Archive for the ‘Public Sector Unions’ Category

First off, congratulations to Michigan for allowing citizens to own their own labor and not be forced by law and coercion to join a union.

Congrats to Democrats and union supporters for acting like the moron goons we all know you are:

I’ve heard the point made in the last few days, though, that the thuggery is not just endemic to unions, but important to them.  When there are real threats put out there, people understand that they really mean it.  Though “it”, as always, is merely preserving their racket, while painting a picture of cackling mustachioed robber barons whipping child slave labor, and the idea that it was unions and not the free market that created the wholly subjective “living wage”.

It’s interesting to read the leftist point of view on this topic.  From HuffPo:

LANSING, Mich. — Over the chants of thousands of angry protesters, Republican lawmakers made Michigan a right-to-work state Tuesday, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a place that has been a bastion of the movement for generations.

The GOP-dominated House ignored Democrats’ pleas to delay the final passage and instead approved two bills with the same ruthless efficiency that the Senate showed last week. One measure dealt with private-sector workers, the other with government employees. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed them both within hours, calling them “pro-worker and pro-Michigan.”

“This is about freedom, fairness and equality,” House Speaker Jase Bolger said during the floor debate. “These are basic American rights – rights that should unite us.”

After the vote, he said, Michigan’s future “has never been brighter, because workers are free.”

The state where the United Auto Workers was founded and labor has long been a political titan will join 23 others with right-to-work laws, which ban requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services.

Supporters say the laws give workers more choice and support economic growth, but critics insist the real intent is to weaken organized labor by encouraging workers to “freeload” by withholding money unions need to bargain effectively.

Protesters in the Capitol gallery chanted “Shame on you!” as the measures were adopted. Union backers clogged the hallways and grounds shouting “No justice, no peace.” And Democrats warned that hard feelings over the legislation and Republicans’ refusal to hold committee hearings or allow a statewide referendum would be long lasting.

Emphasis obviously added.  They wouldn’t just go out and say “Republicans bad, they hate workers, Democrats good, they love workers, and scabs are evil scum”.  Because, y’know, there’s nothing more democratic than getting forced by government to pay to an organization you don’t want to belong to, just for the priviledge of owning your own work.

But as always, unions aren’t about helping workers, they’re about pitting one group of workers against another group of workers.

Now, if you do happen to be a union guy, or a union girl (though they don’t like women or blacks or hispanics or chinese or ______  minority depending on the shop, and used unions to keep shops closed to non-white males, but I digress…), you’ll note that they said the problem is it will allow non-union workers to not have money stolen out of their pockets to pay for union negotiation.  Thing is, a company probably doesn’t have to hire somebody at the union rate if they aren’t a union member.  Also, union member dues don’t go to negotiation (except when they’re busy killing tire plants and bakeries) so much, and as visibly, as they go here.  Note that these are the top all-time donors, and unions are all boxed in blue.  Notice that their support goes overwhelmingly, if not absolutely, to Democrats:

union heavy hitters open secrets 1

union heavy hitters open secrets 2

Now if you go back and really look at the list, you’ll see that not only do unions make up over a third of the list there, they contribute almost exclusively to Democrats, and when you look at other “heavy hitters” that donate, they aren’t split anywhere near the way the unions are.  The most “even” distribution of union support is a split of 75% Dem, 17% Rep.

Of course Democrats will be mad about this.  If people don’t have to pay dues each month to support Democrats, they might have to turn to some of their other overwhelmingly powerful political action committees to get elected rather than just pick the pockets of voters while blaming Republicans for the failures the Democrats cause – The Curley Effect again.


Milton Friedman on the application of free markets and individual choice to the school system.

Note the responses from the American Federation of Teachers (union) president and the others who desire the current system to continue.  The current disaster is of course, for the children.  Anyone escaping crappy public schools would be bad, and making teachers ultimately accountable to students and their parents would also be bad, etc.

