Posts Tagged ‘Unions’


The SEIU and the Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Factor writes, later coordinated with other public-sector unions to spend “literally hundreds of millions of dollars promoting Obamacare.”

The Daily Caller requested comments for this article from the SEIU, AFSCME and a White House spokesman. None of them responded.

A booklet published by SEIU during the 2008 election season called for “building a new American health care system,” in part by “organizing workers.” The publication argued for outcomes nearly identical to those later adopted in the Obamacare legislation.

“We … will not stop until every man, woman and child has quality, affordable care they can count on,” it read. “The time to fix health care is now.”

And in an April 9, 2011 memo, the United Healthcare Workers — a union affiliated with the SEIU — articulated its future vision, including “an ambitious plan to fight for our future by organizing healthcare workers.”

In 2010 the SEIU elected Mary Key Henry as its new International President. Henry’s background was in health care organizing. She led efforts to unionize workers at Beverly nursing homes, Catholic Health Care West, Tenet Healthcare Corporation and HCA Healthcare.

Factor, who is also a Forbes columnist and senior editor of money and politics for The, recounts emails from former federal Office of Labor-Management Standards staffer Don Loos, now a senior adviser to the president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

“It is clear that Big Labor is banking on the probability that all healthcare workers eventually become federal, state, and municipal healthcare employees,” Loos told Factor. That, he said, would make them eligible for involuntary unionization through public-sector unions like AFSCME and the SEIU.

“Obamacare is an SEIU and AFSCME membership ‘net,’” Loos claimed, “designed to eventually capture 21 million forced-dues paying government workers.” New health care jobs created by Obamacare, he said, will eventually be filled by “federal, state, and municipal healthcare employees.”

The Obamacare law, once fully implemented, will dramatically increase the number of health care workers receiving payment for their services through government programs, including Medicaid and so-called “public option” government-run insurance plans.

“The government employee unions can then enlist pro-union state governments to treat these health care workers as ‘government employees,’” Factor told The Daily Caller, “and unionize them just like they unionized the care providers” themselves.

“For every million additional health care workers unionized in the 27 non-right-to-work states,” he told TheDC, “the unions stand to earn $1 billion in dues.”

Factor writes in “Shadowbosses” that Canada’s national health care system has provided an apt example. Heritage Foundation labor economist James Sherk told him that “60 percent of Canadian health care workers and a stunning 80 percent of nurses belong to unions — more than quadruple the levels in America.”

Only 10 percent of them were union members before the advent of socialized medicine in Canada, Factor said.

The SEIU’s designs on health care reform surfaced in a meeting at the union’s headquarters held in November 2007, during the early days of the 2008 presidential election season. During one session, former Clinton senior health care policy adviser Chris Jennings made a presentation titled ’”Rx for Successful SEIU Strategy for Health Care.”

Making comprehensive health care reform a key issue during the election, Jennings’ PowerPoint presentation indicates he told an audience of mostly SEIU policymakers and executives, would be good union policy because it “creates demand for SEIU-provided services.”

Ultimately, the Obama administration granted Obamacare waivers to 1,231 employers, making them exempt from the law’s requirements for at least 30 months. Those waivers cover 613,625 employees overall, of which 88.6 percent are represented by unions and just 11.4 percent work for private employers. (RELATED: Labor unions primary recipients of Obamacare waivers)

Unions’ support for President Obama’s health care reform vision was initially tepid after his inauguration because he proposed paying for some of the legislation’s cost by levying a 40 percent excise tax on unusually expensive insurance plans.

These so-called “Cadillac” plans, which feature low deductibles and offer benefits covering expensive treatments that other plans exclude, were common among unions themselves — meaning that the unions lobbied for Obamacare despite the fact that it promised to upgrade the insurance plans of relatively few of their members.

But the administration later agreed to a moratorium on taxing those Cadillac plans, giving labor unions until 2018 to lobby for other ways to spare themselves the extra cost.

That delay added nearly an extra $120 billion to Obamacare’s overall calculated cost, a shortfall that the law made up by making additional cuts to Medicare Advantage, the “Medicare Part C” program that allows some senior citizens to receive benefits through private insurance companies

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Dirty UK Unions Offer Reward To Anyone Who Can Reveal Location of Romney Fundraisers…

Two unions representing members in four different countries offered a reward today to the person who can reveal the location of Mitt Romney’s fundraiser in London and thus enable them to protest his campaign.

