Union Veterans Council – Chicago Chapter


The Union Veterans Council brings union members and potential union members who are veterans together to speak out on the issues that impact veterans most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed VA. Additionally, it holds private enterprise and elected officials accountable for their words and actions.

Join the Chicago Chapter of the Union Veterans Council sponsored by the Chicago Federation of Labor to stand with those who fought for us.

Join the Chicago Chapter

Union Veterans Council


The Union Veterans Council brings union members who are veterans together to speak out on the issues that impact veterans most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed VA.

Additionally, we hold private enterprise and elected officials accountable for their words and actions.  We believe wholeheartedly that the ability for someone to self-identify as “pro-veteran” isn’t determined by what lapel pin they don or what catchphrase they employ; veterans face real issues that require real actions—constructive actions that lead to positive solutions.

At the Union Veterans Council, we fight every day for those who have fought for us.  check out their site

Check out this great LiUNA TrainUp Veterans video

In Remembrance of Veterans


On behalf of the LIUNA General Executive Board and the 500,000 men and women of LIUNA, I salute all those who serve, and have served, in the armed forces of the United States and Canada.  I also want to thank and recognize all of our LIUNA brothers and sisters who are veterans.  LIUNA is proud of them, and of the fact that throughout our 112-year history, our members have repeatedly answered the call to defend freedom and democracy.  We also honor and remember all those who were wounded, all those who were taken prisoner, and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  We will never forget that freedom is not free; it has been earned, and defended, by courageous individuals putting themselves in harm’s way on behalf of our two great nations and the principles for which they stand.

Let’s use this Veterans’ Day and Remembrance Day to thank the veterans in our lives, and to let them know how much we honor and respect them.  Let’s continue to recruit veterans, through Helmets to Hardhats and other means, so that we can help them build rewarding careers, while they help us build projects and strengthen our great International Union.  Most important, let’s vow never to forget all those who have served our countries, fought for our countries, and laid down their lives for our countries.

With kind regards, I am

Fraternally yours,

General President

One of our very own visits WGN News


Our brother Randy Mosby from the Northwest grid recently shared a wonderful experience with us.

It seems one of the residents that lives on Randy’s route wanted to thank him for the great job he does week after week in cleaning up his alley. The resident wanted Randy to know how grateful he was for the hard work he does and after walking down the alley talking he asked Randy if he had any children. Randy responded he had three kids and two God Kids.

The resident said “wonderful” and asked if they would like to be guests on the WGN News? Randy was shocked and couldn’t believe he was serious but the resident said he worked for the station as a cameraman and he would love for Randy to bring his family to the studio for a night of fun.

Randy couldn’t turn down such a unique opportunity and took the resident up on his invitation. At the station they met everyone from the WGN Evening News and got a chance to take photos.

Randy will tell you he is famous for telling his fellow laborers that if you practice right it will find you, and then you can see wrong coming.

One of the highlights of the evening was when the resident introduced them as his new family.

This is just another great Laborers Local 1001 story that may go unnoticed but we are proud to say you are our brother Randy Mosby, keep up the great work .


Rauner sends gift to inject humor into bickering with Emanuel

Kim GeigerRick Pearson and John Byrne Chicago Tribune

At issue is a political game of mutual needs.

Emanuel’s just-passed city budget, as well as spending plans for Chicago Public Schools and the CTA, count on more than $800 million in help from the statehouse, either in money or spending relief.

Rauner, pushing a pro-business agenda, wants to leverage Chicago’s cash needs to enlist Emanuel in trying to enact the governor’s union-weakening proposals over Democratic opposition as part of a budget agreement. Emanuel has refused to go along — and it’s questionable whether the mayor could engender enough support from lawmakers if he did.

The Republican governor wants to give local governments the ability to weaken collective bargaining rights and end a law requiring that prevailing union wages be paid for work on publicly funded construction projects. Democrats, with allies in organized labor, have opposed Rauner.

 read more….

