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Saturday, October 31, 2009

LABOR SHORTS on All Hallows Eve

It is Saturday night and, as our schedule has been tight and will be for the foreseeable future, the news necessitates skipping the dubious trick and occasional sweet treat (not that we mind).

So, with door bells ringing and children screaming, we offer you the most ghoulish labor news and views offered to you on this All Hallows Eve…We bring you Labor Shorts #5:

Lastly, we offer you this entry, provided by the late Paul Harvey…way back in 1964:

Any man who claims you owe him a living is a cannibal.

Whether foreign or domestic, he is a cannibal.

If you choose to help him, that is one thing.

If he demands you “help” as his “right,” he is a leech, a sycophant, a parasite.

He is a cannibal seeking to survive by consuming you.

To read the rest of the story, go here.

Don't forget, if you are not on LaborUnionReport's Linkedin Group, you're missing more than a hundred news stories a week.

Best wishes for a productive and prosperous week.

Did the UAW Just Kill Ford too?

There is an old joke among Chevy owners:
FORD = Found On the Road Dead.

Well, this week, the once-mighty UAW may have just sealed Ford's fate.

As most of America knows (or should know), through a tax-payer funded bailout and government-imposed bankruptcy, the Obama Administration gave General Motors and Chrysler shares to the United Auto Workers in exchange for debt owed to the UAW's Voluntary Employee Benefits Association, or VEBA. In other words, the UAW is a major stakeholder in both GM and Chrysler.

Ford, on the other hand, did not become a recipient of taxpayer money and was not forced into bankruptcy by the Obama Administration. And, for this, it appears that Ford may ultimately pay a price (literally and figuratively).

You see, through its government-structured bankruptcy deals with GM and Chrysler, the UAW agreed to concessions, which included lower costs and a no strike guarantee through 2015.

Since a strike is a union's only major weapon and since the Obama administration had convinced the UAW give up additional concessions and holster its strike weapon, both the lower costs and the labor peace has placed Ford in a huge competitive disadvantage. Not only is it left to contend with a higher-priced UAW contract, the UAW can strike Ford when its current contract expires in 2011.

Ford, as would any good business, recently sought to rectify GM and Chrysler's cost and labor peace advantage by asking the UAW to modify its contract to level the playing field for Ford.

Two weeks ago, the UAW leadership agreed to modify its agreement with Ford.
"This agreement is another step in meeting the challenges of a very difficult time in the U.S. auto industry, and we look forward to presenting it to UAW Ford workers," UAW President Ronald A. Gettelfinger said in a statement.

However, that's when the trouble started. Almost immediately, the UAW's 'solidarity' broke as rank and file union members began to campaign to reject the agreement, prompting UAW honcho Ron Gettlefinger to grouse that local leaders were campaigning on misinformation.

As the days progressed over these last two weeks and the local vote tallies came in, it became clearer that the UAW rank-and-file members were rejecting the notion of bringing parity to Ford.
As the Wall Street Journal reported this morning:
Ford Motor Co.'s rank-and-file union members rejected a concessions agreement, leaving the auto maker at risk to higher costs compared with competitors Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co.

Although some locals are still voting through Sunday, the United Auto Workers national leadership has accepted the defeat, said three union sources who asked not to be identified since they don't officially speak for the UAW.

The leadership is now reviewing other options, these people said. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger told Dow Jones Newswires on Friday he will not continue bargaining or conduct a re-vote. Ford will now have to wait for any formal changes until 2011 when the current contract expires.

....

"I think the UAW failed its membership in adequately explaining how important it is for Ford to stay competitive with Chrysler and GM and how relatively minor these contract changes were," said Brian Pannebecker, a Ford Sterling Heights, Mich. axle plant worker who voted for the concessions. The plant rejected the measure by almost 80%.

Now, with the government-backed GM and Chrysler having an economic advantage over Ford, the questions that emerge are: 1) Can Ford survive with its higher cost structure until 2011? 2) Will Ford, like GM and Chrysler, need a tax-payer financed auto bailout? and 3) Did the UAW just doom Ford to failure?

Friday, October 30, 2009

White House Vs. Chamber of Commerce: SEIU's Andy Stern Appears to be Driving the White House's Bus

He's been called, rightly or wrongly, the hand inside Barack Obama's puppet. One thing is certain, however, Service Employees International Union president Andy Stern has a lot of sway with Barack Obama's White House.

In fact, even as President Obama was nominating SEIU-radical lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, the Wall Street Journal reports that SEIU's Stern visited the White House some 22 times from January to July, more than anyone else on the White House visitors log.

The list [of visitors also] includes William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Michael Moore, Robert Kelly (R. Kelly), Malik Shabazz, and Michael Jordan.

But the White House said those aren’t the guys you’re thinking of. Nor is the log complete.

[Yeah...okay.]

So, how much pull does Mr. Stern and his purple-clad comrades have in the White House?

Consider this:

Last June (and perhaps before), the SEIU launched its campaign against the US Chamber of Commerce, largely due to its opposition to the job-destroying and delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act.

As its anti-corporate corporate campaign against the Chamber has progressed over the summer, it has included such Alinsky-like campaign slogans as "Turn off the Lights at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."

Enter the White House...

It is well known that the SEIU has put high-ranking union leader Dennis Rivera has been working hand-in-glove on President Obama's plan to nationalize health care through the so-called "public option." However, it is still rather disturbing how closely the Whte House follows the SEIU's lead.

Earlier this month, in what many view as a 'war on free speech,' the White House entered the fray, joining the SEIU in attacking the Chamber of Commerce before giving the appearance of easing up when it drew criticism for creating an 'enemies list.'

While it is one thing for a candidate running for president to pledge allegiance to a particular group (as then-candidate Obama did to the SEIU), it is quite another for the President of the United States to let someone else drive the bus, as the rest of America is shoved to the back.




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WHO BLEW IT? An Anti-Business State and Fighting Machinists Lose Bout for Boeing Jobs

The months-long, cross-country suspense over who gets the new 787 Dreamliner production line is finally over.

