UAW Leading Spring Occupy Movement

From April 9 to 15, “100,000 Americans will train for non-violent direct action,” promises a new website called “The 99% Spring.” But while the 43 organizations co-signing a letter on the ragtag-looking site indicate the sort of leaderless resistance characterized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, a series of files The Daily Caller downloaded from the United Auto Workers website indicate that the organized labor powerhouse is behind the effort.

The files, downloaded Sunday, include campaign talking points, a fill-in-the-blank press release template for participating organizations and an advance look at the social media campaign the organizers plan for Facebook and Twitter.

Also included is a “FYI” letter designed for endorsers to distribute, complete with a blank space at the top of the list of participating groups. Filling in a given organization’s name lends the impression that it, not the UAW, is the campaign’s driving force.

A Google cache indicates that the files were available on an unprotected area of the UAW’s web server at least as early as February 16. They disappeared from public view Monday.

“The 99% Spring” name evokes the Occupy Wall Street movement, with its repeated division of Americans into the wealthy “1%” and the poorer “99%.”

UAW president Bob King endorsed the new campaign but has given no public indication that his union is behind it, or that the UAW is ready to publicly embrace the Occupy Wall Street movement’s “99%” rhetoric.

King, however, is decidedly in the figurative 1%. According to the Center for Union Facts, a non-profit organization that tracks organized labor through government documents, he earns $168,073 in salary and benefits.

The “99% Spring” campaign’s social media plan document included a note from its creators. “If you’re having trouble grabbing the images, feel free to email us directly,” it said, before listing the email address of community organizer Josh Bolotsky.

Bolotsky’s online biography was deleted shortly after The Daily Caller contacted him for comment, and then restored after TheDC asked him to comment on its disappearance. It describes him as “an online organizer, blogger, comedic performer/writer and occasional voiceover artist, currently serving as New Media Coordinator for Agit-Pop Communications and its Other 98% Project, when not serving on the national leadership team of Living Liberally.”

Responding to questions about the campaign, Bolotsky insisted that it “isn’t actually a UAW campaign or project.” He said “an independent tech issue led to some docs, both public and private, appearing briefly on their site.”

Bolotsky named activists at the Movement Strategy Center and the New Organizing Institute who he said were “[t]he chief co-coordinators of the overall project.” But searches on those organizations’ websites turned up no mention of the “99% Spring” project at all.

Read more here.

Verizon strike a lesson in economics

Union workers for Verizon have been protesting for weeks. You’ve read the stories and seen the videos of their antics throughout this strike: putting children in front of moving cars driven by “scabs” or staging a mock funeral outside a Verizon executive’s home. Well you will be happy to know that they will be heading back to work on Tuesday, though without an agreement. But in all of the shenanigans, we have lost sight of exactly why these people were protesting in the first place.

Enter: ObamaCare.

Thanks to ObamaCare .. which these unions supported, by the way .. Verizon is looking at healthcare cost increases of as much as $200 million. Why the increase in cost? Because ObamaCare levies a 40% excise tax on Cadillac health plans, which have been negotiated by these unions. What’s amazing is that Verizon warned about the consequences back in March 2010 when ObamaCare was passed. Apparently these union employees must have thought they were kidding.

Now here is where the unions fail to understand how taxes work. You see .. Verizon isn’t going to just bend over and take this $200 million increase in taxes. Nope. These costs are ultimately passed down to us: the workers and/or the consumers. In this case, Verizon is asking its union employees to pay a portion of their health plan premiums .. which, by the way, is what non-union Verizon workers are already required to do.

The other lesson that these union employees can’t seem to understand is why Verizon must adjust now (in 2011) when the law doesn’t go into effect until 2018. Businesses, apparently unlike government, must plan long-term in order to survive. They re-work business models in order to adjust to changes in the market or expected cost increases (like ObamaCare). This is what a Barack Obama presidency has been so detrimental to businesses in this country .. his big government policies combined with his love of government regulation and pending tax increases, makes it nearly impossible for businesses to create long-term plans. Hence, they sit and they wait and all the while our economy suffers. Can’t blame ‘em.

Verizon union members Committing Crimes?

State police in Uniontown said a 29-hour loss of landline phone service was caused by an act of criminal mischief when someone went into locked underground Verizon vaults and shut off the power.

Trooper Timothy Kirsch said there was no forced entry at the sites on Main Street and on Route 119 in Lemont Furnace, near the Penn State Fayette campus. Police believe whoever shut off the power had keys.

Police are trying to determine if the incident, which began at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, is related to an ongoing strike by Verizon landline workers.

The local state police barracks was without phone and computer service for 21 hours, police said. Calls had to be forwarded to dispatchers who worked out of another barracks several miles away.

