NILRR Right to Work Clipsheet December 11, 2015



Documents Show Teachers Unions Spent Millions on Luxury Hotels, Overseas Travel, Car Services, November 29, 2015

A cursory scan of the line items on the union’s annual financial filings shows that the American Federation of Teachers spent more than $1.3 million on luxury hotels, more than $300,000 on foreign travel and an eye-popping $59,368 on car services between 2011 and 2014.

“It’s our money,” said Jade Thompson, an Ohio Spanish teacher, who makes about $65,000 a year and has challenged mandatory union dues in court. “Think what you can do with $800 dollars (a year in union dues)? For a lot of working families, that’s a lot of money.”

“They have millions of members (and) those members pay millions in dues,” Stanford University politics professor Terry Moe said of the spending on hotels and travel. Moe, author of the book “Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools,” said the larger and more important question is how teachers unions use their money to influence public policy and elections.

“If you listen to them, they are spending all of it on collective bargaining. That’s not true. They don’t want to say they are spending a lot of it on politics.”

Unions Are Endorsing Clinton, But Alt-Labor Has A Different Plan

BuzzFeed News Online, December 04, 2015

Lately, though, Clinton’s labor-relations headlines have mainly been a procession of high-level union endorsements — and therein lies the tension. Unions are used to throwing their weight around politically, contributing financially to campaigns from their now-diminished coffers and hitting the streets to get voters to the polls. But some in the rank-and-file have made it known they would prefer labor leaders to take a harder line: Some would like to see more support for Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and others would prefer different tactics entirely — such as hunger strikes, walkouts, and marches — to further the working-class agenda.

Unions rally in Springfield over state labor issues

State Journal-Register Online, December 20, 2015

An estimated 2,000 union members — both public employees and private — and their supporters rallied at the Prairie Capital Convention Center on Thursday to draw attention to the fight for a new state contract and what they contend are Gov. Bruce Rauner’s anti-union policies.

More trouble for Rahm Emanuel: Chicago teachers to vote on strike authorization

Washington Post Online, December 05, 2015

The union released a statement saying that its governing body would “encourage all 27,000 active members to vote ‘yes’ for strike authorization” during a three-day vote being held Dec. 9-11 in all Chicago public schools where members work. State law requires that 75 percent of the entire union membership approve strike authorization. In 2012, the union reported that about 90 percent of members voted to authorize their leaders to call a strike.

UAW wins vote at Volkswagen’s lone U.S. plant

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Online, December 05, 2015

Volkswagen objected to the new vote favoring the UAW to represent just 162 skilled-trades workers, arguing that all of the plant’s 1,400 blue-collar workers should have a say over union issues. The German automaker said it plans to appeal the ruling allowing the vote to the full National Labor Relations Board.

Minority workers sue operating engineers union

Politico Online New York, December 10, 2015

The class action lawsuit, filed by five plaintiffs on behalf of at least 100 union workers, alleges that Local 14 has “intentionally and systematically discriminated in favor of white members in the assignment of work to operating engineers.”

Largest federal employee union endorses Clinton

Washington Post Online, December 20, 2015

The American Federation of Government Employees said it interviewed Clinton and rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) before making the choice. A statement from the group did not mention the third Democrat in the race, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. No Republican candidates responded to the union’s questionnaire, the group said.

UAW Contracts Left Open Health Care Change

Wall Street Journal Online, December 09, 2015

Left open in the drive to win higher pay for union members was how the auto makers will handle their contracts’ health-care costs when a federal tax on high-cost health insurance plans begins in 2018.

Daily Mail editorial: More progress needed to improve state’s business climate

Charleston Gazette-Mail Online, December 10, 2015

There will be many naysayers who say the Legislature shouldn’t pass such reforms or new policies like right-to-work. But those are from the same people who guided the state to the bottom of most national rankings.

West Virginians have a choice — stay at the bottom, or support much needed reforms to grow jobs and improve the state’s status.

Is Texas the new California?

Dallas Morning News Online, December09, 2015

Relying solely on publicly available information, Vranich concludes that 1,510 companies moved all or some of their operations out of California from 2008 through 2014, taking with them valuable jobs, investment dollars and tax revenue.

Texas was at the receiving end of 219 of those moves, or about 15 percent, more than any other state. Many are household brands like Apple, eBay and Restoration Hardware that moved their headquarters or opened or expanded other operations like a call center or distribution center somewhere in the state.

Labor Union’s Love Hate Relationship With Obamacare

Daily Caller Online, December 09, 2015

AFL-CIO continued its opposition to the Obamacare excise tax Tuesday by encouraging members to sign a petition showing even the labor movement isn’t happy with healthcare overall.

Police union stands with Trump: ‘Next president of the United States’

The American Mirror Online, December 09, 2015

According to NEPBA executive director Jerry Flynn, the union will be endorsing Trump, “or no one.”

WMUR booted from next Democratic debate For Doing What Democrats Support

A labor dispute between a handful of employees at the station, WMUR, and its owner, Hearst. The Democratic National Committee announced WMUR’s fate on Friday in a joint statement with the New Hampshire Democratic Party that blamed the TV channel and Hearst for the impasse.

At issue is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228’s accusation that WMUR is trying to strip pensions from about a dozen of their workers because they decided to join the union.

It’s an untenable position for the party, as no Democratic candidate would have been likely cross a picket line in order to attend the debate — a distinct possibility if WMUR remained involved.

This is far from the first time labor issues have affected WMUR’s debate sponsorship — but it is the first time the sponsorship has actually been pulled. Several sources knowledgeable about the current situation said that, like clockwork, unions have used election cycles to push WMUR into negotiations. The union, it appears, has been more aggressive in its negotiations this year than in previous cycles.