Union Briefs for Mon., March 11, 2013: SEIU celebrates & honors "our comrade" Hugo Chavez...


The SEIU has declared a strike in Illinois while, in Manhattan, celebrating and honoring Hugo Chavez; AFSCME punches back at Mother Jones; a teachers union urges members to collect school committee members’ personal information; and, AFL-CIO boss Trumka wishes things were different…


It’s Monday, and here are your union briefs for March 11, 2013:

Wibailoutpeople.org was one of the few website which still posted the SEIU announcement detailing the “celebration and procession” for the deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

A memorial vigil was held Wednesday at the Venezuelan consulate in Manhattan, but the union march is raising eyebrows.

Food fight!

The Service Employee’s International Union Local 73 went on a three-day strike Monday at midnight after rejecting the University’s final offer.

Members voted against the offer and in favor of a strike during a vote this weekend.

The union, which represents about 800 University building and food service workers, has been negotiating with the University since June 2012, one month before the union’s contract expired.

On February 27, 2013, the Air Force announced it selected Embraer for an initial contract worth $427.5 million to build and deliver 20 Light Air Support aircraft to the Afghan Air Force. The selection process is now facing intense scrutiny for choosing a significantly more expensive aircraft in the midst of sequestration and failing to consider the impact on U.S. workers, the U.S. industrial base and U.S. national security interests.


About that unconstitutional NLRB thing…

NLRB picketing

The Wall Street Journal reports that dozens of companies, including Starbucks, Time Warner, Dominos and McDonalds, are challenging actions by the National Labor Relations Board by citing a recent an Appeals Court ruling that determined the current board lacks a constitutionally-appointed quorum.


In this struggling economy, Americans are crying out for jobs. Research has shown that companies with unions create fewer new jobs than non-union companies. More and more companies like Whole Foods are widely considered to be “beyond unions.” Still, the National Labor Relations Board makes reliably strident pro-union rulings and creates job-killing uncertainty.

Effect: No one to blame but themselves…

The nation’s economy added 236,000 new jobs in February and the jobless rate was 7.7% from January’s 7.9%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 236,000 jobs created reflect 35 straight months of positive job growth. But the number of long-term unemployed (those who are jobless for 27 weeks or more) was unchanged at 4.8 million. These people account for 40.2% of the unemployed.


Deja Vu…

“We must open up union membership and make the benefits of representation available to all workers,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, speaking at a University of Illinois event in Chicago. “We need to create new models of worker representation. We need to be more strategic and forward-looking. And we need to face this challenge collectively.”

Cat fight…

On Feb. 22, the progressive magazine published on its website an article that took AFSCME and other unions to task for “furthering America’s addiction to mass incarceration.”

In other news:

With no authority to do so and with flawed factual support, the EEOC has issued an enforcement guideline that would compel employers to discriminate in favor of minority ex-cons. It’s past time for Congress to rein in the EEOC and make them withdraw this directive by other name.


And, this is only the beginning of the week.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

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