Good morning to you. I hope you are well today as you visit here. I’m feeling kind of foggy-headed this morning….my thanks to all those in heaven and earth that make coffee a reality!
Today is the “day before” going back to work and Kyle has been nervous, anxious and excited all at once! I told him last night it’s like that feeling you get on Sunday night before you have to go back to work on Monday but on steroids lol. I’m sure everything will go just fine, jitters are normal when it comes to these things!
Yesterday, because of the rains we had, the air was really good and just a lovely day to spend outside. I have been crying a lot when I’m out there but for a good reason….it’s just so darn beautiful. Seeing the array of life doing all that they do to make our world come to life is so humbling for me. Last night I sat with Link watching the sun going down and just the way the light came through the fence and softly lit the trees….they were literally glowing. I was going to go get my camera and try to capture it but realized there was no way my camera was going to see what Link and I were seeing at that moment. It was just for us.
Some quotes from the Daily Good randomizer (http://www.dailygood.org/) that resonated with me today:
I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S. Truman
We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.
We have enough stuff in the world — it’s just not in the right places.
When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.
The subjects that I’m sharing about today in the “cut and pastes” to follow now, especially the problems of poverty and homelessness, resonate with me because of the experiences I’ve had through the years working with and talking to homeless people. The reasons people become homeless and or wanderers are varied but one reason common to most, is the inability to obtain and keep stable employment that generates liveable wages. In a country that is increasingly becoming Right to Work, stable employment is difficult to come by. We’ve experienced, as has our family members, what it’s like to live in a Right to Work State and it is a very insecure way to live knowing that for just about any reason you could have a job one day and not have one the next. This concept seems like a very short-sighted way to operate anything! I feel that one of the core issues we need to correct to get our economy back on track involves economic security that comes from stable employment that pays liveable wages. Putting people in a daily situation of not being sure whether or not they will have a job is hard on people and their families. Changing jobs frequently makes for a very unstable home life especially for children. With the frequent moves that come with the gaining and losing of a job, comes the changing of schools and the leaving of friends and support systems. This can severely impact a child’s sense of security and self-esteem over time (http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Children-And-Family-Moves-014.aspx). There is much more to a job than just the money!
Advocates For Homeless Call For More Housing, Better Service Coordination
By Christopher Connelly • Mar 23, 2017
A new report shows the number of people who are homeless in Tarrant and Parker Counties has not changed much over the past year. The Tarrant County Homeless Coalition released its annual homeless count on Thursday. It found 1,924 people living on the streets or in shelters, 14 fewer than last year.
“The number may not be significantly significant, but I assure you, escaping homelessness was significant for those 14 people, said Otis Thornton, who leads the coalition.
The count found fewer homeless veterans, and fewer women, who say domestic violence is the reason they became homeless. At the same time, there were more families on the streets, and one in five homeless people is under the age of 18.
Thornton told service providers and homeless people gathered at a community meeting at the Salvation Army’s Mabee Center that he wanted to to improve coordination between agencies so that people have an easier time navigating services and hear “yes” more often. He challenged aid organizations and their funders to focus their efforts on ending homelessness.
“Something has to change, or we’re going to find ourselves in the same situation year after year,” Thornton said.
The homeless count is basically a snapshot created by hundreds of volunteers fanning out across the two-county region on a single night to survey people staying in shelters or sleeping outside.
While the count found more than 1,900 people in its one-night snapshot, the coalition’s report estimated that more than 7,400 people in Tarrant and Parker Counties experienced homelessness at some point over the past year.
Some don’t make it into the annual census because they’re difficult to find.
Carol Klocek, who runs the Fort Worth-based Center for Transforming Lives, said many women and families aren’t in the shelters because there are too few family units, and they avoid the camps and vacant buildings where a lot of homeless people congregate and get counted.
“Moms with young children want to stay away from those places as much as they can because they’re not safe,” Klocek said. “Who wants their 3-year-old exposed to those kinds of harsh realities?”
Others are missed because they cycle in and out of homelessness over time. Klocek said many women earning low wages and providing for small children teeter back and forth on the edge of being homeless.
“One of the mothers we worked with had her hours cut right after one of her kids had the flu,” Klocek said. “Suddenly she didn’t have enough to pay rent so they lived in her car for a time until she could work enough and save enough to get back into her apartment.”
Low wages are especially problematic in a region that faces a severe shortage of affordable housing. Across Dallas-Fort Worth, there are only 19 affordable rental units for every 100 poor renters. Klocek said it would take a job making $19 an hour for a single mom to afford a market-rate two-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth.
In his presentation, Otis Thornton put it another way: A worker making minimum wage would have to work 76 hours a week to afford an apartment of their own at market rate in Tarrant County, he said.
