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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Philly Nurses Opt for Pickets Over Patients

At seven o'clock this morning, 1500 RNs and staff employed by Temple University Hospital took to the picket lines after negotiations between their union PASNAP and the hospital broke down.
The key sticking points are the usual, pay increases andhealthcare benefits.

Temple said the hospital will be fully operational during the walk-off. Officials have hired 850 temporary workers to fill the gap.

The hospital said its 400 physicians are continuing to direct patient care, assisted by 3,000 other employees who are not members of PASNAP, and the "fully qualified, licensed and credentialed temporary nurses and allied-health professionals who are replacing striking employees."

Union officials, on the other hand, said rates the hospital is paying to those temporary workers will cost Temple millions that could have instead been used to settle contract disputes.

After the work stoppage began, administrators invited striking employees to return subject to the terms set forth in the hospital's final offer, promising anyone who accepted that they could resume work.

As required by law, PASNAP did provide the hospital with a 10-day strike notice, which gave the hospital time to recruit staff to replace the strikers.




__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.
For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Humor Warning: Obama Signs Executive Order Granting Unions Religious Status

From our inbox moments ago...

Knowing that, left alone, the title of this post would cause much consternation, we provided the "humor warning" to ensure there is no confusion that this is a spoof*:

Obama Signs Executive Order Granting Unions Religious Status

Newly appointed labor appointee Craig Pecker, sporting a gold fez and holding the spear of destiny, pulled President Obama out of his pocket long enough for him to sign an executive order to grant Labor Unions religious status.

Political experts were shocked at the act but not because it was audacious, insulting, and/or ridiculous. Their confusion came from the fact that Obama had already done this with his first executive order, once inaugurated, over a year ago and just moments before he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

Mr. Obama said something about his campaign pledge for transparency and yes we see right through you Mr. President. Mr. Becker allowed interviews but only after a sizable donation and threats of broken arms.


* Note: It has been said that, behind every joke is a grain of truth.

__________________

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

Menaces to Society? Reason Gives Three Reasons How Public-Sector Unions Are Killing the Economy

For the first-time ever, in 2009, public-sector workers belonging to unions surpassed private-sector workers who belong to unions.  This trend is likely to continue, irrespective of the fact that the SEIU is now running the National Labor Relations Board.  Moreover, as public-sector union membership swells under President Obama, the consequences to the economy will continue.

Reason's Nick Gillespie offers three reasons why public-sector unions are helping to kill the economy [edited for brevity]:
1. They cost too much. As USA Today recently noted, federal employees make on average almost $8,000 more than their private-sector counterparts. When you add in benefits, the gap spreads to about $30,000.

2. We can’t fire them. The private sector has shed positions in response to slackening demand and the economic downturn.

3. They create a permanent lobby for expanded government and higher taxes. Look at California, where teacher unions have spent over $211 million dollars on elections in the past decade. One result is that 40 percent of California’s budget must be spent on education, regardless of the number and needs of students. Over the last 10 years, taxpayer contributions to public-sector pension funds has increased by 2000 percent!

Read the rest here or view the video.



Any way you look at it, in too many cases, it appears that today's public-sector unions are quickly making themselves menaces to society.

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

SEIU threatens to take Houston's janitors on strike

From the Houston Chronicle:

The labor agreement covering 3,200 Houston janitors expires at midnight without a new contact in place, but they'll keep working for now.

A union representative said negotiations will continue Wednesday because scheduling conflicts kept representatives of the janitors and commercial cleaning companies from meeting earlier.

About 1,800 janitors who are represented by the Service Employees International Union signed petitions vowing to go on strike if necessary, said union spokeswoman Leslie Mendoza Kamstra.

The janitors are seeking higher wages and fully paid health benefits, she said. They earn $7.75 an hour, which is 50 cents more than the federal minimum wage, and pay $20 a month for health care.

Actually, the unionized janitors only make $7.65 an hour, since the SEIU takes $0.10 an hour in union dues.

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prudential’s Rock Slides $100 Million on ObamaCare Costs

Adding to the growing (and updated) list of companies (and their workers) who are paying the price of ObamaCare, we can now throw Prudential Financial onto the heap.

Insurer Prudential Financial Inc. said Monday that it will take a $100 million charge in the first quarter in relation to the recent health care overhaul legislation.

The life insurance and annuities provider said in a regulatory filing that it will take the charge against earnings in the first quarter.

[snip]

Prudential said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the health bill signed into law by President Barack Obama last week and a companion measure he is expected to sign Tuesday will reduce its tax deduction for retiree health care costs beginning in 2013.

