Friday, July 31, 2009



It's always fascinating to see the tables turned on union bosses (who earn their livings bashing corporate bosses) when they are forced to deal with their own labor problems.

A source to has forwarded an internal letter sent from Teamster President Jim Hoffa and Secretary-Treasurer Tom Keegel to union locals around the country describing a potentially very costly political embarrassment at the union's Washington, DC headquarters.

In their letter, the union bosses complain about the tense negotiations going on between unionized staff at the Teamsters headquarters (known as the "Marble Palace") and the Teamster bosses.

In fact, in the letter (see below) to the union locals, the Teamster bosses blame the union representing the workers for its refusal to "acknowledge the current economic conditions," and take a potshot at the Teamster staff for not accepting the need for "belt-tightening." Hoffa and Keegel also share the possibility of the workers going out on strike and, in an almost threatening way, explain the necessity to operate in the event the unionized staff strikes the Teamster bosses.

We are writing to update you on the negotiations that are currently taking place with the union covering the IBT's building workforce. Unfortunately the negotiations are not going well.

All unionized workers at the IBT's Headquarters are a valuable part of our team and provide important services to Teamster members and our affiliate Locals. However, their union at the bargaining table refuses to acknowledge the current economic conditions and the impact on per capita revenues at the IBT. As you are well aware, Local Union affiliates are also feeling the pinch and we certainly recognize that the operations of the IBT rely on per capita payments calculated on membership dues.

The bargaining unit at the IBT was organized during the Carey years as building workers sought to protect themselves through representation by another union. Since 1998, when we took office, we successfully negotiated two collective bargaining agreements with terms that shared the improving financial condition at the IBT with those workers. We are now asking that workers share in the prudent belt-tightening.

As in any negotiations, these union members have a right to take strike action and their union knows the embarrassment that such an event would create for the IBT. However, no amount of embarrassment will cause us to commit to a collective bargaining agreement that jeopardizes the financial health of your International Union.

Though it pains us to do so, we must make contingency plans to operate in the event of a labor dispute.

In closing, we commit to our Locals that we will stay at the bargaining table as long as it takes in these difficult times. We will be considerate in the negotiations to our IBT employees and will remain true to the principles that our union stands for.
[Emphasis added.]

So, just to summarize, here we have the highest officers in one of the Top Ten largest unions in the U.S:
  1. Attempting to negotiate takeaways from their workers;
  2. Blaming their predecessors;
  3. Blaming the workers' union for its refusal to "acknowledge the current economic conditions";
  4. Firmly stating that they will not accept anything that would jeopardize the union's financial health;
  5. Preparing for a strike of their workers and, lastly;
  6. Explaining that the union will operate during a staff strike.

And, to make matters worse for the Teamsters bosses, according to Teamsters for a Democratic Union:

Hoffa and Keegel each took a huge raise two years ago in the form of a bloated “housing allowance.” They have increased the number of officials, consultants, and cronies getting big money: multiple salaries paid by the IBT have gone up more than ten-fold under Hoffa. The only officials they have let go have been those who dared to think independently of Hoffa. They have special pensions that will make them millionaires in retirement. International officials get a meal allowance of $100 per day when traveling, often to resorts. Even Bret Caldwell, their PR guy who will issue press releases against the employees, had a total compensation of $180,694 last year.

Hmmm. This certainly sounds a lot like Big (Union) Business to us...

Does anyone else smell just a hint of UNION H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y in the air?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Corrupt Union Bosses & Their Sticky Fingers Still Linger On...

The first half of June was a busy month for the Department of Labor's Office of Labor Management Standards, the agency responsible for catching corrupt union bosses.

It has been questioned whether or not the agency will be as enthused in catching corrupt union bosses in the future, since the agency is now in the hands of the union bosses' minions.

However, before the inmates are set free to plunder their members, we thought it was important to share what the OLMS has been doing of late.

One interesting note: A cursory examination of the indictments below appear to show the bulk of the illegal activity occurred within public sector unions.

  • On June 15, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Michael Pagano, former Business Agent /Secretary-Treasurer of Roofers, Local 74 (located in West Seneca, N.Y.), was sentenced to one year probation and order to make full restitution of $9,264. In December 2008, Pagano pled guilty to one count of falsifying union records. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.
  • On June 11, 2009, in the Montgomery County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas, Monica Smalls, former Treasurer of AFGE Local 2209 (located in Dayton, Ohio), was sentenced to five years probation, ordered to make full restitution in the amount of $3,790, and required to attend the Montgomery County Theft Counseling Program. Smalls was indicted on April 10, 2009. On May 14, 2009, she pled guilty to theft of more than $500. The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.
  • On June 10, 2009, in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Kathleen Fonti, former President of Health Professionals & Allied Employees (HPAE) Local 5030 (located in Emerson, N.J.), pled guilty to improperly receiving loans in excess of $14,500. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS New York District Office.
  • On June 8, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Brian Brownlee, former Vice-President of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) 2nd District (located in Hot Springs, Ark.), pled guilty to embezzling union funds in the amount of $16,221.30. An OLMS investigation concluded that Brownlee falsified vouchers for travel, per diem, lodging and lost time. The plea follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas District Office.
  • On June 8, 2009, George Ortiz, a former New York City Department of Education School Bus Inspector, was sentenced to two and a half years incarceration to be followed by two years of supervised release and ordered to make restitution of $5,000. On February 17, 2009, Ortiz pled guilty to extorting and accepting bribes in a program receiving federal funds. The sentence follows a joint investigation of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (the primary union that represents drivers for school bus companies in New York City) as well as the New York City school bus industry by the OLMS New York District Office, Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.
  • On June 8, 2009, in the Oneida (N.Y.) City Court, Gail Shingler, former Treasurer of Steelworkers Local 53 (located in Oneida, N.Y.), was charged with two counts of grand larceny, in the fourth degree. Shingler was charged with taking union funds in the amount of $2,572. The charge follows an investigation by the OLMS Buffalo District Office.
  • On June 3, 2009, in the 79th District Court of Mason County, Michigan, Kimberly Drake, former Treasurer of American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 3466 (located in Ludington, Mich.), pled guilty to one count of embezzlement of $200 or more but less than $1,000. Drake was immediately sentenced to two years probation, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,050 and fined $160. Drake previously made restitution in the amount of $450. The plea and sentencing follow an investigation by the OLMS Detroit District Office.
  • On June 3, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Keith W. Hart, Jr., former Financial Secretary of Bakery Workers (BCTGM) Local 315G (formerly located in Mt. Vernon, Ind.), was indicted on one count of embezzlement of union funds in the amount of $13,904.69. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Cincinnati District Office.
  • On June 1, 2009, in Circuit Court for the City of Richmond, Va., Sylvia Grooms, Director of Industrial Relations for American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 199 (located in Richmond, Va.), was indicted on four counts of grand larceny associated with feloniously and unlawfully stealing the union’s property. The indictment follows an investigation by the OLMS Washington District Office, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.
  • On June 1, 2009, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Nicholas Maddalone and Paul Maddalone, former Executive Board Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (the primary union that represents school bus drivers in New York City), were indicted on charges of extortion, unlawful labor payments, and participation in a conspiracy, for allegedly using their union positions to obtain cash bribes from employers. The indictment also included a forfeiture allegation in the amount of $1,000,000. The indictments follow a joint investigation by the OLMS New York District Office, the Department of Labor's Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.

