Organized Labor Issues
News and opinions about labor's political connections


Introduction

Many members of labor unions vote for Democratic candidates (often upon the heavy-handed "advice" of union leaders) even though the Democrats stand for socialist principles with which the average blue collar worker probably disagrees.

When you write out a check for union dues, you might as well make the check payable to the Democratic National Committee, because that's where the money is eventually going.

Labor unions appear to be little more than fundraising machines — and pools of temporary manpower — for the Democratic Party.  But the Democratic Party supports a number of things that the average blue collar worker opposes, such as high taxes, gun control, abortion, same-sex adoptions, same-sex marriages, women in combat, radical environmentalism, radical feminism, race-based hiring quotas, and a permanent multi-billion dollar welfare state.

"Joe Six-Pack", the average white male factory worker, has no use for taxpayer-funded needle exchanges for IV drug users.  He doesn't approve of dispensing condoms (and instructions on how to use them) in schools.  And he doesn't like 1.6 gallon toilets any more than the rest of us.  But these are the kinds of things the Democratic Party fights for, and he unwittingly supports them with money siphoned from his union dues.

If you vote for a particular party as a matter of habit, or if you join a labor union without thinking about how your money will be spent, you're making a serious mistake.

Subtopics on other pages:

Corruption:
    Organized crime
    Shadowy connections
    An atmosphere of sleaze and graft
    Occasional violence and constant strife

Politics:
    Your union dues go straight to the Democratic Party
    Unions act as manpower pools for Democrat campaigns
    The NLRB vs Boeing
    Other news and commentary about the NLRB
    Politicians and unions exchange favors constantly
    President Obama is paying back the unions for their support

Other organized labor problems:
    Overpaid leadership / mismanagement
    Disillusionment, declining membership, and diminished influence
    Constant attempts to expand
    Unions protect lazy and stupid workers
    Some workers would rather have a union than a job
    Unionized government workers

Related pages:
    Card Check, the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, and the preservation of the secret ballot.
    The Minimum Wage
    The teachers' unions
    The unionized teachers' uprising in Madison, Wisconsin, 2011
    The UAW
    The TSA
    President Obama is paying back the unions for their support.



Overviews of organized labor issues
... and uncategorized labor news.

Sun-Times sold to unions, wealthy investors.  The money-losing operations of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader have been sold for a $1 to a group that includes wealthy Chicagoans and unions.  People on both sides of the transaction confirmed that the transaction is closing today.  The purchasers' group is led by former Chicago alderman Edwin Eisendrath, and it includes the Chicago Federation of Labor.

How Democrats Hoodwink Blacks.  Labor unions have always been allied with the Democratic Party and have a history of racism.  Most of today's black leaders give unquestioned support to labor unions and their policies that harm black workers, but yesteryear's black leaders saw things differently.  Frederick Douglass, in his 1874 essay "The Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor Unions," argued that unions were not friends of blacks.  W.E.B. Du Bois called unions "the greatest enemy of the black working man."  Booker T. Washington also opposed unions because of their adverse impact on blacks.

Illegal Alien Day:  The Left used May Day to push its open-borders agenda this year.  In America, May Day is typically a violent observance.  Its purpose is to serve as a rallying point for communists and socialists.  Despite that, it hasn't been that difficult to take the focus off the plight of American workers on May 1 over the years.  Perhaps this is because America has never been a left-of-center country perpetually boiling over with class resentment.  Americans don't care much about labor issues or the labor movement because it hasn't done anything for them.

At Least 20% of SEIU's Budget Went to Politics.  Labor giant Service Employees International Union spent $60 million on politics and lobbying as well as $19 million on the Fight for 15 movement in 2016, and now finds itself laying off headquarters staff.  The union's federal filing to the Department of Labor reveal that it experienced marginal growth in 2016, adding about 15,000 members from 2015.  However, that increase did not correlate with financial growth as revenue fell by $17 million, fueling a $10 million budget deficit.  The union, which represents healthcare and public sector workers, spent $61.6 million on political activities and lobbying in 2016, roughly 20 percent of its $314.6 million budget, according to the filing.

In The Age Of Trump, Unions Urged To Use Underground Organizers.  With union membership in the United States at an all-time low — even after eight years of having a pro-union president in the White House, more than 93% of the private sector workforce is union free — unions now face very uncertain future under a Trump presidency.  With the majority of states now considered "Right-to-Work" state — which give unionized workers the choice to pay union fees or not without fearing the loss of their jobs — and a National Right-To-Work Act introduced in Congress earlier this month, both public and private-sector unions are facing existential threats on a multitude of fronts that seemed unlikely just a few months ago when the election of Hillary Clinton was considered a certainty.  To make matters worse for unions, in 2016, 43% of union households voted for Donald Trump, while labor leaders funneled tens of millions of their dues dollars to groups supporting Hillary Clinton.

Kentucky could be a right-to-work state by next week.  Yesterday evening [1/5/2017], Kentucky's newly Republican-led state House passed a right-to-work law, which would prevent the compulsory collection of union dues from unwilling employees as a condition of keeping their jobs.  The bill, sought after by business groups in the state for decades, had been long resisted by Democrats.  Now, it could pass the state Senate as soon as tomorrow, and if it did it could become law before President Obama even leaves office.

Democrats Make Millions More Off Federal Unions, Bureaucrats Than Republicans.  Federal civil servants and government employee unions donated far more money to Democrats seeking public office than Republicans in 2016, campaign contribution records show.  More than 82 percent of $4.3 million in donations from nine major federal unions went to Democrats, Center for Responsive Politics data shows, FedSmith.com reported Wednesday [12/21/2016].  Likewise, Democrats raked in 82 percent of $6.6 million in donations from employees of 11 federal agencies and Senate and House of Representatives staff.

AFL-CIO Endorses Keith Ellison For DNC Chair.  The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) endorsed U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison for Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Thursday.  "Representative Ellison meets the high standard working people expect from leaders of our political parties," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.  "He is a proven leader who will focus on year-round grassroots organizing to deliver for working families across America," he continued.  The AFL-CIO's executive council voted overwhelmingly to endorse Ellison to lead the DNC, according to a statement from the Federation.  Several candidates for the post have sought out the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million workers and is the nation's largest union.

How Union Bosses Sold Out Their Workers.  The 2016 election exposed deep divisions in America, but none deeper than that between the leadership of organized labor and its membership.  Union bosses spent some $100 million in member dues to try and elect Hillary Clinton and other Democrats across the country.  It wasn't money well-spent.  This disconnect between Democratic elites, their union boss pals and rank-and-file union members has been a long time coming.  Decades ago, organized labor made a pact with the Democratic Party.  Democrats would support legislation approved by the union leadership and in return labor leaders would support Democratic politicians and liberal causes, even when those candidates and causes were objectionable to most of their members.

SEIU Texas Declares Bankruptcy After Losing Millions to Company.  The Texas chapter of one of the nation's most powerful unions filed for bankruptcy after losing a multi-million dollar lawsuit for its smear campaign against a Houston janitorial company.  A jury ordered Service Employees International Union Texas, also known as SEIU District Five, to pay Professional Janitorial Service of Houston $7.8 million in September for making false claims about the company during a campaign to rally support from workers and local activists.  A Texas judge rejected the union's request for a mistrial on November 15 and ordered it to hand over files associated with the case to the company for discovery.  The union said that filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection reflects the best interests of its members given the costly judgement.

Big Labor threw tons of cash at Democrats, but workers voted red: report.  Big Labor pumped $530 million of workers' dues into mostly Democratic Party groups and liberal causes over a four-year period — with dismal results, according to a new analysis.  Despite the unions' massive cash infusion into Democratic causes, GOPer Donald Trump still won the union-heavy Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio in his presidential bid against Dem candidate Hillary Clinton.  A Republican-led Congress, expected to be hostile to union causes, also was voted into office.  "Labor unions have become the ATM of the Democratic Party — despite the known fact that 40 percent of union households vote for Republican candidates," said Richard Berman, director of the Center for Union Facts, a group typically critical of unions which conducted the study.

Veritas Video Shows Dem Strategist Telling Communications Workers of America To Lie To Members.  In the latest Project Veritas video, pollster Celinda Lake presented the results of her polling to the Communications Workers of America (CMA). She first explained that explaining that the Democrats were seven points behind the GOP in jobs and the Dems have never won an election when they've been that far behind in Jobs.  Lake said that the Democrats where having a hard time holding stopping independent women from going into the "undecided" category and independent men going to a third party candidate this election[.]  Lake continued by telling the Union Members to lie to their rank and file, not about pensions because they couldn't get away with that, but she suggests they lie about Democratic stance on things like guns.  Isn't it wonderful the way unions work.  They take the money of the rank and file, support the politicians that protect union management without getting permission from their members and then lie to the people who are paying dues.

One fifth of Clinton's haul has come from just 100 people or unions.  Five mega-donors and their wives are responsible for one in every $17 dollars [sic] that have been spent on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.  The Clinton campaign proper and SuperPAC Priorities USA had raised a combined $1.14 billion by the end of September, filling their coffers to the brim with the help of the Democratic candidate's wealthy friends and national labor unions.

Here's where your union dues go:
Ad buy of $510,000 targets young Hispanics, African-American, Haitian-American voters in Florida.  The Service Employees International Union Florida and an array of community groups announced Tuesday they plan to spend more than $500,000 and radio and online ads targeting Latino millennials, African-American and Haitian-American voters in Florida.  The ads are designed to encourage these groups — some 4 million people — to get out and vote in the nation's biggest battleground state.  SEIU Florida and the other groups have spent months going door-to-door contacting minority voters all over the state.

Union leaders struggle to turn members against Trump.  Every four years, the AFL-CIO labor federation engages in a quixotic mission: to attempt to dissuade many of its own members from voting for their first choice for president, the Republican candidate.  Between one-quarter and one-third pull the lever for the GOP, anyway.  The labor leaders' efforts have taken an added urgency this year because the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, may have the strongest appeal in decades of any GOP candidate to the union rank-and-file.  The AFL-CIO has conceded as much.  An internal poll it did in June found that 41 percent of its members in five key battleground states — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada and Wisconsin — favored Trump.

No, Unions Don't Increase Everyone's Wages.  2016's edition of Labor Day followed a well-established tradition — unions claiming credit for every worker gain.  Among their most common assertions, often incorporated in attributing negative wage trends to eroding union power, was that unions raise all workers' wages.  Unfortunately, unions retard rather than raise others' real earning power.  Unions leverage special government-granted powers (e.g., unique exemptions from antitrust laws) allowing current employees to prevent competition from others willing to do the same work for less.  This is a form of collusion that, done by any business, would be legally prosecuted.  The higher union wages that result are then credited for raising all workers' wages because they supposedly force up other employers' wages to keep their workers from leaving for those better-paying alternatives.  However, their claim cannot be true without violating the law of demand.

Why you should celebrate workers — not unions.  In July, West Virginia became America's 26th right-to-work state, meaning tens of thousands of Mountain State workers will be free from Big Labor's stranglehold.  You see, in the 24 states without right-to-work laws, union officials can order workers fired simply for refusing to pay union dues or fees.  What's more, millions more nonmember workers nationwide have no choice but to accept unions' bargaining power over their wages and working conditions, even if they want nothing to do with the union and could get a better deal on their own.  This despite the fact that poll after poll shows the American people overwhelmingly oppose forced union dues and affiliation, a view shared by rank-and-file union members.  In a nationwide scientific poll of 760 union members commissioned by the National Right to Work Foundation, 80 percent supported the principle that union membership and dues payment should not be required as a condition of employment.

Has Clinton Written Off Working-Class White Men?  The Democratic convention in Philadelphia this week was a shrewdly planned, well-choreographed, star-studded celebration of diversity, inclusion and social justice.  A party now dominated by progressives also tried reaching out to moderate or defecting Republicans with decorated veterans, some tough talk on national security and passionate displays of patriotism.  But for the white working-class men drawn to Donald Trump — the very voters who were for decades the foundation of the Democratic Party — the message was clear:  We've pretty much given up on you.  The convention, which started on a divisive and dramatic note with leaked emails showing the Democratic National Committee had favored the candidacy of Hillary Clinton over Sen.  Bernie Sanders all along, ended up, by most accounts, a great success.  Yet it also illustrated what polling shows — that the ascendant coalition in the Democratic Party of women, young voters and non-whites may no longer find common cause with blue-collar white men.

Democrats Abandon Workers to Trump.  [Scroll down]  Smart liberal journalists smell the coffee.  "Donald Trump's Working-Class Appeal Is Starting To Freak Out Labor Unions" was the headline over an article in The Huffington Post.  But because the unions are endorsing Mrs. Clinton, the Trump candidacy has the potential to drive a huge wedge between the well-paid union leaders and the workers they claim to represent.  "Hillary Clinton has supported virtually every trade agreement that has cost this country millions of jobs and is on the exact opposite side from rank-and-file union workers whose jobs she has destroyed," Trump says.  "Clinton has helped negotiate the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and is its biggest booster — there is no doubt she would enact it if given the chance — yet more betrayal of union voters whose jobs would vanish as a result of this deal."

The Future of Mandatory Union DuesFriedrichs v.  California Teachers Association was anticipated to be one of the most significant cases of the Supreme Court's term.  In Friedrichs, the Court was considering whether to overrule its prior decision in Abood v.  Detroit Board of Education (1977), which held that public employees can be required to financially support union collective-bargaining with government, but not union political activities.  In 2014, the Court sharply criticized Abood's rationales in Harris v.  Quinn, but stopped short of overruling it. Friedrichs was primed to be the final word on Abood's continuing validity.  However, with Justice Scalia's passing in February, the Court deadlocked 4-4 in Friedrichs, and Abood remains the law of land.

Behind the Don't Shoot Coalition in Ferguson.  A core of community organizers is behind the 45 organizations placing demands on the policing agencies in St.  Louis County.  As the Grand Jury's decision concerning Officer Darren Wilson is awaited, Don't Shoot Coalition (DSC) is preparing its role in street demonstrations likely to come in the wake of an anticipated No True Bill. [...] Who is on the DSC membership list?  The publicized list of the 45 DSC group names breaks down into these categorizes:  (1) Labor Unions; (2) African-American Organizations; (3) Other Ethnic Groups; (4) Faith-based Organizations; (5) Anti-War Activists; [...] [Category #1] Labor Unions:  American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3354; International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW Local 1345); Service Employees International Union Healthcare Missouri (SEIUMO); Communication Workers of America, Local 6355.

