Archive for ‘labor unions’

December 24, 2008

Unions vs. reality

New slogan: “California, the Absurd State“:

Two public employee unions on Monday sued Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to block his effort to furlough state workers in a cost-cutting measure as California’s treasury runs out of money.
Last week, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to require that all state employees take two unpaid days off each month starting in February. The governor said the measure is needed to conserve cash, with the state budget gap estimated to reach $42 billion a year and a half from now.

First, unions organized against capitalism. Next, they organized against taxpayers. Now? They’re organizing against reality!

Really, what part of “we’re running out of money” is so hard to understand? Where do these parasitical bureaucrats get the idea that they’re entitled to employment at taxpayer expense?

December 24, 2008

UAW: No concessions

Michelle Malkin is not surprised to discover that, after shaking down the Bush administration for $17 billion, the union goons who control Detroit now expect the Obama administration to bail them out without concessions:

Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, said earlier this week that he would seek to remove the wage-reduction provision of the loan, calling it “an undue tax on the workers” who have already made “major” sacrifices for the benefit of the auto industry.
Gettelfinger said that what is being asked of the autoworkers — who agreed to concessions in 2003, 2005 and 2007 — is “unrealistic.” He has said he wants to work with President-elect Barack Obama to remove the wage provision.

Some “negotiation”: The unions negotiating with the president who is their wholly-owned tool.

December 1, 2008

Unions vs. jobs

Want to be unemployed? Join a union!

Toyota, BMW, Kia and others now make 54% of the cars Americans buy. The internationals also employ some 113,000 Americans, compared with 239,000 at U.S.-owned carmakers . . .
To put it concisely, the transplants operate under conditions imposed by the free market. Detroit lives on Fantasy Island.
Consider labor costs. Take-home wages at the U.S. car makers average $28.42 an hour, according to the Center for Automotive Research. That’s on par with $26 at Toyota, $24 at Honda and $21 at Hyundai. But include benefits, and the picture changes. Hourly labor costs are $44.20 on average for the non-Detroit producers, in line with most manufacturing jobs, but are $73.21 for Detroit. . . .
This $29 cost gap reflects the way Big Three management and unions have conspired to make themselves uncompetitive — increasingly so as their market share has collapsed. . . . Over the decades the United Auto Workers won pension and health-care benefits far more generous than in almost any other American industry. As a result, for every UAW member working at a U.S. car maker today, three retirees collect benefits; at GM, the ratio is 4.6 to one. . . .
Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina — which accounted for a quarter of U.S. car production last year — are “right-to-work” states where employees can’t be forced to join a union.
The absence of the UAW also gives car producers the flexibility to deploy employees as needed. Work rules vary across company and plant, but foreign rules are generally less restrictive. At Detroit’s plants, electricians or mechanics tend to perform certain narrow tasks and often sit idle. That rarely happens outside Michigan. In the nonunionized plants, temporary workers can also be hired, and let go, as market conditions dictate. (Emphasis added.)

Gee, letting automakers run their own factories — without meddling from thievish union bosses and their featherbedding rules — what an amazing idea!

November 14, 2008

What’s wrong with the U.S. automakers, in three sentences

Not really complicated:

Total compensation per hour for the big-three carmakers is $73.20. That’s a 52 percent differential from Toyota’s (Detroit South) $48 compensation (wages + health and retirement benefits). In fact, the oversized UAW-driven pay package for Detroit is 132 percent higher than that of the entire manufacturing sector of the U.S., which comes in at $31.59.

(Via Charlie Martin.) If the Democrats in Congress really want to save the U.S. auto industry, that’s not really complicated, either: A nation right-to-work law.

October 2, 2008

Video: Union goon to members: OBEY!

AFL-CIO Goon-in-Chief Richard Trumka warns the proletariat that Hope and Change are mandatory:

“There’s not a single good reason for any worker — especially any union member — to vote against Barack Obama, and there’s only one really, really bad reason to vote against Barack Obama, and that’s because he’s not white.”

Gee, maybe Allen West should try this tactic down in Florida: If you vote against a black candidate, you’re a racist.

I have argued for years that labor unions are not democratic. Rather, they are extortionist conspiracies that represent the interests of the hired goons rather than the interests of the members. To quote my favorite blogger:

The whole purpose of labor unions is to collect money to pay fat salaries for the lazy goons who do no actual work. Unions exist exclusively to serve the interests of their leadership, and the poor saps in the rank-and-file — forced to pay dues as a condition of employment — are merely the prey of the parasitical goons.

