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Charles Krauthammer Takes a Swipe At Labor And Dems

5:26 am in Uncategorized by Bill Egnor

labor at the table - Rivera Court

labor at the table - Rivera Court

Ugh I don’t even know why I bother to read the Washington Post editorial page. Maybe it is the boost it gives my morning by raising my blood pressure, but in any case I exposed my tender brain-cells the thoughts of Charles Krauthammer this morning.

Chucky has a piece in the WaPo with the title of “The union owned Democrats” the first thing I thought when I read it was “I wish!”. This is a tired old meme from a tired old man. The idea that everything the Democrats do on issues of workplace rules or safety is somehow motivated by the fact that unions overwhelmingly support Democrats.

It could not possibly be because the funders of the Republican party have been wanting to dismantle the counterbalancing force of organized labor for, well, ever. One of the reasons that Ronald Regan has been sainted if not deified by the Republican Party is that he broke the Air Traffic Controllers union and set the DOJ on other unions looking for mafia ties and corruption. It was the start of the major decline of the Labor movement in this country.

What has Krauthammer’s undies in a twist? A couple of things; first off there is the NLRB’s decision to take Boeing to court over the union busting attempt they made by building a factory in South Carolina, which is a right to work state. To be clear (since everyone including Chucky misses this point) it is not about the fact that Boeing decided to build a new plant in a management friendly state, it is their intentions in doing so. You can build wherever you like, but if you do it with the intention of busting your union at your primary facilities, that is illegal.

He also rails against the saving of the Auto Industry by the Obama administration. Take a look:

In 2009, Obama pushed through a federally run, questionably legal, bankruptcy for the auto companies that robbed first-in-line creditors in order to bail out the United Auto Workers.

You know, the successful saving of our domestic auto industry did have some benefits for UAW workers. But they also took on a lot of liability to help out with that. They are now funding the health care that was promised by GM and Chrysler to employees who worked their entire lives on the factory floor. The UAW did it because it would help to reduce the costs of the companies and save jobs, but it was not like they were not taking over an obligation that was the auto companies. It is and was a big blow to the financial health of the UAW, but it was the right thing to do.

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NLRB Takes Boeing To Court For Union Busting

5:27 am in Uncategorized by Bill Egnor

Union Thug

Union Thug by LizaWasHere

In another example of disaster capitalism, the Boeing company decided in 2009, at the height of the devastating loss of jobs in this country, to build a new plant to produce the “Dreamliner” aircraft. That sounds like it should be good news, no? Well, according to the NLRB, it was a union-busting move.

Instead of building the plant in Washington State where most of the Boeing aircrafts have been built for decades, Boeing decided to locate its new plant in South Carolina. SC is a so-called “right to work” state with not much labor movement to speak of. Which allows Boeing to hire non-union employees to staff the plant.

The crux of this dispute:  Was Boeing’s decision just a case of the company building a plant where they are assured there will be less union activity, and thus less chance that strikes that would delay the production of the 787’s?  Or was it done to weaken the power of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union representing 25,000 Boeing workers?

This lead to a dispute before the National Labor Relations Board, and now the Board is bringing suit against Boeing for unfair labor practices.

From McClatchy:

Catherine Fisk, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine, said the Boeing case is similar to a string of NLRB actions going back decades in which the labor agency charged companies with shifting jobs from union to non-organized workers.

“The heart of the NLRB case (against Boeing) is that opening the South Carolina plant was done for purposes of intimidating the Washington employees from striking again or from being unduly aggressive in their wage demands,” Fisk said

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SCFL Calls For General Strike If Walker Plan Is Passed!

6:37 am in Economy, Government by Bill Egnor

Union Thug

Union Thug by LizaWasHere, on Flickr

As the protests in Madison have continued and even grown in the face of an obdurate Governor and even a major winter storm they have not been alone. This weekend there were rallies in all 50 states in support of the public employees unions.

That first-term Governor Scott Walker has overreached in this labor dispute is beyond question. It is one thing to want to get concessions out of Labor when times are tight (though maybe he should have not given away massive tax cuts in the first place) but to try to end the right of workers to bargain collectively is a bridge too far.

With public sentiment firmly on the side of Labor, and protests growing not shrinking it is hard to see what the Governor can do other than back down. But that is not preventing one union from both planning for the future and turning up the heat.

The Capital Times is reporting that the South Central Federation of Labor, which has 45,000 members, is endorsing the idea of a general strike if and when Gov. Walker’s union busting plan is passed. This is a pretty big step but it is one that I am glad to see.

Without the right to collectively bargain, you are not a union. At that point there is not a lot left to do but deny management the fruit of your labor if they will not agree to recognize your right of collective barging. It is how Labor initially established their rights in the first place. Since that was more than an entire working life time ago, it is probably time to remind folks like Gov. Walker what it looks like when you can’t run your schools or state offices because all the qualified and trained people are gone.

We know that Walker, who fancies himself the new Reagan, has given some thought to what he would do if there were a strike. He has had his National Guard commanders preparing to have troops do some of the work at the state level, but it is really unclear if they would be able to keep the State going.  . . .
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