Tag Archives: Unions

French Unions

FailCould it get worse than that?

Anyway, turns out that France is trying to induce business to invest in France.  And one of the areas is in tire manufacturing:

French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg had asked the U.S. mogul [Maurice Taylor of Titan] to take over a Goodyear tire factory that is due to close.

The factory is located in Amiens in France’s industrial heartland, 75 miles north of Paris. Goodyear Tire & Rubber company reported in January that it will close the unprofitable plant, putting around 1,000 workers out of jobs.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that the French factory is full of union workers, that they are wonderfully unproductive and THAT is the reason why the plant is:

  1. Closing
  2. Not going to be purchased by Titan

“How stupid do you think we are?” wrote Maurice Taylor, in a letter to French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, obtained by French business newspaper Les Echos on Wednesday.

“I have visited that factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages, but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three hours,” he wrote.

“I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!”

“Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour wage and ship all the tires France needs,” he wrote. “You can keep the so-called workers. Titan has no interest in the Amiens North factory.”

Yup.  Sounds about right to me.


The Liberal War On Black Americans

Thomas Sowell on the impact of the minimum wage as it pertains to minorities in America, specifically black Americans:

Over the years, some of the most devastating policies, in terms of their actual effects on black people, have come from liberal Democrats, from the local to the national level.

As far back as the Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression of the 1930s, liberal Democrats imposed policies that had counterproductive effects on blacks. None cost blacks more jobs than minimum-wage laws.

In countries around the world, minimum-wage laws have a track record of increasing unemployment, especially among the young, the less skilled, and minorities. They have done the same in America.

One of the first acts of the Roosevelt administration was to pass the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, which included establishing minimum wages nationwide. It has been estimated that blacks lost 500,000 jobs as a result.

After that act was declared unconstitutional, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 set minimum wages. In the tobacco industry alone, 2,000 black workers were replaced by machines, just as blacks had been replaced by machines in the textile industry after the previous minimum-wage law.

Fortunately, the high inflation of the 1940s raised the wages of even unskilled labor above the level prescribed by the minimum-wage law. The net result was that this law became virtually meaningless, until the minimum-wage rate was raised in 1950.

During the late 1940s, when the minimum-wage law had essentially been repealed by inflation, 16- and 17-year-old blacks in 1948 had an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, slightly lower than that of whites the same ages and a fraction of what it would be in even the boom years after the minimum-wage rate kept getting increased by liberal Democrats.

Emphasis mine.

And who gains by the enactment of minimum wage laws?

Organized labor union.

Obama and the democrats continue to wage an economic war on a group of people in the most need of our help  in order to win the union vote and its financial gravy train.

The Continued Assault On Undereducated And The Underskilled

On Tuesday night, Barack Obama announced a continued assault on the prosperity of America’s most vulnerable; the undereducated and the underskilled.  He did this in his annual State of the Union Address when he announced a desire to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.

While the president may very well feel that he can slow the rise of the oceans:

Yes, while he may slow the rise of the oceans, he is not able to defy the laws of economics.

Now don’t get me wrong, the intentions are noble and honorable, if you are to believe politicians are capable of such things.  We all would like to see the folks who make the least be able to earn more and enjoy a better life.  We want to see a steady rise n the incomes of the poorest among us so that they too may avoid the constant worry of bills past due and the need to feed hungry children.

But that isn’t what Obama is doing.  In fact, what Obama is doing is sacrificing the very people that he claims to be helping in order to make a catchy and effective sound bit during his speech.  See, raising the minimum wage doesn’t help the people who are the ones making the least amount of money; it hurts them.

The minimum wage prevents business from hiring them in the first place.  It raises the barrier to entry past the meager skills that they posses.  At a time in their life when they should be willing to take a job, any job, to learn new skills, become proficient in new trades and crafts, during a time when they need to begin to understand the expectations of employers as it relates to employees, they are being priced out of the market.

The market is very effective at setting the value of scare resources.  And labor is nothing more than a scare resource; we all want more of it as cheaply as we can get it.  And so, in the course of voluntary trade, we set the rate at which we are willing to pay for it.  And most labor, believe it or not, is set at rates already ABOVE the minimum wage.

But for those entering the job market, such as high school kids, they are finding that they lack the skills required to demand such a wage.  And as a result, they are being left behind and find themselves unemployed.  This at a time when we need these young people working.  The years lost at the beginning of the working career are very difficult to make up.  And the longer they are out of the work force, the further and further they fall behind those in it.

If you wanted to target the poor an the undereducated, many of which are minorities, you would be hard pressed to contrive a more malicious program that would guarantee to make life worse for those folks than the impacts of minimum wage laws that Obama supports.

But who benefits?


Barack Obama has made a decision.  He has placed a bet that he can secure the Union vote by selling out the poor, the undereducated and the underskilled all the while using words and rhetoric that would cause that group of people to support him.

It is depravity at its worst.

