Category Archives: Unions

Michigan Democrat wants state monitoring of homeschooled kids


Did you think the purpose of government-run schools is to teach kids to read, write, and calculate? Silly citizen. The real purpose, in the eyes of today’s progressives, is to ensure that children are being monitored by the state.

That’s the natural conclusion I draw from Michigan HB 4498, a Democrat-introduced bill that would place special monitoring requirements on homeschoolers.

Michigan law recognizes homeschooling. Section 380.1561 of the Michigan Compiled Laws says:

For a child being educated at the child’s home by his or her parent or legal guardian, exemption from the requirement to attend public school may exist under either subsection (3)(a) or (3)(f), or both.

However Democrat Stephanie Chang has introduced legislation that would make that exemption contingent upon submitting their kids to monitoring, and also of keeping records of that monitoring themselves. The proposed law requires that:


Note that this is specifically a new requirement being pushed only upon homeschooled kids and parents. The presumption is that kids must be submitted to government indoctr… er, schooling, unless parents jump through hoops to demand otherwise.

Let’s be clear: kids in public schools easily just slide through the system with no personal meetings or attention. The idea that homeschoolers are the ones at risk, and need to be protected from their parents, while kids in public schools need no protection, just comes from the big government love the modern Democrats have.

Detroit, the city Chang represents, was the model city of the Great Society, and look at it now. Chang has no business offering up government as the solution to problems, when her own city is proof of government’s failures.

With the rash of sex abuse cases in public schools these days, why aren’t we making it easier for parents to take their kids into home schooling, and doing something about unions that protect teachers from accountability? You know, all those unions that endorsed Stephanie Chang? Oh, right

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Filed under "Community Organizers", Culture, Democrats, Education, Elitism, Entitlement, Home Schooling, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, Stupidity, Unions, Useful Idiots

Yeesh. Make up your minds…

Now Union Opposes the Minimum Wage

Los Angeles recently decided to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour across the board, including even tipped workers like waitstaff. A lot of businesses opposed the new rule on the grounds that it would make their operations unaffordable. Now a new group is joining them in saying the law’s not right for their operation: union leaders.

You read that right. Union leaders are saying that the $15 minimum wage is a bad idea. Not for everyone, of course; for most businesses and workers, they think it’s splendid. But for union operations, they need an exemption. Rusty Hicks, the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said businesses that have collective bargaining agreements with employees should be able to negotiate a wage below the “minimum.”

This has been greeted with jeers from both left and right, though Matt Yglesias does mount a defense: in many countries, collective bargaining is a pretty good substitute for a minimum wage. Point taken, but it’s hard to see how that saves the unions from the charge of rank hypocrisy. That same Rusty Hicks has a pretty clear record:

“Raising the minimum wage in LA County would help lift county workers, contractors and workers in unincorporated areas out of poverty and stimulate the economy.” — LA County Raise the Wage

“Among his highest priorities, Hicks said, will be to push forward a citywide minimum wage in Los Angeles, preferably of $15 an hour. … The statewide minimum wage stands at $9, but L.A. workers need $15 because of the high costs of housing and other necessities, Hicks said.” — Los Angeles Times

“You can’t continue to have a strong, vibrant economy if in fact folks don’t have money in their pockets.” — Southern California Public Radio.

Here’s a more plausible explanation: Having achieved their goal, the unions are now worried that excessively high minimum wages will cost their workers jobs. Here’s another one: Perhaps unions fancy the idea of a labor market in which union workers are, through government fiat, the cheapest game in town. I’m sure that would be very good for the LA County Federation of Labor. But no explanation has been offered as to why it would be good for LA County.

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Filed under Cronyism, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, Socialism, Stupidity, Unions, Useful Idiots

Fifth Times A Charm, UAW Finally Leave Alabama Workers Alone


After workers in Alabama voted four out of five separate times to decertify the Autoworkers, sources confirmed Wednesday that the union will not try to disqualify the latest vote.

