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0

Out in the Cold

Latest updates

By Richard McCarty

Last year, Big Labor gambled on Democrats, and they lost big at both the state and federal level. Now they find themselves out in the cold in many places.

One of those places is Kentucky. Prior to the 2016 elections, Republicans held the Kentucky governorship and the state Senate, while Democrats held a 53-47 majority in the state House of Representatives. Big Labor fought hard to keep the Democrats in control of the state House, but their efforts were in vain – Republicans routed the Democrats picking up 17 seats.

As a consequence of last year’s elections, the new state legislature quickly passed a right to work bill that lets employees decide for themselves if they want to join a union, a paycheck protection bill (which prohibits the deduction of union dues from wages unless the employee opts in to paying them), and a bill repealing the prevailing wage law (a law that required contractors on certain government contracts to pay wages at or above local union wages).

Governor Matt Bevin signed all three bills into law.

In previous years, the Republican-led state Senate had passed right to work legislation only to watch it die in the Democrat-run state House.

Another place where unions find themselves out in the cold is Missouri. Republicans there have tried to enact right to work legislation for the past several years, but were stymied by the Democrat governor, Jay Nixon, who was unable to run for reelection last year due to term limits.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate, Eric Greitens, ran on enacting right to work; the Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Chris Koster, ran on opposing right to work and received generous union support. But in the end, union support wasn’t enough, and Greitens defeated Koster by nearly six points in November.

Republican legislators wasted little time in once again passing a right to work bill, and Greitens signed it into law. Now, the legislature is considering reforming its prevailing wage law and passing paycheck protection legislation.

And not only have unions lost a number of political battles — they’re also losing members. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 240,000 fewer US union members in 2016 than there were in 2015. In 1983, 20.1 percent of the US labor force belonged to a union; in 2016, only 10.7 percent of the labor force belonged to a union.

The overall rate would have been much lower if the public sector union membership rate were not so high, but both sectors have seen union membership declines last year. Between 2015 and 2016, the private sector union membership rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent while the public sector union membership rate fell from 35.2 percent to 34.4 percent.

And the bad news for unions didn’t stop there: union members tend to be a bit older, most states saw declining union membership last year, and voters’ views of union bosses aren’t very good. The age group most likely to belong to a union was 45-64 year olds — 13.3 percent of workers in that age group belonged to a union. During 2016, union membership rates fell in 31 states, remained flat in 3 states, and rose in 16 states.

According to a Rasmussen poll taken last year, only 20 percent of likely voters believed that most union bosses do a good job of representing their members. At the same time, 57 percent believed that union bosses are out of touch with most of their members.

Facing facts like these, it’s time for union bosses to get serious about providing real value for their members, stop wasting their members’ money on pet projects, and stop playing political games.

One way that private sector unions could do this would be to start working with, rather than against, President Trump and help him achieve his goals of bringing back jobs from overseas and keeping existing jobs, issues that Democrats have neglected for years and where there may now be common ground with President.

Richard McCarty is a Senior Research Analyst at Americans for Limited Government.

big labor dragon

By Richard McCarty Last year, Big Labor gambled on Democrats, and they lost big at both the state and federal level. Now they find themselves out in the cold in many places. One of those places is Kentucky. Prior to the 2016 elections, Republicans held the Kentucky governorship and the state Senate, while Democrats held […]

0

Working with Communists

Latest updates

fight back! newsSEIU teamed up with Communists to protest the outcome of the US presidential election.

Over a dozen organizations have formed the Peoples Coalition Against Trump, which will be holding the main action on Inauguration Day…

Some organizations involved in the coalition are the Peoples Autonomist Federation, Students for a Democratic Society, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Houston Area Progressives, the Communist Party USA, Workers World Party, the Peoples New Black Panther Party, the SEIU, and Socialist Alternative.

fight back! news

SEIU teamed up with Communists to protest the outcome of the US presidential election. Over a dozen organizations have formed the Peoples Coalition Against Trump, which will be holding the main action on Inauguration Day… Some organizations involved in the coalition are the Peoples Autonomist Federation, Students for a Democratic Society, the Freedom Road Socialist […]

0

Still in Turmoil

Latest updates

las vegas review-journalAn SEIU local in Nevada that has had a lot of turnover in leadership over the past several years is still in turmoil. The president and the vice president of the local filed charges against each other with the international union; two union staffers also filed internal complaints against the vice president — and one of those staffers even got a protective order against the vice president, which barred her from entering the union hall. In the midst of all this bickering, SEIU members at a hospital are working to decertify the union. If they succeed, it could cost SEIU the dues of 3,000 members.

 

las vegas review-journal

An SEIU local in Nevada that has had a lot of turnover in leadership over the past several years is still in turmoil. The president and the vice president of the local filed charges against each other with the international union; two union staffers also filed internal complaints against the vice president — and one […]

0

SEIU Crushed

Latest updates

northwest labor pressHundreds of hospital employees in Oregon had the choice of joining either SEIU or AFT in a recent runoff election, and voters overwhelmingly rejected SEIU by a vote of 319-110. SEIU performed significantly worse in the runoff than it had in the first round when it won 176 votes.

 

 

northwest labor press

Hundreds of hospital employees in Oregon had the choice of joining either SEIU or AFT in a recent runoff election, and voters overwhelmingly rejected SEIU by a vote of 319-110. SEIU performed significantly worse in the runoff than it had in the first round when it won 176 votes.    

