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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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America’s top labor union bosses raked in millions in 2014

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This is by Jason Hart@ Watchdog.org. 

These union thugs are making hundreds of thousands or dollars and in some cases millions from dues extroted from workers.

Yet they claim the rich are evil and they the union thug bosses represent the little people.

 

Union bosses known for bashing the rich are often millionaires themselves, paid with dues taken from workers’ paychecks.

Laborers’ International Union of North America president Terry O’Sullivan, who was paid $670,403 in 2014, slammed  and other critics of big government in a speech last July.

“Today’s Republican party has been hijacked, poisoned and taken over by a bunch of Tea Party maggots,” O’Sullivan shouted. “These anti-union, anti-worker bastards are not only crazy, they’re mean!”

When it comes to taking a huge paycheck from workers he claims to protect, O’Sullivan is in good company. Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, the International Association of Machinists and other powerful unions have done the same for years.

America’s union membership rate is in the midst of a decades-long decline, but labor union officials always seem to get paid. In 2013, 472 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 each.

Excluding the MLB Players Association and other unions representing professional athletes, 497 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 last year — not a bad haul for representatives of teachers, blue-collar workers and government employees.

Outside of the pro sports unions, 19 union bosses were paid more than $500,000 in 2014.

Some of the country’s top union officials work for specialized unions such as the Independent Pilots Association, and they represent predominantly high-income workers. Most do not.

In addition to O’Sullivan, the Laborers’ union paid 42 officers and employees more than $250,000 in 2014. How many officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 by the other construction unions?

  • United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters: 56 union officers and employees paid more than $250,000 in 2014
  • International Union of Operating Engineers: 34
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters: 28
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: 15
  • International Association of Machinists: 14
  • International Union of Painters & Allied Trades: 10

Outside of the construction industry, several other major unions paid more than 10 officers and employees more than a quarter-million dollars each in 2014.

United Food & Commercial Workers paid 40 union officials more than $250,000, International Longshoremen’s Association paid 17 officers and employees more than $250,000, and Transportation Communications Union paid 12 officers and employees more than $250,000.

America’s four largest unions — the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union, American Federation of Teachers and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — take taxpayer money from the paychecks of teachers and other public workers.

AFSCME paid 19 union officers and employees more than $250,000 last year. NEA had 10 officers and employees paid more than $250,000 each, while AFT had seven and SEIU had two.

In some cases, local union officials were paid even more than their national union counterparts.

AFSCME Local 3930 in San Diego paid finance director Gary Voice $680,721. UFCW Local 464 in New Jersey paid president John Niccollai $579,828.

In California, New Jersey and the 23 other states without right-to-work laws, workers can be forced to pay union bosses to have a job.

