Currently viewing the tag: “Union”

In view of the controversy over whether the new Wisconsin collective bargaining law was properly published and thus in effect, Democrat Judge Maryann Sumi has revamped her previous ruling to say that the law was not published and thus is not in force.

This is quite a far cry from her original ruling, where she stated that she was merely ruling on whether the bill was in violation of Wisconsin’s open meeting law and not ruling on the validity of the law itself…but hey, lawfare is lawfare.

And I’m sure her son, who runs a company that lobbies for public employee unions and her union activist husband are certainly pleased.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) called the order “judicial activism at its worst.”

“Once again, one Dane County judge is doing everything she can to stand in the way of our efforts to improve the economy and create jobs,” said a statement he issued.

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration said it would comply and discontinue the implementation of the law, and the next step is the State Supreme Court, which has not said it will take the case yet.

Unlike some other state’s Wisconsin’s Supreme Court justices are elected, and the controversy has affected an upcoming race.

Incumbent David Prosser is being challenged by Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, for a ten-year term. The election is April 5th.

Kloppenburg is a former environmental lawyer and a fairly typical Left wing loon. Ordinarily she wouldn’t have a chance, but money talks.

By Wisconsin law, each candidate receives $ 300,000 in public funds and is restricted to that amount, but public employee union groups have spent huge sums on her behalf. The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties, has funneled $ 3 million into anti-Prosser advertising. One ad they’re running around the clock falsely accuses Prosser of being ‘soft on pedophiles’ because he allowed a plea bargain for a Catholic priest some years ago when a court psychiatrist testified that forcing the two young victims to testify could cause them serious psychological trauma.

Even one of the victims, Troy Merryfield has come out publicly and said that Judge Prosser’s decision was the right one at the time and asked that the ad be pulled. And Prosser, understandably angered, demanded that Kloppenburg disavow the ads “which she knows are false’ but so far, she has refused.

“It is the worst ad that has ever been run in a judicial campaign,” he asserted. “If some third party ran an ad supporting me and attacking you, and it was despicable, and it was a lie, I would stand up and ask that the ad be pulled,” he argued. “You are not willing to do that, even at the request of the victim in the ad?”

Uhhh, nope. She isn’t.

Right now, the Court has a 4-3 conservative majority. If Kloppenburg gets in, that changes…but not for some months, so Prosser would still likely be the justice that hears the case even if he loses – and the State Supreme Court agrees to hear it.

The Democrats and the public employee unions are also pouring serious money into the state in an attempt to gin up a recall of Walker and other Republican state legislators.

In many ways, this is the first battle of the 2012 election.

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After revising the original ruling for the third time, a Wisconsin Judge ruled that Governor Scott Walker’s law should

This time, the judge warned that any officials who violate it, will face sanctions.


Liberty Pundits Blog

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From NY Blueprint, yesterday:

“Do you like sexy panties? Then don’t boycott Israel.” So say the T-shirts worn by activists canvassing Union Square Park and handing out care packages of Israeli manufactured products including Victoria Secret panties today between 1-4pm in Union Square Park near NYU. It is a humorous way of drawing attention to the serious problems caused by the movement to boycott Israel, says the Birthright Israel Alumni Community who is organizing the “Kiss my BDS” event, problems for both innocent Israelis and American consumers most of whom have no idea of the many links between the two economies. These kind of unreasoning attacks on Israel only hurt America – American companies, American super markets, even in American lingerie drawers.

Today (March 30th) to counter the international anti-Israel “BDS Day” (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), sexy Israel supporters will be handing out Victoria’s Secret panties in Union Square Park. (Victoria’s Secret is on the boycott list.)

As much as I tried,I could not find photos of this important event. Sorry.

However, a blog called Jewish FAIL claims:

After receiving fabric from Israel, the undergarments are actually made by Palestinian women and foreign workers in Jordan who toil under brutal, intolerable conditions and then sew “Made in Israel” tags onto their work. The underwear is then returned to Israel, which exports it to the U.S. Yay, exploited labor masquerading as economic cooperation!

