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  • Morning Bell: Can Our Economy Afford More Union Corruption?

    The president of California’s largest union local, the 160,000-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Los Angeles, yesterday announced he would take a leave of absence and the local would be placed in a temporary trusteeship. Tyrone Freeman’s departure comes after an in-depth series of Los Angeles Times articles detailing how Freeman fleeced union members — who make about $9 an hour caring for the infirm and disabled — of over $1 million in 2006 and 2007 alone.

    Freeman did not go quietly. Union staff members report Freeman’s lieutenants pressured them to sign a petition backing the union boss. When many refused, about 10 workers had their union-provided cellphone service discontinued. Requesting to be anonymous out of fear of retaliation, one SEIU employee told the Times: “It’s essentially a loyalty oath. … There’s a lot of intimidation.”

    SEIU President Andy Stern has claimed complete ignorance about ongoing corruption at the core of the largest successful unionization drive in the nation since the 1930s — a drive that “symbolized the success of the Service Employees International Union, the nation’s fastest-growing union.” But, the Times also reports, SEIU headquarters “was informed six years ago of allegations involving Freeman’s finances and personal relationships. It is unclear whether a review was undertaken at that time.

    Despite the success of this one corrupt union in organizing, the threat posed by unions to our economy has declinied. Over the past 25 years, union membership in America dropped dramatically: 21.4 percent of all workers belonged to a union in 1981; today, only 12.5 percent do. The numbers are even more dramatic in the private sector: 19 percent of of private sector workers belonged to a union 25 years ago compared to only 8 percent today. Now 48%  of all union members work for the government.

    Liberals are desperate to reverse this trend, and want to give corrupt bullies like Freeman all the tools they need to grow unions as fast as Freeman grew his local. To that end, Barack Obama supports “card check” legislation to end the democratic tradition of workers voting in secret-ballot elections on the question of union representation.

    Under current law, workers can vote their consciences because the secret ballot allows them to vote in private. Obama would allow people like “Freeman’s lieutenants” to intimidate or force workers to sign cards, in public, saying they support unionization. They can corner employees at work, in parking lots, even at home. Strange, then, that one of the first acts of the liberals after taking over Congress was to cut funding for federal oversight of unions.

    Unions simply are not needed in our 21st-century economy. They made some sense in the manufacturing economy of the 1930s. But in today’s knowledge economy, collective representation makes no sense. The fastest-growing occupations over the past quarter-century have been professional, technical and managerial in nature (Microsoft and Google are not unionized). Few workers want a one-size-fits-all contract that ignores what they individually bring to the bargaining table.

    Union-negotiated, seniority-based promotions and raises feel like chains to workers who want to get ahead. More importantly, no union ever has created a dime of wealth. Unions use their bargaining power to take wealth from someone else. American companies can’t afford the parasitic, corrupt influence of labor unions and still compete in the global marketplace.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Morning Bell: Can Our Economy Afford More Union Corruption?

    1. Elrond Wedel, Hutchi says:


    2. James, Buffalo says:

      I understand how to read the union contract, I have consulted the union steward. Which leads me nowhere… I find the union representative that establishes a conference between the business's general manager, myself, and the representative.

      The general manager and representative scream at me. I point out how I have read the union "contract." I state and show them where in the contract they are both IN BREACH.

      Do you still trust and want to be a member of a Labor Union?

    3. Jack Kyle, Lubbock,T says:

      I would like for anyone that is thinking about joining a union to buy a ticket, while you still have a job and the money to purchase a ticket, and visit China, India, and Mexico so you can visit with the person that will have your job in the near future. I have worked in the home furnishing business all of my adult life and up until recently the best most beautiful furniture was manufactured in the United States, but not anymore. Most all of the furniture is being made in some Asian country now because the unions have priced themselves out of the market. I have never belonged to a union and am proud of it. Paying someone so I can have a job is like paying some mobster to let me operate my own business in “his territory”. Come to think about it, it is one and the same.

    4. Edwin Buck, Albuquer says:

      Unions are the cause of the deterioration of our auto industries, airline industries and any other industries they have their hooks on. If I ever own a company, that company will never be unionized. I will shut the company down before I make it a union company. Amen.

    5. Pingback: Morning Bell: Can Our Economy Afford More Corruption and Intimidation?

    6. Pingback: More trouble in Big Labor-Land « Prairie State 2.0

    7. Pingback: Shopfloor » Blog Archive » Card Check: Empowering the Corruption

    8. James Harris, Jr., C says:

      Corruption which appears to occur in waves which ultimately drive honest men into despair as participation in those diverse schemes of unprincipaled men become the dominant force within closed systems. The status quo becomes that of vice and its contageon seeks new markets or other discrete systems and with great speed becomes a standard of practice. The corrupt standard of practice, then propagates and those Honest or Wise to this recurrent historic phenomenon seek shelter from a wave of immorality in commerce. It has been this way since the time of confucius and undoubtedly will remain this way for another 2,000 years. It is the principal of the Free Market that when corruption is so openly displayed, to make a stringent example of it as when the propagation of unprincipaled standard of practice takes hold in a wider system, there is no governance that can impede the ensuing losses to all within the system, principaled and unprincipaled, moral and immoral, honest and dishonest suffer equal harm from loss of confidence in the wider economic system from a localized infection of vice that becomes a poor standard of practice which proceeds to the Tragedy of the Common.

      It is the Calamity of Dishonesty.

      To be of liberal mind when all indicators call for discipline will exaggerate the cost, term and depth of Common Economic Loss.

    9. Danny says:

      Slowly ,but surely corruption changes it's face as Americans are again drawn, into a different spin that most cannot recognize. To become a victim, by the original actions of those who are given the slap on the hand -has not furthered the American hope of a freedom promised. Even as this is going on many countries smile, as their homelands are cleaner, brighter and many of our younger citizens have moved there with their own money. To free themselves from worry that haunts them at every street corner.

    10. L. Townley,Monroe,MI says:

      I have been a member of the USWA (steel workers) union for almost 15 years.They use my dues to support political candidates that I would never support (without asking the membership). They work in nice climate controlled offices, I work on the production floor where you either bake or freeze.

      The only time these elected representitives can find the plant itself is when its election time.

      They bargined away our retirement fund, personnal days,sick days etc.. and always tell me what a great job they do for me.

      If one of their drunken buddies get in trouble they are there, but if a hard worker gets in a jam the union jumps ship on them as fast as they can.

      So it comes as no surprise to me that a union rep. has embezelled vast amounts of money.

      Watch closely and you will the union raise dues to cover what was stolen.

    11. DMM says:

      OBama is like the rest of the Politicians. The Unions have gone the way of the Political System. Greedy, Selfish SOB'S. Years ago we had a Union Form of Government and Statemen. The Unions, in the past, did a lot for the working man. We should get rid of all the SOB'S. We need to Clean House and get our Country back to where it was and mean't to be. " In GOD We Trust!!" "GOD Bless AMERICA"

    12. Pingback: The Ugly Face of Progressive Corporatism « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    13. Pingback: Morning Bell: The Public-Sector Union Threat to Economic Recovery | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    14. Pingback: Morning Bell: What’s the Matter With Free Elections? | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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