Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:
Sergio Acosta – IAM: $6,660,000 Gregory Tyree – NASPSO: $1,219 William Dixon – IBB: $4338 Oscar Picazo – IAFF: $297,000 Pascale McAtee – SMART: $80,000 Mark Kirsch – IUOE: $184,000 Michael Lackey – CWA: $70,000 Harold Gilberson – UWUA: $179,052 Michael Benett – UAW: $100,000 David Maddy – UAW: $37,197
Unions have been allowed to operate by a set of rules that if used by any other enterprise, would land the executives of those enterprises in prison. A common example is the immunity from violence allowed by unionistas during strikes, protests and other “protected concerted activities.”
For the most part, unless you are a target for such violence, this disparity doesn’t affect you. However, perhaps a more dangerous rule immunity applies to the math that unions are allowed to use in managing (or mis-managing) their pension funds.
Non-union private pension plans must use a government-prescribed and realistic interest rate when managing their funds. Unions are under no such restrictions and may use whatever interest rate assumptions they want when running their pension plans.
As the recent Mine Workers of America
Continue reading Is A Dangerous Pension Bailout Precedent On The Way?
Hoffa rival Fred Zuckerman
Last month, we reported that James P. Hoffa managed to secure the role of president of the Teamsters union for his 18th consecutive year. While this win does show that Hoffa still has some power plays up his sleeves, the election itself proved that he may not be able to hang on for much longer.
Not only did he lose his “home local” this year, he only beat rival Zuckerman by 709 votes. It’s starting to become painfully clear that Teamsters members are ready for a change.
In other news, after only 15 months of representation, Goodwill truck drivers and warehouse workers are ready to decertify Local 839. Why? Because their local didn’t get anything done. Goodwill addressed many employee issues
Continue reading Teamster Beat
A new report released earlier this month by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Freedom Initiative shows how the NLRB’s 2011 decision authorizing “micro-unions” has spread across industries.
The Specialty Healthcare decision “abandoned decades of precedent regarding what is an ‘appropriate’ bargaining unit for forming a union.” At the time of the decision, the NLRB said the ruling would likely only apply to non-acute healthcare facilities and “did not constitute a broad new legal standard.” However, as this new report shows, these micro-unions are being formed across a variety of industries including retail, manufacturing, rental cars, delivery services, and telecommunications.
Unions are finding new leverage at the tactical level as well, using everything from app technology to alt-labor organizing to increase their organizing capacity and political punch.
From the time Fight for $15 began in 2012, critics have warned of the repercussions of a $15 minimum wage: self-service kiosks replacing the hourly workforce, reduced hours of operation, eliminating staff positions, and the closure of small businesses.
Study after study over the past four years show us that all these worries have come to light. And yet, the fight continues.
Just last month workers gathered in 340 cities and 20 airports in Fight for 15 protests. Most of the protesters, at least at Chicago O’Hare, were wearing SEIU purple. The World Socialist Web Site made an interesting comment about this day of protests:
While the workers’ grievances are entirely legitimate, the SEIU’s claim to fight for them is a complete fraud. Far from actually fighting for increased living
Continue reading Fight For 15
Some UAW members are pretty upset with their union. And it’s not so much about what the Auto Workers did, but rather what they didn’t do.
Volvo Trucks just announced its intention to lay off another 500 workers in early February. This comes after two previous rounds of layoffs earlier this year.
When asked what his union was doing to prevent the job losses, one worker said:
“It sets up perfectly for the union. They are holding their local elections in March, right after the layoffs take effect. If you are laid off the union doesn’t tell you when you can vote. So they exclude the workers who are most affected by their sellout policies from being able to vote them out.”
To learn more about Local 2069 prioritizing corporate interests over the well-being of its members, click here.
In Greece, 7,000 demonstrators marched in the capital of Athens and another 5,000 in the country’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki. From public transportation to state-run schools and hospitals, this nationwide strike was a disruption to many. These protests came after a series of income cuts and tax hikes across the country.
A similar situation took place in Madrid, Spain on Sunday. UGT and CCOO, Spain’s two main labor unions, organized a march of several thousand workers to protest recent changes in labor policy.
In places like Bangladesh and Qatar, labor issues of late lend themselves to more serious concerns like child labor and abusing migrant workers.
For nearly a decade, Professional Janitorial Services has been fighting for justice against the Service Employees International Union. The union was finally found guilty of “wrongfully interfering” in PJS business while targeting them in a union organizing drive.
SHRM asked Phil for comment. Check it out here.
It was apparent from the beginning that the new “Blacklist” rule instituted by Executive Order was nothing more than a handout to unions. A recent Teamsters blogpost confirms exactly how Big Labor plans to use this gift. To quote from the post:
Using the Order
The Executive Order gives unions unprecedented new leverage against companies and institutions that contract with the federal government. Unless the Order or its implementing regulations are overturned by the courts (employers have promised lawsuits) or revoked by a future president (wonder who), unions should be able to significantly increase their bargaining power by the simple expedient of filing meritorious charges with the NLRB, OSHA, the EEOC, or the DOL.
Consider a union that strikes an auto plant for a new contract. Soon after workers hit the bricks, the union president has the following conversation with the general manager:
Morris, we are two weeks
Continue reading Union Bailout Update