“I’m not a bad person,” said Gary Barner. “I just made bad decisions in what I did.”
Let’s look at those decisions. Barner served as the treasurer for Local 518 of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE – which is now a part of the United Steelworkers of America) from 2002-06. During that time, he embezzled almost $30,000 from the local.
When an auditor discovered the shortfall in 2006, and concluded Barner was responsible, Barner approached his father asking for a loan to cover the loss. When his father refused, Gary shot and beat him.
Barner turned himself in for the assault (thankfully his father survived), and while serving his sentence, he confessed to the embezzlement.
We’d hate to run into somebody Barner thinks is a bad person…
The Cato Journal’s January 2010 issue addresses the question, “Are unions good for America?” The articles provide hard-hitting analysis, exposing some of the myths behind labor unions that practically everyone believes.
The Homeland Stupidity web site provides a synopsis of each myth, with a link to each of the 12 Cato articles. For the next 12 issues we’d like to quote the synopsis, and suggest you take a look at the full article for yourself (each one is plus-or-minus 20 pages or so).
Myth Number One: Unions work to ensure a level playing field for employees.
Fact: Unions advocate for laws which tilt the playing field in ways that are unfair to both employers and employees. Those laws often impair economic growth and innovation, as well as destroy the freedom to contract, according to Randall G. Holcombe and James D. Gwartney, economics professors at Florida State University. Over time,
Continue reading 12 Union Myths Exposed
SEIU took a kidney punch in January when 2300 members at Kaiser Permanente voted in favor of representation by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Despite the overwhelming resources that Stern and company threw at the campaign, and months of delaying tactics, the Kaiser employees’ vote was a landslide victory for NUHW. 43,000 additional Kaiser workers will have a similar chance to vote when existing contracts expire this summer.
Good Samaritan Hospital employees in Los Angeles had the NLRB rule in their favor and order a new decertification election against the SEIU. Stern’s operatives resorted to bribes, and physical and verbal coercion in the long-running battle between the hospital workers and the union.
To compound SEIU’s west coast problems, it
Continue reading SEIU Watch
Our friends at Littler Mendelson looked over Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget released Feb 1, and broke down some of the $14 billion headed to the Department of Labor, much of which is earmarked for the DOL’s labor and employment law enforcement efforts. Included were:
• $25 million and 100 additional enforcement personnel to identify and penalize employers who improperly classify employees as independent contractors, • $1.7 billion (a $67 million increase) to the worker protection agencies for enforcement purposes, • OSHA will receive $573 million (up by $14 million) to cover 60 additional enforcement members to its staff, aiming to conduct 9% more inspections, and • The Employee Benefits Security Administration receives $7 million to hire more benefits advisors and research staff.
Rather than gearing up to help American businesses
Continue reading DOL To Carry a Bigger Stick
Good thing school wasn’t in session, or the students might have greatly expanded their vocabulary, and gained some insight into standard union tactics. Pete Jaworski of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local 96, inspired this charge by employees of Stock Roofing Company:
On or about July 24, 2009 the Labor Organizaiton, through its agent, Pete Jaworski, threatened, restrained and coerced employees of the Charging Party…at a school roofing project in Cloquet, Minnesota, by physically blocking them from getting access to their tools, by screaming profanities at them and demanding that they sign a union card, and by preventing them from taking possession of Charging Party’s trailer and tools when they left the site.
Download a PDF of ULP here.
If you are one of the employers of the over 13.5 million restaurant workers in America, you better make sure you are running a clean, tight ship. A pre-organizing campaign is ramping up, starting in 4 major cities: Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, and Portland, Maine.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center is launching “ workplace justice campaigns” in these cities, patterned after the original campaign in New York City that occurred shortly after the 9/11 catastrophe. Although the ROC is not a union, their activities can be a precursor to union organizing campaigns, and unions have had a hand in helping set up local ROCs.
The restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing in the country, and is largely non-union. With so many sectors in the American economy stymied or in decline,
Continue reading Restaurant Owners, Beware!
What are union organizers to do when employees stubbornly refuse to sign up for union representation? How do they combat the “harsh” treatment of having companies hold employee meetings so company management can make their case against unionization? How about fly to Paris and try to embarrass the foreign owners of the company into a neutrality agreement?
The Paris-based food service group Sodexo has been the latest to feel the brunt of this Big Labor strategy. Following the playbook used by the Communications Workers of American in their confrontation of Deutsche Telekom (owners of T-Mobile), and the United Food and Commercial Workers against Great Britain’s Tesco (whose Fresh and Tasty Markets in the American southwest have been under attack), the SEIU flew to Paris to mount a publicity campaign against Sodexo.
Continue reading The French Connection
Big Labor received a huge snub this week as 2 Democrats sided with Republicans in stopping the appointment of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Despite the failure of the Senate to put Becker up for an up or down vote, Labor is already screaming for Obama to empanel Becker anyway via a recess appointment. As Stewart Acuff from the Utility Workers Union stated recently,
It [sic] we aren’t able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, we will work with President Obama and Vice President Biden and their appointees to the National Labor Relations Board to change the rules governing forming a union through administrative action…
Big Labor isn’t going away, and is working at many levels to find ways to force people into unions. Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed
Continue reading EFCA Update
Remember that famous scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail during the plague? A cart is pulled around the village to pick up dead peasants. Cries of “bring out yer dead” can be heard across the village. At some point a not-quite-dead villager is about to be hoisted onto the cart when he protests that he is not dead and instead is “feeling much better.” Until someone smacks him on the head and throws him on the cart.
Unions must feel a lot like that guy. Conventional wisdom has pronounced unions dead. Again. Total membership has dropped to its lowest level on record. Only 7.2% of private sector workers are union members and for the first time ever there are now more government union members than private sector ones.
Great Article on unions making contributions to an Anti-Tea Party group. There are a lot of union members in the center of the country (or in Massachusetts for that matter) who’d probably be a little upset to see how their money is being spent. The article does a great job outlining the shell game that hides how International union money gets funneled into local campaigns in a way to make it look like it is “homegrown” opposition to a candidate.