Note: You might want to start at the Organized
Labor Index Page, especially
if you arrived here by using a search engine.
Subtopics on this page:
Overpaid leadership / mismanagement
Disillusionment, declining membership, and diminished influence
Constant attempts to expand
Unions protect lazy and stupid workers
Some workers would rather have a union than a job
Unionized government workers
Overpaid leadership / mismanagement
Teachers Union Officials Are Paid Twice As Much As Teachers. Ohio's largest labor union is in the business of selling worker "solidarity,"
and for union bosses, business is good. Ohio Education Association president Becky Higgins was paid $209,039 to preside over a union that took
member dues and mandatory fees from 121,625 teachers during the fiscal year ending Aug. 31. Regular OEA dues for full-time teachers are
$504 — $42 a month — in addition to local OEA chapter dues and $183 in National Education Association dues sent to NEA's
Washington, D.C., headquarters.
boss making $505,000 attacks 'income inequality' and 'white privilege'. The NEA
convention had its humorous moments as well as a very disturbing one. The National Association
Education's yearly convention, which wrapped up last week, was mostly a tame affair with not much
worth writing about. But NEA executive director John Stocks did provide some unintentionally comedic
moments. His boiler plate lefty political ranting included solemn affirmations about "the
insidious entitlements of white privilege" and the evils of "income inequality." The latter is
especially amusing since the latest available NEA tax filing reveals that Stocks' total yearly
compensation is $505,288. But upon further review, maybe his income inequality" gripe has some
merit. American Federation of Teachers president and fellow inequality-griper Randi Weingarten
made $543,679 during the same time period. So maybe Stocks is irked about the $38,391 gap.
Union Dispute Costing California Hundreds of Millions.
The federal government has withheld more than $500 million in funding to local California transportation agencies since January and could withhold $1.6 billion
for the year as the result of a complaint filed by transit union members, losses that could cost the state tens of thousands of jobs. The U.S. Labor Department
has forced the state to sit down with transit unions several times since California Gov. Jerry Brown passed modest retirement reforms in October 2012 to address
a dire pension shortfall.
Labor big a real heavy sleeper.
Union officials say he racks up $1,400 in monthly food bills on the union dime.
boss under fire for either being too fat, too lazy, too overpaid or on too many painkillers. A less-than-surprising look into the
world of workers' rights reveals that one union boss is under fire for either being too fat, too lazy, too over-paid or on too many painkillers
(from being too fat), depending on who you ask.
Riches for unions,
but not their retirees. Organized labor has long pointed to pensions as a key reason to join their unions, but many of
those promised benefits are now in serious trouble. After decades of promising a secure retirement, unions need to chip in and
protect their members' pensions. Certain union pension plans, known as multiemployer plans, are collectively bargained between
a union and several private-sector employers. Many of these plans, however, are dangerously underfunded, and some could be
headed toward insolvency.
Late Union President's
Astonishing $800K Theft. When former Auburn Teachers Association (ATA) president Sally Jo Widmer passed away last November
after more than 35 years at the helm of the small New York teachers' union, former Auburn mayor Guy Cosentino eulogized her as "a true
union leader who put her union first and personal niceties second." That's because Cosentino didn't have access to her checkbook.
Members were informed this week that Widmer misappropriated at least $800,000 in union dues during the period 2006-2012.
Union Blows Its Chance for a Deal. Rahm Emanuel, tough, irascible, and chronically profane, is a man of many faults.
But he knows how to count votes. If only Karen Lewis, his rival in the ongoing Chicago teacher's strike, could say the same.
The head of the local union appears to have miscalculated, as a decision to put a new contract to an approval vote Sunday [9/16/2012]
was punted amid rank-and-file confusion and internal differences over the deal.
Big Labor, Big Money.
Check in to the luxury $187 million Westin Diplomat Hotel on the beach outside Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and you'll be impressed by
sumptuous, art deco features, hotel suites overlooking the ocean, flowing fountains, waterfalls in its infinity swimming pool, the plush
green golf course and the top-notch restaurants. It's a place even Donald Trump might envy. You might also be impressed that
this opulent hotel is owned by a labor union, and is frequently used for union junkets, government documents show. As is the
$15.4 million Hillcrest Golf Club in Saint Paul, Minn. As is the $33 million lakeside resort and golf club in Onaway, Mich.,
owned by the United Auto Workers Union, a resort now hemorrhaging millions of dollars at a time of auto bailouts and auto job losses.
How Unions Just Shot Workers in the
Foot. Union bosses are excited that they have prevented their members from getting raises. It's a bit mind-boggling, but
that's what happened. Last week, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) celebrated defeating a bill in the Senate that would
have allowed raises, declaring that the legislation would have stripped workers' "fundamental rights."
Some N.J. union officials have been on paid leave
for decades, investigation reveals. Public employees, from school teachers to corrections officers, have cost New Jersey
taxpayers millions of dollars by getting paid while on leave from their jobs to do union business, according to a report issued today [5/9/2012]
by the State Commission of Investigation. From 2006 through 2011, the commission found the government paid more than $30 million in
salaries and medical benefits — not including overtime and pension costs — to employees who held government jobs but
did little or no work.
Unions Raid Pensions, Then Blame Wall Street. In a laudable instance of the mainstream media doing its job,
the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, Bloomberg News and City Journal have all exposed "pension spiking" by California
public employees. Basically, they manipulate rigid unionized pay and promotion systems to raise their pensions well
above what they earned during their working years. The Los Angeles Times on Saturday pieced together tough-to-get
data from Kern and Ventura counties and found a fiscal horror story: In Kern, 77% of public employees with pensions
greater than $100,000 actually get more than they did during their working lives.
Union Bosses Win,
Ohio Workers Get Fired. One month ago Ohio voted with its heart against reforms portrayed as an
attack on public workers. Ohio, DC, and New York union bosses spent more than $30 million drenching
the airwaves in images of sad firefighters, sad police officers, and evil Republicans, convincing voters to
overlook a broken status quo. A month later, how are local governments celebrating the union victory
on Issue 2? Middletown is laying off nine firefighters, despite the city's police and fire budgets
both increasing by nearly 1/3 in the past decade. In Hamilton, a $5.9 million death tax
haul will delay the inevitable.
Crunch time at
America's richest union. Two years after the wrenching restructuring of the U.S. auto industry
and the bankruptcies that remade General Motors and Chrysler, the UAW is facing its own financial reckoning.
America's richest union has been living beyond its means and running down its savings, an analysis of its
financial records shows.
Will the UAW run out of money?
I understand how the UAW could be in the middle of an existential crisis: the Detroit carmakers that
employ its members are facing very strong competition from auto companies that assemble cars in the U.S. but
don't have to pay UAW salaries and pensions and don't have to deal with UAW work rules. ... But I don't
understand why the UAW would collapse just because of its own impending internal financial crisis...
about the UAW.
Unions Registering Inmates to
Vote, Spending Dues at Strip Clubs. The crux of the story involves getting inmates to register or change their
enrollment to the Conservative Party, giving the Democrat challenger, Gary Gordon, an edge in the general election. ... Reports
show a labor union leader for the corrections officers, Kevin Rogers, allegedly dropping off 140 voter registration forms
that enrolled people in the Conservative Party, of which four have been confirmed to be inmates.
Union money went for
strippers, beer. The former leaders of a Rensselaer County jail officers union spent tens of thousands of
dollars in union money for outings at top-scale restaurants, strip clubs, bars and to make contributions to political
campaigns and organizations in which they had a personal interest.
Records shows welfare cash-withdraws at strip clubs.
After a three-month investigation, [KUSA-TV, Denver] has uncovered welfare cash-withdraws at ATMs in strip clubs,
casinos, bingo halls and amusement parks despite a state law banning such transactions at some businesses.
[KUSA] also discovered more than $1 million in welfare is also going to ATM owners and banks through
transaction fees per every year.
[Edited for clarity.]
Another union pay chart
of the day. Last week, blogger Jason Hart charted the pay of Ohio teachers' union bosses versus
the rest of the state workforce. ... Jason asks and adds: "If Ohio's public union members hang by a
thread, why do union bosses take so much for themselves? If overpaid private industry entrepreneurs
and investors are the root of Ohio's fiscal troubles, why shouldn't Ohio taxpayers be concerned about
six-figure union salaries? For organizations solely dedicated to their members' well-being, Ohio's
AFSCME affiliates throw money at most every leftist cause in the state.
teacher pension system nearly $40 billion in the hole. The Teachers' Retirement System, the
largest and costliest of Illinois' pension programs, is now almost $40 billion short of what's needed
to cover future benefits — the deepest financial hole in 20 years of state records.
pressuring banks to "go easy" on foreclosures. Public-sector union pensions aren't known to be
doing all that well. No matter — they're going to pull out of investments based on politics
Union Bosses Blow Pension Funds on Politicians —
Now Want Government Bailout. The election cycles of 2006 and 2008 cost the labor unions many, many
millions of dollars to get all those liberal Democrats elected and reelected to Congress and the presidency.
Where did those bribe bucks come from? Were they in some union slush fund? Do you suppose that all
those bribes came out of the pension fund money that the suckers, er, members paid into for retirement benefits?
It is becoming common knowledge that the various union pension funds may not be there when Joe or Jane 'lunch
Hypocrisy Is Big Labor's Big Problem.
Amid Labor Day's parades and picnics, union bosses will bellow Monday about workers' rights and the alleged greed
of management, especially inside Big Business. Such class warfare sloganeering would be easier to stomach
if Big Labor were internally consistent. Instead, when their own workers channel Norma Rae and demand
better wages and benefits, labor leaders imitate union-busting robber barons.
Voting Would Lead to Forced Unionization. As union bosses have squandered the wealth that
members' dues provided them, numerous national unions are suddenly finding that their pension plans have
been so mismanaged and grossly under-funded, that they are in serious trouble. In response, they are
turning to the Obama Administration for bailouts — both financially and politically. By coercing
workers to join unions through systems such as electronic voting, labor bosses will be able to rake in
more dues and replenish their members' pension funds, which they have squandered.
Pension Bailout. Feeling tapped out after stimulus, ObamaCare and everything else?
Senator Bob Casey has one more deal for you. If the Pennsylvania Democrat gets his way, U.S.
taxpayers will also pick up the astonishing tab for poorly managed union pension plans.
and MediaMatters Omit Deadbeat Union's $90 Million Debt. [Scroll down] In 2007, the SEIU
owed Bank of America nearly $95 Million. By the end of 2008, SEIU owed more than $156 Million
in total outstanding liabilities. Only six years prior, its liabilities were $8 Million. And
we're not even addressing their debts to other banks, like $15 Million with Amalgamated Bank. Perhaps
all that campaigning for President Obama has emboldened the union to think that they deserve a free pass on
their debts to Bank of America, and encouraged them to employ their usual thuggish shakedown tactics.
Union Hypocrisy Marching on Wall Street. Union
bosses are marching today in New York City to demand that the Senate pass the Dodd Wall Street Bailout Bill. "It's
time to hold Wall Street accountable," Heather Booth, one of the organizers of the march, told Daily Finance in an
interview about today's protest. Perhaps the rank and file union members would better spend their time marching on
their own union headquarters demanding accountability for their pension funds.
Pot Calling Kettle: Unions Say Banks are
Corrupt. Unions want Congress to institute financial regulatory reform because they feel that banks
need to be "held accountable." The first thought that comes to mind is to wonder when Congress will ever
hold unions accountable for anything!
for the union agenda, and get ready to pay. The mother of all taxpayer bailouts is right around
the corner. Union bosses want taxpayers to foot the cost for bailing out the labor organizations' many
failing pension plans that millions of their members are counting on to "be there" when they retire.
Unfortunately, the average union pension plan has only enough money to cover 62 percent of its financial
Largest Union Theft in History Goes Largely Unreported. While
the mainstream media swarmed all over Bernie Madoff, AIG and corporate billionaires, the gentlemen of the press, who
are so proud of fighting for the Little Guy, were mostly out to an expense account lunch when Melissa King allegedly
made off with $42 million rightfully belonging to members of the Laborers International Union of North America.
Union Pensions in the Red.
We've all read about underfunded corporate pensions, but here's an unreported story: Union pensions are even more in the red,
and it's one reason union chiefs are so eager to rig organizing rules to gain more dues-paying members. ... Poor management
probably deserves a lot of the blame for the union decline, but the exact causes are a mystery. An even bigger mystery
is that the unions do a far better job with funds created for their officers and employees than for mere workers.
Your union dues at work...
Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course for
Members. The United Auto Workers may be out of the hole now that President Bush has approved a $17 billion
bailout of the U.S. auto industry, but the union isn't out of the bunker just yet. Even as the industry struggles with
massive losses, the UAW brass continue to own and operate a $33 million lakeside retreat in Michigan, complete with
a $6.4 million designer golf course. And it's costing them millions each year.
benefits for unions are sinking automakers. The current auto-industry panic is instructive of
Obama's dilemma. The crisis facing America's Big Three auto manufacturers has, arguably, a single source:
legacy costs resulting from union contracts that were negotiated half a century ago. The financial burden
thus incurred weighs down their balance sheets to such a degree that, even if the industry in which they compete
were thriving, it would be extremely difficult to maintain long-term profitability.
Union Pension Funds Go Green.
Organized labor officials are using their control over union pension funds to promote their own political
agenda at the expense of rank-and-file union members. By promoting shareholder resolutions that advance
environmentalist causes, among other "progressive" goals — as part of the unions' "corporate
campaign" strategy — unions are building a stronger political coalition, but they may be violating
their fiduciary responsibility to their own members and putting workers' retirement security at risk.
UFCW Exposed. The United Food and Commercial Workers' union
bosses have a dirty secret: While they rake in six-figure salaries paid by their member's hard earned
dues, the union has done little to represent their members' interests.
Union Dues Spent on Golf, Cadillac, Resorts, and
• Nearly $1.5 million in union members' dues money was spent on golf.
• The Ironworkers AFL-CIO Local Union 40 spent $52,879 on a new Cadillac for a retiring president.
• $7.9 million of employee dues money went to resort expenditures.
• The Boilermakers AFL-CIO Local 374 spent $8,800 of employee dues money on
Christmas gifts at Wal-Mart, despite the labor movement's smear campaign against the retailer.
• Between six AFL-CIO locals, over $50,000 of employee dues money was spent at a
single D.C. steakhouse.
• The AFL-CIO alone spent over $49 million on political activities and lobbying — much
of which is spent quietly on in-kind political expenditures like pro-Kerry brochures and
websites. That's almost $20 million more than it spent on representation activities.
Union Joins Coalition for Labor Reform. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners left the
AFL-CIO four years ago because it felt AFL-CIO boss John Sweeney was spending too much money and time on politics
and not enough on labor organizing.
Labor's "Enron" Scandal: Labor
leaders like John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO seized on the opportunity to denounce scandals at Enron, WorldCom and
other corporations to help drum up support for Democrats in the 2002 elections and shift political power to labor
unions. But then it was discovered that several directors of Ullico, a financial company serving union
employees' pension funds, allegedly collected large sums of money in a stock-investment scheme.
Don't Place Stock In Big Labor. Labor
is signaling that it would rather employ a bad fund manager (if he agrees with it politically) than a good funds manager
(if he does not). If this happens, it'll be union members and retirees who lose, not the AFL-CIO leadership.
That fact alone could signal a violation of the unions' legal responsibility to manage retirement funds to benefit their
Michigan Union Accountability Act:
Unions are not very accountable to those who finance them. It's ironic that unions, set up to empower
workers, provide far less financial information to their members—whose mandatory fees support
them—than a publicly held corporation must, by law, provide to its shareholders.
UAW May Have Spent Nearly $8,000 Per Vote At VW.
In the aftermath of the United Auto Workers stunning defeat last Friday night, an interesting statement in this article in Automotive News sheds some light on just
how much the United Auto Workers may have spent to unionize Volkswagen workers in Chattanooga.
Disillusionment, declining membership, and diminished influence
Walmart protests fizzle as a Black Friday tradition. Unions have stopped trying to use Walmart's day-after-Thanksgiving 'Black
Friday' sales to launch public relations blitzes against the corporation, effectively conceding that the once-high profile efforts were making
little headway toward organizing a union at the nation's largest employer. "We actually don't have any events planned for Black Friday,"
said Amy Ritter, spokeswoman for Making Change at Walmart, a nonprofit activist group funded and run by the United Food and Commercial Workers.
can't let unions hold Medicaid funding for home health care hostage. The state-run program paid for by Medicaid
to fund home health-care is a win-win for patients, their families and the taxpayer. The program keeps patients at
home, where they are more comfortable and surrounded by loved ones, rather than putting them in nursing homes or other
expensive institutions that would cost Medicaid far more. But unfortunately, some states are diverting millions of
these Medicaid dollars from home health-care to labor unions. The most recent data from the federal Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services, as reported by Truven Health Analytics, shows that Medicaid expenditures for the home
health-care program totaled $45 billion in 2015 and covered over 1.6 million people in 2014. With union
membership and the amount of dues collected at historic lows, this makes the home health-care program a tempting target
for union organizers.
Day,' not 'Union Day'. Earlier this year Kentucky and Missouri became the 27th and 28th states, respectively,
to pass Right to Work laws. Kentucky's law went into effect immediately, and the state has already seen a boom in
economic development and job creation as a direct result. Union bosses in Missouri — desperate to keep their
power to order a worker fired simply for not paying union dues or fees — have been able to delay implementation of
the law so far. But with six new states adopting Right to Work laws in five years, there is no question that workplace
freedom is on the march.
Defeat In Supreme Court, Public Sector Unions Try to Slow Exodus of Members. A case titled Janus v.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31 is on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on a
petition for a writ of certiorari. The 7th Circuit's opinion in the case is here. It is widely expected that the
Court will grant certiorari. The case raises issues substantially identical to those in Friedrichs v.
California Teachers Association.
The UAW does what
it does best, spend money and lose elections. Last week, workers at a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi
overwhelmingly rejected years of campaigning from the UAW to receive union representation. In a 2,224 to 1,307 vote,
63 percent of workers chose to represent themselves, continuing a strong direct relationship between the company and its
employees. Considering the membership in unions has dropped to a record low this year, unions like the UAW are frantic
to combat the growing right to work trend.
Files Federal Complaints After Nissan Workers Overwhelmingly Reject Representation. The United Auto Workers
union has turned to federal labor regulators to boost its campaign in the south after workers overwhelmingly rejected its bid
to unionize a Mississippi plant. Nissan workers in Canton voted 2,244 to 1,307 against unionization, dealing a blow to
the UAW's bid to establish a footprint in right to work Mississippi. The union filed a slew of unfair labor practice
complaints to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as the two-day secret ballot election drew to a close on Friday.
The complaints allege that the company's management violated federal labor law by threatening to close the plant or otherwise
cut wages, benefits, or jobs if workers voted to join the union.
That Nissan UAW
Vote Was Kind Of A Big Deal. This is starting to turn into a repeating pattern, at least in the south and most
right-to-work states. When a business gets up and running, creating a significant number of manufacturing jobs, the
unions begin moving in and attempting to force votes to convert the plants into union shops even if the workers seem to be
quite content with the working conditions and compensation they've negotiated with management. That happened once again
at the Nissan plant in Mississippi, where a bitterly fought campaign led to a unionization vote this past week. And
once again the workers said "no thank you" to the union label by a better than two to one margin.
workers soundly reject UAW representation in Mississippi. Workers at Nissan's plant in Canton, Miss., soundly
rejected UAW representation after a multiyear union organizing campaign, delivering a major blow to the union's organizing
efforts in the South. Sixty-three percent of workers who voted, or 2,244 out of 3,551, cast their ballot against the
UAW in an election that spanned two days. "With this vote, the voice of Nissan employees has been heard. They
have rejected the UAW and chosen to self-represent, continuing the direct relationship they enjoy with the company," Nissan
said in a news release.
Walker Deals Another Blow to Big Labor in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed
legislation that prevents local governments from requiring contractors to hire union labor for publicly funded construction
projects. Walker signed the legislation, which passed along party lines in February, at a local distributor of
construction materials in De Pere, Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The governor and
Wisconsin Republicans have blasted project labor agreements as a waste of taxpayer dollars.
cutting staff as union membership declines. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics union membership hit an
all-time low in 2016 of just 10.7 percent. That decline has consequences for unions like the AFL-CIO, which Bloomberg
reports is dismissing dozens of staff members: [...] The union spokesman blamed the downsizing on "well-financed anti-union
opposition" but it's really the result of former members who have been freed up by right-to-work laws to not have union dues
taken from their paychecks. Wisconsin saw a decrease of over 100,000 union members after the passage of ACT 10 in 2011.
Michigan, which passed a right-to-work law in 2013, lost 20,000 union members between 2015 and last year.
North Charleston workers vote against Machinists union representation. Organized labor suffered its biggest
defeat in decades in South Carolina on Wednesday, with Boeing Co. workers stating overwhelmingly that they do not want to be
represented by the International Association of Machinists union. A total of 2,828 of the approximately 3,000 workers
eligible to vote cast ballots, with 74 percent — 2,097 votes — against union representation. "We're disappointed
the workers at Boeing South Carolina will not yet have the opportunity to see all the benefits that come with union representation"
said IAM lead organizer Mike Evans. "But more than anything, we are disheartened they will have to continue to work under a
system that suppresses wages, fosters inconsistency and awards only a chosen few."
Steady March of Right-to-Work Laws. At what point do private-sector unions become too weak for Democrats to
fear crossing them anymore? [...] On paper, Missouri became a right-to-work state last week, meaning you can no longer be
forced to join a union and pay its dues as a condition of employment. But unions in the state have a shot at
reversing the law.
Fight For Survival: Flagship German Airline Refuses To Bow To Union Demands. Lufthansa AG's main pilots
union has called on its members to not report to work this week, as the labor dispute between pilots and Germany's largest
airline enters its second week. The union, Vereinigung Cockpit, is reportedly asking pilots of short-haul flights to
walkout Tuesday. It is asking pilots of its long-haul flights to walkout Wednesday. Lufthansa was forced to
cancel thousands of flights last week after pilots initiated the strike Wednesday [11/23/2016].
SEIU gets smacked down in Texas yet again. You may recall that back in September we looked at the case of
Professional Janitorial Services of Houston (PJS) and a lawsuit they prevailed in against the Service Employees International
Union (SEIU). The union had engaged in a public smear campaign attempting to shut PJS down because the company refused to
allow them to force a secret ballot seeking to unionize the shop. A jury sided with PJS and the SEIU was smacked with a
judgment in excess of seven million dollars.
collapse doomed Hillary. Tellingly, this year the biggest labor story was a total embarrassment —
James O'Keefe's sting videos of Bob Creamer and the labor union bullies at Democracy Partners. The whole Democratic
Party and its friends in organized labor have run out of energy and ideas. They couldn't draw flies to a Hillary rally
so the best they could do was send paid thugs to make trouble at Trump events. Pathetic.
Is Moving All US Small Car Production To Mexico. Ford is moving all small-car production in North America from
the United States to Mexico, the company announced to investors Wednesday [9/14/2016]. "Over the next two to three years,
we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States," CEO Mark Fields told investors
in Michigan, reports the Detroit Free Press. The move is likely to draw fire from Republican presidential candidate
Donald Trump, who has insisted he will stop companies from exporting U.S. jobs oversees to increase their profit margins.
Minnesota Union Faces Largest Decertification Vote In History. Minnesota home health care workers launched a
campaign to disband their union Monday [7/18/2016] in what could become the largest decertification vote in history.
Kris Greene has taken care of her daughter for almost 24 years including five years as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). She
is now leading the fight to decertify the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents all 27,000 home health
care workers statewide since 2013. Greene believes the union won the vote based on misinformation and that it only cares about
getting Medicaid funds.
Forfeits Decertification Vote Rather than Risk Losing. One of the most powerful hotel unions in the country disowned
workers at a New Jersey Holiday Inn rather than risk an election defeat. The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council Local 6
cancelled an upcoming election at the Carteret, N.J., Holiday Inn after a two-year battle to evict the union. "The Union disclaims
interest in the bargaining unit," union attorney Joseph Farelli wrote in a Jan. 19 letter to the National Labor Relations Board.
"Please advise if you require anything further from the union." A union spokesman declined to comment on why it abandoned the
vote. The union's attorney did not respond to request for comment.
for a 26th right-to-work state? Less than a year after Wisconsin became the 25th right-to-work state, West
Virginia's on the verge of being number 26. A right-to-work bill introduced Wednesday [1/13/2016] by West Virginia
Senate President Bill Cole was voted out of committee Friday [1/15/2016]. Cole is running for governor and has made
right-to-work his top priority for the state's 60-day legislative session. If Cole's WV Workplace Freedom Act becomes law,
West Virginians in unionized workplaces will no longer be forced to pay union "fair share" fees as a condition of employment.
SEIU Hemorrhages Members After Supreme
Court Decision. One of Washington state's largest unions lost thousands of dues paying members in the wake of a Supreme Court
decision barring automatic enrollment of home healthcare workers in the union, according to a new report. The Freedom Foundation, a
think tank in Washington, found that thousands of the workers, many of whom were caring for family members, dropped out of the union after
the state ended forced unionism last year. Federal labor filings from Service Employees International Union Local 925 revealed
that more than 3,000 of the 7,000 home healthcare workers previously in the union cut ties with the local in 2015.
farmworkers rebel against union founded by Cesar Chavez. Fifty-three years after Cesar Chavez founded the
United Farm Workers in California, the labor union is facing resistance from laborers at the largest U.S. peach farm, who are
rallying against union representation and the state bureaucrats who refuse to count their votes to decertify the collective.
Gerawan Farming, a 12,000-acre peach farm in California's Central Valley, began a standoff with the UFW after the union demanded
a new contract in 2012. The next year, co-owner Dan Gerawan's workers petitioned the state to hold an election on whether
to decertify the union.
Union for Photo ID Requirements. A top federal labor arbiter ruled against a Michigan
union for requiring photo identification to withdraw membership as the state became right to work.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which monitors union elections and activity, issued a complaint
against International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 (IBEW) for hindering the ability of
workers to withdraw from the union. "Respondent (IBEW) has refused to recognize and accept the
Charging Party's revocation of his dues deduction authorizations and has continued to seek dues from
the Charging Party's pay," the complaint says. "By the conduct described above ... Respondent
has been restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights."
Gov. Haley predicts workers at planned Volvo plant will drive UAW away. Volvo's choice
of right-to-work state South Carolina for its $500 million assembly plant puts the Swedish car maker
on a collision course with the United Auto Workers, but Gov. Nikki Haley predicts the union will be
the latest labor organization to find itself unwelcome in the Palmetto State.
Do Unions Represent The American
Worker? A full 93.4 percent of American workers in the private sector are not union members,
according to the latest figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In other words, the
overwhelming majority of American workers in the private sector, nearly all of them, are not union members.
According to the BLS, only 6.6 percent of workers in the private sector are members of unions, a small
minority that is getting smaller. A full 88.9 percent of all American workers, including public
employees, are not union members, according to the BLS figures for 2014.
membership now voluntary, Wisconsin AFSCME forced into big cutbacks. Governor Scott
Walker and the GOP-controlled state legislature freed government employees from involuntary forced
union membership, enabling them to choose or not choose to pay dues. The results have shown that
roughly two-thirds have not chosen union membership when given the opportunity. And that has meant
big cutbacks for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of
the most left wing and biggest political contributors to Dempcrats among American unions.
Of Right To Work. This week Wisconsin became the 25th state in the union to pass and
sign into law so-called "right to work" legislation. Despite the pejorative light oftentimes
associated with right to Work (RTW) laws, in reality all they do is proscribe the requirement that a
worker join or pay dues to a union as a qualification for employment. Unions often view laws
removing compulsory union membership for work in the private sector as "anti-union," while advocates
of right to work laws maintain it's a matter of personal liberty and economic freedom. They
argue that workers in given trades or industries should have the option to choose whether to join
a union or not. Arguably, if a union is doing a good job representing the interests of its
members, it should not be threatened by the freedom to choose, as the benefits of union membership
would be self-evident.
legislature passes right-to-work bill. Compared to the demonstrations that took place
four years ago during the Fleebagger crisis in Wisconsin, the Right to Work debate seems tepid in
comparison. Protesters occasionally demonstrated in the gallery, but this time legislators
kicked them out quickly.
anti-union law has labor reeling in Wisconsin. At the old union hall here on a recent
afternoon, Terry Magnant sat at the head of a table surrounded by 18 empty chairs. A members meeting
had been scheduled to start a half-hour earlier, but the small house, with its cracked walls and loose roof
shingles, was lonely and desolate. "There used to be a lot more people coming," said Magnant, a
51-year-old nursing assistant, sighing. The anti-union law passed here four years ago, which made
Gov. Scott Walker a national Republican star and a possible presidential candidate, has turned out
to be even more transformative than many had predicted.
face tough fight against right-to-work bill. Wisconsin union leaders may not get much
help from judges if they file a legal challenge to Republicans' right-to-work provisions, as courts
have done little to weaken similar measures in other states. The proposal, which prohibits unions
from reaching deals with businesses that require workers to pay fees to the unions as a condition of
employment, is on a fast track for approval in the Republican-controlled Legislature, with Gov.
Scott Walker promising to sign it. That leaves the courts as a last-ditch option for
unions and other opponents.
dues deductions on chopping block in Oklahoma. Scott Walker did it. So did Sam
Brownback. Now Oklahoma is considering getting state government out of the business of collecting
union dues. Even in the nation's reddest state (not one county voted for Obama in either of his
presidential elections), the reform is drawing intense fire from the union political machine.
Oklahoma became a right-to-work state in 2001, protecting the right of employees to decide for
themselves whether or not to participate in a union. Yet like many right-to-work states, Oklahoma
has continued to provide special perks and powers to public-sector unions. One of these is
collecting union dues.
Rauner Strikes Down
Forced Unionism. Bruce Rauner (R.), Illinois' newly elected governor, signed an
executive order ending mandatory public sector union dues on Monday [2/9/2015]. As a result of
Rauner's action, public sector workers will no longer be forced to join government unions, such as
the politically powerful American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as a condition of employment. "An employee who is
forced to pay unfair share dues is being forced to fund political activity with which they disagree.
That is a clear violation of First Amendment rights — and something that, as governor, I am
duty-bound to correct," Rauner said in a press release.
work of fixing the Deadbeat State begins with confronting unions. Thanks to years of
poor and corrupt rule and an equally corrupt judicial branch, Illinois has become nearly
ungovernable. [...] Yet hope springs eternal in Springfield — and perhaps it springs just
a bit higher now that Gov. Rauner is in charge. He has started off on the right foot with an
executive order to spare unwilling government employees from paying dues to the public employee
unions if they do not wish to join or be represented by them. It is a very small step, but a sensible
one that shows the governor knows where the problem is and that he isn't afraid to confront it.
GOP governor goes about dismantling state unions' power. Elections have consequences.
And, for Illinois' unions, the consequence of the 2014 gubernatorial election will be devastating.
non-union teachers than unionized ones for first time in U.S.. Thanks to the good
folks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and unionstats.com we can examine the union membership
status of teachers from 1983 through 2014. The numbers do lump private school teachers and public
school teachers together in one category, and they do not include other education employees, but
they do confirm in 2014 what occurred for the first time in 2013: There are more non-union
teachers than union teachers in the United States.
appeals mandatory union fees to Supreme Court. Seeing an opening to weaken public-sector unions, a
conservative group is asking the Supreme Court to strike down laws in California, Illinois and about 20 other
states that require teachers and other government employees to pay union fees, even if they are personally opposed.
Right to Work Act Would Terminate Forced Dues Collection by Unions. Today [1/29/2015],
Congressman Steve King (Republican-Iowa) along with 76 cosponsors introduced the National Right to
Work Act (H.R. 612) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The one page bill would end Big
Labor's federally-authorized power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
membership in state below 15%. Supporters of Michigan's right-to-work laws wasted no
time Friday [1/23/2015] celebrating a 7.6 percent drop in union membership across the state as a
victory for worker freedom and choice, while labor unions immediately cast the numbers as a threat
to the future livelihood of average workers. In 2014, the state's union membership fell to about
585,000 from about 633,000 the prior year, according to figures released Friday [1/23/2015] by the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means that about 14.5 percent of Michigan's 4 million
workers belong to a union, down from 16.3 percent the prior year.
Rate Falls to 100-Year Low. New information from the federal government suggests
workers' interest in unions continues to fall, with union membership reaching its lowest rate in
100 years. According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today [1/23/2015], the union
membership rate fell to 11.1 percent, with just 14.6 million wage and salaried workers maintaining
membership. In 2013, the union membership rate was 0.2 percentage points higher, at 11.3 percent.
The rate of union membership has been on a steady decline over the past three decades.
of Unions Try Their Luck in County Laws. Conservative groups are opening a new front
in their effort to reshape American law, arguing that local governments have the power to write
their own rules on a key labor issue that has, up to now, been the prerogative of states. Beginning
here in the hometown of Senator Rand Paul and the Chevy Corvette, groups including the American
Legislative Exchange Council, the Heritage Foundation and a newly formed nonprofit called Protect My
Check are working together to influence local governments the same way they have influenced state
legislatures, and anti-union ordinances are just the first step in the coordinated effort they envision.
unions, it's Labor Day, not 'Union Day'. In the 26 states without Right to Work laws,
workers who want to refrain from union membership can be fired for refusing to pay union dues.
What's more, millions more non-member workers have no choice but to accept union bargaining over
their wages and working conditions, even if they want nothing to do with the union. This, despite
the facts that poll after poll shows that the American people overwhelmingly oppose forced union
dues and affiliation, and over 93 percent of private-sector workers have chosen not to join a union.
Labor Day, Farm Workers Reject Union. On August 26, one thousand angry farm workers
descended on a government office in Visalia, California to demand freedom — from a union. The
workers, from Fresno-based Gerawan Farming, voted in a decertification election last November to rid themselves
of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union once and for all. But the authorities at the California
Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) are refusing the count those votes.
union membership climbs while private membership declines. Unions representing government workers are expanding while
organized labor has been shedding private sector members over the past half-century.
more costly losses for public unions. Here's a little good news story you won't find in many places today.