Either way you put it, he said the math just doesn’t work out for a lot of people.
“Year after year, the data shows us nearly the same thing: That if they had stable employment, and they made enough to afford somewhere safe and decent to live, they would not be homeless,” Thornton said.
Thornton said adding affordable housing to reduce homelessness would save money in the long run. Homelessness, he said, is expensive.
“It costs about $10,000 per year when someone is stably housed,” he said. “In contrast, it costs about $30,000-$40,000 when somebody is homeless. It’s the cost of shelter, but it’s also the cost burden on our health care, criminal justice, and other systems that hit everybody’s pocketbook.”
Thornton estimates it would take around $650 million to fix the housing shortage in Tarrant County. Still, he said money alone won’t solve the problem. He said that until the greater community sees it as a priority to help their neighbors find safe, permanent homes, homelessness will be a continuing reality in Tarrant County.
http://www.nrtw.org/right-to-work-states – National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, map showing Right to Work States:
http://neatoday.org/2012/08/14/right-to-work-laws-increase-poverty-decrease-productivity-2/ – I know this is an older article but with 29 States, Missouri and Kentucky just this year, becoming Right to Work, it’s relevant.
August 14, 2012 • 12:45PM
‘Right to Work’ Laws Increase Poverty, Decrease Productivity
By Columbus State Community College
On February 1, 2012, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels signed a “right-to-work” (RTW) provision in the state’s labor laws, making Indiana the twenty-third RTW state in the nation and the first in more than a decade to pass a law undermining the ability of unions to organize and represent their members. As I write this, efforts are under way in at least a half-dozen other states, including Ohio, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon, to follow the Indiana example and further limit the rights of unions nationwide.
In RTW states, unions are prohibited from including in their contracts “union security clauses,” which require all employees in the bargaining unit either to join the union or pay a portion of its dues. Worker-friendly states, on the other hand, allow provisions for the union to be the exclusive bargaining agent for those workers who are eligible for membership, and also require all eligible employees to pay at least a portion of the union dues.
Despite the eagerness to adopt these laws, the question of whether RTW laws actually benefit a state economically has remained largely unanswered. In this paper, using the most recent data available from public sources, I have analyzed a spectrum of seven measures for standard of living, including Gross Domestic Product GDP), poverty rates, life expectancy rates, and “income gap,” and determined whether there are differences in these measures between the 22 RTW states (not including Indiana, which joined them after this data was collected) and the 28 worker-friendly states.
The results clearly show the adverse consequences of RTW laws on people living in those states, and should inform the good efforts of union members and allies to quell the ongoing efforts to spread these laws nationally. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans as ‘right to work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining.” The evidence presented here shows that Dr. King was absolutely right.
An Analysis of the Data
The GDP, or the total amount of goods and services produced in a year, is probably the most accessible single measure of standard of living. A high GDP positively correlates with a high standard of living, and changes in living standards can be swiftly observed in corresponding changes in the GDP.
According to 2009 data, the GDP per capita for worker-friendly states collectively was $43,899, while the GDP per capita for the RTW states was $38,755 or 13.3 percent lower. It is worth emphasizing that GDP represents goods and services produced, and is not the same as per capita income. Thus, the initial analysis of this measure indicates that the worker-friendly states appear to be significantly “more productive” than the RTW states.
Poverty rates: Obviously a state with a high standard of living would be expected to have fewer residents living in poverty. Using U.S. Census income data, and applying it to the two groups of states, we find again that RTW states have a lower standard of living. Eleven of the 15 states with the highest poverty rates are RTW states, while nine of the 11 states with the lowest are worker-friendly. Furthermore, the percentage of the 2008 population living in poverty in RTW states was 14.4 percent, while the percentage in worker-friendly states was 12.4 percent. To put this difference in perspective, if the rate of poverty in RTW states was extended across the nation, an additional 3,670,000 American men, women, and children would be living in poverty today.
Health insurance: One would expect that a state with a high standard of living would have more of its citizens covered by basic health insurance, giving them access to preventive care and swift medical treatment. And, once again, the Census data show that the worker-friendly states have a higher standard of living. Fully 11 of the 13 states with the lowest uninsured rates are worker-friendly states, while 11 of the 15 states with the highest uninsured rates are RTW states. The median uninsured rate for worker-friendly states is 12.6 percent, while for RTW it is 15.7 percent. Again, to put this in perspective, if the rates of non-insured citizens in RTW states were spread across the country, then an additional 8,640,480 Americans would be uninsured and suffer a lack of access to affordable health care.
