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A $12-minimum wage mandate threatens entry-level workers

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This is by Jason Hart @ Watchdog.org.

Let the market determine wages not the government.

 

A $12 minimum wage proposed by congressional Democrats would hurt the workers lawmakers are trying to help — those lacking experience and education.

Wage mandates “can destroy existing jobs, and they can result in fewer future jobs being created,” Hadley Heath Manning, of the free-market Independent Women’s Forum, told Watchdog.org.

“It’s harder to see the effect of the latter, but it’s just as important,” Heath said in an email. “This job-loss effect is particularly hard on teenagers and low-skilled, entry-level workers.”

Heath pointed to several sources, including a CNN Money story about Seattle business owners grappling with a local $15 minimum wage being phased in over several years.

A $12 minimum wage would be imposed nationally by 2020.

The Raise the Wage Act — introduced by Washington Sen. Patty Murray and Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott — would be a huge leap from the existing $7.25 minimum, topping all but the highest state mandates.

The Raise the Wage Act would limit options for people willing to work for less and employers forced to pay low-skill workers more, Heath explained. Layoffs and reductions in hiring are just two of several likely outcomes.

“When labor costs go up, that money has to come from somewhere — consumers will find that prices go up or stockholders will find that they are getting less returns,” she said.

“Few may be crying over the idea of lower returns for stockholders, but lots of stocks are held by people who aren’t rich and receiving pensions,” Heath continued. “And lower profitability discourages investment, which is important for all of us in terms of job creation.”

Small businesses — from restaurants to bookstores to coffee shops — are especially ill-equipped for costly government mandates. The Faces of $15, a project of minimum wage critics at the Employment Policies Institute, tracks negative consequences small businesses face in Seattle and elsewhere.

If the $15 minimum wage demanded by labor unions is too much, might $12 be the magic number? Or was President Obama on track when he began pushing a $10.10 minimum wage?

“The $12 by 2020 plan is more incremental but more permanent, as it would tie minimum wage to median wages and would also harmfully phase out the lower subminimum wage for tipped jobs,” Heath said.

“So, in the short run, perhaps the president’s plan is worse. In the long run, the $12 by 2020 plan is worse,” she opined.

“We shouldn’t aim to get minimum wage ‘just right.’ There should be no minimum wage at all,” Heath said, citing economist Milton Friedman’s point that the real minimum wage is always $0: “That’s what jobless workers earn.”

Although it’s not $15, union officials see Murray and Scott’s $12 by 2020 plan as progress.

Mary Kay Henry, president of Service Employees International Union, and Richard Trumka, president of union coalition AFL-CIO, endorsed the bill the day it was unveiled.

Their endorsements were accompanied by a lengthy Economic Policy Institute defense of the Raise the Wage Act — hardly a surprise, since Henry sits on EPI’s board of directors, and Trumka is chairman of the board.

Wage mandates are a boon to labor bosses because they hamper competition from non-union businesses and often mean contractually obligated raises for union workers, which increase union dues taken as a percentage of wages.

Employers can afford a mandated $12 minimum wage, EPI explained, because wages haven’t kept up with productivity gains. EPI used data from 1968, the year the minimum wage peaked relative to overall wages, as a benchmark.

EPI economist David Cooper told Watchdog.org, “We believe the economy could support a $12 minimum wage by 2020 without any negative effect on employment.”

“Phasing-in the increases to $12 over a five-year period would be a pace consistent with the increases the US has done in the past two decades, which have been studied extensively and found to have had little to no effect on employment,” Cooper said in an email.

“Shifting more income into the pockets of low-wage workers would likely put those dollars right back into the businesses facing higher labor costs, as workers go out and spend their increased earnings,” he explained.

But Heath noted the argument that minimum wage mandates cycle money back into the economy is flawed because “the money that is going to wage earners has to be taken from someone else.”

“If you want to help the poor, then the focus should be helping low-skill workers get a job in the first place,” she said.

“The good news is that some employers — like (Walmart), for example — are deciding to raise wages on their own. But a government mandate to force all employers to follow suit could end up harming the very people that they want to help.”

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Seven union front groups fighting labor reform this year

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This is by  Jason Hart@ Watchdog.org.

I hope I live to see unions finally get shut down for good.

I have belonged to three different unions in my life, not one gave a damn about the workers just the dues money they shake down workers for.

 

Watch for union bosses to fight state labor reforms using pseudo-grassroots front groups this year, though the tactic has seen mixed results.

Right-to-work, loathed by labor bosses because it enables workers to choose whether to pay a union, is seen as a possibility in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Missouri and West Virginia in 2015. Several states are considering paycheck protection, which prevents using taxpayer resources to collect union dues.

In 2011, government unions created We Are Wisconsin and We Are Ohio to spin government union reforms as attacks on workers. Unions failed to block Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 but successfully overturned Ohio Senate Bill 5 in a referendum against the law limiting public union power.

Act 10 did not apply to public safety workers, so Wisconsin remains one of 23 states where some or all government workers can be forced to pay a union as a condition of employment. Workers in the private sector can be forced to pay unions in 26 states.

In addition to We Are Wisconsin, leftist groups including Service Employees International Union front Wisconsin Jobs Now are helping union coalition AFL-CIO in its Badger State campaign against right-to-work.

Photo credit: MacIver Institute NOVAK: MacIver Institute Communications Director Nick Novak Photo credit: MacIver Institute

 

“Right-to-Work will be good for Wisconsin’s workers, businesses and its families. This policy simply gives workers the freedom to choose whether or not they want to be in a union,” Nick Novak, communications director for Wisconsin’s free-market MacIver Institute, said in an email to Watchdog.org.

“While unions and their front groups will likely push back against any policy that challenges the status quo, the state’s policymakers have shown they have the courage to stand up to special interests and support what is best for Wisconsin,” Novak continued.