A list of America’s 100 highest-paid union bosses, filtered to exclude professional athletes’ unions, is included below. Payroll data come from the unions’ 2014 annual reports to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Name Total Pay, 2014 Union
William Trent $1,132,607 Independent Pilot Association
Donald Moak $825,539 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Jay Roth $824,475 Directors Guild Of America Inc
Ed Power $697,714 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Gary Voice $680,721 State County & Muni Empls AFL-CIO Local Union 3930
Terence O’Sullivan $670,403 Laborers
Newton Jones $639,034 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
David P. White $586,079 SAG-AFTRA
John Niccollai $579,828 Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 464
Peter Hasho $574,501 Int’l Brotherhood Of Trade Unions
Robert Scardelletti $564,194 Transportation Communications Union/Iam, AFL-CIO
Rhonda Weingarten $557,875 Teachers AFL-CIO
Armand Sabitoni $556,140 Laborers
William Mcdonough $544,137 Food & Commercial Wkrs
Dennis Van Roekel $541,632 National Education Assoc.
William Hite $522,988 Plumbers AFL-CIO
Harold Daggett $515,901 Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO
David Young $512,026 Writers Guild West
Joseph Maloney $501,392 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Jonathan Cohen $498,255 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
T Warren Fairley, Jr. $493,007 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Bruce York $489,852 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Kelly Richardson $489,330 Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO
James Callahan $488,377 Engineers, Operating, AFL-CIO
J Tom Baca $483,779 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Joseph Nigro $479,268 Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers
Lori Ames $467,010 United Service Workers Union, IUJAT
Edward Byrne Sr $462,057 United Service Workers Union, IUJAT
Matthew Loeb $459,616 Stage & Picture Operators AFL-CIO
Joseph Sellers $459,184 Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers
Douglas J Mccarron $455,102 Carpenters
Stephen Knott $452,565 Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO
Richard Johnson $449,716 Transportation Communications Union/Iam, AFL-CIO
Benny Holland Jr $440,759 Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO
Joseph Mancinelli $439,072 Laborers
Lori Garver $438,167 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Jean Bruny $435,845 Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 888
William Roberts $435,377 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Mark Mcmanus $434,735 Plumbers AFL-CIO
Terrence Healy $432,918 Laborers
Paul Rinaldi $428,408 Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO
Lawrence Mcmanamon $420,733 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Stephen Kelly $420,552 Plumbers AFL-CIO
Frank Bail $420,206 Retail Wholesale, Dc, Ufcw Local Union 1102
Edwin Hill $418,478 Electrical Workers Ibew AFL-CIO
Kenneth Rigmaiden $417,540 Painters AFL-CIO
John Previsich $414,408 Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers
Betty Ginsburg $413,301 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Jon Davis $412,793 Laborers
John Stocks $412,398 National Education Assoc.
Sean Mcgarvey $411,878 Bldg & Constrn Trades Dept AFL-CIO
Jim Johnson $408,313 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Walter Wise $408,257 Iron Workers AFL-CIO
James Grogan $406,623 Insulators AFL-CIO
Phil Barbarello $405,532 Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO
Ana Mcahron-Schulz $402,568 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
John Telford $396,371 Plumbers AFL-CIO
Andris J Silins $393,009 Carpenters
Frank Hanley $390,553 Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 464
William Creeden $390,259 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Ron Kutak $387,410 Stage & Picture Operators AFL-CIO Local Union 700
Patrick Finley $386,357 Plasterers & Cement Masons AFL-CIO
Joel Parker $386,184 Transportation Communications Union/Iam, AFL-CIO
Salvatore Chilia $384,120 Electrical Workers Ibew AFL-CIO
Tyler Brown $383,826 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
John Baker $379,569 Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO
James Hoffa $379,411 Teamsters
Liz Koby $377,328 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Thomas Bethel $376,671 American Maritime Officers, SIUNA
Thomas Callahan $376,625 Engineers, Operating, AFL-CIO Local Union 15
Keith Hagy $375,542 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Michael Robbins $374,425 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Theodore Green $373,581 Laborers
Douglas Banes $372,562 Carpenters
Linda Canan Stephens $371,390 State County & Muni Empls AFL-CIO
Larry Cann $371,236 Plumbers AFL-CIO
Gerald Owens $370,212 Longshoremens Assoc. AFL-CIO
Murray Morrissey $367,740 Retail Wholesale, Dc, Ufcw Local Union 338
David Krieger $367,433 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Joseph Senese $367,314 National Production Wkrs Union
John Penn $366,266 Laborers
Liberato Naimoli $365,588 Laborers Local Union 76
Randy Sowell $363,409 Carpenters
Russell Hollander $363,192 Directors Guild Of America Inc
Joseph Hansen $362,814 Food & Commercial Wkrs
Patricia Gilbert $362,165 Air Traffic Controllers AFL-CIO
James Mccourt $360,739 Insulators AFL-CIO
Robert Richardson $360,469 Laborers
William Hopkins $359,653 Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 455
Jeffrey Small $356,529 Air Line Pilots Assoc. AFL-CIO
Vincent Masino $355,905 Laborers
Ralph Cole $355,722 Laborers District Council
Richard Whalen $354,266 Food & Commercial Wkrs Local Union 464
David Dale Haggerty, Jr. $354,236 Boilermakers AFL-CIO
Lillian Roberts $352,341 State County & Muni Empls AFL-CIO District Council 37
Lorretta Johnson $352,307 Teachers AFL-CIO
Kinsey Robinson $352,302 Roofers AFL-CIO
Raymond Pocino $352,297 Laborers
Dennis Martire $352,122 Laborers
Earl Hurd $351,928 Plasterers & Cement Masons AFL-CIO

Does this teachers’ union want boys in girls’ restrooms?

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This is by Jason Hart@ WatchDog.org. 

This law will lead to untold numbers sexual assaults in restrooms.

 American Federation of Teachers is supporting  perversion and do not care about children.  

 

The American Federation of Teachers has endorsed a transgender advocacy campaign asserting men should be permitted in women’s restrooms, and vice versa.

