Monthly Archives: April 2010

SEIU’s Feeding Frenzy over Arizona’s New Immigration Law

Arizona’s new immigration has created quite a controversy.  It is driving illegal immigrants both away from Arizona, as well as (for those choosing to stay) into the eagerly awaiting jaws arms of unions.

Labor unions are using Arizona’s new immigrant trespassing law to bolster their organizing efforts among Hispanic workers.


Union representatives say they are seeing a surge in inquiries from Hispanic workers in Arizona worried about the new law and the potential for more police raids and inquiries into their workplaces.

“We are getting more calls,” said Scott Washburn, state director of the Service Employees International Union. SEIU has about 4,000 members in Arizona, mostly in the public sector.

[snip]

Washburn would not disclose what percentage of SEIU members are Hispanic versus other ethnicities. He said the union does not ask potential members to prove their legal status.

Arizona AFL-CIO Director Rebekah Friend said the immigration debate and the law are encouraging Hispanic workers to look at organizing and becoming more involved politically.

“The more downward pressure you put on workers, the more likely they are to join a union,” she said.

Employment attorneys confirmed the law is making Arizona a target for a number of unions looking to organize workers in the construction and service sectors.

[snip]

Several unions, Unite Here and SEIU, have harbored desires to build a presence among lower-wage service industries, such as commercial janitor services, hospitality and resorts,” Lomax said. “Expect to see these and other unions join the political debate in Arizona — and, if they find the right opportunity, they will pursue organizing.”

With the SEIU pushing Amnesty for Illegals, it is only natural for the Purple Behemoth to capitalize on Arizona’s new law.

After all, as Rahm Emanuel once said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Apparently, the unions were listening.


Photo Credit: Reason 
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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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Changing America Forever: Why the AFL-CIO is really pushing "financial reform"

With outgoing SEIU president Andy Stern having forever changed America through the nationalization of health care, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is picking up where Andy is leaving off

As President Obama goes out on the road to use his bully-pulpit to push financial reform, the AFL-CIO staged a major march on Wall Street yesterday.  As with nearly every union grassroots astroturf effort, there is always a hidden agenda.

A couple of weeks ago, we laid out the broad union agenda for the United States.  Beyond the nationalization of health care and mass unionization, another of the “visions” that unions have for America is what is referred to as European-style Participative Management.  What is the union vision of participative management?  Here is the simple definition:

Style of management that lays stress on the importance of good human relations and of workers’participation in management decision making, though such participation can vary in practice from being a hoped for safety valve for employee discontent to involving genuine consultation and even decision making. Source: European Union. 

More specifically with regard to unions, it is the installation of union bosses (or their representatives) to serve on corporate boards of directors (of publicly held companies, for now) so that the “workers’ voice” is heard.  Another way to look at it is participative management is a way for unions to determine how a company operates.


Yesterday, between 10,000 and 15,000 union astroturfers showed up en masse in lower Manhattan to allegedly protest Wall Street “greed.”


As the Gothamist points out:

[M]any Wall Street workers didn’t appreciate being generalized as greedy fat cats. Empire Wealth Management Group executive VP Jeremiah Giddings told the Post“There’s a lot of honest firms on Wall Street that are trying to do right by our clients. Protesters can’t give all of Wall Street a black eye for a few firms.”

The Post’s Andrea Peyser also called the anger “misguided,” saying the protesters were using Wall Street as a common scapegoat for their myriad problems. And Mayor Bloomberg has already called for Senate support of Wall Street, though that didn’t go so well. Still, the protest went on, starting at City Hall and marching down to the “charging bull” in Bowling Green. “We’re tired. They’ve gotten richer, but we’re still poor,” marcher Loretta Manning told the Daily News. “We’re getting poorer. It’s not fair.” People also made some pretty interesting signs, from a papier-mâché CEO pig to the simple slogan “GREED KILLS.” And of course, the Raging Grannies made an appearance.

The protesters’ anger is not “misguided,” as the Post’s Peyser assumes. It is intentional, and it is sinister.

The push for “fiancial reform” isn’t to “reform” Wall Street, it is a push to remake America’s quasi-free market system into that of a European model.