Leaving an Anti-Business Climate

The Boeing Co. has finally reached the conclusion to locate its second production line for the new 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, far away from what many view as the anti-business climate in Washington State.

While the decision is not sitting well with the International Association of Machinists, the union should not be too surprised either.

In September, the union was overwhelmingly decertified at Boeing's facility in South Carolina and, based on press reports, Boeing may have finally tired of its acrimonius relationship with the "Fighting Machinists."
According to Bloomberg:

The union was willing to extend its current four-year contract by another eight years, ensuring no strikes through at least 2020, to secure the 787 work, Rich Michalski said. Instead, Boeing shut down talks two days before its Oct. 26 board meeting and announced Oct. 28 that it would open a plant in the southeastern U.S. state, the first time it has built a commercial-aircraft assembly line outside the Seattle area.

“They won’t ever get us to commit like that again,” Michalski said in an interview last night. “That’s over.”

Sound like the drum beats of war for Boeing in their next round of negotiations.

Pro-union commentator and UC Berkley professor Harvey Shaiken adds: “The risk for Boeing is, moving to South Carolina does not solve its labor issues with the IAM; if anything it adds a troubling new layer to them.”

Unreasonable Demands?

However, despite the IAM's pledge not to strike, it appears that the IAM didn't leave much choice for Boeing.

Boeing says the IAM "demanded new planes be built here [in Washington], offered only an eight-year no-strike guarantee and wanted a gold pass to organize everyone and everything in the company."

Of course, that was in addition to three percent increases every year for another eight years following the 2012 expiration of the union's current contract.

A Parade of Noise-Making Machinists

It also appears that dealing with the Machinists' union and its apparently constant antagonism may be a bigger driving influence behind Boeing's decision.

Matt Gettmann began working in finance at Boeing Co. last year, and it wasn't long before he found himself watching, stunned, as union members prepared for what became an eight-week strike.

The work stoppage cost the company billions in deferred revenue and caused some of the delays in production of its new 787 at a time when Boeing was growing increasingly frustrated with labor squabbles.

"There would be a parade of people, thousands and thousands of them, making noises and screaming" — right in the factory, Gettmann said. "That's the employee-employer relationship? It's shocking."

....

"This looks very much like a company that's tired of dealing with this union, and they've found a way out," said Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with Teal Group. "The union needs to put aside the concept of who's right and who's wrong, and look at who's winning and who's losing. This is not going well from their perspective."

Now that would be an understatment!



Boeing, Boeing...Gone?

Time will tell if Boeing shifts more of its production to more labor-friendly locales, but for the IAM in Puget Sound and Washington State offcials, this should serve as a wake-up call:
Chasing business away with anti-business regulations and unrealistic union demands is not being 'pro-worker'--especially when it causes jobs to be lost.

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Cross-posted on RedState.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Faux Stimulus: $787 Billion to create 25,000 jobs

The White House overstated the amount of jobs the $787 billion stimulus package passed earlier this year has 'created' or saved,' acoording to an AP report.

The government's first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

For example:

- A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced.

- A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending.

- A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees.

There's no evidence the White House sought to inflate job numbers in the report. But administration officials seized on the 30,000 figure as evidence that the stimulus program was on its way toward fulfilling the president's promise of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year.

[Emphasis added.]


Wow! Given that there are only two months to go before the end of the year, there are only 3,475,000 jobs that need to be saved or created by Jan. 1.


Another way to look at it is that we taxpayers spent $31,480,000 for every job that was allegedly "created or saved."

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Teamsters' Strike Pennsylvania Kids

On Wednesday, Teamsters Local 773 surprised parents by calling a last-minute strike against their employer First Student. The strike, called late Tuesday night, caused ten schools to close on Wednesday, cancelling classes for 8,000 kids.

In the video below, watch how Teamster boss Dennis Hower uses "we" when referring to bus drivers' pay (inferring that he is being paid a bus drivers' wage).

"We are the lowest paid school bus drivers in the county," Hower told WFMZ TV.

Who is 'we,' Dennis?

The fact is, in 2008, Hower made nearly $82,000 as a Teamster official--not a bus driver.


School is set to resume on Thursday--without the bus drivers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

THE UNION RAP ON THE DELUSIONALLY-DUBBED EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT...

A funny rap from theTruthAboutEFCA.com.



For more on the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act, see the bottom of this post.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PBS Does a Puff Piece on Richard Trumka (video)

He laughs, he cries, he hollers and he stretches the truth...

PBS' puff piece on AFL-CIO Top Boss Richard Trumka:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

BUSTING THE HYPOCRITES: Obama, Mama Mao, the DNC & Their Union-Busting Law Firm

Were there not have been so much attention paid to the White House Communications Director, media controller, and Maoist Anita Dunn's worshipful comments on mass murderer (and Communist dictator) Mao Zedong, we might not have discovered this story of hidden hypocrisy and seeming conflict of interest.

It seems, however, that as we looked into the Maoist media controller more, the more the hypocrisy surfaced that puts Ms. Dunn, her husband and the entire Democratic establishment (including its Organizer-in-Chief) in a very awkward position with their union bosses.

For years, union bosses, have been running a campaign to push a job-destroying and hallucinogenically-named law called the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). Simply put, EFCA is a bill that effectively eliminates secret-ballot elections on unionization and lets the government dictate workers' wages and benefits through a process called 'binding arbitration.' [More on EFCA here.]

Over the last two election cycles, union bosses spent hundreds of millions of dollars (estimated at well over $1 billion) of their members' money bankrolling Democrats' 2006 takeover of Congress and the 2008 election of Barack Obama.

Indeed, before any Democrat candidate garnered a union endorsement, the candidate was required to pledge an oath of allegiance to the union bosses that included passing EFCA. As a result of this union influence, union bosses have so taken over the Democratic party (and consequently, the Administration) that the DNC seems to be nothing more than the de facto Labor Party in the U.S. In fact, the Purple People Eater, the Service Employees International Union has even pledged $10 million to target politicians that broke their allegiance to the union's agenda.