Companies that provide prescription drug benefits for retirees have been getting subsidies covering 28 percent of eligible costs but could deduct everything they spent on the benefits — including the federal money — from their taxable income.

Not surprisingly, Henry Waxman's nostrils flared at the news.

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

On UAW Membership Losses: Tell us how you really feel...

Yesterday, we reported on the UAW losing tens of thousands more members in 2009.  Today, the Detroit Free Press has a letter to the editor worth sharing:

In the March 30 article “UAW membership sinks to post-WWII low,” the statement “auto bankruptcies cost it (the union) jobs in manufacturing” is a lie, used to front a story when bankruptcies are only two years old and the decline has been going on for the past 20 years. The government destroyed the unions by changing the work rules and laws to make workers disposable. First with NAFTA and then paying manufacturers via foreign investment tax credits to go overseas for cheap labor to favored trading countries such as China and calling it a world market. A true lockout.

The final straw was allowing temporary workers and workers willing to work for half the wages and no benefits.

The union used to call them scabs, and now they are welcomed. All those who fought and died for the American dream of a piece of the pie have been betrayed by greed and avarice, the new American way of defeating union brotherhood and solidarity forever.

Paul Heller
Washington


While Mr. Heller blames the government, more likely the decline of the UAW is due to competition from more efficient automakers. 


Perhaps Mr. Heller should have questioned the 'greed and avarice' of his union sooner.


———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

An ACORN is an ACORN (even if it's shaped like cashew).

Last week, we reported to you that the ACORN tree has allegedly fallen and the little nuts were scattering.  However, we also warned not to crack the bubbly just yet.

Well, turns out we were right.

Matthew Vadum over at Breitbart's Big Journalism has posted this interesting little piece about ACORN's effort to re-brand itself into other nutty groups.


ACORNrebrandingchart_Master -

Even if you take all of the nuts out of the tree and scatter them around, the problem is you've just planted a whole lot of nutty trees.

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

The SEIU Respects the Rights of Others...

No really...

They do...

NOT.



———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Recuse Thyself, Mr. Becker...

This is rich, too rich...

On the SEIU's Craig "Demon Pass" Becker's potential conflicts of interest, the battle is beginning.

From the Wall Street Journal:
No sooner did President Barack Obama exercise his recess-appointment powers to put labor lawyer Craig Becker into a seat at the National Labor Relations Board than a group that has challenged unions said it will ask Becker to recuse himself from 12 pending cases before the board.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation said Becker, who has served as counsel for the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO, should not hear cases in which the foundation is providing legal aid to workers, because Becker directly opposed the group while serving as counsel for the SEIU and because his prior writings demonstrate a bias against the group.

“We just don’t think he’s going to be able to impartially adjudicate cases involving the Foundation’s attorneys,” said Nick Cote, a spokesman for the group. He cited several writings, including a 2005 article that Becker co-wrote in the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law in which the foundation is referred to as “funded by the most anti-union fringe of the employer community.” [Emphasis added.]

Given that Becker worked for the SEIU and the AFL-CIO (a federation that consists of 57-individual unions), as well as the fact that Becker is the only known NLRB member to have gone straight from union hack advocate to the NLRB, we are hard-pressed to see where there is not a conflict of interest involving any case that has one of his union bosses as a party.

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

Image Credit: Labor Pains

United Auto Workers loses another 75,846 members...

The Union of Ailing Workplaces (also known as the UAW) lost another 75,846 members in 2009 or the equivalent of 17.6%.

Down substantially from its peak of 1.5 million members in the late 1970s, the UAW went from 431.037 members at the end of 2008 to a low 355,191 at the end of 2009.
The value of UAW's assets dipped by about $70 million to $1.13 billion, while its receipts fell by nearly $30 million to $277 million.

Faced with the humiliation of having to sell its famed Black Lake Resort, the UAW's fortunes have fallen on hard times, despite gaining a majority ownership stake in Chrysler and 17.5% ownership in General Motors.

In addition to its loss of members, the UAW has also suffered an image problem over the last year.  In part, this is due to the auto bailouts and structured bankruptcies under the Obama administration, as well as the negative perception of the public at large.

“They think we are overpaid, lazy workers, and we are not,” said Ronda Danielson, president of UAW Local 879 in St. Paul, Minn.

Well, that may or may not be the case.

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

The SEIU, the NLRB & Recess Appointments: A Shrewd Obama Trick?

If you work in the private sector (except for airlines and railroads) the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) is a little known agency that can have a huge impact on your work life.  Given that the goal of union bosses is to turn millions of Americans into dues-paying union members, what happens at the NLRB is of consequence to you, whether you're an employee or an employer.

