One thing can be said about the state of New Jersey: it provides job security for those in law enforcement who target union corruption. In August, Nunzio LaGrasso, secretary-treasurer of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local #1478, and three others were arrested on charges ranging from commercial bribery to extortion and money laundering. In September, two members of the Production Workers Union Local #148 were arrested for embezzling more than $375,000 from the union members they purported to serve. Secretary-treasurer David Ciavano and union president Stephen Arena are accused of stacking board seats with members who provided no accountability and doctoring minutes of meetings in order to give the appearance that raises, bonuses and paid vacations were authorized.
One must wonder when the other shoe will drop. What does Change To Win provide, other than positions of “authority” for possible resume enhancement? It is no longer the “alternative” that it purported itself to be at inception, and in fact is now pledging to cooperate with the AFL-CIO in political and legislative action. It was against such priorities that Change To Win was conceived in the first place.
Nevertheless, even as the Laborers announce their re-association with the AFL-CIO, Change To Win elected UFCW President Joe Hansen as its new chair, and Teamsters President James Hoffa as its new Secretary-Treasurer. Hansen replaces Anna Burger, who recently resigned from her post at Change To Win simultaneous with her resignation as secretary-treasurer of SEIU. Hoffa replaces Edgar Romney, whose union, UNITE-HERE, had already left Change To Win
Continue reading Change To… What?
UAW members in Indiana decided to give the finger to Indiana and force the closure of a former GM plant rather than agreeing to pay restructuring (and a $35,000 cash bonus to boot). A buyer for the plant was prepared to keep the 650 workers employed, as long as they agreed to bring their pay scale in line with industry averages. The employees would still have retained the option to transfer to another GM plant within two years, and were offered the $35,000 cash payout as a way to soften the pay cut if they decided to stay local. The UAW’s answer – screw you!
The buyer anticipated ramping the plant up to 2000 workers eventually, so not only did the UAW stiff Indiana for the 650 existing jobs, they eliminated 1350 potential jobs as well. The cost to the local
Continue reading UAW Scorched Earth Policy
As predicted, the Senate failed in its attempt to overturn the recent National Mediation Board election rule change, so it will remain open season on airline organizing.
Across the hall at the NLRB, the agency is promising to sharpen one of the tools in the Big Labor’s organizing arsenal. From the moment an organizing campaign begins, it is almost impossible for a company to fire an employee without the union filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge. The union will always claim that the employee was fired due to his or her organizing efforts, or even attitudes toward the union, whether true or not. The NLRB announced it will expedite investigations into such claims.
It appears even Senate Democrats are tiring of the endless parade of former union lawyers finding their way into Presidential appointment slots. John Sullivan, a
Continue reading EFCA Update
It appears that the Lame Duck Session is starting early this year! Congressman Brad Sherman (D – California) has introduced a bill to eliminate right-to-work laws in the 22 states that have them.
While claiming that right-to-work laws are “unfair” to unions, Sherman revealed the real reason for the move, “These laws are harmful to states like California… because now we have to compete…” Yep – California does NOT have a right-to-work law to protect workers who don’t want union representation. Thus California’s more heavily unionized businesses are struggling to stay competitive.
Of course, Sherman has acquired the plaudits of the Big Labor community. “With the introduction of legislation banning so-called right-to-work, Congressman Sherman has once again demonstrated his strong commitment to working families,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.
This could back fire on Big Labor. If they invest too much political capital and/or money in
Continue reading End Right To Work?!
Former SEIU President Andy Stern has not been in the limelight too much since his departure of the SEIU in April, but he is all over the news now. The FBI is investigating Stern for his involvement in a 2006 book deal where he received $175,000 advance to write the book. The Union paid thousands of dollars to fact-check and promote the book, but Stern kept all of the advance for himself. Also, Stern could be in hot water for allegedly being aware of his union paying a California union leader a salary without doing any work. Maybe this is why Stern wanted to leave the SEIU “to focus more on his personal life.”
Parents of students in the Neshaminy School District are fed up with the teachers union due to its latest stunt. The school district was holding its annual “Back-to-School Night” at all three of their schools as a way for teachers and parents to get to know one another, but there was one problem….no teachers! The Teachers union and the school district are at odds with a new contract that could lead to a strike as soon as the end of the month. So the teachers union decided that the teachers should boycott Back-to-School night. One student’s mother said it best: “I came to Back to School night to meet my daughter’s teachers. It’s a shame you could not extend to me the same respect. Parental involvement requires teacher involvement.” Also the School Board President Ritchie Webb stated: “They’re
Continue reading Parent Teacher Conference… Without the Teachers?
The SEIU is stepping up the pressure on organizing the banking industry. The SEIU is using the recently passed financial reform bill as a pretext for organizing bank workers. Union leaders and members are making up fliers to hand out to all bank workers that informs them of their whistleblower rights. SEIU Financial Director Stephen Lerner is encouraging two things “One: do your normal banking. And then two, inform bank workers of their rights under the new whistleblower laws.” I guess the SEIU missed the irony of handing out what will look like a stick-up note to busy bank tellers. But I guess you stick with what you know – that whole “your money or your life” is basically how they collect union dues once you become a member…
Check out this interesting interview with Lou Marchetti of Teamsters Local 70 about his newest union members, pot growers in Oakland. The video is on YouTube but you have to click the link to view it. You can find it here: The Conversation: Pot Growers Join Union.
Watch this and others on our union video YouTube channel.
Check out this YouTube video covering: Andy Stern Under Investigation By F.B.I.
Watch this and others on our union video YouTube channel.