On Sunday, Washington Post reporter Alec MacGillis posted an article titled “Five Myths About the Labor Union Movement.” His five myths included:
1. Organized labor is in inexorable decline. 2. Unions are bad for economic growth. 3. Labor laws are not the issue — economics are. 4. The Employee Free Choice Act would radically reshape the job market. 5. Unions have the Democrats in their pocket.
MacGillis then attempts to “debunk” these myths. However, writing for OpenMarkets.org, Ivan Osorio rips MacGillis’ efforts at debunking. Osorio effectively dissects MacGillis’ “proof” and sustains the truth inherent in the “myths.” Among the points made by Osorio,
Point 1: “A sure sign of an industry being economically moribund is its having to rely on government to survive, which is exactly what organized labor is doing by relying on public sector membership to keep its numbers up. This is not a “shift,”
Continue reading Myths about Labor Myths
The Department of Labor is allocating $25 million of its generous budget to launch a joint initiative with the Treasury Department aimed at cracking down on companies who misclassify workers as independent contractors. The campaign will put 100 new investigators to the task.
The government is irritated at the loss of tax revenue, and the unions by the loss of potential union dues. Big Labor claims that up to 30 percent of workers are misclassified, and will also no doubt use the threat of increased scrutiny in corporate campaigns designed to pressure companies into neutrality agreements.
Adding to the sting, Democrats in both the House and the Senate are introducing bills designed to strengthen rules regarding independent contractors and increasing the penalties for companies that fail to get it right.
Continue reading DOL Looking to Crack Down
First, the SEIU trashed the Boy Scouts for a young Eagle Scout’s efforts to clean up a city’s trails. Not to be outdone, the UFCW decided to protest a community blood drive. The Toledo Walleye joined forces with local blood service workers, offering free tickets to an upcoming hockey game. Participants received more than they bargained for as they had to negotiate the UFCW protesters, whose contract with the blood workers was rejected last November.
As we reported earlier, Pratt & Whitney moved to outsource some of their two Connecticut-based factory operations to more business-friendly environments in Japan, Singapore, and Georgia. A judge recently put the kibosh on those plans, at least until the current Machinist contract expires in December 2010.
A clause in the current contract led the judge to rule that the 1000 jobs could not be moved until the contract expired. This action is likely to inspire unions to seek similar clauses in all new contracts. In essence, the clause stated that the company “actively and in good faith” make “every reasonable effort,” to keep the jobs in Connecticut.
Most such guarantees don’t go to quite the extent that this contract did to prohibit the company from moving work, but unions
Continue reading Pratt & Whitney Runs Into Judicial Trouble
In our second installment of The Cato Journal’s January 2010 “Are unions good for America?” issue, we cover the second myth.
Here is The Homeland Stupidity web site’s synopsis of this myth, and a link the Cato article.
Myth Number Two: Unions bargain on behalf of their members to get employees the wages and benefits they deserve.
Fact: Unions “bargain” with the guns of government in hand, to get employees more wages and benefits than they deserve, with a little for themselves on the side. By crawling in bed with government to pass laws which benefited the unions at the expense of employers — and, in the long run, employees — union leaders have drained American businesses dry. The long, slow decline of private sector unions reflects the economic destruction they left in their wake as they searched for fresh blood to leech. And today they’ve found the biggest
Continue reading 12 Union Myths Exposed
Word on the street is that another SEIU executive has been placed “on leave” while, once again, potential financial misbehavior is investigated. Andy Stern and company must be pretty familiar with their “damage control handbook” by now. I wonder if they’ve considered marketing it to help raise funds for their depleted pension funds and cash reserves.
One of the moves from their playbook is to sling mud at someone else to misdirect attention. Bank of America remains a favorite target, as their headquarters in Charlotte were picketed, and CEO Brian Moynihan has been accused of being morally bankrupt. It would be funny if it were not so sad, that the pot so flippantly attempts to call the kettle black.
Continental Airlines is now union from top to bottom, thanks to an aggressive campaign by the Teamsters to bring the standout ramp workers into the fold. Although the union won by only 300 votes, 7600 workers have been added to the rosters.
The union took the campaign to the highways and byways, knocking on doors in 24 cities to round up enough votes to make a difference. Teamster Gary Welsch remarked in September of last year, “We’ve been through this five times and I can say hands down that this is the best campaign, the strongest campaign we’ve had.”
The Continental fleet service employees were the largest group of non-union employees in the airline industry. “This is a big victory,” Teamsters President James Hoffa said in an interview. “It
Continue reading Teamsters On A Roll
The UFCW is in the news again – this time preparing to take up to 40,000 supermarket employees out on strike in three states. The Union’s negotiations with Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, a New England grocery chain, have stalled but been extended by one week. The chain has already posted advertisements for temporary workers in the event the strike occurs.
One of the key issues is the means by which the store would like to increase employee’s pay. Stop & Shop is arguing for bonuses, while the union is fighting for across-the-board pay increases. As would be expected, it appears the union is against an increase system that could be tied to incentives.
Now that all of Big Labor’s dreams are no longer neatly packaged in one piece of legislation (the Employee Free Choice Act), it will be a bit harder to keep our eye on the wily Obama administration as the Democrats do their best to placate their deep-pocket labor friends. They will have opportunity to use both legislative and regulatory means to achieve at least some of their objectives. This recent Bloomberg Law Report reinforces that point, addressing the likelihood that such tactics as ramped-up injunctive relief for ULP’s, civil penalties, Gissel bargaining orders, and first contract remedies are all possibilities.
Denying Craig Becker a seat on the NLRB does not solve the problem of an aggressive “Big Labor” agenda for the board. Current board chair Wilma Liebman’s recent comments made it clear
Continue reading EFCA Update
President Obama is considering appointing SEIU President Andy Stern to the soon to be created Deficit Panel to control the national debt. You read that right. Stern is going to give advice on how to REDUCE the national debt. Kind of like asking Tiger Woods to serve on an abstinence panel…