Speaking of Activist Judges…

US District Judge Terry Means (full disclosure: he swore me in to the Federal bar) has blocked a scheduled American Airlines union organizing election because, get this, IT WOULD MAKE AA LOOK BAD. No, seriously. Seriously. Where was this concept of canceling elections due to embarrassment during the Republican presidential primaries?

Published in: on June 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In Defense of Unions

As a follow-up to a previous post, an excellent piece from The Atlantic on why unions not only still matter but are needed now more than ever.  Meanwhile, Mitch Daniels, architect of the Bush Recession and now Governor of Indiana, recently took to FOX “News” to opine that public sector unions should be done away with, the Constitutional right to freedom of association notwithstanding.  The government should evidently be small, but not so small that it can’t bust unions, tell you who you can marry, and decide whether or not you have a baby.

UPDATE:  A breakdown of where all those lazy public sector workers actually work.  Unsurprisingly, the vast majority are public school teachers.  To be sure, not all public employees are members of union, but it’s easy to see Willard’s sneer about more firemen, police officers and teachers as another not-so-subtle attack on public sector unions.

Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Do Unions Matter?

Unions, particularly public sector unions, went to the mat in the Wisconsin recall election, pushing ahead of s reluctant White House and DNC who wanted to wait until 2014 to tackle the odious Scott Walker.  Not only that, but people who live in union households but are not union members themselves were at best tepid in support of throwing the bum out.  There were, of course, other reasons for the loss, including Democratic incompetence and the fact that Walker outspent Barrett by 10-1, but it still raises a valid point: do unions really matter in elections anymore?  Are fighting retreats the only thing left to them?  Or is there life left in the movement yet, only requiring better organization and a better working relationship with national Democrats?  Personally, I see the decline in union membership, and the resultant loss of political power as part and parcel of the ongoing slow destruction of the American economy.  As long as both political parties remain committed to the cult of “Free” Trade, and as long as both political parties are content to see America lose its manufacturing base entirely, workers (union and otherwise) will continue to get screwed.

Published in: on June 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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Good Point

Why is it that no one inside the Beltway seems to give a crap about unemployment?  I think Brad DeLong hits on several of the reasons: the collapse of unions as a political force (and the attendant whoredom of the Democratic Party to the “global free trade” mantra) and the new status of the media as part of the economic aristocracy.  Nobody has any incentive to give a crap anymore.

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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Right Wing Howler Monkeys Gasp!

Labor Secretary nominee may actually be PRO-LABOR!  Geitner & Daschle were one thing, but this is ludicrous.  Obama needs to realize that the GOP has absolutely no interest whatsoever in “bipartisanship.”

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Your Tax Dollars At Work…

…this time saving “civilization” from the evil corrupt communist union thug bosses.   Yeah I feel better.

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Race, Class & Economics

Thought-provoking article in The New Yorker about the difficulties Obama is having connecting the with working class white voters in Ohio.  It is common wisdom on the Left that working class whites are either racists or too stupid to know the Republicans are screwing them over, what with all their bitterness over guns, gays and Gods.  It was never that simplistic, though.  This, I think, is the heart of the article:

‘But they concluded that social issues like abortion, guns, religion, and even (outside the South) race had little to do with the shift. Instead, according to their data, it was based on a judgment that—during years in which industrial jobs went overseas, unions practically vanished, and working-class incomes stagnated—the Democratic Party was no longer much help to them. “Beginning in the mid-to-late 1970s, there was increasing reason for working-class whites to question whether the Democrats were still better than the Republicans at promoting their material well-being,” the study’s authors write. Working-class whites, their fortunes falling, began to embrace the anti-government, low-tax rhetoric of the conservative movement. During Clinton’s Presidency, the downward economic spiral of these Americans was arrested, but by then their identification with the Democrats had eroded. Having earlier moved to the right for economic reasons, the Arizona study concluded, the working class stayed there because of the rising prominence of social issues—Thomas Frank’s argument. But the Democrats fundamentally lost the white working class because these voters no longer believed the Party’s central tenet—that government could restore a sense of economic security.’

I would add that, now that the Democrats have wholly embraced NAFTA-style “Free” Trade, working class whites have little reason to come home.

Why Labor Day Is Important

From the AFL-CIO (the good folks who brought you the weekend) via the Great and Powerful Kos.
Also, you may be shocked and appalled to learn that the Bush Administration hates labor unions more than it loves democracy in Iraq. Who’d have guessed?
Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 1:31 am  Leave a Comment  

OBSCENE!

I admit that I haven’t been following the story of the Houston janitor’s strike very closely. However, it definately caught my eye that 44 protestors arrested for alleged CLASS B MISDEMEANORS had their bonds set at $888,888 EACH. This is just about the most disgusting, repulsive abuse of the law I have ever seen in my legal career. Accused murderers don’t get bonds set this high! The District Attorney who requested this should be immediately fired and then disbarred; the magistrate who granted this abomination should be impeached, removed from office and then disbarred. Pandagon has allegations of abuse, including sexual harassment of the protestors. You can read more about the Houston janitors and their grievances here.

UPDATE: BOR reports the strike is over and the janitors appear to have won. No report yet on the Houston 44…

Published in: on November 20, 2006 at 7:30 am  Leave a Comment