Mind you, I want the unions to win this one. After they’ve gone round and round with the Greenies a few more times. Which is horribly partisan of me; then again, so is everybody else.
A letter distributed Friday by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) to the districts of 27 House Democrats calls for union members to make sure their representative “feels the power and the fury of LIUNA this November.”
Their crime: signing a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last monthurging him to reject Keystone, which would carry oil sands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.
What makes this particularly savory is that the Congressmen involved are hardcore progressives; the letter is hard to find, but what lists I’ve seen of signatories suggest that they’re not too used to intra-party squabbles of this sort. This is free media that can’t particularly splash back on us, in other words; and there’s going to be hurt feelings among our political opponents either way. Pass the popcorn.
Labor leaders who have spent months lobbying unsuccessfully for special protections under the Affordable Care Act warned this week that the White House’s continued refusal to help is dampening union support for Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections.
Leaders of two major unions, including the first to endorse Obama in 2008, said they have been betrayed by an administration that wooed their support for the 2009 legislation with promises to later address the peculiar needs of union-negotiated insurance plans that cover millions of workers.
Maintain your composure, people. No tears! No tears:
The 2011 state law that all but ended collective bargaining for most public workers has hit Wisconsin’s second largest union hard.
The Capital Times reports the latest tax documents available show combined income of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees dropped 45% in 2012. That was the first full year of the law, called Act 10.
In 2011, the four councils that make up the state organization reported a combined income of $14.9 million. In 2012 that dropped to $8.3 million. Dues revenue dropped 40% to $7.1 million.
Turns out that if you give people an opportunity to vote with their pocketbooks, they take it. I’d also note that a hefty percentage of those people opting out of forced union dues are undoubtedly doing it because Big Labor is a lapdog for the Democratic party establishment. Gallup found in 2012 that 35% of union households backed Mitt Romney (34%, government union); while that may not make much of an electoral difference, I imagine that those folks are now happy not to be paying for Democratic attacks on their candidates. I suggest that the unions take a hint or two from this. Continue reading AFSCME in dues freefall after Wisconsin labor union reforms.
“If a worker shut down a manufacturing plant until they got what they wanted, they’d be fired.” …Wow. It’s not every day that a Republican gets to stick up for the right of the working man to strike for better pay and working conditions. Makes you wonder whether Barack Obama’s feeling nostalgic for the days when you could just send in the Pinkertons to take care of uppity malcontents… Continue reading @BarackObama attacks the right of workers to strike. …Wait, WHAT?
I swear to God, you’d think that the Democratic party just simply HATES people who live in cities.
The council voted 8 to 5 Wednesday to impose a super-minimum wage of $12.50 an hour — well above the District’s regular $8.25 minimum— on retailers reporting at least $1 billion in annual corporate revenue and operating in spaces of 75,000 square feet or more. A second and final vote is scheduled for July 10.
The bill — backed by organized labor and other advocates for workers — would affect stores already operating in the city, including Home Depot, Macy’s and Costco, which would be required to comply within four years. But the legislation, known as the Large Retailer Accountability Act, is generally seen as aimed at Wal-Mart, which plans to open six D.C. stores in the coming years.
Basically: if the law goes through, the expectation is that Wal-Mart will simply abandon three planned stores – and their jobs, and the sudden appearance of three new supermarkets in the DC food desert – which puts Mayor Vincent Gray (D) in a spot, because he’s been trying to get the aforementioned jobs and supermarkets into DC for some time. But that doesn’t matter, because unions > poor people in the current Democratic calculus, and God forbid that Democratic campaign donors be ever, ever thwarted… Continue reading DC City Council attacks Wal-Mart, poor people.
