labor unions

Capitalism, Jobs and the Wizard of Menlo Park

One of the most disturbing trends I’ve witnessed over these last few years is a coordinated attack from the left on the institutions and principles that make America great. Maybe nowhere has this been more evident than in the vitriol spewed by our eternal Campaigner-in-Chief and his dutiful Minions of Social Justice, all bemoaning the evils of capitalism, and the inequity of wealth distribution (although oddly, their desire for more equal distribution does not extend to income taxes, where the top one percent earn 19% of the income and pay 40% of all income taxes, while the bottom fifty percent that pay exactly zero).

Obama has set so many straw men on fire that he’s now the leading cause of global warming. He accused doctors of slicing out tonsils and amputating limbs just to bill a few more dollars to insurance companies. He’s accused business owners of not caring about their employees and only about their company’s bottom line. He accused the Chamber of Commerce, without proof, of using foreign money to buy elections. His NLRB threatened Boeing for opening a new, billion dollar plant in right-to-work South Carolina, and his wife urged young students not to go into the corporate world, but rather “work for the community” like her community organizer husband, as if bringing valued goods and services and the accompanying jobs and wealth into the community was not a worthwhile endeavor.

When did we reach the point where we extol the timid and the parasitic? Where wealth creation was bad, and the American Dream had been supplanted by a desire for European-style social welfare? We don’t even have to look back in history to see what a nightmare this is; we just have to turn on the news. The Greeks are rioting in the streets at the thought of giving up an ounce of their lavish social welfare benefits, and the European Union is at the brink of collapse as it struggles under the weight of its debt driven by these welfare state policies.

Anti-ObamaCare measure overwhelmingly passed in Ohio

If you listen to the media, Tuesday’s election were a mixed bag nationally and a disaster for Republican the ever crucial swing state of Ohio due to voters overturning limitations placed on collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers, which was passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Democrats and labor unions raised some $30 million trying to defeat the effort. Passage of the referendum is certainly bad news for Ohio taxpayers, who will no doubt be hit with the ever-expanding costs of public-sector salaries and benefits.

What has gone under-reported is that Ohioans voted overwhemling against the individiual mandate, a central piece of ObamaCare, by supporting a separate ballot measure:

Voters in Ohio approved a measure Tuesday night disapproving of President Obama’s healthcare law.

Multiple Choice Mitt strikes again!

Mitt Romney, who many believe is the inevitable Republican nominee, just keeps burning bridges with conservatives. We’ve explained them here over the course of the last year, so there is no need to go back over them.

But with labor unions becoming a target for many conservatives, and rightfully so, after the reasonable measures pushed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker earlier this year and the Boeing debacle in South Carolina, it’s an incredibly dumb move to snub the party’s base. Yet Romney did just that yesterday by declining to endorse or even give a position on a ballot measure in Ohio that would limit the collective bargaining rights of public-sector workers:

Mitt Romney stopped in Ohio today, where polls show him competitive with Herman Cain in the March 2012 primary. He stopped by a Republican phone bank where volunteers were drumming up support for two ballot measures — one of them a national cause celebre for the left. Issue 2, if passed, would affirm the collective bargaining reform Republicans pushed through this year. The measure is on the ballot because unions want to beat it, and overturn the law, and polling suggests that they can. Issue 3, if passed, would prevent Ohio from participating in any health care mandate — federal, state, whatever.

Romney was at one of the nerve centers for the campaign to pass the Issues. CNN’s Peter Hamby asked a simple question: Did he support them?

Catching up on Wisconsin

The protests in Wisconsin against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal that would require public-sector workers to pay more for benefits and pensions, though they’ll still be better off than private-sector workers, and reforms that would limit collective bargaining by public-sector unions are still receiving an incredible amount of attention.

In case you haven’t seen it, here is video a speech Gov. Walker gave last night explaining the reasons for the proposal. You can read the transcript here:

Walker, who has been falsely accused of favoring certain public-sector unions, has warned that unless the measures are passed to help ensure that the $3 billion budget deficit over the next two years can be cut, 6,000 public workers could lose their jobs.

Unions save jobs? Tell these guys that?

Unions. Once upon a time, they helped shape the American industrial landscape by increasing pay to reasonable levels and increasing safe working conditions. They can do a lot of good, but these days they don’t. In this case, they managed to run 1,000 jobs off. The people of Mississippi thank the Machinist Union for their help.

The Olin Corporation made two contract offers to the union. They turned them both down, with at least the second one having been voted on with the knowledge that Olin was at least considering a move. Many union members assumed it was a bluff. Apparently, they were wrong.

Joseph Rupp, the chairman, president and CEO of Clayton-based Olin, pointed the finger at the workers’ failure to accept a contract that guaranteed seven years of job security in exchange for reductions in vacation time, an elimination of a matching company contribution to retirement plans and other incentives.