Whether legislators in other states are willing to face smear campaigns from unions and leftists reliant on union largesse is yet to be seen.

With help from union-funded politicians and activist groups, unions strive to create the appearance of broad opposition to labor reform. A national “Right to Work is wrong for everyone” campaign is being led by Jobs With Justice, an AFL-CIO front with affiliates in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

AFL-CIO activist group American Rights at Work was folded into Jobs With Justice in 2012. Unions contributed more than $1.5 million to Jobs With Justice and its affiliates in 2012, and gave the nonprofit more than $1.9 million in 2013.

National Education Association, SEIU and AFL-CIO set the union script nationwide by calling right-to-work extreme, unfair and even unsafe — a message legacy media reporters broadcast with assertions right-to-work is an attack on collective bargaining.

“Left-leaning unions will try to paint this policy as ‘union bashing,’ but nothing could be further from the truth,” Novak told Watchdog.org. “States with RTW laws have seen better economic growth than non-RTW states, and union membership has actually increased in RTW states at the same time it has declined in non-RTW states.”

“Workers deserve a choice when it comes to joining a union, and that is exactly what RTW does,” he added. “No one should be forced to join an organization they don’t want to — they should be given a choice — and this policy gives workers that choice.”

We Are Ohio, calling itself a “citizen-driven, community-based bipartisan coalition,” has received 96 percent of more than $40 million in total funding from unions. Roughly half of We Are Ohio’s funding has come from union bosses in Washington, D.C.

Ohio legislators hoping to advance right-to-work for both the public and private sectors are up against fellow Republicans —including Gov. John Kasich — who are frightened of or friendly with union bosses. Many Ohio Republicans get campaign contributions from unions.

Kasich was endorsed for re-election last fall by several private-sector unions, including International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18. IUOE Local 18 runs Keep Ohio’s Heritage, a propaganda shop funded with $1 million from IUOE headquarters in D.C.

The Committee to Protect MO Families calls itself “a growing broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals who have come together to oppose so-called ‘Right to Work’ efforts in Missouri” and was created in 2013 by Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis & Vicinity.

We Are Missouri, “a diverse coali­tion of workers, stu­dents, seniors and their fam­i­lies,” is led by the Missouri AFL-CIO and funded by AFL-CIO headquarters in D.C.

 

Company accuses labor union of forging signatures for political gain

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This is from the Wisconsin Reporter@ Watchdog.org.

The Service Employees International Union doing what unions do best lying, forging documents and intimidating workers.

Not to mention shaking their members down for more and more dues money and extorting businesses.

 

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — A home health-care company contracted with the Milwaukee County Department of Family Care is accusing a local labor union of forging workers’ signatures to collect more money for political activity.

Art Beck, a Milwaukee attorney representing Sally Sprenger, owner of Supportive Homecare Options Inc., told Wisconsin Reporter two employees have come forward since April alleging they were signed up to make contributions without their authority.

The contributions were for the Committee on Political Education through the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Wisconsin.

After reviewing their forms for voluntary COPE deductions, which help fund union causes for political gain, the workers discovered their signatures were fraudulent, Beck said.

“It’s like a foreign document to them,” Beck said of the COPE application sheet. “They never saw it (before).”

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin in May agreed to conduct an internal investigation after Supportive Homecare Options contacted the union about the complaints.

READ SEIU’s RESPONSE TO ALLEGATIONS OF FORGED SIGNATURES

Dian Palmer, president of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, wrote Beck on Aug. 11, saying she could not find proof that any of her people signed the COPE documents.

“We have spoken to our staff to determine if there were any circumstances in which they had signed cards for members,” Palmer says in the letter. “They state they have not, and we do not have evidence to the contrary.”

But Sprenger contends SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin should be able to figure out who penned the COPE applications. Union representatives receive a commission whenever they sign someone up for the voluntary deductions, she said.

“If the people who signed our employees’ names got a commission off this, we think they should be able to go back into their books and see who did it How could you not have data on who got the commission on these people?” Sprenger said.

Palmer, who made $154,596 in 2013, has not returned at least 35 calls and emails from Wisconsin Reporter over the past 10 days.

Photo by Adam Tobias

NO EVIDENCE?: SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin President Dian Palmer claims that none of her staff forged the signatures of Supportive Homecare Options employees.

Supportive Homecare Options asked SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin to turn over the union contracts of the company’s nearly 300 union members. Management intends to compare those signatures with verified signatures on tax forms and other work-related records, according to Beck.

So far, Supportive Homecare Options has acquired several hundred COPE applications, but a majority of them are duplicates, Sprenger said.

“We still don’t have every one yet after four months,” Sprenger told Wisconsin Reporter.

Sprenger said she and her lawyer will weigh their options after her staff reviews all the signatures on the COPE cards to determine whether there were more incidents of forgery.

A different Supportive Homecare Options employee said she was overcharged for COPE contributions for months. She  asked the union to reduce her deduction by $2 a pay period but continued to be charged the original amount, Beck said.

Beck says SEIU never submitted that request to Supportive Healthcare Options, which is responsible for deducting union fees from employees’ paychecks and sending the money to SEIU.

But all workers who reported unauthorized payments are getting their money back through the hold harmless clause, according to Beck. The refunds come from future union dues or fees.

“Even though the union hasn’t done anything about it, we have not allowed the employees to suffer as a result of it,” Beck told Wisconsin Reporter. “We have done what we could do to make them whole.”

Supportive Homecare Options has been negotiating a collective-bargaining agreement with SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin since December, but both sides have been unable to reach a deal.

Because of the recent forgery allegations, Sprenger said she is trying to relieve her company of the responsibility of deducting and paying union dues.