AFT logo

ENDORSED: AFT supports an “LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights,” but do the union’s members?

The public policy position taken by AFT, America’s second-largest teachers union, could have major implications for school children across the country.

“You deserve to be able to use the gender-based facilities of your choice,” states the Healthcare Bill of Rights, a project of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group LGBT HealthLink. A copy of the Healthcare Bill of Rights bearing AFT’s logo is posted on the LGBT HealthLink website.

According to AFT and LGBT HealthLink, it may be illegal for hospitals and other health-care providers to refuse a man access to a women’s restroom if he identifies himself as female.

“If a provider refuses to let you use the gender-based facilities of your choice based on your gender identity, it could amount to discrimination on the basis of sex, and thus be illegal under the Affordable Care Act,” LGBT HealthLink explains.

The singularly named Scout, director of LGBT HealthLink, cited this explanation when contacted for confirmation that “gender-based facilities” include men’s and women’s restrooms. The nonprofit encourages individuals who feel they have been discriminated against to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Also keep in mind that you may have additional protections under state or local law; for example, in Washington DC, the Human Rights Commission helps ensure that transgender individuals have appropriate access to restrooms,” LGBT HealthLink’s website adds.

In a Jan. 6 release announcing its endorsement of the Healthcare Bill of Rights, AFT wrote, “under the Affordable Care Act, discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited. If a medical provider refuses to recognize a person’s gender identity, the patient can file a discrimination complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services.”

Watchdog contacted multiple state AFT chapters and the union’s Washington, D.C. headquarters to ask whether this principle should apply to restrooms in public schools and elsewhere. AFT leaders in Texas and Georgia indicated they were unfamiliar with the Healthcare Bill of Rights, and AFT headquarters failed to respond to a request for comment.

Although endorsing the Healthcare Bill of Rights is consistent with AFT’s “progressive” politics, it’s unknown how the union chose to do so and how national AFT leadership informed state and local affiliates of the decision.

“A transgender person should use the restroom that corresponds to his or her gender identity,” LGBT legal nonprofit Lambda Legal asserts. The group points to laws in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere as “model restroom access policies.”

Lambda Legal also opines, “courts have increasingly found that discrimination against transgender people is sex discrimination, so it’s not acceptable to institute different kinds of bathroom rules for transgender and non-transgender people.”

Ryan Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at the conservative Heritage Foundation, disagrees.

“The government shouldn’t force decisions on which bathroom people use based on ‘gender identity,’” Anderson said in an email to Watchdog.org. “Citizens should be free to make their own bathroom policies based on biological sex.”

“Bathroom policies based on biology should not be deemed ‘discrimination’ by the government,” Anderson added.

A CBS News poll conducted last spring found 59 percent of Americans were opposed to letting boys use girls’ restrooms and letting girls use boys’ restrooms at school.

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.

 

Four weird things teachers unions have banned, boycotted in ’14

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This is from Bre Payton @ Watchdog.org.

It is time to boycott then ban teachers unions.

Wikimedia photo

BANNED: Teachers unions flexed their muscle this year in a boycott of the office supply store giant, Staples, after the company announced they would start selling stamps. They also boycotted Coca-Cola, hotels, and decried Time Magazine.

 

 

Teachers’ unions have boycotted, banned and decried some odd things this year — from hotels to office supply stores to Coca-Cola.

Here’s our list of some unexpected things that lit a flame under teachers’ unions in 2014, and what has happened since:

1. Coca-Cola

One of the largest teachers unions in the U.S., the American Federation of Teachers, banned one America’s favorite beverages from its’ facilities and events. The organization cited human rights violations.

But human rights may not be the entire reason behind AFT’s decision to fish cans of this tasty drink from office vending machines.

This may be more about the union resenting the beverage companies’ practice of subcontracting instead of hiring permanent employees, which is cited in the AFT resolution, said Larry Sand, president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network.

“Obviously they (Coca-Cola) were not using unionized workers,” Sand said.

In response to the ban, Coca-Cola representatives said in a statement to Watchdog.org the accusations were “outdated and erroneous.”

2. Staples

AFT boycotted the office supply mega store earlier this year in response to the store’s decision to sell stamps. The union said Staples stamp-selling would jeopardize 80,000postal workers’ jobs.

In response to AFT’s stance, Staples bowed to the unions’ request and stopped selling postage.

