Earlier today, just an hour before a hearing was to begin at the National Labor Relations Board, the United Auto Workers union dropped an appeal of the election it lost in February as it attempted to become the bargaining representative for workers at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
In a writeup which appears at the Associated Press's "Big Story" but which somehow failed to appear in a 6 p.m. search on "UAW" at the Big Story site (sorted by date), reporter Erik Schelzig pretended that two Democratic Congressmen who last week started an "inquiry" into the circumstances surrounding the union's loss will be conducting a "congressional investigation." No they won't, because they can't, because their party is in the minority. What they can do is conduct a theatrical exercise which looks like a "hearing" which has no power and which a responsible AP reporter wouldn't call a "congressional investigation." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
In mid-February, the United Auto Workers lost a crucial unionization vote at a Chattanooga, Tenn., Volkswagen auto plant. Rather than licking their wounds and accepting the outcome, a slew of liberal pundits, including MSNBC's Ed Schultz, cried foul and agitated for the United Auto Workers to call on the federal government to essentially insist on a do-over election, predicated on the notion that pro-right-to-work politicians tainted the vote by their public pronouncements on the election.
Fast forward to today, when the UAW at long last decided that it would not press the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for another election. "Union throws in the towel," lamented the teaser headline on MSNBC.com this afternoon. Ned Resnikoff filed a brief story which portrayed the UAW as the hapless victims of shadowy right-wingers rather than a union which, well, could simply NOT make its case to the voters in a free and fair election (emphasis mine):
The headline and first paragraph at an Associated Press item on a union strike authorization vote in Las Vegas are both far more vague than they could or should be.
Though the rest of Ken Ritter's coverage at least identifies the union involved, it completely fails to get to the heart of the matter, which is that Obamacare is causing huge increases in their employers' cost of providing health care coverage. Culinary Union Local 226 wants their casino company employers to, well, eat those costs, and the companies are resisting. Ritter's coverage, which to those who understand the full background reads like an exercise in stall-ball, never even specifically says that health benefits are this potential strike's key issue (bolds are mine throughout this post):
One of the most frequent laments from liberals is that the decline of unions has hurt American workers and our economy. And among the reasons that unions are in decline are dubious claims by liberals about them.
It's even worse when the person making the claim fancies himself an outspoken advocate for workers' rights and one who, not incidentally, is being abundantly compensated for his advocacy. (Audio after the jump)
The people who pretentiously call themselves journalists at the News Media Guild-represented Associated Press are really having a hard time getting over the representation election the United Auto Workers union lost two weeks ago at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The latest whine came from Erik Schelzig Friday afternoon. He must have believed he was being really hard-hitting in trying to hold Volunteer State Senator Bob Corker to his word that "If the UAW is voted down they're going to come here ... and affirm they're going to build a line here" within two weeks. Well, Erik, Corker clearly miscalculated. The Senator never dreamed that the UAW would appeal a secret-ballot vote it lost by 6.4 percent of the ballots cast, and also underestimated the chances of retalation by the U.S. government and the company's German union. Several paragraphs from Erik's execrable essay follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In a complete non-surprise given their officials' reactions last week, the United Auto Workers union has filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board of the election they lost at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.
As would be expected for an organization whose journalists are members of the News Media Guild, a Friday evening report by Associated Press reporters Tom Raum and Erik Schelzig emphasized the "outside intervention" of First Amendment-protected statements made by Volunteer State politicians, including Senator Bob Corker, in the runup to the balloting, while ignoring and minimizing thuggish behavior and statements by UAW supporters and sympathizers. They also saved assessments that the effort is a long-shot at best, at least on the merits, for much later paragraphs — but with President Barack Obama's NLRB, you never know. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
File this under "Pathetic" and "Predictable." On Alex Wagner's MSNBC show yesterday, Wagner set up Timothy Noah, an MSNBC.com columnist, with the latest and most desperate excuse for the UAW's failure to gain the ability to represent VW-Chattanooga workers in a plantwide election last week. She did so by referring to an American Prospect column earlier in the day by Harold Meyerson, who blamed "the politics of race and culture" for the loss.