First, it doesn't come out of Washington, D.C., which you already knew because it's Good News. Second, it's another
victory in the little-noticed ongoing legal guerrilla war between conservatives and state government unions. Actually,
two victories. It concerns workers who provide daycare services for low-income families across Illinois and receive
state subsidies. Under executive orders of the last two governors — Rod Blagojevich and currently Pat Quinn,
both Democrats — those daycare workers were ruled state employees, and union dues, called "agency fees," were
involuntarily withheld and paid to the Service Employees International Union. In turn, those funds totaling about
$20 million a year, were used to support Democrat politicians, who support the unions, who support the incumbents, etc.
anti-union law: state Supreme Court ruling probably the final say. Ever since it
became law in 2011, Act 10 in Wisconsin — which essentially ended collective bargaining
for most public workers — has sparked countless court challenges, generated angry
protests at the State Capitol, and fueled a recall campaign of the governor. A ruling Thursday [7/31/2014]
by the state Supreme Court indicates the law will stand, leaving opponents with little choice but to
move on. "This is the end of the pending challenges and is unlikely to be replaced by some
persuasive new challenge that hasn't already been attempted," says Charles Franklin, a law professor
and polling director at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Ruling Could Cost AFSCME, SEIU Tens of Millions. The [Supreme] court ruled 5-4 that
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D.) violated the First Amendment when he forced home health care workers,
many of whom were caring for sick family members, to pay union dues. The ruling will impact the
SEIU and AFSCME, the two unions that earned millions from the scheme, according to Paul Kersey of
the Illinois Policy Institute. "There's $20 million a year they are used to getting from home
care people and [home] daycare people and they won't be receiving that soon," he said. "This should
bring an end to that."
"It looks like they knocked on the wrong door."
a suburban homemaker humbled Illinois and Big Labor. About 20,000 participants who care for the
physically disabled have been part of SEIU since 2003 — and haven't had a say in membership since then.
They can now leave if they want. (Harris belongs to a very similar state program that isn't unionized.)
That could be a serious blow to the union, which gets about $10 million annually in dues from the caregivers.
The union's allies in the Illinois Democratic Party will feel the pain, too, because much of that money would have
become direct or indirect campaign contributions.
Court says home health workers cannot be forced to pay union dues. The Supreme Court dealt a limited setback to the
union movement Monday [6/30/2014], ruling that personal home-care employees cannot be forced to pay dues to a union. But it
refused an invitation to extend the ruling to all public employees. In a 5-4 ruling written Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.,
the court said home healthcare assistants, some of whom care for their disabled children at home, have a constitutional right
not to support a union they oppose.
Court issues narrow ruling against labor unions. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along
ideological lines Monday that home-care workers in Illinois do not have to pay dues to public
employee unions. The opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was a narrow loss for organized labor. It
did not overrule the court's "agency shop" precedent applying to most public employee unions.
The challenge to the mandatory union dues, brought by eight home-care workers in Illinois, represented the
biggest labor case to come before the court this term — putting at potential risk the future
viability of public employee unions.
Court to rule on case involving unions, governor and Winthrop Harbor mom. On Monday morning [6/30/2014], the U.S. Supreme
Court is expected to hand down its opinion on a case involving a Winthrop Harbor woman which could have a significant impact on the future of
public sector unions. Illinois state law allows Pam Harris to work as the full time caregiver for her son Josh, who is severely disabled.
She is paid by Medicaid.
majority of car manufacturing now in right-to-work states. Even before Michigan passed a right-to-work law in 2012, U.S.
car manufacturing was drifting south to places like Tennessee that had long had the law. A study shows just how far the shift has
happened: An estimated 70 percent of domestic car and car parts manufacturing is now located in right-to-work states.
That is the finding of a National Institute for Labor Relations Research analysis released Monday [6/16/2014]. Right-to-work laws
prevent unions and businesses from negotiating contracts that require all of the business' employees to either belong to the union or
at least pay it a fee. Currently 24 states have versions of the law.
Students Aren't Fighting Forever 21. S]tudent activism over labor conditions is
noticeably quieter than it used to be. One reason is the continued decline of organized labor,
which has traditionally trained student labor activists and helped to fund their campaigns. In
1995, the year of the El Monte raid, nearly fifteen per cent of American workers were union
members, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; labor unions were instrumental in the
founding of United Students Against Sweatshops, in 1998. By last year, only eleven percent of
American workers were union members. With fewer dues-paying participants, unions' political
influence has waned.
Court could deliver crippling blow to Big Labor. In the first year since the
Wolverine State adopted a right-to-work law in 2013, SEIU Healthcare Michigan lost a staggering 80 percent of
its members. The case illustrates a dirty secret of the modern labor movement: A lot of its rank and
file members don't want to be in a union in the first place and will leave if given the chance.
lackeys stack the deck but workers keep leaving unions. An unprecedented trend is
reshaping the contemporary American workplace: U.S. workers are headed in one direction even as
union leaders and their bought-and-paid-for politicians and bureaucrats in Washington are going
full-gallop in the opposite direction. [...] For their part, workers are leaving traditional labor
unions and have been doing so for years. Union membership in private sector companies was
6.7 percent in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private sector
union membership peaked at nearly 36 percent of the workforce in the mid-1950s. It's
been downhill ever since.
Why the Unions Declined.
[Steve] Early argues the "much expanded role of union staff experts, personnel managers, and outside arbiters" was never
downsized as union membership dramatically declined. Early highlights the U.S. ratio of "union officialdom" is
now over 5 times greater than Sweden and 6 times greater than Britain. He blames union bosses for spiking
dues to protect their own dwindling empires as contributing declining membership. Through a series of books,
Early has gained a reputation for honestly chronicling the decline of private sector union membership from over
36% after World War II to 6.7% today.
declining for people in unions. Economist Allison Schrager points out a little-noticed shift in the
workforce that explains part of the membership problem Big Labor is facing: Union members are now experiencing
declining job security. This is notable because job security is a key benefit to joining a union in the first
place. Unions are supposed to pressure companies to preserve positions, even in hard times. But even
union-dominated industries have seen mass layoffs in recent decades.
The Suicide of Unions. The recent vote by workers in
Tennessee not to set up labor councils at Volkswagen operations is another stunning defeat for unions. The power of these unions, once among
the most feared in American politics, has imploded in the last three years.
Are public-employee unions toxic to their
candidates? The real news in the San Diego mayoral race isn't that a Republican won, but that the candidate backed by public-employee unions lost.
That is a real shift in California politics. And it's the second time it's happened in a big-city mayoral race in less than a year.
The UAW's Waterloo. The United Auto Workers Union suffered a
devastating defeat on Friday, when its attempt to organize the workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga failed on a vote of 712-626 (53-47 percent).
The company had agreed not to resist the organizing effort and gave the union access to the plant and its workers. If the union couldn't win an election
under those conditions, it is a powerful sign of how weak, indeed toxic, unions have become in recent years. If the UAW couldn't win this election, it seems
doubtful it can win any election.
Why the Tennessee Volkswagen Workers Voted
Against the UAW. "The United Auto Workers union suffered a crushing defeat Friday, falling short in an election in which it seemed to have a clear
path to organizing workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.," the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. [...] One cannot emphasize the magnitude of
this loss. What it clearly spells out is the irrelevance of the old industrial unions in today's world. They have become nothing less than reactionary
institutions. It is no longer the heyday of the union movement, which once was necessary and helped create a middle class in our country in the 1930s and '40s.
UAW crashes in Volkswagen unionization
defeat. The United Auto Workers Union lost a hugely important unionization election vote at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant,
going down to defeat in a 712-626 vote (53%-47%), with roughly 165 workers, or 11%, not voting. Thus, in fact, only 41.65% of the total
workforce voted in favor of unionization.
VW Workers in Chattanooga Reject Auto Workers Union.
The United Auto Workers union suffered a crushing defeat Friday, falling short in an election in which it seemed to have a clear path to organizing workers at
Volkswagen AG's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The setback is a bitter defeat because the union had the cooperation of Volkswagen management and the aid of
Germany's powerful IG Metall union, yet it failed to win a majority among the plants 1,550 hourly workers.
VW workers in Tennessee stun UAW, reject union by
712-626 margin. The UAW suffered a devastating defeat at Volkswagen's plant here as workers rejected union representation by a 712-626 margin.
The defeat, which came despite Volkswagen's neutrality, tarnishes UAW President Bob King's legacy and could make it next to impossible for the union to extend
its reach beyond domestic automakers.
Volkswagen workers reject UAW. Volkswagen workers in
Chattanooga, Tenn., have rejected the United Auto Workers, shooting down the union's hopes of securing a foothold at a foreign-owned auto plant in the South.
The vote was 712 to 626, said the UAW, which blamed the loss on "politicians and outside special interest groups."
The Editor says...
The UAW itself is an outside special interest group.
Workers at Tennessee
Volkswagen factory reject United Auto Workers union. Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation in
a devastating defeat for the United Auto Workers union's effort to make inroads in the South. The 712-626 vote released late Friday [2/14/2014] was
surprising for many labor experts and union supporters who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into
the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.
UAW Crushed. What Comes Next? At Vokswagen's Chattanooga factory,
the UAW was actually welcomed by the employer. No union-busting propganada sessions. VW, which already has a powerful union back home in Europe,
wanted to set up German-style "works councils," where rank and file employees could have a say in production decisions. But, according to many U.S.
labor lawyers, it needed a union partner — otherwise, under the Wagner Act the works councils would be considered an illegal "company union."
The UAW seemed ready to be that partner.
The growing silence of 'union radio'. The
golden age of unions is long gone — and for the radio shows that focus on labor and workers rights, every day is a struggle just to stay on the
airwaves. There are a number of talk radio shows around the country covering — and funded by — organized labor that are still up
and running, but like the labor movement as a whole, what remains is a far cry from the time when unions and the concerns of workers were a dominant part of
the media landscape.
UAW Drive Falls Short
Amid Culture Clash in Tennessee. Now that workers have rejected the UAW in a close vote, attention turns to whether the GOP can fulfill its promises
that keeping the union out means more jobs will come rolling in, the next great chapter in the flourishing of foreign auto makers in the South.
The AP has apparently decided that unionization is the only way to create jobs, and if workers reject the unions,
the Republicans are then responsible for any unemployment in Tennessee.
Turnout Machine Crashes in San Diego. Kevin Faulconer recaptured the mayor's office in San Diego for Republicans in a special election
yesterday [2/11/2014]. The polls were skin-tight leading into yesterday's election, and unions poured in millions to keep control in the
nation's eighth-largest city. But in the end the vaunted Obama election model — flood the zone with negative attack ads and
excite the base of the Democratic party — flopped.
Amazon Employees Vote to Reject
Union. Amazon.com will not, it turns out, be getting its first labor union ever in the U.S. On Wednesday night
[1/15/2014], a majority of a group of 27 technicians at an Amazon fulfillment center in Middletown, Del., voted to reject an
initiative to form a union under the auspices of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, according to
John Carr, a spokesman for the IAMAW. The vote was 21 to 6.
Amazon.com workers reject unionization
in Delaware vote. A small group of Amazon.com Inc technicians at a distribution center in Delaware voted on Wednesday [1/15/2014]
not to join a union, marking a victory for the U.S. online retailer which is strongly opposed to any kind of third-party representation
for its employees.
Poll: Californians gradually souring on
unions. California has long been a union stronghold, but voters in the reliably Democratic state are gradually taking a more negative
view of organized labor, a poll released Friday [12/13/2013] suggested.
teachers taught how to dump unions, get rebates on dues. There's a way out of the unions in many states, and way to get some dues money back at
the same time. Concerned teachers are encouraged to research their rights — which are frequently concealed by the unions — and
learn how they can drop their ties to these increasingly radical groups that only represent the views and interests of a small group of elite union leaders.
In California, home to some of the nation's most radical and powerful teachers unions, two groups are providing teachers with the information they need to
make a hasty retreat from their unions and recover some of the money they were forced to invest in left-wing political causes.
Union leaders get rich as membership
falls. Labor union membership as a percentage of the nation's overall workforce has been steadily declining from its peak of 35 percent in
the 1950s. The result is that unions now represent only 6.6 percent of all private sector jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS data makes it clear that the trend isn't going to reverse any time soon, either, because unions lost 400,000 members last year as total employment grew
by 2.6 million. The only thing keeping Big Labor from becoming an incidental factor in the American workplace is that government employees are five
times more likely to be unionized than those in the private sector.
Teachers of Third-Largest Wisconsin School
District Vote to Decertify Union. Teachers in Kenosha, Wisconsin have voted to decertify their union, putting a halt to the organization's ability
to bargain with the state on behalf of educators. Kenosha teachers took advantage of the opportunity to jettison the union after Governor Scott Walker's
successful implementation of Act 10, a law that limits what unions can bargain for on behalf of members.
Labor, with union membership declining, will
woo non-workers. The AFL-CIO on Monday [9/9/2013] opened the door to becoming a group that is more representative of the left than of its members.
Facing what AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka called a "crisis" of membership, officials took the dramatic step at their annual convention of adopting a resolution that invites
anyone in the country to join, regardless of union affiliation. The move faced stiff resistance from union officials who fear the AFL-CIO's primary mission of
representing workers will be left behind if the federation becomes a mouthpiece for liberal and progressive groups.
Labor Boss Loves Lefties. The head of the AFL-CIO proposed the creation of formal
partnerships with a variety of liberal special interest groups in the hopes that they will rally behind labor's political agenda during the group's national
convention in Los Angeles on Sunday [9/8/2013]. Richard Trumka called on the union to welcome environmentalists, feminists, and other far left activists
that have clashed with union interests in the past. [...] The union boss hopes that the proposal will help boost labor's political clout, which has dipped as
membership roles have declined even though campaign spending on behalf of Democrats has skyrocketed.
Establishment Press News: Longshoremens Union Leaves AFL-CIO Over Obamacare, Other Disagreements. The AFL-CIO has just lost 40,000 of
its most militant members, and it's not news at the Associated Press's national site (there is a regional AP story at the Seattle Times) or at the
New York Times. It is getting virtually no other establishment press coverage.
Citing Obamacare, 40,000 Longshoremen
Quit the AFL-CIO. In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation's largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen
citied [sic] Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.
California's Union-Sponsored War on Farmers.
The United Farm Workers muscled its way onto the farm in 1990 but quickly lost support. [...] Then, after nearly two decades without negotiations, UFW
organizers turned up last October and demanded a contract that would require employees to pay 3% of their wages in dues (between $600 and $1,000 a
year). [...] The UFW needs the cash to pay its own bills. Since its heyday in the 1970s, the union has lost roughly 90% of its members.
Last year, it spent $1.2 million more than it collected, based on Department of Labor filings.
Michigan unions lose their right-to-work court
challenge. Last winter, the state of Michigan officially became the country's 24th right-to-work state — it was a bold move for a state with so
much manufacturing and so many sizable union interests on the line, and Big Labor was not at all pleased about the whole thing. They raised quite the ruckus over
it at the time, and they have since been trying to challenge the state's right to implement the change in court.
Kansas Teachers Opt Out of Big Unions.
In 2012-2013, KNEA and NEA annual dues were nearly $600, said Joel McClure, a lead negotiator for the Deerfield teachers. "The more information teachers
have about alternatives, truly professional alternatives, they don't want to give their money to KNEA or NEA," McClure said. Only five teachers of
the 27 in Deerfield had been speaking for all the others as the only certified union members.
Media Exaggerate Bakersfield
Immigration Rally; SEIU Inflates Numbers by Factor of 20. [Scroll down] Of course, the vast majority of those demonstrators did not
actually exist. Earlier in the month, organizers had promised at least 5,000 activists would turn up to the event, which was billed as the climax of
"Action August." Yet Breitbart News' Lee Stranahan counted roughly 400 demonstrators at the start of the rally, a figure that matched my
impression of the rather sparse throng. If the bussed-in crowd, which included many self-declared illegal immigrants, swelled at all after that
point, it did not do so by much, despite the free lunches dished out by union organizers.
Welcomes Right-to-Work, Last-Minute Demonstrations Flop. Michigan's controversial right-to-work legislation went into
effect Thursday night [3/28/2013] amid last minute contract maneuvers by teachers unions and a number of protests around the state
that appeared to have a very weak turnout.
Union Blues. It turns out that even though unions
reached the zenith of power with the re-election of their tool Obama last year, they hit a nadir of support. In 2012, union
membership dropped an incredible 400,000 nationwide, which is a half-percent drop in just one year. Union membership is now
down to 11.3% of American workers, the majority now being government workers.
Unions Lose it Under Obama.
In 2008 and 2012 labor unions used everything, including a little body English, ballot stuffing and voter intimidation to elect a president who would bring
the prestige of presidential backing to recruitment efforts for labor unions. Since then not only have labor unions taken historic defeats in former
union strongholds, like Wisconsin and Michigan, labor union membership is declining at a rate that will make them a footnote in the annals of history if the
steady decline in membership keeps up at the current pace.
ICE agents union to
AFL-CIO president Trumka: 'You don't speak for us' The ICE Agents union responded forcefully to AFL-CIO president Richard
Trumka's assertion Tuesday[1/29/2013] that "unions did have at one point some differences" but "the entire labor movement is entirely
behind" the president's immigration reform agenda now. "No President Trumka, there are still differences within the AFL-CIO, and
you don't speak for us," the ICE union dispatched in a press release this week.
Kansas House panel endorses union
fundraising bill. A Kansas House committee has endorsed legislation to restrict political fundraising by public employee unions.
The measure would prohibit groups representing teachers and government workers from automatically deducting money from members' paychecks to
finance political activities.
Unions in Decline. Union members represented 11.3 percent of
the American workforce in 2012, a drop from 2011's 11.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor unions
have declined in size for years as the trade and manufacturing industries that supported union jobs have receded.
Courts Strike Down Challenges to Right to
Work. A pair of federal courts struck down union challenges to labor reforms in Indiana and Wisconsin last week,
preserving major Republican gains aimed at cutting costs and attracting business. Federal Judge Philip Simon on Thursday [1/17/2013]
tossed out a lawsuit aimed at preventing Indiana from becoming the first right-to-work state in the Midwest. He rejected the
union's contention that Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and the legislature overreached in pursuing labor reforms.
Unions Crumble Without Stimulus
Spending. President Obama laid out some ambitious liberal goals this week, including gun control, same-sex marriage,
reversing global warming and increased federal spending. But it's that last one that he'd better get busy with if he means to
get any of the rest. Obama's Department of Labor released the unhappy news for Democrats: Union membership in America has
fallen to the lowest level since before the New Deal laws to encourage union organization.
Union membership in the U.S.
continues its long decline. Union membership is continuing to shrink throughout the country, even as companies add jobs
in one-time union strongholds such as Michigan. Union membership fell to 11.3% of wage and salary workers last year, down from
11.8% the year before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said today. In 1981, 20.1% of wage and salary workers were unionized.
Federal Appeals Court upholds Wisconsin
union law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has upheld the Wisconsin union law that was the subject of massive
protests in 2011, including a takeover of the State Capitol and widespread threats and acts of intimidation. The decision was unanimous in
Lose Court Battle to Roll Back Gov. Walker's Collective Bargaining Reforms. A decision issued today by the 7th circuit
Court of Appeals says collective bargaining reforms passed by Governor Scott Walker will stand. Act 10 was the controversial
reform law passed in Wisconsin in 2011 after weeks of protests and stalling by Democratic members of the legislature.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2011 union membership rate for the public sector was 37.0%. For private sector workers, the
rate was 6.9%. Education, training, and library occupations were 36.8% unionized. Particularly in the private sector, union membership
is at historic lows, an issue unions have hoped to reverse with the assistance of President Obama.
victory in Michigan sends 'shock waves' across nation. With Michigan the latest state to pass a right-to-work law, the national
movement has its eyes on the next prize. And that could be one of several other states. "We've been active for a long time in a bunch
of states where we'd like to see things move forward," said Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee. "Those
include Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky."
History will be made
in Michigan today. Thousands of union protesters are expected to descend on the Capitol in Lansing today [12/11/2012] as Gov.
Rick Snyder preparesvto sign legislation making Michigan the nation's 24th right to work state.
Worker Liberation in Michigan.
The economic policy drift in Washington is antigrowth, but here and there in the states are glimmers of hope and change. The best news of
late is in Michigan, which is poised this week to pass a landmark right-to-work law. You can tell this is a big deal based on the fury
of Big Labor's reaction.
Madness: Thousands Plan To Lay Siege On State Capitol On Tuesday Over Right-To-Work. Today's unions are not about freedom of
choice, they are about power and politics.
Unions Hurt Democracy, Consumers and
Economy. Unions, which are diminishing in numbers in a down economy, may be in the twilight of their clout or even at the
end of their stay as powerful interest groups. However, in the 2012 election cycle, they spent their way to electing labor-backed
Wal-Mart: Only 50 employees protested; UFCW
disputes. Wal-Mart claimed today [11/23/2012] that the much-hyped Black Friday protests at the non-union retail giant fizzled out, with only
50 associates — their term for employees — taking part. The United Food and Commercial Workers union, which organized the
protests, disputed that figure though. It said "hundreds and hundreds" joined in at events across the country.
Failure Of Walmart Walkout Underscores Union Decline.
Despite gaining a stranglehold over the public sector, unions are losing ground in the private sector. This was seen again in the failed union walkouts against retail
Fail: Lone Union Worker Walks Out of Walmart.
The walkout was led by — and entirely constituted by — Vanessa Ferreira, 59. She told her manager that she was going on strike.
The other workers watched her leave, shrugged, and went back about their business.
So, How Did Those Wal-Mart Protests Go?
Well, in Chicago, protestors were bussed in to stand with the lone store employee who decided to protest. Our Walmart claims there were protestors in over
100 cities today, which would be an astronomical number of people protesting. Walmart had a slightly different estimate. "We estimate that less
than 50 associates participated in the protest nationwide. In fact, this year, roughly the same number of associates missed their scheduled shift as
last year," Walmart chief executive Bill Simon said.
Union-Backed Walmart Work Action a Fizzle.
If the goal of the Walmart workers who walked out on Black Friday was to disrupt business and raise awareness among shoppers, their protest was a dud.
The company reported the largest Black Friday in its history and shoppers were far more concerned in bargains than in store employees bargaining.
Unions struggle to help Obama. Organized labor is playing "Moneyball" this
fall, and President Barack Obama isn't winning. Four years ago, organized labor came out early and often for Obama, from major endorsements in the
primary to multimillion-dollar ad buys later in the year. Now, with smaller memberships, less excitement and a languishing economy, unions aren't
guaranteed to be the help they once were.
members are deserting Obama. Two new and disturbing polls just out suggest that the road to reelection is getting tougher
for President Obama. In the most significant, Gallup found that union member support for the president is weaker than it was on
Election Day. While Obama took 67 [percent] of the union vote, according to 2008 election night polling by Peter Hart for the AFL-CIO,
Gallup discovered that just 58 percent of union members back the president now. Some 35 percent support Mitt Romney,
5 percent more than Sen. John McCain won in 2008.
Pulling Funds From Obama Campaign. The AFL-CIO has told Washington Whispers it will redeploy funds away from political
candidates smack dab in the middle of election season, the latest sign that the largest federation of unions in the country could be
becoming increasingly disillusioned with President Obama. The federation says the shift has been in the works for months, and had
nothing to do with the president's failure to show in Wisconsin last week, where labor unions led a failed recall election of Governor
More Wisconsin Fallout: Obama's Union
Support Drops. A new Gallup poll shows that union member support for President Obama has dropped dramatically since his huge
election victory in 2008. During that election, 67 percent of union members voted for Obama. Today, just 57 percent
of union members back him. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has grabbed 35 percent of union member support, over John McCain's 30 percent
in 2008. Interestingly enough, there is very little gap between support levels among government union members versus private sector
national, non-union, conventions. [Scroll down] More than half of all union members in the nation are
concentrated in just seven states: California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Michigan.
Here union density stands in the teens or better, the unions have a potent political voice, and politicians, sometimes even
some Republicans, vie for union endorsements and support. But this slice of blue America is steadily shrinking.
Bank Bails Out Scranton's Unions but Ties Up the City's Finances. In a remarkable turn of events, union-owned Amalgamated Bank,
which had never lent money to a municipality before, has decided to loan Scranton, Pennsylvania, $6 million in order that union
members get paid their full salaries. As first reported [by The New American], Scranton's Mayor Chris Doherty ran out of money in June and put
everyone, himself included, on minimum wage. The unions protested and won a judgment that Doherty was out of bounds but by then
the reduced checks were already in the mail.
unions in campaign spending. The army of labor organizations that helped President Obama win the White House
in 2008 have seen their spending power drop off dramatically since then, not only because of the unions' shrinking membership
but because so many other outside interest groups are this year spending more money than ever before. Labor union
spending on political campaigns accounted for 35 percent of all outside spending in 2008, when interest groups spent a
total of $87 million. But unions accounts for just 14 percent of outside spending this year, which has already
reached $174 million, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Unions and the Path to Irrelevancy.
The evidence for declining union membership across the developed world is overwhelming. According to the OECD's Directorate for Employment, Labour
and Social Affairs, just 11.9 percent of American employees were unionized in 2008, compared to peak numbers of about 35 percent in the
1950s. The same report specified American unions were also experiencing an overall decline in membership numbers.
Dems Can't Make it Without
Government Worker Unions. The Wall Street Journal today reports that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees, the largest part of the AFL-CIO, has been shedding members even faster than overall public-sector job losses. A
50,000-member drop from March 2011 to February 2010 may not sound like a big deal for an organization that boasts 1.37 million
members and is surpassed in size only by the Service Employees International Union, which represents service workers, such as busboys
and hospital orderlies, as well as government workers.
The end is near for
public-sector unions. [Scroll down] The second harbinger was the plunge in public-employee union membership. The most important
of Walker's reforms, the change Big Labor had fought most bitterly, was ending the automatic withholding of union dues. That made union
membership a matter of choice, not compulsion — and tens of thousands of government workers chose to toss their union cards.
The End of the Public
Employee-Democrat Machine is Nigh. [Scroll down] With the unions no longer in a position to garner
lavish benefits for union members who must now bear a portion of their health and pension benefits, it's unlikely that
many workers will voluntarily re-join them. And without that, the unions' enormous campaign chests are a thing of the past.
Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop
Ahead of Recall Vote. Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership — by
more than half for the second-biggest union — since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed
their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions.
More SEIU Workers Want Out Of Union.
"This is like a bad divorce. We want a divorce and the SEIU doesn't want us to divorce," Kandy Gonzalez, a Job Specialist
with the Department of Social Services, said. Gonzalez doesn't expect the SEIU to let her or about 1,000 workers in
the Department of Social Services leave the union without a fight. "They're going to invest whatever money they're going to
invest to keep us in this marriage. And what's sad is they're probably going to be using our money to fight us. They'll
be using our dues to fight us," Gonzalez said. But after a nine-percent pay cut and union-organized 'walk-off the job' in
January, Kandy says they've had enough.
Obama Labor Board Slapped Yet Again.
Big Labor is beside itself that its membership numbers continue to dwindle despite giving half a billion dollars in campaign contributions to President
Obama and Congressional Democrats. In the absence of employees voluntarily choosing to join unions, labor bosses have decided to force them into
collective bargaining units in an effort to line their own pockets.
Poll Shows Even In
Michigan Unions Are Despised. A new poll shows that labor unions are detested in, of all places, Michigan. Maybe that
has something to do with what they've done to that state's economy and their effort to recall the governor who aims to reverse it.
from Union Bosses. For the first time in decades, union power is under serious threat.
Indiana is on the verge of becoming the 23rd state to enact a right-to-work law, liberating workers from being
forced to join a union. New Hampshire may also adopt some form of right-to-work. Murmurs about a
national right-to-work law are growing.
Constitutional Amendment Pits Taxpayers Against Unions. When Oklahoma State Senator David Holt
discovered that Oklahoma was ranked the "most anti-taxpayer state in the southern United States" by the
Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), he decided to propose amending the state's constitution to stop
the unions' gravy train of collective bargaining contracts without taxpayer approval.
dwindles in Wisconsin, U.S.. If labor unions' strength lies in numbers, a new report indicates unions'
most powerful days may be behind them. Membership in organized labor unions dropped last year in Wisconsin
by 16,000, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That left 13.3 percent
of the employed population — 339,000 workers — represented by unions, down from
14.2 percent in 2010.
Decades ago, unions were a much bigger force in the blue collar job market. In the 1950's, it took a certain amount of
skill and training to operate machinery in a factory. In the 21st century, most of the tedious manufacturing and assembly
is done overseas, while Americans do much of their work on computer terminals. The exceptions are in automobile assembly,
steel mills, and heavy industry, but those jobs are not as plentiful now. Labor unions are on the way out.
why union membership keeps falling. Folks in Springfield, Ill., witnessed a bizarre scene two
years ago. Thousands protested outside the Capitol, chanting: "Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes!
Raise my taxes!" Who protests for higher taxes? Government unions do. The American Federation of
State, County, and Municipal Employees helped organize the rally. This is the new face of the union movement.
House passes right-to-work legislation 54-44. The Indiana House voted 54-44 for the controversial "right
to work" bill today. Five Republicans joined 39 Democrats in voting against the bill. Two members —
one Republican and one Democrat — did not vote. The vote came as labor union protesters in the Statehouse
shouted their disapproval and after two hours of often emotional debate.
The New Face of Organized Labor.
When I was in high school, we had to read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". In that piece, Sinclair depicts
the evils of the 19th/early 20th century meatpacking industry and how socialism and labor unions saved the day
for the workers. Now there were certainly times such as those when labor unions served a useful purpose
in protecting the interest of workers, but... Those times are past. Today public opinion of labor
unions sits at a historic low, despite having a very union-friendly President in the Oval Office.
Once-secure union jobs are
on the chopping block. At the close of World War II, more than 1 in 3 American
workers were union members. On this Labor Day, it's down to about 1 in 8. Last year,
budget stress forced state and local governments to cut more than 200,000 union jobs. And as the
pressure mounts, cracks are showing in what used to be very strong public-sector unions.
Strike That Busted Unions. Thirty years ago today, when he threatened to fire nearly 13,000 air
traffic controllers unless they called off an illegal strike, Ronald Reagan not only transformed his presidency,
but also shaped the world of the modern workplace. More than any other labor dispute of the past three
decades, Reagan's confrontation with the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, or Patco, undermined
the bargaining power of American workers and their labor unions.
appear to be on life support as memberships dwindle. Five decades ago, one in every three
nonfarm workers in Wisconsin belonged to a union — most of them in manufacturing, construction
or other blue-collar trades. They assembled cars for General Motors, produced and packaged Rayovac
batteries, made Mirro cookware. Tens of thousands of those jobs are gone, some resurfacing at
nonunion plants in other states or in foreign countries with cheaper labor costs.
Bills Try to Curb
Reach of Unions. Lawmakers in New Hampshire and Missouri are advancing so-called right-to-work
bills that would allow private-sector workers to opt out of joining unions, the latest such efforts to curb labor
unions in the legislative season that in many states is now entering the home stretch. The measures, if
successful, would mark the first expansion in a decade of right-to-work laws, which are on the books in
Police Union Loses More Members. Dozens more Phoenix police officers have quit paying dues
to the city's primary law-enforcement labor union as the organization added to its growing list of lost
memberships. The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association lost 61 members this month, according to
city payroll records. The first week of January is one of two weeks in a year that city employees
can drop membership to their labor unions.
Only 11.9% of
workers in a union. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says unions lost 612,000 members in 2010.
Delta customer service
workers reject union. Another group of Delta Air Lines workers has rejected union representation,
in the last of a series of elections this year that appear to have closed the door on any wave of unionization
at the company in the wake of its merger with Northwest.
Delta Ramp Workers Reject
Union. The National Mediation Board, the government agency that oversees labor in the aviation industry,
said Thursday that 5,569 Delta baggage and cargo handlers voted against joining the International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers union.
Side With Small Businesses, Not Labor Bosses. Big Labor bet against small businesses, and in favor of job-killing
legislation and policies that will set us back. And they experienced a rude awakening on Election Day. While labor
bosses try to sugarcoat the news, I am hard pressed to find much for them to celebrate. In Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada and
New Hampshire, the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) formed state coalitions to inform voters where their candidates stood on
economic policies, specifically the Employee 'Forced' Choice Act (EFCA).
Conservatives Should Not Be
Celebrating the Election Results. [Scroll down] The government is infested with unions who have lost all shyness
in forwarding their free-stuff-for-us agenda. Through union dues collected from taxpayer-funded salaries, they
use our tax money to run advertisements for candidates and issues. On top of that, these unions still get health
care plans that no one in the private-sector middle class can afford, and they still get ridiculous pension plans that
allow some to retire at 55 with 85% of their largest career salary pension as well as health benefits for life.
Even this ridiculous compensation is not enough for AFSCME; they want more.
Delta attendants say 'no' to union.
In a labor battle that's loomed since the 2008 merger of Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines, 51 percent
of flight attendants rejected a union for the combined workforce.
Union leader resorts to blasphemy for the sake of politics:
official: Jesus couldn't do anything more than Obama has done. If you thought liberals stopped admiring President
Barack Obama as the Messiah, think again. In an October 15th piece about union membership's lack of
enthusiasm for the 2010 campaign, the Associated Press interviewed Herb Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the
The Editor says...
If you belong to a union that is a subsidiary of the AFL-CIO, ask yourself this question: Do you
really want to be part of an organization whose leadership equates Barack Obama with God himself?
If you blow off this remark by saying, "he was only kidding," then do you really want to be
part of an organization whose leaders will say anything to win an election?