Damn, she’s exploiting poor Jordanians!

The NYT article they point to to prove that the panties are made in Jordan is dated…1996. It seems possible, but not certain, that the lingerie is still being made in Jordan for Israeli companies. Ha’aretz reported more recently about “sweatshops” in Jordanian factories owned and used by Israeli companies.

So BDSers are boycotting Victoria’s Secret, but others are complaining that Israel doesn’t really make the products. I guess it is a second-level boycott.

Jordan, the nation that actually allows the sweatshops, somehow isn’t blamed for any of this by anyone. Because, of course, the enlightened leftists who are so keen to complain about Israel and Victoria’s Secret don’t have very high moral expectations from mere Arabs.

Elder of Ziyon

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There’s nothing like a union shake-down to win over public opinion.
American Thinker Blog

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According to the liberal version of events, the ongoing fight in Wisconsin between Gov. Scott Walker (R) and government unions centered on the unions’ “right” to collective bargain for wages and benefits. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, there simply is no “right” to collective bargaining. And just what are the “benefits” that government unions use their collective bargaining privileges to take from taxpayers? Today, The Washington Post reports on Montgomery County, Maryland’s very similar budget troubles:

At a time when public employees unions are fighting for their lives elsewhere in the United States, the munificence of Montgomery’s benefits package was captured in an e-mail this month notifying workers, in the understated prose of a Q&A fact sheet, that “the County will no longer cover the cost of purchasing medications used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).” …  Officials said ending the ED benefit for county government employees, retirees and their families would save $ 400,000 a year.

Forcing taxpayers to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for government union Viagra is not unique to Montgomery County. In fact, the very same government unions that were demanding their “right” to collective bargaining in Wisconsin have repeatedly fought for their “right” to Viagra as well:

In 2002, through collective bargaining, Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association won the inclusion of Viagra in its members’ health plans, and by 2004, 10% of union membership (which isn’t a male-dominated set) was subscribing to the benefit — at a cost of more than $ 200,000 per year to the Milwaukee school district. Not until 2005 was the school district finally able to convince an arbitrator to drop the coverage.

Last year, while the school district faced a $ 10 million budget shortfall, the MTEA decided it was time to revisit those drug benefits and filed a lawsuit demanding their reintroduction to union health plans—at a projected cost of $ 786,000 in 2010.

It may look like the union trying to raise costs for taxpayers, but MTEA spokeswoman Kristin Collett insists that it’s really a matter of fundamental rights: “this is an issue of discrimination, of equal rights for all our members.”

Of course, there is no “right” to Viagra, just as there is no “right” to collective bargaining. All Americans do have a First Amendment right of freedom of association. But that does not mean that unions have any right to force their government employers to sign exclusive contracts benefiting their members at the cost of taxpayers. And those costs are real. Government unions are so powerful in Montgomery County that politicians give campaign contributions to the union, not the other way around. The result? Montgomery Country faces a $ 608 million deficit this year and structural deficits looking far into the future. And what is the driving force of Montgomery County’s structural deficits? Government union benefits like Viagra. According to the Montgomery County Office of Legislative Oversight:

Between FY02 and FY11, the primary driver behind higher personnel costs was not an increase in the size of the workforce but rather the increase in average costs per employee. Across the four agencies, employee salaries grew by 50% in the aggregate and by higher amounts (up to 80%) for individual employees, while the costs of health and retirement/pension benefits increased upwards of 120%. In FY11, the combined agency cost of employee benefits is almost $ 740 million, or 22% of all spending.

And remember, that 22% of all spending is just for employee benefits. According to the same report, 82% of all tax supported Montgomery County spending goes to employee compensation.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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There are some basic truths in the American model.  We love elections.  We create hierarchies constantly.  If someone wants to be the voice of the group, we’re very willing to let them do that.  Tell us your thoughts and plans, perhaps we’ll have more than one wanting to be that voice, and we’ll get together and pick the voice.  If only one person wants to be the voice, we might vote whether or not to even have a singular voice speaking for all us.  We don’t have to have one.

