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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Coming to a Church Near You: Union Protesters

Cars honk at the union protesters, drivers pump their fists in solidarity, many thinking to themselves:

Those evil, greedy, profit-loving corporate bosses are always trying to take the bread and butter from the workers' mouths!

Oh!...

Wait a minute!...

Those union protesters aren't picketing the offices of some nameless corporate behemoth. They're picketing the church on the corner!

Why?  Because the church members dared to use their money wisely and frugally and the contractor that helped on the new addition to the church was...

*gasp!*...

...a non-union contractor!

Big Government has exposed the Carpenters' union in California protesting the Grace Baptist Church in Bakersfield...
In Bakersfield, California the local carpenters union is protesting the Grace Baptist Church for hiring a contractor who hired non-union labor. Grace Baptist Church had no control over who the contractor hired. You would think the local carpenters union would take a pass at protesting a church, but I guess not. Though the church greeted the protesters with water, coffee, cookies and candy. Do they feel bad for standing in front of a church with a “Shame On the Grace Baptist Church”?  No.

Of course, by watching the video below, there's no telling if the union protesters are real union members or if the Carpenters outsourced the protesting jobs.  However, it does appear to be the same Carpenters' union local that protested outside an ice cream store in nearby Arroyo Grande.



"When there's no more room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth." George Romero
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Has Bill Clinton finally doomed Hillary’s POTUS chances?



If the allegations about Flowers, Jones, Stone, Streisand and countless others didn't destroy their dynasty...

If fellatio in the Oval Office and an infamous blue dress didn't ruin it for her...

Perhaps, this time...this time, Bill Clinton has finally gone too far with another woman and, as a result, ended it for Hillary.


No, he didn't try out a new brand of cigars with her, but his championing of soon-to-be replaced Sen. Blanche Lincoln has broached the truly unforgivable—alienated the one group Hillary Clinton will need in 2012 2016 if she is ever going to become President of the United States...

Union bosses.

Bill Clinton's message to Democrats here Friday about their heated two-way U.S. Senate battle was a simple one: a vote for incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln is a vote rank-and-file Arkansans, while a vote for Lt. Governor Bill Halter is a vote for outside labor unions and liberal activist groups. 

Don't be fooled, Clinton told the gathering of about 300 at Philander Smith College. The big, national unions supporting Halter are "using you and manipulating your vote," he said. 

[snip] 

Clinton held up a copy of a Washington Post article and quoted from it about how national unions want to make Lincoln a poster child for "what happens when a Democrat crosses us." The former president argued that the unions nationalized what should be an Arkansas-focused Senate race.

"Bill Clinton and Blanche Lincoln took us in the wrong direction when they supported NAFTA," said spokesman Eddie Vale in an email to reporters. "They sent thousands of Arkansas jobs to Mexico and Canada, and yet they’re still bragging about their support of the job-killing deal. When it comes to protecting and creating jobs in Arkansas, they just don’t get it."

Since no Democrat can move up the democratic food chain these days without kissing the pinky rings of the big union bosses and since crossing them (as Blanche Lincoln has in her opposition to the Employee Free FORCED Choice Act) is considered a mortal sin, Bill's blasphemous bashing of the lords of labor will not be without recrimination and reprisal.

BUT, since Bubba is no longer running for office and since unions do not (typically) target children, he and Chelsea are probably off limits.  This leaves Hillary to (once again) pay the price for Bill's transgressions and, since unions have long memories, that probably won't happen until 2016.

"I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years."Bill Clinton

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

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

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The SEIU: Safeguarding and taking money from illegals…for years


Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...
Give me your union dues and union fees,
I will take them so ever happily...

While this may not rise to the level of harboring a fugitive, since harboring a fugitive refers to "the crime of knowingly hiding a wanted criminal from the authorities," it comes awfully darn close.

SAN FRANCISCO - Federal immigration authorities have pressured one of San Francisco's major building service companies, ABM, into firing hundreds of its own workers. Some 475 janitors have been told that unless they can show legal immigration status, they will lose their jobs in the near future.

ABM has been a union company for decades, and many of the workers have been there for years. "They've been working in the buildings downtown for 15, 20, some as many as 27 years," said Olga Miranda, president of Service Employees Local 87. [Emphasis added.]


