The Obamacare ‘Oops!’ (part 3)
ACORN spinoff, other left-wing groups push people into Obamacare (Labor Watch, November 2013 – PDF here)
By Matthew Vadum and Steven J. Allen
[This is the third of three articles from the November 2013 issue of the Capital Research Center publication Labor Watch. Previously: Part 1: 'Unions got the healthcare program passed, now want to exempt themselves' by John Vinci; and Part 2: 'Rivera and the War Room: How unions got Obamacare passed' by Steven J. Allen]
A corrupt union official who orchestrated massive campaigns involving identity fraud in furtherance of voter fraud and who covered up a million-dollar embezzlement will soon have unfettered access to confidential information on thousands of people seeking health insurance.
That man is disgraced ACORN founder Wade Rathke, and his shady union will soon be helping people enroll in Obamacare exchanges. Rathke’s labor vehicle, United Labor Unions (ULU) Local 100 in New Orleans, Read all »
The Obamacare ‘Oops!’ (part 2)
Rivera and the War Room: How unions got Obamacare passed (Labor Watch, November 2013 – PDF here)
By Steven J. Allen
[This is the second of three articles from the November 2013 issue of the Capital Research Center publication Labor Watch. Previously: Part 1: 'Unions got the healthcare program passed, now want to exempt themselves' by John Vinci; coming Monday, November 11: Part 3: 'ACORN spinoff, other left-wing groups push people into Obamacare' by Matthew Vadum and Steven J. Allen]
Unions were at the forefront in the desperate campaign for Obamacare.
The organization “Health Care for America Now!” included some 1,030 organizations and was the principal coalition working to pass the program. HCAN’s 20-member steering committee included the AFL-CIO, the Communication Workers of America, the teachers’ unions (both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), along with Working America, an AFL-CIO front group.
Taking the lead in organizing unions and their allies for Obamacare was Dennis Rivera. Rivera was the longtime head of the nation’s largest union local—Local 1199 (SEIU Healthcare Workers East)—until he left that job in 2007 to run SEIU’s national effort to organize healthcare workers. In his new position, he was working for Andy Stern, the SEIU president who would later be the most frequent visitor to the White House Read all »
This is the first of three articles from the November 2013 issue of the Capital Research Center publication Labor Watch.
►Coming Thursday, November 7: Part 2: ‘Rivera and the War Room: How unions got Obamacare passed’ by Steven J. Allen.
►Coming Monday, November 11: Part 3: ‘ACORN spinoff, other left-wing groups push people into Obamacare’ by Matthew Vadum and Steven J. Allen
The Obamacare ‘Oops!’
Unions got the healthcare program passed, now want to exempt themselves (Labor Watch, November 2013 – PDF here)
By John Vinci
Summary: Unions are largely responsible for the passage of Obamacare, but once the program was passed, they fought to get themselves excluded from it because of the costs it would impose on them. They have already succeeded in receiving hundreds of waivers, and now they’re proposing even more extreme waivers that would cost taxpayers billions.
Leaders of labor unions provided the political muscle that got Obamacare through Congress. They furnished the troops at the grassroots level and in the nation’s capital to block efforts to repeal or reform the program. They declared that Obamacare is the law of the land and must not be altered or abridged.
Today some of those same union officials say that Obamacare is a disaster that will harm working people in general and union members in particular. Now—surprise!—they want Obamacare changed in ways to benefit their unions. Read all »
Above the Law
Unions are often exempt from laws on extortion, identity theft, and whistleblower protection (Labor Watch, October 2013 – PDF here)
By Kevin Mooney
Summary: At the moment, labor bosses are demanding exemptions from the pains of the Obamacare law they fought to enact. But that’s just the latest in a long list of laws that unions are allowed to skirt.
It’s illegal for you to use violence or the threat of violence for economic gain. It’s unlawful for you to steal someone’s identity. If you try to freeze out competition to obtain a monopoly, regulators may come down on you. If someone in your organization exposes you for wrongdoing, that whistleblower is protected from retaliation.
On the other hand, if you’re a union boss, sometimes those rules simply don’t apply. You’re exempt from many laws that apply to regular people. Read all »
Amid violent protests from angry teachers and very powerful teachers unions, on Tuesday the Mexican government put its final touches on sweeping education reforms it hopes will not only improve school quality—but also reduce labor union influence.
Lawmakers and other critics argue that these powerful teachers unions are corrupt and have exerted too much control over hiring and review practices.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “[p]ublic disapproval (of teachers unions in Mexico) also derives from the growing awareness that the teaching profession is a union racket, not a public service.” The newspaper opined that, “[a] more powerful explanation (why teachers lost favor with the general public) may be that civil society is fed up with a corrupt system that gives a select few a free ride at the expense of the nation’s children.”
Until recently, teachers were able to sell their positions or pass them on to family members. They lived privileged lives at the expense of their students.