“There’s no reason why we should have to worry anymore about being embroiled in these conflictsWe were becoming an accomplice to forgery,” Beck told Wisconsin Reporter.

Since SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin has been made aware of the accusations, Palmer said, the appropriate union representatives have been reminded they cannot sign any documents on behalf of a member.

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin has implemented a process in which managers check authorizations for membership and COPE deductions before the cards are submitted into the union’s system and sent to the employer, according to Palmer.

But Spenger said the main sticking point in the collective bargaining negotiations has been SEIU’s demands she force all her employees to join the union.

Sprenger has been told by SEIU she wouldn’t have to pay her staff the Milwaukee County mandated “living wage” of $11.32 an hour if she signed up all her 1,200 workers for union membership.

The living wage law, written by Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen with help from SEIU-affiliated officials, includes a provision that exempts county-contracted companies from paying the living wage if the employer agrees to a contract with a labor union.

While SEIU would see about $300,000 in extra revenue each year with the added membership, Supportive Homecare Options employees would end up making less because of the bi-weekly union dues.

Palmer and other SEIU representatives were able to persuade Bowen to request a county audit of Supportive Homecare Options for what Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander calls “political retribution.

Bowen has received numerous campaign contributions and political endorsements from SEIU and its front group, Wisconsin Jobs Now.

Members of SEIU and Wisconsin Jobs Now organized a protest last week near Supportive Homecare Options, but Sprenger noticed only two of her company’s employees attending.

Fast Food Workers Warn of Civil Disobedience If They Don’t Get $15 Per Hour

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This is from Godfather Politics.

Go ahead and give it your best shot as you can and will be replaced with other workers and machines.

Even if you get close to your demands how long before you let go due to decreasing sales and demand for you?

The SEIU does not give a Damn about you they just wants more dues and to see how much they can extort from companies.

 

In the movie “Blazing Saddles,” there’s a great scene where the sheriff, to save himself from a town full of gun-wielding bigots, pulls out his gun and points it at his own head, using two different voices to convince the townsfolk to drop their weapons or “I’ll blow this n—–‘s head all over this town!” The townsfolk buy it, dropping their guns, even crying out, “isn’t anybody gonna help this poor man?” as the sheriff backs away to safety.

That scene came to mind upon hearing about the growing movement by fast food workers who think they should be paid $15 per hour for overcooking low-grade beef and getting orders wrong.

A representative of the Service Employees International Union, Kendall Fells, said that the burger flippers will begin taking actions that are “more high profile” and could include deliberate civil disobedience if they don’t get their way.

Around 1,300 french fry jockeys are meeting today and Saturday in Villa Park, Illinois, to discuss doing “whatever it takes” to get $15 an hour and a union. Presumably, someone else paid for their bus tickets and hotel rooms, because who can afford that on minimum wage?

The lampreys at the SEIU must really be desperate for cash if they think this monkey will fly.

Fast food workers as a group aren’t known for their high brain wattage, but even someone who can make proper change only half the time should be able to calculate what will happen if the rate of pay for every minimum wage worker doubles.

That money doesn’t come out of some magic vault at McDonald’s headquarters. It’s paid for with sandwiches, chicken McNuggets and milkshakes sold to customers. Owners of individual restaurants expect a certain return on their business because — believe it or not, libs — they want to support their families, too, and they’ve worked hard so that they can run a business instead of working a cash register or a deep fryer.

It should be obvious that there’s a balance between the number of customers and what they’re willing to pay. Raise prices and you’ll lose customers. Lose too many customers and the restaurant’s income will fall despite charging more per item. That translates into lost jobs.

If workers’ wages are to double, plus the cost of whatever benefits the union will demand, the restaurants need to increase their income, which means a whole lot more customers per restaurant. With this current economy, and barring some sudden national craving for poorly constructed hamburgers, the only way that will happen is by reducing the number of restaurants competing for the number of potential customers. That’s a losing game, too, because fewer restaurants means longer drives for consumers, and there’s only so far people will go for a Fillet o’ Fish. Again, that adds up to lost jobs.

Then the other option for owners to make up the shortfall caused by the suddenly ridiculous wages is to cut hours and outright eliminate positions. More people will lose jobs, and those who don’t won’t be working full-time. Between that and higher taxes for that increased wage, any potential income increase workers may have expected could be totally nullified.

The fast food workers of this country are acting like the sheriff in “Blazing Saddles,” creating a ridiculous situation that they expect everybody to buy in to, but really, they’re just pointing a gun at their own heads. The words on the bullet are “livable wage,” but it’s still a bullet. The workers are being taken advantage of by the SEIU, which stands to collect a chunk of change from every newly unionized paycheck, regardless of whether the individual workers get any actual benefit.

I suppose some good might come of this. If the workers succeed in their demands, it will drastically shrink the fast food industry and might help America shed some unwanted pounds. Unfortunately, all the fat that will be trimmed will go directly to the unemployment office. One way or another, we‘ll all pay for the SEIU lining its pockets.
Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/16413/fast-food-workers-warn-civil-disobedience-dont-get-15-per-hour/#IZuLpaEBd49jL1CJ.99

Pulling back the curtain on union front organizations

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This is from The Tampa Tribune.

I am going to borrow a line from Casablanca.

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

I am(not) shocked the United Food and Commercial Workers union is

hiring useful idiots to do their bidding.

I hope to see the day the unions are broken.

 

Over the past year, groups called worker centers — also called union front organizations or UFOs — have launched repeated “days of action” against multiple fast-food and retail businesses, including here in Florida. They have urged non-union workers to go on strike and claim that thousands of employees have walked off their jobs in solidarity. They maintain that a whole new social movement is spearheading these protests.

