Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"AFL-CIO Reaffirms Commitment to Single Payer--Demands Fixes to Obama's Affordable Care Act."

"AFL-CIO Reaffirms Commitment to Single Payer--Demands Fixes to Obama's Affordable Care Act."

This was a recent headline in a union newsletter.

But; is this true or intended to suck us into thinking the AFL-CIO intends to do something when nothing of the sort is true as a way to subvert rank-and-file action?

This kind of trickery to disrupt, stymie and thwart has become a hallmark of Obama and his supporters who include Richard Trumka and each and every member of the AFL-CIO's Executive Council.

It is all about barking loud with no intent to bite.

I would note that at its previous national convention, in order to win support for Obamacare the AFL-CIO's "leadership" had to agree to support a resolution calling for single-payer.

Has anyone seen or heard any indication since then that the AFL-CIO intended to launch a campaign for single-payer which would have to include the creation of a new working class political party since the Democratic Party is solidly opposed to single-payer?

By once again pretending concern about ACA and feigning support for single-payer, Trumka and his fellow blowhards hope to undermine and head off a real struggle for single-payer.

The ACA was intended to be a further attack on the working class and true to their selfishness, these labor "leaders" hope to work out an agreement acceptable to their members by selling out the majority of the working class on health care the same way these AFL-CIO "leaders" have sold out the rest of the working class on the Minimum Wage and in refusing to call for repealing and rescinding "At-Will Employment" legislation which is an attack on democracy, rights at work and the main and primary impediment to union organizing.

Many people ask me this question:

What reason would union "leaders" have to work more closely with Wall Street and its politicians instead of for the good of their own members and the rest of the working class?

The motive for this kind of class collaboration is kind of hidden until one looks more closely at the real connection between Wall Street and these labor "leaders."

Well; check out this letter I got from Mike Stotz which came on stationary with the AFL-CIO's letterhead. Reading this letter one has to ask if Wall Street hasn't chosen Richard Trumka to "lead" the AFL-CIO in the same way the Big Three chose Bob King to "lead" the UAW and the same way US Steel and INCO/Vale chose Leo Gerard to "lead" the USW and the same way Verizon chose Larry Cohen to "lead" the CWA:

September 9, 2013

Josh Goldstein
(202) 251-7438


AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund Reaches Financial Milestone,
$4 Billion in Pension Plan Commitments to the Fund

Los Angeles - The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund, a collective investment fund available to qualified pension plans, today announced it has grown to more than $4 billion in investment commitments by union, Taft-Hartley and public employee pension plans since its inception in 2011.

“The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund reaching $4 billion is a great accomplishment. It shows that the pension plans of union workers have a strong interest in pooling their investment dollars and demonstrates their belief in the power of shareholder activism,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund provides a low cost investing strategy with an annual investment management fee of just 1.5 basis points (0.015%). The objective of the Fund is to track the returns of the U.S. large cap equity market as represented by the S&P 500 Index, resulting in low fees and expenses.

The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund promotes good corporate governance through proxy voting and shareholder activism. Unlike many competing index fund products, the Fund votes entirely in line with the AFL-CIO Proxy Voting Guidelines, as does ASB Capital Management which manages the Fund.

“The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is a powerful opportunity for pension plans to reduce investment costs while promoting good corporate governance through proxy voting and responsible capital stewardship,” said Michael Stotz, President of the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation. “The growth shows that the labor movement is willing to literally invest in its values.”

In 2013, the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund submitted shareholder proposals to reform executive compensation practices and to establish independent chairs of corporate boards. After filing these proposals, the Fund successfully negotiated changes in executive compensation practices at Citigroup and Chesapeake Energy, and Pitney Bowes established an independent board chair.

Overall, CEOs of S&P 500 Index companies made 354 times the average wages of rank-and-file workers in 2012. The Wall Street Journal commented on the Fund’s activism that “changes pushed by activist investors are helping tie management compensation more closely to corporate performance, and eliminating several practices that critics have seen as excessive or unfair.” (“Longstanding Pay Practices Under Attack by Activists,” March 20, 2013.)

The Fund has shown strong performance by tracking the S&P 500 Index closely, and beat the Lipper S&P 500 Index Fund Universe average return by 60 basis points in the 12-month period ending 6/30/13. The Fund ranks in the top 15 percent in returns in the Lipper S&P 500 Index Fund Universe Rankings.

The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is one of several pension investment vehicles licensed by the AFL-CIO. Other AFL-CIO licensed investment programs include the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust is an open-ended, commingled core real estate fund. The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust is a fixed-income investment fund that is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


About the AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation:

The AFL-CIO Investment Trust Corporation (ITC) is an institutional investor relations firm that provides non-fiduciary marketing services to investment funds seeking to grow within the multi-employer and public fund markets. The fund is managed by ASB Capital Management, a registered investment adviser based in Bethesda, MD.

Fund is subject to market risk. The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is not a mutual fund. It is a collective investment fund established by Chevy Chase Trust Company under Maryland banking law, and its units are exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933. Investments in the Fund are not deposits, obligations of, or insured by Chevy Chase Trust Company, ASB Capital Management LLC, the United States government, or any United States government agencies. This is not a prospectus and has not been approved by the SEC.

AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund
The AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund is a collective investment fund available to AFL-CIO affiliated qualified pension plans. The AFL-CIO is sponsor of the AFL-CIO Equity Index Fund.
As a union member you have a right to know what investments are being made. Request this information and you will find that the AFL-CIO has invested a good chunk of your pension fund in the for-profit health care industry--- now, do you really expect these union "leaders" who reap huge salaries and perks for sitting on pension fund boards to bite their Wall Street friends?