Noah predictably took the bait, even though "race" was not mentioned once in any coverage I saw in 2-1/2 days after the election until Meyerson went there. Video and a transcript, followed by a couple of jabs at Meyerson by yours truly, follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
NOTE: Go to the end of this post to see my reaction to an email NB received from OpenSecrets.org.
The web site OpenSecrets.org has done a great deal of useful work. Especially helpful are its lists of high-dollar political campaign donor organizations.
The web site's 1989-2014 and 2012-specific lists, to name just two, demonstrate that the hyperventilating on the left and in the establishment press about the eeeevil Koch Brothers is completely out of line:
The three Associated Press reports I've seen on the UAW's failure to win the right to represent hourly workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee — the first two were covered in NewsBusters posts here and here; the wire service's 3:52 p.m. report is here — all mention in one way or another what UAW President Bob King is now calling "unprecedented outside interference" in the runup to the election. (VW, which can only run the factory with the kind of "workers councils" it has at its other worldwide plants in the U.S. if its workers are represented by an outside union, supported the UAW's efforts.)
But AP reporters Tom Krisher and Erik Schelzig, as well as panelists discussing the aftermath on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC program this morning, "somehow" ignored the "outside interference" of the person who holds the most powerful political office on earth. That's right. President Obama, whose National Labor Relations Board conducted the election, weighed in on Friday morning with statements at a "closed door" meeting which were clearly designed to be leaked. Here is what Richard Cowan and Bernie Woodall at Reuters reported on Friday morning (HT Gateway Pundit):
Following revisions to initial stories at the Associated Press, aka the Adminstration's Press, can be a revealing if sometimes tedious exercise.
A case in point is how reporters Tom Krisher and Erik Schelzig, who are both more than likely represented by the News Media Guild in their jobs at the wire service, changed the tone of their second report following the rejection by employees at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant of representation by the United Auto Workers union. And speaking of changed tones, UAW President Bob King suddenly moved from conciliatory to confrontational in the 3-1/2 hours between the first and second AP reports.
Late news out of Chattanooga, Tennessee Friday night was that workers at that area's Volkswagen plant rejected representation by the United Auto Workers union.
The opening paragraph at the 11:17 p.m. story filed by Tom Krisher and Erik Schelzig at the Associated Press, both of whom are more than likely members of the News Media Guild, calls the result "devastating." Later paragraphs imply political tampering, and indicate that the union is considering doing what leftist losers routinely do — try to get the result overturned with government help. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Over at the Associated Press's national site, there's a story about how "Some of the largest public labor unions in Illinois filed a long-awaited lawsuit Tuesday challenging the state's new pension reform law."
Given that it involves hundreds of thousands of workers, it's probably fair to say that the news deserves national attention. But how about another story which involves over 800,000 union members who are deeply dissatisfied with Obamacare? Searches at AP on Unite Here and LUINA, the two unions involved, come up empty and with nothingrelevant, respectively.
Presumed union member (the News Media Guild) and Associated Press reporter Sam Hananel's Sunday morning coverage of union threats against a pilot partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and Staples Inc. fails to deliver on at least three counts.
First, while noting that American Postal Workers Union (APWU) boycott threats ended a similar effort at Sears stores in the late-1980s, Hananel "somehow" forgot to note its aftermath, which resulted in even wider distribution of USPS products by non-union workers. Second, Hananel ignored the fact that USPS's main competitors, UPS and Fedex, both already have large networks of relatively convenient nonunion retail shipping outlets – compared to most post offices, which are separate-trip, standalone locations. Third, and most critically, he fails to note that the APWU's demand to have its members staff the Staples counters, even ignoring the wage differential, would be an extraordinarily counterproductive waste of labor. Excerpts from his coverage follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Radio and TV blowhard Ed Schultz decided to take a break from his normal act of ranting against Republicans today by raging against some fellow liberals who had the temerity to criticize him and other MSNBC hosts for declining to publicly take the side of union members in a dispute they're having with the cable channel's parent company, NBC Universal.