Although making for good media, the reality hasn’t been quite so grandiose. In fact, the supposedly massive protests and strikes launched against various employers have typically involved a small cadre of paid union organizers and like-minded compatriots from what might be described as the professional agitating class, whose tactics seem intended primarily to satisfy an itch for excitement and generate press. Very few actual workers seem to be participating.

This truth is revealed in public court documents filed in a Florida lawsuit involving the UFO “OUR Walmart,” which portrays itself as an organic movement of Wal-Mart associates. In reality, OUR Walmart is simply an arm of the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which has been trying to unionize Wal-Mart for years.

Although there are many UFOs in existence, OUR Walmart is one of the most active, so the court documents provide a particularly relevant example of how these groups operate and what really goes into a typical “day of action.”

First, the public documents reveal that OUR Walmart consists primarily of paid UFCW staff, not Wal-Mart associates. Aside from these professional organizers, the UFCW also brings in interns to provide bodies for demonstrations. The UFCW provides media and public relations support for the allegedly independent OUR Walmart, and drafts the literature distributed by the group. Finally, the UFCW plans, organizes, directs, and carries out OUR Walmart protests.

Second, the UFCW supplements the ranks of its “protestors” with staff from other unions and union-funded allies. For example, planning for a 2012 “strike” at a Florida Wal-Mart was coordinated with the UFCW, UNITE-HERE, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Interfaith Workers for Justice. UFCW worked with all of these groups to ensure that their protest would look significant.

Coordination for other Florida protests was carried out with groups such as MoveOn.org. Such coordination was apparently needed — in an email sent during the planning for a Miami demonstration one staffer warned that “turnout will be low,” and in another email a lead organizer plaintively refers to “one” Wal-Mart associate who supposedly wanted to go on strike.

What might be described as amateur pranks are another hallmark of UFOs. During one demonstration, a small group of protesters infiltrated a Wal-Mart store to launch an obscenity-laced “flash-mob.” In another instance, six participants drove a van equipped with a projection camera and speakers into a Wal-Mart parking lot so they could beam self-made movies against an outside wall of the store. Organizers of a November 2012 protest instructed a small group of union staff to “trickle into the [Wal-Mart] lot a few at a time so we don’t tip our hand.” In an email sent to his colleagues, one of those organizers stated: “I like the idea of having customer ‘plants’ leave the [checkout] line to join the action. Are there a few folks we can send over early to stand in line?” Authentic grassroots, this is not.

The public court documents highlight the nature of OUR Walmart’s activities, but they could just as easily describe the numerous fast food protests as well. These so-called strikes have been organized and staffed by the SEIU, one of the country’s largest unions, but also seem to lack much employee support.

Despite the picture painted by the SEIU and UFCW, the various and sundry protest activities sponsored by these unions have yet to spark the desired mass uprising. Long on headlines but short on participants, this seems less a social movement than an outlet for wanna-be revolutionaries.

Glenn Spencer is vice president of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. See more at www. workforcefreedom.com

 

Coverage may be unaffordable for low-wage workers under ObamaCare

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This is from Fox News Politics.

So you think health care is expensive now?

Just wait until Obamacare kicks in in 2014.

Your free health care will break the bank for most Americans.

 

It’s called the Affordable Care Act, but President Obama’s health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.

That might seem strange since the law requires medium-sized and large employers to offer “affordable” coverage or face fines.

But what’s reasonable? Because of a wrinkle in the law, companies can meet their legal obligations by offering policies that would be too expensive for many low-wage workers.  For the employee, it’s like a mirage — attractive but out of reach.

The company can get off the hook, say corporate consultants and policy experts, but the employee could still face a federal requirement to get health insurance.

Many are expected to remain uninsured, possibly risking fines. That’s due to another provision: the law says workers with an offer of “affordable” workplace coverage aren’t entitled to new tax credits for private insurance, which could be a better deal for those on the lower rungs of the middle class.

Some supporters of the law are disappointed. It smacks of today’s Catch-22 insurance rules.
“Some people may not gain the benefit of affordable employer coverage,” acknowledged Ron Pollack, president of Families USA, a liberal advocacy group leading efforts to get uninsured people signed up for coverage next year.

“It is an imperfection in the new law,” Pollack added. “The new law is a big step in the right direction, but it is not perfect, and it will require future improvements.”

Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, the 2-million-member service-sector labor union, called the provision “an avoidance opportunity” for big business. SEIU provided grass-roots support during Obama’s long struggle to push the bill through Congress.

The law is complicated, but essentially companies with 50 or more full-time workers are required to offer coverage that meets certain basic standards and costs no more than 9.5 percent of an employee’s income. Failure to do so means fines for the employer. (Full-time work is defined as 30 or more hours a week, on average.)

But do the math from the worker’s side: For an employee making $21,000 a year, 9.5 percent of their income could mean premiums as high as $1,995 and the insurance would still be considered affordable.

Even a premium of $1,000 — close to the current average for employee-only coverage — could be unaffordable for someone stretching earnings in the low $20,000’s.

With such a small income, “there is just not any left over for health insurance,” said Shannon Demaree, head of actuarial services for the Lockton Benefit Group.  “What the government is requiring employers to do isn’t really something their low-paid employees want.”

Based in Kansas City, Mo., Lockton is an insurance broker and benefits consultant that caters to many medium-sized businesses affected by the health care law. Actuaries like Demaree specialize in cost estimates.

Another thing to keep in mind: premiums wouldn’t be the only expense for employees. For a basic plan, they could also face an annual deductible amounting to $3,000 or so, before insurance starts paying.

“If you make $20,000, are you really going to buy that?” asked Tracy Watts, leader of the health care group at Mercer, a major benefits consulting firm.

And low-wage workers making more than about $15,900 won’t be eligible for the law’s Medicaid expansion, shutting down another possibility for getting covered.

It’s not exactly the picture the administration has painted. The president portrays his health care law as economic relief for struggling workers.