Council OKs budget with $720M in new taxes, fines, fees

By Tina Sfondeles and Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

It’s a big pill for some homeowners to swallow and a vote that could cut short aldermanic careers, but the City Council on Wednesday approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s call to raise the city’s property taxes by $588 million and add a separate fee for garbage collection.

Before the 36-14 vote on the funding for his budget, Emanuel called the city’s finances “a dark cloud” that has been eroding the confidence of Chicagoans.

He called the property tax hike, spread over four years, the only choice: “There was no other choice. No one ever presented, anywhere, another choice.”

“Is it a piece of art? I don’t think anyone would ever say that,” Emanuel said, adding the budget “will leave us better off.”

Emanuel’s lower-the-boom budget will be funded in part by more than $720 million in new taxes, fines and fees.

read more……

Rahm’s bad-news budget set for vote next week after more concessions

By Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s lower-the-boom budget was teed up for a showdown vote at the Oct. 28 City Council meeting after another round of concessions Wednesday aimed at minimizing dissent.

On the morning after a 17-10 vote on Emanuel’s plan to raise property taxes by $543 million for police and fire pensions, the Finance Committee approved the rest of the mayor’s $718.7 million revenue package with just two dissenting votes.

For four years, Emanuel has tweaked his budgets to throw aldermen a bone and allow them to save face with their constituents — without compromising his own central principles.

He’s followed the same script this year, when aldermen are being asked to cast a vote that could cut their political careers short. The budget includes a $588 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions and school construction and a first-ever garbage-collection fee that has drawn fire from all sides.

To appease aldermen concerned that the garbage fee could escalate or be a prelude to privatization, Emanuel agreed to cap it at $9.50-per-household until after the 2019 election and segregate the revenue generated in a separate enterprise fund.

read more….

Munger says Rauner should give up union attacks

By Eric Timmons – Quad-Cities Online

Gov. Bruce Rauner should give up his attacks on unions to help agree on a budget with Democratic lawmakers and end the spiraling crisis in Springfield, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said Friday.

At the root of the impasse in Springfield is Gov. Rauner’s insistence that any budget deal include a series of reforms – some of which would undermine unions – that many Democrats oppose and argue are not related to the budget.

Asked if Gov. Rauner should stop targeting unions during a news conference in Moline Friday, Ms. Munger, said, “I don’t think it’s productive, I think we’ve got to work together, personally.

“I don’t think it helps to pit people against one another, to be completely honest,” she said. “I believe we need to be all working together to solve the problems in Illinois.” read more……

Emanuel agrees to limit trash pick-up fee increases

By John Byrne and Hal Dardick  – Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed to temporarily limit increases to the controversial new trash pick-up fee he wants to charge Chicago households as he tries to build broader support for his bad news budget.

The $9.50 monthly household garbage fee “shall not be subject to increase from 2016 through and including 2019,” according to an amended revenue ordinance introduced to the City Council Finance Committee on Tuesday.

The four-year limit on increases would carry aldermen and the mayor through the next city election in early 2019. That could spare aldermen who have been reluctant to support the new garbage tax from the political difficulty of explaining to residents why it’s going up again as voters prepare to head to the polls.

Emanuel has been trying to get the council to support his budget, which includes a $543 million property tax hike to deal with police and fire pension shortfalls, in addition to the new trash fee similar to fees levied in many suburbs. Several aldermen have expressed concern that the garbage fee would hit lower-income Chicagoans hardest, that it could be a prelude to privatizing garbage pick-up or that Emanuel might continue to hike the cost or switch to a volume-based trash tax in upcoming years.


On to NLCS: Cubs finish off Cardinals at Wrigley Field

Chicago Tribune

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The Cubs clinched a postseason series at home for the first time in team history Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, topping the Cardinals 6-4 to win the National League Division Series 3-1.

The Cubs advance to the National League Championship Series, where they will play the winner of the Mets-Dodgers series, starting with Game 1 on the road Saturday.

Anthony Rizzo hit the go-ahead homer, his second in two games against Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist, on an 0-2 pitch in the sixth inning, and Kyle Schwarber added an insurance run with a towering solo shot to the top of the right-field video board in the seventh.

