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Friday, April 30, 2010

SEIU's Feeding Frenzy over Arizona's New Immigration Law

Arizona's new immigration has created quite a controversy.  It is driving illegal immigrants both away from Arizona, as well as (for those choosing to stay) into the eagerly awaiting jaws arms of unions.


Labor unions are using Arizona’s new immigrant trespassing law to bolster their organizing efforts among Hispanic workers.


Union representatives say they are seeing a surge in inquiries from Hispanic workers in Arizona worried about the new law and the potential for more police raids and inquiries into their workplaces.

“We are getting more calls,” said Scott Washburn, state director of the Service Employees International Union. SEIU has about 4,000 members in Arizona, mostly in the public sector.

[snip]

Washburn would not disclose what percentage of SEIU members are Hispanic versus other ethnicities. He said the union does not ask potential members to prove their legal status.

Arizona AFL-CIO Director Rebekah Friend said the immigration debate and the law are encouraging Hispanic workers to look at organizing and becoming more involved politically.

“The more downward pressure you put on workers, the more likely they are to join a union,” she said.

Employment attorneys confirmed the law is making Arizona a target for a number of unions looking to organize workers in the construction and service sectors.

[snip]

Several unions, Unite Here and SEIU, have harbored desires to build a presence among lower-wage service industries, such as commercial janitor services, hospitality and resorts,” Lomax said. “Expect to see these and other unions join the political debate in Arizona — and, if they find the right opportunity, they will pursue organizing.”

With the SEIU pushing Amnesty for Illegals, it is only natural for the Purple Behemoth to capitalize on Arizona's new law.

After all, as Rahm Emanuel once said: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

Apparently, the unions were listening.


Photo Credit: Reason 
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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

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Changing America Forever: Why the AFL-CIO is really pushing "financial reform"

With outgoing SEIU president Andy Stern having forever changed America through the nationalization of health care, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is picking up where Andy is leaving off

As President Obama goes out on the road to use his bully-pulpit to push financial reform, the AFL-CIO staged a major march on Wall Street yesterday.  As with nearly every union grassroots astroturf effort, there is always a hidden agenda.



A couple of weeks ago, we laid out the broad union agenda for the United States.  Beyond the nationalization of health care and mass unionization, another of the "visions" that unions have for America is what is referred to as European-style Participative Management.  What is the union vision of participative management?  Here is the simple definition:
Style of management that lays stress on the importance of good human relations and of workers'participation in management decision making, though such participation can vary in practice from being a hoped for safety valve for employee discontent to involving genuine consultation and even decision making. Source: European Union. 

More specifically with regard to unions, it is the installation of union bosses (or their representatives) to serve on corporate boards of directors (of publicly held companies, for now) so that the "workers' voice" is heard.  Another way to look at it is participative management is a way for unions to determine how a company operates.


Yesterday, between 10,000 and 15,000 union astroturfers showed up en masse in lower Manhattan to allegedly protest Wall Street "greed."


As the Gothamist points out:

[M]any Wall Street workers didn't appreciate being generalized as greedy fat cats. Empire Wealth Management Group executive VP Jeremiah Giddings told the Post"There's a lot of honest firms on Wall Street that are trying to do right by our clients. Protesters can't give all of Wall Street a black eye for a few firms."
The Post's Andrea Peyser also called the anger "misguided," saying the protesters were using Wall Street as a common scapegoat for their myriad problems. And Mayor Bloomberg has already called for Senate support of Wall Street, though that didn't go so well. Still, the protest went on, starting at City Hall and marching down to the "charging bull" in Bowling Green. "We're tired. They've gotten richer, but we're still poor," marcher Loretta Manning told the Daily News. "We're getting poorer. It's not fair." People also made some pretty interesting signs, from a papier-mâché CEO pig to the simple slogan "GREED KILLS." And of course, the Raging Grannies made an appearance.

The protesters' anger is not "misguided," as the Post's Peyser assumes. It is intentional, and it is sinister.

The push for "fiancial reform" isn't to "reform" Wall Street, it is a push to remake America's quasi-free market system into that of a European model.

Yesterday's assemblage of the pitchforks and torches was a purposeful march to push a bill that will put unions onto the boards of corporations, as Warner Todd Hudson notes on his Union Label blog:


Senator Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) wants to give unions more power in the boardrooms of our nation’s businesses. In essence, Dodd wants to force corporate boards under the thumb of unions by federal fiat.

Carefully hidden in Dodd’s new regulations are provisions that give new powers to board members, powers aimed at giving unions more say in the operations of businesses from the inside through investments of pension funds.

The Dodd bill takes away from the states the ability to make rules governing how corporate boards are established and run and for the first time reassigns that power to the federal government through the SEC. Democrats expect to use this new power to affect corporate boards to force pension fund investors to obtain more seats on those boards and that means union pension funds will suddenly have more influence on business simply because of their influence in Washington.