Schultz, whose shtick is that he is just a working stiff looking out for people like him, lashed out at a report from Salon.com which mentioned him: “I become the target because I’m living good. I become the target because I have a platform,” he said on his radio show Friday. “They’re just out to take somebody down who’s got something they don’t have.”
For the past several weeks, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has been playing defense in the news media against “advocates for workers” who favor a “living wage bill.” That’s partly the result of shrewd marketing on the part of lawmakers who favor the legislation – who doesn’t favor a “living wage?” But it’s also because reporters do not typically question self-described “worker advocates” about the economic realities attached to a higher minimum wage.
When the government mandates a higher wage beyond what employers can afford to pay for unskilled labor, the result is higher unemployment. In other words, if the self-proclaimed “advocates” of the working class had there way, the number of people with jobs would be smaller.
Sarah Varney's report on Friday's Morning Edition is just the latest example of NPR's one-sided coverage of the health care issue in general, and ObamaCare specifically. Varney spotlighted how California's government gave a local chapter of the SEIU – a major supporter of President Obama during his two presidential campaigns – $1 million to enroll people in the state's insurance exchange.
The journalist also turned to UCLA's Gerry Kominski, who downplayed the "bumpy roll-out", as she put it, of ObamaCare enrollment since it began on October 1, 2013. Varney didn't mention, however, that the professor trumpeted the Supreme Court's decision upholding ObamaCare in a June 2012 YouTube.com video:
Trade-offs apply to our economic lives, as well as our political lives. That means getting more of one thing requires giving up something else. Let's look at some examples.
Black congressmen and black public officials in general, including Barack Obama, always side with teachers unions in their opposition to educational vouchers, tuition tax credits, charter schools and other measures that would allow black parents to take their children out of failing public schools. Most black politicians and many black professionals take the position of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is on record as saying, "We shouldn't abandon the public schools."
A 10:30 p.m. ET search on "Kenosha" at the national web site of the Associated Press returned one result. An unbylined story supposedly deserving of national coverage out of Kenosha, Wisconsin tells us that "Twin water spouts put on a spectacular show over Lake Michigan, near the Wisconsin shore." They were apparently unique because "two water spouts merged into one large one, then split." But a quoted meteorologist says that water spouts "generally occur between August and October," i.e., though they are surely a cool sight to behold, they aren't all that unusual.
Something else very unique happened came out of Kenosha today, but the AP treated it as just a local story. The Kenosha school system's teachers' union, apparently joining the majority of other such unions in the state in the wake of Governor Scott Walker's 2011 reforms, was decertified (bolds are mine throughout this post):
President Obama’s signature health care law continues to lose support, but NBC’s Chuck Todd sees no problem with the law itself. On Thursday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, he chalked up the declining support to bad messaging by ObamaCare supporters.
Host Joe Scarborough announced that 57 percent of Americans now oppose most or all of the law, according to a recent CNN poll. In addition, the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor union and a prominent Obama backer, formally criticized ObamaCare in a resolution approved at its convention on Wednesday. When faced with those facts about the law’s slipping support, Todd replied, “Well, and the White House has done nothing to try to fix the PR on this and the Democratic Party has done nothing to try to fix the PR on this.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
A brief report from the AFL-CIO convention today by Sam Hananel at the Associated Press tells us two things about how the group headed by Richard Trumka plans to expand its membership rolls.
The first is that the group wants to add "non-union groups." The second is they wish to enroll "workers who aren't covered by a collective bargaining agreement." Hananel never specifically says that one is in addition to the other, leading the reader to conclude that Hananel believes both targeted groups are one and the same (posted in full because of its brevity after the jump):
The departing members are those in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. In a three-page letter to AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, ILWU President Donald McEllrath laid out concerns over picket-line crossings and encroachments by other AFL-CIO affilliates, but also cited Trumka's "overly moderate, compromising policy positions on such important matters as immigration, labor law reform, health care reform, and international labor issues." A few paragraphs from AP's unbylined regional story are after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In a Thursday morning speech, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka told of how surprised how he was, in the words of Time's Alex Rogers at it Swampland blog, "that employers have reduced workers’ hours below 30-a-week to avoid an employer penalty scheduled to go into effect in 2015."
