Monday wrap

Rule of Law no longer possible in U.S. ... Decisions made during the past year by the leading federal agency that referees labor-management disputes fell under a legal cloud Friday with conflicting federal appeals court rulings. In rulings rendered virtually simultaneously, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington held that a decision handed down last year by the National Labor Relations Board is invalid because it was made by just two members while a federal appellate court in Chicago took the opposite position. It held within the same hour that a vote by the two members was appropriate and binding. The NLRB has a relatively innocuous name. But in truth, the agency has historically gotten caught in the middle of the inevitable tug of war that accompanies change in the Washington power curve; Republican administrations typically favor appointing people with a pro-business bent and Democrats have been inclined to name pro-labor individuals. When at full strength, the NLRB has five members. But it has operated with only two members and three vacancies for more than a year because Democrats who retook control of Congress in 2006 objected to President George W. Bush's labor policies and refused to confirm his nominees. With the appeals court decisions at odds, the Supreme Court is more likely weigh in on appeal. The result could potentially have a wide impact, since the two members have decided hundreds of cases. (sltrib.com)

Teamsters framed with election fraud, to continue boycott of oppressive legal justice system ... A former union officer and two employees of Teamsters Local 743 were convicted in federal court Friday for rigging two elections in 2004. The three were found guilty on the third day of jury deliberations after a four-week trial in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The federal jury convicted Richard Lopez, the local's former secretary-treasurer, as well as Thaddeus Bania, its former comptroller, and David Rodriguez, an organizer. They are to be sentenced Aug. 27. The local is one of the largest in America and represents more than 12,000 workers. (chicagotribune.com)

Dissident labor-state Teamster has balls of steel ... A Luzerne County employee filed a federal lawsuit against the county, two county officials and a labor union this week, claiming his civil rights were violated by the deduction of dues from his paycheck. Jeffrey McCabe, who is employed by Luzerne County Children and Youth Services, requested an injunction to prevent the county from making further dues deductions and force the union to return all dues already collected. The county’s collective bargaining agreement with the union includes a provision that allows it to deduct a “fair share fee” at least once a month from all employees who are not union members. McCabe said officials with the union, Teamsters Local 401 in Wilkes-Barre, failed to provide him with a required breakdown of their expenditures and forced him to pay for union activities unrelated to collected bargaining. Those activities, McCabe said, include: lobbying, public relations, recruitment, social activities and contributions to charitable and religious organizations. (standardspeaker.com)

Typical police union embezzler: I didn't do it ... A Glendive police officer has pleaded not guilty to embezzlement charges. Officer Franklin Robinson is accused of inappropriately using more than $1,800 entrusted to him as president of the Glendive Police Union and the Glendive Police Association. Prosecutors question Robinson's use of $277 from the police union's checking account, $603 in police association money and $986 charged to a police association credit card. The money was spent between March and September 2008. Public defender Cynthia Thorton said Robinson, who entered his plea Tuesday, wouldn't comment. Glendive city officials wouldn't comment on Robinson's employment status because it is a personnel matter. (billingsgazette.net)

Union-Dem P2P: Culture of Corruption ... In short, Obama wants companies to eat nearly $5 billion so that he can give away Chrysler to protect union jobs. The unions that backed him. This is their payoff. If true, this is the biggest corruption scam in American history. But like Obama’s $750 million campaign jackpot, this alleged pay-to-play scam will not be investigated by the authorities, Congress or the press. Maybe Tapper will stay on it, if Walt Disney-ABC lets him stay on the story. (blogs.dailymail.com)

No secret-ballot unionism

Laid-off auto unionists occupy shut-down factory ... Workers at three Visteon auto parts supply plants in Ireland and England are reaching out for support from other workers in their fight against job losses. They have been occupying the plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland since March 31. Visteon UK was established in 2000 from existing Ford car parts plants. The company manufactured fuel rails, injection moldings, and other parts used in Ford’s operations. Intending to avoid making redundancy (layoff) payments, Visteon declared bankruptcy and closed the plants. The government will administer the company's pension scheme. There is no guarantee what workers will receive. (themilitant.com)

SEIU-Edwards link probed ... The Charlotte News and Observer confirms a report last month from the (super-reliable on this topic, no?) National Enquirer of a federal investigation into the Edwards campaign. The story mentions two Edwards-linked groups outside the campaign, and pays a lot of attention to the Alliance for a New America, which was backed by SEIU locals and then by the ultra-wealthy Bunny Mellon. (politico.com)

International Collectivism

Panamanians buck regional trend ... Panamanians elected a conservative, pro-business candidate as their new president Sunday – signaling their hope for a new alternative as the Central American nation's once-booming economy cools. According to preliminary results released by Panama's electoral tribunal, Ricardo Martinelli of the Democratic Change party, easily won the election with about 60 percent support. He beat Balbina Herrera, the candidate of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), as well as former president Guillermo Endara, who lagged far behind. A big presence with a mop of white hair, his popularity was due in part to the massive money that the multimillionaire poured in to finance his own campaign. While he drew support among the business-oriented class, he also appealed to the poor with media campaigns highlighting efforts such as a charity to improve education. But Pedro Ayola, a small business owner in Panama City who supports the PRD, says he doubts that Martinelli will care for the poor as the PRD has. "We've worked hard to make the economic gain reach down to the poor and middle classes. Martinelli only cares about the business class and the capitalists," he says. "We're going to lose everything we've fought for." Mr. Ayola says Herrera was unfairly pegged as a leftist. Indeed, many of those interviewed, from taxi drivers to street vendors, said they were turned off by a perceived affiliation with Venezuela's fiery leftist leader, Hugo Chávez. "The tried to paint her as a 'chavista,' and it's a fallacy." (csmonitor.com)

U.S. Communists ignore Seeger's second thoughts ... South Florida progressives and folk music fans turned out in record numbers for a Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Concert held on April 26 at the Ft. Lauderdale Unitarian Universalist Church. A crowd of over 350—the largest turn out ever for a an event like this in South Florida—was treated to rousing renditions of classic songs written and/or popularized by the legendary Seeger, including “If I Had A Hammer,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?,” We Shall Overcome,” “Solidarity Forever,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Performers included amateur and professional musicians as well as the South Florida Solidarity Singers and the local chapter of Raging Grannies. Seeger was there in spirit, if not in body. Besides musical acts, the event featured reminiscences, films, food, birthday cake, sing-alongs and raffle prizes. The Miami and West Palm Beach clubs of the Communist Party, USA were among the many progressive organizations that sponsored the event, and CPUSA members participated as performers and speakers. (pww.org)

ACORN notches big victory in Latin America ... Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa was re-elected to a second term in office in the first round of his country's elections last week, authorities said Saturday. Correa was leading by 23.3 percent with 89.7 percent of votes counted, putting a victory out of reach for his rival Lucio Gutierrez, electoral officials said. Gutierrez, a retired army colonel and president 2003-2005, has said he has "proof of a monstrous fraud" in the voting process, a charge the electoral commission has rejected. (google.com)

Chávez gets Carter to pimp for Evo Morales ... Jimmy Carter, the former president of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner, denounced on May 2 separatist movements in Bolivia. He anticipated that Washington would not recognize separatist actions against the democratic government in the South American country, during a tour through the region. “I have also observed that there are groups that want to have the country divided, not united. I am convinced that the United States is going to absolutely oppose any separatist movement” said the former head of state (1977-1981) at a press conference accompanied by the Bolivian president. (pww.org)
Related Posts with Thumbnails