Over the weekend, President Obama 'recess appointed' two union lawyers (SEIU and AFL-CIO attorney Craig Becker, as well as union lawyer Mark Pearce) to the National Labor Relations Board.  The highly controversial Becker is the only known NLRB member to have gone from employment by a union directly to the NLRB.

[Although current NLRB Chair Wilma Liebman is a former union attorney employed by the Teamsters and Bricklayers' unions and is considered highly pro-union, she did spend time in other governmental capacities prior to being appointed to the NLRB.]

Obama's recess appointments of Becker and Pearce has rightfully angered the business community, those job creators whom President Obama claims to respect.

[We have compiled a round-up of commentary here.]

What is very interesting about Obama's blatant catering to union-boss wishes is his purposeful neglect of his Republican nominee Brian Hayes.  [Hayes was part of Obama's three-member nominee package last year.]

As über-blogger Bret Jacobson notes on Big Government.com*:
[T]he president has gone well outside the norm of history by failing to appoint a Republican and Democrat at the same time. Some worry he is trying to stack the deck to make sure government can — as they have said in their own words — “change the rules governing forming a union through administrative action” even without passing a card check bill.

Former NLRB member and attorney Peter Kirsanow takes this a step further writing in the National Review:
Lost in the noise concerning Becker's recess appointment, however, are signals that the Obama administration is playing a rather shrewd longer-term game concerning the NLRB.

As another former NLRB member and attorney, John Raudabaugh, writes on his firm's website:
More change is imminent. Current Republican Member Schaumber’s term ends August 27, 2010, and current General Counsel Meisburg’s term ends August 14, 2010. It is possible that Becker and Pearce will be packaged along with Hayes and a yet-unnamed Republican nominee for a Board seat and a Democrat nominee to fill the General Counsel position sometime this summer. Such a move would convert Becker and Pearce from recess appointees to confirmed members with the longest available terms all reallocated to Democrats.

As the law firm of Ogletree Deakins asserts:
If those vacancies are not filled, there would be no Board Member to write dissenting opinions to help guide reviewing federal courts on appeal.

Former NLRB member Kirsanow, however, suggests there could be an even more sinister goal of the administration afoot:
[Hayes] was not among the recess appointments this weekend. This suggests that the president may be using the appointment of Hayes as leverage to get the Senate to confirm the original three-nominee package.

Why is this of note? Because recess appointments last only until congress adjourns at the end of 2011. But if the senate confirms Becker and Pearce in exchange for getting Hayes on board also, Becker and Pearce's confirmed terms would be extended by approximatelythree more years plenty of time for the Obama Board to make a substantial imprint on labor law.

In other words, Becker and Pearce's appointments may be being used as a trap to lure the Senate (Republicans) into giving Becker and Pearce full terms on the NLRB.  If the Senate falls goes for it, as opposed to mere 'recess appointments,' the union bosses at the SEIU and AFL-CIO will have near-full reign on the NLRB for years to come and, as a result, have more damaging effects through an agency that governs nearly every private-sector workplace.

[* Emphasis added throughout.]

———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Putting Employers 'Out of Their Misery:' A Round-up on the New Union-Controlled NLRB

Yesterday, President Obama recess-appointed SEIU and AFL-CIO attorney Craig Becker, along with union attorney Mark Pearce to the National Labor Relations Board, making the “bi-partisan” Board a tool of union bosses.

[NLRB Chairman Wilma Liebman is an attorney formerly employed by the Teamsters and Bricklayers' unions.]

With only one Republican Board member to three union-side Board members, even the slightest modicum of ‘neutrality’ on the Board is finished.

The following is a round-up from around the web [with emphasis added throughout]:

From the American Thinker:
I think it's safe to say that the NLRB is now about as impartial a body as Robespierre's Revolutionary Tribunal that condemned tens of thousands to the guillotine during the French Revolution.

Now that SEIU flunky Craig Becker has been added to the board via recess appointment, it will be as if Andy Stern woke up on Christmas morning with this heart's desire in his stocking...

The Las Vegas Review Journal:
In past writings, Mr. Becker reveals himself as a radical collectivist who questions the sanctity of private property, rails against "individualism" and argues that unions are necessary in order to combat the evils of "competition and contract."

At a time when the president should be bending over backward to reassure the nation's employers that he's not some Marxist out to further punish them, appointing a character of Mr. Becker's background is like handing the NLRB a pistol and saying, "Put them out of their misery."

The American Spectator:
Acting like a Latin American caudillo President Obama continues to thumb his nose at Congress, daring Republican members of the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against him.

[snip]

Becker also believes that all Americans should be forced to join unions whether they want to or not.