Obama Kneecaps Airlines. The Obama
administration set Big Labor on the easy road to cannibalize the airline and rail industries and last week
Senate Democrats stamped their imprimatur on the deal — at a time when taxpayers are getting full
view of the cost of out of control unions bankrupting state and local governments and destroying public
Drop With Economy. Union leaders will tell you organized labor is vital to the nation's economic
health. But in this brutal economy, there are plenty of folks who bristle when they hear about unions
demanding pay raises or fighting against health care co-pays.
The Incredible Shrinking Labor Movement.
The outlook for organized labor has never appeared as bleak as it does this Labor Day. Just 12.3% of
American workers belong to a labor union, with government employees constituting the majority of unionized
workers. In the private sector, just 7.2% of workers are union members. The anemic figure represents
the lowest level of private-sector unionization in more than a century. The trend predates the
depressed state of the economy.
Ahead For Today's Unions. Less than two years ago, everything seemed to be breaking unions' way.
Now they're on the defensive. Something went very wrong on the road to the liberals' idea of paradise.
People Vs. Unions.
Perhaps softer than the sound of a union rallying cry is the quiet protest some voters are staging at the
ballot box, speaking out against union contracts they say are too costly. "You are getting less product
for a higher price and we believe in quality, accountability and value," says Eric Christen of the Coalition
for Fair Employment in Construction, a group that lobbies on behalf of non-union contractors.
fighting back against union control. Though it went unnoticed amid the flurry of primary races,
the most significant election result this month might be the outcome of a local referendum in Chula Vista,
Calif. Voters in the San Diego suburb finally voted to rein in greedy local unions by banning Project
Labor Agreements — a common arrangement whereby unions, usually with government backing, dictate
the terms of construction projects.
Voters Reject Union
Favoritism. Two of the most important results from last Tuesday's [6/8/2010] primary have been
drowned out by the coverage of other races. Voters in Chula Vista, CA passed measure G by a
56 to 44 percent margin while voters in Oceanside, CA passed measure K by a 54 to 46
percent margin. These measures prohibit discriminatory "project labor agreements" (PLAs) on
city-funded construction projects.
Unions' Big Shift to
Government. Unionism is failing miserably in this age of a greater world market and an increase
in competition for business across the globe. More nations than ever have left behind the 18th century
and are taking bold steps into a world made smaller by technology. No longer is but a handful of nations
leading the world in manufacturing while the rest wallow in abject poverty. This greater competition is
increasing the standard of living in nearly every corner of the earth but because there is so much competition,
unions in the U.S. are dying out.
Bringing Back the Union
Label? Most Americans these days have little to do with unions. Barely 12% of today's
workers belong to a union, compared to over 32% at the high water mark in 1953-1954. And most union
workers today don't work in factories, mines, shipyards, on the railroads or driving trucks like they did in
the 1950s. Most of them are federal and state civil servants, policemen and firefighters and public
school teachers with a few service workers and airline pilots and attendants thrown in.
mechanics reject union representation. Mechanics at Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, the
two carriers that merged in March to create the world's largest air carrier, won't be represented by a union,
the company announced Thursday [2/26/2009].
Obama favor for unions. Barely 15 percent of all construction-industry workers in the
United States are union members, while the remaining 85 percent are nonunion, according to the U.S.
Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. So why has President Obama signed Executive Order
13502 directing federal agencies taking bids for government construction projects to accept only those from
contractors who agree in advance to a project labor agreement that requires a union work force?
Drops 10%. Organized labor lost 10% of its members in the private sector last year, the largest
decline in more than 25 years. The drop is on par with the fall in total employment but threatens
to significantly limit labor's ability to influence elections and legislation. On Friday [1/22/2010], the
Labor Department reported private-sector unions lost 834,000 members, bringing membership down to 7.2% of
the private-sector work force, from 7.6% the year before.
A Victory Against
Obama's Unionism in New Hampshire. In a victory for free labor, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has
cancelled its solicitation for bids to build a new Jobs Corps Center in the state of New Hampshire. Why is it a
victory? Because initial plans to receive bids would have discriminated against non-union construction companies
per President Obama's orders. Over 80% of all construction companies are non-union.
Political Wind Blowing Against
Unions. When Barack Obama won the election, Big Labor's ambitions soared. It spent
$400 million to elect Democrats and expected an easy ride ahead. A hundred days into the Obama
administration, it's playing defense.
Union blues: The approval rating of
one of the biggest supporters of Obama's attempt to impose a socialist system on America has plummeted. Gallup has
been polling on the public's attitude to Labor Unions since the 1930s. They report public support of unions is at
an all time low.
Labor Day, support for unions plunges to all-time low. This Labor Day brings word of a new Gallup poll
showing that American public support for labor unions has taken a sharp dive in the last year and is at its lowest
point since Gallup began polling in 1936. In response to the question, "Do you approve or disapprove of labor
unions?" just 48 percent of respondents said they approve, while 45 percent said they disapprove.
The Union Fable.
Praise for organized labor was fulsome as usual over the Labor Day weekend. But a poll showing public
support for unions hitting an all-time low shows that Americans are seeing through the mist of deception.
Most Union Members Oppose Big Three
Bailout, New Poll Finds. A deal may be close, but even union members don't think a federal bailout
of the Big Three automakers makes much sense, according to a new ATI-News/Zogby poll. More than 57 percent
of those who identified themselves as being union employees said Congress should say no to a proposed bailout, while
only 30 percent of union members approve. Approximately 13 percent are not sure.
the unions. You just knew that when Joe O'Connell, former head of the local AFL-CIO, got on
stage here with John McCain and Sarah Palin things were not going smoothly for the Obama campaign among union
voters. "I am a lifelong Democrat, an intelligent Democrat, who is supporting John McCain," O'Connell
said last week as a crowd of 7,000 waved "Another Democrat for John McCain" signs and roared its approval.
are fine with fewer unions. Labor unions' importance in the workplace has fallen steadily since
1950, when roughly a third of American workers were unionized. Today, that number is well below 10% in
the private sector. ... Maybe unions aren't so crucial to worker well-being. When more than 90% of the
private-sector labor force isn't unionized, why do 97% of us earn above the minimum wage? If our
bargaining power is so pitiful, why don't greedy employers exploit us and drive wages down to the legal
Union Officials Forced to Drop $5,000 Retaliatory Fines.
Under federal law, workers who resign from union membership cannot be lawfully fined by a union — even
if the union maintains a formal rule governing the situation, which it did not in this case. In
Patternmakers v. NLRB (1984) U.S. Supreme Court decision, the High Court ruled workers may resign
their formal union membership immediately, at any time, and without restrictions.
Rust Belt? When the American automobile industry was the world's leader in its field, many people
seemed to think that labor unions could transfer a bigger chunk of that prosperity to its members without
causing economic repercussions. Toyota, Honda, and others who took away more and more of the Big Three
automakers' market share — leading to huge job losses in Detroit — proved once again
the old trite saying that there is no free lunch.
Many workers in the new plants being built by
Toyota and others apparently already understand that. They have repeatedly voted against being
represented by labor unions. They want to keep their jobs.
Union Math, Union Myths. Since its
peak in the 1950s, union membership in the private sector has steadily dropped. To explain the decline,
labor leaders have scapegoated businesses for intimidating employees during organizing campaigns. But
data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) do not — in any way — substantiate
the notion that tens of thousands of employees are wrongly fired each year.
Unions' Latest Abuse of Power:
Union leaders [have begun] to lose touch with the men and women they were supposedly elected to represent.
Today, they are more likely to be found on the golf course or at pricey restaurants and nightclubs than at the
negotiating table or on the picket line. As a result, workers who were once proud of their union
affiliation have begun to turn away in droves. Less than 7.4 percent of the private-sector workforce
in this country is unionized today, and the percentage is steadily decreasing.
Democrats pledge to reverse unions'
decline. Six Democratic presidential contenders, courting one of the party's most crucial
interest groups, pledged Wednesday [8/15/2007] to work to reverse decades of decline in the nation's
Control Freak: Senator Barack Obama recently said, "let's allow our unions and their organizers
to lift up this country's middle class again." Ironically, he said it at a time when Detroit automakers
have been laying off unionized workers by the tens of thousands, while Toyota has been hiring tens of
thousands of non-union American automobile workers.
Union Free Choice. Union membership
among non-government employees now stands at 7.4 percent, its lowest rate in decades. So, the
AFL-CIO, its affiliates, and several independent unions are trying to make it easier to force employers to
recognize unions as exclusive bargaining agents through legislation.
Unions Obsolete? Hint: Yes. Whether or not you think that unions were necessary
in the first place, it's clear that today they've become a dinosaur of our post-industrial society. Like
a dead whale washed up on a beach, unions are big, rotting, and avoided by a growing number of people each
day — but nobody quite knows how to get rid of them.
Labor's political illusion:
[John Sweeney] wanted to restore union power through politics. His project was a total failure, and the
AFL-CIO is in ruins 50 years after its creation.
Witnesses to the AFL-CIO's Decline: The AFL-CIO is faced
with serious problems: declining membership, failed political efforts, internal disputes over dues payments and funds for organizing,
unions threatening to withdraw from the federation, and a potential challenge to John Sweeney's
presidency. None of this surprises observers of the waning labor movement.
Competing trade unions:
All that competition for union dues is bad news for the AFL-CIO hierarchy, but not necessarily for unions in
general, much less for workers in general. This seems an opportune time to reconsider what a trade union
is, and what it can and cannot do.
A tough year for
the AFL-CIO. It's been a lousy year — indeed a miserable several
decades — for Big Labor. With union membership falling to historic lows
and the unions' political clout on the wane, even while unions pour, literally, hundreds
of millions of dollars into politics, the coup de grace for the AFL-CIO may come at the
AFL-CIO Defections May
Weaken Unions' Influence. The defection of two major unions from the AFL-CIO has
stirred questions about the possible impact on local, state, and national tax and budget
policies. The Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union dropped out
of the AFL-CIO on July 25, during the organization's convention in Chicago. Four
other AFL-CIO unions boycotted the convention. Most of the unions' campaign cash
and foot soldiers have gone toward candidates, mainly Democrats, who advocate increased
government spending and higher taxes. With the apparent split, some political
observers are suggesting Democrats will lose valuable support.
Union Leaves AFL-CIO for Reform Coalition. For the fourth time in the past two months, a
union has withdrawn from the AFL-CIO in favor of a coalition that seeks to reform the organized labor
Loses Third Union to Reform Coalition. Just four days after two of the largest
unions in the country withdrew from the AFL-CIO, a union representing 1.4 million food
and commercial workers announced on Friday [7/29/2005] that it was also leaving the federation
as part of an effort to reform the organized labor movement.
Union trouble: Pilots,
flight attendants and other members of different unions are crossing the picket lines manned by members of the
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.
Anchorage School Bus Drivers Vote Out Unwanted Teamsters
Union. Workers successfully challenge stifling of union-dissenting free speech.
unions: The American labor movement is in a mess, and the current leadership
doesn't seem to have a clue what to do about it. … Fifty years ago, more than
one in three workers belonged to a union, but this is not your father's — much
less your grandfather's — labor movement. Today's union honchos are more
interested in politics than in collective bargaining. And they've hitched Big Labor's
wagon to the Democratic Party, to the detriment of both institutions.
Less is more: I
happen to know a bit about airlines and why they go belly up. Both my parents worked for airlines
for decades. My mother was personnel director for the "old" National Airlines which used to be Florida's
top carrier and a major source of jobs for those who lived in South Florida. National Airlines grew and
grew and grew, until it failed. Was it a poor economy that did National in? Nope, it was good
old-fashioned bureaucracy, aided and abetted by the firm grip of organized labor.
Unions Turn to Public Sector as Membership Declines: A
new count of union members in 2002 reveals two significant developments: union membership has declined dramatically, a shift driven by
losses in private sector unions, and labor leaders are increasingly reliant on the growth of public sector unions to maintain their clout.
Loses Its Home County. Dane County is the political base of Wisconsin's public sector unions. It is home to both the
state capital, with its thousands of unionized workers, and the University of Wisconsin, with its starry-eyed college students and aging
hippie professors. It is easily the most left-wing county in the state — think San Francisco in the heartland.
It is exactly the place where Big Labor and its champion, Kathleen Falk, who served as County Executive for 14 years, should have
had their best showing in the primary. Instead, she was absolutely trounced.
Illustration courtesy of Frost
Organized labor's popularity is rapidly eroding.
Union Issues a Loser with WI Dems. Last
year, when Gov. Scott Walker won passage of his budget reform bill, WI's public sector unions vowed to take the issue to the voters and oust Walker in a
recall election. In the interim, the unions tried, and failed, to wrest control of the state Senate in recall elections last year. And, they
tried, and failed, to take control of the state Supreme Court. Today [5/8/2012], their leading candidate in the recall election, Kathleen Falk, is set for a
thumping defeat to moderate Democrat, Tom Barret, mayor of Milwaukee. It turns out that, even among WI Democrats, the union positions just aren't
that popular with voters.
Anti-Romney/Koch Brothers Demonstration Is An
Epic Failure. [F]or some weeks, a consortium of left-wing groups including MoveOn.org, Occupy Wall Street, the Long Island Progressive Coalition,
Greenpeace, Strong For All, United New York, the Teamsters Union and others have been urging their members and supporters to turn out for a protest at David Koch's
home. [...] Newsday estimated the "crowd" at 100. An Occupier estimated the crowd at 150, while local law enforcement gave CNN a generous estimate of
200 protesters. That is a pathetic showing. The average high school graduation party attracts more people than that. Remember when MoveOn was
considered a potent political force? When Occupy was being touted as the equal of the Tea Party? When Greenpeace amounted to something, and the Teamsters
Union at least had the ability to turn out lots of goons? Those days are long gone.
WNJU Telemundo 47, Linden, NJ
WAOW/WYOW Television, Inc.
KSTS-TV, San Jose, CA
WTEN-TV, Albany, NY
WJAR-TV, Cranston, RI
KCPQ, Seattle, WA
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Twenty-two states have right-to-work laws, most of them in the South and West. If New Hampshire passes
such a law, it will be the first state in the Northeast to do so.
This is an original
compilation, Copyright © 2015 by Andrew K. Dart
Constant attempts to expand
Unions are constantly trying to expand, which they do for the benefit of
the union itself, not the workers. When your union dues are spent on
organizing the workers in other companies, you gain nothing.
Is Formed at Los Angeles Times and Publisher Put on Leave. Journalists at The Los Angeles Times voted
overwhelmingly to form a union despite aggressive opposition from the paper's management team, reversing more than a century
of anti-union sentiment at one of the biggest newspapers in the country. Shortly after the final vote count was
announced on Friday [1/19/2018], The Times's parent company said that the newspaper's publisher, Ross Levinsohn, was taking an
unpaid leave of absence while a law firm investigated allegations of coarse workplace behavior while he was employed by other
companies. The newsroom vote took place on Jan. 4 and the final count showed that out of the 292 employees who cast
ballots, 248 voted in favor of joining the NewsGuild, which represents 25,000 workers at news organizations across the
United States. That ends a longstanding resistance to unionization that was shaped in part by a bombing at the paper's
headquarters by labor organizers in 1910.
Increasingly Shifting To "Shadow Unions" To Avoid Scrutiny. While union membership has been declining
nationally and the courts are taking a rather harsh look at the tactics they employ to extract money from members, the larger
labor unions have had to find ways around the system. One of these tactics has been prominently in use in New York City
and it's spreading outward from there. Some, like the SEIU, have been setting up what are euphemistically called
"Worker Centers." As Forbes reported last week, this has allowed them to skirt the rules and collect what amount
to dues from workers without having to follow normal rules for establishing a formal union.
Will Kill Free Market Ride Sharing Like Uber and Lyft. These services are the virtually unregulated,
non-unionized, and much less expensive version of the taxi. This is the real free-market at work and it's proving to
work quite well without government and/or thuggish Union oversight. [...] Uber is one of those "only in America" ideas that
can only spawn in a free-market. In less than seven short years the company went from triumphantly tweeting that it had
made its first $5 on March 27, 2010, less than four months after it began, to having a worth of almost $70 billion
worldwide. Many have taken notice of the success of ridesharing — not the least which are unionized taxi
companies which have had monopolies in every major city in America. With the backing of cab companies and their Union
thugs, local and State political hacks have been able to see to it that these companies maintain their monopolies.
board rules that university students can unionize. Graduate students at private U.S. universities can unionize,
the National Labor Relations Board ruled Tuesday [8/23/2016] in a decision that could upend the balance of power on campuses and
deliver new members to labor unions. Critics called the decision politically motivated, saying it will make it even tougher
to cut costs and reform the country's higher education system. But labor advocates cheered, saying universities have been
maltreating graduate students for years, and this new ruling gives those students the power to demand better. The NLRB
said that students who are compensated for teaching classes or handling other official roles for their universities —
"student assistants" — are employees of the schools, and are therefore covered under federal labor laws.
city council votes to allow Uber, Lyft drivers to unionize. Seattle on Monday [12/14/2015] became the first city
in the nation to allow drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions.
Labor trickery on display in effort to unionize home care. Connie Euston, of Moon Township, Pa., did not even know an election was happening
until the day her ballot arrived in the mail. It was marked: "Urgent: Ballot Enclosed for Pennsylvania Homecare Attendants Election.
Deadline approaching: Vote Today!" Euston takes care of her quadriplegic son, Greg, with help from a state-run program that provides funded subsidies
to offset the cost. The ballot asked whether she wanted United Home Care Workers as her state representative. She could check yes or no.
The ballot said nothing else regarding the election or United Home Care Workers. "There was precious little information available," she told the
seek to stop Pa. from creating unofficial union for home care providers. Pennsylvania
home healthcare workers likely will find out late this year whether they will have union dues
deducted from their state subsidy checks as a consequence of an April vote in which just 13 percent
of them voted in favor of collective bargaining. [...] The vote happened despite state law saying
the caregivers are not state employees and therefore not eligible to unionize. Democratic Gov. Peter
Wolf nevertheless signed an executive order in February creating a "direct care worker representative"
position that could be filled by a labor organization and would otherwise act as a union.
SEIU stands to rake in billions by unionizing fast-food workers. In the Spring of
2010, the Service Employees International Union's ambitious plan to unionize fast-food workers was
exposed. Although the SEIU's plan changed slightly from the orginal draft, the basic premise of
tying the union's campaign to unionize fast-food workers to a "living wage campaign" has not changed
all that much. However, it wasn't until November 2012, that the SEIU launched the first of
several fast-food "strikes" (most of the so-called strikers are not actual employees but paid-SEIU
protesters) and its "Fight for $15 (and a union)" campaign commenced. Since then, the SEIU has
spent tens of millions — an astounding $38 million was spent in 2013 alone, according
to Worker Center Watch — on its campaign to unionize fast-food workers.
to Recruit Illegals Covered by Obama Amnesty. Labor unions are eyeing an estimated
four million immigrants who entered the United States illegally as a prize pool of new recruits for
their struggling movement, now that President Barack Obama has used an executive decree of amnesty
to shield the migrants from being deported, Fox News reports. Labor groups including the AFL-CIO,
Service Employees International Union, and United Food & Commercial Workers have begun reaching out
to immigrants covered by the president's executive order.
Forced Unionization of Fast Food Workers is the Real Plan.
Wage Hike [is] Only The Beginning. The effort to raise the minimum wage in Chicago and
throughout the state of Illinois in general is not just about a higher salaries but about the
ability to unionize, a labor leader said this week. Speaking at a panel at the Congressional
Black Caucus Legislative Conference in Washington this week, Kendell Fells a national coordinator
for Service Employees International Union, said an increased minimum wage is not the ultimate goal
of his group.
SEIU branch allowed to keep millions taken from home health care workers. A Michigan court ruled that the state branch of the
powerful Service Employees International Union does not have to pay back tens of millions of dollars in dues taken from home health care
workers who were forced into unionization. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled last week that the SEIU Healthcare Michigan does not
have to pay back more than $34 million in dues collected from over 40,000 home health care workers. Many were forced into the
union under state requirements that they join because they were taking care of sick family members at home. The SEIU successfully
lobbied for the plan in multiple states that classified unpaid family members as "home health care workers." Dues were then
automatically collected from the care recipients' Medicare or Medicaid checks.
exploiting low wage workers with 'fast food strike' today. Left wingers are willing to sacrifice the actual
interests of the poor in service to their aspirations of political power. A perennial dream of the American progressives
is to organize fast food workers into a union, a move that would be an absolute disaster for the intended beneficiaries.
Ending Forced-Dues Collection of Home Healthcare Workers. The Supreme Court ruling
that freed home healthcare workers from coercive unionization in Illinois has led to unions ceasing
automatic deduction of union dues from non-members in other states. A Washington state chapter of
the politically powerful SEIU announced that it would no longer force caretakers — many
of whom are caring for disabled family members — to pay union dues, according to
communications obtained by the Freedom Foundation, a free market think tank.
Presidents Say No To Unions For Athletes. Northwestern University on Thursday urged
the National Labor Relations Board to overturn a regional ruling that would allow its scholarship
football players to unionize, holding up the football program as exemplifying the university's
integration of athletics and education.
College Sports Pits Unions Against Socialist Principles. The recent controversy over efforts to unionize
college athletes rests on the presumption that those who receive scholarship money are in fact employees. Unions
see themselves standing for the little guy against the interests of the rich employer. However, far from advancing
the goals of socialism, unionization of college sports would make the rich richer, and the poor poorer, in the world of
membership, revenues plummet after state ends 'underhanded scheme'. A Michigan branch of the powerful
Service Employees International Union saw its membership and revenues plummet after the reversal of a measure that
forced caregivers tending to friends or relatives to be members with their dues paid by those they cared for.
More than 44,000 home-based healthcare workers parted ways with SEIU Healthcare Michigan after learning they did
not have to join the union or pay dues, according to reports the union filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Northwestern football players overwhelmingly vote to reject unionization. The regional NLRB's (immediately
appealed) March ruling that Northwestern University football players are employees of the school, and are therefore
entitled to form a union [...] precipitated today's vote — the official results of which likely won't be known
for months, or even years, due to a lengthy anticipated appeals process. The unionization push has become a hot topic
in sports media and a political lightning rod.
Matters for America is resisting SEIU's effort to unionize its staff. Media Matters for
America is apparently resisting an effort by Service Employees International Union Local 500 to
unionize its staff. Last week, the union filed a representation petition with the National Labor
Relations Board, indicating that the nonprofit media watchdog organization rejected an effort by the
union to organize MMFA's staff through a Card Check election. A filing with the NLRB does not
necessarily mean that the union and management are in direct confrontation. For example, although
Volkswagen tacitly backed the United Auto Workers' recent effort to organize its Chattanooga, Tenn.,
plant, the company still insisted on an NLRB-monitored election.
An End to Forced Unionization?
Without a steady stream of water and electricity, child-care service providers who typically operate out of their own homes
could go out of business. Yet, hundreds of Rhode Island residents — not to mention others across the
country — who offer these services must now pay union dues that can be used to support lobbying efforts aimed
at securing anti-energy regulations at odds with their best interests.
A Reluctant Union Member Fights Back. Susie Watts
has paid Service Employees International Union (SEIU) more than $5,000 over the past eight years for representation she never asked for and
does not need. The union withdraws more than $60 each month from the stipend that Watts' physically disabled daughter, Libby, receives
to help cover the cost of home care. "They're profiting from the disabled," Watts, 57, said. "They are taking money that my
daughter is entitled to and repurposing it. We're paying $700 [per year] for collective bargaining that we don't want to be a part of."
SEIU Fights To
Force Home Caregivers To Pay Union Dues. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday [1/21/2014] in a case that will determine
if a Medicaid recipient caring for her child is a state worker required to turn part of her meager resources over to union bosses.
Meet the Plaintiff. A 55-year-old woman who earns less than minimum
wage caring for her disabled son could unravel decades of labor law and strike a blow against one of the most powerful political lobbies in
the nation. Pamela Harris is fighting an Illinois law crafted by imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D.) and enforced by his successor
Pat Quinn (D.) that forces her and other home healthcare workers to pay union dues. Her case, Harris v. Quinn, begins oral arguments
at the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning [1/21/2014].
Supreme Court to Hear Case on Forced Unionization. The
Supreme Court will hear arguments about forced unionization among government workers on Tuesday [1/21/2014] in a case that could greatly curtail powerful labor
groups. At issue is an Illinois law crafted by imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D.) and enforced by his successor Pat Quinn (D.) that forces home
healthcare workers, including family members caring for relatives, to pay union dues.
Child-care union law blocked. A hotly-contested law that was to allow
in-home child care providers to vote on whether to unionize has been temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court.
Don't tell mom the babysitter's unionized.
If Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has his way, your babysitter soon could join a union and cost you a lot more. The San Francisco Democrat has authored
several domestic-worker unionization bills that have been vetoed by California governors. Now he's back with Assembly Bill 241, which just
passed both houses of the Legislature and is awaiting a signature or veto from Gov. Jerry Brown.
Labor, with union membership declining, will
woo non-workers. The AFL-CIO on Monday [9/9/2013] opened the door to becoming a group that is more representative of the left than of its members.
Facing what AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka called a "crisis" of membership, officials took the dramatic step at their annual convention of adopting a resolution that invites
anyone in the country to join, regardless of union affiliation. The move faced stiff resistance from union officials who fear the AFL-CIO's primary mission of
representing workers will be left behind if the federation becomes a mouthpiece for liberal and progressive groups.
Boss Trumka Reaches Out. So here is [Richard] Trumka's bright
idea. He will extend the AFL-CIO to include all members of the "progressive" movement whether they work or not, whether they are bird watchers or angry
women, whatever. [...] There may be some bumps on the road ahead, for instance, when the United Mine Workers of America's 75,000 workers have to join with the
Sierra Club whose 1.4 million members believe that coal power is "an outdated, backward and dirty 19th-century technology."
Experts Fear Backdoor Unionization in Tennessee.
This wasn't a typical example of a union organizing: It was the company, not the union, that raised the issue of giving workers a voice in the
plant's operations. VW, a German company, approached the Tennessee manufacturing plant earlier this month, hinting that it would not receive
additional investments if it did not establish an European-model works council to represent employee interests.
Senate Republicans quiz
Labor Department on purported payments for labor unions worldwide. Senate Republicans say the Labor Department appears to be spending millions in
taxpayer dollars to establish labor unions and promote collective bargaining in foreign countries and are asking top Obama administration officials for a full audit.
One Man's Fight Against Union
Power. Entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley should pay close attention to the experiences of Dave Bego, the Indiana
businessman who started a company from scratch. By 2006, after years of unrelenting toil and sacrifice by Bego and his family,
Executive Management Services, Inc. (EMS) had expanded into 38 states and had 5,000 employees. Bego now had something so
valuable it became an attractive target for unionization.
Reich: Walmart, McDonalds and Every Hospital in America Should Unionize. Former Clinton labor secretary turned MSNBC
contributor Robert Reich has a truly nutty solution for America's current economic woes. Writing at the perilously liberal
Huffington Post Tuesday [1/29/2013], Reich called for some of the top employers in the nation to unionize.
Drive to Unionize Fast-Food Workers. I begrudge no one their right to organize and join a union if they so choose.
But these poor schlubs are being led down a primrose path to unemployment if they think that a burger or pizza joint can stay in business
long if the workers are earning $15 an hour.
New York City ACORN office working to unionize fast food workers. The New York Times reports that union organizers are trying
to convince fast food workers to unionize. The effort is being led by New York Communities for Change which is the name of the
reorganized and rebranded former ACORN office in Brooklyn. "I feel I deserve $15 an hour," said Linda Archer, 59[,] a McDonalds
cashier. "I work very hard." Archer currently earns $8 an hour and averages 24 hours a week.
Labor Takes Lumps in Michigan. Michigan voters rejected two
union-backed efforts to amend that state's constitution on Tuesday despite heavy spending by big labor and a largely unionized population.
Government employees unions led by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) proposed two amendments to the state constitution that would
have made collective bargaining a constitutional right (Proposition 2) and forced family members that care for disabled relatives into the
union (Proposition 4).
The Union Racket. The union that launched the career of
Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard is being accused of strong-arming a group of nursing homes
to increase membership rolls. HealthBridge and CareOne, two nursing home companies, are suing the New England Health
Care Employees Union (Service Employees International Union Chapter 1199 New England), accusing the labor leaders of
using political threats and dangerous workplace sabotage to force several non-union shops into their ranks.
Nursing Home Companies File RICO
Lawsuit Against SEIU. The lawsuit claims the unions violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act through the use
of threats, sabotage, and intimidation in a "shake-down" to coerce the companies to accept union demands. The health care companies charge that
SEIU's use of the help of politicians and liberal activists to intimidate them amounted to criminal extortion.
One, HealthBridge nursing homes accuse SEIU affiliates of extortion in RICO lawsuit. Two of the largest
health care labor unions are engaged in racketeering and endangering the lives of elderly residents, according to a
federal lawsuit filed by a chain of nursing homes in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Instead of
bargaining, the Fort Lee-based Care One and HealthBridge companies say that two local affiliates of the Service
Employees International Union are resorting to criminal activities, defamation and sabotage to get contracts approved
and workers organized.
Airline union efforts threatening jobs,
consumers. With the summer travel season heating up and ticket prices continuing to rise, the last thing the airline industry needs is
internal politics threatening to disrupt operations. Yet that is exactly what is happening to American Airlines. The company, currently in
Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is on the verge of imploding from within because of an attempted power grab by unions representing pilots, flight attendants
and ground workers.
The Service Employees International Union lobbied
for legislation requiring all home health-care workers to join a union.
Rep. Darrell Issa Confronts Forced
Unionism. [Scroll down] The bill would require background checks and care instruction for all
home health-care workers. Many home workers are parents who have literally been with the patient for his or
her entire life and need no care instruction. [Theresa] Riffey's case, if the court takes it and decides
in her favor, could be a massive blow to unions across the nation, which currently spend massive amounts of member
dues to support political causes, primarily those of Democratic representatives.
boss: Unionizing should be added to Civil Rights Act of 1964. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka
told The Daily Caller that the right to form a union should "absolutely" be added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Organized labor cares more about teachers' rights than kids' education.
Union hijacking of charter
schools. If you can't beat them, take them over. That seems to be the new union strategy on charter schools.
Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are governed by private groups that sign a contract, or charter, with the state.
The charter requires that the school meet certain standards of accountability in return for taxpayer funding, but in other areas it
exempts the school from many burdensome state or local regulations. Some of the most burdensome are rules required by labor
Supreme Court Must Protect the First Amendment from Unions. "Organized labor" brings to mind railroads,
factories, and government offices, but the labor movement's biggest recent gains have been in the home. Led by SEIU,
unions and their political allies have pushed through executive orders and legislation in a dozen states to "organize"
home-care workers, such as personal assistants and sitters, by deeming them state employees for collective-bargaining
purposes alone. California was the trailblazer in this campaign, with SEIU first trying to convince the state
courts to designate Los Angeles County home-care workers as county employees.
Do President Obama and his fellow
Democrats seriously believe that "government should not intrude on private family matters?" Let us
count the ways!
Government vs. Your Family: [Scroll down] When parents think about private family matters,
one thing that comes to mind is babysitters. Until now, you could negotiate a reasonable fee with a
16-year-old neighbor and, if you live in a neighborhood like ours, feel confident that your kids will be well
cared for. No longer; not here in Minnesota, anyway: Minnesota's Democrats are pressing for unionization
of all child care workers! If they have their way, you and your wife won't be able to go out to dinner without
dealing with union bosses — not because of your free choice, but because of government intervention
into private family matters.
siphons 'dues' from Mich. Medicaid payments. If you're a parent who accepts Medicaid payments
from the State of Michigan to help support your mentally-disabled adult children, you qualify as a state
employee for the purposes of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They can now claim and
receive a portion of your Medicaid in the form of union dues.
Unions 1, Workers 0.
The Obama administration, it seems, would rather propose rules to increase union membership than take steps to
reduce unemployment. One rule, which has already taken effect, permits the creation of "micro-unions."
Rather than all the employees at a specific plant or business joining one big union, there can be one just for
cashiers or one just for those who stock shelves. The attraction for union leaders is obvious: They
can cherry-pick the groups most interested in joining together for the purpose of collective bargaining, bypassing
workers who aren't interested.
new strategy: Intimidation for dummies. In the past decade, unions have become increasingly
desperate to obtain new dues-paying members. An example of how desperate can be found in a 70-plus-page
intimidation manual from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which only recently came to light
in a pending court case. The new union tactic is to use pressure on corporate boardrooms as a means of
organizing entire companies nationwide rather than recruiting workers on a site-by-site basis; in short, to
organize employers rather than employees.
After Losing Vote, Union Vows to Try
Again at Target. The National Labor Relations Board announced on Saturday morning that
137 workers had voted against joining the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, while
85 workers had voted for it. The unionization drive sought to make the store on Long
Island the first of Target's 1,750 stores in the United States to be unionized.
Target workers at
New York store reject union. Workers at the Valley Stream, New York, store voted against
union affiliation by a count of 137 to 85, Target said in a statement released Saturday
Labor's bull's-eye is on Target.
Target is having labor pains. Until recently, the Minneapolis-based discounter largely had avoided the
labor disputes and public relations challenges that have plagued Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.
But now Target could face the same union opposition as its much bigger rival.
When Does "No" Mean
"No"? In November of last year, Delta Flight Attendants voted against unionization. This
was the third time in the past decade that the employees of Delta have defeated the Association of Flight
Attendants (AFA). We defeated the attempt to unionize Delta despite a playing field that had been
deliberately tilted in favor of the unions.
Unions Build Ranks, Court TSA for Membership. Thousands of airport security screeners
could choose a union to represent them as early as March, marking the latest expansion of union influence
in the public sector, which now has more labor union members than the private sector.
Gingrey to introduce bill ripping into Obama Labor Department's airline unionization plans.
Republican Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey plans to introduce a bill that will restore the Department of Labor's
union election rules for specialized industries, like airline workers, to what they were before President
Barack Obama took office. Obama's political appointees to the DOL's National Mediation Board lifted a
longstanding requirement that mandated more than half of those who would be unionized to vote in favor of a
union. Now, under Obama's new rules, a specialized company or part of a company can be unionized by a
majority of only those who show up to vote.
