February 28, 2010

Obama: Kryptonite for unions
— Purple Avenger

I'm guessing this is not quite the change the unions were hoping for.

...Even more troubling for unions, their membership in the private sector fell 10 percent during Obama's first year in office to a historic low of 7.2 percent. A poll this past week from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 41 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of unions, compared with 58 percent in a similar survey in 2007...
Well, what did they expect? This is after all, a historic presentdency. Historic things should not be unexpected.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 06:32 AM | Comments (52)
Post contains 103 words, total size 1 kb.

1 That was a union guy throwing the grenade in the sidebar link. And there were 10 unseen union guys watching him doing stuff like quality control, scheduling, supervising, and handling grievances.

Posted by: Mephitis at February 28, 2010 06:35 AM (SF74+)

2

 

Obama is the pinky ring union thugs bestest friend.

Obama is the pinky ring presidential thug currently sitting in the people's house, but not for long. 

Posted by: Fish at February 28, 2010 06:36 AM (M5t+h)

3 But didn't their numbers increase dramatically in the public sector this past year?  I thought I just read this somewhere recently.

Posted by: Tami at February 28, 2010 06:37 AM (VuLos)

4 To the Obama left, public sector unions are much better anyway. More reliable Democrat voters. And you don't have to worry about foreign or non-union competition beating them on price.

As John Derbyshire often points out, the private sector is for suckers. High pay, tax-payer funded pensions, job security ... and the best part is you don't even have to do anything. As long as you can punch the clock from 9 to 4 you're golden.

Posted by: ed at February 28, 2010 06:38 AM (+ABdJ)

5 Realclearpolitics:

Michael Barone article:

But union membership is still growing in the public sector. Last year, 37.4 percent of public sector employees were union members. That percentage was down near zero in the 1950s. For the first time in history, a majority of union members are government employees.

http://tinyurl.com/yzncd73

Posted by: Tami at February 28, 2010 06:40 AM (VuLos)

6

No wonder the Usual Suspects are pissed off about Citizens United - they realize their ability to corrupt influence politicians ain't what it used to be. 

But then again, the Usual Suspects would have everyone believe that only those dastardly Republicans and eeeeevil conservatives occupy the corporate world.

Posted by: Burn the Witch at February 28, 2010 06:43 AM (U37Ux)

7 HOPEY CHANGEY!

Posted by: Harry Reid at February 28, 2010 06:44 AM (7GgDy)

8

Look for...the union label...

If you want to...be out of...a job...

Posted by: AmishDude at February 28, 2010 06:46 AM (Vo2Ef)

9 The Unions would rather be feared than loved.

Posted by: Socratease at February 28, 2010 06:49 AM (sE6Ao)

10 Ripe pickings for President Palin to put the unions on the ropes with reducing the gummint workforce and dumping Gummint Motors to anybody with the cash for fire sale prices.

Posted by: nickless at February 28, 2010 06:53 AM (MMC8r)

11

To be truthfull, I suspect that a lot of the unionized mills and plants were the first to be closed during the downturn.  Also, in the North and CA the building trades are all union and they are hit hard.

In any case the unions have steadily killed every industry they were heavy in. Now all that is left of any size is government employees and they are killing the government as fast as they can now.

 

Posted by: Vic at February 28, 2010 06:53 AM (QrA9E)

12 they are killing the government as fast as they can now.

A silver lining!

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 28, 2010 06:55 AM (n4CPD)

13

Isn't the coal industry heavily unionized?  Oh, they must love Obama.

Posted by: AmishDude at February 28, 2010 06:57 AM (Vo2Ef)

14

Isn't the coal industry heavily unionized?  Oh, they must love Obama.

Posted by: AmishDude at February 28, 2010 11:57 AM (Vo2Ef)

Eff 'em.  They knew his stance on coal before the election and their union endorsed him anyway.

Posted by: Tami at February 28, 2010 06:59 AM (VuLos)

15 they are killing the government as fast as they can now.

A silver lining!

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 28, 2010 11:55 AM (n4CPD)

Until the biggest bailout tab in American history hits.

Posted by: Union Pension Funds at February 28, 2010 06:59 AM (ucq49)

16 For the first time in history, a majority of union members are government employees.

And we all know those gov't employees sure need unions to protect them from....um, exactly WHO?  Their employer, the government??  It's ABSURD for government employees of any stripe to feel the need to unionize. 


Posted by: Twinks at February 28, 2010 07:00 AM (wRPBa)

17

There is one thing that all unions require of thier membership, regardless of race or creed.

 

You have to actually have a job.

No 'labor', no union.

Posted by: Liberalnitemare at February 28, 2010 07:01 AM (09Qdq)

18 The SEIU membership is increasing, but I think it will be much harder to effectively strike in a low-skill, low capital investment work like theirs. 