And when the role of a singular voice is important enough, we’ll want to ensure that everyone votes.  We want everyone’s opinion.  Consider a family decision.  While us parents know the game – the only eligible voters are mom and dad – we’ll elicit opinions of the kids at a family meeting.  Sometimes we learn something.  Then mom and dad “vote” on what to do:  Move to another state for a job, change churches, or move in gramma for the rest of her Earthly existence.

Now assume that mom comes home from work one day to find her mother-in-law in the living room and boxes stacked where mom’s car used to be parked in the garage.  Assessing the situation, she determines that it’s best to wait for her husband to come home.  She waits ever so impatiently, distracted, naturally enough, by the piercingly high volume of the television.

Husband arrives.  Story proceeds:  ”Well, just like we always do, I held a family meeting to get everyone’s ideas, and then I voted on whether or not to move her in.  I voted ‘yes’.”  Wife responds, “I don’t recall that particular meeting.”  Husband, “Of course not.  You weren’t there.”

And therein lies the change the Obama Administration has effected for creating unions in the railroad and airline industries.

The Railway Labor Act of 1926 (expanded in 1936 to include airlines) has a fairly simple mechanism for creating a labor union:

The RLA contemplates that employees will be represented on a carrier-wide basis through crafts or classes of employees (e.g., railroad engineers and airline pilots), and that the majority of the employees in each class or craft may select a bargaining representative. Representational disputes include issues of whether: (1) a majority of a craft or class of employees desire to be represented by a particular union or to be unrepresented; (2) a union’s certification survives a merger; and (3) two related carriers will be treated as one (or two) for representation purposes. The RLA commits representational disputes to the exclusive jurisdiction of the NMB, and requires the NMB, upon the request of either party to a dispute among a carrier’s employees, to investigate and certify bargaining representatives for a class or craft. A carrier is required to deal with the representatives certified to it by the NMB.

That emphasis is mine.  It means that dad had better include mom in the vote as to whether to bring gramma into the house.  The entire class is counted – every machinists, or both mom and dad.  To form a union or move in gramma requires a majority of the entire class.

There is an alternative, and National Mediation Board, dominated by Obama appointees, chose it:  Rather than a majority vote of the entire class, a union could be formed by only a majority of those voting – ergo, dad.

It’s logical, right?  It’s what we do with elections all the time.  Ah, not when it comes to gramma moving in.  Gramma will suck all the oxygen out of the room while we’re home, and when we’re at work she’ll be installing satellite television, canceling the Internet, and having the grass in the yard replaced with white pebbles.  She’ll make the decisions that she feels are best, and will send you the bill afterward – just like union dues and unfunded pensions.

And the NMB decision is not a Conservative’s fiction:

AirTran Airways’ 2,900 fleet employees and passenger service and reservation employees have voted to be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union and theNational Mediation Board said Monday.

The union would have lost under the old NMB rules governing union representation elections, rules that were changed last year. They won under the new rules.

The NMB said 2,904 employees were eligible to vote. Under the old rules that required a union to get a majority of the eligible votes, the Machinists would have needed 1,453 votes in favor.

Instead, it won by a 978-870 vote. Under the new rules, the union needs only to get a majority of the votes cast, not a majority of the votes eligible to be cast

That was just a couple of days ago.  978 machinists – 475 less than a simple majority – committed all 2,904 machinists to join the union.  Gramma moved in, and mom wasn’t consulted.

The unions have a twist to not consulting mom:

Under the old NMB voting rules, any worker who did not vote in a union representation election was automatically counted as a vote against the union.

They say it like that’s a bad thing.  But, that’s right, boys and girls:  If we’re discussing something fundamental to our lives, I have to assume your mom wants the status quo unless she informs me otherwise.