The Decline of the Union Worker

If the decline of the union means that American companies begin hiring more people, I’m all for the decline of the American union:

Last July was a good month for factory workers in Anderson, Ind., where a Honda parts supplier announced plans to build a new plant and create up to 325 jobs. But it was a grim month in the Cleveland suburbs, where an industrial plastics firm told the state of Ohio it was closing a plant and laying off 150 people.

Nearly all of the Ohio workers belonged to a labor union. Workers at the Indiana plant don’t. Their fates fit a post-recession pattern: American factories are hiring again, but they’re not hiring union members.

But nationally, is there a trend that would suggest that union shops are doing better than or worse than non-union shops?

U.S. manufacturers have added a half-million new workers since the end of 2009, making the sector one of the few bright spots in an otherwise weak recovery. And yet there were 4 percent fewer union factory workers in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to federal survey data. On balance, all of the job gains in manufacturing have been non-union.

This isn’t rocket surgery.  It’s been a fact for a long time now that unions are nothing more than modern day racketeer outfits.  While they may provide better compensation for their members, they restrict the number of jobs that otherwise might have been available.  Further, and perhaps more insidious, is the fact that the monies generated from their members goes straight into the hands of politicians.

Good riddance.

A Characteristic of Unions

I think that it’s important to begin any conversation regarding unions, uniting, negotiating and representing one another with some acknowledgments.

  1. I absolutely support the effort of an individual to negotiate a higher wage, better working conditions more vacation or increased training.
  2. Further, I acknowledge and support that several employees working together to negotiate these benefits are a stronger negotiating team than an individual.
  3. Employers typically look to hire labor at its cheapest price point but they absolutely look at value, not bottom line dollar cost.

So it is that I have no issue with an employee, alone or with fellow like minded employees, walking into the bosses office and negotiating higher benefits or compensation.  What I do NOT support is the legal protections that change that negotiation from one where two people each seeking their own self-interests are negotiating to one where one of the groups is given such legal protection that the negotiation turns into a racket or where extortion is taking place.

And this is where my problem with organized labor falls.  They have legal protections that allow them to negotiate in bad faith and extort the employer.

Wanna use the tactic that if you are not compensated in the way and manner you want that you’ll walk out?  Fine, but then the boss may fire you in response.

With all of that said, I’m sure there is room for debate and disagreement on the issue of union and organized labor.  However, on one point I am continually astounded that the gentle left won’t critique unions.  And that’s on their tactics.

Discussions surrounding unions always brings to mind union thugs.  The guys that go to the homes of employees who might be on the fence during strikes or organization votes.  Threats against homes and families of those members who might not be towing the line.  And even physical violence to the employers themselves whether it be harm to the individual or vandalism to the property.

This surprise of mine extends to voting methods favored by unions.  An important tactic to form a union is to utilize  public vote, one where the vote of each employee is made in public for all to see.  The idea is that if the vote is private then the employee is able to make a “No” vote without fear of retribution.  Consistently unions and labor supporters work to take away the privacy of the vote not through open and fair compelling arguments but by legislation.  When their ideas lose in the court of public opinion labor uses the law to pass their agenda.

And this feeling that unions must be supported but not the individuals that make them up is shown in the fight against “Right to Work” legislation.  Laws that don’t ban unions but simply take away their power to coerce an employee to belong or not.  No one is saying that a union, in all of its ugliness can’t exist, the law is simply saying that it has to be voluntary.

I simply don’t understand the support of union violence against people and property that is routinely ignored by the left.

And in case the threat is only veiled and simply easy to miss, labor supporters are outright calling for violence:

“We’re going to pass something that will undo 100 years of labor relations and there will be blood, there will be repercussions,  we will re-live the battle of the overpass,” said state Rep. Doug Geiss (D-Taylor).

Blood – Repercussions – Battle

So, what is “The Battle of the Overpass”?

The battle of the overpass was a bloody fracas in 1937 between union organizers and Ford Motor Co. security guards. Walter Reuther was famously thrown down a flight of stairs and another union organizer was left with a broken back.

A literal battle involving organized labor.

This movement is literally violent.  Explicitly violent.  The push to improve the rights of individuals is being conducted by those who are looking to extend and protect rights to the employee who simply doesn’t want to organize, to vote in private and negotiate on his own behalf.


2012 Election: Obama 271 Romney 267

Razor thin margins everywhere.

Back in August I had this to say:

I’m out on a limb with Virginia and Colorado while Obama is pretty much a lock in every state going blue in the map above.

I no longer think I’m on a limb in Virginia, possibly Colorado.  But Romney seems to have stolen New Hampshire.  And I think Iowa breaks Red.

Again, there is plenty of “limbness” going on here, but…and this is a significant but, if Romney moves even one single state such as Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio or Pennsylvania, it’s over.  Going back to August again I said this:

I think Obama will carry the big Ohio and Pennsylvania states with Florida going for Mitt.

I’m now more sure of Florida and less sure of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Net/net – I am really demoralized that the Union states of Michigan and Ohio are supporting Obama as strong as they are.  The President made a clear power play there with the auto bailouts and then the ensuing bankruptcy that he totally manipulated.  Add in Wisconsin to that Union dominated list of states and you have an election dictated by Unions.


