Boss Trumka issues threat to Dems on public option

In what can aptly be compared to answering the casting call for a union boss thug-like thespian to issue heavy-handed threats to politicians, Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, has fallen into character in his best "Godfather" imitation to date, preparing himself for his future role as the union's president.


Looking the Other Way

For those who expected that the Democrats would transform themselves into the most ethical group of politicians in history, I have got some news for you. Not gonna happen!

Further evidence of this fact came when the Labor Department moved to get rid of a regulation that was aimed at rooting out financial corruption of Big Labor.

The new Labor Department decided that there was no need to keep an eye on the unions, because, let’s face it, there is no corruption there. No, can’t find any corruption in the labor movement. Nothing to see here. Let’s just move on.

A Union Lesson from My Grandfather

My grandfather was one of the more interesting people I've known. His story is one of the quintessentially American stories that tells our history.

As a student at Georgetown University, he excelled at baseball and football, eventually turning down the Washington Senators to finish his studies and continue playing football. Some months later, his pelvis was broken during a tackle. So much for the dreams of becoming another Jim Thorpe.

Graduating during the Depression did not exactly put him in a prime job market, Georgetown degree or not. Instead of getting the important, financially rewarding job he sought, he found work as a longshoreman on the docks in Jersey City. He wasn't behind a desk or wearing a tie; he was loading and unloading crate after crate, day after day. The movie "On the Waterfront" was his daily reality.

Secret Ballot

The top legislative priority of House Democrats in the new Congress will be card-check, a bill that, if signed into law, would end the secret ballot for union organizing.

This afternoon, House Democrats, in a secret ballot, decided to toss Rep. John Dingell (Mich.), whose more than 50 years of service to the Congress apparently wasn’t worth anything, from his chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee. His replacement? Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.), a well-known left-wing ideologue.

The Law of Quality

Step aside Isaac Newton for "The Law of Quality" which states that "What goes down KEEPS going down".

Look no further than just about every product and service we're offered these days. They're inferior.

Of course they are, because corporate leaders in every sector, from food, to communication, to media are desperately scrambling to overcome their previous disastrous decisions and keep profits obscene... their own personal compensation disgracefully high.

They pretend they are simply creating efficiencies. Instead of cutting corner, what they are really doing is shamelessly gutting large chunks of the structured that allowed them to deliver some semblance of decent product.

Which Way for the Unions?

When it comes to their future direction, unions are sending contradictory signals. Their economic actions indicate a new appreciation for the realities confronting them as they face the challenges of a global economy. Their political direction, however, indicates “business as usual” as they align themselves with groups and politicians that favor an enormous expansion of federal spending and government power.

Small Change

You call that a strike!!?? Two days? The United Auto Workers didn't strike. It held a little pep rally. Now the workers can go back to their jobs, until layoffs force them out of work, and management can continue with its short-sighted policies. Things sure ain't what they used to be.

Empty Shell vs. Empty Shell

How quaint. The United Auto Workers are striking General Motors. Talk about a blast from the past. A past when the UAW and GM weren't hollow shells.

Back in the '70s — now those were the days. The union (remember labor unions?) had a million and a half members. Now it's a relic with just over a third of that.

General Motors is quite the relic too. It used to be a colossus in the U.S. automobile industry. Now the manufacturing plants in this country are owned increasingly by the likes of Honda and Toyota. So many Chevrolets, meanwhile, are made elsewhere these days that Chevy's "This Is Our Country" ad campaign would be laughable if it weren't so transparently pathetic. That's what this walkout is about, but it's a battle that's already over.

Giving Tony Soprano a Pass

There were so many great things about "The Sopranos," from how their family problems mirrored the problems facing many American families to how the Mob controlled many union work sites. In many ways, it was more than just fiction.

When the Mob controls union work sites, the guys who get the short end of the stick are the union workers. That means they have to work twice as hard to make up for the mobster no-shows. When the Mob pilfers a union fund, the union workers get screwed, because they lose the money. Labor corruption hurts all of us, but it especially hurts the workingmen and -women who are part of the union movement. 

Strike This?

By now it's common knowledge that major unions such as the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union have withheld their endorsements of candidates as they pore over their records and solicit views on a variety of issues. One specific candidate in question has been Hillary Clinton, due to her questionable record of having outsourced to India for campaign contributions.