The Washington Examiner:
There’s no compelling reason for such a radical advocate to be given such an important post. Aside from the problem of the fox guarding the hen house, it just reeks of political payback. Unions spent $400 million getting Democrats elected in 2008 and now Obama’s going to stack the deck in their favor, killing jobs and sticking it to the taxpayer in the process.

Katie Packer at Townhall.com:
Craig Becker’s nomination is a threat to the economy because he believes small businesses “should have no right to be heard in either a representation case or an unfair labor practices case” meaning “employers have no standing to assert their employees’ right to fair representation.” These are Becker’s own words, which were published in the University of Minnesota Law Review in 1993.
This extreme nominee believes employers should have no “legal standing” in the unionization process of their own workplace. Really? So the AFL-CIO’s Rich Trumka and the SEIU’s Andy Stern should have a voice in the unionization process and the guy who started the business should not? It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.

The Daily Caller:
President Obama on Saturday gave organized labor a big payback for its help in pushing his health-care reform across the finish line, unilaterally appointing a controversial pro-union attorney to the body that arbitrates the rules for union elections, after his nomination attracted bipartisan opposition in the Senate.

Coming just a few days after the president’s health-care plan was passed into law despite opposition from Democrats and Republicans in Congress and strong disapproval in most public opinion polls, the move promised to only heighten political tension in Washington.

The American Pundit:
Becker isn’t just a thug, he’s a labor radical. He believes in mandatory unionization. He also believes “employers should be stripped of any legally cognizable interest in their employees’ election of representatives.” This guy has union bosses everywhere smiling as he will use his position on the NLRB to further unionize the country and place it under the control of powerful organized labor.

The Washington Examiner [part deux]:
Expect Becker to come on like a man possessed once he is ensconced at the NLRB because nobody expects the next Congress to be any more receptive to his appointment than the current one. But nine months of Becker on the NLRB is better than nothing, especially because the Senate has been markedly unsympathetic to Card Check, despite it being the union bosses' No. 1 legislative priority.

The Truth About EFCA blog: 
Card Check and NLRB: Raw Deal or New Deal?

“The NLRB is now 3 to 1. On August 27, it will be 3 to 0. Not since the New Deal and first six years of the NLRB, 1935-1941, has the Board been all Democrats or all from one party. Labor law reform followed in 1947 to balance the scales. Is the past to be prologue”


The Truth About EFCA (II):
“Becker is the first person ever to sit on the National Labor Relations Board that has worked directly for a labor organization. Those with business before the board have a right to face a fair and impartial panel, but it is highly doubtful that Becker will administer our nation’s labor laws in an unbiased manner.

“Radical partisanship has no place in a federal board designed as an independent agency to serve the public interest,” said Elmer. “Allowing Craig Becker a seat on the National Labor Relations Board will disrupt years of established precedent and the delicate balance in current labor law,” Elmer said.

The Workforce Fairness Institute:
“With today’s recess appointment, President Obama has completely undone his own argument concerning job creation and traded away any credibility his administration might have on the economy. Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board will only result in higher unemployment and more burdens on small businesses due to his willingness to enact administratively portions of the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act.

Check back for more additions to this round-up.

Sen. Demint: The President is 'mocking Americans'...





Flashback: Senator Johnny Isakson [R-GA]:



———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

BREAKING: Obama Pays Back SEIU & AFL-CIO Bosses, Makes Unilateral Recess Appointment of Craig Becker

Update:  Putting Employers 'Out of their Misery':  A Round-up on the Becker Appointment

As we've been forewarning for nearly a week, demonstrating his penchant for appeasing union allies, President Obama made a recess appointment earlier this afternoon of SEIU insider attorney Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.

The US Chamber's Randal Johnson said of the appointment:
"This recess appointment disregards the Senate's bipartisan rejection of Craig Becker's nomination to the NLRB," Chamber Vice President Randel Johnson said in a written statement.

"Overriding the will of the Senate and providing this special interest payback contradicts the president's claim to change the tone in Washington," he said. "The business community should be on red alert for radical changes that could significantly impair the ability of America's job creators to compete."

According to the NLRB's press release:
President Barack Obama today announced the recess appointments of attorneys Craig Becker and Mark Gaston Pearce to fill two vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board.

[snip]

Becker has served as Associate General Counsel to both the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations.

[snip]

Pearce was a founding partner of the Buffalo, New York law firm of Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux, where he practiced union side labor and employment law before state and federal courts and agencies.  [Emphasis added.]

