Monday, September 1, 2014
Labor Day 2014: Solidarity Ain't What It Used To Be
Happy Labor Day: Democratic Solidarity Forever (?) Labor Day 6 of the Obama Administration: How is the solidarity? Labor Day, September 1, 2014 appears normal. Democratic politicians have breakfast, lunch, dinner, BBQ’s and rallies at union events, reaffirming Big Labor as one of the foundations of the modern Democratic Party coalition, going back to FDR and the New Deal. The unions traditionally provided large sums of money, phone banks, and the foot soldiers in the get out the vote efforts. President Obama was in Milwaukee today and Vice President Biden in Detroit. The UAW owes the President big time. The President’s speech today was like so many of his other speeches; it was for show. The marriage is fraying. The unionized percent of the private sector is down to 6.5%. The percent will continue to shrink with Indiana and Michigan becoming right to work states. A few other Frost Belt states may join the ranks, depending on h November elections Not only is the traditional industrial base of the union movement shrinking due to globalization and right to work statutes, but also because of actions by the Obama Administration. The President has sacrificed construction jobs to the environmentalists on the Keystone Pipeline. He is also trying to totally eliminate the American coal industry, unionized and non-unionized. The once-powerful United Mine Workers is toast to the Obama Administration. The union power now rests with the public sector employees, who have a 35% penetration rate in the public sector. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) straddles the public sector and the private sector, often in low paying service jobs. SEIU has about 1.9 million members. Mary Kay Harris, its president, flew on Air Force One today with the President. President Obama showboats for the union movement by seeking a raise in the minimum wage, calling it a living wage. Many heavily unionized cities and blue states have raised the minimum wage. Unions support an increase in the minimum wage because it allows them to seek wage increases above the minimum. The rhetoric ignores the reality that raising he minimum wage decreases employment, especially African American teenage employment in the cities. The unions seem oblivious to the fact that the Administration’s tolerance of open borders and the granting of amnesty substantially increases the unskilled work force, resulting in a downward pressure on wages. One ray of light exists for the unions in the Obama Administration. The National Labor Relations Board, stacked with Obama appointees, is attempting to fundamentally change labor law for fast food employees at the urging of the SEIU. The NLRB General Counsel announced on July 29 that he would allow the filing of grievances against McDonald’s for alleged unfair labor practices by the company’s franchises. He held McDonald’s was a joint employer with its franchises, and hence could be jointly liable for their employment misdeeds. The ruling defies decades of labor law and the fundamental principles of corporation law. A franchise is an independent corporation not owned or controlled by the franchisor. This NLRB will probably approve the holding on a 3-2 vote, at which point it goes into the judicial system. This too is for show.