And now Congress is stepping up to ensure that mom gets her vote.  The FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 is up in the House.  It will achieve the status quo ante of requiring a majority of all workers in a class in order to create a union.  And it also reasserts the role of Congress to set such fundamental changes in labor law.

And the latter, I suggest, is just as important as the former.  The Obama Administration is known for its backdoors.  From EPA regs to HHS Obamacare to NMB unionization rules, what they can’t get through legislation, they do through regulation – and then Obama vetoes anything that overrides it.  Yes, there is a violation of the Constitutional Separation of Powers here.  And it will catch up to him.

For today, let’s ensure that Veto Pen is well-inked.  It’s not just a 2012 campaign commercial.  Mom is counting on you.  Contact Congress … now, kindly.

Liberty Pundits Blog

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You may have seen news that Wisconsin’s AFSCME public-sector union is threatening businesses with possible boycott if they refuse to voice support for the union position. Obviously, it’s pretty galling — and potentially illegal.

The Journal-Sentinel reported that AFSCME Council 24 has informed local business that they must put a sign in their window showing their public support for the union’s position or “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

Translation: That’s a nice business you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to it.

That sounds like a fairly explicit threat to harm a company’s business. So it’s worth noting these Wisconsin laws*:

943.30 Threats to injure or accuse of crime. (1) Whoever, either verbally or by any written or printed communication,
maliciously threatens to accuse or accuses another of any crime or offense, or threatens or commits any injury to the person, property, business, profession, calling or trade, or the profits and income of any business, profession, calling or trade of another, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage whatever, or with intent to compel the person so threatened to do any act against the person’s will or omit to do any lawful act, is guilty of a Class H felony.

943.31 Threats to communicate derogatory information. Whoever threatens to communicate to anyone information, whether true or false, which would injure the reputation of the threatened person or another unless the threatened person transfers property to a person known not to be entitled to it is guilty of a Class I felony.
History: 1977 c. 173; 2001 a. 109.
A threat to injure a manager’s reputation unless a job is offered violated this section.
State v. Gilkes, 118 Wis. 2d 149, 345 N.W.2d 531 (Ct. App. 1984).


134.01 Injury to business; restraint of will. Any 2 or more persons who shall combine, associate, agree, mutually undertake or concert together for the purpose of willfully or maliciously injuring another in his or her reputation, trade, business or profession by any means whatever, or for the purpose of maliciously compelling another to do or perform any act against his or
her will, or preventing or hindering another from doing or performing any lawful act shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not more than one year or by fine not exceeding $ 500.

* h/t to Halt The Assault spokesman Brett McMahon // photo credit: flickr/mrbula

Big Government

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While equality inches forward in some states, echoes of inequality freshly resound in others. Here’s a round-up of the latest.

– ARKANSAS: The Arkansas legislature has passed an anti-bullying law that enumerates the attributes of sexual orientation and gender identity (PDF). Meanwhile, the Arkansas Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the challenge against the ban on same-sex adoption voted into effect in 2008.

– COLORADO: Hearings begin tomorrow in the House for the civil unions bill that passed in the Senate last week.

– DELAWARE: Senate hearings begin today for a proposed civil unions bill.

– INDIANA: A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage has passed both houses. It will need to be passed again in 2013-2014 to complete the amendment process.

– MARYLAND: A bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity has hit a snag in the Senate that may lead to the bill’s death in a committee “graveyard.”

– MONTANA: Efforts to repeal the state’s anti-sodomy laws are struggling despite having been ruled unconstitutional 14 years ago.

– NORTH CAROLINA: A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage has been introduced and is currently in committee.

For a complete overview of the latest developments in the marriage battleground states of Rhode Island, Maryland, New York, California, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wyoming, Iowa, and New Mexico, click here.

Wonk Room

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Maybe A.F.S.C.M.E. and the N.E.A. will pick up the tab.
American Thinker Blog

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Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. I guess the unions need to set up a parallel structure, since the rule of law no longer applies in the state. Too bad, but there it is.

Recent quick hits

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We move from NLRB to NMB: It’s an alphabet soup to choke on.

