Unions

By Jack Coleman | March 29, 2014 | 4:47 PM EDT

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)

By Tom Blumer | March 3, 2014 | 9:47 PM EST

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):

By Tom Blumer | February 22, 2014 | 4:07 PM EST

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):

By Tom Blumer | February 18, 2014 | 3:15 PM EST

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):

By Tom Blumer | February 17, 2014 | 3:28 PM EST

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:

By Tom Blumer | February 15, 2014 | 8:21 PM EST

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):

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.”

By Kevin Mooney | 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.