Los Angeles: union hypocrisy on parade #RaiseTheWage

May 27, 2015
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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Like I’ve said many times before: the laws of economics cannot be repealed by legislative fiat.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


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)


New Tone Watch: fellow Americans are sons of you-know-whats. UPDATED: Palin answers Hoffa

September 6, 2011

I have this vague memory of a time long ago —last January, in fact– when the President of the United States spoke at a memorial for the victims of the Tucson massacre and called for a calming of heated rhetoric and for a “new tone” in our political debates.

Silly me. That was then, this is now.

This last Labor Day, President Obama spoke in Detroit to an audience of union workers. Leading up to his speech, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., (1) spoke to the crowd and gave us an example of that new tone in action:

Um… yeah. In case you missed that due to all the marbles in this thug’s mouth, here’s the key moment via RCP:

“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Jimmy Hoffa said to a heavily union crowd.

“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa added.

(Emphasis added.)

About the only thing missing were the brown shirts and steel helmets. (And yes, I deliberately “went there.”)

Not to worry, though. Right after Hoffa’s speech, the President called him out and gave him exactly what-for:

That’s telling him! (What, you were expecting him to criticize a union boss?)

Let’s go back to that awful day in Tucson when Representative Giffords and several other people were gunned down by a delusional nut. Almost immediately, the baying hounds of the Democratic Party, their media allies, and the Left blogosphere jumped all over Sarah Palin for her supposedly violent rhetoric and an obscure campaign graphic for the 2010 election that used crosshairs to symbolize Democrats targeted for defeat. Though hunting and military imagery has been common in American politics for centuries, these sanctimonious yahoos acted as if Palin had herself whispered in the shooter’s ear, giving him orders. Hence Obama’s “above it all” call for a new tone.

Now, imagine if Sarah Palin, in Iowa and New Hampshire for rallies this weekend, had said what Hoffa said, calling fellow citizens SOBs and talking of war. How would the Democrats react? Or what would be the reaction in the media (2) if she or any Republican or conservative leader had said how proud she was of someone who cursed their political opponents and used indisputably violent rhetoric?

You and I both know they be all over this like ants at a picnic. (3)

Now, I’m not saying Hoffa was encouraging actual violence or that unions themselves are violent (Maybe. Kinda.) or that Obama ever would endorse violence (Well…), but, you see… To call it “rank, cynical hypocrisy” would be to state the obvious.

Meet the new tone, same as the old tone.

Footnotes:
(1) “Hoffa.” “Teamsters.” Now those are words any politician should want associated with his name. Yeesh. Well, maybe in Chicago…
(2) In case you’re wondering, most of the mainstream media have been silent on this story.
(3) For what it’s worth, so would most of the Right. But I doubt we’d have to, since our side doesn’t ally with legbreakers.

UPDATE: via Michelle Malkin, no wonder Jimmy Hoffa likes President Obama so much. “You scratch my back, and I’ll bust some heads for you.”

UPDATE 2: Sarah Palin answered Hoffa on her Facebook page today. No cursing, no calls to violence, just some honest  talk going over  the heads of the union bosses and straight to the membership. The key paragraphs:

To see where this leads, look at what’s happening to the working class in our industrialized cities. These cities are going to hell in a hand basket thanks to corruption, crony capitalism, and the union bosses’ greed. The union bosses derive their power from your union dues and their promise to deliver your votes to whichever politician they’re in bed with. They get their power from you, and yet their actions ultimately hurt you. They’re chasing American industry offshore by making outrageous, economically illogical demands that they know will never work. And now that they’ve chased jobs out of union states, they’re trying to chase them out of right-to-work states like South Carolina, so eventually the jobs will leave America altogether. But these union bosses will still figure out a way to keep their gig, and so will their politically aligned corporate friends. As long as these big corporations have a good crony capitalist in the White House, they can rely on DC to bail them out until the whole system goes bankrupt, which, I am afraid, is not very far off. When big government, big business, and big union bosses collude together, they get government to maximize their own interests against those of the rest of the country.

