Big Labor: Wait, this #Obamacare thing we passed is going to hurt *us*?

Unite Here has discovered the indifference of Barack Obama:

A national union that represents 300,000 low-wage hospitality workers charges in a new report that Obamacare will slam wages, cut hours, limit access to health insurance and worsen the very “income equality” President Obama says he is campaigning to fix.

Unite Here warned that due to Obamacare’s much higher costs for health insurance than what union workers currently pay, the result will be a pay cut of up to $5 an hour. “If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage,” said the union in a new report.



Why Big Labor thinks that McJobs are more fertile ground than Dirty Jobs.

Nick Gillespie, on the misdirected zeal of Big Labor trying to up the unemployment rate by upping the minimum wage:

While there is nothing wrong with any job, the simple fact is that nobody is going to get rich—or even comfortably middle class—if his or her main gig is punching the buttons at a McCafe. The skills necessary to work there are simply not that advanced to increase wages exponentially and the entire economy of fast food is based on keeping prices—and by extension, wages—relatively low.

Rather than focus on fast food, it would be smarter to focus where the jobs—and wages—are. There’s something on the order of 3.7 million openings (about the size of the entire minimum wage workforce) in various trades ranging from construction to carpentry to ++electrical to welding. These are jobs that are not only in high demand but pay relatively high wages, often around the median household income of $51,000. Mike Rowe, the former host of the cable show Dirty Jobs, makes a compelling case that these are exactly the sort of gigs that can secure people steady work that allows for advancement and serious benefits.



Why @barackobama will not bail out Big Labor’s #obamacare plans.

Word has gone out that the Obama administration has decided, formally, to deny various labor unions’ requests to give special waivers to their health care plans.  Basically, the plans in question were negotiated between labor and management, and have significant differences from ‘standard’ employee health care plans; the administration will refuse to treat said plans as being eligible for subsidies under Obamacare.  This means that the plans will almost certainly get tossed by employers in preference to exchange-based plans, thus depriving Big Labor of both a personal revenue stream AND one of the best arguments for joining a union in the first place.  Shorter version: Barack Obama has just done more damage to the American labor movement than most of the people reading this could ever hope to do. (more…)


Quotes of the Day, Big Labor Finally Formally Joining The Democratic Party edition.

Took em long enough:

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.



Breaking: Right-to-Work legislation passes Michigan State House.

The Monroe News has reported that the legislation (part of House Bill 4054) just (4:45 PM) passed 58-52 in the state house, and will now go to the State Senate (I’m being told that the Senate will vote on this legislation within five business days).  Governor Rick Snyder (R) has already indicated that he will sign the legislation if it gets to his desk; given that the Michigan Senate has a two-to-one Republican majority, this is likely to occur.  Right-to-work opponents have already showed their disapproval of the measure, to the point where the cops had to use pepper spray to get control of the Michigan State Capitol.  All in all, today’s demonstration is unlikely to be the only response by Big Labor to Michigan’s union reform bill/law, in the same way that water is somewhat wet and the sun’s surface can get a trifle warm sometimes.

More as it happens.

UPDATE: Annnnnd Fox News reports that they’ve just passed a similar bill in the Senate.  Five-day delay before the final version gets passed; I assume that the first labor-induced (I am so dreadfully sorry for that) rioting has been tentatively penciled in for Monday morning.

Moe Lane (“Breaking: Right-to-Work legislation passes Michigan State House.“)



Michigan to be scene of the Right-to-Work War of 2013?

It’s an interesting situation up there in Michigan: as the Detroit News rather sourly notes, the Republicans control the legislature and the governorship, while the extremely-Big Labor-friendly Proposal 2 went down in flames (58/42, not that the Detroit News wanted to mention that statistic).  This opens up the possibility of right-to-work legislation being introduced in either the current or the next state legislative turn; it also opens up the virtual certainty of a Big Labor response that will make the Wisconsin recall meltdown look like… well, I was going to write ‘a petulant, foot-stamping, and ultimately impotent temper tantrum conducted by spoiled brats with no conception of how the world really works,’ except that that was what the Wisconsin recall meltdown really was.  Anyway, it’ll be worse in Michigan.  To the point where things may start actually be set on fire.

But does it matter?  …Maybe not.  Consider the chart below:

State Sen House Cong
MI N/A -4 0
OH 0 1 0
WI 3 2 0



Big Labor apologists overlook hidden lede of Unionmade flap.

Short version: some California chain selling men’s clothing is calling itself “Unionmade” when it’s not particularly featuring stuff made by unions, and the AFL-CIO is getting shirty about it.  But here’s the point/counterpoint kicker:

“We sell really beautiful well-made products. Products I’ve always liked,” [Unionmade founder Todd] Barket told me. “Our clothing is honest and straightforward. Everything has a reason for being there. Good design. High quality. Not too tricky. Any guy can walk in and understand what we’re presenting. Everything is really understandable.”


…only about three to five percent of the items sold at Unionmade are union-made.

Translation: union-made products are pretty much crap quality these days.  I think that the AFL-CIO should probably worry about THAT more.

