Archive for ‘labor unions’

July 19, 2009

Going Postal? U.S. Postal Service SeeksBailout; Could Miss October Payroll

Via NewsAlert, this shocker:

Four unions representing the nation’s postal workers are pleading for a meeting with the White House to address possible funding shortfalls for workers’ payroll and retiree health benefits, according to a letter obtained by CongressDaily.
The presidents of the American Postal Workers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, National Association of Letter Carriers and National Postal Mailhandlers Union co-signed the Tuesday letter to White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, warning that the U.S. Postal Service is at risk of defaulting on a $5.4 billion payment to prefund retiree health benefits at the end of September.
The letter alleges that USPS “may not be able to make payroll in October and will be forced to issue IOUs instead.” . . .

Read the whole thing. Imagine that: A taxpayer-subsidized, union-dominated, government-regulated monopoly having financial problems . . .

It’s a crisis! Wonder if the president has those cardigans ready?

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July 15, 2009

Unions: Curiously Strong

by Smitty

Jennifer Rubin has an excellent PJTV clip on the distorting power of Unions.

Standard disclaimer: Unions had their historical time and place. A while ago. However, as Nietzsche put it:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

In this context, it means that the Free Employee Choice Act/Legislation (FECAL), has become something against which that famous über-Union, “We the People”, had darn well better orgnanize. The WTF Card Check web site can help you understand the unbridled suckage that will result from passing this turd.
And while we’re on the topic of organizing, I do hope that you’re planning on joining a principled, pro-Consitutional demonstration happening in under two months.

May 15, 2009

Profit = ‘corporate greed’

AT&T actually made a profit last year, which means they’re guilty of “corporate greed,” according to the Communications Workers of America union:

Thursday, union leaders delivered a petition with 3,500 names on it declaring “corporate greed” and calling on the company to settle on a fair labor agreement.

The very fact that AT&T is profitable is cited by CWA as evidence of the company’s evil. As I wrote at The American Spectator:

CWA’s political action committee collected $7.6 million in the 2008 election cycle, and 98% of its contributions went to Democrats. But only profitable corporations — not unions or Democrats — are ever guilty of “greed.”

Read the whole thing.

April 28, 2009

Ayn Rand’s prophecy fulfilled

Who else ever imagined such a Big Labor/Big Government swindle as Obama is attempting to perpetrate against GM bondholders? This fraudulent scheme is almost guaranteed to cause another economic meltdown. Ed Morrissey explains:

Even though you own $27 billion in GM bonds, you’d get 10% of the company. The UAW, which has a claim on $20 billion for its health-care and pensions obligations, would only have to sacrifice half of that to get 39%. The feds, who will invest another $9 billion to bring their total investment to the same level as your bonds, wants 51%. . . .
Does anyone at the Treasury do math any longer? The total sacrifice of all three parties would be $64 billion, of which the federal government and the bondholders are contributing the same percentage: 42.2%. The UAW will contribute about 15.6%. Why would the Obama administration expect bondholders to contribute 42% of the solution in order to gain 10% of the company?

Looter tactics straight out of Atlas Shrugged. My advice to anyone owning market mutual funds or stock in a publicly-traded corporation can be summed up in three words: Sell, sell, sell!

Weimar America and Dow 3,000, here we come!

UPDATE: Saw a scroll on the bottom of Fox News saying that GM bondholders have rejected the deal — yea, bondholders! — which explains why the Dow is up, for now.

The “Geithner Motors” scheme of handing over the once-mighty industrial giant to the UAW goons whose greed has bankrupted the company has got to be the worst idea for “recovery” I’ve ever heard.

UPDATE II: Bloomberg, at 11:17 a.m.:

General Motors Corp. fell 8.3 percent to $1.87 for the steepest drop in the
Dow. Bondholders find the automaker’s offer to exchange their $27 billion in
debt for equity unreasonable and said they should be treated more equitably with
labor unions.

A share of GM is now cheaper than a gallon of gas.

April 21, 2009

ACORN/SEIU axis?

The Washington Examiner’s Kevin Mooney has a story about ACORN, quoting Matthew Vadum on something I hadn’t heard before:

While the organization’s complicated structure makes is difficult to determine how many affiliates and subsidiaries are tied in with ACORN’s vast apparatus, its connection with organized labor, especially the Service Employees International Union, is well-established, Vadum observed. SEIU Locals 100 and 880 are identified as allied organizations on ACORN’s web site. U.S. Department of Labor LM-2’s (financial disclosure forms) point to over $600,000 in transactions between these same SEIU locals and other ACORN operations. A 2007 LM-2 form shows SEIU Local 880, which is active in Illinois and Minnesota, donated $60,118 to ACORN for “membership services.” Organized labor has kicked it back in the form of gifts and grants to ACORN totaling $2.4 million, the LM-2’s reveal.