Okay, let's stop there for a moment, shall we?

Here is a local SEIU president stating that the unionized company has employed illegal aliens for 15, 20 and as many as 27 years...as her union has collected dues from these workers.

Such is the state of today's unions.  Which begs the following questions:

If you see someone commiting a crime, do you have a duty to call the police...or do you "look the other way?"

If you see someone comitting a crime, do you help the criminal perpetually perpetrate the crime, as well as charge him for your time? Does that make you a criminal or a mere opportunist? If you go out and actively recruit said persons engaging in the illegal activity into your organization, wouldn't that make you a conspirator or your organization a criminal organization?

Now, as unions are going out to recruit workers who are in this country illegally, why is it that no one has questioned Big Labor's complicity in furthering a illegal activity? Doesn't Big Labor have a civic duty to turn in illegal activity? How is it they can get away with taking money from workers who they know are working for a company employing said workers illegally? Aren't they furthering a crime?

How is it that Big Labor gets a get-out-of-jail-free card on this one???

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

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

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Friday, May 28, 2010

You didn’t really think Obamacare was going to leave you untouched, did you?

There wasn't really a question about it, was there?

Whether it's called Obamacare or nationalized health care, we've been warning since October 2008 (as others have also weighed in) that Obamacare would eventually lead to single-payer insurance.

Why?  It's a matter of simple economics.

If health care costs are expected to rise as predicted, employers will find fines less costly (and far less burdensome) than continuing coverage for their employees.  As Obamacare slowly gets digested, employers are beginning to understand that change comes at a price and so, accordingly, they are planning change as well...slowly...incrementally.

Still not convinced?  How about some more evidence:
Towers Watson, a leading human resources consulting firm, has conducted a survey of 661 human resource and benefit specialists across America. While benefit professionals are still digesting the new law, the survey shows that they are even more skeptical of Obamacare than the public is.


These benefit specialists represent a broad range of industries, and are responsible for choosing health-insurance plans for almost 4 million Americans. If their fears come true, the future of American health care is bleak. Among the highlights:
  • 90 percent believe that Obamacare “will increase their organization’s health care benefit costs”;
  • 88 percent intend to pass the increases onto employees by increasing employee premium contributions or other cost-sharing measures;
  • 74 percent intend to “reduce health benefits and programs” by using stingier health plans, restricting eligibility for health coverage, and using spousal waivers or surcharges.

And what about Grandma?  According to the survey, seniors will feel it the fastest and most dramatically.
More than three in four employers (85%) believe that health care reform will reduce the number of large organizations offering employer-sponsored retiree medical benefits. And 43% of employers that currently offer retiree medical plans plan to reduce or eliminate them.

How's that for "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

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

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DOL Releases "Persuader" PowerPoint

As the union-controlled Department of Labor explores ways to make it more difficult for employers to communicate with employees on the subject of unionization, the DoL held a meeting this past Monday to "hear" from interested parties (even though their minds are made up) on the topic of making employers report any time employees hear from their employer on unionization.

The DoL has just released the PowerPoint of the meeting's agenda.


The foreshadowing of the DoL's plan comes on slides 8, 9 and 12:
As we said previously, the union-controlled Department of Labor does not want employees to hear anything negative on the facts about unionization and they are doing everything in their power to make it more difficult to hear from employers.

You can bet, by January, the DoL's new rules will become effective.

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

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

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Teamsters got your goat?

You know times are tough for unions when they're willing to take union dues from farm animals.
The Teamsters in Oakland, California filed a grievance against Mills College, complaining that the school had violated its collective bargaining agreement by hiring non-union workers to clear brush.


The Teamsters demanded that the college either (1) award backpay to the union members who lost out on the work or (2) require the 500 non-union workers to join the union.


The only problem? The 500 non-union workers were — and we’re not making this up — goats.


“If the college opts to have the goats become members,” said a Teamsters spokesperson, “we intend to represent them in the same aggressive manner as we do every member.” [Emphasis added, though not really needed.]

This sort of gives new meaning to George Orwell's Animal Farm, doesn't 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

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

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Duuude! Marijuana Workers of the World Unite!


Well, if the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) can't unionize Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, they might as well settle on unionizing pot growers.
At a ceremony hosted by Oakland City Council's Rebecca Kaplan, 100 employees at medical marijuana dispensary and education hub Oaksterdam University turned in their membership cards to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 5.

