Labor

NLRB acting general counsel has an ego problem

The Washington Examiner reported that Judicial Watch has uncovered internal emails at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that reveal a petty, whiny acting general counsel, who is jealous of the publicity recess-appointed NLRB member Craig Becker has received.
 
The acting general counsel worries that he has not been getting due credit for the NLRB decision to attack Boeing Corp.’s building a second production line in the state of South Carolina, writing, “I didn’t read all of the meltwater articles, but some of the headlines tie Boeing to Craig. Unbelievable.”

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If this is lagging behind, what does success look like?

The popular narrative today is that there is a “crisis” of women in math and science — or, more accurately, an under-representation of women in these disciplines. So naturally I was drawn to the headline this morning that IBM has named Virginia Rometty the new chief executive of the computer technology company.   

Rometty joins the ranks of a host of other women serving in leadership positions in the computer/technology/Internet world, including Meg Whitman (formerly of eBay) at Hewlett-Packard; Carly Fiorina, formerly of HP; Ursula Burns at Xerox; and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, to name a few.  

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Pay equity for women, and everyone!

I guess Sabrina and I are destined to disagree again, which is perfectly fine, and healthy. This is what makes a democracy a democracy, and this is the kind of healthy debate I wish we could have more of here. I believe that women are subject to substantial discrimination with respect to pay, as are other individuals and groups.

The difference of views between Sabrina and myself would be this: I believe the law itself should be a potent and effective weapon against discrimination. I believe that government action per se, in defense of pay equity, is urgently needed and right. And I believe that "the magic of the marketplace" alone is not enough to protect women or other groups facing pay inequity.

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Protective legislation doesn’t come without a cost

I have to take a minute to respond to Brent Budowsky’s post, "GOP war against women." For starters, the notion that a political party is literally fighting against 50 percent of the population is absurd and should be reserved for radical TV hosts like Thom Hartmann, who uses that phrase regularly.

Brent asks why “conservative Republican women support positions so hostile to the economic interests of American women.” Well, in a recent Pundits Blog post, I addressed many of the issues I suspect Brent is referring to, including education, the wage gap and workplace discrimination.

But let me address the issue of workplace discrimination, since Brent was responding to my post about the Wal-Mart discrimination case.

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Is Obama sacrificing U.S. workers on Big Labor’s altar?

On Dec. 5, 2010, USA Today quoted President Obama as urging congressional approval of the trade deal with South Korea by saying, "We have to do more to accelerate the economic recovery and create jobs for the millions of Americans who are still looking for work."

One problem: It is now June 8, 2011, and the South Korea trade deal has not even been submitted by President Obama to Congress.

That’s December, January, February, March, April, May and now June — six full months — half a year — since Obama made his bold statement. For some reason, the president has not gotten around to sending the agreement to the U.S. Senate for approval.

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Republican EEOC recess appointee should be confirmed

The clock is ticking on a little-known but extremely important recess appointment by President Obama, that of Republican Victoria Lipnic as a commissioner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

While other recess appointments to the EEOC don’t expire until December 2011, Lipnic was the sole Republican to be recessed, but her term was limited to the end of 2010. Failure to confirm Lipnic would be a huge mistake by this lame-duck Senate.

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What Wal-Mart appeal means for women

After losing the women’s vote in November, the White House and congressional Democrats will be watching the Supreme Court closely next spring when it hears an appeal by Wal-Mart in a class-action employment-discrimination case.

The issue at stake is not about gender-discrimination; rather, the focus is whether or not the case can move forward based on the commonality of the class. While two lower courts — most recently the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco — ruled that the case could go forward, the dissenting opinions raised some serious concerns about why it should not.

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The Brown Bailout guy has a point

Over the past few months you have not been able to go on the Web without running into the Brown Bailout guy talking about FedEx using airplanes and UPS using trucks without seeming to make much of a point.

While the ads are lighthearted, the issue is serious. If UPS and the Teamsters get the FAA Reauthorization amendments that they are lobbying for, Federal Express will be forced to change its entire business model and may never recover.

The issue is not that complicated. As everyone knows, Federal Express’s core business is taking a package from point A to point B guaranteed next-day delivery. This constitutes about 80 percent of its business, and it relies upon the dependability of strike-free airline hubs to deliver this service to the public at a reasonable cost.

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Fixing the union problem

David Brooks had a good column yesterday about why New Jersey can’t afford to invest in a new tunnel connecting his state with New Jersey. Chris Christie, the unlikely rock-star governor, says that the Garden State just can’t afford it, and if you take one look at its balance sheet, you know he is right.

New Jersey, like Illinois, California, New York and many other states that are dominated by the Democratic Party, can’t afford to pay for big projects because they are spending all of their money on their employees, many of whom no longer work for the state.

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Obscure agency is tool of union power-grab

Jimmy Hoffa and the boys have changed the rules of airline union elections, and now are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of achieving one of their Holy Grails — the increased prospects of unionizing Delta Airlines in the wake of its merger with Northwest Airlines.

One obstacle standing in their way is today’s Senate vote on S. 30, by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), which would reject the new election rules and restore 75 years of precedent on how union elections are held in the railroad and airline industries.

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