So, now these union bosses are desperately trying to cast the grassroots Tea Party Movement as being “against the workingman.” How outrageously wrong this unapologetic Jim Hoffa is, for the people’s movement is the real movement for working class men and women. It’s rooted in real solidarity, and not special interests and corporate kickbacks. It represents the needed reform that will empower workers and job creators. We stand with the little guy against the corruption and influence peddling of those who collude to grease the wheels of government power.

This collusion is at the heart of Obama’s economic vision for America. In practice it is socialism for the very rich and the very poor, but a brutal form of capitalism for the rest of us. It is socialism for the very poor who are reduced to a degrading perpetual dependence on a near-bankrupt centralized government to provide their every need, while at the same time robbing them of that which brings fulfillment and success – the life-affirming pride that comes from taking responsibility for your own destiny and building a better life through self-initiative and work ethic. And Obama’s vision is socialism via crony capitalism for the very rich who continue to get bailouts, debt-ridden “stimulus” funds, and special favors that allow them to waive off or help draft the burdensome regulations that act as a boot on the neck to small business owners who don’t have the same friends in high places. And where does this collusion leave working class Americans and the small business owners who create 70% of the jobs in this country? Out in the cold. It’s you and your children who are left paying for the cronyism of Obama and our permanent political class in DC.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Violence? Look for the union label. UPDATED: video link added

August 17, 2011

Ever notice how the Right is regularly accused of violent rhetoric, fascist sympathies, and plain-old knuckle-dragging thuggishness, but it’s from the Left that we usually see garbage like this:

Ohio Business Owner Shot For Being Non-Union, Police Investigating

With around 25 employees, John King owns one of the largest non-union electrical contracting businesses in the Toledo, Ohio area. As a non-union contractor, his business happens to be doing well at a time when unions in the construction industry are suffering. This, it seems, has made the usual animosity unions have for him even greater, making him a prime target of union thugs. So much so, that one of them tried to kill him last week at his home.

(…)

Last Wednesday, however, the attacks on Mr. John King became much more serious when he was awakened late in the evening at his home in Monroe County, Michigan and saw that the motion lights in his driveway had come on.  When he looked out his front window, he saw a figure near his SUV and went outside.

As soon as he got outside his front door, King yelled at the individual who was crouched down by King’s vehicle. As soon as King yelled, the suspect stood and, without hesitation, fired a shot at Mr. King.

Luckily for King, as he yelled, he also stumbled. If it weren’t for that, however, John King’s injuries might have been much, much worse. In fact, he might have been killed.

Upon scrambling back into his house, King got to his cell phone and called 911. However, due to the pain in his knees and shoulder from falling, King was unaware that he had been shot in the arm.

At first, King thought that his assailant was merely trying to break into his vehicle. Little did he know, however, that the perpetrator was targeting him–because of his non-union company.

The night of the shooting, police recovered a shell casing from a small caliber handgun. In addition to the shell casing, police also found a Swiss Army knife that police say was likely going to be used to slice the tires on King’s SUV.

While neither the police, nor Mr. King can say which union was behind the attack, it is very clear by the word ’scab’ scrawled on his SUV that it the attack was union-related.

Emphasis added.

What upsets the unionistas isn’t that King is exploiting defenseless workers like some caricature of an 1890s robber baron. No, they’re angry because he is providing jobs they can’t, because his union-free status allows him to charges prices in-line with a bad economy, while the labor union’s cartel’s contracts have priced them out of the market. In other words, they would rather their workers have no work at all, if it can’t be under the union’s terms.

And those who defy them get their property and even their lives threatened.

Tell me again who the fascists and the thugs are?

RELATED: I suppose Kenneth Gladney should be glad he was only beaten into a wheelchair by union thugs, and not shot. “Labor Union Report,” the author of the quoted article, maintains a very informative site that tracks union intimidation, corruption, and violence. He (or she) can also be followed on Twitter.

FOR THE RECORD: I am not opposed to private-industry* labor unions per se; the right to form one is part of our right to freely associate under the First and Fourteenth amendments. However, I am unalterably opposed to laws that force one to join a union just to have a job; not only does that deny the freedom of the individual negotiate his own contract (yes, I’m a fan of Lochner), it creates a labor cartel that enables price-fixing just as harmful to the consumer as any corporate monopoly. And when labor unions engage in intimidation and violence, they become little better than rackets and should be treated as such.