“Romney is in town for the opening of the Olympics and to raise funds from rich bankers for his campaign to be the next president of the United States,” a press release from Unite and the United Steel Workers notes. “The unions want to ‘award’ Romney with two gold medals, one for austerity (for others) and the other for financial secrecy.”

The unions offer “a dinner for two in London at a American style restaurant” to the person who tells them where the Romney fundraiser will take place. Unite, a union from Britain and Ireland, couched its attack in the language of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. “It’s no surprise then that Romney is in London for a secretive but lavish fundraising event where bankers and other city elite can continue to back austerity for the 99 per cent while they continue as if it’s business as usual,” said General Secretary Len McCluskey.

USW International President Leo W. Gerard, whose union has members in the United States and Canada, hit Romney for “refusing to disclose his tax returns.” Romney has published last year’s tax returns and promises this year’s when they are available, but he has published less than presidential candidates traditionally release.


In the seedy world of the Chicago unions and the political pawns they control, there is a family dynasty whose name is at the top of heap in terms of power and political muscle. That is the Coli family. Without the blessings of the Coli family and the union they control, Teamsters Local 727 and Joint Council 25 (the governing body of 20 Teamster locals in Illinois and Indiana), Chicago might not have Rahm Emanuel as its mayor and America might not have Barack Obama as its president. Now, however, the Coli union dynasty may be in jeopardy due to a RICO suit filed against several members of the Coli family, including John Coli, Sr., and Teamsters Local 727.SCI Illinois Services, Inc. is a company that provides funeral services in Chicago and vicinity. Being in the Chicago area, the company’s employees (which consist of funeral directors, embalmers, embalmer trainees, and auto livery drivers) are represented by Teamsters Local 727.

According to the RICO suit, SCI is required under its union contract with the Coli-controlled Teamsters, to pay money into the union’s health, pension, and education funds for its Teamster-represented employees. The health, pension and educations funds are where out of the four fund trustees, according to the suit, the Coli family has installed three of its family members.

The funds are also where the Coli dynasty has, according to the RICO suit, allegedly created a “scheme to defraud and extort” money from SCI by inflating audit findings. Over many years, the union would claim that the company owed more money than it believed it owed to the Coli-controlled funds.

Defendants have conspired to and have falsely and intentionally inflated audits relating to how much was owed to the Local 727 Funds, continually abusing the legitimate audit process year after year to extort as much money as possible from Plaintiff for the Funds.

Finally, after years of Plaintiff submitting to extortion and incurring enormous legal expenses, Plaintiff decided to fight instead. In litigation brought by the Funds at the control and direction of the Defendants, Plaintiff sought the deposition of key individuals, including Defendant John Coli, Sr. Coli Sr. resisted his deposition vigorously. When the court finally ordered him to attend he did appear, but was belligerent and uncooperative, stating, “For the record, go f**k yourself.”

According to the RICO suit:

By engaging in the scheme to extort contributions from Plaintiff into the Funds, the Coli Defendants are seeking to increase the viability and perceived financial soundness of the Funds by any, including illegal, means.

By engaging in the scheme to extort contributions from Plaintiff into the Funds, the Coli Defendants and the Union are seeking to serve and protect their own direct and indirect financial interests. The Union’s pension fund is seriously underfunded and a source of potential embarrassment and criticism for the Union and its leadership. The underfunded status of the Funds impacts the Union’s ability to recruit and retain members, which has the effect of diminishing membership dues − the primary revenue source for the Union. The Coli Defendants and the Union are therefore seeking to augment the pension fund by engaging in this fraudulent and extortionate scheme to reduce the level of underfunding. The seriously underfunded status of the pension fund is also a potential source of embarrassment for and criticism of the Coli Defendants, causing their job performance to be called into question, and raising questions about their competence and issues of nepotism, cronyism, qualifications, experience and general fitness to carry out their responsibilities, placing at risk their job security and generous compensation packages. Similar motives exist with regard to the other union benefit plans. The Coli Defendants are engaging in this scheme to wrongfully extort money that the Funds are not entitled to for the purpose of improving their image, consolidating their control and thereby protecting their own financial interests and maintaining control of the Funds and the Union.

Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge denied the Coli’s motion to dismiss the RICO suit.

In his denial of the motion to dismiss, Judge Zagel summarized the complaint as follows:

The gravamen of the complaint is that Defendants have manipulated a series of audits to fraudulently inflate the amounts for which the Funds billed Plaintiff. Specifically, the complaint alleges that beginning in August 2002 and continuing to the present, Defendants have deliberately withheld records from auditors, signed off on final auditing reports that they know to be materially flawed, imposed unreasonably burdensome procedures on Plaintiff to challenge the audits, and sued Plaintiff to collect payments to which they were not entitled. For years, Plaintiff capitulated to the fraud by settling rather than incurring the costs of litigating each individual audit. The complaint states that, between April 2004 and April 2008, Plaintiff settled seven lawsuits with Defendants for amounts far exceeding what Plaintiff actually owed the Funds.