To read the full list of OLMS indictments (including a five-year history), go to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's page on union corruption here.


A priceless clip harkening back to the days...

Sent from a friend.

Thanks, Songbird.

SEIU Members Allege Election Fraud

These days, whenever we hear about "election fraud," it is usually used in the same sentence as the word ACORN. However, now, a local union of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)--the same union that is seemingly joined at the hip with ACORN--is being accused of "[m]ultiple violations of law and irregularities" in an election to choose the local's leadership.

According to blogger Adios Stern:

the folks down at SEIU 221 had themselves an election. Boy was it a doozy, too. Out of a total voting population of 7600 or so eligible members, only 750 (that's roughly 9% of all eligible members) decided to cast a ballot. The results, not surprisingly, favored the incumbent Stern-appointed president and her slate...

However, that is not the end of the story. A group of SEIU members are calling for a new election stating (in part):

Many members did not receive mail ballots, notice of election, and/or the candidate statements voter information booklet, which were supposed to be mailed to all members of Local 221. Many members who did not receive said election materials report that they have not changed their address and have received other mailings from SEIU Local 221, including a mailing done by the Unity Slate to campaign for this election. Mailings for candidates/slates were done by Select Mailing, using member name and address data provided by Local 221.

Matthew Fitch stated in an email of July 22, 2009, that 7137 mail ballots were mailed out (fewer than the 7,692 members reported in the local’s 2008 LM-2) and that 652 of these were returned by the post office. Thus, it appears that 1207 members in good standing did not receive a mail ballot. It is likely that these same members also did not receive the mailed notice of election and did not receive the mailed candidate statements voter information booklet (which also contained the notice of in-person polling locations and their dates and hours of operation). With only a total of 750 ballots cast, this 1207 number would clearly be determinative of the outcome.

To read the entire post, go here.

It seems the union doesn't fall far from the ACORN in this case.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shocking: Leaked SEIU E-Mails Illustrate Union's War Mentality

In a rare (and perhaps a first ever) glimpse into how today's union bosses attempt to silence their critics, SEIU-critical blogger Perez Stern has uncovered some internal e-mails among three SEIU bigwigs, including SEIU spokeswoman Danielle Ringuette, targeting academics who signed a letter opposing the SEIU's raid on UNITE-HERE.

What is startling are tactical terms used in the e-mail exchange, as well as the cold and calculated way these union bigs talk of targeting specific individuals.

Below is the text of the leaked e-mails, as reported on Perez Stern (with emphasis in bold italic):

From: Javier Morillo
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2009 12:18 PM
To: Jo-Ann Mort; Michelle Ringuette; Jo-Ann Mort
Subject: RE: would love to touch base with you

So here's my thought -- in addition to the general info spam they'll be receiving from now, I suggest we send to each of these academics a brief communication that;
  • Shames them just a little bit for signing onto something without knowing all the facts - subtly, of course, while also talking about the productive relationship SEIU and the labor movement have had and should have with academia. I can work on that in a way that also makes the point that theory and praxis can coexist but only when there is open, honest communication (Nothing guilt-trips an academic more than reminding them how isolated they are, in this country, from the world of policy, politics, and activism. It's why I left).

  • Gives a few key facts. I like today's letter from Andy to Willhelm because it hits directly to the charges in their open letter.

  • Most importantly, I think we should invite them to something. We say something like "we have members and leaders across the country. Please give us the opportunity to talk with you about the issues your letter brings up as well as our broader concerns about20the labor movement." We can offer a variety of venues -- one on one meetings, conference calls, etc.

Then we organize these meetings. I do think it's important that we dedicate the time and energy to this. Get leaders and members from each state to volunteer to hold the meetings that are requested (I actually doubt few will take us up on it). It would be more work on the front end, but especially for the more prominent names maybe we have this communication signed by leaders and members from their state.

What do you think?


-----Original Message-----
From: Jo-Ann Mort
Sent: Thu 7/23/2009 7:12 AM
To: Michelle Ringuette; Jo-Ann Mort; Javier Morillo
Subject: Re: would love to touch base with you

I still think we sadly need to target Nelson in a positive way-most of these academics really are not worth it-but spamming them sounds like what they deserve!!

On 7/23/09 8:07 AM, "Michelle Ringuette"

And just to add in here, last night we discussed setting a few workers loose on people and lettling them call some of the academics. I know these aren't high value targets, but I firmly believe people should not be permitted to do drive bys. They are all getting a letter this am and they all bought spot on our spam list.

Michelle A. Ringuette
Service Employees International Union
202 730 7234 w
202 341 7057 m

-----Original Message-----
From: Jo-Ann Mort
Sent: Thu 23-Jul-09 3:51 AM
To: Javier Morillo
Cc: Michelle Ringuette
Subject: would love to touch base with you

hey Javier,I am in Israel until next week but I am also working for SEIU while here. Michelle mentioned that you would like to help out re the academic/lefty mess re WU and SEIU, etc-i would love that!! I can call you from Israel if you want to talk or we can talk on email. I would like to start with you writing something that i can place and then, maybe we should think about you and a couple of other SEIU/WU leaders starting to meet with academics and others on the left to talk about moving forward-in a serious fashion. I just went through that list of 200 academics on the most recent letter and most of them are labor notes types-the ones I picked out whom we need to reach out to are Nelson Lichtenstein (for better or worse...), Jack Metzgar, who is a friend of mine and Mark Levinson's but has been hard on this topic , Andrew Ross, whom I already emailed and Andrew has worked very closely with UNITE in the past on sweatshops, and Jennifer Klein who is close to Nelson I know-and I know you
talked to her-she is also a former student of Josh Freeman's- and why Alice Kessler Harris is on this list I don't know-we need to get to her too-look forward to working on this with you.


Israel phone: (0)547-269-886
US phone: 718-954-0352
skype: jomort

This may be the first time that the public is catching a glimpse of the type of war machinations that go on behind the closed doors of the SEIU's Purple Palace. Although Perez Stern has a disclaimer on his blog, his posts, thus far, have been uncannily insightful and this one bears greater exposure.

For more information on the Service Employees International Union, go here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


An Arizona Icon Falls Prey to the UFCW's Thuggery

"If we can't organize [nonunion supermarkets]," Tom McNutt, president of Local 400 of the United Food & Commercial Workers once stated, "the best thing to do is to erode their business as much as possible."

