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Thread: Is LABOR dead ?

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  1. #1
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Is LABOR dead ?

    What does everyone think ? Is this the death knell for unions ? The unions here in the Rust Belt sold out in the late 70's.





    If Scott Walker wins Wisconsin’s recall election, labor will suffer a self-inflicted wound

    By Rachel Rose Hartman









    Unions rally at the Wisconsin Capitol (Barbara Rodriguez/AP)
    If Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker loses the election to recall him from office Tuesday, the political press will declare the arrival of Big Labor's comeback. If Walker wins, it will be seen as yet another sign of labor's demise.
    The election to recall the Republican governor, sparked by Walker's successful 2011 effort to end collective bargaining for public employees, has drawn participation from many different groups, including the tea party. But unions, which have long been fighting stories of their demise, have much of what's left of their reputation as powerful political organizers riding on the race.
    Union membership in 2011 fell to a record low for the second straight year, according to the Department of Labor, but that's not the only avenue in which unions have been struggling.
    Bill Schneider, a a senior fellow and resident scholar at centrist think tank Third Way, told Yahoo News that labor has lately experienced "tougher times winning" electoral races in which they've inserted themselves. This includes labor's unsuccessful attempt to take down Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the 2010 Arkansas Democratic primary.
    Labor activists deny any suggestion that a downward trend is forming.
    "This is one election," Chris Fleming, the media director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told Yahoo News of the recall, adding that the left was heavily outspent in this race. "We cannot compete with the Koch brothers and all of Walker's millionaire and billionaire megalomaniac friends who want to take control of the government."
    Walker personally raised about $21 million, significantly more than the $3 million raised by Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee. And Walker additionally benefited from major spending by outside tea party groups and super PACs.
    Fleming said regardless of Tuesday's outcome, the effort to recall Walker has "energized" union supporters "like never before" and turned their message about protecting working class families into a "mainstream movement."
    "Anyone who says the enthusiasm is low needs to come to the state just for a day," Fleming said, adding that labor supporters knocked on half a million doors in 48 hours ahead of the recall, and have set up 31 field offices and 60 staging locations, more than he's seen for a presidential campaign.
    But polls show labor losing the enthusiasm battle in the face of tea party energy and mobilization on the right.
    "The reason [Democratic challenger Tom Barrett] continues to trail overall is that Republicans are more excited about voting in Tuesday's election than Democrats are," the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling wrote in its analysis of a new poll on the race released Monday.
    Democrats downplayed the fact that President Obama chose not to make a campaign appearance for Barrett, but Schneider notes that many party officials have long been reluctant to attach themselves to this race.
    "They had doubts at the beginning ... what exactly was behind that, I don't know," Schneider said. "I think Democrats were hesitant."
    Schneider said the Wisconsin recall is connected to the 2012 presidential race because it is "a test run for a strategy that Obama may be tempted to follow."
    Schneider notes that if Republicans are successful in Wisconsin in November in the presidential election as well as in downballot races, labor may have itself to blame.
    "Conservative are riled up and that's because liberals riled up their base," he said. "And now, [Republicans] are likely to stay angry right through November."
    Additionally, Schneider said the recall has significantly "toned up" the Republican ground game in the state.
    Observers say Republicans across the country are likely to try to piggyback off of Walker's success if he wins and take a stronger stand against unions.






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  2. #2

    Default Re: Is LABOR dead ?

    I don't want to derail a serious and interesting subject, but Labor must be dead in our household. I swear these two girls don't do anything, but they're easy on the eyes and smell good so that means something!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is LABOR dead ?

    I'm not educated or smart enough to talk too intelligently on the subject, but wasn't the expenses to pay some of the bills just too much for the state to pay so the Govenor set aside collective bargaining for public employees? Wasn't that a risky and gutsy stance to take?

    I doubt unions will evaporate, but I think there's a power shift on the horizon. I think for the good of all we have an adjustment the question is on who's back, for how long, and how much?

  4. #4
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is LABOR dead ?

    Employees in private business that are not union started losing their pensions benefit 15 years. You will be hard pressed to find a business in the Fortune 500 that offered a defined pension benefit plan for new employees. The firm I work zapped theirs 8 years ago on a tiered basis. New employees hired after 1/1/2004 receive no pension-> you'll get whatever there is in Social Security and then your on your 401K.

    The real harsh part was the 2nd tier cut-off. Age 50. If you were over age 50 and had 15 years of the firm your retirement pension at age 65 was reduced 10%. BUT, if you were age 49, 51 weeks and 6 days, your pension was slashed by 50%. I turned 50 the year prior and lost only 10%.

    Myself and my buddy there were hired within 2 months of each other. He's 3 months younger. We both had 20+ years with the firm. He was hit with the 50% cut. I took the 10% hit. If we both bail out at the same age, same no. of years with the company my pension will be double his.

    I don't begrudge anyone that is fortunate enough to still have a pension plan.

    What I disagree with are the retirement cashouts of unused sick and vacation time paid out at today's wages rate. Paying someone 7 days pay for 7 days unused sick time from 30 years ago is ridiculous accounting especially when no one else doesn't even get to carryover a sick day to the next year.

    What I disagree with are public workers that can retire, start drawing their pension and then get rehired and start a new pension plan accumulation.

    We had a school principal here that was also elected to the state legislature. Every week he would run off to the capital for state meetings in this position tht paid $70,000 a year in addition to his salary as principal. He never too a vacation day from the principal's job to go to the capital. He was not only collecting two paychecks he was accumulating two pensions in the same pension plan. (school pensions are funded by the state here)

    Now the guy plans to retire and is seeking over $250,000 in unused vacation and sickdays.

    Chris Christie got involved and had the guy arrested for theft of state funds for not taking tie off from his school job to tend to his work as a legislator. They are also seeking reimbursement of $350,000 - the value of time stolen from the school.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Is LABOR dead ?

    Quote Originally Posted by RYou View Post
    What I disagree with are public workers that can retire, start drawing their pension and then get rehired and start a new pension plan accumulation.

    We had a school principal here that was also elected to the state legislature. Every week he would run off to the capital for state meetings in this position tht paid $70,000 a year in addition to his salary as principal. He never too a vacation day from the principal's job to go to the capital. He was not only collecting two paychecks he was accumulating two pensions in the same pension plan. (school pensions are funded by the state here)
    This is called "double dipping."

    Perhaps (actually, definitely), the most egregious example of it occurs right here in Iowa from none other than our...present Governor! You don't have to read very far into the article to see how the weasel does it.

    Spending cuts should begin with Gov. Branstad’s income - The Daily Iowan
    UNI Panthers...Because it's just right.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is LABOR dead ?

    Quote Originally Posted by RYou View Post
    What I disagree with are public workers that can retire, start drawing their pension and then get rehired and start a new pension plan accumulation
    After I retired I was recruited by a county DA's office for a DA investigator job but I quickly declined. In CA, you could not retire and draw a CalPERS pension then work for another CalPERS agency (unless you voluntarily turned your retirement back in). I did know a few guys who retired from the pd then took a sworn position for Contra Costa County, because CoCo county had their own retirement system and wasn't a CalPERS agency. Most county, municipal, and state agencies were CalPERS members.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is LABOR dead ?

    RYou,

    No one has ever brought it up, so I shudder at the thought I could be shooting myself in the foot here, but....

    ...Google: "San Francisco Police DROP Program".

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