FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Union Built PC and Bargaining Power Announce Strategic Alliance to Empower Labor Unions

Press Contact:

Pete Marchese
Union Built PC Inc.


Technology, Labor and Unions:

Union Built PC and Bargaining Power Announce Strategic Alliance to Empower Labor Unions

Agreement will empower Labor Unions with Digital Tools for Projecting Costs at Collective Bargaining & Real Time Grievance & Arbitration Tracking

NEW YORK, NY (PHANTOM POWER MARKETING) OCTOBER 18, 2016 – Union Built PC Inc. and Bargaining Power Inc. have entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with a goal of providing the Labor Industry the necessary tools to effectively represent their membership by Projecting Costs at Collective Bargaining and enabling Real-Time Grievance and Arbitration Tracking.

Union Built PC Inc. and Bargaining Power Inc. are the leading experts in Projecting Costs at collective bargaining and Grievance and Arbitration Tracking Labor Software. In combining the skill-sets of their respective teams and product offerings, we will enhance Labor’s ability at the bargaining table.

This partnership also provides an opportunity for Union Built PC Inc. and Bargaining Power Inc. to work collaboratively on product development, marketing and software sales.

“We at Union Built PC Inc. are constantly searching for software that will help Labor Excel. Bargaining Power Software is an extremely powerful Tool that will aid unions in analyzing costs and effectively representing their membership,” says Pete Marchese Director of Operations of Union Built PC Inc.

Bargaining Power Inc. has developed Bargaining Power® Software, which saves Labor Unions time and money as they conduct all of their cost analyses, whether for collective bargaining or arbitrations. First developed by a Labor Negotiator over 20 years ago, the software is continually enhanced by the experience and expertise of hundreds of customers, including the UFCW International and IBT, IAFF, IUOE and UFCW locals.

Bargaining Power is a unique product that gives labor a software solution that provides enhanced insight and is faster and easier to use than any spreadsheet model. It instantly allows unlimited proposals to change compensation, benefit, time off-allowances and work rules. Also, it automatically takes into account turnover rates and changing lengths of service.

“With Bargaining Power, unions can be confident they’re capturing the true costs of potential settlements. They can instantly compare all scenarios under consideration assuring they’re making the best possible decisions at the table,” says Betsy Cagan, President and founder of Bargaining Power Inc.

Union Built PC Inc. developed their Grievance Manager® Software in 2006, enabling the Labor Industry to track their Grievances, Arbitrations and related documents in Real Time.

As an immediate result of this alliance, Union Built PC will resell Bargaining Power and integrate it into our present suite of Software to automate Labor’s everyday tasks.

For more information about how Bargaining Power can help Labor Unions and International Organizations bargain and represent their membership more effectively, contact Pete Marchese at 877-728-6466 or

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For more information:

About Bargaining Power Inc.
Betsy Cagan founded Bargaining Power Inc. in 1991 to develop the software she wished she had when she was a labor negotiator for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York and Stop & Shop in Boston. Responsible for all economic analysis in both positions, she built complex spreadsheet models, but knew only compiled software could answer all her questions. Betsy is particularly interested in working with unions. She holds a BA in English Literature from Connecticut College and an MBA from Columbia University

Bargaining Power Website
Download the Bargaining Power Brochure

About Union Built PC Inc.
Union Built PC Inc. has been serving the IT needs of Labor since 2001. Union Built PC’s mission is to “organize” Labor and help them “excel in everything they do.” Union Built PC believes their success is based on products and services that have been developed by Union Members and customized to meet the specific needs of their Labor Union Clients. That’s why every member of the Union Built PC team is a Union Member. Currently, UBPC is organized by CWA Local 1101

Union Built PC Website
Download the Grievance Manager Brochure
View the Grievance Manager Demo Video
Union Built PC on Facebook
Union Built PC on Twitter
Union Built PC on LinkedIn
Pete Marchese on LinkedIn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Statement by Governor Cuomo and CWA Pres. Shelton on VZW Closings

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Statement from Governor Cuomo Spokesperson Rich Azzopardi:

“Today, with 20 minutes notice on one of the highest holy days for those of the Jewish faith, Verizon Wireless notified the Governor’s office that it would be closing two call centers in New York as part of a nationwide consolidation plan. This is an egregious example of corporate abuse – among the worst we have witnessed during the six years of this administration. Verizon’s negligence is astounding and as a result, hard-working New Yorkers will lose their jobs.