Unionize on your own time. Rep. Phil Gingrey, Georgia Republican, is spearheading legislation
that would stop federal employees from doing union activities while on the clock. Gingrey's bill, the Federal
Employee Accountability Act of 2011, would stop federal employees from doing arbitration, collective bargaining
and compiling lists of grievances for their bosses during working hours.
Big Labor's Attack on the
States: Last Friday [1/14/2011], the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced its
intentions to sue four states — Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah — to
overturn voter-approved amendments requiring any attempts to unionize a workplace be done with the same
secret ballot system used for general elections. The NLRB contends such amendments conflict with
federal law and that federal law "pre-empts" them.
Labor Dept: If You Let Girl Scouts Sell Cookies,
You Have to Let Unions Come in Too. Obama's NLRB is trying to push a new rule that would force
any business that allows Girl Scouts or any other local groups like baseball or football teams, school bands,
charity groups etc. to sell their fundraiser items or solicit donations in front of or inside of their
businesses to also allow unions into their businesses to cajole employees to organize. Even when
the purpose of many union actions are meant to drive customers away from the business in order to force the
employer to accede to union demands, this rule would prevent a business owner from turning disruptive union
activists away from their businesses.
Now It's Unions Vs Girl Scouts.
If this new request by union leaders is allowed to become law, its effect will be for many business operators
like myself to have no choice but to close doors to any outside groups. The impact to charities ability
to operate and reach support would be devastating. Ultimately, unions are trying to make sure that no
one wins. ... This is not hyperbole. This is a direct threat to the ability for small business to say
who comes onto their property and how they affect their business.
Bosses Scheme to Be Girl Scouts' Next 'Tagalong'. The same sort of deception and unfairness by
Big Labor that would have allowed union organizers to replace workplace elections with coercion-prone "card
check" is rearing its ugly head, and this time it may be Girl Scouts who pay the highest price.
Warns of Latest Union Scheme: Unfair Access. Today [1/7/2011], the Coalition for a Democratic
Workplace (CDW) filed an amicus brief with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the crucial question
of whether the federal government will demand that a business allow organized labor union representatives to
trespass at the workplace in order to harass customers and employees and otherwise harm an employer's
Feds threaten to
sue states over union laws. The National Labor Relations Board on Friday [1/14/2011]
threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments
guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.
The Editor says...
Imagine that. The federal government is threatening to file a lawsuit to prevent secret
to require workplaces to notify workers of their right to unionize. The pro-union regulatory assault
continues. The National Labor Relations Board is now proposing new regulations requiring workers to be notified
of their right to unionize.
union has Delta squarely in its sights. A rule change made by the Obama administration last May
aimed at making it easier to unionize has put Delta Airlines squarely in union sights. The new rule
approved by the National Mediation Board — the body responsible for ruling on labor issues in
the transportation industry — makes it easier to organize by allowing a simple majority of those
voting in a union election to decide its outcome.
The End of Our Legal System: Judges
Joining Unions? Unions are meant for one thing and one thing only: to "get" for its
members. They have one purpose and that is to take as much from an employer as they can take, to get as
much money and benefits as they can get away with. Unions are not interested in assuring quality
workmanship, they are not interested in offering quality to customers, and they most certainly aren't
interested in efficiency and modernization. Unions have but one purpose, to extort as many goodies as
possible from an employer regardless of what it does to a business or a profession.
Unions Try to Monopolize Green Jobs.
[Scroll down] One of the more startling revelations at the forum came in testimony from Stephen Worth,
President & CEO of Worth and Company, a merit shop mechanical contractor out of Pipersville, Pennsylvania,
currently employing more than 400 people. Amid testimony of union harassment and exclusion from
contracting bids was a startling revelation of union methods to monopolize "green jobs" through illegitimate
and discriminatory regulatory definition.
providers object to union label. Sherry Loar and Dawn Ives take care of children out of their
Petoskey homes so they were surprised to learn that their state-subsidized checks, which cover day care for
some low-income families, now have union dues withheld. Neither has ever voted for or consented to
Union Intensifies Efforts to Organize Workers at
Wal-Mart. The United Food and Commercial Workers union is ramping up organizing at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after
a five-year lull, dovetailing with its efforts to win support in Congress for a bill to make union organizing easier.
plan organization push in Texas. The unions, which include the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win coalition,
enhanced their political muscle by campaigning heavily for Mr. Obama, who sponsored several labor-friendly bills
during his brief career in the Senate. The unions want the next Congress to quickly pass a bill at the top
of their shopping list: legislation that would allow unions to form as soon as a majority of workers sign
cards saying they want one.
Push for Obama, Unions Seek New Rules. After making millions of phone calls and knocking on millions
of doors to elect Barack Obama, the nation's labor unions have begun a new campaign: to get the new president and
Congress to pass legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize. Unions, delighted that they
will have a friend in the White House after eight years of fighting President Bush, also plan to push for
universal health coverage and a huge stimulus program to create jobs and counter the downturn.
Unions Grasp for Influence Over Private
Equity. When planning corporate campaigns, unions and activist groups research their target and
identify its weaknesses. One key pressure point is a company's need for capital. Because they often
have great influence over pension funds, many unions are able to pressure companies by having the funds offer
shareholder resolutions at corporate annual meetings.
Unions' Grip on State Governments Tightens With Forced Dues.
Recent developments in Washington and Maine demonstrate why state government is the silver lining to the cloud that hangs over organized
labor. Although union membership in private industry is at an all-time low, one in three public-sector workers is unionized, and the
number is growing. Beleaguered state governments are agreeing to union contracts that force non-members to pay union dues.
Government style. Many of you who thought you had the stomach flu this year really had food poisoning
from bacteria. We should treat raw chicken as if it were covered in fecal matter — it's crawling
with bacteria. Keep it away from the salad, and wash the cutting board. Local 2357 had a
different solution: The government must hire more union inspectors. Apparently if more people
stared at the birds, they'd be better at seeing invisible germs.
Little minds don't grasp big-box appeal.
People who buy their groceries from Wal-Mart — it has one-fifth of the nation's grocery
business — save at least 17 percent. But because unions are strong in many grocery
stores trying to compete with Wal-Mart, unions are yanking on the Democratic Party's leash, demanding
laws to force Wal-Mart to pay wages and benefits higher than those that already are high enough to attract
77 times more applicants than there were jobs at Evergreen Park's store.
Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought
Unions. In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992,
Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world's largest retailer waged a major campaign against labor unions
seeking to represent store workers.
Sewing Discontent: Globalization
continues to be a boon to mankind. Economic benefits once reserved to residents of the developed world
are spreading rapidly throughout the developing world. Thanks to free trade, companies from rich
countries are bringing improvements in health, safety, and environmental quality to their overseas employees
and their communities. … Yet another Western export threatens to derail this process. Labor
unions are beginning to globalize, threatening to spread overseas the onerous rules and inefficiencies for
which they're renowned in the West.
What's next? Unionized vagrants and panhandlers?
AFL-CIO to work with day
laborers. The nation's largest federation of unions agreed Wednesday [8/9/2006] to work with a
network of immigrant day laborer centers to improve wages and working conditions for those who solicit
work from street corners across the United States.
This Could Make You Sick. The award for vilest politicization of the tenth anniversary
of 9/11 goes to the AFL-CIO. The organization has chosen to hijack the moment and turn it
into a plea for anti-austerity union activism. Consider this message from AFL-CIO president,
Richard Trumka, posted on its website.
Michigan Carpenters' Union Constructing a Fake Dispute.
As commonly understood, an American labor dispute is a rather simple matter: Employees demanding a change in their
pay or working conditions walk off the job and begin to publicly demonstrate against their employer. But the Michigan
Regional Council of Carpenters is no longer playing by these rules.
Unions protect lazy and stupid workers
When it is nearly impossible to fire blue-collar workers, no matter how little work
they do, it should come as no surprise that their motivation to do good work is
diminished. The unions have one common goal: Less work for more money.
Public-Sector Unions Deserve
To Be Destroyed. As it is, workers in union-heavy industries are typically under incredible pressure to join — in
my experience, few bigger bullies exist in everyday American life than the union boss. Yet general union membership continues
to crater. Those who resist these efforts are often accused of being "free riders," because they purportedly benefit from
collective bargaining but refuse to pay in. This is an exceptionally peculiar argument coming from organizations for
which the central mission, as far as I can tell, is to ensure that the least effective workers are protected at the expense of
the most effective workers.
you resent getting paid to nap, find another job. It's hard not to feel a little sympathy for David
Suker: He's severely unhappy sitting around and even napping in libraries and lounges to "earn" his $94,000
salary. On the other hand, he's free to find a real job — and the city Department of Education has every
right to keep him out of the classroom. As Susan Edelman reported in Sunday's Post, Suker is trying for a third
answer — by suing to return to teaching. DOE actually tried to fire him, but the courts — and the
United Federation of Teachers contract — prevented his termination. (He did have to pay a $7,000 fine.)
How to Get a No-Show Job. What's
the best place to get a no-show job? The federal government. Uncle Sam pays corrupt or incompetent employees not to come to work, because
it's easier than firing them, never mind the cost to taxpayers. Congress is trying to get to the bottom of this outrageous waste.
So far, the Obama administration is stonewalling. [...] Right now, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R.-Iowa, is pressing
for answers about the $3.1 billion spent on no-show jobs in the last three years.
Trouble in Dirty Water. [Scroll down] Despite the union,
RNs and PCAs still get laid off. Despite the union, middle management can still do as they please even when RNs file grievances against them. When
layoffs do occur, the union allows senior staff to "bump" newer employees out of their positions to other positions or, in many cases, straight to the
unemployment line. It allows someone who may actually be terrible at their job to replace someone new who is potentially quite skilled at their job.
It is all based on seniority not merit.
A Union Run Amok. John Clark knew right
from his job interview with AlliedBarton Security Services that there were problems at the Dearborn Ford plant. "This one supervisor, she felt
like the site was out of control," the 53-year-old Detroit native explains. Clark says he was told that, as a former correctional officer, he
was chosen to set an example of professionalism, so he accepted the job despite the issues. When he arrived at work in August 2011, the superviser
who had interviewed him was no longer there, but "I saw exactly what she was talking about the first week I was there," Clark tells me. "The
union rank and file just run amok, do whatever they want to do."
Chicago teacher can't even spell neighborhood
right. CTU believes in 'NEIBORHOOD' schools ... but can't even spell 'neighborhood.' Yet one of their main
reasons for striking is because, even though they've just been given a 16% pay increase ... they don't want a condition requiring
teacher performance. As is glaringly obvious, we can all see why.
Low Information Voter Thoughts.
We have weekends off, thanks to unions. If enough people join unions, we can get the other five days off.
Union Flips Out Over 0.8% Increase in Pension Contribution. [Scroll down] And, no, I didn't
get that decimal point wrong. It really is a 0.8% increase. So, if, say, a federal worker is currently
contributing $100 towards their pension in any given period, they will now have to kick in an extra 80 cents.
This is an "attack" on "working men and women"?
It's a shovel ready project!
Bosses Okay Digging Up — Then Filling Back In — Ditches on Taxpayers' Dime. [Scroll down]
And when some of the Earth Supply and Renewal "employees" explain that they literally dig a ditch, then fill it up again, Hutchings
says, "It sounds like, it almost is exactly the same as where we were with Green Jobs, Green New York." Green Jobs, Green New
York was a $112 million state plan that was designed to create environmentally-friendly jobs. And it was sponsored, in
large part, by unions.
The Editor says...
Labor leaders don't care if their union members are actually accomplishing anything — only that they are employed
and paid union-scale wages.
the United States Will Never, Ever Build the iPhone. This weekend, The New York Times published
a long exploration of the many reasons why Apple chooses to build its iPhones in China. ... The article's core
lesson might be tough to swallow: Apple doesn't only choose China because work is cheaper. Apple
also chooses China because the factories and the workers do a better job.
Collective bargaining kills another company.
Unions Ate Your Twinkie. There is no
mystery surrounding the death of the Twinkie. In its bankruptcy filing, Hostess reported a net loss of
$341 million last year. The company blamed reduced demand from a more health-conscious customer base,
and rising costs for ingredients like sugar and flour, but above all, the cause of death was an overdose of
collective bargaining. ... A union member assured the [New York] Post that "any significant concessions
demanded from route people will be overwhelmingly rejected." The mind-shattering horror of asking drivers
to load their own trucks will be avoided by putting them all out of work.
Ding Dong, Hostess is
dead, and wicked union did it. Most observers agree that the company had been badly run. It declared bankruptcy in
January, the second time since 2004. The recession certainly didn't help. But companies can survive bankruptcy if given an
opportunity to reorder their practices. That's hard to do when you're juggling 372 collective bargaining agreements.
Rebuilding costs increased by $96 million under lax union rules.
and all pay at Ground Zero. The Real Estate Board of New York, a major developers' group, says
antiquated rules let a cadre of crane and heavy equipment workers pocket six-figure paychecks for little more
than showing up. In the next three years the no-work jobs, controlled by Locals 14 and 15 of
the Operating Engineers, could add $96.2 million to the cost of World Trade Center projects, the REBNY
Reports from New York City say that union work rules pertaining the rebuilding of Ground Zero are going to
cost taxpayers an extra $96 million. But that's only a small part of the sordid story.
Welfare State and the Selfish Society. The welfare state enables — and thereby
produces — people whose preoccupations become more and more self-centered as time goes on:
How many benefits will I receive from the state? How much will the state pay for my education?
How much will the state pay for my health care and when I retire? What is the youngest age at which I
can retire? How much vacation time can I get each year? How many days can I call in sick and get
paid? How many months can I claim paternity or maternity care money? The list gets longer with
each election of a left-wing party. And each entitlement becomes a "right" as the left transforms
entitlements into the language of "rights" as quickly as possible.
Why do college graduates now seek jobs in government instead of private industry? It has largely to do
with lack of ambition. Why take the risks inherent in the private sector when you can have a position
that is virtually immune from layoffs, and for which you get vacations, sick days, health insurance, pensions,
and every holiday on the calendar including imagined ones? Why accept a job requiring effort and
productivity when you can get a government job in which your compensation and benefits have absolutely nothing
to do with your performance? In fact, you may actually be discouraged from working too hard because
it would embarrass your colleagues. Additionally, there is almost nothing that can cause you to be
fired! So why take any risks in the private sector?
Just 737 Of 1.2 Million Federal Workers Denied Raise For Poor
Performance. Just 737 federal employees were denied a pay increase in 2009 due to poor job
performance, according to information obtained by the Federal Times, a D.C. newspaper for government
employees. That's about one out of every 1,698 workers, or a denial rate of 0.06%. Believe
it or not, that is actually up from recent years, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management.
The Editor is quick to point out...
Those are just workers who didn't get a raise. How many federal workers were fired in 2009
due to incompetence or misconduct? I suspect the answer is a single-digit number.
FAA chief suspends dozing
air traffic controller. The nation's top aviation official says he's suspended a control
tower supervisor while investigating why no controller was available to aid two planes that landed at
Washington's Reagan airport earlier this week.
Why Air Traffic
Controllers Fall Asleep on the Job. Controller fatigue is obviously a major factor. The
FAA has known about the problem for decades but has repeatedly swept it under the rug. Finally, on
April 17, the FAA implemented changes to scheduling practices that will allow controllers more time
for rest between shifts. But the changes only address part of the fatigue problem. And they don't
face up to the reason for the FAA's repeated failures to deal with the issue.
Unions A Detriment To A Good Work Ethic? You Betcha! [Scroll down] I was forced to
join a union when I started working for the Vista Hotel at the World Trade Center in 1991. During
my training period as a hotel operator I noticed that the other operators would let the phones ring
without answering. One woman told me, "Don't answer it. It makes us look busy and then we
can get overtime." I still had a work ethic and I would do extra work to make things go smoothly
only to find that I was upsetting the cart so as the last person hired I was the first fired.
Why I Changed My
Mind About Unions. [Scroll down] A few years later, studying for my Master's degree,
I lived in a low-rent apartment. A tenant in one of the other units was a union roofer. From
November to April, he'd get $400 a week in unemployment. It seems that in our state union employees
didn't have to look for non-union work. If the union didn't call, the unemployment check was a
certainty. But the phone stayed off the hook all winter to make sure the union couldn't call anyway.
He wasn't idle, though; he worked "under the table" all winter doing side jobs tax-free while collecting
unemployment. In the summer when he did union work he'd tell stories about the roofers getting drunk
and stoned at lunchtime and making $22 an hour.
union boss' father a hefty user of sick leave. As investigators probe the potential abuse of
sick leave by firefighters, Clark County officials say they will find many instances of employees scheduling
sick time off weeks or months in advance. Among them is a firefighter who used the benefit to help
carve out 53 consecutive days off in 2009.
SEIU's Friendly Inquisitor. Carole Jean Badertscher was a California nurse who just wanted
to go to work and take care of her patients — but the SEIU was determined not to let that
happen. The union's contract with Badertscher's employer, the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center,
had expired, and the union had called a strike in response. Badertscher and other nurses, unwilling to
abandon their patients for the sake of a stronger SEIU hand in contract negotiations, resigned from the
union and went to work.
The Editor says...
When Obamacare gets rolling, expect to see more unionized nurses and more labor union attitude
at your neighborhood hospital.
'American Dream' at Rally. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.
$33-an-hour — For Sleeping On the
Job. Last week the NY Post ran a story about two late-shift, unionized public employees sleeping
on the job. According to the Post, "(S)leeping workers are a familiar nighttime sight along the streets
of NoHo and SoHo around the Angelika theater, which is next to the transit crew entrance." And what do
these arrogant deadbeats get paid for shirking their responsibilities? $33-an-hour.
Union Audacity: Yes We Will!
[Scroll down] I lived in New York for thirty-five years. I've seen park workers drinking from
40 oz. malt liquor bottles while they were picking up leaves. I've woken up cops sound asleep in
their patrol car. I watched a garbage man pick up a stack of newspapers, drop them on the way to the
garbage truck, and leave them in the middle of the street. I talked to a principal who didn't want to
investigate the possible rape of a 13-year-old girl in his school because it was "too much trouble."
I knew a teacher who spent three years in a "rubber room" collecting a salary for doing absolutely nothing.
I've seen hospital workers completely ignore patients, and leave their break room strewn with litter.
I had a tollbooth operator curse at me for paying part of my toll with pennies, even though it was all the
money I had left.
Libs Scold Black
Conservatives. In the eighties, I was a member of a team of six artists at a Baltimore TV
station. They hired a new kid. Jeff was talented, enthusiastic, and ambitious. ... While the
union could not nail Jeff for doing anything outside of the restrictions of our contract, the consensus
was that he was too friendly with management and too eager to benefit the company. The real conflict
was that Jeff's nature drove him to excellence, but our union encouraged group mediocrity.
Unions can't stand to see unpaid volunteers
do their work, because it shows how little their labor is really worth.
Union troubled by Eagle
Scout project in Allentown. In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled
for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.
Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city's largest
Big Labor Bullies and Volunteers Collide. The Boy Scouts' motto is: Be prepared. Who
knew it meant preparing to defend themselves against purple-shirted union thuggery over community service?
Kids, pay attention. This is a teachable moment for all of you on power, politics and Big Labor's
culture of corruption.
Pennsylvania Union Leader Criticized for
Threatening Legal Action Over Boy Scout's Volunteerism. A Pennsylvania union leader has come
under fire after threatening legal action against the city of Allentown for allowing a Boy Scout to voluntarily
clear a walking path in a local park. Nick Balzano, president of the Service Employees International
Union's Allentown chapter, said last week that the union might file a grievance against the city for
allowing 17-year-old Kevin Anderson to clear the hiking trail, instead of paying some of the 39 recently
laid-off SEIU members to do the work.
The Editor says...
Why hire unionized workers to perform work that can be done by unpaid volunteers? The fact that
civic-minded people will volunteer to do this work proves that the monetary value of the labor is zero.
Here is another example:
Volunteers save cities billions, but unions
cry foul. With budgets tighter than ever, cities across America are increasingly looking for more free labor.
Nowhere is that trend more evident than Yakima, Wash. "More and more every year, a large part of what we do is volunteers,"
says Archie Matthews, Yakima's director of neighborhood development services, "It saves us a ton of money."
The SEIU Thugocracy.
Kevin [Anderson] and his Boy Scout volunteer helpers logged in 250 hours completing the trail project, clearing
brush and plants, and removing trash and old tires. The Mayor of Allentown, Ed Pawlowski, told Fox News that
Anderson's work was a "great service to the community." But not everyone is happy about the service project.
Now for the happy ending...
Pennsylvania Union Leader Resigns Amid
Criticism. A union leader in Pennsylvania has resigned after being criticized for threatening
legal action over an aspiring Eagle Scout's volunteer project. Nick Balzano, president of the Service
Employees International Union's Allentown chapter, submitted an unexpected resignation letter Thursday,
along with a few other employees, SEIU spokesman Matt Nerzig told Foxnews.com.
Public Sector Unions Will Go The Way Of Private Sector Unions. The backlash against public sector
unions being played out in Wisconsin, Virginia and elsewhere was a long time coming. Now that it is here,
it will likely remain front and center among the taxpayers who are on the hook for enormous unfunded union pension
and retirement health care liabilities, and who are now becoming aware of the broader and very significant costs
of hiring out government services to unions that face little or no competition.
Unions, Lenin, and the American Way
(Part III). On the construction site at Columbus Circle in Manhattan, an outside freight elevator was built
to lift crews and materials. It was operated by an "elevator engineer" who pushed floor buttons at the rate of $37 per
hour, competing for the title of world's most expensive bellhop. Two union goons, armed with crowbars, sat at the foot
of the elevator all day in lawn chairs, sipping coffee, reading newspapers, or listening to the Howard Stern Show on the
radio. Their job was to tell the crews that the elevator was unavailable — at least that's what they told my friend
when he needed to lift his workers. But after his boss arrived from Queens with $500 in cash for the goons, the
elevator became readily available to their crew for the duration of one week.
Obama Cronyism Threatens Rail Security. [Scroll down] Biden, in turn, is tight with the Fraternal
Order of Police (FOP), the powerful union that represents the Amtrak Police Department. According to OSSSO
sources, the APD brass have been aggrieved over the non-unionized counterterrorism unit's existence from its
inception. A West Coast OSSSO team member told me that union leaders blocked police credentialing efforts
by his office for more than a year. An East Coast OSSSO team member told me that the FOP recently filed a
grievance against one of its counterterrorism officers for assisting a train conductor who asked for help in
ejecting a ticketless passenger.
Hats: The AFL-CIO is passing around these hard hats today to every office on Capitol Hill.
Check out where they're made: China.
Alan Grayson to introduce Paid Vacation
Act. Rep. Alan Grayson was standing in the middle of Disney World when it hit him: What Americans
really need is a week of paid vacation. So on Thursday [5/21/2009], the Florida Democrat will introduce the Paid
Vacation Act — legislation that would be the first to make paid vacation time a requirement
under federal law.
First pizza-delivery union formed in Florida
city. Eleven Domino's employees hoping to make a little more dough have formed the nation's
first union of pizza-delivery drivers. … The union organizing drive was started by Jim Pohle, a
37-year-old Domino's driver who said he delivers pizzas because he likes to sleep late, smoke on the job
and listen to the radio.
[That sounds like exactly the kind of employee that the unions work hardest to defend.]
10,000 autoworkers get paid without
working. About 10,000 autoworkers in the United States and Canada are getting full wages and
benefits not to work, a Detroit Free Press survey shows. All are hourly workers on long-term layoff at
the traditional Big Three automakers and their biggest supplier, Delphi Corp., who are in so-called "jobs
banks." Most of the companies refused to say how much they are spending to pay all these workers, but
it's likely well over $1 billion this year, given the number of workers and typical union wage-and-benefit
Union Wants to Be Paid for
Work It Didn't Do. Volunteers from the Blackhawk High School recycling club
removed illegally dumped tires from Buttermilk Falls State Park in Pennsylvania. Now
union employees of the Beaver County Public Works Department want to be paid for
A Slackening Nation of Work-Avoidance Wimps:
The AFL-CIO's support for federal ergonomics regulations is less about worker protection than union self-preservation.
Bad Coworkers Seem
Safest From Layoffs. In the age of layoffs, survivors often fall into one of
two categories: folks at the bottom who don't do a lick of work and superstars at the
top who behave atrociously.
workers vote to decertify union. Boeing Co. workers voted overwhelmingly Thursday [9/10/2009] to
disband the union at the North Charleston factory, boosting prospects corporate officials will consider the
Lowcountry for a second assembly line for the 787 Dreamliner. Of the fewer than 300 International
Association of Machinist organized workers at the local plant eligible to vote, 199 voted to decertify
the union and 68 voted to keep it in place, Boeing spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said.
Unions Seem Determined to
Kill Michigan Film Industry. A lot can be said about unions supporting wage earners and creating a middle
class. However, a lot can also be said about unions ruining this country. Case in point: Michigan.
You would think that after the UAW destroyed the auto industry and the tax base in Michigan, the people of the state and
the unions based there would have learned. However, this is not the case. In the latest union disaster for the
state of Michigan, the IATSE has decided that the blooming film industry in the state must be stopped before it even gets
General: City wastes $18 million a year on truck drivers. Chicago taxpayers are wasting $18 million
a year on 200 motor truck drivers who shuttle city crews to work sites, then get "paid to do nothing more than
sit in a vehicle" waiting for crews to finish the job, the city's inspector general has concluded.
Mail carrier who defecated in yard gets to keep
job. A mail carrier who was caught using a yard as his personal toilet will not be fired.
The incident happened last month at a home in southeast Portland and a neighbor, Don Derfler, captured the man
in the act with his camera.
Teachers, Untrained Substitutes. About 5.2 percent of teachers miss any given school day,
many more than in our peer countries. In Australia and Great Britain, for example, the figure is near
3 percent. The rate is also much lower among other professional employees in the U.S., around
1.7 percent. Teachers most often miss Mondays, Fridays, and the days surrounding
holidays — a pattern that suggests illness is not the main cause for their absences.
for the Union Label... Courtesy of the Smoking Union Brand. It is simply amazing how obnoxious
the UAW is, and how shameless. It drove two of the three U.S. automakers into bankruptcy by its ceaseless
efforts to extract ever more ridiculous increases in compensation for ever more obscene decreases in work.
It reached the acme of asininity when the union forced the automakers to pay workers who should have been laid
off when their plants closed — and this to sit around in cushy halls and play cards.
Some workers would rather have a union than a job
CEO Joe Ricketts shuts down DNAinfo, Gothamist after union vote. Major Trump donor and billionaire CEO Joe
Ricketts announced Thursday that he's closing the doors on two New York City local news outlets, DNAinfo and the Gothamist,
amid financial hardships and a successful union vote. Ricketts, who was CEO of DNAinfo and had bought Gothamist earlier
this year, penned a letter to readers to explain his decision, noting "DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and
businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure." Local outlets also owned by Ricketts in Los Angeles,
Chicago, and Washington, D.C., including DCist, will also close its doors along with the New York papers, leaving nearly 115
journalists without jobs, just one week after they voted to unionize.
demands send Japanese firm, obs packing from California town. The California city of
Palmdale was ready to roll out the red carpet this summer when a Japanese company agreed to build a
$60 million factory on a city-owned, vacant parcel on the southwest side of town — but
now the company is taking its project out of state and critics say union greed is to blame. As
many as 300 people were slated to work at the 400,000-square-foot plant, painting and wiring light
rail cars under a huge contract with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It was a
coup for Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, and a plan that seemed to suit Kinkisharyo International, which
last year moved its U.S. headquarters from Boston to El Segundo, Calif.
Labor Costs Killing Nursing Homes. Lucrative
union contracts have driven five Connecticut nursing homes at the center of a labor dispute into bankruptcy. HealthBridge
Management has entered five of its nursing homes into Chapter 11 bankruptcy to escape labor contracts that left the company
losing $1.3 million each month, according to senior vice president of labor relations Lisa Crutchfield.
The Parasite That Kills Its Hostess: The news about
the bankruptcy of Hostess, maker of the Twinkie and other legendary junk foods, touched off some memories of growing up in a mid-sized Midwestern
town in the 1970s and '80s. No, not that kind of memory, though come to think of it, the 1980s was the last time I actually ate a Hostess
snack. What I'm recalling has a lot less nostalgic charm: the whole phenomenon of a kamikaze labor union that keeps demanding more
for workers — who end up getting nothing when their employer goes belly-up.
United Auto Workers Local Costs 650 Jobs in
Indiana. Talk about chutzpah. In what only can be described as pure stubborn selfishness,
a United Auto Workers (UAW) local in Indiana voted this week to close a General Motors (GM) parts supplier
employing 650 workers. The closure is a harsh blow for a state with 10.2-percent unemployment and a
unionized auto industry that has been in free fall for decades — UAW membership has fallen from 1.5 million
in 1979 to only 300,000 in 2009.
rejects concessions at GM plant in Indianapolis. A months-long battle to save a General Motors Co.
stamping plant here that pitted rank-and-file UAW members against top union officials over whether autoworkers
should accept pay cuts to keep jobs ended bitterly today [9/28/2010]. Addison, Ill.-based JD Norman
Industries said it is dropping its effort to buy the factory after an announcement late Monday that United
Auto Workers members had voted 457-96 against accepting the concessions.
union members say strike worth hardship. Claudia Slaney did something that many
people would consider unthinkable in this economy: give up her paycheck. She did
just that on Sunday [8/7/2011] when she walked off the job, joining about 6,000 Verizon Communications
Inc. employees in Massachusetts after the unions and the company failed to reach an agreement
on a new contract.
Union rejects changes, so we'll move south. Following a union vote this morning to reject
contract changes that company officials say would have kept Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, Mercury Marine
issued the following statement: "Union workers at Mercury Marine voted this morning to reject a
contract proposal that company officials said was necessary to keep Mercury in
Fond du Lac. ..."
Hostess Brands permanently closing 3 bakeries following employee strike.
Hostess Brands Inc. is permanently closing three bakeries following a nationwide strike by its bakers union. The maker of Twinkies,
Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread said Monday that the strike has prevented it from producing and delivering products, and it is closing bakeries
in Seattle, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The facilities employ 627 workers.
Teamsters Cross Picket
Line, Fail to Save Twinkie. The Teamsters, not exactly a shrinking violet, got a look at the company's books and realized
the dire financial situation Hostess was in. They even implored the Bakers' Union, which called a strike, to accept wage concessions
and get back to work. Alas, they didn't and now the company faces liquidation.
The Editor says...
In the last few days, I've heard that the unionized drivers would not carry Twinkies and Wonder Bread on the same truck.
If that is the case, they deserve to be unemployed.
Twinkie Maker Hostess to Close. A victim of changing
consumer tastes, high commodity costs and, most importantly, strained labor relations, Hostess ultimately was brought to its knees by a national strike orchestrated
by its second-largest union.
Short-sighted Petulance. Hostess employees insisted
on continuing a strike, even as management noted that the company couldn't survive a prolonged union action. Now the employees won't have jobs at all, as
their action has forced the company to liquidate.
Manhandling Hostess, Big Labor Costs 18,500 Workers
Their Jobs. Union intransigence and unrealistic expectations at Hostess Brands have forced the bakery to shut its doors permanently and throw 18,500 people
out of work. So much for Big Labor caring about the little guy.
Maybe We Really Can't All Just Get Along.
Union workers voluntarily have driven Hostess out of business. Seems they'd rather have no pay than less pay, no pension over a restructured one. They
commit economic suicide, and pampered, over-paid union bosses such as Richard Trumka blame the Bain Capitals of the world.
The End of Twinkies' Union Label. If employees declare
war on their employer, then the war can end only in the death of one or the other. And who wants that? The union bakers — the
union former bakers — at Hostess Brands, Inc., that's who.
Twinkicide: Death By Liberalism. This time it's Twinkies.
In October it was Newsweek. Who's next? What does this lemming-like liberal instinct mean for America? What is it that bakers and editors had
in common as they looked into the abyss that would spell their own professional death? And then jumped? Answer: They'd rather be dead than
Not Liberal. Unfortunately for the rest of us — they are not alone.
Unions Kill The Goose That Made Hostess
Brands Gold. The Twinkies bankruptcy is a classic example of costs created by labor unions that are not confined to paychecks. The work rules
imposed in union contracts required the company that makes Twinkies, which also makes Wonder Bread, to deliver these two products to stores in separate trucks.
Moreover, truck drivers were not allowed to load either of these products into their trucks. And the people who did load Twinkies into trucks were not allowed
to load Wonder Bread, and vice versa. All of this was obviously intended to create more jobs for the unions' members. But the needless additional costs
that these make-work rules created ended up driving the company into bankruptcy, which can cost 18,500 jobs.
Hostess faces bitter end in bankruptcy court.
Hostess Brands Inc. plans to return to bankruptcy court on Wednesday seeking approval to move ahead with liquidations plans that would throw 18,500 people out of
work, after a last-ditch mediation effort met with failure.
Who killed Hostess? The left is madly spinning (aka, lying
about) the impending demise of Hostess, trying to blame the free enterprise system, and even Mitt Romney's former firm, Bain Capital. This is a lie.
It was inside job of the left, with a prominent Democrat helping himself to consulting fees and a hundred thousand dollars a year sinecure for his son. [...] While
the unions and their media allies like to cite executive salaries and consulting fees paid to executives as outrageous, they are ignoring left winger Dick Gephardt
cashing in for himself, and more outrageously, for his son, who was appointed to the Hostess Board and paid one hundred thousand dollars a year.
Private Equity and Hostess Stumbling Together.
[Scroll down] Ripplewood, which was founded by Timothy C. Collins, a major Democratic donor, is expected to lose most, if not all, of the $130 million
or so it invested in Hostess. The company's lenders, led by Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital, are not expected to fare well either.
The behind-the-scenes tale of Hostess and Ripplewood may be the opposite of a project to buy it, strip it and flip it. When Mr. Collins originally looked at
Hostess, he was trying to make investments in troubled companies with union workers.