“We are happy to report that the UAW has finally taken the hint and will not be challenging the results of a fifth union decertification election at the Hamilton NTN-Bower plant,” Patrick Semmens, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW), said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It shouldn’t take employees five votes over two years to get rid of an unwanted union. Unfortunately, independent-minded workers are up against a biased legal system that insulates union officials from the very employees they claim to represent,” he continued. “However, we applaud Ginger Estes and her NTN-Bower coworkers for beating the odds to get rid of the UAW and assert their workplace rights.”

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Filed under Unions

Union brilliance, again…

Unions and the $15 Minimum Wage

Here are the first few paragraphs from the Los Angeles Times article:

Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

For a review of why a $15-per-hour city-specific minimum wage is a bad idea — for unions and non-unions alike — check out this column I wrote on Seattle’s.

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Filed under Americana, Culture, Economics, Employment, Stupidity, Unions, Useful Idiots

OWN IT: Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Funded This ‘ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS’ SIGN


A militant Wisconsin group funded heavily by the National Education Association — America’s largest teachers union — unfurled a banner declaring “ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS” at an anti-police protest last week.

The group, Wisconsin Jobs Now, organized the protest on Wednesday, reports.

Despite the name “Wisconsin Jobs Now,” the small, radical group has spent considerable time and energy in recent months protesting police tactics.

Wisconsin Jobs Now has long targeted the Milwaukee police department. It has now branched some 80 miles west to Madison.

The National Education Association is a major financial donor for Wisconsin Jobs Now. The teachers union — the largest in the United States — gave $125,000 to Wisconsin Jobs Now in 2014 alone.

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Filed under Education, Elitism, Hypocrisy, Stupidity, Unions, Useful Idiots

Union dues deductions on chopping block in Oklahoma


Scott Walker did it. So did Sam Brownback. Now Oklahoma is considering getting state government out of the business of collecting union dues. Even in the nation’s reddest state (not one county voted for Obama in either of his presidential elections), the reform is drawing intense fire from the union political machine.

Oklahoma became a right-to-work state in 2001, protecting the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to participate in a union. Yet like many right-to-work states, Oklahoma has continued to provide special perks and powers to public-sector unions. One of these is collecting union dues.

In January, State Rep. Tom Newell (R-Seminole) introduced legislation to get the state out of union dues collection. The two-page bill addresses only state-level unions, including teachers but not local police and fire employees. It has no effect on the freedom of employees to join or not join unions. It just requires the unions to collect their own dues.

Union executives are nonplussed, and not just about the possibility of losing an administrative benefit. Government dues collection is an official seal of approval, putting union dues on the same level as taxes, insurance premiums, and retirement contributions. This is also part of the reason legislators are calling the practice into question.

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Filed under Education, Government, Taxes, Unions

Obama’s not the only one with a pen…

Republicans Think They’ve Finally Figured Out How to Kill Unions

This week, newly elected Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed an executive order that will prevent public-sector unions in the state from collecting mandatory dues from employees who choose to decline union membership. Those fees, often called “fair share” dues, are unions’ guarantee that the people who benefit from union contracts will kick in their fair share for the cost of organizing and running the union, regardless of whether or not they choose to participate in it.

Fair share dues have been a feature of union organizing since their beginning; the movement against those dues seems to date back over 100 years. But it wasn’t until the 1940s, when a racist oil lobbyist named Vance Muse pushed for right-to-work bills, which allow people to opt-out of paying union dues and membership, even if a workplace is unionized and every employee benefits from a union-negotiated contract. It was an attempt to stop unions from pushing for integration and for the economic power of the working class (especially African Americans); the practice began to catch on. Now, 25 states have some form of right-to-work legislation on the books.

Before becoming governor, Rauner was one of the heads of GTCR, a private equity firm that specialized in finding smaller companies in local markets, merging them with similar companies, and giving them a star CEOa process which often involved layoffs of workers. So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that, to hear Rauner tell it, the fair share fee is the only thing keeping the state’s unemployment rate above 6 percent.

“Forced union dues are a critical cog in the corrupt bargain that is crushing taxpayers,” Rauner said. “An employee who is forced to pay unfair share dues is being forced to fund political activity with which they disagree. That is a clear violation of First Amendment rightsand something that, as governor, I am duty bound to correct.”