Will A Robot Take Your Job?  "If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?" is the alarming question asked by Rice University professor Moshe Vardi, who is the source of the new estimate.  It's a legitimate question.  And Vardi answers it, claiming that the advent of robots will lead to the destruction of middle-class jobs, "exacerbating inequality."  Vardi's right about one thing:  The robot age is upon us.  From 2004 to 2014, annual sales of industrial robots surged 136% to 229,000.  Today, there are more than 1.6 million robots on factory floors around the world.  If anything, Vardi's estimate about robots might be too pessimistic.  Other estimates say that as much as half of all human work could be done by robots within a decade.  So:  Is this it for human labor?

Latino Activists Reject Union's Support For Hillary, Rally For Bernie Sanders.  Bakersfield, California — More than one hundred Latino activists, organizers, and farm workers offered their support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during a back-and-forth discussion in the Harvest Hall at the Bakersfield Fairgrounds.  The open discussion drew a sharp contrast with the heavily staged and managed public events put on by Bernie's primary competitor, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Unions demand AFL-CIO cut ties with environmental activist billionaire.  Seven unions have demanded that the AFL-CIO cut ties with Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund manager and environmental activist, over his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline and other oil and gas projects.  In a letter sent to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Monday, union officials accused the labor confederation of becoming "infiltrated by financial and political interests that work in direct conflict to many of our members' — and yes, AFL-CIO dues paying members' lives."

The Green War Against the Working Class.  There was a time in America — and it wasn't even so long ago — that liberals actually cared about working class people.  They may have been misguided in many of their policy solutions (i.e., raising the minimum wage) but at least their heart was in the right place.  Then a strange thing happened about a decade ago.  The radical leftwing environmentalists took control.  These are people who care more about the supposed rise of the oceans than the financial survival of the middle class.  The industrial unions made a catastrophic decision to get in bed with these radicals and now they — and all of us — are paying a heavy price.

Why Minimum Wage Is Bad For Workers, Great For Unions.  The Los Angeles Times recently described how Bill Martinez, a 53-year-old bellhop at the Sheraton Universal in Studio City, was thrilled when he heard the city council voted to raise the minimum wage at big hotels like the one he worked at.  That would have boosted his hourly pay 71%.  Oops.  The law in fact lets unionized hotels avoid the minimum.  So even though Martinez pays $56.50 a month in dues to the union, he won't get the raise.  "That's what really makes me mad," he said.  But non-unionized hotels will have to pay the higher wage.  So unionized hotels will now have a cost advantage.  In short, the unions used minimum wage workers to generate more business for themselves.  Please remember that the next time you hear some union spokesperson blabbing about "the working man."

Some L.A. Unionized Hotel Workers Realize They've Been Screwed Over.  California's upcoming, poorly thought out (beyond the political gains) massive minimum wage boost to $15 per hour does not grant unions an exemption.  They will not be permitted to "collectively bargain" away the price floor in exchange for other benefits, just like businesses who are not unionized.  While most folks may assume that this has always been the case, in reality, cities and municipalities that have set their own minimum wages and other employment mandates have included exemptions for unions.  Many people aren't aware of it, and it may seem odd on the surface, given that the unions themselves are pushing for the increases.

SEIU reportedly spent millions on minimum wage initiative as enrollment drops.  The Service Employees International Union is believed to have spent $20 million on its campaign to have the minimum wage raised to $15 last year, according to a new report.  The report by the Center for Union Facts, a watchdog group, says that the new figure is in addition to the $50 million already spent since 2012.  The numbers come from the 2015 financial disclosures released by the SEIU that were was analyzed by the CUF.  What the CUF discovered was that a majority of the $20 million spent for the "Fight for 15" campaign last year went to various organizing committees and that the powerhouse union was likely spending even more, due to staff salaries, legal services and money paid to minimum wage advocacy groups such as the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the Economic Policy Institute (EcPI).

Court strikes down Wisconsin right-to-work law.  Wisconsin's right-to-work law, championed by Republican Gov.  Scott Walker as he was mounting his run for president, was struck down Friday [4/8/2016] as violating the state constitution.

Judge strikes down Wisconsin right-to-work law.  A Dane County judge sided with unions and struck down Wisconsin's right-to-work law.  The unions, including the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers and International Association of Machinists, argued the law amounts to an unconstitutional seizure of their property because it allows workers who don't pay union dues to still receive union benefits.  State attorneys argued the law is constitutional since it technically doesn't take any money out of union coffers.  Judge William Foust agreed the law amounts to taking the unions' property without just compensation, and that it violates the state constitution.  Laws require that unions provide collective bargaining for the employees, but the state law let employees choose whether they wanted to pay union dues.

Yet Another Wisconsin Judge Tries to End Right-to-Work Laws.  He, Too, Will Fail.  In 2011, Dane County circuit judge Maryann Sumi held that Act 10, Wisconsin's historic reform of public-sector collective bargaining, had been enacted in violation of the state's open-meetings law, and she ordered that it not go into effect.  For a variety of reasons, it was clear from the get-go that this decision would not survive appeal.  It did not.  The Wisconsin supreme court reversed Judge Sumi by a vote of 4 to 0, with three justices wishing to defer a decision on procedural grounds.  In 2012, Dane County circuit judge Juan Colas held that Act 10, now in effect, was unconstitutional.  Again, it was obvious from the start that this decision was fatally flawed and would not survive appeal.  It didn't.  The Supreme Court reversed Judge Colas by a vote of 5 to 2.  On Friday [4/8/2016], Dane County judge William Foust held that Wisconsin's right-to-work law was unconstitutional.  Once again, this ruling has little chance to survive on appeal.

Do Reporters Know They're Giving Money to Sanders and Clinton?  The donations occur through the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America — the umbrella union for guild journalists at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and other papers, as well as for many TV and communications workers.  The CWA has been one of Bernie Sanders' biggest contributors throughout his Washington career, records show.

Tied 4-4 after Scalia's death, high court gives unions a win.  In the clearest sign yet of the impact of Justice Antonin Scalia's death, U.S. labor unions scored a major victory Tuesday [3/29/2016] with a tie vote in a high-profile Supreme Court case they had once seemed all but certain to lose.

The Eight-Justice Supreme Court Strikes Again.  In its latest deadlock of the post-Scalia era, the Supreme Court split 4-4 on an issue of vital importance to public-employee unions and their foes.  In its inaction, the high court left in place one of its own key pro-union precedents and, more broadly, highlighted the stakes surrounding President Obama's pending nomination to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.  Some Supreme Court observers were disappointed by today's irresolution.  "The most important labor union controversy to reach the Supreme Court in years sputtered to an end on Tuesday [3/29/2016], with a 4-4 split, no explanation, and nothing settled definitely," veteran court analyst Lyle Denniston wrote on Scotusblog.

The Crisis of the Blue Model.  The Supreme Court deadlock giving public unions officials "the ability ... to collect fees from workers who chose not to join and did not want to pay for the unions' collective bargaining activities" was touted by the New York Times as a "victory for unions". [...] But in the larger context the public unions greatest enemy isn't the ghost of Antonin Scalia but the onslaught of technology.  Recently, the mighty International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was forced to let giant robots handle cargo in the port of Los Angeles.

Deadlocked Supreme Court Gives Win to Labor Unions.  Public sector unions got a win Tuesday at the Supreme Court in a major labor case, allowing them to continue to collect fees from nonmembers and, ultimately, have more money for campaign donations.  The shorthanded Supreme Court tied 4-4, a result that affirms a lower court ruling that continued to allow unions to require dues from workers they must represent but who aren't members.  The court issued a one-line order without elaboration that won't settle the issue nationwide and doesn't foreclose a challenge on the same issue in the future.

Public unions prevail as split Supreme Court sinks Friedrichs suit.  A landmark California case against state teachers unions' mandatory dues collection fell victim to the late Justice Antonin Scalia's absence from the Supreme Court — salvaging "a long-standing rule that requires about half of the nation's teachers, transit workers and other public employees to pay a 'fair share fee' to support their union," as the Los Angeles Times reported.  "Sidestepping a potentially radical change for public employee unions, a deadlocked U.S.  Supreme Court on Tuesday [3/29/2016] declined to topple the ability of organized labor to continue to collect dues from government workers who oppose being forced to pay fees to cover collective bargaining costs," the San Jose Mercury News noted.

Labor Union Leadership "Freaking Out" as Membership Supports Donald Trump.  It is always a good day for the vulgarian rebel alliance when Terry O'Sullivan, Andy Stern and Richard Trumka begin having 'splodey heads because the republican candidate has more appeal than the Democrat they are organizationally funding.

Teachers' Unions vs. Better Schools.  Since 1990, the two largest teachers' unions, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, have spent a combined $114 million on campaign contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  Teachers' unions spent over $30 million in contributions in the 2014 election cycle alone, and [Bernie] Sanders has received the second highest total of any federal political from teachers' unions in the 2016 election cycle.  "By any reasonable accounting, the nation's two teachers' unions, the NEA and the AFT, are by far the most powerful groups in the American politics of education," argues Terry Moe, author of Special Interests: Teachers Unions and America's Public Schools.  "No other groups are even in the same ballpark."  Moe is not exaggerating.  AFT and NEA also spent over $60 million on lobbying from 1998 to 2015.  The NEA is the fourth-largest single donor in American politics since 1989.  Many of these funds go towards securing favorable collectively-bargained agreements.

Union Dues Blues.  At a time of growing employee discontent with labor leaders, the Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in a case that could undermine the ability of government unions to collect fees from workers.  The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, was brought by ten Golden State teachers who object to a law requiring them to pay fees to a union, even though they have declined to join it.  The plaintiffs argue that such payments from nonmembers, known as agency fees, are unconstitutional, because the union uses them to underwrite political causes that the teachers don't support.  In recent years, the Court has signaled growing impatience with the way government unions spend monies collected from workers; on Monday, the justices' questions suggested that a majority may be ready to declare agency fees unconstitutional.

Admission By California's State Attorney May Blow Union's Case.  During this week's much-anticipated oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association U.S. Supreme Court case, which challenges mandatory teacher-union fees, a critical exchange took place between Justice Antonin Scalia, who is viewed as the swing vote in the case, and the attorney representing the State of California.  The result of that exchange could end up freeing teachers from paying for collective-bargaining contracts that hurt them and students.

This might be the end of organized labor.  The U.S. Supreme Court may deliver a big blow to organized labor in America.  On Monday [1/11/2016], the court heard oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case whose importance to public sector unions can hardly be overstated.  If the oral argument was any indication, public sector unions are out of luck.  Friedrichs concerns the constitutionality of "agency shops" for workers providing government services.  In an agency shop, people working under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by a union are free not to join the union, but are required to pay the equivalent of the union dues.  That's because without the rules of an agency shop, workers could get the benefits and protections of union membership without bearing any of the costs.

Looming setback for public unions would be a political earthquake.  With Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court took on the outcome of one election.  But the case heard by the Supreme Court on Monday [1/11/2016] could affect elections for many years.  The justices' remarks during arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association point to a major setback looming for public unions.  The court will likely rule teachers and other unionized public workers don't have to pay their unions for representation unless they want to.  That means unions will have much less money to spend tilting elections for Democrats.  Not only in California, but also in 22 other states where public workers are forced to support the union whether they want to or not.  It's a political earthquake for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — where unions dominate public employment and politics.

Political Earthquake Ahead.  Bush V. Gore decided a single election.  But the case heard by the Supreme Court on Monday [1/11/2016] could impact elections for many years.  The Justices' remarks during arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association point to a major setback looming for public unions.  The Court will likely rule that teachers and other unionized public workers don't have to pay their unions for representation unless they want to.

Supreme Court majority is critical of compelled public employee union fees.  A majority of the Supreme Court on Monday [1/11/2016] seemed prepared to hand a significant defeat to organized labor and side with a group of California teachers who claim their free speech rights are violated when they are forced to pay dues to the state's teachers union.  By their questioning at oral argument, the court's conservatives appeared ready to junk a decades-old precedent that allows unions to collect an "agency fee" from nonmembers to support collective-bargaining activities for members and nonmembers alike.

Unions at risk? Supreme Court justices voice skepticism toward forced dues.  Supreme Court justices signaled Monday [1/11/2016] that they could deal a major blow to public-sector unions, in a case challenging the controversial dues that organized labor forces workers to pay.  The court's conservative justices, and a key swing justice, made skeptical comments about the legality of the payments during 80 minutes of oral argument in Washington.  At issue is a four-decade-old precedent that allows public unions to collect "fair share" fees from non-members to help cover the costs of collective bargaining.

Union dues violate my speech rights: The lead plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case explains why she fights.  When you're an elementary school teacher like me, you happily tackle a number of unpleasant job requirements:  cleaning up from finger-painting, wiping runny noses and removing the occasional piece of gum from a student's hair.  But there's one requirement I'm not happy about:  paying dues — about $1,000 a year for full-time teachers — to a union I don't support.  I'm not alone.  In 23 states all public employees are required by state law to fund the issue agenda of their unions through their mandatory dues payments even if they aren't union members.  That's why nine California teachers and I are suing to end compulsory union dues in Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, a case that will be argued before the Supreme Court on Monday [1/11/2016].

Obama's Tragic Legacy for Black Americans.  At the urging of labor unions, President Obama has pushed for higher minimum wages that price a disproportionate percentage of blacks out of the labor force.  At the urging of teachers unions, he has fought voucher programs that give ghetto children access to better schools.  Both policies have a lengthy track record of keeping millions of blacks ill-educated and unemployed.

Dems Panicking Over High Court Union Dues Case.  Soon these unions could have a lot less money to tilt elections for Democrats.  The United States Supreme Court, which opened its term Monday [10/5/2015], is poised to rule whether public workers have to pay unions for collective bargaining even if they don't join.  A decision against unions would have its biggest impact on New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Illinois.  Union coffers in these states could be drained, and labor activists are petrified.

Unions And Dems Alike Face Big Blow From Walker's Labor Plan.  Unions wield considerable political influence and are one of the primary financial contributors to support Democrats.  Their wealth comes from a combination of both forced and voluntary union dues.  If Walker becomes president and implements his plan, the bottom lines of unions and Democrats alike could be impacted significantly, as detailed in a report from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).  "Nearly all of labor's 2012 donations to candidates and parties — 90 percent — went to Democrats," the report from CRP concluded.  "Public sector unions, which include employees at all levels of government, donated $14.7 million to Democrats in 2014."