Obama has very close ties to both SEIU and ACORN, and this evidence of direct coordination between these two left-wing groups is quite interesting. I wonder if Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and the other Democrats who got steam-rollered by the Obama juggernaut in the primaries understand what it was that hit them.

March 24, 2009

LIVE: From Labor Conference

UNIVERSITY CLUB, Washington, D.C.

Two hours ago, Grover Norquist broke the news to a labor-relations conference here that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-INO) will oppose EFCA (“Card Check”) in the Senate, which almost certainly dooms that vicious legislation to defeat.

I was scooped on this story by Dave Weigel and Phil Klein, because I had to go pay the water bill this morning. And now I have to go move my car from the $1 an hour spot before it gets towed. This conference is sponsored by Capital Research Center, and I could have been here earlier but . . .

HTTJYUB, as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman explains.

UPDATE: One of the speakers here today was Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK) representing Save Our Secret Ballot. Just got a press release from SOS Ballot:

“Of course we are pleased that Sen. Specter listened to his constituents and has decided to not support cloture or card check. Card check may be dead in this Congress, but we still must push ahead at the state level to effectively kill the idea permanently. Other Senators should take note that Sen. Specter specifically addressed the issue of the cloture vote. Senators who say they’re voting for cloture but not necessarily supporting the bill are playing a cynical game to fool voters.”
Tim Mooney, national coordinator,
Save Our Secret Ballot

Specter is perhaps the most notorious congressional crapweasel ever to put an “R” beside his name — and that’s saying a lot.

UPDATE II: (phone report via Smitty) Having laid waste to the buffet, the McCain tsunami rolled forth in search of intermediate conquest. The ultimate goal, as always, being the karaoke bar, and the demolition of all things tasteful.

UPDATE III:
Cynthia seems surprised by the entire concept:

Did I miss a meeting? I know I’m brand new as a fiscal conservative, but I really thought the secret ballot was one of the few things that almost everyone in the U.S. supported. When did the secret ballot pass from being the cornerstone of our democratic republic to being anathema to our future because it stops labor union thugs from forcing people to join labor unions? DIS-EMPOWERING THUGS IS WHAT THE SECRET BALLOT IS SUPPOSED TO DO!!!

C’mon, lady: why settle for a Faustian bargain when there’s a Cthulhuian one to be had?

March 18, 2009

UUR…

by Smitty

That’s the “Union of Union Representatives” from a WaPo article, by way of The Next Right.
The idea of unions suing unions in a labor dispute sounds like a cross between a Monty Python sketch and a Dilbert cartoon. Or, to paraphrase radically the mighty Steven Wright, a toilet paper self-portrait of a union boss tending a bodily function*.
Unions had a definite place in history. As a sailor, though, I can’t view them as anything but a mutiny awaiting its moment. Sorry, Todd Palin.

*The original joke had to do with a rare picture collection, including a photo of Houdini locking his keys in his car, Norman Rockwell beating up a child, and [where I was mooching], a self-portrait of an artist writing his autobiography.

March 9, 2009

A Missed Point About Unions

by Smitty
Gary Gross over at Let Freedom Ring points to a NYT article about unions being less than united about health care reform:

Two labor unions have pulled out of a broad coalition seeking agreement on major changes in the health care system.
The action, by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union, shows the seeds of discord behind the optimistic talk at a White House conference on health care this week.

Unions had value, many decades ago when workers were exploited. At what point did they morph into de facto temp agencies, rationing workers to companies under the mistaken impression that they still have employees?

March 4, 2009

Insane news of the day

Philip Klein at the American Spectator:

Hundreds of members of the Service Employees International Union are taking off from their jobs to join the fight to pass President Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget, a union official said on Wednesday.
“SEIU intends to bring the full force of the union and its 2.1 million members to bear,” Khalid Pitts, director of political accountability at the SEIU said on a conference call. “Right now, we have hundreds of our workers, who have taken leave from their jobs in 18 crucial states to moving this budget.”
Pitts said that the members will be going door-to-door to convince their neighbors to support the budget as well as organizing house parties and other events. The hope is that the hundreds will turn into thousands as members of Congress arrive in their districts during Easter recess.

Think about that. Here we are with the economy in the toilet, unemployment above 7% for the first time in many years, the stock market plunging to its lowest point in 12 years, new waves of bankruptcies and foreclosures and layoffs announced every day. And yet, these SEIU members — who are very fortunate actually to have jobs — are going to take time off to go door-to-door campaigning on behalf of Obama’s stagflation-on-steroids budget that will kill jobs like Raid kills roaches.

