Unions

By Tom Blumer | February 25, 2013 | 12:37 PM EST

An Investor's Business Daily editorial on Friday confirmed a couple of items which seemed intuitively obvious but which I didn't prove on Thursday in my post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about the Department of Labor's outrageous decision to grant unionized workers at now-liquidating Hostess Bakeries "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA).

The first is that it will cost a lot of money, totaling an amount which appears to have a chance to come within striking distance of about half of the annual profits in the entire commercial baking industry. The second is that there is little if any evidence supporting DOL's finding that imports have seriously harmed the industry. Excerpts from that editorial (do read the whole blood-boiling thing), followed by a bit of analysis by yours truly, follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | February 21, 2013 | 9:36 AM EST

Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it had certified "more than 18,000 former Hostess workers around the country as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance." I'll save excerpts from DOL's inane announcement for after the jump.

The story has garnered some local coverage in areas affected by Hostess plant closures late last year, including a couple of regional Associated Press stories. But the AP, based on a search on "hostess," did not have a story at its national site as of 9 a.m. today, even though former Hostess workers in 48 states are affected. Additionally, virtually every story found in a Google News search on "Hostess trade adjustment" (not in quotes) is local in nature. Could this possibly be because doling out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to workers whose unions thought the company was bluffing when it said it would throw in the towel without acceptable labor contracts is more than a little embarrassing, especially when President Barack Obama is simultaneously claiming that the federal government will have no choice but to lay off and furlough employees if sequestration takes place?

By Matthew Sheffield | January 29, 2013 | 9:55 AM EST

Writing at National Review, John Fund has an important piece on the declining power and influence of labor unions. Given their significant contribution to aiding and funding the growth of government, this is a positive trend that deserves to be highlighted amidst much of the negative news that conservatives have faced recently, especially considering that this is truly a historic slide to irrelevance:

By Tom Blumer | January 25, 2013 | 9:26 AM EST

File this under "careful what you wish for."

In 2012, with a Democrat in the White House, union membership declined, not only as a percentage of the workforce, but in absolute numbers. Even though the related report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of employed wage and salaried workers increased by almost 2.4 million, union membership fell by just under 400,000. Union membership is down by over 1.7 million since 2008, and fell by 961,000 during the past three years of supposed economic recovery. These results aren't sitting well with Sam Hananel at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, whose reporters are represented by the Occupy movement-supporting News Media Guild. Excerpts from the AP reporter's Wednesday report follow the jump.

By Randy Hall | December 21, 2012 | 10:15 AM EST

Two weeks after he clashed with pro-union demonstrators protesting a law that gives workers in Michigan the choice of whether or not to join a union, Fox News contributor Steven Crowder has posted almost nine minutes of raw, vulgarity-laden footage.

Throughout the video, which was released to prove that Crowder and other conservatives in Lansing that day were attacked by union thugs, there's the incessant, irritating sound of someone at the protest beating on a drum.

By Tom Blumer | December 16, 2012 | 8:40 AM EST

Imagine for a moment if a Christian fundamentalist pastor publicly threatened a Democratic Party governor about to sign a legitimately passed bill into law with a long-term campaign of public harassment for doing so. Now imagine if that pastor extended that threat to include appearances at the governor's home and at his children's sporting events, and that Republican and conservative elected officials on hand during the pastor's announcement voiced no objection to the pastor's threats. All of that would be news, right?

Well, Detroit pastor Charles E. Williams II, described here as "Pastor, Historic King Solomon Baptist Church and President (of) National Action Network Michigan," made such public threats against Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his family this week -- and it's not news at the Associated Press, New York Times, or really anywhere except several center-right blogs and publications. Specifics from the coverage at Michigan Confidential follow the jump (HT the Weekly Standard; bolds are mine; video is at the link):

By Randy Hall | December 15, 2012 | 6:19 AM EST

The situation in Michigan resulting from the government's passage of “right to work" laws in a heavily unionized state reached a new level on Friday, when Fox News contributor Steven Crowder filed a complaint with the police regarding an attack on him by a protester.

“By calling in, he's in essence filed a complaint,” said Richard Hale, the shift supervisor at the Lansing post of the Michigan State Police.

By Ken Shepherd | December 14, 2012 | 12:30 PM EST

The same media that were "obsessive about the need for civility in the American public conservation" is deliberately ignoring the utter lack of civility, and worse, violence, from the left as evidenced by union thug violence this past week in Lansing, Michigan, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the December 13 Hannity program.

"What is key here is that reporters were there. That scene is crawling with journalists. They're all there. They're seeing it with their own eyes. It's not like they missed the story, it's not like they didn't have the footage, it's not like nobody told them about it," the founder and president of the Media Research Center noted on the weekly "Media Mash" segment. "They were there, they saw it. And still, they withheld it from the public," Bozell noted, going on to call for peaceful Tea Party protests of media censorship outside the headquarters of the major networks: [Watch the full segment below the page break]

By Matt Hadro | December 13, 2012 | 12:45 PM EST

Teamsters Union president James Hoffa warned on CNN Tuesday that there would be "civil war" in Michigan over thepassage of right-to-work legislation, but after anchor Brooke Baldwin made two brief mentions of it the CNN blackout began. In contrast, on the next day Fox News hammered the "civil war" threat as an example of radical rhetoric.

How bad was CNN's blind spot to the controversy? After Hoffa warned of "civil war," Baldwin simply repeated his words back to him. "[I]n the meantime, as you wage this civil war, what does this mean for unionized workers moving forward in Michigan?" she asked, without demanding how violent the union pushback would be.

By Jack Coleman | December 12, 2012 | 8:55 PM EST

Rachel Maddow is often absent from the MSNBC show which bears her name, thereby allowing one of her alternating guest hosts to serve up unintended comic relief.

Providing the hilarity last night was Washington Post blogger and Bloomberg columnist Ezra Klein, who predictably spun the story about Michigan legislators passing a right to work law (video after page break)

By P.J. Gladnick | December 12, 2012 | 5:04 PM EST

Shame on Steven Crowder for brutally smashing his face down upon the tender closed fist of union member Tony Camargo.

Although the network news shows are carefully avoiding committing themselves to real journalism by not reporting on union violence in Michigan, those of us who have access to the censored news via the Web are well aware of what is actually happening. And in order to keep up the pretense that  the the unions are mere innocents in the drama unfolding in Michigan as you can see in this video of union thug Camargo throwing punches at Crowder, the DUers at the Democratic Underground have come up with excuses that are both bizarre and hilarious.

By Clay Waters | December 12, 2012 | 3:49 PM EST

Wednesday's New York Times's front page featured Monica Davey's latest dispatch from Lansing, after the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed right-to-work legislation that would forbid unions to coerce membership dues from workers in the traditionally union-dominated state.

Davey's reporting has been consistently negative about the pro right-to-work side, and Wednesday's "Limits On Unions Pass In Michigan, Once A Mainstay" was no different. Avoiding the mob violence on the part of the union protesters, she noted neutrally that "Democrats and labor leaders vowing retribution at the ballot box and beyond" (what, exactly, does "and beyond" entail?).