Revenge of #KeystoneXL: labor union starts donating to Republicans

November 9, 2015
Feeling rejected.

Hates union jobs

Last Friday at the White House, President Obama finally did what he’s wanted to do for many years: kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would have safely carried Canadian crude to ports along the Gulf of Mexico.

In the process, he also killed prospects for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs on the pipeline itself and in supporting industries. Naturally, the relevant union is not happy. How unhappy are they?

They’re giving money to Republicans:

One of the nation’s largest unions accused President Obama of betraying workers and the labor movement by blocking the Keystone Pipeline and is backing up its rhetoric with campaign donations to Republicans.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America said that Obama’s bow to environmentalists meant that he was more concerned with “elitists” and “his legacy” than with helping workers provide for their families.

“President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs,”said Terry O’Sullivan, the union’s president, in a release following Obama’s Friday announcement.

(…)

LIUNA represents about 500,000 workers in the construction industry, one of the sectors hardest hit by the 2008 economic collapse. Keystone, which was expected to create 42,000 construction jobs, has been awaiting approval for about seven years. O’Sullivan said that Obama’s attempt to minimize job gains demonstrated his “utter disdain” for blue-collar workers.

Dear LIUNA members, and, indeed, private sector union members across the nation: the President and the Democrats have just sent you a message loud and clear — they prefer the money given by Green billionaires such as Tom Steyer and the Hollywood glitterati to your donations. They are willing to sacrifice your jobs to keep those people happy.

We on the Right do care, however. I’m not saying we’re likely to ever be best friends –we disagree over things like free trade and closed-shop collective bargaining, after all– but, here’s the thing: We want you to have jobs. Good ones.

We want the nation to prosper, and when you prosper, so does America. If the Canadians are still willing to do Keystone when a Republican comes to office in 2017, it will take us about 20 seconds to approve it — and other measures that get the government out of the way of job creation in the energy field and other industries.

When election day comes next November, pause for a moment and remember just who threw you under that oh-so-crowded bus.

And then vote your interests.

via Moe Lane


(Video) Do Big Unions Buy Politicians?

June 8, 2015

We’ve all heard of corporate lobbyists and the influence they can buy for their clients in D.C., but what about the influence of big unions over government, specifically government employee unions? When looking at all levels of government –local, state, and federal– unions like SEIU and AFSCME may be the real masters. In this Prager University video, Professor Daniel DiSalvo explains why:

Though DiSalvo doesn’t use the word, the relationship between unions and pols, particularly Democrats, is a “kickback scheme.” For more on that, click.


Los Angeles: union hypocrisy on parade #RaiseTheWage

May 27, 2015
x

Union economics adviser at work

You have to love the moxie of these racketeers: demand a economically nonsensical minimum wage, $15 per hour, and then, when the city is about to implement it, demand an exception for union members because business owners have threatened to do the logical thing: cut jobs.

From The Los Angeles Times:

Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

Let’s review a basic lesson in economics, shall we, from another progressive, heavily unionized city:

Like I’ve said many times before: the laws of economics cannot be repealed by legislative fiat. Raise the cost of labor, and businesses will be faced with a choice from among four options — pass the costs on to the consumer; reduce labor costs by cutting hours or whole jobs; eat the costs and accept lower profits; or cease doing business in that jurisdiction, either by moving or closing shop. Ritu Shah Burnham may have loved her business, or she may have hated it. But, regardless, she’s come to the conclusion it isn’t worth staying in business in Seattle. She isn’t the first, and other small businesses in other progressive cities have made the same choice.

Apparently Rusty Hicks understands economics better than the Los Angeles city council and realizes he stands to lose union (dues-paying) jobs when the minimum wage goes up. So, he wants the freedom to negotiate a lower wage, more in line with economic reality. Fine. He’s pursuing his members’ interests.

How odd that he doesn’t want to allow that same freedom to all workers and business owners.

Afterthought: There is actually a sneaky benefit to this for the unions, besides preserving jobs. If unions can negotiate lower wages, there would then be an incentive for non-union businesses to unionize. That would lead to more union jobs and more dues coming into the union’s coffers. Oh, Rusty. You sly dog, you.

via Michael Strain


California: SEIU demands increase in minimum wage, jobs be damned

April 16, 2015
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we raised the minimum wage! Obama!!”

Fresno is fifth-largest city in California, the largest that’s not on the coast, and the largest in the Central Valley, that agricultural cornucopia that’s being destroyed by drought and environmentalist idiocies.

But don’t get me started on that.

