Tuesday wrap

Job-Killer bill awaits Sen. Franken ... Roll Call reported that Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the chief sponsor of EFCA, announced that he will be ready to bring EFCA to the Senate floor in a month. Harkin said he will not take any action until Al Franken is sworn in as Minnesota’s senator. Franken would be the 60th Democrat in the Senate, which technically is enough to avoid a filibuster. (laborpains.org)

Anti-business Administration perpetrates U.S. Job Freeze ... Unlike the labor market collapse that killed millions of U.S. jobs in a matter of months, the nation's return to peak employment will not be nearly as uniform nor as swift. While signs indicate that the worst of the recession may be over, only six metropolitan areas across the country are expected to regain their pre-recession employment levels by the end of 2009, according to projections from IHS Global Insight, a leading economic forecaster. (newsmax.com)

Communist Party backs Sotomayor, EFCA ... But the best answer is to defeat the hatemongers politically. Boycott Fox News. Demand Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, latest target of hate. Build maximum unity to win healthcare for all, employee free choice, “green” jobs, immigrant reform, an end to wars, and a more inclusive, tolerant democracy in our country. (pww.org)

Progressive repression ... As a rock-ribbed conservative, I seldom agree with the socialist president of Venezuela. But it happened last week. “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama!” Hugo Chávez declared during one of his customary rants on state TV. He added that if he and Cuba’s Fidel Castro weren’t “careful,” they might “end up to [Obama’s] right.” Chavez has nationalized most of his country’s economy. That’s helped turn the country into a “Repressed” economy in Heritage’s annual Index of Economic Freedom. Crime, corruption, inflation and food scarcities prevail in Venezuela, even though the country has taken in hundreds of billions in oil revenues in recent years. (townhall.com)

Unionists caught overstating employer oppression ... The Bronfenbrenner study highlighted the unreliable results of the survey of union organizers. These organizers reported that management frequently violated the law, threatening workers in 69 percent of election campaigns, firing workers in 34 percent of campaigns, and harassing workers in 41 percent of elections. The Economic Policy Institute and American Rights at Work have highlighted these figures as further evidence of widespread management intimidation. However, the much more reliable data from the National Labor Relations Board rebuts these claims. The NLRB data show that only a small minority of employers ever break the law. Employers fire union supporters in just 6 percent of elections, threaten workers in 7 percent of elections, and harass workers in just 2 percent of elections. (heritage.org)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), a co-sponsor of The Employee Free Choice Act (aka Card Check) WHAT: Rep. Jackson received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $2,500 in 2008 election cycle. Boilermakers Union (PAC) $1,000 in 2008 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $4,000 in 2008 election cycle; $500 in 2006 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $5,000 in 2010 election cycle; $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $5,500 in 2006 election cycle. Service Employees International Union (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $2,500 in 2006 election cycle. WHY IT'S DIRTY: Multiple officers and members of these unions, including division presidents, secretary-treasurers and business managers, have been convicted since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement, falsifying official reports to government, mail fraud and conspiracy. The Communication Workers of America and the American Federation of Government Employees have had eight convictions, The Service Employees International Union has had nine convictions and The Boilermakers have had 10 members convicted, while the IBEW has had 14 members convicted. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. WILL DOGGETT GIVE IT BACK: Jackson did not respond to The Examiner's request for comment. THE SCORE: Number of Democrats who have given it back: 0 • Number of Republicans who have given it back: 0 • YOUR TURN: You can reach Rep. Jackson's Washington D.C. office at 202-225-0773. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Militant UAW military strikers ID scabs ... Manufacturing workers at Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. picketed the company's Fort Worth-area plants Monday, their first day on strike in more than two decades, a union leader said. Tom Wells, chairman of United Auto Workers Local 218, said workers braved nearly triple-digit temperatures to demonstrate outside eight facilities where they produce parts, components and assemblies for all Bell aircraft, including the V-22 Osprey and H-1 military helicopters and the company's civilian models. "The membership has stepped up to the plate," Wells said. "We're manning the gates at all eight Bell facilities, even in the heat." Wells said he knew of one union member who crossed the picket line. (dallasnews.com)

Card-Check: No secret ballots in Iran, either ... According to the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money,” the market was expecting a fraudulent election in Iran with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning and compared it to the so-called free elections in the former Soviet Union. “The shock would have been a free election,” Cramer said. “I mean, we always humored ourselves about the Soviet Union having free elections. There’s always a group of people in the country who believe that. They were discredited repeatedly.” However, as Jim Cramer’s colleague, “Street Signs” host Erin Burnett pointed out – this is a teachable moment. It reflects how secret ballots could end up in an election as to whether or not unionize a company: CRAMER: I mean obviously, you were able to vote against this guy, but the idea you thought there was going to be a fair count. BURNETT: And it wasn’t a secret ballot. I think that’s important. They’re going to know – they know everybody and how they voted. CRAMER: Absolutely. BURNETT: It makes a strong point for this whole union conversation we’re having in this country. CRAMER: The card check, the card check. BURNETT: But, we’ll leave that debate … Card check, or the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), is expected to take the center stage in Congress for debate by the end of the year. (businessandmedia.org)

