Friday, December 19, 2008

More Evergreen Insurance stuff.

Good story in the TS today: Evergreen workers' insurance gets cut. Only thing I thought pertinent that was missing is that workers have to pay for the COBRA plan. It is not a gift from the company. By terminating the program, there is no "group" advantage in price structuring.

If you are an Evergreen worker still looking for insurance options contact Jeff Pauli at 445-5496. Diane Ben has also offered to explain options at 444-3094 ext. 7609. Or check out Temporary Health Insurance online.


Anonymous said...

Richard the article says you are the president of the local union chapter.Is that correct? Thought you stepped down. Was the TS misinformed?

samoasoftball said...

I am president until Jan 1st 2009.

jmc said...

Richard and all of the members of Local 49 AWPPW.


Hawkmoon said...

Waaaa. Boo hoo. Cry me a river. It's over. Get over it and move on with your life. You really should have seen it coming though and prepared for it all.

Anonymous said...

Get over what? The fact that both the U.S. middle class and domestic manufacturing base are quickly evaporating here in this country?

Who did you think bought those Fords and Chevys in the first place? The wealthy elites? The homeless?

When the automaker bailout money runs out, there are still going to be jobs needed in order to purchase these vehicles in the future. If we are not buying them now, who do you think is going to be buying them six months or a year from now?

Maybe after they rid the country of the middle class, they will also eliminate the federal minimum wage too, and pay our own workers in this country the same wages as they do over in Asia.

Remember, we are now a global economy. Guess we ought to embrace a one common world currency too, while we are at it!

Let's be honest here, isn't that really the long term plan anyway. Otherwise, how else could our country 'compete' fairly with these other countries?

At some point, these issues are going to boil over and then, we will really have a national debate over it.

Anonymous said...

Hawkmoon - You really must be some kind of a jerk.
Workers from Evergreen have been devoted to the company for many years and have taken pride it making something that is used all over the world.
We have been dedicated to the company and produced a product that has made millions for the owners. It just may be that the “New way” of doing things is to cut and run, leaving the people that have produced, without anything...
What ever happened to an HONEST days work?

Hawkmoon said...

Yes, it is a global economy, and the rich do not care about whether we have a job or not. That's why the working class like the pulp mill workers need to wake up and smell the coffee. These jobs are disappearing, and while I do feel compassion for those who have lost their jobs, there is nothing like being well prepared for the inevitable. You should always have a backup plan in life. Things change quickly these days and workers must be ready to change quickly as well.

Not A Native said...

Anon 7:09. I'm guessing you're an Evergreen worker. If you truly have conviction that the plant makes a great product and is profitable, would you invest in it yourself and agree to participate in a ESOP? If you won't, I'd say its you who are cutting and running too.

Anonymous said...

You union guys just blow my cork..
You push for more benefits and
then make your product over
priced and then cry when the
companies go broke..look at the
auto companies..Unions are a
thing of the past...get used
to it...

Rambo said...

Thing of the past??? My union at OHSU is the greatest. We have 2 ONA and AFSCME. Also I think teamsters and Longshoremen may disagree. Your Union is only as strong as it members. Be it that some have created high wages that caused issues (see Boing for a example) this is also usually only at companys that can afford to pay those high wages. Mostly what any union member wants is a decent livable wage, Health bennies and to be treated right by upper management.

Anonymous said...

I bet at you are thinking-Those darned ol' 'union guys'!

Yea, I'd hate to 'pop your cork', but they are usually the ones who can whip out their medical insurance cards at the ER, while the majority of the others who are in need of medical attention can not.

Anon 2:50, have you figured out yet why our domestic health system is now in dire straits? When the system finally reaches the point where it is going to collapse, it is because for the vast majority of Americans who now use it, they can no longer afford to pay for services rendered, hence the hospital has to absorb the charges.

Oh well, if the mill doesn't reopen, socialized medical services are on the way anyway. And why not, the rest of the country is already on it (congressman, senators, military, governmental agencies, low income).

You guys at the mill worked long hours and paid taxes into the system.

Once the new governmental health care bill is passed, everyone will be on board then!

Anonymous said...


'Not A Native' has a valid point here. Your Local membership needs to take a firm stand now and show a sincere willingness that they are truly interested in their own destiny by indicating that they could accept some form of an ownership stake in the mill's future if available to them.

I would think that this would be an important first step and or gesture to the rest of the community that your group wants the mill to remain here operating in the county for many years to come.

To say these days that one is 'only in it for the paycheck' isn't going to cut it anymore.

If your group shows this willingness to want to explore this option (ESOP or other form of partnership), then you might begin to see some additional support from some of the 'hardball' business or economic 'heavy hitters'.

You need the support right now of the community and trust me, they don't want to lose that mill and the economic benefits from it either. Ask the county sups. to help you explore options, along with affected city councils, business leaders, etc. Get everyone on board.

And I'd bet for some of those managers back at the mill, they would be more than willing to sign on to such a plan so that they wouldn't have to once again move to another state to go to work elsewhere. Remember, there still needs to be bosses and there still needs to be workers in order to run it.

Might make for a nice legacy to leave your children and or grand children that all of you stepped up to the plate together (employees and community) and were able to save the mill and those good paying jobs for many generations to come.

If you as a group don't want to act on this, then take a busload around and look at some of the other mill operations that have gone away for good. You won't have to drive very far!

samoasoftball said...

8:03am- I have tried to convince my fellow workers about Employee ownership on more than one occasion and only suffered grief in the process. NAN is correct in workers controlling their own destiny but "cutting and running" may be too strong. Just need to be educated on the process.

Not A Native said...

I agree anon 8:03. The community would stand up for the mill if enough workers showed their commitment to take responsibility. Conversely, if the millworkers aren't willing to invest.....

If support for investing is about education, what are the reasons there is still being lack of understanding? Its been many years this has been discussed.

A teenager can get a university degree in four years. Educating a already unionized mill worker whose job is at stake would seem to be easier. What kind of "grief" have you been receiving?

Since he's been in the news with a large personal interest, where is John Mathson on the ESOP idea? He's a good person to start with because having been making $70,000 a year, he's prety senior. His commitment to give back and invest would show solidarity with younger, lower paid workers.

Anonymous said...

Hail to the chief.

Anonymous said...

Or is it hale to the chief?

Anonymous said...

Grief? If that mill doesn't reopen, there will be a whole new meaning to the word 'grief', the description: depleted billfolds!

Are there really that many jobs out there locally paying 50 to 70K a year?