Posts tagged private-sector workers
Record number of public employees abandoned their unions this quarter
October 10, 2023 // “I couldn’t be more proud of the work the Freedom Foundation is doing to help people keep more of their hard-earned paychecks and stop funding distant, bloated, ideological government unions," Freedom Foundation CEO Aaron Withe said in a statement. "These aren’t merely statistics; they represent thousands of public employees exercising their constitutional right not to be forced to fund union activity as a condition of employment. “It’s gratifying to know that as the cost of everyday goods and services continues to rise, our work is directly helping people put more gas in their car or food on their table rather than line the pockets of union bosses who back the very policies causing many of the country’s economic hardships,” Withe said. Public unions nationwide have about 7 million members and subsequently collect over $5 billion annually in dues. As the average annual rate of dues is $1,000, the Freedom Foundation estimates that $13 million was saved with the third quarter opt-outs alone.
Commentary: Leaked Messages From UAW Official Reveal a Big Cause of Unions’ Decline
September 28, 2023 // If union officials actually want to protect UAW jobs and improve workers’ compensation, then they have to want the Big Three American automakers to succeed and to grow. Considering that U.S. auto production is less than half of what it was two decades ago, success is likely going to require that the UAW work alongside—rather than against—U.S. automakers to help them become more competitive. To the extent that involves lobbying policymakers, the focus should be on getting the government out of the business of picking winners and losers by its subsidizing of more expensive electric vehicles that require 40% less labor while also seeking to ban gas-powered vehicles that Americans still overwhelmingly desire. And if unions across America want to increase their membership, they should appeal directly to workers by offering things they value instead of using their dues to get politicians to go against their interests by doing things like attacking secret ballot union elections, restricting employers’ ability to share important information with workers before union elections, and establishing a pathway to force an employer to bargain with a union even if workers don’t want to be represented by it.
COMMENTARY: What Big Labor Doesn’t Want You to Know This Labor Day
September 5, 2023 // "Yet, instead of adapting and finding ways to still provide value to workers, unions have maintained strictly seniority-based compensation structures and rigid workplace rules that reduce workers’ productivity, pay, and flexibility. That ends up hurting workers who desire autonomy and flexibility. For example, young workers who are parents typically lack the seniority needed to choose the hours they want. And workers who want to put in extra effort to earn a pay raise have little incentive to do so because most union contracts prohibit employers from giving employees performance-based pay raises or bonuses that exceed the union-negotiated pay scales."
Summer of labor: Why unions win pay hikes and new clout
August 10, 2023 // This year’s bargaining sessions tell the story. The mere threat of a strike won longshoremen, UPS drivers, and other blue-collar workers big pay raises. The 11,000 members of the Writers Guild of America, by contrast, have been on strike since May. Last month, the actors union joined them on the picket line. It’s the first time the two have jointly struck the studios since 1960 and the most closely watched labor action of the year. Almost 3 in 4 Americans say they’re aware of the strike, according to a Los Angeles Times poll released Aug. 3. Among the issues are revenues from web streaming and the use of AI to generate actors’ likenesses.
Busted: Kroger Worker’s Card Illegally Altered to ‘Authorize’ Forced Dues
August 2, 2023 // UFCW’s violation of Haefner’s rights is not an isolated incident. In Pennsylvania, Foundation staff attorneys are also representing Giant Eagle supermarket cashier Josiah Leonatti, who charges UFCW Local 1776KS union officials with refusing to accommodate his religious objections to union membership (see page 3). King Soopers grocery employees from Colorado are also receiving free legal aid from Foundation staff attorneys in opposing illegal UFCW strike fines, some of which are as high as about $4,000 per worker. “Jessica Haefner knew her rights under Texas’ popular Right to Work law and actively asserted them, yet UFCW union officials still brazenly took her money against her will,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix.
Institute for the American Worker Head Vinnie Vernuccio: Tennessee Is Leading the Way with Right-to-Work 2.0
March 15, 2023 // You made it a constitutional right, so it can’t be repealed like Michigan. Now you’re going even further, you’re doing right to work 2.0 by making sure employees of companies that get economic incentives, the secret ballot for them in unionization elections is protected. And your governor is also out there, Governor Lee is protecting teachers’ paychecks, not only giving them raises, but also making sure they get their full paycheck. And part of it isn’t siphoned off and given to teachers’ unions.
Biden Shoveled $36 Billion In Taxpayer Funds To Bail Out Teamsters For Mismanaged Pensions
March 5, 2023 // Lost in all of this has been one spectacular giveaway: $100,000 per beneficiary of the Central States Pension Fund (CSPF). The fund provides pension benefits to nearly 360,000 private-sector workers and retirees, mostly Teamsters Union members. U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, called the deal out in December, noting it was “the largest private pension bailout in American history” that benefited only “a tiny minority of workers.” He suggested it resulted from the insanity of “allowing those who mismanaged pensions to determine whether their funds qualify for taxpayer assistance with no safeguards.” The $36 billion comes almost two years after the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. That “rescue” was the Biden administration’s Covid spending bonanza. Biden signed it into law in the spring of 2021, when the economy was already well into recovery. The housing market was booming. The stock market was on a steady upward climb. It was obvious that the “rescue” would cause inflation. It was obvious Democrats were taking advantage of an opportunity to give away public largesse. And did they ever. Lest we doubt the ongoing influence of the Teamsters in American politics, the recent $36 billion giveaway says it all. It says to the union bosses, who make up half of the CSPF board: “You can watch the pension fund’s health decline for decades. You can make unrealistic promises to employees. You can keep the plan below 75 percent funded. You can depend on a pyramid concept where imaginary new members keep coming in to pay for retired members. None of that matters now. The politicians you own will bail you out with the public’s money. In fact, you can take such largesse that union workers in other multi-employer plans get left with only crumbs. Write yourself a check. And, as a bonus, we won’t ask you to change anything.”
Houston-Area Kroger Employee Slams UFCW Union with Federal Charges for Seizing Union Dues Using Altered Union Card
February 22, 2023 // On August 22, 2022, Haefner attended a mandatory orientation meeting during which she was required to listen to a UFCW agent, her charges state. The UFCW agent passed out a union membership application and a dues checkoff on a single form that he claimed was mandatory for attendees to complete. Another piece of onboarding literature stated that Kroger management had the “opinion that you should participate and be active in the Union.” When Haefner asked about how she could exercise her right to refrain from joining the union or paying union dues, the union agent instructed Haefner to write “$0” in the field marked “union dues” on the form. Texas’ Right to Work law protects Haefner’s right to abstain from union membership and dues payment. Haefner followed these instructions, but later found out that union dues were coming out of her wages, her charges say. Haefner quickly obtained a copy of the form that Kroger and UFCW officials based their dues deductions on, and discovered that the “$0” she had written in the union dues field had been replaced with an amount of several dollars to induce dues deductions from her paycheck.
Union membership grows the fastest of any state in Tennessee over the past two years
January 24, 2023 // The number of Tennessee workers belonging to labor unions has grown over the past two years at the fastest rate of any state in the country. Fueled by a growth in unionized government employees, building trades and autoworkers, union membership in Tennessee jumped by more than 39% from the pandemic low in 2020 to reach 163,000 members last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For all its gains, however, organized labor still represents only a fraction of workers in Tennessee, especially in the private sector. Last year, 5.5% of all workers across Tennessee were union members, or only about half of the 10.1% share of workers nationwide who belong to a labor union, according to the statistics bureau.