Anyway, just by its position and population Fresno is important to the state’s economy, particularly our agricultural sector. (Where do you think your raisins come from?) But, like much of the Central Valley, it’s suffered more than the rest of California from the 2008 recession and the pathetic recovery: unemployment in the Fresno area in 2014 was still over 11%, well above California’s statewide average of 7.1% at the end of that year.

So, when your city is suffering from a lack of jobs, what’s the first thing you think of to increase opportunities for work?

That’s right! You demand an increase to the cost of labor!

On Wednesday, according to the Fresno Bee, over 150 people joined other workers around the country marking Tax Day by marching in rallies organized by unions as they demanded the current federal minimum wage of $7.24 an hour be raised, as well as the California $9 minimum wage.

Standing in front of a McDonald’s, the protesters–comprised of home and child care workers, county and state workers, students and community leaders, but no fast-food workers–chanted, “Hold the burgers, hold the fries. Make our wages super-sized.”

Union members from the Services Employees International (SEIU) helped lead the way; one member, Beau Reynolds with SEIU Local 100, told the Bee, “We’re here to stand up. We’re here to join forces and we are here to demand better. To demand better wages, to demand better benefits and to demand the right and respect that all working families deserve.”

Notice that none of those protesting in front of McD’s actually work there: they’re just there in service of SEIU’s political goal, which is to get a general increase in the minimum wage, which would include the union’s members, leading in turn to higher dues-revenues for the union to spend on politics. (And union bosses’ salaries…)

But the fast-food workers on the inside? The ones inside who didn’t march, the supposed beneficiaries of SEIU’s fight for economic justice? Apparently they know what happens when you raise labor costs too high:

Welcome to the future

Welcome to the future

In other words, when government raises the cost of doing business —and labor is a cost!— business owners have just a few choices: pass the cost to the consumer and risk losing their custom; reduce profits to perhaps unacceptably low levels; reduce labor costs by cutting back hours, letting people go, and not hiring; or just getting out of the business. They’re already learning this in progressive Seattle, and it looks like the Fresno McDonald’s workers understand basic economics, too, unlike SEIU.

Or maybe SEIU just doesn’t care that fast food workers can be replaced with kiosks, as long as they themselves get their cut.

Either way, they’re not helping Fresno county’s unemployment problem.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Labor Unions Swindle Workers and Shakedown Employers

July 30, 2014

In a nutshell, unions are legal cartels that work to increase members’ pay by controlling the supply of labor, removing competition. The linked article is a good example of how, over time, unions almost inevitably move from serving workers’ interests to being little better than strong-arm rackets out for themselves.

KATY GRIMES

Labor unions are bad for workers and employers. But sometimes the good guys prevail.

The lawsuit filed by a Fresno farmworker against members of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board alleging civil rights violations will move forward to trial, a federal judge just ruled last week.

Silvia Lopez

In February of this year, Gerawan Farming worker Silvia Lopez sued the gubernatorial appointees and regional staff of the ALRB alleging that their refusal to count the Gerawan farmworkers’ decertification votes violated her 1st and 14th Amendment rights.

The Agricultural Labor Relations Board says it exists to protect the rights of all agricultural employees, including those not wanting labor organization representation, as is the case with Gerawan Farming employees. However, Gerawan farming employees say they have not received any assistance from the ALRB.

Whenever they can, labor unions historically try to gain control over entry into the labor market. “Such measures are for…

View original post 829 more words


Seattle: $15 minimum wage already costing jobs

May 28, 2014
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we raised the minimum wage!”

And it’s not even in effect, yet.

But, it’s not surprising. Business managers have to plan for the future, and a looming huge increase in their labor cost will force many to rethink how they do business in Seattle, if they continue to do business there at all. Writing for the free-market Washington Policy Center, Erin Shannon reports on how small businesses are planning to cut back on hiring, delaying expansion, or moving out of the city to deal with the new wage law. Most striking, though, is the account of one business owner who supported the law, but now thinks she may have made a mistake:

One of those business owners is a well-known and active supporter of “progressive” labor policies, including a higher minimum wage. Jody Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale, initially supported a $15 minimum wage. But now Hall admits the proposed policy is, “keeping me up at night like nothing ever has.”

While Hall has serious concerns with Mayor Ed Murray’s plan to phase in a $15 minimum wage over seven years with a temporary tip credit, her biggest fear is if voters approve the radical charter amendment sponsored by the group 15Now. The charter amendment would force all large employers to begin paying $15 in 2015, and would give small business owners just three years to acclimate to the high wage. And the 15Now proposal would not allow for any tip credit.

If the charter amendment passes, Hall says she would be forced to close half of her seven locations and lay off 50 of her 100 workers.