According to This is the slash-and-burn theory driving UFCW's political-style PR offensive against Wal-Mart. Because the union has failed to organize workers at the chain, its leaders want to harm the company's bottom line and its employees.

"Organizing is war," according to longtime UFCW leader Joe Crump, and that means harassing nonunion employers and "costing them enough time and energy and money to either eliminate them or get them to surrender to the union." He added that employers must be made to "pay for operating nonunion." In an article titled "The Pressure is On: Organizing Without the NLRB," Crump wrote:
After a three-year struggle, the battle with Family Foods is over. Do we represent the employees? No. The company went out of business ... Perhaps even more important is the message that had been sent to nonunion competitors: There is no "free lunch" in our jurisdiction.
Speaking about the same campaign, former UFCW president Doug Dority argued that his union "must either reduce these chains' market share ... or we must put them out of business. There is no other option."

The UFCW's "Indecent Joy" at Taking Another Company Down

Bashas Supermarkets, Inc. had 14,000 employees not so long ago. To the UFCW, Bashas' 14,000 employee workforce meant approximately $420,000 (at $30 per month) in union dues every month, or $5,040,000 every year. [The chain is now down to 10,000 employees.]

The problem was, the UFCW didn't want the employees to vote on union representation through a secret-ballot, the UFCW wanted the Company to agree to "neutrality" and "card-check." In essence, like a gang of rustlers trying to steal a rancher's herd in the dead of night, the UFCW wanted the Bashas' family to turn their employees over to the union without a fight.

Well, in Arizona, the land of the famous Apache Warrior-Chief Geronimo, the home of Wyatt Earp during the days when cowboys would settle scores with their pistols like at the gunfight at the OK Corral, companies are not too keen on selling their employees out to pushy union bosses, just because the union wants their dues.

The stage was set for an old-fashioned showdown. The mud was slung, the rustlers used their dirty tricks and, unfortunately in this case, the gang of rustlers outnumbered the rancher and his cowhands.

As a result, the UFCW can now claim victory in causing more grocery workers to lose jobs as an Arizona icon, Bashas Supermarkets, Inc., filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

According to the Arizona Republic, here is what this grocery chain has had to tolerate during the UFCW's war to take away Bashas' employees' right to a secret-ballot:

Bashas' is an international labor union that now is taking indecent joy in the company's woes.

The 1.4 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has conducted a years-long campaign to punish Bashas' for daring to resist its efforts to unionize company workers.

The union manufactured a dubious "scandal" about baby food sold at Bashas' stores. It launched a remorseless campaign, especially in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, to turn loyal Bashas' customers away from the company.

It has organized rallies alleging, egregiously and falsely, that the Basha family is somehow anti-immigrant. It has spread baseless rumors about the cleanliness of Bashas' warehouses. And it has conducted a leaflet campaign characterizing Bashas' as a higher-cost supermarket than its competitors.

It would be one thing if any of the allegations against Bashas' were proved. They are not. It would be another thing if the Bashas' employees the union seeks to represent are underpaid compared with unionized workers elsewhere. They are not. Bashas' workers actually make slightly more than local union-represented supermarket employees. [Emphasis added.]

No, the UFCW has worked diligently to hound customers out of Bashas' stores because it has been denied what it desperately seeks: the estimated $30 to $50 per month it would reap in dues from each of Bashas' 12,000 workers.

Did the union's campaign play a significant role in driving Bashas' into bankruptcy?

Certainly Proulx and Senior Vice President Edward "Trey" Basha believe so. They have collected a thick stack of union-produced anti-Bashas' hate literature.

But while the true effect of UFCW's campaign is (and, likely, will remain)unquantifiable, the level of union hostility directed toward the company, and even toward the Basha family directly, is indisputably astonishing.

Anti-immigrant? Anti-minority? Bashas' food stores operate in neighborhoods and regions of the state where no other supermarket chain will go. The company has an entire division - Bashas' Diné - devoted exclusively to Navajo Nation stores.

Bashas' has much work to do to escape Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It would be good if it could climb out of its deep economic hole without fearing that union thugs will be waiting, laden with lies, up top.

A History of Dirty Tactics Used on Arizona's Union-Free Chains

As the Republic notes:

The union lost a bid in 2002 to represent workers at Bashas' Food City Hispanic markets and tried to organize the whole company in 2006 when Bashas' changed its health-care plan without consulting the union.

In its bid to represent Bashas' employees, the UFCW has used boycotts, pickets, tactics designed to scare customers and a raft of federal complaints with the National Labor Relations Board and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other agencies, Manning said.

Bashas' countered with a 2007 defamation/racketeering lawsuit against the union that recently amended to include extortion. The suit alleges the union threatened to "destroy" Bashas' with the same tactics it used on Southwest Supermarkets and MegaFoods, if it didn't allow the UFCW in to represent its employees.

Southwest and MegaFoods were non-union stores, like Bashas', that earlier filed for Chapter 11 protection and ultimately went out of business.

"We can't force union representation on our employees," Proulx said of the company's decision not to let the union in. "That's something they have a right to vote on."

Sadly, while this Arizona icon falls, the biggest losers of all are Bashas' employees and the citizens of the Grand Canyon state.

Note: The writer of this post grew up in Arizona and, from time to time, would shop at Bashas'.

After Five Week Strike, UAW Returns to Bell Helicopters Unhappy

The United Auto Workers who had been on strike for five weeks against their employer Bell Helicopters voted to ratify their employer's latest offer on Wednesday by a two to one margin.

However, according to the Dallas Business Journal, the only changes from the company's previous offer was of the contract's length and a lower ratification bonus.

Joe Graham, President of UAW 218 told the Dallas paper that "the union tested the water for almost six weeks waiting for a better deal, but sometimes the final offer from the company is the one that stands."

Graham said the contract’s main change is the fact that it runs for four years instead of three. The contract includes a 3 percent general wage increase in the second, third and fourth years. The ratification bonus included in the contract has been lowered to $3,500, which is down from the $4,500 bonus proposed in the original offer, Graham said.

Graham told the Dallas Business Journal he believes the contract was ratified because workers wanted to return to their jobs. When asked if the contract was the union's ideal, he said, "Not by a long shot. I had to endorse it because people wanted something to vote on," he added. "It's not the best contract, it's just the best one we had to vote on this time."

According to

By a ratio of 2-to-1, members of United Auto Workers Local 218 approved a deal that almost all agreed is less attractive than the one they rejected by a nearly identical vote June 14.

Tom Wells, chairman of Local 218, conceded that the strike didn't result in a better contract. "It got worse," Wells said.

A midlevel union member making $24.94 an hour would have lost nearly $1,000 a week in wages during the strike. That was only partially replaced by union strike benefits of about $200 a week. They were also without health insurance.

"I think it's the worst contract we could ever have," said David McKee, a bonding inspector with 10 years at Bell, who said he voted no. "They took away part of our bonus, and they took away part of our insurance."