The appointment today of both Becker and Pearce, while ignoring the nomination of a potential fifth Board member means that, instead of having a full NLRB of five members (which would normally consist of either three Democrats and two Republicans, or vice versa, depending on the party of the President), the NLRB will have three Democrats to one Republican, virtually guaranteeing all pro-union/anti-employer rulings in the future.

We will have more on this next week on LaborUnionReport.com, as well as our blog.

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Private-Sector Cost of ObamaCare: One-quarter of a billion dollars and a thousand jobs so far…

It's been only three two days since President Obama signed his "landmark" (not-quite-done-yet) legislation and the costs are only now starting to emerge over the White House's ongoing problem--jobs.

The tally so far (and we're just getting started) is that the health care legislation will cost two companies one-quarter of a billion dollars this year and a third company about 1,000 jobs:

From the Wall Street Journal:
Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.

In an email titled "President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation" sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that "we expect that Verizon's costs will increase in the short term." While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that "it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation," and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company's policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year. [Emphasis added.]

This is just the beginning.  Add John Deere to the list, as well:
Deere & Co has become the second US company to warn of a loss to President Barack Obama's controversial US healthcare reforms, saying that the legislation will cost it $150m in earnings.
The maker of John Deere tractors said the hit would be taken primarily in the February-to-April quarter, for which analyst had been expected the group to report earnings of about $450m. [Emphasis added.]

The administration is freaking out that this is leaking out in dribs and drabs:
...Gary Locke, the US Commerce Secretary, condemned as "premature and irresponsible" the Caterpillar and Deere statements, saying that some the details of the package were still being ironed out.

"A lot of the regulations on how this will affect big business haven't even published yet," Mr Locke told television channel CNBC.

Translation:  We don't to hear bad news because we still need to sell the already-passed legislation to voters before the mid-term elections.

Since many of the workers at the companies cited above are union workers, it might be helpful for their union bosses who pushed ObamaCare so hard to remind them of President-elect Obama's election night speech:  “It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.”

Now, that's change you can believe in!
———————

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

BREAKING: IT'S NOT APRIL FOOL'S DAY: U.S. House Must Re-Vote on ObamaCare!!!

Having had to check the date twice to confirm it is not, in fact, April Fools Day, both the Daily Beast and Politico are reporting the same thing, which means it must be true!

The House of Representatives are going to have to re-vote on ObamaCare!

From Politico:
Senate Republicans have suceeded in forcing Democrats to send the health reform reconciliation bill back to the House for another vote, after Senate parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled early Thursday morning that two minor provisions violated the chamber's rules and couldn’t be included in the final bill.

Democrats believe the provisions — technical changes to language about Pell Grants for low-income students – are so minor that they don’t threaten to derail the reconciliation package, which includes a series of fixes to the reform bill that has already been signed into law by President Barack Obama.

But clearly Democrats are anxious to put the health care voting behind them – given the painful history of the past year of close votes and near-death experiences on the bill – and want nothing to pop up now that could give them headaches.

And the Daily Beast:
Guess it's not a done deal just yet. The Senate parliamentarian found two violations of reconciliation rules in the health-care package voted on by the House last weekend, forcing the bill to return to the lower chamber for another vote. According to Senate rules, provisions in a reconciliation bill must involve the federal budget. Two features, which the Democrats are calling "minor," didn't meet that standard. The Republicans in the Senate had tried to stop the bill by offering dozens of amendments, hoping to force the bill back to the House for another vote that way, but were unsuccessful. The Senate worked until 2:45 a.m. Thursday, with debate growing animated and confused at times. One sticking point seemed to revolve around Pell grants, which the reconciliation bill increases. The Senate should vote on the final package Thursday, and the House is expected to vote again—and for the last time—this weekend.

Apparently, when you rush to take over 1/6th of America's economy, mistakes are bound to be made.

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


Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BREAKING: Sen. Tom Harkin Confirm's Craig Becker Easter Recess Appointment to NLRB

As the nationalization of America's health care has captured the nation's attention this week (we've been posting HCR-related stories on LaborUnionReport.com), other than SEIU's Andy Stern gloating that the SEIU has changed America "forever," there has been little focus on other union-related issues.

Today, however, our focus is pivoting back to the over-riding union agenda, which is the unionization of America.  [Employers, it's time to get your armor on.]

The hard-left blog FireDogLake is reporting that Senator Harkin (D-IA) is promising that President Obama will be appointing SEIU-attorney Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board over the Easter recess.

Earlier this month, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis intimated that Craig Becker, a nominee for the currently non-functioning National Labor Relations Board, would get a recess appointment to the body. Now Tom Harkin is saying the same thing, telling CQ “It’s going to happen” during the Easter recess, set to begin March 26, or whenever the reconciliation bill is completed in the Senate.
                                                                                                       
To read the entire FDL post go here.