Given the fact that union bosses like the SEIU's Andy Stern are considered the hand inside Barack Obama's puppet, that both the Obama Administration and the DNC would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a law firm that, among other things, touts its union busting services seems, at the very least, embarrassing, as well as hypocritical.

Nevertheless, we must thank Ms. Dunn for having a Communist dictator as a favorite political philosopher, as it is for that reason that her name stands out and for which she will be remembered. That said, it is Ms. Dunn's notoriety than enabled us to detect the spiderweb of hypocrisy that goes all the way to the White House:

You see, Ms. Dunn, according to Politico and other web resources, is married to a man named Bob Bauer. Mr. Bauer is a partner and Chair of the Political Law Group of Perkins Coie LLP.

Interestingly, according to the bio on his law firm's website, Mr. Bauer is Counsel to Obama for America and General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee, and he has been counsel for many years to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees. Mr. Bauer is also the President's personal attorney.

However, apparently already well-connected, Mr. Bauer's ties to the Obama White House have helped he and his firm enrich themselves and gain even more influence in Washington, as Politico notes [emphasis added]:
Team Obama even installed its own lawyer at the DNC, replacing longtime general counsel Joe Sandler with Bob Bauer, an Obama insider who is married to White House communications director Anita Dunn, another participant in the weekly political meeting. Bauer’s firm has pulled in $306,000 in legal fees from the DNC this year.

According to WorldNetDaily [emphasis added]:
...Federal Election Commission records show $1,352,378.95 in payments were made by Obama for America to Perkins Coie while the law firm was representing him in various court cases which have sought to obtain his long-form birth certificate.

Yet, with all the influential union bosses influencing the White House these days, one cannot help but wonder if the connection has been overlooked or ignored by the union bosses. Or, rather, was it hidden from them?

This could be particularly embarrassing to the White House and the DNC--especially since this same firm appears to have a well-developed practice defending employers...against unions. [Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you--unless you're a politician pandering to union bosses.]

In fact, it would appear that Ms. Dunn's husband even works for one of those so-called "union-busting" law firms that unions rail against when pushing the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act!

From the firm's website [emphasis added]:
...Now, with the Obama administration in power, the labor movement has advocates in the highest offices in the land. If more labor-friendly legislation is passed, such as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), unions will be stronger than ever.

Developing and maintaining productive employee relations is more important than ever. Employers who do not currently have a union presence will need to take action if they wish to preserve that status. Addressing issues that arise during a union campaign can present unique challenges to preserving both employee morale and an employer's economic sustainability.

Perkins Coie's Labor & Employment lawyers have a unique wealth of experience born from decades of representing employers of all sizes who have union issues, from organizing campaigns to negotiating labor agreements to responding to strikes and picketing. We have been at the bargaining table for some of the largest union employers in the United States. Not only have we directly negotiated collective bargaining agreements, we have also worked closely with management to develop strike contingency plans, effectively manage strike activities and defend unfair labor practice proceedings and related litigation before the National Labor Relations Board and in state and federal court.

Indeed, it would appear that the law firm representing President Obama and the DNC not only helps companies during strikes and picketing, but it also gives legal advice to their clients on how to avoid unions altogether.

In other words, the DNC, as well as President Obama, are represented by a union-busting law firm, as this seminar handouts points out [emphasis added]:

Employers who believe it is in their best interests, and the best interests of their employees, to remain union free must take proactive preventive steps to maintain that status. Employers should take immediate steps to ensure that their employees are treated fairly and consistently at all levels and will not feel the need to seek union representation to achieve the dignity, respect, and competitive wages and benefits they deserve. To that end, employers may want to implement additional training for supervisors so that they become more effective leaders. There is nothing more important in a union prevention program than effective first-line supervision. Now is also a good time for employers to review their employee policies to ensure that they provide meaningful and effective avenues for resolving employee complaints.

There are a number of other steps employers can and should consider to make it less likely that employees will sign union cards and to be in the best possible position to fend off a union drive. Studies of NLRB elections show that it is too late to prepare properly for a union organizing drive, much less deter organizing efforts, after a union has knocked on the door. In the current political and economic climate, employers are strongly encouraged to have a candid discussion with experienced labor counsel about what they can do now to adequately prevent unionization.

It sure sounds like Mr. Bauer's law firm Perkins Coie is one of those union-busting law firms that union bosses are always railing against. We wonder, though, why is it the union bosses have been kept in the dark about the DNC-Obama partnership with Perkins Coie? More importantly, we wonder how Democrats in general can push a democracy-busting, job-killing piece of legislation like EFCA with a straight face, while keeping a union-busting law firm on retainer.

Apparently, in Washington, the word 'hypocrisy' begins with a capital 'D'.

Cross-posted on RedState.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

UAW's Top Boss Accuses His Union Brothers of 'Misinformation'

Its public persona is one of 'solidarity,' but there appears to be a schism building between the top brass at the UAW and its local unions at Ford Motor Co. It is a schism that has the UAW's top boss Ron Gettlefinger crying foul against his own union's local leaders, accusing them of misinforming their members on the unions deal with Ford.

Ten days ago, the United Auto Workers reached another give-back agreement with Ford to bring Ford to a par with the UAW-owned Chrysler and government-owned General Motors.

However, according to the Associated Press, there is rank-and-file opposition to the agreement.
Many of the opponents, including some elected leaders at Ford's pickup truck plant in Dearborn, Mich., have urged workers to vote against the agreement, saying it would require too many concessions and would limit the workers' right to strike. Opponents say Ford is profitable yet is asking for more concessions, and that it is time to take a stand against the company.

Gettelfinger said Saturday that opponents are telling workers that the UAW is giving up its right to strike in the next round of contract talks in 2011 — a charge Gettelfinger says is untrue.

"The Ford members retain the right to strike on every issue except improvements in wages and benefits," he said. "Those in opposition to this agreement are using that as an issue."

