Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category

Greedy Union Workers Force Boeing’s Exit from Seattle

by Donald Douglas on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

This is article 61 of 66 in the topic Business

From today’s Los Angeles Times, “Boeing families in Seattle area feel spurned over 777X project: The aerospace giant threatens to build its newest airliner out of state unless a union approves concessions. Some workers have generations of history there“:

MILL CREEK, Wash. — Shannon Ryker is a third-generation employee of aerospace giant Boeing Co. She followed her grandfather into the huge plant in nearby Everett. And her father. And her Uncle Bob.

Her youngest sister worked at Boeing until she became pregnant. Both of Ryker’s brothers-in-law and one of their dads work there. Her other sister’s stepson has applied for a Boeing job.

So it wasn’t easy for the 37-year-old mechanic to sit down in her crowded apartment here on a recent Sunday and write to Boeing management about her growing disappointment.

“Like my 86-year-old grandmother, I would like to tell my children and grandchildren that ‘Boeing has been good to this family,'” Ryker wrote in an open letter that has since landed on company break-room tables and in co-workers’ email in-boxes. But now, she said, “I no longer can hold my head high and say I am proud to work at Boeing.”

At issue is the company’s hunt for a site to build its newest airliner, the 777X. Ryker and other members of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 overwhelmingly voted last month to reject a contract that would have cut some pension plans and healthcare benefits but guaranteed the program would stay in the Pacific Northwest.

Since the vote, Washington’s largest private employer has been looking elsewhere for a site to build the plane, a potential move that threatens the state economy and the middle class Boeing helped create.

The company’s decision reflects the hard realities of the industry and the latest skirmish in the fight for union survival. Boeing says the contract concessions are essential to compete financially with its longtime European rival Airbus, which plans to deliver its own new twin-aisle jetliner next year….

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Raymond L. Conner laid out the stakes in a letter to workers before the Nov. 13 union vote on the 777X, an essential part of the company’s long-term product strategy. “What we want to avoid is that we become one of the companies that made decisions too late to remain competitive in the marketplace,” he wrote.

Boeing gave other states until Tuesday to submit proposals to build the wide-body’s latest generation. Within days of the union vote, California, Missouri and Texas made appeals to Boeing in an attempt to snag the program.

The company joins a long line of manufacturers and municipalities that have sought to wring concessions from unions that once negotiated comfortable pensions and wages.

After a bitter strike in 2008, the company shipped much of the work on its 787 Dreamliner to South Carolina, a right-to-work state. Seven years earlier, it moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago. Its Washington workforce is more than 83,000 strong, but there are fears that the company’s future is elsewhere.

“If Boeing doesn’t build the 777X here, this could be the start of a long, steady decline of the company’s presence here,” said Scott Hamilton, an aviation industry consultant who figures Boeing could be gone by 2030, based on backlogs and production rates.

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Labor unions stage paid protests to hurt holiday retail sales

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

This is article 177 of 180 in the topic Unions

During the busy shopping weekend, that began with Black Friday through the Thanksgiving holiday-weekend on Saturday and Sunday, many Christmas bargain-hunters were subjected to loud, boisterous labor demonstrations in front of department stores such as the Wal-Mart chain and other non-union retailers, according to numerous national and local media stories.

The tactics employed by the protesters include being arrested by police officers and portraying them as brutal cops while creating “martyrs” for the labor movement, according to several law enforcement officials who spoke with Law Enforcement Examiner.

Only a few news media outlets covered the allegations and evidence that union front groups are staging these holiday shopping protests in cities and towns throughout the country. Their goal is to generate biased news coverage and publicity and to disrupt holiday shopping in their quest for a negative PR campaign against retail employers, according to officials from the non-partisan Worker Center Watch.

The organization offers disturbing proof that very few current employees of retailers being targeted are involved in the protests and demonstrations.

They claim that “union members, their worker center activist allies and professional protesters sing songs, carry signs and chant through bullhorns in protests more focused on generating media attention than helping workers.”

“The deceptive Black Friday campaign, designed to look like a worker uprisings, has been planned for weeks, including designating protesters in big media markets for arrest,” Worker Center Watch officials allege.

“Unions, desperate for new dues after decades of declining membership, have embraced non-profit worker centers to do their dirty work for them. Worker centers are labor organizations, they clearly fit the definition,” said Ryan Williams, media director for Worker Center Watch, a coalition of business owners and concerned citizens dedicated to exposing labor unions‘ abuse of the worker center organizational model.