0

SEIU Loses Again

Latest updates

1493278_10153155610602680_8938735216359814895_nAlthough the SEIU bitterly opposed Right to Work legislation in Missouri, the state’s new governor just signed it into law. With Gov. Eric Greitens’ signature, Missouri became the 28th Right to Work state. Because the state legislature strongly supported Right to Work and Greitens had campaigned on the issue, the legislation’s enactment was expected. Just last month, the neighboring state of Kentucky became the 27th Right to Work state. Perhaps SEIU’s president had these two states in mind when she called for a 30% cut in the union’s budget.

1493278_10153155610602680_8938735216359814895_n

Although the SEIU bitterly opposed Right to Work legislation in Missouri, the state’s new governor just signed it into law. With Gov. Eric Greitens’ signature, Missouri became the 28th Right to Work state. Because the state legislature strongly supported Right to Work and Greitens had campaigned on the issue, the legislation’s enactment was expected. Just […]

0

SEIU Admits Defeat

Latest updates

inside higher edSEIU has abandoned its efforts to unionize part-time faculty at the University of Southern California’s David and Dana Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The union had already lost a certification election last year.

 

inside higher ed

SEIU has abandoned its efforts to unionize part-time faculty at the University of Southern California’s David and Dana Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The union had already lost a certification election last year.  

0

Elections Have Consequences

Latest updates

washington examiner 3In the wake of the 2016 elections, SEIU is planning major cuts to its budget. Last year, SEIU wasted over $21 million of its members’ money trying to elect Democrats. But despite this spending, the union finds itself in a weak political position due to Republican wins at the federal and state levels. Consequently, SEIU is planning to cut its budget by 30% next year.

washington examiner 3

In the wake of the 2016 elections, SEIU is planning major cuts to its budget. Last year, SEIU wasted over $21 million of its members’ money trying to elect Democrats. But despite this spending, the union finds itself in a weak political position due to Republican wins at the federal and state levels. Consequently, SEIU […]

1

SEIU Sues Union Members

Latest updates

michigan capitol confidential 3A little more than a decade ago, an SEIU local from Taylor, Michigan merged with an SEIU local from Lansing. The local from Taylor brought its banquet hall to the merger, which had been built with money raised through fundraisers – and not with dues money. Apparently, the merger did not go well, and the Taylor union members wanted to split from their new union and re-form their own SEIU local. However, a petition from Taylor SEIU members to the national SEIU organization requesting the dissolution of the merger or legal help with the situation was ignored. The SEIU local would not allow the split so the Taylor union members voted to break away from SEIU and form an independent union. In response, the SEIU local chose to sue several Taylor union members for ownership of the banquet hall.

 

michigan capitol confidential 3

A little more than a decade ago, an SEIU local from Taylor, Michigan merged with an SEIU local from Lansing. The local from Taylor brought its banquet hall to the merger, which had been built with money raised through fundraisers – and not with dues money. Apparently, the merger did not go well, and the […]

1

SEIU Harasses Care Provider and Elderly Client

Dirty tactics

An experienced personal care assistant in Connecticut, along with her very elderly client, is being harassed by SEIU because the woman refused to join the union.

Pauline has worked as a personal care attendant for more than 20 years through different non-profit agencies. Despite her experience, this past June she had to attend a state-mandated PCA orientation or risk losing her job…

Part of the orientation is a 30-minute “union-only” session of the training, during which members SEIU 1199 organizers discuss workers’ rights and the benefits of joining a union. The union then tries to get PCAs to sign union cards to join the SEIU 1199 and start paying dues.

Pauline refused to sign the card and that was when the trouble started.

“They started calling two, three times a day,” Pauline said. Individuals who would not give their names asked her why she didn’t sign the card. “They’re calling at 10 o’clock at night. That is not the way you approach people,” Pauline said.

What’s worse – and possibly dangerous – is that the phone calls are not going to Pauline’s personal phone but rather the home of her 89-year-old client, who recently suffered two strokes. “I said, ‘You’re waking up the client, stop!’ Then they hung up the phone again.”

Pauline said her client attempts to get out of bed and answer the phone by herself, which could be dangerous because she is unable to walk unassisted. Pauline also has no idea how the pro-union callers got the phone number of her client. “They’re scaring her,” Pauline said…

Pauline claims other PCAs have experienced similar situations but are afraid they will lose their jobs if they come forward. Some have threatened to call the police. “This is harassment,” she said.

yankee institute

An experienced personal care assistant in Connecticut, along with her very elderly client, is being harassed by SEIU because the woman refused to join the union. Pauline has worked as a personal care attendant for more than 20 years through different non-profit agencies. Despite her experience, this past June she had to attend a state-mandated […]

0

Disgusting

Latest updates

An SEIU official defended and refused to pull an offensive campaign ad run by an SEIU-supported group. The ad attacked a Republican candidate, whose wife and two daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion, by associating the candidate with Trump’s supposed “attack on women and families.” Unsurprisingly, the ad was met with public outrage.

daily mail

An SEIU official defended and refused to pull an offensive campaign ad run by an SEIU-supported group. The ad attacked a Republican candidate, whose wife and two daughters were killed in a horrific home invasion, by associating the candidate with Trump’s supposed “attack on women and families.” Unsurprisingly, the ad was met with public outrage.

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