“New York is invested in our workforce and we remain committed to keeping and creating well-paying jobs across the state. Governor Cuomo has directed the New York State Department of Labor to dispatch its Rapid Response team to assist employees during their time of transition, and we will work to reverse the impact of Verizon’s reckless decision. In this state, we will continue to stand up to those who put profit ahead of people.”


Statement from Chris Shelton, President of the Communications Workers of America:

“Verizon Communications brags about being the nation’s biggest wireless carrier. It’s an extremely profitable company. In July 2016, Verizon’s stock hit its highest price since 2000. It’s spending $4.83 billion to buy Yahoo’s Internet business.

“So why is Verizon closing call centers in New York? Why is it laying off 3,200 retail store workers nationwide, especially going into the busiest shopping period of the year?

“It’s corporate greed at its worst. Does this mean more jobs and more customer service problems will be shipped to Verizon overseas operations in the Philippines and other countries?

“CWA has been working with Verizon Wireless workers at call centers and retail stores, to help workers get the union voice and representation they want and so clearly need. In fact, workers at VZW stores in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Everett, Mass., just won a first contract just this year. We will keep up the fight against ‘very greedy’ Verizon.”


For media inquiries, call CWA Communications at 202-434-1168, or email Candice Johnson. To read about CWA Members, Leadership or Industries, visit the Communications Workers of America website.

Halloween Safety Tips 2016

With Halloween right around the corner, Union Built PC has consulted with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to provide some important safety tips.

Yes, Halloween brings fun and sweets to children, but those ghouls and goblins are not the things to be afraid about. Accidents and mishaps increase dramatically on Halloween night.


Here are some tips to help ensure you and your family have a safe and enjoyable holiday:


  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.


  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by.
  • They should never be left unattended.


  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.


  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

    Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.

RELATED: Union Made-in-America Halloween Candy Shopping List


These aren’t tips we pulled from the AAP website, or the Department of Education or elsewhere. These are just some tips that fall under the ‘common sense’ category given current events. Sadly, our opinion is to avoid clown costumes – especially – “scary” clowns. Just steer clear altogether. We might also recommend avoiding politically themed costumes. This may be more relevant for older kids and/or young adult. Given this heated election a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton mask – while it shouldn’t – could invite trouble in the form of conflict, even violence. For (mature) adults going to parties it may be a different story, but kids of all ages are more knowledgeable about this year’s campaign than ever and with all the heated opinions out there, it may just be safer to express your opinion in other ways.

Happy Halloween from everybody at Union Built PC!

Learn the Common Topics in Most Union Contracts

Every union contract is different. Workers decide how issues are addressed and negotiated with the company. Union members decide what makes sense for the them. Contracts are also called Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) or Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs). Contracts are negotiated for a period of time, usually between 1 and 6 years.

Negotiator’s Advantage: Comprehensive Software to Manage the Collective Bargaining Process

Common topics in most union contracts include:

Just Cause (protection against unfair discipline or firing) is one of the most important protections workers get from a union – protection against unfair discipline or firing. It says that you cannot be fired or disciplined without “just cause.” It means that a boss has to prove that there was a good reason to fire or discipline you.

Seniority sets how decisions are made when more than one worker wants a shift or job assignment, wants to work overtime (or when no one wants to work overtime), etc. For example, the contract may state that if there are layoffs, the newest workers must be laid off first. Different contracts have different types of seniority clauses.

Pay Rates and Raises The contract will set rates of pay for all workers, including when workers get paid a “premium,” for overtime, shift and weekend differential, working in a higher classification, or being on-call. Workers often negotiate for a minimum number of hours of work, so they can’t just be sent home with no pay if there’s no work. Workers know when and how much raises will be during the contract.