It may well be the first union pot shop in the country, if not the world.

But, alas, there seems to be more than just high times at the bargaining table afoot:
Workers at three medical marijuana businesses in Oakland will announce Friday that they have unionized, another step in a concerted campaign aimed at bringing legitimacy to a once-hidden sector of the state's economy and boosting the marijuana-legalization initiative.

Perhaps the UFCW bosses will start claiming taking their dues payments in seeds.

Now, wouldn't that be something?

UPDATE:  Oh! Wait!  There's more:
If California voters in November approve the Control and Tax Cannabis initiative, which would legalize marijuana possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for those over 21 and tax it, there could be thousands of new workers ripe for unionizing, said Dan Rush, a Local 5 organizer.

In addition to the retail clerks at the dispensaries, union organizers anticipate thousands of new cannabis-processing jobs, agricultural work for growers and security positions at dispensaries.

"These will be good union jobs with middle-class incomes," said Ron Lind, the president of Local 5 and a vice president of the 1.3 million-member international union.

The union has not officially endorsed November's legalization measure. Those recommendations could come in July. But Lind said the union's national leadership is "supportive" of the local's new outreach and it reflects the interests of members.


Yet, Big Government's Bret Jacobson has a slightly different take on the unionized pot heads:
Well, maybe now we know why: they have been laying the groundwork to organize the entire food chain, as it were, since they have organized a pot shop in Oakland. Now you can Super Size it and smoke a spliff without ever crossing a picket line.

Indeed, unionized pot heads swinging through the unionized drive-thru:  There is something to be said for unions creating their own supply and demand.


And, we thought unions had reached their low point when the SEIU unionized strippers exotic dancers some years back!




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

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

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Laid off Steelworkers ready to strike Alcoa...?

Something seems amiss here:
Workers at Alcoa's idled Massena East plant said Wednesday they are willing to go on strike if the company cannot come up with an acceptable contract proposal by Monday.

If the plant is idled, that means all of the workers are on lay off, right?

So what good is a strike?
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dues-sucking unions threaten blood collection at Red Cross

Led by the United Food & Commercial Workers, unions including the Teamsters, SEIU, Steelworkers, CWA, and OPEIU, may be striking the Red Cross next week.

Unionized blood-services workers at the American Red Cross' regional offices based in Toledo have notified the agency they could strike June 2 if they do not have a new contract by then.

The strike, which would involve 184 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75, would be one of seven walkouts being coordinated in several states by different trade unions, all to commence at 9 a.m. that day.

[snip]

However, Mr. Dudley said the UFCW is coordinating its actions with several other unions, including the Teamsters, the Service Employees International Union, the United Steelworkers, the Communications Workers of America, and the Office and Professional Employees International - representing about 1,000 workers total at Red Cross blood services offices in Michigan, California, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, and West Virginia. None of the unions reached new contracts, Mr. Dudley said.

The Red Cross has a contingency plan in the event the unions strike.


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

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

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Steelworkers ready to strike?

Apparently, even though the last strike last two years, they've forgotten what it's like walking a picket line?
Century Aluminum is one of the largest employers in Hancock County and a weeks-long contract negotiation between the local steelworkers union and Century Aluminum have some people fearing a strike could be inevitable.

Workers went on strike at this same plant in 1998 for nearly two years, back then it was owned by a company called Southwire. The local steelworkers union said it's ready to strike a deal.

"Negotiations aren't going as well as we'd like," John Beaver with United Steel Workers 9423 said. "Obviously, our goal is to reach an agreement, an agreement both parties can live with."


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

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

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ABF Freight Teamsters Reject Plan to Protect Jobs, Benefits

Apparently, according to a Teamsters press release, Teamsters at trucking company ABF rejected a plan to protect their jobs and and benefits.
Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System have rejected a Wage Reduction-Job Security plan aimed at protecting the jobs of more than 7,000 workers and securing their health, welfare and pension benefits for the remainder of the National Master Freight Agreement.

[snip]

Mail ballots were sent out April 30 and counted today with the process being overseen by an independent election officer. With a final count of 3764-2936, the workers voted no on the plan with about 80 percent of the members affected participating in the vote. The plan had called for a reduction in gross wages and mileage rates of 15 percent effective next pay period and running through March 31, 2013. Negotiated wage increases (less 15 percent) and cost of living adjustments, if any, would have remained in effect for the life the plan.