Nurse, more Thorazine, please!

February 18, 2009

California: Zimbabwe, U.S.A.

California crisis explained by Ed Morrissey:

Democrats . . . refuse to consider large-scale rollbacks of state government programs. Doing so would jeopardize their standing among key constituencies, especially public-sector unions like AFSCME and SEIU. Instead, they want to bulldoze Republicans into jacking up taxes even higher, making the state that much less competitive and forcing business relocation to increase.

“Capital flight” would be as apt as “business relocation” to describe the mass exit of investment from the West Coast Zimbabwe.

What is happening to California is very much like what Democrats and their union-goon constituency have done to many major cities, as chronicled in Chapter 8 of Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party. Entitled “Scene of the Crime: Creating the Urban Nightmare,” that chapter explains how Democratic politicians and public-employee unions conspired against taxpayers, as in this passage about New York City:

Meanwhile, the cost of government was further increased by public employee unions. The very existence of such unions turns the logic of the labor movement on its head. The purpose of unions is to represent the interests of workers against the interests of the owners of businesses. But government workers are ultimately employees of the taxpayers, so that government worker unions are fundamentally opposed to the public interest — in the words of one New York liberal activist, “not extracting a share of the profits but rather a share of the taxes.”
This inexorable logic has had a devastating impact on America’s cities. Under Democratic Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr., New York became the first U.S. city to grant collective bargaining rights to city employees. The public employee unions relentlessly negotiated for higher wages, shorter hours,and more benefits, including health insurance that did not require co-payments from the workers (a policy unheard of in the private sector). Contract negotiations were a farce, since unions used membership dues to fund political campaigns to elect pro-union candidates. “During labor negotiations, the unions would be on both sides of the table.” This translated into forcing governments (which is to say, taxpayers) to pay above-market labor rates. By 2005, journalist Steve Malanga observed, “Wages average a hefty 37 percent higher in the public sector, but the differences in benefits are even more dramatic. Local governments pay 128 percent more, on average, than private employers to finance workers’ health-care benefits, and 162 percent more on retirement benefits.”
Fewer private-sector jobs, more welfare recipients, more public employees, higher government costs, higher taxes — by the mid-1960s, Democratic policies had sent the nation’s biggest cities into a downward spiral that could only end in bankruptcy. For Detroit, already devastated by deadly riots, the worst days were ahead.

Well, if you want to read the sad story of what liberal Democrats did to Detroit, you can buy the book (or buy two, and give one to a liberal friend, just to annoy them). It’s a crying shame, I’ll tell you that much. The research for Chapter 8 relied heavily on Fred Siegel’s excellent book, The Future Once Happened Here, as well as Tamar Jacoby’s Someone Else’s House.

The devastation that Democrats and their union-goon cronies wrought in America’s cities is now being visited upon the erstwhile Golden State of California. The thievish, parasitical mentality of liberals, who view taxpayers only a source of plunder, eventually runs head-on into economic reality. Capital is portable, and predatory governments will eventually cause disinvestment, as investors seek opportunites elsewhere. As investment flees, private-sector employment stagnates and declines, and smart young people leave to find someplace where they have a chance to get ahead.

First the cities were destroyed by Democrats, now a once-prosperous state succumbs to Democratic policies. What next? Well, in the 2008 election cycle, labor unions gave $63 million to Democrats, including $2.3 million from AFSCME, $2 million from NEA, $2.4 million from SEIU, and you can read more here. Barack Obama’s campaign collected $450,000 from labor unions, Nancy Pelosi got $320,000 from unions, Steny Hoyer got $290,000, and in fact, all 20 of the top recipients of Big Labor largesse were Democrats.

What the Democrats did to Detroit, what they’re now doing to California, they will eventually do to the entire United States, if they can hold power long enough. Welcome to Zimbabwe, U.S.A.

UPDATE: Latest headlines from the former Golden State:

UPDATE II: See also: Stephen Green and Ed Driscoll.

UPDATE III: Just imagine how much revenue California could have reaped, and how many jobs could have been created, if not for the offshore drilling ban.

UPDATE IV: Commenter Zaine:

Wait, when Gray Davis was in charge, it was the Dems’ fault. Now that Arnold is in charge and losing the state, it’s still the Dems’ fault? Who’s in charge, or has Arnold’s terms of office been a complete waste?

You can research this, and I have, and if you follow the links, you’ll see that the California state employee unions — particularly CTA — have done everything they could to hinder or defeat Schwarzenegger. The unions have raised vast sums to run advertisements attacking any policy that would reduce the cost of government. And the unions’ Democratic allies corrupt puppets in the state legislature do their bidding without question. So trying to blame Arnold for the situation is like blaming the captain of a hijacked jet.

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