*(As for public-employee unions, I agree with that noted conservative, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.)

UPDATE: Breitbart.TV has video of an interview with John King, the victim in the shooting.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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)


Why do they hate the the working class? The war on cheap groceries.

April 30, 2011

Retail giant Walmart has in recent years moved into the grocery business, bringing its famous pricing power to fruits, vegetables and meats. Good for the consumer, right? You betcha, but some people aren’t happy. Smaller grocery retailers are upset, because they feel they can’t compete. Unions are mad because Walmart isn’t unionized. And Democratic politicians are angry because… well, because their union backers told them to.

Reason.tv takes a dispassionate look at the politics and economics surrounding Walmart’s controversial entry into the New York City and Washington, D.C., areas and asks “Why do they hate cheap groceries?”

Walmart’s no angel(1), but, in hard economic times, you’d think politicians and labor leaders would be interested in anything that lowers food prices and creates jobs.

That is, if they truly cared about the average person.

NOTES:

(1) They’ve been caught benefiting from illegal alien labor and supported ObamaCare because they knew they could handle the added expense better than their competition. In other words, they wanted to game the system to rig the free market.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Workers matter to Obama. Union workers, that is…

March 7, 2011

And if you’re not in a union? Then you can expect a kick in the backside, instead of a pat on the back. It seems that while reorganizing General Motors, Treasury Secretary (and tax cheat) Timothy Geithner protected the benefits and pensions of union workers while gutting those of non-union employees:

Republican Reps. Mike Turner of Ohio and Dan Burton of Indiana are asking House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, to dig into the Obama administration’s decision to cut more than 20,000 private-sector workers’ pensions and eliminate their health and life insurance plans during the General Motors (GM) bailout in 2009.

A spokesman for Issa’s committee told The Daily Caller the committee “remains interested” and is “looking forward” to findings from an ongoing Government Accountability Office investigation, which is expected to come out within the next couple of months. What Turner and Burton are saying happened during the GM bailout is that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner decided to cut pensions for salaried non-union employees at Delphi, a GM spinoff, to expedite GM’s emergence from bankruptcy. The problem with that, according to the congressmen, is that Geithner decided to fully fund the pensions of union workers involved in the process – including workers associated with United Auto Workers, Steelworkers and the IUE-CWA.

“This is a terrible injustice. This is a political decision, not a legal or financial decision,” Turner said in a phone interview with TheDC. “There were people who were penalized and people were chosen as winners and losers. The White House, the administration and the Auto Task Force (ATF) decided who were going to receive their pensions and who were not.”

Bear in mind that this wasn’t some sharing of the burden, no spreading the pain around (rather than the wealth). The Delphi employees saw their pensions savaged while union workers had theirs made whole — at taxpayer expense.

Further on in the article, it becomes clear that the complaint of the Delphi employees (at least those interviewed) is that they didn’t share in the largesse. While I can sympathize, to have bailed them out, too, would have been wrong. What should have happened is a GM bankruptcy that would have cleared existing contracts and brought in new management to try to restore the company to health. Yes, it would have been more painful short-term for everyone, but much better for the regional and the American economies in the long run than the current zombie corporation, which exists only as an appendage of the government.

(Oh, and bondholders wouldn’t have been strong-armed out of their rights, either.)

That said, this picking of winners and losers is another illustration of who the administration thinks its real constituents are.

Just look for the union label.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Bill Whittle: progressivism, unions, and the end of the beginning

March 6, 2011

The protests by public unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere against any reform of unsustainable benefits and bargaining practices has been likened by some to the death-struggle of a dying order: union membership in private-sector unions has been declining for decades; these days, the majority of union members are government employees. Their furious, unhinged, and thuggish assaults against any who would dare take away their “rights” are like the efforts of a buggy-whip manufacturer to stay in business after the coming of the automobile — a refusal to admit that times have changed, and they are now obsolete.

Bill Whittle looks at these public-union demonstrations and sees in them the visible sign of the end of progressivism, which arose as America adapted to the new industrial age of the later 19th century and fought against the corruption and the crony capitalism of the time. And, in the process, moved away from the vision our Founders had for this nation.