“It’s a way that allows the unions to skirt labor organizing laws by letting the activist groups they sponsor to attack employers for them. Big Labor is spending millions of dollars on a massive charade against job creators at a time when our economy can least afford it,” notes Williams.

“This isn’t the first time unions have used paid protesters and thugs to carry out their ‘brown shirt’ activities against capitalists, conservatives and Tea Party members. They create fake organizations and pay all the expenses for these so-called labor actions,” said a former director of security for a large retail chain, Joseph Waylon.

“The Obama administration and the Democrats know this is happening but they do nothing to stop this fraud because these same labor unions pour millions and millions of dollars into their political coffers,” Waylon added.

A study — conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by Jarol B. Manheim, Professor Emeritus of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University — exposes how an extensive web of foundation cash fuels prominent union front organizations. For example, the Kellogg Foundation channeled over $1.2 million to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Open Society Institute gave the National Domestic Workers Alliance $695,000, and the Rockefeller Foundation gave Restaurant Opportunities Center United $300,000.

The study also examines how many union front groups receive taxpayer-funded support from the Obama administration.

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by Stephen Levine on Thursday, November 7th, 2013

This is article 68 of 71 in the topic Travel/Transportation

Do you want armed bozos in a “gun free” target-rich environment?


The progressive socialist democrats running the unions are not ones to let a crisis go to waste, so there should be absolutely no surprise that the union associated with the TSA officers are urging that they be armed. Of course, this presents its own challenges.

  1. Can you trust a poorly vetted and grossly-out-of-shape civilian police force that has relaxed standards and would be an armed presence in a gun-free zone?
  2. Can you trust TSA personnel, who face daily insults and the scorn of the public, not to overreact and become a threat to the traveling public?
  3. Can you imagine TSA officers spraying innocent civilians in the proximity and not hitting their intended target?
  4. Can you trust a civilian police force, not to use the guns they are officially issued, on their home turf?
  5. Can you trust the unions not to demand more and more money as these officers are trained and armed – with the union eventually demanding they be given federal law enforcement status with equivalent pay, pensions, healthcare, early-retirement, and other perks?
  6. Can you trust the political leadership of the TSA?
  7. Is there any proof that any TSA person thwarted an actual terrorist attack in the history of the TSA?

Even when trained, many of these people will remain TSA bozos and not somehow miraculously turn into trained Israeli Airport Security people!

According to the Los Angeles Times …

Union urges arming TSA officers after LAX shooting  — Airport security experts note the cost and risk of arming TSA officers. The Airport Police chief says more officers in the terminal wouldn’t have necessarily saved lives.

When Congress formed the Transportation Security Administration two months after 9/11, the agency’s mission was clear: Its officers would not carry guns or make arrests. Instead, they would focus on screening passengers for weapons, bombs and other dangerous materials.

But the shooting death of a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport — the first fatality in the agency’s history — could change that. On Monday, the union representing 45,000 federal security agents called for the creation of a class of armed TSA officers with law enforcement training and the authority to arrest people.

“The sad truth is that our TSA officers are subject to daily verbal assaults and far too frequent physical attacks,” said Jeffrey David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees. “We feel a larger and more consistent armed presence in screening areas would be a positive step.”

TSA Administrator John Pistole said his agency would review its protocols after Friday’s attack.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder also weighed in Monday, saying that the government should examine the agency’s role in protecting airports.  Part of the investigation will be “a review of the security measures that were in place not only at LAX but, I think, a review of the security arrangements that exist in other airports as well,” he said.

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by Stephen Levine on Sunday, October 13th, 2013

This is article 382 of 467 in the topic Government Corruption

It appears that the majority of Americans are apathetic – caught up in a malaise without any feeling of unity or sense of purpose.

Events beyond their control swirl about. Talking heads and political pundits fill the airwaves with what is wrong with America. With the progressive media dishonestly blaming the GOP and holding President Obama and his cadre of fellow travelers harmless for the damage being done to our nation. The top two subjects being discussed appear to be crime and politics – in reality, and as perceived by most people, one in the same thing.

Daily life goes on, with most Americans wondering, not about the broader economic forecasts, but about losing their jobs and the possible loss of their healthcare insurance coverage.

They are slowly awakening to the fact that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, stood before them an lied to the up-turned faces looking for “hope and change.”

Instead they found that they may not be able to keep their current insurance coverage or their current doctors. They are finding that the Affordable Care Act is not affordable and represents a major increase in their insurance premiums, often for less medical care. Even worse, they are finding that their jobs are being cut-back as the Affordable Care Act redefines a full-time position to be 30 hours.

