NILRR Weekly News Clips August 30, 2013

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National Right to Work Committee to Hold Candlelight Vigil at AFL-CIO Headquarters

Online candlelight vigil to commemorate victims of union violence being held at www.EndUnionViolence.com

Washington, DC (August 30, 2013) – Friday afternoon, Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee, will be making a speech to launch a candlelight vigil commemorating the victims of union violence at the AFL-CIO headquarters located at 815 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

The event will take place ‎at 3:30 PM ET.

It will also serve as the kickoff for an online virtual candlelight vigil beginning Friday afternoon and concluding on Labor Day. Those who oppose union violence can go to www.EndUnionViolence.com to light a virtual candle and then sign a petition to their representatives to pass the Freedom from Union Violence Act.

 

Labor Day Statement: Union Officials Seeking to Reshape Labor Law “Have a Powerful Friend in Obama”

National Right to Work Legal Foundation, August 30, 2013

Big Labor turns to Obama White House for administrative bailout

Washington, DC (August 30, 2013) – Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and National Right to Work Committee, released the following statement regarding this year’s Labor Day holiday:

“This Labor Day, many workers will enjoy a well-deserved long weekend. But as we celebrate with friends and family, Big Labor-backed bureaucrats are on the verge of reshaping American labor law.

 

Collectively, Not a Bargain for America

USnews.com, August 29,  2013

Teacher unions have been part of the American education scene since 1857. And during the 102 years after that teacher unions were largely apolitical entities that self-governed internal membership issues like “pay scale, raises linked to seniority, limits on class size and student contact minutes,” according to Jane Hannaway’s book “Collective Bargaining in Education: Negotiating Change in Today’s Schools.”The power of collective bargaining, without doubt, spurred amazing growth in teacher union membership. According to the chart below, in 1960 about 800,000 K-12 teachers belonged to a teacher union. By 2009, union membership ranks had swelled to 4 million teachers. Kahlenberg’s “sleepy organizations” had indeed woken up!

 

Few participate in SEIU fast-food strikes in New York City

Daily Caller Online, August 29, 2013

Members of the progressive group New York Communities for Change, which partnered with the SEIU on the anti-fast food campaign, patrolled strike areas in orange shirts while supposed workers were wearing white shirts. However, many of those in white shirts were not actually fast-food workers, according to the source.

 

AFL-CIO President: Unions Making Some Progress on Obamacare Concerns

Wall Street Journal Online, August 29, 2013

WASHINGTON–Unions are making some progress in getting the Obama administration to address their concerns about the new health law, and Labor Secretary Tom Perez is playing a central role, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Thursday.

“We’ve been working with the administration to find solutions to what I think are inadvertent holes in the act. I’m hopeful that we’ll get something done in the very near future,” Mr. Trumka said at a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Mr. Perez, who has been labor secretary since July, is “in the middle” of organized labor’s continuing talks with the Obama administration over costs and other concerns about the health law, Mr. Trumka said, adding that he has met with Mr. Perez and with White House officials as recently as Tuesday.

 

Why Organized Labor Is Organizing Against Obamacare

Fiscal Times Online, August 30, 2013

Last month, leaders of three of the largest labor unions sent a scathing letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), warning that if the problems with the insurance program are not addressed, the new health care law will “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

The letter was written by James Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joseph Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and Donald Taylor, president of UNITE-HERE, a union that represents hotel, airport and food service workers. It stressed the unions’ displeasure with a law they all had previously supported and helped to pass.

 

Pitch to Advocacy Groups Irks AFL-CIO Members Labor Federation Scales Back Proposal to Enlarge Its Membership  

Wall Street Journal Online, August 30, 2013

Pushback from member unions has led the AFL-CIO to scale back a proposal to bring some advocacy groups under its umbrella as the nation’s largest labor federation prepares for its four-year convention in early September.

The objections emerged after AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said last month that he wanted to “create full partnerships with other progressive groups” that would be “part of the structure” of the federation. That triggered concern that groups Mr. Trumka mentioned, such as the NAACP, the Sierra Club and the Hispanic civil-rights group National Council of La Raza, would receive full membership and governing power, according to labor officials familiar with negotiations on the issue.

Building-trades unions in particular bristled at granting an enhanced role to environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, which opposes some projects the union supports, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline.

 

Unions call for boycott of Yuengling after owner’s support of right-to-work law

Republican Herald Online, August 30, 2013

In response to a statement made Monday by the head of D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. calling for a “right-to-work” law, a local labor union leader is calling for a Yuengling boycott.

There are 24 states that have right-to-know laws. Pennsylvania is one of the 26 “forced-unionism states,” according to the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation website at www.nrtw.org.

In response to a statement made Monday by the head of D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. calling for a “right-to-work” law, a local labor union leader is calling for a Yuengling boycott.

On Thursday, Martin said he’s encouraging a boycott of all Yuengling products.

 

Why You Should Care About Today’s Massive Fast Food Strike

ThatAtlanticwire.com, august 29, 2013

Today’s actions are even bigger. As The Nation reports, the movement has spread to Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Raleigh, and Memphis, thanks to assistance from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In other words, it’s no longer a regional thing—it’s a national effort.

But MSNBC reports that the summer’s actions have been a turning point, even in the South:

A local organization, Living Wage NYC, points out that New York City’s living wage law excludes “employees who work in privately-owned, publicly-subsidized developments.” Meanwhile, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says now that the strikes are another reason to raise minimum wage nationwide.

 

The Strong Arm of California Labor Unions

Huffingtonpost.com, August 29, 2013

In a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, Secretary Tom Perez said that the Department of Labor can withhold up to $1.6 billion in federal mass transportation grants if the state does not come to an agreement with transit labor unions to reverse pension reforms that passed the legislature and were signed by Brown last year. Perez is pulling on strings attached to the federal money because he believes the reforms violate the collective bargaining protections in the federal law providing for mass transit grants.

Times have changed. The vast majority of mass transit is “public” transit, and collective bargaining is commonplace. Public sector collective bargaining is now regulated by the states, not the federal government. As is often the case with labor, the law has not kept up, and the federal government is in no rush to lose this control over states that accept transit funding.

To make matters worse, Perez and the DOL are stretching the bad law to attack much-needed pension reform.

 

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