All of the Lemont Furnace area — including many local businesses — had no communication, data and cellphone service for about 29 hours, police said.

Read more here.

A big slobbering thank you to the unions

Here is yet another example why our economy is sputtering. Businesses don’t like unions. Unions have destroyed many American businesses. Look at Detroit. It’s a wreck. Unions did to Detroit what that tornado did to Tuscaloosa and what Hugo did to Homestead, Florida. Homestead was rebuilt, and Tuscaloosa will be. This because they know that there is little likelihood that these storms will return with this ferocity – and they will be rebuilt stronger. Businesses – particularly the auto industry – will not be so anxious to rebuild Detroit because these businesses know that the unions are still lurking in the shadows in Michigan ready to strike – ready to throw sand into the gears of any engine of economic recovery. Ready to destroy again.

Businessmen recognize that unions are a destructive force in our economy. And since businesses don’t particularly like unions, businesses aren’t going to be anxious to expand so long as there is a president in the white house who is determined to do all that he can to promote union growth, not only in the government but in the private sector.

And so … in his latest move to weaken the private sector … here comes The Community Organizer and his National Labor Relations Board is at it again. As if the current NLRB complaint about Boeing’s operations in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, isn’t enough .. it has now unveiled new rule changes to make unionizing easier. The proposed changes would speed up the voting process for unionization, giving employers little or no time to state their case.

As it currently stands, labor union elections typically take place anywhere from 45-60 days after a union files a petition. This isn’t good for union organizers. The organizers work behind the scenes for months on end talking to workers and getting their petition put together. While this process is going on the union lawyers are watching the target employer like a hawk … waiting for the employer to do something – to say something – that will allow the union to run screaming to the NLRB alleging some nature of unfair business practices. So here’s the plan —- the Obama administration would cut that 45 to 60 period down to days or even weeks. They say they will do this by “simplifying procedures, deferring litigation and setting shorter deadlines for hearings and filings.” Here, according to the AP, is what the proposed rule changes would do,

* Allow electronic filing of petitions and other documents to speed up processing.

* Set pre-election hearings to begin 7 days after a petition is filed.

* Defer litigation of eligibility issues involving less than 20 percent of the bargaining unit until after the election.

* Eliminate pre-election appeals of rulings by an NLRB regional director.

* Reduce from 7 to 2 days the time for an employer to provide an electronic list of eligible voters.

The NLRB’s only Republican, Brian Hayes, is adamant in his disapproval: “Make no mistake, the principal purpose for this radical manipulation of our election process is to minimize or, rather, to effectively eviscerate an employer’s legitimate opportunity to express its views about collective bargaining.”

The Chamber of Commerce’s chief labor official, Randy Johnson calls this Obama’s biggest gift yet to labor organizations. He says, “It is an attempt to, simply put, bully companies into relinquishing their free speech rights.”

All you have to remember that Barack Obama himself has referred to the private sector – the private sector he wishes to fully unionize – as “the enemy.” Isn’t a natural instinct to try to destroy your enemy? Can you look at Obama’s actions in any other light?

Unleash the Rats

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on Thursday that labor unions should have the right to display 16-foot, rat-shaped balloons outside businesses with which they disagree.

The majority of the board decided that displaying a towering rat outside a hospital using non-union contractors, for example, does not have the same “coercive” effect as a traditional picket line. If displaying the rat balloon outside a business had been deemed “picketing,” unions wouldn’t be allowed to attack their target businesses’ credibility in such a way without the negative consequences of a strike, like wage loss. Such tactics have become a major weapon in union arsenals.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce labor policy expert Glenn Spencer told The Daily Caller the large inflatable rats actually have a similar effect to strikes, and that’s something the NLRB knows.

“While some people will see an inflatable rat as a sophomoric stunt, others will not,” Spencer said in an email. “This intimidation of customers could have a harmful impact on employers and workers who have nothing to do with an underlying labor dispute. Unfortunately it’s just one more example of how the NLRB seems at odds with the administration’s message of job creation and economic recovery.”

The scare tactics unions use, like displaying the large inflatable rats outside their target companies, are referred to in policy circles as “corporate campaigns.” Corporate campaigns happen when unions are trying to organize workforces by getting employers to sign “neutrality agreements,” which are basically legal promises that force an employer to allow organizers on their property to attempt to unionize workers without any company say. If companies don’t sign the neutrality agreements, unions will often hold large banners outside their businesses, show up at workers’ homes after-hours, attempt to discredit a company’s products or services and try, essentially, to smear the business’s reputation until it signs the agreement.