Time Off and Benefits includes what holidays and how many sick and vacation days workers get — and fair rules for taking them. It can also set an employers’ payments to health and welfare and pension funds. Benefit levels may be set by the amount of time you have on the job.

Bargaining Power Inc. has developed Bargaining Power® Software, which saves Labor Unions time and money as they conduct all of their cost analyses.

Grievance Procedures makes sure that workers get a fair hearing by setting how problems will be worked out. Usually, grievances are filed when the boss has broken a contract rule, violated your rights under the law, ignored a company rule or procedure, or changed a past practice (what has always been done, if it’s a bad change or not done fairly for everyone). Grievances can also be filed for any unfair situation that management has the power to correct, even if there is no contact language, law, or company procedure. When a grievance or discipline cannot be worked out, most contracts say that an independent arbitrator (like a judge) will make a decision which both sides have to live with.

It is important to file grievances quickly. The contract will have timelines which must be followed. Usually the deadline is a certain number of days from when the problem happened – or when you (or the union) knew about it.


Grievance Manager: Custom Grievance and Arbitration Software to Manage the Grievance Process Quickly and Efficiently

Fair rules for many situations are negotiated so that scheduling, job bidding, vacation bidding, and many other issues are done fairly. Common examples include if a worker bids into a new job, a rule that says that he can go back to his old job if it doesn’t work out; a fair system for scheduling, including posting the schedule in advance; how vacations are scheduled; “reporting pay” – a minimum number of hours you must be paid if you are called in to work; posting of empty jobs so that interested workers can bid for them; making sure workers have the equipment and supplies to do their jobs well and safely.

Legal Protections which are also law. These protections are included in the contract because it is often easier and faster to enforce the rights under the union contract.


Like Union Built PC on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. And do’t forget to subscribe to the Union Built PC monthly email newsletter for Union News delivered straight to your inbox.

Ten Problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership

International trade is a controversial issue surrounding the 2016 Election.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who unsuccessfully sought the party’s Presidential nomination and has given Hillary Clinton his backing, used the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia as a platform to express his opposition to one of President Obama’s big trade deals.

It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. It has been agreed but not yet ratified. Mr. Sanders told the convention, to cheers from his own supporters, that it must not be ratified.

The issue has become even more politically contentious than it already was with groups in both main parties concerned about trade liberalization agreements.

President Obama has treated them as a priority, while opponents see them as harming the US economy, as driven by big business and as being conducted in excessive secrecy.

The TPP is not the only one, but it is a very big one and the negotiations are complete.

TPP in a nutshell

It involves 12 countries: the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

The pact aims to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth.

Member countries are also hoping to foster a closer relationship on economic policies and regulation.

The agreement could create a new single market something like that of the EU.

How big a deal is the TPP?

Pretty big indeed. The 12 countries have a collective population of about 800 million – almost double that of the European Union’s single market. The 12-nation would-be bloc is already responsible for 40% of world trade.

The deal is a remarkable achievement given the very different approaches and standards within the member countries, including environmental protection, workers’ rights and regulatory coherence – not to mention the special protections that some countries have for certain industries.

What do critics of the TPP say?

Lots of things. From arguing it has been a not-so-secret gambit to keep China at bay (which is not part of the TPP) to fundamental problems surrounding increased competition between labor forces; the TPP has faced much opposition.

Here, we’ve collected the Top Ten Problems with the TPP:

1. The TPP allows currency-manipulating countries to kill U.S. jobs.
The current TPP text doesn’t contain enforceable currency manipulation rules. Countries that intentionally devalue their currency cheat U.S. manufacturers and undermine any benefits from tariff reductions. Enforcing currency manipulation rules is probably the single most effective thing the United States could do to create jobs; in fact, doing so could add as many as 5.8 million jobs.