Yesterday’s assemblage of the pitchforks and torches was a purposeful march to push a bill that will put unions onto the boards of corporations, as Warner Todd Hudson notes on his Union Label blog:

Senator Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) wants to give unions more power in the boardrooms of our nation’s businesses. In essence, Dodd wants to force corporate boards under the thumb of unions by federal fiat.

Carefully hidden in Dodd’s new regulations are provisions that give new powers to board members, powers aimed at giving unions more say in the operations of businesses from the inside through investments of pension funds.

The Dodd bill takes away from the states the ability to make rules governing how corporate boards are established and run and for the first time reassigns that power to the federal government through the SEC. Democrats expect to use this new power to affect corporate boards to force pension fund investors to obtain more seats on those boards and that means union pension funds will suddenly have more influence on business simply because of their influence in Washington.

[snip]

This is just one more small step in the elimination of America’s private business community and the implementation of a quasi-socialist business state. One more anti-American arrow in Obama’s quiver shot over the bow of America.

While unions are framing the debate as an issue between “Wall Street vs. Main Street,” the reality is, this is a push to expand union influence into the boardrooms of corporations. As unions, through the auto bailouts, have already injected their representatives onto the boards of both Government General Motors and Chrysler, why stop there?

Perhaps, instead of calling it “Wall Street reform,” a more apropos term would be: A Union Takeover of Wall Street.

photo credit: The Gothamist
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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 AFL-CIO, financial reform, Richard Trumka, United Auto Workers

SEIU’s Andy Stern has got a new gig…

The soon-departing SEIU boss, Andy Stern, has a new gig.

A press release by Leading Authorities, Inc. (“the nation’s most progressive event design firm”) earlier this afternoon states the following:

Leading Authorities, Inc. has signed Andrew (Andy) L. Stern, the former president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America. Stern turned SEIU into a powerful political force, and Stern and SEIU were widely credited for helping elect Barack Obama in 2008.


“We are extremely proud and privileged to be representing Andy Stern,” said Leading Authorities founder and CEO Mark French. “He is a major force in Washington politics. He transformed the labor movement, raised huge sums for President Obama’s election, and exerted monumental influence on the health care debate. Everyone at LAI is thrilled to be working with Andy.”


[snip]


Stern will be addressing audiences about politics and issues such as fiscal policy, entitlements, immigration, healthcare, and the future of the labor movement. He will speak independently, and also be matched with leading Republican thinkers.

Apparently, Leading Authorities believes people will be lining up to hear Mr. Stern speak in the future.

__________________
“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, SEIU, Service Employees International Union

BREAKING: AFL-CIO’s Trumka on EFCA: ‘We’ll find something to tack it on…’

Politico’s Ben Smith seems to be a reporter embedded with labor leaders.  He’s the guy that broke the Andy Stern resignation story and has had a lot of the scoop on what’s happening in the bedrooms within the House of Labor.

As a result, his tweet on twitter this afternoon is particularly relevant as it relates to the job-destroying and hallucinogenically named Employee Free Choice Act:

Lunch w/AFL-CIO prez Trumka, says they took down #efca banner bc it ripped, but that the issue lives: “We’ll find something to tack it on.”   via UberTwitter

If this is indeed the back-door route that the new BMOC in DC is going to take on a bill that is bound to kill millions of more jobs, then politicians had better start reading the bills before they vote on them.

UPDATE: 4:13 PM:

Politico’s Ben Smith adds to his discussion with AFL-CIO boss Trumka, which includes optimism on a labor re-unification:

The AFL removed a giant EFCA banner from its Washington headquarters today, prompting speculation of a quiet concession of defeat.

“It was just starting to rip,” he said. “We’ll put up another one. We’re still working hard.”

“We’ll find something to tack it on,” he said (of the legislation, not the banner)

Trumka also said he was optimistic that incoming SEIU President Mary Kay Henry would bring that giant union back into the AFL-CIO.

“Obviously, the door is open. I think she has shown an interest in it,” he said, adding that he hadn’t spoken to Henry since she consolidated internal SEIU support. “She has said and her supporters have said they’re tired of being isolated.”

