Sep 3, 2007

Labor unions are helping stop the mad and insane race to the bottom

As we celebrate this Labor Day holiday today, we should be ready to combat conservatives and Republicans in their war against the middle class and unions when the day is over.

In the race to the bottom in this country the Republicans in Michigan are waging all out war against living and decent wages for workers and trying to destroy unions in the process. There are bills in both the House and Senate to make Michigan a right to work for less state, and if that doesn’t work there’s a group poised to launch a petition drive to put it on the ballot. What is even worse is these are the same people who put the racist and deceptively named “Michigan Civil Rights Initiative” on the ballot, and they used shady tactics to collect signatures.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is also pushing to abolish Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law. The same Mackinac Center is also pushing privatization as a way to bust unions and drive wages down, and in some cases it is working. If you need any more proof that we need labor unions, a couple of reports in the corporate media illustrate it even further.

A report from Booth Newspapers reported on the outrageous salaries and perks CEOs make. It seems funny that we can throw money at these people who are not doing the job, but we can’t pay workers a decent wage. The money we throw at these people is ridiculous: like the Lions signing Scott Mitchell for $11 million in 1994.

“But the story is much brighter for CEOs of major corporations and the wealthiest in society.
CEOs of major corporations earned 262 times what average wage earners made in 2005, the latest available figure from the Economic Policy Institute shows.
In 1965, CEOs earned just 24 times an average worker's salary, according to the EPI.
Another study from The Corporate Library, a corporate governance watchdog group in Portland, Maine, said the average CEO of a company listed in the Standard & Poor's 500 made $14.78 million in 2006. And the poster child for excessive CEO pay recently moved to Michigan.
He's Robert Nardelli, the new CEO of Chrysler LLC. The former CEO of Home Depot, Nardelli left the company under fire for its poor stock performance and his excessive pay. Nardelli walked away from Home Depot earlier this year with a $200 million severance package.”

As the CEO of Home Depot Nardelli made $38 million, or roughly $100,000 a day, in 2005, but the average worker who is selling the product and is the public face of the company is making just $10 an hour on average with few if any benefits. He made this outrageous salary despite the company’s stock going down 6 percent in six years. To me, that’s just an amazing stat.

The same report also disputes the rosy picture people like Leon Drolet and others behind the right to work for less scam are painting for states that are already right to work for less states.

“But the new census figures show that many right-to-work states, including South Carolina, Alabama and Texas, had higher poverty rates and fewer people with health insurance than Michigan.“

If you still don’t believe we don’t need unions check out this story in today’s Battle Creek Inquirer that says, “four out of six occupations with the highest employment in the state in May 2006 had a median hourly wage below the poverty wage for a family of four, the report from the Michigan League for Human Services said.”

"We're growing a lot of low-paying jobs and they aren't jobs that can support a family," said Sharon Parks, vice president for policy for the league, a policy and advocacy group for low-income residents. The study also said that in 2005 nearly a quarter of all Michigan workers were employed in jobs paying less than the poverty wage level for a family of four.
"We've got a lot of untapped human capital and we need to be able to invest in these workers," Parks said.

Have fun, relax, enjoy yourself today, but lets be ready to fight off this attack on the middle class and unions come Tuesday.


liberalshateusa said...

Does the Union want to help the average America or just get more dues paying members to pad the fat pockets of there liberal cronies.

Union's Health Care Push Bad for Workers, Analyst Says
By Nathan Burchfiel Staff Writer
September 04, 2007

( - A new push for national health care launched by organized labor is an effort to bypass union-employer bargaining disputes and will end up hurting union workers in the long run, according to an analyst for the libertarian Cato Institute.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) officially launched last week its "campaign for America's healthcare," an effort that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said will "put the full force of the 10 million union members and three million union retirees behind winning high-quality, secure health care for every person in America by 2009."

The union will work with grassroots organizations supporting nationalized health care to make the issue a central focus of the 2008 president election. "We will hold candidates at every level responsible for supporting comprehensive, progressive national health care reform, and we will elect a president and a Congress prepared to turn their campaign promises into reality," Sweeney said.

The group is not supporting a specific plan but wants one that "controls rising and irrational costs," "preserves the right to choose and use your own doctor" and "asks our government to play a strong role to curb corporate greed and incompetence and ensure more fairness and efficiency," among other demands listed on its Web site.

The AFL-CIO has also launched a petition drive. It is urging members to sign the online petition to voice their belief that "in America, no one should go without health care. It is time to fix our broken health care system."

The petition repeatedly mentions the United States' wealth and power and says it is "wrong for anybody in this wealthy and powerful nation to go without good, affordable health care coverage."

The union says workers are facing higher health care costs to maintain their existing coverage, "and those rising costs eat away at their income and living standards." It also points to U.S. Census Bureau data showing that 47 million Americans had no health care coverage in 2006.

Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, said he wasn't surprised that the labor movement would inject itself into the national debate over universal health care.