Teamsters at ABF may soon be joining this illustrious list of other Teamster-represented freight companies.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Pilots strike, airline closes...any questions?

The AFL-CIO is blathering blogging on the story that Spirit Airlines is allegedly threatening that, if its pilots strike, the airline will close:

Spirit Airlines is threatening to close its operations in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., if its 500 pilots go on strike. The Air Line Pilots (ALPA) has said its members will strike at the end of a 30-day cooling-off period if they don’t get a fair contract.

Somehow this is news? Apparently, the AFL-CIO would rather fly in a plane without a pilot?

[Never mind, don't answer that.]

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

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

Follow laborunionrpt on Twitter

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The SEIU, the NPA & Organized, Premeditated Intimidation

It wasn't a secret.  They were planning it for weeks.  Their plans were to protest and protest they did.

They even brag about it on their website:
A little rain didn't stop thousands of people from gathering on K Street to call out the big bank lobbyists corrupting our democracy.

After two days of confronting the bank lobbyists with National People's Action, we were joined by our brothers and sisters from the AFL-CIO, Jobs with Justice, MoveOn, and hundreds of supporters from around the country.

However, before astroturfing K street on Monday, they decided to trespass onto the private residential property of two of their targets, one of which happened to be a neighbor of Fortune's Nina Easton.  Perhaps they did not know she would write about their trespassing this way:
Every journalist loves a peaceful protest-whether it makes news, shakes up a political season, or holds out the possibility of altering history. Then there are the ones that show up on your curb--literally.

Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC,Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that -- in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action -- makes his family fair game.

Waving signs denouncing bank "greed," hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer's steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer's teenage son Jack -- alone in the house -- locked himself in the bathroom. "When are they going to leave?" Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly "outed" him, and slipped through his front door.

"Excuse me," Baer told his accusers, "I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened."

Now this event would accurately be called a "protest" if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be "mob." Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might "incite" these trespassers.

[snip]

In the business community, though, SEIU has a reputation for strong-arm tactics against management, prompting some companies to file suit.

Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives -- with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it's any executive -- and they're on the front stoop. After Baer's house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase.

Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that's not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.

No, they would rather not have a conversation about their intrusion onto another person's property, nor do they consider intimidating family members immoral or unlawful.

And, they have no remorse whatsoever.
More than 1,000 visited two bankers at their homes Sunday afternoon to ask for meetings with Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

When mobs trespass onto the private residential property of a private citizen and intimidate their children, and the police refuse to take action, no one should act surprised if a citizen acts to defend his property and his family from the lawless hordes...but, perhaps, that may be what the SEIU, the NPA, and their ilk want.



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

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

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Arizona Electrifying Response to the Left's Boycotts-R-Us Campaign

Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. 
Wyatt Earp

With the SEIU, the UFCW and the AFL-CIO up in arms over Arizona's new immigration law (which enforces already-existing law), Obama administration officials Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano have admitted they haven't actually read the law, despite their condemnation.

Meanwhile, the City of Los Angeles has opted to boycott the State of Arizona.  According to union-backed Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:
Boycotts work. We saw this in the early 1990s, when people last boycotted Arizona for the state's refusal to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: people canceled their vacations to Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon; conventions were moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles, and the NFL moved SuperBowl XXVII from Tempe to Pasadena.

In response to L.A.'s arrogant attempt to economically blackmail the Grand Canyon state, Arizona's Corporation Commissioner gave the L.A. mayor a message:  Two can play that game.
In a letter [see below] to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce said a boycott war is bad for both sides, and said he would "be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements" to end the electricity flowing to Los Angeles.

"I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands," Mr. Pierce said. "If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona's economy."

We'll have to wait and see who blinks first...Arizona or Los Angeles (and its lights).

Response to the LA Boycott by AZ Corp Commissioner
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blumenthal's Blundering Bluster: Pro-Union Attorney General Turns Out to Be a Liar

Whenever there was a picket line, he was there.  A brief to be filed on a union boss's behalf?  He wrote it and filed it.  He was, to the say the least, union bosses' highest friend in Connecticut's Democrat apparatchik and, as attorney general, Richard Blumenthal aspired to higher office.