“While I am disappointed that employees … chose to reject a proposal that would have allowed us to remain competitive in East Alton, we look forward to expanding our existing operations in Mississippi,” Rupp said in a prepared statement.

Seven years of job security? Talk about a sweet deal. Apparently though, they didn’t like the idea of the loss of monetary incentives instead. That was their right. Unfortunately, this is the result. POOF! No more job.

Of course, the union is arguing that Olin is wrong from the start:

The Machinists claim Olin’s bid to renegotiate their contract violated the terms of the three-year agreement it reached with the union in 2008.

Can the GOP Come Back?

Think about it! Four years ago, the Republican Party held the White House and both houses of Congress. Now, the Democrats have won the Presidency by a sizable margin, gained additional seats in the majority Democratic House, and could possibly hold a sixty-vote majority in the Senate—large enough to end any Republican initiated filibuster.

First of all, consider the magnitude of the Republican loss. What support shifted from four years ago?

Church-Burning Thugs and other Liberal Intolerance

For all their demands for tolerance, no group in America is more intolerant than the political left. It is not enough to simply debate issues on the merits; no, statist liberals use every weapon at their disposal to crush dissenting voices, including political correctness orthodoxy, badgering by the media, outright bullying by leftist mobs, and of course, government force.

This is not tolerance, this is tyranny.

At a time when leftist Democrats have had near-total control of government for half a decade, with trillions and trillions of deficit dollars spent on their core policies and programs, Democrats are panicked because the American people are seeing clearly the epic failure of the liberal agenda. Add to that the disastrous health care law which gets worse with each passing day, and Obama’s approval ratings are dropping faster than Bill Clinton’s pants in a roomful of interns.

So what to do when you’ve had total control, with nothing but a long line of failures in your wake? Why, you attack your opposition as racists, hate-mongers, xenophobes, and in general, as people who are so evil that it is a moral offense even to listen to anything they have to say. Why debate the message when you can destroy the messenger?

To those who don’t keep up with current events (outside of which Kardashian sister is sleeping with whom, or the depths of skankification to which Miley Cyrus has descended) this might sound hyperbolic and overblown. However, there are myriad examples from which to peruse, and these are just a few.

Few places in America can claim to be more liberal than the campuses of the various institutions of the University of California system. Here “diversity” is considered among the highest virtues unless, of course, you are a pro-life conservative.

Labor union: Obamacare will make economic inequality worse

It’s no secret that many labor unions aren’t pleased with Obamacare, and have unsuccessfully lobbied the White House for an exemption. But a recently released report from one major labor union, UNITE HERE, took a different angle on law, claiming that it will actually make income inequality worse.

In its report, The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse, UNITE HERE argues that subsidies provided through the law are “one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private hands ever.” The report also noted that the law has lead employers to cut workers’ hours to avoid costly mandates.

“Ironically, the Administration’s own signature healthcare victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality,” the report said. “Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality.”

“At the same time, without smart fixes,” the report continues, “the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.”

UNITE HERE represents some 265,000 in various industries, including hotel, food service, and gaming. Its report on the effects of Obamacare was first reported last week by Nevada-based journalist Jon Ralston.

Tennessee Volkswagen employees reject United Auto Workers

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant

United Auto Workers attempt to unionize workers at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant was defeated in a close vote on Friday, delivering a blow to the union’s attempt to organize in a right-to-work state, despite the endorsement of auto maker:

Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation in a devastating defeat for the United Auto Workers union’s effort to make inroads in the South.

The 712-626 vote released late Friday was surprising for many labor experts and union supporters who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.

“This is like an alternate universe where everything is turned upside down,” Cliff Hammond, a labor lawyer at in Detroit, told The Wall Street Journal, noting that companies usually fight union drives.

“This vote was essentially gift-wrapped for the union by Volkswagen,” said Hammond, who previously worked at the Service Employees International Union.

The setback is a major defeat for the UAW’s effort to expand in the growing South, where foreign automakers have 14 assembly plants, eight built in the past decade, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Michigan.

Labor leaders still frustrated with Obamacare

Two labor leaders sent a blistering letter to top Democratic congressional leaders this week expressing their frustration with Obamacare, according Nevada-based journalist Jon Ralston, the latest example of frustration with the law from one of the party’s key special-interest constituencies:

Las Vegas’ own D. Taylor of UniteHERE and Terry O’Sullivan of LIUNA sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi this week, part of an unrelenting campaign against the health care law’s implementation that they have been waging since last year. The letter, attached here, concludes: “It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment of an Administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers.”

The full letter is available here (PDF).

This isn’t the first time labor leaders have spoken out against or expressed frustration with Obamacare. In July, for example, three big-name union leaders, including James Hoffa of the Teamsters, sent a letter to Democratic congressional leaders urging them to address their concerns with the law.

 
 


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