Those in opposition? Do you mean your own union members, Mr. Gettlefinger?

Friday, October 23, 2009

AFL-CIO Boss Says You're Not a 'Real American' Unless You Support Pelosicare

The AFL-CIO's 'narcissistic, lazy, self-indulgent new boss' Richard Trumka held a rally yesterday afternoon at the AFL-CIO's multi-million dollar headquarters to give a speech about health care.

During the video (see below), Trumka aligned himself with today's neo-socialists (aka "progressives"), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and calling for a "robust" public option (that slippery slope to socialized medicine in three to five years).

While that, in itself is not all that surprising given the AFL-CIO's rush to the left since the 1995 ascendency of DSA-member John Sweeney to labor's top spot, what is rather surprising is Trumka's comment toward the end when he said [at 2:15]:

"Let's go let (inaudible) hear the voices of the real American people...people who stand for real reform."

So, let's get this straight, Mr. Trumka, Americans aren't what you consider "real Americans" unless they support a government take over of health care? Are these the same unreal Americans who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them"? [Ooops...wrong 'progressive.']


Thursday, October 22, 2009

2010: Are Americans Ready to Confront Obama's Organizing Against America War Machine?

From Dienekes' Place and cross-posted here and here.
----------------------------
There are some that are positively giddy over the prospects of the 2010 mid-terms, thinking that our country can turn back the tide of Marxism that has begun to sweep across America.

Hopefully, this post will serve as a warning to all those who believe in individual rights and free enterprise: The opposition is better armed, better organized, and has already begun its campaign to win 2010.

Like an advance scout reporting the movements of our foes, this post may better explain what America's adversaries are up to, before asking you: Are you ready for this fight? Can this nation be saved from the onslaught of Marxism?

First, unions are endorsing candidates far and wide for the mid-term elections. The reason unions are endorsing now is that, for many unions, once a candidate is endorsed, the unions can begin to spend their members' money and marshal their resources for those candidates.

Secondly, and most importantly, as this post [with emphasis added] from the Leftist publication Truthout explains, the war apparatus that is known as Organizing for America has already begun its campaign to diminish the risks to Democrats in the 2010 mid-term elections:


Congressional switchboards were bombarded on Tuesday with over 300,000 calls from supporters of Barack Obama's plan for health care reform....

The event was a part of a national call-in day billed as "time to deliver" by Obama's political arm, Organizing for America (OFA). OFA is the Obama campaign transformed into a political organization that is housed in the DNC in Washington, DC.

DNC Chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said that OFA is the largest department in the Democratic National Committee, with staff in 48 states. Kaine said that when he assumed the chair of the DNC, OFA was not part of the DNC, but that now it is the heart of the organization.

In the past, incumbents had begun to raise money and set their agenda for re-election early in their terms of office. The difference here is that Obama is cranking up the ground game before his first year is over. He will already have a national field campaign in full gear before the off-term elections, a move that could help him avoid the usual losses the party in the White House usually suffers. OFA may also emerge as the most powerful voice in 2016. A candidate with access to OFA's organizational strength will have a huge leg up.

While there is a grassroots model in place, the agenda will come from the top.

While it would be ideal for the agenda to come from the grass roots, in this case, since the glue that holds the organization together is Barack Obama, from an effectiveness standpoint it makes sense for the organization to organize around his agenda. Many national organizations fizzle when the leader who formed them moves on. Case in point, has anyone heard from the Reform Party lately? Once Ross Perot was gone, there was brief life as they fought over the money the party had coming in matching funds, but once the money was gone, so was their momentum.

OFA Still Has Paid Staff in 48 States

Florida has seven paid staff statewide. OFA's Miami Dade Regional Field Director Brad Schenk described the model structure of the organization, which he said was the campaign's model in Iowa in 2007. Neighborhood groups would form and chose captains and team leaders, who would report to a community organizer responsible for multiple neighborhoods. The community organizer communicates with the field office. From there, information continues on up straight to the national office at the DNC in Washington.

The goal would be to have the neighborhood groups extremely well organized; they would have their own phone banks, canvas operations and events. The campaign would provide the neighborhood groups access to data from the 2008 campaign. This is extremely important. In the past, campaigns guarded their lists, but in this case, volunteers in the community will have access to data that will allow them to organize their neighborhoods. Picture the old Chicago model with block captains all over the country.

Schenk described the organization as progressive, but not radical. He said that while the organization will hold rallies, they would not pull off stunts that could make the organization look bad. When others argued that the "tea baggers" were succeeding, Schenk countered by saying that they were hurting, not helping, their cause, going on to say that they were "polarizing the Republican Party."

All of OFA's resources are currently focused on the health care fight and it is an issue that is easy to rally around. The true test will come when OFA is focusing on an issue or supporting a candidate that its supporters are not excited about. The organization has daily access to the Oval Office, it is in transition right now, working hard to reactivate the foot soldiers from the 2008 campaign. If Tuesday's effort is any indication, they are succeeding. The result could give Obama a more powerful political arm than even the two major political parties themselves.


So, tell me, fellow Spartans and Patriots, now that you know the odds America faces, are you ready for this fight, or will we let our nation fall?



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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NLRB UPDATE: McCain Vows to Block AFL-CIO/SEIU's Becker

An update to Saturday's post on the union radical, Craig Becker's nomination to the National Labor Relations Board:

This afternoon, as expected, the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted (without a hearing) 15-8 to confirm President Obama's nominees to the NLRB.

In a welcome and surprising twist, however, Senator John McCain stated that he would "place a hold" on the radical Craig Becker's nomination, effectively blocking a vote in the full Senate.

According to the AP:

Under Senate rules, a single lawmaker can block a full vote on the Senate floor.

"This is probably the most controversial nominee that I have seen in a long time," McCain said. His remarks echoed complaints by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens of business groups that claim Becker's views are "out of the mainstream."

[To say the least!]