Unfortunately, like many politicians, Slippery Dick Blumenthal lied misled, repeatedly, on his resume.
At a ceremony honoring veterans and senior citizens who sent presents to soldiers overseas, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut rose and spoke of an earlier time in his life.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

No word yet from the union bosses backing Blumenthal, though we suspect all will be forgiven if it looks like Slippery Dick still has a shot at winning the election.

After all, why let a little thing like honesty stand in the way of a good union candidate?
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Andy Stern's War on Terror: NUHW insurgents inflict more damage on SEIU

Andy Stern may be gone, but his California Civil War still rages on and, in Saturday's Washington Post, Andy used an interesting analogy metaphor comparing his union battles to the War on Terror:
"It's a tragedy in terms of how the money was spent, but a necessity in terms of preserving the organization's integrity," he said. "I don't want to analogize this, but there is not enough money you can spend in America to protect us from terrorists. And you know, sometimes you have to spend money to protect the integrity of the institution from its own version of self-righteousness and terrorism."

To compare fellow unionists to terrorists is an interesting choice of terminology.  Especially since the latest battle between the SEIU and its former local (now known as the National Union of Healthcare Workers), the purple behemoth lost another election to the union "insurgency":
Caregivers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital have voted to leave Service Employees International Union and join the rival National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Results, announced Monday after three weeks of voting by mail, shows 408 votes for the health care union, 242 votes for SEIU, and 13 votes for no union. The local union represents more than 830 workers, including respiratory care practitioners, licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants, clerical workers and others.

[snip]

The election for NUHW "is our second-biggest hospital election," said Sadie Crabtree, a spokeswoman for the union. About 2,600 Kaiser Permanente health workers in Southern California have voted to go with the new union. NUHW is working toward an election that would ask 47,000 Kaiser workers throughout the state if they want to change unions. Workers at more than 360 facilities have petitioned to join NUHW in the last 15 months, and most are still waiting for their elections, Crabtree said.

With Stern now gone, it will be interesting to see if the SEIU's new president, Mary Kay Henry, will be able to contain the Iraq NUHW insurgents.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Union Boss Faces Up to 80 Years for Lap Dances and Embezzlement...

Six hours.  It really didn't take that long, did it?
A former carpenters union official from Somerset County was convicted in federal court in Trenton today of pocketing $85,000 from the organization to host hundreds of lunchtime drinking sprees at go-go bars.

After deliberating less than six hours, a jury found Shawn Clark, 45, guilty of embezzlement for using the union’s American Express card during more than 450 visits over seven years to watering holes that included Johnny A's Hitching Post in Paterson and Pure Go Go in Manville. He faces up to five years in prison for each of the 16 counts in the indictment.

“You treated that card as if it were your own – didn’t you?” Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Grady O’Malley asked Clark during a cross examination.

Clark, the ex-business manager for Local 455 of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, spent hours on the stand last week arguing he was conducting union meetings at the clubs. Part of his job, he said, was drumming up union business by entertaining contractors, tradesmen and the occasional politician who felt at ease around pulsing music and dancing women.

But prosecutors said Clark, who was fired from the union in 2008, ruled the local with an "iron fist." To help conceal his bar tabs, which occasionally exceeded $1,000, he installed a close friend as treasurer, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Romankow. The prosecutor said Clark traveled to strip clubs miles away from the union’s office in Somerville, buying untold number of beers, shots with Red Bull chasers and tiny bottles of Chardonnay for the women on stage.

Wow!  You mean 450 visits to go go bars, getting lap dances, and drinking on other people's dime isn't union business?  Who knew?

Well, at least he'll have some fond memories.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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A Race to the Bottom: Unions hate individual rights

It is only on the basis of property rights that the sphere and application of individual rights can be defined in any given social situation. Without property rights, there is no way to solve or to avoid a hopeless chaos of clashing views, interests, demands, desires, and whims. Ayn Rand.

Some time ago, union bosses, who purported a desire to help people, fell off the train, bumped their heads, and woke up on a mission to eliminate individual rights.  It's hard to say when they fell off that train.  It might have been sometime after Samuel Gompers died in the late 1920s, or when the Reds infiltrated the unions in the 1930s, or when John Sweeney took over the AFL-CIO in 1996, or it could have been just a long, slow slog to the bottom of the tracks.  Whatever the case, the proof is in:  Today's union bosses absolutely, without-a-doubt, abhor individual rights.

