Category Archives: United Steelworkers

UPDATED: Steelworkers Plead with Public: Please don’t cross our picket lines…

For nearly four months now, the United Steelworker-represented driving instructors in Ontario (Canada) have been out on strike. 

By putting a stranglehold on wannabe drivers’ ability to get their license for three months, the government contractor DriveTest partially opened several centers on November 12th.

Unfortunately for the union strikers, the public isn’t paying much attention to the striking Steelworkers.

United Steelworkers member Herb Daniher said they have a legal right to strike and people should respect that picket line by not crossing it.

Despite Daniher asking the public not to cross, people continued to make their way inside the testing centre on Memorial Avenue. Striking workers continue to patrol the walkway and protesting the staffing structure of the business.

Roberta Taylor, an employee, said she feels the side of the striking workers is lost on the public.

This video is from the beginning weeks of the strike.

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Note: This article has been updated following a reader pointing out that DriveTest is a contractor of the government, not the government itself.  Thanks, Justin!

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Filed under union strike, United Steelworkers

LABOR SHORTS #3: Exposing Today’s Union Bosses One Skid Mark at a Time

Vol. 1, Issue 3

Dear Readers:

As the week’s end fast approaches, we offer you our third installment of LUR’s Labor Shorts, where we expose today’s union bosses one skid mark at a time.

Here is this week’s list of the most relevant union happenings across the country (and beyond), brought to you in short and “tweet” form (that is 140 characters, more or less):

And that, mates, is our Labor Shorts #3!

With best wishes for a great week’s end!

LaborUnionReport

For more news and views on today’s labor unions, join LaborUnionReport’s group on Linkedin or follow us on Twitter.

“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 1-888-NO-UNION.COM, Barack Obama, EFCA, Employee Free Choice Act, Machinists, SEIU, UFCW, United Steelworkers

LABOR SHORTS #2: Exposing Today’s Union Bosses One Skid Mark at a Time

Labor Shorts, Vol. 1, Issue 2

Welcome to Labor Shorts, where we expose today’s union bosses one skid mark at a time.

In this week’s issue, we bring to you the following briefs…er…shorts:

  • Harkin Hopes for EFCA in Fall. Union-mastered Senator Tom Harkin “hopes” for an EFCA vote this fall, reports the Hill. [For more information on the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act go here.]
  • Goodbye Norma Rae. EFCA pushers invoke the spirit of the late Cheryl Lee Sutton (aka ‘Norma Rae’) as a means to draw support of the job killing legislation. What the proponents of no-vote unionization neglect to mention is that the textile plant that ‘Norma Rae’ helped unionize closed in 2003 [Listen to the NPR report here.]
  • Kiddie Indoctrination Part Deux. We’ve seen the videos of kids eerily singing praises to the President, but those are considered educational anomalies. On the other hand, Michelle Malkin is posting how union indoctrination (including union organizing, complete with the creation of “peer education program about workers’ rights today”) is built into the curriculum in the L.A. Unified School District.
  • Boeing, Going, Gone? Despite its denial that it has made up its mind about transferring some of it 787 production to its recently union-free South Carolina facility, Boeing is seeking land clearing permits [perhaps to send a signal to its unionized workforce in Washington?].
  • A Paper Tiger? The United Steel Workers (formerly the United Steel Workers of America) will learn tonight whether it will continue representation of 900 Virginia paper workers, many of them who are supportive of an independent union formed by former USW local officers.
  • Let Them Walk and Carry Signs. Did you know that crossing guards are unionized in the State of Rhode Island? And, did you know the City of Warwick gave the crossing guards lifetime health care and pension benefits? No, really! Well, apparently the mayor of Warwick thought the same thing so he fired all the crossing guards. Problem is, the State Labor Relations Board ordered the city to rehire the crossing guards and pay them the salaries and benefits they would have been paid under the terms of their last contract. [Of course, at taxpayer expense.]
  • Union Fundraiser: ‘Raids Made Possible Only Through the Support of Members Like You.’ The Willamette Reds report that the National Union of Healthcare Workers (the union formerly known as SEIU United Healthcare West) had a successful trip to the AFL-CIO Convention two weeks ago, receiving financial pledges from unions around the country. This will allow the NUHW to continue its fight against the Purple People Eater, otherwise known as the SEIU.
  • Speaking of Union Raids… The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is raiding another union’s 6,700 members in Suffolk, NY
  • Goodyear’s Steelworker Contract Saves 1/2 Billion+. The new contract covers 10,300 workers at plants in Akron, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan.; and Union City, Tenn.
  • Everyone is NUTS over ACORN! Of all the czars and union stars proliferating the White House these days, Patrick Gaspard, former SEIU and ACORN front man and current White House Director of Political Affairs (think Karl Rove) has caught the attention of RedState.
  • Where ACORN gets its Nutty Flavor. Union-Free America has posted where some of ACORN’s green money making machine comes from. [Here’s a hint: Unions.]
  • Between a Rock and a Boulder. When teachers abandon school kids for picket lines, education gets short changed. However, in Boulder, CO, the school superintendent plans to use subs to keep schools open.
  • Speaking of Rocky Relations in the Rockies. UFCW-represented grocery workers at Safeway and City Markets have rejected their employers’ offers, setting the stage for a strike.
  • Teamsters get a Time OUT. After representing workers at El Paso’s Time Warner Cable for 30 years, the Teamsters were ousted (130 to 90) by TWC employees.
  • …And Bombs with Plans for FedEX. Teamsters’ most recent efforts to run FedEx (into the ground) by busting founder Fred Smith’s job into two were shot down by shareholders.
  • Take this Shot & Shove it! Hundreds of health care workers in New York protest mandatory pig flu shots: When asked if he’s willing to lose his job, Frank Mannino, RN, said, “Absolutely. I will not take it, will not be forced. This is still America.” [Um… okay…]
  • Don’t Do the Crime if You Can’t Do the Time. Only in New Jersey. Anthony R. Ambrosio pled guilty to five charges, including embezzlement of an employee benefit program, tax evasion and conspiracy, and now faces up to 25 years in prison and $6 million in fines. One of his charges was paying $20,000 (+/-) to leaders of the Operating Engineers Local 825.