[snip]

This is just one more small step in the elimination of America’s private business community and the implementation of a quasi-socialist business state. One more anti-American arrow in Obama’s quiver shot over the bow of America.

While unions are framing the debate as an issue between "Wall Street vs. Main Street," the reality is, this is a push to expand union influence into the boardrooms of corporations. As unions, through the auto bailouts, have already injected their representatives onto the boards of both Government General Motors and Chrysler, why stop there?

Perhaps, instead of calling it "Wall Street reform," a more apropos term would be: A Union Takeover of Wall Street.

photo credit: The Gothamist
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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

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SEIU's Andy Stern has got a new gig...

The soon-departing SEIU boss, Andy Stern, has a new gig.

A press release by Leading Authorities, Inc. ("the nation's most progressive event design firm") earlier this afternoon states the following:
Leading Authorities, Inc. has signed Andrew (Andy) L. Stern, the former president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America. Stern turned SEIU into a powerful political force, and Stern and SEIU were widely credited for helping elect Barack Obama in 2008.


"We are extremely proud and privileged to be representing Andy Stern," said Leading Authorities founder and CEO Mark French. "He is a major force in Washington politics. He transformed the labor movement, raised huge sums for President Obama's election, and exerted monumental influence on the health care debate. Everyone at LAI is thrilled to be working with Andy."


[snip]


Stern will be addressing audiences about politics and issues such as fiscal policy, entitlements, immigration, healthcare, and the future of the labor movement. He will speak independently, and also be matched with leading Republican thinkers.

Apparently, Leading Authorities believes people will be lining up to hear Mr. Stern speak in the future.

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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

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

BREAKING: AFL-CIO's Trumka on EFCA: 'We'll find something to tack it on...'

Politico's Ben Smith seems to be a reporter embedded with labor leaders.  He's the guy that broke the Andy Stern resignation story and has had a lot of the scoop on what's happening in the bedrooms within the House of Labor.

As a result, his tweet on twitter this afternoon is particularly relevant as it relates to the job-destroying and hallucinogenically named Employee Free Choice Act:
Lunch w/AFL-CIO prez Trumka, says they took down #efca banner bc it ripped, but that the issue lives: "We'll find something to tack it on."   via UberTwitter

If this is indeed the back-door route that the new BMOC in DC is going to take on a bill that is bound to kill millions of more jobs, then politicians had better start reading the bills before they vote on them.

UPDATE: 4:13 PM:

Politico's Ben Smith adds to his discussion with AFL-CIO boss Trumka, which includes optimism on a labor re-unification:
The AFL removed a giant EFCA banner from its Washington headquarters today, prompting speculation of a quiet concession of defeat.

"It was just starting to rip," he said. "We'll put up another one. We're still working hard."


"We'll find something to tack it on," he said (of the legislation, not the banner)

Trumka also said he was optimistic that incoming SEIU President Mary Kay Henry would bring that giant union back into the AFL-CIO.

"Obviously, the door is open. I think she has shown an interest in it," he said, adding that he hadn't spoken to Henry since she consolidated internal SEIU support. "She has said and her supporters have said they're tired of being isolated."

"You had six leaders at the international level who tried an experiment that obviously didn't work, and now it's time to bring everybody back," he said of the breakaway Change to Win group.

For the banner views, 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

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In Big Labor's Pocket...

A priceless cartoon from IBD's Michael Ramirez:


All this needs is a big Cuban cigar ash falling on the head...
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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

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EFCA: What a year...

What a difference a year made for a really badly-named bill called the Employee Free FORCED Choice Act 

Last May Day...


This May Day (at the AFL-CIO's posh HQ building)...


Despite the visual, Kool Aid drinkers EFCA backers vow to press on...

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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

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Employee Free Choice Act: 'When there's no more room in hell...'

The hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act is a bill that, like George Romero's flesh-eating zombies, just refuses to die.

As the DC rumor-mill has it, EFCA proponents realize that taking away the secret-ballot isn't too popular and is hurting their hopes for passage.  However, the other main component of the job-destroying bill is equally dangerous for employers and their employees: Binding arbitration.

What is binding arbitration?

It's a process that, under EFCA, allows for a federally-appointed arbitrator to dictate what would be spelled out in a union contract.  This would include things like forced union dues (where legal) from employees, super-seniority for shop stewards, restrictive work rules, management rights, as well as wages and benefits.

Now, you might be wondering: What's so bad about binding arbitration?  I mean, arbitrators are pretty reasonable people, right? They don't make bad decisions, do they?