The most recent scheme allegedly involved an employer-wide audit covering all of Plaintiff’s funeral homes in the State of Illinois. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant deliberately withheld information from the auditing firm which “caused the draft audit report to have intentional misrepresentations,” such as the inclusion of non-Local 727 employees, as well as employees and funeral homes covered by previous settlement agreements.

The complaint contains enough facts to infer the existence of an agreement between Defendants to violate § 1962(c). The conspiracy claim stands. Causation and injury have been sufficiently pled–there is no question that Plaintiff has payed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Funds in order to settle ERISA actions based on disputed audits.

While the Coli case is about one individual union and the family that controls it, the case may have much farther reaching impact as there are thousands of companies across the United States that contribute to underfunded union pension plans.

If the allegations against the Coli-controlled funds prove to be true, not only might the Coli dynasty come to a well-deserved ignominious end, but there may be other companies that are overpaying moneys into ‘schemes’ such as the one the Coli’s are accused of masterminding.

Allen West on Education: No More Feds, No More Unions

By Rich Abdill
Broward-Palm Beach Times
Congressman Allen West gave a 25-minute speech on his 2012 platform over the weekend — expect more in the coming days. Today, though, we tackle education.
“Washington has a good day when it manages not to screw things up too badly. That is equally true when it comes to education. No one is well-served when the federal bureaucracy tries to impose top-down controls on our schools,” West said. “Teachers end up hamstrung, parents end up shut out of the decision-making process, and students, our next generation, end up as collateral damage.”
It was at this point he said that teaching at Deerfield Beach High School was worse than working in Afghanistan.

His solution to all this hamstringing and shutting-out was simple: Give the power back to parents and the local school boards.

”I know that we can do better. If we really want to, we can get the federal government out of these South Florida schools. We can take ownership of our own kids’ futures back,” he said. “A nation that refuses to invest in the next generation is paving its way to decline. But that investment does not need to include wasting taxpayer dollars on more bureaucratic policies either. That’s why I support giving parents the ability to choose the school best able to meet their child’s needs. It’s why I support taking power away from teachers’ unions.”
There you have it: Invest in the next generation, but not with… money.
Predictably, the Broward Teachers’ Union disagrees.
“It’s probably one of the most completely inaccurate statements I’ve heard in a long time,” said BTU administrator John Tarka. “We are, of course, interested in representing our members, but we know too that public education is one of the cornerstones of our community… It’s kind of an unwarranted attack on teachers’ unions.
“We really do want to see schools improve,” he continued. ”We’ve always said we’re interested in what’s good for children and what’s good for educators.”
He also added that federal oversight is necessary to ensure a “constant and consistent curriculum” — and to make sure schools are getting the support they need. He said state and federal funding was keeping afloat school districts across the country that were in impoverished districts that can’t afford quality education.
“They shouldn’t get state support, support from the federal government?” Tarka said.
“Some communities are wealthy; some communities are very poor… Does the congressman mean that district rely only on their community for support?”
He conceded that West was right to criticize portions of No Child Left Behind but added that the American Federation of Teachers fought that legislation too.
“It’s the kind of statement that’s so inflammatory and so baseless… There’s a place for criticism, as long as it’s constructive criticism.” Tarka said. “That kind of a statement by a member of Congress, I think, is irresponsible.”

After Walker victory, Indiana governor suggests public unions should go



Labor losses give new hope to pension reform


SACRAMENTO — Labor’s steep losses at the polls Tuesday gave new hope to pension reformers throughout California and perhaps new impetus to Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders to strike a deal on lowering the cost of public-employee pensions.
In San Jose, once a labor-friendly paradise, voters overwhelmingly backed a measure touted by Mayor Chuck Reed, who argued that the city can no longer afford generous pension plans as cops and city services get the ax. The vote came on the day San Diego approved a similar measure and Wisconsin voters rejected the recall of the stridently anti-labor Gov. Scott Walker.

“The pension reform votes in San Jose and San Diego are a powerful wake-up call,” Brown said. “I have a 12-point pension reform plan and, after I lock this budget down, people should feel confident that pension reform is next on the agenda.”