Unlike their UAW counterparts in Detroit, at least these Texans have jobs to go back to.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

AMERICA'S NEXT BAILOUT BEGINS: 70,000 UAW-Negotiated Pensions Dumped on U.S.

Our federal government just acquired new debt on Wednesday when Delphi and General Motors dumped 70,000 (mostly) UAW workers onto the underfunded Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC).

The PBGC, itself $33.5 Billion underfunded, will assume control of the retirees pensions and, unfortunately the taxpayers will likely be picking up the tab.

According to ABCNews12, who broke the story:

UAW Local 699 President Troy Newberry says the phone has been ringing off the hook at the union hall since word got out.

He says the No. 1 concern is whether retirees under the age of 62 will keep their supplemental pension benefits.

Those benefits are paid until a retirees reaches their social security age. According to the PBGC, that supplement likely will not be continued.

But the UAW folks say they're still not sure about that. We're also told that the international union is working on what to do next.

And while the hourly UAW workers and retirees say this is a complete shock, the salaried folks feared this day was coming for months.

Wednesday a few hundred salaried retirees met to talk about the loss of their health and life insurance benefits that they lost back on April 1.

Since that time, many worried cuts to their pensions would be next. Wednesday that concern become a reality.

Unfortunately, for these workers, they may only receive pennies on the dollar owed to them unless President Obama promises to make them whole in order to appease the UAW once again. In either case, the American taxpayers are going to be footing the bill.

To make matters worse, this is just the beginning as more and more union pension funds begin to go belly up.

For a current list of pension funds in critical status, go here.

Hat-tip to Jim Gray.

HOW FAR UNIONS HAVE STRAYED: EFCA arbitration provisions would strip rights from employees

"I want to urge devotion to the fundamentals of human liberty the principles of voluntarism. No lasting gain has ever come from compulsion."
Samuel Gompers, Founder, American Federation of Labor

These were once the words and ideals of the American labor movement. How far today's union bosses have strayed from their founder's ideals of liberty is highlighted by their push for the Orwellian Employee Free Choice Act (or EFCA).

Not only does EFCA strip workers of choice through its no-vote unionization provision (aka card-check), we've also pointed out how the mind-numbingly, moronically-named bill will lead workers down the path to serfdom. However, let us reiterate:

Under the oxymoronically-named Employee Free Choice Act, once binding arbitration kicks in, if employees had been tricked into unionization (under EFCA's no-vote unionization provision) and the government imposes its contract on the employer and employees, employees..:

1) CANNOT vote to ratify or reject the government contract

2) CANNOT modify the government contract

3) CANNOT kick the union out (for two years)

4) and, perhaps most importantly, CANNOT strike in protest.

Note: A strike is the collective withholding of labor and, if workers cannot withhold their labor, then they effectively become economic serfs.

Employees will be voiceless, powerless and left with two options: Either keep their mouths shut and accept it, or quit as individuals.

Under this Hobson's Choice, many companies will likely lose their best and brightest employees, as individual workers realize the loss of their personal freedoms.

Now, it seems, others are picking up on EFCA's neo-enslavement of workers under government-imposed contracts.

Erick Becker, a blogger at has written a good piece about EFCA's stripping of worker rights.

As commentators have pointed out, the EFCA arbitration provisions would take the right to vote and approve or reject a contract away from employees. Also, it is possible (but unclear in the bill) that employees could lose the right to strike once the arbitration process begins.

More importantly, employees would lose the right to change their minds after bringing in a union...

If EFCA becomes law, employees who vote in a union will be subject to a contract (which will undoubtedly require mandatory payment of union dues) for at least two years, with no way of protesting or changing their minds if the contract or the union isn’t what they were promised or what they expected.

You can read the rest of Erick's column here: EFCA arbitration provisions would strip rights from employees

As today's union bosses lobby to move workers toward serfdom, too few realize just how far unions have strayed from their founding principles.

Posted using ShareThis

Suspected EFCA Compromise Could be More Fascist & Bigger Job Killer Than Original Version of Job-Destroying Bill

Last week, a story about the defectively-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act ran in the New York Times and created much hullabaloo around the internet. The Times story stated that Democrats had reportedly dropped the undemocratic majority sign-up provisions of EFCA in exchange for compromise.

Although later, SEIU boss Andy Stern downplayed the story by stating:

"The Employee Free Choice Act is going through the usual legislative process, and we expect a vote on a majority sign-up provision in the final bill or by amendment in both houses of Congress."

However, James Redeker, an attorney at Duane Morris provides further insight about what the alleged compromise may look like [Note: we use the term alleged here because nothing has been confirmed or denied in Washington]:

The proposed deal would replace card-check provisions with an election within five to 10 days from the date of filing a petition. The National Labor Relations Board's internal rules currently require an election within 45 days of the date of the petition. Consequently, under the modified EFCA, an employer may have little time to form an effective counter-campaign if it waits until receiving notice of the petition before
taking action. Since the deal proposes to eliminate the 12-day period (under current procedures) during which an employer can contest the appropriateness of a voting unit and the status of supervisors, unprepared employers may have to accept almost any bargaining-unit construct proposed by the union.

Other possible, but unconfirmed, aspects of the deal include a denial to employers of the right to require employees to attend meetings on work time to discuss unionization issues, a requirement that union agents be given full access to the workplace following the filing of a petition, and the right of the union to employees' names and addresses immediately upon the filing of the petition.

The deal would leave in place mandatory arbitration to set the terms of a first contract and enhanced penalties on employers (up to $20,000 per occurrence and treble back-pay damages) that unlawfully interfere with or discriminate against employees engaged in union organizing activity.

You can read Mr. Redekker's full post here.

If, indeed, the above rumors become confirmed fact and this is what constitutes a compromise, it will be worse than the original draft...more draconian, and more fascist.

More importantly, if this is the road America's "leaders" choose to take our nation down, it is suspected many entrepreneurs and small business owners will abandon ship, so to speak.

There will be no incentive for any entrepreneur to invest hard-earned capital into forming a company and creating jobs when the heavy hand of government can force businesses to be handed over to a union and government bureaucracy. This, in turn, will cause larger companies to shed jobs, as higher unemployment causes less economic activity for the larger firms.

Does anyone think 17% (give or take) unemployment is unreasonable under EFCA?

HuffPo Writer Blasts Bakery Workers' Union

An interesting piece appeared on Huffington Post today about the ongoing saga of the soon-to-be-unemployed former Stella D'Oro strikers.

What makes this post interesting is the fact that it is openly critical of all the parties: the company (which is to be expected from a HuffPo writer) but the union and the workers as well got blasted in the opening paragraph:

I'm disgusted with everybody involved in the Stella D'Oro fiasco. No one gets a gold star (stella d'oro) unless it's for incompetence. The union negotiators gang planked the 136 workers in their care right into a watery grave.

Later, the author of the piece, Dan Silverstein, writes:

Stella D'Oro's collapse was a battle of midgets, and it didn't have to happen. Each side overplayed its hand.