The Union Bosses' Political Machine is Even Bigger Than They Admit.  Well-heeled corporate lobbyists.  Powerful business interests.  Eccentric billionaires with shadowy ideological agendas. When it comes to political spending, these figures dominate the popular imagination.  Meanwhile, another player has largely managed to avoid public scrutiny while quietly assembling one of the most powerful political spending machines in the country.  Big Labor's reach has expanded dramatically, and unlike every other interest group, union bosses' ambitious political agenda is bankrolled by employees who have no choice but to contribute.  Union politicos mask this influence by adroitly funneling their forced-dues dollars to a variety of political organizations that, at first blush, have nothing to do with organized labor.

Biden Gets The Commie Vote.  I come from a family of Christians who are loyal union members.  My father belonged to the Millwright/Carpenter Union his whole life.  My cousin and uncle were both Ironworkers.  The sad part is, big parts of my family voted for Barack Obama... not once, but twice.  Even sadder is that if Joe Biden runs, they'll vote for him as well.  Why?  Because he's pro-labor and that's all they can see.  It doesn't matter if pro-labor means pro-worker or not.  They have one issue and have blinders on.  It has now caused an insurmountable schism in my family which saddens me greatly.  If my father were still alive, as pro-union as he was until the last decade or so of his life, there's no way he would have ever supported these craven Marxists.

What Makes American Workers Great: It isn't thieving union bosses.  When it comes to fortifying sanctimony with criminality, it is hard to beat the American labor movement, which we hear a great deal from on Labor Day weekend.  The education monopolists may dabble in criminality, as with those teachers and administrators in Atlanta who soon will be reporting to prison, but they're mostly sanctimony most of the time, and of course the union bosses have a hand in that, too, teachers' unions being what they are.  But for a really elegant balance of sanctimony and criminality, you want one of those Philadelphia union goons who talk about solidarity with working people while committing arson and vandalizing churches in the service of their own narrow economic interests.  The good news is that in the real economy, the American labor movement is dead as fried chicken.  It's just waiting to keel over.

Which Side Are They On?  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, labor accounted for six of the top ten political contributors in America from 1989 to 2009, half of them in the public sector and all channeling funds to the Democrats.  Over 20 years, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has donated $42 million, 98 percent to Democrats; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, $31.5 million, 97 percent to Democrats; the National Education Association, $30 million, 92 percent to Democrats; the Laborers Union, $29 million, 92 percent; and the Teamsters, $28 million, 92 percent.  Most important, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), considered the main Obamaite union, has disbursed $28 million to politicians, with 95 percent to Democrats.

Minimum Wage for Thee, But Not for Me.  The AFL-CIO, official labor union of the Democrat Party, wants a higher minimum wage to provide "protection for the country's lowest-paid workers."  The SEIU, another large labor union, wants a bump in the minimum wage to create jobs and generate economic activity. [...] Let's follow the money.  A company can unionize and instead of paying $15 per hour, pay only $8 an hour, saving a bunch of money.  A win for the company.  Workers in the newly unionized company are now paying union dues.  A win for the union.  Finally, over 90 percent of union political donations, made up largely of dues, go to Democrats.  A win for the Democrats, the party that would grant the minimum wage exemptions by virtue of their control of the executive branch of government.

The SEIU has blown "$80 million in members' dues money attacking the McDonald's brand and its franchisees".  Last year, according to reports on file with the U.S. Department of Labor, the Service Employees Internationals Union paid Scott Courtney $232,060 in total compensation.  However, that is a mere pittance to the estimated nearly $80 million that the SEIU has shelled out in its nearly three-year battle to unionize the nation's fast-food workers.  Though his official SEIU title is "Deputy Chief of Staff," according to a post in the Guardian, Courtney is the chief strategist of the SEIU's Fight for $15 campaign — the campaign concocted by the SEIU in late 2009 as a means of unionizing low-wage fast-food workers.

Bernie Sanders scores nurses union endorsement.  National Nurses United — a 185,000-person union and the largest group of nurses in the country — endorsed Bernie Sanders at their national conference Monday [8/10/2015].  The endorsement is significant because it is Sanders' first sizable union endorsement in his quest for the Democratic nomination and comes after Sanders and other Democratic candidates pitched themselves to the AFL-CIO, a group that includes the nurses union, last month.

Unions: This time, we'll defeat Walker.  Labor groups are gearing up for another fight with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) now that he has entered the presidential race.  After a failed recall bid in Wisconsin, unions are determined to make sure Walker never sets foot in the Oval Office.  But organized labor's opposition could play well for Walker in the GOP primary because it appeals to his conservative base.

Yet Again, the Left is Caught Fraudulently Faking Support for its Ridiculous Policies.  [Scroll down]  The phone companies want to transition from 1930s circuit-switched wireline networks to state-of-the-art IP phone service. In part because... duh. In part because these old lines are WAY more expensive to maintain. Money dumped backwards down these imploding ratholes could be MUCH better spent advancing the tech ball — making things MUCH better and faster going forward. [...] Because most of the antiquated phone lines are unionized — and most of the modern lines are not.  As we move away from the ancient technology — we move away from the CWA's gravy gigs.

Union Boss Blasts Walker in Very Short Statement.  Make no doubt about it, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumpka doesn't like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and doesn't think much of his run for President.  As Walker formally announced his candidacy on Monday, Trumpka was short and to the point.  A statement released by the union lobby group used just six words to respond to Walker's announcement.  "Scott Walker is a national disgrace," read the entirety of the statement from Trumpka.  In fact the headline of the statement used 22 words, almost four times as many just to announce that Trumpka had something to say.

Public Pensions Prove Zero Sum Economics.  Since Democrats use the rhetoric of income redistribution to get elected, it would be interesting to see how each household is burdened by the money taken from their pockets by public sector unions in Illinois, unions who give all of their campaign money to Democratic candidates in state elections.  Of course, Illinois is not the only state dominated by high Democrat taxes and public sector spending but it serves as a good case study of what Democrats do when they have total control of budgets for decades.  And it must be kept in mind that public sector unions give 99% of the national campaign donations to Democrats so the impact is national.

$15 Minimum Wage: Women, Blacks Hurt Most.  Union leaders, who successfully lobbied for LA's $15-an-hour minimum wage, then asked for an exemption for any firms using union labor!  Repeat, the very same union leaders who successfully lobbied for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, then wanted an exemption for businesses that employ union labor and negotiate their wages under collective bargaining.  Union bosses want the fear of a $15 minimum wage hike to push companies into unionizing their labor forces.

Unions Pour Millions Into Clinton Foundation.  The National Institute for Labor Relations Research (NILRR), a union watchdog group, traced at least $2 million in donations from multiple union organizations and affiliates.  "U.S. Department of Labor's union financial disclosure reports reveal that Big Labor gave at least $2,034,500 in union general treasury funds to Clinton Foundations.  Union treasuries are funded mostly by compulsory union dues or fees collected from workers who would be fired for refusing to pay," the NILRR report says.  "As Mrs. Clinton became closer to her current run for president, donations amounts appear to have increased."

Unions fight to preserve Obama's immigration actions, their members.  Two of the country's most powerful and politically influential labor unions are backing President Obama in the recent court challenge to his 2014 executive action on illegal immigration, saying they support the president's effort because "undocumented workers" need more workplace protection and their participation helps the U.S. economy.  The AFL-CIO and the National Education Association on Monday each filed so-called amicus briefs in a federal appeals court case in which Texas and 26 other states are challenges the president's 2014 memorandum on illegal immigration.

Top US public employee union AFSCME gave $65M in 2014, mostly to Democrats, progressive groups.  AFSCME is funded by roughly 1.4 million members and mandatory fees taken from 125,255 nonmembers.  Critics argue AFSCME gets its revenue from taxpayers so its donations are essentially indirect support for Democratic politicians, political activist groups and bigger government.  AFSCME's 2014 report to the Labor Department showed $64,585,115 in Political Activities and Lobbying spending.  The union also reported more than $1 million in donations to political nonprofits as Contributions, Gifts and Grants, with $126,500 going to MSNBC host Al Sharpton's National Action Network.

One Out of Three SEIU Dollars Goes to Overhead, Politics.  Labor giant SEIU spent more than $100 million on union overhead and political activities in 2014, according to federal labor filings released Tuesday evening [3/31/2015].  The union collected about $320 million from its 1.8 million members, who are primarily government employees and health care workers.  For every $3 that a union member contributed to its coffers, $1 went to functions outside of membership services.  The union spent about $55 million paying union administrators and covering overhead costs, including more than $276,000 to president Mary Kay Henry.

Here's why unions despise right-to-work.  Have you ever wondered why labor unions are so strongly opposed to right-to-work laws?  Watch this brief video and wonder no more.

Genus map
Right to Work Creates Two Americas — One Is More Prosperous.  "Half of U.S. Now Under Right to Work" was the headline in the socialist magazine In These Times this week, after Governor Scott Walker signed legislation making Wisconsin the nation's 25th Right to Work (RTW) state, giving all employees the right to hold a job without having to join a union.  Walker's action creates a symbolic division of the country into two halves:  49 percent of the population now lives in RTW states and 51 percent do not.  The RTW states are concentrated in the South and Mountain West, but in the last three years Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin have created a solid Midwest beachhead for the movement. [...] It's clear which half of the country is prospering more.


Shame on the Chicago Tribune for printing this 'cartoon'.  The Tribune offers, the "cartoonist" is Gary Huck, the "last full time cartoonist employed by a major labor union.  He's the house jester for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, which is based in Pittsburgh."  Remarkable position.  A full time cartoonist for a union.  Keep those dues coming.

Are private unions cooling toward Democrats?  President Obama has long been a friend of organized labor, wholeheartedly supported by unions that helped boost him to victory in both his presidential campaigns.  But increasingly, there now is a divide between unions in the public and private sector when it comes to supporting him.  According to James Sherk, a labor policy analyst with the Heritage Foundation, government employee unions want "bigger and more expensive government," in contrast to private sector unions.

AFL-CIO Throws Member Union under Liberal Bus.  When unions play politics, they throw a significant chunk of their membership under the proverbial bus.  While 90 percent of union political contributions go to Democrats and an overwhelming percentage of identifiable contributions to political organizations go to liberal groups like the Center for American Progress, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Harry Reid's Senate Majority PAC, exit polls show roughly 40 percent of union households vote Republican.

Union Member's Bill of Rights.  [Includes] Freedom of speech and assembly, including the right to:  criticize union officials; express any viewpoint at union meetings (subject to reasonable rules of conduct);  distribute literature outside the union hall or inside the hall if members cannot reasonably be reached from outside;  hold separate meetings without interference from union officials; [...]

Big Labor's Massive Political Machine.  As John Cunniff of the Associated Press reported just before Labor Day [1996], workers "in 29 states and the District of Columbia, where right-to-work laws don't exist, can be fired for refusing to pay union dues, even if those dues are used for purposes abhorrent to their religious, moral or political beliefs."  Those employees do have the right not to pay for union political activities with which they disagree, thanks to US Supreme Court decisions won by employees with the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.  But, Cunniff reported, "most workers are unaware of this right, and union leadership seldom informs them of it."

An Employee's Guide to Union Dues and Religious Do Nots.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 places two obligations upon employers and unions regarding employees' religious beliefs.  First, they must not discriminate against employees because of their religious beliefs.  Second, they must reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the employer or the union.

Union Bosses Scramble to Save Democrat Agenda.  On Monday [9/1/2014], as millions of American workers gathered with family and friends to celebrate and mark the end of summer, the nation's union bosses were preparing to inject tens of millions of dollars from their members' paychecks into the midterm elections in November.  Unions have already spent $70 million to protect the Democrat majority in the Senate.  Even this amount is likely to be dwarfed by a flood of money and manpower in the final weeks of the campaign.

Big Labor: Eat only 'union-made' for Labor Day BBQ.  Labor Day is no time for a non-union barbecue, says the nation's labor movement.  To help the shoppers, Big Labor has issued a list of union-made food and drinks that should be served at the backyard feast today [9/1/2014].

The Editor says...
In other words, when you buy these products, you indirectly support the Democrats and their socialist agenda.

Labor Day Is Just A Celebration Of Government Workers.  Labor Day is the traditional last day of summer, often celebrated by final trips to the shore and followed by public pool closings and other signs that the world is battening down the hatches for colder weather.  However what most don't realize is that the day itself was originally created by organized labor to call attention to the contribution of workers.  It was a public relations stunt designed to provide labor unions a focal point in their never-ending battle with management.

AFL-CIO head: Obama must 'go bold' on immigration.  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Thursday he expects President Obama will take executive action on immigration, but warned that if he doesn't "go bold," he risks alienating the Democratic base while invigorating Republicans.  Trumka also said that workers were frustrated with the president and Democrats more broadly for failing to focus on issues important to them.

Shrinking government and seeing a shrink.  The National Treasury Employees Union has a PDF document on its website which shows why any attempt to shrink the government is foredoomed.  "The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is an independent labor union representing approximately 150,000 employees of 30 agencies of the United States government.  The union specializes in representation of non-supervisory federal employees in every classification and pay level in civilian agencies."  The document urges NTEU members to oppose a list of "bad bills" now before congress.  Here is the list of "bad bills" verbatim. [...]

Automation [is] the Joker in the Deck.  The fact is that the same technology that places a diode on a circuit board or a box on a pallet could easily be made to assemble a hamburger, a sub sandwich, or a pizza in a restaurant, as is currently being done by manufacturers of prepared foods.  The stark reality is that, once labor costs reach a tipping point, automation becomes a practical, efficient, and economical alternative, especially for low-skilled jobs.  Once implemented, there is no going back, and today automation is more accessible than ever.

Big Labor hits Republicans for treating immigrant children like 'criminals'.  Four Republican lawmakers will be hit with Spanish-language ads during the Congress's August recess attacking them over their immigration stances, the Service Employees International Union said Tuesday [7/29/2014].  The targets are Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman of Colorado, David Valadao of California, and Joe Heck of Nevada.  The ads will hit them for blocking immigration reform, opposing the DREAM Act and "attack[ing] our children at the border as if they were criminals."

Unions weep: After becoming RTW state, Michigan incomes rise.  Hey, do you remember when Michigan shocked the nation and became a right to work state in 2012?  That was supposed to usher in the end of the world, at least in the view of union leaders and their Democrat water carriers. [...] Those poor, poor Michigan workers.  One can only imagine how they must be struggling two years later after the nasty, wingnut conservatives threw them to the corporate wolves.  So...  how's that working out?

