Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fidel Castro speaks out on the Employee Free Choice Act

This video was sent to us from a "pro business democrat" (yes, they do exist--although they're on the endangered species list). It's funny and worth the look.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Employee 'Free Choice' Act Top 10 List

Perhaps out of boredom or the desire to be a bit kitschy, as the US Senate takes up the Orwellian 'Free Choice' Act, we at EmployerReport.com felt the need to lighten things up a bit.

Frankly, it was an op-ed by John Newman (to which we'll pay tribute in a moment) that gave us the inspiration for this evening's blog.

So, in a kudos to Mr. Newman, we give you Tuesday's Top Ten List on why the Employee Free Choice Act should be rejected by the US Senate.

10. Currently, like used car salesmen, union organizers are legally allowed to lie to, pay off (aka bribe) or intimidate workers in order to lure them to sign union authorization cards. If EFCA passes, it will only get worse.

9. Under EFCA's binding arbitration provision, government bureaucrats will determine the future economic condition that an employer will be forced to operate under AND workers will not get the right to vote on the contract either.

8. Like vampires, leeches and other parasites, today's union bosses do not need any more victims (or industries) to suck the life out of (for reference, click here).

7. The majority of unionized workers dues go to pay to protect the lazy (average workers who show up to work on time, do their job and go home do not need unions).

6. "Getting rid of a union is worse than getting rid of a heroin habit" (Kudos, Mr. Newman).

5. The labor movement did NOT create the middle class, American capitalism did. (Get that through your thick heads, you Kool Aid-drinking liberals!)

4. EFCA is co-sponsored by Edward "Teddy" Kennedy. (Enough said?)

3. Big Labor + Big Political Donations = BIGGER Government (i.e., socialism), more liberal Democrats, and even less freedom than now.

2. Organized Crime is still alive and well in today's unions.

1. EFCA will wreak havoc on America's economy and, consequently, cost countless Americans their jobs due to more outsourcing, premature automation, and outright company closures.
[Editor's note: If you have other reasons that EFCA should be oppsed, please submit them here. Once we have gathered ten more well-written reasons EFCA should be defeated, we will post them.]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Democrats Have a Problem...

The BIG NEWS today is that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has quit the Republican Party to become an "independent." As Bloomberg was never really a Republican--he switched from a being a Democrat only so that he could run for Mayor--it's really not that big of a deal to the Right.

However, now that Mayor Mike is leaving his adoptive party, the rumor mill has been burning the midnight oil speculating that Bloomberg is going to make a run for the White House. After all, though he still denies it, Bloomberg's resignation comes only a day after telling an audience at Google's headquarters that the "country is in trouble" and blasting the current presidential candidates, the press, as well as the recent debates.
Given his talk at Google yesterday and his resignation today, though the rumor mill may be working overtime, it may also be correct.
The question then becomes: If Bloomberg runs for President as an independent under the "I Like Mike" slogan, who will he pull votes from? Democrats or Republicans?

Our guess is that Bloomberg will pull votes from the Democrats as the Democrats are, according to an ABC News article, veering too far to the left and, therefore, running the risk of alienating the moderate swing voters.

In fact, considering that the Democratic front runner, Her Highness Hillary has been taking jabs by unions and feminists, now, even Ralph Nader is joining the fray by asking: Is Hillary Clinton a political weather vane or a political compass?

Heck! By the time the November 2008 presidential election takes place, the swing voters may be so thoroughly disgusted with the Democrats that they may flock toward Bloomberg and Fred Thompson will be our next president.

Interesting devlopment indeed!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Once Iconic, Often Moronic: It's just NO FUN being a Teamster anymore.

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.--Russell Baker

Times change for most, unless you're a union boss...

Those once-bad asses from the American labor movement, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, have become but a pitiful cartoon of their former selves.

Though the shadow of their past reputation for thuggery still earns them respect in the minds of some, the Teamsters leadership is at a comical crossroads of an identity crisis.

Not quite the goons of old, but not quite holding the intellectual superiority of asses either, Teamsters leaders are struggling to find themselves.

In Tuscon, the Arizona Daily Star ran an article this morning about techniques for companies to try to improve employee morale.

The list included things like giving employees a fun break. Examples include bringing in ice cream and hula hoops or a volleyball net.

However, the local Teamsters organizer doesn't seem to want people happy at work...

[F]un isn't why people go to work, and the money could be better used to benefit workers, said Kathy Campbell, a Teamsters organizer in Tucson.

"If you give me a choice between a pizza party and a 25-cents-an-hour wage increase, I'll take the money because I'd rather have pizza with my kids," she said.

As a union organizer, it seems all too obvious why it appears the Teamsters would rather have people be miserable at work. Happy people don't need unions and people like Ms. Campbell need to justify their existences. Without miserable employees Ms. Campbell couldn't justify her $67,445 salary.