One gross failure in that anti-accountability mindset is that making teachers ultimately accountable to those they work for – the students and parents – rather than bureaucrats – means those teachers are accountable for their successes as well as their failures.  It means communities and students will support good teachers as much as they will push back against bad teachers.  This doesn’t benefit the union mindset, which pits masses of workers against individual workers and everyone else, but does benefit the public in general, good teachers, and all students.  But like so many union guys, the cry is: “this place will come to a crashing halt without me”.  The relentless screams for stagnation heard throughout Buggy Whip Makers Local 554 and Crappy Teachers Local 451 are just the same.

There is often a better way to do it, but it means getting rid of Mr. Shanker and replacing him with Sal Khan.

Free individuals and the market chose Sal Khan, not Mr. Shanker’s union or bureaucrats.

According to Teamster Union boss Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters are now a part of an army that is in a direct position to give war to the Tea Party. My question is for what reason? For what purpose? Hear is a video with Mr. Hoffa’s exact words:

Ok, there you go, pretty straight forward I would think. An army, for Obama, against the Tea Party. Als,o for a very nice rundown and op-ed of Mr. Hoffa’s words I would direct you to The Conservative Crusader Blog. Are normal Americans ready for what is coming? The Leftist in the United States are poised for a final showdown. They want to collapse the system and put in place a “fundamentally changed” America, one where wealth redistribution, segregation by voting block, a command economy, cradle to grave welfare, and perpetual serfdom, for those of us who do work, will be the norm. Is that the type of country anyone is ready to live in?

Mr. Williams from the Conservation Crusader certainly believes that we are headed towards civil war. Taxpayers, Veterans, entrepreneurs versus, Unions, illegal aliens, class warfare indoctrinated minorities, as well as representatives of the federal government itself. Are you ready? They sure seems to be….

For the record, I belong to a private sector union, at least as private as can one be I suppose. Since democrats have been in power I can attest to the increase in Union power and all forms of social justice that the leftist preach. For instance a “safety” bill was signed into law in 2008 which prohibits a man from working for then 6 days at a time for “safety reasons.” In practice it forced my industry to hire more workers they wouldn’t other wise need to cover shortfalls in manpower, it also forces me to miss two days of work without any type of compensation. So in turn, the union receives more dues for more workers because the industry is forced to hire more people, at the same time it makes me two, possibly 3 days less pay in any given pay period. So this is another example of how elements of the leftist movement in the United States work. Legislative efforts made to force business to comply with law and regulation that is deemed necessary for safety reasons, but in practice reduces the actual pay of individuals, usually the lower level workers, while the union’s treasury feasts off the law. Which the union in turn gives some of that money back to Democrat election coffers.

It’s a never-ending cycle, wait a second it might be ending sooner than we all think if the policies in place today are allowed to continue too much farther into the future. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I’ll be on the side of those who stand for the Constitution.

>Trouble Maker SignImage by friedmanlynn via Flickr

For those of you who don’t know I am a member of a private sector union because I have to be in order to work for the railroad I am currently employed with. A day or so ago I spoke with a friend of mine in regards to an email he had received from one of our union representatives.

The email was entitled, “Don’t Let Our Enemies Turn Back the Clock.” The emails concern was the actions taking place in Wisconsin and other states. In these respective state legislatures along with republican governors are taking actions to break a never ending cycle of public sector unions donating vast sums of money to get democrats elected, in turn the democrats reward these public sector unions with unsustainable commitments in the form of union contracts.

Here at the Patriot Perspective we have explained through several articles the difference between public and private sector unions and how public sector unions in “union states” have the unique ability to affect the tax rates at both the state and local level. Couple that with states like Wisconsin and Michigan whose debt is out of control and one can see why those governments are doing everything they can to reduce their spending and deficits. Does the law itself end collective bargaining for most public sector employees? Yes. Does it force state workers to take an 8% cut in benefits? Yes. Is that really going to destroy someones livelihood? Hardly.

Back to the letter.