Right-To-Work Study Destroys Obama's Claim That Forcing Americans To Join Unions Helps The Economy.  In December of 2012, speaking in front of a union audience, President Obama was cheered when he claimed that "right-to-work" laws — laws that allow employees to decide for themselves whether to join a union — were all about politics and had nothing to do with economics.  In other words, he was advocating for forced unionism.  Turns out he was incredibly wrong.

Industry Critics: UC Berkeley Playing Host to Union-Funded Activist Research.  A coalition of foundations and union front groups is funding an academic post at the University of California at Berkeley for a prominent labor activist, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  Saru Jayaraman, executive director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), a worker center that aims to organize food service employees, founded Berkeley's Food Labor Research Center in 2012.  The center, which is sponsored by the university's Labor Research Center, conducts research into working conditions and public policy as it relates to the food business.  According to a proposal outlining the project, Jayaraman's vision of the center was as political as it was academic.  She hoped to use the center to produce studies that would bolster the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA), a coalition of unions and labor activists.  ROC is a member of that group.

How the Left Will Repay the Catholic Church on Immigration.  [Scroll down]  The Los Angeles Times summarized the issue succinctly enough:  "California's leading union organization, bucking organized labor's long-standing neutrality on the issue of abortion, is for the first time taking a strong stand in favor of abortion rights."  Specifically, the union asked its 2.1 million members to reject Proposition 85.  This initiative would merely have required abortionists to honor the standards of ear-piercers and aspirin dispensers and get parents' permission before going to work on their daughters.

Big Labor Gave Millions to Worker Centers in 2013.  The most famous of these groups is the Fast Food Workers Committee, which has overseen protests for pay hikes at McDonalds and other well-known chain restaurants across the country.  The Fast Food Workers Committee received more than $1.8 million from the SEIU in 2013, according to the analysis.  "This is not some organic, localized uprising of restaurant workers or some altruistic campaign for higher wages.  This is a systematic campaign to organize fast food workers," said WFI's Glenn Spencer.  "You don't invest millions every year in this type of operation without getting something in return."

If you voted for Obama, how can you now complain?
Unions Slam Obama EPA Rule.  Labor unions criticized the Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on carbon emissions from power plants on Monday [6/2/2014], highlighting growing tensions between the environmentalist and working class arms of the Democratic Party.  Those tensions have come to the forefront as leading Democrats embrace environmentalist policies backed by billionaire political donors that are generally opposed by members of the party's rank and file base.

Worker center charade goes international.  Today, union organizers and a handful of disgruntled fast-food employees are to protest large restaurant chains in the U.S. and other countries, demanding a $15 minimum wage.  The organizers behind the demonstrations are misleadingly calling them "strikes."  In reality, they're Potemkin village protests orchestrated by national labor unions and PR flacks.

See What Happened After Obama Hiked Wages on Military Bases.  Union interests are targeting McDonald's restaurants May 15th in their campaign to raise wages to $15.  In actuality, it's just a cover to try to force the global chain to unionize workers in order to increase the unions' flagging membership, which has been decreasing for decades.  That's why they're not going to tell the workers that if they actually were successful in raising the wages, they'd most likely lose their jobs as restaurants close down or their jobs are replaced by automation.

Democrats know better than to bite the Big Labor hand that feeds them.  Big Labor has donated $934 million to candidates for political office and parties in the last decade and a half, $755 million of which went to Democrats and liberal groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  That's just the spending reported to the Federal Election Commission.  A 2012 study of Labor Department filings by the Wall Street Journal found "an additional $3.3 billion that unions spent ... on political activity," such as polling fees and get-out-the-vote expenses, which aren't required to be reported, between 2005 and 2011.  The day after the 2012 election, Big Labor boasted that it won the election for Obama by driving up Democratic turnout in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.  "You take the unions out of Democratic politics and you will see a lot less Democrats elected, because they supply the money and the manpower," said Mallory Factor, author of Shadowbosses, a study on union political spending.

When unions use non-member dues to finance political activities.  A lawsuit making its way through federal court in California highlights just how much unions use their right to collect "agency fees" from nonmembers to fund political activities.  When the Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that government employee unions could collect a fee from nonmembers to cover the cost of collective bargaining, the justices noted that such fees could not be used to cover political activities.  In that decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the court affirmed a Michigan law that required teachers who didn't want to join a union to pay a so-called "agency fee" to the Detroit Federation of Teachers for the work it did representing everyone on the job.

On Keystone Pipeline, Democratic stalwart Laborers Union finds itself outbid by one enviro-billionaire.  The Laborers International Union of North America, with about 570,000 members, wants the Obama administration to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  The union has a lot of clout in Democratic circles; according to the Center for Responsive Politics, it has contributed $38,089,860 to political candidates since 1989, with just seven percent of it going to Republicans.  Tom Steyer, the hedge-fund billionaire, wants the Obama administration to block construction of the pipeline.  Although a relative newcomer to the political game, he has pledged to give Democrats $50 million, and raise $50 million more, to get his way.  Who has more clout on this issue, the longtime Democratic labor union that has contributed $38 million over the past quarter-century, or the guy who can come up with $100 million for this election cycle alone?  The question answers itself.

Pelosi and Schumer need to read the Constitution.  Democrats are hyperventilating over a U. S. Supreme Court ruling on April 2, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claims the ruling will turn politics into a "money war."  Sorry, that happened a long time ago.  For the past two decades, unions have poured massive amounts into super PACs and other legal vehicles for advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts, which favor Democrats. [...] Since 1989, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the National Education Association and other unions have dominated the list of political spenders, with virtually none of them contributing to Republican candidates or committees.

Top 20 labor-backed members of the House of Representatives.  [Info-graphic]

UPS Fires 250 Union Workers for Refusing to Work.  The liberal pro-union agenda has been taking a toll on the American workforce for years.  Our society has been eaten up by the entitlement mindset, training all of us to believe that we deserve certain things from our government and from our jobs.  A prime example of this is how unionized workers have been trained to believe that if they don't get what they want, the best option is to just stop working until they get it.

Pennsylvania legislators eye ending union exception to stalker laws.  Legislation that would end an unusual loophole in Pennsylvania's anti-stalking laws that exempts union-related activity is slowing making its way through the Republican-led statehouse.  It has a good chance of getting enacted, aides say.  The Keystone State defines stalking as "following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person."  Repeated, unwanted communications count as stalking, too.  But the law also states:  "This section shall not apply to conduct by a party to a labor dispute."

Unions: Keystone review 'reeks of politics'.  Union leaders joined with the nation's largest oil and gas lobby on Tuesday to demand that President Obama approve the Keystone XL pipeline.  Building trades union leaders have long backed the pipeline, arguing it would create thousands of construction jobs and boost the economy.  But many of them have been muted in their criticism of President Obama, for fear of opening a rift with the White House over the controversial project.  That seemed to change on Tuesday [3/11/2014], as the presidents of building trade unions linked the delay of Keystone to broader anger at the administration within the labor movement.

300,000-member union drops bombshell Obamacare report.  The 300,000-member union that was the first to endorse then-Senator Barack Obama has released a devastating Obamacare report that says Obama's controversial healthcare program will slash worker wages by up to $5 an hour, reduce worker hours, and exacerbate income inequality.  The report by Unite Here — a North American labor union that represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries — is titled: "The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse."

AFL-CIO: Not Worth the Cost to Invest in South for 2014 Elections.  The AFL-CIO is conceding its union lacks the power in the South to influence the upcoming 2014 elections, so it is not investing heavily in three hotly contested Senate races.  The AFL-CIO looked at the number of union members in Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina and decided it just was not worth it.  AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer confessed, "Those states are states where we have relatively low union density.  I think you'll see in other battleground Senate states like Michigan, Alaska, [and] Iowa a really vigorous union program."

Why Unions Are Using $300 Million to Eliminate Five GOP Governors.  Union bosses are reportedly planning to spend $300 million of their members' money to eliminate five Republican governors during in the 2014 elections.  While union bosses have not released a prioritized list, if they had a list prioritizing which governors are higher in their hit list, it would probably look like this: [...]

The biggest donors in American politics.  OpenSecrets.org tallied the top donors in federal elections between 1989 and 2014.  Koch Industries — privately owned by the Evil Koch Bros — is on the list, to be sure, but doesn't appear until the 59th slot, with $18 million in donations, 90 percent of which went to Republicans.  So who occupies the 58 spots ahead of the Evil Koch Bros?  Six of the top 10 are ... wait for it ... unions.  They gave more than $278 million, with most of it going to Democrats.  These are familiar names:  AFSCME ($60.6 million), NEA ($53.5 million), IBEW ($44.4 million), UAW ($41.6 million), Carpenters & Joiners ($39.2 million) and SEIU ($38.3 million).

Unions back super-PAC supporting Republican centrists.  Labor unions are funneling cash to a super-PAC tied to a former lawmaker that is working to elect centrist Republicans to Congress.  Unions have contributed about $765,000 so far to the Defending Main Street Super-PAC, which is associated with former GOP lawmaker Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), according to Federal Election Commission records.

Lawsuit Against Mandatory Union Dues Moves Forward in California.  A federal lawsuit filed last May against the mandatory payment of union dues is moving forward in the courts, Fox News reports, and will soon be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case was filed by a group of California public school teachers who say that being forced to pay union dues violates their right to free speech.  In states that do not have 'right-to-work' laws, like California, union members are forced to pay roughly $1,000 a year in dues that help finance political objectives some members may have objections to.

Labor Unions are Funding Moderates in the GOP Civil War to Help Defeat the Tea Party.  It's no secret that the GOP is divided.  While the moderates and the Tea Party battle it out in the Republican Civil War, the moderates are receiving funding from an unlikely source to help wage war against conservatives:  labor unions.  As the 2014 midterm elections approach, the greatest threat to Republican domination remains the divided nature of the GOP.

Unions sitting out ACA enrollment.  President Barack Obama's loyal allies in the labor movement aren't jumping to help the administration in the public battle over the problematic Obamacare website.  Put off by new reinsurance fees on group health care plans that affect union members, Big Labor is largely sitting out the effort to enroll people for health care coverage or make the White House's public case that the mangled rollout of HealthCare.gov doesn't mean the entire Affordable Care Act is flawed.

The ObamaCare Train Wreck: Union Edition.  One of the biggest tools in the Democrat toolbox is the use of unions to influence large swaths of voters to vote for Democrats.  The thinking — flawed thinking, in reality — goes like this:  "Unions are looking out for me, the worker.  They have my best interests at heart."  And somehow, magically, these unions consistently — almost exclusively — endorse Democrats, at least nationally.  This is weird because "workers" do better when pro-growth policies, which Democrats oppose, are in place.  It's weirder still when you consider how awful ObamaCare is for business, and by extension, the "worker."

IBEW Criticizes EPA's New Coal Emission Standards.  The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) blasted the Obama administration's new standards for coal plant emissions on Monday [9/23/2013], saying they will hamper job growth and U.S. energy independence and raise electricity prices.  The union's antipathy to the plan underscores a long-running tension between big labor and environmentalists, two key segments of the Democratic Party's political base.

The Editor states the obvious...
The unions brought all this grief upon themselves by funneling millions of dollars into the Democratic Party.

Labor, with union membership declining, will woo non-workers.  The AFL-CIO on Monday [9/9/2013] opened the door to becoming a group that is more representative of the left than of its members.  Facing what AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka called a "crisis" of membership, officials took the dramatic step at their annual convention of adopting a resolution that invites anyone in the country to join, regardless of union affiliation.  The move faced stiff resistance from union officials who fear the AFL-CIO's primary mission of representing workers will be left behind if the federation becomes a mouthpiece for liberal and progressive groups.

Boss Trumka Reaches Out.  So here is [Richard] Trumka's bright idea.  He will extend the AFL-CIO to include all members of the "progressive" movement whether they work or not, whether they are bird watchers or angry women, whatever. [...] There may be some bumps on the road ahead, for instance, when the United Mine Workers of America's 75,000 workers have to join with the Sierra Club whose 1.4 million members believe that coal power is "an outdated, backward and dirty 19th-century technology."

Labor Boss Loves Lefties.  The head of the AFL-CIO proposed the creation of formal partnerships with a variety of liberal special interest groups in the hopes that they will rally behind labor's political agenda during the group's national convention in Los Angeles on Sunday [9/8/2013].  Richard Trumka called on the union to welcome environmentalists, feminists, and other far left activists that have clashed with union interests in the past. [...] The union boss hopes that the proposal will help boost labor's political clout, which has dipped as membership roles have declined even though campaign spending on behalf of Democrats has skyrocketed.

Blue-collar laborers rebel at AFL-CIO's embrace of progressives.  The AFL-CIO needs to stick with representing workers and stop trying to take on social causes for the far left, said the union head for the International Association of Fire Fighters.  Harold Schaitberger, who presides over the IAFF, said there is "great value" in aligning with political groups — but only as a secondary mission, he told The Hill.  And the AFL-CIO's recent push to bring in environmental groups and progressive-minded organizations to the union cause is leading the IAFF to express concerns about politics becoming the priority, over the representation of members.

Why State Government Elections Matter.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the AFL-CIO is going to using the lion's share of its political resources in the 2014 midterm to elect Democrats at the state government level rather than in congressional elections.  Republicans, without ignoring federal elections, ought to be just as concerned about winning state government elections.

AFL-CIO Seeks Answers in Crisis.  The head of the AFL-CIO, in a far-reaching interview, said organized labor is in a crisis and that the nation's largest labor federation is adopting a new strategy to revive unions' political and social clout.  "What we've been doing sure hasn't been producing the results that we would like to see, and we have to change," said Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president.

SEIU threatening San Francisco Bay Area Greenies.  Two unions, the SEIU and the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union, represent 2200 blue collar workers at the Bay Area Rapid Transit system.  Of the two, the SEIU is the more powerful, as a heavy funder and source of organizational manpower for the Democratic Party and lead dog in the unions' drive into the government sector.

You union people should have thought of this before you gave the Democrats millions of dollars!
Labor Unions: Obamacare Will 'Shatter' Our Health Benefits, Cause 'Nightmare Scenarios'.  Labor unions are among the key institutions responsible for the passage of Obamacare.  They spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010.  But now, unions are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is heavily disruptive to the health benefits of their members.

