Tag: unions

Join Jim and Greg as they shake their heads at Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s inability to say whether gas prices are too high. They also groan as failed former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to run for Congress. And they react to news that many schools are not even spending funds from the COVID relief bill – which is one of the factors behind our inflation crisis.

 

Laboring Under a Delusion

 

In its most recent issue, the New Yorker gloated that in “one of the biggest labor victories since the nineteen-thirties,” the Amazon workers at a Staten Island warehouse voted—2,654 for and 2,131 against—to form a union. The union victory was organized by the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), a grass-roots, home-grown operation that operated outside the traditional channels of organized labor, but with substantial material support and strategic advice from old-line unions. The vigorous union campaign highlighted worker grievances that included a demand for improved safety conditions in light of the COVID virus, higher wages, longer work breaks, better grievance procedures, and a shuttle bus connection to the Staten Island ferry. In the run-up to the election, two key union organizers were fired and one warned. All were black. Amazon claimed it was for violating social distancing rules. The workers claimed that it was an illegal effort to fire them for their organizing efforts. Because of the ALU’s success, further union-organizing campaigns at Amazon are now in the offing.

Union optimism about the ALU election should be tempered by the long litigation struggle that lies ahead. It is an open secret that many businesses that are generally liberal on social issues—think Howard Schultz, who has just returned as the head of Starbucks—are widely and correctly regarded as anti-union. This posture is taken for the simple reason that unions are bad for business—period. To the progressive mind, that anti-union posture is a high political sin. President Joe Biden has already cheered on the Amazon workers, saying, “Amazon, here we come.” But there are at least two major reasons to question the merit of his position.

At a theoretical level, the purpose of any sound system of labor law is to improve the overall productivity of the employment relationship, which includes the welfare of firm workers as one part of that calculation. But union elections are, at best, an imperfect way to achieve that objective. About 45 percent of the Amazon employees voted against the union, which means that the net overall gain for current workers is small indeed: the dissenting workers certainly have legitimate concerns. Why pay union dues, typically at 3 percent, that will eat into any future wage increases? Why encourage management-labor confrontations that will sever direct worker-employer relationships, which could price the Staten Island facility out of the market or could lead Amazon to divert some of its business to nonunion warehouses where costs are lower and profits are higher?

Biden’s Pro-Union Gambit

 

President Biden has claimed that he has been “America’s most pro-union president ever,” and he took a major step toward making good on that dubious distinction in his executive order of February 4. In it, he announced strong steps to make sure that only firms that agree to hire union labor on jobs worth more than $35 million can land those contracts. The order, if and when implemented, is anticipated to cover $262 billion in federal contracts annually. As one might expect, the provision generated divided opinion, with Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh announcing his full-throated endorsement while construction firms have expressed their strong doubt about the proposal, which is bad as a matter of both law and economics.

There are two fatal flaws to his order. The first is that the executive order is in flat contradiction to the rules governing the formation of labor unions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The second is that the labor law defects are not cured by the general language of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, which at an abstract level is intended “to promote economy and efficiency.” Indeed, the entire mishmash is so far off base that employers and dissenting employees should be entitled to get a preliminary injunction so that the executive order never goes into effect at all.

Start with the key command of the executive order: each government agency “shall require every contractor or subcontractor engaged in construction on the project to agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations,” under a pre-hire agreement, that is, one that has to be negotiated prior to bidding. These contracts are supposed to contain safeguards against “strikes, lockouts, and similar job disruptions” and to “set forth effective, prompt, and mutually binding procedures” to resolve disputes.

Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching the left openly fight over whether schools should have in-person instruction right now. They also cringe as Russia send troops into Kazakhstan to help crush protesters. And they discuss the January 6th anniversary and why one critical figure has never been found.

Happy New Year! Join Jim and Greg as they are pleasantly stunned to see the European Union embracing natural gas and nuclear power as their wind and solar energy efforts fall far short of producing the amount of energy needed. They also slam Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s latest effort to skirt the filibuster to pass Dem legislation on elections. And they hammer teachers unions for once again leading the charge to return to distance learning or just “pause” schools for two weeks to weather the Omicron cases of COVID.

Union Paybacks Affect Us All

 

Most of the attention of our nation’s businesses entities is focused on attempts to win government favors. That’s typical of political economies sliding into corruption mode.

America’s unions have been a big winner of the competition. They poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns. Their bet paid off when Democrats swept the presidency and both houses of Congress. Not only that, ol’ Scranton Joe is a longtime friend.

So White House favors have flowed in a torrent. For example, a new law mandates union labor on virtually all federal projects, automatically adding 20 to 30% to the cost. There is also a provision making union dues tax-deductible, another huge union subsidy.

Chad Benson is in for Jim today. Join Greg and Chad as they discuss corporate America’s spineless response to yet another political controversy. They also take a deeper dive into Joe Biden’s effort to boost labor unions by crushing freelance work. They fume as Dr. Fauci and others suddenly decide kids now have to be vaccinated before life returns to normal, and they remember the fascinating and controversial life of the one and only G. Gordon Liddy.