“Don’t let our enemies turn back the clock. Why are many union (not going to share the name of my union) members participating across America in rallies opposing attacks on collective bargaining rights? Why have we created the Collective Bargaining Defense Fund to assist our union brothers and sisters? Because we know that those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it. We know that if right wing extremist succeed in busting public sector unions, their next target is airline, bus, and railroad labor unions.”

I would really like to know here exactly how they know that the government is going to target these private sector unions? My experience so far with a private sector union has been dismal. 120 dollars a month for little to no representation. I have to be a member or I cannot be employed by the railroad. How’s that for freedom? Most of the time it seems as if the union and the company aren’t really at odds with each other. But oh well.

“The history of working men and women in America — before we fought for and won the right to join a union, engage in collective bargaining and have grievances resolved by a neutral party — was a bleak history of low wages, few if any benefits, unsafe working conditions, and arbitrary discipline and discrimination on the job.”

Largely at the time they are speaking of all those conditions did exist but not anymore, and personally it is hard to see how these folks rationalize that the clock would indeed be turned back to those same conditions in the 21st century. But as I said early I wish I had the right to NOT join a union, and in my industry collective bargaining usually results what the company wants anyway. However, I had an engineer tell me once that he thought he always got better contracts when Republicans were in office. Talk about irony if you are a hard core democrat union guy.

“Let’s take a short trip back to the times before workplace democracy. Before labor laws and worker rights, courts considered any combination of workers seeking wage increases and/or improved working conditions as a criminal conspiracy, punishable by fine and imprisonment. Picketing an employer — by even one picket — was considered by courts an unlawful restraint of trade. Workers typically put in a 12 hour day, six days a week, with no overtime pay, no paid vacations, no employer-provided healthcare insurance, no process for worker grievances to be heard and no compensation for on-the-job injuries.”

Workplace democracy usually means workplace socialism, spreading the work around or in my case keeping the board stacked so others can make money too. Usually those combinations of workers seeking those increases did things they weren’t supposed to do. Like blackball fellow employees who couldn’t afford to strike and crossed the picket line. Or workers would sabotage or deface company property to get their points across. A lot like those spoiled children up in Wisconsin at the state capital recently. Yes the days might have been long and hard back then with little to no compensated time off and guess what it is the exact same way today. I am on call 24/7 with no set off days, pretty much on duty for 12 hours at a time. Sure I have personal time and vacation days that are compensated but due to some of the recent legislation like the rail safety bill of 2008 which the unions backed so they could get more union dues because it would force the railroads to hire more people, that I rarely get time off unless I call in sick. The only problem is the railroads have been exceptionally slow on hiring and training, so we are constantly undermanned with a decent portion of train service employees on federal rest that they have to take at the behest of the Federal Railroad administration thanks to the union I am a member of.

The letter goes on to give more of the same concerning the plight of workers and then begins it close:

“Turn back the clock? Never. We will not go away. We will never forget. Together, in solidarity, we can and will win this fight and emerge stronger then ever.”

Living in the past instead of looking to the future. We will be a nuisance and cause trouble like we did in Wisconsin. We like to co-opt 9/11 slogans to look patriotic. If we can get the workers of the United Sates to unite we can live in socialist harmony the rest of our lives. That about sums up the rest of the letter.

Not once do these people recognize the difference between public and private sector unions. The railroad unions deal with a private company and not the federal government unless they are trying to get legislation passed, which they almost always are. The private sector unions do not affect other citizens tax rates in the state or county in which you live. It is a given that the railroad was brutally tough on its employees in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century. A lot of that act has been dealt with. What I want to know is how is the state of Wisconsin brutally tough on its union employees. The trash collectors, the clerks etc? Do they really have it that hard? Are they struggling for raises just to make ends meet? I seriously doubt it.

Folks, continue to do your research, check every bit of information you come across, there are those out there how what you to cast aside reason and feel just for the sake of feeling and abdicating any form of thinking. Don’t cast aside reason hold it tight. Check your facts and do not succumb to the call for the abdication of thought.

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