Framing the Dialogue

Look For The Union…Money

union-labelAs I grew up with a staunch union member, I was only exposed to one side of the big union issue.  I remember a few times when my Dad went on strike, but his union never seemed to do more than picket.  I never remember any violence or prolonged strikes.  As I grew older and tended to be more conservative and as such more than a little leery of the relationship between unions and Democrats, my Father and I had more spirited discussions.  At one point, we were discussing President Clinton’s escapades with Monica in the Oval Office (I know that they never admitted to doing anything in the Oval Office) and he expressed the opinion that their actions did not constitute sex. 

We never discussed politics again.  I have never belonged to a union, but was forced to pay my “fair share” as the union technically negotiated my salary.  I did not like being forced to pay someone my hard, earned money and strove to get promoted and out of supporting the union.  As I have moved between jobs, I have always seemed to come in to contact with unions.  One company that I worked for continually got their clock cleaned by the union.  Over all, however, my experience has been fairly neutral. 

If you want to belong, good for you, but don’t force me to join or pay.

The union issue has become front page news lately.  Democrats (and a few Republicans) are trying to pass the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act.  I said misnamed because one of the provisions would allow for the elimination of a secret ballot.  This issue is so anti-American that former Democrat candidate for president, George McGovern taped a commercial against the legislation.

That is just one provision in the bill and it is the one that gets the most press.  Perhaps the more insidious component is the provision regarding contract negotiations when there is a strike or work dispute.  The provision is that should a contract not be negotiated within 120 days, the negotiations go to arbitration.  The arbiter in this case is the federal government and the award is binding. 

Could there be a bias from government toward unions?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 7.6% of private sector jobs are union while if you are a government worker you are five times more likely to belong to a union (36.8% belong to a union).  This does not prove bias, but when you look at other factors and issues, a trend seems to be developing.

Only 7.6% of private sector employees belong to a union.  Does that mean that big business prevents unions from organizing.  Not really.  Rasmussen conducted a survey earlier this year and only 9% of non-union workers wanted to join a union (81% did not want to join a union).  There was no breakdown between government versus non-government workers although Democrats are more likely to want to belong to a union.  My concern regarding unions tend to focus on folks at the higher pay grades.

Bill O’Reilly wrote an article about who routinely visits the White House.  Interestingly enough Andy Stern tops the list at 22 visits between the inauguration and the end of

ACORN/SEIU shared offices in New Orleans.

ACORN/SEIU shared offices in New Orleans.

October.  That is probably once a week when you consider how often President Obama is one the endless campaign trail.  In case you did not know, Andy Stern is the president of SEIU (Service Employess International Union).  The SEIU boasts over 2 million members and claims to be the fastest growing union.  Still, the AFL-CIO dwarfs the SEIU with 11.5 million members so why not have their president visit the white house.

Maybe it is the connection between SEIU and Obama’s former employer ACORN.  They probably knew each other from the old days and spend time together.  Maybe Stern likes to hoop with the Prez?  I am sure that it is all innocent.  Maybe Stern is visiting some of Obama’s advisers who have worked for big labor; Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Presidential advisor Ron bloom, presidential advisor Buffy Wicks, and White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard

That is what many people would allege that money will buy you.  Some people are just mistrustful since SEIU’s Andy Stern bragged about spending lots of union dues to elect Obama; “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we’re proud of it.”  The AFL-CIO reportedly spent $200 million to elect Obama .  This is the extreme of the program by unions to primarily support Democrat candidates.  The amount of money in favor of Democrat candidates is staggering.

What does all that money buy, allegedly?

  • At least five top positions as White House Advisers.
  • A seat at the table for TARP and STIMULUS strategy
  • Weekly meetings for Andy Stern at the White House.
  • Unflinching support for the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act
  • quid pro quoExpanding government health care (would take over union commitments)
  • Executive Order to blacklist non-union laborers from working on government projects
  • Obama slashed funding for the labor department’s investigation of Union corruption
  • United Auto Workers will own 20% of GM (Government Motors)
  • Signed Lilly Ledbetter Act as first piece of legislation.  Beside the warm fuzzy stuff, this basically eliminates statutes of limitations.

I do not mean to suggest that there was a quid pro quo for all of the union money, maybe you should follow the money.  There is an actual web site called follow the money which will allow you to see the money…and follow it. 

Your mission, if you choose to accept it is to follow the money.  If you sit back, don’t complain.

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