Posted by: pep at February 28, 2010 07:03 AM (0K3p3)

19 To be truthfull, I suspect that a lot of the unionized mills and plants were the first to be closed during the downturn.

And how many times have unions voted to close down a business entirely, rather than accept a smaller wage increase than they expected?  Mercury Marine dodged that bullet last summer, when the rank-and-file voted against the wishes of the bosses...

Posted by: HeatherRadish at February 28, 2010 07:05 AM (OkT2m)

20 As long as you can punch the clock from 9 to 4 you're golden. Posted by: ed at February 28, 2010 11:38 AM That's 8 to 5, Boyo!

Posted by: Hope Changington at February 28, 2010 07:05 AM (v/1e0)

21

There is one thing that all unions require of thier membership, regardless of race or creed.

 You have to actually have a job.

No 'labor', no union.

I respectfully disagree.

There are plenty of union members that are laid off permanently and can't find work. Yet they still pay their dues, because they *believe* that union membership will benefit them. 

Labor unions require you to pay DUES. Not have a job.

Posted by: shibumi at February 28, 2010 07:08 AM (OKZrE)

22 >>The SEIU membership is increasing, but I think it will be much harder to effectively strike in a low-skill, low capital investment work like theirs.

Yeah, all they can really offer is strong-arm thuggery...

Posted by: evil midnight bomber what bombs at midnight at February 28, 2010 07:08 AM (hCQG5)

23 This administration has come to the point were UNEXPECTED is a daily occurrence.  Kinda blows the idea of 'the bestest administration, evah!'.

Posted by: GarandFan at February 28, 2010 07:11 AM (6mwMs)

24 Yeah, but they are in charge of all those jobs in the only sector growing - government. If you're in charge of 99% of the government employees why care if your regular members are all laid off? They have never cared about the worker only power.

Posted by: ChicagoJedi at February 28, 2010 07:26 AM (WZFkG)

25 And of course, Odumbass appoints Andy Stern to his deficit panel or whatever the hell it's called.

Posted by: conscious and keeping up on the news at February 28, 2010 07:28 AM (Vu6sl)

26 "And of course, Odumbass appoints Andy Stern to his deficit panel or whatever the hell it's called."

That was unexpected and what could go wrong?

Posted by: scituate_tgr at February 28, 2010 07:30 AM (Pkzs3)

27 When they are all working for the government, they can vote to tax each other to pay for ever increasing wages and benefits.  Of course, the only thing left to buy will be produced by those same workers.  More TSA inspections, more BATF raids, more Dept of Ed memos, more IRS audits...

Welcome to hell, suckers.

Posted by: MarkD at February 28, 2010 07:31 AM (0FVgz)

28 Hi and howdy-doody! I'm the union man You can call me Rudy Any of ya'll not paid up on your cards?

Posted by: Alex at February 28, 2010 07:32 AM (sAP8F)

29 Market competition can and does serve as a check on abusive union power. Everyone understands the concept of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. No such check exists in the case of government unions. Come the Tea Party revolution, maybe there'll be a move to outlaw them once and for all.

Posted by: Bugler at February 28, 2010 07:34 AM (YCVBL)

30 unions, their membership in the private sector fell 10 percent during Obama's first year in office


We all know that union membership was useful as proxy for global temperature, at least until membership started going down, but can union membership be a proxie private sector employment?

Posted by: Druid at February 28, 2010 07:35 AM (Gct7d)

31 The solution? The well named "Employee Free Choice Act".

Posted by: Pecos Bill at February 28, 2010 07:39 AM (8WOM0)

32 can union membership be a proxie private sector employment?

Anything can be a proxy for anything when you analyze it with enough faith.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 28, 2010 07:40 AM (n4CPD)

33

Yes, I know unions have devolved into little more than an extention of the socialist/democrat agenda.  I've seen it first hand, as I've watched my union dues go to politicians I stand against every election cycle.  I watched as my dues have gone to save the jobs of the worst 5% of employees.  I've complained, I've voted against abritation for these slugs, to no avail.  The union line is that saving the jobs of the worst of the worst offers more job security to people like me.  Of course, the company's response is to eliminate jobs where the trouble employees are concentrated, which is hardly true job security, as babies get thrown out with the bath water.

But, let's admit something.  Unions in their heyday had enough political clout to enact changes in law that we all benefit from today.  The forty hour work week, child labor laws, overtime pay, redress for unjust termination, just to name the most important.  If we go back in time far enough, an honest person would admit the pendulum had been swung well in favor of the "company", and unions had their place.  So take a five second break from union bashing, and give a little polite golf clap for the good they once did.           OK, done.

