Monthly Archives: January 2010

Union Extremist Craig Becker’s Glaring Hatred for Workplace Freedom

Following the near-certain death of the union bosses’ hallucinogenically-named (and growingly unpopularEmployee Free Choice Act, the Democrats in the Senate are looking to throw their union cronies a bone by getting SEIU and AFL-CIO attorney Craig Becker seated to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) quickly, perhaps as soon as this week.

As the rules and the policies set forth through the NLRB affect nearly every private-sector workplace (except airlines and railroads), the persons who serve as NLRB members, regardless of their backgrounds, should be able to decide on cases with an open mind and issue decisions that are balanced, based on the law.

The problem with Becker, according to many, is not that he’s merely a union radical (there are already enough of those to populate a big city–say Washington, DC or Detroit?).  The problem with Becker is that he is a union extremist and, by all accounts, appears to be opposed to individual rights for employees and their employers.

According to the worker advocacy group the National Right to Work Foundation, Becker:

  • Supports “home visits,” in which union goons repeatedly harass workers at home until they sign union authorization cards (see here for an example of this intimidating practice)
  • Advocates letting government arbiters impose contracts on workers and employers on workers, without even allowing the workers to vote on the contract (a practice which even Far Left icon George McGovern opposes)
  • Believes employers should be absolutely prohibited from sharing any truthful and noncoercive information with employees about the effects of unionization
  • Illogically and radically compares union certification elections to US Congressional elections, stating that the only question decided in such elections should be which union gets monopoly control over workers, not whether they wish to remain independent and union free. [Emphasis added.]

Katie Packer, executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute, delves further into Mr. Becker’s “threat to freedom“:

Currently, Becker serves as Associate General Counsel to both the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Most Americans have probably never heard of Mr. Becker and he may be a perfectly nice human being, but his views on the absolute and autocratic power labor should wield over small businesses is enough to make one shudder.

Becker has written that, “employers should be stripped of any legally cognizable interest in their employees’ election of representatives.” Simply stated, Becker believes small businesses should have no say whatsoever over their own future, while union bosses have complete control.

In Craig Becker’s perfect world, every worker in America would be in a union, whether they choose to be there or not.

[snip]

As a member of the board, Becker would have significant authority to enact the SEIU and AFL-CIO’s agenda by fiat meaning the executive branch would do via administrative action what they have been unable to get enacted through elected representatives in the legislature who are directly accountable to voters.

And there should be absolutely no doubt what Big Labor’s agenda is… the forced unionization of small businesses so that billions in additional dollars from union member dues can flow into their coffers and they can continue to play kingmaker funneling massive amounts of money to the politicians who do their bidding.

Craig Becker’s nomination is a threat to freedom and must not be allowed to go forward. The Senate will hold a hearing on Becker’s nomination this coming week. [Emphasis added.]

There are those who fight for freedom and there are those who fight to end freedom.

Unfortunately, Mr. Becker appears to fall in the latter of the two groups.

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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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Cross-posted.

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Filed under Craig Becker, National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

SEIU Front Group: America is a “Dangerous Idea”…Attacks Continue on America’s Tea Party Movement

Are the leaders of the purple behemoth known as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) opposed to America’s founding principles?  Are America’s founders “extremists” to people like Andy Stern and Anna Burger?

When you start to add up the evidence, it certainly appears so.

The SEIU is the same union…

…that has now been discovered as one of the principle piggy banks behind a shadow group that has launched an anti-Tea Party website.

According to the site’s main page, the goals of SEIU’s front group are as follows:

Our Mission
To prevent the Tea Party’s dangerous ideas from gaining legislative traction.

Our Strategy
Our Strategy is simple. This movement is a fad. Some of their ideas include the belief that programs like Social Security and Medicare are socialistic and should never have been created in the first place and that President Obama is a Socialist. Other ideas include undermining the legitimacy of the federal government in favor of a radical rightwing form of state’s rights. We need to prevent their dangerous ideas from gaining a legislative foothold. So our strategy is to spread the truth about their dangerous ideas and prevent their policies from taking root in America.

Dangerous ideas?  Those “dangerous ideas” are many of the same ideas upon which America was founded.  However, it appears the SEIU believes that the original Boston Tea Party was a “dangerous idea” as well. 

With the SEIU’s history of promoting higher taxes while, at the same time, attacking those who believe in liberty and lower taxes, we wonder: Are the SEIU’s leaders that ashamed of America and its history that they would attack people with the same principles as the original founders?