2. The TPP lets foreign corporations bypass U.S. law.
The current TPP text allows multinational companies to challenge U.S. laws, regulations and safeguards through a provision called investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS), a private justice system that undermines our democracy. Through ISDS, foreign investors can seek compensation from the United States for enforcing regulations and safeguards designed to protect America’s working families. In fact, multinational companies currently are using ISDS to attack democratic policies and laws in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Peru and Uruguay, among many others.

3. The TPP allows climate change to go unchecked.
The current TPP text doesn’t contain any enforceable climate change commitments or “border fees” to offset the cost of environment-damaging imports. This undermines our efforts to address climate change and jeopardizes the important U.S.-China bilateral agreement on climate change and clean energy. It does nothing to discourage U.S. manufacturers from moving their factories to TPP countries with weak climate regulations. This damages both U.S. jobs and our efforts to address climate change.

4. The TPP doesn’t strengthen international labor rights protections.
There are extensive, well-documented labor problems in at least four TPP countries (Mexico, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia) but the administration has not committed to requiring all countries to be in full compliance with international labor standards before they get benefits under the agreement. Worker rights obligations have never been fully enforced under existing free trade agreements, which have provided too much discretion for worker complaints to be delayed for years or indefinitely (e.g., Honduras, Guatemala). A progressive TPP would eliminate this shortcoming, not repeat it. Given that no administration has ever self-initiated labor enforcement under a free trade agreement, any promise to “strongly enforce” the TPP should be met with skepticism.

5. The TPP could allow public services to be permanently outsourced.
Public services such as sanitation, transit and utilities should be carved out of trade deals—but the TPP puts them at risk. The current TPP text does not ensure that governments can pull out of wasteful and failing public service privatization efforts without shelling out taxpayer dollars or otherwise compensating foreign firms or trading partners.

6. The TPP allows foreign state-owned enterprises to continue to undermine small business.
The current TPP text doesn’t adequately protect small businesses from the predatory tactics of foreign state-owned and state-subsidized companies. Often, these enterprises benefit from government support and drive their American competitors out of business or put pressure on our companies to ship American jobs overseas. While the TPP contains some limited provisions to address state-owned enterprises, it’s not clear it would level the playing field and provide the fast action small firms need to stay in business when faced with unfair competition.

7. The TPP’s weak rules of origin benefit China and other non-TPP countries.
The rules of origin in the current TPP text are weak and allow China and other nonparticipating countries to reap the agreement’s benefits without having to follow its rules. In fact, the TPP’s auto content requirement allows the majority of the auto content to be Chinese and manufactured outside the trade agreement’s rules. This has the effect of promoting jobs in China while destroying U.S. auto supply-chain jobs.

8. The TPP takes America out of “Buy American.”
The current TPP text will require the U.S. government to treat Vietnamese, Malaysian and other TPP firms exactly the same as U.S. firms for many purchasing decisions—even when “Buy American” rules apply. This will send U.S. taxpayer dollars overseas and undermine U.S. job creation efforts. It is also unclear whether responsible bidding requirements (for example, a bidder must have “clean hands” or provide benefits to same-sex spouses) will be free from trade challenges.

9. The TPP gives global banks even more power.
The current TPP text could make it even harder for countries facing an economic crisis to stabilize their economies. Not only can large international banks still sue countries in crisis using the “prudential exception,” the TPP expands the rights of international banks to use ISDS to challenge bank regulations in front of private tribunals. Giving global banks more power makes another global financial meltdown more likely, not less.

10. The TPP makes affordable medicines harder to find.
Quality, affordable and accessible health care is a human right and trade policy should not interfere with public health care choices, nor should it threaten public health. Unfortunately, the current TPP text threatens access to affordable medicines by including new monopoly rights for pharmaceutical companies—delaying competition by affordable generics—and allowing companies more opportunities to interfere with government cost-saving efforts.

What happens next?

The text of the agreement will have to be signed and then ratified by all 12 signatories. Details of how the deal will be implemented will be argued out in individual countries’ legislatures.

In the US, it comes before Congress in the midst of a presidential election year, which is likely to turn it into a major political football within both parties.

However, Congress has granted President Obama “fast-track” authority over the deal, which only allows lawmakers to either reject it or ratify it.

