AFL-CIO base futilely calls for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.

Well, that was the problem, wasn’t it? “There was never any question that the powerful American Federation of Teachers — a union representing 1.6 million educators across the country — would endorse Hillary Clinton for president. But on Saturday, when the AFT became the first international labor union to make an endorsement in the contest by announcing its support of Clinton, it drew sharp criticism from teachers as well as other labor leaders, who questioned the timing amid Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surge in popularity.”  Let me explain: when I first read that story, I shrugged and just went past those first two paragraphs. Of course the AFT is supporting Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders: Clinton has one of her followers – Randi Weingarten – running it, and Ms. Weingarten is utterly loyal to the Clinton machine. That’s almost certainly why she’s running the AFT, in fact: Clinton has a vested interest in putting her creatures in positions of purported authority.  This is, as the man says, how the Democratic Establishment do.

However, there is a certain percentage of rank-and-file hard labor supporters* who still cling to the charmingly retro position that picking a candidate to endorse should be a more collective decision. And the hard labor folks are getting rather agitated about the way that the AFT didn’t show solidarity with the rest of the AFL-CIO by endorsing early. You see, ostensibly the decision to endorse Hillary Cli… ah, ‘to endorse a Presidential candidate’… was supposed to be made in two weeks at AFL-CIO headquarters; presumably the labor movement would then speak as one voice, and all that. Now they have a potential division in the ranks. Continue reading AFL-CIO base futilely calls for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.

Twinkies to return without union ‘assistance.’

Alternate title: “Sir, the Twinkies are back online!”

Bless you, Scotty!*”

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.

Basically, the new owners (Apollo Global Management LLC, and Metropoulos & Co.) aren’t subject to the old union contract from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers union (BCTWGM).  As you may recall, BCTWGM more or less killed the old Hostess company (which, admittedly, was on life support anyway) last year when it decided to play some rather ill-timed hardball.  When the Teamsters are waving off your strike threats… well.  The BCTWGM has paid for their folly, no? Continue reading Twinkies to return without union ‘assistance.’

Dues checkoff: the true issue at stake in Wisconsin.

I understand why Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is couching the Left’s tantrum (H/T: Instapundit) over the Wisconsin budget bill in terms of  having public sector employees contribute more of their fair share to health care and restricting harmful collective bargaining practices; both sides of the issue are publicly and politely pretending that this were the central issues.  Only, they were not.  Oh, sure, limiting collective bargaining via statute (which makes it harder to reverse) is a clear and present danger to the ability of organized labor to keep its leadership fat and happy; nobody’s debating that, although some (dumb) people would dispute my depiction of said leadership.  But the real problem with the bill for the Democrats is much simpler:

The ending of automatic dues checkoff for public sector unions in Wisconsin. Continue reading Dues checkoff: the true issue at stake in Wisconsin.

#rsrh BLS unemployment survey out soon…

…the last one before the election. Nobody’s expecting anything much in the way of short-term news, but apparently they’re going to have revisions to the non-farm employment numbers from April 2009 to March 2010.  Translation: the current unemployment rate probably won’t go up or down much, but past ones might*.  Remember, might: also remember, we want good news.  People are hurting out there, and somebody needs to care about that, even if the current ruling party apparently doesn’t.

Moe Lane

*As MarketWatch puts it, “Friday’s new numbers could vastly alter perceptions of labor conditions. They may also change perceptions of how well the stimulus legislation worked as a job-creating program.”  It would certainly be nice if the numbers were better than we thought…

#rsrh Government behind on hiring census workers; wait, what?

I mean, I’m pleased that they didn’t muck up the unemployment rate even worse than it already is (it stayed at 9.7%), and it’s good news that we have positive job growth this month. But… what?

The nation’s economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.


The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the most since the recession began but below analysts’ expectations of 190,000. The total includes 48,000 temporary workers hired for the U.S. Census, also fewer than many economists forecast.

By ‘fewer’ the AP means ‘half:’ the assumption was that 100K temporary census jobs would be added in March. 48K of 162K is actually a better ratio than 100K of 200K, in this context, but why is the Commerce Department missing what should be some very easy benchmarks?

Aside from the obvious answer of ‘consider the political party running the show,’ of course.

Moe Lane