Unions

By Tom Blumer | January 23, 2015 | 4:46 PM EST

Someone looking at the annual "Union Members" report released this morning by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics would logically conclude that 2014 was a year organized labor would rather forget.

While average nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased by over 2.32 million from 2013 to 2014, union membership only went up by 48,000, or about 2 percent of the nationwide increase. Additionally, the private sector's 41,000-person pickup in union membership was only 1.6 percent of its total 2.55 million increase. Yes, that means that public-sector union membership increased a bit while public-sector employment declined by 226,000. Of course, no such decidedly negative nuggets made their way into Labor Secretary Tom Perez's press release or Tom Raum's Associated Press report, excerpts of which follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Curtis Houck | December 18, 2014 | 11:52 PM EST

In addition to its slanted coverage of the news regarding Cuba, NBC Nightly News on Thursday offered up a biased segment against the growing transportation company Uber by using two incidents involving its drivers to conclude that Uber’s currently experiencing “a rough ride” over “increasing concerns” regarding safety.

NBC News correspondent Janet Shamulian only interviewed two individuals during her entire two-minute-and-19-second segment, with both being firmly against Uber and using the company as well.

By Tom Blumer | December 7, 2014 | 9:52 PM EST

Just before Thanksgiving, Our Walmart and the United Food and Commerical Workers went into high gear in their effort to draw attention to their advocacy of $15-per-hour minimum wage at the nation's largest retailer. Just after the holiday, I pointed to a column by the Manhattan Institute's Diana Furchtgott-Roth, who quickly discovered that many Kroger employees represented by the UFCW earn far less.

It didn't take much additional research to demonstrate that any fair and balanced reporting on the union's Our Walmart activities should note that "thousands of UFCW members, and perhaps even a majority, earn less, and often far less, than $15 per hour."

By Tom Blumer | November 28, 2014 | 1:55 PM EST

In a Tuesday column originally appearing at RealClearMarkets.com (found in more readable form at Economics21.org), the Manhattan Institute's Diana Furchtgott-Roth tore into the hypocrites at OUR Walmart, the union-backed effort to intimidate the nation's largest retailer into paying all employees at least $15 per hour.

In the process, Furchtgott-Roth noted a particularly important fact which I have yet to see reported elsewhere in the organized labor-sympathetic establishment press about the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW), one of the primary backers of today's OUR Walmart Black Friday protests. While UFCW demands $15 per hour for Walmart employees, many of its own members at other grocery chains often earn nowhere near that, and, under current contracts, never will (bolds are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | October 8, 2014 | 4:22 PM EDT

"More than 300 union members and their families from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia gathered at the Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters Tuesday to protest a proposal to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants that they said would kill jobs in Appalachia," the Washington Examiner's Zack Colman reported today. Colman also noted, that "Many of the protesters were reliable Democratic voters who said they were venting frustration not with their party, but rather with an Obama administration that they say is pummeling their communities with too-stringent regulations." 

By Seton Motley | August 18, 2014 | 8:52 AM EDT

It takes a special man to cram so much wrong into a mere 342 words.  Or an Old Grey Lady.

The New York Times utterly ridiculous Editorial Board recently as one addressed Title II Internet regulatory Reclassification and Network Neutrality - and they did so in utterly ridiculous fashion. 

They either have absolutely no idea what any of this is - or they are lying through their printing presses.

By Tom Blumer | August 14, 2014 | 2:58 PM EDT

Give the New York Daily News credit for surfacing a video which originally appeared at Ed Notes Online, a publication whose "about" page says it opposes "the education corporate-based reforms ... undermining the public school system" and exposes "the motives behind the education deformers."

The video shows Michael Mulgrew, the president of New York City's United Federation of Teachers, threatening to "punch you in the face and push you in the dirt" if you oppose the nationally imposed and controlled Common Core standards, and from all appearances laying claim to America's children as the property of its teachers. Give the rest of the establishment press — which routinely pounces on inflammatory statements coming from the right and distorts others into making them appear to be — demerits for almost completely failing to expose an education tyrant. Video and excerpts from the Daily News's coverage follow the jump.

By Kyle Drennen | August 14, 2014 | 12:53 PM EDT

On Thursday, the hosts of CBS This Morning interrogated former NBC and CNN journalist Campbell Brown and prominent liberal attorney David Boies over their effort to reform the public education system by eliminating a union sacred cow, teacher tenure. Co-host Norah O'Donnell began the segment by proclaiming: "This could be a watershed moment for America's public schools or a misguided effort to punish teachers for problems far beyond the classroom." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Brown explained that tenure "makes it almost impossible to remove a grossly ineffective or incompetent teacher or in some cases even an abusive teacher." In response, O'Donnell toed the union line: "But you both should answer this, what your critics charged. You've focused a lot of time and money and one of the best lawyers in the country on an issue like tenure, when many people say that budget cuts to schools and inadequate funding is really the reason why there's inequality."

By Tom Blumer | April 21, 2014 | 6:28 PM EDT

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):

By Ken Shepherd | April 21, 2014 | 5:31 PM EDT

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):

By Tom Blumer | March 30, 2014 | 10:13 AM EDT

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):

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)