Twinkies bakers say they'd rather lose jobs than take pay cuts. Interviews with more than a dozen
workers showed there was little sign of regret from employees who voted for the strike. They said they would rather lose their jobs than put up with
lower wages and poorer benefits.
Death of Twinkies: A Union Contract Hit.
President Obama, ever grateful for the millions of dollars and thousands of foot soldiers provided by union support, will continue trying to end-run Congress
and make it easier for unions to sink their hooks into business. Yet unions are in stark denial of the need for significant cutbacks in their lush
contracts if their employers are to survive.
Wal-Mart and Hostess: Two Union Stories.
The details are ugly when you see what was going on behind the scenes at Hostess. It reportedly was dealing with 372 separate collective-bargaining
contracts, 80 separate health and benefits plans, and 40 different pension plans. Union rules said no Hostess delivery trucks could have both bread
and snacks on board, despite the fact the goods were going to the same stores. Drivers were not allowed to load the snacks onto their trucks, certain workers
could only load snacks not bread, and vice versa.
Just How Potent Are Teacher
Unions? Hostess Brands is set to liquidate its 82-year-old company because it was unable to meet the salary demands of its unionized
employees. Roughly 18,500 workers will lose their jobs because 5,500 members of various bakers' unions can't appreciate that a tightening
economy, stiffening competition, and an increasingly health-conscious America mean fewer Twinkies for all.
Bankrupting Hostess, Union Workers Rake In The Federal Dough. After driving Hostess out of business by refusing to
negotiate, the White House has decided to reward the union bakers with Trade Adjustment Assistence, blaming foreigners.
Union That Helped Bring Down Hostess Gets to
Snack on Federal Funds. When Hostess filed for bankruptcy last year, several problems were to blame, but the bakers union
refusing to accept a new contract and striking was the straw that broke the Twinkie manufacturer's back. They refused to return to
work even after the company warned them it would have to shut down. The Teamsters even begged them to take the deal (though the
bakers union has noted that the Teamsters were getting a better deal than they were).
Twinkies Return, Hostess Unions Won't. The bankrupt assets of Hostess Brands,
Inc., the company responsible for Twinkies, Ho Ho's, Sno Balls and Ding Dongs, are being put back to work by a buyout firm. What's
not being put back to work are the former Hostess unionized employees. The unionized workers had been on strike when the company
folded late last year.
Have Twinkies Killed the Union Movement? Original Twinkies are coming back — but
under new management — and with a vow to use nonunion workers. Some five months after Hostess shut down over a standoff with its unions, the
restructured company is expecting to put its snacks back on store shelves in the coming months. The Hostess closing left more than 18,000 people
out of work across the country — with the vast majority belonging to the Teamsters and the Bakery Union. With Hostess back in business, labor
analysts say the union movement may have taken a major hit just when it seemed to be gaining lost energy with recent walkouts or job actions.
Hostess reopens bakeries for
Twinkies, Ho Hos. The new Hostess Brands said Monday [4/29/2013] that it will open bakeries in Indiana and Illinois,
following announcements last week that it will reopen bakeries in Georgia and Kansas in its effort to bring back some of its snack
brands. The predecessor to this Hostess Brands filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 after years of turmoil and later decided
to go out of business after a nationwide strike crippled its operations.
Hostess: Twinkies to Return to Shelves July 15.
The company that went bankrupt after an acrimonious fight with its unionized workers last year is back up and running under new owners and a leaner structure.
On the other hand, these people would rather have a job than a union
factory goes non-union. Even as unions revel in their access to political power with Barack
Obama, actual workers handed the union movement a stinging defeat.
Some people would rather have a job than a union.
Who wants a
union? Not Southern autoworkers, it seems. Deric Golden has what he calls his dream job,
fixing small flaws on the sedans being churned out at the Hyundai factory here. So when two
organizers from the United Auto Workers knocked on his apartment door one day, hoping to get him to
sign a union card, he quickly sent them packing.
Unionized government workers
People make jokes about postal workers, TSA
goons, and the pencil-pushers at
the DMV all the time. They work by the hour. Many (if not most) of them
are keenly aware that "it all pays the same" if they get any work done or not. They
don't care. Why should they?
to protect public workers from unions' coercion. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME) is ostensibly a public worker union. In truth, it is nothing more than an appendage of the
Democratic Party. One hundred percent of its political contributions go to Democrats, and it works tirelessly to
increase government spending and stop Republicans who want to reform state government. Should AFSCME be able to force
public workers who disagree with its liberal agenda to pay union dues and support it? That was the question before the
Supreme Court this week, when justices heard oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case brought by Illinois child-support
specialist Mark Janus, who argues that forcing him to contribute to union coffers violates his First Amendment rights by
compelling him to support speech with which he disagrees.
time to protect public workers from unions who want them to finance their liberal agenda. The American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is ostensibly a public worker union. In truth, it is
nothing more than an appendage of the Democratic Party. One hundred percent of its political contributions go to
Democrats, and it works tirelessly to increase government spending and stop Republicans who want to reform state
government. Should AFSCME be able to force public workers who disagree with its liberal agenda to pay union dues and
support it? That was the question before the Supreme Court this week, when justices heard oral arguments in Janus
v. AFSCME, a case brought by Illinois child-support specialist Mark Janus, who argues that forcing him to contribute to
union coffers violates his First Amendment rights by compelling him to support speech with which he disagrees.
Public-Sector Unions Deserve
To Be Destroyed. How does a public-sector union work? Easy. First the state creates a monopoly.
Workers in that monopoly create a union. The monopoly forces taxpayers to fund those workers, whether they do a good job
or not. The union then coerces workers to pay dues whether they want to or not. The union uses those dues to
help fund political advocacy that perpetuates their monopoly and the union's influence. So, in other words, racketeering.
Confirmation Is Still the Best Argument for Trump. For some liberals, it's the grudge that never dies. As
the Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in Janus v. AFSCME, the eyes of the nation were riveted on its
newest member: Justice Neil Gorsuch. As it turned, Gorsuch took a page out of Clarence Thomas's book, remaining
silent as the two sides presented their arguments in a case that will determine whether municipal employees have a right to
avoid paying union dues. The last time a similar case was heard, the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the man
whom Gorsuch ultimately replaced on the court, created a 4-4 deadlock. Now, the conservative Gorsuch is poised to cast
the deciding vote that deals a fatal blow to unions' taxation of workers who don't wish to be taxed.
Court Should End Unions' Stranglehold On State, Local Workers. The case of Janus v. AFSCME, now before
the Supreme Court, pits an Illinois state employee against a giant government employees' union in a fight over forcing
nonunion workers to pay union fees. That U.S. law still lets states force public employees to surrender their
constitutional rights in order to keep their jobs is as surprising as it is disappointing. It should have been
overturned long ago.
Court case threatens Democratic bosses' use of union muscle. Can you be forced to give up money to someone
else, who'll then use your cash to push a political agenda with which you disagree? It is technically a First Amendment
issue in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees that is being decided by
the Supreme Court. And it may just be the most important political story in America, about Democratic Party bosses in
blue states who for decades have used public employee unions to maintain their power. Politics is all about who gets
what, when and how much. But it's also about who pays for the generous public pension and health care plans for public
workers in the 22 electoral vote-rich blue states, like Illinois and New Jersey.
Threat Issued by de Blasio In Public Unions Case. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday [2/26/2018]
challenging laws in 22 states and the District of Columbia that force public employees to pay unions to represent them, even
if they disagree with the union's demands and politics. Mark Janus, a child-support specialist and public employee in
Illinois, claims his First Amendment free-speech rights are violated when he's forced to pay money to a union —
the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union "uses my monthly fees to promote an agenda
I don't support," Janus objects. Lawyers advocating for the union resorted to threatening labor strife if the
longstanding Supreme Court precedent favoring mandatory union fees, which dates to 1977, is overturned. Justices Elena
Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, who did most of the talking in support of the mandatory fees, grasped at straws rather than
confronting head-on the free-speech rights of public employees like teachers, police officers and firefighters.
v. AFSCME. The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday morning [2/26/2018] in a case set to undo a seminal 40-year-old
precedent that required all public sector employees to pay their union a "fair share fee" whether or not they'd elected to join.
Janus v. AFSCME is an effective redo of the 2015 case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association,
which ended in a 4-4 tie following Justice Scalia's death — another opportunity to overturn 1977's Abood v.
Detroit Teachers Association.
unions lose the Janus case, how will they survive? Back in 1977, the court ruled that states can require all
public employees represented by a union-including teachers — to chip in part of every paycheck to cover the costs
of collective bargaining. They don't have to join the union, and they don't have to contribute to political activities,
but they have to pay "agency fees" help fund the union's most basic functions. That's because unions negotiate salaries
and benefits for all the employees they represent-even the ones who don't want to join. Now, in Janus vs. AFSCME,
a child support specialist in Illinois is suing his union because he believes that even agency fees violate his First Amendment
right to free speech. He disagrees so strongly with the union that he doesn't want to contribute a single penny to
support it. There's much more than free speech at stake here, though.
sound alarm as Supreme Court takes up fees fight; Gorsuch seen as pivotal vote. Mark Janus has worked for years
as an Illinois state employee, and pays about $550 annually to the powerful public-sector union known as AFSCME. While
not a member of the union, he is required under state law to hand over a weekly portion of his paycheck — which he
says is a violation of his constitutional rights. "I work for Health and Family Services, and I'm forced to pay money
to a union that then supports political causes that I don't agree with," Janus told Fox News.
Administration Is About To Gut Public Sector Labor Unions. As the participation in American workers in labor
unions has plummeted for a variety of reasons, the sole bright spot for organized labor has been in the public sector where
teachers, firefighters, and police officers are routinely part of bargaining units. These unions are sustained, in some
cases, by closed-shop laws that require union membership as the price of employment or the payment of an "agency fee" to the
union to cover contract negotiations and grievance representation if you don't want to be a full member.
in four government workers makes $100K thanks to overtime. One out of every four New York City government
workers pulled in pay of more than $100,000 last year — thanks largely to overtime, according to a new
study. "New York City can be a hub of opportunity, and not just for aspiring Broadway stars. All sorts of city
workers earn big bucks," said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of the government watchdog OpenTheBooks.com, which conducted the
study. About 37,000 of 295,455 full-time city workers receive a salary that tops $100,000.
Supreme Court Will Probably Strike a Huge Blow to Public-Sector Unions. The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear the
case Janus v. AFSCME. It will likely prove to be one of the most consequential labor-law cases in U.S. history. At issue
is whether public-sector workers can be forced to join or pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.
Math Deals Minnesota's Pensions the Biggest Hit in the U.S.. Minnesota's debt to its workers' retirement system
has soared by $33.4 billion, or $6,000 for every resident, courtesy of accounting rules. The jump caused the finances
of Minnesota's pensions to erode more than any other state's last year as accounting standards seek to prevent governments
from using overly optimistic assumptions to minimize what they owe public employees decades from now. Because of
changes in actuarial math, Minnesota in 2016 reported having just 53 percent of what it needed to cover promised benefits,
down from 80 percent a year earlier, transforming it from one of the best funded state systems to the seventh worst,
according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Alligators, Then Drain The Swamp. [Scroll down] Then there are 2.1 million federal employees.
They manage the federal government's agencies, execute the laws that they, not Congressmen, actually write, and judge whether
the rest of us comply — collapsing together and usurping the separation of powers central to our Constitutional order.
And they do so without any accountability to the voters who pay their handsome salaries and Cadillac benefits (85% higher in
value than private employees'). They are, no surprise, stalwart supporters of big-government Democrats, to whom this last
election they gave 95% of their political donations. And don't forget the 3.7 million federal contract-workers who
also do the federal Leviathan's bidding.
Save Public Higher Education, Defang Public Sector Unions. In the New York Times last week, David
Leonhardt denounced "the assault on colleges — and the American Dream" by state legislatures across the country
that are gradually reducing their investments in public higher education. These cuts, Leonhardt says, undermine social
mobility by forcing state colleges to pass over low-income students and enroll less economically diverse freshman classes.
While there are reasonable objections to the way colleges spend the money they do have, the trend Leonhardt describes is indeed
a cause for concern. But why do public university budgets keep getting the ax? It's not (at least not primarily)
about the selfishness of wealthy taxpayers. The real answer is more inconvenient for the Democratic coalition:
Namely, that exploding public pension costs are putting tremendous pressure on state budgets, and higher education is the
softest political target for the belt-tightening needed to make up for it.
pensions in some ways mirror Madoff's Ponzi scheme. A strong case can be made that public pensions are eerily
similar to a Ponzi scheme, and that a similar collapse in some of the most underfunded systems in the country might be
inevitable. That would mean an untold number of new victims that would make the Madoff case seem relatively minor by
comparison. The difference between a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme and the public pension crisis is that government is
complicit in the latter, and that dedicated public servants, state retirees and taxpayers are the ones at risk. I think
we all can agree that taxpayers and state workers who have spent their careers serving residents, teachers included, don't
deserve that. Doubt that will happen? Let's start with Puerto Rico.
Cook County Jail officers call in sick on Mother's Day. More than 200 Cook County Jail officers called off work
Sunday — which also happens to be Mother's Day. About 32 percent of the officers assigned to work from 7 a.m.
to 3 p.m. did not go to work, according to the Cook County Sheriff's office.
The real 1 percent:
The federal workforce. The non-defense, non-postal service part of the federal government comprises about 2
million employees — about 1.37 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Since 2004, federal government average
hourly earnings have increased from $28.57 to $39.19 in 2016, while private sector average hourly earnings have only increased
from $20.91 to $25.67, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, private sector workers
only make about 65.5 percent of their federal government counterparts.
Federal employees get raises about every other year on the job. "Employees who occupy permanent positions earn
[within-grade increases] upon meeting the following three requirements established by law: The employee's performance
must be at an acceptable level of competence. To meet this requirement, an employee's most recent performance rating of
record must be at least Level 3 ('Fully Successful' or equivalent). The employee must have completed the required waiting
period for advancement to the next higher step. The employee must not have received an 'equivalent increase' in pay during
the waiting period." That is the federal government Office of Personnel Management's explanation for when pay increases are
allotted for federal employees. On the surface, this appears to be not automatic, but a merit-based system with a degree of
seniority with waiting periods between steps in order to qualify for a pay raise. As if the pay raises were rare.
Affairs has 346 workers who do only union work. An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans
Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union
while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as "official time." That's according to a report by the nonpartisan
Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not
clear. The VA doesn't track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.
White House Moves Forward With Plan Government Employee Union Dubs 'Dangerous'. In six months, the Trump
administration plans to produce a plan to shrink the size of government, eliminate programs, and reduce the federal
workforce — and is seeking public input on how to proceed.
Trump budget blueprint targets the do-nothings. [Scroll down] According to the Cato Institute, federal
workers average $123,160 a year in pay and benefits, compared to $69,901 in the dreaded private sector. That's a 76 percent
income gap between the two sectors, up from 39 percent two decades ago. Not to mention, it's almost impossible to fire any
of these sloths for just cause — look at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Public sector employees take 38 percent
more time off than people with real jobs. And now they're increasingly avoiding their own offices. They "telecommute," and
what a joke that is, at least for federal employees. Thanks to direct deposit, they no longer even have to appear twice a
month to pick up their paychecks. How overpaid are these slugs? Seven of the 10 U.S. counties with the highest per-capita
income are inside the D.C. Beltway. Those who produce nothing are the most richly compensated.
Law Enforcement Union Sues To Block Police Accountability. Because there's just not enough opacity shrouding
police misconduct and not enough slanting of the criminal justice system against defendants, California police unions have
decided to get involved in a judicial dispute over lists of law enforcement officers whose half of "our word against yours"
isn't quite as bulletproof as is normally assumed.
All Federal Employees Fireable. The American people are paying for employees they can't even control.
Federal bureaucrats enjoy ludicrous protections that far exceed what average Americans can expect in their own jobs and thus
isolate the bureaucracy from the will of the American people. To correct this, Congress should pass a law to make all
federal employees serve at will — just like Americans in the private sector. If a bureaucrat underperforms,
undermines policy, or is no longer needed, he should be dismissed. Once upon a time, this was common sense.
Five easy pieces
[to add to the Trump agenda]. [President Trump should] reform the civil service so that the large number of
people who work for the government and are not doing anything but sitting at desks can be dropped from the taxpayers' expense
account. Once again, reconciliation could be used — in this instance, to direct a ten percent reduction in
the workforces of all federal agencies, with the exception of the Department of Defense. A system-wide cut in
personnel, using attrition and allowing termination for non-performance, is the only way to get real action.
Worker Union Is Blocking Republican VA Reforms. President-elect Donald Trump promised to fire incompetent and
dishonest Department of Veterans Affairs employees, but he will have to fight the American Federation of Government
Employees — the largest federal worker union — every step of the way. During the 115th Congress,
Trump — along with Republican majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives — can enact
sweeping reforms to improve every department and agency in the federal workplace. Republicans controlled the 114th
Congress, too, but outgoing Democratic President Barack Obama routinely threatened to veto GOP proposals. Trump and
AFGE already share some history. When the GOP presidential candidate proposed expanding a VA program that lets veterans
get private medical care, AFGE quickly blasted the idea.
in Metro-North crash that killed 4 to get lifetime pension. The engineer who fell asleep at the controls of a
speeding Metro-North train that derailed killing four people will receive a lifetime disability pension. The Journal
News reports that William Rockefeller will receive $3,200 a month from Metro-North Railroad. Rockefeller was at the
controls of a Metro-North train that derailed in the Bronx in December 2013. Four passengers were killed and dozens
Make Millions More Off Federal Unions, Bureaucrats Than Republicans. Federal civil servants and government
employee unions donated far more money to Democrats seeking public office than Republicans in 2016, campaign contribution
records show. More than 82 percent of $4.3 million in donations from nine major federal unions went to Democrats,
Center for Responsive Politics data shows, FedSmith.com reported Wednesday [12/21/2016]. Likewise, Democrats raked in
82 percent of $6.6 million in donations from employees of 11 federal agencies and Senate and House of Representatives staff.
in Big D. When Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013, the city's emergency-financial team said that high levels
of retirement debt could prevent them from rescuing the Motor City's finances. Detroit had been in economic decline for
decades, and the pension problem — including billions of dollars in bonuses handed out while the city was hurtling
toward insolvency — was just one part of the depressing financial picture. Dallas, by contrast, has been one
of the fastest-growing American cities in recent years. Becoming a magnet for investment and opportunity, however,
hasn't protected the Texas city from experiencing its own Detroit-style financial crisis.
government workers union is ready to "fight back" against Trump. With the Republicans back in charge across the
board there was bound to be a showdown coming with the unions sooner or later. In the case of federal workers, some
union leaders apparently aren't willing to even wait for the new administration to move into the office. J. David Cox,
the president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is drawing the battle lines early and plans to take
the fight directly to Trump if he tries to meddle in the union's affairs.
And GOP Congress Want To Make It Easier To Fire Federal Employees. We live in an age when it is increasingly
difficult to terminate employees. Some companies go through an abundance of caution before terminating an employee
unless they're caught doing some egregious. Firing an employee for poor work performance is more difficult. It is
nearly impossible when the person works for the federal government. The protections for federal workers often come as
the result of federal unions negotiating with friendly Democrats in Congress to gain those protections. The unions
repay the favor by endorsing Democrats and donating to their campaigns. It is quite a racket. And it is one that
is a drain on taxpayer dollars as well as efficiencies within government agencies. If there is no fear of being
terminated, what point is there in working hard?
Service reform should be near the top of Trump's agenda. The federal government requires structural
reform. Because it is very expensive and time-consuming to fire anyone, bad behavior is not just tolerated but
propagated. Civil Service protections originally intended to guard against a politicized bureaucracy have now become
guarantors of the high-handedness and lack of accountability we saw with Lois Lerner, now retired with a six-figure pension
after pleading the Fifth Amendment. Government employee unions have become a mainstay of the Democratic Party, with
employee dues, harvested from taxpayers via salaries, laundered into the party's coffers. So the Democrats will fight
like hell, up to and including a filibuster, mass demonstrations, and possible violence. Donald Trump will need to
persuade the public, and mobilize public opinion against those Democrat senators who resist the reform movement. There
are 23 Democrat senators up for re-election in 2018, and some of them must be made to get very nervous.
Workers Make Nearly Double Private Sector Employees, Still Demand Pay Hike. Federal workers make on average
nearly twice as much as those in the private sector, but government employee unions want a pay increase more than three times
larger than President Barack Obama proposed. The American Federation Of Government Employees, American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees, American Postal Workers' Union and 20 other unions representing federal employees
sent a letter to Congress seeking a 5.3 percent pay hike next year. Obama proposed a 1.6 percent increase.
states spend more on government employee pensions than they do on universities. According to Chad Aldeman of
Bellwether Education Partners, 10 states spend more on government employee pensions than on all public colleges and
universities combined: California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon and
Pennsylvania. According to the Cook Political Report, eight of those 10 states lean Democratic. "Like the
insatiable Pac-Man, pensions are eating further and further into state and local education budgets, eating up dollars that
could be spent on lots of other things," Aldeman says. "That's true for all public services, but higher education is
uniquely harmed by rising pension costs." He says these 10 states are "near the bottom of the list in terms of
responsibly funding their pension plans."
Public Employees Unions Facilitate Corruption. The very existence of public employee unions with their mandatory
dues requirements used primarily for political purposes commands corruption absolutely. (For today we will leave aside the
fact that such mandatory dues payments violates a person's First Amendment rights — including the right to not associate politically
with others.) The recent incident involving Federico Buenrostros, the former chairman of CalPERS (Californian Public Employees
Retirement System) and the indictment of former board member Alfred Villalobos (now deceased due to suicide) was just the most
recent evidence of such corruption.
Union Power Grab: Thousands Slowing Down Airports. When it comes to public employee unions, there's no
such thing as a coincidence. All you travelers stuck in mile-long TSA security lines are pawns. Convenient
political pawns. Big Labor bosses want more power and more money. Stranded travelers are just the latest victims
in this age-old game of D.C. extortion. Union leaders want you to think the fault lies with a stingy Congress unwilling
to fork over enough money to fill screener shortages. White House spokesman Josh Earnest poured more partisan fuel on
the fire last week by blaming the nationwide slowdowns on "the inability of Republicans in Congress to govern the country."
Problem Could Push Much Of America Into Bankruptcy. Puerto Rico's recent financial woes have deflected attention from a problem
potentially far "yuger," as Donald Trump might say: The $3.4 trillion black hole at the center of state and local pensions. [...]
The problem is surprisingly simple: States and cities overestimate returns on their pension fund investments, while systematically
underfunding them. The result is a growing deficit that will require massive tax hikes or dramatic and painful cuts in government
services and promised pensions to public workers.
worker reinstated with back pay after missing time due to being in prison for armed robbery. The VA is a place
where people tend to somehow magically fail upward. By that I simply mean that workers at all levels can be caught up
in any sort of malfeasance or incompetence and not only retain their jobs, but apparently profit from their actions.
Worker Gets Job Back Despite Armed Robbery Charge. A Department of Veterans Affairs employee in Puerto Rico was
fired after being arrested for armed robbery, but her union quickly got her reinstated — despite a guilty plea —
by pointing out that management's labor relations negotiator is a registered sex offender, and the hospital's director was once
arrested and found with painkiller drugs. The woman missed work while sitting in jail but was reinstated in March with
back pay. The incident illustrates how union-backed civil service rules that rely on precedent combine with VA's past
failures to discipline problem employees of all ranks to keep convicted criminals on its payroll.
Why It's All But Impossible To Fire A Fed. Federal workers are far more likely to be audited by the IRS or get
arrested for drunk driving than they are to be fired from the civil service payroll for poor performance or misconduct.
The odds are one-in-175 for the IRS audit and one-in-200 for the drunk driving arrest, while the odds for a fed to be fired
in a given year are one-in-500, according to the Government Accountability Office. The rate is higher for employees who are
in the one-year probationary period that follows their hiring. Private sector workers face just the opposite situation.
Supreme Court rejects NJ
employees' appeal over pension fund. The Supreme Court refused on Monday to disturb a ruling from New Jersey's top court that sided with
Gov. Chris Christie in a legal fight with public worker unions over pension funds.
of Union Members Worked for Government in 2015. The percentage of American wage and salary workers who belonged
to a union was only 11.1 percent in 2015, but the percentage of union members who worked for government was 48.9 percent,
according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The union membership rate — the percent of wage and
salary workers who were members of unions — was 11.1 percent in 2015, unchanged from 2014," the BLS said in press release
published today [1/28/2016].
grants federal workers a half day off on Christmas Eve. This whole discussion kicked off when the nation's
federal workers petitioned the President to get the day after Thanksgiving off with pay. That effort fell through, but never
ones to be easily deterred, they followed it up with a request for Christmas Eve off as an extra paid holiday. The online
poll never really needed to be run on this one because the President has relented to the cries of his unions, at least in part,
announcing a half day off with pay on Thursday the 24th.
third of Chicago city workers make $100k or more. Nearly one out of every three workers on the city of Chicago payroll made
$100,000 or more last year — a far higher percentage of six-figure employees than in state or Cook County government.
That's according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis that for the first time combines city workers' salaries, overtime and other extra pay.
Gave Bonuses to Employees Caught Sleeping and Drinking on the Job. The Social Security Administration gave
bonuses to employees who were caught sleeping and drinking on the job, according to a new audit by the agency's inspector
general. The agency paid out $145,000 in bonuses in 2013 to employees who were written up or suspended for misconduct.
Some employees received performance awards after they were suspended for sexual harassment and bringing weapons to work.
America's Soft Tyranny is
Hardening. Lerner and Clinton are the tip of a very big iceberg. Because there are so many federal union
regulations to protect them, they literally cannot be fired. They get away with doing no work, abusing their spouses, being
pedophiles, watching porn on the taxpayer dime, bilking the taxpayer for extravagant vacations (the Obamas are the worst offenders
on this score). When such abuses are discovered, government employees may be chastised or demoted but will not be fired,
no matter how egregious their misbehavior. No matter what their crimes, they keep their jobs, their pensions, and their
phony dignity. Ask any divorce lawyer how many of his or her clients divorcing government employees who have abused them in
countless ways get away with their abuse. They can stalk, cheat, beat and bilk their spouses and will not be punished.
Government employees are a protected class, as surely as Obama and sanctuary cities have made criminal illegal immigrants a protected
class, to the dangerous detriment of law-abiding citizens.
Plan To Erase Federal Unions Is Good Start. In a bid to re-energize his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov.
Scott Walker has proposed eliminating federal employee unions if elected. Good idea. Now how about a plan to
get rid of a few federal agencies, too?
total compensation for Redwood City firefighters — at least $226,365. Back in February 2014 the
California Policy Center publicly announced the Transparent California website, developed in partnership with the Nevada
Policy Research Institute. An article covering this announcement was posted on the Forbes Magazine website, entitled
"Hundreds Of California Government Employees Are Paid Over $400,000 A Year," which a review of 2013 Transparent California
data (2014 data is still being assembled) easily confirms. As a matter of fact, in 2013, total compensation in excess of
$400,000 was paid to 1,292 public servants in California. A staggering 2,818 of California's public employees collected
total compensation in excess of $300,000 in 2013.
blast loophole that forces taxpayers to fund public sector union work. Bob Nicks has
firefighting in his blood, but for the last four years, the Texas battalion chief has earned his
six-figure salary sitting at a desk doing union work instead of running into burning buildings and
saving lives. As president of Austin Firefighters Association/IAFF Local 975, Nicks is
office-bound by order of the chief, even though he believes he could handle union business with one
weekly shift and spend the rest of his time on the job doing what he loves. He is paid for what
is known as "release time," hours public sector union officials spend doing union business that are
paid by their employers — taxpayers.
Public Schools lays off 1,400 so it can make pension payment. In order to make a massive pension
payment today [6/30/2015], Chicago Public Schools announced it will have to lay off 1,400 employees. Even
before these firings there were already more retirees collecting pensions than current workers paying into the
pension system. If that sounds unsustainable — it is. The devil's bargain Democratic
politicians made with the teachers unions is a disaster for Chicago taxpayers. And for Chicago school children.
Makes Full Pension Payment; 1,400 Layoffs Expected. The Chicago Board of Education
made its pension payment on schedule Tuesday [6/30/2015], but at a cost — massive
layoffs. The meet the $634 million obligation, the board used a combination of borrowed money,
$200 million dollars in cuts and layoffs it promised before talks with the Chicago Teachers Union
broke down last week.
over FDNY activist's 'white boy privilege' rant. The leader of the city's female
firefighters has sparked outrage for blasting "white boys" and "white privilege." Sarinya
Srisakul, president of United Women's Firefighters, is taking heat from fellow Bravest after some
found her online comments.
union wants more exemptions from L.A. proposal to lock up handguns. Los Angeles lawmakers have
been mulling new rules that would require residents to lock up their handguns or disable them with a trigger
lock when they are not being used. But the plan, championed by Councilman Paul Krekorian as a way to spare
children from deadly accidents, spurred opposition from the city police officers' union, which argues that
current and former officers shouldn't be held to those rules.
Employees Claimed to Work 40 Hours Per Day. Timesheets for employees of Amtrak are
riddled with abuse, according to a recent audit report, with cases of workers claiming over 40 hours
of work in a single day. The audit released by Amtrak's Office of Inspector General (OIG) Thursday
[6/18/2015] found examples of abuse in the overtime system, which totaled nearly $200 million in
overtime pay last year. "[Calendar Year] CY 2014 timesheet data revealed trends and patterns that
indicate potential fraud, waste, and abuse in the reporting of overtime and regular time," the audit
said. "Some of these trends and patterns may be justified because of the complexity of union
agreement rules, the nature of jobs, and the functions employees perform."
for Slackers. Wouldn't you like to have a job where you get paid to slack off, and no
matter what, have a powerful authority to back you up, winning battles to preserve your salary,
benefits, and your every demand if your boss tries to fire you? It's a fact of life for many
government workers. A dive into government labor fights at the Federal Labor Relations Authority
(FLRA) reveals a nasty secret — the great lengths federal unions go to protect government
slackers, at your expense.
finds millions in overtime pay at L.A. transportation department. Last year, the
average employee who paints stripes on roads and installs street signs for the Los Angeles
Department of Transportation made $48,100 in overtime, almost six times what most other city workers
received. Four supervisors claimed $70,000 in OT, and one manager drew $155,319, effectively
tripling his salary. Those and other findings were in a transportation department audit issued
Tuesday by City Controller Ron Galperin. It revealed in particular that workers in the paint and
sign division collected what Galperin characterized as "staggering" amounts of overtime, costing the
city $3.3 million in a single year and raising concerns that some of the extra pay might have been
Illinois Public Sector Unions Destroyed Chicago. What happens when you've been kicking
the fiscal can down the road for years, but the road suddenly hits a dead end? That's what
Chicago — and the state of Illinois — are about to find out. Chicago's
immediate problem is yesterday's credit downgrade by Moody's Investors Services, which turned its
debt to junk and could force the city to immediately come up with $2.2 billion to satisfy
debts and other obligations.
Supreme Court Rules That State Taxpayers are Now Slaves to Public Sector Unions.
Illinois taxpayers learned this week that they are essentially slaves if they live in the state of
Illinois. The Illinois Supreme Court just ruled that public pensions do not have to abide by the
laws of mathematics. This means taxpayers are on the hook for actuarially impossible to pay pensions
for public employees.
sector wage gap heavily favors many L.A. city workers. Among the city workers who are
currently threatening to strike amid contract negotiations that have stalled over pay and other
issues, many collect salaries higher than those who do similar jobs in both the public and private
sectors, a Los Angeles Times analysis has found. The analysis, which compared 2014 city and
federal wage data, shows that three of the five largest job categories represented by Service
Employees International Union Local 721 — the biggest and most prominent of the unions
now in contract talks with the city — pay more than double the median salary of similar
full-time, private-sector jobs in Los Angeles County.
of Officer Who Shot Unarmed Suspect Shows Benefits of Non-Unionized Police Departments. Americans were stunned last week by
graphic video of North Charleston, S.C. Police Officer Michael T. Slager shooting an unarmed suspect in the back after a routine
traffic stop. The video led to Slager both being charged with murder and fired from the North Charleston Police Department.
Slager's quick dismissal from the department stands in stark contrast to similar incidents in other cities which, unlike North Charleston,
have unionized police departments.
foot bill for union work, lawmakers seek change. It's called "official time," and it
was sanctioned into law by Congress in 1978. Lawmakers voted to allow federal employees who are
union members to spend part of their day addressing union issues. The reason behind the law: Federal
employees are not required to join a union even if they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
The Civil Service Reform Act was designed to make up the financial gap of unions having to represent
employees who did not pay dues, by allowing federal workers to "volunteer" time during their working hours
to address grievances, work on collective bargaining and deal with other issues.
Union: Obama's Weak Immigration Policy Is Inviting An Attack Worse Than 9/11.
President Barack Obama's lax immigration policies are inviting another massive jihad attack similar
to the 9/11 atrocity, says Kenneth Palinkas, president of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services employees' union. Obama's deputies are "lessening the vetting of each and every alien
who applies for permanent residency or citizenship in the U.S.," Palinkas said in a statement
Tuesday [3/3/2015]. "By not scrutinizing each and every applicant to the fullest extent possible
to ensure America's security, we invite an even more catastrophic event than what occurred on
09/11/2001," he said.