Unions and the Democrats.  For generations the Democratic Party has relied upon unions and their members to dutifully pull the lever for Democratic candidates and to man their call centers and canvass neighborhoods.  And yet, an objective look at what are arguably the three biggest issues shows that Democrats are on the wrong side of these issues when compared to the desires and needs of union members.  Union members — it is time to break the allegiance with the Democratic Party.

Obama Panders To Big Labor On Workers Memorial Day.  President Obama blew another dog whistle to Big Labor this week with his proclamation of "Workers Memorial Day" [—] a renewed effort to demonize business and replace it with bigger government.  Coming just before the communist international May Day, "Workers Memorial Day" was a 1984 invention of Canada's public employee unions to promote unionization by politicizing the death of anyone killed in a workplace accident no matter what the cause, making business the bad guy.

California Non-Union Teachers Sue Unions Over Coercive Political Funding.  The Center for Individual Rights, a public interest legal group in Washington, D.C., filed the lawsuit Tuesday [4/30/2013] in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles on behalf of 10 teachers from California and the Christian Educators Association.  "The union spends millions of teachers' hard-earned monies supporting causes and candidates that many of us oppose," said Rebecca Friedrichs, one of the plaintiffs, in a statement.  "The union is free to press its agenda, but individual teachers should not be forced to pay for it.  It is shocking to me and many other teachers that union officials have the power by law to spend our wages to press for causes that many of us oppose on moral, fiscal, or philosophical grounds."

Michigan Union Tell-All.  When Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state late last year, everyone knew unions would try to overturn or otherwise neuter the law.  Less expected was that they would do so at the expense of their own members.  That's the message from a December 27-28 memo to local union presidents and board members from Michigan Education Association President Steven Cook, which recommends tactics that unions can use to dilute the impact of the right-to-work law.

Unions Fight to Use Dues for Politics.  One thing heard constantly in the debate over right-to-work laws is that workers in unionized workplaces do have a choice since they can avoid paying for union political funding by exercising their "Beck Rights."  This is (kinda) true, but it should be noted that unions have always fought — and continue to fight — against this right.  Beck rights are based on a 1988 Supreme Court case that holds that employees can opt out of paying the political portion of their dues.  The case has been severely gutted over the years by judicial interpretations, but basically means that if a worker chooses, the union cannot use their agency fee money to directly fund political candidates.  But for all their talk about this option, labor unions have consistently fought to prevent it.

What Does 'Right to Work' Really Mean?  [Scroll down]  In reality, the new law [the Wagner Act] diminished fundamental private property rights for employers and their businesses and forced compulsory union membership and dues on employees.  The law was immediately controversial and unions steadily began to abuse their new powers throughout the country.  Through intimidation, overreaching demands on management, compulsory membership and dues, and dispersing money to political candidates, whether or not the actual union membership endorsed them or not, became the new normal.  By 1947, one out of every fourteen workers were on strike.

Why Urban Cities Like Detroit Must Accept Right-to-Work.  Detroit may be resurrected because the State of Michigan is on the verge of becoming the 24th state in the country to become Right-To-Work.  While unions and so-called civil rights leaders are protesting against the bill these are the same exact people who fail to realize that the time for unions are in the past.  I will give the unions credit, they helped build the "middle-class" during an industrial age of economics in the United States.  However, in the 21st century, we live in the technology age.  Unions, in my opinion, have become political thugs in terms of obstructing necessary laws and policies that will help and enhance the current trend of business today.

In North Korea, people don't get real change.  A recent analysis of data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) determined that less than 10 percent of union members actually voted to join the union that represents them.  The Employee Rights Act requires that every unionized workplace have a supervised secret ballot election every three years to determine whether employees want to continue to be represented by any incumbent union.

What the Looming Port Strike Is Really About.  It's not about jobs.  It's not about safety.  It's not about improving dockworkers' living standards.  The looming, long-planned East and Gulf Coast port strikes are about protecting Big Labor's archaic work practices and corrupt waterfront rackets.  Are you ready for a fiscal cliff?  The union bosses of an estimated 14,500 workers at 15 ports are preparing to send the economy plunging back into recession over productivity and efficiency rules changes.

Summary of Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals".  Union organizers are often highly trained.  In many unions this training includes indoctrination in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals."  Saul Alinsky was a ruthless radical organizer.  He would stop at nothing to win.  Before he passed away in 1972 he published a book called "Rules for Radicals" in which he outlined his power tactics and questionable ethics.  Anyone interested in staying, or becoming, Union Free, whether in an organizing campaign or in a decertification or deauthorization election, ought to become familiar with these rules.

Unemployment rates are lower and wages are higher in right-to-work states.  The right thing for Republicans to do when they get elected is to cut off all sources of funding for the Democrat Party.  Right-to-work laws and school choice promote freedom and diminish the amount of power that left-wing, pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage labor unions can exert.  They will have less money, and with less money, they will have less influence on elections.  Let the people decide, not the powerful, corrupt labor unions.

The right states of mind.  The writing is on the wall.  Between 2000 and 2010, the population in the eight states without income taxes grew by 18 percent, while all others grew by 8 percent; the (then) 22 states with right-to-work laws grew by 15 percent; the others grew by 6 percent.

You have the right to not pay union dues.  [Scroll down]  Michigan Capitol Confidential took a look at recent federal filings by Michigan's largest union, the Michigan Education Association, and discovered that only 11 percent of dues went to "representational activities."  Over half of the dues (61 percent) went to "general overhead" and benefits for union employees rather than direct services on behalf of workers.  No dollars got spent "on behalf of individual workers," the form notes, but almost $5 million went to "political activities and lobbying," nearly a third of what was spent on "representational activities."  Perhaps workers support that distribution of their money.  If so, they still can support the union through voluntary dues payments.

Michigan Furor Previews Coming Tests of Labor Power.  Michigan is currently ground zero in the fight between labor and conservatives who believe its influence is hindering job growth.  But the Wolverine State skirmish over right-to-work legislation is just a preview for one of many hotly contested 2014 gubernatorial battles that will determine what role unions will play in the economy for future generations.

Special Alert to All Federal Security Screeners Employed by TSA.  The media is reporting that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has agreed to a contract with American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) union bosses that governs some of your terms and conditions of employment with TSA.  Even though all security screeners will be covered by that contract, there is NO requirement that any security screener join the AFGE union or pay a cent of dues to that union.

Fighting for the freedom to work without coercion.  Right to Work laws protect the right of employees to choose for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union.  Longtime readers of my work know that I've been exposing the compulsory-union dues racket since my days as a columnist at the Seattle Times.

Your Right to Work Rights — In Three Minutes.  [For example,]  [#1] No employee in the United States can legally be required to be a full-dues-paying, formal union member.  But in many states, an employee can be forced to pay certain union dues or be fired from his or her job.  [#2] Union members have the right to resign from formal membership at any time.  However, dues deduction authorizations may limit when they can be revoked.  [#3] Employees covered by state Right to Work laws can not lawfully be required to pay any union fees to keep their jobs.

Debunking the Economic Case against Right to Work Laws.  As the fight over Michigan's Right to Work legislation heats up, many pro-forced unionism journalists and media outlets have suggested that a law protecting worker freedom would jeopardize the state's economic prospects.  The case for Right to Work has always rested on the importance of defending worker freedom, but Right to Work laws also have a proven track record of encouraging economic growth.

Michigan enacts right-to-work law, dealing blow to unions.  Michigan enacted far-reaching legislation Tuesday that threatens to cripple the power of organized labor in a state that was a hub of union might during the heyday of the nation's industrial dominance.

Obama's Big Michigan Right-To-Work Lie: Lower Wages.  Campaigning Monday [12/10/2012] in Michigan as it stood poised to become the nation's 24th right-to-work state, President Obama spoke the exact opposite of the truth to union workers at a Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in the birthplace of organized labor.  "What we shouldn't be doing," he told the small crowd, "is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages.  We don't want a race to the bottom.  We want a race to the top."  Yet looking at the hard numbers, becoming a right-to-work state is a direct line to the top.

What right to work would do for NY:  Union bosses are fuming at the prospect of a Michigan Right to Work law, but New Yorkers concerned about protecting employee freedom and reviving their state's flagging economy should consider Michigan's example.

TSA grabs union contract.  When Congress decided to take over airport security, it was never about safety.  That became clear on Friday [11/9/2012] when Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners formally agreed to a contract that will add 45,000 dues-paying members to the ranks of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).  This public-sector union forces members to hand over between $14 and $16 out of each paycheck, meaning the organization stands to collect as much as $16 million each year.  This money will help turn out the vote for Democratic candidates and subsidize a number of liberal causes.

California's Proposition 32: Ending Union Dominance Of California Politics.  Is union money distorting California electoral politics?  Many think so.  After all, public sector and trade unions are among the biggest donors in California elections.  In the years 2000-2010 the California Teachers Association (CTA) was the single largest contributor to California politics, giving twice as much as the second-largest contributor, the California State Council of Service Employees.

AFL-CIO registers 450,000 voters from union homes.  The AFL-CIO says it has registered more than 450,000 new voters from union households in a bid to help President Barack Obama win reelection.

How Public Unions Became So Powerful.  The Chicago teachers strike has put Democrats in a difficult position.  Teacher unions are the most powerful constituency in the Democratic Party, but their interests are ever more clearly at odds with taxpayers and inner-city families.  Chicago is reviving scenes from the last crisis of liberalism in the 1970s, when municipal unions drove many American cities to disorder and bankruptcy.  Where did their power come from?

Unions dig in for Obama despite disappointment with his record.  Organized labor is working hard for President Obama, looking upon him as the lesser of two evils compared to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.  Labor has been repeatedly let down by Obama, who didn't put his strength behind legislation that would have made it easier to organize unions and signed trade deals opposed by workers.

Will California Become a Right-to-Give State?  Although it's hard to imagine California ever becoming a right-to-work state — given labor's tremendous clout in Sacramento — a dedicated alliance of good government reformers, fiscal conservatives, and just plain sensible folks are working to make it a right-to-give state.  Proposition 32, entitled "Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction," is a "paycheck protection" ballot initiative that, if successful this November, could — with apologies to Vice President Joe Biden — unshackle workers from their union overlords.  In so doing, the measure could fundamentally reshape the relationship between labor and government in the Golden State.

Unelected Unions.  Senators stand for election every six years.  Presidents every four.  Members of Congress face reelection every two years.  In the U.S., people choose their political representatives.  Around Labor Day, it's worth noting that America's union members, on the other hand, do not get to choose their economic representatives.  Employees vote on union representation only once.  After a union wins it remains certified indefinitely.

Unions Spent $4.4 Billion on Politics Since 2005.  The Wall Street Journal published a stunning story this morning [7/10/2012], reporting that new analysis shows union political spending is about four times higher than previously thought. [...] When union political spending, most of that taken through union dues, exceeds direct donations and 92 percent of union money goes to Democrats — it's very hard to argue the Koch Brothers are buying the election.
[Emphasis added.]

Not exactly the 99%: Top union leaders' salaries.  Advocating for the working man doesn't pay too poorly, it seems.  Here's a list of the annual salaries and benefits earned by the nation's top labor officials, according to the Labor Department.  This data is based on 2011 filings:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka — $293,750.
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel — $460,060.
Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry — $290,334.
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee — $512,489.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa , Jr. — $372,489.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten — $493,859.

Obama's Labor Problem.  Unions are very unhappy that the Democratic party decided to hold its convention in Charlotte, North Carolina — a right-to-work state that forbids compulsory unionism.  Indeed, organizers in Philadelphia not so subtly included two news articles in the press kit. [...] Which is not to say that relations between Democrats and their biggest supplier of campaign cash are openly hostile — at least not yet.

Book: Public Sector Unions Planning to Forcibly Enroll Non-Government Employees.  The most terrifying aspect of the unions' plan to take over America is this:  they have a plan whereby they will be able to force huge swaths of America to be unionized. [...] Here's how they plan to do it:  they are using state governments to set up shell corporations that will turn self-employed workers receiving money from government programs into "government employees" who can be unionized.

Former union boss at Occupy event: Our goal is to 'overthrow the capitalist system and build communism'.  Former Amalgamated Transit Union local 689 president Mike Golash, now an "Occupy" movement organizer, was caught on tape Sunday [8/19/2012] revealing his political goals:  overthrowing capitalism in the United States and instituting a communist government.  "Progressive labor is a revolutionary communist organization," Golash said during an Occupy DC "People's Assembly" on August 19.  "Its objective," he added, "is to make revolution in the United States, overthrow the capitalist system and build communism."

Occupy Admits Its Real Goal: Communism.  The true agenda of the Occupy movement has been revealed — it's a totalitarian one.  Billing itself as a spontaneous people's revolution and embraced by the media and Democrat political establishment, Occupy is really a destructive band of thugs whose goal is the violent demise of democracy.  Speaking at a "People's Assembly" in Washington, former Amalgamated Transit Union local 689 president Mike Golash told Occupy members his goal was to "make revolution in the United States, overthrow the capitalist system and build communism."

Unions hit Democratic convention where it hurts: In the wallet.  The Democrats are hitting up unions — their go-to cash cows — for last-minute donations to help pay for next month's convention in Charlotte.  The response from some big unions?  Tough.

AFL-CIO Demands 'Second Bill of Rights'.  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says his organization is pushing for a 'Second Bill of Rights" for the United States of America. [...] Trumka and the AFL-CIO are calling for a new bill of rights that would guarantee "full employment," a "living wage," and a "healthy future."

A Bluff or Bad Hand? Labor Fight Threatens Nevada Democrats.  Depending on who's talking, it's either a major election-year bluff or a devastating political hand dealt to Democrats.  The leader of the largest and most potent labor union in Nevada is threatening that he and his 55,000 foot-soldiers will sit out the fall elections in this crucial battleground for the Senate and the presidency.

Another Bad Day for SEIU.  It's been a rough road for public sector unions lately, particularly with their having spent millions of dollars in a losing effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  A Supreme Court ruling released today in the case of Knox v Seiu is, if not another nail in the unions' coffin, at least a staple.

Hey Unions: Welcome to Politics.  The U.S. Supreme Court, in a hat tip to common sense, decided yesterday [7/9/2012] that nonunion members can opt out of union fees that are targeted towards political purposes. [...] For labor unions around the country, it serves as a painful reminder that when they decided to go all-in for Obama in 2008, they alienated the rest of us non-government, non-union members — the 99 Percent — who have to go out and earn our keep every day.  And that alienation is being felt in political defeats by unions around the country.

