment on most industrial and commercial premises in Local 450’s area with a low enough graded background rating for access to at least half of the area’s industrial facilities, and sign all consent forms.                        5

CLASS SCHEDULES

The Program has two first year groups due to the bi-annual interviews, the Spring Group and the Fall Group. All classroom instruction will be Tuesdays thru Fridays. The new first year Fall Group classes start the last week of November with 4 days of 10 hour classes for their first 40 hours of class.

The first year Spring Group class starts the first week of December with 4 days of 10 hour classes for 40 hours, finishing their third week of classroom instruction.

The second week of the Fall Group classes begins the first week of January, for another 40 hours of classroom instruction, Tuesday thru Friday.

The fourth and final week of the Spring Group classes begins the second week of January for 40 hours, finishing their first year of classroom instruction.

The Second and Third Year Groups start their year in January with an 8 hour Saturday crane yard  class at one of our contractor’s crane yards. This is done once a month for 8 months throughout the year for a total of 64 hours leaving 80 hours of classroom instruction for the year. There will be 8 classes in the Houston area and 8 classes in the Beaumont area until we have acquired all the proper equipment for training at our new Dayton facility.

Summer Classes will be Tuesday thru Friday for a total of 80 hours beginning at the end of June thru the end of August with 4 days of 10 hour classes, for 40 hours of classroom instruction for each month. Also, for those without CDL’s there will be one Saturday of CDL Express training for each first year group.

Our training program is a member of ATAT, the Apprenticeship and Training Association of Texas and should any applicants decide that the Operating Engineers Program is not suitable for them, they can obtain a list with contact information for the other area apprenticeship programs.

CONTACT INFORMATION

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS                                                                                 LOCAL UNION 450 APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING FUND                                                                    LOCAL 450 PRESIDENT / APPRENTICESHIP COORDINATOR: PERRY DUEITT

8441 GULF FREEWAY, SUITE 302, HOUSTON, TX 77017 / TEL: 713-847-0006

CEL: 832-226-2362 / FAX: 713-847-8024 / EMAIL: pdueitt@iuoelocal450.org

ATAT / HOUSTON CHAPTER

APPRENTICESHIP & TRAINING ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS

JOINT APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING PROGRAMS

Construction Trades Work/Study Programs

Program                                             Address                                  Training Director                                                                                                                                                          ______________________________________________________________________________

Insulators/Asbestos                             2318 Center St. #302              Robert M. Chadwick

Deer Park, Texas                     281/479-6842

77536                             fax:   281/542-6328

_____aw22jatc@insulators.org ___

Carpenters / Millwrights                     8505 Glen Vista                      George Wright            Houston, Texas                                                            713/641-0275

77061                             fax:   713/641-0610

g.wright3347@yahoo.com _

Cement Mason or                                2704 Sutherland                      Isaiah Wheatfall

Plasterer                                             Houston, TX 77023                713/923-4164

_____________________________________________________ texaswheat@aol.com ______

Electrical-Houston                              108 Covern                             Gary Strouz

Houston, Texas                       713/649-2739

77061                             fax:   713/649-1166

brinkmeyer@att.net garystrouz@hotmail.com __

Ironworker’s                                       7521 Fauna                             Terry Sieck

Houston, Texas                       713/644-3206

77061                             fax:   713/644-3207

iw84jac@msn.com _____

Operating Engineers                           8441 Gulf Fwy, Ste. 302        Perry Dueitt

Houston, Texas                       713/847-0006

77017                             fax:   713/847/8024

dcopeland@iuoelocal450.org pdueitt@iuoelocal450.org

Painters, Glaziers,                               5425 Spindle Drive                 Felipe Viesca

Floor Layers                                        Houston, Texas                       281/931-8489

77086                             fax:   281/931-8462

fviesca@iupatdc88.com

Pipe Fitters                                          2507 Old Galveston Rd.         Ira Schramek

Houston, Texas                       713/649-0201

77017                             fax:   713/649-1051

cvhf@comcast.net ira_schramek@sbcglobal.net

Plumbers                                             454 Link Road                        Robert Cross

Houston, Texas                       713/861-3202

77007                             fax:   713/861-5616

jrhapjac@att.net lu68hapjac@att.net________

Sheet Metal                                         900 West 34th St.                    Richard Stanfield

Houston, Texas                       713/869-5843

77018-6319                    fax:   713/869-9553

__                                            richard@local54.org ______

Houston Community College             3601 Fannin, Ste. 133             Douglas Posey

Director of Apprenticeship                 Houston, Texas                       713/718-6827

77004                             fax:   713/718-6815

_____________________________ sandra.watson@hccs.edu ____douglas.posey@hccs.edu ___

IUOE LOCAL UNION 450 APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING FUND

DRUG TESTING POLICY:

ALL APPLICANTS ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM ARE CONDITIONAL, SUBJECT

TO A SATISFACTORY PSYCHEMEDICS’

HAIR FOLLICLE DRUG TEST, PAID FOR BY APPLICANT, RESULTS SUBMITTED TO THE APPRENTICESHIP COORDINATOR,

REIMBURSEMENT PAID WHEN DRUG

TEST RESULTS COME BACK NEGATIVE

BACKGROUND SCREENING POLICY:

