Monthly Archives: December 2009

EFCA, Union Call Centers & the Con Job of Today’s Command & Control Unions

As 2009 comes to an end and union bosses prepare for an early 2010 push for the job-destroying and hallucinogenically-named Employee Free FORCED Choice Act (EFCA), unions are getting a near-free pass as media types and union bought-off politicans portray today’s unions as democratic, worker-run organizations. 
A case in point is the union talking point that EFCA is intended for workers who want to “form” unions.  This is particularly prevalent through the union-paid EFCA astro-turfing group American Rights at Work, which describes itself as an “educational and outreach organization dedicated to promoting the freedom of workers to form unions and bargain collectively.”
The reality is, unions have not spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying politicians,setting up an astro-turf organization like ARAW, and pursuing a misleading campaign to deceive America only to allow workers to former their own unions.  After helping to push industry out of the U.S., today’s command and control union bosses want workers in their unions in order to collect dues.
Unfortunately, many of today’s unions are top-down autocracies which, in many cases leave “rank and file” union members out in the cold.
Take, for example, this ad for a “Service Center Organizer” for the now-infamous Service Employees International Union:

JOB DESCRIPTION

Title: Grievance/Contract Enforcement Representative (also known as a Service Center Organizer)

Purpose: To assist the leadership of Local 615 in building a powerful rank and file union, through organizing and representing workers within the Union’s jurisdiction. Specifically, the role of the Service Center is to enforce the terms of the collective bargaining agreement on behalf of members. Equally important, the Service Center’s role is to increase the capacity of the internal organizing staff to identify, recruit and train member leaders by assuming a larger share of member representation. [Emphasis added.]

By posting this ad, the SEIU apparently failed to see the irony of talking about a “rank and file union” while attempting to hire from outside the union.  Nor does the union apparently see the irony of having a so-called “service center,” which is nothing more than a non-rank-and-file-run call center run by union bosses to deal with union members’ problems (no face-to-face member contact is necessary).

Another example of a union that apparently feels that grooming rank-and-file union members to build their own union would be this ad for Organizers-in-Training, Organizers, and Journey Organizers from the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME):

Organizers-in Training, the ad states, “learn the nuts and bolts of an organizing campaign from home calling unorganized workers, to organizing direct actions, to preparing for a first contract campaign.”  For this, OiTs are offered a starting salary of $36,648 with free single or family health coverage, car allowance, paid travel, 12 paid holidays, 401k, pension plan and more.  Journey Organizers (organizers with at least 3 years of organizing experience) start at $52,670 but often, according to AFSCME’s reports with the US Department of Labor, take in more than $100k.

As 2010 begins and politicians return to Washington to put the final nails in the health care reform coffin, union bosses are salivating to see EFCA return to the spotlight.  It is important to know as EFCA returns that the job-destroying bill has nothing to do with workers forming their own unions and everything to do with union bosses raking in more money.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under AFSCME, American Rights at Work, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

URGENT: Unions Using Health Care Bill to Kill Small Non-Union Construction Firms

According to the Nashville Business Journal, Senate Democrats are trying to do their union handlers a favor by excluding small construction companies from the small-business exemption to the employer mandate in the health care bill.
The Senate is about to put coal in the stocking of home builders and other small construction firms.
The amended version of the health care reform bill, which cleared another procedural hurdle Wednesday morning, includes a provision that penalizes small construction firms if they don’t offer insurance to their employees. Under the bill, businesses with more than 50 employees would have to pay a $750-per-worker penalty to the federal government if any of their employees purchases subsidized insurance on their own. The new version of the bill lowers that threshold to five employees for construction firms.

The National Association of Home Builders contends the provision, reportedly suggested by the AFL-CIO, could put many small home builders out of business and derail the housing recovery.

“This narrow provision is an unprecedented assault on the construction industry and unjustly targets an industry trying to keep its doors open during the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla.

