NILRR Weekly Newsclips February 15, 2013

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Workers win settlement against activist union

Boston, February 14, 2013

Workers caught in a battle between a local union and Lynn-based Complete Cleaning Inc. have won a federal settlement from the union after officials illegally claimed to have monopoly bargaining privileges over the employees, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Sandy’s Union Windfall Obama steers relief money to Big Labor. Where’s Gov. Christie?

Wall Street Journal Online, February 14, 2013

President Obama found an ally in Governor Chris Christie during Hurricane Sandy, but New Jersey taxpayers should hope they’ll go their separate ways on the clean-up. The President wants to direct federal tax money to unions in a way that will raise costs and spread the money thin.

The Army Corps of Engineers recently sought comments from the construction industry on using a so-called project labor agreement, or PLA, for Hurricane Sandy beach clean-up from Barnegat Inlet to Little Egg Inlet worth between $25 million and $100 million. The Army Corps will decide whether to require a PLA, which would establish a collective-bargaining agreement for any contractor who wants to bid on the project. Watch for unions singing in the rain.

Another View: How’s that right-to-work opposition working out for NH?

Union Leader Online, February 13, 2013

A right-to-work law is back in the news in New Hampshire. The Democrat-led House of Representatives defeated it Wednesday. The Democrats asserted that citizens with the right to choose whether to pay union dues or fees for employment only have a right to a lower standard of living and lower wages; that the very idea of a right to work is driven by radical ideology. Clever? Yes. Correct? You decide.

Twenty-four states have right-to-work laws. What kind of economic activity has been occurring in those over the same time we have seen so many companies leave? Can you say BMW and Boeing in South Carolina? KIA in Georgia? Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Honda and AirBus in Alabama? Honda in Mississippi? Toyota in Texas and Tennessee? Do you believe that anyone working there has accepted a “lower standard of living” by taking those jobs?

Now please don’t tell me that you really don’t want any such manufacturing jobs to come here; please don’t say that you don’t want folks to be able to make 160 percent of the average wage just because they would work in a large manufacturing plant. Who would not like to get a slice of the kind of economic pie those other states got?

So, what are the objections to right-to-work laws all about, then? Money and politics. Unions contribute large amounts of cash to the Democratic Party, which uses that in its efforts to reelect Democratic candidates to political office. Unions are a major contributor to the Democratic Party, and Democratic elected officials in turn “scratch the unions’ back” while in office. That makes a nice team.

Dissected Nurses’ Union Affiliates With AFT

Intercepts, Education Intelligence Agency, February 14, 2013

The world of teachers’ unions is a relatively simple one. There are two national unions, and thousands of state and local organizations that are affiliated with one and/or the other.

The environment for nurses’ unions is much more complex. 

Big Labor Loves Marijuana

National Review Online, February 15, 2013

Dropping membership is the waking nightmare of American unionism. To cope, Big Labor is turning to pot.


Power Engineering, February 13, 2013

This essay argues that, in fact, unions remain an extremely significant factor in decisions by U.S. manufacturers about where they will or will not make new investments. Both unions and manufacturing are discussed in an analysis that distinguishes between new investment at new plants and at existing plants. Two central arguments are presented:

Michigan Ban on Forced Union Dues Challenged in Lawsuit

Bloomberg News, February 11, 2013

The law interferes with the rights of workers and Michigan officials should be barred from enforcing it, the union said in the complaint filed today in federal court in Detroit. The Michigan AFL-CIO was joined in the lawsuit by the Michigan State Building and Construction Trades Council and Change to Win, an advocacy group.

The new Michigan law will subject unions and their members in the state to “substantive and remedial regulations that supplant or conflict with” federal labor laws, the AFL-CIO said in its lawsuit. The union asked the court to find that federal labor law pre-empts the new Michigan statute.

Ingham County judge dismisses right-to-work lawsuit over technicality

The Times Herald Online, February 12, 2013

Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said cases challenging right-to-work, which takes effect March 27, must be filed with the Michigan Court of Appeals, not at the circuit court level.