And one more thing of a personal nature.  I work within proximity of a radio, and use that opportunity to listen to talk radio.  I would ask that please, those of you who call into talk shows, differentiate between the workers and the union leadership in your rants.  Union workers are routinely disparaged as lazy, loutish, lazy, brutish, uneducated, lazy, mouth breathing troglodytes who threaten violence if they don't get their way. (Sound familiar, Tea Party morons?)  We aren't all as portrayed.

It's hard to stand shoulder to shoulder with people who ball kick you so often that one must wear a cup to listen to the radio.      /rant off

Posted by: NonLazyUnionConservative at February 28, 2010 07:41 AM (Poe30)

34

A good indication that liberals and unions are in control:

http://tinypic.com/r/2s7dism/6

 

Posted by: conscious and keeping up on the news at February 28, 2010 07:43 AM (Vu6sl)

35 That's it. Your fingers are ours!

Posted by: Some Union PR Guy at February 28, 2010 07:44 AM (bgcml)

36 We have a union--I don't belong.  Our tiny agency functioned on military rules as late as the 1970s--now women don't have to wear pantyhose, so that's a plus.  We work hard (no overtime pay!) and only want to do our best for our citizens.  Of course, we're an old-fashioned agency--the youngsters here are modernizing the computer systems and all--but seriously, guys, we really do believe we are serving your interests.  We're trained to be very polite to citizens who call or write, we try our best to educate the citizens of our country as to what's going on, and we really believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights and all, even to not bad-mouthing the anarchists when they come to town and smash things up--we believe all citizens have complete freedom of expression.  Please, guys, there are a lot of government workers who only want to do our best for you.

Posted by: ushie at February 28, 2010 07:48 AM (1kwr2)

37 Did anyone suggest this spin yet? 
"Working people no longer feel the need to join unions because, for the first time in their lives, they trust the President."

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2010 07:49 AM (Kn9r7)

38 38 Did anyone suggest this spin yet? 
"Working people no longer feel the need to join unions because, for the first time in their lives, they trust the President."

Oh, that's good.

Rahm and Axelrod are going to find you and try to hire you.

Posted by: shibumi at February 28, 2010 07:53 AM (OKZrE)

39

Polar Bear admonishes Al Gore: http://tinypic.com/r/e5kccw/6

Posted by: conscious and providing Al Gore humor at February 28, 2010 07:58 AM (Vu6sl)

40 It is obvious that the peole who asked the questions for the Pew poll were not union thugs.

Posted by: Buffalobob at February 28, 2010 07:58 AM (XjviO)

41 Rahm and Axelrod are going to find you and try to hire you.

I've been "funemployed" for quite a while now, but I'm not that desperate. 

My dad, who is a good guy but was a fed employee most of his life, suggested I look into federal jobs.  I did check, but there are not the right type in my area... but, even if there were, I'd have a very hard time working for the gubmint. 

Posted by: Y-not is clinging to her immortal soul at February 28, 2010 08:07 AM (Kn9r7)

42

Oh and speaking of Unions. The median price of a home in the great Union city of Detroit is $7500. No I didn't leave off a zero. Seven thousand five hundred dollars. How's that union shop working out for ya? Here is a quote from one of your local politicians.

"On a positive note, Detroit’s homicide rate dropped 14 percent last year. That prompted mayoral candidate Stanley Christmas to tell the Detroit News recently, “I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but there just isn’t anyone left to kill” . .

Posted by: Buffalobob at February 28, 2010 08:12 AM (XjviO)

43 If you belong to a Union you are paid more than you are worth and you are killing your business. Anyone who is paid more than they are worth thru the force of intimidation is a thug by extension. You may not think you are a thug but you benefit from the thugs and stay in the Union. Thug in law ...

Posted by: Jeff at February 28, 2010 08:14 AM (ZG0/E)

44

Its more insidious than you think.  As the USAF pays bills, one thing that drives the "bill" to the military, operational units are the Unions.  At one base, where we were looking for some savings,  (test organization), we couldn't because it would cost 100s of millions to buy out the union contracts.  Guess who doesn't have union contracts?  Active duty AF!!!

Even though the number of bodies is fixed, they dont have to have equip, O&M $, etc.  So yeah, we (active duty AF) will be taking it in the shorts.

So they dont have to.

for the warfighter.