Mexico’s citizens and political leaders grew tired of the union corruption and failing schools.
And now, the unions have lost power.
Attack of the UFOs
“Alt-labor,” worker centers, and the rise of Union Front Organizations (Labor Watch, September 2013 – PDF here)
By F. Vincent Vernuccio
Summary: As union membership continues its steep decline, labor union leaders are trying to use new organizations, including “public charities,” to harass employers and keep the money coming in.
Organized labor’s old business model is failing and union leaders know it. Top officers like AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka acknowledge that to survive—to keep the rivers of dues money flowing—unions need to change. Trumka and his colleagues now talk openly about alternative forms of unionization in which the first goal is to not be the exclusive bargaining representative for workers.
They claim that the new models, if properly executed, would be beneficial to workers and unions, and to society. But the reality is different. For all the talk of reinventing organizing, Big Labor is really doubling down on top-down politics and on old tactics of intimidation.
In recent years, new labor organizations known as “worker centers” have been growing in number and in size. Little-known concepts such as “members-only agreements” have gone mainstream. Both of these entities do not need to go through the normal organizing process—which means unions do not need to persuade the majority of employees in a workplace to sign off on union representation. Increasingly these organizations are being called alternative labor unions or “alt-labor” Read all »
The Unions’ Own ‘1%’
The Laborers and other unions pay big, while feds look the other way (Labor Watch, August 2013 – PDF here)
By Luke Rosiak
Summary: Union leaders are increasingly distant from the everyday workers they claim to represent, with faster-growing pay and an entrenched ruling class, data show. Nepotism is in full force, union members complain, and the closest some second- or third-generation officials have been to a day on a job site is a class on labor relations at Harvard. With a small handful of persons controlling a multitude of related trusts, sometimes for decades, it should be no surprise the Department of Labor has found at least 89 cases where union members had funds embezzled by their own officials in the first half of 2013.
The Laborers’ International Union of North America says it fights for equality, for lowering the gap between the highest- and lowest-paid, and against the corrupt practices of corporate fat-cats who have politicians in their pockets and avoid paying their fair share in taxes. That’s the image the union wants to project.
The reality is different. The LIUNA presents a case study in the hypocrisy, self-dealing, and good-old-boy networking Read all »
Breaking the Bank
Unions fight a civil war over Amalgamated Bank (Labor Watch, June 2013 – PDF here )
By David Agnew
Summary: Amalgamated Bank is a union-controlled enterprise whose assets make it invaluable to a movement that is struggling to maintain money and membership. That explains unions’ vicious in-fighting to control it.
The battle over Amalgamated Bank has been won, and the winner is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the vanguard among unions for Obama-style “Progressives.” The story of SEIU’s victory is one of politics and betrayal and high stakes: control of one of the crown jewels of the labor union movement.
Amalgamated Bank is the nation’s only bank owned entirely by unions. It gives left-wingers access to cash, and it also gives them a friendly place to park their accounts (which, critics note, are often questionable). The bank provides “business” support for projects ranging from the Obama inauguration to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Through its management of pension funds, it gives the Left the opportunity to harass businesses that, in their view, support their enemies.
What happened with Amalgamated Bank Read all »
Will the Labor Department disarm employers in their struggle with the unions? (Labor Watch, May 2013 – PDF here )
By Diana Furtchgott-Roth
Summary: At the behest of unions desperate for new members, the U.S. Labor Department plans to make a major regulatory shift. The change has no basis in existing law or precedent, and it will harm labor-management relations while costing billions of dollars.
A shocking change in American labor relations is brewing at the U.S. Department of Labor, which is expected sometime soon to alter a major regulation. The change involves a new interpretation of the “advice exemption” of the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Specifically, businesses would have to disclose the names of, and fees paid to, attorneys and consultants who advise them on union-organizing activities. In turn, attorneys and consultants providing such advice would be required to disclose their client lists and the fees they receive.
In making this change, the administration would sweep away over a half-century of precedent and contravene both the clear intent of Congress and the law’s express language. This new regulation would violate Read all »
The Sinking Ship of Cabotage
How the Jones Act lets unions and a few companies hold the economy hostage (Labor Watch, April 2013 – PDF here)
By Malia Blom Hill
Summary: The Jones Act is a 1920 law that protects the U.S. maritime industry from competition. It also raises costs for many other industries, keeps foreign ships from helping when disasters like the BP oil spill strike, and seems to be slowly killing the very industry it’s supposed to protect.
It’s just a few lines of legislation, but it makes it necessary for Jacksonville, Florida, to bring in coal from Colombia rather than from American mines; it requires Maryland and Virginia to bring in road salt from Chile rather than Ohio; and it makes it cheaper for livestock farmers to buy feed from grain farmers in Argentina and Canada than from Americans. It has helped put many new ventures out of business, from an artisan pastry manufacturer Read all »