The Shopfloor has a good summary (based on an HR Policy Association Brief) as to why Becker may be very harmful to both employers, employees and, ultimately, the economy:

    • Legalizing Disruptive “Quickie” Strikes
    • Eliminating the Employer Role in Union Representation Elections
    • Denying the Employer’s Ability to Challenge the Union’s Definition of the Unit
    • Barring the Employer From Joining the Union in Observing the Election Process
    • Denying the Employer the Ability to Object to Union Misconduct
    • Limiting Employer Access to Federal Courts to Challenge Key NLRB Rulings
    • Creating a “Body of New Campaign Rules” to Neutralize Employers in Union Representation Campaigns
    • Stretching the Statutory Framework

Workforce Management has more on today's events here.

We'll keep you posted with further developments on this important issue as they happen.

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Do Unions Want to Nationalize Your Retirement Too??? In a Word: YES!

Overshadowed by the desire to nationalize health care, the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act, and a host of other items on the socialist wish list is the union desire to nationalize your retirement.

As many union pension funds have tanked and entered the "critical status" (view 2009 critical pension list here), union bosses have come up with a new scheme and are creating a 'national dialogue' [read: propaganda campaign] to encourage discussion toward developing a "new" [read: nationalized] retirement system in the U.S.

While this originally surfaced toward the tail end of last year, there seems to be some growing momentum to this effort.

Indeed, a union-backed group calling itself Retirement USA is holding a conference today to discuss this very topic--nationalizing retirement.

Retirement USA is another friendly-sounding, wolf-in-sheep's clothing consortium of unions (including the AFL-CIO and SEIU) and union-funded groups. Their tagline is: Working for a Universal, Secure and Adequate Retirement System.

As the SEIU's Steve Abrecht who is the union's Director of Benefits and Capital Stewardship explains, their core principles are:

  1. Every worker should be covered by a retirement plan, in addition to Social Security.
  2. The system needs to be as secure as we can make it. We all understand the multiple
    risks associated with long-term work life, investment horizons and retirement horizons.
    The system needs to provide employers and employees ways to manage the risks within
    acceptable limits.
  3. Finally everyone should be able to have an adequate retirement income after a lifetime
    of work. So that when paired with Social Security, an average worker will have sufficient income to match around 70% of pre-retirement income.

Their solution, according to this press report, is to create "a new retirement system which would include social security and current plans."

Hold on to your proverbial wallets because, even though union bosses make the claim they are not endorsing any particular system, you can be rest assured that they are aiming for a redistribution of assets. And, like Argentina did, they may very well be looking to seize your 401[k] and your pension too.

Is Manufacturing Czar Bloom a Bloomin' Maoist Too???

Is Ron Bloom a blooming Maoist?

It seems that the late Mao Zedong has become something of an idol in the Obama Administration.

First, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn tells an audience one of her two favorite political philosophers is China's late Communist leader and mass murderer Mao Zedong.

Now, we come to learn that President Obama's Manufacturing Czar Ron Bloom may also be a Mao fan as well.

Below is an excerpt from a speech entitled Asserting The Union Position In Restructurings -- Steelworker Style, which was delivered at the 6th Annual Distressed Investing Forum held at the Union League Club (NYC) on February 27-28, 2008.

Is it just us, or does there seem to be a few too many mentions of Mao coming from people in the Administration lately?

Hat-tip to Kathy at the Examiner.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Help America's Workplace: How You Can Help Keep SEIU's Inside Man Out of the NLRB...

On Wednesday, a critical vote is taking place in a United States Senate subcommitte that affects nearly every working American regardless whether they own a business, or work for one.

SOME BACKGROUND...

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) affects nearly every employer and employee in the private sector (except airlines and railroads, which are covered by the Railway Labor Act).


  • Unions would like to change to National Labor Relations Act by passing a job-destroying law misleadingly named the Employee Free Choice Act, or EFCA, for short. EFCA is a bailout bill for union bosses in that it effectively eliminate secret-ballot votes on whether employees wish to become unionized or not, as well as lets the government dictate terms and conditions of employment (which includes wages and benefits) onto employees and their employers.

The National Labor Relations Board is a five-member independent agency established to administer and enforce the NLRA. Its members are appointed by the President.

On Inauguration Day, President Obama promoted former Teamster attorney and board member Wilma Liebman to the chairmanship of the NLRB. In addition, President Obama has nominated two other union attorneys, Mark Pearce and Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.

Craig Becker, who currently works for both the AFL-CIO and the ACORN benefactor SEIU as associate general counsel is viewed as a union extremist for his views, which include:

  • Supports "home visits," in which union goons repeatedly harass workers at home until they sign union authorization cards (see here for an example of this intimidating practice)
  • Advocates letting government arbiters impose contracts on workers and employers on workers, without even allowing the workers to vote on the contract (a practice which even Far Left icon George McGovern opposes)
  • Believes employers should be absolutely prohibited from sharing any truthful and noncoercive information with employees about the effects of unionization
  • Illogically and radically compares union certification elections to US Congressional elections, stating that the only question decided in such elections should be which union gets monopoly control over workers, not whether they wish to remain independent and union free.

Read the National Right to Work Foundation's primer (PDF) on union radical Craig Becker here.

THIS WEDNESDAY, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (ironically called HELP) plans to vote on Becker, Pearce and other Obama union nominees without even holding a hearing.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED...

We're passing this call to action along from the Workforce Fairness Institute:

Big Labor’s plans to infiltrate and control vital components of the federal agencies tasked with overseeing their actions are unfolding right before our eyes. In seeking payback for the huge amounts of campaign dollars they expended in last year’s elections, union bosses are aggressively pushing their agenda in every corner of Washington, D.C. – starting with the forced unionization of small business through the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act.

Their latest effort is to push one of their own for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – the very board set up to oversee union elections, investigate labor practices, and interpret the National Labor Relations Act. Big Labor bosses were able to persuade President Obama to nominate the Service Employees
International Union’s (SEIU) associate general counsel Craig Becker for a seat on the board… not very different from having the fox guard the henhouse some might say.