Just how hard is it to fire a federal gov't employee? Thanks to the litigious nature of American
culture, employers in the private sector have a tough time firing people for poor performance. Misconduct,
especially that caught in the act, generally is an exception to that trend. CBS News discovers that's not
the case in the federal civil-service system, where chronic bad behavior and even spending half the day watching
Internet porn doesn't qualify for immediate termination. Instead, it starts a process that can last as
long as two years, and often just means that managers shrug off bad behavior and bad performance ... even when
the employee presents a threat to others: [Video clip]
data on average compensation for municipal employees in California. Would you like
your kids to go to work for an outfit where employees average between two hundred grand and a
quarter mill? Forget about investment banks or law firms, tell them to go to work for a fire
protection district in California. [...] The average full-time compensation for employees of 55
North Bay cities was $130,172 in 2013, with thousands earning more than $200,000 a year and hundreds
more earning more than $50,000 in overtime alone.
bonanza at Port Authority; 13 officers set to make more than agency's director. Three
years after New York State issued a scathing report criticizing what it characterized as excessive
overtime at the Port Authority, 131 of the agency's employees worked so much overtime in the first
nine months of this year that they already more than doubled their annual base salaries.
sleeping 12 times on job can't be fired. She's the FDNY's "Sleeping Duty." The city
stripped EMT Serele Ehrlich of her lieutenant's rank after co-workers and bosses accused her of sleeping
on the job an astounding 12 times. The 57-year-old serial snoozer endangered the public for
half a decade while on duty — snoring during training sessions, dozing at her desk and catching
some Zs behind the wheel of her command vehicle, the FDNY contended.
in Akai Gurley shooting texted union while man died: report. The New York City policeman who fatally shot
an unarmed black man in a housing project did not tell his boss or a 911 operator about the incident for more than six
minutes, according to a report in the New York Daily News. But as Akai Gurley lay dying, the cops were busy texting
their union representative in those vital moments, the paper reported, citing unnamed sources.
5-day firing notice too long for Congress, too short for lawyers. The Department of
Veterans Affairs and Congress are battling over whether the VA is firing employees fast enough as
part of a major management overhaul, but legal analysts say even the five-day notice the
administration has settled on is too short and employees who have been fired could sue to get their
jobs back — with taxpayers on the hook for back pay. Veterans Affairs officials said
they came up with the five-day notice based on the advice of their attorneys, though members of
Congress said even that was too long because it gives targeted employees a chance to retire and
collect lifetime benefits.
union work by federal employees on 'official time' costs taxpayers millions. Unionized
federal employees spent 2.48 million hours working for their labor unions while getting paid by
taxpayers during 2013, and more than 360 workers who are on the federal payroll spent 100 percent of
their time working for their union. Under federal rules, employees who are members of a labor
union are entitled to so-called "official time," where they are dismissed from their duties as a
government employee to engage in labor union organizing activities.
Sen. Ron Johnson Is Federal Workers' New Worst Nightmare. Until now, Rep. Darrell Issa
(R-CA), chair of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, has been the bane of federal
government employees. Issa has skewered the performance of the IRS, the Justice Department, Health
and Human Services and other agencies and regularly called officials on the carpet to answer for
allegations of government waste and mismanagement. Now, government workers and their union
leaders may be facing a lot more heat beginning early next year, when Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is
almost certain to head up the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which
oversees the federal work force.
of federal workers on extended paid leave. Tens of thousands of federal workers are being kept on paid leave for at
least a month — and often for longer stretches that can reach a year or more — while they wait to be punished
for misbehavior or cleared and allowed to return to work, government records show. During a three-year period that ended last
fall, more than 57,000 employees were sent home for a month or longer. The tab for these workers exceeded $775 million in
Forked Over Back Pay for a Food Inspector Who Didn't Notice Rats in a Pasta Plant. A
food inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture who was suspended for failing to discover that
rats had infested a pasta-making plant has won a fight to overturn his punishment and get back pay.
Now, a federal labor board has directed an arbitrator to consider whether taxpayers also should
reimburse the $67,589-a-year federal worker for legal costs — which his union already
covered — even though the food inspector didn't notice rat feces in a storage room where
a bag of flour was ripped open.
judge questions sacredness of government employee pensions. When government employees
buy the California legislature with huge campaign contributions, one of the benefits they expect in
return is absolute protection of the lush pensions they are promised, even when their employer goes
into bankruptcy. Thus, California law insists that Calpers, the state-backed agency used to provide
many government employees with their pensions, is granted very special powers, including the right
to seize assets and liquidate them to provide for full payment of pensions, even when other
creditors are paid a penny on the dollar.
Of Labor Employees To Rally Against Obama Officials Over Discrimination Claims. The union representing employees
of the Department of Labor (DOL) plan to hold a rally at its Washington headquarters next Wednesday, Oct. 1, to protest
instances of alleged discrimination overseen by top Obama administration officials at the department. The Daily Caller obtained
a "12 Alert" document circulating among members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12.
'spiking' to cost CalPERS nearly $800 million, controller says. Taxpayers and local
governments are on the hook to pay nearly $800 million stemming from "legal" pension spiking over
the next two decades, the state controller said Tuesday [9/9/2014]. The price tag came as Controller John
Chiang issued a new audit of the California Public Employees' Retirement System. The audit of 11
state and local government agencies found no illegal pension spiking but concluded that the country's
largest public retirement fund makes itself vulnerable to the practice by not aggressively reviewing
its 3,100 member agencies' payroll records.
IRS worker got $138,000 to do 'nothing' — and union saved her job.
Underperforming IRS workers are being protected from firing by the National Treasury Employees Union
in the tax agency that let workers devote 500,000 hours — worth over $20 million in
salary — on labor activities last year, according to internal emails revealed Wednesday
[9/10/2014]. The House Ways and Means Committee said that emails from former IRS executive Lois
Lerner, being probed for her involvement in the agency's targeting of conservatives, show she vented
at being blocked from firing one worker who did "nothing," yet still received up to $138,136 a year.
to pay $26 million for ban on naps by garbage-truck drivers. The Los Angeles City
Council on Tuesday [8/12/2014] finalized a $26-million legal settlement to end a lawsuit over a ban
on lunchtime naps by trash-truck drivers. The expenditure, approved on a 9-2 vote, resolves a
class-action lawsuit involving nearly 1,100 sanitation workers who said they were improperly barred
from sleeping and engaging in other activities during their meal breaks.
3X More Likely to Get Fired in Private Sector Than in Gov't. In May 2014, there were 1,491,000 layoffs and
discharges in the private sector and 84,000 layoffs and discharges in government, meaning layoffs and discharges in the
private sector were more than 17 times more likely than in government.
no work, federal employees entertain themselves with online pornography. At the
Environmental Protection Agency, a senior official spent so much time watching
pornography while on the federal clock that the Office of the Inspector General
dispatched a special agent to look into it — and the official continued watching
porn while the OIG agent was in his office. At the Federal Communications Commission —
which, among other things, polices pornography — employees routinely spend the equivalent
of a full workday each week watching porn. At the General Services Administration —
which, like the FCC, has a lot of fingers in a lot of pies, being charged with minimizing federal
operating costs — employees spend up to six hours a day watching porn on the taxpayers'
dime. At Commerce, paralegals were paid upward of $4 million to do no work —
any guesses how they filled their days?
workers paid to exercise, shop and do chores, investigation reveals. Dozens of
employees working for an obscure federal agency went years with little work to do, allowing them to
collect salaries and bonuses while they shopped online, caught up on chores, watched television or
walked the dog, an investigation revealed Tuesday [7/29/2014]. The probe by the Commerce
Department's inspector general found that paralegals at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's
appeals board were paid more than $5 million for their time even though there was so little
work for them to do that supervisors didn't care how they used it.
Partisans. Something has gone wrong in our civil service. Consider some recent
developments. The IRS was forced to pay the National Organization for Marriage $50,000 for leaking
the group's donor list. Tea-party organizations and donors were much more likely than others to be
audited by the IRS. This misbehavior was not the work of a few rogue employees in Cincinnati. In
general, the IRS stalled tea-party applications for status as 501(c)(4) groups. Meanwhile, April
Sands, an employee of the FEC, recently pleaded guilty to violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits
federal employees from campaigning at the office. Ms. Sands, who worked in the office charged with
enforcing our election laws, recently said, "I just don't understand how anyone but straight white
men can vote Republican." What business does such a person have in that office in the first place?
Somehow the FEC managed to wipe her computer clean, weakening the case against her. Perhaps that
answers our question. These cases reflect a larger pattern.
Union Boss Colleen Kelley: The Missing Link to Obama? On March 31, 2010, the day
before the Inspector General's report says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began its scheme to
target tea party and conservative groups, the White House Visitors Log reveals that President Barack
Obama met with IRS union boss Colleen Kelley. In a notable feat of investigative journalism,
American Spectator reporter Jeffrey Lord exposed what appears to be an unholy alliance among the
White House, Democrat members of Congress and the thousands of IRS employees, who are members of the
far-left, anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).
The President met with anti-Tea Party IRS union chief the day before agency targeted the Tea Party.
Obama And The IRS: The
Smoking Gun? In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party
labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of
the IRS "Determinations Unit Program agreed" to open a "Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases."
As stated by the IG report. The NTEU is the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along
with 30 other separate government agencies.
Employee Union Yanks Black Education Money After Charity Accepts Funds from Conservatives. The United
Negro College Fund, whose famous motto is, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," recently accepted a $25 million
grant from the Koch brothers. In case you don't listen to the Democrat's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the
Koch brothers are the "infamous" billionaires who subvert democracy by funding numerous conservative causes and
organizations. This has angered the largest government employee's union in the country —
AFSCME. In fact, AFSCME has pulled all of its funding from UNCF and said it will no longer work with them.
Ending the federal
worker gravy train. This month's congressional hearing on outlandish bonuses at the
Veterans Administration is the latest proof that the nation needs to overhaul how federal workers
in every department are paid and promoted. They're on the gravy train, and taxpayers are being
taken for a ride. Back in 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton Act to replace patronage with a
federal civil service in which workers would be hired and paid based on merit. There is no MERIT
anymore. Scramble the letters. What you have now is a TIMER system. Workers put in
time and get hefty salaries and bonuses, regardless of work quality, with virtually no risk of being fired.
Union Demands Major Upgrades to Taxpayer-Funded Research Facility. The labor union
representing employees at the National Weather Service is demanding major upgrades to a new water
resources facility at the University of Alabama, including that each employee have a soundproof
office, receive a pay increase, and have access to a community garden. The National Water Center
will soon open on the University campus in Tuscaloosa, after construction was completed in December
2013. The National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) has submitted a list of demands
to add to the $18.8 million facility before they begin their work.'Do It Yourself, White
Boy!' Life at the VA. Another lifetime ago, those five words were spoken to me in a
VA hospital in New Orleans. Another typical civil service, morbidly obese nurse biding her time
until retirement. The patient was a WW1 vet (who'd been gassed, etc.) and he needed to have his
bladder catheterized. I wrote the order that was countersigned by a resident but it didn't happen.
A few hours later I returned. I asked about it and was told,"Do it yourself, white boy!" So I did,
although I fumbled my way through the procedure since his 90-year-old prostate was the size of Delaware.
He'd been hurting for hours while this lady did her very minimal job as well as her nails.
Vets Wait, VA Employees Do Union Work. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
paid at least $11.4 million to 174 nurses, mental-health specialists, therapists, and other
health-care professionals who, instead of caring for veterans, worked full-time doing union business.
The list of these taxpayer-funded union representatives at VA offices around the nation and their salaries
was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Georgia representative Phil Gingrey's staff and
provided to National Review Online.
Unions Share the Blame For VA Deaths. Encouraging vets on Medicare to use civilian
care instead of Veterans Affairs' could cut the patient backlog at the VA by as much as half,
solving a national crisis. Almost half of vets are older than 65, and nearly all vets using the
VA have Medicare coverage. Often, they'd be better off getting their bypass surgeries and cancer
operations at civilian hospitals that do higher volumes of these age-related procedures and have
better survival rates, instead of sticking with the VA. But the VA fails to tell them.
The culprit is the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that dominates the VA.
For AFGE, the VA is a jobs program. The union wants more patients, bigger VA budgets, and
more staff, never mind what ailing vets need.
gets a perfect score! Federal financial agency ditches employee performance ratings.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog department created in 2011 to create a level
financial playing field for American consumers, has scrapped its internal employee performance
review process following revelations that nonunion workers and caucasians routinely scored better
than unionized employees and minorities in 2013. The annual performance reviews award scores on a
scale from 1 to 5 and are closely tied to salary raises, bonuses and career advancement. Instead
of keeping the scores in place, agency leaders have decided to award all of their 1,100 employees
ratings of '5.'
33 Democrats Opposed a Bill to
Make VA Bureaucrats Easier to Fire. On Wednesday, the House of Representative overwhelming approved the Department of Veterans
Affairs Management Accountability Act, a bill that would relax the standard bureaucratic red tape that makes it exceedingly difficult to fire
government employees, even those implicated in an embarrassing scandal. The vote was not unanimous, however, as 33 Democrats for some
reason voted against the legislation. The opposition was comprised of union-backed liberals, as well as lawmakers such as Jim Moran (Va.),
Steny Hoyer (Md.), and Chris Van Hollen (Md.), who represent the D.C. suburbs where many senior VA employees reside.
workers spent 521,725 hours on union activities; cost taxpayers $23.5m. The Treasury Department has revealed to
the House Ways and Means Committee that Internal Revenue Service employees spent over 500,000 hours on union activities last year.
They estimated the cost to taxpayers at $23.5 million in salary and benefits. Officials told [the Washington Examiner] that
the exact hours IRS members of the National Treasury Employees Union dedicated to labor activities was 521,725 in fiscal 2013, which
ran from October 2012 to September 2013. That was slightly less than the 573,319 hours in fiscal 2012, according to the IRS,
but the spending was significantly above that year's total of $16 million.
votes 390-33 to speed up VA firings. The House on Wednesday [5/21/2014] overwhelmingly passed a
bill to grant the Veterans Affairs secretary expanded authority to fire senior executives for poor performance.
The measure passed on a 390-33 vote amid allegations that veterans encountered delays in access to medical care at
multiple VA hospitals across the country, leading to dozens of deaths. All 33 votes in opposition came from
Democrats, including leadership Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.) and James Clyburn (S.C.). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
(D-Calif.) voted to approve the measure.
bill to allow VA chief to more easily fire workers. The House easily passed legislation Wednesday
[5/21/2014] that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs secretary to fire or demote senior employees, a
proposal that gained support after allegations of mismanagement at the agency. The VA Management
Accountability Act was first introduced before the recent firestorm over reports that VA medical facilities concealed
long waits for healthcare. But the recent developments led House leaders to accelerate its consideration.
The Editor asks...
Why just the VA? Why not make every government employee accountable for his or her actions?
Here is the answer: unions want absolute job security no matter what.
as air traffic controller in 2009 crash returns to work. An air traffic controller who
was joking on his cellphone about grilling a cat when he could have been preventing a deadly midair
collision off Manhattan is back on the job — and now he's routing planes around coastal
Virginia, an area teeming with military jets. Carlyle Turner, 42, is in a control tower again
despite a federal investigation that faulted him in a 2009 accident in which a private single-engine
plane crashed into a helicopter full of tourists over the Hudson River. All nine people aboard
both aircraft were killed.
thinks big for S.F. city workers' next contract. The SEIU's proposed new contract with
the city includes calls for:
• A 15 percent raise over the next three
• A $21-an-hour minimum wage for all city workers.
A free clinic just for city workers to go along with the health coverage.
A free $50,000 life insurance policy for SEIU workers. Seven other city unions already have
free life insurance.
Great moments in union contracts.
Following up on the sensational Blue Line crash at the Chicago Transit Authority's O'Hare Airport terminus: "The CTA's
contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union authorizes the agency to fire rail operators who have had two serious safety
violations in a short period of time [emphasis added], and officials said the two incidents when [Brittney] Haywood
dozed off qualify her for termination." Falling asleep just once at the controls of a train wasn't enough!
workers make up to twice as much as others doing same job. Across the country, employees of
companies with federal contracts make up to twice what others doing the same work in the region make,
dramatically increasing the costs to taxpayers, a Washington Examiner analysis found. Under the
Service Contract Act of 1965, contractors are paid a minimum wage determined to be "prevailing" in the area
by the Labor Department. But those "prevailing wages" are often far off the mark, according to the
analysis, which compared every SCA "district" with far more authoritative figures compiled by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics.
How to Become a (Public
Pension) Millionaire. Detroit and San Bernardino and Stockton, Calif. are in bankruptcy, and across the
country the costs of maintaining pensions for city and state employees more than doubled to nearly $84 billion in
2011 from 2002. Yet the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme) declares that public
pensions are "modest," noting that its average member "receives a pension of approximately $19,000 per year after a
career of public service." The facts don't agree. Data compiled from all state pensions show that, for
employees who spend a career in state government, generous pensions put retired public workers among the highest
earners in their state.
Bleeding NJ Dry. There is no single cause for the public pension crisis threatening the financial stability of states, counties
and local municipalities across the U.S. Instead, its origins more closely resemble an actuarial version of the notorious death by a
thousand cuts. Fingers of blame can be pointed at self-serving politicians who doled out generous benefits to public employee unions
seeking support at the polls in return. Union leaders are accountable, too, accepting short-term perks without seeing the potential
long-term harm. [...] Then there are the myriad loopholes and outright scams such as the age-old tactic of public employees loading up
on overtime while approaching retirement to artificially goose their final annual payout.
Public Union Dust Still Settling in Wisconsin, Three Years After
Act 10. Tuesday marks the third anniversary of Gov. Walker signing Act 10 into law, restricting public unions. It
ended nearly all public union rights in Wisconsin, except for police and firefighters. The law left first-responder unions, intact.
As for the others, some of their leaders say the dust is still settling. Kim Kohlhaas has come up with what she believes is a great way to
describe her union these days. "We are evolving," Kohlhaas says.
Police detective tops
Paterson's overtime list with $132,000 in extra pay. City police officer Virginio Formentin made $132,269 in overtime in 2013,
marking the second year in a row that he topped all municipal employees in that category, according to payroll records.
Only in New Jersey: Get a government job, retire on
$195,000 per year!. New Jersey's public pension system is $47 billion in the hole. But that doesn't derail the gravy train.
Number of NJ public
retirees with pension of at least 100K climbs 75 percent in 3 years. In 2010, 992 retired New Jersey public employees pulled in a pension
of at least $100,000 per year. By the end of 2013, that figure had swelled to 1,731 — an increase of about 75 percent.
A new report from New Jersey Watchdog goes into detail on exactly who is getting a six-figure annual payout in retirement, although some still hold
other tax-payer funded positions. The Watchdog report comes after it was revealed that the state's pension fund is in a $47 billion hole.
Progressive Democrats are Going to Bankrupt One State at
a Time. Time to start watching U.S. cities go bankrupt. Prior to Detroit, there was Stockton, California, and, according to Stephen
Moore, now the chief economist with the Heritage Foundation, there are more than sixty of the largest cities that "are plagued with the same kinds
of retirement legacy costs that sent Detroit in Chapter 9 bankruptcy" last year. "Keep an eye on 'too big to fail' cities like Chicago,
Philadelphia, and New York," he warned. Among the twenty cities he listed in an August 2013 Newsmax article, he cited Compton and Oakland, CA,
Harrisburg, PA, and Providence, RI. What these and other cities have in common is that "the vast majority are located in states with forced
unions, non-right-to-work states." [...] At the time it declared bankruptcy, Detroit had 47 different public employee unions.
plan for Paterson cops, firefighters puts four-year tab at $11 million. City officials are planning to borrow $1.65 million to
pay nine firefighters and eight police officers for unused leave days when they retire. This would represent the fourth consecutive year in
which Paterson has borrowed money to pay severance to retiring firefighters and police officers at a total cost of more than $11 million over
fund top-dollar federal employee union reps through official time. Phil Barbarello insists his federal salary has nothing to do
with his job as a top union official. What matters, he says, is his experience as an air traffic controller. But it has been
years since Barbarello, eastern regional vice president for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, spent much time monitoring
flights in a control tower. His full-time job with the Federal Aviation Administration is working for the NATCA union, and has been
since at least 2009. As for his salary, $166,362 in 2012, that and his lucrative federal benefits are all paid by taxpayers.
Capitalism in America: Public Sector Union Scandals Begin to Leak. Many reporters reflexively support unions, and prefer not to acknowledge
scandals related to them, especially at the local and state level. Nevertheless, troubling news accounts have emerged: [Example #1]
A New York City sewer engineer is paid $775,000 ($173,000 regular annual rate plus back payments from settlement of a labor dispute). [#2] A
Chicago union leader takes a leave of absence in 1989 from the city's sanitation department, where he earned $40,000, to work for a union. He is
then allowed to "retire" from the city at age 56 with $108,000 pension. [...] [#3] Another Chicago labor leader is allowed to return to the
city payroll for one day in 1994, so that he can then take a formal leave of absence to work for a union. His city pension is $158,000 a year.
Work Less, Earn More — Pretty Good Deal, Huh? A new study shows government workers are away from work more than their private
counterparts, yet are better paid. No surprise, really, despite claims to the contrary, the public sector is woefully inefficient. During the
sequestration, we heard a lot of complaints and more than a little whining from government workers about bearing the brunt of the government closure.
Fair enough. But far from being a put-upon class of overworked public servants, government workers have it much better than the rest of us.
Receive Full Pay for Shutdown Period — Even If They Didn't Work. Much ink was spilled earlier this month about the plight of federal
workers who were furloughed due to the budget impasse. One federal employee union even bafflingly likened its members to "indentured servants." But
now, quietly, federal workers are receiving full pay for the shutdown period, whether they worked or not. In fact, some furloughed employees will receive
special overtime and holiday premiums on top of their regular paychecks, just as long as they were scheduled to work overtime or on Columbus Day.
BLS: Gov't Workers 'Absent' 50% More Than
Private-Sector Workers. A government worker is 38 percent more likely to be absent from work for personal reasons or illnesses than a
private-sector worker, and government workers miss 50 percent more of their usual work hours as a result of such absences than do private sector
workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A Way to Deal With Public Unions.
The average BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) worker makes over $76,000 per year, plus huge benefits. Janitors make as much as $82,752. But the unions want
more. And they are willing to bankrupt the region to get more. In my opinion, San Francisco is already bankrupt due to pension obligations that
cannot possibly be met (but the city may not realize that yet). Oakland is without a doubt bankrupt due to public union pension obligations.
Oakland city officials likely realize that (but they just do not want to admit the obvious). In due time, both Bay Area cities will follow Vallejo,
Stockton, and San Bernardino into bankruptcy. In the meantime, unions are hell bent on driving cities right over the bankruptcy cliff.
Public Sector Unions Must be Abolished.
Cities are reeling under unsustainable pensions paid to government workers who are not working. And those in state government jobs are receiving
the largest pensions of all. They are destroying the economy. Their contracts are not approved by voters but by secret quid pro quo
arrangements with the politicians they support. [...] The debt created by these union pensions may be unconstitutional: the Constitution says
Congress may levy tariffs and fees in support government services. If employees are no longer working and providing services, then the tariffs
and fees are not providing any services.
Let's Bring Out the World's Smallest Violin
for Federal Workers. You really have to feel for federal workers. They feel so put upon because of sequestration, budget cuts, and other
indignities like being criticized for holding meetings and conferences at extravagant resorts. Now, on top of all that, the government is going to
shut down. You might think they'd be grateful for the vacation, but no; they are demanding that back pay be given them for the time they're off,
even if they aren't working.
IRS wins fight to cancel bonuses — for now.
The Internal Revenue Service won a ruling from a third-party mediator that decided the agency isn't obligated to pay $70 million in scheduled
bonus payouts that outraged many in Congress. But the fight isn't over. The mediator's ruling is being appealed to a federal panel by
the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers.
We're No. 1 — In Public-Employee Pay.
Amid the recent hubbub over municipal bankruptcies and rising public-employee pension costs, pay for state and local government employees has gotten a great deal of
publicity. Lost in the press attention, however, is that federal-employee compensation remains a problem, too, and new data again indicate that Washington, D.C.,
may be overpaying for the two million workers it employs.
IRS Union Tied to FEC. The National Treasury
Employees Union (NTEU) represents the bureaucracy that staffs the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS. The NTEU also
represents the bureaucracy that staffs the Federal Elections Commission. The FEC. The NTEU has a political action
committee — the Treasury Employees Political Action Committee. TEPAC. TEPAC routinely gives over 90% of its
contributions to Democrats.
Treasury Employees Union launches a campaign to help IRS goons elude PPACA exchanges.
IRS: Obamacare for Thee but Not For Me. Among the
most offensive features of the ironically titled "Affordable Care Act" is its designation of the Internal Revenue Service as the main enforcer of the
law's many mandates, taxes, penalties, and reporting requirements. It exponentially increases the power of a group of bureaucrats notorious for
repeatedly abusing their authority. Now, highlighting the growing gulf between the government and the governed that has become the hallmark of
the Obama era, these IRS enforcers are asking their congressional representatives to spare them the indignity of enrolling in Obamacare's insurance
The Liberal Union Behind the IRS.
Obama, IG Report refuse to touch powerful Treasury Employees Union headed by ex-IRS agent.
about the IRS.
Study: Unions Warping State Finances
for Their Own Gain. Public sector unions use politics to suit their interests, and in doing so they create the incentive for politicians to kick
the can down the road. When politicians have the choice between raising taxes and cutting benefits for public sector employees, they choose to ignore both,
according to a new Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University study, "The Public Sector 'Union' Effect: Pushing Up Unfunded Pension Liabilities and State Debt."
Instead, they borrow for promises they cannot keep.
Chicago Police Want 12% Raise. Days after the
Chicago Police Department announced it will no longer respond to 911 calls for criminal damage to property, vehicle thefts, garage burglaries, or other crimes
in which the suspect is no longer on the scene, the Fraternal Order of Police (Chicago police union) is demanding a 12 percent raise.
To Serve and Protect — Police
Pensions. What is a powerful public union to do when it looks like a city's busted balance sheet is finally forcing some fiscal
reform? Naturally, buy a house next door to the city manager's and launch an intimidation campaign aimed at getting him to avoid any real
fixes. At least that's what the police union of Stockton, Calif., did in 2011 — with great success. The police union
claimed that the home purchase was meant to diversify its "investments."
How Unions Promote Wage
Inequality. Back in the early days of the labor movement, the idea of public-sector unions seemed absurd to trade unions and governments
alike. Calvin Coolidge, as Massachusetts governor, led in the firing of policemen after riots that took place during a labor walkout.
The future president said, "There is no right to strike against the public safety." Even Franklin Roosevelt, the father of our most aggressive
labor law, the Wagner Act, drew the line at public-sector unions.
Why Are Taxpayers Paying Union
Officials' So Much? Taxpayers are forking out $4.8 million for 35 union officials at the Department of Transportation. But
the beneficiary here isn't the taxpayer, it's President Obama, who is raking campaign cash from these unions. [...] That means taxpayers are actually
paying for union efforts to shake down taxpayers for ever higher salaries and benefits for government workers.
Gov. Rick Snyder's change of heart seems to be born from frustration.
[Scroll down] Public employee unions opposed Snyder's moves to put more teeth into emergency manager laws that would enable swifter action to
rescue cities and school districts that bungled themselves into insolvency. In Detroit, Mayor Dave Bing and a spineless City Council were stonewalled
by employee unions at every turn, slow-walking needed reforms and cost-cutting while the city burned through cash at a frightening rate.
Union Made Camden Police Expensive,
Ineffective. Camden, N.J., is replacing its current 230-officer police force with a new, cheaper force of 400 in order
to combat rising crime, according to NPR. The city currently spends 75 percent of its budget on police and fire departments but
it remains one of the nation's most dangerous cities. The police cannot keep up with crime and the city cannot afford to hire more
The Underworked Public Employee.
If public-sector employees just worked as many hours as their private counterparts, governments at all levels could save more than
$100 billion in annual labor costs. How do we know that? Are we just dredging up well-worn stereotypes of government
employees enjoying shorter work days, prolonged sick leave and extended vacation breaks? In fact, new evidence from a comprehensive
and objective data set confirms that the "underworked" government employee is more than a stereotype.
Unions want all of the benefits of goverment jobs without any of the risk.
Federal Workers to Congress: Leave Us Out
of Deficit Deal. The Federal-Postal Coalition — a group representing more than two dozen federal employee unions — pleaded with
Congress on Monday to spare their members in any deal related to the "fiscal cliff." Federal workers, the coalition wrote in a letter, have contributed more
than their fair share toward reducing the debt and are the only group that has been targeted so heavily.
Labor Bosses Fight Only to Protect their
Jobs. In Michigan, union bosses are testing a new strategy to increase their power and clout within the state. A constitutional
amendment known locally as Proposal 2, or the "Protect Our Jobs" (POJ) amendment, would invalidate much of the common-sense progress that Governor
Rick Snyder has made as it relates to public-sector unions, potentially overturning upwards of 170 pieces of legislation.
California's chickens have come home to roost.
[Governor] Schwarzenegger's proposals would have increased eligibility for teacher tenure from two years to five years in the classroom, made the use of
union dues for political campaign contributions voluntary, imposed state budgetary spending limits and redrawn the state's school district funding formula,
and reformed the states' redistricting system. The establishment couldn't have that, and so, in short order, the referenda were soundly defeated at
the ballot box. [...] Fast forward to 2012, when California's debt has swollen to more than $117 billion according to data assembled by State Budget
Solutions. Its unfunded union pension liabilities total more than $500 billion.
Feds put in fewer hours than private workers. Federal employees have heard countless accusations that they're overpaid in
recent years. Now a new study from the conservative Heritage Foundation suggests they may be lazier than private sector workers.
Heritage on Tuesday [9/11/2012] released a report that concluded federal employees work, on average, nearly three fewer hours each week than
workers in the private sector. By the end of the year, Heritage said, most feds put in about a month less on the job than private workers
when vacation and other paid leave is taken into account.
The Greatest Threat to our Democracy.
The American system of democracy is under threat. It's under threat from an Obama campaign that seeks to polarize Americans along race and
class lines. It's under threat from a Democratic Party that seeks to pit those who pay taxes against those who don't. But most of all,
it's under attack from America's public sector unions.
Book: Obamacare law was designed to
unionize 21 million health care workers. In a book set for publication Tuesday [8/21/2012], a politics and government professor at The Citadel
claims President Obama's 2009 health care reform law was, in part, a union-driven effort to organize 21 million health care workers. In "Shadowbosses:
Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind," Mallory Factor describes a December 9, 2008 memo from Service Employees International
Union (SEIU) Healthcare president Dennis Rivera to the Obama-Biden transition team. That memo outlined a legislative proposal calling for "increasing
the capacity of the health care workforce" as part of a larger health care reform initiative.
Morality Stands in the Way of Public Unions and Our Money. If you follow the rule in life to follow the money, the
money trail increasingly is leading to a union pension, a union wage or a union contract. And it's putting America's cities
out of business. As more municipalities begin to eye bankruptcy proceedings as a way out of their financial mess, many believe
that one great advantage of bankruptcy proceedings is that it will allow the nullification of fat union wages, pensions and other
benefits that taxpayers in the private sector don't get.
Union Head Downplays Rise of City
Bankruptcies. A 2011 study by Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management estimates that the states have roughly $3.3 trillion
in unfunded pension liabilities. Then you need to add another $574 billion to represent the unfunded pensions of all the counties and cities
within the 50 states. In Chicago, if all other spending were shut down today, the city would need to allocate about eight years of dedicated
tax revenues to cover pension promises it has already made. AFSCME has 20,000 members in Chicago and 1.4 million nationally.
Camden NJ, Population
77,344, Fires Entire Police Force. Cities should strive to provide the most services at the least cost to taxpayers.
However, public unions strive to provide the fewest benefits at the most cost. Is it any wonder cities are going bankrupt?
Police and firefighter wages and benefits are crippling cities across the nation. Mayors are often in bed with unions rather than
do what is best for the city.
Public Pension 'Stimulus' Claims Are
Easily Debunked. According to NIRS [The National Institute on Retirement Security] — whose membership
consists principally of public employee unions, the pension plans in which they participate, and the actuarial and
investment firms that serve them — the best economic stimulus is not tax cuts or unemployment checks, but increased
pension benefits to public-sector retirees. Each dollar of pension benefits produces $2.37 in economic output, NIRS
says, creating millions of new jobs and billions in additional labor income. Put simply, this is nonsense.
TSA Agrees To Allow
Unionization Of Agents. The Transportation Security Administration agreed to allow the American Federation of
Government Employees to unionize its workforce. In a press release, AFGE announced that the labor contract it agreed to
with TSA on Thursday [8/2/2012] is the first-ever with TSA employees.
America's coming civil war. On one
side are those who create wealth, America's private sector — the very ones targeted by President Obama's tax hikes
announced Monday [7/9/2012]. On the other are the public employee unions; left-leaning intelligentsia who see the growth
of government as index of progress; and the millions of Americans now dependent on government through a growing network of
government transfer payments, from Medicaid and Social Security to college loans and corporate bailouts and handouts (think
GM and Solyndra).
Unions Are A Privileged Class Built On Greed. The next time you see a city, county, state or federal public
employee — be they teachers, postal workers, librarians, in the mayor's office, or even police or firefighters —
don't view them as neighbors, friends or friendly civil servants, but rather as the destroyers of your economic future. [...] In large
part because of the unchecked greed of the public employee unions and workers, San Bernardino this week became the third California
city to seek bankruptcy protection. Of course, if you were looking for that honest explanation from Democrats and pro-public
employee union media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times or Reuters, good luck.
Mooching Toward Greece. Today in America there
are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million).
This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960 when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million
collecting a paycheck from the government. On average, our nation has lost 10 factories and 2,000 manufacturing jobs
every day during the past 10 years.
Midwest Unions' Desperate Last Stand. The voters of
Wisconsin and California spoke loud and clear. They are tired of the special privileges and lavish benefits given to government unions and paid
for by taxpayers. Apparently unions in Michigan did not get the message.
Pension And Benefit Reforms Must Include Police, Fire. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's victory over recall
activists is rightly viewed as a nationwide rebuke to the public-sector union movement, and a sign the pendulum is swinging
back in the direction of taxpayers. Walker's win protects his Act 10 reforms that restricted collective bargaining
power and reduced pension and other benefit costs within his state's public sector. This was indeed a huge victory — one
with national implications, as other states wrestle with oppressive pension debt and union work-rule restrictions that make
contracting out and other cost savings impossible.
