Union Politics

Here’s what the American Federation of Teachers union “agency fees” would have been spent on absent the favorable ruling in Janus vs AFSCME, which said that public unions can no longer make non-union employees pay into union coffers as a condition of employment.  These are actual resolutions to be offered at the AFT’s convention this weekend.

Keep in mind, too, that those agency fees typically ran to 60% to 80% of member union dues—which gives an idea of how much a public union’s intake was spent on politics rather than on member matters.

  • single-payer health care

Gun Control

done right.

A disgruntled customer in a George Webb restaurant took his anger out on one of the women employees, going behind the counter to physically attack her.

He didn’t get far: a fellow employee, another woman, drew her pistol and drove the thug off.  It seems that she has a concealed carry permit to go with her weapon, and George Webb allows its employees to carry on the premises.  With good reason, it seems.

But those on the Left would rather have the good guys—and girls—unarmed, so thugs like this can have their way.  Talk about a war on women.  Geez.

A Related Note

I wrote recently about the Court’s ruling on Janus v AFCME Council 31, which eliminated public service unions’ ability to collect “agency fees” from non union members.

The dissent by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by her three cohorts in the Court’s liberal wing is instructive, and it foreshadows the kind of government we can expect from today’s “liberals,” should they succeed in gaining control of one or both Houses of Congress and then of the White House.

The Supremes Get One Right

Resoundingly so.  Janus v AFCME Council 31 is a case originating in Illinois concerning a public service union’s ability to collect a per centage of ordinary union dues—agency fees—from non-union members who work alongside the union’s bargaining unit in for a government agency.  A 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent, Abood v Detroit Board of Education, upheld this ability.

The Court’s opinion (a 5-4 majority) is summarized in the syllabus:

The State’s extraction of agency fees from nonconsenting public-sector employees violates the First Amendment. Abood erred in concluding otherwise, and stare decisis cannot support it. Abood is therefore overruled.

Cynical Union

Recall President Donald Trump’s Executive Order limiting the amount of time public union employees can spend doing union business during their work day.

The American Federation of Government Employees has demurred and gone into court to seek an injunction blocking enforcement of the EO.  AFGE General Counsel David Borer insisted

We will not allow this or any other administration to trample on the Constitutional rights of federal workers[.]

This cynical claim is based on Borer’s insistence that his members’ freedom of association right is violated by the EO.

This, of course, is nonsense.

Private Enterprise and Social Media

In one of The Wall Street Journal‘s frequent debate articles, this time about whether businesses should allow employees to use social media at work, a couple of comments made by the pro-use debater jumped out at me.

When I first began helping companies use Twitter and Facebook more than a decade ago, every organization started with this question: how can we use social media without compromising our security and privacy obligations?

Out of Touch?

President Donald Trump signed three Executive Orders impacting public service unions.  One of interest to me is this one.

The third restricts how much on-the-job time federal employees can spend on labor-union duties.

Naturally, the unions management teams are in an uproar over the requirement to have their members spend their work time…working.

Time an employee spends on union activities is time not spent on the work for which the employee was hired.  Union activity work is an additional duty requested by the union; it needs to be done entirely on the employee’s own time.  This restriction is a good start, but the union task time needs to be eliminated altogether from the employee’s work time.  The Federal government—all employers, come to that—hire individual workers, they don’t hire unions.  Unions aren’t temp agencies that provide workers.

How Bad is a Vocational Education?

Especially compared with a formal college education?  Oren Cass, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, had some thoughts on that in a recent Wall Street Journal piece.

Elevating vocational education, and prioritizing its students, must begin with a substantial reshaping of American high schools. Vocational education will not succeed so long as culture and public policy consign it to second-class status—a dumping ground for students who interfere with what school districts consider their real mission, college prep.

It’s Not Your Company

Seattle wants to charge a head tax on businesses operating in the city, a tax whose amount would be just what it sounds like—a tax based on the number of hours worked by each employee the business has on its payroll.

In response to the proposal, Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, paused construction on a 17-story office tower in downtown Seattle.

In response to Amazon, the Left in Seattle, spearheaded by the Service Employees International Union-backed activist gang—Working Washington—wants Amazon charged with a felony.

A Teachers Union Strike

There have been teachers union strikes in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and now there’s one set to go off later this week in Arizona.  Readers know my disdain for union strikes generally: they’re nothing but legalized extortion—”nice business you got here.  Be too bad if something were to happen to it.  Like, say, it’s destroyed because nobody works here anymore.”  It isn’t possible to negotiate when the other party is sticking a gun in your ear—even if it’s “just” a metaphorical gun.

But it’s especially despicable when it’s a teachers union strike.  These persons are using children as hostages to back up their extortion.  And the Arizona one is all about ego and hurt feelings.