Javier Baez also hit a three-run homer off Cardinals starter John Lackey to help the Cubs to an early 4-2 lead.

With two runners on base and two outs in the second inning, Cubs manager Joe Maddon left starting pitcher Jason Hammel in to hit, and Hammel knocked Lackey’s first pitch up the middle for an RBI single.

Baez, filling in at shortstop for injured starter Addison Russell, then crushed a three-run homer to right field to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead. Entering Tuesday’s game, Baez was 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Lackey. read more….

Rauner reaffirms bid to limit public union rights


Gov. Bruce Rauner restated his demand Wednesday that weakening the collective bargaining rights of public workers must be part of a deal to end the political stalemate that has kept Illinois without a budget since July 1.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan, who controls the Democratic majority in the chamber, renewed his long-standing call for the Republican governor to focus on the budget and not on issues that would create “a lower standard of living for middle-class families.”

Rauner repeatedly has pushed for legislation giving local governments and school districts the option of collectively bargaining with unions over wages and other working conditions. He also has pushed to end communities having to pay prevailing union wage rates to construction firms working on public projects.

Rauner also said the only way to “guarantee” saving $750 million in state worker group health insurance costs as part of a plan pushed by Democrats would be to have lawmakers vote to remove unions from negotiating health insurance coverage in collective bargaining.

The governor also touted $1 billion savings each for state and local governments if lawmakers changed public employee pensions by basing it on whether workers give up the right to have future pay hikes included in their retirement calculations.

Rauner once again said Democrats, who have supermajorities in the House and Senate, should either negotiate with him and minority Republicans or pass a tax increase and override his veto. Rauner has made union-weakening provisions in state law a precondition for considering a tax increase.

“Please choose now. Choose now. Time’s up. Let’s be reasonable. The people of Illinois have been waiting long enough,” Rauner said.  read more….

Chicago rat complaints dissected

By Jennifer Smith Richards and Rachel Crosby  – Chicago Tribune

The city plans to reassign 10 workers from the Department of Streets and Sanitation to rodent control next year to help get through a backlog of complaints and shrink the time residents wait between complaint and abatement, city spokeswoman Jennifer Martinez said this week. The workers are being freed up because of changes to the garbage pickup grid, which the mayor’s office has touted as more efficient.

“(The mayor’s) absolute goal for us in 2016 is that all of these complaints have to be answered in five days,” Martinez said.

As of last week, there were 26,600 rodent complaints logged with the Chicago 311 call system for the year, according to data kept by the city. That puts the number of calls this year on par with the past four years and signals that rodent abatement remains a significant issue for Chicago, which last year was named America’s “rattiest city” by a national pest control company.

The city’s 20 crews of two workers each respond to calls and look for evidence of rats. If they find burrows, the crews place rodenticide pellets in them and warn residents they’ve done so with nearby signs. But the crews also revisit previously baited spots to check their success and use predictive analytics to pinpoint where the next problem will be.

read more….

Mayor makes case for budget plan


“Our greatest financial challenge today is the exploding cost of our unpaid pensions,” Emanuel said. “It is a big dark cloud that hangs over the rest of our city’s finances.”

The mayor said the city can’t cut its way to find the money for increasing pension payments. To do so, he said, would mean cuts of 2,500 police officers, or about 20 percent of the force. He also said 48 fire stations — about half the city’s total — would have to be shut down while laying off 2,000 firefighters, or 40 percent of the department.

Other services, including street repair and rodent abatement, also would go by the wayside, he said.

“In short, if we were to fund our pensions with cuts alone, our city services would become unreliable. Our city would become unlivable. And that would be totally unacceptable,” Emanuel said, delivering his sales pitch for a property tax hike to politically wary aldermen.

Additionally, Emanuel proposed a new $9.50-a-month garbage-hauling fee to raise $62.7 million, a combination of ride-sharing and taxi fee hikes to generate $48.6 million, building permit fee increases to bring in $13 million and a new tax on electronic cigarettes to capture $1 million. That money would go toward reducing the city’s year-to-year operating shortfall. read more….