But beyond the differences between Mayor Murray’s proposal or the more aggressive 15Now proposal, Hall says she now has “serious second thoughts” about a $15 minimum wage in general, especially since Seattle would be “going it alone” with a wage that is significantly higher than any other minimum wage in the nation.

Hall’s second thoughts about a $15 minimum wage have led to second thoughts about expanding her business. She was set to open a new business in Seattle this year, but has tabled the plan until after voters have their say on the charter amendment in the November election. Hall says if she considers any new locations before then, they will be outside the city limits.

In other words, when progressivism meets economic reality, guess which wins? You would think a successful businesswoman like Hall would have seen this coming. Maybe she thought she’d get a waiver from Obama.

And pay special attention to her comment about “going it alone.” As minimum wage increases are applied and then have the same effect in various places, there will be more and more calls from the fairness crowd to apply these laws statewide and even nationwide, to make sure business owners can’t just move to a friendlier jurisdiction, which would be “unfair.” The minimum wage thus becomes a wedge issue in an attack on local control, federalism, and jurisdictional competition, things progressive just hate, because their favored policies usually fail.

Meanwhile, I want to thank Seattle for volunteering to be a case study on the foolishness of government control of wages.

via Adrian Moore

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Cry me a river: union head finds he doesn’t like #Obamacare after all

March 9, 2014
"Another Obamacare supporter learns the truth."

“Another Obamacare supporter learns the truth.”

Sorry, Don Taylor, head of Unite Here, but Obamacare is working as intended, and your members are getting getting it, good and hard:

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.

“Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality,” said the report from Unite Here. “Without smart fixes, the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage,” said the report, titled, “The Irony of Obamacare: Making Inequality Worse.”

Unite Here was the first union to endorse then-Senator Obama in his quest for the White House and the union was a staunch supporter of the ACA’s passage. Nice reward for all that loyalty, eh?

Once again, it seems the well of my sympathy has run dry. Darn.

Of course, everything Taylor complains about is a feature of Obamacare, not a bug. The Left intended this anti-constitutional monstrosity to be a massive wealth redistribution vehicle, and the middle class, including Unite Here’s members, is the fatted calf at the feast.

Dear Don: You’re welcome.

Don’t forget that unions were among the first to receive the now-infamous Obamacare waivers, in this case for the tax on their “Cadillac” health plans that provide extensive and expensive benefits at little cost to the member. Now it’s finally dawning on these schmucks what has been clear to Obamacare critics for years: that the law creates perverse incentives for employers to cut hours or even dump employees onto the exchanges in order to reduce Obamacare-caused costs.

We tried to tell them, but all we received in return were insults and threats.

Hence my lack of sympathy for Taylor and other union Pied Pipers who lead their members down the garden path and off the cliff.

But I do have a fair bit of sympathy for rank and file members (1), and for them I have a suggestion: You were either lied to deliberately by leaders seeking to increase their own power, or lead by fools who couldn’t see what was plain to the rest of us — that Obamacare was an oncoming disaster of epic proportions. Now it’s here, and you can see you were foolish to trust these people.

It’s too late to avoid the harm that’s already been done, but there is something you can do. Next November 4th, when you go to vote, take a look at the letter after the candidate’s name. If you see a D… vote for the Republican, instead. Fixing Obamacare won’t be easy, but at least we know the right way to fix it:

Repeal it, burn it with fire, and scatter the ashes.

Oh, and stop listening to your union leaders, too. They really don’t have your best interests at heart.

via Rick Moran

Footnote:
(1) I am, after all one of them. A Teamster, to be specific.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Minimum Wage: West Virginia Democrats exempt themselves

February 28, 2014

500px-Flag_of_West_Virginia.svg

Weird, isn’t it? If having the state mandate higher and higher wages for everyone is such a good idea, why on Earth would WV House Democrats vote to exempt themselves from a law being imposed on everyone else?

Last week, the Democrat controlled House in West Virginia passed legislation raising the state’s minimum wage to $8.75 an hour, $1.50 higher than the federal minimum wage. The action is part of a nation-wide effort by Democrats to make a minimum wage increase central to their platform for the midterm elections. The increase didn’t effect all workers, though. Democrats exempted many of their own staff from the wage hike. Businesses may have to pay the higher wages, but the legislature will avoid many of the consequences. 

Why, it’s almost as if West Virginia Democrats didn’t believe in private what they were preaching in public.

But we all know that can’t be.

via reader Lance

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Minimum Wage Laws: Sabotaging the Ladder of Economic Opportunity

February 23, 2014

The only people who truly benefit from minimum wage increases are union bosses, who salivate at the prospect of more dues coming in, money they can use to buy legislators.

