California: Democrats shaft farm-workers’ rights

May 17, 2011

If you want any more proof that the Democratic Party-Big Labor oligarchy that dominates California doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss about worker’s rights, let me present in evidence SB104, by which the state legislature gutted the right to a secret ballot in union elections:

The state Legislature has passed a bill that would give farm workers an alternative to secret ballots in deciding whether to join a union.

The Assembly approved SB104 on a 51-25, party-line vote Monday. It would allow field laborers to organize by submitting a petition to the state instead of holding a secret-ballot election.

Workers would sign and turn in state-issued representation cards. If the state determined the cards had been signed by a majority of workers, the union would be certified without holding an election.

Sounds so nice, doesn’t it? Farm workers have a choice now! Isn’t choice good?

Some choice. Instead of a secret ballot in which each worker can make his or her free choice about forming a union without fear of intimidation or threats, now union organizers can just ask you to sign a card endorsing a union. Maybe they’ll do it in front of your co-workers or other union organizers — or maybe they’ll come to your home. Regardless, they’ll know exactly who supported them and who didn’t. Only the naive would think this won’t weigh on a worker’s choice.

This is the infamous “card check” method, something Big Labor pushed hard for as a payback for their support of Obama and the Democrats in the 2008 election. Regardless of the pieties spouted by union bosses and their Democratic allies, this is nothing less than a means to coerce people into joining unions when they may not want to and regardless of how they see their own best interests. It violates the rights of the individual to free association and leaves him or her vulnerable to thuggery. Even George McGovern opposed it. As the National Right to Work Foundation wrote about the national card-check legislation:

The Card Check Forced Unionism Bill would effectively eliminate workers’ right to a secret ballot in workplace unionization drives and replace it with overt union intimidation:

Under the Card Check Forced Unionism Bill, the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) that refer to the secret ballot election would be rendered a dead letter, even though they are not technically stricken from federal law.

Big Labor spin artists can claim all they want that the workers can still “choose” to have a secret ballot election, but there simply is no way by which workers can force union bosses to file for a secret ballot election — and it is union bosses, not workers, who are in possession of the cards.  Reporters who repeat this union boss talking point owe their readers a correction.

Read the full analysis here.  Union bosses prefer card check instant organizing because it puts all of the power in their hands — free from the meddling interference of government election supervisors and the workers themselves.  

So, since card-check died as a federal effort, union bosses shifted their efforts to preserve their empires to the state level. SB104 is one of their victories, and the problems described in the above quote occur under the state law, too. I have to ask: if unionism is such a good thing, why are labor bosses and Democrats so darned afraid of secret ballots? Maybe there’s another reason

What an irony: after fighting for years for the right to organize, farm workers get the back of the hand — from their own union. And the Democrats? Killing a worker’s right to a secret ballot? The party of the working man? I’d expect them to die from shame, but that assumes they have any sense of shame in the first place.

Oligarchies never do.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Don’t cry over spilled milk – call the EPA!

June 27, 2010

Yes, according to the EPA, cow’s milk is now classified as “oil:”

Having watched the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico, dairy farmer Frank Konkel has a hard time seeing how spilled milk can be labeled the same kind of environmental hazard.

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is classifying milk as oil because it contains a percentage of animal fat, which is a non-petroleum oil.

The Hesperia farmer and others would be required to develop and implement spill prevention plans for milk storage tanks. The rules are set to take effect in November, though that date might be pushed back.

“That could get expensive quickly,” Konkel said. “We have a serious problem in the Gulf. Milk is a wholesome product that does not equate to spilling oil.”

Remember that the next time you wonder why the price of milk has gone up. And it’s not that I don’t believe agricultural pollution can be a problem, but with the Earth vomiting tens of thousands of barrels of real oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, you’d think that the EPA would have more pressing matters to deal with, instead of spilled milk. Then again, if their boss isn’t worried…

But some politicians should be. This won’t play well in any big dairy state, not just Michigan, whether it’s California (“It’s the cheese!”) or Wisconsin, which has such large dairy industry that it bills itself as “America’s Dairyland” and where liberal Democratic Senator Russ Feingold is in a tough reelection battle. It’s another intervention and expense imposed by a regulatory agency at a time when most believe government does too much and has too much power. And, as the party of government and the party pushing for a vast expansion of an already intrusive government, the Democrats are doing a bang-up job of turning the public’s suspicion into electoral anger.

Come November, they may be crying over more than a spilled glass of oil milk.

(via Legal Insurrection)


Making fudge, EU-style

May 28, 2010

Here’s another video from the TaxPayer’s Alliance, this one explaining how the European Union’s agricultural policies leave Britons paying £398/$575 more than they should for their groceries. Maybe it’s because I like to cook and I’m a Jamie Oliver fan, but I think it’s effective – and it made me laugh:

More seriously, the trade barriers set up against agricultural goods from outside the EU is a real scandal: they preach sanctimoniously about “helping the Third World,” yet they block African goods from their markets, denying farmers there a chance to make good money and lift themselves from poverty, all to support a highly subsidized EU farm sector.

And, yeah, I support getting rid of agricultural subsidies and tariffs here, too. They’re mostly welfare for the big agribusiness farms.