But now, as America transitions from the centralized, hierarchical industrial age to the decentralized, democratic digital age, Bill argues that the progressive vision –rule by boards of bureaucrats who know better than you how to run your life– is becoming an anachronism in what he calls the “third age of Man.” Indeed, they’ve turned into that which they fought against.

As always, agree or disagree, Bill provides much food for thought:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


And speaking of violence against women, how about those unions?

February 23, 2011

"I like to hit women."

Does anyone know who this jerk is?

The backstory, via Michelle Malkin, is that the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and other unions decided to hold a march today in Washington, D.C. Their target was the offices of Freedom Works, a conservative advocacy group. Tabitha Hale, a Freedom Works employee, an acquaintance on Twitter, and an overall nice person, went out to videotape the protest. This is what happened:

Hey, enlightened progressives! How’s that “new tone” and “civility” working out for you? Was Sarah Palin’s rhetoric to blame for this, too? Or were you inspired by Congressman Capuano’s call to “get bloody?”

In civilized lands, that’s called “assault.” Here’s hoping the cops ID this thug and press charges.

LINKS: More from my blog-buddy, Sister Toldjah, and also Steve Egg.


Savor the deep, rich aroma of hot irony

January 24, 2011

This gem hit the Public Secrets copy desk a couple of days ago, but I couldn’t let it go any longer without sharing. The publisher of left-leaning (You know: enlightened, progressive, pro-labor) Harper’s Magazine, which is suffering from declining print sales, wants to make staff cuts. The employees (You know: the little guys progressive, enlightened, pro-labor magazines like Harper’s just love) want to form a union to fight to save their jobs.

To which the (progressive, enlightened, pro-labor) publisher replies “Oh no, you don’t!

In a follow-up phone call, MacArthur told Rosenstein that he viewed the union as a “power play” by the staff. “He was very hostile,” Rosenstein told me. “He said people had lied and misled him me about the reason they wanted to form a union, and that the staff was angry about Roger Hodge being fired. This was about Ben Metcalf becoming editor and they were against Ellen.”

MacArthur contested the entire staff’s right to unionize, arguing that editors and assistant editors who make up about half of the editorial team were management and thus did not qualify. Staffers couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony: The staunch defender of unions, who in a 2009 Harper’s piece called the UAW “the country’s best and traditionally most honest mass labor organization,” was now on the other side of the table as the “worst kind of factory owner,” as one staffer put it to me.

The case went before the NRLB, which, not surprisingly given it’s current composition, went against publisher MacArthur. Fine by me; while I’m not a great fan of unions and I think they’ve largely outlived their usefulness, I do support the right of workers in private industry to organize as long as a) there are fair elections with a secret ballot and b) union membership is not required.

But that’s almost beside the point, which is to laugh* and point at yet another lefty who’s apparently too clueless to realize what a fat hypocrite he is.

*Because our side has a sense of humor and irony. Theirs, I’ve noticed, not so much.

via Big Journalism

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Because, you know, secret ballots are bad things

January 16, 2011

From the Department of Government Stupidity: the federal government has threatened to sue four states should they dare to guarantee secret ballots in union elections:

The National Labor Relations Board on Friday threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said the amendments conflict with federal law, which gives employers the option of recognizing a union if a majority of workers sign cards that support unionizing.

The amendments, approved Nov. 2, have taken effect in South Dakota and Utah, and will do so soon in Arizona and South Carolina.

Business and anti-union groups sought the amendments, arguing that such secrecy is necessary to protect workers against union intimidation. They are concerned that Congress might enact legislation requiring employers to allow the “card check” process for forming unions instead of secret ballot elections.

In letters to the attorney general of each state, Solomon says the amendments are pre-empted by the supremacy clause of the Constitution because they conflict with employee rights laid out in the National Labor Relations Act. That clause says that when state and federal laws are at odds, federal law prevails.

Solomon is asking the attorneys general in South Dakota and Utah for official statements agreeing that their amendments are unconstitutional “to conserve state and federal resources.”