International Liberty

If I banged my head against the wall every time politicians advocated bad policy in Washington – which is a tempting impulse, I would have been institutionalized because of brain damage a long time ago.

But it’s difficult to maintain my self control when I think about minimum wage laws.

All sentient human beings should know higher minimum wage laws will mean more unemployment. Just ask them, for instance, what would happen if the minimum wage was raised to $100 per hour. Once they admit that would lead to massive job losses, they’ve accepted the principle and it’s simply an empirical issue of figuring out how many jobs are lost when the minimum wage is $75, $50, $20, $10, $6, etc.

At the risk of stating the obvious, businesses seek to make money and they won’t hire somebody who can only produce $6 of value per hour if…

View original post 277 more words


Tennessee VW workers rejected the UAW because of… racism!

February 23, 2014
Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

But, of course.

According to MSNBC pundit Timothy Noah, workers at the Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant rejected membership in the United Auto Workers union because they were a bunch of mouthing-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Southern racists:

“The South has always been hostile territory for union organizing. Y’know, as Harold said, the culture war in the South trumps the class war. You already have in a number of Southern states right to work laws, which means that even if they had unionized the plants, those who benefited from the presence of that union wouldn’t have had to pay union dues if they didn’t feel like it. So you’re in an overwhelmingly hostile climate.

And the opposition I gather, through, portrayed this as a kind of northern invasion, a re-fighting of the Civil War. Apparently there are not a lot of, uh, black employees in this particular plant. And so, that kind of, uh, uh, uh, waving of the Confederate flag was an effective strategy.”

Yep, those Johnny Rebs in Tennessee just took a pull on the whiskey jug, channeled the spirit Jeff Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest, and voted down the union, because they wanted to re-fight the Chattanooga campaign. It couldn’t have been because they made a rational economic decision as free people that the union didn’t provide enough benefits to warrant the dues they’d have to pay. Nah. It just had to be because there were so few Blacks there in the workforce that they weren’t afraid to show their real, neo-Confederate faces.

Who’s the bigot again, Timmy?

RELATED: Naturally, the UAW wants the NLRB to overturn the election results and call a new vote. Typical: If you can’t win, vote and vote again until the rubes vote the way they’re told. What do they think this is, the EU?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


My heart breaks: labor unions feel stabbed in the back by #Obamacare

February 2, 2014
"Revenge of the angry mob"

“Revenge of the angry union members”

And by The One, himself. Like Moe Lane, I find it a bit difficult to choose between laughing and pointing at the naive union leaders who didn’t think Barack Obama would throw them under the bus, or just quietly smiling while they reap the whirlwind of their foolishness and greed:

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.

Their complaints reflect a broad sense of disappointment among many labor leaders, who say the Affordable Care Act has subjected union health plans to new taxes and mandates while not allowing them to share in the subsidies that have gone to private insurance companies competing on the newly created exchanges.

After dozens of frustrating meetings with White House officials over the past year, including one with Obama, a number of angry labor officials say their members are far less likely to campaign and turn out for Democratic candidates in the midterm elections.

“We want to hold the president to his word: If you like your health-care coverage, you can keep it, and that just hasn’t been the case,” said Donald “D.” Taylor, president of Unite Here, the union that represents about 400,000 hotel and restaurant workers and provided a crucial boost to Obama by endorsing him just after his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton had won the New Hampshire primary.

Taylor and Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, laid out their grievances this week in a terse letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), saying they are “bitterly disappointed” in the administration.

Be sure to read the whole thing there; it’s not just Obamacare the union leaders are angry about — their whole agenda seems to have found its way under the bus. Card check, too, thankfully, has been left to die. And what really bugs them, I think, is that Obama won’t abuse his power to help them. Everyone else, it seems, sure. But unions that literally in some cases emptied the treasury to help get him elected twice? Nada. As a consequence, the article points out, this could lead to less than enthusiastic turnout and campaign support in November.

Darn.

Moe’s right. Time to sit back, enjoy, and not get in the way of our opponents turning on each other. (1)

Footnote:
(1) Other than to point out, gently, in a friendly, sympathetic manner to an upset private union member that there is a better way, and that it starts by not listening to their union bosses and voting against the Democrats, both of whom got him or her into this mess in the first place.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Man-of-the-people President to celebrate Labor his way

August 30, 2013

Because nothing says “fighting for the middle class” more than headlining a fundraiser where a single plate costs more than many people make in a year:

President Obama will travel to Los Angeles on Sept. 9 to recognize organized labor.

Obama will appear at the AFL-CIO convention, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thursday.