Here's another "surprise" from Rogers' report, at least for those who think that lawmakers sit alone and draw up 2,000-page pieces of legislation on their own (except when the media relays claims by the left that evil industries write laws which evil Republican congressmen simply rubber-stamp them): Trumka admitted organized labor's direct involvement in in writing Obamacare. In other words, labor created the mess it is now denouncing (bolds are mine throughout this post):
It must be nice to blithely talk about how you would spend somebody else's money without thinking through the consequences.
Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fast Food Forward in New York, told Yahoo Finance's Bernice Napatch at its Daily Ticker site that "McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profits and there’s plenty of money to pay the workers who work there and new hires without firing anyone.” As was the case with a Detroit protester's claim that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year" noted earlier today, Napatch did not challenge Fells's fallacy. After the jump, we'll come up with a better estimate showing that the company and its franchisees couldn't pay their employees $15 an hour even if they burned through all of their current restaurant operating income in trying.
On Monday’s Morning Joe, an all-liberal panel discussed, with co-host Joe Scarborough, the recent feud between the D.C. Council and Walmart, highlighting the standoff between the discount retail giant and city councilors over wages at three future Walmart locations in the nation’s capital.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski bashed Walmart throughout the segment, responding with a long pause and a befuddled look when Scarborough and liberal panelist Brian Shactman defended the world’s largest retailer. Brzezinski petulantly asked Shactman how Walmart’s “doing,” as though the answer alone would morally justify a policy that specifically targeted Walmart because it is a profitable, and politically incorrect, corporation:
PBS led off Thursday’s NewsHour with a story about President Obama’s efforts to defend his healthcare law amid increasing public skepticism. But the taxpayer-funded network managed to avoid mentioning the recent harsh criticism of the law from three prominent labor union leaders, despite a vague reference to “worry from some supporters.”
Anchor Jeffrey Brown, who narrated the package, acknowledged, “Today's speech was part of a broader effort to sell the law that comes amid continuing criticism from Republicans and worry from some supporters about its implementation.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Walmart, the nation’s largest retail employer is in the process of building the very first of its planned six brand-new stores in Washington, D.C., but the liberal city council plans to welcome them into the city with new legislation mandating that the company "pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the city’s minimum wage." Yet in his 27- paragraph story in the July 11 Washington Post, staff writer Mike DeBonis ignored how the legislation exempts large retailers with unionized workers from paying the premium minimum wage.
The Arkansas-based retailer has threatened to halt construction on its planned six stores, citing the fact that the added labor costs inject uncertainty about the profitability of the operations given the new law's mandates. DeBonis noted that the law requires "[r]etailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger would be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour." Curiously, however, DeBonis failed to mention an exemption in the law that shields unionized companies like grocery chain Safeway from the bill. DeBonis choose to cite union supporters who support the de facto tax on Wal-Mart, without explaining why unions would love a proposed law that would exclude them from its penalty.
Ed Schultz continued his weekly tirade against Republicans Sunday, arguing for a second straight week that the GOP is engaged in an all-out war against minorities.
After accusing conservatives of wanting to “keep a minority down” on last week’s Ed Show, the bombastic MSNBC host was at it again on Sunday, accusing Republicans of “attacking minorities” in their attempt to block President Obama’s appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
MSNBC’s Ed Schultz will take any and every opportunity to bash Tea Party conservatives, even if it means exploiting a terrible tragedy to do so. The bombastic host did just that on Sunday, using the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh to blast Republicans for supporting the removal of burdensome regulations on American businesses.
Schultz introduced his segment with scenes from the horrible incident, huffing: