Wednesday, February 28, 2007
An excellent blog post by the dude that calls himself the Pajamahadin (the Herald of the Pajama People), focusing on the puppets (the DNC) and the puppet masters (big labor bosses).
For you fellow bloggers, his stuff is good, concise and pointedly to the point...He's worth a look and a link!
Thursday, February 22, 2007
One of the most widespread delusions of our age is the belief that the American worker owes his high standard of living to unions and to “humanitarian” labor legislation. This belief is contradicted by the most fundamental facts and principles of economics—facts and principles which are systematically evaded by labor leaders, legislators and intellectuals of the statist persuasion.
A country’s standard of living, including the wages of its workers, depends on the productivity of labor; high productivity depends on machines, inventions and capital investment—which depend on the creative ingenuity of individual men—which requires, for its exercise, a politico-economic system that protects the individual’s rights and freedom.
As a long-time member of NFIB, I was rather disappointed to read the article entitled "NFIB takes on Big Labor" in the Feb/March edition of MyBusiness magazine. By only writing about the card-check provision of the bill currently before Congress entitled the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), you neglected to tell the readers about the other major provision that will truly devastate American businesses and workers' jobs--that is, binding arbitration after 120 days of negotiations for a first agreement. It is this provision that should require EFCA to be renamed the Kill American Jobs Act.
After spending nearly eight years as a union activist, and as someone who now helps companies promote positive employee relations and avoid unionization, to me, the Employee Free Choice Act is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation to ever be considered. While card-check recognition is in itself reprehensible, the fact that Congress would consider forcing an employer to be bound by a contract that is imposed by a government-appointed arbitrator and that will dictate the wages and benefits the employer pays its workers goes against the entire free-market system that has made America the richest nation on earth.
Even today (2/22/07), the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an article entitled "Bill's binding arbitration provision excites unions," proving that labor is looking at binding arbitration as a means of rescuing their failures in negotiating contracts. In the article, a representative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was quoted as having told a House committee last week that the chamber felt that the binding arbitration provision of the bill would be "unwise public policy." Unwise public policy? The American public needs to know that binding arbitration would be disaster for America and for American jobs!
What small businesses will be able to bear the added administrative cost of unionization (estimated to be between 15%-30%), let alone have the ability to pay the freight of wages and benefits dictated by a government bureaucrat who has no knowledge of the employer's economic viability or vested interest in the employer's survivability?
Last Labor Day, we started EmployerReport.com as a free website to give information and specifically point out the dangers of EFCA. Unfortunately, EmployerReport.com has been on the vanguard of getting the word about binding arbitration out there. Until very recently, the business community and its industry associations have been entirely lacking in pointing this danger out to the American people and NFIB is no exception. Instead of drawing much-needed attention on the dangers this bill poses for companies and their competitiveness, Big Labor has been allowed to spin this Orwellian-named legislation and the business community is now trying to play catch up.
As the White House has indicated that it will veto the legislation if it makes it through Congress, business may let out a temporary sigh of relief...for now. However, Big Labor and its lackeys in Congress (on both sides of the aisle) will raise the bill again and again until it passes. And, if Hillary Obama Edwards wins the White House in 2008, all have pledged to sign it into law.
With 600,000+ members, NFIB needs to do a better job at educating its members about this destructive bill NOW.
Very truly yours,
Peter A. List
Founder & CEO
"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." - Thomas Paine
It seems as though our children have been indoctrinated by the likes of Willie Wonka that union-busting and slave labor are okay. Or, that's what the reviewer Scott Tobias would have us believe in his 2-year old review of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory video game as he describes those poor little Oompa Loompas:
So who are the Oompa-Loompas, anyway? At best, they're just scabs, the union-busting replacement workers brought in by Willy Wonka after he canned his previous staff for giving away trade secrets to competitors. But they're more like unpaid slave labor, "liberated" from their native land and plopped into Wonka's factory, where they keep the chocolate flowing and serve as guinea pigs for experiments in candy that disrupts the space-time continuum. The perversely joyless Charlie And The Chocolate Factory video game might as well be called Charlie And The Chocolate Plantation, because it turns you into an Oompa-Loompa slave-driver, ordering around the little buggers as they bow to the sound of your stern patrician clap. And lording over the whole operation is the imperious Wonka, a dictatorial man-child whose whimsical musings on candy mask a deeper obsession with the bottom line.