“Let’s make sure that everybody who is out there working hard and doing the right thing, that they’re not going to go bankrupt because they get sick, that they’re going to have health care they can count on,” Obama said in a Chicago appearance last summer during the presidential campaign. “And we got that done.”

White House senior communications advisor Tara McGuinness downplayed concerns. “There has been a lot of conjecture about what people might do or could do, but this hasn’t actually happened yet,” she said. “The gap between sky-is-falling predictions about the health law and what is happening is very wide.”

The administration believes “most businesses want to do right by their employees and will continue to use tax breaks to provide quality coverage to their workers,” she added. Health insurance is tax deductible for employers, and the health law provides additional tax breaks to help small businesses.

Virtually all major employers currently offer health insurance, although skimpy policies offered to many low-wage workers may not meet the requirements of the new law. Companies affected have been reluctant to telegraph how they plan to comply.

“It clearly isn’t going to be a morale-boosting moment when you redo your health plan to discourage participation,” said Stern, the former labor leader, now a senior fellow at Columbia University. “It’s not something most want to advertise until they are sure it’s the right decision.”

The National Retail Federation‘s top health care expert said there’s no “grand scheme to avoid responsibility” among employers. “That is a little too Machiavellian,” said Neil Trautwein.

Nonetheless, he acknowledged it’s “a possible outcome” that low-wage workers could find coverage unaffordable because of the wrinkle in the law.

It might have turned out differently, added Trautwein, if Democrats had followed traditional congressional practice and taken the House and Senate versions of the bill to a conference committee. They could have worked out such quirks. But leaders determined that path was fraught with political peril after Democrats lost their 60-vote Senate majority in 2010.

“I can’t help but thinking, they would have figured out a few more of these corners that don’t meet,” Trautwein said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/14/coverage-may-be-unaffordable-for-low-wage-workers-under-obamacare/#ixzz2WCus9DRb

Don’t Expect Unions To Turn the Other Cheek

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This is from Last Resistance.

I look for the Obama DOJ to try to void Michigan‘s Right To Work Law.

Obama and the DemocRats would their souls to the union thugs.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end for these union thugs.

Before we begin to celebrate the States rights victory signed into law in Michigan two days ago, let us all take note that laws are always open to legal challenge and money buys both politicians and verdicts in America. To Democrats and their union benefactors “right to work” laws threaten organized labor’s patronage cartel, and as sure as the day you were born Obama’s Justice Department is going to cram a federal fist down Lansing’s throat and send a painful message to big labors opponents.

It goes without saying that President Obama and Democrats owe organized labor a debt of gratitude for helping finance a 2012 Presidential victory and saving a Senate majority. A cursory look at big labor’s financial influence may shed some light on just how much loyalty is owed to big labor.

Topping the list of America’s heavy hitting campaign contributors for 2011-2012 is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) followed by the holders of the seventh, eighth, and ninth spots on the list: Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AFL-CIO, and the National Education Association. The combined totals for all contributions originating from these unions and given to candidates, PACS, parties and outside spending groups is somewhere around $89 million dollars. I think it’s safe to say somebody owes somebody real big.

My favorite union thug, the AFSCME, represents 3,500 union locals with 1.6 million active and retired members working in public service and healthcare; in other words government employees. According to their website AFSCME members “share a common commitment to public service.” For AFSCME members “serving the public is not just a job, it’s a calling.” I tried calling the people with a calling to inquire about tax payer money being laundered from Unions to Democrats. I kept getting a computer that couldn’t answer my questions, because I didn’t know which number to push to get to someone serving the public, so we’ll have to wait and see if they respond to my public request for a comment. Right!

While working to keep America’s “families safe” and keeping “our communities strong” this noble tax payer funded union managed to contribute $38.5 million dollars to PACS, parties and outside spending groups benefitting Democrats. Now if you ask me that’s a heck of a lot of taxpayer money funneling back to Washington’s greasy little palms.

The AFSCME ranks number one in the hearts of Democrat politicians who decide minor national issues like minimum wage, overtime pay, benefits, hiring, labor law and card check. In fact not one contribution or dollar spent on behalf of the AFSCME’s loyal membership was given in support of any Republican candidate our conservative cause for the 2012 election cycle.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees influence is not limited to elections. Last year the AFSCME spent over $2 million dollars to lobby our elected government on issues relating to Federal Budget & Appropriations, Education, Economic & Economic Development, Environment & Superfund and Government Issues. It’s worth noting that 2 of 10 AFSCME lobbyists have previously held government jobs.

Two former public servants turned Democrat Party bag men, David Marta (former assistant for Steny Hoyer and Dick Gephardt) and Marc Granowitter (former legislative assistant for Nancy Pelosi) now spend their days directing Democrat’s big labor crusades for AFSCME while tax payers foot the bill. After all as a 501c5, big labors champion doesn’t have to pay federal taxes.

So as taxpayers look to the future with the hope of shrinking government and reigning in out of control spending, watch Attorney General Eric Holder and his Civil Rights Division. I suspect that he will use his remaining time in Washington to execute brutally expensive hit and runs on State governments that refuse to conform to big labor’s demands. The will of the people is only respected when it has the backing of big cash and with big labors organized corruption owning the Executive Branch it’s only a matter of time before Obama and Democrats sue their way to a payoff.

(The data for this article can be found at www.opensecrets.org.)

The Evil That Unions Do

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This is from Freedom Outpost.

There was a time unions were useful.

Now they are useful idiots.

The demands by the union destroyed Hostess.

Unions have cost coal miners jobs in Indiana.