Well, our friends over at the Truth About EFCA blog have a great example of a bone-headed decision that one arbitrator in a recent case made::
A federal judge has ordered Illinois Central Railroad Co. to reinstate a conductor who spent 16 months in federal prison for embezzling union funds (United Transp. Union v. Illinois Central R.R. Co., N.D. Ill., No. 08 CV 4001, 3/16/10). Enforcing an earlier arbitration award under the Railway Labor Act, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan’s ruling also determined that the company has no obligation to provide back pay for the period of William Miller’s imprisonment.


Miller began work as a machinist for Illinois Central and was represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 498. During a two-year term as secretary-treasurer of the IAM local union, Miller embezzled $63,000 from treasury funds. In November 2005, he pled guilty to charges of embezzlement and obstruction of justice. Miller claimed that he notified his supervisor of his felony conviction, in accordance with company “Rule H.” The railroad asserted that it had received no notification and fired Miller for violating the company rule. He entered prison in July 2006.


By this time Miller was working as a conductor represented by the United Transportation Union (UTU). His claim for reinstatement with back pay went to arbitration before the Public Law Board (PLB). The PLB draft decision, dated July 18, 2007, ordered his reinstatement with back pay. Illinois Central sent a reinstatement letter in August 2007 ordering Miller to report to work within 15 days. However, since the conductor was not released from prison until early November 2007, he failed to meet the company’s deadline and was refused reinstatement. The UTU filed suit to enforce the arbitration award.


The effective date of the PLB award was central to the case. Although the draft decision was issued in July 2007, Judge Der-Yeghiayan found that the PLB award was not effective until it had been signed by two of the three board members. The award received the required two signatures on November 30, 2007 – a date when Miller was out of prison and available to work. Upholding the arbitration award, the judge ordered the conductor’s reinstatement with back pay for the period following his release from prison. Der-Yeghiayan rejected the UTU’s argument that the award intended Miller to receive back pay for the period of his incarceration when he was unavailable to work.

Hmmm. Let's see if we can summarize this:  1) Union boss steals money from union (IAM), 2) claims to have told supervisor of conviction, but was fired anyway; 3) goes to prison, 4) wins arbitration ordering  reinstatement with backpay, 5) fails to make it back by reinstatement date (because he was still in prison), 6) UTU sues to enforce the arbitration award and argues that back pay should include the time in prison and (drumroll please)... 7) guy gets job back, with back pay (except for the time in prison).

Now, under EFCA, imagine federally-appointed arbitrators controlling private enterprise.

Would you trust an arbitrator with your business?

We think 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

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Unions bugging Boeing rival

It's been six months since the International Association of Machinists helped chase Boeing 787 Dreamliner production jobs away from Washington State.  Yet, according to this report, it appears the Machinists in WaSta isn't the only union harassing airplane manufacturers:
When Boeing announced late last year that it would build a second 787 Dreamliner assembly plant in South Carolina instead of Washington, labor issues played a big role in the decision.

The company said it hadn’t been able to negotiate a long enough no-strike agreement with its largest Washington union, the Machinists.

But Boeing isn’t the only manufacturer in the commercial airplane business who’s worrying about labor interruptions these days

The company’s European rival, Airbus, experienced a brief labor shutdown Monday on its A330 and A340 assembly lines

The union involved told Airbus to expect staggered strikes later this week at the company’s A320 production line. Monday’s strike lasted from noon to midnight.

Some day, and perhaps it may only happen when even more union jobs are lost, unions may actually come to realize that, when you kill the cow, there won't be any more meat to feast on.
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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

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It is Finished. Teamsters settle on contract with Waste Management

We'll be updating this post as details come in,
so check back over the next day or two.

Following this story over the last few weeks has been an exercise in entertainment.

As the once-mighty Teamsters negotiated with waste giant Waste Management for a new contract covering Seattle-area members, the union was poised to flex its muscles by calling its members out on strike only to find out that one man's trash is another man's treasure as there were 1600 applicants ready, willing and able to take the Teamsters' jobs.

So, as opposed to striking immediately, the Teamsters opted for displaying yard signs.

Then, in a surprise move, the Teamsters did, in fact, call their members out on strike...but then, in even more surprising move, surrendered unconditionally offered to return to work a day and a half later.  However, to try and save face, the Teamsters ridiculously claimed they returned to work to "prevent a public health crisis."

Last night, after nearly a month of watching the Teamsters' failed attempts at flexing their once-mighty muscles, they finally hammered out a five-year agreement with Waste Management.
After two long days of bargaining, Waste Management and union garbage haulers reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract, both sides said Tuesday evening.


Leaders of Teamsters Local 174 said they will urge their members to ratify the proposed contract when they vote this Sunday, both sides announced.


Neither side would disclose any specifics on how they resolved an earlier impasse over medical benefits for employees and retirees.


"We both made compromises," said Waste Management spokeswoman Katie Salinas. "We're extremely pleased to have reached an agreement. The agreement delivers a solid compensation package to our drivers."


Michael Gonzales, a spokesman for Teamsters Local 174, said the union wouldn't release details of the proposal until it shares them with its members.