Life expectancy: While there may seem to be little reason for a correlation to exist between RTW laws and the life expectancy of citizens in those states, life expectancy data from the Harvard School of Public Health was included here because it is a very common measure of standard of living. And, as it turns out, the data reveal a surprising trend. Of the 13 states with the highest life expectancy rates, 10 are worker-friendly states. Conversely, of the 12 states with the lowest life-expectancy rates, only two are worker-friendly states. In worker-friendly states, citizens can expect to live 77.6 years (the median), while citizens in RTW states can expect to die at 76.7.
To read on (and to see the author’s state-by-state tables for each standard of living), visit www.nea.org/thoughtandaction.
What we noticed is a common practice in the industrial/manufacturing sector is to hire people just up until they make tenure and qualify for benefits and then they fire them. The other factor is shareholders, especially in oil and gas. Weir, when the prices of oil and gas were going down so much a couple of years ago now, fired a significant portion of their labor force with little to no notice. These are the kind of “jobs” that the Keystone and DAPL are and will continue to create btw – insecure and temporary. What also comes with oil and gas Boomtowns, much like happened with the gold rush, is crime.
This was a thread I found on the subject of the Weir layoffs:
Oil and Gas Workers
The goal of this sub is to be an information sharing location between those with experience and those just starting out in the industry. From field work to horror stories to interview questions, anything goes. We all have strong opinions, so lets try to respect that and keep everything civil.
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Weir oil and gas layoffs self.oilandgasworkers
submitted 2 years ago * by akuj1k1
So I work for Weir in Fort Worth and they have already laid off around 1800 people a few weeks ago. Now I’m hearing today that they are going to lay off more tomorrow. Anyone know anything? I’m wondering how many more they will lay off.
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[–]BBQ4life • 5 points 2 years ago
Just got my pink slip today at Weatherford. Got 2 people at my shop of 16, and there is more lay offs coming. YaY oilfield!
[–]llamadama • 2 points 2 years ago
I’m curious as well but like anywhere it’s completely up in the air. The market is shit right now and there are a ton of fleets built due to the last upswing.
[–]BBQ4life • 2 points 2 years ago
Just found out that 2 days ago Weatherford laid off 150 people at their facilities down in corpus Christi, and yesterday afternoon they went to our facilities south of Houston (pearland) to lay off some people there. I think the way of the future will be to go with smaller companies with good investors that are ran by ex-big company folks that were canned as well. Example being Black Hawk, all ex-weatherford hands, engineers, the COO is a former VP. But yeah, 9-1/2 years with Weatherford, 2nd generation at the company. Between my pops and myself we had over 45 years with that company.
Oil Prices Prompt Further Layoffs at Weir Group
Thursday, 30th April 2015
Weir Group is to cut a further 125 oil and gas jobs in North America as the FTSE 100 engineer continues to feel the pain from the slump in oil prices.
The Glasgow-based engineer, which manufactures valves and pumping equipment for miners and oil and gas companies, reported a 23% fall in orders for oil and gas in the first three months of the year and said it expects the decline to continue into the second quarter., Tanya Powley writes.
The group warned in February at its full-year results that the plummeting oil price will hit profitability this year, saying it expected a “significant reduction” in group revenues and lower operating margins in 2015. At the time, it announced plans to slash 22% of its North American workforce, taking total job cuts to 1,200.
On Wednesday, the engineer said it planned to make an additional 125 job cuts as well as the closure of a number of service centres because of challenging conditions in the market. This would result in a further £10m of cost savings, the company said.
Keith Cochrane, chief executive at Weir, said: “Trading conditions in oil and gas markets were challenging through the quarter with a steeper decline in the North American rig count than the market had anticipated.”
The company said it was facing pricing pressure from customers, with discounts ranging from between 5% and 20% across its product portfolio.
Source: Financial Times
What else comes with “rushes” like oil and gas:
America’s Biggest Boomtown
Sex, drugs and murder in oil country
by Steve Hargreaves @hargreavesCNN
February 3, 2015: 11:37 AM ET
A few years ago, the oil boom brought jobs, workers and money to Williston, N.D. But the influx of young men also brought a rise in crimes like prostitution, drug trafficking, theft, and even murder.
http://time.com/money/4712355/keystone-pipeline-donald-trump-job-creation/ – and here is the bottom line.
How Many Jobs Will the Keystone Pipeline Actually Create? It Could Be As Few as 35
“It’s a great day for American jobs, and a historic moment for North America,” Trump said from the Oval Office on Friday.
But “the majority of these jobs would be short-term in nature,” the State Department told MONEY.
In fact, when the construction on the pipeline is complete, there will only be 50 jobs available related to the pipeline — 35 permanent ones, and 15 ones for temporary contractors, the State Department said.