If Big Money In Politics Offends You, Then You Must Loathe Labor Unions.  Until this week [...] $3.3 billion dollars of political spending from 2005 to 2011 was hidden, jammed down deep beneath the sofa cushions of public life.  A blockbuster Wall Street Journal report revealed that Big Labor has been filing most of its disclosures with its friends at the Department of Labor (which, due to its mission to produce jobicidal regulations, is about as accurately named as a funeral home called a Department of Life).  Unions' disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, where you would ordinarily seek information about spending on elections, comprise only one-fourth of their total spending on politics.

Political spending by unions far exceeds direct donations.  Organized labor spends about four times as much on politics and lobbying as generally thought, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, a finding that shines a light on an aspect of labor's political activity that has often been overlooked. [...] Unions spend far more money on a wider range of political activities, including supporting state and local candidates and deploying what has long been seen as the unions' most potent political weapon:  persuading members to vote as unions want them to.

Twilight of the Unions.  Since 2008, we've seen the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Unlike 75 years ago, however, unions and the Left have this time largely failed to build a rigorous movement of economic populism to further their goals:  Witness the now largely disbanded Occupy movement.  Indeed, as members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees gathered here last week, the mood was pessimistic.

SCOTUS Derails the Democrats' SEIU Gravy Train.  Unfortunately for the SEIU, not all non-members were obedient sheep.  Some not only complained; some workers took the union to court.  And they won.  The District Court issued a summary judgment in their favor based on the stark reality that there was only one purpose for the union's extraordinary spending, and that purpose was political.  That might seem like a no-brainer; but right on cue, the high priests of social justice over at the Ninth Circuit reversed on appeal.  And then something really interesting happened:  the employees petitioned the Supreme Court, the Court agreed to hear the case, and...

Hey Unions? Welcome to Politics. Watch That Bloody Nose.  The U.S. Supreme Court, in a hat tip to common sense, decided yesterday that nonunion members can opt out of union fees that are targeted towards political purposes. [...] For labor unions around the country, it serves as a painful reminder that when they decided to go all-in for Obama in 2008, they alienated the rest of us non-government, non-union members — the 99 Percent — who have to go out and earn our keep every day.  And that alienation is being felt in political defeats by unions around the country.

AFL-CIO To Cut Direct Funding to Democrats.  After President Obama's decision to avoid the Wisconsin recall election, undercutting desperate union members who wanted to oust Governor Scott Walker, the AFL-CIO has announced that it will take money away from political candidates and instead put it into "infrastructure and advocacy," according to AFL-CIO spokesman Josh Goldstein.  "There will be less contributions to candidates."

Labor Unions are not dead. They are reloading.  Labor unions are categorized as tax-exempt 501(c)5 organizations.  In 2010, these organizations collectively held $32,498,906,714 in assets.  This number comes from the combined assets of all labor unions and farm bureaus.  After all their expenses, lobbying efforts, and voter intimidation efforts, these organized labor gangsters still have more money than the entire GDP of many countries.  None of it is taxed, and 92% of them are in violation of Dept. of Labor audits.  If this 32 billion were taxed at the corporate tax rate, it could pay for the entire Army Reserves budget and have 3.5 billion left over.

Union demands credit card numbers from members.  One school employee union in Michigan is demanding that members turn over bank account and credit card information so that the union can automatically claim monthly dues after the state voted to stop deducting the money on behalf of the union.

The Editor says...
If you are dumb enough to give your credit card information to a labor union for perpetual monthly billing, you should keep a close eye on your monthly credit card bills.

Supreme Court rules against SEIU in dispute over union fee hike.  The Supreme Court ruled Thursday [6/21/2012] that unions must give nonmembers an immediate chance to object to unexpected fee increases or special assessments that all workers are required to pay in closed-shop situations.

Union Clout Crumbles.  Unions don't get it.  Unions believe it is their inherent right to demand, not only lavish salary and pension programs, but to place those costs on a group of people who don't have a prayer of getting the cushy treatment of 100% non-contributory pensions and fully paid healthcare for life upon retirement themselves.  Their response is; "Maybe you should organize a union at your company if you cannot match our salary/benefit package.  Note to unions:  The answer is not to find a way for all employers to sprint toward insolvency.  The answer is to rein in your unbridled belief in your entitlement to other peoples' money.

Obama's suicide pact with Big Labor.  The current alliance between special interests and government has re-created Chicago politics on a national level.  Washington Examiner Senior Political Columnist Timothy P. Carney has described this as the "Obama model":  rewarding businesses that play ball with the administration on issues like energy subsidies and factory construction in areas that help pro-Democratic unions.  AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka once remarked that he visits the White House two or three times a week — and is in contact with someone in the administration almost every day.  Close and unhealthy relationships like this are cause for concern over the state of our democracy.

Beware the Union Label.  Public sector unions on the state and local levels have enjoyed enormous privileges for their 50 years of existence.  Like their private sector counterparts, they have used collective bargaining to maximize their pay and benefits.  Yet unlike trade and industrial unions, public sector unions essentially bargain with themselves.  They are such an integral part of the Democratic coalition — delivering to Democratic candidates and causes not just money but massive numbers of voters and volunteers — that the party dare not defy them.

So much for solidarity...
Majority of Union Members Favor Obama; a Third Back Romney.  A majority of union members say they would vote for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race, although their support is by no means monolithic.  While 57% of union workers who are registered to vote would support Obama, 35% would vote for Mitt Romney.  Workers who are not union members tilt toward Romney over Obama, 48% to 44%.

The Death of Public Unions?  Let the unions cry as loudly as they want about the abrogation of their so-called rights.  At every turn for more than half a century, they have proved themselves miserably unworthy of their privileges and despicably selfish towards taxpayers and the body politic of the state.  They have nobody to blame for the termination of their privileges [but] themselves.

Union Workers are not Scientists.  Unions should be defined as being worth less than they charge.  Workers who have little to give form unions and bull dog their employers.  In a truly free enterprise system the union workers would be paid little.  Their value has become in keeping them from striking or jumping into irrational violence.  Their mediocre work distracts them from revolution.

Gay Marriage: The Hidden Agenda.  It is the iron law of "progressive" movements that having achieved their goals, they refuse to fade away.  Rather than disbanding upon completion of their mission, these movements, now fully institutionalized, keep chugging along, and the farther they go, the more they resemble their sworn enemies, the rationale for their existence.  The labor movement that arose as a desperate defense against unbridled exploitation has degenerated into a stultifying, mafia-style monopoly whose grip on any business dooms that business to slow strangulation.

When Big Labor Attacks: AFL-CIO looks to shame corporate America.  [Quoting Elizabeth Macdonald:]  We are talking about government unions getting their money from taxpayers.  Rick is referring to companies getting their money from free market and investors that's a big difference.  And another thing that Trumka is doing with the AFL-CIO, he's comparing fat cat CEO's pay and salaries with teachers and firemen.  We should be comparing it fat cat union boss pay because Richard Trumka is solidly in the 1%.  He makes nearly $300,000 a year.  But you're right, 9 out of 10 union members are not democrats.  A lot of them are republicans and they get corralled and bullied into voting for union members like spending and taxing at the state level when maybe they don't even want it.

Your union dues at work:
Sixty-Million Dollar Union Assault on Wisconsin Governor Walker.  The campaign seeks to dissemble facts and distract from — or rather, ignore — real issues, mainly fiscal.  Put simply, unions want a return to golden oldie days when they, through their Democrat marionettes, pretty much ran things at the Capitol in Madison.  To win, vituperative anti-Walker forces are putting up an estimated $60 million in ad dollars, all derived from union brethren from all parts of America.

Union Members Better Wake Up — Fast!  One would think that in this horrible economy, those employed with a halfway decent job would hold on to it and yet union members are foolishly electing to strike thinking that union leadership have their best interest at heart.  Last week, Caterpillar workers went out on strike for better wages and health care after negotiations fell apart.  I would suggest that they do their homework and look up the case of the Stella D'Oro factory workers in the Bronx and wake up to reality.

Organized labor's popularity is rapidly eroding.
Union Issues a Loser with WI Dems.  Last year, when Gov. Scott Walker won passage of his budget reform bill, WI's public sector unions vowed to take the issue to the voters and oust Walker in a recall election.  In the interim, the unions tried, and failed, to wrest control of the state Senate in recall elections last year.  And, they tried, and failed, to take control of the state Supreme Court.  Today [5/8/2012], their leading candidate in the recall election, Kathleen Falk, is set for a thumping defeat to moderate Democrat, Tom Barret, mayor of Milwaukee.  It turns out that, even among WI Democrats, the union positions just aren't that popular with voters.

Obama Labor Board Slapped Yet Again.  Big Labor is beside itself that its membership numbers continue to dwindle despite giving half a billion dollars in campaign contributions to President Obama and Congressional Democrats.  In the absence of employees voluntarily choosing to join unions, labor bosses have decided to force them into collective bargaining units in an effort to line their own pockets.

Judge deals setback to state unions on dues withdrawals.  State unions were dealt a setback Friday when a federal judge said they would have to get their members to opt in, rather than opt out, to having the state deduct union dues from their paychecks.  What's more, the judge did not rule on dues deductions for unions that he earlier found the state improperly decertified.  The state's largest unions were decertified, and the ruling — at least for now — will make it harder for them to get money from dues.

Liberal Nostalgiacs Don't Understand Jobs of the Future.  I don't know how many times I've seen liberal commentators look back with nostalgia to the days when a young man fresh out of high school or military service could get a well-paying job on an assembly line at a unionized auto factory that could carry him through to a comfortable retirement.  As it happens, I grew up in Detroit and for a time lived next door to factory workers.  And I know something that has eluded the liberal nostalgiacs.  Which is that people hated those jobs.

Indiana Enacts Right-to-Work Law.  A battle in Indiana that lasted more than a year and two legislative sessions ended February 1 when Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) signed into law a right-to-work bill, making Indiana the 23rd right-to-work state — and the first in the Rust Belt.

Here's why union membership keeps falling.  Folks in Springfield, Ill., witnessed a bizarre scene two years ago.  Thousands protested outside the Capitol, chanting:  "Raise my taxes!  Raise my taxes!  Raise my taxes!"  Who protests for higher taxes?  Government unions do.  The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees helped organize the rally.  This is the new face of the union movement.

The Left's War on Christianity.  Liberalism is so unrelentingly hostile to Christianity that it's virtually impossible to be both a devout Christian and a devout liberal at the same time.  To be a liberal Christian means you either have to completely gut your religious beliefs to make them compatible with your political inclinations or alternately, you have to spend your days cowering with your eyes down while your fellow liberals demean, smear, and mock everything you should hold dear.

At The NYT: Clueless Blue Deer Meet Onrushing Truck.  New York Times staffers, like suffering proles all over the world, belong to a labor union, and over the years the union has negotiated a very comfy defined benefit retirement plan.  The staffers love the plan.  But economic reality is intruding.

Ed Schultz Paid Nearly $200,000 By Unions in 2011, According to Labor Dept.  [Scroll down]  Schultz also received $9,900 in fiscal 2011 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), putting his union haul for the year at almost $200,000.  This represented a fivefold increase over the $37,350 Schultz received from unions in fiscal 2010 — $15,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), $14,850 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and $7,500 from the Communications Workers of America.

The Editor says...
I had never heard of Ed Schultz until I saw the article immediately above.  Apparently he has a radio talk show as well as a show on MSNBC.

Unions return to Democratic fold for 2012 election.  Organized labor is now expected to match or slightly exceed the estimated $400 million that unions spent to help elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats in 2008, according to Marick F. Masters, a business professor who studies the labor movement at Michigan's Wayne State University.

Unions and Government: A Suicide Pact for Everyone.  The U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are taking action to make it easier for union bosses to force non-union plants to organize.  This flies in the face of economic reality, although it does fit nicely with Obama's ideology and his re-election campaign strategy.  International trade is a fact of life, and as much as the unions hate the fact, they are forced to compete with workers in other nations.

Union fight builds at Capitol.  The political strife over union power that has resounded through Capitol rotundas in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana may be on its way to Minnesota as Republican legislators push for a "right-to-work" constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Union Bosses Burn Through Members' Money.  Following Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's reforming his state's collective bargaining laws and breaking the stranglehold unions held on taxpayers (saving them $476 million so far), union bosses across the country laid siege on the dairy state's capitol and declared war on Walker and his fellow Republicans.  In 2011, union bosses and other outside groups spent tens of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to recall six Republican state senators and are spending millions more now trying to recall Scott Walker.

Public Sector Unions & Political Spending.  California's 1.0 million unionized public sector employees times dues of $750 per year times one-third equals $255 million per year, over $20 million per month.  This is what public sector unions are probably spending on politics, and for the many reasons detailed here, this number is probably quite low compared to reality.

Unions' Bully Model is Dead.  Certainly, we have heard about all the dangerous workplace conditions that unions addressed back in the day.  So thanks, union leaders from 150 years ago.  The primary purpose of unions today is to fund the Democratic Party.  The secondary purpose of unions today is to provide manpower for Democratic Party campaigns and causes.  The third purpose is the facilitation of Democratic Party political philosophies in the workplace.

Supreme Court challenge strikes at the root of Big Labor's political clout.  From Ohio to Wisconsin to California, state budget battles over extravagant union privileges grabbed headlines and flooded airwaves throughout 2011.  This year, however, the fight to restrain public-sector union bosses has shifted to a new venue.  Tuesday [1/10/2012], the Supreme Court weighs arguments about the limits of union officials' power to spend compulsory union dues on politics. ... Union bosses know that their political influence — and, by extension, their massive, government-granted special privileges — rest on the power to use workers' hard-earned dues to elect sympathetic politicians.

Labor unions double-crossed by the White House:
Obama gives coal workers the shaft.  The leader of the United Mine Workers of Americas, the continent's largest coal workers union, December 21 denounced the President and the EPA on the day the agency issued its new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule. ... The union leader's tone was a sharp contrast from his full-throated 2008 support of candidate Barack H. Obama Jr., when he said, "Obama's election will mean a new day for American coal miners and all working families throughout our nation."