The most troubling aspect of this nomination is that Becker already has a plan to use backdoor tactics to force unionization on millions of U.S. workers. He has written extensively about ways to re-write current union election rules in favor of the labor movement – all without a vote in Congress.

Becker would use the power of the NLRB to dictate pro-union practices that would affect every small business owner and employee in the country.

Take those tactics and combine them with Big Labor’s number one agenda item – the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act and you can see that a perfect storm is brewing that could result in the loss of the secret ballot in union organizing elections and government control over contract negotiations – all without input from the public.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress.”

And to make matters worse, the Democratic leadership in the Senate has refused to call a hearing on Becker’s nomination where Senators can question him and see where he stands on the important issues related to labor policy.

This is another attempt to rush something through without input from the public or even our representatives in Congress.

We need you to act TODAY! Please contact your U.S. Senators and Member of Congress and let them know you oppose Craig Becker’s appointment to the National Labor Relations Board. Let them know you oppose his backdoor tactics to force unionization on the workers in your community.

Sincerely,

Jason McBride
Workforce Fairness Institute

P.S. Becker has also stated that employers have no legitimate role to play when their employees are the target of a union organizing effort. That’s right, no legitimate role. Please take action today to let your Senators and Congressman know to OPPOSE Becker’s appointment to the NLRB.

EXCLUSIVE: Accused of Hypocrisy, Pro-Union NLRB Chair Gets Picketed by NLRB Staffers

It's noteworthy when one of America's most ardent and well-known union supporters employed by the federal government gets picketed and accused of hypocrisy by her own union staff. And that is exactly what happened to former union attorney and current National Labor Relations Board Chairman Wilma Liebman last Wednesday.

On Wednesday, NLRB Chairman Liebman spoke at San Francisco's posh Hotel Kabuki on developments in labor law. Upon her arrival, however, she was greeted by her own employees' staff union, the NLRBU, who were picketing, leafletting, and urging attendees to boycott the event. [That's right, the employees (who hear private-sector cases) at the National Labor Relations Board are unionized!]

A copy of the NLRBU's flyer, as well as a report on the event, was forwarded along to us.

The flyer (at right) is interesting in the fact that the union which represents the staff at the NLRB (the agency ostensibly established to be 'neutral' in the administration of the law regulating private-sector relationships between unions and management) is using the tactics that its brethren in the private sector use on employers.

Here is some of the verbiage [with emphasis added] from the NLRBU's flyer:

THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD UNION ASKS YOU NOT TO ATTEND THE APPEARANCE OF WILMA LIEBMAN

Wilma Liebman, Chairman of the National Labor Rclations Board, will appear here today at a luncheon being given by LERA/IRRA The National Labor Relations Board Union, which represents employees of the Agency, asks that you respect its picket line and refuse to attend the luncheon.

an accusation of a two-faced NLRB chairman...

But there is another side to Wilma Liebman. Although she is charged with the responsibility for ensuring that private sector employers respect the rights of their workers and that they bargain in good faith with the representatives of those workers, Ms. Liebman adopts an entirely different stance with her own employees.

and condemnation...

In January and February of this year, the Union asked Ms. Liebman to end the Agency's violations of federal labor law and to comply with the Order of the FLRA. Rather than do so, she refused to intervene. In so doing, she has condoned the Agency's continued defiance of the law and its refusal to bargain with the lawful representative of its employees, precisely the type of conduct she routinely condemns when it is engaged in by private sector employees. [sic]

Thanks to our sources for providing us with the above intel.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

LABOR SHORTS #4: Exposing Today's Union Bosses One Skid Mark at a Time

Vol. 1, Issue 4
It's Friday and our socks are soaked as Mother Nature drops an early winter Nor'easter on the Eastern third of the U.S. (yep, even some snow flurries in October!).

Nevertheless, we persevere in order to provide you with our fourth installment of LaborUnionReport's Labor Shorts, where we expose another week's worth of shenanigans from today's union bosses. [Click on the following links to see previous installments: #1, #2, and #3.]

  • Seeing Red? Welcome RedState readers! [Last weekend, LUR began posting on RedState.com and we were was surprised to have the following post promoted to the front page: Absence of Erroneously-Named Employee Free Choice Act Has Some Union Bosses Getting Antsy]

  • Deaf, Dumb and Dem. Despite a letter requesting a hearing (PDF), Senate Democrats are ready to confirm SEIU-radical nominee Craig Becker to the pro-union National Labor Relations Board without a hearing on SEIU's Purple People Eater's attorney and ACORN ally. (Read more on Becker here.)

  • Pledging Allegiance to…SEIU? In a newly-uncovered video, the omni-present SEIU gets an oath of allegiance from its Organizer-in Chief to paint the country…purple?

  • Related: Another Purple People Eater Goes into Government. Another SEIUer, Michael T. Kerr, who serves as Assistant to the Queen of Labor, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, has been sworn in as New Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management at the Department of Labor. This brings the number of union insiders running our government to…a LOT!

  • Related ReDux: Purple Pimpernel Among Washington's Most Powerful. Lavender Lapeled Labor Lord (and SEIU boss) Andy Stern is number 36 of Washington's Top 50 Most Powerful People, according to Gentlemen's Quarterly (GQ).

  • Third Time's a Charm. Workers at MeadWestvaco were finally successful in their attempt to oust the United Steelworkers in favor of their own independent union. The USW has seven days to object to the election outcome (again).

  • Unfriendly Skies? Jimmy Hoffa (the Younger) is out campaigning to unionize Continental Airline's fleet service workers, according to a Teamster press release.

  • Get a Job! One way to get people back to work? Drop the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act, says Forbes' Steven Davis. [More on the delusionally-dubbed job-killing EFCA here.]

  • Targeting Toyota? Amid the worst auto industry slump in decades, the Machinists' union--not the Union of Ailing Workplaces (UAW) is targeting Toyota workers.