Thoughts On Chicago Teacher Strike

Teachers Walk Out On Strike!

The emotions of a strike are sure to supersede the rational negotiations.  However, this struck me as interesting:

Lewis said among the issues of concern was a new evaluation that she said would be unfair to teachers because it relied too heavily on students’ standardized test scores and does not take into account external factors that affect performance, including poverty, violence and homelessness.

I’ve often encountered this line of reasoning when discussing teacher evaluations.  First, I find it unfathomable that an educated group of experts who routinely adjudicate proficiency of very subjective materials find it completely out of the realm of possibility to measure the effectiveness of teachers themselves.  Second, if they are unwilling to allow themselves to be measured on their effectiveness based on poverty, violence and homelessness, can we expect them to adjust grades so that such impacts are taken into account?

For example, I’ve heard that teachers won’t accept performance based measurements because, “a dog may be barking during the test.”  Yet, are these same teachers willing to change the test scores of those kids subjected to the barking dog?

Utter nonsense.



I often and vigorously bash unions for the coercive techniques they use to gain membership and then take money.  All in the name of political power for democrats.

While it’s true that I dislike unions for this, among other, reasons, I also don’t like the practice when used by a corporation:

The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.

A group of employees who feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore.

Moore told Blomquist that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows.



Why Democrats Love Big Labor

You don’t think that the democrats need the unions?

Organized labor spends about four times as much on politics and lobbying as generally thought, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, a finding that shines a light on an aspect of labor’s political activity that has often been overlooked.

Previous estimates have focused on labor unions’ filings with federal election officials, which chronicle contributions made directly to federal candidates and union spending in support of candidates for Congress and the White House.

But unions spend far more money on a wider range of political activities, including supporting state and local candidates…


But it isn’t just the money.  It’s not just the influence that money may be able to buy.  It’s the coercion of actual voters:

…and deploying what has long been seen as the unions’ most potent political weapon: persuading members to vote as unions want them to.

And what do unions spend money on?

The costs reported to the Labor Department range from polling fees, to money spent persuading union members to vote a certain way, to bratwursts to feed Wisconsin workers protesting at the state capitol last year. Much of this kind of spending comes not from members’ contributions to a PAC but directly from unions’ dues-funded coffers.

But these costs are certainly reported as political efforts, yes?

There is no requirement that unions report all of this kind of spending to the Federal Election Commission, or FEC.

So, to review, unions are able to use money collected through dues to support the election of politicians who then pass legislation that allows unions to prevent workers from working unless they belong to a union?  And then “due” them to death.

Nice gig.

I was in Charlotte when Walker won in Wisconsin.  When he beat the unions.  I was watching Maddow.  She was crestfallen that the democratic party was at the brink.  She pointed out that without the unions, the democrats didn’t have any way to raise money.  She was half right.

Corporations and their employees also tend to spread their donations fairly evenly between the two major parties, unlike unions, which overwhelmingly assist Democrats. In 2008, Democrats received 55% of the $2 billion contributed by corporate PACs and company employees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Labor unions were responsible for $75 million in political donations, with 92% going to Democrats.

They still get half the take, they just don’t get ALL the union take.

Let’s hope the gig is up.

One At A Time: Taking Schools Back From Teacher’s Unions

It’s no secret that teacher’s unions don’t serve the interest of the students; they serve the interest of the union.  They’re about power.  Power to influence how their members are protected and compensated.  As more and more people come to this realization more and more people are beginning to realize that taking schools back from those unions is a good thing:

(Reuters) – Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed “parent trigger” laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.

Now, guess who opposes these types of laws?

Such laws are fiercely opposed by teachers’ unions, which stand to lose members in school takeovers.

I know you’re shocked.  Shocked that a union would oppose a law that diminished its influence.  But, has this process worked?

Parent trigger laws are in place in several states including California, Texas and Louisiana and are under consideration in states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York. So far, though, the concept has never successfully been used to turn around a school.


But why not?

Parents in two impoverished, heavily minority California cities, Compton and Adelanto, gathered enough signatures to seize control of their neighborhood schools but the process stalled in the face of ferocious opposition from teachers’ unions. Both cases are now tied up in court.

Ahh, not because they were given the chance and then failed.  Rather, they haven’t worked because the unions fight ’em every inch of the way.

The good news?  The power of the unions have continued to fade:

But in a sign of the unions’ diminishing clout, their traditional political allies, the Democrats, abandoned them in droves during the Orlando vote.

Democratic Mayors Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Kevin Johnson of Sacramento led the charge for parent trigger – and were backed by scores of other Democrats as well as Republicans from coast to coast.

“Mayors understand at a local level that most parents lack the tools they need to turn their schools around,” Villaraigosa said. Parent trigger laws, he added, can empower parents to do just that.

Let’s hope that the victory in Wisconsin will usher in a new era not just in fiscal reform but in actual education reform.