Posts tagged private-sector unions
Pennsylvania Government Union Political Spending Skyrockets Even as Membership Declines
March 23, 2023 // “At a time when government unions are losing membership due to partisan political spending, government union executives have really decided to double down on the partisan political spending,” CF policy analyst Andrew Holman told The Pennsylvania Daily Star. “The recent data shows this. They’re using millions of dollars collected with taxpayer resources to fund these political-advocacy activities and I think that, really, members of government unions need to be aware of where their money is going and what their unions are advocating for.” Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro is a prime example of a Pennsylvania pol enjoying overwhelming advantage in this political-spending category. Government unions bestowed over $5.5 million on his 2022 campaign while state Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) garnered a mere $1,000 from these associations while running against him. Public-sector labor money was only slightly less lopsided between the candidates for lieutenant governor: Democrat Austin Davis raised $77,000 from these groups while his GOP state House colleague Carrie Lewis Delrosso got only $1,550 from them.
Right-to-work resurfaces at the Montana Legislature, as do dozens of pro-union opponents
February 22, 2023 // The bill, Buffalo Republican Rep. James Bergstrom’s House Bill 448, would prohibit private sector union contracts that require employees to join a union or otherwise pay fees for their representation. It’s the latest legislative swing at unions in Montana, a state with a deep history of labor activism that has repeatedly resisted right-to-work legislation even as national union density has declined and neighboring states have passed similar laws. “Blood has been spilled on the streets of my district for the rights we have today,” Rep. Derek Harvey, D-Butte, a union firefighter, told more than 70 union workers and officials representing a wide variety of trades on the Capitol steps Friday.
Opinion: Imagine there’s no public employee unions
February 21, 2023 // But try as President Joe Biden has, it just hasn’t been enough. Automation (including not only factory machinery but also the gig economy), trade, high-profile union corruption cases, failing pension funds, and a string of adverse court rulings are among the many factors rendering private sector unions irrelevant to workers in most modern fields. This has led the unions to desperate measures, such as organizing esoteric, low-income professions, including graduate student teachers and video game testers. Yet the story is quite different for unions in the public sector. The unionization rate of public employees remains robust, at more than 33% of all government workers nationwide. Local government workers are the most likely to be unionized, at a rate of nearly 39%, and public sector union members are concentrated in states that mandate collective bargaining. The states with higher rates of unionization seem to correlate with the nation's least functional state governments: California (54.5%), Illinois (48.7%), New York (66.7%), and New Jersey (59.3%) among them. As their private sector cousins starve, public employee unions are fat and happy — a strange development, given that there was no public sector collective bargaining at all 70 years ago, when unions were at their apex.
Chicago saw a wave of new unions form in 2022. Getting to the bargaining table is the next challenge.
January 2, 2023 // But it’s not just Starbucks: In Chicago, museum workers at the Art Institute, faculty and staff members at its affiliated school and employees at the Newberry Library have all unionized this year. So have workers at Howard Brown Health, budtenders at Zen Leaf cannabis dispensaries and booksellers at Half Price Books in Niles. Baristas at four La Colombe Coffee Roaster locations filed for union elections in December. Thousands of graduate students at Northwestern and the University of Chicago filed petitions within two weeks of each other in November. For the hundreds of newly unionized workers in Chicago, the hard work has only just begun; now they must negotiate a first contract with their employers. Labor leaders see a contract as the gold standard for protecting workers’ rights and securing gains in areas like pay and benefits. But the process can take years.
Union bosses rake it in, even as their ranks shrink
November 15, 2022 // The new report, provocatively titled “Labor’s Fortress of Finance” by the pro-labor Radish Research, looks at the balance sheets of big unions since 2010, based on financial statements they must file with the Department of Labor. It finds that, over that period, unions have lost some 710,000 members, yet union membership revenues increased by one-third, to $18 billion — 85% of that from fees on members, which grew by a similar rate. By contrast, union spending increased by just 18% over that time. The money that unions expended representing workers, for instance, improved by just 13%. As a result, the surplus (the equivalent of profits at a business) that unions generated grew almost sixfold, to nearly $2.5 billion in 2021, from just $426 million in 2010. Collectively, their cash on hand more than doubled in 11 years to $11.3 billion, their investments soared nearly 150% to $17.4 billion, and their net assets rose 120%, to $31.6 billion.
Do arbitrators go easy on federal employees who challenge being fired?
October 4, 2022 // So in the federal sector, if you’re represented by a union, you have an option if your agency tries to fire you. you can appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board what we think of as these standard civil service protections. But you can also file a grievance under your union contract, it’s an either or you can’t do both. But if you choose to, you can file a grievance under the union contract, and your union can bring that instead to an arbitrator. Generally, these are private contractors, they work with the private sector unions, with the private companies with nothing to do with unions, as well as with the the federal workforce, there’s a master roster, maintained by the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service, and the contracts pretty much all say, you’ll get a list of names from this master roster, people strike names to union agency until one guy’s left. That guy then is the arbitrator.
More than 400 Planned Parenthood workers in Iowa and other states unionize
July 26, 2022 // The newly unionized group covers approximately 435 workers for Planned Parenthood North Central States, including nurses, pharmacists, administrative assistants and other clinic staff across five states — Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The National Labor Relations Board tallied the votes on Thursday after a three-week voting period, with 238 workers voting in favor and 26 against. The unionization effort comes as Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, grapples with states across the country banning abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month. Sage Shemroske, April Clark, Sarah Stoesz, Beacon Housing Collaborative, Jewish Community Action,
Op-ed: Small Business Administration should fight for entrepreneurs, not unions
June 24, 2022 // Nonetheless, a recent Freedom Foundation analysis of SBA’s PPP loan database identified 223 loans totaling $36.1 million made to labor unions and related organizations between March 2020 and March 2021 that, as mostly 501(c)(5) nonprofit groups, were not eligible to participate in the program. The recipient list included a dozen teachers unions and advocacy groups, such as the Michigan Education Association and the Memphis-Shelby County Education Association, ironically among the fiercest champions of lockdown policies, the effects of which PPP funds were intended to alleviate. Alabama State Employees Association, Maryland Public Employees Council, Alaska AFL-CIO, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Isabel Guzman, Small Business Committee,
Unions oppose employee rights with false claims re: Janus
March 21, 2022 // Vincent Vernuccio, testifying in support of SB 511, said, “ensures that public employees are informed about their First Amendment right to choose whether to pay union fees and further allows them to exercise this right at any time. This right is guaranteed to them under the U.S. Constitution and recognized by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME.” Vernuccio is an attorney and labor policy senior fellow with Workers for Opportunity, a national project of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Biden administration channels the Grinch, snatching away union accountability from workers over the holidays
January 7, 2022 // President Joe Biden’s Department of Labor swiped away important union transparency and accountability measures on December 30 as many American workers celebrated time off between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.