In other NLRB-related news, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this week as to whether the NLRB's current two-member panel constituted a "quorum" as defined by NLRA.  [For a good, humorous take on the case, go here.]

To stay current on union-related stories, be sure to go to LaborUnionReport.com. 

SEIU Boss Andy Stern: We 'changed America forever'...

SEIU boss Andy Stern, as the hand inside Barack Obama's puppet, is arguably one of the most powerful men in America.

As his union, along with other ObamaCare advocates, plan on hitting the airwaves with a $5 million ad buy to provide cover fire for BHO and his fellow Democrats, Stern paused for a moment to do some gloating.

After attending the signing of ObamaCare yesterday (Stern is, after all, the most frequent visitor to the White House), Stern put a short video out to his union of purple people eaters bragging how they 'changed America forever.'

[via HotAirPundit]



Gee, thanks, Andy!  I guess we owe all this to you!..

“It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.” — President-Elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

“It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” Ayn Rand,The Soul of a Collectivist, For the New Intellectual, 73

No further comment necessary.

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Best Breakdown on Health Care Reform: 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms

There is still much to read on the Democrats' nationalization of America's health care industry.  However, Investor's Business Daily has posted 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms which is, in our opinion, the best break down of the Democrat's takeover to date.

Here are the first five:
  1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)
  2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).
  3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).
  4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).
  5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employees’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

To read the next 15 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms, go here.

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go toLaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

You might have already met Mr.Fred Kite. He’s our new union boss…

Much has been written on how today's unions, after decades of serious decline, are trying to rebuild themselves.

Many, like the SEIU's Andy Stern, seem to think their European counterparts, with their ability to control entire industries are the model to which they aspire.

To see the future of the US of A, one need only to have a gander at Mr. Fred Kite...and envision a purple tie.



History often has a funny way of repeating itself.
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"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

ACORN's rotten tree has fallen...but don't get too excited.


According to Politico's Ben Smith, ACORN is folding...closing up shop...giving up the ghost...

An ACORN honcho sent an e-mail to Smith:
The ACORN Association Board met on Sunday March 21 and approved a set of steps to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months. These include:

* Closing ACORN’s remaining state affiliates and field offices by April 1st; and

* Developing a plan to resolve all outstanding debts, obligations and other issues.

ACORN’s members have a great deal to be proud of--from promoting to homeownership to helping rebuild New Orleans, from raising wages to winning safer streets, from training community leaders to promoting voter participation—ACORN members have worked hard to create stronger to communities, a more inclusive democracy, and a more just nation.

However, before cracking the celebratory bottle of chablis, Smith's comment may give some pause:
ACORN was always a very decentralized group, with a great deal of its activity and power concentrated in local chapters from New York to Arkansas -- the strongest of which will survive.

This brings to mind a Greek hydra as ACORN's demise may only spawn many more mini-ACORNs.
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"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go toLaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

Monday, March 22, 2010

If nationalizing health care is so good, why do Democrats and their union bosses need to go out and “sell” it?

Unions have long preached "brotherhood" and "an injury to one is an injury to all."  Now, in true collectivist fashion, after decades of pushing for socialized medicine, they have finally gotten Democrats to decree that you are your brother's keeper...and, now, he is yours.

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives pulled a Hugo Chavez on the American people by voting (once again) to nationalize America's health care system.

Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the Unionized States of America.  Welcome to "change you can believe in."

Last night, union bought-and-paid for politicians did their buyers' bidding in true one-party ruling fashion. In fact, the only bipartisan aspect of the union government's takeover was the opposition to it.

Thirty-four Democrats bucked the union-led, left-wing blitzkrieg that has bombarded them for the last several years and especially in the last two weeks.  And, for those 34 Democrats, they will pay dearly for betraying their union comrades as surely as Sen. Blanche Lincoln is paying for it in Arkansas.

Last night, union thuggery and threats of retaliation paid off but, as AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka positively gleefully stated yesterday, the health care bill is a "historic first step."  [Not the final step, but the first step.]

Now that the dirty deed is all but done, President Obama, his fellow Democrats, and their union bosses are fanning out across this once-great land to "sell" the package to the American populace.

This leads to a very important question:  Why?

After all, if the plan is so good, Republicans or no Republicans, mid-term elections or no mid-term elections, the plan should sell itself.  Right?

Despite the "seedy campaign of intimidation, bribery, and back-room deal making," 32 million Americans now have health insurance.

They keep telling us that, you know...

Be happy because 32 million Americans now have health insurance!

All Americans should be happy.