Check back here as the details of the contract are released.
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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

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tribal Conflict: A union fights its own over fresh meat

Somewhere on the high desert of Kingman, Arizona, a tasty meal work awaits the victors of this battle.
Members of Local 383 out of Phoenix staged a protest outside of the Laborers International Union of North America meeting in front of the Elk's Lodge on Gates Avenue Monday afternoon. 

"It's our state, it's our local union," they chanted.

Arizona-based Local 383 of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) is suing its parent union for turning its jurisdiction over to Nevada-based Local 872 as "punishment" for failing to police its own territory.
Local 383 has been part of LIUNA since its inception in 1927, and has always had the entire state of Arizona as its territory, the suit says. The taking of Mohave County was punishment for an internal union squabble, it seems: 

LIUNA has charged Local 383 with, among other things, failing to police Mojave County, and LIUNA now seeks to remove Mojave County from Local 383 as disciplinary action in response to the alleged failure to police the territory. 

Local 383's members are entitled to a full and fair hearing before disciplinary action is taken against them. 

LIUNA scheduled a hearing only after its General President had preliminarily decided to take disciplinary action. 

We're not sure what the Local 383 means by the word "police" here -- we're imagining something along the lines of Gangs of New York, but that's probably not right....

Gangs of New York?  No.  Actually, it is much, much more basic than that...


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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

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DC's New BMOC: AFL-CIO Boss is Wasting No Time Claiming the Crown

Now, there is only one.  With media-star SEIU's Andy Stern soon leaving the union stage, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka is the man--the new king of the Hill (so to speak), the man poised to tell Democrats what to do and how to do it.  He no longer has to share the stage with the lavender-lapeled lord of labor and Democrats seem to be aware that there's a new bully on the block:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will work the room ahead of a 4:30 p.m. vote on the financial regulatory reform bill Tuesday.

[snip]

Democrats are planning to hold continuous votes on the motion to proceed, which are expected to fail, seeking to cast Republicans as opponents of the reform package who cast their lot with large Wall Street banks.

"It is unbelievable that two years, hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of lost jobs later, Congress still hasn't acted to rein in Wall Street to protect Main Street," Trumka said in a statement. "Yesterday all 41 Republican senators stood united in their opposition to debate a Wall Street accountability bill, protecting the big bank lobby."

Now that Trumka's the BMOC in DC, he's not doing badly for a guy who just a decade or so ago pleaded the Fifth Amendment before Congress.
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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

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Violent and Corrupt NY Laborers' Local Back in the News...

With 60 to 65% of its members unemployed, things are heating up inside Niagara Falls' infamous Laborers Local 91 (of the Laborers International Union of North America or LUINA).

According to the Niagara Falls Reporter, the union has local leadership elections going on and the union bosses are at war with each other.
Leadership of Laborers Local 91 here has become so fragmented that current kingpins Rob Connolly and Rico Liberale have been unable to put together a full ticket to run with them in the May elections.

And with 60 to 65 percent of the union's roughly 700 workers currently jobless, dissatisfaction among the rank-and-file has reached unprecedented proportions. 

Late last week, and against that backdrop, Dick Paladino formally announced his intention to run for Connolly's job, telling the Niagara Falls Reporter that the once-powerful union local has slipped into near irrelevance under the current regime. 

[snip] 

Union investigators -- and FBI agents -- have been particularly interested in both union hiring practices and the complicity of union leaders in a fraud and embezzlement scheme involving Newfane dentist Scott Geise and Local 91 member Tony Fazzolari, both of whom have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are actively cooperating with the feds.

The history of corruption and violence in Laborer's Local 91 is too vast to go into in one post.  However, with threats, political ties, violence and former officials now imprisoned, this former "brutal" criminal enterprise seems to be having a hard time shaking its all-too-recent recent past.

__________________

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

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SEIU's not-yet president is beginning to sound very...presidential

On Monday, outgoing-SEIU chief Andy Stern tried to put the brakes on the blogosphere's chatter over Stern's hand-picked successor, Anna Burger, losing her presidential bid to the relatively-obscure SEIU EVP Mary Kay Henry.

Yet, despite the fact that he is trying to quell the rumor fact that the Queen of Labor has unofficially lost, Andy Stern's unofficial successor, the not-yet-named next SEIU president, Mary Kay Henry is certainly moving as though she is the winner.

According to Politico's Ben Smith (the dude who broke the Henry victory story), Ms. Henry released a memo on Monday to her fellow SEIU leaders sounding very presidential and as though the contest is over.
For the past few days, I’ve been reaching out to as many of you as possible to hear your views on what makes our union great and ideas about how to make it even better. I hope speak to every single one of you, and answer any questions you may have, before the upcoming vote of the International Executive Board.