  • Health Care Workers Walk Out. Yesterday, the Purple People Eater, SEIU, led a one-day walk out of hospital workers in Washington State. Purporting the walk out was over patients instead of profits, the SEIU's contract has been expired since June.

  • Teamster Tussle. Apparently left out of the auto bailouts earlier this year, Teamsters are talking tough over UAW-owned Chrysler's shifting of work to non-union car carriers, fearing that Government Motors (GM) may opt to do the same.

  • Bye Bye, Bronx Biscotti. Despite their clever chants, October 8th was union workers' last day at the Bronx cookie maker Stella D'Oro, following an 11-month strike and the company's sale. The now unemployed union workers left the plant chanting, "The workers united, will never be defeated!" [For background, read 'No Contract, No Cookies!...and No Job!']

  • Tough-Talking Trumka. Though he is accused of being "narcissistic, lazy" and "self-indulgent" from people within his own movement, newly anointed AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka talks of being tougher than his predecessor, DSA member John Sweeney.

  • NO CHIT! Despite the newly-reported Administration ties to health care lobbyists, unions are calling in their chits on health care, according to Townhall, making Dead Fish Sender (and presidential advisor) Rahm Emanuel more afraid of losing union bosses' backing than he is of America's citizen backlash. Continued…

  • Tax Thee Not Me! Unions are fighting mad over the Senate version of Health Reform because it contains a tax on many employer-sponsored benefit plans.

  • NYC Commuters Brace For 'Day of Outrage.' MTA bus and subway riders are bracing for an undefined union job action based on a mysterious text message, although union officials are denying involvement.

  • Corrupt Union Bosses? Former UTU Secretary-Treasurer Michael P. Kelly is heading off to the Big House for a year after pilfering nearly $100k from his union and its members.

  • Corrupt Union Bosses Part Deux? Teamster affiliate, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers' president Edward Rodzwicz, was arrested on Tuesday, accused of soliciting and accepting $20,000 in bribes from a St. Louis lawyer. The Teamsters have no comment.

  • Tips on How Count the Corrupt Union Bosses...Bring more than ten fingers and toes, then go here.

  • Union-Free = Un-Patriotic. The proposed Patriotic Corporation Act will give you a 5% tax break if you let your workers unionize (other strings attached). No word on whether your company or employees would get a government bail out if the union drives you out of business.

  • Unions Taught In Higher Ed? Albeit rather oxy-moronic to begin with, the moronically-named Employee Free Choice Act will be heading to Penn State as the United Students Against Sweatshops aim to teach others about the no-vote unionization bill.

And that, dear readers, is our fourth installment of Labor Shorts.

We hope you have a truly great week's end!

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

Monday, October 12, 2009

EXPOSED: Obama Pledging Allegiance to SEIU

It has long been argued that the King-Maker is more powerful than the King as America is just beginning to see.

Indeed, the Union Label Blog has even questioned whether the SEIU's Lavender-Lapeled Lord of Labor Andy Stern is, in fact, the hand in President Barack Obama's puppet, citing a LA Times article that reported:


When the president met privately with the health industry leaders that day, Stern and a second Service Employees International Union official were the only labor representatives in the room.

And this...


Stern can boast that union officials are scattered throughout the Obama administration. White House political director Patrick Gaspard is a former executive at an SEIU local based in New York. No other union has placed anyone at such a high level in the White House.

Anna Burger, SEIU secretary-treasurer, was appointed to Obama's economic recovery board. And union associate counsel John Sullivan was named to the six-member Federal Election Commission.

Moreover, Stern has enjoyed considerable entree to the new administration -- starting on Inauguration Day, when he joined Obama and the new president's family on the reviewing stand outside the White House to watch the inaugural parade.

Plus this...


Stern's access is envied by some fellow union leaders. John Wilhelm, head of Unite Here, the apparel, hotel and food service union, said his perception is that Stern gets a steady stream of invitations to the White House that other union executives do not.


Well, those upstarts at Breitbart have uncovered a video that provides even more evidence that the Organizer-in-Chief gives his allegiance to the SEIU.

In this video, then-candidate Barack Obama pledges allegiance to the SEIU, stating, “I’ve been working with the SEIU before I was elected to anything” and boasting he was organizing with the Purple People Eater, the SEIU.

Watch as he finishes up by saying: "SEIU, I'm glad you're with me. Together let's change the country."



For more on the SEIU, go here.

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Absence of Erroneously-Named Employee Free Choice Act Has Some Union Bosses Getting Antsy

Union bosses have the federal government all sewn up. They've got a lock on the White House, they've got a lock on the Senate, as well as the House of Representatives. So, what's the problem?

Immediately following the election, the President-Elect appointed the AFL-CIO's Ellen Moran to be White House Communications Director (she has since moved on to the census-controlling Commerce Department), SEIU's Patrick Gaspard to be White House Director of Political Affairs, SEIU's Anna Burger and AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka to his "Economic Recovery Advisory Board," and SEIU's Dennis Rivera is currently running the White House's war on health care. On the day of Barack Obama's inauguration, the newly-annointed President appointed hard-core union radical Wilma Liebman to the Chairmanship of the National Labor Relations Board. Since then, the Administration has appointed dozens (or more) of hard core unionists to various posts in the government and given union bosses some key wins early on like the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and union-only Project Labor Agreements. [For a broader list of union wishes fulfilled go here.]

So, why are union bosses getting antsy and feeling that they're being shoved to the side?

Perhaps it is because the unions' hand-picked president is not performing to their expectations?

As the Boston Globe reports this morning:
[L]abor’s agenda has been pushed down on the priority list by the very lawmakers they helped elect, leaving some union backers frustrated.

Labor is eager to win passage of a “card check’’ bill, a measure that would make it easier for workers to form unions, but the White House and Congress took up a Wall Street bailout plan first.

In the health care debate, labor is seeking to avoid a tax on expensive health care benefits. But President Obama, who slammed the idea during the campaign, this summer indicated he might be open to such an idea.
....

