Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Big Labor's Biggest Nightmare?: Janus v. Illinois

In true left-wing fashion, the Sacramento Bee is singing the praises of "public workers", when in reality they are buffing up the pride and pedigree of Democratic donors and the statist takeover of the state of California.

The public sector unions robbing the state of California right in the taxpayers' faces are about to face a day of reckoning.

The forced dues which they have stolen from workers to subsidized candidates and causes inimical to the best interests of the public are about to come to an end.

Check out this article from the Sac Bee:


California labor leaders sound almost apocalyptic when they describe a looming Supreme Court case that many of them concede likely will cost them members and money.

They should be scared. It's over. Their easy gravy train with taxpayer dollars is about to end.

“Everything is at stake,” says Yvonne Walker, president of Service Employees International Local 1000, state government’s largest union.

“It’s a blatant political attack,” says Eric Heins, the leader of the massive California Teachers Association.

It's only a political attack because the unions
“That’s a way that the corporations are trying to take our legs out from under us,” says Kim Cowart, a state registered nurse and SEIU union leader.

They’re alarmed by Janus vs. AFSCME, the Illinois lawsuit that challenges the rights of unions in 22 states to collect so-called “fair share” fees from employees who do not want to join bargaining groups but may benefit from representation. That practice has been legal and common since 1977, when the Supreme Court favored union arguments for fair-share fees in a lawsuit against the Detroit Board of Education.

It's not a "fair share" fee, since it is unfair to force individual workers into a union which is not "sharing" anything, as much as they are stealing from workers to enrich the overpaid labor leaders and their special interest handlers.

Since then, business-backed groups and politicians have chipped away at fair-share fees across the country. They contend that the fees subsidize a union’s political activities, undermining the First Amendment rights of some workers.


Now, unions anticipate a 5-4 Supreme Court decision banning the mandatory dues with President Donald Trump’s nominee on the court, Neil Gorsuch, tilting the balance against their side just a year after the court deadlocked on a similar case against the California Teachers Association.

Thank God for Gorsuch. Thank God for Trump replacing the well-informed Antonin Scalia with a man of consummate integrity and erudition. We need to reassert the rights of workers to join or not to join.

If Gorsuch breaks the tie as expected, public employee unions in California will not be able to count on collecting some form of dues from everyone they represent. Unions that operate in both “right to work” and “fair share” states say the shift could drive down membership by 15 percent to 30 percent.


“It’s not right that an employee who would pay nothing to the union for representation would still receive all the benefits from the collective bargaining process,” said Steve Crouch, director of public employees for International Union of Operating Engineers. His union represents maintenance workers in California and in right-to-work Nevada.

Then find ways to prevent people who do not join unions not to enjoy the benefits of union membership.

In that scenario, public employee unions would have less money to negotiate contracts, fund political campaigns and defend public employee pensions from the occasional voter initiative that aims to undo them. A Beverly Hills city councilman earlier this month, for instance, wrote an article for a California conservative blog that suggested weakened unions would help reformers address the state’s underfunded public employee pension plans.

“Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, public sector unions could lose some of their power, which might – just might – open the door to real and lasting solutions to California’s pension crisis,” John Mirisch wrote.
To hold on to power, public employee unions will have to shift to a model already used by California’s private sector unions that centers on motivating people to opt in to union membership even though they don’t have to. The model works for groups like the California Medical Association and the 400,000-member State Building and Construction Trades Council.

That's fine. At least they will be relying on persuasion instead of coercion. That is not a bad thing at all, but should be the moral expectation of every union.

“I think the public employees in the end will figure it out that they need a voice up here because there’s going to be a lot of voices against them,” said Robbie Hunter, president of the trades union.

Here’s a look at how the state’s public employees unions have been preparing for a loss at the high court.

Leaning on lawmakers

California unions worked the halls of the Legislature this year to give them a hand in solidifying their membership just in case the Supreme Court strikes down their fair-share fees.

One new law guarantees unions the right to meet with new public employees almost as soon as they start their jobs. Another bans public agencies from releasing private phone numbers and email addresses of workers, information that could be used by anti-union groups to persuade people to quit their bargaining groups.

Now I have a different set of concerns. We may be facing a set of in-house limitations to stop forced unionism. Will all of these sudden measures hurt taxpayer and municipal measures to stop forced unionism, coerced dues, and Big Labor bullying in our statehouse and throughout our state?

And one more law allowed 500 California Judicial Council employees to gain new bargaining rights.

Wow. Now our court system is filled with union hacks. No wonder court cases against Big Labor have fallen hard in California.

Union leaders say the law that gives them access to new employee orientation is particularly significant.

The union that represents California Highway Patrol officers, for instance, has an opportunity to meet new cops as they graduate from their academy. That gives officers a shared identity that helps translate to high union membership. The California Association of Highway Patrolmen does not charge fair-share fees, and its membership rate is north of 97 percent.

Those pension liabilities are killing the state of California coffers. Will they remain California's finest

Carrie Lane, the union’s chief executive, said the employee orientation law gives other labor groups similar opportunities to meet new workers early.

There is nothing wrong with labor leaders meeting with new members of any association or organization. There is something wrong with false advertising and coerced membership.

“A lot of the unions don’t have that. They don’t even know they have another (potential) member. It’s really important to be able to clearly demonstrate to their members the value of membership,” she said.