Moe Lane


#rsrh ‘Won’t Back Down’ and the Walker Effect.

The interesting bit in this article on union pushback against the new movie Won’t Back Down is not this one…

In real life, Parents Across America, an advocacy group which has received union funding, has launched a “fight Hollywood” campaign asking members to contact entertainers at all involved with the film or even a summer concert to kick it off. The intent, according to its website, which lists phone numbers and emails of agents and publicists, is to brand the film as a “feel bad, not feel good” movie. On their list: Davis and Gyllenhaal, plus Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Jack Black, the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Josh Groban.

…it’s this one: (more…)


#rsrh Big Labor: odd special interest group out on Keystone pipeline.

(H/T: @davidhauptmann) There’s a saying: If you’re playing poker and you haven’t figured out within the first half-hour who the sucker is, you’re the sucker.  Private sector union leadership is not quite yet at the point of realizing this: their comments and complaints about the White House’s decision to ‘delay’ the Keystone ethical oil pipeline give off the unmistakable aroma of what is really a quite shocking naivete.  Not to mention a darkly humorous naivete, as well: these poor people think that they matter.

But let me rip off the bandage.  Union leadership is going to stay solidly Democratic this election cycle, which means money is going to continue to flow to the Democrats.  That’s all that matters.  Luddite Greenies are significantly more shaky in their support this go-round: that makes them more important to this administration.  That is likewise the end of the story.  And since we already know that Obama’s planning to write off working class white voters, the question now becomes: why is anybody really surprised that this is happening? (more…)


George Will and the Wisconsin Progressive Waterloo.

George Will visits the wreckage-strewn battlefield where Wisconsin progressives launched their desperate counter-attack against the forces of reform, and finds a certain grim satisfaction there.  To refresh people’s memories: Wisconsin progressives’ refusal to accept the widespread repudiation of the Democratic party in Wisconsin in 2010 (loss of the state legislature, two Congressional seats lost, progressive icon US Senator Russ Feingold handily if not contemptuously defeated by Ron Johnson, loss of the executive branch) led them to desperate attempts to retroactively rewrite reality to make The Bad Thing never happen.  While they (and their Big Labor manipulators) were able to force Wisconsin Democrats to go along with a hapless (and futile) fight over collective bargaining reform, attempts to create change via popular outrage failed, largely because Wisconsin progressives failed to create any actual permanent outrage outside of their rather narrow sub-demographics*.  Reform measures thus passed, much to the impotent rage of its enemies.

We’ll have George take it from here:

Having failed to prevent enactment of the Walker agenda voters had endorsed, unions and their progressive allies tried to recall six Republican senators. If three had been recalled, Democrats would have controlled the Senate, and other governors and state legislators would have been warned not to challenge unions. Fueled by many millions of dollars from national unions and sympathizers, progressives proved, redundantly, the limited utility of money when backing a bankrupt agenda: Only two Republicans were recalled — one was in a heavily Democratic district, the other is a married man playing house with a young girlfriend. Progressives also failed to defeat a Supreme Court justice.

An especially vociferous progressive group calls itself “We Are Wisconsin.” Evidently not.



The Hysterically Outdated SEIU Intimidation Manual.

Background on this: the SEIU was forced to cough up a copy of its “Contract Campaign Manual” as part of a court case – and it’s an interesting little document.  The whole thing reads, as F. Vincent Vernuccio notes in the Washington Times, as a step-by-step checklist on how to manipulate… just about everything, really… in the course of forcing favorable negotiation terms.  Mostly because that’s what it actually is.

Lots of people are going to concentrate on passages like this:

Union members sometimes must act in the tradition of Dr. Marin Luther King and Mohatma Gandhi and disobey laws which are used to enforce injustice against working people.


It may be a violation of blackmail and extortion laws to threaten management officials with release of ‘dirt’ about them if they don’t settle a contract. But there is no law against union members who are angry at their employer deciding to uncover and publicize factual information about individual managers.

…as they should, frankly.  But looking at the document itself tells you something interesting about SEIU: it apparently hasn’t had an original thought in its collective head since, I don’t know, about 1985 or so*. (more…)


Wisconsin school district now stable, thanks to Scott Walker et al.

Oh, that awful Scott Walker and his awful union reform law. It’s been devastating; I mean, look at just one school district affected by the Republican-passed law! The Kaukauna School District was already laboring under a $400,000 deficit; now, ‘thanks’ to Scott Walker and the Republican party, they’re now stuck with a $1,500,000 surplus! That means more work for the hiring department! That means that they’re going to have to gut the average class size!  That means that the school district will probably now be able to get away with instituting the hideously unfair program of… merit pay!

Yes, I’m being sarcastic; this is actually great news.  Most of the savings are taking place from teachers facing a slight increase in their contributions to their health care (still well below the average private sector contribution, mind you) and the institution of a modest contribution to their pension funds. They’ve also had their work week bumped up – to forty hours – and they’re up to six out of seven periods teaching a day, instead of five.  Yes, this kind of fiddling was what Big Labor in Wisconsin went to the wall to to prevent.  Well, that and monopoly pricing: (more…)

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