That night the president will also appear at a $32,400 per plate Hollywood fundraiser held at the home of Marta Kauffman, the co-creator of the sitcom “Friends,” according to an invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation.

The White House is billing the appearance at the labor convention as the latest in the president’s summer-long middle class economic tour, according to the Los Angeles Times.

I bet the servers at this shindig will feel real honored by all the attention, as they’re passing out plates of surf-and-turf to Hollywood stars, Democratic pols, and union bosses.

The Democratic Party has come a long way since Jackson’s day.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


There’s being a jerk, and then there’s being a swine. This is swinish.

August 1, 2013

Picketing a child’s funeral? Does no one in the Teamsters have any sense of decency?

Don’t bother; I already know the answer:

SCI Illinois Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest funeral home chains, asked a district court to intervene after striking funeral directors and drivers with Teamsters Local 727 allegedly harassed grieving families.

“We are grateful that the court agreed to issue this temporary restraining order, and we are hopeful that it will help protect grieving families who are experiencing the most difficult times of their lives,” Larry Michael, managing director for SCI Illinois Services, Inc., said in a release. “While we recognize and respect the Teamsters’ right to lawfully picket, we have been shocked and saddened by their attempts to make grieving families the target of the cruel and outrageous attacks.”

The company testified in its filing that union members blocked grieving family members from leaving its parking lot, used bullhorns to shout obscenities at workers and mourners, and unleashed a German Shepard on a dead woman’s daughter and husband.

The funeral home was eventually forced to call the police when picketers allegedly disrupted a child’s funeral with laughter. The officer asked the Teamsters to leave, but protesters returned when he drove away.

“We will be here for the visitation; we will be here for your funeral,” Teamster driver Lester Plewa allegedly shouted into a bullhorn as a funeral director met with a dying man planning his arrangements with family members.

They pull crap like this, and then they wonder why they have a reputation for being thugs and leg-breakers.

Disgusting.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


My heart bleeds for Big Labor. Really, it does.

July 15, 2013

It’s just that you can’t see that through all my laughing and pointing:

Like millions of other Americans, our members are front-line workers in the American economy. We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.

Now this vision has come back to haunt us.

Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.

Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:

First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.

That’s an excerpt from an open letter written by the heads of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE unions, whining that Obamacare will hurt their members and that it’s unfair that businesses got a delay in implementation, but the loyal unionistas didn’t. Do read the whole thing and see if you can get through it without saying “We tried to warn you, you corrupt dummies!” several times.

I found it impossible.

I was going to go into a long diatribe about the unions reaping what they sowed, but Ed Morrissey (hat tip) kindly did it for me:

Maybe if they’d listened to Tea Party activists instead of shouting them down, the union leaders might have figured this out in 2009.  Opponents of the bill argued all along that the incentives presented by ObamaCare would kill employer-based coverage, either by depressing hiring or by depressing hours.  We’ve gotten both since the bill’s passage, just as critics predicted.

(…)

[RE: Obamacare’s treatment of union group medical plans] Excuse me, but this was even more obvious than the employment consequences.  Subsidies are only available to consumers in the individual insurance exchanges.  Union health plans are group plans (and partly employer coverage, as the letter points out).  They’re no more eligible for subsidies than consumers in employer plans, and they’ll get taxed just like all other “Cadillac” group plans.  This is only news to those who manned the barricades rather than reading the fine print, or really any print at all.

Ed’s right, the union bosses should resign in disgrace for selling out their membership. But, they won’t. Mob bosses never go quietly. Meanwhile, I’m going to relax and enjoy the sweet scent of schadenfreude.

PS: If you’ve forgotten why I feel a special disdain and contempt for Jimmy Hoffa, jr., the Teamsters boss, let me remind you.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The “Walker Effect”: Wisconsin PEU membership cratering?

April 8, 2013

Or maybe it’s the predictable result of restoring liberty to the people and not using the force of law to extort money from them for the benefit of union bosses (1). Regardless, the reforms Governor Walker instituted and then defended against thug tactics in Wisconsin have sent the membership numbers of at least one public employee union, AFSCME, into a tailspin:

According a Labor Department filing made last week, membership at Wisconsin’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 — one of AFSCME’s four branches in the state — has gone from the 31,730 it reported in 2011, to 29,777 in 2012, to just 20,488 now. That’s a drop of more than 11,000 — about a third — in just two years. The council represents city and county employees outside of Milwaukee County and child care workers across Wisconsin.

Labor Department filings also show that Wisconsin’s AFSCME Council 48, which represents city and county workers in Milwaukee County, went from 9,043 members in 2011, to 6,046 in 2012, to just 3,498 now.