To take effect, the deal has to be ratified by February 2018 by at least six countries that account for 85% of the group’s economic output. And this means that Japan and the US will need to be on board.


What are your thoughts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Sound of on the Union Built PC on Facebook Page, or on our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds and do’t forget to subscribe to the Union Built PC monthly email newsletter for Union News delivered straight to your inbox.


Robert E. Scott, “Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs,” Economic Policy Institute, Feb. 26, 2014.
FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation,” Executive Office of the President, Office of the Press Secretary.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Four Countries that Don’t Comply with U.S. Trade Law,” AFL-CIO.
In 2011, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) compared the costs of federal employees and contractors in a seminal study entitled Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors, the first to compare service contractor billing rates to the salaries and benefits of federal employees. POGO determined that “on average, contractors charge the government almost twice as much as the annual compensation of comparable federal employees. Of the 35 types of jobs that POGO looked at in its new report, it was cheaper to hire federal workers in all but just 2 cases.”

The Steps of a Union Campaign

Do you and your co-workers want change? Do you believe unionizing will be to your benefit? Well, each work place is a bit different, but when workers want to build a union, there are common basic steps to take.

First it is helpful to have a true understanding of how organizing can benefit you and your co-workers.

Understanding the Benefits of Union Membership

Union members – workers like you — benefit from the union’s collective bargaining power to negotiate with employers on their behalf. This basic right gives you as a union member more power than if you tried to negotiate as an individual. There is strength in numbers.

  • Union employees make an average of 30% more than non-union workers
  • 92% of union workers have job-related health coverage versus 68% of non-union workers
  • Union workers are more likely to have guaranteed pensions than non-union employees.

Unions help protect employees from unjust dismissal through collective bargaining agreements. Because of this, most union employees cannot be fired without “just cause.” This is unlike many nonunion workers who are considered “at-will” employees and can be fired at any time for almost any reason.

Union members also benefit from having the collective power to go on strike. A strike is when a group of workers stops working either in protest of labor conditions or as a bargaining tool during labor/management negotiations.


Second, do a bit of homework…

  • learn about building a union
  • understand the differences unions can make at work
  • find support among all work areas and kinds of workers

Third, deep dive into the steps of a Union Campaign!

1. Do workers want a change?
Workers talk among themselves to see if most people have issues that they want to change. The first step to building a union is figuring out if your co-workers want a union. Typically, a small group of workers who trust each other start to talk about what’s going on at work, what they can do to build a union, and what union they want to represent them. Workers need to be discreet – it’s too early for the boss to find out that workers are starting to think about getting union protection and a voice.

2. Gather information about your work place.
It’s important to map out all of the departments and where people work. Posted lists of workers and schedules will disappear when the company knows about the campaign, so collect them now. Home addresses are especially important, so workers can talk freely away from work.

3. Call a union, or a couple, to find one that you feel comfortable with.
Ask union members in your community if their union would be a good fit. Don’t worry too much about the name of the union – some unions represent workers who are in many different jobs. You can also decide to build a union that is “independent” – not affiliated with any national union (although it is often more difficult when workers don’t have support and resources from a national union).

4. Find the leaders who workers respect.
The union committee has to represent all of the workers (from each department, shift, job, and group) to be able to keep workers together during the campaign.

5. Learn how having a union can help with your problems.
Workers also need to know what to expect from the company during the union campaign.

6. Sign union cards when workers have enough information about the union and are ready for everything the company will do to try to stop them.
To win a union campaign, workers need to be strong and unified, with a big majority supporting the union. Signing a union authorization card means the worker wants the union to represent him or her to bargain with the company. The labor board will run an election when 30% of workers sign cards, but usually workers have a large majority before they ask for an election.

7. Workers show that they want a union.
A company can agree to have a neutral person from the community review the cards to see if a majority of workers want the union (“card check”). More often, the cards are used to have the National Labor Relations Board (or other agency) run a secret ballot election. The workers and the company have to agree on which workers will be able to vote and be represented by the union. Sometimes the company delays the election with labor board hearings. Once the bargaining unit (who is eligible to be represented) is decided, the labor board sets the date for the election, usually a month later.