Standing in their [the company's] way was an activist work force that felt entitled, and who became incensed when management tried to impose a plan for renewal that contradicted the evolution of nest feathering previous owners had tolerated. The union representatives were particularly outraged by the introduction of a restructured pay scale in which new workers would no longer be paid almost as much as seasoned workers. In that, they were wildly
successful; now everyone is paid exactly the same.

And, later:

But, the mind-numbing arrogance of the negotiators for the Bakery Workers Union Local 50 is particularly disturbing because it sealed the fate of the workers whose jobs they were supposed to be protecting. Obviously they thought they could arm wrestle management into caving in. What a mistake.

As stated earlier, this is a surprisingly remarkable statement to be posted on HuffPo.

To read some background to this story, go to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's blogpost "No Contract, No Cookies...and No Job!"

Read the entire piece: Stella D'Oro's No-Win Solution

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Monday, July 20, 2009

More on Card Check

The debate over the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act goes on with a good post from

More on Card Check "Lite" from Commentary, kausfiles and ShopFloor

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Newsbusters Exposes Media Bias on Employee Free Choice Act AP Report

It should come as no surpise when the media misreports issues around "card-check" legislation, otherwise known as the dubiously-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act. Well, has a good piece about on AP's report on last week's card-check trial balloon:

No one can finish Saturday's report by Sam Hananel of the Associated Press without knowing the side of the political aisle on which he resides (surprise -- not -- it's decidedly on the left), and that he is more sympathetic to the interests of organized labor than he is to those of management at non-union firms.

To read the entire article go here.

For more on the hallucinogencially-named Employee Free Choice Act, go to's EFCA Page, or 1-888-NO-UNION.COM

Sunday, July 19, 2009

IBD: Congress' New Health Plan Makes Private Insurance Illegal

We have been warning for quite some time that then-candidate Barack Obama's plan to re-engineer Amierca's health care system would lead us into full-blown socialized medicine. Well, we hate to say 'we told you so', but we were right.

Investor's Business Daily has found the page within the 1,018-page Congressional bill that outlaws you from buying private health insurance--and it's right on page 16.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

To read the entire piece, go here.

As we've said all along, like it or not, socialized medicine is in the works.

Bally's, Caesars dealers overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike

As we posted on Friday night, the Union of Ailing Workplaces (UAW), aka the United Auto Workers were voting over the weekend whether or not to authorize a strike. Well, according to the Press of Altlantic City, the dealers at Bally's and slot technicians at Caesars in Atlantic City have given the green light to a walk out.

Harrah's has stated that they are "operationally ready" and that:

"We can and we will replace dealers with either temporary or permanent workers, and will make sure that our customers continue to receive exemplary service," Harrah's spokeswoman Alyce Parker said. "While a temporary inconvenience for us, any potential strike will have a much more profound impact on the dealers."

Read the entire article here: Bally's, Caesars dealers overwhelmingly vote to authorize strike

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Feds to set wages through misnamed Employee Free Choice Act

An excellent post from the American Thinker on the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act. It's short and worth the read.
Feds to set wages

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act Could Jeopardize Right to Work Laws

While this issue was grossly under-reported last year (except through, a bill was introduced in Congress (HR 6477, view here) to eliminate the ability of states to have Right to Work laws.

Now, Kevin Mooney at the Washington Examiner has written how enactment of the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act could place Right-to-Work states at risk of becoming forced unionization states.

Employee Free Choice Act could jeopardize "Right to Work" laws, Cantor Says Washington Examiner

For more information on unions' Pay-Dues-or-be-Fired Scheme, go here.

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Unemployment tops 10 percent in 16 states in June

Unemployment tops 10 percent in 16 states in June

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. Labor Department says unemployment topped 10 percent in 16 states last month. The rate in Michigan surpassed 15 percent, the first time any state hit that mark since 1984.

Home to the nation's struggling auto makers, Michigan has been clobbered by lost factory jobs. Its jobless rate of 15.2 percent in June was the highest in the country, but the record-high for the state was 16.9 percent in November 1982.

Still, the government says it's the first time in 25 years that any state has suffered an unemployment rate of at least 15 percent. In 1984, it was West Virginia.

The national unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, a 26-year high, and is expected to hit 10 percent by year-end.

We have long predicted that unemployment will reach more than 10% nationwide; perhaps as much as 12% or more percent. If the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act is passed, we may see unemployment balloon to as high as 15 to 18% within a few short years, as capital flees America in earnest.

This article is more evidence that the economic stimuli has not stimulated jobs, the question is: Will politicians waste more money on a second stimulus package?

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EFCA UPDATE: Compromise on Employee Free Choice Act is still Poison to Small Business

"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil….In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit."--Ayn Rand.

Following the New York Times announcement yesterday that Democrats are ready to drop the contentious card-check provision from the controversial and misleadingly-named Employee Free Choice Act, the Times is doing a follow-up piece today: ‘Card Check’ Concession Doesn’t Mollify Small Business.

In addition, according to CBS News, the story that ran in the Times may have been just floating a trial balloon.

But representatives on both sides of the issue signaled in interviews with Hotsheet Friday that they are skeptical of the Times report. Josh Goldstein of American Rights at Work said in an interview that it is "premature to make any assumptions about what's going on in negotiations when the people who are in those negotiations are clearly stating that there is no deal."

"As far as I know, majority sign up is still on the table," he said. "And we're still fighting for it."

And Mark McKinnon of the Workforce Fairness Institute, a business group, told Hotsheet, "I don't think it's so much a compromise as it is a trial balloon."

Whether or not card-check (aka "No-Vote Unionization") makes it into a final bill is still uncertain. However, the internet rumor mill has it that a compromise (if there is any) may include:
  • 5-10 day elections following a union's petition (as opposed to the current 42 days)
  • Banning employer-conducted so-called "captive audience meetings" or, absent that...
  • Requiring unions be given equal time in a company for persuading employees

According to the Times follow-up piece this morning:

“A quickie election in 5 to 10 days puts our guys at a huge disadvantage,” says Brad Close, National Federation of Independent Business' (N.F.I.B) vice president for public policy. “They will be running around, trying to find a labor counsel to make sure that they run elections the correct way; they’ll have no time to talk to their employees. You’ve got to understand: the union organizers will have been talking to employees on their own, for months, probably, leading up to when this election gets called.” (Unions, of course, insist that the playing field is irredeemably tilted toward management, who can begin anti-union politicking the day an employee is hired.)

Molly Brogan, spokeswoman for the National Small Business Association (N.S.B.A.), adds that potential provisions that would grant unions access to company property for the campaign or limit a firm’s ability to discuss “the realities of unionization” are “nonstarters for the small-business community.”

In all cases, the one thing that has stayed consistent is union bosses' insistence on including the job-destroying binding arbitration in any final bill.