(…)

They show why the state worker unions and their liberal allies fought such a protracted, bitter battle in 2011 over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s changes to the state’s labor laws. Under the old laws, state employees were obligated to pay dues to a union even if that worker didn’t want to belong to a union. Walker changed that to allow state workers to opt out of paying those dues. He also required unions to submit to an annual re-certification vote. Without those requirements, the unions have found it much harder to retain members.

And I’d say this is a good thing for Wisconsin, as early results from the reforms have shown. As public employee unions have grown (Disclosure: I pay dues to one — against my will), they’ve come to treat the taxpayers as cash-cows, milking them for ever-higher salaries and benefits (often far better than for comparable positions in the private sector), whether justified or even healthy for the state. They’ve fought even the mildest reforms tooth-and-claw, as witnessed during the protests and occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol in 2011. In effect, they were acting as overlords demanding tribute from a subject people and becoming enraged when the people said “no more.”

If these membership numbers are any indication, a large and probably growing swath of Wisconsin public employees don’t like how their unions operate, either, and are making their feelings known loud and clear. And this has to have the union bosses frightened as the reform movement spreads from state to state.

via Power Line.

Footnote:
(1) The dues they take in are often spent on political activities and influence buying to pursue policy goals that many of their members would object to, or even consider irrelevant to their interests. This is often done through large contributions in money and campaign work to (largely Democratic) legislators, who then reward their employers — the unions, not necessarily the voters. It is, in effect, a corrupt kickback arrangement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Michigan Teachers Union to members: “Pay up or we’ll sue!”

January 23, 2013
"Your MEA shop steward"

“Your MEA shop steward”

And if they don’t, is the next step leg-breaking? Faced with members oddly deciding to keep their money after Michigan passed a right-to-work law, the leadership of the Michigan Education Association sent a memo to locals telling them to monitor incoming dues and, if it declines, be prepared to take their own members to court:

Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, circulated an email to local unions officials and staff instructing them to monitor revenue streams in light of the right-to-work laws, which are set to go into effect on March 27, 2013. The law allows workers to opt out of union membership unless they have an existing contract with their employer.

“We will use any legal means at our disposal to collect the dues owed under signed membership forms from any members who withhold dues prior to terminating their membership in August,” Cook wrote.

The tone of the message shocked labor reform activists.

“The level to which the MEA appears to be willing to go after its own members—the same ones whose interest they claim to represent—is amazing,” said Mike Van Beek, director of education policy at the Mackinac Center. “When it comes to their revenue, we know where their priorities stand.”

Yeah, and I bet they play this old BTO song before hitting up reluctant members:

Except, unlike the guy in the alley, the union doesn’t say “please.”

Sadly, these suits seem to have a solid legal footing in Michigan; the MEA has sued before and won. But, given the recent report on declining union membership even in public unions, it looks like a short-lived victory, at best:

The union membership rate fell from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of all workers, the lowest level since the 1930s.

Total membership fell by about 400,000 workers to 14.4 million. More than half the loss – about 234,000 – came from government workers including teachers, firefighters and public administrators.

The losses add another blow to a labor movement already stretched thin by fighting efforts in states like Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan to curb bargaining rights and weaken union clout.

(…)

Losses in the public sector are hitting unions particularly hard since that has been one of the few areas where membership was growing over the past two decades. About 51 percent of union members work in government, where until recently, there had been little resistance to union organizing.

That began to change when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2011 eliminating most union rights for government workers. The state lost about 46,000 union members last year, mostly in the public sector.

Union officials blame losses on the lingering effects of the recession, as well as GOP governors and state lawmakers who have sought to weaken union rights.

Much to the benefit of their states overall, if the results in Wisconsin and Indiana are to be believed.

Meanwhile, like dinosaurs raging at the asteroid about to rock their world, the unions are denying the inevitable: they’re out of date, obsolete. The proof lies in their own “clients'” actions: when given a choice, they prefer to keep their money. They don’t want what the unions are offering. And the more unions resort (revert) to thuggery to keep members and their dues, the more people will make the same choice, when given the power to decide that they should have by right.

(clip art courtesy of Clipart Mojo)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Peaceful union supporters threaten blood and civil war

December 12, 2012
Democracy, union-style.

Democracy, union-style.

Forget the rule of law. This is rule by fist:

Jimmy Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said Tuesday he expects Michigan unions and lawmakers to break out into “civil war” after the state legislature passed right-to-work bills that would weaken unions’ power.