Big hat-tip to Lee Doren for looking in the shadows and shedding some light on this.
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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 Andy Stern, Anna Burger, SEIU

UAW, Not Toyota, is the Real "Danger to America"

Union Bosses Gone Wild: To view how the UAW earned
the nickname United Against Work, go here.
As Democrats prepare for a public and politically-charged flogging of Toyota, the United Auto Workers bigwigs (along with their comrades from the Teamsters and some green-weenie enviro-activists) rained some atomic rhetoric on the Japanese car maker by calling it a “danger to America” while astro-turfing at the Japanese embassy in Washington yesterday.

While Toyota does have recall issues it is dealing with (as the UAW-controlled Big Three are all-too-familiar with), the UAW bosses are not protesting Toyota’s safety issues. Rather, the union is protesting the company’s plans to close the only Toyota plant in America that the UAW has its talons in, the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California on March 31st.

Apparently, 80% of the UAW’s membership is angry with the union’s handling of the plant closing (this is the same plant where a UAW boss told members to ‘Shut the f**k up!’ last weekend). As a result, UAW leaders appear to be trying to placate their members in a futile effort to change Toyota’s mind, as Toyota appears solidly against keeping the California plant open or maintaining a relationship with the UAW.
With the UAW constantly agitating to gain entry into Toyota’s other U.S. plants which are UAW-free, once President Obama’s General Government Motors pulled out of NUMMI, Toyota could finally cut all ties to the UAW.
While it is unfortunate that 4,700 more jobs will be lost by the UAW, the NUMMI jobs are but a drop in a very large bucket of UAW job losses at the Big Three.
More importantly, as the UAW’s rust-belt Democrats in Congress prepare to put Toyota on show trial, rather than helping the NUMMI workers in California, the UAW’s radioactive rhetoric against Toyota may do more to hurt the thousands of other UAW-free Americans employed by at its other plants in the U.S.
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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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Cross-posted.

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Filed under NUMMI, Teamsters, Toyota, UAW, United Auto Workers

AFL-CIO May Run Challengers to Blue Dog Democrats

By attempting to drive further to the Left, unions may be creating a worse nightmare for the mid-terms than they’ve already caused themselves.

From The Raw Story:

Union leaders in the AFL-CIO are considering supporting challengers to centrist Democrats in this year’s mid-term elections.

Disappointed with Blue Dogs who helped foil the unions’ hoped-for agenda in President Obama’s first year, leaders of unions such as the United Steelworkers and AFSCME are considering supporting more union-friendly and more progressive candidates for the 2010 mid-term elections.

According to James A. Barnes in the National Journal, AFL-CIO members brought up the names of three Democratic senators some among them would like to see defeated: Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who caucuses with the Democrats and who is credited — or faulted — with scuttling the public option in the Senate.

Of those three, only Lincoln is up for re-election in 2010.

If the unions go ahead with the idea, they would mirror in the Democratic Party what appears to be happening with the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party. Members of the Tea Party movement are mobilizing to support like-minded candidates in the GOP primaries, in an attempt to force the Republican Party further to the right. [Emphasis added.]

No mention of Evan Bayh, or Diane Feinstein, or their (faux?) opposition to the Employee Free FORCED Act.

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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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Hat-tip: Bret Jacobsen.

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Filed under AFL-CIO, Blue Dog Democrats

What Really Killed the Unions’ Job-Destroying Employee Free Choice Act?

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo

If the misleadingly-named Employee Free Choice Act is truly dead, Democrats and union bosses have no one to blame but themselves.

By most accounts, union bosses’ main legislative goal for the last five years, the hallucinogenically named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is all-but-dead.  Ever since it passed the House in 2007 (EFCA was re-introduced in both the House and Senate on March 10, 2009), the big labor bailout bill has drawn fire from business groups, but had gone little noticed by the public-at-large.

  • For an explanation of EFCA, go here.

While the official death certificate to the job-destroying EFCA has not yet been issued, Politico posted a piece on Tuesday entitled Labor helps kill its own top priority citing last week’s election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts as the reason.  The problem is, while it is true that a majority of union houesholds in Massachusetts voted for Scott Brown, EFCA was pretty much DOA before last week.

Big Government, Auto Bailouts, Stimulus Spending, and Health Care Reform, not Scott Brown, doomed EFCA.