The NLRB is meant to be a neutral arbiter of disputes between employers, employees and labor unions but Republicans have accused the board of heavily favoring of labor unions.

Read more here.

Unions vs. Boeing – Yet Another Obama Regime Assault On The Constitution!

Unions Praise Cowardice, Continue to Issue Death Threats

A large demonstration and parade in Madison, WI featuring the fleebagging Democratic senators went forward without incident yesterday. The lawmakers were given a heroes welcome as tens of thousands cheered them on.

Meanwhile, in Fon du Lac, WI, two local Republican lawmakers canceled their participation in a St. Patrick’s day parade because of death threats.

The glowing coverage of the New York Times says volumes:

The reason for the reception was that the 14 Democratic state senators had returned weeks after fleeing to another state in a dramatic – if ultimately failed – effort to prevent a vote on a bill that would significantly weaken public-sector unions.

Their disappearance – “a really, really weird trip,” in the words of one senator – was one of the most memorable and divisive aspects of the legislative standoff, and it helped escalate a policy dispute into a protracted battle over union rights that seized the attention of the nation.

On Saturday, the senators spoke, sometimes boastfully, about their pride in the outpouring of support, their dismay at the law that passed in their absence and their eagerness to meet the protesters who have backed their actions.

“I’m one of the Fabulous 14, and I’m so proud,” said Spencer Coggs, who was first elected to the State Legislature nearly three decades ago. “We are back to unite and fight with our supporters. We gave them hope. They gave us inspiration.”

In Fon du Lac, there will be a heavy police presence at the family event, no doubt putting a damper on the celebration. Fox 11 news:

A parade with more than 50 entries will now be down two participants.

Fond du Lac police say the tension in Madison has spawned threats, they and lawmakers are acting on.

“We’ve taken them all seriously and we’re happy to say that none of them have panned out yet here in Fond du Lac, so we’re still vigilant,” Deputy Chief Kevin Lemke said.

State Senator Randy Hopper and State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, both Republicans, have decided not to march in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday.

Hopper was among the Republican lawmakers who received death threats, in connection to the battle over collective bargaining and fixing a budget deficit.

Officers say the lawmakers’ absence will take some of the pressure off enforcement, but security will be high in Fond du Lac and at other parades in the state.

Hopper wasn’t available for a interview, however in a statement he said he was looking forward to the event, saying “I, in no way, want to put the citizens of Fond du Lac in harms way.”


The Truth About Unions

While unions continue to dominate the news, I figured I would give you a few little facts I found from the Heritage Foundation. Take these facts, absorb them and continue to ask yourself …. are unions making a positive impact on our economy? I’ll bet you can already answer that question. But here are some specifics to fill in the blanks.

* Unions function as labor cartels. A labor cartel restricts the number of workers in a company or industry to drive up the remaining workers’ wages, just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) attempts to cut the supply of oil to raise its price. Companies pass on those higher wages to consumers through higher prices, and often they also earn lower profits. Economic research finds that unions benefit their members but hurt consumers generally, and especially workers who are denied job opportunities.

* Economists consistently find that unions decrease the number of jobs available in the economy. The vast majority of manufacturing jobs lost over the past three decades have been among union members–non-union manufacturing employment has risen. Research also shows that widespread unionization delays recovery from economic downturns.

* Some unions win higher wages for their members, though many do not. But with these higher wages, unions bring less investment, fewer jobs, higher prices, and smaller 401(k) plans for everyone else. On balance, labor cartels harm the economy, and enacting policies designed to force workers into unions will only prolong the recession.

* Studies typically find that unionized companies earn profits between 10 percent and 15 percent lower than those of comparable non-union firms. Unlike the findings with respect to wage effects, the research shows unambiguously that unions directly cause lower profits. Profits drop at companies whose unions win certification elections but remain at normal levels for non-union firms. One recent study found that shareholder returns fall by 10 percent over two years at companies where unions win certification.

* In essence, unions “tax” investments that corporations make, redistributing part of the return from these investments to their members. This makes undertaking a new investment less worthwhile. Companies respond to the union tax in the same way they respond to government taxes on investment–by investing less. By cutting profits, unions also reduce the money that firms have available for new investments, so they also indirectly reduce investment.

* Research shows that unions directly cause firms to reduce their investments. In fact, investment drops sharply after unions organize a company. One study found that unionizing reduces capital investment by 30 percent–the same effect as a 33 percentage point increase in the corporate tax rate.

* Economists have found that unions delay economic recoveries. States with more union members took considerably longer than those with fewer union members to recover from the 1982 and 1991 recessions.

Now imagine if our government – state and federal – were forced to run like a business, without its unique ability to levy and collect taxes …… me thinks our country would have gone Tango Uniform ages ago.