“Our members hate the idea of losing a secret ballot election, but if you want to see their blood really boil, then explain to them the arbitration part of the bill,” Mr. Close says. “To them, it’s like turning the keys of their business over.”

Stay tuned to, as this fight is far from over.

UAW Voting to Strike Atlantic City, Casinos Ready to Replace

After nearly two years of failed union negotiations at Caesars in Atlantic City, NJ by the UAW, the United Auto Workers is conducting a strike vote this weekend among dealers at both Bally's and Ceasars, according to the Press of Atlantic City. While Bally's is not currently in negotiations, Bally's workers did vote to unionize in 2007, but the company is contesting the election.

Apparently, the UAW is attempting to use the (formerly) busy summer season to launch their strike assault on the city in an effort to get Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (which owns both Bally's and Ceasar's) to soften its stance in negotiations.

Unfortunately for the UAW, the union that once was able to bring the Big Three to their knees (and two of them into bankruptcy) may be in for a fight. It does not appear Harah's is going to roll over to the UAW's demands like the Big Three once did.

According to Harrah's spokeswoman, Alyce Parker, the casinos are prepared for the UAW to walk:

"We can and we will replace dealers with either temporary or permanent workers, and will make sure that our customers continue to receive exemplary service," Parker said. "While a temporary inconvenience for us, any potential strike will have a much more profound impact on the dealers." [Emphasis added.]

The UAW has said it will release the results of the strike vote on Sunday.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Democrats, according to the New York Times, have dropped the card-check provision from the job-destroying Employee Free Choice Act. The Times reports:

"A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers."

The Huffington Post (which has its contacts with union bosses) is stating:

"Moderate Democrats have forced a key compromise to the Employee Free Choice Act, which removes one of the labor community's most cherished provisions from the bill."

The compromise legislation, as described to the Huffington Post, will contain several major labor priorities including requiring shorter time periods for a union election and containing some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging out a contract negotiation process. The measures, according to AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale, will let workers choose to join a union without intimidation, ensure that those who join a union get a first contract, and institute meaningful penalties for violations of labor law.

"No matter what, this is still HUGE labor law reform," emailed one union official.

"There is no official or final deal, negotiations are still ongoing," said another union hand. "We're going to pass a bill that is the biggest reform of labor law since the Wagner Act."

Still, the removal of the card-check provision is a shot in the gut to a labor community that saw in the Democratic Congress and the Obama White House, the conduits they needed to pass their legislative priorities. While Sen. Al Franken's seating in Minnesota provided the party with a 60th caucusing member to beat back a GOP filibuster attempt, moderates like Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) and others had expressed skepticism, if not downright opposition, to EFCA's original incarnation.

In conversations with reporters, union officials are insisting that this is the natural process by which a bill becomes law. They also aren't officially dropping the conversation on a majority sign up.

What this means, dear readers, is that union bosses are still pushing binding arbitration which, as we've written, puts workers on the path to serfdom:

Under the oxymoronically-named Employee Free Choice Act, once binding Arbitration kicks in, if employees had been tricked into unionization (under EFCA's no-vote unionization provision) and the government imposes its contract on the employer and employees, employees..:

1) CANNOT vote to ratify or reject the government contract
2) CANNOT modify the government contract
3) CANNOT kick the union out (for two years)
4) and, perhaps most importantly, CANNOT strike in protest.

Note: A strike is the collective withholding of labor and, if workers cannot withhold their labor, then they effectively become economic serfs.

Employees will be voiceless, powerless and left with two options: Either keep their mouths shut and accept it, or quit as individuals.

Under this Hobson's Choice, many companies will likely lose their best and brightest employees, as individual workers realize the loss of their personal freedoms. That is, until the government outlaws the practice of resigning employment too.

According to the Times' report:

“This bill will bring about dramatic changes, even if card check has fallen away,” said an A.F.L.-C.I.O. official who insisted on anonymity.

The official said the revised bill achieves the three things organized labor has been seeking.

“Our goals,” the official said, “have always been letting employees have a real choice, having real penalties against employers who break the law in fighting unions, and having some form of binding arbitration to prevent employers from dragging their feet forever to prevent reaching a contract.”

Despite this huge development, the fight against this job-destroying legislation is not over, as "labor leaders acknowledged an additional hurdle: two powerful Democrats, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, are seriously ill."

Be sure to stay tuned to through the weekend, as we will be posting articles as they come in. In addition, be sure to check the site for additional articles on the government's efforts to nationalize our health care system.

With Best Wishes for a Great Weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Amazing Exchange in the Senate Today...

As the Senate takes up the Cap & Trade (Tax & Tax) bill, an amazing exchange took place this afternoon between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Harry Alford, the President of the Black Chamber of Commerce:

We're wondering how Ms. Boxer is going to be doing damage control after being called a racist.

Chicago Unions Cost 431 City Workers Their Jobs

According to Dienekes, over at 1-888-NO-UNION.COM:

"When it comes to causing people to lose jobs, there's no singular, man-made force that does it better than today's unions."

It appears that the Teamsters and AFSCME have done more harm than good for 431 of Chicago's city workers. Go here to read about it.

How Progressive! Liberal Group Accused of Being Anti-Worker & Anti-Union

Hyposcrisy knows no bounds when it comes to unions and their "progressive" (aka socialist-leaning) allies.

One group that has an allegedly bad track record when it comes to treating its workers fairly is the Public Interest Research Groups, according to Daily Beast blogger Luke Rosiak.

In his piece, The Liberal Sweatshop, Rosiak states that the nonprofit Fund for Public Interest Inc. was set up in 1982 by former presidential candidate Ralph Nader as the fundraising arm of the network of Public Interest Research Groups. In fact, according to Rosiak, it "deploys legions of door-to-door and street canvassers—and once counted a young Barack Obama as one of its New York City organizers—to solicit contributions for the Human Rights Campaign, the Sierra Club, Environment America, and other groups that together spend millions of dollars each year lobbying Congress."

However, there is a darker side to this do-gooder organization that Rosiak exposes.

According to one of its former employees, Christian Miller:
"They're the Wal-Mart of nonprofits in every way imaginable. They basically look at the next generation of social change as the next source of cheap labor."

What's more, the PIRG is being accused of being a pretty anti-union organization:

In the summer of 2005, the activists tried to unionize their Los Angeles office. The canvassers voted to organize with the Teamsters, Miller said.

"Management basically started changing office policies to try to systematically fire all union employees, while stalling the contract," he added. Eventually, Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), now Labor secretary, wrote the Fund pressing it to negotiate with workers, to no avail.

Then suddenly, Miller said, "they changed the locks on the doors and they were gone. We were shut down overnight."

And complying with other labor laws? Apparently, the PIRG doesn't like to do that either.

The nation’s largest fundraiser for progressive causes issued checks to thousands of former workers in the last several weeks after settling a $2.15 million class-action suit alleging it subjected workers to grueling hours without overtime pay.

