Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Editorial: Obama doing labor's bidding

Unions have run most of our basic manufacturing industries overseas and are bankrupting the rest. State governments are insolvent,in large part, because of teachers and public employee unions demands that are far in excess of those in the private sector. It is obvious that, if we all were unionized, the whole country would be a wasteland similar to much of the city of Detroit. So what does Obama do? He works to expand unions and, in the process, uses your money to bail out the unions' unfunded pension plans in order to buy votes for the Democrats in the next election. This is pure "theft" of non-union taxpayers money.

If you are a union member and have any sense of responsibility to your neighbors or any sense of decency, you owe it to them to get rid of Obama and his corrupt Chicago political machine.

Obama showers unions with gifts that all taxpayers will have to pay for

The Detroit News

In Barack Obama's Washington, a union card is a gold card. The president is skewing policy to give the 12 percent of the American work force belonging to a labor union 100 percent of the advantages.

Last week was a Groundhog's Day version of Christmas morning for Big Labor. The gifts just kept on coming:

• The president's executive order kicked in "strongly encouraging" federal agencies to award government contracts to those companies whose workers either belong to a union or offer union wages and benefits. The so-called project labor agreements will make it nearly impossible for non-union construction firms to compete for contracts.


Those that do win federal work will have to either hire union workers or abide by union work rules, including making contributions to the union health care and pension funds.

Taxpayers will pay more for the same work, and non-union workers will be dunned to pay the benefits of union members. There's no justification for the order in terms of efficiency, cost savings or quality of work. It's a straight reward to the unions that did so much to get Obama and a Democratic Congress elected.

• The National Mediation Board, prodded by the AFL-CIO, ruled that airline employees will no longer be covered under the Railway Labor Act. Although it sounds like an obscure decision, it is a very big deal for Delta Airlines, the largest carrier at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Delta is the target of organizing drives by unions that want to extend the contracts of Northwest Airlines, which Delta absorbed last year, to the combined work force. Delta is mostly non-union.

Under Railway Labor Act rules, the unions would have to get majority support from all members of a bargaining unit before being recognized. Workers who didn't cast ballots were counted as "no" votes. Now, unions will only have to get a majority of the members who actually vote in an organizing election, making it much easier for them to win.

The change was made possible by Obama's appointment of Linda Puchala, former president of the flight attendants union, to the National Mediation Board.

For Delta, it means the rules change in the middle of the game, hardly fair by any measure. For airline passengers, it means inevitable higher ticket prices, as the unions drive up the cost of doing business.

• The White House ponied up $5 billion to entice companies to keep early retirees -- those not yet eligible for Medicare -- on their health insurance plans. Workers aged 55-65 will be covered.

Most of the early retirees are union members, including public employees, school teachers and auto workers. Nearly everyone else has to work until age 65.

This means that taxpayers who are still working will have to dig into their pockets to pay for retirement benefits they don't enjoy themselves.

To top the week off, Congress began moving a bill that would provide taxpayer bailouts of underfunded union pension funds.

All this reinforces the reality that there are two classes of workers in America -- the privileged union class (with public employees as the top caste) and everyone else who has to pay the tab for their rich perks.
Detroit News Article

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