How To Win Power by Selling Out Your Own Union.  From an historian's point of view, one could do worse than studying the United Mine Workers of America.  It is a microcosm of the American Labor Movement.  It is a startling picture of the role of individuals in the making of American history.  It is the story of how a once powerful institution's leaders repeatedly sold out its members as the nation drifted from large scale industrial production of power and goods to being a producer of private and public services.  Finally, not least, it is a story of breathtaking betrayal of working men by a man who used them as a stepping stone to greater personal power and to influence with an administration which time will prove the epitome of crony capitalism in the U.S.

Whither the White Working Class?  You chaps are being screwed, said the Serpent.  Why, if you vote for us, we will force the bosses to give you More.  More unions, more wages, more health care.  It seemed like a dream come true until the unionized steel industry collapsed, and then the unionized auto industry went into terminal decline, and corporations started moving their businesses to non-union states or even overseas.  Not to worry, said the educated elite.  You policemen and firemen are getting screwed.  Why, if you vote for us, we will force the taxpayers to give you More.

Your union dues at work:
Union PAYS Occupy Protesters.  Since people started camping out in the name of socialism or something, there have only been half measures by the media to determine whether union organizers were using dues to provide transportation, food and lodging for the Occupiers.  Accuracy in Media infiltrated the National Nurses United for the duration of their Occupy DC protest tour.

The Real Class War: Jimmy Hoffa, Ohio Union Bosses Won't Lower Dues to Help Workers.  In Ohio, as union bosses have embraced Occupy Wall Street's (OWS) class war between the "99 percent" and the "1 percent," it has becomes increasingly difficult not to ask an obvious question:  Aren't union bosses basically the 1 percent?

My dad vs. the unions.  By their very nature, most modern unions are top-heavy bureaucracies that reward members based on longevity and seniority, not necessarily quality and merit.  The results of such a system are often disastrous.  What the United Auto Workers have done to the automobile industry in Detroit and elsewhere is a perfect example.  So is what teachers' unions have done to public education.  So is what the National Labor Relations Board has been trying to do to Boeing in South Carolina...

Not Even Unions Trust Unions.  Unions exist, in today's world, only to the extent that people are forced to join them and to the extent that dues are forcibly withdrawn from their paychecks.  Few people in their right mind would choose to join or financially support a union.  Of course, in the Age of Obama, even if you are in your right mind the federal government isn't, so the Left is bringing all possible pressure to bear on behalf of union bosses.

How Obama Protects the Teamsters.  The 1.4 million-member Teamsters lifted Obama to power with a coveted endorsement and bottomless campaign coffers funded with coerced member dues.  Over the past two decades, the union has donated nearly $25 million to Democrats (compared to $1.8 million for Republicans).

Big Labor's Compulsory Politics = $1.1 Billion in 2010 Election Cycle.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Big Labor spent $2.2 Billion on political activities during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles alone.

Real Union Enemy Isn't Boeing, It's Competition.  [Scroll down]  In a study of the decline of unions between 1973 and 1988, economist Henry Farber and sociologist Bruce Western found that the chief reason was that nonunionized companies grew faster than unionized ones.  Employment at unionized companies dropped by 2.9 percent per year while employment at nonunionized companies rose by 2.8 percent a year. ... You might be thinking that unionized companies shrank mainly because they tended to be in declining industries.  But you would be wrong.

Union leaders motivated by power and greed, not desire to help.  Unions are supposedly there for workers.  In fact, they are there for the acquisition of power by union mobs and to advance radical political agendas.  Their modus operandi is to transfer wealth from the workers and divert it to themselves.  Workers, often forced to join the unions, see their dues used for politicking, something the union leaders like to call "democracy" and "acquired rights."

Labor has 'snootful' but will stick with Obama.  "Don't any of you guys vote Republican," Vice President Biden said to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters convention in Las Vegas last week.  "Let me put it this way:  Don't come to me if you do.  You're on your own, Jack!"  Biden's warning, which received virtually no coverage in the press, is part of the Obama re-election campaign's 2012 strategy for organized labor.  It's a two-part plan.  One, use the president's executive powers to give labor all sorts of advantages that can't be achieved through legislation.  And two, when labor leaders complain that they haven't gotten everything they want, tell them they have nowhere else to go.

Redistributing from the 'Have Nots' to the 'Haves'.  The Democratic Party and their union co-conspirators have been running a scam that takes the tax payments of the "have nots" and redistributes them to the "haves." ... Just who are these "haves"?  They are the 22.5 million public sector employees of city, county, state and federal government.  These are individuals who have close to life-time employment, pay that is often twice the level of an equivalent private sector employee, generous sick leave, annual leave, annual cost of living increases (even during recessions), great pension benefits, and health care benefits that private sector employees can only dream about.  The "have nots" are the private sector employees who pay the taxes that subsidize the public sector employees.

Obama Unions a Microcosm of Liberalism: Parasites Devouring Their Host.  When Obama predictably stood up for Wisconsin unions, he didn't create sympathy but merely cast a spotlight upon bygone methods and absurdly selfish goals.  Unions typically represent the proposition that, regardless of the underlying economic state, their power and wealth is sacrosanct.  Such obscene leftist power-brokering led to the demise of Detroit as the world's automobile capital.  It is time we defang and emasculate these anachronisms of Marxism.

When Unions Win Mob Rule Follows and Taxpayers Lose.  Who creates jobs, we should ask.  Do unions create employment (jobs) or is it the management of the corporations that grew from that small business while struggling to provide a better product or service?  We all know the answer to that.  Who employs the workers that get down in the trenches and produce that product or service; is it the labor unions or is it the management of those corporations?  We all know the answer to that one also.

Wisconsin or Venezuela?  When sworn law enforcement officials willingly step aside to allow union hooligans to tear up recall petitions, we, as a nation of laws, have come to the edge of a dark precipice.  So what do honorable citizens do when they cannot exercise their First Amendment right to "peaceably" assemble?  They have a duty to come together and loudly and repeatedly demand protection from our long established government institutions.  If that is not the case, the Constitutional Republic will have ceased to function, only to be replaced by mob rule.  Saul Alinsky and his most famous protégée, Washington D.C.'s golf-happy community organizer, would be thrilled by such an outcome.

In Midwest, Former Union Households Adopting Anti-Union Attitudes.  The factories are gone, and with them, the unions:  the Midwest may be seeing a huge swing away from the Democrats.

Scores of Union Leaders Earn Six-Figure Salaries.  The NEA [National Education Association], representing most of the nation's teachers, has 31 headquarters officers and employees who earn over $200,000.  The president, Dennis Van Roekel, received $397,721 in salary and benefits.  Of the $3.7 million NEA spent on political activities in the last election cycle, 98 percent went to Democratic candidates. ... Over the past two years, SEIU gave almost $2 million to Democratic candidates and $8,500 to Republicans. ... Of the $1.9 million the [United Food & Commercial Workers] union donated to political candidates over the past two years, 99 percent of it went to Democrats. ... Over the past two years, the UAW donated more than $1.6 million to political candidates, and all but $3,000 went to Democrats.

Are Unions Fighting for the Right to Organize or the Right to Coerce?  When unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere talk about the "right to organize," you should remember that they have a very expansive definition of that phrase.  And it often includes the right to coerce people into stuffing union coffers against their will.

Privatize Education.  The obnoxious and disruptive conduct of public employee unions shows how bad labor unions in general have been for America.  Republicans, if they are wise governors of states and brave political warriors, will defang organized labor by passing right-to-work laws in all six of the states in which Republicans now have the muscle to do so — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Maine.  Unions are a huge drag on our economy and a major cause for the flight of good jobs out of our nation.

Blue Corruption puts Wisconsin in Red.  Wisconsin's ongoing crisis is exposing the channeling of taxpayer money to unions, and thence to Democrats.  Taxpayers are being swindled by a system in which their interests come second. ... On average, public sector unions such as AFSCME, NEA, and SEIU nationally give anywhere from 98 to 99% of their contributions to Democrats.  Moreover, union contributions constitute a relatively large share of the monies Democrat candidates receive.

5 Reasons Unions Are Bad For America.  At one time in this country, there were few workplace safety laws, few restraints on employers, and incredibly exploitive working conditions that ranged from slavery, to share cropping, to putting children in dangerous working conditions.  Unions, to their everlasting credit, helped play an important role in leveling the playing field for workers.  However, as the laws changed, there was less and less need for unions. Because of that, union membership shrank.  In response, the unions became more explicitly involved in politics.  Over time, they managed to co-opt the Democratic Party, pull their strings, and rewrite our labor laws in their favor.

Why the Unions Fight:  Much attention has misleadingly focused on benefit contributions and collective bargaining restrictions, which are not the main reasons labor and its allies are up in arms.  If they were all that was at stake, labor would be overreacting.  But they aren't.  The real issues are union dues and certification elections, both of which would reach into unions' wallets and take away money they would otherwise use, in most cases, to fund the Democratic party.

Unions vs. the Right to Work.  Labor unions like to portray collective bargaining as a basic civil liberty, akin to the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion.  For a teachers union, collective bargaining means that suppliers of teacher services to all public school systems in a state — or even across states — can collude with regard to acceptable wages, benefits and working conditions.  An analogy for business would be for all providers of airline transportation to assemble to fix ticket prices, capacity and so on.  From this perspective, collective bargaining on a broad scale is more similar to an antitrust violation than to a civil liberty.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2013 by Andrew K. Dart

Is organized labor obsolete?  What we are witnessing in Wisconsin and elsewhere is the death knell of Big Labor.  Once upon a time, most Americans could identify the head of the AFL-CIO.  He was George Meany, the cigar-chomping ex-plumber who ran the union federation from 1955 to 1979.  He was one of the nation's great power brokers, much quoted and wooed by presidents.  It's doubtful that as many Americans can name Meany's present successor.

Why I Changed My Mind About Unions.  I'd never heard word of criticism about unions in my life until I was in college and worked summers for a small, independent contractor with only two full-time employees.  Those guys were courteous, professional, diligent craftsmen who worked very, very hard — and they hated unions.  Before long I'd discover why.

Message to unions: Taylorism died a long time ago.  Who's to blame for the unions' plight?  I blame Frederick W. Taylor.  Most readers will ask, Who?  And those who know the name might wonder why I pin the blame on someone who died in 1915.  But Taylor, the supposed pioneer of scientific management, was an influential man in his day and long after.  He conducted time and motion studies aimed at getting workers to perform most efficiently single tasks on long assembly lines.  Workers, he said, should be regarded as dumb animals, incapable of initiative, inefficient when they are not compelled to perform the same simple task in the same single way over and over.

Top 10 Labor Union Outrages.  While President Obama carped during the midterm elections about all the corporate and foreign cash being spent on behalf of Republicans, he seemed to overlook the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by labor unions.  The largest government-workers' union, the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), was the largest 2010 campaign donor, spending some $90 million to help Democrats hold onto Congress.  Not exactly money well spent.

Union Backlash.  It worked well for the unions so long as Democrats controlled most state houses and governors' offices, but with the 2010 election producing huge gains for Republicans, the chickens are coming home to roost.

Union buys Hillcrest Golf Club for $4.3M.  A local pipefitters union has snapped up the old Hillcrest Golf Club in St. Paul, paying $4.3 million for the private club and vowing to keep it private for at least two years.  The union said it hopes to breathe new life into the business, which has been in the red with sliding membership.  The all-cash deal closed earlier this month.

Government Worker Unions: The Long Good-bye.  There is nothing wrong with private people or organizations, including private unions, spending money on political campaigns as institutional sources are disclosed.  However, AFSCME, the NEA, the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) or the public union sector of SEIU are government employees.  Their salaries are paid by the taxpayers and a portion of their salaries go to union dues which are slush funds for political activity and the promotion of left-wing causes.  In 2008 the NEA and the AFT made contributions and grants totaling over $96 million of union dues; all to liberal organizations irrespective of the desires of the rank and file or the taxpayer.

Democrats, Government Unions Are Co-Dependent.  The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the top public-sector union, spent a reported $87.5 million nationally in the 2010 election cycle — 99% for Democrats.  The Chamber of Commerce, by contrast, spent $75 million.  The National Education Association spent $40 million, and the Service Employees International Union spent $44 million.  That doesn't count the unions' importance in get-out-the-vote efforts, in organizing rallies and in other election activities.

The Battle of Wisconsin.  [Scroll down]  One of the motivations for President Obama to insert himself in this dispute is the simple matter that unions bankroll Democrat candidates and Mr. Obama has already said that he plans on raising $1 billion for his re-election effort in 2012.  The website Opensecrets.org lists the top campaign contributors for the period 1989-2010.  The aggregate political contribution by unions to Democrats during this period was a total of $480,000,000.  That's nearly half a BILLION dollars.  As the old saying goes, he who pays the piper, calls the tune.  For a half a billion dollars, the unions should expect a full blown symphony.

Labor Unions, and the Problem With "More".  It is interesting to watch so-called "Progressives" tout 19th century solutions for 21st century problems.  One such initiative is "high speed rail", upon which the Obama administration proposes to spend $53 billion.  However, another (and far more economically destructive) goal is "increased unionization".  It is not surprising that unionized companies like GM, Chrysler, and Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt, and that heavily unionized States like California, New York, and Illinois are in deep financial trouble.  By their very nature, unions must seek to drive their employers into bankruptcy.  If they don't, then they aren't doing their job.

Labor union stronghold rethinking its position.  The nation's Rust Belt once ran on union power, its factories and steel mills employing Democratic-voting union members who got regular pay raises and good pensions.  Now the region is at the vanguard of a national backlash against organized labor, as newly elected Republican governors and legislatures try to control costs by weakening — or virtually eliminating — unions of government workers.

Public unions force taxpayers to fund Democrats.  Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle.  The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.  Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say.  The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats.

Unions And The Right To Work.  If unions were formed to protect workers from employer abuse, right-to-work laws were created to protect taxpayers and workers from union abuse.  States with such laws enjoy higher growth and purchasing power.

Today's Trade Unions and the Left.  There was a time when the mainstream trade union movement confined itself to union concerns — a union contract that guaranteed a decent standard of living, and in turn for a negotiated agreement with the corporation, guaranteed labor stability and productivity.  Large corporations learned quickly, as did the leadership of General Electric in the 1930s, that signing with the union, even as in their case a Communist-led union, meant the opportunity for both profits and economic growth.

When Push Comes to Shove.  Uncle Sam is broke.  So are a lot of the states.  Unlike those of us locked in a state of penury thanks to a drunken sailor policy of spending money we don't have, a lot of politicians and labor unions insist on continuing to spend the public's money as if there was an endless supply of it.  There isn't.  For the most part, in many places, it's almost all gone.