Before you ask: I was raised in a union household. I know precisely what that word means, and I am using it precisely as my late father the local union president would have used it if he had lived to read this Wall Street Journal article by former SEIU boss Andy Stern. Let me summarize said article: I, Andy Stern, am a cheap date* who can be easily persuaded to publicly abandon support for the most successful economic/fiscal system in human history in exchange to a free trip to the Great Wall of China. But ignore for right now Stern’s unfortunate (for him) timing in writing a remarkably servile paean to the planned Chinese economy at precisely (I’m fond of that word this morning, it seems) the moment when the Chinese economy is looking alarmingly fragile to the rest of the world. Let’s instead talk about the state of organized labor in the People’s Republic of China, shall we?
Well, in at least one way you can certainly say that labor’s organized in the PRC: the ChiComs haven’t been shy about instituting absolute and exclusive control over trade unions. There’s precisely one trade union in China – the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which is, as CNN helpfully notes, “a government-sanctioned organization whose primary mission is to support Communist party policies and seek basic compensation for workers.” If you don’t like that union? Suffer. Want to start your own? Here comes the cops. Want to do collective bargaining? Oh, you poor, naive so-and-so – hey, wait: isn’t Andy Stern in favor of collective bargaining? Why, yes, so he is. So why is Stern supporting a country where they routinely oppress the workers (including children) in ways that go beyond even the most fetid fever-swamp agitprop of the American labor movement? Particularly when labor unrest in China just keeps increasing?
Oh, right. Because Andy Stern’s a scab that got bought off by a Center for American Progress-sponsored trip to China. I’m embarrassed on behalf of my old man; Stern didn’t even have the decency to be expensive to buy.
As it happens, this Wall Street Journal article discussing Ohio’s (among other states’) credit upgrade by Standard & Poor – and Ohio’s fairly dramatic drop in unemployment in a year – came out the same day that I spoke with Governor Kasich about his budget and labor union reform successes. The latter (SB5, which was in many ways an even stronger reform package than Wisconsin’s) is up for ratification again by the voters, in the form of Issue 2; needless to say, the Democrats are particularly desperate to reverse it, pretty much for the exclusive benefit of their Big Labor cronies. The need to keep reform alive in Ohio was thus prominent in the below interview:
The primary pro-Issue 2 website (“Building a Better Ohio”) can be found here. I encourage folks to check it out.
You see, I know that the Wisconsin Supreme Court did a full-force smackdown of Judge MaryAnn Sumi’s incorrect and egregious attempt to subvert the will of the Wisconsin legislature with regard to labor union reform. That part is obvious.
I also know that (Democratic) Secretary of State Doug La Follette is trying to give his party’s Big Labor cronies two more weeks at the public troughs by trying to delay publishing the bill until the 28th. Like Ann Althouse (and presumably Glenn Reynolds), I’m not sure why La Follette thinks that he can get away with it, but I understand the gambit.
What I don’t get is this: if the bill hasn’t been published (and thus not law), why did Big Labor get to file suit against it*? And if Big Labor can file suit against it, then it’s law – and Secretary La Follette’s wrong about a key aspect of his job, right?
Seriously, while I am not a lawyer, I still don’t see exactly how the Democrats can have it both ways on this. Either it’s law or it’s not. If it’s not, then they shouldn’t be able to file a lawsuit. If it is, then La Follette is ignorant of his responsibilities. The Left should not be able to pick and choose like this.
*Frivolously, as Hot Air rightly notes: differential treatment of various types of workers goes all the way back to Taft-Hartley. Good luck trying to overthrow that one, folks.
PS: Yes, I’ve already had somebody privately tell me that common sense sometimes has very little to do with the law.
David Freddoso has the details: essentially, the Teamsters and the UFCW are at cross-purposes when it comes to the Giant supermarket chain here in DC. The Teamsters are angry at Giant because Giant parent company Royal Ahold is closing a Teamsters-controlled facility in Jessup, Maryland, in favor of a non-union one in Pennsylvania*. This will be happening, and the real question is whether Royal Ahold will start the process with another Teamster-controlled Jessup facility. As Freddoso mentioned, part of the Teamster’s push-back on this involves directly attacking the Giant supermarket chain’s reputation… which if successful will of course adversely affect the UFCW’s own workers. Continue reading Teamsters steamroller United Food & Commercial Workers.