Since the original Willie Wonka movie came out in 1971, more than 35 years ago, and has influenced an entire generation (not to mention that tasty candy) , perhaps this explains the reason why unions keep declining.
Friday, February 16, 2007
"America is also a country that takes very seriously the right of men and women to work, and to organize within the law. The American labor movement has a proud history and has long reflected a basic principle of our democracy: fair elections decided by secret ballots. This principle will be put to a test in Congress this year. It's important for everyone in the debate to remember that secret ballots protect workers from intimidation, and ensure the integrity of the process.
"Beyond that, if workers do decide to form a union, they and their employer should be able to negotiate without having terms forced on them. Our administration rejects any attempt to short-circuit the rights of workers. We will defend their right to vote yes or no by secret ballot, and their right to fair bargaining. H.R. 800 violates these principles, and if it is sent to the President, he will veto the bill."
[Currently, EFCA is set to pass in the House within the next two weeks, but faces more uncertainty in the Senate.]
"Capital flees risk. And, like it or not, unions are viewed as an uncontrollable risk to capital."
The above quote comes from Tom Clark from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. and is in reference to a union-backed debacle that was nearly foisted on the people of Colorado, before the governor there vetoed it.
"This is not theory," he said. "We've been fielding phone calls from companies who say they are now looking at taking their expansions out of state."
Okay, here is our job....Here is our unionized job going overseas...Any questions?
[To use Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's analogy that "unions are like herpes," in the case of EFCA, it will keep coming back until it passes.]
Therefore, unlike this current go-round, when the business community got off the dime only at the last minute to raise awareness by launching a yet-to-be-completed website, vigilence will have to be the course of action for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, with the exception of the folks at UnionFacts.com, the Tireless Blogmeister at NAM's the ShopFloor and yours truly, too few others have been paying attention to this issue and it's close to passing...
In another two years, it is highly possible (dare we say likely?) that there will not be a Republican president to veto it.
Yes, a collective sigh of relief may be warranted for now...but only for now.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Thursday, February 8, 2007
I’d like to make a couple of comments regarding the “Employee Free Choice Act. While it may or may not pass into law, there are some things that people should know. First, I want to lay a foundation that I know what I’m talking about.
I’ve been involved in labor relations and later labor relations & human resources on a full-time basis since February 1972. I was a union representative until 1980 when I moved to management’s side of the table.
From February 1972 until October 1978 I was an International Representative for the Retail Clerks International Union (predecessor of the UFCW). My last three years as an International Rep I served on the Executive Staff of Don Hofer, the International Vice President assigned to the Northwest Region of the US covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. During this time I worked as an organizer, a coordinator of organizers or other special projects including labor negotiations. I worked on assignments throughout the NW Region and in other areas of the United States.
I left the International Union in October 1978 for a position as Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 992 in Salem, Oregon. Among my many duties, I coordinated organizing at the local.
Local 992 has since merged with other UFCW Locals to form Local 555 based in Portland, Oregon. I worked for the local until February 1980 when I turned in my “black” hat for a “white” one, handling labor relations on the management side of the table.
It is never a problem getting employees to sign an Authorization Card or an Authorization Petition.
Here are some of the more common things I have personally seen organizers do to get signatures:
Without explaining what the card does, they’ll tell an employee to “fill out” the card to get more information about the union.
The union rep will have two different colored Authorization Cards. They will be identical except for the color of the printing and the color of the card stock it’s printed on. If it appears toward the end of the union rep’s presentation that the employee(s) are reluctant to fill out a card; the rep will say that filling out one color card means he/she wants the union and the other card means they either don’t want the union or they want more information.
The union rep will ask the employee to fill out a card because he/she’s putting together a mailing list to keep the employees “fully informed” about whatever issue they’re fronting.
The union rep will ask the employee to fill out a card so employees will get a chance to “vote” on whether or not the employees will have a union. (I have seen this done in cases where the employer has already agreed to a card-check.)
There is no obligation to signing a card, that the employee can change his/her mind later if he/she wants to. (Of course they never can get the card back.)
The union rep will ask employees to sign the attendance sheet for a meeting when it is actually a petition with language that clearly authorizes the union to represent the
I know most wouldn’t believe that people would fall for these misrepresentations but they do….and in droves!