Today, goons from the SEIU are in Washington taking over a Bank of America lobby (pictured at right).  This follows the weekend union takeover of a lobbyist's private property (his front yard) in the name of protesting for "financial reform."

Of course, unions have long believed that employers should have limited (or NO) property rights when it comes to union organizing.  After all, a job is a right and therefore the workers' right to a job trumps an employer's right to his property.  However, to believe that the right to trespass onto an individual's private property takes this collectivist philosophy to breathtakingly new levels.



If the taking of a individual's private property (whether it be temporary or permanent) is put into the capricious will of whatever astroturf gang comes along that day (be it a union or the Klu Klux Klan), then no individual rights are safe from the tyranny of the masses, including the right to one's life.
__________________
“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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Opposing unions means you go to hell?...Really?

You know the old saying about religion and politics? Well, sometimes the twain do meet...

Never mind that today's unions rake in roughly thirteen billion dollars a year from workers (the majority of whom are forced to pay the union or be fired from their jobs); and never mind the history of violence and union corruption; and never mind the desire to eliminate secret-ballots or the buying of politicians, or the sheer hypocrisy...


According to a group of Catholic scholars, there's going to be a lot of us heading South...
Catholic scholars say those who thwart labor unions commit mortal sin

A group of Catholic scholars contends that management efforts to break labor unions are a grave breech of the church's social doctrine and tantamount to committing mortal sin.

Problem is, someone's got some explaining to do...
In November 2006, the Diocese of Scranton announced its plans to restructure its schools. That decision simultaneously brought closure to the old schools and the bargaining relationship that several of those schools had with their in-house unions, all of which were under the umbrella of the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers (SDACT).

[snip]

On Sept. 3, the first arbitration award was handed down, that affecting Bishop Hoban. SDACT and the teachers were the winners in the dispute. The arbitrator’s award called for the employer to immediately begin paying $725,000 to Hoban’s 40 teachers. Since then, similar awards were handed down in the other disputes. When the dust settles and all of the arbitrators have ruled, the diocese may owe nearly $2 million to the teachers in the 12 affected schools.

This immediate payout (and the enormous associated legal costs) will no doubt have an unfavorable impact on the diocese and its schools. It is just one more foreseeable and avoidable consequence of a reckless policy of union-busting initiated by Bishop Joseph Martino and his advisers.

The diocese has attempted to spin this outcome to make it a demonstration of the union’s “greed.”

A lot of explaining...



Then, of course, there's that whole glass house thing...

[Be careful with those broken shards, fellas, they can be sharp.]
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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Friday, May 14, 2010

SEIU runs from Obama, dumping $142,000 on Tim Burns attack ads

Trying to keep is purple fingers on the throats in the pockets of the late Jack Murtha's constituents, the SEIU is dumping $142,000 on ads trying to defeat GOP candidate Tim Burns in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District.

The SEIU's ad tries to tie Burns to "special interests" because of campaign contributions.
The commercial matches up with other Democratic-aligned groups advertising in the district: it avoids any mention of the policies of the Obama administration or the Democratic Congress, focusing instead on a purely economic message that depicts Burns, a former businessman, as out of step with the struggles of working class voters.

Oddly, the SEIU ignores the fact that the SEIU is...well...a special interest.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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

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SEIU's New Burger Queen? Internal Documents Expose Plan to Unionize Fast-Food Industry

If you'd like to see how a union plans to exploit and target workers if the hallucinogencially-named Employee Free Choice Act (aka "card-check") is passed, read this post.

Last weekend, we reported on what appeared to be a new union battle that the SEIU was going to wage by invading the UFCW's turf and attempting to unionize grocery workers.  The foundation of this was an interview new SEIU boss Mary Kay Henry gave to a reporter.  On Tuesday, the SEIU was forced to issue a press release reassuring the UFCW it had no plans on invading (also known as raiding) the food sector.
SEIU fully recognizes the food sector as a core industry of sister union United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents more than a million supermarket workers.

Well, it turns out that the SEIU's "correction" (see above) may not be entirely accurate.