8. The company tries to stop the workers from having a voice.
Companies want to keep all the power and don’t want to have to deal with workers who have protections, rights, and a voice. The time before a union election can be unpleasant – but it doesn’t last forever. Workers can overcome the company’s tricks if they stick together and keep talking among themselves.

9. Election day!
The labor boards runs the election and makes sure that the rules are followed. Workers vote in secret. The ballots are counted in front of the workers and company as soon as the election is over.

10. Negotiations.
This was what the whole campaign was about – for workers and union representatives to be able to sit down with the boss and negotiate for fair rules and better working conditions. Workers decide what to negotiate for. For the union to be strong, the company must see that workers support the negotiations. Workers vote to approve the contract before it becomes final. Sometimes, workers ask community members, like religious leaders, to be observers during contract negotiations.

11. Protecting your rights on the job.
After there is a contract, workers have to make sure that the rules are followed. Active union members know that they have to be involved for their union to work.

Looking to organize on the job? What challenges have you faced? What successes can you share that may help others? Sound of on the Union Built PC on Facebook Page, or on our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds and do’t forget to subscribe to the Union Built PC monthly email newsletter for Union News delivered straight to your inbox.

The Common Typo That Can Steal Your Computer

The latest ploy cyber criminals are using to spread ransomware and other types of computer malware to provide them with remote access to your computers or to steal log-in credentials: After buying domain names with a missing or misplaced letter in website addresses belonging to well-known companies, they simply wait for you to make a typo.

The biggest threat results in the most common typos — either a misplaced or missing “c” (such as typing or so a web address ends with “.om” instead of “.com”.

Those two Amazon domain names are among more than 300 .om-ending domain names that hackers have purchased for this new malware-spreading scheme. Here’s the complete list, which also spoofs Facebook, LinkedIn, AOL, banks including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, pharmacies CVS and Walgreens, retailers such as Walmart and JC Penney, and even online porn sites.

FREE DOWLOAD: Ransomware: A Growing Cyber Threat

True, cyber criminals have long used website addresses with a missing, extra or misplaced letter to spoof those belonging to well-known brands for typo trickery. But the usual MO has been to lead consumers to copycat websites that sell counterfeit goods, aim to steal credit card info that people provide for supposed purchases, or promise a prize to those who complete a survey that actually mines for sensitive personal information.

RELATED: The Union Built Cloud: Protection You from Cyber Criminals

This new malware-spreading angle — called typosquatting — was discovered when researchers mistyped instead of the correct, and was redirected through a series of dubious pop-up ads and, eventually, to a malware-infested site that prompted him to download a file that appeared to be an Adobe Flash Player update. That familiar fake “Flash Update” usually serves up risky (and possibly malware-laden) pop-ups and other annoyances on computers, so don’t download or install it.

Researchers says that most of the .om-ending sites it discovered operate the same way: They don’t directly install malware but, instead, lead to other infected pages. So that’s good news, at least.


In addition to .om-ending risks, other typosquatting tricks that may result in malware that gives hackers control of your computer and everything on it include website addresses with doubling characters (“”), missing letters (“”), adjacent keys (“”) and letter swapping (“”).

RELATED: Cyber Terrorism: Why You’re Vulnerable

So carefully read what you type before hitting Enter to access a website, especially if you’re a fast or fat-fingered typist. That’s also a good practice to follow before clicking on links that appear in search engine results or online advertisements; they, too, may have typos that spell trouble.

Backup is the Best Protection for your Data

We recently published a white paper to educate and guide you through the growing threat of Ransomware as well as information on Union Built Cloud services, a best-in-class secure data storage solution that automatically backs up your data keeping it out of the hands of cyber criminals. Use them and navigate the web with a lot more peace of mind.

Learn more about the Union Built Cloud, contact us with your cyber security questions and concerns and Like Union Built PC on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to the Union Built PC monthly email newsletter for Union News delivered straight to your inbox.