[snip]


In the coming months, our first priority will be to engage SEIU leaders at every level and across divisions in a dialogue about our goals for the future and how best to achieve them. I am firmly committed to creating the space for an open and honest debate that will lead to shared decision-making and ownership.


It’s a dialogue that I hope each and every one of you will participate in fully – no matter who you chose to support as the next president of SEIU – because we will need the benefit of everyone’s experience and insights to meet the challenge of moving forward without Andy at the helm. Because our varying opinions and points of view will enhance our debate about the future direction of our union. And because it is in the best interests of our members to bring about a smooth, seamless, and, above all, unified transition to this new chapter in the rich and proud history of SEIU.

You can download Mary Kay Henry's acceptance speech memo here (in PDF).
__________________

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

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Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 Public Employee of the Year Awards

This is brilliant.

[It's also surprising this was written by union writers, acted by union actors, and filmed by union cameramen.]

via The American Thinker



hat-tip: Tom W.
__________________
"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Collective Sacrifice: Why would unions want to destroy millions of jobs?

For the past five years, our efforts have been to awaken the American people to the devastating consequences of a job-destroying bill misleadingly named the Employee Free Choice Act (or EFCA, for short).
As the bill that just won’t quite die a deserved ignominious death, unions and their Democrat pols know that 2010 might be the last time they have an even slim chance for bringing it out of the graveyard of bad legislation.

While we have always based our opposition to the job-destroying effects of EFCA on our experience in the field and, more importantly, the history of unionized jobs, companies and industries, there has been of late studies to back up what we've known all along.

The Evidence is There: Unions Add to Unemployment

While unions, in order to build support for EFCA, still try to convince an already wary public that unions are good for jobs, there is a plethora of evidence out there that completely contradicts their claims.  Such evidence exists in the American auto, steel, textile and trucking industries, just to name a few.


In fact, even President Obama's Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Summers, wrote that unionization is a cause of long term unemployment:
Another cause of long-term unemployment is unionization. High union wages that exceed the competitive market rate are likely to cause job losses in the unionized sector of the economy. Also, those who lose high-wage union jobs are often reluctant to accept alternative low-wage employment....

There is no question that some long-term unemployment is caused by government intervention and unions that interfere with the supply of labor....

Last year, a study by Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar (in PDF) found that the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act could, in fact, destroy up to five million jobs.
The precise effect on unemployment will depend on the degree to which EFCA increases union density, but for every 3 percentage points gained in union membership through card checks and mandatory arbitration, the following year’s unemployment rate is predicted to increase by 1 percentage point and job creation is predicted to fall by around 1.5 million jobs. Thus, if EFCA passed today and resulted in an increase in unionization from the current rate of about 12% to 15%, then unionized workers would increase from 15.5 to 19.6 million while unemployment a year from now would rise by 1.5 million, to 10.4 million. If EFCA were to increase the percentage of private sector union membership by between 5 and 10 percentage points, as some have suggested, my analysis indicates that unemployment would increase by 2.3 to 5.4 million in the following year and the unemployment rate would increase by 1.5 to 3.5 percentage points in the following year.

A Disproportionate Impact on Small Business and Workers With Low Skills and Education

To add to the already-big pile of evidence on EFCA's job-destroying ramifications, a new study (in PDF) has just been released by the American Enterprise Institute* that pretty simply sums up the effects of the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act as: EFCA = Unemployment.
Findings:
  • If the EFCA returns unionization rates to 1970s levels, it could reduce economy-wide employment and gross domestic product by close to 4 percent. This translates to about 4.5 million jobs lost and over $500 billion in lost output and income.
  • Job loss resulting from EFCA will tend to fall disproportionately on workers with relatively low levels of education and skills. Ironically, these are the very workers the proposed legislation is intended to help.
  • EFCA will be particularly costly to small businesses, which typically start out with small profit margins, face high initial failure rates, and are less likely to have specialized human resources staff to deal with labor disputes and union organization. Between 2003 and 2006, 84 percent of new union certification elections were held at companies with less than 100 employees.
Conclusion:
  • In this increasingly globally competitive economy, increasing wages and expanding the pool of high paying jobs requires increasing worker productivity, not suppressing competition through increased unionization. Alternative policies, including subsidies for education and job training, can promote wage growth for lower-skilled workers more efficiently than unionization.

So what gives?

While unions have tried to downplay the negative effects of EFCA by using such bromides as "unions will help restore the middle class," the reality is, there is very little credible argument from the unions or the Left on EFCA's job-destroying effects. This raises the question as to why?

If union leaders understand the fact that EFCA will destroy jobs, why do they continue pushing it?

The answer to this question lies in the hope that the growth in union membership will supercede the job losses EFCA will cause.  According to outgoing SEIU president Andy Stern, EFCA could add "1.5 million members annually for the next 10-to-15 years with passage of EFCA."