“This is just the first round of a battle that’s going to divide this state. We’re going to have a civil war,” Hoffa said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”

The Republican-controlled state House passed two bills that had already been approved by the GOP-dominated state Senate. Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is poised to sign the bill, which would allow workers at union-represented employers to forgo paying dues.

As thousands of protestors gathered at the state capitol on Tuesday, Hoffa called the legislation a “tremendous mistake” and “a monumental decision to make” by outgoing lawmakers in a lame duck session.

“What they’re doing is basically betraying democracy,” he told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. “If there’s any question here, let’s put it on the ballot and let the people of Michigan decide what’s good for Michigan.”

Proponents of the legislation say it gives workers more freedom, while opponents say a less robust union presence will negatively affect workers’ rights. Hoffa also argued that those who don’t pay union dues will be considered “free riders,” as they’re getting the same benefits from union representation without the cost.

Hoffa pointed to Michigan’s recovering auto industry, saying the Wolverine State has bounced back from the recession without being a “right to work” state.

“This is basically a step backward,” he argued.

(CNN via Zero Hedge)

And if anyone knows about thuggery and violence, it’s a Hoffa.

What Jimmy Junior is saying here is, in a nutshell, that the duly-elected representatives of the people of Michigan, acting in accordance with their state’s constitution, have no right to amend the state’s labor laws. Even though there is strong evidence that the people have already spoken. Under the Hoffa theory of democracy, the mob has the vote and the veto, and he who has the biggest, most violent mob wins. The only debate that counts is “me” outshouting “you,” which means I win.

So, shut up or I’ll kill you.

Now, you’d think this attack on constitutionalism, the rule of law, and representative democracy would draw the united condemnation of the state’s legislators, who are sworn to uphold the US and Michigan constitutions.

Think again:

“There will be blood,” State Representative Douglas Geiss threatened from the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives today as the body debated legislation that would make Michigan the nation’s 24th right to work state.

“I really wish we had not gone here,” Geiss continued. “It is the leadership in this house that has led us here. The same leadership that tried to throw a bomb right on election day, leading to a member switching parties, and came in at the 11th hour with a gotcha bill. For that, I do not see solace, I do not see peace.”

This isn’t democracy or republicanism: it’s mob rule. It’s extortion — “Nice state you have there. Shame if something happened to it.” It’s intimidation, using the threat of violence to impose their will. Now, where have I seen this before?

We know why they’re doing this, of course. It’s not because the union leadership and their Democratic allies are worried about workers’ wages and working conditions: right to work states have been shown to have slightly higher wages and better job choices. And most if not all states have workplace safety and worker’s compensation laws on the books. It’s not as if right-to-work will mean a return to a dime-a-day and child labor. They would still have the right, as every worker should, to form a union and press for collective bargaining. And they still would have the right to withhold their labor should conditions not be satisfactory.

No, what the union bosses and their politician allies are frightened of is the prospect of losing the millions they collected in forced exactions (dues) from their members, money which is then funneled to pliant politicians in the form of campaign contributions and other political spending, in return for laws benefiting the unions at the expense of the taxpayers and regardless of the economic consequences to the state.

They fear the end of their kickback racket.

Whatever the noble origins and ends of trade unionism, we’re seeing now the true face of the corruption that’s overtaken it. Faced with long-term decline, perhaps irreversible if left to the free market, they can only maintain their power in places where law compels membership and tribute.

Threaten that, and they promise blood.

RELATED: What is it with union goons and their hatred for Black small businessmen? First it was Kenneth Gladney, beaten by an SEIU mob in Missouri a few years ago, and now they’ve wrecked the business of Clint Tarver, who ran a hot dog cart outside the state capitol in Lansing. Shouldn’t be surprised I guess; unions have a long history (PDF) of racism. If you want to help Mr. Tarver rebuild his business, click here.

ALSO: Patterico on the Stalinist effort by the online Left to whitewash the violence in Lansing and blame the victim.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#WarOnWomen: SC AFL-CIO president uses bat to repeatedly bash Haley effigy

May 22, 2012

***Written by Sister Toldjah***

ABC News sets the scene:

Donna Dewitt, the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, is seen in this video bashing a piñata of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s face while Dewitt and her colleagues were at a retreat in Columbia, S.C. Saturday afternoon.

“Well I will say, she looks like a tough old girl here,” Dewitt says as she gears up to swing at the piñata.

She repeatedly hits the piñata, which bears the phrase “Unions are not needed, wanted or welcome in South Carolina” below Haley’s face. In her State of the State address this year, Haley said, “We’ll make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted and not welcome in the state of South Carolina.” Dewitt whacks the piñata down and continues to wail away at it once it’s fallen. Onlookers cheer her on, urging her to continue hitting the piñata.