Posted by: MikeB at February 28, 2010 08:30 AM (S9qXv)

45

34 is correct to a point (sorry, I realize it does depend larely on the union, but some of them really do seem to go out of their way to keep the slackers and the slugs on board and that's bs, and they're outrageous in their demands, again bs -- UAW is a prime example; yes, I realize a lot of the rank and file are pretty disgusted with it too -- then do something to clean up your unions or suffer the consequences).  The problem with the private sector unions isn't the idea of a union; it's the corruption and ineptitude (that's rewarded) within the unions. The private sector unions are rife with people at the top who are not representing their workers at all (in fact, if my dad's old union is any example the top brass in the unions are in collusion oftentimes with corporate), and they can do this because in some industries you almost have to be union to get work -- this is bs; the unions need restructuring, and the workers need to start having some "tea parties" of their own.  That said, the unions in and of themselves do serve a purpose (corporate is hardly pure as the driven snow; checks and balances and all that).

Posted by: unknown jane at February 28, 2010 08:48 AM (5/yRG)

46

7.2 today , tommorrow twice as few.    anyway all those promises were during the election, it's over.... i had to pay our banksters and insurance companies, or they would stop laundering all that arab money...

 back when i was a little jihadi , we loved to t-bag each other... i mean we had to because all the women looked like camels

 

Posted by: hey, barry here at February 28, 2010 09:15 AM (91IME)

47 They are doing everything they can to force unionization. Trust me, they'll be fine.

Posted by: Saint at February 28, 2010 09:23 AM (AiST5)

48

OK Jeff, since you've thrown down the usual gauntlet, a few points to consider:  

You plainly declare as if it were fact that all, repeat, all union workers are paid more than they are worth.  As a point in fact, 4 years ago the private sector workers in my industry were making more overall compensation, on average.  Perhaps you'd like to rethink your blanket statement.

Second, you use some partial logic based on a not-quite-true premise to equate union workers with the "thugs" at the top.  Wouldn't that be somewhat akin to saying that all who work in the banking industry are greedy rich fat cats, including the teller who works at your local Wells Fargo branch?  You then take that poor logic to its end, smearing union employees with the tag "thug in law".  Perhaps you've heard of closed shops, wherein the employees have no choice but to belong to the union or quit their jobs?   Would you suggest that employees in a union shop quit their gainful employment in this economy and become wards of the state?  IMO, that would be rather foolish and counter-productive.

Thug in law....as I've mentioned earlier, it's no wonder I have to wear a cup to be conservative and in a union.  I get the same ball-kicking from union leaders who learn of my political leaning, so don't think I am thin skinned.  I'm just pointing out that you've proven my point for me.  Thank you for that.

Posted by: NonLazyUnionConservative at February 28, 2010 09:45 AM (Poe30)

49 You really need to cut back on the excessive bold face, multi-colored text and super-large fonts.  It makes the text harder to read and kind of ruins the effect.

Posted by: Seriously, dude at February 28, 2010 11:14 AM (tt+w4)

50

34  I would ask that please, those of you who call into talk shows, differentiate between the workers and the union leadership in your rants.  Union workers are routinely disparaged as lazy, loutish, lazy, brutish, uneducated, lazy, mouth breathing troglodytes who threaten violence if they don't get their way. (Sound familiar, Tea Party morons?)  We aren't all as portrayed.

 

Unfortunately, the only union members the general public encounters are the highly visible "public employee union members", i.e., bus drivers, people who work at various govt office and don't answer their phones or cheerfully help the next person in line, etc.

 

Since only 7% of the private sector is unionized, we are much more likely to encounter that 93% of union members who are public.

Posted by: Boots at February 28, 2010 11:52 AM (06JTY)

51

Ex-public employee "represented" worker here.

Did you know that that someone in charge of a 20 million dollar program is paid the same as the dude painting a hall in the State capital building.  Funny thing is they are both represented by the same union in the same bargaining unit.  That is what public employee unions do for you.  If your occupation is technical / professional; plan on working for 60% to at best 80% of comparative salary and benefits package as you would find within the private sector. This even factors in the the longer working hours associated in the private sector.

Public employees union organization can be defined as this; the “Union” is actually the leadership. The membership serves only as a revenue source. The union that I had the misfortune of representing me had the power to tax most of the state payroll at 1.7%. Most members were only members since “they are taking out of my check anyway”. The leadership happily holds back pay and benefits to expand membership through politicians support of such things as the EFCA and resisting right to work laws.

Unions as a whole have seen what happens to their power and revenue if they continue on with the old union model. The old model is UAW, Steelworkers, old style Teamsters and such. The new model is similar to Wal-Marts marketing approach, increasing revenue by increasing volume. You increase volume in part by lowering prices, hence newer public employee union contracts lag private sector compensation packages. The egregious PERS and other benefits public employees receive may be a legacy issue dictated by your hire date. I know in my case the public service benefits, health insurance and retirement, did not compare to the private sector however those hired during more lucrative contracts enjoyed plans envious to most folks.

Posted by: SEIU sucks at February 28, 2010 01:05 PM (3DcSm)

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