Union Briefs for Tues., March 5, 2013: Unions & your tax dollars

LUR Union Briefs - Government Unions Addition

Unlike the unions featured, today’s edition of Union Briefs is not directly or indirectly subsidized through your tax dollars.

The following are union briefs from across the internet:


Up to 875,000 federal workers may experience mandatory unpaid leave for one day per week thanks to sequestration, resulting in a 20 percent pay cut for 22 weeks beginning April 1. But the union that represents federal workers is vowing to get that pay. National Federation of Federal Employees spokesperson Cory Byrthrow threatens that the powerful union will “absolutely fight for back pay in the event of a furlough.”

  • Missouri Democrats stall bill on union dues…for now
  • An effort to bar public employee unions from automatically deducting dues from members’ paychecks has been gaining momentum across the country, but Missouri Democrats were able to stall it, at least for now.

    Missouri is one of several states to consider what supporters call “paycheck protection” but what opponents say is an attack on the power of collective bargaining.

    Thursday morning, a surprise announcement: Gov. Pat Quinn and the state’s largest public employees union had struck a tentative deal on a new contract.

    After more than a year of negotiations that included court fights, noisy protests, and strike threats, the two sides had reached an agreement.

    Our first question, drawn from miserable experience: How much will the proposed, 3-year pact cost taxpayers?


    A key founder and vice-president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local attempting to unionize licensed child-care providers has resigned, demanded her card check back and submitted testimony for a Monday legislative hearing criticizing union organizers of using “unethical tactics” to obtain votes.


    Stevens’ assertion of “unethical tactics” centers on AFSCME’s targeting of thousands of unlicensed providers who also have received state subsidies for inclusion in a union election.  Stevens calls the legally unlicensed — though registered with the state — providers  who often provide temporary care and don’t have to follow the rules and regulations as licensed providers a “mere pawn in the numbers game to obtain votes”.

    So, take a bunch of disgruntled workers adapting to a new shift schedule and throw in a new model launch. What did you expect? Workers and management singing kumbaya around the camp fire? It’s hard to think of a bigger recipe for disaster, save for having Bob King ride into Chattanooga on an organizing drive while piloting a Chinese-built Wrangler with a Romney/Ryan bumper sticker. Combining the shift change with a new model launch and production ramp-up may have been a poorly judged move, but in all likelihood, the defect rate will settle down in a month or two.


    Robo-calls connecting citizens directly to a hospital’s CEO telephone line do not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Ashland Hospital Corporation v. Service Employees International Union. This decision adds another arrow in labor’s quiver and may embolden labor unions in their efforts to place pressure directly on hospital management during labor disputes.

    Three Michigan school teachers allege the union representing them is simply working with their district to lock in union control of schools before March 28, when the state’s new right-to-work law takes effect.


    “I believe it’s unfair of the union to have a security clause that requires me to be a member for 10 years,” Metz said.

    In other news…

    Workers at a sandwich shop allowed to tell customers food handlers may have the flu. A car dealer told his policy that employees be courteous to customers is illegal. And employees at a nursing home told they can’t keep complaints and concerns about co-workers confidential.

    Over the last year, the National Labor Relations Board has made 341 rulings, including some that have prompted critics to call it the most activist, pro-worker board ever. And now that a federal court has ruled the current board was put together with unconstitutional recess appointments by President Obama, those holdings are suddenly in question.


    With less than transparency, the AFL-CIO just issued a statement endorsing “expanding the nation’s pipeline system.” Although it did not explicitly endorse the Keystone XL pipeline, the labor federation nevertheless managed to extend its blessing to the project while hiding behind vague generalities. However, the logic of its position is unambiguous: the federation is in favor of extending pipelines in general and without qualification; the Keystone XL is a pipeline. Therefore logic compels us to infer that the federation supports the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline.

    If you have a newsy item you think should go into a future union brief, email it to the address here.
    “Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
    Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

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