Should Americans look a little closer at the Washington dung heap, they would see little difference between the political parties as they struggle for perpetual control and the right to pick the taxpayer’s pockets. Not only to enrich themselves and their friends, but to purchase enough votes to achieve permanent political control over the system. Even to the extent of granting citizenship rights to currently illegal aliens; in reality an invasion of a foreign culture that refuses to assimilate. Recreating crapistan here in America as they parasitically suck local and state governments dry – reducing emergency services and social safety nets designed and paid for by the legal citizens of our states and nation.

Even worse, it appears we are caught up in a dystopian world seemingly created by George Orwell. Where equality is only a talking point and some animals are more important than other animals. Where political speech is topsy turvy and up is down, black is white, and evil is good. Where commonsense and morality give way to political correctness, multiculturalism, and moral equivalency. Where terrorists are freedom fighters if they are allied with a favored political cause – in spite of the fact that they are killing innocent men, women, and children in the name of their religion and pursuing their goal of achieving dominant political power.

Crazyiness abounds. How else can you explain that issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens will make the roads safer? Or how the economy will be boosted by the illegal aliens who are taking entry-level positions and making them into careers – depriving teenagers and recent graduates access to this job pool?

How else can you explain pouring more and more money into a union-dominated socialistic education system that continues to pump out decades of functional illiterates who are little more than ideological activists who cannot read, write, do simply arithmetic or even function without a calculator or computer. Disadvantaging the poor even more and insuring a permanent underclass.

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Obama calls Republicans ‘extortionists’ during speech

by Jim Kouri on Saturday, September 21st, 2013

This is article 491 of 694 in the topic Healthcare

President Barack Obama shocked a number of Americans when during a televised speech on Wednesday he accused the House Republicans of being extortionists, according to a number of news organizations.

“You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a — a governing party,” Obama said to an audience of top business executives who are members of the Business Roundtable association.

The only difference between Obama’s negotiations with Putin and Boehner then would be that the president would never say the things about Russia’s strongman that he has about the weakened speaker of the House. And that’s very telling indeed,” said Fox News Channel’s Chris Stirewalt.

But a former police detective is more blunt: “How dare this president with his almost constant ‘cover-up mode’ accuse his political opponents of a felony? If anyone should be investigated for alleged extortion, it’s President Obama and his Chicago machine that’s invaded the White House,” said Det. Sidney Franes, who also served as a Marine intelligence officer.

In a written statement released on Thursday, the Obama White House delivered a tough message saying the President opposes a GOP bill in the House of Representatives to at least temporarily defund Obama’s prized Obamacare, claiming the GOP bill “advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class.”

In addition, several Senate Democrats have already claimed they will vote against the Republican remedy to what conservatives allege is a corrupt and misguided healthcare system revamp.

As reported in an Examiner news story, President Obama unilaterally rewrote the law — without congressional approval — to delay the so-called “employer mandate,” which was scheduled to go in effect on Jan. 1, 2014, for at least a year. The employer mandate stipulates that companies with over 50 full-time employees must provide healthcare plans for their workers that comply with Obamacare standards.

If they do not, they will be forced to pay a penalty “tax” for each employee not receiving an Obama-approved healthcare plan. The temporary waiver allows companies to save millions of dollars, according to the Examiner story.

However, Judicial Watch notes that the President did not rewrite the Affordable Care Act so that Americans would be eligible for a delay in the implementation of the “individual mandate,” which requires nearly all Americans to have Obama-approved health insurance by that same date or pay a tax penalty.

“Many Americans are caught in the middle. They are obligated to have Obama-approved health insurance, but their employers are not obligated to provide it, at least for another year. As a result, these Americans will be forced to purchase Obama-approved health insurance on an Obamacare-created health insurance exchange or pay the tax penalty. Either way, they’re out-of-pocket,” stated officials at Judicial Watch.

In it’s press statement, Judicial Watch noted: If you are going to have to purchase Obama-approved health insurance through an Obamacare-created health insurance exchange or pay a tax penalty because your employer, which would have been covered by the employer mandate, is dropping or does not provide health insurance, you may have a claim to challenge President Obama’s unilateral rewriting of the law.

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Bitter Lesson for Big Labor: “Redistribution Marxism” No Panacea for Little People!

by John Lillpop on Monday, September 16th, 2013

This is article 489 of 694 in the topic Healthcare

Barack Obama’s electoral success is due, in no small part, to unwary labor leaders who blindly followed The One’s Marxist promise to “Bless the Little Guy by Soaking the Rich.”

