Florida Healthcare Unions See Explosive Growth

The number of unionized healthcare workers in Florida has risen by almost a third in the last year according to The Florida Times-Union. Most of that growth has been in Hospital Corporation of America facilities that signed neutrality agreements with the major healthcare unions last year.

“From a hospital’s viewpoint, unions can divide the workplace, restrict management’s ability to make decisions and cut profits’, said Miami lawyer Bob Norton, who helps hospital administrators fight unions. ‘Look at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where employees are members of 1991 SEIU’, he said. ‘The hospital is plagued by administrative problems and $500 million in debt. You’ve got union people constantly going around and contesting the decisions made by their supervisors,’ he said. ‘What that has done in terms of damage to the hospital is probably beyond repair.’”

Canadian Walmart Workers Hope to Show Union the Door

Employees at the Wal-Mart outlet in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., the first store to successfully sign a collective agreement and stay open in Canada, have filed a request to decertify the union. UFCW Local 501 is “suspicious” of the 147 (out of 205) signatures collected on the decertification petition. Gregor Murray, a professor of industrial relations at the Université de Montreal, called it “a predictable event in the ongoing saga. Murray sees three plausible scenarios for why 70% of the unionized employees want out of the union. One, their contract, imposed by an arbitrator, is weak and favorable to Walmart. Two, they may be simply “disappointed” with their union and three, Walmart may have screened new hires for union sympathies.

Us vs. Them: Why Unions Make Workers Unhappy

A recent Gallup study shows lower overall job satisfaction for unionized workers due primarily to the sense of division and hierarchy in the workplace. The study was based on 149,514 interviews of union and non-union workers in the public and private sectors. The Gallup Healthways Work Environment Index questions were designed to test for certain factors shown to relate directly to various desirable business outcomes, including customer engagement, turnover, absenteeism, and productivity. The study thus suggests unionized workers’ may be far less engaged with their jobs than non-unionized workers.

“The research shows that union workers are more likely than nonunion workers to consider their supervisor a “boss” rather than a “partner,” and less likely to believe their supervisor creates a trusting and open environment. It is not known whether certain types of workers

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The States with the Strongest and Weakest Unions

Market Watch lists the top and bottom ten states for union strength based on membership, density, coverage and employment. Below is the list – check out the article for details:

The 10 states with the strongest unions:

10. Oregon 9. Rhode Island 8. Michigan 7. Connecticut 6. New Jersey 5. California 4. Washington 3. Hawaii 2. Alaska 1. New York

The Impact of State Employment Policies on Job Growth: A 50 State Review

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued a report on job growth as it relates to state employment policies. You can also follow their webcast on the report. The study measures the burden of state regulations that exceed or overlap Federal regulations and the effect of a second layer of bureaucracy on job creation. More laws are not only more costly for employers to navigate they also provide more opportunities for costly litigation. The study weighs the costs, state by state, for minimum wage and “living wage” laws in excess of the Federal minimum, the cost of employment separation and workman’s comp, wage and hour policies and collective bargaining issues including Right to Work.

Wisconsin Fallout

As we predicted in the March 11 issue of INK labor unions are hard at work trying to turn their moment into a movement. The always trustworthy Huffington Post reports that Working America, the AFL-CIO advocacy group for all the rest of us, signed up 20,000 new members between February and March 15. Working America claims to offer many of the same benefits of belonging to a union (dues, class warfare, the chance to be a part of overthrowing our economic system) without being forced to endure a democratic election or the annoyance of a union contract.

Meanwhile the AFL-CIO is calling for teach-ins and other job actions on April 4, the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King because it’s “a day to stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin and dozens of

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Union Bailout Update

It’s been a busy week in Washington for both sides of the fight over workers’ and employers’ rights in remaining union free. In our March 11 issue of INK we mentioned Senator Jim DeMint had introduced a national Right-To-Work bill certain to fail in the Senate. On March 14, Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) reintroduced the Secret Ballot Protection Act (H.R.972) in the House of Representatives, legislation that would amend the NLRA to guarantee the right to secret ballot union representation elections. On March 21 that bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R. 1047 was also sent to the Labor subcommittee after being introduced on March 11 by freshman Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC). H.R. 1047 would amend the NLRA to protect state requirements for secret ballot elections. The bill

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Union Free YouTube Video: Union Attacks Union

There’s just nothing like a union turfwar to shed light on how they all really do business. In this very informative video Mark Ayers, president of AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades, hauls off on the Carpenters Union. (It’s also fun counting his creepy Godfather-esque references to “family”!)

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-tzmPwZ1I8 /]

Be sure to visit the LRI Union Free YouTube Channel to view this and other entertaining and informative videos.

Union Free YouTube Video: Economic Terrorism Plot Revealed

In this stunning audio clip, former top SEIU decision maker Stephen Lerner lays out the plan to destabilize the American economy and bring about what amounts to wholesale economic revolution — [flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvlvejSxBVQ /] Until last November, Lerner served as the director of SEIU’s banking and finance campaigns. He was also one of the few highest ranking staff members on SEIU’s executive board. Lerner is credited as the architect of SEIU’s Justice with Janitors corporate leverage campaign strategy and last year’s march on the home of Bank of America executive Greg Baer. Lerner was let go last November by new SEIU president Mary Kay Henry in what was rumored to be a consolidation of power around her.

Watch this and others on our union video YouTube channel.



Union Free YouTube Video: Hyatt Workers Want Vote

Check out this YouTube video covering Hyatt’s plea to allow its workers the chance to vote on whether or not they want a union.

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NQqIWMutX4 /]

Watch this and others on our union video YouTube