In other words, “play along and we won’t bankrupt you in court.”

I’m no expert in the Supremacy Clause, but labor relations have traditionally fallen under a state’s police powers, though that’s been eroded over at least the last 80 years, since the New Deal, as the Fed has claimed a greater role.

But, really, does anyone seriously think this is anything other than an attempt force card-check through via regulation, instead of legislation, where it’s dead in the water? This is another case of arrogance on the part of unelected bureaucrats against the elected representatives of the peoples of four states, and I hope these states fight it tooth-and-nail.


Whose foreign money, Mr. President?

October 19, 2010

Last week, the President called out the US Chamber of Commerce for allegedly using foreign donations to buy add time for Republican candidates and to attack anti-business Democrats. At the time, I noted with contempt our Head of State’s blatant hypocrisy.

Writing at the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen points out, rather than opening a line of attack against the Republicans, the President may instead have open a political Pandora’s Box, full of woe for him and his allies:

The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. The SEIU claims 100,000 members in Canada. According to SEIU’s 2008 constitution, dues include $7.65 per month per member that must be sent to the SEIU International in the United States. This means that the SEIU takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals — almost 100 times the amount the Chamber receives from its affiliates abroad.

Is any foreign money being used to fund the SEIU’s anti-Republican campaign efforts? According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s fastest-growing labor unions, acknowledges that it can’t be certain that foreign nationals haven’t contributed to its $44 million political budget to support pro-labor Democrats.” The SEIU is not the only union that takes in money from foreign members. According to the Canadian Department of Human Resources and Skills Development, the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers has 280,000 Canadian members; the United Food and Commercial Workers has more than 245,000; the Teamsters has more than 108,000; the Laborers’ International Union of North America has more than 68,000; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has more than 57,000. How much do these foreign union members send to the United States? If the constitutions of their unions are anything like SEIU’s, it could be tens of millions of dollars. Is any of that money being used to help elect Democrats this November?

Read the rest for an… “interesting” discussion of how a good deal of the SEIU’s political funds may also come from illegal aliens.

Democrats have been screaming for an investigation of the Chamber of Commerce and its dirty, dirty FOREIGN!!* money (for which they have absolutely no evidence), so I bet they’ll be happy as can be when the House Republicans** next year initiate investigations into the sources of their union allies’ cash.

And SEIU and the others will be wishing the President had kept his big mouth shut.

*Amusing, isn’t it? The enlightened party playing the Xenophobia Card.

**I suppose there’s a miniscule chance of the Democrats retaining the House, but, honestly, betting on boxcars at the craps table would be a safer bet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Why do California unions hate children?

August 13, 2010

From Reason.TV, a short documentary about how unions blocked a bill in Sacramento that would have made an easily administered drug quickly available to children suffering from severe seizures:

I’m certainly no expert on the issue, but it’s hard for me to believe the unions’ objections outweigh the need for swift treatment of children in an emergency.


Like leaving a satyr to guard a brothel

February 26, 2010

President Obama has appointed SEIU head Andy Stern to his “deficit reduction commission:”

The president also appointed Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and former Young & Rubicam Brands CEO Ann Fudge for the panel, to serve on the panel.

“I am proud that these distinguished individuals have agreed to work to build a bipartisan consensus to put America on the path toward fiscal reform and responsibility,” Obama said in a statement announcing the appointments. “I know they’ll take up their work with the sense of integrity and strength of commitment that the American people deserve.”

Oh, please, Mr. President. If you’re going to play the tool and pay off your union allies, don’t insult our intelligence at the same time. Stern doesn’t give a damn about responsible fiscal policy or even the workers he supposedly represents: he wants the Fed to spend money in ways that help him build his corrupt union empire.

Are even Chicago politics this brazen?

RELATED: More on Stern and the SEIU’s corrupt activities. This bunch of corporatist thugs would fit right in with Mussolini’s Italy.

BTW: The whole concept of a “deficit reduction commission” is a pathetic joke. We already have one – it’s called the United States Congress, and it’s about time they started doing their jobs.

(via Hot Air)


Tuesday links fiesta!

