Forced-Unionism States Taxpayers Flee and more news


Forced-Unionism States Face $200B Income Loss as Taxpayers Flee Slow-Growth States, October 16, 2018

The most recent available data, for the Tax Filing Year 2016, show that a total of 1.78 million tax filers were residing that year in a Right to Work state after residing somewhere else in the U.S. the previous year.  (Since the ban on forced union dues now in effect in Kentucky, the most recent state to implement a Right to Work law, took effect only last year, it is regarded as a forced-unionism state in this analysis.  West Virginia, which adopted a Right to Work law in 2016, is excluded.)

Meanwhile, roughly 1.60 million tax filers were residing in a Right to Work state in 2015, but filed from somewhere else in the U.S. in 2016.  That means a net total of nearly 180,000 tax filers moved from a forced-unionism state to a Right to Work state between 2015 and 2016.

States without Right to Work laws are now on track to lose roughly $200 billion in income to domestic out-migration over the course of this decade, or 30 percent more (in constant dollars) than they lost during the first decade of the millennium.

Union Finances Could Take Beating in Fee Refund Lawsuits, October 15, 2018

Union Finances Could Take Beating in Fee Refund Lawsuits“Janus said very clearly that the First Amendment means no public employee can be forced to pay fees unless they consent,” said Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which mounted the successful challenge against union fees in Janus. “All of these lawsuits are simply the logical extension of that principle.” The right-to-work group brought the five cases targeting the already paid agency fees.

If successful, the fee refund lawsuits could have devastating consequences for some unions. The California-based Service Employees International Union Local 1000, for example, is fighting a NRWLDF lawsuit that seeks to claw back an estimated $100 million in previously paid agency fees. That union averaged $63.5 million in annual revenue from 2013 to 2016, according to tax filings obtained via the Foundation Center, a clearinghouse for information about nonprofits.

This Road Just Got a Lot Harder’: Teachers’ Unions Hit With New Round of Lawsuits, October 15, 2018

Across the country, teachers’ unions are facing more than a dozen legal challenges from two major right-leaning sources in the wake of the Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 decision, which ended public-sector unions’ ability to collect agency, or fair share, fees. Those fees were charged to workers in some states who chose not to become full members of their unions. They were meant to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

Those teachers are “entitled to their money back,” said Patrick Semmens, a spokesman for the National Right to Work Foundation. The Supreme Court had ruled that the collection of agency fees violated teachers’ First Amendment rights, because they were essentially paying a union whose policies and actions they might not support.

Port Huron Schools employees sue teachers union over dues, October 18, 2018

According to the news release from the National Right to Work Foundation, Linda Gervais, of Port Sanilac, and Tammy Williams, of Kimball Township, claim they have been targeted by union officials trying to collect membership dues.

[Foundation attorney Joseph F.] Rossell said in his email that the plaintiffs are “seeking to stop union officials from violating the constitutional rights guaranteed to them and other public employees. They want the court to provide relief by ordering union officials to stop seeking back dues from non-members and to refund dues taken from non-members in violation of their rights.”

Ohio Public Employees File Two Class-Action Lawsuits Against AFSCME Unions to Enforce Janus Supreme Court Decision, October 15, 2018

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys are providing free legal aid to public sector workers in Ohio in two class-action lawsuits filed today against Ohio affiliates of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME) union. One lawsuit aims to end unconstitutional restrictions created by union officials to block workers from exercising their constitutional rights as recognized by the Janus decision, while the other class-action complaint demands the return of forced fees seized in recent years from state employees who were not union members.

The filings are part of a wave of cases brought by Foundation staff attorneys for public employees seeking to enforce their rights under the June Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. In Janus, which was briefed and argued at the Supreme Court by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, the Court ruled that the collection of dues or fees from workers without explicit employee authorization violates workers’ constitutional rights.

Labor-backed J.B. Pritzker used nonunion workers on Gold Coast mansion renovation, October 15, 2018

Billionaire Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker has portrayed himself as a champion of working families and received substantial support from organized labor, but he used nonunion workers to remodel his Gold Coast mansion.

“A note of caution,” wrote construction consultant Douglas Kaulas to Pritzker’s brother-in-law Thomas Muenster, who oversaw the renovation. “Now that the front yard is screened off and scaffold is going up, the jobsite has a much higher visibility. We’re perfectly legal with our permits, but we do have a non-union mason, demo contractor and roofer working. We are a little concerned that the union (business agents) may come to visit.”

For Democrats, the support of organized labor is key and using union workers can be a litmus test. Pritzker now joins the list of Illinois Democrats who championed labor on the public stage but employed nonunion workers when it came to their personal lives.