Beware the Union Label. Public sector unions on the state and
local levels have enjoyed enormous privileges for their 50 years of existence. Like their private sector counterparts, they have used collective
bargaining to maximize their pay and benefits. Yet unlike trade and industrial unions, public sector unions essentially bargain with themselves. They
are such an integral part of the Democratic coalition — delivering to Democratic candidates and causes not just money but massive numbers of voters and
volunteers — that the party dare not defy them.
Bad News for Unions From California. As if the epic defeat of their effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott
Walker wasn't enough, the union movement got even more bad news from California last night when voters in San Diego and San
Jose gave huge majorities to referenda that called for cutbacks to retirement benefits for municipal workers.
The "People United" Go Down In
Flames. A Democratic Party dominated by its public sector unions is a party married to government and to bureaucracy.
To the degree that the public unions shape its agenda, the Democrats become a lobby for the servants of the state. For the unions
who represent its employees, the bureaucratic, civil service state is a solution permanently in search of new problems to solve and new
worlds to conquer. The power of the public unions within the party pulls Democrats much farther to the left than they would
otherwise go. This is one reason the Wisconsin reforms stimulated such a powerful and united emotional wave of push back from
virtually every section of the left.
Federal workers raking in
millions in bonuses, new database shows. A new in-depth database of federal worker salaries shows the government paid out a whopping
$105 billion in salaries last year for most of its civilian workforce — to boot, the workers got $439 million in bonuses.
The information, which was obtained and number-crunched by The Asbury Park Press through a Freedom of Information Act request, challenges the old
notion that government workers trade high salaries for job security and benefits.
Government Waste. Government workers are among the employees most likely to cheat their
employers, according to a new study. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world's largest anti-fraud organization, found that
public-sector administration employees are responsible for more than 10 percent of fraud cases, ranking behind only financial professionals.
In 141 cases examined, the group found that a crooked employee costs taxpayers a median loss of $100,000.
More Than Good Enough for Government
Work. State lawmakers face an uphill battle in trying to bring their governments' pension costs under control, largely
due to opposition from government employee unions. But the unions' resistance to reform is beginning to weaken, and a growing
number of states are enacting reforms. The momentum for pension reform is likely to mount as long as state budget woes persist.
And persist they do.
Not one 'union label' anymore as public, private sector unions diverge.
For more than a century, Democratic Party power has been based on private-sector unions and their workers — voters who actually produce
such things as cars and steel. But in recent years that political power also has been strengthened by the rise of government-worker unions
and environmental groups, which are less about productivity and more about spending and policy.
CBO Says Federal Workers Get
Higher Compensation. Considering that four of the five wealthiest counties in the United States are in suburban
Washington, DC, it's probably no surprise that the Congressional Budget Office has determined federal government workers receive
substantially more in total compensation than their counterparts in the private sector. The CBO in January announced
federal government workers average 16 percent more in compensation — wages and benefits combined — than
private-sector workers doing similar jobs. The major difference is in fringe benefits. Federal workers typically
enjoy far more nonwage benefits than private-sector workers.
More than 1,200 former N.J.
public employees collect pensions of at least $100,000 annually. The number of retired public employees
who collected pensions of $100,000 or more in 2011 has climbed to 1,244, according to a report on New Jersey Watchdog.
The list is topped by former Essex County College president A. Zachary Yamba, whose pension is $195,000 a year.
Former Rutgers athletic director and New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority head Bob Mulcahy has a pension worth
$162,399 annually. He also got a severance package worth about $600,000 when he was fired by Rutgers in 2008.
So When Are We
Allowed to Be Intolerant? Reductions in government employment costs are often blocked by unions.
States and cities could save as much as 50% of the cost of many services, such as police work, firefighting, public
transportation, garbage-collection, administrative functions, and prison operations, through competitive bidding to
private contractors. But unions have blocked many of these efforts. Public employees maintain that they
are underpaid when compared to private-sector workers that are equally qualified, yet they are afraid of competitive
bidding for government services. If they are underpaid, of what are these people afraid? Are we
supposed to tolerate union actions? Or are we justified at being intolerant?
Public-Sector Unions: Labor unions play a
diminishing role in the private sector, but they still claim a large share of the public-sector workforce.
Public-sector unions are important to examine because they have a major influence on government policies through
their vigorous lobbying efforts. They are particularly influential in states that allow monopoly unionization
through collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is a misguided labor policy because it violates civil
liberties and gives unions excessive power to block needed reforms.
Video: Unhinged Lefties Heckle Scott Walker During Major Speech. This is the game
government unions play. Their members' paychecks are extracted from public funds, and a portion of each paycheck (prior to
Walker's reforms) went directly into the unions' pockets. This was mandatory and automatic. Those unions, in turn,
donated generously to Democrats to protect their interests. Democrats, in turn, steadfastly opposed any Republican effort
to break the vicious cycle — even going so far as to flee the state to block votes.
pays prisons guards for attending Las Vegas convention. The California Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation has set aside about $350,000 to pay several hundred corrections officers while they attend
their union's annual convention later this month in Las Vegas. The arrangement with the California
Correctional Peace Officers Association is unique among the state's collective bargaining agreements.
feds are hiring — and never firing. A new analysis of federal workforce data shows that even
in this time of retrenchment and downsizing, the federal government almost never fires or lays off workers.
In fact, in many corners of the federal government, it is virtually impossible for an employee to be fired.
"Federal employees' job security is so great that workers in many agencies are more likely to die of natural
causes than get laid off or fired," writes USA Today, which conducted the survey.
That Are Being Eaten Alive By Public Sector Workers. Public employee costs account for a large share of
municipal budget woes. While worker compensation accounts for just 30% of state spending, personnel costs tends
to eat up between 70% and 80% of local government funds. Skyrocketing employee costs — the result of overly
generous union contracts, an aging workforce, and bad pension investments — are now pushing several municipalities
to the brink of fiscal ruin.
the door on public-sector unions. Massachusetts government is almost a wholly-owned subsidiary of
the Democratic Party, so there was no chance that a law limiting collective bargaining for municipal employees
would resemble the recent laws passed in Wisconsin and Ohio.
takes oath, then asks for union cuts. Just hours after officially taking office as Miami-Dade County's
new mayor Friday [7/1/2011], Carlos Gimenez sent eight key county unions a letter making a bold request: Give up
pay raises, benefits hikes and bonuses to help cover a swelling $400 million budget gap.
Connecticut Unions Have Trouble Reading Hand
Writing on Wall. Unions just don't get it, do they? Their day of organized theft of the
taxpayer's money is over. It must be over if our governments are to stay solvent. After this
initial era of major cuts and layoffs is over, the next important step will be to eliminate the government
employee unions entirely. They should never have been allowed to exist in the first place. And
remember, they've only been around for about 50 years, so they are NOT some ages old American institution.
A San Francisco pension
pays more than the average worker earns. The average retiree from San Francisco city government
earns an annual pension of $46,272, according to the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System. The
average retiree who worked at least 30 years in city government earns an annual pension of $76,981.
The average pension for a retiree from the Fire Department is $108,552. From the Police Department?
$95,016. And everybody else? $41,136.
makes huge payouts for some workers' unused time off. Contracts cap unused vacation balances
at 80 days but allow exemptions for those who are needed in emergencies or who perform 'critical' work.
Some have retired with six-figure compensation checks.
of Management and Budget Employees to Push to Unionize. Peter Winch, deputy director of field
services and education for the American Federation of Government Employees confirmed to ABC News that his
organization, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, has been meeting with employees of the OMB in the past
few months to discuss their work conditions and desire to have more say over the conditions of their
Lessons Still Not Learned from the Battle of Wisconsin. [Scroll down] Public workers essentially
cannot be fired. They're entitled to their jobs forever, at least theoretically, and their rage in the
Wisconsin matter stemmed from the fact that they might not be entitled to permanently expanding benefits and
salaries, forever. "How dare you question our right to freebies!" is the whole underlying attitude and
premise of today's labor union movement.
SEIU drops mask,
goes full commie. A May Day rally in Los Angeles, co-sponsored by the SEIU and various
communist groups, as well as other unions, reflected yet another step in the normalization of
self-identified communist and socialist ideologies in the Obama era. Not only did the SEIU help to
organize the rally in conjunction with communists, they marched side-by-side with communists, while union
members carried communist flags, communists carried union signs, and altogether there was no real way to
tell the two apart.
on parade. Blogging at Ringo's Pictures, the blogger Ringo provides scores of remarkable
photographs detailing the events at the annual May Day parade held in downtown Los Angeles on May 1,
2011. The images are frightening and illustrate the latitude we have allowed serious hate-groups
and espousers of virulent anti-Americanism to move about freely and publicly call for the overthrow of
the American political system. Right smack in the middle of the reds we find a passel of disheveled,
seriously overweight thugs from Barack Obama's favorite labor union, the SEIU.
Familiar Fight With New Foe. Unions are facing off against an unlikely foe over a
now-familiar issue, as Democrats in Massachusetts move to limit municipal workers' power to negotiate their
health benefits. The effort is the latest by lawmakers in a budget jam to roll back public-union
rights. In a state where Democrats control the House and the Senate as well as the governor's office,
it shows how the pressures of skyrocketing health care costs on state and local budgets are undermining
labor's political clout even in traditional union strongholds.
The Bell May Toll for Jersey Toll Collectors.
It was one of those little stories, a three-sentence job on inside pages of last Saturday's local newspaper.
But it illustrates a mentality that is so outrageous — yet so thoroughly typical of the government
union mindset — it deserves far wider dissemination than it has received so far. Last Thursday [4/21/2011],
a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit in which union workers were seeking to prevent New Jersey from privatizing toll
collector jobs on the New Jersey Turnpike, unless those workers got the "right of first refusal" to keep their
jobs. But it gets even better: the suit argued that privatization violates workers' First Amendment
Union Shakedown. "Raise our taxes!" Can you imagine chanting such a slogan at a public
rally? Neither could most Americans. There is one notable exception, however: government-union
activists. They're pretty explicit these days about their desire to see taxes go up. If
that surprises you, you may be unaware of how dramatically the face of organized labor has changed over
the last few decades.
left begins to realize their welfare state is unsustainable. Europeans are not the only ones
that are beginning to notice that liberal social welfare states are unsustainable. The citizens of the
bluest state in the union, California, are also beginning to question the size and scope of their government.
The Los Angeles Times released a poll today [4/25/2011] showing 70% of Californians said they supported a cap
on pensions for future government workers, 68% approved increasing government worker contributions to their
pensions, and 52% support raising the retirement age for government workers.
Don't equate public, private
unions. When one criticizes public-sector unions, it doesn't imply at all that one is critical
of labor unions per se. Because public services are mostly monopolistic — one first-class
postal service, one Medicaid, one DMV and road system, one public school system — and funded from
involuntary taxes, public-sector labor unions are, basically, legally protected monopolies.
Union Threatens to 'Weaponize' Government Jobs. It's becoming clearer that the "public service"
mentality is quickly slipping way from government employees, if it didn't hit the exits a long time ago.
Instead of government employees serving the public, it's clear now their belief is that the public exists to
the 'Have Nots' to the 'Haves'. The Democratic Party and their union co-conspirators have
been running a scam that takes the tax payments of the "have nots" and redistributes them to the
"haves." ... Just who are these "haves"? They are the 22.5 million public sector employees of
city, county, state and federal government. These are individuals who have close to life-time
employment, pay that is often twice the level of an equivalent private sector employee, generous sick leave,
annual leave, annual cost of living increases (even during recessions), great pension benefits, and health
care benefits that private sector employees can only dream about. The "have nots" are the private
sector employees who pay the taxes that subsidize the public sector employees.
Gimme: A Tour of the Entitlement Mentality. In the comment section of a recent NRB post
regarding public employee unions and the related protests in Wisconsin, one of our readers demonstrated
a curious inability to distinguish force from choice. The exchange was instructive of the entitlement
mentality propagated by the Left. It is a worldview which includes relativism so extreme that it
disputes the definition of words.
School Teachers and Unions are Failing Children and Bankrupting America. Corruption,
greed, incompetence, bureaucratic bungling: Those are the things most likely to be found when
the charade of public union outrage is peeled back to reveal the inner workings of collective bargaining.
There is no doubt America is engaged in an ideological battle. On one side are the public sector
unions and "workers" demanding the taxpayers cough up more to fund their fat paychecks and bloated
pensions. On the other side are the majority of Americans who work in the private sector, fund
their own retirements and health care, and have no entitlement programs they haven't designed
themselves. The public sector is asking for more blood while the private sector is beaten
unconscious and bleeding from every major artery.
paying public unions to haggle for more money. The Office of Personnel Management, a government
agency that, among other things, tracks federal-employee efficiency, surveyed 61 executive agencies and
departments for fiscal 2008 to assess how much official time was lost to union activity. They reported
that 3 million official hours were used for collective bargaining or arbitration of grievances against
an employer during that fiscal year at a cost of more than $120 million to the U.S. taxpayer.
Unions vs. the little guy in Wisconsin recall fight. If
you're a Republican, it's a scenario straight out of "Alice in Wonderland." Fourteen Wisconsin state
senators, all Democrats, flee the state for three weeks, bringing government to a halt in an effort to stop
Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill. After three weeks, the fugitive Democrats return in failure. And
then, when a rich and highly organized effort to punish lawmakers is launched, it's directed not at the Democrats
who ran away but at the Republicans who stayed home and did their job.
on the wall for public unions. The American public at last has come to realize —
and is demanding that our elected officials address — the terrible consequences of public-sector
unions: Union health and pension plans are bankrupting state and local governments left and right.
threaten murder to preserve payola. Public employee unions are bankrupting local and state
governments, including Wisconsin's. They have it cushier than the folks who are taxed to pay for it
all. A Spectrum Research Group report found that public employees make up 15 percent of the work
force but lay claim to more than a third of the nation's $9.3 trillion in pension assets. Many
retire in their 50s and then double-dip with new jobs.
Why I do not have
Solidarity with the Public Unions: My wages are less than 50% of a few years ago, and that
is when I can find work. No guaranteed hours here. Should I feel guilty for thinking the
Wisconsin people, who are angry over a wage freeze and benefit cuts that are still way above average
should suffer like the rest of us. The rest of the country has had to adjust, why should
not they? It is not as if they are being asked to take these cuts for without reason.
Their state is bankrupt.
Unionized Airport Security? Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made some progress this week in
rescuing his state from the public-sector unions holding it hostage. Ever wonder how Wisconsin got
into trouble in the first place? Washington is providing an illuminating case study. Even as
state battles rage, the Obama administration has been facilitating the largest federal union organizing
effort in history. Tens of thousands of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners are
now casting votes to choose a union to collectively bargain for cushier personnel practices on their behalf.
Walker Has His PATCO Moment. Remember the Patco strike of 1981? The air traffic controllers'
union had walked out, illegally shutting down the nation's air transportation system. Their attempt at
extortion was President Reagan's first big test, and the unions seemed to hold all the cards. But Reagan
held firm. He fired the strikers, hired replacements and, despite claims by unions and their supporters
on the left that it would lead to disaster, it didn't.
Obama's Edifice Complex.
Obama's justifies his plans by touting "green jobs". This is a fiction. Any green jobs generated come
at great cost and are often temporary. A fringe benefit for Obama is that these federally-funded projects
often go to union members and are subject to the Davis-Bacon act that requires high wages be paid on federally-funded
projects, a subtle method of replenishing the union coffers for the next election cycle.
Reasons Unions Are Bad For America. Let's put it plain and simple: Government workers shouldn't
be allowed to unionize. Period. Why? Because you elect representatives to look out for your
interests. It's obviously in your interest to pay as little as possible to government workers, to keep
their benefits as low as possible, and to hire as few of them as possible to do the job. However, because
the Democratic Party and the unions are in bed with each other, this entire process has been turned on its ear.
to Blame for Union Woes? The labor union movement is in deep trouble. Only 6 percent
of private-sector employees are union members. Voters are beginning to realize, thanks to governors like
Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, that public-sector unions have negotiated
unsustainable levels of pensions and benefits — and that public-sector unions are a mechanism
for involuntary transfers of money from taxpayers to the Democratic Party.
Terminal Ingrates Showing Their Terminal
Ingratitude. As much as I'd like to be sympathetic to the "plight" of public sector employees,
it's just never going to happen. The reason is simple: in my entire life, I've never had a job
where I got paid when I didn't work. I never had one where I got automatic raises or had may health
care paid for by somebody else. And I've [certainly] never had a job where, after a certain period
of time, I would be granted a "tenure" of guaranteed lifetime employment.
Ohio union bill
speeds toward passage. With barely a whimper of the protests that have convulsed Wisconsin,
legislation to curb public employee unions is speeding toward passage in Ohio, an even bigger labor stronghold.
protests are a symptom of what ails America. Unionized government workers who have taken to
the streets to protest moves in Wisconsin and Ohio to limit their power are doing us all a favor.
How? Our great nation today is sick and badly in need of therapy. The screams and protests of
these government union workers should help all Americans identify these public unions as a major symptom
of the sickness that is dragging us down and what we need to do to fix it.
Union 'Rights' That
Aren't. There is no "fundamental right" to collective bargaining in government jobs.
Indeed, labor leaders themselves used to say so.
Government pension funds underestimating shortfall by $1.5 trillion or more. The pension funds
for state and local workers in the United States are understating the amount they will owe workers by $1.5 trillion
or more, according to some economists who have studied the issue, meaning that the benefits are much costlier
than many governments and taxpayers thought.
A General Strike In Wisconsin? While
it's not being widely discussed in the mainstream press, union activists in Wisconsin have begun mulling over the
possibility of a general strike as their next move in the War On Taxpayers.
The Editor says...
Fire them all, I say. Let those people work who really want to, and let all others starve.
A Union Education.
Unlike in the private economy, a public union has a natural monopoly over government services. An industrial
union will fight for a greater share of corporate profits, but it also knows that a business must make profits
or it will move or shut down. The union chief for teachers, transit workers or firemen knows that the
city is not going to close the schools, buses or firehouses. This monopoly power, in turn, gives
public unions inordinate sway over elected officials.
unions must go. Government workers were making good salaries in 1962 when President Kennedy lifted,
by executive order (so much for democracy), the federal ban on government unions. Civil service regulations
and similar laws had guaranteed good working conditions for generations. The argument for public unionization
wasn't moral, economic or intellectual. It was rankly political. Traditional organized labor,
the backbone of the Democratic Party, was beginning to lose ground. ... The plan worked. Public union
membership skyrocketed and government union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it.
Yes, They're Overpaid.
President Obama's late November announcement of a two-year pay freeze for federal workers has been poorly
received by unions and left-wing activists, who see it as the end result of a year-long campaign to reduce
federal salaries. Taxpayers should hope it is just the beginning. ... Some politicians have accused
federal workers of making double what they deserve, while government unions maintain they are underpaid
by around 25 percent.
Public Employee Unions.
Given the relationship between politicians and public employee unions, we should not be surprised that public
employee wages and benefits often average 45 percent higher than their counterparts in the private
sector. Often they receive pension and health care benefits making little or no contribution.
How is it that public employee unions have such a leg up on their private-sector brethren? The answer
is not rocket science. Employers in the private sector have a bottom line. If they overcompensate
their employees, company profits will sink. The company might even face bankruptcy.
Will TSA Unionization
Jeopardize Air Safety? I don't know about you, but when I see a slow, rude Transportation Security
Administration agent going through granny's purse at airport security, I think to myself: "What the TSA needs
is more bureaucracy — if only they were unionized!" Well, we might get our wish.
The good life (for unions especially).
Here's a quiz: Who said that the prospect of a strike by a government union is "unthinkable and intolerable?"
Who said, "It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government"? Was it Reagan? Palin?
Did Wisconsin's Gov. Scott Walker utter these provocative words? No, no and no. The first quote is
from Franklin Roosevelt — that champion of working people. The second is from George Meany,
the AFL-CIO's legendary first president.
Unions & the Socialist Utopia. Unionized public-sector employment is the distilled essence of the
left's moral ideal. no one has to worry about making a profit. Generous health-care and retirement
benefits are provided to everyone by the government. Comfortable pay is mandated by legislative fiat.
The work rules are militantly egalitarian: pay, promotion, and job security are almost totally independent
of actual job performance. And because everyone works for the government, they never have to worry
that their employer will go out of business.
FDR Understood: No Collective Bargaining for Public Servants. Public servants — meaning
government employees — don't work for greedy miscreants exploiting them for personal profit.
They work for democratically elected officials representing the will of the people. This is just one
reason why there is no legitimate role for government unions, and there should be no collective bargaining
rights for public servants.
Wisconsin Unions Resort to Alinsky Tactics. Public sector unions have grown in power, and are
now the biggest contributor to political campaigns. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME) spent $87.5 million last year to help Democrat politicians and influence their votes.
The number of government jobs rose even while unemployment during the recession tipped 10%. Many public
employees in Wisconsin can retire at age 55 with close to full pay, much earlier than the average private
sector employee. Schoolteachers in Madison are some of the best paid teachers in the country, earning an
average of $56,000 a year in salary plus benefits totaling over $100,000 in compensation.
Servants Meet Their Enemy. Upon reflection, we find that the liberal policies that led to
these generous civil service compensation time bombs are in many ways the very reason that that they have
become unaffordable. Consider: [#1] To fund a huge civil service, you need a huge tax base,
but the crippling red tape and rules produced by this huge civil service of regulation-generators have driven
employers and jobs overseas at a frenetic pace, stunting the growth of that critical tax base. [#2] To
finance a pension plan, you set aside money every year, and invest it in the stock market; but the recent
assault on the private sector has robbed those Wall Street investments of their expected growth...
Bargaining Doesn't Work In the Public Sector. California enacted pension reforms in 1991 which
limited the impact of pensions on the state budget. But in 1999, Gov. Gray Davis and the state's Democratically
controlled legislature wiped out those reforms, retroactively putting everyone who had joined the state's workforce
in the 1990s into a new, richer system so that today California has unfunded pension liabilities ranging from
$200 billion to $500 billion. That's become a strategy of public worker unions. They fight
reforms, but if they lose they wait 'till they can elect a new set of more sympathetic legislators and then
reclaim their gains. Public unions are bolstered by the fact that government never goes away, unlike
private businesses where unions overreach. In the public sector, there are always taxpayers to turn to
when a pension system or health care plan needs to be bailed out thanks to rich giveaways to unions.
The Showdown Over
Public Union Power. Government workers have taken to the streets in Madison, Wis., to battle a
series of reforms proposed by Gov. Scott Walker that include allowing workers to opt out of paying dues to
unions. Everywhere that this "opt out" idea has been proposed, unions have battled it vigorously because
the money they collect from dues is at the heart of their power. Unions use that money not only to run
their daily operations but to wage political campaigns in state capitals and city halls. Indeed,
public-sector unions especially have become the nation's most aggressive advocates for higher taxes and
Public unions force taxpayers to fund Democrats.
Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election
cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee
union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle. Follow the money, Washington reporters like
to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every
penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all
of it for Democrats.
ten ways to tell if you might be a member of a public-sector union. [#9] On a snow day when
they say "non-essential" people should stay home you know who they mean. [#8] You get paid
twice as much as a private sector person doing the same job but make up the difference by doing half as much
work. [#7] It takes longer to fire you than the average killer spends on death row.
The Public Worker
Gravy Train. [Scroll down] State and local pensions effectively guarantee employees an 8%
return on both their contributions and those made by their employer. By contrast, a private-sector employee
with a 401(k) can achieve a guaranteed return of only around 4% by investing in U.S. Treasury securities.
Most economists believe governments are foolish to base their funding decisions on the assumption of high investment
returns, but the benefits for public employees are guaranteed in any case. Over a career, the
difference between a 4% and 8% return is significant.
pensions, an obesity epidemic. In New York City, the No. 2 guy in the fire department retired
on a pension worth $242,000 a year. In New York State, a single official holding two jobs and one pension
took in $641,000. A lieutenant with the Port Authority police retired with an annual pension of $196,767,
and 738 of the city's teachers, principals and such have pensions worth more than $100,000 a year.
Government Worker Unions:
The Long Good-bye. The Democratic Party has sold its soul to the public sector unions. In
the 2010 mid-term election, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees poured over
$87 million dollars into the election. (A new spending record). AFSCME's $87 million was
greater than the campaign spending by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($75 million) and American Crossroads
($65 million). Other public sector unions also ratcheted up their spending such as SEIU ($44 million)
and the National Education Association ($40 million). The three major public sector unions spent
over $171 million in the 2010 election plus an estimated $250 million equivalent value of so-called
volunteer activity such as get out the vote efforts, door-to-door campaigning and poll watching.
The War On Taxpayers. The War on
Taxpayers is under way, and if you are not a union member, the Democrat Party is your declared enemy.
President Obama is a general in the opposing army. As the Associated Press puts it, "President Barack
Obama and his political machine are offering tactical support, eager to repair strained relations with some
union leaders upset over his recent overtures to business." The New York Times calls the protests
"more organized than organic," and says the unions and Democrats see this event as "an opportunity to begin
rallying troops for the next election." Union machinery is already plowing a similar field of Astroturf
in Ohio, where another broke state government is trying to gain control of crippling public union benefit
must be clear in Wisconsin labor fight. In an American sequel to the demonstrations that swept
Greece in the aftermath of that country's virtual default and necessary cutbacks on its bloated and unaffordable
public sector, thousands of public-employee union members and their supporters swarmed Madison, demanding that
their life styles, their medical benefits and their retirement payments be supported by taxpayers who are already
paying for their own expensive health insurance and 401(k) plans. The networks love the crowd shots.
But the voters love Walker. And not just in Wisconsin, but across the country.
Labor faces a moment of truth.
The six days of protests against Walker's bill to curb collective-bargaining rights have mesmerized cable
news viewers and shown a fighting spirit and cohesion that labor groups have rarely displayed during 12 months
of serving as public enemy number one in the eyes of tea party insurgents and newly empowered budget cutters.
Special Treatment for Government Workers! There's no doubt that the government-union protests
taking place in Madison, Wisconsin are about fiscal responsibility, and the public sector learning to live
within its means. But they're also about much, much more. Above all, the conflict is about whether
Americans will continue to be divided into two different classes: Government workers, and the rest
Wisconsin Could Save The Democratic Party. Public employee unions have become the kudzu of
government — growing fast and choking off everything else in its path. That liberal vision
of high-speed rail, renewable energy, health care for all, more money for universities? Sorry, that
money is going to government workers and retirees.
64% say government
workers should not be represented by a union. I was shocked when I saw this number. The
gravy train is really over for public employee unions. Citizens are sick to death of their strikes,
threats of strikes, whining, caterwauling, and incompetence. It wouldn't be this bad probably, if
government, at any level, worked. But Americans look at the [mess] that government has become and
wonder why we are paying these bozos so much?
End Public Sector
Unions... Period. When you acknowledge the coming battle, you realize that Governors Walker
and Christie — courageously as they are behaving — are only nibbling at the edges of
the real issue. And the real issue is whether public sector unions should even be allowed to exist.
Frankly, when even a modicum of common sense is infused into the equation, the answer is a resounding no.
And the foundational reason is simple. There is no one at the bargaining table representing the folks who
are actually going to pay whatever is negotiated.
Healthy workers took disability. It's always good to see federal employees hard at work.
That is, unless they're collecting a check for being totally disabled at the same time. That's fraud.
Wisconsin Labor Unrest
Could Go National. The grassroots political operation of President Obama, who on Wednesday denounced
the austerity legislation as an "attack on unions," has swung in behind the government workers. Organizing
for America, the activist organizing wing of the Democratic National Committee is helping keep the pressure on
Republican lawmakers who plan to pass the legislation today. Members of the Service Employees International
Union, the most influential union in national Democratic circles, have also joined the fray in support of the
government workers. The SEIU is helping man an around-the-clock occupation of the central halls of the
I Stand with Scott Walker.
Governor Walker is tackling this problem head on, rightly proposing to bring public employees' compensation in
line with the private sector. In response, President Obama, national Democrats and their union allies
have gone on the attack, helping organize protests that have flooded the Wisconsin capitol and shutdown public
schools in Milwaukee and Madison. They're even lending moral support to the state Democratic lawmakers who
fled the state to avoid a vote. The nation's governors don't need a lecture from a President who has never
balanced a budget.
the teachers' unions and the Wisconsin protests.
union stronghold rethinking its position. The nation's Rust Belt once ran on union power, its
factories and steel mills employing Democratic-voting union members who got regular pay raises and good
pensions. Now the region is at the vanguard of a national backlash against organized labor, as newly
elected Republican governors and legislatures try to control costs by weakening — or virtually
eliminating — unions of government workers.
Is This How a President Should
Act? We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party's philosophy, and it is
this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people's
money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often
between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise
taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street's fault. Anyone who doesn't agree is a bully,
and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler.
bill ending collective bargaining will pass, Gov. Scott Walker says. Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker says he has the votes to pass a bill removing collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Walker says he is open to making changes to the measure, but that he will not "fundamentally undermine the
principles" he is proposing.
Unions Breathe Fire Against States. As states struggle to slash budgets, Big Labor's two major
confederations are spending big for a new PR campaign and recruiting drive to defend public employee unions.
Their act shows why they've got to go.
airports. There are many ways to improve air travel. Unionizing the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) isn't one of them. Until recently, the TSA was operating under a very sensible
policy: no collective bargaining. Why introduce the possibility of strikes and protracted
negotiations to an agency in charge of ensuring the safety of millions of air passengers?
to Step Up Recruiting. The Service Employees International Union is planning a major
campaign to recruit members and counter political pressure on public-sector unions, according to an
internal union memo and an SEIU board member. The campaign — called Fight for a Fair
Economy — will focus on mobilizing mostly low-wage minority workers in 10 to 15 cities,
including Cleveland, Milwaukee, Miami and Detroit, according to the memo reviewed by The Wall Street
the TSA. After a mere nine years in existence, the Transportation Security Administration
rivals the DMV and the Postal Service as a played-out comedy cliché. And now the TSA is
adding union bureaucracy to the mix. Second-rate standup performers are licking their chops; the
rest of us should be much less delighted. The agency's head, John Pistole, recently gave its
40,000-plus employees the right to argain collectively on "non-security employment issues." Two
unions, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees
Union (NTEU), will compete in an election tentatively set to begin March 9.
unions seen as winners in TSA move. The Transportation Security Administration is blocking
airports that want to use private screeners instead of federal employees in a move the agency's critics say
is a sop to labor unions. Several dozen airports around the country are considering opting out of TSA
screening and hiring private-sector firms to search passengers and luggage under federal supervision.
At least six airports already have applied for permission to hire private screeners, as they are allowed
to do under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001.
Chief "Willing" To Fire Employees En Masse If Need Be. Trying to quell concerns over his decision
to let security officers vote on whether they want unions to represent them, Transportation Security Administration
chief John Pistole told lawmakers Thursday [2/10/2011] he would be "willing" to fire TSA employees en masse
should they go on strike or cause a slowdown in operations.
The Editor says...
Yeah, right. That's what he says. But Obama is no Reagan, and once the
TSA goons are unionized and have the support of all the other unions, there's no way they
will ever be teminated in large numbers.
Dems put unions ahead of air safety? Air travelers and taxpayers alike are the biggest losers
in Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole's decision to allow airport screeners to
collectively bargain. That may be why the decision was made public late Friday when it was bound to
attract minimal media coverage. Conversely, Democrats in Congress are the biggest winners.
who makes RomneyCare/MassCare's waiver decisions. Before there was Obamacare, there was
RomneyCare/MassCare. Before there were Obamacare waivers, there were RomneyCare/MassCare waivers.
And just as the SEIU Purple Army is smack dab in the middle of exempting itself from Obamacare, it is smack
dab in the middle of deciding who does and who doesn't have to follow the RomneyCare/MassCare rules in the
The TSA Two-Step. The tale of
two Friday afternoon announcements as part of a plan to unionize TSA screeners and keep the process
quiet until it's complete.
must be installed to prevent voter fraud. In the last presidential election, there were numerous
reports of electoral irregularities, in particular of dubious actions believed to have been engaged in by the
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
Some toll takers raking in $100G.
The dismantling of the Mass Pike authority didn't detour some toll takers from collecting $100,000 or more
last year, state payroll records show. The toll booth workers were among a select group of about 6,400
state employees who earned six-figure payouts in 2010, a Herald payroll analysis shows.
Bubbles Everywhere. For the last 30 years, politicians outbid each other to offer more
lavish retirement packages to union members and public employees — more eager for their votes
than for ensuring the payment of what they had promised. Receiving a generous retirement package was
considered a right rather than an investment predicated on past savings coupled with modest interest and
dividends. There may already be an immediate $1 trillion shortfall in meeting what is owed
Head for Showdown With Senate Over TSA Representation. Unions that want to represent thousands
of airport screeners are heading for a showdown with the Senate as early as Monday, with some lawmakers looking
to revoke the collective-bargaining rights the Transportation Security Administration just granted them.
Case Against TSA Unionization. [Katie] Gage voiced three main concerns with the decision:
1) that a unionized TSA would be less efficient, 2) that already-maligned TSA workers would only
become more so, and 3) that TSA workers wouldn't get to hear the case against unionization as they
decide whether to join/form one. "If you want to see larger lines at TSA checkpoints, then let's bring
a labor union in to run the show, because that's what they've brought us in the other places. I don't
think anyone would look at the Big Three as a model of efficiency and customer service," Gage said.
The Unions' Bluff — Or Perish. It's well past the time for federal, state, county
and city leaders to grow a spine and call the bluff of the public employee unions. How? By ending
all pensions for new-hire public-employees.