Internal SEIU documents have exposed a December 2009 plan hatched to unionize the nation's fast food workers.  The SEIU plan details how the purple behemoth plans on targeting fast-food chains in Los Angeles first, the using L.A. and an "east coast" city as a spring board into other cities.

The SEIU's plan is based on a labor landscape that is post Employee Free Choice Act, but its strategies demonstrate how the SEIU plans to use EFCA to unionize an almost-entirely union-free industry.  While there is much to comment on about the SEIU plan and how a union targets workers within an industry (see highlighted text), we're just going to show you the plan itself.

In its plan, the SEIU states:
Our initial probing in this industry has taken place in the Los Angeles metro area.  Los Angeles County has over 60,000 fast food workers in just the top ten chains.  When we mapped out the restaurants of the major chains, we saw that they encompass large groupings of low income tracts.  While just over 20,000 workers are employed in the top 10 chains in Fast Food in LA, we have broke [sic] down 75% of the geography into 4 Clusters.  This encompasses just over 15,000 of the 20,000 workers.

The SEIU's One-year goal:
Organize 15,000 food service workers in LA County and thousands of additional workers in an east coast market within the first 6 months, and begin raising the standards for these workers.

The SEIU lays out its strategy, as follow:

  • Initiate a focused experiment in one or two metro areas to test the organizing theory and bring resources to bear on a limited geographical target.
  • Choose metro areas with a favorable local political environment and workforce composition (Los Angeles and an east coast market)
  • Target 7-10 of the largest chains to keep bargaining manageable and map out geographic clusters where field work can be concentrated.
  • Build broad-based support for targeted workers via extensive community outreach and organizing and political work with prominent local elected officials
  • While staying focused on the 7-120 chains, bring workers together across companies within geographic clusters to build a sense of movement and solidarity.
  • Use a living wage as a vehicle to excite, build momentum, build worker lists/ID potential leaders and potentially support collective bargaining.  We believe we will have enough traction with an ordinance to use as a legitimate tool for organizing and potentially as legislation to raise standards.
  • Move fast and furious with an army of 200-300 Staff/MOs/VOs/other volunteer organizers and the necessary number of leads to:
    • Petition for living wage
    • ID leaders 
    • Bring workers together within geographies
    • Sign authorization cards
    • File on dozens of restaurants per week 

While the SEIU's plan was prepared during the reign of Andy Stern and presented to the SEIU's Executive Board, there is no indication to believe that this plan has changed as Mary Kay Henry has committed $4 million to organizing and was part of the Executive Board at the time of this proposal.

You can read the rest of the SEIU plan here (captured just before it was mysteriously 'scrubbed')...




h/t: SternBurgerWithFries.

__________________ 
“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 Throw a Fit, Taxpayers Take the Hit...


    In a union city like Philadelphia, it really shouldn't come as a shock that when unions pitch fits, politicians' knees buckle, and taxpayers end up paying the price.

    A few months ago, we posted on Philadelphia's proposed soda tax that drew union protests by the Teamsters.  To be clear, we also believe the soda tax idea is a stupid idea--sort of like tea taxes were in 1773--as are most taxes today that go to pay for bloated governments.

    However, instead of curbing the gorging at the public trough that has caused municipal budgets nationwide to collapse and prompting public workers' demands to raise taxes, the Philadelphia City Council has capitulated to union demands once again.  Now, in yet another union shakedown, the residents of Philadelphia will be seeing their property taxes go up.
    If you live in Philadelphia, higher property taxes and a fee for trash pickup may be two things you'll pay for next year.

    Philadelphia City Council approved Mayor Michael Nutter's $3.9 billion budget for 2011 with a vote Thursday evening.

    To fill in a $150 million budget gap, officials made several tax increases, the most notable being a 9.9-percent jump in property taxes, officials told NBC Philadelphia. That increase will only last for two years.

    The 9.9 percent temporary tax hike has to get final approval from council next week.

    Council also passed measures that will institute a new, yearly $300 fee for trash pickup from small businesses, duplexes and apartment buildings and a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco.

    One high-profile tax that wasn't included in the approved budget was the proposed soda tax.

    The measure -- which would have put a tax of 2-cent per ounce on all soda and sugary drinks sold within the city limits -- was both lauded and detested by residents.