October 27, 2009

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to leave you some links to chew over. Just remember to chew thoroughly before swallowing…  Clown

The Jihadi War

Our enemies assert the absolute moral and spiritual superiority of Islam over the decadent Christianity, Judaism, and the West itself. But did you know that Islam has a 1,300 years-long history of taking and trading in slaves? Jihad Watch has posted a series of videos detailing the Arab Islamic trade in African slaves. (Here are links to part two, part three, part four, and part five.) I don’t know the background of the author or authors, but the videos are interesting. By the way, slavery continues to the present day in Islamic lands.

Here in Los Angeles, an Iranian Muslim woman who converted to Christianity has won her request for asylum, but doesn’t know it because she is on the run from Muslims who would kill her for the crime of leaving Islam – apostasy.

The brave, brave jihadis of al Qaeda have struck again, this time murdering over 160 Iraqis in their quest to restore the Caliphate and return the world to the seventh century.

More information on the officially unexplained FBI raid on a Muslim slaughterhouse in Illinois. Just why did the Bureau need over 100 armed agents, plus snipers and helicopters?

Finally, Ed Morrissey awards the Captain Louis Renault “Shocked, shocked!” award to Western leaders surprised to realize that Iran has been playing them for suckers.

Global Warming

I’ve mentioned several times before the interesting theory of Henrik Svensmark, the Danish scientist who argues that clouds are a regulator of the Earth’s temperature and that cloud formation -and thus the heating and cooling of the planet- is governed in large part by the ability of cosmic rays to reach the Earth. Now Svensmark has published a paper (PDF) that he claims validates his thesis. (via Heliogenic Climate Change)

A warming climate may actually stimulate the growth of the Pacific rain forests.

More Svensmark: the growth of trees may be linked to cosmic rays.

The humble midge provides more evidence of the Medieval Warm Period, when the world was likely warmer than it is now, all without those nasssty greenhouse gases.

Government policies meant to respond to a crisis that doesn’t exist may drive one-in-four Britons into poverty.

Meteorologist Roy Spencer argues that the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has all the characteristics of urban legend.

Finally, do you really want to save the planet? Then stop eating meat, you selfish carnivore. Just don’t ask the prime proponent to do the same…. (For the record, they’ll take my steak the day they pry it from my cold dead hands.)

Politics

Maybe she’s learning from President Obama? Argentina’s President Kirchner has launched her own war against a free press.

William Jacobson sounds the alarm about the most monumental power-grab you’ve never heard about.  At the risk of repeating myself, there’s a certain book you should read.

Sarah Palin reviews the East Coast political races and reminds us why they’re important. And you might want to have a look at her forthcoming book.

Sister Toldjah rubs her eyes in disbelief as the Associated Press fact-checks the progressives’ smear of the insurance companies.

Power Line looks at the debate over nuclear power and decries reactionary American liberalism.

And, to end it all, California’s Democratic treasurer calls out the Democrat-dominated state legislature for being too far in the pockets of the unions to govern the state effectively. As Ed writes, if the state GOP doesn’t have this clip in a commercial soon, they’re more incompetent than ever suspected.

That’s it for today! Be good, and I’ll see you tomorrow.  Big Grin


9-11 on the rails?

September 11, 2009

It could happen; al Qaeda loves to attack mass-transit systems. Remember the Madrid train bombings and the London Tube attacks? It is as certain as he sun rising in the East that al Qaeda or some like-minded band of psychopaths will try to attack America’s rail system in order to inflict massive casualties.

Which makes news of the Obama Administration’s gutting of Amtrak’s Office of Security Strategy and Special Operations to please an allied union so comforting to learn:

Biden, in turn, is tight with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the powerful union that represents the Amtrak Police Department. According to OSSSO sources, the APD brass have been aggrieved over the non-unionized counterterrorism unit’s existence from its inception. A West Coast OSSSO team member told me that union leaders blocked police credentialing efforts by his office for more than a year. An East Coast OSSSO team member told me that the FOP recently filed a grievance against one of its counterterrorism officers for assisting a train conductor who asked for help in ejecting a ticketless passenger.