You are now, officially, your brother's keeper...and he is yours.  Why?  Because the union-led federal government says so.

Socialists Progressives are ecstatic.

"It is a new day,"  Andy Stern declared.  Like Trumka, he is positively giddy too.

The Queen of Labor, SEIU's Anna Burger proclaimed victory on a YouTube video to hers and Stern's members last night and according the Huffington Post's Robert Creamer, Sunday night's uni-partisan vote is the beginning of a new age:
It brought us into the company of every other industrial nation by establishing that from this day forward in America - health care is no longer a privilege or a commodity but a right.

Never mind that "every other industrial nation" is going broke, this is more important...
In the two-century-long battle between progressive and conservative values in our country, last night's victory was momentous. Progressive values now define the fundamental frame of reference for a massive new sector of our economy: health care.

And even more importantly:
Barack Obama's victory in 2008 was like the Normandy invasion - the beginning of a forceful progressive counter-offensive. Today we have secured a whole new massive chunk of real estate.

So, with this new, massive chunk of real estate, why does the AFL-CIO now need to bolster the Democrats who voted for health care nationalization?

Is it because, perhaps, like all cockroaches and con artists, they know that what they did on Sunday night cannot withstand the light of day?

Perhaps they do not want more Americans to find out about these numbers:

19 million

Number of people predicted to lose their employer plan (Lewin Group)

8 to 9 million Number of people predicted to lose their employer plan (CBO)


$11,543 Employer incentive to drop coverage for a $30,000 a year worker with family [Tax subsidy in the exchange minus tax subsidy at work minus $2,000 fine] (IRET)


8.5 million Number of seniors and disabled people at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Chief Actuary)

3 million Additional people who will likely lose Medicare Advantage plan benefits (Medicare Chief Actuary)

$816 Average annual benefit loss for 11 million seniors and disabled in Medicare Advantage plans (CBO)


33 million Number of people in traditional Medicare at risk of losing access to care because of $523 billion in cuts in Medicare spending (Medicare Chief Actuary)

20% Fraction of hospitals that would become unprofitable after Medicare spending cuts (Medicare Chief Actuary)

If that's the case, then they certainly wouldn't want to see the rest of John Goodman's numbers either.

Or, perhaps, is it because that before Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Bart Stupak's baby of socialized medicine can reach full maturity, it will be aborted by the American voters?

Whatever the case, when Barack Obama signs the nationalization of America's health care into law sometime in the next week, America will be crossing a line from which it will likely never return.

As one British newspaper called Sunday's vote "a dark day for freedom in America," it also noted:
It is also a great leap forward by the United States towards a European-style vision of universal health care, which will only lead to soaring costs, higher taxes, and a surge in red tape for small businesses. This reckless legislation dramatically expands the power of the state over the lives of individuals, and could not be further from the vision of America’s founding fathers.

This is what today's union bosses have been after for decades and this is what they have achieved.

Now, as the costs begin to mount, all they need to do is to keep selling it...and selling it...and selling it, until one day there will be nothing left to sell, except an empty lot where America once stood.

Welcome to the brotherhood.

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.


For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BREAKING: U.S. House Passes Obamacare 219-212

With SEIU purple being the most-common theme of attire this evening in Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 219-212 a little while ago to pass so-called health care reform.

All Republican lawmakers and 34 Democrat lawmakers voted against "reconciliation" with the Senate version of HCR.


Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.

Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote, with Republicans unanimous in opposition.

Congressional officials said they expected Obama to sign the bill as early as Tuesday.

As Investor's Business Daily notes:

If ObamaCare becomes permanent, no one will suffer more than U.S. businesses. They'll face higher taxes, more regulations and a higher cost of capital. But don't take our word for it. Go ask Caterpillar.
The heavy-equipment giant reckons its insurance costs will go up 20%, or $100 million, the first year after the health care system is overhauled, and may go even higher. Multiply that by literally tens of thousands of companies nationwide, large and small, and you can see how costs will soar.
"We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors," said Greg Folley, a Caterpillar vice president. "We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we've raised throughout the year."
[snip]
Because of these taxes and other faults in the plan, a group of 130 economists last Thursday sent President Obama a letter imploring him not to sign the bill, saying that it would be a job-killer.
"In our view," the economists wrote, "the health care bill contains a number of provisions that will eliminate jobs, reduce hours and wages, and limit future job creation."
Health reform's taxes and huge new costs will lead to semi-permanent stagnation in the U.S. economy, marked by higher unemployment and lower standards of living. [Emphasis added.]
As the bill becomes more widely read in the days ahead, we will bring you consolidated updates, as well as keeping you updated on LaborUnionReport.com.