Clearly, for the unions, the addition of a greater number of new members would offset the losses of workers whose companies could not compete in a unionized environment and, as unions have moved more toward the services sectors of the economy, they believe that the ends justify the means.

For those whose jobs are lost due to their companies closing or their jobs being outsourced as a result of unionization, the union justification seems to be:  Too bad.  They can always apply for a union job somewhere else. 

* - hat-tip: Stop the Assault
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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

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U.S. News & World Report Bashes Obama's Secretary of Labor

Now, this is just mean...
Obama's 5 Worst Cabinet Secretaries

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis

Unemployment is sky-high, but our insiders say that she is not a point person in the effort to expand employment, a major issue in kick-starting the economy. Critics also feel she’s too close to labor unions.

Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About Hilda Solis.

Depending on your POV, we find it hard to believe that Hilda's worse than...
Tim Geithner (#1)
Janet Napolitano (#2)
Eric Holder (#3)

But a cut above:
Shaun Donovan (#5)

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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

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Andy Stern on SEIU Replacement: Not so fast...

Despite reports that Mary Kay Henry has been selected as the successor to outgoing SEIU president Andy Stern, the Huffington Post is reporting that Andy himself is saying the selection has not been made:
Officials at the powerful SEIU labor union say that the campaign to find a replacement for departing president Andy Stern remains undecided, despite reports that California nurses leader Mary Kay Henry had secured a majority of the votes.

In an interview Monday morning with the Huffington Post, Stern said that the contest shaping up between Henry and his more natural successor, Change to Win President Anna Burger, has been amicable and constructive. There was not, however, a clear winner yet.

"No votes have been cast," Stern said. "And it has been a pretty, I'd say, healthy conversation. It doesn't look like America's political campaigns, where you spend a lot of time telling people what's wrong with other people as opposed to what's right about them. So I think that we've had as appropriate a process that we can have in a very short period of time that will reach a conclusion in a way that will keep the union unified."

[snip] 


Aides at SEIU didn't dispute that Henry, owing to support of local affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Oregon, and Washington State finds herself in a strong position to take over for Stern. But they quibbled with two aspects of the story line. For starters, the SEIU's 73-member Executive Council has yet to vote on the matter (a vote will likely occur in the middle of the month), meaning that dynamics could change. More importantly, they disputed that notion that Henry would tone down the political focus that was a trademark of Stern's leadership.

It looks as though there are more backroom politics going on.

Developing...

Check back here for more updates.
__________________

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

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Duuude! Oregon's Supreme Court Finds Medical Marijuana Use at Work Not Protected

This just in:  If you live in Oregon, keep your stash at home, dude!

According to this briefing, Oregonians aren't allowed to smoke reefer at work.
Oregon employers' long wait for a definitive answer regarding whether they have to accommodate employees' medical marijuana use in the workplace has come to an end. On April 15, 2010, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that Oregon employers have no duty to accommodate medical marijuana use in the workplace, and thus may take adverse employment action against employees who are currently using medical marijuana without fear of running afoul of Oregon’s disability discrimination laws.

More here.

[No word if the United Steelworkers represents the workers at the pot-free employer.]

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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.

Stossel on More Forced Unionization

John Stossel, one of our favorite commentators (even before he joined Fox) has written about more forced unionization:
A group of personal care providers who work in homes in Illinois filed a class-action lawsuit this week against Governor Pat Quinn and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They’re suing because some of the 20,000 of the home-based workers have, against their will, been made dues-paying "public employees" of the state.

The National Right to Work Foundation represents some of the thousands of care providers who have turned down union membership, but may still have to fend off union bosses.

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

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

Teachers Union Protests & Misspelled Signs

There's not a lot for us to add beyond Friday's post on public-sector unions, except this:


 Via Cassy Fiano, who notes:
A middle-school teacher made her students join her in protesting budget cuts (video here). Unfortunately for her, it looks like her protest did nothing but prove that perhaps our teachers are, in fact, overpaid and underqualified.

Worth...every...penny.
__________________

"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.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Harley Davidson CEO to Union Worker: 'Life isn't that simple...'

During a question and answer session at Harley-Davidson's annual shareholder meeting, Deborah Evans, a United Steelworkers member employed by the motorcycle icon, told CEO Keith Wandell that unionized employees weren't "feeling the love" from company management.  Rather than giving Ms. Evans some bland answer, Wandell gave her a rather straight-forward answer:
"I wish to God I could stand in front of everybody and say that you're going to be guaranteed a job for life," Wandell said. "We'd all be great friends and pat each other on the back and walk into the sunset together. You know what? Life isn't that simple."

"I will come to work every day, roll up my sleeves, work next to you on the line, whatever has to happen to ensure that we are a great company," Wandell said. "But I'm not going to tell people something that isn't true."