"Health care is a very frequent cause of dispute between labor unions and management," Tanner told Cybercast News Service. "More strikes last year had to do with health care benefits than had to do with wages."

He said that if health care was nationalized, "it would be one less thing that unions are forced to bargain over and could allow them to turn their attention to things like wages, rather than having to deal with things like health care benefits."

The other benefit for the AFL-CIO would be the potential for increased membership, Tanner suggested. One of the AFL-CIO's largest unions in is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

A massive new government program would require numerous employees who could be unionized by the AFL-CIO. "Think of all the new jobs regulating and managing this type of program," Tanner said.

But, he said, universal health care "would be bad for those workers who find that they don't have the access to health care they have today, that they'd be paying higher taxes for health care."

Criticizing the ambiguous petition AFL-CIO is asking its members to sign, Tanner said that "when you get down the specifics, people are a lot less supportive."

"The American public wants all the health care they want, they want it with no wait, they want it with the doctor of their choice, and they want it for free," he said. "These are mutually contradictory things. You can't have all of them, and that's why when you get into the details, when people find out they can't have all of them, they are less likely to support the proposal."

Communications guru said...

Well, hate America is back with a slightly different screen name. Where have you been all of this time, hate America? Perhaps a stint in the military?

Yes, the unions want to help the average American. That’s why they were formed and while they are still around. You can't be serious using a rightwing source for your union and middle class hating views? Why don’t you just use faux news?
If you don’t think this country does not need universal health care you have your head in the sand. It was unions that even got employers to give heath insurance as a benefit. I don’t see the connection between health care and unions.

John Galt said...

Folks in Detroit are driving around with a couple of bumper stickers.

One says "People in Michigan should care about Michigan. Buy American!". Another is "Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign."

Now I fully admit. I drive a Honda Accord. Built in Marysville, OH and 70% American parts & labor. I didn't want a UAW built vehicle, but I still wanted "American" made.

I like when I see these bumper stickers on Chrysler minivans (made in Brampton, ON, Canadia). Or on Chevy Impalas (65% American content/labor). I can understand folks driving Mustangs and F150s... those are almost 100% US Made... but someone driving a huge Dodge Ram (assembled in Warren, MI, USA with 60-65% American parts)... telling me my 70% American vehicle is putting USA at risk is ridiculous.

Buy American. Screw the UAW.

Communications guru said...

I appreciate the post, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. The only part I really get is your disgusting comment of screw the United Auto Workers, which means screw American workers and the middle class, but I get that from your side loud and clear. It seems inconceivable to me that you would rather drive an inferior car just to screw an American worker, and you would rather buy a product produced by an exploited worker. You must love buying Chinese goods where the Communist government really screws and exploits those workers. It’s funny that you like to like to call me a Communist, but you would rather support a Communist government over an American worker.

In fact, it was a trade union that helped speed the demise of communism in Eastern Europe, but somehow Regean gets all the credit. It was unemployed Polish electrician Lech Walesa and the Solidarity independent trade union that played huge roll in the demise of communism across the Soviet bloc.

When you buy from a foreign company that’s where the profits go back.

John Galt said...

I'm glad you think it's disgusting - I think it's disgusting what the UAW does to the American Worker and its products. I think the American workers and the "middle class" can get along without the UAW. Toyota has proven you can have union representation without the UAW and get good benefits out of the deal. When the UAW bosses make the decision to not use union labor for /their/ projects and events it's just as disgusting to me. I think it's funny that you insist that unless someone has union representation, they're being exploited. Typical far-left-wing socialist tripe.

You say "inferior car". Back it up. Show me 10 American cars that any reputable source considers "better".

Last time I checked, Japan wasn't communist. Nowhere in my post did I mention buying Chinese goods, but thanks anyways.

As for your claim that a trade union helped the demise of Commies in Europe, I need that sourced. I highly doubt what your claiming, and consider you a liar until you provide an independent source for the crap.

I bought from "Honda America", based in California. I'm glad to know my profits go back to California. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Communications guru said...

What is it that the UAW does to the American work and its products? What it does is make it better and gives them a living wage. That includes all American workers, even non-union workers.

Well, there would be no middle class if it were not for the UAW and other unions. If you really believe Toyota workers are getting the benefits you need to read this post, Unions raise the wages for all workers because they raise the wages. If people at one company are making $20 an hour other employers have to pay close to that or they all go to that company. With no unions companies plunge wages as low as they legally can. There post talks about Toyota’s strategy of building plants in poor, rural southern areas that are not accustomed to unions and organizing is working, and see what Toyota is doing to workers in their plant in eastern Kentucky. What union represents Toyota workers?

I never said Japan was communist, but you are telling me you want nothing but cheap good but you don’t buy goods made by the Communist Chinese government?