Talking about the case

The highest profile right-to-work campaign in recent memory took place in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker advanced policies that led to steep declines in union membership since 2010.

Nope. They forget about Michigan, where labor unions across the state and the country overwhelmed Lansing, Michigan. One union member punched a reporter on the ground who was reporting on the incident. They were violent and desperate in their actions.

Labor unions have relied excessively on mob violence during these desperate times. If they were providing such welcome services why are more workers leaving labor unions and opting for non-membership?

SEIU Local 1000 is pointing to Wisconsin on a section of the union’s website dedicated to the Janus case. The page contrasts low wage increases for Wisconsin civil servants since the state adopted right-to-work policies with SEIU’s latest contract, which netted a base wage increase of 11.5 percent over 42 months and higher raises for about a fifth of the workers represented by the union.

Yes, but the cost of living has decreased in Wisconsin, while all the forced wage hikes and arbitrary perks in California have not made the once Golden State any more affordable.

That lie about "right to work for less" is one of the basest canards pushed on the reading public. Forced unionism states may boast about higher wages, but those "higher" wages don't translate to stronger buying power.

In fact, costs rise so abruptly with these measures, that more people are fleeing forced unionism states. Job growth is stagnant or in decline, all while pension and benefits liabilities eat away at the already strained coffers.

I have one question: since when is forcing a free individual to join a union "a right"?

Walker, the SEIU president, said the difference in how public workers have fared in the two states shows the value of collective bargaining.

Those public sector unions should have never existed. There is no right for public workers to go against the public interest anywhere anytime.

“None of our members are billionaires, none of our members are large corporations with millions and billions of dollars,” she said. “My members are just average working people who want to have a collective voice in the things that are going to impact their lives and their communities.”

Blah, blah, blah. Unions want to play the Bernie Sanders "people are too rich" card. No one is listening anymore. The country has gotten richer in the last ten months since President Trump was inaugurated. Everyone is experiencing the new-found wealth, and there is nothing they can do about it.


Labor unions needs to serve their laborers, or they might as well as close up shop and go home.

Signing up new members

Union leaders are careful to say that they’re always trying to recruit more members, but some of them acknowledged those efforts are taking on greater intensity this year. The idea is to get workers in the union fold now and have a better chance of keeping them there if the court decision makes membership optional.

There you go. Unions are cover in their efforts to recruit and retain. They do not want the world at large to know that they poach workers and take their money, only to spend the cash on candidates and causes which are inimical to worker interests, including open borders, illegal immigration, bad trade deals, and the undermining of state and local safety.

“It does give all organizations a renewed emphasis to go out and recruit members,” said Bruce Blanning, president of Blanning and Baker, a consulting firm that represents state scientists and state engineers.

I forgot about the consultant class. They want to keep their jobs, too, do they not? They profit off of fear-mongering spread by labor unions. How abysmal.

Finding common ground

It’s hard to miss the Democratic leanings of most unions. SEIU 1000’s motto, “stronger together,” echoes Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Yet many labor union members did not feel stronger with Hillary Clinton. She announced to West Virginia coal miners that she would put them all out of business. She further announced her intent to allow cheap labor to cross countries and run around in the continents in the Western Hemisphere.

Purple-shirted SEIU members have shown up in force at immigration-related events this year, and fliers that read “#Resist” are common features at union offices around Sacramento.

Yes, unions who claim to care about workers are recruiting to bring in more cheap labor. What a concept! How again does expanding the labor pool help American workers? Increasing supply of any commodity actually increase the price of that commodity? It doesn't.

Scott Walker beat down Big Labor
in Wisconsin
As I have written before, labor unions are actually hurting their workers instead of helping them. The next question: why?

But huge public employee unions like SEIU 1000 and CTA are full of people with different viewpoints and political leanings. That’s why some unions are focusing on local workplace issues to connect with workers and make a case for continued membership.

How about that? And maybe labor unions should focus on just ensuring that workers' rights and needs are taking care of, instead of harassing them and promoting illegal aliens and corrupt, illiberal Democratic policies.

Leaders at the Sacramento City Teachers Association visited dozens of schools over the past month and asked their members whether to authorize a strike. Those face-to-face interactions centered on shared goals, not state politics.

Well ... it looks like there are some changes for the better. Some.

“We all want more art and music in the classroom. We’re advocating for that,” said David Fisher, the union’s president. “Almost everybody wants lower class sizes. Almost everybody realizes we need credentialed teachers in the classroom who have resources to support them. These are things we’re advocating for that improve learning conditions for students and working condition for teachers.”

But for all the years, the decades in which teachers unions have been hustling for teachers, why have these goals not been met? Why do teachers still struggle with relatively low pay, large class sizes, and bad working conditions, plus low morale?

Why indeed.

Big Labor is a Big scam for many working people. They want to see improvements ad economic opportunities. Labor unions have been frustrating those goals while claiming that they are committed to improving the working life and labor of their members.

Not a chance. Is it any surprise that laborers like Mark Janus assert that his union does not speak for him, that their fight is not his fight? I would go further and assert that the union's fight has ended up as a fight against the workers like Janus.

And this needs to stop. Thank goodness for this lawsuit, one which I am sure Governor Bruce Rauner helped to launch. 

Let's hope that the Supreme Court rules on this matter in line with the true spirit of the First Amendment, and in the best interests of working people and burdened taxpayers.

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