Unions have emergency meeting in Anchorage, October 18, 2018

Alaska’s biggest union bosses have called an emergency meeting in Anchorage today to discuss the mess they have with the governor’s race.

They’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy and supporting Gov. Bill Walker, only to find Walker’s campaign in a complete tailspin.

REGULATORY ROUNDUP, October 18, 2018

The Trump administration yesterday released its fall 2018 regulatory roadmap, which lists rules that federal agencies expect to take action on in the coming months. Here’s what we’re following:

Don’t bogart that joint. DOL says by December it “will propose to clarify the contours of the joint employment relationship” under the Fair Labor Standard Act. The National Labor Relations Board has already proposed its own rule defining joint employment–that is, the circumstances under which a business can be held liable for labor violations committed by its franchisees and contractors– under a different law, the National Labor Relations Act. The comment period for that rule ends Nov. 13.

Glenn Spencer, senior vice president of the Employment Policy division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told Morning Shift that he’s “encouraged” DOL is moving forward on the joint employment issue so quickly. Spencer said he favors a rule that “focuses more on the direct control aspect,” but added that Chamber officials expect litigation to arise from the regulatory actions at both DOL and the NLRB. It remains unclear whether DOL will write a rule or issue a less-stringent interpretive guidance. An internal document obtained by POLITICO last month suggested that DOL would issue an interpretation utilizing an “economic realities test,” but Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta later said the document was “not even ready for prime time.” We’ll see in December.

State continues to invest millions in Eastern Kentucky aluminum mill, October 17, 2018

A proposed $1.68 billion aluminum mill near Ashland will be the de facto recipient of a $4 million Abandoned Mine Lands grant for site preparation, officials announced Wednesday.

“Kentucky is well on its way toward becoming the nation’s engineering and manufacturing center of excellence,” Gov. Matt Bevin said in a press release.

UAW faces growing opposition from Indiana Lear workers following contract rejection, October 18, 2018

Following the unexpected landslide rejection of a United Auto Workers (UAW)-backed contract at two of Lear Corporation’s Indiana plants Sunday, the UAW has been scrambling to contain workers’ opposition.

Roughly 900 workers at plants in Hammond and Portage, Indiana, voted “no” by nearly three to one (74 percent) on the UAW-backed tentative agreement. The workers manufacture seats for the Ford Explorer, which is produced at the nearby Chicago Assembly Plant.

After  UPS contract vote, Teamsters drivers feel betrayed, October 18, 2018

Now, many Teamsters members are angry, divided and feel like their union leaders have betrayed them.

“This destroys unions,” said Sean Mason, a UPS driver in the Orlando, Florida area. “They had 54 percent of the people vote no and they ignored the vote.”

During the Oct. 5 UPS vote, 44 percent of eligible Teamsters members cast ballots for the national contract. Under a rule in the Teamster’s constitution, in cases where less than half of eligible members vote, at least two-thirds of voters must oppose the contract for it to be rejected.

The Dark Money That Funded ‘Dark Money’, October 16, 2018

Left-wing interests are raving about the documentary “Dark Money.” Airing this month on PBS, “Dark Money” purports to expose the effects of right-wing political spending in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The Los Angeles Times calls the film a “political thriller.” NPR lauds it for revealing the “assault on the American electoral and judicial process by corporations whose agenda is nothing less than the dismantling of government itself.”

There’s one problem: This attack on conservative-funded political advocacy is itself liberal-funded political advocacy. The proof? The end credits listing the film’s funders.

Labor union launches its biggest-ever digital ad campaign, October 18, 2018

The effort from the AFL-CIO will reach 10 million voters across 15 states, officials with the group said, using Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads.

A spokesman said the union was spending in the “high six-figures” on the ad campaign, helping 27 House, Senate, and gubernatorial candidates.

The campaign will run through Election Day in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania Unions May Flip the House

Wall Street Journal Online, October 16, 2018

If Democrats take the House next month, they’ll owe a debt to public-sector unions in Pennsylvania. Because of court-ordered redistricting, Democrats have a shot at flipping at least five of the Keystone State’s 18 congressional districts.

What does this have to do with government unions? Start with the 2014 gubernatorial race, in which Mr. Wolf defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Government unions poured more than $4 million into Mr. Wolf’s campaign, including more than $1 million from the Service Employees International Union and $800,000 from the Pennsylvania State Education Association. All told, government union contributions made up nearly 20% of Mr. Wolf’s fundraising in 2014. Since then, these unions have given the governor, who is seeking re-election this year, an additional $5.8 million.

The unions then set their sights on the 2015 judicial elections, in which three vacant seats on the state’s seven-member Supreme Court were on the ballot. Whereas some states use appointments or nonpartisan elections for the judicial branch, Pennsylvania employs partisan elections for all judges.