Why are California Democrats against letting union members see how their mandatory union dues are being spent?
In California, the government uses taxpayers’ money to pay a crossing guard to work in an area where pedestrians never actually cross the street, because there is an underground tunnel for them to cross. This job is a concession to unions.
One union member wanted to see how her mandatory union dues were being spent. There was a vote, strictly across party lines, against opening up the union’s books for people to see.
What is in those book that the Democrats are so afraid of letting people see?
L.A. labor leaders seek minimum wage exemption for firms with union workers
May 27, 2015
Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.
The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.
The City Council voted last week to gradually increase the hourly minimum wage to $15 over the next five years.
Last fall, the council approved an ordinance increasing the minimum wage at large hotels to $15.37 per hour. That law says that provisions of the hotel wage hike may be waived in workplaces that have collective bargaining agreements.
“… union workplaces are exempt…”
This exemption is wrong because the law is supposed to treat everyone equally.
But also, it is an extreme example of hypocrisy. It was unions who got the ball rolling on this $15 minimum wage. It was unions who said that all workers should be paid at least $15 an hour.
But now, these very same unions are getting an exemption from the very same law that they so strongly supported.
Would liberals please explain why union workshops got an exemption from SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage law that was initiated and supported by these very same unions?
Unite Here says Obamacare “threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.”
Unite Here is a union that represents 300,000 employees in the hotel and restaurant industries. It supported Obama in both elections.
In March 2014, Unite Here said:
“If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage. This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage.”
“… the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage.”
“Obamacare will cost our members the equivalent of a significant pay cut to keep their hard-won benefits.”
“… it will inevitably lead to the destruction of the health care plans we were promised we could keep.”
In the past, donations from the Koch brothers were used to fund the invention of a cancer drug called Yervoy, which has saved the lives of cancer patients.
Now, the SEIU, the NAACP, the Working Families Party, and other left wing organizations are protesting against the Koch brothers’ recent $100 million donation to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. You can read about this absurd protest, and see pictures of it, here, here, and here.
Obamacare includes a so-called “reinsurance” tax.
In March 2014, Obama gave unions an exemption from this tax.
This was illegal for two reasons.
First, Obama made this change without approval from Congress.
And second, the Constitution requires that laws apply equally to everyone.
Before I get to the new article from the New York Times, I’d like to point out a few other things from the past.
In front of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Obama administration argued that Obamacare’s employer mandate is a tax.
This particular Obamacare tax only applies to “full time” jobs, which Obamacare defines as 30 or more hours per week.
So, Obamacare is a tax on full time employment.
Everyone knows that whatever you tax, you get less of. For example, after Obama increased the cigarette tax by 61 cents per pack in 2009, John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said:
“Raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective approaches to encouraging people to quit and preventing kids from picking up the deadly habit in the first place.”
In July 2013, leaders of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE, all of whom endorsed Obama in both elections, sent a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which said that Obamacare will
“destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class… the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation.”
Now, The New York Times, which also endorsed Obama in both elections, is reporting:
Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Bypass Insurance Law
Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.
Among those whose hours have been restricted in recent months are police dispatchers, prison guards, substitute teachers, bus drivers, athletic coaches, school custodians, cafeteria workers and part-time professors.
In Medina, Ohio, about 30 miles south of Cleveland, Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the city had lowered the limit for part-time employees to 29 hours a week, from 35. Workers’ wages were reduced accordingly, he said.
Lawrence County, in western Pennsylvania, reduced the limit for part-time employees to 28 hours a week, from 32. Dan Vogler, the Republican chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said the cuts affected prison guards and emergency service personnel at the county’s 911 call center.
In Virginia, part-time state employees are generally not allowed to work more than 29 hours a week on average over a 12-month period. Thousands of part-time state employees had been working more than that
To hold down the work hours of school bus drivers, Vigo County has reduced field trips for children and cut back transportation to athletic events. School employees who had two part-time jobs totaling more than 30 hours a week — for example, bus driver and basketball coach — were required to give up one of the jobs.
The Obama administration says “there is absolutely no evidence” of any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.
The American Federation of Teachers lists on its website three dozen public colleges and universities in 15 states that it says have restricted the work assignments of adjunct or part-time faculty members to avoid the cost of providing health insurance.
The University of Akron, in Ohio, has cut back the hours of 400 part-time faculty members who were teaching more than 29 hours a week, said Eileen Korey, a spokeswoman for the school.
Recently, McDonald’s employees have been going on strike to try to get paid $15 an hour. Associated Press reports:
Shaniqua Davis, 20, lives in the Bronx with her boyfriend, who is unemployed, and their 1-year-old daughter. Davis has worked at a McDonald’s a few blocks from her apartment for the past three months, earning $7.25 an hour. Her schedule varies, but she never gets close to 40 hours a week. “Forty? Never. They refuse to let you get to that (many) hours.”
Her weekly paycheck is $150 or much lower. “One of my paychecks, I only got $71 on there. So I wasn’t able to do much with that. My daughter needs stuff, I need to get stuff for my apartment,” said Davis, who plans to take part in the strike Thursday.