And, that, dear readers, concludes this week’s Labor Shorts.

Best wishes for a productive and prosperous week’s end.

For more news and views on today’s labor unions, join LaborUnionReport’s group on Linkedin or follow us on Twitter.

“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 ACORN, AFL-CIO, Labor Shorts, SEIU, United Steelworkers

LABOR SHORTS: Exposing Today’s Union Bosses One Skid Mark at a Time

Welcome to LaborUnionReport’s Labor Shorts, where we expose today’s union bosses one skid mark at a time.

You might ask: What is Labor Shorts?

Well, picture New York Times’ labor columnist Steven Greenfield hooking up with Paris Hilton after she’s done about two grams of blow:

Labor Shorts is a fast and easy way to keep you up to date and interested in a freak-show-kind-of-way on the latest union news.

For example:

And that, dear readers, is LaborUnionReport’s Labor Shorts.

For more union-related news stories, join LaborUnionReport’s group on Linkedin.

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

To join the other 1,500 decision makers and influential subscribers, get our exclusive newsletter by going here.

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Filed under ACORN, AFL-CIO, NLRB, UFCW, United Steelworkers

OBAMA NAMING UNION GUY IN CHARGE OF AMERICA’S MANUFACTURING IS LIKE PUTTING DRACULA IN CHARGE OF COLLECTING BLOOD

Putting a union commissar in charge of America’s manufacturing policy is like putting Dracula in charge of blood collections. Yet, that is exactly what President Barack Obama is doing today (Labor Day) when he names former United Steelworkers’ honcho Ron Bloom to become America’s Manufacturing Czar or, in politcal parlance, Senior Counselor for Manufacturing Policy.

Already serving as one of Obama’s Car Czars, Bloom is known for pushing the US automakers, General Motors and Chryster to draft out questionably viable plans for the future and pushed the CEO of GM to resign.

It should also be noted that Bloom & Co. also crafted the tax-payer funded bailout of the auto industry, which included the controversial bypassing of esablished bankruptcy law and putting the UAW in front of other creditors.

Given unions’ track records (see union graphic at right) in causing the demise of so many industries, not the least of which are the auto, steel, and textile industries, as well as the closure of tens of thousands of unionized companies, the decision to put a union activist in charge of the nation’s manufacturing policy seems akin to putting the fox into the henhouse or giving Dracula the job of collecting blood.

According to a statement posted on ABC News, President Obama states:

“Last week we learned that our manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in 18 months and had the highest monthly output in two years. It’s a sign that we’re on the right track to economic recovery, but that we still have a long way to go. That’s why I’ve asked Ron Bloom to help coordinate my Administration’s manufacturing policy. Distinguished by his extraordinary service on the Auto Task Force and his extensive experience with both business and labor, Ron has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the way in creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs of the future. We must do more to harness the power of American ingenuity and productivity so that we can put people back to work and unleash our full economic potential.”

Bloom’s statement:

“A strong manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of American competitiveness and a critical part of President Obama’s economic strategy. As we meet the challenges of globalization and technological change, it is vital to have a concerted effort across the Administration to support an innovative, vibrant manufacturing sector.”

The appointment of Bloom comes a mere two days after the ignomonious resignation of Van Jones, Obama’s Green Jobs Czar.

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Filed under Car czar, Manufacturing Czar, Ron Bloom, UAW, United Steelworkers

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.

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Filed under Amalgamated Transit Union, American Postal Workers Union, Bakery Workers Union, Roofers, United Steelworkers

Update on Union Pensions: Officers Funds Flush as Rank & File Suffer

Following our post below wherein we described the sorry state of union pensions, the following article was forwarded to us.

The Washington Examiner is reporting that:

Pension plans for union officers remain healthy and well-funded even as rising liabilities threaten to consume the savings of their rank and file counterparts who participate in different funds within the same labor organization, according to a Hudson Institute study.

This disparity became evident from a sample of the 21 largest union and staff pension plans from the same organizations. They are: The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), UNITE-HERE, the United Steelworkers, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Plumbers and Pipefitters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Sheet Metal Workers and the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.

“This issue of rank and file pension plans being funded less than the officer pension
plans is extraordinarily serious and shows a great moral failing on the part of the unions,” said Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute who authored the study.

Read the entire article here.

Hat-tip to Bret Jacobson

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Filed under IBEW, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Service Employees International Union, UFCW, Union Pension Plans, UNITE-HERE, United Food and Commercial Workers, United Steelworkers