Wednesday wrap

SEIU's California Dream budget ... First off, it includes no cuts. It then raises taxes by $14.2 billion through June 2010. The plan proposes a targeted increase in the state's vehicle-license fee that hits only vehicles worth more than $20,000. It also increases taxes on households making above $250,000 a year, imposes a tax on oil production, increases alcohol taxes and broadens the sales tax to include entertainment. The SEIU budget finally raises a remaining $15 billion through a federal bailout, including a $10 billion payment in 2009-10. (sacbee.com)

ACORN: Unfinished business for union-backed fraud group ... The 2008 presidential election is over, but the battle between ACORN idealists and the ACORN control group is not and the whole truth about ACORN is still not public knowledge. Surely the people still controlling ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) deeply regret that ACORN ever enticed an idealistic, young, black, female with exceptional computer skills named Anita MonCrief to relocate from Alabama to the District of Columbia to do ACORN work. The day before last Halloween, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund called attention to Ms. MonCrief in an article titled "An ACORN Whistleblower Testifies in Court" and subtitled "The group's ties to Obama are extensive." The article was NOT a treat for the ACORN insiders. Ms. MonCrief was the ACORN whistleblower who had testified in court. Mr. Fund reported: "...yesterday, a former employee of Acorn testified in a Pennsylvania state court that the group's quality-control efforts were 'minimal or nonexistent' and largely window dressing. Anita MonCrief also says that Acorn was given lists of potential donors by several Democratic presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama, to troll for contributions." (webcommentary.com)

Key Sen. Dem abandons Card-Check ... The usually soft-spoken junior senator angered many in the Arkansas business community last spring when he forcefully claimed that those in the state Chamber of Commerce, as well as other business leaders who lobbied him against card check, were simply doing the bidding of their leadership in Washington. But when I interviewed Sen. Pryor (D-AR) last week on my television program, gone was the vitriol, which had angered so many. Instead, Pryor mollified his position. When asked if he would again line up as a co-sponsor of the legislation, he indicated he wouldn't. (arkansasnews.com)

Local gov't unions confront taxpayers, face dues hits ... Luzerne County (PA) officials say they’ll begin meeting with department heads and row officers next week to finalize which employees or positions will be cut to help close a projected 2009 budget deficit. “We will give them some time to figure it out, and if they don’t, we’ll release our own list,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla. Union leaders had hoped to obtain specifics during a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Petrilla and other county officials, but they left empty-handed. Union leaders say they were told that commissioners can’t provide the number and identity of employees who will be laid off until they meet with court officials to review proposed 2009 staff cuts in their department. (timesleader.com)

S.F. Teamster big threatens property damage ... Some 1,600 workers in San Francisco's public parking garages are calling for a strike authorization vote in response to the slow pace of contract negotiations, according to union leaders. Members of Teamsters Local 665 are not happy with management proposals to create another tier for new hires, who would be paid lower wages than current employees. The pay scale for garage workers currently top out at $19.65 an hour, said Local 665 President Mark Gleason. "It's a necessary skill. People need to be there. They need to be paid reasonably well. You don't want people getting into your $50,000-$70,000 car and banging it up," said Gleason. (kcbs.com)

Wrist-slap for Ft. Wayne union big dues-embezzler ... She’ll have a price to pay, but a former local union official won’t spend time in prison for stealing thousands of dollars from her organization. Jeanette McFarland, the former president of the Glass Molders and Plastic Union Local 285, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Monday to time served for a count of embezzlement and ordered to pay the $7,604 restitution – the amount she admitted to taking from the union. She will also serve three years of supervised release. (journalgazette.net)

Desperate tree-killer pleads to News Union ... The Star Tribune's publisher asked union employees on Tuesday to agree to $20 million in additional cuts by mid-January, saying the survival of the Minneapolis newspaper is at stake. "We very much hope to reach a consensual solution that will allow our company to adjust our labor expenses to affordable market rates and avoid an expensive and difficult court-supervised reorganization," said Chris Harte in a memo to employees. "Without the support of our unions, an out-of-court solution is not possible." (twincities.com)

