Tag: unions

Conservatives and Unions – Oil and Water?

 

union labor

In the course of my life, I’ve been exposed to the undeniable malignant effects of large scale labor unions and — whether in the form of the massive teacher’s unions, public sector unions, or countless others — they all seem to have more or less the same ultimate effect. That is to say, burdening the companies and governments with whom they “partner” with vast and unreasonable entitlements that they cannot hope to meet over the course of time.  

The influence the labor union is undeniable in today’s political landscape.  Almost every conservative campaigner has something to say about unions being an undue burden on the state and the taxpayers. This is good. Scott Walker, in particular, has some first hand experience deep in the trenches of this particular war. And he has won battle after battle in this war.  

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How should a failing company manage employee compensation? There is a common expectation that employees should share a company’s success by way of periodic increases to compensation. But, if so, shouldn’t employees also share by degrees in their company’s struggles? Do our laws allow such fluidity of compensation? It has recently been reported that the […]

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SCOTUS Issues Two Unanimous Rulings; Obama, the Left Hardest Hit

 

shutterstock_104498510The Supreme Court issued two big decisions this morning. Like many Ricochet contributors, I too have a vibrant legal background: I worked as a temp at a law office for two weeks and got an A- in a communications law class.

Admittedly, others here have far more impressive credentials, but let me provide a layman’s play-by-play on today’s unanimous rulings.

Noel Canning v. NLRB

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I always seem to find trouble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_F3oev06i0       Many readers know that I was a completely innocent bystander in the infamous TP incident, but Right-to-Work legislation was near and dear to me in December of 2012, so, against the advice of friends and family, I decided to attend the Americans for Prosperity event […]

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The decline of unionism is good from a partisan political point of view. Unions supply much of the money and the foot soldiers for the Democratic Party. But there’s something that bothers me. Conservatives have learned from Edmund Burke to respect the value of the “little platoons,” those institutions that intervene between the individual and […]

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The Dire Consequences of the Northwestern Football Decision

 

It is commonly supposed that the recent decision by National Labor Relations Board Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr — allowing college football players at Northwestern University to unionize — may not matter all that much, for the Northwestern players can always decline Ohr’s invitation, even if the National Labor Relations Board decides to uphold his rather novel decision.

That benign assumption is mistaken. The key point  is that Ohr’s decision basically held that the common law definition of employment —whereby one person receives a wage in exchange for taking the direction of another — is sufficiently broad that the Northwestern dispute becomes a footnote in a larger institutional struggle. I have already explained why I think that Ohr’s decision represents a frightful error here and here. But there is much more to worry about.

The NLRB, Northwestern Football, and the Theater of the Absurd

 

footballsThis is a case where the caption says it all. The National Labor Relations Board’s decision as to whether football players at Northwestern University can unionize is introduced in the opinion as “Northwestern University — Employer, and College Athletes Player Association — petitioner.” That simple but bold verbal stroke renders the rest of NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr’s decision largely redundant. If Northwestern is classified as an employer, how then can the football players be anything other than employees? And, if they are employees, then surely they have the power to form a union or players’ association under the aegis of the Act.

Taken in this robotic fashion, a major question of labor policy is reduced to a mindless syllogism that manages to ignore all the difficult institutional issues on this case, some of which I addressed in my earlier Ricochet post on this question, soberly entitled “No Good Answers on Reforming College Sports.” What is striking about the long but aimless opinion of Regional Director Ohr is that it is virtually devoid of any serious examination of the difficult issues that are involved here.

The opinion is roughly divided into two parts. The first half is a detailed (indeed, tedious) examination of all the strict controls that Northwestern University imposes on its football players before, during, and after the football season. The purpose of this demonstration is to tell us what we already know: that the students who receive football scholarships are subject to strict oversight with respect to every aspect of their behavior. We should hardly expect less.

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Hat tip to Dennis Prager, who alerted me to this story at The Daily Caller: Union representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are now accompanying federal government safety inspectors on site visits to review labor complaints at nonunion private businesses, The Daily Caller has learned. Preview Open

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