Emanuel’s plan to charge for trash removal spotlights Chicago’s class divide

by Dave McKinney – Reuters

Chicago is just one of three major American cities that currently hauls away garbage for the bulk of its residents for free, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel is about to take away that perk – and finding that the rich and poor have very different views of trash collection in this city.

Among big U.S. cities, only Chicago, Boston and New York City do not charge residents at least some fee tied to garbage disposal, according to a 2014 study by the Citizens Budget Commission, a New York City-based civic watchdog. Chicago also is the second-least-efficient garbage collector, with only New York paying more to collect a ton of garbage, the group found.

The new $9.50 per month flat fee Emanuel wants to charge the 613,000 households that would have to pay for garbage collection is expected to raise more than $60 million. The mayor has proposed cutting that monthly fee in half for about 40,000 seniors with household income of $55,000 or less.

Gunnar Branson, a 50-year-old real estate executive who lives just a block from Emanuel’s wood-frame home on Chicago’s North Side, flinches at paying a new garbage fee but recognizes its urgency and is resigned to its imposition. “I hate that, but I hate the fact that I have to pay for groceries too, and I have to pay for gas,” he said. “Obviously, we want everything for free.”

Chicago is a rarity among major cities for using three-person crews on garbage trucks, an arrangement New York City abandoned in the 1980s. One study said Chicago could save $19.4 million by moving to two-person crews.

Despite the new efficiency in routes, a city budget spokeswoman said Chicago this year expects to spend $244 million on garbage collection, a rise of 16 percent in the past four years.

But privatization is considered unlikely because of labor union opposition and the lingering bad taste left by the 2009 decision to lease the city’s parking meters to a private company. Parking rates have quadrupled since then.  read more….

Emanuel to propose $588M property tax hike, phased in over 4 years

By Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

To eliminate the city’s structural deficit and confront a $30 billion pension crisis that has saddled Chicago with a junk bond rating, Emanuel will ask the City Council to raise property taxes by $588 million by 2018 for police and fire pensions and school construction and impose a first-ever monthly garbage collection fee of $9.50 per household.

The $588 million increase will cost the owner of a $250,000 home roughly $588 more a year. It will be phased in over a four-year period, under the 2016 budget that Emanuel will unveil to the City Council on Tuesday.

A $318 million increase for police and fire pensions would apply to the 2015 property tax levy payable in 2016, coupled with a $45 million increase for school construction, for a total increase of $363 million.

That will be followed by a $109 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions in the 2016 levy, a $53 million increase in 2017 and $63 million in 2018.

The $9.50-a-month garbage collection fee amounts to a back-door property tax increase that would add $114 to the costs heaped on 613,000 Chicago owners of single-family homes, two-, three- and four-flats that still get city pick-ups.

Senior citizens would pay half that amount, just as they do now on city stickers, in a break demanded by the City Council’s Black Caucus. The city is assuming that 40,000 seniors will get the garbage discount.

As expected, the new fee would be tacked on to water bills that arrive in mailboxes every other month. If homeowners refuse to pay the garbage fee, city crews would still pick up the trash to avoid exacerbating Chicago’s already serious rodent problem.  read more…..

Emanuel on Tuesday to seek $600M property tax hike, more fees to fix city

By Hal Dardick- Chicago Tribune

The city property tax hike would be phased in. It would increase by $318 million next year and another $109 million in 2017. The 2018 tab would go up by another $53 million, and the 2019 bill by $63 million. The total increase is $543 million — which Emanuel aides said would add about $543 to the tax bill on a home with a market value of $250,000. The overall tax bill on that home is now about $4,162.

In his budget address, Emanuel also will ask the council to authorize an additional $45 million property tax increase for CPS that would add another $45 or so next year to the property tax bill of that $250,000 home. The money would go to construction projects to alleviate what the Emanuel administration said was classroom overcrowding. The Chicago Board of Education already has enacted a tax increase that would add another $19 to that property tax bill.