CONDITIONAL APPLICANTS MUST SIGN DISA BACKGROUND SCREENING RELEASE CONSENT FORMS TO DETERMINE IF ACCEPTABLE FOR EMPLOYMENT ON MOST INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL PREMISES IN THE JURISDICTION OF LOCAL 450 THROUGH GRADED BACKGROUND CHECKS THAT WILL ALLOW THE APPLICANT ACCESS TO AT LEAST HALF OF THE AREA’S INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS                               LOCAL UNION 450 APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING FUND

THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS LOCAL UNION 450 APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING FUND WILL BE CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS APRIL 21, 2012 TO ACCEPT 30 NEW APPLICANTS INTO THE OPERATING ENGINEERS APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM FOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATOR TRAINING IN INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION.

( THIS IS NOT A TECHNICAL, CIVIL OR SURVEY ENGINEERING PROGRAM )

APPLICANTS MUST SIGN THE LOG-IN SHEET TO RECEIVE AN APPLICATION AT IUOE LOCAL 450, 8441 GULF FREEWAY, SUITE 302, HOUSTON, TX 77017.

APRIL 6, 2012 IS THE DEADLINE FOR ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS WITH ALL THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS FOR THE APRIL 21ST INTERVIEW. ALL APPLICATIONS RECEIVED PAST THE DEADLINE WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR THE NEXT SCHEDULED INTERVIEW ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2012. THE PERIOD FOR ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS IS OPEN THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

THE LOCAL JOINT APPRENTICESHIP COMMITTEE COMMITS TO THE FOLLOWING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY PLEDGE:

“THE RECRUITMENT, SELECTION, EMPLOYMENT, AND TRAINING OF APPRENTICES DURING THEIR APPRENTICESHIP, WILL BE WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR SEX. THE SPONSOR WILL TAKE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION TO PROVIDE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN APPRENTICESHIP AND WILL OPERATE THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM AS REQUIRED UNDER TITLE 29 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, PART 30.

PERRY DUEITT                                                                                                         APPRENTICESHIP COORDINATOR                                                                                         TEL: 713-847-0006 / FAX: 713-847-8024                                                                                     EMAIL: pdueitt@iuoelocal450.org

Leave a comment

1 Percenters Rally to Save the 1 Percent

On a humid March day in downtown Houston, protesters began to gather with signs around the headquarters of El Paso Corp, numbering at least 20 strong. Police and security looked visibly nervous, and onlookers crossing the street were curious about what was going to happen.

Then, out of nowhere, a long black stretch limo pulls up, and several people emerge– some in suit jackets and pig noses, acting as “security,” two in suits and giant pig heads, and someone else in a plush pink pig suit. The corporate pigs waved at passersby and protesters like celebrities, and hoisted glasses of champagne, toasting each other and everyone else. They started leading chants among themselves like,

“Enough is Not Enough!”

“The 1 Percent United/Will Never Be Defeated!”

“Money money money/Money!”

A pig with a bullhorn introduced himself as “Gree D. Bastard,” the CEO of “this fine company,” and his other pig colleagues as “Sir Makes-a-Lot” (from their UK operations office) and “Maureen Money” (her friends call her “Mo Money”). Why were the corporate pigs in the limo speaking out?

Turns out, the pigs were upset that despite paying their lobbyists $2.9 million since 2008, they had only managed to scrape by with a -1% federal income tax rate. In the meantime, their neighbor next door, Centerpoint, paid their DC lobbyists only $2.7 million, yet managed to get away with paying a -14.7% federal income tax rate. Not to mention their competitor, GE, who had paid a -45% federal income tax rate in that same time period. The pig even gestured to Wells Fargo across the street, pointing out that the company had gotten over $680 million in tax refunds since 2008 and paid no federal income taxes, yet their company only got $41 million in tax refunds in the last three years.

While the protesters booed and jeered the pigs, Gree (or “Mr. Bastard,” as he preferred to be called) held fast. He insisted he wasn’t a corporate pig, but a “job creator.” The jobs he said he created with his tax refunds included the hiring of maids, landscapers, limousine drivers, cooks, personal trainers and pool cleaners. He reminded the crowd that with a bigger tax refund, his wealth would surely “trickle down” to the rest of them, likely in the form of a “yellow stream, with an odd smell.” But he did his best to assure everyone that not to worry, the trickling substance was indeed wealth. One protester had commented that the $41 million tax refund that Mr. Bastard’s company received since 2008 could offset HISD’s pending budget cut next year of $41 million. His response?

Gree: “What’s more important? Schools and the education and well-being of Houston’s children in public schools, or my bottom line?”

Protesters: “The children!”

Gree: “Wrong! My bottom line! Huzzah!”

Gree D. Bastard and his friends promised that they would be protesting at El Paso Corp’s shareholder meeting on Friday, demanding more tax refunds. Will they show up?

Check out these pictures of today’s action!

Leave a comment