“This is a true jobs killer,” he said. “Thousands of small builder firms struggling to stay afloat could go under. We strongly urge the Senate to reconsider and pull this onerous provision.”

The amendment is clearly targeting the non-union construction industry, which comprises approximately 85% of the enitre construction industry.  Unionized construction firms, on the other hand, typically obtain their workers from unions (usually though union hiring halls, which are like a temp agencies) and, as part of the ‘package,’ unionized companies must pay into the unions’ health and welfare mutli-employer funds.
 
The Associated Builders & Contractors, a trade association of roughly 23,000 mostly small (and union-free) construction companies is urging its members to call their senators to remove this discriminatory language from any final bill.

“At a time when our industry is facing the worst construction economy in decades, the last thing contractors need are vast new mandates from the federal government dictating to them how they will run their business,” said Kirk Pickerel, president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors.

Here is the text of an e-mail sent out earlier to its membership:

Construction Industry Targeted in Senate Health Care Bill
New Last Minute Mandate Added

The Senate health care bill mandates that all companies must provide their employees with health coverage. The one exemption to that mandate is that small businesses, companies with 50 employees or less, are not subject to that health care requirement. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) proposed an amendment which excludes construction firms (and only construction firms) from the small business exemption. The Merkley Amendment ‘s language was never voted on, but was added to the health care bill at the last minute. The Senate will vote on the entire health care package on Christmas Eve.

In other words, construction firms with five employees or more will now be required, by federal law, to provide their employees with health coverage.

Call your Senators TODAY. Tell them that this bill unfairly singles out small construction firms for vast federal government mandates at a time when our industry can least afford it.

Like so many other things in Washington today, this is another example of big payback to big union bosses…at the expense of the rest of America.

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Filed under AFL-CIO, construction industry

Driving Down Detroit: Thanks, UAW!

This humorous, but pointed video on the City of Detroit merits a look. 
[Watch for the falling enviro-polar bear at around 7m 30s.]

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Filed under UAW, United Auto Workers

98% of Workers Vote to Give SEIU an ‘Old School A** Whooping’ …

When given a choice, ninety-eight percent of workers chose to give the Union of Purple People Eaters (formally known as the SEIU) give the union a good ‘old school a** whooping.’

National Union of Healthcare Workers soundly defeated the SEIU, but the margin of workers wanting no union was close. Results are not yet final.

An upstart union challenging the giant Service Employees International Union won a plurality Friday in a disputed and closely watched union vote at a Sonoma County Hospital.

But the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the vote at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, said it could not declare a winner because the final margin was close and 17 ballots were challenged.

“At this point, we don’t have a determinative result,” said Tim Peck, assistant to the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board.

During the two-day voting, the breakaway National Union of Healthcare Workers garnered 283 votes, compared to 13 for the rival Service Employees International Union.

However, 263 voters cast ballots for no union in the tightly contested race.

So out of 576 voters, the Union of Purple People Eaters (more commonly called the SEIU) only received 2% of the vote.

The message these workers have sent to the SEIU’s command-and-control style of unionism was that of an ‘old school a** whooping,’ which should send shivers down Andy Stern, Anna Burger, and Dave Regan’s spines backsides.

[For background on SEIU’s ‘Civil War’, go here.]
 
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Filed under Andy Stern, Anna Burger, Dave Regan, NUHW, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

Starbucks’ Union Problems: Marxist Unionists Come to the Lone Star State

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.
Preamble to the constitution of the IWW
For about five years, a radical communist Marxist union known as the “Wobblies” (formally known as the Industrial Workers of the World) has been targeting coffee giant Starbucks.

The union has done rallies and demonstrations in traditionally liberal cities as Madison, New York and San Francisco…until this week.

The Wobblies have made their way down to the Lone Star state this week, claiming to have unionized Starbucks’ baristas in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth, TX- Baristas and community supporters at the 8th and Rosedale Starbucks shut down the store’s drive-thru this morning and delivered a list of demands including affordable health care options and sick days for those displaying H1N1 or other cold and flu symptoms.
….

