Unions

By Tom Blumer | February 15, 2014 | 11:08 AM EST

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.

By Tom Blumer | February 15, 2014 | 12:50 AM EST

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):

By Tom Blumer | February 2, 2014 | 2:26 PM EST

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 nothing relevant, respectively.

By Tom Blumer | January 19, 2014 | 10:29 AM EST

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):

By Matthew Sheffield | December 13, 2013 | 5:29 PM EST

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.”

October 26, 2013 | 6:57 PM EDT

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.

By Matthew Balan | October 11, 2013 | 6:38 PM EDT

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:

October 8, 2013 | 6:49 PM EDT

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."

By Mark Finkelstein | September 27, 2013 | 8:22 AM EDT

Could Chris Hayes, the eggheady MSNBC host, be a secret admirer of conservative firebrand Ted Cruz?  The question arises in light of Hayes' new "Lean Forward" promo.

In it, Hayes hails those with "the courage to look power in the eye and say 'no.'"  Quick: in the current political context, who comes to mind?  View the video after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | September 13, 2013 | 11:18 PM EDT

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):

By Paul Bremmer | September 12, 2013 | 2:32 PM EDT

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.”

By Tom Blumer | September 11, 2013 | 10:11 PM EDT

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):