“Give her another whack. Whack her again,” a woman screams.

“Hit her again” another man says.

The video is around 30 seconds. Click below to watch it:

Dewitt defended her actions:

Dewitt told ABC News she has no regrets about the incident and said there was “no ill intent” in what she was doing. Dewitt said her colleagues brought the pinata and were using it as a “memoir” of Haley’s words and actions towards unions in her time as governor.

“They made it and I would have played the game with them no matter it would have been pin the tail on the donkey with Nikki Haley’s face on it. I still would have played,” Dewitt told ABC News over the phone. ”There was no ill intent. We were certainly have a good time. I’m not mad or angry.”

“We’ve been the brunt of her comments now for two years and that’s what the whole thing was. She’s been whacking at us over the last two years,” Dewitt, who has been president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO for the past 16 years and will retire at the end of June, continued.

Do I think Dewitt was fantasizing about that REALLY being Gov. Haley she was beating down with that bat? No (and btw, if it were a man who had been doing the hitting, would NOW have stepped in? Nah.). Nevertheless, the imagery is disturbing – and dare I say a blatant violation of President Obama’s established New Tone Order where we’re all supposed to be civil to each other over tea and toast and not say or do anything that would make our fellow man feel compelled to go out and commit a violent act. Since the mainstream media happily went along with him in the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords by doing their level best not to use words or display actions that might “incite violence”, I’m sure they – along with liberal pundits and politicos – will be lined up to express their outrage and condemnation at the very thought that someone, especially a person in a position of power and influence like Dewitt, would symbolically bash the pinata head of her organization’s chief opposition – and a nationally known Governor at that.

The video has proved to be a big embarrassment for the national AFL-CIO, which reportedly wants the video taken offline (via Michelle Malkin). Not quite sure why the concern, considering much worse tactics displayed by the AFL-CIO in the past towards its political opposition. Maybe they’re just trying to clean up their act during a crucial election year. Unfortunately for Big Labor, neither their paper trail – nor their video trail – can be erased from history.

Cross-posted from the Sister Toldjah blog.


White House: “It’s a good thing people are leaving the workforce!”

February 6, 2012

That’s what they said.

No, really:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that the number of people dropping out of the work force, which artificially depresses the unemployment rate, can be regarded as an “economic positive.”

“A lot of that is due to younger people getting more of an education, which is an economic positive,” Carney responded when asked what would happen when people “inevitably” raise the unemployment rating with their return to the work force. He also noted that “an aging population” going into retirement has contributed to the number of people dropping out of the work force.

Head, meet wall.

If people are staying in school longer, it’s because there are fewer and fewer jobs available on graduation, so they stay in school hoping for an eventual turnaround. Oh, and many of them accumulating debt in the process. Is that an “economic positive,” Jay?

But beyond that, people are dropping out of the work force not because they’ve decided to enjoy their “golden years, but because of discouragement, because they’ve been out of work so long, they don’t think they have a good chance of finding a decent job.

Honestly, this administration shovels the you-know-what so fast, you need hip-waders reading one of their press releases.

SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE WHITE HOUSE DARKNESS:

  1. Is the unemployment rate 8.3%, 8.9%, 9.9% or 11.9%?
  2. Why the official 8.3 percent unemployment rate is a phony number—and what it means for Obama’s reelection
  3. Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low
  4. GOP: Jobless rate above 8% for three years, worst since the Great Depression
  5. Was Today’s Jobs News Good?

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Celebrate the Season: bug a lefty for Christmas

December 23, 2011

Jim Pethokoukis gives conservatives and other residents of Reality-ville a great Christmas present: seven charts to flash in the face of liberals (and other unicorn-chasers) when they try to spoil Christmas dinner by talking up Obama. Here’s the one that jumped out at me, the real unemployment rate:

Heckuva recovery, Barry!

I’ll let Jim explains what this represents:

The official (U-3) unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. But the labor force has been shrinking as discouraged workers have been disappeared by government statisticians rather than counted as unemployed. But what if they weren’t? What if the Labor Department added those folks back into the numbers? Well, you would get this.

Remember, Obama and the Smartest Economic Team Ever(tm) promised us that unemployment would go below eight percent if we agreed to his stimulus program. Instead, it’s higher than the White House projected if we didn’t approve the stimulus package. (See Jim’s diagram 1) In fact, the only way it comes even close to White house projections is by not counting people who’ve given up.

Real clever, that.

And once you’re done educating your liberal family members, ask them what possible reason is there is for reelecting Barack Obama?

The reaction should be entertaining.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)