Meanwhile, owners of single-family homes, duplexes and four-flats would be charged for city garbage-hauling service for the first time at $9.50 per dwelling unit. Lower-income senior citizens would pay half that amount. The fee would be tacked on to water bills. It would bring in about $62.7 million a year.  read more……

Emanuel dispatches aldermen to back garbage fee

By Hal Dardick  – Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday dispatched a group of aldermen to express support for a first-ever garbage hauling fee on single-family homes, duplexes and four-flats as he lays the groundwork for his 2016 budget address Tuesday.

Minutes after meeting with Emanuel aides, the aldermen held a City Hall news conference to say they back a monthly hauling fee, provided it did not top $11. The aldermen also said they were considering a lower trash fee for senior citizens.

“We are here today to propose a fee that none of us really like, but we think is necessary, and that is a garbage fee,” said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, chairman of the Black Caucus and a member of the Progressive Reform Caucus. “This idea has been going around for many, many years. It’s gained some traction because the city’s in a tremendous financial deficit and no one wants to come with serious solutions to try to plug this hole.” read more……

Council support for Emanuel tax hikes shows city’s geographic, racial divides

By John Byrne and Bill Ruthhart  – Chicago Tribune

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel prepares to ask the City Council for a series of tax increases both big and small, he’s finding that support from aldermen in many cases is breaking down along Chicago’s economic, geographic and racial divides.

City Council members representing the South and West Sides are more comfortable with the idea of voting for a record property tax hike than a new garbage pickup fee. The homes in those wards tend to be worth less, so the property tax bite would be smaller, and Emanuel is trying to get Springfield to shield people whose homes are worth less than $250,000 from the effects. A garbage fee, on the other hand, could mean $11 a month out of every homeowner’s pocket.

Emanuel calls for new ride-share, taxi fees
The dynamic is the opposite for aldermen in more affluent parts of the city. Homes tend to be more valuable downtown and on the North Side, so a property tax hike hits harder, and taxpayers there would not be afforded as much protection under Emanuel’s plan. A garbage fee doesn’t cut as deep, and many residents live in high-rises that already pay private waste haulers.

For Emanuel, the differing political perspectives require a balancing act as he tries to collect the 26 votes for approval. The mayor needs the property tax to make a massive increase in police and firefighter pension payments, but he also wants the garbage fee to help close a year-to-year budget gap. Adjusting the size of each tax hike could prove key. read more……

As Emanuel prepares budget, possible garbage fee is in flux

By Hal Dardick Chicago Tribune
As Mayor Rahm Emanuel puts the finishing touches on next week’s budget proposal, the amount of a new monthly garbage collection tax remains in flux.
An administration source said Thursday the fee would be no more than $11 a month, even as a key ally of the mayor said the fee would be $9.50 a month.
Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, described the charge as the result of “negotiation between a couple of us on the City Council and the administration.”
The fee, which would be charged to about 613,000 houses, duplexes and four-flats, would raise about $70 million a year if everyone paid it, Moore said. The garbage fee would be included on water bills that are sent out every other month, much as they are in many suburbs, he added.
People who don’t pay their water bills can see that service shut off, but the city would still continue to pick up garbage for sanitary reasons in those cases, Moore said.
The Emanuel administration would not confirm the $9.50 a month figure.
“In recent weeks, several aldermen offered an idea to expand the garbage collection fee to all households,” Emanuel spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said in an email statement. “Today, we provided aldermen with relevant information so that no matter the final decision, it can be made with all facts at hand.” read more……

Steinberg: Cupich follows tradition in enlisting God for union fight


“It is the duty of the state to respect and cherish them, and if need be, to defend them from attack,” Pope Leo wrote, during a time of vicious anti-union activities, even more extreme than our own.

It is heartening to see his approach embraced by Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich, who went to bat for Illinois’ besieged labor unions this week.

“History has shown that a society with a healthy, effective and responsible labor movement is a better place than one where other powerful economic interests have their way and the voices and rights of workers are diminished,” Cupich told a gathering at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130 on the West Side Thursday. “The church is duty-bound to challenge such efforts, by raising questions based on long-standing principles.” read more…….