“Teachers buy supplies, so this time they (AFT) had weight,” Sand said.

3. Time magazine

After Time magazine ran a cover story about bad teachers with the headline: “Rotten Apples,” AFT was outraged and started a petition demanding an apology.

Unions delivered more than 100,000 petitions, and Time reprinted several of the letters it received from those who disagreed with the cover image that went with the story.

4. Hotels

The United Teachers of Los Angeles switched the hotel for their leadership conference to show solidarity with members of a local labor union.

Unionized employees belonging to UNITE HERE Local 11 were picketing the Westin LAX for being forced to work under an expired contract. In a gesture of solidarity,UTLA moved the conference to another hotel.

Four days after UTLA announced the venue switch, the Los Angeles City Council approved a wage hike for hotel employees, setting the minimum wage at $15.37 an hour in hotels with 125 or more rooms.

While the boycotts, bans, and outrages had some success this year, teachers unions lost some other pretty big battles, such as the November elections.

AFT and the National Education Association spent almost $80 million combined on ousting Republicans from gubernatorial offices in states including Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania. All but one of the candidates they backed lost in November.

Sand said “2014 was a very good election year for school choice and school reform,” while unions were busy “flushing money down the toilet.” “As rich as they are, their money is still finite.”

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association was kicked up to the highest court in the land, which also dealt a blow to the unions.

The plaintiffs in the case are challenging California’s “agency shop” laws, which require public employees to pay union dues to be legally employed. Recently the Ninth Circuit ruled the Supreme Court would decide the outcome of the case. A Supreme Court ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could affect shop laws in 26 states.

New NLRB rules give unions access to workers’ email addresses and phone numbers

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This is By Eric Boehm@Watchdog.org.

The union thugs getting their hands on peoples personal information will not end well.

Just think of the level the union intimidation will raise to it will come right into your home and email box.

 

Labor unions got an early Christmas present from the National Labor Relations Board: access to non-union workers’ email address and phone numbers.

The NLRB earlier this month issued new rules for how and when union organizing elections can take place within workplaces. Under the new rules, unions will have access to employees’ private information as they make their sales pitch, and employers will have less time to respond to workers’ demands before a unionization election can take place.

Graphic via NLRB website

SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET IT BE DONE: The NLRB issued new rules this week that will speed up the timeline for union elections. Employers’ groups say it’s bad news.

Geoff Burr, vice president of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., a national trade association for non-union construction companies, said the new rules “will lead to the unsolicited distribution of employees’ personal contact information.

The NLRB says the changes are meant to streamline the process of holding elections and stop employers from stalling. Opponents of the changes say they will unfairly give unions an upper-hand in convincing workers to unionize.

“Simplifying and streamlining the process will result in improvements for all parties,” NLRB chairman Mark Pearce said in a statement announcing the new rules. “With these changes, the Board strives to ensure that its representation process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all.”

There is much for employers to dislike about the latest set of election rules, but there are two points that stand out.

First, the new rules require employers to hand over personal information — like employees’ phone numbers and email addresses — to labor unions, making it easier for them to solicit support. Second, the new rules eliminate a 25-day waiting period between when a union election is called for and when it can take place.

That waiting period, opponents of the ruling said, allows for employers to respond to employees’ demands and to counter any arguments being made in favor of unionization.

“A reasonable election period is needed that gives workers enough time to educate their coworkers about the potential impact of unionization after months or even years of union organizing and propaganda,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation.

Currently, the average time between when a union files a representation petition — the first step in organizing a workplace into a union — is 38 days, but the new rules could trim that to as few as 10 days.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, hailed what he called “modest” changes to the election process.

“Too often, lengthy and unnecessary litigation over minor issues bogs down the election process and prevents workers from getting the vote they want,” Trumka said in a statement.

But the new rules might not be here to stay. They won’t be official until April, and already there is discussion of a potential lawsuit.

That worked the last time the NLRB issued this type of a rule for speeding up union elections.

In 2011, groups led by Associated Builders and Contractors successfully challenged the laws because they were approved while the NLRB was lacking a quorum of three members. The board has five members.

After a federal judge struck down some of the rules in 2012 because of that technicality, the NLRB withdrew the rest and promised to start the process over again.