“You had six leaders at the international level who tried an experiment that obviously didn’t work, and now it’s time to bring everybody back,” he said of the breakaway Change to Win group.

For the banner views, go here.
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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 AFL-CIO, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, Richard Trumka

In Big Labor’s Pocket…

A priceless cartoon from IBD’s Michael Ramirez:

All this needs is a big Cuban cigar ash falling on the head…
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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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EFCA: What a year…

What a difference a year made for a really badly-named bill called the Employee Free FORCED Choice Act 
Last May Day

This May Day (at the AFL-CIO’s posh HQ building)…

Despite the visual, Kool Aid drinkers EFCA backers vow to press on…

__________________
“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 AFL-CIO, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act

The Employee Free Choice Act: ‘When there’s no more room in hell…’

The hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act is a bill that, like George Romero’s flesh-eating zombies, just refuses to die.

As the DC rumor-mill has it, EFCA proponents realize that taking away the secret-ballot isn’t too popular and is hurting their hopes for passage.  However, the other main component of the job-destroying bill is equally dangerous for employers and their employees: Binding arbitration.

What is binding arbitration?

It’s a process that, under EFCA, allows for a federally-appointed arbitrator to dictate what would be spelled out in a union contract.  This would include things like forced union dues (where legal) from employees, super-seniority for shop stewards, restrictive work rules, management rights, as well as wages and benefits.

Now, you might be wondering: What’s so bad about binding arbitration?  I mean, arbitrators are pretty reasonable people, right? They don’t make bad decisions, do they?

Well, our friends over at the Truth About EFCA blog have a great example of a bone-headed decision that one arbitrator in a recent case made::

A federal judge has ordered Illinois Central Railroad Co. to reinstate a conductor who spent 16 months in federal prison for embezzling union funds (United Transp. Union v. Illinois Central R.R. Co., N.D. Ill., No. 08 CV 4001, 3/16/10). Enforcing an earlier arbitration award under the Railway Labor Act, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan’s ruling also determined that the company has no obligation to provide back pay for the period of William Miller’s imprisonment.


Miller began work as a machinist for Illinois Central and was represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Local 498. During a two-year term as secretary-treasurer of the IAM local union, Miller embezzled $63,000 from treasury funds. In November 2005, he pled guilty to charges of embezzlement and obstruction of justice. Miller claimed that he notified his supervisor of his felony conviction, in accordance with company “Rule H.” The railroad asserted that it had received no notification and fired Miller for violating the company rule. He entered prison in July 2006.


By this time Miller was working as a conductor represented by the United Transportation Union (UTU). His claim for reinstatement with back pay went to arbitration before the Public Law Board (PLB). The PLB draft decision, dated July 18, 2007, ordered his reinstatement with back pay. Illinois Central sent a reinstatement letter in August 2007 ordering Miller to report to work within 15 days. However, since the conductor was not released from prison until early November 2007, he failed to meet the company’s deadline and was refused reinstatement. The UTU filed suit to enforce the arbitration award.


The effective date of the PLB award was central to the case. Although the draft decision was issued in July 2007, Judge Der-Yeghiayan found that the PLB award was not effective until it had been signed by two of the three board members. The award received the required two signatures on November 30, 2007 – a date when Miller was out of prison and available to work. Upholding the arbitration award, the judge ordered the conductor’s reinstatement with back pay for the period following his release from prison. Der-Yeghiayan rejected the UTU’s argument that the award intended Miller to receive back pay for the period of his incarceration when he was unavailable to work.

Hmmm. Let’s see if we can summarize this:  1) Union boss steals money from union (IAM), 2) claims to have told supervisor of conviction, but was fired anyway; 3) goes to prison, 4) wins arbitration ordering  reinstatement with backpay, 5) fails to make it back by reinstatement date (because he was still in prison), 6) UTU sues to enforce the arbitration award and argues that back pay should include the time in prison and (drumroll please)… 7) guy gets job back, with back pay (except for the time in prison).

Now, under EFCA, imagine federally-appointed arbitrators controlling private enterprise.

Would you trust an arbitrator with your business?

We think not.
__________________

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

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

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Filed under binding arbitration, Employee Free Choice Act