Monthly Archives: June 2009

DAYS NINE, TEN & ELEVEN: Good Heavens, Still No Media Coverage of Harkin’s Hit List

It has been more than a week and one half since we launched the Harkin Hit List Watch on LaborUnionReport.com. Since that time, there has still been no media coverage of senior Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and his threat to develop a ‘hit list’ of his fellow senators for union bosses.

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‘Wounded’ Does Not Mean ‘Dead’ for Union Bailout Bill

It’s been wounded to the point that its supporters are beginning to question its short-term survivability. Perhaps it is a victim of its own deformity since its name is as mismatched with its intent as is a rat poison named Vanilla Ice Cream. Or, perhaps, it is a victim of pure numbers-game politics, awaiting the arrival of comic-turned-commedic-politician Al Franken. Irrespective of why the union bailout bill otherwise known as the moronically-monikered Employee Free Choice Act is temporarily wounded, the fact is, it is not dead.

Although the union pushers pushing this job-destroying legislation are beginning to concede that its passage is far from certain (as written), as one Congressman told us in 2007 (two days before it passed the House of Representatives), EFCA will not go away.

Indeed, while the card-check provisions of EFCA may be dying due to the queasiness politicians feel toward casting a vote that would effectively eliminate secret-ballots, alternatives such as mail-ballot elections or shortened election time frames would likely have the same effect as eliminating secret-ballots. Afterall, as unions now win 66% of all NLRB-conducted secret-ballot elections, any added slant toward the unions will give them an unparalleled upperhand in unionizing more workers. This, it is believed, union bosses and their minions in the federal government know, which is why they are more apt to accept a compromise on card-check.

Moreover, EFCA’s true job killer, binding arbitration (which is, in effect, the federal government dictating wages and benefits on workers and their employers), has not garnered as much vociferous attention as the elimination of secret-ballots and, as a result, is not as much as a hot potato for the politicos in their districts back home.

Therefore, as no-vote unionization (aka card-check) gets watered down, binding arbitration still lingers like the stench of a skunk having feasted on a can of pork. While no-vote unionization becomes the throw-away issue for those who owe their political careers to pandering to union bosses, EFCA’s job-killing aribtration provision is the real devil in EFCA’s details.

When a senior member of the United States Senate becomes a tool of a special interest group, threatening to ‘out’ his fellow senators (including those from his own party) in order for that special interest to develop a ‘hit list’ for the 2010 mid-term elections, it is a telling sign that, while EFCA is wounded, it is not dead.

For the time being, the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act may be delayed until Labor Day (or beyond) as the debate over nationalizing America’s health care system takes precedence, EFCA’s wounds are not mortal and the battle will continue.

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Filed under EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act

Good News & Bad News on the Union-Free Front: EFCA’s in a "Holding Pattern"

There’s good news and bad news on the union-free front.

First, the good news: The moronically-named Employee Free Choice Act (that job-destroying bill that union bosses have been pushing for the last few years) may now be on the back burner until after Labor Day.

According to the Communications Workers’ of America (CWA) top boss Larry Cohen:

“…[T]he trouble we have is with cloture.” He explained that “unions don’t have solid promises from both Arkansas senators and from Sen. Specter yet that they will vote to break a filibuster.”

Blaming Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman, Cohen stated:

“Republican obstructionism that keeps one of Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seats vacant, plus congressional concentration on health care, are combining to put consideration of the Employee Free Choice Act in a holding pattern.”

In addition, there are apparently 12 “wavering” Democratic Senators. These include Evan Bayh, D-Ind., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Thomas Carper, D-Del., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Michael Bennett, D-Colo., Arlen Specter, D-Pa., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and both senators from each of two states, Arkansas and Virginia, according to the CWA’s Annie Hill.

According to the People’s Weekly World, EFCA may have to wait until after Labor Day:

The same congressional committees that would deal with labor law reform are now busy with overhauling health care.

The result is that labor will likely have to delay its goal of having the Employee Free Choice Act on President Obama’s desk by Labor Day.

If this is indeed the case, it would appear that President Obama’s effort to nationalize America’s health care will be taking precedent over the job-destroying union bail out bill…And that is the bad news.

Despite candidate Obama’s ridicule of Sen. John McCain’s proposed health care plan last year, it would appear that Democrats are proposing to tax Americans for their health care after all.

According to Fox Business, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), is proposing “options to limit allowable tax free health benefits.”

The Baucus Plan, which is estimated to cost more than $1 trillion, will tax one in eight Americans for their health care coverage. However, in a payback to his Big Labor backers, Max Baucus plans on exempting union members’ benefits.

As Human Events notes: It would penalize every non-union recipient of employer-provided healthcare benefits.