On their website, the PIRGs slogan is "Standing Up to Powerful Interests." To us, however, it sounds as though the more appropriate slogan should be: Do as we say, not as we do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

EFCA's Binding Arbitration: Putting Workers on the Path to Serfdom

The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed on the moronically-monikered Employee Free Choice Act which was penned by Reason Magazine's Shikha Dalmia. Amongst Ms. Dalmia's several points on why binding arbitration is bad public policy, there are several worth noting:

This process is supposed to install a contract expeditiously. But a review of 29 arbitration cases in 2005 and 2006 by the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that the average time involved in a case was almost 15 months -- not the four-and-a-half months that the law prescribed, defeating its whole purpose. Moreover, because an arbitration board doesn't have to live with the consequences of its decision, it has no reason to come up with a workable solution -- just one that is politically expedient.

Compulsory arbitration also nudged other Michigan cities, including the working-class towns of Hamtramck and Highland Park, into bankruptcy. In 1999 an arbitration panel awarded Hamtramck police officers $2.1 million in pay raises and back pay, pushing it into state receivership. Under receivership, which is only used in extreme situations, the state government takes over the city's finances and appoints its own manager to run the city. Hamtramck was ultimately forced to impose a combination of service cuts and tax increases, all of which accelerated the exodus of its residents. Highland Park, wishing to avoid similar arbitration, gave its public safety officers raises it couldn't really afford and was also forced into receivership.

Michigan's experience is hardly unique. Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis also tried to limit public-sector compulsory arbitration during his first term. In 1977, Mr. Dukakis argued that compulsory arbitration "has removed legitimate management prerogatives in the area of staff assignments, (and) transfers from the control of municipal officials at a time when they are under severe pressure to improve their management and make savings." Mr. Dukakis failed to stop compulsory arbitration, but two years later Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative that effectively scrapped it.

Should EFCA pass, the costs of compulsory arbitration in the private sector will dwarf those in the public sector. That's because businesses, unlike government, can't just bill taxpayers to pay off unions. They have to compete. [Emphasis added.]

One point that Ms. Dalmia did not point out, however, is the fact that binding arbitration also puts workers onto the path to serfdom:

Under the oxymoronically-named Employee Free Choice Act, once binding arbitration kicks in, if employees had been tricked into unionization (under EFCA's no-vote unionization provision) and the government imposes its contract on the employer and employees, employees..:

1) CANNOT vote to ratify or reject the government contract

2) CANNOT modify the government contract

3) CANNOT kick the union out (for two years)

4) and, perhaps most importantly, CANNOT strike in protest.

Note: A strike is the collective withholding of labor and, if workers cannot withhold their labor, then they effectively become economic serfs.

Employees will be voiceless, powerless and left with two options: Either keep their mouths shut and accept it, or quit as individuals.

Under this Hobson's Choice, many companies will likely lose their best and brightest employees, as individual workers realize the loss of their personal freedoms. That is, until the government outlaws the practice of resigning employment too.

As a post script, on the Reason website, one of the commenters gave the following analogy:
The binding arbitration provision only applies to the first contract where the union is most vulnerable to bad faith tactics by the employer.

That's like saying the new "Freedom to Rape" law you're advocating only allows men to rape freely ONCE, since that first time is the time when women put up the toughest fight. ["In bad faith."]

Sunday, July 12, 2009


In a Washington Post interview published on Saturday, it appears that President Obama's Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is still pushing the no-vote unionization bill, otherwise misleadingly called the Employee Free Choice Act.

One of her most pressing issues is the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a huge priority of labor that would effectively change the way unions are organized. Under the proposed legislation, a secret ballot election can be bypassed. The measure faces a tough battle on Capitol Hill. Interview excerpts:

Q: Doesn't the Employee Free Choice Act in fact take power away from the employer (and) give that power to the union organizers?

A: I don't think that it takes away power from businesses. I think it helps to level the playing field because, in many cases, workers have been disadvantaged. They've been intimidated, they've been harassed, and we have case after case after case that we can look at. And you probably hear from the opposing side, that they will say, “Well, no, there have been successes where people have been able to organize, and they have been able to push forward a unionization.” But when you look at the attempts that have been made over the past few years ... there have been barriers that have been put up. And I think that the past administration was not very favorable for unions. They were not supportive in many ways.

Apparently, the reporter covering the story did not believe that reporting Ms. Solis' past affiliation with the union shill group American Rights at Work was worth a mention.

Read the entire piece here.

Hat-tip to Bret Jacobson.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Trumka, the next boss of union bosses, talks...

An interesting interview with the next AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka is appearing in The Nation.

What is particularly interesting about the interview is not the typical pro-union pablum that Trumka puts out (no different than his soon-to-be predecessor John Sweeney), but his outright shot at the Service Employees International Union.

"The raiding stuff is a zero-sum game," he says, singling out the Service Employees actions against UNITE HERE as a "particularly outrageous example."

But raiding is just one manifestation of the perpetually thorny problem of deciding which union has the primary right to organize a particular workplace or industry. Trumka thinks unions will be able to resolve those jurisdictional disputes as the Employee Free Choice Act opens up organizing, especially if rank-and-file workers play a bigger role. "Those [jurisdictional] problems don't bubble up but come from top down," he argues.
This would apear to be an indirect shot at SEIU president Andy Stern who seems to on the top of the union boss' enemy list (after George Bush and Dick Cheney, of course). [View list of Stern's detractors here, and what they say here.]

Trumka is also confident that the delusionally dubbed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) will get passed:

"[W]e'll get an act that will give us everything we need. I think it will have dispute resolution in it. It will allow us to have a union without being threatened, intimidated or fired."
And, like the Teamsters putting together an army of 1,000 organizers in expectation of EFCA, Trumka plans on calling on all AFL-CIO unions to have an army of 1,000 organizers as well.
But Trumka has one ambitious new proposal: asking unions to provide a reserve army of 1,000 or more organizers who could be sent to help other unions in strategic campaigns or to fight inter-union raiding.
While Trumka differs little from what other union bosses say, he is a fiery orator, so we shall see if he is truly different from every other union boss today.

The one thing that was not apparently discussed in the interview was his invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination some years ago--something that was against the rules of his own federation.
The AFL-CIO had a policy that said taking the Fifth Amendment was grounds for removal from office. Sweeney said at the time that a 1957 federation resolution said the policy should apply only to those who invoked the right in order to cover up wrongdoing.
To read the entire article in the Nation, go here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nebraskans are only 5% unionized...Because they know better...

Though this ad is targeting Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) regarding the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), it is a good explaination of the potential costs of unionization:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Protestors on Steroids? Inside ACORN & SEIU's 'Muscle for Money' Program

As an update on the SEIU & ACORN partnership, the Washington Examiner is running a Special Report on the SEIU's "Muscle for Money" program. According to the Examiner:

Corporate and political officials who defy workplace and community organizers risk being made objects of scorn by bright red-clad protestors in public and private, courtesy of an activist union and its close allies in the nation’s most controversial liberal non-profit advocacy group.