Archbishop Cupich enters political battle over unions


Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich waded into Springfield’s political morass Thursday, standing firmly with organized labor as he blasted a linchpin of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda.

In an almost 40-minute speech, Cupich made frequent reference to the dignity and rights of workers, and spoke of the “proud tradition of collaboration and common commitment between labor and the church.”

“I come here today to offer my friendship and my support as Chicago’s new archbishop and to renew an essential relationship between the Catholic Church and the labor movement,” Cupich said. read more…..

GOP candidate Walker proposes vast restrictions on unions

Chicago Sun-Times – Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker on Monday will call for sweeping restrictions on organized labor in the U.S., seeking to replicate nationwide his successful effort as Wisconsin’s governor to curb the power of unions.

At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, Walker will propose:

• Eliminating unions for employees of the federal government.
• Making all workplaces right-to-work unless individual states vote otherwise.
• Scrapping the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices.
• Making it more difficult for unions to organize.

Many of Walker’s proposals are focused on unions for workers at all levels of government, while others would also affect private-sector unions. Labor law experts said such an effort, if successful, would substantially reduce the power of organized labor in America.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Ann Hodges, a professor at the University of Richmond who has studied labor law for more than 40 years. “This will take the breath away from anyone who’s worked in labor relations for any length of time. . . . It’s pretty draconian.”  read more…...

Emanuel’s floor leader acknowledges mounting opposition to garbage fee

By Fran Spielman – Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Council floor leader acknowledged Thursday that opposition is mounting to a suburban-style garbage collection fee — so much so that the mayor just might have to trash it.

Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th) said he’s fairly confident he’ll be able to line up the 26 votes needed to pass a $500 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions and school construction.

But the alderman said he is not at all certain about Emanuel’s plan to impose a monthly garbage collection fee of between $11 and $12 per household. That’s even though 40 percent of all Chicago households already pay for private scavengers to pick up their garbage. read more…..

Mayor tinkers with garbage pickup schedule

By John Byrne – Chicago Tribune
As he prepares to levy a suburban-style garbage pickup fee on Chicago residents, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is announcing changes in the way the city collects trash.
Emanuel’s office said the adjustments to the garbage grid will result in efficiencies that will cut the cost of trash pickup by $7 million in 2016.
That reduction will not shrink the city’s yawning deficit — which Emanuel plans to help close with a property tax increase of between $450 million and $550 million — because the Department of Streets and Sanitation “will redirect the savings into other city services,” according to the mayor’s office. read more…..

Emanuel adjusts garbage grid to save $7M before imposing fee

By Fran Spielman – CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

“With the partnership of Laborers Local 1001, the grid system has enabled the city to continue providing quality garbage collection services while redirecting $28 million in operating costs to support the citywide recycling and other key DSS Services,” the mayor said in a news release. “We remain committed to respecting Chicago’s hardworking taxpayers by delivering quality neighborhood services in the smartest and most efficient manner to hold down their costs.”

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams added, “We’ve been working with Laborers Local 1001 to evaluate many variables like the amount of time crews were spending on routes and daily tonnage reports, as well as implementing many of the recommendations provided by the Office of the Inspector General, which has resulted in these additional modifications that will further improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the program.” read more……

Emanuel to seek $500 million property tax hike


Mayor Rahm Emanuel is poised to raise property taxes by $500 million for police and fire pensions and school construction and impose a garbage-collection fee to generate $100 million more, City Hall sources said Wednesday.

The $500 million property tax increase will cost the owner of a home valued at $250,000 roughly $500 more each year. The garbage fee — widely viewed as a back-door property-tax hike — will be a monthly assessment of roughly $11 to $12 per household.  read more…….

Chicago Building Trades Labor Mass

Please join us in honoring the

deceased men and women of the building trades.

The Chicago & Cook County

Building & Construction Trades Council will host the

75th Annual All Faiths Memorial Service

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

8404 Cass Avenue

Darien, IL

10:00 A.M.

Everyone is Welcome!