Bush serves dues hit on NTEU ... In a late-term executive order that has a major union crying foul, President Bush has excluded about 1,500 employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from collective bargaining. In the Dec. 1 order, Bush listed 37 agencies or offices, including ATF, that “have as a primary function intelligence, counterintelligence, investigative or national security work.” National security requirements mean employees at those agencies cannot have collective bargaining rights, Bush said. (federaltimes.com)

Labor mismanagement in Peabody ... The police union should have moved to help the city with its enormous health-cost problem without seeking a quid pro quo. It too has a civic duty, as do all other unions. The city can only pay so much; taxpayers can only fund so much. The basic problems in that negotiation, and with many others, are twofold: 1) Unions overreaching and showing no respect for the problems of the other side; and 2) executives with no clear idea of capacity to pay, or who lack the political courage to draw a line in the sand. (salemnews.com)

SEIU spreads the wealth ... From 2005 and 2007, SEIU provided $21.8 million in funding and financial support to its own dozen subsidiaries. While SEIU has sued UHW for creating a 501(c)(3) education fund, it turns out that SEIU itself operates a dozen non-profit and for-profit subsidiaries, according to tax returns and government documents. pdf: (seiuvoice.org)

Rebuilding the middle class by force ... The local unit would be certified if a majority of workers endorsed it by signing an authorization card handed out by union organizers. Fair enough? Not really. The so-called card-check bill would not protect workers and it would not be "free choice." It would strip away their right to vote in secret, making it more likely they would face intimidation from organizers and other workers. The pressure would be on to check the card, whether or not they actually wanted a union. Once the union was certified by a card check, the employer would have to accept arbitration if a contract couldn't be negotiated within 120 days. (chicagotribune.com)

Dems Dominate D.C. ... The card-check measure, if enacted, is expected to steeply increase the ranks of unionized workers by making it easier for organizers to solicit votes in favor of collective bargaining. Businesses object that enactment of the card-check proposal would both drive up their costs and increase the political sway of a strongly Democratic interest group. Business groups are watching closely to see who Obama names to fill posts such as Secretary of Labor. Who Obama nominates will send a strong signal about the range of negotiable common ground businesses and union groups will stake out. Unions are already pressing to tilt executive branch regulatory policy back in their direction on such issues as overtime requirements, child-labor protections, and workplace safety. (rotor.com)

No-Choice Job Killer Act explained ... Taking away the right of a company and its employees to request a secret ballot vote opens the door to intimidation and coercion. Supporters of this legislation say the EFCA does not specifically ban secret ballot voting but in fact union organizers - not the workers themselves - decide whether a secret ballot election should go forward. Union officials are unlikely to call for secret ballot votes and risk defeat when they can simply pressure 50 percent of the workforce to authorize unionization. Also the binding arbitration provisions empower the government – rather than the parties involved -- to set workers’ wages and working conditions, ATA said. (bulktransporter.com)

More aptly, the Employee "Forced" Choice Act ... In the wake of new economic datadetailing the country's troubling fiscal condition, the Coalition for aDemocratic Workplace (CDW) launched a new advertising campaign about theeconomic impact of the anti-worker Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). More aptly titled the Employee "Forced" Choice Act, the legislation willeffectively remove secret ballots for workers in union organizing electionsand bind employers to contracts that inhibit their ability to createmuch-needed new jobs. "The Employee Free Choice Act is a job-killer that will add moreinstability to our economy," said Brian Worth with the Coalition for aDemocratic Workplace. "Protecting worker privacy and giving employerscontract flexibility are especially critical given the current fiscalchallenges our country faces." (ibtimes.com)

Forced-Choice, Job-Killer Act Adds Backers ... A broad coalition, which includes some of the country's biggest LGBT civil rights organizations, reiterated this week its support for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a law that would make it easier for workers to join or organize labor unions. The coalition included the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), Pride at Work, AFL-CIO, National Stonewall Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign. (politicalaffairs.net)

Objector faces charges in workers' paradise ... The Attorney General's Office said Tuesday that Manuel Rosales must appear in court next week, when a judge is expected to decide whether to file criminal charges of misusing public funds. Rosales was elected mayor of Maracaibo, Venezuela's second-largest city, in last month's gubernatorial and municipal elections. He finished second to Chávez in the 2006 presidential election. (heraldnewsdaily.com)

EFCA and Card-Check: Think Again

Related Posts with Thumbnails