While Politico writer Jeanne Cummings correctly notes that the election of Scott Brown makes out-and-out passage of EFCA virtually impossible while Republicans can muster a filibuster, EFCA started to die back in January, shortly after Barack Obama’s inauguration and has been dying ever since.
It was shortly after Obama’s election that General Motors and Chrysler came to Washington with their hands out for bailout money.  The public, already annoyed with the shelling out of hundreds of billions to Wall Street raised a collectively dubious eyebrow at Obama’s acquiesence to Detroit and the United Auto Workers, with many in the blogosphere correctly pointing out the UAW’s complicitness in Detroit’s demise.
As the administration forced the automakers into bankruptcy, Americans grew even more suspicious when President Obama appointed Ron Bloom to be the “car czar” [Bloom is now Obama’s “manufactuing czar”] and the United Auto Workers wound up receiving ownership in both General Motors and Chrysler.

The auto bailouts, combined with the almost-simultaneous passage of more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars hundreds of billions aimed at stimulating the economy created a backlash as the public began to see a huge increase in the role of government, a debt that would be borne by future generations, all the while millions continued to lose jobs.

As the first “tea parties” began to shape up in April, the public pushback against big government began to grow.  Meanwhile, with the election of Democrat Al Franken in limbo throughout the much of the spring and Ted Kennedy falling ill through the summer, EFCA remained stalled.

Then, Democrats and their union allies made a huge strategic error by choosing to put health care reform ahead of EFCA.  This, not the election of Scott Brown, became EFCA’s undoing.

The Light Gets Shined on Union Bosses’ New-Found Favor in the White House…

As President Obama continued filling his administration with cronies from the union movement, more and more light was being shed on the favor union bosses were receiving in Washington.  To many Americans, it became apparent that Democrats and union bosses were not just after health care reform, they were after an out-and-out nationalization of the entire health care system. This is when Democrats and union bosses unwittingly awoke the proverbial sleeping giant. 
The push for a complete federal government takeover health care in the House of Representatives was too much for a growingly suspicious public and, as a result, politicians began to get blasted in town hall meetings in late July and early August.
Prior to the health care debate, most of the public remained in the dark about the extent to which unions were now in control in Washington.  And, for the most part, EFCA remained a labor vs. management issue.  However, as town halls erupted into open shouting matches, the White House told Democrats and their allies to “punch back twice as hard.”  Unions, however, took the directive too far.  
On August 6th, a black conservative named Kenneth Gladney was allegedly beaten by SEIU thugs at a town hall meeting in St. Louis.  Gladney’s beating created a firestorm of outrage throughout the internet and put Democrats on the defensive.  The public was now becoming increasingly aware of the union infuence in the health care debate and it led, in at least one case, for union attendees to be booed out of one town hall meeting.
By Labor Day, public opinion had turned against the Democrats’ handling of health care, the run-away spending in Washington and, most importantly to the union bosses, public opinion had also turned against them.  On Labor Day weekend, Gallup released its annual poll on public support of unions and found that, for the first time ever, a majority of Americans disapproved of labor unions.
Backroom “Sweetheart” Deals, ACORN, and an Overly Influential White House Visitor
Less than a week after the Labor Day Gallup poll numbers, shockwaves were again sent throughout the internet when Barack Obama’s former employer/client, ACORN, was exposed through some well-publicized undercover videos as allegedly having ‘counseled’ a “pimp” and a “prostitute” to skirt tax laws…not just once, but on several occasions and at several of its offices.
Given President Obama’s well noted ties to the arguably-corrupt ACORN, as well as its sister companion (the SEIU), unions took another PR hit in October when the White House revealed that SEIU boss Andy Stern was the White House’s most frequent visitor during the first six months of the new administration. 
Further, complicating the White House’s exposed ties with the SEIU was the growing awareness of just how much the SEIU controlled the White House, even planting one of its high ranking officials, Patrick Gaspard, into the White House as the Director of Political Affairs.
Finally, the last bit of evidence many Americans needed to be convinced that union bosses were only out for themselves occurred in early January when union bosses had a closed-door meeting at the White House regarding the so-called “Cadillac tax” in the Senate’s health care bill.  When union bosses emerged (a mere week before Scott Brown’s election) with an exemption to the Cadillac tax in hand, many more Americans grew infuriated. 
Poor Priorities and the Scott Heard Around the World…
As Politico writer Cummings points out, a majority of union households in Massachuesetts did vote for Scott Brown.  This has effectively sealed EFCA’s fate for 2010, as Democrats have become largely paralyzed with fear over the possible losses they face in November.
Now, after spending an estimated $1.5 billion in 2006 and 2008 to elect Democrats who would be beholden to their interests, union bosses are left to hoping consolation prize Craig Becker is successfully seated on the National Labor Relations Board.
If SEIU and AFL-CIO attorney Becker does make it to the NLRB, union bosses will still be able to flip labor relations in America on its head, but not nearly as far as they wanted to go with EFCA.  With Becker, unions will still see a higher win-rate in NLRB-conducted elections (their win rate was 73% in the first six months of 2009) and employers will likely see their rights to free speech eroded further.  However, with  EFCA’s no-vote unionization and government-imposition of contracts, the delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act would have permanently changed the American labor relations landscape, as well created higher unemployment.  
Union bosses, not corporate bosses killed EFCA…
While it is true that corporations and business associations have lobbied extensively against EFCA, the public-at-large had been largely ignoring the back-and-forth between labor and management.  Both business and union bosses have spent tons of money attempting to present their case for or against EFCA.  As the Democrats have had a filibuster proof Senate (albeit for a short time), were it not for some leery Democrats in the Senate, EFCA would have passed. 
However, because union bosses have made an issue out of themselves, mainly through the auto bailouts and, more importantly, the health care debate, the public has become highly suspicious of their agenda.
And, for this, union bosses have no one to blame but themselves.
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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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MACHINISTS UNION PRESIDENT BUFFENBARGER BLASTS OBAMA…AGAIN!

