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So you wanna be a TV star? Posted by on

Do like to linger in the aisles of Home Depot? Do you collect tools? Do you like to take things apart? Then someone may be looking for you.

Powderhouse Productions is searching for two male hosts for a new cable network series, called SLICED. They must be capable of using cutting tools to slice open large mechanical objects, layer by layer, to reveal what's inside and talk about their inner workings.

The hosts of this show must be good-looking, slightly competitive and thrive on ripping things apart--while retaining a good sense of humor in the face of obstacles. The perfect hosts would be down to earth, sharp as tacks, avidly curious about how things work and who aren't afraid of using blow torches, diamond cutters and getting as filthy as Mike Rowe in Dirty Jobs.

If you think you have what it takes to cut metal, plastic and other stuff in half--anything from an internal combustion engine to an automatic machine gun to a plasma TV--then please submit a two to three minute video on DVD.

Show them your personality, tell them a little about yourself and tackle a cutting task that shows your skills. In addition to your cutting know how, you need to have the verbal skills of Click and Clack, and make this show as popular as Myth Busters.

Please Email your clip to Or send your DVD and resume to Chris Schmidt at Powderhouse Productions, 212 Elm Street, 3rd Floor, Somerville, MA 02144.

No calls please. No calls or walk ins and do not email any other company employees about this casting. Thank you.

Unions already turning the corner? Posted by on

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a federal government body, reported Tuesday that union membership in the United States has gone up. Both total union membership and union membership as a percentage of the national workforce have gone up.

Here's a bit from a Washington Post article.

The percentage of American workers belonging to a union jumped in 2008, the first statistically significant increase in the 25 years that the figure has been reported, reversing a long decline in union membership.

In 2008, union members represented 12.4 percent of employed workers, up from 12.1 percent a year earlier, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued yesterday. Union membership had been falling since the 1950s, when members constituted as much as a third of the U.S. workforce.

15.6% of workers in construction belong to a union, according to the report, up from 13.9% in 2007.

The BLS report is here. It includes tables that breakdown data by state and compares wages between union and nonunion workers as well as other details.

TAGS: Unions

The desperate fight to prevent unionization Posted by on

The AFL-CIO Now Blog had a post yesterday about the possibly troubled nomination of Hilda Solis for Secretary of Labor.

This is another example of just how desperate the business lobby is to stop the Employee Free Choice Act from giving workers a better chance at joining a union.

Solis is a solid supporter of workers rights and has some impressive credentials, some of which are included in the article.

Images from Groundbreaking Posted by on
NERCC Executive Secretary-Trearurer Mark Erlich speaks at the ceremony.
Pictured l-r: Maureen Feeney, Boston City Councilor; Suzanne Bump, Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development; Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer; Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
The wall comes down.