The protesting baristas are members of the Starbucks Workers Union, which is an international campaign of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor union. The store action makes the 8th and Rosedale location the first Starbucks in Texas to have a public union presence.

Hmmm.  Communists Marxists in Texas?  That sounds rather oxy-moronic.

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Filed under IWW, Starbucks, Wobblies

Mr. President, Your Recovery Has a Problem…

No amount of caulk will fix the cracks in the fantasy that the economy is getting better.  The numbers are bad and they’re really not improving.
The number of Americans claiming jobless benefits has risen for the second week running, as the US economy continues to wrestle with persistent unemployment.

First-time jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 480,000, according to labour department figures on Thursday, defying expectations of Wall Street economists that they would sink. The less volatile four-week average of new claims, however, fell by 5,250 to 467,500, maintaining a healthier trajectory.

“Jobless claims join many other indicators in suggesting that the official government payroll data have been overstating the degree of improvement in the labour market,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief US economist at MFR.

Ooops!  Sorry, Mr. President, we hate to break it to you but no amount of talk on caulk will fix this mess.

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Filed under cash for caulk, unemployment

Unions’ Health Care ‘End Game’ Revealed

It’s been known for quite some time that unions want to nationalize health care for their own gain (increased members = increased dues).  However, few have blatantly come out and stated just how far they want to take the nationalized health care train…until last night.

The new “super” union for nurses, National Nurses United, which is headed by former Teamster Rose Ann DeMoro sent out an e-mail blast last night calling not only for nationalized, single-payer health care, but as well as mental, dental, vision, and long-term care. [Truly a ‘womb to tomb government plan.]

URGENT! Tell Senator Reid:
“Support Amendment No. 2837”

The US Senate healthcare reform process is clearly off the rails, with proposals being thrown about willy-nilly. Meanwhile, an elegant, efficient, and politically expedient amendment awaits its vote: The Medicare-for-all, single-payer Sanders Amendment No. 2837 should have gone before the body for debate last weekend.

Funny thing, though. In spite of Sen. Harry Reid’s statement that he would get to amendments “in numeric order,” the Sanders amendment keeps getting bypassed. Senator Reid gave no explanation for this.

We’ve been through this before. We had promises from the House leadership that the Weiner Amendment for single-payer would receive a full debate and go to a vote. We know how that worked out. Senator Reid must follow through on his promise to hold the debate this Tuesday as promised!

Unless we act now, Senator Reid can easily argue that he’s skipping over this amendment due to a lack of public hue and cry. We can’t let this happen.

Tell Senator Reid in no uncertain terms that a full debate and vote on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Amendment No. 2837 is absolutely essential.

Senator Sanders’ amendment, cosponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown and Roland Burris, gives states the power to enact single-payer programs with federal funding. It has everything a state single-payer bill needs: one plan that covers health, mental, dental, vision, and long-term care.

Right now the Congressional Budget Office is scoring a plan to establish private, nonprofit health insurance programs run by private companies, with a trigger for a new government insurance plan if the private plans are not “acceptable.”

Let the American people decide what’s “acceptable” before everything falls to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and their influence over the Senate. Tell Harry Reid that this amendment matters.


Make the calls to Sen. Harry Reid TONIGHT:

• Washington, D.C., office: (202) 224-3542
• Las Vegas, NV, office: (702) 388-5020
• U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

In solidarity,
California Nurses Association
National Nurses Organizing Committee
National Nurses United

[Emphasis in original.]

There you have the unions’ end game: Not only do unions want to nationalize your health care, they also want your teeth, your eyes, as well as the ability to change your diapers when you get old. 
 
h/t RNs Against Forced Unionism
 
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Filed under National Nurses United, nationalized health care, Rose Ann DeMoro