She pays the rent with public assistance but struggles to afford food, diapers, subway and taxi fares, cable TV and other expenses with her paycheck.
“It’s really hard,” she said. “If I didn’t have public assistance to help me out, I think I would have been out on the street already with the money I make at McDonald’s.”
So, Shaniqua Davis says that it’s “really hard” to take care of a baby on what McDonald’s pays.
So why did she try to do such a thing in the first place?
Why did she choose to become an unmarried teenage mother?
Whatever her reasons were, it’s not McDonald’s fault.
Of course you can’t raise a family on what McDonald’s pays its cashiers. But that kind of job was never intended to be for people who are trying to raise a family. Instead, that kind of job is supposed to be for a teenager trying to get money to pay for the prom, or for a student who is working their way through college.
And what is this nonsense of having a baby out of wedlock, and then being surprised as how hard it is? Of course it’s hard. That’s why the institution of marriage has existed, in every society, all over the world, for thousands of years.
The article also says that Ms. Davis “struggles” to pay for her cable TV. This just shows how much things have changed in this country. In the past, being poor meant that you couldn’t get 2,000 calories per day, or that you didn’t have indoor plumbing, or that your roof leaked. But now, being poor means that you have difficulty paying for cable TV. My, how things have changed.
Ms. Davis and the other strikers want to get paid $15 an hour, but they don’t want to acquire the education and job skills that would justify such a salary. McDonald’s already pays some of its employees more than $15 an hour, such as its accountants, lawyers, and computer programmers. Those employees didn’t get those higher wages by going on strike. Instead, they got those higher wages by putting in the time and effort to acquire the education and job skills that justify those higher wages. Ms. Davis and the other strikers want higher wages, but they don’t want to provide anything in exchange for the extra pay.
What would happen if the government did require McDonald’s to pay all of its employees $15 an hour? One possibility is that McDonald’s would only hire people who had a college degree. If that were to be the case, Ms. Davis would end up getting paid nothing. Another possibility is that McDonald’s would replace its human workers with robots and self-serve checkouts. And again, if that were to be the case, Ms. Davis would end up getting paid nothing.
Unions that helped pass Obamacare now say it will “shatter our hard-earned health benefits” and “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week”
Three unions that supported the passage of Obamacare in 2010 (Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE) have just sent a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi which is very heavily critical of Obamacare. Among other things, the letter states:
The ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.
The law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.
Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.
These restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable.
We can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.
This is hypocrisy at its worth. All three of these unions supported the passage of Obamacare. All three of these unions supported Obama in both presidential elections. For them to now portray themselves as victims is absurd.
I’m not denying that Obamacare does all the bad things which they say it does. I think their claims about the harm caused by Obamacare are accurate.
What I am denying, however, is that these unions are “victims.” They are not victims. Instead, these unions are experiencing the consequences of their own actions. They chose to support the passage of Obamacare. They chose to help make Obamacare become reality. For them to now complain about its harmful effects is the height of hypocrisy.
Associated Press reports:
Some unions now angry about health care overhaul
Obama’s Affordable Care Act has added to that cost – for the unions’ and other plans – by requiring health plans to cover dependents up to age 26, eliminate annual or lifetime coverage limits and extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
When the unions were trying to help pass Obamacare, they said that those were good things. Coverage for children up to age 26! No lifetime limits on benefits! Coverage for pre-existing conditions! Yippee!
But now they are complaining that it will raise the cost of insurance?
Did they really believe that those things were going to be “free”?
As time goes on, I am sensing more and more hypocrisy from the supporters of Obamacare.
Here are some previous examples:
Hypocrite unions that supported the passage of Obamacare three years ago are now complaining about its negative effects
This is hilarious!
Some of the unions that backed passage of Obamacare three years ago are now saying they are worried about the negative effects that it will have on them.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Some Unions Grow Wary of Health Law They Backed
Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.
Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.
Some 20 million Americans are covered by the health-care plans at issue
Top officers at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the AFL-CIO and other large labor groups plan to keep pressing the Obama administration to expand the federal subsidies to these jointly run plans, warning that unionized employers may otherwise drop coverage. A handful of unions say they already have examined whether it makes sense to shift workers off their current plans
“We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer for the Teamsters, which has 1.6 million members and dependents in health-care plans. Other unions involved in the push include the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and Unite Here
Sheet Metal Workers Local 85 in Atlanta, which has about 1,900 members. Next year it must lift the $250,000 annual cap on the amount it will pay for medical claims. The law’s requirements will add between 50 cents to $1 an hour to the cost of members’ compensation package
These are the “low information” voters who backed Obamacare without knowing what was in it – and who chose to ignore the critics who pointed out these problems before the law was passed – the very same problems that the unions are now complaining about. The critics pointed out that these problems were timed so as to not take effect until after the 2012 election.
This reminds me of the Simpsons episode “Last Exit to Springfield” from season 4 where the union at the nuclear power plant agreed to give up their dental coverage in exchange for a keg of beer.