Big labor's big betrayal.  Today New Yorkers, like all Americans, are observing Labor Day — and many have the day off.  Great.  No doubt, they earned it.  But the holiday — once meant to extol an honorable movement, affirm worker solidarity and celebrate gains won through collective bargaining — is an ideal time to look at what has become of the labor movement in recent years.  Alas, that doesn't merit celebration.

This oughta teach him!  In a move of stunning hypocrisy, the United Federation of Teachers axed one of its longtime employees — for trying to unionize the powerful labor organization's own workers, it was charged yesterday [8/12/2010].

To Protest Hiring of Nonunion Help, Union Hires Nonunion Pickets.  Billy Raye, a 51-year-old unemployed bike courier, is looking for work.  Fortunately for him, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters is seeking paid demonstrators to march and chant in its current picket line outside the McPherson Building, an office complex here where the council says work is being done with nonunion labor.

Union rules can't trump worker rights.  More than 800,000 men and women in this country choose to dedicate a significant portion of their free time to serving their communities as volunteer firefighters.  These individuals train on nights and weekends and are "on call" to respond to emergencies when they aren't at their full-time jobs.  For thousands of career firefighters, the choice to volunteer for their hometown fire department during off-duty hours comes with a threat of expulsion from their labor union.

America's lead weight.  Do you have to love labor unions to be a good Democrat?  That was the question raised last year by the unpopular bailouts of unionized Detroit automakers.  It's been raised again this year by California's budget crisis, created at least in part by generous pensions for unionized public employees.  I think the answer is no.  It's time for Democrats, even liberal Democrats, to start looking at unions and unionism with deep skepticism.

More Proof Big Labor's Unionizations Costs Jobs.  Union bosses will stop at nothing to get their agenda through — after all, even if Congress won't pass the job-killing EFCA legislation because they know it's politically unpopular and bad economic policy, then they will work to accomplish the same goals and enact portions of the Employee 'Forced' Choice Act through administrative action within the NLRB.

Jobs On Aisle Three.  A group of ministers wants a big-box retailer to create jobs in a desolate area of President Obama's hometown.  In a largely jobless recovery, why are the labor unions and political bosses fighting the clergy?

How Unions Work:  There is a reason that unions kill merit pay, and it's not because they just happened to solidify in an era when merit pay was out of fashion.  To state the obvious, unions negotiate ironclad contracts to cover dozens, hundreds, or thousands of workers.  Once they take effect, those contracts are rarely renegotiated, and they apply to every single worker no matter what the situation.  So unions are always going to be looking for the simplest, least subjective metrics by which to measure their members.  Furthermore, they will be looking for metrics which are not under the control of the other side.

Labor Unions and the News Media.  Over the years, commentators have given much thought to the news media's "liberal bias."  But one issue has been overlooked — press criticism of labor unions.  That is because it is hard to spot something that doesn't appear in print.  The media just don't publish criticism of unions.  The main reason, I believe, is that newspaper reporters are themselves largely unionized.  Their operating principle is solidarity:  unionized workers don't criticize other unionized workers.  Which means they don't criticize labor unions.

Live Better, Don't Work Union.  Card check legislation appears to be dead in Washington.  Companies, shareholders and employees don't know how narrowly they missed the financial trouble that comes with a union shop.

What Do Union Members Want?  For all their influence in the workplace, it is not clear whether unions actually represent their members' values.  While it is true that union members elect their leaders, union leaders appear to pursue an agenda disconnected from the concerns of their members.

The Fallacious Notion of Job Creation:  when considering work, it should first be said that it always exists wherever there are people.  Given the basic human need for the necessities of life, absent an ability to draw on the gains or productivity of others, people must necessarily work in order to consume.  In that sense the word "unemployment" is a logical falsehood.  Individuals aren't so much out of work because there are no jobs as they're unemployed for failing to supply their labor at the going market rate.  Better yet, people are frequently unemployed owing to the belief that available jobs aren't worth their time, or worthy of their skill set.

Hiding the Truth About the Pay Gap Between Men and Women.  The Labor Department's new report is clearly an important contribution to the debate over pay equity.  But where is it?  Although it was posted on the Labor Department's web site just days after it was finalized, it was apparently removed as the transition in power was occurring between former President Bush and President Obama.  We don't know why the report was taken down, but certainly the timing is suspicious.

How Obama Stimulates Feminists.  [Scroll down]  "Could it possibly be that women have lost only 20 percent of the jobs that have vanished in the last, devastating year?"  Yes.  Women (generally) favor public-sector jobs that are not contingent on high rates of productivity and involve little personal risk.  Being a teacher, an academic, a social worker, and/or a bureaucrat are not careers wherein one is exposed to physical danger or the elements.  Therefore, it is no surprise that they are largely immune to economic downturns because government never cuts programs.  Living on a budget is something only the taxpayers need do.

Sizing Up Civil Service:  Before 1981, there were an average of 300 strikes a year.  Strikers held all the power; they were seldom replaced by their employer.  By firing the air traffic controllers, [President Reagan] changed the dynamic.  "Any kind of worker, it seemed, was vulnerable to replacement if they went out on strike, and the psychological impact of that, I think, was huge," explains Joseph McCartin, a historian working on a book about the strike.  That's why strikes are rare these days, with fewer than 30 per year on average.

Democracy Alliance memo details Dem plan to "educate the idiots" and target minorities.  In a confidential internal memorandum obtained by Face The State (PDF), the Colorado Democracy Alliance outlines a roster of "operatives" who worked for Democratic victory in the 2006 general election.  The document outlines specific tasks for various members of the state's liberal infrastructure, including a campaign to "educate the idiots," assigned to the state's AFL-CIO union.  Among the operation's intended targets:  "minorities, GED's, drop-outs."

Dems play footloose with immigration facts.  As they recall the failure of immigration reform in Congress, Democrats want to come off as the good guys.  This means burying the fact that their patrons in organized labor instructed them to kill any compromise that included guest workers — a concept AFL-CIO President John Sweeney termed "a bad idea (that) harms all workers."


"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  You cannot further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred.  You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich."

Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, 1916.       



Union mentality can be a roadblock to innovation.  One of the most cherished assumptions of organized labor is that a hefty increase in union membership would be good for the nation.  This is simply untrue. … For the economy as a whole, a large increase in the number of unionized businesses would be a tremendous drag on growth, especially in dynamic sectors such as technology.

Unions are bad for job growth.  Right to Work laws give individual workers the right to stay out of unions.  In a truly free society, though, right to work laws would not exist.  After all, a company should have the right to make union membership a condition of employment, even though that might be a foolish approach.  But because there is so much pro-union legislation tilting the playing field against business, right to work laws are seen as a way of creating some balance.

The Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire  of 1911 is often misused as a example of the need for child labor laws and safety codes.  It is actually a warning to employers and employees to beware of the misdeeds and negligence of other employees. … The workers were 17, 18, and 19 years old or older.  So workers were not children, would not be controlled by present child labor laws and thus the incident provides no support for child labor laws. … Socialists deliberately lied about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in order to blame capitalism and to cover-up for the usual failures of socialism.

The People Who Brought You Weekends?  Not Quite.  The government outlawed child labor only once large numbers of parents were doing well enough that they didn't need to send their children to work.

Don't Get into a Lather over Sweatshops.  Economists point out that alternatives to working in a sweatshop are often much worse:  scavenging through trash, prostitution, crime, or even starvation.

How Outsourcing Creates Jobs for Americans.  Some companies are being criticized for outsourcing work from the United States to other countries.  U.S. manufacturers have outsourced operations to countries such as China to lower wage costs and escape from high taxes, burdensome government regulations and intransigent unions at home.

Outsourcing Myths.  America's companies are shutting down factories and offices, and shipping jobs wholesale overseas.  That's how the media have portrayed it.  In reality, outsourcing has created more, better-paying jobs here.

The Great Outsourcing Scare of 2004,  like all protectionist scares, turned out to be one part sensationalism, one part economic ignorance. … If there is a threat to American workers, the U.S. government should get a large portion of the blame.  Taxes, regulations, and mandated employee benefits, when taken together, drastically increase the cost of hiring Americans.

The silver lining of outsourcing overseas:  The truth is that outsourcing is far less of a threat to American workers than they imagine, and there are significant benefits for the U.S. economy.  For starters, there is not a one-for-one relationship between jobs lost here and those gained elsewhere from outsourcing.

Help for Americans.  Since 1992 there's been a loss of 391 million jobs; however, during those years, America created 411 million new jobs, for a net gain of 20 million.  A Dartmouth University Tuck School of Business study found that companies that send jobs abroad ended up hiring twice as many workers at home.  Most new jobs created are higher-paid.

Jobs come and go.  In 1970, the telecommunications industry employed 421,000 switchboard operators.  In the same year, Americans made 9.8 billion long distance calls.  Today, the telecommunications industry employs only 78,000 operators [and we make ten times as many calls].  That's a tremendous 80 percent job loss.  One forgotten beneficiary in today's job loss demagoguery is the consumer.

Liberals and class:  part III.  Sometimes it seems as if liberals have a genius for producing an unending stream of ideas that are counterproductive for the poor, whom they claim to be helping.  Few of these notions are more counterproductive than the idea of "menial work" or "dead-end jobs."

More pieces in the jobs puzzle.  It's true that our country's "loss" of manufacturing jobs has been due partly to our shift from labor-intensive products, such as textiles, to high-tech products, such as pharmaceuticals.  But there are pieces of this jobs puzzle that aren't getting nearly the attention they deserve.

$58-an-Hour UAW Workers Kill $16K Ford Bonus as Stingy.  As the UAW rank-and-file continues to vote on the contract offer hammered out between management and UAW honchos, the Detroit Free Press reports that at least one local has rejected the offer, even though it includes a $6,000 cash bonus, a $3,700 profit sharing bonus and at least another $1,500 cash for each of the four years on the contract for a total of $15,700 on top of wages and benefits.

AFL-CIO offers list of union-approved Halloween candy.  Halloween is less than a week away and, just in time for Americans stocking up on candy, the AFL-CIO has identified the most union-friendly candy available.  Yes, there is such a thing as union-approved candy.  "If you want your Halloween to be all treats and no tricks, make sure all your candy is union-made, made in America," Jackie Tortora writes at the AFL-CIO's blog, linking to Local 144's "Buy Union Directory."



The alleged "wage gap"

The Wage Gap Myth:  When women behave in the workplace as men do, the wage gap between them is small.  June O'Neill, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, found that among people ages 27 to 33 who have never had a child, women's earnings approach 98 percent of men's.  Women who hold positions and have skills and experience similar to those of men face wage disparities of less than 10 percent, and many are within a couple of points.  Claims of unequal pay almost always involve comparing apples and oranges.

The wage gap, give me a break.  Feminists keep demanding new laws to protect women from the so-called wage gap.  Many studies have found that women make about 75 cents for every dollar a man earns.  Activists say the pay difference is all about sexism. … But how could this be possible? … If a woman does equal work for 25 percent less money, businesses would get rich just by hiring women.  Why would any employer ever hire a man?

A wage gap?  The Census Bureau did find that women earned 76 cents for every dollar paid to a male (now up to 80 cents on the dollar), but that was a raw number, not adjusted for comparable jobs and responsibility.  A new book, Why Men Earn More by Warren Farrell, goes further, examining a broad array of wage statistics.  His conclusion:  When reasonable adjustments are made, women earn just as much as men, and sometimes more.

The government rushes to fix a problem that doesn't exist:
EEOC targets gender gap in wages.  An attorney with the "reinvigorated" U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says that it is becoming more aggressive in looking into claims of sex discrimination in pay and that the agency doesn't need a formal complaint by a woman to begin an investigation.

The feminist complaint festival:  There's one problem with Equal Pay Day — the premise is bogus.  Department of Labor data confirms that the median wage of a full-time working woman is three-quarters of that of a full-time working man, but like too many statistics, this fact ignores more than it reveals.  This data doesn't account for relevant factors such as occupation, experience and educational attainment.  Feminists may not like it, but the evidence shows that women's choices — not discrimination — cause wage gap.

Pilot Errors:  All above-market wage rates forcibly exacted by labor unions cause unemployment precisely as $20 for a pound of cheese would cause its unemployment at the table.  How is this unemployment catastrophe covered up?  Labor unions, using their political power, get the government to pick up the tab:  public housing, urban renewal, the Gateway Arch, moon shots, and thousands of other pyramids — "make work" projects to employ resources which have been coercively excluded from the market.

Big Labor and Big Government:  Big labor is trying to make itself relevant again by attempting to rebuild its declining membership base, and, more importantly, by striving to increase the role of government in the American economy.  Under the leadership of AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney, the union movement has revived its militant organizing activities of the 1930s, updated with a 1990s Madison Avenue message campaign.

The Feminine Mistake:  The argument in favor of "equal pay for equal work" rests on a concept of labor that was overturned in the 1870's.  It assumes that there is such a thing as concrete human labor, a physical entity that in some way can be measured.  Value is in some way linked to labor, and pay should reflect value.  This was the economic premise of virtually all economists until the advent of modern economics; Karl Marx was the last major economist to hold the labor theory of value.  Modern economics rests on the concept that value is linked to usefulness; the value of labor depends on the value of labor's output.  The distinction between the two concepts of value is crucial.

The Unseen Consequences of "Green Jobs".  [Scroll down]  This strategy is reminiscent of the no doubt apocryphal story of the American economist visiting Mao's China taken on a tour of a construction site where 100 workers were using shovels to build an earthen dam.  "Why don't you just use one man and a bulldozer to build the dam?" asked the economist.  The guide responded, "If we did that, then we'd have 99 men out of work."  To which the economist replied, "Oh, I thought you were building a dam.  If your goal is to make jobs, why don't you take their shovels away and replace them with spoons?"

Even In California ...  Public-employee unions are being pummeled by Republican legislators and governors all over the country.  But they still seem to think they have the people on their side.  In Wisconsin they're talking recall against Gov. Scott Walker and his state house allies.  In California, they admit to losing some ground.  But they figure on winning it back with one of their tried-and-true ad campaigns, pulling on the public's heartstrings about teachers, cops and firefighters.  But it may be that the public is no longer so ripe to be manipulated in Wisconsin, California or anywhere else.  In the Golden State, a new survey by UC Berkeley and the Field Poll showed a sharp trend toward skepticism toward unions over the past two years.



        "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
- Thomas Jefferson            


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Updated July 18, 2017.

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