Big Labor continues to bask from the blessings of the Obama administration. Until the National Meditation Board changed the rules last year, a majority of workers in union elections not a majority of workers voting, were needed to unionize a workforce. The NMB has become another union shill-thanks to President Obama’s appointments to it.

Yesterday news came that Big Labor “won” an election-the reservations and fleet employees at AirTran Airways are now represented by the machinists’ union, the Workforce Fairness Institute blog tells us.

The NMB released results from that election, 994 voted for the union, 870 voted against it, but 36 percent did not vote.

Fortunately, the House of Representatives will soon vote on the FAA Reauthorization Bill that will overturn the new NMB rule on elections.

Let’s hope the House returns fairness to union elections.

Big Labor contributed a fortune in cash to elect Obama. SEIU alone spent $ 60 million.

Related posts:

Workforce Fairness Institute: NLRB continues Big Labor bailout

SEIU prez: Union spent $ 60.7 million to elect Obama

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Marathon Pundit

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Governor Scott Walker’s administration, on behalf of his state, has halted collecting union dues as of Sunday.

Instead, they’re charging employees for their pensions and health care benefits.


Liberty Pundits Blog

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It’s been established that when the Obama administration can’t get part of its agenda legislated; they simply turn around and push it through the web-like bureaucracy at their disposal. Last year’s failed pro-union legislation was no exception; when ‘card check’ met a dead end in Congress, obscure government agencies like the National Mediation Board (NMB) put rules in place to ensure that unionizing elections swung in the unions’ favor anyway.

The NMB was created by that union-hating, capitalist pig Franklin Delano Roosevelt to oversee union elections in the air and rail industries. Under Obama, the board made its first pro-active rule in over 75 years of existence, changing the way union votes are counted to enable an entire workforce to be forced to unionize by a minority of votes.

The House has an opportunity to pass legislation that will turn back the clock on the administration’s overstepping of its boundaries, and send a strong “game over” message to the union bosses counting on the Democrats to line their pockets. Namely, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act, which includes a provision to overturn the NMB’s new rule and re-instate the system that has worked for decades.

The airline workers want this, and with a Republican majority in the House it should be a sure thing, right? Well, it’s not that easy. A handful of House Republicans, largely in union-heavy districts, are clearly more concerned with their re-election than with the mandate of fiscal responsibility and smaller government that put them in power in the first place.

Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-OH), along with Democrat Jerry Costello, is trying to tack on an amendment taking the teeth out of the legislation. In a letter to the other Members, they claim that rolling back the new NMB rule “would jeopardize the fairness of union representation elections.” So essentially what they’re saying is that a policy upheld under such Presidents as FDR, Truman, Carter, and Clinton was somehow unfair to unions?

Other key Republican fence sitters include Reps. Mary Bono-Mack (CA-45), Ilena Ros-Lentinen (FL-18), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21), David Rivera (FL-25), Joe Walsh (IL-8), Robert Dold (IL-10), Judy Biggert (IL-13), Bobby Schilling (IL-17), Ed Whitfield (KY-1), Jo Ann Emerson (MO-8), Jon Runyan (NJ-3), Leonard Lance (NJ-7), Michael Grimm (NY-13), Michael Turner (OH-3), Steve Austria (OH-7), Steve Stivers (OH-15), Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Todd Platts (PA-19), David McKinley (WV-1).

Big Government

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Standing ground.

Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the state of Wisconsin has implemented the public-employee union reforms passed by the state legislature and published over the weekend in defiance of a restraining order.  That means dues for unions will not be collected from paychecks, but higher contributions for pensions and health insurance will (via Legal Insurrection): […]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

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Standing ground.

Yesterday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that the state of Wisconsin has implemented the public-employee union reforms passed by the state legislature and published over the weekend in defiance of a restraining order.  That means dues for unions will not be collected from paychecks, but higher contributions for pensions and health insurance will (via Legal Insurrection): […]

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Hot Air » Top Picks

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