Saturday, November 13, 2004

To Jack Shea -- the mix from Les Ludwig

Jack Shea, President of the Allgheny County Council of Labor, is to be commended, with the others, in their attempts to convince City Council to vote against Act 47. They held a meeting yesterday at the Teamsters 249 Union Hall.

We have spoken out against the Act 47 along with the ICA.

Whatever efforts were decided upon, house to house, face to face campaign, hopefully these efforts will have the desired effect to convince City Council to vote against Act 47 and ICA by more than a single vote majority as a message to Harrisburg.

But what then?

How is bankruptcy to be avoided with the dangers that are part and parcel of this course of action in terms of unions and city destruction?

Jack, there is a potential answer that is more than a stop gap grant or as council members said, "We were repeatedly asked in Harrisberg, 'What's the number of dollars to avoid bankruptcy for Pgh?'"

This is not a reasoned approach but rather a Dutch Boy Solution resulting from the pressure of the moment.

Jack, it's your power to call upon leadership in every county of our state to ask -- or may demand -- those union leaders support because if not drectly then indirectly they will be threatened by what happens here in Pittsburgh. These county union leaders should call and email State Represenatives, State Senators and the Governor to pass the Insurance Tax increase to at least 4% for the benefit of Class 1 and 2 Cities. (The tax is presently 2%.)

This tax increase puts Pittsburgh in the black before the cuts and would allow a cooling off period to the next session of the legislature. Can we deffuse the heat. Learn from the suggested cuts and move a funded Pittsburgh and Phila forward to a successful recovery.

The legislation, in our view, should call for long-term commitments of help, but only until these communities can pay their way again.

Also, the legislation should stipulate those specific economic conditions that would allow the help to start and stop automatically so that the current pressure for a solution does not reoccur.

Jack, please, if you agree, copy to all the union leadership in the state.

More details at the Wiki,

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