If there were to be another legal challenge, it would have to focus on the merits of the rules and the NLRB’s legal authority to issue them, said Glenn Spencer, vice president of the Workforce Freedom Initiative at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Quote,” he told Watchdog Radio on Thursday.

Burr said in a statement that ABC was also considering legal action against the new election rules.

“We will continue to lead the fight against ambush elections through every available avenue,” he said.

PA TEACHER TO UNIONS: DON’T USE MY NAME AND MY DUES TO SUPPORT TOM WOLF

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This is by Jana Benscoter @WatchDog.org.

I am shocked at a union lying and exploiting their members and wasting dues money promoting lies.

What next a president saying screw the Constitution and making laws via executive actions/orders?

Oh snap that is already happening.

 

PSEA-NEA Letter (2)

 

Unions funded a no-holds-barred campaign, pouring millions and outspending other special interest groups, in the Pennsylvania race for governor. But, did they go too far?

One Williamsport teacher says yes. Mary Trometter, who has been part of Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) for more than 20 years, said her name-and her union dues-were misused in a misleading political mailer. The mailer claimed that Trometter wrote to her fellow cohort that Republican Gov. Tom Corbett was “a disaster for Pennsylvania students, parents and educators.”

“It’s nearly inconceivable (that) any educator would support Corbett for re-election,” states the letter, which was addressed to Trometter’s husband, who received it less than a week from Election Day. The only problem is that Trometter wasn’t supporting Tom Wolf. The letter concludes, “Please join Mary in voting for Tom Wolf for Governor on November 4th.”

The letter was signed by PSEA President Michael J. Crossey and National Education Association (NEA) President Lily Eskelsen Garcia. In response, Trometter filed chargesagainst the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board to stop PSEA and NEA leaders from “victimizing” their members. She alleges the unions did it for their own “personal gain.” She’s requesting clarification of a “state law that limits how union dues can be spent in politics,” according to the Fairness Center.

“The PSEA is exploiting my name and membership for their political causes,” Trometter said about this letter sent to her husband.

Section 1701 of Pennsylvania’s Public Employee Relations Act states:

“No employe organization shall make any contribution out of the funds of the employe organization either directly or indirectly to any political party or organization or in support of any political candidate for public office.”

According to the Pittsburgh-Tribune:

Unions may legally spend dues “to communicate with members and their immediate family” about a candidate their boards recommend, Pennsylvania State Education Association spokesman Wythe Keever said.

Keever said this particular type of communication wouldn’t happen again.

It was the first time the union had attempted to personalize such letters, and Trometter wasn’t the only PSEA member who was upset.

Keever said the union has apologized to about 30 members who complained about the personalized mailers, which were sent to at least 20,000 households.

“We’d never done a mailing of this type before, and we won’t be doing it again,” he said.

General Counsel for the Fairness Center David Osborne has a different perspective.

“Pennsylvania law expressly prohibits using union members’ dues money to support a candidate,” Osborne said in a statement regarding Trometter’s legal action.

“The letter sent to Mary Trometter’s husband is contrary to a valid state law,” Osborne remarked. “For years, PSEA leaders have ignored this and other portions of the law it doesn’t like. This letter, as well as other PSEA publications, including their magazine calledThe Voice which dedicated its most recent issue to urging members to vote for Tom Wolf, simply demonstrate their disregard for the law.”

Photo by PSEA

Unions wasted millions in Wisconsin, Michigan governor races

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This is by  Jason Hart @ Watchdog.org.

Taxpayers of Wisconsin 3 Union Thugs 0.

Scott Walker gets elected taxpayers 1 union thugs 0.

Scott Walker wins the recall race taxpayers 2 union thugs 0.

Scott Walker gets reelected taxpayers 3 union thugs 0.

Michigan taxpayers 2 Union Thugs 0.

 

Union bosses dumped more than $7.5 million into the Wisconsin and Michigan governor races only to see both states’ labor-reforming incumbents re-elected.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, both Republicans, were two of the five governors publicly targeted by union coalition AFL-CIO in February. Last Tuesday, Walker defeated Democrat Mary Burke 52-47, and Snyder defeated Democrat Mark Schauer 51-47.

Big labor hates — and in 2012 tried to recall — Walker because of 2011’s Act 10, a centerpiece of his agenda limiting the power of public-sector unions. Snyder signed two right-to-work laws in 2012, empowering most Michigan workers to opt out of paying labor union bosses and launching himself near the top of the union enemies list.