As unbelievable as this seems, Baucus apparently feels that discriminating against more than 87% of Americans who are not paying union dues is all right.

Of course, should this reprehensible discrimination against those who choose not to be unionized make it into the socialized medicine plan, Baucus and his union backers know full well that this will create an incentive for workers to unionize.

Unfortunately, if this causes more workers to unionize, it will cause less companies to offer benefits and, for those that do, it will cause a greater incentive for those companies to dump their workers onto the government’s plan. Thus, the speeding up of the transition to full blown national health care will occur.

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Filed under Communications Workers of America, CWA, Employee Free Choice Act

DAYS FIVE, SIX, SEVEN & EIGHT…WHERE IS THE MEDIA ON THE HARKIN HIT LIST STORY?

It has been four days since our last update on the Harkin Hit List, and still nothing in the media about Senator Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) threat to help his union bosses to develop a 2010 Hit List of his fellow Senators.

Apparently, the union bosses have either silenced the media, or the reporters just don’t care that a senior member of the United States Senate is being used by a special interest group to develop a hit list of his fellow senators for the 2010 midterm elections.

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Filed under Tom Harkin, union bosses

And so…?

As unions have come out (so to speak) in favor of same-sex marriages, it seems that RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum has decided to become a gay activist by outting himself.

In Gay City News, under the title Labor Big Outs Himself, Applebaum declared:

“I am defining myself publicly, and not just defining myself privately. That’s what makes a difference. I wanted to make my public role not just as a labor leader or Jewish labor leader, but as a gay Jewish labor leader.”

Wow! Congratulations, Stu!

It’s too bad you, like so many other people on the left, feel you have “define” yourself by pandering to identity politics, as opposed to just saying you’re an American.

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Filed under RWDSU, Stuart Applebaum

DAY FOUR: Where is the media?…

It’s Monday and it is Day Four of LaborUnionReport.com’s Harkin Hit List Watch and the media seems to still be missing the story of a senior member of the United States Senate helping a special interest group develop a hit list to target fellow senators–including those of his own party.

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Filed under LaborUnionReport.com, Tom Harkin

The Ironic Problem with Employee (Not-So) Free Choice Act

The Seattle Times has posted two Letters to the Editor that, in an interesting twist of irony, expose the fallacy of the offensively-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). While both letters were in response to a June 18th Seattle Times editorial entitled “Strike won’t fly at Boeing if machinists want to keep 787 production here,” the responses posted explain one of the main problems with EFCA.

In the first letter, a Seattle resident named Rob Snyder argues that the right to strike is his right:

I will give up my right to strike when corporate executives tie my total compensation to theirs.

In the second letter, another Seattle resident named Tanya Stock uses the editorial to opine that workers need EFCA, clearly (and ignorantly) missing the point that Boeing workers are already unionized and EFCA would have no impact on them–nor does it have any bearing to the topic of the original editorial.

  • NOTE: It would appear that Ms. Stock is part of the eco-friendly union coalition and gets her talking points directly from the AFL-CIO, SEIU, or one of the other union front groups, since there is not one original statement coming from her “letter.”

The ironic part about posting both letters to the editor is that, besides the controversial card-check (aka the no-vote unionization) provision of EFCA, there is a lesser known provision to the bill called binding arbitration.

Bnding arbitration is the process where, after a mere 120 days following the start of negotiations between an employer and union, if there is no agreement reached, the federal government can step in and have a government-imposed arbitrator dictate what the union contract will be.

Now, besides the inherent problems with the freedom to contract (or not) argument, as well as the overall fascist nature of the government-imposing terms and conditions of employment, a lesser realized side effect of binding arbitration will be that workers themselves will be losing some basic human rights as a result of the binding arbitration section of EFCA.

First, under the binding arbitration provision of EFCA, workers will NOT be able to vote for or against a government-imposed contract. Now, since the National Labor Relations Board recently stated that unions can lie to members about the contents of a proposed contract, the right to ratify a contract (or not) probably doesn’t mean much anyway.

However, the second point where EFCA absolutely takes away a fundamental human right is the fact that, under a government-imposed contract, workers lose their right to strike.

This means that, if workers are unionized based on cards that were signed under false pretenses, then forced into a government-imposed contract that does not meet what the union organizer promised them in order to get their signatures, workers not only cannot vote to accept or reject the contract, they cannot strike either. Their only choice will be to work under terms they had no choice to accept (or deny), or quit their employment.

In other words, under EFCA, workers will be tricked and trapped.

Doesn’t sound too much like “free choice” now does it?

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Filed under binding arbitration, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, National Labor Relations Board, Seattle Times