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on 
Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to 
LaborUnionReport.com.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Labor Shorts: Obamacare to cost Caterpillar $100 million year one & other union news...

Labor Shorts: Exposing Union Bosses One Skid Mark at a Time...

The latest (and largest) pile of labor news from around the country, given to you in short form from LaborUnionReport.com:

  • Cat may become Obamacare road kill... Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar said Thursday that the health care legislation being considered by Congress would increase its health care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone. [The sucking sound that will be heard will be more UAW jobs.]
  • Moonbeam Brown urges unions to "attack"... In California's gubernatorial race, former governor and current Attorney General, as well as gubernatorial candidate Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown urged union honchos to "attack" for him during his campaign for the governor's mansion.
  • Union Intransigence May Doom Amnesty Immigration Reform...Unions don't want a guest worker program. Businesses do. Compromise may be impossible despite the administration's efforts to do a deal by November.
  • SEIU boss Andy Stern sends Glenn Beck a purple package...It's doubtful that Fox superstar Glenn Beck and his on-air nemesis SEIU's Andy Stern will become bosom buddies following Stern's attempts at détente.
  • Firefighters' Union 'Sticks it' to City of Portland...The City of Portland and the Firefighters union are 'going to war' over the union's desire to have the city continue paying a con artist's disability payments.
  • Communications Workers are cranky at Christie's Cuts...Public workers marched all across New Jersey yesterday at newly-elected governor Chris Christie's attempt to address a huge-budget gap left to him by his predecessor, Democrat John Corzine.
  • $18 billion for jobs bill not enough, says lefty laborites...Trying to figure out how to add more to the already overwhelming federal debt, lefty bloggers at In These Times note that the $18 billion jobs bill that the House sent to President Obama isn't enough to "create or save" the 11 million jobs needed to return to pre-recession unemployment levels.
  • Hungry unionists protesting for jobs... Approximately 600 Seattle/King County Building and Construction Trades Council members protested for jobs on Wednesday while 35 unemployed steelworkers protested being unemployed for more that a year in Northern Ohio.
  • Shameful...Why are family members who are taking care of their own children being forced to be in a union? [Read more at our blog here.]
  • Those Unfriendly Skies:
  • The Teamsters to add to worldwide turbulence by vowing to mobilize support for a possible strike of British Airways flight attendants, while Germany's Ver.di pledged its support as well.
  • Air France flight attendants may also be disembarking for a four-day strike on March 28th.
  • Back in the U.S. of A...
  • United Airlines' pilots were joined by pilots of five other airlines on the picket line to protest an outsourcing deal between UAL and Ireland's Aer Lingus.
  • American Airlines' flight attendants are the second union at the Texas-based carrier to ask the National Mediation Board for a release in order to begin the countdown to strike.
  • Blanche Lincoln Bites Back at Unions. Following the abandonment of Arkansas Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln by her former union friends, the outgoing Senator put out a surpisingly in-your-union-face ad.
  • Teamsters and Tea Party Activists: Kindred Spirits? Both groups don't like taxes that costs jobs but somehow we think the similarities may end there even though the Teamster fight against Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's proposed soda tax sounds surprisingly like something one would hear at a Tea Party rally.
  • Vale Inco CEO strikes back at striking steelworkers' union...After enduring an eight-month strike by the United Steelworkers, Vale Inco CEO Tito Martins posted a letter on the company's website accusing the USW of engaging in a "a global campaign of misinformation, racism, intolerance and xenophobia" while being content to "keep its members on strike so long as it supports the USW strike in Ontario."
  • Labor's Back Door... A business owner explains how media hype over the 'failure' of labor's agenda is more hyperbole than reality as union bosses are still getting their sweetheart deals in mutated form.
  • UPS: The Tonya Harding of Cargo Shipping...? By trying to "level the playing field" by hitting its competitor in the proverbial knees with a Teamster-made baseball bat, UPS is disingeniously still trying to saddle rival FedEx with the Teamsters by fighting in Congress to put RLA-covered FedEx under the National Labor Relations Act. [For more on the Brown Bailout, go here and video here.]
  • Speaking of Bailouts...Are unions the primary beneficiary of President Obama's "Green Jobs" economy?  It certainly appears so, but you can read this and decide for yourself.
  • Eee Gads! A Soccer Strike Looms... Soccer fans the world over (not really) may be put in limbo if negotiations fail this weekend between Major League Soccer players and team owners and the players strike next week.  Here's an update. [Zzzz!]
That's a wrap for LaborUnionReport.com's Labor Shorts and End of Week Report.
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"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

Cross-posted.

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.

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