“It’s beyond belief to me,’’ said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. While Obama and Congress inherited “a big mess’’ from Bush, Haynes said, “there aren’t any excuses anymore. If you can’t deliver health care, and you can’t deliver jobs, and if you can’t deliver [card check legislation], and you can’t figure out how to take care of the working people of this great city and country, you don’t deserve to stay in office.’’

The poor economy and the attention demanded by such issues as health care, Afghanistan, climate change, and the pending closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison have put labor unions’ concerns far down on the list in Washington, analysts and lawmakers say.

Many labor union leaders say they still have faith that Obama will push for their legislative wish list, especially the so-called card check bill to allow workers to organize unions without a secret ballot, once he gets a health care bill signed. And while unions are anxious about provisions in the health care bill that might affect union members, leaders say the larger goal of getting closer to universal health care is most important. [Emphasis added.]

When union bosses pushed their guy into the Oval Office, like a Tsunami from the Left, many had assumed that he would flood the American landscape with labor's wish list. While he has in part, some some of the biggest ticket items on labor's laundry list have been stalled.

Following the most expensive union campaign in history, despite the other "inherited" issues, the union agenda was also held back by some moderate Democrats, as well as the absence of Al Franken then, later, Ted Kennedy and, now, Robert Byrd.

Nevertheless, unions seem to be getting cranky that their man in the White House may let their agenda slip through the cracks before 2010 and, once the mid-terms get into full swing, the union agenda may get passed over entirely

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

SEIU Begins Battle to Gerrymander Districts in 2010 Census

The Purple People Eater and ACORN benefactor, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is gearing up for the 2010 redistricting battle, according to Politco's Ben Smith.
Political actors are beginning to invest in the 2010 redistricting battles that will be decided in large part by state legislative elections, and SEIU, I'm told just hired a prominent California union official to run its national campaign.

The official, Courtni Sunjoo Pugh, was SEIU California's executive director and a political player in the state. She's returning to Washington with the title of National Redistricting Project Director.

This comes on Friday's revelation that SEIU also wants illegal immigrants counted in the 2010 census.

Friday, October 9, 2009

SEIU Wants to Count Illegal Immigrants in Census

The Purple People Eater Union, otherwise known as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) wants the 2010 census to count everyone who happens to be in America, whether they are here legally or not.

From the Purple Beast's website:
It is in peoples’ best interest to be counted because the US Census is how our country makes decisions about allocation of resources and local representation, regardless race or immigration status.

Here is Beck on the topic.



Why the effort to include illegals?

Well, very simply, if you didn't watch the video above, it goes to the redistricting of Congressional districts and the apportionment of the treasury.

More bodies (legal or illegal) mean more representatives. More representatives for illegals means more votes to fund programs, more votes to confer rights, more votes to do the SEIU's bidding.

For more info on the SEIU, go here.

Ten More Reasons the Oxy-Moronically Named Employee Free Choice Act Must Fail

From Secret Ballot Watch


Over the summer, we offered 10 reasons why the Employee Free Choice Act should fail. It was a good list, but incomplete.

You see, EFCA has the potential to wreak such havoc on our economy and workers’ rights that it’s not difficult to find yet another 10 reasons why it should fail:

10. Substituting one bad idea for another is not a “compromise.”

9. A key EFCA negotiator is “not happy” with the “compromise” bill.

8. States from coast to coast have rejected it.

7. It’s an act only a labor boss could love.

6. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are against it.

5. It has an equally evil twin.

4. It has another equally evil twin.

3. Even EFCA supporters seem confused about what’s in the bill.

2. A federal agency has already declared a key feature of EFCA “unreliable.”

1. The unemployment rate is already too high, and EFCA would only make it worse.



Beats Letterman's Top Ten any day!

For more news and views on today's labor unions, join LaborUnionReport's group on Linkedin or follow us on Twitter.

"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." -- Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Thursday, October 8, 2009

LABOR SHORTS #3: Exposing Today's Union Bosses One Skid Mark at a Time

Vol. 1, Issue 3
Dear Readers:

As the week's end fast approaches, we offer you our third installment of LUR's Labor Shorts, where we expose today's union bosses one skid mark at a time.

Here is this week's list of the most relevant union happenings across the country (and beyond), brought to you in short and "tweet" form (that is 140 characters, more or less):

And that, mates, is our Labor Shorts #3!

With best wishes for a great week's end!

LaborUnionReport

For more news and views on today's labor unions, join LaborUnionReport's group on Linkedin or follow us on Twitter.

"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." -- Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

KEEPING IT ON THE DOWN LOW: Obama's SEIU Man in the White House Gets Exposed Down Under

Some of the best reporting comes from some of the oddest places (like New Zealand).

As America is now beginning to learn, our federal government has been taken over by (to borrow a term) "union thugs."

While other unions have their people in different positions throughout the government, none has had as many people put into higher places than the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). [To read more about SEIU, go here.]

For example, lavender-lapeled labor lord, SEIU's Andy Stern, has had the Obama administration put Ellen Moran into the Department of Commerce (after a brief stint as White House Communications Director), Dennis Rivera in charge of Obama's attack on health care and, like a hand in a rubber glove, Patrick Gaspard (from SEIU 1199) is the President's Political Director.

Due to revelations coming to light over ACORN, Gaspard's SEIU ties to the nutty organization are being exposed, as well as his current influence on the administration being called into question.

To expose the ties between Gaspard and the machinery of the Marxist left, Trevor Loudon, chief blogger at New Zeal has posted a good, but lengthy, connect-the-dots post on Gaspard and his ties (scroll to 10/1/09 post).

It will be interesting to see if Obama circles the wagons around Gaspard, or throws him under the bus, as he did communist Van Jones.


We'll just have to wait and watch.


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How Much Do You Know About the Employee (Not So) Free Choice Act?

If you are seeking information about the Employee Free Choice Act, go here.

If you would like more information about unions and their tactics, go here.

If you would like to receive regular updates on the status of the Employee Free Choice Act, as well as news and views about today's unions go here.

More on the Hallucinogenically-Named Employee Free Choice Act

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