by Rose Bonesso—Pennsylvania
As the office manager in Pittsburgh, I rarely get the opportunity to talk to the people whose lives’ are being affected daily by a struggling economy and inadequate health care the way our Organizers do. Last week; however, I answered the phone and spoke to a woman who had been canvassed the prior evening. She said that she spent most of her adult life thinking that Unions were the “problem”, but after talking with one of our Organizers, she felt differently. She opened about her own workplace where she had always made a good living in commission sales, but now, the corporation was demanding more and more and offering less and less in terms of pay, benefits and incentives. She said she was about 10 years away from retirement, and wanted to try and organize a Union!!
She went from being anti-Union to establishing herself as a Union organizer!
It’s always amazing to me the real, tangible difference that our organizers are making out in the field every single day.
Tags: economy, Health Care, union
by Erin Brainard—Colorado
This week at a door I met a single mother of three who was working three jobs to get by. She said she slept an average of three to four hours a night. She said that she had gotten a promotion recently at one of her jobs but because she was salary she was not eligible for overtime.
Tags: Jobs, wages
by Donald Pettyjohn—Ohio
While canvassing in Middletown, I met a husband and wife who were taking care of their son and his wife. The son had been locked out of his manufacturing company and lost his job and developed a rare disease since and couldn’t work. The son’s wife was battling breast cancer and also couldn’t work. The parents were retired and the father was also battling cancer. They couldn’t pay to help their son and his wife and everything else. They had to take out a mortgage on their home and file bankruptcy as well. The mother was weeping as she continued and I couldn’t help but think of all the similar stories I’ve heard since I started canvassing five moths ago and the other peoples’ doorsteps I stood on watching them weep and pour their hearts out to a complete stranger and it hit me how widespread the problem really is. You’re not supposed to take your work home with you but I can’t help it sometimes. I’m just thankful Working America gives me a chance to give these people some hope that someone is doing something about it! Go Working America! Let’s change this country one doorstep at a time!
by Jon Caldwell—Ohio
Yesterday in Mt. Healthy I walked up to three people talking by their cars. I told them about Ohio’s job loss, and they could relate. They all signed up as members and signed EFCA postcards. When it came for dues they all said they wished they could but they had no money on them at that time. I thanked them for their support and made my way back to the rest of my call-backs. After 5-7 minutes one of the guys drove to find me with a dues payment for him and both of his friends.
Tags: Jobs, membership
by Octavio Armendariz—Ohio
I was canvassing in the area of Lakewood. I had been having a rough night because I kept running into very negative people. However I went up to a door and knocked, and this really nice lady answered the door. I gave her my rap and she seemed very interested. What amazed me most was her three kids who all signed the band-aid petition. But what really got me was their involvement. As I asked what issues mattered most to them, her daughter–who must have only been thirteen if that–started to comment on how important good jobs were. The other two younger kids also gave their input on the economy and health care. I thought to myself: “Maybe there is hope for the younger generation!”
Tags: Jobs, membership
by Michael Dice—Colorado
While canvassing, I signed up a new member for Working America who is passionate about health care reform in this country. She was diagnosed several years ago with a serious autoimmune disease. She was forced to take medical retirement from a good job in California and to move to Colorado to be near family members to assist her with her physical needs. Her latest hospital bill was $95,000 dollars and she may have to file bankruptcy as a result. She had a very compelling story and wants to help out!
Tags: Health Care, membership
by Becky Angelo—Ohio
I talked to a woman in Akron area, who is retired from a company who has sold out to another company who is outsourcing. The way they are doing it is that if a current employee refuses to train people from India they are bringing in they will be fired no questions asked. They are also getting rid of a few employees at a time instead of all at once. This isn’t all. All former employee’s that are retired are losing their health care insurance starting jan 09.
Tags: Health Care, Jobs, outsourcing