SEIU Using Change To Win For Its Dirt!

Change to Win was created several years ago to compete with the AFL-CIO, in hopes of rejuvenating the organized labor movement. Today it seems like it is just a figure head that is shrinking year after year. In fact, the Carpenters Union has left Change to Win and returned to the AFL-CIO. Lately, the SEIU is using the labor group Change to Win as a buffer between them and ACORN when it comes to contributions. The SEIU does not want to put its “good name” through the mud by contributing directly to the controversial ACORN affiliates. Glenn Spencer, the executive director of the Workforce Freedom Initiative with the Chamber of Commerce said it best, “SEIU views Change to Win as a useful mouthpiece and it can use it as a pathway to funnel money to shady groups like ACORN without putting its own name on the check.” I bet

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Options to Union-Made Beer

Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder (by Mick Smith via Flickr)

Ahh, independence day is almost here. Fireworks. Grilling. And of course, beer.

As everyone prepares for 4th of July weekend, you may want to brush up on your list of union made beer. We aren’t suggesting a boycott or anything, but please consider your favorite local breweries or (if you are the kind of person who thinks ahead about this kind of stuff) your local home brew shop as you consider your beverage choices for the weekend. We’re already thirsty.

Do you have any favorite “union-free” beer (ah, heck, we don’t discriminate, if your favorite beer is union-made that’s cool too)? Let us know in the comments. Happy 4th of July.

“Claims About Patient Care Were Bullsh*t”

MedCity News caught up with Phil again to respond to the settlement the Minnesota nurses made with area hospitals.

“If you look at it at face value, it looks like the hospitals got what they wanted and the union didn’t really want to go on strike,” said Phil Wilson during the interview. It has been alleged that the new National Nurses United union pressured the Minnesota affiliate into the strike to “prove” it’s value to members, and this agreement may indicate there is some truth to the charge.

Phil was also quoted to close the article,

“The only conclusion you can draw is that the claims about patient care were bullsh*t,” said Wilson of the Labor Relations Institute. “It was a bargaining ploy using patients as the pawn.”

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About That Whole "Patient Care" Thing... Never Mind...

The Minnesota Nurses Association resolved their labor contract with 14 Minnesota hospitals this afternoon, averting a second strike that was scheduled to begin on July 6. For the sake of the patients this is obviously a great result – as I said during the first strike, a strike for patient care is like a beer bash against alcoholism.

This strike was never about patient care. If you think that is just opinion, take a look at what the nurses themselves agreed to. Their own release on the settlement says:

“The Minnesota Nurses Association and the hospitals have agreed to a renewed commitment to working through both parties’ staffing issues through the existing committee systems at the various hospitals.”

Apparently the “existing committee systems” that were such a big problem a week ago have suddenly now become the solution to everyone’s concerns about staffing and patient care. There is

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Breaking: Unions Seek Delta Airlines Election

It is no surprise, but on the day that the new NMB rules go into effect making it easier for unions to organize airline workers, the Machinists and Flight Attendants unions filed petitions today to represent more than 50,000 Delta Airlines employees. Should be an interesting campaign to watch.

Breaking: NLRB Re-Opens 96 Decisions

The NLRB announced today that they are asking the Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court to remand 96 decisions that are currently on appeal so they can be heard by a 3-member panel. This is in response to the recent Supreme Court decision in New Process Steel (you can download a PDF of the decision in that case here if you haven’t already read it). Right now they are saying the members Liebman and Schaumber will be on the panel for the new decisions, although member Schaumber’s appointment ends in August and it seems a bit ambitious to think these cases will all return and be decided before then. We’ll keep you posted on developments.

SEIU losing the battle to NUHW?

The SEIU has for several years declared themselves as the fastest growing union in the United States with over 1.9 million members. This may be about to change if the employees in California’s Kaiser Permanente health care chain have. About 45,000 members are hoping to vote with their feet by getting rid of SEIU in favor of NUHW. Employees of anything to do with it Kaiser and the SEIU have not had a honeymoon relationship since the union took over. One union member summed it up about the SEIU’s lies by saying, “when SEIU took over our local, they said nothing would change. But one of the first things they did was remove stewards and other elected leaders.” This will be a huge blow to the SEIU. The bigger question is whether this mass exodus from SEIU members in California will spill across the rest of the country.

DOL: Fighting For Workers "Documented or Not"

Actor Jimmy Smits, Obama’s Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America union and Democratic Socialists of America member Dolores Huerta have all joined forces on a video asking workers to report labor violations whether they are “documented or not.” The three appear in a video explaining what to do if you are an undocumented worker and have an issue with wage discrimination.

First, let’s be clear. It is illegal for employers to hire undocumented workers and to violate labor laws, and those violations should be reported and corrected. However, it is interesting that the DOL is reaching out to undocumented workers for help reporting these violations, especially given the fact that DOL is partially in charge of enforcing the rules against hiring undocumented workers in the first place. Not only that, but during the Clinton administration these investigations turned into “shake-down”

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Union Security Clause to Fuel Strike

Despite 32 tentative agreements reached between the Teamsters Union and The Northeast Distribution Center of New England based Dunkin Donuts in their first-contract negotiations, the Teamsters are frothing at the mouth and threatening to strike over the two remaining open issues. One of them is a union security clause that would force all employees to join the union and pay dues as a condition of employment.

America may run on Dunkin’, but not until the union gets it’s taste.

Democratic Officials Turning Backs On Unions

In another blow to public-sector unions, a number of typically union-friendly elected officials are telling unions to make concessions on public sector labor agreements. The reason: the fact that public employee pensions and health care costs are about to bankrupt many states. Stephen M. Sweeney, President of New Jersey’s State Senate (and an official in the Ironworkers union… ouch!) said it best: “At some point, you reach the limit of your ability to pay.” New York Governor, David Paterson wants unions to issue a pay freeze and re-open contracts. Actions like these are taking place all over the country. Unions are responding to these financial crises the way you would expect… by threatening these fiscally responsible politicians with payback if they even dare to discuss limits on union benefits. Stay tuned for more rubber rats (and even real rats) coming soon to a council meeting or political rally

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