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Filed under Education, Government, Unions

Not a big surprise…

Union Leaders Plead Guilty to Arson, Violence and Extortion

Three more members of Ironworkers Local 401 in Philadelphia pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of conspiracy, extortion, and racketeering in an ongoing RICO case against the labor union. They join eight others who have pleaded guilty in recent months to charges related to arson, sabotage, and violent intimidation of contractors who used non-union labor.

Ironworkers 401 is a large and influential union, responsible for constructing many of Philadelphia’s landmarks, such as Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagle’s football stadium, and the Comcast Center, the city’s tallest building. But this year has brought a series of indictments and revelations that continue to produce serious fallout for the labor group and its allies.

The latest hit came on Tuesday, when union member Richard Ritchie and business agents William O’Donnell and Christopher Prophet entered plea agreements admitting to their role in a conspiracy to coerce non-union construction sites into using “unwanted, unnecessary, and superfluous union labor.”

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Prophet also pleaded to attempted extortion and Ritchie to attempted extortion and violent crime in aid of racketeering. In February, over 100 federal agents and police descended on Ironworkers Local 401, one of the biggest and most powerful unions in the Philadelphia area, sweeping up officials and members alleged to be part of the conspiracy. The federal indictment spans over 60 pages, alleging a coordinated effort by a network of union associates to locate and identify construction projects that used non-union workers (or the rival carpenters’ union) to do “ironwork.”

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Filed under Government, Unions

Padma Lakshmi and ‘Top Chef’ crew find Teamsters’ Local flavor bitter


seiu-union-redefinedThe Charlestown-based Teamsters Local 25 — the crew that drives for most TV and movie productions made in Massachusetts — reportedly harassed and threatened the cast and crew of Bravo’s “Top Chef” while the show was filming in Milton earlier this summer, but a network source said the ugly incident won’t deter them from returning to Boston in the future.

“It was an isolated incident but we had a great experience overall shooting in Boston,” the source told the Track. “I don’t think it would prevent us from coming back. Boston is a great city with a lot to offer.”

According to, the Teamsters threw up a picket line while the hit TV cooking competition was filming at the Steel & Rye restaurant in Milton. The union types were miffed because Bravo was using production assistants to drive their cars and not the union. When “Top Chef” star Padma Lakshmi arrived on the set, picketers called her a “(expletive) whore,” our source confirmed, and threatened to “bash that pretty face in.”

The picketers lobbed sexist, racist and homophobic slurs at the rest of the cast and crew for most of the day, the website reported, and when production wrapped, the “Top Chef” crew found that tires were slashed on 14 of their cars. Milton police confirmed that the union members were “threatening, heckling and harassing” but said no arrests were made. The union protest was confined to just that one day during “Top Chef’s” two-month shoot.

Local 25 president Sean O’Brien was out of town and unavailable for comment yesterday, according to spokeswoman Melissa Hurley.

“As far as we’re concerned, nothing happened,” Hurley said. “This is typical of nonunion companies who often make excuses for why they won’t hire union labor.”

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Filed under Cronyism, Democrats, Elitism, Entertainment, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, Stupidity, Television, Unions, Useful Idiots

If given an informed choice, nobody in their right mind would join a union…

SEIU Membership Drops 80 Percent After Dues Skim Ends

seiu-union-redefinedMore than 44,000 home-based caregivers no longer are part of the SEIU Healthcare Michigan, according to federal reports filed by the union.

The workers previously were forced to pay dues or fees to the SEIU after the union orchestrated a scheme that took money from the Medicaid checks of the people the workers were caring for in homes across the state. The “dues skim” ended in 2013, but not before the SEIU took more than $34 million from the elderly and disabled across the state.

According to the union’s LM-2 report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, 44,347 home-based caregivers have opted to stay out of the union.

That number represents virtually all of the long-term home-based caregivers affected by the dues skim. It also is more than 80 percent of the 55,265 members the union claimed to have at the end on 2012. Most of those who have remained in the union are workers employed at private medical facilities and joined the union in traditional organizing drives. The SEIU health care workers were organized in a mail-in effort that most did not participate in nor did they know a vote was even taking place.

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