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
Continue reading Democratic Officials Turning Backs On Unions
On Thursday the House of Representatives approved the DISCLOSE Act by a vote of 219-206. This limits the spending Corporations can make on politics, but opens the flood gates to Union contributions. In fact, “this allows unions to transfer unlimited funds among affiliated groups to pay for political ads with no disclosure whatever.” I’m sure the timing on this has nothing to do with the November elections being right around the corner…
Our quote of the day comes from none other than Ironworkers Local 401 Business Manager Joe Dougherty. When asked to comment on the beating of two non-union construction workers with baseball bats while waiting to work on a picketed union construction site, he offered, “They are insinuating that because we were picketing there, we were involved in this,” Dougherty said, presumably with a straight face, “but we definitely were not.”
And now the line that will cause union members to spit out their cofee with laughter this morning; “We’re not picketing the non-union guys. They have to make a living, too.”
Somehow, I see future employment for these thugs if card-check ever comes to fruition. Link to story here.
The AFA just announced that the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC has just granted summary judgment to the National Mediation Board (NMB), denying the preliminary injunction request made by ATA/Delta. A written opinion is supposed to issue on Monday, June 28th. The new rule decides NMB elections based on a simple majority of those who cast ballots instead of a majority of those eligible to vote — the rule for around 70 years. No word on whether they’ll allow decertification elections on the same basis, but we’re not holding our breath…
Senator Tom Harkin suggested Thursday that the Senate may try to move the Employee Free Choice Act during the lame-duck session, which is (EFCA) later this year after the November elections, but before the new Senators are sworn in. “To those who think it’s dead, I say think again,” Harkin said on the liberal Bill Press radio show. Who knows if this statement is valid, or if Harkin is just trying to make the Union Bosses happy!
For the first time since late 2007, the NLRB is operating fully with five members as new members Brian Hayes and Mark Pearce were confirmed. The U. S. Senate confirmed the two on June 22. Until Craig Becker was appointed earlier this year by President Obama, only two members were on the board. On June 17 the Supreme Court set aside the 600 decisions made by the two-member Board of Peter Schaumber and Wilma Liebman.
Labor Relations INK
In this issue:
• EFCA Update • Nurses Union Wants Its Cake, And to Eat It To! • Political At Heart • SEIU Watch, ER Tip-Of-The-Month, Scoreboard, and more…
Just as some are discussing the Employee Free Choice Act “obituary” after Big Labor lost their political battle in Arkansas (over Blanche Lincoln), the political wheels in Washington just keep on turning, churning out additional ways to benefit unions.
As we reported, the NLRB floated a request for input on setting up a remote, electronic-voting procedure for NLRB elections. Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of
Continue reading INK: June 24, 2010
We have continued to cover the fight between SEIU and NUHW over the tens of thousands of medical employees in California. Although it may seem we have been touting the NUHW “side” in this story, we have simply been highlighting the battle as one more of SEIU’s current woes.
As a reminder that one union is typically no better than another, and that at the top they generally all appear to operate via the same playbook, the General Counsel of the NLRB recently released a finding that while still in office the former president of SEIU-UHW Sal Rosselli (now president of the fledgling NUHW) and other former SEIU-UHW leaders:
• Deliberately failed to handle grievances and bargain contracts. • Stole and destroyed documents needed for
Continue reading A Union Is… Well… A Union.
During organizing campaigns, one of the aspects most misrepresented by union organizers is the process of collective bargaining. Organizers typically mislead prospective members on two key points of the process. First, organizers describe a bargaining process where new union members are either in charge or involved in the actual bargaining. Second, organizers make prospective members believe that the issues that are important to them will be key issues at the bargaining table.
Neither of these representations is true. Most often, the national union manages the bargaining process. Members of the local are generally “included” on the bargaining team, but they are generally figureheads, and are not allowed to bring issues to the table. Secondly, there are a list of items that always take precedence to any of the new members concerns, such as dues check-off and union security clauses.
Recent negotiations at Quincy Medical Center in Massachusetts demonstrate
Continue reading Bargaining Crap-Shoot
Let’s see, you are the president of a union local with access to credit and debit cards, and are also in charge of managing the financial records. What to do with your “spare time?” How about spend almost $300,000 of the union’s money on hookers, gambling, and other pricey pleasures?
This is how Daniel Hughes chose to spend his time. The married father of one son frequented notorious “short stay” motels in Queens and the Bronx (at about $400 to $650 per “date”), made several junkets to a casino in Connecticut, and dined well and often, all at union expense.
I guess if you’re going to be in a union, it “pays” to be the boss!