Are you honestly telling me you have never heard of Lech Walesa Solidarity? That’s just sad. Here’s the link you requested, but you could have just as easily typed in his name in Goggle and found the same information. I guess you didn’t want to. Your hatred of unions and workers is blinding you to reality and the truth.,9171,988170,00.html

I will accept your apology for calling me a liar when you make it.

Are you honestly telling me Honda is an American company with its headquarters in California?

John Galt said...

You're a continued liar.

but you are telling me you want nothing but cheap good but you don’t buy goods made by the Communist Chinese government?

I never told you any such things. Your continued input of things I never said into this conversation (and worse, claiming I said it) is continued proof of your lying nature.

You still haven't shown 10 American vehicles higher rated than the Honda Accord with more American content. So you're lying about that, too.

I am honestly telling you I bought my car from Honda America, based out of California. So, by your logic, the money is absolutely staying in America. But even if money went to Japan, why does it really matter? American workers got paid, American salesmen, etc. etc.

But also, by your logic, people who bought Chrysler vehicles (even the ones built in the USA) between 1998 and 2007 were sending their money to Germany. How eeeeeeevil of them. So what's the real problem here? It's not that the cars are foreign made, it's that they're not UAW made?

Communications guru said...

Who the hell do you think you are calling me a liar?

You wrote, “As for your claim that a trade union helped the demise of Commies in Europe, I need that sourced. I highly doubt what your claiming, and consider you a liar until you provide an independent source for the crap.”

I gave you there links to show you I was correct. I guess I don’t expect someone like you to apologize or to even acknowledge you’re wrong, but the decent and least thing you can do is stop calling me a liar based on your imagination.

Are you honestly telling me you have never purchased anything made in China? I can’t believe you have never been in a Wal-Mart. I never doubted Honda America HQ is in California, or you bought a Honda in the U.S. But that does not mean it’s not an American company. Here’s the contact info for the Head Office 2-1-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku Tokyo 107-8556, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3423-1111.

Here’s a link.

Actually, it’s you putting words in my mouth. I understand in a global market origins of manufacture get blurred. But for me, the Big 3 are American cars. I don’t give people a hard time for driving certain Japanese cars anymore, and I never gave you a hard time. Still, I have always drove, except the time I was stationed in Italy, an American made car. It seems to me the standard should be union made.

John Galt said...

Silly little liar. Trying to slink out of your failed efforts to put words in my mouth saying I prefer to buy chinese products. Silly little liar.

Yes, I call you a liar. You claimed that my car was inferior to UAW made products. Prove it, liar. Then you go on later to say "I don’t give people a hard time for driving certain Japanese cars anymore, and I never gave you a hard time.". Lies from a stinking liberal liar.

Assuming the money goes back to Japan (and not the stockholders who - in reality - take the profits as dividends), then why does it matter? Those UAW made Chrysler vehicles were sending the money back to Stuttgart, right? Again, why does it even matter?

Oh, that's right. Germany owns Chrysler, but it's still a "Big 3 American Car", so it's okay. It's okay because they were UAW made, so you can excuse where the money gets sent. You can excuse giving money to Germans, but not to the Japanese. Are you bigotted against them?

Again, you said in a previous post "but you are telling me you want nothing but cheap good". You accuse many others of lying when they do this, and yes - you are a big fat liberal liar. And trying to steer the conversation to an area not germane to the conversation.

I will continue to buy Non-UAW vehicles, because it seems they last longer and come from companies with both higher "perceived" and "actual" quality marks.

And just on a more genial note, thanks for sourcing your claim on the european labor union. Now that I don't consider you a liar about that, you can answer your other claims, as indicated above.

Communications guru said...

You’re just sad. Most intelligent people will see when you are proven wrong you just stoop to name-calling.

You’re just a sad person. I’m wasting my time with you. There are reasonable people out there with open minds that can be swayed with facts. Closed-minded people like you who just get angry when confronted with the facts aren’t worth the time. When confronted with the facts on Poland you twist words to somehow say I’m a liar.

John Galt said...

Big fat liar can't back up his words, can he? Aww, poor Commie Guru, what's the matter? Can't pull out the Consumers Reports on this one?

"There are reasonable people out there with open minds that can be swayed with facts."

What facts? I've asked you to prove my car is inferior. Saying something doesn't automatically make it a fact - back it up, liar.

Why would I be open minded about you lying and putting words in my mouth? And then lying when the facts are right in front of you - by saying "i never gave you a hard time" after a post where you say "you would rather drive an inferior car to screw the UAW". Prove it, liar.

And there are still two outstanding questions you have provided zero facts for. You made a contention that buying a foreign car sends the money back to that country. Not only is that wrong (the profits go back to the stockholders) but you can't even explain why it matters - you just make an excuse for Chrysler, because it's UAW made.

The second set of facts you've failed to provide are to backup your "inferior car" remark.

Good try trying to push the blame off to me, but you lie about confronting me with facts. The only facts you provided were sources for the claim Polish Unions were responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. You still have several other lies to clear up, Commie Guru.