 

What can this be? What does this mean? Simply put, are Unions today good or bad? We know that Unions had begun early with Coal Miners and helped them obtain good working conditions and the Unions did help improve the working conditions across the United States. But have they done what is right for the people or have the Unions moved into the realm of Socialist, Communist, and Marxist? This question must be asked, it must be discussed especially now when it seems that the Unions can determine national elections and when they do it would seem to indicate that Unions now back the very groups our nation has fought to stop and many lives have been lost to keep the Socialist, Communist, Marxist, and all other Anti-United States groups from becoming powerful. But in recent decades, these Unions that had helped the people now “use” the people to obtain their friends and these friends are not friends of the United States!

Before the great Depression the unions were helping to make jobs better and the money derived from dues was used to help the members through relief funds and so on, but these ideas changed soon after when the Unions were infiltrated by members of the Communist Party. Once the Unions saw this begin to happen, they cleaned house and got rid of all these Communist Party people. In 1947 Congress saw that a law was needed to stop this Communist influence within the Unions. It was then that Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Labor Act, this act made it a requirement for Unions to file financial reports and affidavits showing that none of their officers were affiliated with or members of the Communist Party.

“From the 1950s through the mid-1990s, union leadership tended generally to be politically centrist. This trend was personified by such figures as Albert Shanker, who served as president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) from 1974 to 1997; George Meany, who led the AFL-CIO from 1955 to 1979; and Lane Kirkland, who succeeded Meany as AFL-CIO president from 1979 to 1995. When Shanker and Kirkland’s respective tenures ended in the 1990s, however, they were replaced by leftists like Sandra Feldman (AFT), and John Sweeney (AFL-CIO). These individuals, along with other leftist ideologues at the helm of powerful unions, quickly transformed the labor movement into a “progressive” crusade.”

As can be seen here and at other sites not listed here, the Unions began a strong move to the left. It should be most important to mention here or maybe remind everyone that the key word in the paragraph above is “Progressive”. Once again it has to be told that this one word, “Progressive” has and is used in place of Socialism/Communism. These Union people would never get anyone to follow them if they used either Socialism or Communism as what they really want, so they replaced those words with a seemingly harmless word of “Progressive” and now this one word is looked at as being good, but it is a shadow word, one that has a meaning that does not openly show what it truly is and the Unions have today moved into the “Progressive” movement so they could disguise their real intent to move toward a more Socialist/Communist ideology. But just why did the Unions make such a wild decision?

One of the largest Unions in the nation with about 1.8 million members has had a man associated with some known Socialists. This man, according to DiscoverTheNetworks, “Andrew Stern, the former New Leftist, served as president of the Service Employees International Union(SEIU) from 1996 to 2010. As Ryan Lizza, associate editor of The New Republic, notes, today’s SEIU leaders “tend to be radical, even socialist.”

“In 1996, for instance, Andrew Stern told SEIU officials that he expected “every leader at every level of this union, from the international president to the rank-and-file member, to devote five working days this year to political action” in support of the Democratic Party and its candidates. Meanwhile, another major union, the National Education Association (NEA), has assembled a permanent, paid, full-time staff of at least 1,800 United Service (UniServ) employees who function as political operatives — more than the Republican and Democratic Parties combined. Beyond this, leftwing unions like the SEIU and NEA contribute huge sums of money to Democratic candidates during every election season.”

Trevor Loudon, former vice president of ACT New Zealand, a political party that promotes free-market classical liberalism in the New Zealand Parliament, writes:

“[t]he U.S labor movement is now completely dominated by socialists and communists.”

In March 2011, Loudon reported that 96 union leaders and activists from 26 states had recently gathered for an “Emergency Labor Meeting” in Cleveland to “explore together what we can do to mount a more militant and robust fight-back campaign to defend the interests of working people.” This closed-door meeting was endorsed by many of the most radical socialist labor leaders in America, including affiliates of such groups as the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, the Democratic Socialists of America, the Communist Party USA, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Socialist Party USA, and the International Socialist Organization.”

Now this does not represent nor help the working people of the United states. It is more like a bunch of union people at the higher levels gathering together to see what they can do to make the United States become the United Socialist States! President Obama is also in line with their ideas or he would not have met with these leaders first, before those in Congress. What good could be had with a meeting of a bunch of people that are in deep affiliation with socialists and communists. Remember, Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL/CIO, has done the following actions:

“During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Trumka said: “There’s not a single good reason for any worker, especially any union member, to vote against Barack Obama.” By Trumka’s telling, whatever anti-Obama sentiment existed among American voters could be attributed largely to the racism of “right-wing race-haters” who “just can’t get past the idea that there’s something wrong with voting for a black man.”

In February 2009, President Obama named Trumka to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

On September 16, 2009, Trumka was elected president of the AFL-CIO, replacing the retiring John Sweeney.

On November 3, 2010 — the day after mid-term elections in which Democrats lost 6 Senate seats, more than 60 House seats, and 7 governorships — Communist Party USA Labor Commission chairman Scott Marshall emphasized that his organization had worked collaboratively on political campaigns with Trumka.

On February 18, 2011, Trumka revealed the extent of his involvement with the Obama administration: “I’m at the white House a couple times a week — two, three times a week. I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or in the administration. Every day.”

During his career as a union leader, Trumka has aligned himself with the agendas of the Progressive Caucus on numerous matters, most notably opposition to welfare reform and support for a single-payer healthcare system.”

Here it is shown that Trumka, the head of the AFL/CIO, of which all unions are a part of, aligns himself with the agenda of the Socialist/Communist Caucus, or more commonly known as the “Progressive Caucus”. This should be very troubling to many union workers because they actually believe that the union is working to make a better work place for them while the union heads are sitting at the table with socialists and communists and supporting their ideology, which the union members will end up hating. Our nation will become a poor and miserable place to live.