(Hell, if you can't beat them into submission like in the old days, you need misery to lure them into your clutches, right?)

Ms. Campbell, it is little wonder you and your ilk need a law like EFCA passed.

You've got nothing to sell anymore except hope to people who are miserable. How pitiful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In High-Stakes Mexican Standoff, the UFCW Blinks...

...and blinks and blinks...

Being raised in the great American Southwest, where legends of gunfighters abound, there is a belief that the dude who blinks first in a gunfight is gonna wind up dead.

For those unfamiliar with tales of the old wild west, a parallel equivalent can be said about schoolyard fights: The kid who blinks first is going to get a bloody nose.

Well, the current fight between the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) and grocery chains, Albertsons, Kroger, Ralphs and Vons seemed to be a lot like a Mexican standoff...Until the UFCW blinked...and then kept on blinking.

In Southern California, the UFCW had their clocks cleaned in 2004, when they took their members out on the picket lines for 4 1/2 months. The result was devastating for UFCW members.

As of March 5th, the contract that the UFCW agreed to in 2004 to end their work stoppage has expired. Now what?

Well, the UFCW first tried to rattle their sabre by getting members to authorize a strike against Albertsons back on March 25th, only to get hit over the head by all three chains stating that (like 2004) they would lock out their workers if any one chain were struck by the UFCW.

This was the UFCW's first blink...
Never go to a gunfight with a pea shooter.

Now, the UFCW is attempting to turn up the pressure again by declaring a June 21st deadline for SoCal negotiations to either reach a contract...Or Else...

What's the "Or Else?"...

Well, the UFCW may hold additional strike votes on June 24th for Ralphs' and Vons' workers.

BUT, it should be noted that the UFCW isn't actually saying they'll strike, only that they'll either have a contract or hold more strike authorization votes.

In fact, the UFCW leaders seem to be scurrying away from saying the union will actually strike.

"This is not a call to battle," said Rick Icaza, president of United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 770.

"I don't view this deadline today as confrontational," said Mickey Kasparian, who leads Local 135 of the UFCW, which covers San Diego and Imperial counties.

[Kasparian's local is, however, offering loans through a credit union for qualified members who may be affected by a strike or lock out.]

In a video to his members (which you can view here) , Greg Conger, President of UFCW Local 324 states that if the chains do not provide an offer that can be ratified "the decision regarding economic actions would soon follow..."

Although Conger seems to choose his words carefully on his video, and although it's inferred, he doesn't actually threaten that the union will walk out.

Note: Conger, you may recall, is the same UFCW boss who wrote a nasty letter to a member, threatening the member with retaliation for choosing to cross a UFCW picket line.
It seems as though, like most school yard bullies with paper balls, the UFCW talks tough and has no problem picking on smaller kids (i.e., their members)...BUT seems to be doing everything it can to avoid a real fight.

Blink #2...
Don't make threats unless you're willing to carry them out.

In the Lone Star State (that's Texas, for you Nor' Easterners), the UFCW was also trying to pick a fight over the last couple of weeks with Kroger.

Last Friday, when he got his meat-cutting members to authorize a strike for last Sunday against Kroger, UFCW Dallas boss, Johnny Rodriguez, as proud as a peacock, proclaimed:

"This is Texas-style UFCW solidarity. Kroger meatcutters in Dallas aren't going to let Kroger kick around our brothers and sisters in Houston," said Johnny Rodriguez, UFCW Local 540 President.

However, Sunday's strike deadline came and went.

"We won't strike at midnight. We did agree to a cooling-off period and will get back together some time early this week," said Jill Cashen, spokeswoman for the UFCW in Washington, D.C.

Blink #3...
If you're going to make public proclamations, don't chicken out (see blink #2)

Blink #4...
Don't insult the rest of the people in the good state of Texas with your blast of false bravado (see blink #3); or, simply, Don't Mess With Texas

It should be noted that Kroger is the only chain in the Dallas are with a unionized workforce.

Although we've written about the two-faced and laughably pathetic UFCW in previous blogs, the UFCW just seems to get more and more amusing.

As a footnote to this...

Another lesson from the old west:

When dealing with braggarts, blinkers, or just plain old scallywags, always be on the look out for a sucker punch. (In Dallas, they call it the shooter behind the grassy knoll.)

It is entirely possible for the UFCW to pull its members out on strike in multiple states at all of the chains with expired contracts. In fact, this was directly implied a couple of weeks ago by one of the national UFCW bosses:

"The battlefield will not just be in Southern California," said Patrick O'Neill, national director of collective bargaining for the union. "It won't be confined to the geography of California if there is a work stoppage."

Now, wouldn't that be interesting...

Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Her Highness' Hypocrisy is Incredible

According to Real Clear Politics, Hillary Clinton is still the Democratic front-runner, ahead of Barak Obama by a polling average of more than 8 points.