Based on campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Burke’s failed campaign received more than $650,000 of cash and in-kind support from labor unions.Without accounting for union contributions to Democratic Party committees or any of a laundry list of politically active “progressive” nonprofits, unions this year spent at least $4,387,631 against Walker and at least $3,276,973 against Snyder. These figures likely far understate unions’ staff and monetary investments in both races.

The Washington, D.C., headquarters of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, United Food and Commercial Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and International Association of Fire Fighters each sent Burke donations of the maximum $43,128 allowed by state law.

National Education Association headquarters sent Burke $43,000 from D.C., and her campaign received max contributions from Wisconsin Professional Police Association, United Auto Workers Wisconsin and NEA-affiliate Wisconsin Education Association Council. Several WEAC locals gave Burke four- or five-figure donations.

Campaign finance reports submitted to the Michigan secretary of state show union contributions to Schauer exceeding $630,000. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades sent $50,000 from its national headquarters, IBEW headquarters donated $44,500, UFCW headquarters gave $44,300 and AFSCME headquarters gave $34,000.

Schauer received maximum $68,000 contributions from the Michigan affiliates of UAW and Communications Workers of America, and received $60,381 from Michigan Education Association.

Although labor bosses profess opposition to unlimited independent expenditures from “super PACs,” most union spending against Walker and Snyder came from independent expenditures. Union fronts Greater Wisconsin Committee and We Are Wisconsin spent a combined total of more than $3.7 million in big labor’s latest attempt to defeat Walker.

Greater Wisconsin Committee PAC spent $1,218,468 in the governor’s race and received $1,298,000 from WEAC in the latest reporting period. AFSCME headquarters funneled $2,370,000 to We Are Wisconsin Political Fund and WEAC gave $500,000 during the latest reporting period, while the group spent $2,517,443 in the governor’s race.

“Once again, Big Labor failed in its attempt to defeat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the author of collective bargaining reform,” Brett Healy, president of the Wisconsin-based, free-market MacIver Institute said in an email to Watchdog.org.

“One union boss even said they had ‘a score to settle’ with Walker,” Healy added.

“Wisconsin taxpayers, on the other hand, are ecstatic that Act 10 has saved them almost $3 billion dollars over the last (four) years which has led Walker to cut taxes by $2 billion dollars, freeze property taxes at 2010 levels statewide and freeze tuition at the University of Wisconsin.

“The popularity of Act 10 with Wisconsinites is exactly the reason why Big Labor’s decision to spend their members’ hard-earned money on this wild-goose chase is so ridiculous and disappointing,” Healy said. “It is clear the unions are more worried about yielding crass political power than the welfare of their members.

“Sounds to me like the taxpayers have settled the score, once and for all, with Big Labor,” Healy said.

In Michigan, union super PACs sank more than $2.6 million into unseating Snyder. NEA Advocacy Fund spent $703,747, Service Employees International Union Community Alliance spent $689,270 and AFL-CIO’s Workers’ Voice spent $632,459.

Michigan For All spent $644,617 in the governor’s race, fueled by donations of $300,000 from SEIU Community Alliance, over $700,000 from AFSCME, and more than $400,000 from NEA Advocacy Fund.

F. Vincent Vernuccio, labor policy director at Michigan’s free-market Mackinac Center, told Watchdog.org the Nov. 4 election “was less a referendum and more a reaffirmation on labor reform.”

“The referendums occurred in May and July, which were the two deadlines for unions to put right-to-work on the ballot in Michigan, either as an initiative or a constitutional amendment,” Vernuccio said. “And it happened throughout the governor’s race, where right-to-work was not even an issue used by Snyder’s opponents against him.”

A Hole Full of Trouble

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This is by Larry Benson @WatchDog.org.

Those pesky video cameras foiled what this 58 year old Cleveland man thought was a perfect scam.

 

Criminals almost always mess up at some point during their attempt to defraud their victims. A press release posted by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation provides a link to a security video showing a Cleveland man faking an injury in order to file a bogus workers compensation claim. (Note to self – check for security cameras before carrying out fraudulent mission.)

The story states that the worker claimed he suffered multiple injuries after falling through the wooden floor of the factory where he worked. Luckily, the employer had video footage of the man removing a sheet of plywood from the floor in his workstation and stomping a hole in the ground. (That hole got him into a whole lot of trouble.) The security camera video showed the fraudster moving some equipment into his work area, then stepping into the hole, lying down and calling for help.