Unlike the highly-specialized officers at OSSSO, APD officers possess minimal counterterrorism training. Past studies show alarmingly low pass rates among APD patrolmen who have attended undergone basic special operations classes, according to government sources. The Amtrak FOP continues to squabble over turf with the rival Teamsters Union; its leaders can’t even agree on minimal physical fitness standards for its members that have yet to be implemented. Nevertheless, OSSSO is now under the command and control of the APD — and federal stimulus funding specifically earmarked for the counterterrorism unit has now been absorbed by the police department.

Be sure to read the whole thing. Makes you want to hop on board, doesn’t it?  Doh Nailbiting


Happy Labor Day!

September 7, 2009

Any day off is a happy day. 🙂

Meanwhile, Byron York reports that support for labor unions is at an all-time low:

This Labor Day brings word of a new Gallup poll showing that American public support for labor unions has taken a sharp dive in the last year and is at its lowest point since Gallup began polling in 1936.

In response to the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of labor unions?” just 48 percent of respondents said they approve, while 45 percent said they disapprove. That’s a steep fall from August 2008, when the numbers were 59 percent approve, 31 percent disapprove, and it’s the first time approval of unions has ever fallen below 50 percent.

Before this year, American support for unions had remained remarkably stable for nearly four decades. In August 2001, in the first months of George W. Bush’s presidency, Gallup’s results for the same question were 60 percent approve, 32 percent disapprove. In August 1997, in Bill Clinton’s second term, they were 60-31. In 1985, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the figures were 58-27. In 1978, during Jimmy Carter’s time in the White House, they were 59-31. And in 1972, during Richard Nixon’s, they were 60-27.

The new poll also shows that many Americans believe the future is bleak for unions. In response to the question, “Thinking about the future, do you think labor unions in this country will become stronger than they are today, the same as today, or weaker than they are today?” 48 percent said unions will become weaker, versus just 24 percent who said unions will become stronger.

And here’s Gallup’s chart:

tvcvpa3inugt-f4thu-qlwSupport’s been remarkably steady since 1937, just two years after the passage of the Wagner Act, but the drop since late 2008 is nothing short of startling. Coincidentally, that was about the time we elected the most beholden-to-Big-Labor administration in recent history, probably since FDR. And what’s happened since last November?

  • The legal rights of bondholders were trampled during the bailouts of GM and Chrysler, largely to benefit UAW pension funds.
  • Representatives of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) were allowed to sit-in on a meeting between the federal government and California state officials (who were trying to deal with a massive budget crisis) in which the Obama administration threatened to withhold bailout money unless California maintained the wages of SEIU members, regardless of the best interests of the state as a whole.
  • Union thugs affiliated with the SEIU have beaten Americans exercising their constitutional right to free speech to protest ObamaCare at town-hall meetings.
  • The Democrats in Congress and the Obama Administration continue to push for the Orwellian “Employee Free Choice Act,” which would end the secret ballot in union elections and which even George McGovern opposes.
  • The Administration nominated as Labor Secretary Representative Hilda Solis, who flagrantly violated House ethics rules by acting as treasurer for a pro-union organization lobbying Congress on matters she would be voting on.

And that’s just a few.

I’m not against unions per se: in fact, I belong to one. They serve a useful purpose protecting workers from abusive employers, and the right to collective bargaining -if that’s the workers’ free choice- is a good one. But the stories of corruption in union leadership are legendary (Has anyone found Hoffa yet?), and the thuggish, self-serving actions of the UAW and especially the SEIU are reminding people of the threat of unchecked union power.

We shouldn’t be surprised at the precipitous drop in the public’s opinion of unions; the public seems to be realizing that the Big Unions are helping their own people at everyone else’s expense. On this Labor Day union leaders should be anything but relaxed.

LINKSEd Morrissey; Blue Crab Boulevard; Power Line; 247 Things.

UPDATE: Michael Barone has a good analysis of Labor’s drop in popularity. You should read the whole article, but the last paragraph is key:

There’s irony aplenty here. Thanks to the work of Sweeney, Stern and union political organizers, unions entered calendar year 2009 with more political influence than they have had since the 1960s or 1970s. But the way they have deployed that political influence has made the unions more unpopular than they have been in the last 73 years.

Yep.