Labor Unions

Civil War on the Left, Part 4

Featured image The Hill newspaper notes yesterday that “The Keystone pipeline has long been a source of friction between Democrats and labor unions.”  Well one union this week sent a letter to Democrats who publicly oppose Keystone threatening retribution: A top building trades union is launching a midterm-election assault on House Democrats who oppose construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. A letter distributed Friday by the Laborers’ International Union of North »

Civil War on the Left, Part 3

Featured image We know that labor unions are at odds with the Obama Administration over the Keystone XL pipeline and dislike some aspects of Obamacare, but might some of them actually go so far as to help re-elect a Republican governor in the key state of Ohio? Labor Split Boosts Ohio Governor By Kris Maher TOLEDO, Ohio—Gov. John Kasich has earned such ire among unions that he is on a list of »

Fresh Cracks in the Blue-State Model?

Featured image Keep your eyes on Democrat-run Illinois over the next couple of weeks, where legislative leaders have hammered out a scheme to address the crisis of the state’s underfunded public employee pension system.  The unfunded liability for the state’s pension obligations is officially estimated somewhere around $100 billion over the next 30 years, but the actual figure is likely much higher as Illinois, like many self-serving public pension funds, still assumes »

Defunding the Left, One Union at a Time

Featured image “Defunding the left” was one of the objectives of the Republican uprising of 1994; unfortunately, that goal went unrealized. This is one of the basic differences between Left and Right: conservative candidates and organizations have to raise money from individuals who contribute voluntarily, out of conviction, while Democrats and liberal organizations are able to extract money by force from taxpayers and others. The Left has managed to institutionalize itself. Labor »

A Union Movement Without Union Members

Featured image Private sector unions, having mostly destroyed the jobs they were organized to represent, are dying. Public sector unions are doing better, and now represent more than half of union membership. But they, in truth, aren’t doing so great either. So the AFL-CIO has come up with a novel solution: open up membership to people who are not actually members of unions: The AFL-CIO on Monday opened the door to becoming »

If You Missed Me On Bill Bennett’s Radio Show Yesterday…

Featured image …you can listen to the whole thing here. I was on for a half hour, talking about Detroit’s bankruptcy. It was a fun couple of segments that included some calls; illuminating, too, I think. If you aren’t in the habit of listening to Bill’s show, you should check it out. It’s as good as talk radio gets. »

Not fit to print, Michigan right-to-work edition

Featured image The passage of right to work legislation in Michigan represents an interesting development in the aftermath of Obama’s reelection. For the left, of course, this cannot stand. One can infer the intensity of the opposition from the quotes in the page-one New York Times story by Monica Davey, at the top of the RealClearPolitics honor roll this morning. Davey leaves out a few items that illuminate the import of the »

Suspense Builds at the Court

Featured image No Obamacare decision from the Supreme Court today.  (There had been rumors that it might be announced today.)  However, the Knox v. SEIU decision was handed down today, and it looks like an important blow against labor unions. And once again, the egregious  Ninth Circus Court of Appeals was reversed. Knox concerns coercive union dues collected from non-members and used for political purposes.  When dissenting employees brought suit against these »

Big Labor morphs into predatory bankers

Featured image With collections from union dues declining, how is Big Labor finding the resources to spend so heavily in elections like the one last night in Wisconsin? According to Peter Schweizer, they are doing it in part by acting like banks: Big unions are morphing into the kinds of big businesses and banks they decry, hawking to their members everything from high interest credit cards to home loans. . . . »

Whose Interests Are Special?

Featured image The Hill reports that unions and other liberal groups are vowing to make life miserable for any companies that contribute to Republican campaigns this year: Liberal interest groups, watchdogs and unions on Monday threatened to boycott, protest and publicly embarrass corporations that spend money trying to sway the outcome of the November election. Gathered Monday at the Washington headquarters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the groups issued a »

This Week’s Applied Hayek: Occupy AFL-CIO Edition

Featured image Chapter 18 of The Constitution of Liberty is on “Labor Unions and Employment,” which will be considered in my class next Monday evening (are you paying attention, class?), the day before Ohio’s vote on the reforms to public employee compensation and collective bargaining rights.  Advance polls suggest Gov. Kasich’s reforms are going down to defeat, chiefly because of tactical mistakes.  National Review’s Brian Bolduc explains. Anyway, Hayek’s chapter on labor »

Does Anyone Care About Actual Political Violence?

Featured image Over the last year, we have seen absurd efforts to blame violent acts committed by people who had nothing to do with politics on politicians and activists who have nothing to do with violence. No matter: it is all about political opportunism. In fact, however, we do have a political or quasi-political movement in the United States that in recent years has often resorted to violence: the union movement. To »

There Is Really Only One Special Interest Group

Featured image And that is labor unions. Antony Davies of Duquesne has prepared a series of charts that summarize special interest political contributions from 1989 to 2009, based on data from Open Secrets. This chart is the most revealing; it shows that the overwhelming majority of special interest money goes to Democrats, and that unions dwarf everyone else. It’s actually even worse than the chart shows at first glance, since teachers’ unions »