Go Bankrupt, California,
Please. We're now 25 billion dollars in the red in California. The governor along
with his Democrat controlled legislature will never do the right thing. They're the same folks who
brought you this mess. When Governor Brown was previously the governor he signed the Dills Act in 1978
that gave civil servants the right to collective bargaining. He did this on his very first day in office
as governor. This revolutionary enactment was the beginning of the end or our state.
the Union Leader Behind the Curtain. As discontent with public employee compensation grows, the
latest fashion from the Left is to claim that public workers are being scapegoated. Yesterday [1/4/2011],
Gawker even ran a piece called "The Plan to Blame Unions for Everything," arguing that the real causes of states'
fiscal woes are failures to properly fund pension plans and a financial collapse caused by greedy bankers.
Without problems caused by other people, there would be no crisis in employee compensation — so don't
blame the unions. The problem with this account is that it is false.
New York City's
No-Show SEIU Snow Jobs. Big Labor and politicians across the United States have transferred union
costs to taxpayers. For example, SEIU Local 444 (The Sanitation Officers Association) has six full-time
union officials who are paid full-time city benefits and salary, yet work 0.00% of the time for New York City.
These Sanitation Officers are working on everything but New York City business — including political
activities and golf outings — all on the taxpayers' dime.
New York's Union Snow Job. New
York's fierce winter storm that left snow-clogged streets unplowed for days, preventing emergency medical
crews from saving lives and rescuing stranded residents, appears to be the result of a union slowdown to
protest city budget cuts. ... The chief of the Emergency Medical Service was replaced amid warnings of
further reprisals to come. And a federal and city investigation was underway to determine whether
Sanitation Department workers deliberately slowed down snow removal operations, leaving countless streets
unplowed to protest demotions, worker layoffs and budget cutbacks.
usher in era of labor union reform. The AFL-CIO, the New York Times reported, recently distributed
an internal memo warning its members that in several states around the country, Republicans may pursue new laws
with the goal of financially starving labor unions. This trend has public employee unions worrying that
lawmakers will finally scale back the extent to which unions eat up state budgets.
St. Louis Cops Get a Bad Case of the Blue Flu. If they had been paying attention, criminals in
East St. Louis could have had run of the streets on New Years Eve when nearly an entire shift of police
officers came down with something highly contagious called a strike. However, since police aren't legally
allowed to strike, it's not called a strike. Instead, it's called the "blue flu" and, like other
union-related illnesses, it sometimes comes on all at once.
Union Boss in Charge of Procurements — What could possibly go wrong? If you're anything like me,
until today, you probably had very little idea what the Government Printing Office is all about. And,
because there are more important things in life than keeping track of every little-known governmental agency
and the administration's various political appointees, you might have missed the White House press release
letting us know that President Obama just made a whole bunch of recess appointments on Wednesday [12/29/2010].
One of those recess appointments, as it turns out, is the appointment of William Boarman, one of eight sector vice
presidents with the Communications Workers of America. The President, it seems, has opted to bypass the
Senate (again) and appointed Boarman to head the Government Printing Office as the Public Printer of the
90-Year-Old Post Office Workers Still Getting
Workers Comp? Years after most Americans retire, in fact years after the federal retirement age
of 68, more than 100 U.S. Postal Workers in their 90s are still getting 75 percent of their salaries (tax
free, yet) of federal workers compensation payments instead of having been graduated to the cheaper retirement
payments at 60 percent of their salaries.
Union Snow Sabotage in New
York City? In New York City, the Department of Sanitation, aka "New York's Strongest," are tasked with
clearing the streets of snow. The sixth most powerful storm in city history pounded New York on December 26,
leaving as much as twenty inches of snow covering the Big Apple. Three days later, hundreds of streets remained
The case against public employee
unions. John Hinderaker at Powerline makes a powerful case against the existence of public employee unions.
This, in the wake of the news that the New York sanitation workers may have slowed down snow removal last weekend to
protest budget cuts.
A New York City councilman has exposed that labor bosses don't need "On the Waterfront"-style corruption to kill innocents.
Sometimes all it takes is a snowstorm.
Time to Rethink Public Employee Unions.
In New York, sanitation workers have reported that their union ordered them to sabotage the city's blizzard cleanup efforts.
If that claim is true, the union may be responsible for at least one death. Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to investigate.
It remains to be seen what will come of this particular controversy, but the broader point is coming into ever-clearer focus:
it is time to ban public employee unions.
Labor's Snowmageddon Snit Fit. Come rain or shine, wind, sleet, or blizzard, Big Labor leaders
always demonstrate perfect power-grabby timing when it comes to shafting taxpayers. Public-sector
unions are all-weather vultures ready, willing, and able to put special-interest politics above the
citizenry's health, wealth, and safety. Confirming rumors that have fired up the frozen metropolis, the
New York Post reported Thursday [12/30/2010] that government sanitation and transportation workers were
ordered by union supervisors to oversee a deliberate slowdown of its cleanup program — and to boost
their overtime paychecks.
Chicago Firefighter 'Priest' Uses Fellow's
Funeral For Union Speech. Father Thomas Mulcrone made [a fool] of himself at the funeral for
fallen Chicago Firefighter Edward Stringer on Tuesday, Dec. 28 by delivering some union-like hectoring
of the city from the pulpit during his dead comrade's eulogy. Mulcrone's union-centric address was as
disgusting a display as I can imagine and at the most inappropriate time imaginable.
As governments go broke, public employee unions must share the pain.
Michigan authorities aren't alone in facing years of collective bargaining agreements that promised public
workers far more pay and benefits than taxpayers could afford.
A guest on Fox Business Network said last week that public employee unions are bankrupting state governments.
Isn't it time that legislators outlaw collective bargaining for public-sector workers?
Public-Sector Ponzi Scheme is Collapsing. You've been hearing for quite a while now that
public-sector unions are a threat to the economic survival of the United States. With an estimated
unfunded liability of up to $3 trillion (and perhaps much more), public-sector pensions are a noose
around the neck of America's taxpayers and it is threatening to strangle the nation. More specifically,
you've been hearing that the expensive wage and benefits packages that union-bought Democrats have given to
their union benefactors could collapse our economy. The question is, can we stop it before it it too
late, or at a minimum, contain the damage?
from unions. Government employee unions have long been one of the Democratic Party's most loyal
and dedicated constituencies. For years, Democratic politicians have supported public employee unions'
agenda of increased government spending, leading to more government jobs and thus, more potential union
members. For teachers unions — among the most politically powerful government unions — such
support has paid off as Democrats have helped them resist popular school reform efforts that could threaten
the government school monopoly, including school choice and charter schools.
I'll spend more than $4M on union war. Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo said he was girding for a
multi-million-dollar war with public employee unions to defend his efforts to close a projected $9 billion
budget deficit without raising taxes.
Sector Unions! Labor union dues are a huge factor in donations for an election cycle. Of the
top five contributors to the 2010 elections, unions claimed three of those spots. The #1 big spender
on the 2010 midterm elections happened to be: The American Federation of State, County, and Municpal Employees
(AFSCME) with $87.5 million in donations to Democratic campaigns. All three of these powerful labor
unions had a mission of electing Democrats to office with a sum total of $171.5 million to spend.
California Dreamin'. The public
employee unions are the most powerful political force in the state. They got that way because, in 1978,
then-Governor Jerry Brown signed a law allowing public-sector workers to unionize. These unions funded
Brown's recent campaign and own nearly every elected official in California. And that's the (relatively)
good news. The really bad news is the exodus of private employers who have been driven out of California
by high taxes, an anti-business culture, excessive fines and fees, and oppressive regulations.
Unions are hijacking our
democracy. Unions are spending like their very existence depends on liberals holding on to
power in the U.S. government — which it does. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME), in fact, "has spent more than any other outside group this election," according to Vincent
Vernuccio, Labor Policy Counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In the 2010 election cycle, the
AFSCME has given nearly $90 million, "almost exclusively to left-wing candidates," says Mr. Vernuccio.
(Unions have long operated as little more than liberal re-election slush funds. In the 2008 election cycle,
labor unions spent a combined and whopping $400 million to elect their pet liberals, who could be counted
on the vote for union-friendly legislation like card check and ObamaCare.)
Liberals' Natural Resource. As the government workforce comes to outnumber those in the private
sector, the constituency for even more government relentlessly expands. In fact, as of 2010, according
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a majority of all union members now work for government. ... When you
add the ease of creating public versus private jobs, the march toward everyone being on the public payroll
The sad story of how public employee unions have all but ruined California.
City Journal's Steve Malanga offers the most detailed and succinct history yet on how public sector unions grew
from being toothless employee associations to having a virtually lock on all of the key power levers in California
and how they've used that power to enrich themselves while all but ruining a once-goldern state. As
Malanga explains, what has already happened in California is well underway across the rest of the nation and
in Washington, D.C.
union to distribute leaflets at airport. Informational pickets from the union representing
security screeners at Indianapolis International Airport are expected today [6/17/2010] to begin passing
out leaflets outside the passenger terminal. The union that has limited rights to represent the 40,000
employees nationwide of the Transportation Security Administration is trying to win full recognition for
Enormous Cost of Public Unions. Last year, it was widely noted, public sector unions pulled off a
stunner, gathering in more union members than the total in the much larger private sector. More than a
third of all public employees are now union members, compared to the private percentage of 7.2. Abetted
of course by irresponsible office holders often eager for their political support, these public sector unions
have done far more to indulge their members than helping to concoct pensions of a kind hard to locate in
Push To Nationalize Police Unions. In an effort to please union backers ahead of the 2010
midterm elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is quietly trying to nationalize rules governing
every police, fire and first responder union in the nation.
Their clout in peril, public employee unions push back.
Public employee unions are pushing Congress for $23 billion to extend stimulus payments to school teachers,
including an ad campaign that shows children dressed as Wall Street bankers asking for a bailout. But
the union pressure may not be enough, as lawmakers reject new spending amid rising public anger over the
nation's staggering deficit.
of PR battle turns against public employee unions. [Scroll down] Unlike President Obama,
who can use up 15 minutes and say nothing, [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie needed less than five minutes
last week to rebuke the standard media narrative about what is unfolding in the Garden State. Christie's
pushback at the assumptions in reporter Tom Moran's question about the governor's alleged "confrontational"
tone instantly shot across the country's many forms of media.
Government Funded Front Groups.
[Scroll down] The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the government Union whose president
boasts "We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and
we're proud of it." Apparently they've reaped windfall profits from their investment. They're
the nation's fastest growing union which isn't surprising since under the Progressives the government is the
only sector of the economy that's growing.
Sounds like a win-win situation.
announces Arizona boycott. One of the nation's biggest labor organizations announced today
it will boycott Arizona. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said its 2.2 million
members will not attend any meetings or conventions in Arizona as long as the new immigration law is in place.
unions make a private sector power grab. Public employee unions are getting fired up about the financial
regulations chugging through Congress. ... Rallies and marches for a bank bill? What does that have to do
with working for the government? Stephen Lerner, who is spearheading the movement for the Service Employees
International Union, summed it up for Peter Dreier of the Huffington Post: They want the banks' money.
Possible SEIU Successor Could Make Union Peace Elusive. At a time when the nation's fastest-growing union
is starting to fall victim to its own aggression, some question whether Anna Burger — who may be in line to
replace SEIU President Andy Stern — can deliver anything but more of the same.
Andy Stern's debts.
Purple may be the official color of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), but Andy Stern is leaving
the union deep in the red. Last week, he surprised the labor community by announcing his resignation as
president of SEIU. Mr. Stern has claimed victories in helping pass health care legislation and getting
President Obama elected, but his impact within his own organization shows gaping budget deficits and massive
underfunding of pensions.
Seeing Red. On Monday in the
Washington Times, Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger —
a protégée of outgoing SEIU President Andrew Stern — defended her and Stern's time in
leadership at SEIU, claiming that the union is financially healthy. Burger's letter to the editor was in
response to my April 23 article in which I showed the poor state of SEIU's finances — and the
even poorer state of its pension funds for rank-and-file members.
unions bankrupting America. California's public-employee retirement system stands in the most
perilous condition, facing a half-trillion in unfunded liabilities. That's not surprising when you
consider a California highway patrol officer can retire at age 50 and collect up to 90 percent of
his salary for the rest of his life. According to the agency's website, a typical officer's pay will
reach $109,147 after just five years on duty — an amount that can rise significantly with overtime
benefits. That means a fit and healthy 50-year-old "retiree" who began work at age 20 would receive
$98,232 a year from taxpayers for the rest of his life, and nothing prevents him from taking another
government job to collect two paychecks. This form of double-dipping is rampant.
SEIU and the 'Cheapest
Emotional Denominator'. To an Alinskyite, "the end justifies almost any means" and an additional
12 million votes could usher in permanent Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress. What
happens thereafter to the nation's social fabric and our treasury is merely collateral damage.
Unions Now Starting Their Own Political
Party. Apparently the Democrats in North Carolina aren't sufficiently leftist enough for
the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). It appears that the SEIU, one of the largest and most
powerful public employees unions in the nation, don't have their hand deep enough in the taxpayer's pockets so
it is starting its own political party in the Tar Heel State, bypassing the Democrats altogether.
SEIU starts third party in North Carolina. Apparently statewide Democrats aren't
sufficiently pro-union in North Carolina. So the nation's most politically influential union has decided
to start a third party to run their own candidates in the state. It's also being done to punish moderate
Democrats that voted against health care.
shows Oregon taxpayers pay for union activities. In 2009, Oregonian taxpayers paid
$152,317 for Service Employees International Union activities, according to records provided by the
State Controllers Division at the request of Oregon Politico. State workers represented by SEIU
are given paid time-off for certain union activities. This time amounted to a total of 6,706.17 hours
Federal Workers Aren't Feeling the Pain.
While the President touted the 160,000-plus job gains in February, it should be noted that this year government
union workers will exceed private-sector workers in unions. When the largest union membership represents
federal workers, how do you cut the budget?
Truth at all Costs. The facts are well known. Government at all levels has grown faster than
any other segment of the economy. Government, also, pays far more than corresponding workers in the private
sector and has lavish benefit packages unmatched by any private worker. As the Cato Institute detailed in
their January, 2010 Tax & Budget Bulletin # 59, the compensation scales and benefits of government are
simply unsustainable. They cannot continue; there must be an adjustment. But blocking that
"adjustment" is the primary goal of labor unions.
Unions Killing U.S. Post Office.
Union contracts are killing the U.S. Post Office, making it uncompetitive and driving costs through the roof
according to the Government Accountability Office. The U.S. Post Office lost $12 billion between
2007 and 2009 and has reached its borrowing limit of $15 billion already.
Sector Unions Tarnish the Golden State. It's an ugly fact of life in California. Public
sector unions are slowly, painfully and inexorably choking the life out of the (once) Golden State. Fully
54% of state government workers — that's almost 1.8 million people — are unionized.
And the unions' primary reason for existence is maintaining the privileges that state employees enjoy, at any
cost to the rest of the state.
Jumping When Unions Holler.
Obama's promise of a better, cleaner, and more transparent brand of politics has not been fulfilled.
Not by a long shot. The president appoints the SEIU boss to the deficit commission. Congress
behind closed doors churns out colorfully named sweetheart deals on ObamaCare. And then they really
reveal the depths of their dependence on special-interest patrons.
firefighters union sticks it to the city. Even Tom Hurley, it's safe to say, figured there were
limits on how much you could milk the Portland Fire and Police Disability Fund. For 12 years after
an independent medical examiner ruled he could stop playing hurt and return to work, Hurley received a monthly
disability check at the taxpayers' expense. But even Hurley — the latest, and laziest, in a
long line of firefighters — eventually decided the jig was up.
History of public sector unions shows why they should
be banned. Unions can make sense in the private sector where the purpose of an
enterprise is to provide products and services needed by people who can pay for them and in
the process allow the firm to generate a profit to be shared in mutually agreeable proportions
among owner and employees. The profit is the essential measure of whether the enterprise
is viable. But in the public sector, there is no such measure because the state can only tax wealth
created by others.
Sinking By The Stern.
The White House picks its most frequent visitor to sit on its deficit commission. He believes in big
government, in big spending, and that the workers of the world should unite. What could go wrong?
Draws Fire for Appointing SEIU's Stern to Deficit Panel. President Obama's decision to appoint his
close political ally, union leader Andrew Stern, to the newly created National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility
and Reform has set off a firestorm of criticism from business and conservative groups who charge he is a political
radical who should be investigated for failure to register as a lobbyist.
Stern and Barack Obama: Fiscal Responsibility Fraudsters. Everything you need to know
about President Obama's commitment to fiscal responsibility and cost containment can be summed up in two
words: Andy Stern. The profligate, corruption-coddling head of the powerful Service Employees
International Union was named to the White House debt commission last week. If Obama thinks Stern holds
the cure for our government spending woes, you can be certain his latest health care prescription will
be fiscal hemlock.
USA Today: Average federal employee makes $38,000+ more than private
sector worker. [Scroll down] Throw in benefits, and the average federal worker makes
$38,000+ more than the average private sector worker — the very same one who's ultimately paying
For feds, more get
6-figure salaries. The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during
the recession, according to a USA TODAY analysis of federal salary data. Federal employees making salaries
of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months —
and that's before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
Names SEIU's Stern to Deficit Commission. President Obama has named four members to his
bipartisan deficit-reduction commission, including Andy Stern, the influential president of the Service
Employees International Union.
Obama and the Government
Employees: Public-sector unions have amassed great power to extract taxpayer dollars from politicians.
Politicians reward government workers with our dollars, and they in turn are rewarded at election time by donations,
free labor (phone banks, people who pass out flyers), and votes. "Fully one-third of the 'stimulus' money
went to state and local governments — an obvious payoff to public employee unions that contributed
so much to Democrats," as Michael Barone noted.
Obama's federal jobs:
Employment is up, wages are up, and job security is as firm as ever. Unfortunately, this is only true for
federal government workers. President Obama is presiding over the largest federal work force in decades.
In the current fiscal year, the number of civilian workers will grow by 153,000, to 1.43 million.
SEIU Boss Open to Serving on Obama Deficit Reduction Commission.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern said he was open to serving on President Barack Obama's
proposed deficit reduction commission, after it was reported that the White House was considering him for the post.
SEIU PAC Spent $27 Million Supporting Obama's Election,
FEC Filing Says. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) political action committee made
more than $27 million in independent expenditures in support of President-elect Barack Obama's presidential
campaign, according to a filing the PAC made with the Federal Election Commission.
Private Sector, the SEIU and Blago Way. As the union leaders' plundering of the private sector
has continued, this doesn't mean that they have abandoned unionizing private sector workers altogether.
In fact, while the number of private sector jobs overall is down, the number of unionized private sector
jobs is trending upward, right alongside the public sector growth.
Fat Cats Behind First Lady's Anti-Obesity Campaign. Behind every seemingly good deed in the
Obama White House, there's a deep-pocketed, left-wing special interest. Take first lady Michelle Obama's
crusade against childhood obesity. Who really benefits from the ostensible push for improved nutrition
in the schools? Think purple — as in the purple-shirted army of the Service Employees
Unions Bleed Taxpayers to Help Dems. Last month, the Labor Department reported that private-sector
unions lost 834,000 members last year and now represent only 7.2 percent of private-sector employees.
That's down from the all-time peak of 36 percent in 1953-54. But union membership is still growing in
the public sector.
GDP Is Up, But
Government Unions Ate Your Raise. Figures released today [1/29/2010] by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
provide less encouragement than today's GDP report. Total compensation increased by only 1.5 percent in
2009 (without adjusting for inflation) — the lowest increase on record. If a turnaround has begun,
workers are not feeling it in their wallets.
This should prove, to those who had any doubt,
that the SEIU is primarily a political organization.
Stern: Dems may not get labor's full support in fall midterms. A highly influential
labor leader Friday [1/22/2010] suggested congressional Democrats might not the full support of unions in the
upcoming midterm elections should they not pass a full healthcare reform package.
Building a New American Health Care Empire? Most average Americans know little about the
Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Some know them as the people in purple shirts that
beat up attendees at the town halls this summer. Some equate them to ACORN, or to the Obama
administration. While there is some truth to all of the above, there is for certain one title that
every voting American should be bestowing upon SEIU, and that is the title of "special interest".
Jobs Summit: The Invisible Hand of SEIU and ACORN. As President Obama concludes his first
jobs summit, almost a year into his presidency, the nature of the guest list hints at a deliberate initiative
that's been underway for over 15 years — and it's not one of the obvious presumptions that most
would make. Notice that of the list of leaders invited, the majority are labor union leaders, leaders of
businesses with government contracts, or leaders of businesses that operate on partial public funding.
government employee unions. There was a time in America when the typical union member was
a blue-collar guy sweating in a Pittsburgh steel mill, screwing together Chevies in Detroit or loading
and unloading ships on the San Francisco docks. But things are radically different today because
Joe Lunchpail has been replaced by white-collar Todd and Margo Yuppiecrat processing Social Security
checks in Baltimore, conducting environmental audits in Denver or keeping the lines moving at the
Department of Motor Vehicles.
Loser: the Union Agenda. [Scroll down] That man is Andy Stern, who has boasted that
the Service Employees International Union, which he heads, ponied up something like $60 million for
Barack Obama and other Democrats in the 2008 campaign cycle. Altogether, Mr. Stern and other labor
union leaders reportedly gave Democrats some $400 million last year. This was, to borrow a word
from Mr. Obama, an audacious gamble. Unions these days represent only 8% of private-sector employees
(and that's counting General Motors and Chrysler as private sector) and some unions went into debt to make
Labor and Big Government — there's little difference. A new Heritage foundation
study shows that while the percentage of the American workforce that is unionized is holding steady, there's
actually a huge difference in the composition of those union workers. Private sector unions continue
to dwindle, but public sector unionization is on the rise.
Obama puts union
strings on federal jobs. Delivering on President Obama's promise to boost the labor movement, the
administration has announced a $35 million federal construction project in New Hampshire that requires union
representation for the workers and forces nonunion employees to pay dues and contribute to a union pension fund.
Mr. Obama issued an executive order in the first weeks of his presidency that would make the requirement, known as a
"project labor agreement" or PLA, the norm for all government contracts on large-scale construction jobs.
Some Criticize SEIU for
Its ACORN Connections. A rapidly growing union that represents nurses, janitors and other low-wage workers
is coming under fire from conservatives because of its long-standing financial and leadership ties to ACORN, a liberal
organizing group recently embarrassed by videos filmed covertly. Some Republicans say federal agencies that recently
cut ties with ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — should also consider
severing their relationship with the Service Employees International Union.
SEIU Hit by ACORN. As
the full extent of ACORN's corruption and criminality is revealed, we are also learning about ACORN's special
friend, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the most militant and active unions in the
country. It turns out that the two organizations are quite chummy.
Not Far From the
Tree. While everyone in Washington is suddenly pretending they've hardly ever heard of ACORN, they might
want to pretend they've never heard of the SEIU, one of the nation's largest unions. The Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now and the Service Employees International Union are as tight as Heidi Klum and a new pair of
Read the Union
Health-Care Label. In the heated debates on health-care reform, not enough attention is being
paid to the huge financial windfalls ObamaCare will dole out to unions — or to the provisions in
the various bills in Congress that will help bring about the forced unionization of the health-care industry.
Tucked away in thousands of pages of complex new rules, regulations and mandates are special privileges and
giveaways that could have devastating consequences for the health-care sector and the American economy at large.
Thought This Was All About Health Care... The all-consuming debate over health care has
effectively sucked all of the oxygen out of the policy world leaving little room for discussion, let alone
action on other major elements of the progressive agenda — or so it would seem. The mammoth
bills winding their way through Congress will certainly upend our health care sector, if they are enacted.
Little known, however, are several provisions that will provide an enormous pay-off to one of the Democrat
parties most loyal constituency — Big Labor.
Labor Unions on Health Care: Their True
Motives. Unions across the country are campaigning hard for Obamacare over Labor Day weekend.
The AFL-CIO has made creating a government run "public plan" their top priority. Yet polls show that most
Americans strongly oppose this. So why have the self-proclaimed advocates for America's workers made
government-run health care their top priority?
ACORN's "Muscle for Money" does the bidding of SEIU. Corporate and
political officials who defy workplace and community organizers risk being made objects of scorn by bright red-clad
protestors in public and private, courtesy of an activist union and its close allies in the nation's most controversial
liberal non-profit advocacy group. It's officially called the "Muscle for Money" program within the Service Employees
International Union (SEIU) where it was started, and unofficially by the same name among activists of Association of
Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN).
Back to ACORN General
Hospital. Unlike 98.4% of you nurses out there, I have actually belonged to a union. Years
ago, after accepting a new hospital position I was filling out the obligatory HR paperwork. Among the
forms was an index card. "What's this?" I asked. "It's for the union." I handed it to her.
"You don't understand. I am an RN. A professional. I won't be joining a union."
She handed the card back to me. "No, you don't understand. This is a closed shop. Fill
out the card." Except for irritation at the dues deducted from my paycheck, the union had no effect on
my life. Then, a few months later, the hospital informed us that they were in dire financial straits and
needed concessions from all employees. So, I made plans to attend my one and only union meeting. We
gathered to hear how our union was going to fight for our rights. The representative got up to
the microphone and said — I swear I am not making this up — "We've looked over what
they're asking and we recommend you take it." End of meeting.
State's budget crisis
opens rift between unions and Democrats. The Capitol's usual political alliances are being tested
by the state's severe financial problems as interest groups scramble to hold onto as much as possible of the
state's shrinking coffers. The relationship between Democratic leaders and some of their labor
benefactors has turned particularly frosty: Many of the programs union members rely on for
paychecks — and the unions rely on for dues — have been slated for deep cuts.
An obvious payback to the unions who supported Obama...
Davis-Bacon Wage Provisions Depress the Economy.
Congress has included a little-known provision in the economic stimulus legislation that wastes tax dollars
and costs jobs. All $188 billion worth of construction projects funded in the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) must pay Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates. This requirement will inflate
construction costs by $17 billion and depress the economy.
Police: Unions keep losing membership as a share of the national workforce, which explains
why organized labor's main political focus is changing the rules to force more workers into unions. Witness
a bill that Senate Democrats are pushing this week to require that hundreds of thousands of local police and
firemen submit to collective bargaining.
Sixteen states have considered legislation like this since 1996
and voted it down. The bill, pushed hardest by the International Association of Fire Fighters, would
impose it nationwide, superceding all of these state laws.
on volunteer firefighters. You probably haven't heard Congress is about to shut down many of
America's volunteer fire departments. Not intentionally, perhaps. Yet a little-known bill
advancing through Congress would do just that.
Who would want to shut them down? The International
Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), that's who.
The union's effort to ban volunteering is an assault
on our civic fabric. Doctors who provide free care to the poor, lawyers who work pro bono for the
disadvantaged, and firefighters who volunteer for their communities make America a better country.
Incest. In Stamford, Connecticut, where I live, police, fireman, and teachers unions, which
constitute more than 70% of the budget, are driving property taxes upward at rates of 8% to 10% per annum.
Emblematic of the malevolent influence of these unions is the daily spectacle of uniformed policemen, at
$70 per hour, doing an indifferent job of directing traffic around roadside work crews. Such work
could and should be done at no more than $10 per hour by lower-income people eager for such work.
Connecticut Public Employees Live On Easy
Street. "No, layoffs are not something we would ever consider," said former Connecticut
House of Representatives Speaker Moira Lyons (D-Stamford) in November 2002, in response to a reporter's
question about laying off state employees in order to close the state's budget deficit.
Powerful Public Sector Unions. The percentage of private sector workers who are covered by a
collective bargaining agreement has plunged to just 8.5 percent, down from 23.2 percent
in 1983. … Meanwhile, public sector union membership shows very little net change over the
past 22 years, rising from 340,00 to 350,000.
Can the Postal Service Learn? Employees
of the U.S. Postal Service — the third largest employer in the country — should take note: Asking for
too much can sometimes turn big benefits into big layoffs. Delphi, the nation's largest auto-parts
supplier and employer of 34,000 hourly workers, is bankrupt. It might have something to do with the fact
that Delphi's unionized workers make on average $64 per hour in wages and benefits — more than twice what
some of its competitors pay.
Air Controllers Strike Again? In
1998, the union-dependent [Clinton] administration caved in to today's average controller pay of $166,000
(not counting the most generous pension and benefits in the world), with the top rate of $197,000 exceeding
the pay of all cabinet secretaries — and costing $1.9 billion. That apparently is
Discrimination by Unions: The
Davis-Bacon Act was passed by Congress in 1934 with the strong support of labor unions. The Act requires
construction firms contracting for the federal government to pay their workers "locally prevailing wages," and
it was passed by lawmakers with the explicit intention of keeping low-skilled African-American workers out of
federal construction projects.
In 1999, Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce
testified before Congress on the "racist roots" of the Davis-Bacon Act.
How to Save $40 Billion:
President Obama said in his Inaugural Address yesterday that government must spend to rebuild roads and
bridges, but that those "who manage the public's dollars" must also "spend wisely" and "reform bad habits."
With that ambition in mind, here's an idea to save tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in the months ahead:
Repeal Davis-Bacon superminimum wage requirements for construction projects.
Unions are Dangerous to Business and
Taxpayers. Every state and community across the nation is now facing powerful public
employee unions when it's time to renegotiate public employee contracts. The unions are
aggressive, self-serving, and will strike, shutting down or crippling essential public
services when it's to their benefit in order to intimidate and win larger concessions.
Washington State Workers Win Back Their
Jobs. Ten Washington state employees who were forced from their jobs for refusing to pay union
dues are back at work. In June the state employees settled their class-action lawsuit against the
Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE). The union agreed to remedy its violations, rehire
the fired employees, provide them back pay, and cover nominal damages and attorneys fees.
Union Blues. The controversy surrounds an initiative called "paycheck protection" which
is now headed to Golden State voters in a special election this fall. The measure would require
public sector unions to receive written permission from rank-and-file members before spending
their dues on political activities.
are footing bill for union work. In the wake of a controversy over a police union
official who received a city salary while working full time for the officers union, a survey of
city government, Muni and BART unions reveals a handful of other officials with similar arrangements,
including a San Francisco sheriff's union chief who earned $60,000 a year but worked as little as
one shift a month.
influence: Bill Clinton's memoir will hit bookstores later this month, but one
story you're not likely to read in its pages involves Clinton's friendship with
Arthur A. Coia. The debonair former president of the Laborers
International Union of North America was one of the Democratic Party's biggest
contributors when Clinton was in office. In the first four years of the Clinton
administration alone, LIUNA gave $4.8 million to Democrat candidates and the
Democratic Party. Although Clinton had contact with Coia no fewer than 120 times,
their association is an awkward memory for the former president given the
latter's ties to organized crime and that of the union he once headed.
politics: President Bush's new campaign ads, which feature fleeting images of
firemen removing the remains of victims from the attack on the World Trade Center, have
ignited a firestorm of criticism from the union representing New York firefighters. The
union's complaints should come as no surprise since the IAFF was an early
supporter of Sen. John Kerry; in fact, they were the only union to endorse
Kerry before the New Hampshire primary. Less well known, however, is the IAFF's
own exploitation of those fallen heroes of September 11 to advance the cause
of forced unionism for all public safety workers.
the unions: Howard Dean wasn't the only loser in the Iowa caucuses. Two
of the nation's biggest, most politically powerful unions, the Service Employees International
Union and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Union), endorsed
Dean. AFSCME and SEIU are estimated to have spent $2.6 million in Iowa trying
to win the state for Dean, who ended up with only 18 percent of the vote.
safe? President Bush tried to get rid of lazy, burned out, incompetent, uncaring
or corrupt federal employees when he set about to establish a Homeland Security Department,
but he met solid resistance from leftist union-loving Democrats who claim that if Bush can
hire, fire or promote federal employees on merit alone, we'll be "headed back to the bad old
days." Most of us are realistic enough to realize that these are the bad old days.
Unions A Detriment To A Good Work Ethic? You Betcha! One thing that the Wisconsin protests
prove is that FDR was right about public unions. In a National Affairs magazine article Daniel
DeSalvo wrote: "Meticulous attention," the president insisted in 1937, "should be paid to the
special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government... The
process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."
The reason? FDR believed that "[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent
on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action
looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable."
Roosevelt was hardly alone in holding these views, even among the champions of organized labor. Indeed,
the first president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, believed it was "impossible to bargain collectively with
The illegal New York City transit strike of 2005:
Struck by the Strike. One
of the principal elements of civil society is the rule of law. Society depends upon most people
obeying the law most of the time, together with tough sanctions for violation. In this spirit,
the full strength of any and all sanctions of the Taylor Law should be imposed upon the leadership
of New York's illegally striking bus and subway workers.
You see, The Taylor Law prohibits
strikes by public employees.
Screws Tighten on
NYC Transit Union. The contract covering 33,000 New York transit workers expired
last week, and the union called the strike Tuesday morning [12/20/2005] despite a state law
banning public employee strikes.
Court Fines NYC Transit
Strikers $1M a Day. The city's subway and bus workers went on strike Tuesday [12/20/2005]
for the first time in more than 25 years, stranding millions of commuters, holiday shoppers and
tourists at the height of the Christmas rush. A judge promptly slapped the union
with a $1 million-a-day fine.
Despite an Illegal Strike, New York
Transit Workers Win. Barely a week after New York's 34,000 transit workers illegally
walked off the job for three days near the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, the union received a
contract offer many people saw as a victory for the union.
Judge Ends Automatic Rake Of Dues for Transit
Workers. The Transport Workers Union must pay $2.5 million for the strike that brought
subway and bus service to a standstill for three days last December, a Brooklyn judge ruled
yesterday [4/17/2006]. State Supreme Court Judge Theodore Jones also penalized the union by
halting its automatic collection of member dues.
NYC Mass Transit Local Makes
Unorthodox Plea to Avoid Fines. When Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union of
America (TWU) went on a three-day strike during last year's Christmas shopping season, it did
more than disrupt the lives of millions of New York City bus and subway commuters; it also broke
the law. And in doing so, it opened itself up to roughly $3 million in fines. On
Friday, April 7, lawyers for the local argued before Justice Theodore Jones of State Supreme
Court in Brooklyn that the fines, if levied, would bankrupt the union. Therefore, stated the
defense, the fines should be waived.
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