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Posts tagged with: local news

Fighting for Your Salary Rights?

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Over the last week, our local news channels have been covering the grocery workers threat to strike. I’m not going to jump into whether or not I agree with the strikes – or unions at all for that matter – but I do want to talk about appropriate times to strike.

The last time this grocery union went on strike was in October 2003. No, I didn’t look up that fact, I remember it… CLEARLY.

If you type ‘southern california october 2003’ in Google, you won’t see anything about a grocery strike, you’ll see page after page about the horrific Cedar Fire that killed 15 people and destroyed over 2,200 homes.

In the middle of that October night, I got out of bed to see why there was a bright orange glow shining from my window and stared dumbfounded at the flames ripping up the mountainside. A short while later, the fire chief drove up the driveway and told us we had to leave – NOW.

We grabbed what we could, put the dogs in the car, and left.

We drove around for a while, stayed at friend’s homes… until they were evacuated too, and eventually ended up in a Ralph’s parking lot. Now, call me crazy, but the first thought that crossed my mind wasn’t, “Well, these folks are on strike. Maybe I should drive to Trader Joe’s.” Weirdly enough, it was more, “I’m thirsty, the dogs are thirsty, it’s hot, I’m going to get water and ice.”

I loaded the goods into my 4-Runner, gave the dogs a chance to walk around, and decided to drive to yet another friend’s house who hadn’t been evacuated. As I tried to leave the parking lot, the strikers (wearing masks to protect themselves from the huge chunks of ash falling from the orange sky) blocked the driveway to the street. I threw my arms up in frustration and one of the strikers faced me, flipped me the bird, and screamed obscenities as if somehow, I were the most vile human being in the world for shopping at a union grocery store.

That was the day the Southern California grocery store workers lost any hope of support from me then or ever.

Here we are, nearly eight years later, and I will be shopping at Ralphs – and ONLY Ralphs during the strike. If this union didn’t care about the community in its time of need, I simply can’t find the obligation or desire to care about them.

The moral of this story?

If you feel the need to strike for more money, benefits, etc., be cognizant of what is going on in your community – otherwise, you could lose any chance of support.

And trust me… people will remember for a very long time.


New Credit Card Rules…

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I was watching the news last night and was amazed by a story about a guy whose credit limit was reduced because of his new spending habits – more specifically, where he shopped. Changes in habits, like shopping at high end stores similar to Macy’s and Niemen Marcus then suddenly shopping only at dollar stores and Walmart, can influence your credit – or so the story goes.

Rather than let the issue drop, the man has turned into an activist for consumers. His website, though not updated regularly, gives some good information on important issues such as the Credit Card Bill of Rights and consumer lending laws.

If you’re having a slow day, check it out:

www.newcreditrules.com

On a side note, I think he has a good idea and his dedication is admirable but wouldn’t it be easier to not be taken advantage of if you get rid of the credit cards entirely? It seems like the site should read, ‘You are all VICTIMS’ at the top. Activism on consumer protection is necessary BUT so is consumer responsibility.

*Warning* I can’t verify the validity of his claims but he has been all over our local news stations and on Good Morning America and they are far better at fact checking than I am.


Weighing in on the Cash for Clunkers…

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I promised myself I’d never talk about politics. Political topics are a surefire way to create chaos.

But…

All I have been hearing about for the last week on every news station in San Diego is the Cash for Clunkers program and about angry car dealers who have decided to cut off the program early. Dealers have found themselves swimming in paperwork and unable to get timely reimbursement for the Clunkers (most dealers in this area have been reimbursed for less than 25% according to the reports). The Clunkers program was expected to last until November but quickly ran out of money in the first few days. More money was added to the pot, but it was used faster than expected as well.

And of course…

The local news stations have tied this topic to the heated healthcare reform debate. The ‘failure’ of this program has caused people to worry about governmental competence when it comes to their health.

What do you think?