[snip]

At the heart of the issue was an employment security agreement entered into by production employees in the mid-1990s that encouraged workers to actively participate in continuous improvement efforts within Harley-Davidson's factories without fear of losing their jobs.

The promises made at that time aren't realistic given the unprecedented economic challenges that the company has faced since 2008, said Wandell, dressed in blue denim jeans and a white, long-sleeve Harley-Davidson dress shirt adorned with the company's iconic bar and shield logo.

"If any one of us every [sic] believes that we aren't going to impacted or affected by what goes on in the economy, we¹re wrong," he said. "It's unfortunate that the people that made that promise aren't standing here today to tell you why it isn't true."

While Wandell's answers may not have been what Ms. Evans or any of her union brethren wanted to hear, it is still better to hear the truth than nothing at all.
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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

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Maybe it was something in the glue? Union Mailers Heading to Jailers

This is worth posting based on the New York Post's headline alone. However, as you read the story, it gets even better in a curious kind of way.

From the Post:
A union leader who was sent in to clean up the newspaper mailers union after the previous president embezzled a six-figure sum from the union yesterday admitted he also had embezzled cash from the union.

Larry DeAngelis, who was dispatched by the Communications Workers of America in mid-2008 to lead CWA Local 14170, also known as Mailers Local 6,
pleaded guilty to one count of embezzling for siphoning $60,000 from the union.

DeAngelis' confession came two days after his predecessor,
Wayne Mitchell, pleaded guilty to the same charge after admitting he embezzled more than $200,000 from the union he had led for decades before he was forced out.

Wow!  The CWA sent in a thief to clean up after a thief???  It's hard to believe that any union would be that irresponsible but...

Maybe they were sniffing the glue from the envelopes?
__________________

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

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

IBEW issues threat to sue...even its own members?

We cannot show you the logo that we're writing about (you can see it here though).  You see, its union owners are getting hypersensitive about anyone, including the union's own members, from using its logo.

In a post earlier this month, the IBEW international issued the following warning about unauthorized use of its logo:

But it is in the interest of the membership that the International Office retains sole ownership and usage of the logo to protect members from confusing information and to maintain the integrity of this treasured symbol.

The IBEW retains the prerogative to initiate legal action against anyone using the IBEW logo without permission. 

Even though we think the logo could use a face lift (maybe a picture of a rat and some picketers?), the IBEW's warning is duly noted...
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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.

The Inside Scoop? Former ACORN Co-Founder Wade Rathke offers his take on SEIU's Purple Palace Coup

Last Friday's stunning Purple Palace Coup at the SEIU (that is the rejection of the Queen of Labor and frequent White House visitor Anna Burger as the next SEIU president) seems to be a story filled with intrigue and back-room politicking among former friends-turned-bitter enemies.

Wade Rathke, (pictured at right) most famous for his role as the co-founder of the now-disgraced Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), is also the "Chief Organizer" for SEIU Local 100 in New Orleans.  On his blog,  Rathke lays the reason for Burger's rejection squarely at Burger's own power-hungry feet.

According to Rathke, the engineer for Burger's defeat may have been SEIU EVP Tom Woodruff.  Woodruff, according to Rathke, had gone 'ballistic' a couple of years ago when Burger tried to do become a multiple-term president of the Change to Win federation by changing its charter rules.
When Woodruff caught wind of this, he went ballistic! This was treachery in his view. A line had been breached even in Tom’s organizing principles. After confronting Anna and demanding that she back off of this amendment and allow leadership change and failing to convince her, the contest then became whether or not Stern would step in and get Anna to do right or not. Woodruff threatened Stern that he would resign if Stern did not honor the original C2W governance provisions and direct Anna to step back from this power grab. Caught in the crossfire between Anna, his old comrade back to his earliest days in Pennsylvania and Tom Woodruff, who had been the architect of much of Andy’s vaunted organizing successes, Stern backed Burger effectively calling Woodruff’s bluff. My buddies in the secretarial pool described the atmosphere as icy on the [SEIU's eighth] floor with weeks going by and top leaders clearly not speaking

Anna should have known then that if Tom stayed she now had a mortal enemy. With this leadership shift, Woodruff undoubtedly had been organizing an “anybody but Anna” coalition for the last two years as well. He also knows something that even the most disciplined of unions sometimes forget: unions are political institutions and union leaders are fundamentally all politicians.

Anna Burger, according to Rathke, also had more than her hunger for power that dragged her down: She had Stern fatigue pulling her down as well as deficiencies in style:
Anna Burger is nothing if not able, but she is also prickly to work with, brusque to some, and having been a Stern wannabe would have been trying to out-Stern Stern in molding herself to a chance at president. The big locals would not have felt they owed her much of anything, and would have chafed at the prospect.

[snip]

Anna was efficient, tough, and managerial. She is not charismatic, she always speaks so quickly even from the dais that she can often not be understood, and she did not have a long term, loyal base of followers on her team, despite her years of effective and totally committed service.