    Once again, taxpayers take a hit all because unions threw a fit.
    __________________

    “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, May 13, 2010

    On the Arizona Boycott...

    Other than one earlier post, we haven't commented much on Arizona's decision to enforce immigration laws, but this is pretty poignant:

    Los Angeles' city council votes to boycott Arizona for its enforcement of existing federal law. No word yet on how China's human rights violations will be treated. [Emphasis added.]


    The rest of the article is just as good.
    __________________
    “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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    Steelworkers' Leo Gerard Posts a Funny...sort of

    Sometimes union bosses are just plain ol' gooberheads.

    Take Leo Gerard, for example.  He's the president of the United Steelworkers and he seems to like to making his points by conflating two different issues.

    Earlier this week, the union-controlled National Mediation Board (the federal agency that governs labor relations in the airline and railroad industries) set more than 70 years of precedent on its head by changing how union votes are counted.

    We noted how the voting change is nothing more than a payback for union bosses who can now concentrate their resources on unionizing an airline's workers by concentrating only on hub cities and ignoring smaller outlying cities, even though workers in those smaller cities become unionized as well.

    Nevertheless, in today's true union fashion, Gerard posts an antagonistic op-ed in the Hill entitled: Hey, Union-Busters: We'll Give You Supermajority. Aside from the provocative title [perhaps we should just start calling today's unions 'Company Killers'], Gerard's post was more perplexing to the average reader than enlightening--even for those who don't immediately see through his sad sophomoric sophistry .

    Gerard makes the mistake of trying to tie NMB elections (which are entirely different than NLRB elections) into the uber-union desire for the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act. His problem with doing that is that one has nothing to do with the other. 
    The anti-worker-rights groups wanted the NMB to retain a different kind of election – one that requires the winner to receive votes from the majority of all of those qualified to participate -- essentially, a supermajority.

    This is an exciting new development. Up until now CEOs, union-busters, and particularly conservative Republicans, have actively opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, mainly because of a provision they call “card check.” But card check provides exactly what they now say that they want – a determination made by the majority of all of those qualified to participate. So, clearly, since they’re so upset by the end of supermajority rule for airline and railroad workers, they’d be happy if Congress intervened and instituted it for all workers by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.


    Under the NMB's new voting procedures (regardless of whether one agrees with it or not), the voter's preferences (presumably) are kept secret.  Under the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act's 'card-check' provisions, worker preferences are not secret.

    Under card-check, workers are left exposed to pressure, manipulation and deception. And, most importantly, under card-check there is NO ELECTION, period.


    Gerard's post would be funny, if it weren't such a pathetically poor attempt at subterfuge.


    Gooberhead.
    __________________
     

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

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


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    Reading the Tea Leaves: Anna Burger will be stepping down at the SEIU

    Okay.  We're going out on a limb here, but it's not without some solid foundation:  If we're reading the tea leaves correctly, Anna Burger will likely be leaving her post as Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU.

    In less than a month, the (former) Queen of Labor has gone from being the assumed-next-in-line to lead, to being unceremoniously dethroned by a coup led by the union's top generals.

    Yesterday, CQ Politics laid out the strongest evidence yet that Andy Stern's "partner" may have reached the end of the rope.
    Major changes to the Service Employees International Union’s downtown operations could be under way soon.

    In an interview Tuesday, new SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said she is conducting a monthlong review of her top deputies, including Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, Henry’s main opposition in the union’s recent election to replace longtime head Andy Stern. Burger mysteriously dropped out of the race two weeks before the May 8 election.

    “She and I have begun discussions and are committed to reaching an agreement by the end of May. ... Every officer is now in a review process about what role they will assume,” Henry said in the interview. “It is the prerogative of the president to reassign responsibilities.”

    Reading between the lines, it appears that the new SEIU leader doesn't want or need Anna Burger undermining the union's "new" direction, or stabbing her in the back in trying to re-take the union.

    It should be noted, we're not suggesting that Anna will be leaving the SEIU or the labor movement.  For the moment, she is still the head of the failed Change to Win federation and has a seat at the White House dinner task force table.  However, it appears that her power within the SEIU will almost certainly be diminished if when Mary Kay Henry gets her way.

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

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

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

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

    More on the Hallucinogenically-Named Employee Free Choice Act

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