SEIU: Get political ... Services Employees International Union (SEIU) has announced today the start of a new political action program. The new campaign, called Member Action Program (MAP), is a way for union members to organize to make change happen on the political front. SEIU has a long history of labour and political activism. We are not content to sit by while our requests for decent pay and safe work environments go unmet. MAP will be made up of SEIU members from across Canada. They will use the program to identify issues, mount campaigns and speak with politicians. (marketwire.com)

The UAW had a good run, but it's time to go ... Private investors and bondholders wouldn't be the only ones celebrating the UAW's decertification. A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that non-unionized companies' stock prices fare significantly better than their unionized counterparts. For UAW members whose ailing pensions depend on GM shares that have plummeted 95% in the past year, freeing the automaker of union entanglements could be the ticket to an actual retirement. The UAW has failed its members, and GM will never be competitive with the UAW's noose around its neck. The American public is set to become 60 percent shareholders, so we've all got a stake in Brian Deese's performance. We the shareholders can only hope that President Obama's fledgling car czar will exceed expectations, make the tough call, and sever the union cord for good. (detnews.com)

Union-backed, tax-funded quota fraud ... As the Trib reported Sunday, a 2004 manual of ACORN affiliate Project Vote clearly documented the quota system: "Anyone who performs at less than three voter registrations per hour SHOULD NOT BE ON THE STAFF," it directs. A Project Vote spokesman says that management directive no longer is in effect. But Michael McDunnah then made the mess a little deeper. Canvassers now are expected to produce 20 voter registrations daily. Mr. McDunnah calls it a "performance standard." Let's call it what it is -- a quota system. ACORN's troubles aren't limited to Pennsylvania; nearly a dozen other states also are on its trail, as is the FBI. Lots of questions remain about an internal embezzlement scandal. And a full airing of ACORN's involvement in the subprime mortgage mess has yet to be made. Here's to cracking ACORN remaining a top law-enforcement objective. (pittsburghlive.com)

International Collectivism

People's Power advances in Venezuela ... Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez said state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) is continuing to nationalize oil field service companies in the country, with Houston-based Exterran confirming its facilities as the latest seizure. “We continue advancing, recovering the control, property and management of all these plants and compression units. Nobody will stop us in this,” said Chávez, adding, “We have a timetable to take control of the production plants in the Orinoco belt.” Exterran confirmed the seizure of its facilities, saying that “on June 2, 2009, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, commenced taking possession of our assets and operations in a number of our locations in Venezuela.” Enterran said, “We cannot predict whether the Ministry of People’s Power for Energy and Petroleum will name us in a resolution within the reserved activities, nor can we predict the amount of our assets and operations that PDVSA or its affiliates will seize.” For the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, Exterran said its operations in Venezuela accounted for $159.7 million, or 5%, of the firm’s revenue and $84.2 million, or 8%, of its gross margin. The seizure included Exterran offices and five compression plants in Monagas state, Eastern Venezuela. (ogj.com)

Putin auto bailout fuels Chávez ... Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, announced intention of the Russian car-maker AvtoVaz to build a plant to produce Lada cars in the country. The president told that in the 1990s Lada was the car he drove across Venezuela. “This is a good, beautiful, cheap people’s car”, he said. This example of Russia-Venezuela cooperation was highlighted within the framework of Petrocaribe summit held last Friday and aimed at discussing important issues of the oil and industrial production, reports the Prime-Tass news agency. (russia-ic.com)

Don't play poker with a LatAm Progressive ... Ecuador President Rafael Correa “played the market for fools” by defaulting on $3.2 billion of debt six months ago and then repurchasing the bonds at less than 40 cents on the dollar, Aberdeen Asset Management Plc said. The government’s bonds due in 2015, the only of three global notes Correa kept servicing, rose to an eight-month high yesterday as Standard & Poor’s raised the country’s rating to CCC+, two levels higher than when he defaulted in December. Ecuador has bought back 91 percent of the defaulted bonds due in 2012 and 2030, Finance Minister Maria Elsa Viteri said June 11. “Ecuador won,” Edwin Gutierrez, who manages $5 billion at Aberdeen and sold his Ecuador holdings before the default, said in a telephone interview from London. Correa’s government “played the market for fools. Remind me never to play poker with that guy,” he said. Correa, a 46-year-old economist who counts Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as one of his closest allies, halted payments on the bonds because he said they were issued illegally. He called the bondholders “true monsters who won’t hesitate to crush the country” when he announced the default on Dec. 12 and said in a national radio address the next day that he wanted to force them to accept a “big discount.” (bloomberg.com)
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