Posts Tagged ‘AFL-CIO’

 

 

Labor unions and leftist activists are expected to once again descend upon the Captiol in Madison, WI on Tuesday. They plan to protest Governor Scott Walker’s first 2-year budget proposal, which seeks to cap entitlement programs and make cuts in education while expanding school voucher programs, in an attempt to close a $3 billion budget deficit. Republicans also expect to add the collective bargaining provisions that were passed in March, unless the State Supreme Court issues a ruling before then.

Opponents of Walker’s proposal view their side as an issue of human rights and a statement against corporations, and have not surprisingly ratcheted up the rhetoric. On its website announcing Tuesday’s protest, the Wisconsin state AFL-CIO posted:

Debate will be limited, democracy will be circumvented and the balance will greatly tip in favor of ramming through an anti-worker, anti-family, anti-community agenda. Come bear witness to this denial of democracy… Please take part in democracy and bear witness to the extreme attack on the people of Wisconsin. Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14, as we continue to stand strong against a budget that guts public schools, attacks health care, raises taxes on workers and seniors, and jeopardizes public services like police and fire. All while handing over $300 million a year in tax breaks to the rich.

Oh, the drama….

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In North Carolina, collective bargaining in the public sector has been banned by the state for over 50 years.  A statute implemented in 1959 declared collective bargaining by state and local government employees “to be against the public policy of the State, illegal, unlawful, void and of no effect.

To unionists, it seemed like a drastic and unfair law, but for years it has protected the individual’s right to choose whether or not to join a union and the right to work without being forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment.  In addition, it has protected the interests of the taxpayers of the state of North Carolina.

But a 2007 decision issued by a United Nations agency against the North Carolina law is back in the spotlight today, as labor unions are gearing up to use the argument in a mass campaign to repeal all currently existing Right to Work laws in response to Wisconsin’s collective bargaining outcome.

In an Emergency Labor Meeting that occurred last week in Cleveland, Ohio, nearly 100 labor leaders and activists met to construct an emergency action plan and strategy for the future to deal with what they say is an “assault on the unions.”  The meeting produced plans to hold a National Day of Action on March 12th and again on April 4th, as well as a “Perspectives” document that will serve as a framework for 15 key objectives.

Within the framework document are two specific objectives that are of special concern to supporters of the worker freedom movement and Right to Work laws. Labor unions and solidarity federations in the US and across the globe intend to use the UN-based International Labor Organization (ILO) decision to put pressure on US government officials and the public to repeal the Right to Work laws that exist in 22 states.

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[original post 5/18/2010]

People on the left are constantly asking Andrew Breitbart who funds his “operation.”  It’s grown to become rather amusing, actually.  For those of us who are bloggers on The Bigs, we know the truth, we see how things operate. We know there’s no giant conservative-leaning lump of cash greasing this machine.  If that were the case, I for one think Andrew would probably be home with his family even more, rather than traveling around, worrying about advertising or other ways of self-funding this little “hobby” of his, as the left often like to refer to it.

But let’s just look for one moment at where some of that line of thinking comes from on the other side.  I’ve written previously about the birth of Media Matters as a spawn of Rob Stein’s Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix road show, from which the Democracy Alliance was born.  It’s through this organization from which much of the organization’s funding had come; in recent years, more has been spread out across other progressive organizations, but the funders often remain the same names in most cases.  For instance, The Tides Foundation gave Media Matters and their Action Network over $175,000 just last year.  In earlier years, groups like Montclair, New Jersey-based (hometown of Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert) Schumann Center for Media & Democracy gave the organization $500,000.

The donors’ list is vast and diverse, and we plan to cover that in detail in the future.  So I’ll focus in on one set of donors to Media Matters, which is the Labor Unions.  More specifically, in light of some recent posts regarding the Kenneth Gladney incident, I thought it appropriate to revisit donations made to Media Matters specifically by the Service Employees International Union.

MMFA-DOLPayee

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When you look at the timeline of events and the media calendar in general leading up to the Gladney incident last August, it’s difficult not to conclude that there was collaboration amongst White House staff, components of Big Labor, and certain liberal media outlets.  However, we know that all will continue to deny it.

Further, just as the flurry of media activity finally starts to wind down a bit around October last year, this is when SEIU makes three separate donations to Media Matters totaling $50,000, under the classification of “Communications”, according to the SEIU LM-2 report. (In reviewing other LM-2s for several previous years, this appears at least to be the first time that SEIU has donated to Media Matters, and there does not seem to have been another donation recorded since these.)

This is the type of funding that I would question in return to Media Matters.  With their membership being so low and their unfunded pension expenses so high, can the SEIU really afford to be randomly donating funds to an organization like Media Matters?  Perhaps SEIU purchased advertising on Media Matters’ website, but then I’d think it would be categorized as such, as others ad expenses in the LM-2 were.  If not advertising, if not random donations,  then what’s the reason for SEIU having donated these funds?  One could logically conclude that Media Matters performed a service in return.  Only they can answer that.

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[original post 4/12/2010]

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According to Ben Smith of Politico, Andy Stern, longtime President of the Service Employees International Union, is rumored to be resigning from his position. From the Politico post:

Service Employees International Union President Andrew Stern, one of America’s most prominent labor leaders, is set to resign, according to a member of the union’s board and another SEIU official.

The President of an SEIU local based in Seattle, Diane Sosne, broke the news to her staffers at 11:35 this morning, local time.

“Last night I received confirmation that Andy Stern is resigning as President of SEIU. He has not yet made a public announcement; we will share the details as we become aware of them,” Sosne wrote in an email obtained by POLITICO.

Sosne offered no explanation for the move, but another SEIU official speculated that Stern had finally tired of the draining job.

Read the entire Politico post here.

Hmmmm…I’d speculate differently. Here are my top guesses:

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[original post 2/1/2010]

Ten minutes prior to the start of a December 15th, 2009 board meeting of the Riverside Community College District in California, board members are handed a 52-page document filled with millions of dollars in projects to be funded by the district’s taxpayers, who themselves are struggling under the state’s 12.4% unemployment rate.  The document, a draft Project Labor Agreement (PLA), will commit long-term construction and ancillary projects for the next several years to labor unions.

At least twenty-three members of the public, many of them local private business owners who oppose the PLA, have attended to publicly comment on the proposal.  Two of the board members have never even seen the PLA prior to today, and have asked for a special session to review it.  Despite opposition from the public, and the concern voiced by those two board members, the remaining three board members have moved that the Board of Trustees authorize Chancellor Greg Gray to negotiate the final PLA with the Riverside and San Bernardino Building and Construction Trade Councils. Board Trustees Virginia Blumenthal and Janet Green dissented.

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So, without adequate time for all to review the draft, without any backup analysis provided to justify the use of up to $350,000,000 in Measure C taxpayer funds, without giving the public reasonable time to voice their opinions, and with an unemployment rate of over 12% when non-union workers are in even greater need of jobs than union workers…why would three of Riverside’s five board members vote to move forward with a final negotiation anyway? Why the rush? Residents and business owners in Riverside are wondering the same thing, and hope to have the chance to weigh in before the PLA’s final draft is signed.

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