When discovering they’ve been duped, employees sometimes ask the union rep to get their card back. Of course, they never get it back! The excuse used is the card was sent back to some distant headquarters or main office and not readily available.
I’ve been on management’s side of the table and have dealt with unions both at the bargaining table and in organizing drives now for 27 years. In general, union tactics have not changed since I was a union rep and there’s no reason to believe they will.
Frankly, I believe if the “Employee Free Choice Act” becomes law the misrepresentations and abuses by union reps and officials will go off the chart.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
After posting Five Simple Questions for Congress on the Employee Free Choice Act and issuing a press release on the matter, we received an e-mail that demonstrates in real time how dangerous the card-check provision of EFCA can be.
One of the two primary provision of EFCA is the so-called "card-check" which mandates that an employer must accept a union once a simple majority of his employees sign union authorization cards.
Critics of card-check have rightly pointed out that the card-check procedure allows union agents to pressure, manipulate or even coerce (bully) workers and that a secret-ballot is the surest way to adequately reflect the majority of workers' wishes.
What hasn't been mentioned, until now, is the fact that unions will actually pay (aka bribe) workers to sign a union authorization card.
In our old union shop, the going rate was between $10 and $15 for the steward who signed the non-member.
That's right, a union can actually give cash to workers for them to sign their livelihoods away to the union and, in the meantime, secure a foothold in a company through card check.
What?!? You don't believe us???
Well, check this out...
[If you can't see the amounts paid by the UFCW, it is $5 per signed authorization card, $10 for a signed card following a union successful card check or election "win," and $15 for a signed card following a union win and signed contract.]
This above flyer was e-mailed to us earlier this evening and proves what those of us who've left the union movement have known for a long time...
UNIONS WILL PAY PEOPLE TO SIGN AUTHORIZATION CARDS.
Given this fact, isn't the Employee Free Choice Act really the EMPLOYEE PAID CHOICE ACT?
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
On Tuesday, February 06, 2007, Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced HR 800—the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
While many in the 110th Congress were required to pass a union “litmus test” pledging their support of EFCA in order to gain union endorsements in last November’s elections, few seem to care about the practical ramifications of this lethal legislation.
The Employee Free Choice Act has two major provisions that will kill American jobs, as well as drastically alter America’s thriving economy:
First, it will strip workers of their right to vote in a government-supervised secret-ballot election on whether or not to become unionized, giving paid union officials the unfettered ability to manipulate and coerce workers into signing a blank-check for a union to enter their workplace.
Second, within 120 days of unionization, EFCA allows an outside third-party arbitrator to dictate what a company should pay its workers. Third-party arbitrators have no vested interest, nor knowledge of an employer’s economic or competitive condition.
In response to the introduction of this dangerous legislation, EmployerReport.com has issued the following five questions for the 110th Congress to answer with a simple “yes” or “no” before casting their votes on this dangerous legislation:
1. Do you believe that denying individuals their right to vote in a secret-ballot is democratic, let alone American?
2. Will you be able to explain to the small business owner how an outside third-party dictating wages and benefits through forced arbitration will help him stay competitive and keep workers employed?
3. In our so-called “global economy,” will you be able to stop the importation of foreign-made goods or the exportation of American jobs once the Employee Free Choice Act is passed and more companies lose their competitive edge?
4. Will you be able tell the American workers whose jobs will be lost to more outsourcing and downsizing why you supported the Employee Free Choice Act?
5. Do you believe that the Constitution’s First Amendment, which grants all Americans their Freedom of Speech should be taken away from individuals, merely because they own a business?
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, then your vote should be “NO” to the Employee Free Choice Act.
To learn more about the Employee Free Choice Act and how it will kill more American jobs, visit EmployerReport.com.
Friday, February 2, 2007
Both stressed their desire for a fast march to universal health care coverage, rather than an incremental amble. Clinton reminded members that she sponsored a bill to tie Congressional salary increases to the minimum wage. Edwards reminded members that he'd campaign in more than a half dozen states for minimum wage ballot initiatives, and called universal health care an urgent priority. Clinton came off as "personable" and "engaging," which impressed members. A senior SEIU official said Edwards made clear that he has "grown" as a candidate and learned lessons from his last run.
[It appears by this last comment that Hillary has the slight edge over Edwards.]