More proof arrived on Sunday that the New York Times will never forgive conservative Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for successfully taming his state's public unions and then surviving an expensive, union-funded recall election. Contributing “writer and musician” Dan Kaufman: “The Destruction of Progressive Wisconsin.” The text box: “Scott Walker has turned his state into a laboratory for the evisceration of labor.”
On Monday, ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News chose to punt on covering the first of work in 2016 for the Supreme Court with a blockbusters case concerning the future of paying dues to public sector unions that often go onto lobby for liberal causes (even if some of their dues-paying members disagree). In contrast, NBC Nightly News and Pete Williams offered a full segment on what’s arguably one of the Court’s top cases this term, but fretted that a ruling against unions “could deal a crippling blow” to them.
At the Associated Press, Wisconsin-based reporter Scott Bauer, who has spent the better part of the past five years describing Badger State Governor Scott Walker as "polarizing," has been given the opportunity to get involved with 2016 presidential campaign coverage.
Leftists and Democrats rarely earn negative descriptors in Bauer's reports, while Republicans and conservatives receive them routinely. Now that he has been tasked to cover Ted Cruz, Bauer has been using a scattershot approach, employing a plethora of negative terms, apparently in search of one or two which will cast the the Texas Senator in the most negative light possible.
The Chicago Public Schools system, from which came Arne Duncan, perhaps the nation's most execrable Education Secretary, is in serious financial trouble. So is the State of Illinois. Having already borrowed against next year's property tax collections, CPS somehow expects the state to bail out its underfunded pensions to the tune of $500 million. Though it has subsequently been narrowed, MRC-TV, in covering the district CEO's resignation over a federal no-bid contract investigation, reported in June that the district was facing "a $1 billion budget deficit" for fiscal 2016.
In the midst of all of this, the district's teachers union has overwhelmingly authorized a strike. In searching several current articles on the topic, the hardest things to find were answers to two questions any reasonable person would ask: 1) How much do teachers currently make? and 2) What are their contract demands?
Late Sunday evening, the United Auto Workers and General Motors reached a tentative four-year agreement shortly before the union's 11:59 p.m. strike deadline.
The agreement was expected, simply because the financial and political blowback of a strike at a company bailed out by taxpayers at a cost running into tens of billion of dollars back in 2009 would have been severe. Also expected: the press buying into and perpetuating the myth that the union made significant concessions to GM and Chrysler during the course of those two companies' respective corrupt bankruptcies.
The news coming out of Detroit about near-deadline negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and General Motors has been pretty quiet. As the Sunday 11:59 p.m. deadline approaches, the Associated Press only has a four-paragraph blurb indicating that the union wants to get a richer package than it just garnered in negotiations with Fiat Chrysler. A Reuters report goes into detail about GM's cost structure still being higher than that seen at Toyota's and Nissan's U.S. plants by about 15 percent and 31 percent, respectively. The New York Times is only carrying reports from the wires.
One note of substance about the UAW's strategy covered at Bloomberg News — surely known to others following the industry who are filing bland reports — is that it plans to milk the unemployment insurance system in the event of a protracted strike.
First Sanders, now Trumka—are there any capitalists left on the left? On the most recent Meet the Press, Bernie Sanders made news when Chuck Todd asked him if he was a capitalist. "No," shot back Sanders, "I'm a democratic socialist." Mark Halperin was obviously taken enough by the question as to pose it on today's With All Due Respect to Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.
"No, I'm a trade unionist, quite frankly," retorted Trumka. When Halperin tried to pursue the issue, Trumka laughed it off, calling it a "silly question." Silly? The biggest union boss in America opposes the economic system that made this country great and which creates the private sector jobs his members fill? Employers have to bargain with people who reject the very premise upon which their businesses rest? Silly? You're killing us, Richard. Or should we say "Mr. President," which was the obsequious way in which Halperin and co-host John Heilemann addressed Trumka. But kudos to Halperin for posing and then pursuing the question.
Following Vice President Joe Biden’s very publicized appearance, Late Show host Stephen Colbert also welcomed Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to the program Thursday night, but it was anything but friendly as Colbert hammered Kalanick on the effect his company has had on the taxi industry, surge pricing, the Uber Eats initiative, and driverless cars. Colbert demanded: “What is your response to Uber kills professional, good-paying jobs and it's unfair to the drivers and it's destroying the cab industry.”
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank is obsessed with tearing Wisconsin Governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker down, and is clearly not above distorting the facts to make his pathetic points.
Milbank's latest tirade is about how Walker is allegedly "so dangerous" because he doesn't like unions. That's based on quite a bit of direct experience, which has included death threats against him and his family, frequent harassment of his parents, and attempts by labor to intimidate businesses which wouldn't publicly express support for their cause.
I guess the slogan of labor has changed from "Look for the union label" to "Look for the union waiver."
The Los Angeles Times published a long front-page story early this morning on an issue some people thought disappeared after its initial exposure two months ago. The issue is whether union workers should be exempt from minimum wage laws, especially the sky-high minimums being enacted in some U.S. cities. To those who have been unaware of the issue up until now and are thinking that all of this must be a joke — it's not. It's just that the press, which not coincidentally has a higher percentage of union members than the private sector as a whole, has barely noted it.
The company officially known as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in five years. This time around, the storied "A&P" name may completely disappear.
Coverage at USA Today by Nathan Bomey notes that "About 93% (of its workers) are represented by one of 12 different unions, and many of them have bumping rights that the company has described as a big barrier to reducing costs." Coverage at two of the three major business wire services, the Associated Press and Reuters, failed to mention the word "union" at all.
This has to be the month's top entry in the "Just when you think you've seen it all" category — and it will be more than a little interesting to see how the nation's press handles it.
As the Associated Press reported a week ago, the City Council in Los Angeles, by a vote of 14-1, ordered the drafting of a law mandating a citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2020, noting that "the support of Mayor Eric Garcetti virtually guarantee its eventual adoption." Now that it's almost a done deal, labor unions whose members earn less want to be exempt from the law. Seriously. And it's not that the unions were caught off guard, because the person who is most visibly arguing for the exemption "helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition"! Apparently caught completely flat-footed, three Los Angeles Times reporters, in a rare break from the paper's non-stop leftist bias, filed a fair and balanced report on the truly offensive situation.