Naïve labor leaders bought into Obama’s Pied Piper fantasy about reducing health care costs by adding 30 million uninsured to the public trough!

Both Obama and Big Labor continue to hallucinate about the existence of “Free lunches,” and the morality and wisdom of stealing from the successful to subsidize the slothful and inept.

Big Labor can be excused, partially, for greedily subscribing to the Marxist notion of wealth redistribution. After all, why not force the rich to pay their “fair share,” even if it requires a tyrannical government to seize THEIR wealth to do the deed?

Indeed, as long as redistribution mania does not cost union coffers and their members more booty, why fret about unlovable millionaires and billionaires?

Along the way, Big Labor learned a vital lesson about Barack Obama and Marxist “fairness.”

To begin with, labor leaders learned that Obama is a congenital liar who will say damn near anything to get elected and to get his way in governance.

Promises made to reach Marxist goals are essentially “inoperative” once The One is in office, and are equally meaningless once a “Legacy” signature bill has been signed into law…as in the train wreck known as the Affordable Care Act.

Secondly, Soak the Rich” policies are terrific—-unless one happens to be “Rich,” as defined by a goofy Marxist government.

Which is the case when it comes to “Cadillac” plans enjoyed by some Union members.

However, an unintended consequence of redistribution has caught up with Obamacare and Big Labor. Thus, the groveling faithful are in open revolt against Obamacare as reported at the reference:

Despite pressure from top labor leaders, the Obama administration said late Friday it cannot extend government subsidies tied to the new health care law to union members with multi-employer health plans.

It appears that despite fiery rhetoric over the summer, the unions were unable to convince the Obama administration that their plans should benefit from the same type of premium support.

Earlier this week, the AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its convention that calls on the Obama administration to change the health overhaul and reiterates their desire to see a government-run single-payer health system.”

Will Obamacare finally teach Big Labor that Progressive solutions are no match for good-old fashioned market forces in a capitalist society?

Or will Big Labor remain manacled to the slavery that inevitably follows when one follows a Progressive (and clueless) Pied Piper?

John W. Lillpop
San Jose, California

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No Obamacare exemptions for Big Labor? We’ll see

by Doug Powers on Saturday, September 14th, 2013

This is article 486 of 694 in the topic Healthcare

The Obamacare rollout has been an uncomfortable one for Big Labor. Congress passed the law with their blessing, and now they’re finding out what’s in it, and they want out. The White House issued its first response to union concerns. Try not to point and laugh:

The Obama administration on Friday appeared to rule out giving unions a special deal to offer their workers extra ObamaCare subsidies, but left the door open to other changes after a private White House meeting with labor leaders who are concerned over the law.

Earlier in the day, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had urged the White House to act within a week to address labor unions’ concerns over ObamaCare.

The sit-down with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden came amid concerns from Republicans that Obama might be preparing to offer the unions a special deal to assuage their concerns.

But on Friday night, the White House said the Treasury Department had issued a letter “making clear that it does not see a legal way for individuals in multi-employer group health plans to receive individual market tax credits as well as the favorable tax treatment associated with employer-provided health insurance at the same time.”

I’ll be waiting this one out in the gray area between schadenfreude and skepticism. There’s absolutely no way those who were at the front lines in ramming Obamacare through Congress should be exempted from some of its provisions, but at the same time it’s unlikely the Obama administration and the Democrats won’t desperately search for a way to help ease the self-inflicted pain of some of their greatest election-year allies.

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Backfire: Obamacare fallout continues as 40,000 longshoremen quit AFL-CIO

by Doug Powers on Monday, September 2nd, 2013

This is article 482 of 694 in the topic Healthcare

Democrats received Big Labor support for Obamacare because of promises that unions would have priority access to lifeboats when the whole thing started to sink. Now, some union heads are coming to the harsh realization that they were duped, and membership is expressing their dissatisfaction:

In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.

In an August 29 letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, ILWU President Robert McEllrath cited quite a list of grievances as reasons for the disillusion of their affiliation, but prominent among them was the AFL-CIO’s support of Obamare.

“We feel the Federation has done a great disservice to the labor movement and all working people by going along to get along,” McEllrath wrote in the letter to Trumka.

The ILWU President made it clear they are for a single-payer, nationalized healthcare policy and are upset with the AFL-CIO for going along with Obama on the confiscatory tax on their “Cadillac” healthcare plan.

If the ILWU is upset at Obamacare’s negative effect on their “Cadillac” health plans, wait until their dream of single payer is a reality (the wreckage of Obamacare is merely a stepping stone to single payer, according to Harry Reid, who accidentally told the truth recently). This is kind of like trying to halt your arteriosclerosis by funneling hydrogenated oil.

Not so coincidentally, around the same time 40,000 longshoremen–and more importantly, their dues payments–were leaving the AFL-CIO, the head of that union held a press conference saying he’s not really angry or anything but somebody needs to fix the law, pronto! Hard to feel sorry for him:

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Supersized Stupid: McDonalds Workers Strike for ‘Living Wage’

by Doug Powers on Friday, August 30th, 2013

This is article 182 of 191 in the topic Marches/Protests/Riots
liberalutopiaSo what if your Big Mac costs $12, the unions want in!

Beginning a day of protests that organizers say will spread to 50 cities and 1,000 stores across the country, a crowd of chanting workers gathered Thursday morning at a McDonald’s in midtown Manhattan to call for higher wages and the chance to join a union.

About 500 people, including workers, activists, religious leaders, news crews and local politicians, gathered outside the McDonald’s on Fifth Avenue. The protesters chanted “Si Se Puede” (“Yes, We Can”) and “Hey, hey, ho, ho $7.25 has got to go,” holding signs saying “On Strike: Can’t Survive on $7.25,” referring to the federal minimum wage.

Nobody ever told these pinheads that making French fries isn’t really supposed to be a lifetime career option? There are a bunch of people who have a really rude awakening in store.

This is really all about unions wanting to get their porky snouts deeper into the fast food biz, because they’re losing membership everywhere else. But that’s what they do these days — bleed an industry dry and then move on to cripple another.

Update: “I’m libbin’ it” — new striking fast food worker mottos.

Update II:

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by Stephen Levine on Thursday, August 29th, 2013

This is article 181 of 191 in the topic Marches/Protests/Riots

Most of the people who walked off their job in fast food restaurants do not seem to have a firm grasp on reality …

  1. Your employer operates a “convenience store” that is non-essential in the normal scheme of things as people have been preparing food at home since the dawn of time. In addition, there are any number of other “convenience” stores and pre-packaged food outlets.
  2. Your employer has an abundant source of labor with each graduating class of seniors and the laws of supply and demand control the value of your job.
  3. In all likelihood, your job was designed for an entry-level employee or part-time student or senior citizen. The only worthwhile jobs are managerial in nature, not preparing or serving food or maintaining the facility.
  4. This is a transparent ploy by the unions to unionize low-skilled workers. It is not that the union actually cares for its members, it cares about dues, managing large healthcare and retirement funds, and the political power to corrupt politicians and coerce employers. This strike is a clear example of the union trying to flex their muscle.
  5. And, while I feel sorry for your current economic situation, I did not tell you to have multiple children out of wedlock with multiple men who refuse to financially and emotionally support their progeny. Likewise, I did not curb your education and your opportunity to get a better paying skilled position – the teachers’ unions produced decades of functional illiterates that have no place to turn.
  6. If you want to rise above your current situation, there are any number of government grants available, but you will have to work doubly hard to overcome what choices you have made.
  7. I do not understand why you believe that I should pay more for my “Happy Meal” to support your poor choices and disadvantage myself or my family. This is not a socialist society where “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is the operative guideline. And, I believe wealth distribution is charity at gunpoint and that a significant portion of any forced funding goes to the politicians and their special interests as “administrative fees.”
  8. We pay enough for job training and college programs – some complete with babysitters and paid living expenses.

From the progressive media …

Why I’m on Strike Today: I Can’t Support Myself on $7.85 at Burger King — ‘I know what it feels like to be afraid of having your children go to bed hungry or being evicted. But today is not scary; it’s empowering.’

I’ve worked at fast-food restaurants in North Carolina for the past 15 years. I’ve spent more hours at Church’s Chicken, McDonald’s and now Burger King than I can remember. I work hard – I never miss a shift and always arrive on time. But today, I’m going on strike.

I make $7.85 at Burger King as a guest ambassador and team leader, where I train new employees on restaurant regulations and perform the manager’s duties in their absence. Before Burger King, I worked at Church’s for 12 years, starting at $6.30 and ending at just a little more than $8 an hour.

I’ve never walked off a job before. I don’t consider myself an activist, and I’ve never been involved with politics.

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