Posts Tagged ‘unions’
This is a great newspaper editorial cartoon. When you actually look at the reforms Gov. Scott Walker proposed in Wisconsin last year, and then compare that to the reaction from the public employee unions and Democrat legislators – union members occupying the State Capital, and Democrat legislators fleeing to Illinois.
Anyway, this made me laugh out loud.
The Arizona Republic reports that it costs taxpayers an average of $100,000 per City of Phoenix employee. That’s not to say that some City of Phoenix employees don’t deserve to be paid appropriately for their work, they should. The rub is paying full-time employees for things that could easily be outsourced – like auto repair. How many companies do you know of that employ their own auto mechanics? Yeah, yeah, I’m sure Swift Transportation or Knight Transportation does, but that’s apples and oranges.
There is nothing wrong with sending cars that need to be serviced or repaired to a private auto shop. It would save taxpayers money, and the private company would have incentive to do a good job for a good price because they would want the repeat business.
The second rub is that we have City of Phoenix employees making more money than comparable jobs in the private sector. That doesn’t seem to make sense.
City Councilman Sal DiCiccio has been one of the few voices trying to educate people about what is going on, and he’s taking on some powerful interest groups, including the employee unions. It’s refreshing to see someone on the council who has the courage to take on the establishment and actually stand up for the average taxpayer.
Here is an interesting excerpt from the Republic story:
“Public-sector employees should not get paid more than their boss, the taxpayer,” DiCiccio said. “It’s skewed so far it’s almost embarrassing.”
The councilman has upset Mayor Phil Gordon, some council members and labor groups by proposing to outsource certain “non-strategic” city jobs to the private sector. For example, Phoenix spends $31 million a year to have city mechanics repair vehicles, he said; only $10 million is outsourced. He would like to see more work sent to private mechanics.
Luis Schmidt, a spokesman for the union that represents mechanics, said outsourcing those jobs could put police officers, firefighters and other employees who drive city vehicles at greater risk. Schmidt argues that city mechanics are better trained and more accountable than their private-sector counterparts.
So DiCiccio has upset the Mayor, other council members and the unions. And the mechanics union spokesman says police and firefighters would face greater risk if their vehicles were repaired by mechanics in the private sector. Seriously? That has to be one of the most absurd arguments I’ve ever heard.
We need more Sal DiCiccio’s standing up for the taxpayers. As a resident of Phoenix, I offer my personal thanks to the Councilman.
(photo by Ralph Freso, Tribune)
Today was a big day in the health care debate. There were hundreds of rallies/protests across the country as people voiced their opposition to a government takeover of health care.
In the Phoenix area, 1,000 people showed up outside Democrat Congressman Harry Mitchell’s office in the morning, and then nearly 1,000 showed up at a town hall held by Congressman John Shadegg.
The East Valley Tribune covered both events.
(photo by Ralph Freso, Tribune)
Reports from the Shadegg town hall were that it was a very civil discussion. And there wasn’t a big ACORN or Union presence. Conclusion? The reason you are seeing videos of major conflict at town halls across the country, is because the unions and ACORN are sowing discord to try to discredit those Americans who truly want to be heard. When the union thugs aren’t around to intimidate people, tempers stay in check.
I’m not saying that there aren’t some loud and rowdy protesters from the right, but the only times there have been violence is when ACORN and/or unions are in the mix.
It’s more than a coincidence.
Former Congressman Pat Toomey is the most powerful man in America today. He single-handedly killed the Union’s number one legislative priority – the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act” also known as “card check.”
How does a guy who isn’t even in elective office, let along the U.S. Senate, pull this off? By announcing that he is likely to run against Sen. Arlen Specter in a Republican primary.
Specter announced today, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, that he would vote against cloture on “card check”, thus denying the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Union pals the 60th vote they needed to move the bill forward.
This is a huge, HUGE, development. Tens of millions of dollars (actually, hundreds of millions of dollars) on both sides of this debate were in the process of being raised and held in reserve to take to the battlefield. Specter has just delivered a death-blow to the Union effort and saved America’s business community a bundle. Talk about economic stimulus. The only people left out are all the consultants and political operatives who were going to make a lot of money in this fight.
Thank the heavens for Pat Toomey. I really, really hope he makes it official and jumps in against Specter. He’ll now have less support from the business community, who will say that they can’t work against the incumbent Specter – especially after his vote against cloture. They should support Toomey anyway, because he won’t play the games year-in and year-out that Specter has played with right-leaning constituencies.
Run Pat, run!
I posted last night about Arizona Republic editorial writer, Doug MacEachern, and his work on warning readers about “card check.”
Today’s lead editorial in the Republic hammers that point home again. You can bet MacEachern wrote it. Great stuff.
We understand the premise of a new president’s “First 100 Days.” There is no time in the lifespan of a U.S. administration that is more powerful – more heavy with the mandate of voters – than the first few months of a first term. And that is especially true for this enormously popular new president.
But let’s have a look at the president’s short list of agenda items: a historic revolution in health-care insurance; passing a sweeping, multifaceted energy policy; a tax overhaul that pushes the burden of government more heavily onto businesses and high-wage earners; and, far from least, a huge new federal role in education.
The president is pursuing all of the above, of course, in addition to addressing the faltering national economy, including banking and auto industries on the verge of collapse. As the implications of the president’s $3.6 trillion budget sinks in, so, too, has the Dow Jones average.
Something will have to give. And the first item on the costly list that the president should ratchet back is passage of the ill-named Employee Free Choice Act.
The EFCA, or “card check” legislation, may be a boon to the union supporters who spent $450 million in behalf of Democrats in the past election cycle. But it will constitute a crushing burden to the economy – just when businesses start crawling out of the shell hole of the recession.
The stagnant wages of recent years are a serious concern, not just for organized labor but for the health of the economy. The radical card-check proposal is not the way to fix that problem, however.
Card-check would render pointless the fundamental tool of labor organizing: the private, anonymous vote by workers on whether to organize. Further, it would dramatically increase the role of the federal government in arbitrating union contracts.
Card-check is dangerous legislation in a good economy. In times this bad, it could smother a recovery in its infancy.
We hope Vice President Joe Biden reconsiders his commitment made to union leaders last week at the pricey Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami.
Card-check is bad policy in the best of times. It is particularly harmful in a down economy.
Big Labor’s #1 Federal legislative priority is the “Employee Free Choice Act” which is anything but free choice. Currently if workers want to organize, a union will collect signatures from the requisite number and then call an election to vote on whether to organize or not. Those votes are like most votes in America – private. Under the EFCA unions could merely get the requisite number of signatures (also known as “card check”) and viola! they are organized.
It doesn’t take more than 30 seconds of watching an auto factory picket line to realize the problem with big, burly “nice” union thugs representatives standing next to a worker saying, “you will sign this card.” You notice, that wasn’t a question.
“[W]e feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose.” So wrote Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and 15 colleagues in a 2001 letter to the Mexican government.
Why then is Miller sponsoring legislation now—the Orwellian-named “Employee Free Choice Act”—that would eliminate the secret ballot for authorizing union representation in this country?
Under the “card-check” system, a union is recognized if a certain percentage of employees sign cards designating a union. In contrast to the privacy of the secret ballot, a card-check system invites intimidation. That is why Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Labor, protested the lack of a secret ballot in leadership elections for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 2007. Yet, she too now backs the card-check system.
All of Arizona’s Congressional Democrats voted for this legislation last Congress. Shame on them.