If you are a union member who believes otherwise, let me ask you a simple question: Why do you believe otherwise?

Who told you that the union represents your interests? Who told you that your employer is wrongfully exploiting you? Who told you that, without the representation of a labor union, you’d be helpless and impoverished?

The goons taught you that. And if you say, “No, I learned it in school,” guess what? The goons of the teachers unions control what’s taught in public schools, too. If you’re such a chump that you’re going to let the goons tell you what to think, I guess you don’t mind them telling you how to vote.

Why is Trumka so desperate to make sure that all those dues-paying chumps follow orders and vote for Hope and Change? Two words: “Check card.”

Obama has promised to abolish secret ballots in unionization votes, so that the goons will know whose tires to slash and whose windows to smash in their terror campaigns against workers who’d rather keep their own wages rather than being forced to pay union dues to support the goonocracy.

Did I forget to explain that “corrupt union official” is redundant? You’ll find a virgin in a bordello before you’ll find an honest man running a labor racket. Union goons aren’t merely detestable scum. They’re the poisonous bacteria that infests the vicious parasites that feed on the rancid slime that encrusts the detestable scum.

The difference between the labor movement and syphilis is that occasionally decent people contract syphilis through no fault of their own. And syphilis is curable, while it seems nothing can eradicate the menace of labor unionism.

August 15, 2008

Protectionism, the Left’s xenophobia

FactCheck.org debunks AFL-CIO/Obama attack ads that blame John McCain for layoffs in Ohio:

German-based DHL announced a deal that could result in 8,200 lost jobs in Wilmington, Ohio. And McCain did in fact oppose an amendment that would have kept DHL from buying Wilmington-based Airborne Express. . . .
[T]he Teamsters union praised the merger at the time, saying that it would lead to more jobs. And at first, more jobs indeed followed.
The ads also imply that the DHL merger is a direct cause of the job losses in Ohio, which we find to be both unlikely and unsubstantiated. Airborne Express had laid off 2,000 employees before the merger, and analysts at the time said that the struggling carrier would need to make expensive investments in its international infrastructure to remain competitive. . . .
The AFL-CIO mailer is the most explicit, saying that “McCain helped cut a deal that sent over 8,000 jobs to a foreign-owned company.” Obama’s television ad, which began airing on Aug. 14, charges that “John McCain helped pave the way for foreign-owned DHL to take over an American shipping company.”

This is how Democratic Party and labor union goons exploit fear and economic ignorance, and except for banning international trade, I don’t know what could ever satisfy them.

If U.S. companies invest overseas, that’s “off-shoring,” and is supposedly bad for American workers. but if foreign companies invest in the U.S., that’s a foreign “takeover,” and is supposedly bad for U.S. workers.

Airborne Express was experiencing hard times, and had already cut 2,000 jobs. So the company sells out to a German competitor, DHL. The hard times continue, however, and so another round of layoffs is necessary.

The DHL buyout did not cause the layoffs in Ohio. DHL inherited the problems at Airborne Express when it bought the company, and the layoffs are the result of those problems, which pre-existed the DHL buyout.

To blame the “foreign-owned company” is ridiculous, and to blame McCain for opposing an amendment that would have blocked the buyout is lunacy. There wouldn’t even be an America without investment by “foreign-owned companies”!

Hello? It was investment by British and Dutch capitalists that funded the original colonial ventures in what is now the United States. Foreign capital helped build the railroads that spanned a continent. The United States has always welcomed foreign investment, because foreign investment is a very good thing.

Ever since the 1970s, the Left has been demonizing foreign investors — especially Arabs and Japanese — who are supposedly buying up everything in America as part of some shadowy takeover scheme. This is ignorant nonsense, anti-economic gibberish.

When foreigners invest their money in U.S. businesses, this is a vote of confidence in America’s prospects for economic growth. Capital investment creates jobs.

If, in this one instance, the DHL buyout of Airborne Express has been followed by layoffs, it does not follow that the buyout caused the layoffs. This is the logical fallacy known as post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

So why is it “hate” when Americans complain about an illegal influx of poor Mexican workers, yet it’s not “hate” when Democrats demonize the legal business activity of rich German investors? Why is dishonest fear-mongering about foreign capitalists not stigmatized as xenophobia?

Because the Left controls the terms of debate, that’s why. They are permitted to spread harmful anti-economic ideas and even to promote fear of foreigners, so long as it helps elect Democrats. But don’t you for a minute think their opponents enjoy any such privilege.

UPDATE: Ahem.