In dismissing the lawsuit Monday, Aquilina said: “I want to be clear — I have no jurisdiction… The Court of Appeals has exclusive jurisdiction over any action challenging the validity of (the legislation).”

Goon City

National Review Online, February 11, 2013

The engineer’s wife caught his brutal beating on camera.

Just seconds before, the couple had arrived at the open-shop construction site in downtown Philadelphia, walking past the cluster of union protesters who had congregated outside the fence.

Goon City — Part 2

National Review Online, February 12, 2013

The incident marked a sinister turn in the MilkBoy owners’ ten-month battle with the carpenters’ union over the construction of the bar and music venue in downtown Philadelphia. Though Jamie Lokoff and his partner, Tommy Joyner, had used unionized labor on much of the project, the carpenters’ union was pressing them to hire some of its workers.

Goon City — Part 3

Two courageous developers may be game-changers in Philadelphia construction

By Jillian Kay Melchior

Michael Pestronk rides a clanky red elevator to the top of his building. It’s a frigid winter day, and his glasses fog slightly as he steps outside and strolls over to the concrete ledge. From ten stories up, you see Philadelphia sprawling, with skyscrapers fading into suburbs. Michael isn’t enjoying the view much, though. When he looks straight down, he sees his antagonists.

The band of union protesters, clad in hoodies and Carhartt jackets, cluster outside the chain-link fence, a giant inflatable rat nearby. It’s 17 degrees out, and they look miserable, but they haven’t budged in hours. They are breaking a rare court injunction and standing much closer to the work-site boundaries than they’re supposed to.

FactFinder 12: Wichita Carpenters Union won’t back up claims

KWCH 12 Eyewitness News, February 10, 2013

They target businesses and organizations under construction and claim to be all about fair wages.  But who’s really behind the “Shame on” and “Labor Dispute” signs you’ve seen all around Wichita?

The Carpenters Local 201 are behind the signs and protests outside of Wichita State, the YMCA, and Central Christian Church to name a few.   They claim non-union contractors aren’t paying standard wages and benefits for the area.

“It’s more frustrating because the contractors and owners are dealing with it,” says Danny Satterfield, owner of Danny Satterfield Drywall.

His drywall company is the reason protesters stand outside Wichita State.  He received a letter from the union claiming it investigated the wages.

EDITORIAL: Bring up right to work

It’s time to reject the federal preference for forced unionizing

The Washington Times Online, Feburary 11, 2013

One would think that since Republicans have held control of the House of Representatives 14 out of the last 18 years, there would be more progress toward enacting a national right-to-work bill. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been. House Republican leaders have been squeamish about bringing such a measure to the floor, perhaps afraid a vote would hurt Northeastern members and liberal Republicans.

These are excuses that prevent Congress from doing the right thing. As introduced earlier this month by Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, the National Right to Work Act doesn’t expand federal law, it repeals five provisions in the National Labor Relations Act and one in the Railway Labor Act that authorize the firing of employees who refuse to pay union dues or “fees” to union bosses. It’s simply the right thing to do.

“King” Of Nowhere: UAW Chief Makes Noise, Not War, February 13, 2013

Poor Bob King.

Perhaps no other union leader presides over an organization in such stark decline as the United Auto Workers. At its peak in 1979, the UAW boasted a membership of 1.5 million. Today, by its own admission, it boasts a mere 390,000. And Michigan’s newly passed right-to-work law almost certainly will make it harder for the union to both retain existing members and recruit new ones.

The dire demography explains why the UAW is desperate to organize in the so-called “transnational” automakers – foreign companies whose manufacturing plants are largely scattered throughout the low-tax, low-regulation – and less-unionized — southern states. King is not shy about admitting as much:

Obama touts right-to-work NC manufacturing?

Detroit New Online, February 13, 2013

But Linamar didn’t open in an abandoned Volvo plant two years ago because of Obama’s federal spending initiatives. It opened here because North Carolina is a right-to-work state – a fact that union puppet Obama and his party vehemently oppose. Indeed, Obama’s National Labor Relations Board has fought manufacturing firms like Boeing from moving to right-to-work South Carolina.