The protests on Black Friday by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and other unions against Wal- Mart and others are taking place with the idea to increase wages, which will increase the prices at these stores to cover the higher pay they would have to pay the workers if they do get the Wal-Mart employees to join a union. The protesters are being used by the unions so they can obtain even more money to elect more progressives that will help them obtain a single wage that everyone would make. It is a very bad situation because the unions do not really have the employees concerns in mind. They are just looking at the additional dues they can collect to place into their PACS for the election of more politicians that support the Socialist/Communist ideology!

“Now it has to be shown that the 1.8 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which ranks among the largest and fastest-growing unions in North America. Led by the former New Leftist Andrew Stern from 1996-2010, SEIU is a major component of the so-called “Shadow Democratic Party,” a nationwide network — conceived and funded by George Soros and his political allies — of unions, nonprofit activist groups, and think tanks whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats.”

DiscoverTheNetworks has so much information about why these unions want to have the United States “changed” into the Socialist/Communist state. This alone should scare and make people question why the unions have aligned themselves with the Socialists and Communists! Why do the unions do this? The unions were first developed to help the people and protect them from the huge corporations that nearly made the workers nothing more than slaves. But today, all the labor laws and rules that have come about due to the first unions that actually worked for better working conditions, have helped the people that are not in unions. What has to be looked at very closely is the Shadow Democratic Party, which is a very bad group and they only have one purpose and that is to rule with an iron hand and control all phases of government and corporations. This group encompasses nearly all the union heads and that is not a group with workers true concerns at hand.

As noted by the posting of the Tea Party National Director, it can be shown that some of these union actions are based directly upon one or more ideologies of either, socialism, communism, facism, or even Marxism.

Terminology is everything. Are we using the correct words to define the edicts being issued by the Obama Administration that ignore Congress and the government system that the United States has in place?

Let us first take a look at the definition of Socialism so we can begin to understand what the Unions have jumped into with their members not even being aware of unless they are blind!

so·cial·ism

[soh-shuh-liz-uhm]

1.a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

2.procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

3.(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

socialism (ˈsəʊʃəˌlɪzəm)

1. Compare capitalism an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels.

2. any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system.

3. (in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need.

Now this shows just what these unions are stating. The people need their union leaders to “direct” them to a better and more “equal” standing where everyone makes the same or very close to the same amount of money while working at a government owned facility that is not based upon profit, but just to keep the people working for the elite, also known as the politicians, to continue to show just how good they are at helping the unions and the people. Now as we can see from the definition of this one word it is almost the same idea that most of the unions have and that is they wish to be paid more, while at the same time they want cheap prices. If one looks at what the unions do, they always seem to force companies to accept the union and then they get mad when the companies raise the prices to pay the new union workers. Black Friday seems to have brought out the socialist unions in force and the best part is that it is the unions that want things to change, not the workers at Wal-Mart!

We had worked at unions and found that had the union not been there, the people still had ways to go to file complaints against the company and win. But the unions want all the people to join them and that will end up costing the very union workers more money. A very good example of this is the Auto Workers Union. If one pulls into the parking lot of one of their union shops, the people would see many more foreign cars than the very cars and trucks they get paid extremely well to make. Why? Because they want the cheaper, foreign car over the much more costly car or truck they make big bucks to make. How does that work for you? Is it any wonder that one sees more foreign cars on the road today than ones made here in the United States?

Now what about the word-Communism?

communism (ˈkɒmjʊˌnɪzəm)

1. advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community.

2. any social, economic, or political movement or doctrine aimed at achieving such a society.

3. ( usually capital ) Marxism Marxism-Leninism See also socialism a political movement based upon the writings of Marx that considers history in terms of class conflict and revolutionary struggle, resulting eventually in the victory of the proletariat and the establishment of a socialist order based on public ownership of the means of production.

4. ( usually capital ) a social order or system of government established by a ruling Communist Party, esp in the former Soviet Union.

5. chiefly ( US ) ( often capital ) any leftist political activity or thought, esp when considered to be subversive.

6. communal living; communalism

What do we see here? It is that Communism is closely related to both Socialism and Fascism. But Marxism, the one developed by Karl Marx, is the one President Obama studied while he was at Occidental College. It really does not matter which one of these ideologies is connected to the unions. What does matter is the fact that they are even associated with them! Unions were at one time very good, but today with the leaders of nearly all the unions going to the extreme left, they do not represent the people as they had begun to do. If the unions are aligned with these anti-business, anti-United States, anti-individual ideologies, then why should anyone be a part of them if they do indeed believe in freedom and the Constitution? These unions now seem to vilify the very things our nation was built upon. The question now becomes, what good is the union if they do not represent freedom and the Constitution? Ask that the next time a union member asks you to help them.

Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/11/the-evil-that-unions-do/#ixzz2DGCD6kne

 

Striking SEIU workers intentionally endangered CT nursing home patients, says company

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This is from The Daily Caller.

Thugs of SEIU endangering nursing home patients is lower than whale dung.

If you have a beef with your employer then strike if you must.

There is a special place reserved  in hell for these thugs.

There needs to be a special prosecutor appointed.

As the State Attorney General owes his soul to the SEIU.

After the collapse of 17-month-long union negotiations on July 3, unionized health-care workers walked out of five nursing home facilities in Connecticut, but not before placing some elderly patients in dire medical risk through acts of sabotage, according to the company that owns and operates the facilities.

“In the hours leading up to the strike by the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 SEIU (the Union) against five HealthBridge Management Health Care Centers in Connecticut, Union members engaged in multiple illegal and dangerous acts against Center residents,” reads a statement released by HealthBridge on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police reports obtained by The Daily Caller and reported Monday by the RedState blog, HealthBridge Management Health Care Centers alleged that union employees in at least three of its facilities intentionally mixed up or removed patient name plates, photos, medical bracelets and dietary advisories as they began their strike. Additionally, the police reports include allegations of both vandalism and larceny.