It’s officially called the “Muscle for Money” program within the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) where it was started, and unofficially by the same name among activists of Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN).

ACORN is under investigation in at least 14 states over voter registration fraud allegations stemming from the 2008 presidential campaign. The group endorsed President Barack Obama, despite federal laws barring partisan political activities by tax-exempt groups.

Muscle for Money includes multiple techniques for creating highly aggressive, organized efforts both to pressure businesses and officials to support the activists’ agenda or to discredit and intimidate opponents of their agenda, according to present and former ACORN members.

SEIU has funded Muscle for Money activities in the past and continues to finance corporate shakedown efforts across the country as part of this program. SEIU locals 100 and 880 have been identified as allied organizations on ACORN’s web site.

That information has since been removed from the ACORN web site, but U.S. Department of Labor LM-2 financial disclosure forms show over $600,000 in transactions between these same locals and ACORN operations in recent years.

[Emphasis added.]

Further on, the Examiner states:

Some of the more prominent Muscle for Money targets to date have included the Carlyle Group, Sherwin-Williams, H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax and Money Mart, according to Anita Moncrief, a former ACORN employee and now an ACORN 8 member.

“The idea is to go to private homes where wives and children are present and stand outside so the family members of a company official could be harassed and subjected to intimidation,” said MonCrief. “Protestors would also go to company functions like banquets where they would be as disruptive as possible.”

For more information on the SEIU, go here. For more information on the ACORN 8, go here.

As a post script: Last month, the Examiner also reported that ACORN is changing its name and attempting to silence its critics.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

SEIU + ACORN = President Obama

Glenn Beck did a pretty good job of tying the loose strings of the SEIU's Andy Stern and those nuts over at ACORN together and back to Obama with about a one minute clip.

Although this is just the tip of the iceberg and doesn't explain why SEIU is so interested in socialized medicine, it does make for a good sound byte for anyone who is interested in doing more research.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day Wishes

In honor of Independence Day, has compiled a few of our favorites for your consumption.

The first, and foremost, of course it the document that started it all: The Declaration of Independence, which you can read here.
In addition, below are just a few videos that are worth watching in honor of freedom, something that this, the American Holiday, was established to celebrate.

From all of us at, please have a safe and memorable Independence Day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

UFCW Gets Contract at Massive Pork Plant

The plant had been a target of the United Food & Commercial Workers' union for more than 15 years.

It had been the site of mass rallies, a corporate campaign of negative publicity, community and clergy activism...all aimed at getting more than 4,000 workers to pay union dues (up to an estimated $1.1 million per year).

Finally, last December, the UFCW and their henchmen succeeded in getting voted into Smithfield's massive Tar Heel (NC) pork-processing plant by a mere 52% of the ballots cast.

Now, the UFCW has negotiated its first contract at the plant, scoring an obvious victory: the ability to collect union dues from the workers.

In the meantime, what did the union do for the workers? Accorting to this press report, the UFCW negotiated the same health care package workers had before unionization, the same retirement package workers had before unionization, a minor increase in company-paid vacation and...

...wait for it...

...wait for it...

Wage increases that amount to $0.37 per hour for the next four years!

Oh yeah. The UFCW also negotiated a grievance procedure into the contract. However, since unions have the legal right to deny workers individual grievances, we don't consider this a major accomplishment.

And for that, the UFCW gets more than a million a year in union dues!

"We are living in historic times right now," said Terry Slaughter (no pun intended), one of the pro-UFCW workers.

Apparently, putting lipstick on a pig in North Carolina is different than putting lipstick on a pig elsewhere, than it may indeed be historic.

For more about the United Food & Commercial Workers, go to 1-888-NO-UNION.COM's profile on the UFCW here.

Are we all victims of socialism in Drag? Oh...Say it ain't so!

In a funny, yet pointed post, uber-writer Bret Jacobson of Maverick Strategies explores our new-found national affinity toward statism.

A cursory glance suggests something attractive, fit, and possibly a good mate. A closer investigation, however, reveals a surprisingly ample Adam’s apple and hair in unexpected places. Likewise, though they sound appealing in sound bytes, a thorough examination of the biggest policies being pushed on the Democrats’ agenda exposes major socialist impositions dressed up in the high heels of free enterprise.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced through a narrow victory on the 1,000-plus page “cap and trade” legislation designed to dramatically overhaul how our families and our businesses use energy.

This climate bill hides its extensive costs behind the veneer of free market rhetoric. The scheme’s proponents have long known Americans are unlikely to support a massive new energy tax – especially in this hard economic time -- so they claim this government-imposed cap on greenhouse gas emissions isn’t a tax. Instead, backers argue, it’s a system through which credits can be bought or sold in a market function.

But the emissions market wouldn’t be free at all; lawmakers have already begun to rig the program, picking winners and losers and earmarking favored industries who would, in the case of the House bill, get their emission credits free of charge.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman lifted the veil on the political strategy behind cap-and-trade, explaining that legislators’ affinity for the bill was derived from the fact that it “doesn’t use the word ‘tax’ — even though it amounts to one.”

Indeed, it would be an enormous one. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell said this week, the cap and trade bill would be “the biggest tax increase in the history of the world and the biggest government intervention in people’s lives since the Second World War, which is the last time that Americans needed ration coupons to buy gasoline, food, and other necessities.”

That’s not particularly attractive, and most Americans know it. So despite extensive efforts to tart up a tax as a market-based option, a leading pollster found, according to Greenwire, that “Democratic efforts to sell their agenda on energy and climate change aren’t reaching voters.” This has spurred a course correction for the spin on cap and trade. The new shade of lipstick, apparently, will “get America running on clean energy.”

The price tag for this “market” makeover would include significantly higher energy prices for Americans and their employers, a drastic reduction in jobs, and trillions in lost economic activity.Climate isn’t the only agenda item where there’s more than meets the eye. There’s also the president’s top domestic priority, health care.

Democrats have taken their favorite policy option -- government taking over the health care system through a single payer system -- and put it under the plastic surgery knife to come up with the market-sounding public option “to compete with the private sector.”

Competition’s good, right? Yes, when it’s fair, competition is the lifeblood of innovation and progress. But as critics have warned, a public option endlessly gorging on public tax dollars would have an unfair advantage over the private sector. Suddenly a public option is the only option.

Despite President Obama’s claims that he wants a government-run health insurance system to compete on fair terms with private plans, how realistic is it to expect that Congress or a later president would not use their authority to bully the market, vote itself taxpayer subsidies, and push out competitors by rigging the rules of the game?

Additionally, consider the President’s claim that government-run health insurance could out-market the market and actually reduce waste and improve efficiency. Presumably, he’s taking heart from such rousing successes as the DMV and public education.

Whether Democrats’ cross-dressing “capitalism” tries to dominate our health care system or exert power over our energy market, the naked truth is ugly.

Nice job, Bret!

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