Yet, this lead still has Her Highness' advisors worried, as she stumps across the country jockeying for the house she once occupied.

In recent weeks, however, Her Highness Hillary has come under fire with one of her chief constituencies--union bosses--for her apparent hypocrisy.

It seems that one of Hillary's high advisors, Mark Penn, has been found to have a somewhat dubious profession--that of a union buster. To be fair, Mr. Penn has not himself actually been accused of union busting, only the firm of which he heads, Burton-Marstellar.

This has union bosses Jimmy Hoffa Jr. of the Teamsters, and Bruce Raynor of UNITE-HERE unsettled to the point they sent Her Highness a letter, stating that they found Mr. Penn's firm’s “activities in the effort to undermine workers’ right to organize at Cintas, a campaign our unions are involved in....particularly disheartening.” (To view the full text of the letter click here.)

To appease the union bosses, Mr. Penn--while refusing to step down from his lucrative post as CEO of Burton-Marstellar--has recused himself "from working on any management-side labor relations work."

How convenient...
One might ask: Is this forever, or only until he puts Her Highness into the White House???

Penn's move to distance himself from one of his firm's specialties smacks of more liberal hypocrisy. While he says he won't work on any union avoidance campaigns, he'll still reap the profits from his firm's work!

And what has been the response from union bosses?...SILENCE.

In the meantime, Her Highness goes out spreading her vision of "it-takes-a-village" brand of socialism.

This past weekend, Her Highness sucked-up to a bunch of AFL-CIOers in Michigan, stating that the nation must boost its manufacturing....(!)

"If we don't have a strong manufacturing base in our economy, it won't be long until we don't have a strong economy," the Democratic presidential candidate said.


Wasn't it her husband that signed the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) into law while she was sharing the same White House and, presumably, the same bedroom???

Isn't NAFTA the law that unions claim caused the loss of all those union jobs in the manufacturing sector?

And now, Her Highness is saying we've got to build our manufacturing base??? Where was she when Bill signed NAFTA?...Out Smoking Puppy Chow?!?

And what does her union allies have to say about this latest splooge of Hillary Hypocrisy?

According to Michigan AFL-CIO President Mark Gaffney, Clinton delivered a strong message.

"I think she set herself up as a very credible labor candidate," he said. "She showed she understands our issues, as well as agrees with our issues."
[Emphasis added.]


If union bosses are that stupid, they REALLY don't deserve to represent American workers!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Brotherhood of Thieves...and other unsavory news from the union movement

It's been a while since our last blog, so we felt we should fill you in on a couple of things we freed from the union movement's closet...

The Brotherhood (or, shall we say Sisterhood) of Thieves:

It's getting bad when the union bosses who regularly get caught stealing from their members get caught stealing from themselves.

That seems to be the case in Oregon, where on April 25th, Marlene Watson, the former president of the Associated Field Representatives (AFR) was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon on one count of embezzling $9,030 and one count of falsifying union financial disclosure records to cover up the thefts. According to the Department of Labor's website the AFR is a tiny union of 19 members that, judging by its name, represents field representatives of unions.

While union bosses are often caught for stealing from their members (you can take a look here to see just how many and how often), it's not too often you see union bosses stealing from union bosses.

For other examples of thievery by union bosses, visit EmployerReport.com

Last year, when the United Steel Workers of America took 13,000+ workers out on a miserably long nationwide strike against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, some workers had the gumption to resign their union membership and cross the union strike line to feed their families. That's when the USWA bosses got ugly (or uglier, as the case may be).

According to our friends over at the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation, those tireless fighters for worker freedom:

With help from attorneys at the National Right to Work Foundation, Goodyear employee Frank C. Steen III originally filed federal charges against the USWA union after officials levied fines of $620 each against several employees for refusing to walk off the job during a union-ordered strike. Union officials imposed the fines on each of the workers after ordering them to attend an internal "kangaroo" court (which the employees refused to attend) for continuing to do their jobs. Union officials also "accused" the employees of allegedly informing others of their legal right to refrain from formal union membership.

Between October 2006 and January 2007, USWA officials ordered employees to walk off the job at the Goodyear plant. However, in order to support their families, Steen and his coworkers resigned from formal union membership in November and exercised their right to return to work.

After USWA officials issued the unlawful fines, Steen filed federal charges against USWA union officials because they disregarded the employees' November resignations and unlawfully continued to deduct full union dues from their paychecks.

After his resignation, Steen received approximately 10 pieces of hate mail from union officials. Similarly, on two different occasions, USWA union operatives shouted through bullhorns outside Steen's residence, calling him a "low life" for refusing to abandon his job. In a separate incident, another union-strike supporter threatened one of Steen's coworkers over the phone that he would be fined for "everything he made and then some" and would be fired once the strike was over.

Yet another example of today's union bosses punshing workers for exercising their rights.