A July 3 police report from the Danbury Health Care Center in Danbury, Conn., states that “between the hours of 2300 [11:00 pm] on 7/2/12 and 0700 [7:00 am]  today, 7/3/12, there were several incidents that directly affected and potentially could have negatively impacted patient care.”

“The incidents ranged from clean linens being thrown on the floor to more serious incidents whereby patients’ identification wrist bands were removed as well as patient identifiers on room doors and wheelchairs.”

“There are no suspects,” the report continues, but “the persons involved are presumed to be employees who are part of a protest taking place outside outside against the Danbury Health Care Center.”

At the Newington Health Care Center, in Newington, Conn., police reported that “several items were discovered missing,” including six handles used to operate patient lifts for individuals with mobility problems. Several stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs were also reported missing.

The police report states that “prior to the employee labor strike … the name tags on the patient’s doors for the Alzheimer’s ward were mixed up. The photos attached to the medical records for these patients were removed further complicating, but not making impossible the identification of the patients.”

“Also, dietary blue stickers affixed to the door name tags were removed,” the report continued. A source with knowledge of HealthBridge’s operations told TheDC that those stickers identify residents that have dysphagia, or trouble swallowing. Those patients have special dietary restrictions to prevent them from choking.

In Stamford, Conn., a police report showed that the glass door on an industrial front-loading washing machine was smashed in at the Long Ridge of Stamford facility.

Reached for comment about the allegations and incidents, District 1199 SEIU spokeswoman Deborah Chernoff said she was unaware of any union employee being involved.

“There’s been no investigation that I’m aware of,” Chernoff told TheDC. “We don’t know anything about them other than what’s been posted on RedState.”

“If there’s anything to these reports, we expect them to be investigated by proper authorities,” she continued. “But we don’t know that there’s any substance to them [the allegations]. We have no reason to think so, other than what comes out of HealthBridge, and they have no credibility with us.”

HealthBridge’s Tuesday statement claims that when it reached out to the office of state Attorney General George Jepsen, a Democrat, they were turned away and told to speak with local law enforcement.

Jepsen’s longstanding relationship with SEIU has had a compromising effect on his discretion in the case.

On Monday and Tuesday, Jepsen joined the SEIU picket lines outside each of the five nursing homes operated by HealthBridge, to show “support for striking health care workers … [who] began strikes on July 3 over unfair labor practices after the company ended negotiations,” according to a media advisory on Jepsen’s official website.

Additionally, SEIU endorsed Jepsen in his 2010 campaign for the attorney general’s office. “Having the support of so many state employees will help me in my job as attorney general,” Jepsen said in 2010.

“Since the Attorney General has compromised his impartiality in this matter, we also call upon the Governor to appoint an independent Special Counsel to investigate the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 for what appears to be their involvement in these serious incidents,” HealthBridge’s statement added.

The attorney general’s office pushed back against that statement immediately Tuesday afternoon, but admitted the attorney general had a conflict of interest, saying he would be recusing himself from the “legal matters” involved with the case.

“There is no need for appointment of a special counsel,” said Susan Kinsman, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Jepson, in a statement to TheDC. “The Department of Public Health is the agency with authority to investigate adverse events at nursing homes. Healthbridge told the Office of the Attorney General that it was making a report to DPH. DPH confirmed with the OAG that it was aware of the reports and was looking into them.”

“The Attorney General has a responsibility to represent the broader public interest and his participation today [in the SEIU picket line] was aimed at drawing attention to important issues in hopes of expediting resolution of the conflict,” continued Kinsman. “Because Attorney General Jepsen has walked the picket line, he has recused himself from any legal matters involving Healthbridge and SEIU. The Office of the Attorney General, however, continues to serve as counsel to the Department of Public Health. If the agency’s investigation results in a request for legal assistance, the office is certainly prepared to provide it.”

HealthBridge told TheDC in response that prior to that statement, the company was unaware of the attorney general ever claiming he had recused himself.

“I believe that the office of the attorney general should be looking out for the well-being and safety of our residents,” Lisa Crutchfield, a spokeswoman for HealthBridge told TheDC when asked why the company was seeking the attorney general’s involvement.

“The union and the employees that are out on strike clearly put their own self-interest ahead of the safety of our residents,” Crutchfield said, “and we thought it is a matter that the state’s attorney general should pick up.”

If Jepsen’s conflict is keeping his office from opening an investigation, Connecticut’s governor might also be of little help in appointing a special counsel.

Connecticut Gov. Dannell Malloy, a Democrat, also walked the picket line with SEIU workers last week and criticized HealthBridge’s failure to reach an agreement with the union. “They’re trying to break the union, and we don’t want that to happen,” he told the striking workers.

A strikingly similar scenario has played out at least once before between Connecticut nursing homes and SEIU workers.

In 2001, District 1199 SEIU was again accused of sabotaging nursing home patients in the lead up to a worker strike.

The Hartford Current reported at the time that Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey “concluded in a damning report that many of the alleged incidents not only occurred but also were criminal.”:

“There is no doubt while some of the acts in question are crimes of nuisance and mischief, others could have had an effect resulting in seriously jeopardizing the [nursing home] residents’ health and safety,” the prosecutor’s report said.

Mr. Bailey’s investigators looked at evidence and information reported by 10 homes and found that equipment and sterile medical supplies had been tampered with, patient identification bracelets were removed, drugs were missing and a door to a supply room containing oxygen had been glued shut.

The removal of identification bracelets from patients apparently was the most pervasive act of sabotage — and could have had the most dangerous consequences because replacement workers would not know the patients. The bracelets are key to ensuring that patients get the right food and medicine.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/18/striking-seiu-workers-intentionally-endangered-ct-nursing-home-patients-says-company/#ixzz213qKp9Af

 

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