- Alan Maki What kind of alternatives? Loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos paying poverty wages where workers have no rights under state or federal labor laws and a bunch of wealthy white mobsters who own the slot machines run off with all the profits they can skim off the top?
Let's talk about the facts.
Let's talk about what it will take to make every non-mining job a good paying job.
Let's talk about what it will take to create a full employment economy with all jobs turned into good jobs paying real living wages with safe and healthy working conditions.
Tell Mike Wiggins and the Bad River Tribal Council to provide his casino workers with a smoke-free workplace and real living wages comparable to what workers make in the mining industry... then people will believe there are real alternatives to mining; until then, you are fighting a losing battle.
- Wendy Thiede Right now this area has job openings for doctors, lawyers, accountants, nurses and the whole gamut of industries that support the increasing (yes, increasing) number of retirees moving into the area. These professionals would come with families and the jobs would be clean and lucrative. And for those who don't want to spend that much time and money on education, there are a gazillion service jobs--landscaping, tree management, cleaning. Many of these retirees have money and a need for people to help them do the things they are no longer capable of. But we're missing the boat by not encouraging our kids to go into these fields. http://woodsperson.blogspot.com/.../alternative-to-mining...
- Alan Maki I don't see the jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries proving real living wage jobs in northern Wisconsin. To achieve this would require union organizing. Every single job should be a good job paying real living wages providing decent benefits like paid vacations, paid sick days, etc.
The politicians and mining companies have two main things going for them that opposition to this hideous mining project will never be able to over come:
1. Poverty wage jobs.
2. Massive unemployment.
Thousands of people are eagerly awaiting the opening up of these mining jobs--- do you blame them?
- Wendy Thiede Alan, you didn't read my post. I'm not talking about hospitality jobs; I'm talking about professional careers that pay better than mining jobs and they don't wreck the environment. At this very moment Marshfield Clinic is trying to find a dr. for Mercer to replace the one retiring. Lawyers specializing in elder law are needed. Financial planners, etc. And yes, there is also a need for menial jobs, opportunities for people to go into business for themselves doing home maintenance, tree service, etc. And you can't tell me that every mining job is going to pay a high wage or that everybody in the area is qualified for those jobs. See my research on that topic: http://woodsperson.blogspot.com/.../08/the-jobs-promise.html
- Maureen Matusewic Well, that's quite sad because there won't be thousands of good paying jobs. Some of the people complaining here are luckier than people in other parts of the state with higher paying jobs because they have affordable housing and a much higher percentage of people in Iron County have acreage. Know many young families in the cities that can afford a home and cabin in the woods making $35-$40k a year?
- Wendy Thiede And these "thousands of people waiting for mining jobs" has that been since 1960 when the mines left? Have any of them thought about getting educated in a field that is needed? Or are we putting all our eggs in one basket here? I am really tired of the "wait for the mine to come" attitude. There's no guarantee that it will come and even IF it does, it won't be for a long time.
- Rob Ganson Alan Maki, GTac has made it clear that they would bus people up for construction labor, that they would be non union employers, that they would not train locals, but hire out of work qualified operators at scab wages. They are a fly by night limited liability corporation, designed to go bankrupt after they get what they want, so you can forget retirement, ongoing benefits, etc. Sustainable industry could employ many more with forest products, value added products being manufactured, etc. Long term jobs...
- Alan Maki You all have missed my point. I guess I didn't make myself clear, eh?
Well, let me try again.
Anyone can see that there are thousands of people employed in northern Wisconsin doing all kinds of jobs. Most of these jobs are rotten jobs only because they don't pay real living wages and provide decent benefits.
My position is this: If you expect people to oppose this hideous mining project you need to help make sure that all these people presently employed are paid real living wages. Then they will join with you in actions to protect the living environment.
Why is this so difficult for so many of you environmentalists to understand?
Why aren't you insisting that Mike Wiggins provides casino workers with a smoke-free healthy workplace environment and real living wages?
If you are going to suggest jobs in "sustainable" forestry; then you are going to have to insist that such industries and companies provide real living wage jobs in healthy and safe workplaces.
You sat in silence as Red Cliff put up a brand new casino forcing more workers into an unhealthy working environment filled with smoke. Paying these workers poverty wages. And you sit in absolute and utter silence as these workers are forced to work without any rights under state or federal labor laws.
From a working class perspective, how is a mining operation any worse than these casino operations.
You say the mining operation will be non-union.
Well, when will your buddy Mike Wiggins sit down and negotiate a contract with the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council--- he doesn't like us; well pick another union; maybe an AFL-CIO union or Change To Win union... all supporting this hideous mining project.
I have an idea; lets all agree to convene a huge meeting bringing together progressives to thoroughly hash out how we are going to solve these problems.
You see, I don't understand how environmentalist can kiss the rear end of Mike Wiggins who is killing workers in a smoke-filled casino while remaining silent and then expect people to support a struggle against mining.
How difficult can it be to get Mike Wiggins to put up "No Smoking" signs?
I would suggest that if you can't convince Mike Wiggins to put up "No Smoking" signs it is going to be a lot more difficult to stop a mining operation... something you might want to think about.
- Alan Maki No there are not because the Democrats enabled the casinos to allow smoking because Mike Wiggins and the regional and National Indian Gaming pumped millions of dollars bribing these politicians to allow smoking to continue.
What is your point?
All the other casinos can force employees to work in these unhealthy conditions so Mike Wiggins and company can be tolerated doing the same thing?
Same applies to mining, to, eh?
- Alan Maki What do snowmobiles have to do with smoke-filled casinos?
- Alan Maki Mr. Ganson. You keep calling my comments "attacks." I am merely stating the facts.
I do in fact represent casino workers as the Director of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council. I also represent a number of people who are opposed to this mining operation.
- Rob Ganson You made personal charges that were unsubstantiated and uncalled for, which I promptly removed. If you are actually against the proposed mine, I ask you to consider not being counter productive in that regard. Note the name of the group. It is not called citizens forum for grinding personal axes.
- Alan Maki I have noted your lack of respect for democracy, Mr. Ganson. I am sure people really appreciate you removing the comments you disagree with.
You start with my comments; who will be your next victim?
- Alan Maki Calling me a "troll" is nothing but slander. I am glad you acknowledge that democracy is for other venues but not for the FaceBook page you are the administrator of. I would request that you re-instate my comments and bring this matter up for discussion with others who support this FaceBook page for them to determine if working class environmental views such as mine will be tolerated.
I wonder how you ever expect to get the support of working people. Perhaps you don't care.Unable to post comment. Try Again
I was subsequently banned from making further posts to this FaceBook page.
And then the "discussion" continued with attacks on me without my right to respond...
- Jim Limbach Environmentalists kissing Mike Wiggin's ass is inflammatory speach and I only scanned a bit of your oppositional retorts. When you paint with such a broad brush I find reading all your remarks time wasted. Feel free to pile on me if you like. Your voice has become to me as a Blue Jays squawking at a distance in the Winter forest. As a Human Being I respect your point of view, just ain't got the time to listen, much less continue the conversation.
- Sharon Davis Knock service jobs all you want, but I've supported my family while working as a waitress all these years. Yes, you have to work all day every day, and fortunately I got myself into a good place while my money went further. But it can be done. Not keeping up with the Jones type money, but enough.