While Rathke states that the most able leader would have been 1199's Dennis Rivera, he would have also suffered from the wake of Andy Stern's divisive, top-down style:
Probably the most able leader in SEIU with Stern out of the picture would have been Dennis Rivera, the charismatic and wildly effective 1199 veteran, who played critical, early behind the scenes work in assembling the coalition to win health care reform. At the same time Rivera is person who sucks up all of the air in the room, and there seemed to have been “stern exhaustion.” The big locals created top down over the last decade and more all owed their existence and in most cases, other than [former SEIU-UHW leader Sal] Rosselli, their very positions to Stern often as appointed trustees or beneficiaries of master marriages. On a successor question they were going to get a voice, and they seem to have wanted a voice.

Rathke writes that Mary Kay Henry is a "fantastic choice."  In the end, he says:

She is not divisive, and there is huge pushback within SEIU now, growing over recent years, that some of the bare knuckles moves led by Stern, and often orchestrated by many, including Woodruff leading to C2W, and since then with UNITE-HERE and many internal messes, have heard the brand of the union that should be heralded as one of the few modern labor success stories. May Kay may not always deliver for you, but always makes you happy to see her, always has a hug for you, always a good word and a question about your partners and children. It is hard to believe that she was not the perfect compromise candidate.

This may be Tom’s revenge, but she will not be anyone’s puppet.

This is going to be interesting for all of us who care about labor and may just help unite SEIU again and eventually the entire labor movement.


Read the rest of Rathke's blog here.
__________________

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

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Two Rats Don't Make a Right: Carpenters' Covet IBEW's Work


Two brothers, one's a carpenter, the other is an electrician.

Both work in the same neighborhood and, over time, the carpenter notices that his brother, the electrician, seems to always have a smile on his face.

One day, as the carpenter is working on a house next to where the electrician is working, the carpenter looks out the window and sees the electrician's wife bringing her husband's lunch to the jobsite and he covets the electrician's wife:
A quiet, long-simmering feud between two prominent St. Louis labor organizations erupted openly this month in a torrent of insinuations, veiled threats and acts of vandalism.

Tension between the I
nternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 and the Carpenters' District Council of St. Louis is so intense that the two unions have been summoned to a meeting to air and perhaps resolve their differences.

The meeting,
jointly called by the general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and his counterpart in the Washington headquarters of the IBEW, will be May 3 at a hotel near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

A resolution can't come quickly enough for Duke Northcutt,
one of 200 contractors affiliated with Associated Electrical Contractors Local 57, the start-up chartered 18 months ago by the carpenters union to provide area construction clients with an alternative to the 4,000-member Local 1, the nation's first and oldest IBEW bargaining unit.

A longtime employee of Reinhold Electric, Northcutt arrived at work on April 7 and
discovered the numbers "57" spray-painted, with a slash through the numerals, on the white facade of the electric parts distributorship Reinhold operates on Lemay Ferry Road in Affton.
St. Louis County police later noticed vandals had also tossed rocks through the $20,000 sign that Reinhold erected outside the business two months ago.

A county police spokesman said the department was actively investigating two acts of vandalism against Local 57 contractors.

Now that's 'brotherhood!'
__________________
“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.

Ridiculous Teamsters End Trash Strike

There is just no other word for this, except ridiculous...
Striking garbage workers in King and Snohomish counties said Thursday afternoon they'd return to their jobs at midnight to prevent a "public health crisis."

Um...yeah, okay... We know the real reason but...if you say so...
__________________
“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, April 24, 2010

Single-Payer Health Care is Coming...

The plan all along has been to have European-style, single-payer health care.

A warning was issued in 2008, in 2009 and now:  Under the new health care reform legislation, America will have a single-payer health care system being initiated within three years and implemented within the next five to ten years.   Here's why [from one of the largest employee and labor law firms in the nation]:
As new benefits, penalties, and programs become effective, some employers may be driven to reevaluate the cost of providing health care coverage to their employees relative to the penalty for not providing coverage. For some, it may become more cost-effective to pay the penalty than provide the coverage. In addition, employers may turn increasingly to contingent workers to eliminate the cost of providing health insurance or the penalty for not doing so.

Or, if you don't believe lawyers, then how about the Hill?
The report also suggests that some employers will stop offering their employees healthcare coverage benefits: "A number of workers who currently have employer coverage would likely become enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or receive subsidized coverage through the [Health] Exchanges. For example, some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their -- and their employees' -- advantage to end their plans..."

Foster claims that the law's penalties on employers who don't offer their workers health insurance "are relatively low compared to prevailing health insurance costs." 

Smaller employers? How about larger ones too?

You can also just start listening at :35 in the clip below [via Moe Lane]...



You have been warned.  Now, what will you do about it?
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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

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