The employer became suspicious after the man submitted a workers’ compensation claim citing multiple injuries. After opening an investigation and reviewing the employers security camera footage, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation determined that the injuries never occurred and the claim was false.

The 58-year-old man pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. The sentence was suspended and he will only serve one year on probation plus 80 hours of community service. He was lucky he was able to dig himself out of this particular hole.(It would have been a lot harder if he had tried to do it while in prison. Those walls are really thick.) Let’s hope he has learned his lesson and will not fall into any more bad behavior patterns.

Union takes mandatory dues, calls Walmart owners robbers

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This is by Jason Hart @ Watchdog.org.

These union thugs calling the Walton Family robbers is a joke.

The unions have stolen more from their members and bankrupted more companies than any robber baron.

 

Accusing Walmart’s owners of “robbing America,” a labor union fueled by workers’ mandatory dues led protests recently demanding full-time hours and $15 hourly wages for the mega-retailer’s employees.

Walmart’s corporate headquarters, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., says the company has more than 1.3 million employees and in 2013 promoted 170,000 “to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.” This summer, The Wall Street Journal reported on a study concluding Walmart store managers are paid an average of $92,462.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter UFCW @UFCW Follow Waltons are robbing America! Walmart workers are fed up and fighting back: #FightFor15 10:59 AM – 16 Oct 2014

Demonstrations last week against the Walton family, founders of Walmart, were coordinated in Arizona, New York and Washington, D.C., by “Organization United for Respect at Walmart” and “Making Change at Walmart,” two United Food and Commercial Workers campaigns to unionize Walmart workers.

Photo from Making Change @ Walmart, via Twitter

Photo from Making Change @ Walmart, via Twitter STANDING UP, SITTING DOWN: Protesters want Walmart to pay up

.

UFCW headquarters in D.C. had 1,274,156 members and received $210 million in revenue from its state and local affiliates in 2013, based on its latest report to the U.S. Department of Labor. With the union’s monthly dues ranging from $15.04 to $20.15 per member, UFCW stands to gain tens of millions of dollars if even a small portion of Walmart’s workforce votes to unionize.

At UFCW’s Oct. 16 D.C. demonstration, protesters marched and sat in the streets with Making Change at Walmart printouts reading, “Standing Up for OUR Jobs,” “The Waltons are robbing America” and “Didn’t your mother teach you to share?

In D.C. and 26 states, workers can be forced to pay UFCW as a condition of employment. UFCW took mandatory fees from 7,292 nonmembers in 2013 and paid union President Joseph Hansen a salary of $297,971.

Including expenses and other disbursements, Hansen was paid $350,960. UFCW Canada President Wayne Hanley was paid a total of $372,548, and several other UFCW officials were paid more than $300,000.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called UFCW’s D.C. protest a “powerful stand against what the Walton Family is doing to America.” UFCW is a member of the AFL-CIO coalition, which paid Trumka $322,131 in its most recent fiscal year.

UFCW thanked Trumka for attending the protest and “for all you do to help people feed their families,” but did not respond to a Watchdog.org request to clarify how the Waltons are “robbing America.”

After being refused entry to the offices of The Walton Family Foundation, UFCW protesters in D.C. blocked the intersection of 18th Street and K Street. “Walmart workers won’t be moved,” UFCW asserted. “They’re staying put because they need a living wage and full time hours NOW.”

UFCW’s D.C. demonstrators cheered at the news their counterparts in New York had been arrested. By 3 p.m. Thursday, the D.C. contingent had been arrested, as well.

UFCW framed the arrest of its protesters for sitting in the street as further evidence of their victimhood.

View image on Twitter

UFCW @UFCW Follow Walmart workers won’t be moved! They’re staying put because they need a living wage and full time hours NOW 12:52 PM – 16 Oct 2014

 

UFCW’s D.C. demonstrators cheered at the news their counterparts in New York had been arrested. By 3 p.m. Thursday, the D.C. contingent had been arrested, as well.

 

 

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter UFCW @UFCW Follow The workers are being arrested now in DC- about 16 people 2:36 PM – 16 Oct 2014

UFCW framed the arrest of its protesters for sitting in the street as further evidence of their victimhood.

DC: 15 Walmart workers & supporters arrested outside Walton Foundation delivering petition calling 4 15/hour & full time work

 

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