Rob Long is in for Jim today. Rob and Greg react to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing exactly what Rob said he would do to distract from his many scandals. Then they’re glad to see President Biden’s poll numbers sinking on immigration policy. They also explain how Biden’s “infrastructure” bill appears to include a bunch of Green New Deal provisions, guts freedom to work. And they call out the left’s refusal to acknowledge basic biological reality when it comes to determining a person’s sex.

Rob Long is on for Jim again today. Join Rob and Greg as they cheer states expanding their school choice programs as unions continue to keep public schools closed. They also discuss New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordering faster, preferential COVID tests for family and friends while the rest of New York waited much longer for results. They also shake their heads as San Francisco lefties state that whites and men will not be receiving welfare benefits. And they wrap up with their memories of the assassination attempt again President Reagan 40 years ago today.

Member Post

 

Raising the minimum wage is not about raising income for individuals and families, it’s about raising campaign funds for Democrat politicians. With the raise, almost all unions, public and private, will receive equivalent raises — some by contractual agreement. With that, unions can kick-back more campaign donations to politicians, almost exclusively in the Democrat party. […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for speaking the truth that schools should be open and there’s only one reason why they aren’t. They also shake their heads as a brutal cold snap causes power system failures and rotating blackouts through Texas – and the lessons that should be learned. And they take a bite out of Bill Gates for wanting all “wealthy nations” to switch to synthetic beef.

 

The news might be all bad today but we’re still having fun! Join Jim and Greg as they discuss the Virginia Education Association strongly opposing Gov. Ralph Northam’s demand for in-person schooling by mid-March and none of the Democrats running for governor this year having the guts to stand up for the kids or the science against the union. They also cringe in recounting the opening arguments made by the Trump legal team on Tuesday, but will the quality of the lawyers have any impact on the outcome? And they unload on Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who won’t criticize China but is cancelling the national anthem at home games this season.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome some of the most radical leftist mayors finally running out of patience with teachers’ unions who refuse to agree to in-person education. They also discuss Liz Cheney surviving as chair of the GOP House Conference and what the right way is to navigate the Marjorie Taylor Greene soap opera. And they hammer the Biden administration for considering a plan to mail masks to every American.

Member Post

 

Wells King is the Research Director for American Compass, an organization that seeks to push labor-friendly policies in the conservative movement. With 40 percent of union voters going for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, it is clear that a fresh look at unions and workers’ power is in order. Sam Jacobs and Mr. King […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they close out the week with a double dose of good news. First, they’re happy to see Dr. Fauci contradict the Biden administration and push for a return to in-person schooling. But they also unload on teachers’ unions for constantly finding excuses not to be back in school. They also welcome encouraging news on two more coronavirus vaccines, even if they’re not quite as effective as the earlier ones. And they shake their heads as President Biden’s brother is already trading on the family name for business purposes.

Join Jim and Greg, even though there are no good martinis today. They wince as Joe Biden taps radical lefty Xavier Becerra to run the Department of Health and Human Services. They also walk through the thoroughly unsurprising allegations that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo runs a toxic work environment. And they fume as the Chicago Teachers’ Union says returning to in-person instruction is due to racism, sexism, and misogyny while national unions convince Joe Biden to demand $100 billion to reopen elementary schools.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer much lower death rates from COVID-19 compared to the early days of the pandemic. They also sound the alarm that Democrats plan to kill right to work laws nationwide and crush the gig economy if they take full control in Washington. And they marvel at how activist Democrats have decided that Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t far left enough to lead the party on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three martinis, including one bad one they think could end up being good. They discuss unions planning walkouts from teachers, truckers, government employees and others to demand things like Medicare for all, free rent, and defunding the police – but see tremendous potential for this tactic to backfire spectacularly. They also unload on Kamala Harris for reversing her position on fracking and noting her blatant pandering to Pennsylvania voters in the process. And they vent in reaction to a California wildfire starting from a pyrotechnic explosion at a gender-reveal party.

Join Jim and Greg for three crazy martinis today! First, they wade into the battle over how schools should open, with President Trump and teacher unions unsurprisingly on opposite sides of the debate.  Jim offers a highly entertaining theory on how a recent head injury may explain some of his troubling decisions. And they have a lot of fun dissecting the new presidential campaign of Kanye West.

Should Cops Get ‘Qualified Immunity?’

 

The United States had just under 700,000 sworn enforcement officers in 2018, of whom 106 were killed in the line of duty that year. These officers are distributed among some 18,000 federal, state, and local police departments, which range in size from 36,000 officers in New York City to ten or fewer in hundreds of smaller towns and hamlets. All these individuals and departments are linked together by their license to use force when necessary to prevent violence and the destruction of property.

This raises a question: What legal regime should be implemented to prevent abuse by police officers?

The widely covered killing of George Floyd this past May—and the protests and looting that quickly followed—stemmed from a widespread lack of confidence in our public institutions. It did not matter that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison brought charges against Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police force, initially of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but later raised to second-degree murder. Nor did it matter that, shortly thereafter, related charges of aiding and abetting the murder were brought against three of Chauvin’s fellow officers: Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane, and Tao Thao.