Among all the union presidents cutting backroom deals with the White House, one has been noticably absent and that is Tom Buffenbarger, the president of the International Association of Machinists.

Buffenbarger, most-famously known for his 2008 tirade (see below) against then-candidate Obama is apparently on the White House’s growing list of enemies and, therefore, is apparently not welcome in all of the back rooms at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where union bosses cut their deals.

Last night, following Obama’s State of the Union address, Buffenbarger (who seems to be a frustrated poet) released the following statement:

It is hard to reconcile the images of a year ago – millions of Americans watching as one as President Barack Obama took the oath of office – and the faces of 31 million Americans who have been idled in this Grave Recession. Even the pomp and ceremony of this State of the Union address could not dispel the sense that something has gone terribly awry.

The clarion calls of hope and change have faded like the last notes of Taps. The enveloping darkness, a darkness of deepening disillusionment and even deeper cynicism, is settling across the land.

When one-fifth of America’s workforce is idled to some degree, the full force of government, business, labor and academia must be marshaled to get them back to work. But no such comprehensive strategy was outlined tonight.

Tonight, for all those Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, the darkness grew deeper, the cold grew more penetrating, the hunger grew more acute and the fear – yes, the fear – of what tomorrow would bring grew more intense.

Tomorrow morning, when America’s jobless open their morning newspapers, they will know that their national nightmare will last through 2010. The winter, spring and summer of their discontent now will feel interminable. And their growing anger and frustration will find an outlet, most probably in the 2010 midterm elections. [Emphasis added.]

Even though the Machinists’ union reluctantly eventually went “all in” by endorsing Obama once Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 primaries, Buffenbarger has never backed down from his 2008 comments when he called Obama a “silver-tongued orator from Kansas, Hawaii and Illinois? The man in love with the microphone” and his supporters  “latte-drinking, Prius- driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies.”

View his entire tirade here

Apparently, Buffenbarger doesn’t care to be invited to the White House in 2010 either.

Addendum: There’s also bad blood between Buffenbarger and the SEIU’s Andy Stern.

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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 IAM, International Association of Machinists, Machinists, Tom Buffenbarger

Andy Stern’s Vietnam

Last night, we blogged on the NUHW’s big victory over the purple behemoth, the SEIU, out in California, where the former SEIU-UHW leaders and their rank-and-file members trounced their former union 1652 combined votes to the SEIU’s 257 votes.

Today, Politico’s Ben Smith has a post up on the SEIU’s loss in California.  At the end, Smith writes:

An insider explains that Andy Stern foe and UHW leader “Sal Roselli is still a very charismatic/popular leader to the rank and file. They also have a very tight old/school organizing model that is much more in touch with the members. As others have pointed out think of SEIU as the US in Vietnam…NUHW is the Viet Cong.” [Emphasis added.]

If history is any indication, the battle with NUHW will not end well for the SEIU.
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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 Andy Stern, NUHW, SEIU