Brown’s incentive is clear: He needs to show he’s asking state workers to sacrifice so that voters will be more amenable to his tax-hike initiative on November’s ballot. The measure would raise income taxes on couples making more than $500,000 and boost the sales tax by a quarter of a cent.

“(Tuesday) was certainly a move toward pension reform because it’s clear to everyone that we need it now,” agreed Dan Pellissier, president of California Pension Reform, a group that tried unsuccessfully this year to qualify a statewide pension reform measure.

Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist, characterized Brown’s dilemma this way: “There is a deep-seated anti-tax sentiment in California, so the narrative has to be perfect and it has to involve reforms, including pension reforms.”

Almost as deep is the anger many Californians feel over losing benefits, pay and — in some cases — their jobs, while public employees have maintained great benefits, said Darry Sragow, a Democratic strategist.

“There is an incredible amount of resentment toward public employees who say they should be immune from all the corrections most Americans are making to get through these economic times,” Sragow said. “So it presumably will be a lot easier to get the governor’s tax plan passed if public employees are sending a message they understand the world and are willing to accommodate on pensions. But if public employees refuse to accept changes, that will create a problem for the tax plan.”

When California Pension Reform failed earlier to place a pension reform proposal on the ballot, some pressure was taken off the Legislature to quickly produce pension rollbacks.

Still, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, has said that some reductions in public employees’ benefits will be needed to bolster Brown’s case for tax increases to stabilize the state’s budget situation. And Steinberg said Wednesday that the elections didn’t “change a thing for me. My opinion is the same: We know we need to get pension reform done before the end of the legislative session and we will get it done.”

Brown’s 12-point reform plan has been in the Legislature’s hands since early February, but parts of it — asking employees to contribute more of their salaries to pensions and partially switching to a 401(k)-style benefit for new employees — has met with resistance from Democrats and labor groups.

He is likely to win a package that includes ending the practices of “spiking” — bolstering benefits with huge late-career salary hikes — and “double-dipping,” or allowing retired workers to continue to earn a state salary while collecting their pensions.

Dave Low, chairman of a labor group focusing on pension issues, said he doubts that the election victories in San Jose and San Diego will amount to any momentum across the state. He noted that few cities have expressed plans to take up pension reforms any time soon, possibly because labor groups have negotiated new collective bargaining agreements with 350 local agencies and municipalities over the past three years.

“I would think there’s no huge statewide implications from these two elections,” Low said. “It’s more of a case-by-case basis. These elections say something about voters in two cities, where there was a huge onslaught of negative press, and where they were having to make terrible cuts all over the place because the budgets and pensions were so badly managed.”

But Pellissier disagreed, contending that Tuesday’s votes will reassure those who might contribute toward other pension-reform measures that voters will approve them despite heavy opposition from labor unions.

“It gives confidence to people in the political and donor world that this issue a winner,” Pellissier said.

As expected, the San Jose measure immediately met with legal challenges from city unions. So, Pellissier acknowledged, many city officials elsewhere are likely to wait to see how well the measures fare in court before considering a similar ballot-box solution.

But he added that even with the legal questions unsettled, the strong voter approval in San Jose and San Diego will give cities added leverage in seeking more substantial pension cutbacks from employee unions. It could factor in to “how far they can push their unions in reaching agreements” as part of any pending municipal bankruptcy, in addition to making unions more open to concessions, he said.

Public employees are willing to negotiate rollbacks to their benefits, said Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation.

“Public employees have gone to the table and recognized there will be cutbacks,” Smith said. “But let’s make sensitive decisions that help the state over a long time, not punitive decisions that react to the polls or to one election.”

City Council of North Las Vegas Unanimously Suspends Collectively Bargaining of Public Unions

The city council of North Las Vegas, the 4th largest city in Nevada (population 216,961) voted unanimously to suspend collective bargaining agreements made with public unions.

In spite of having the highest property tax rates in the county, the city’s budget is in a mess, wrecked by the busting of the housing bubble.

According to Wikipedia the city’s budget deficit was $8.6 million. A budget balanced through personnel layoffs was passed last May, but judges reversed some of those pink slips, creating a financial emergency that could require the state to take over North Las Vegas’ finances.

In response, the city decided to take matters into its own hands. City Manager Tim Hacker said the city was in a state of emergency and cited Nevada law NRS 288.150(4)

“A local government employer is entitled to take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out its responsibilities in situations of emergency…..such as a riot, military action, natural disaster or civil disorder.”

With NRS 288.150(4) as the rationale, the city council unanimously passed Resolution 2475 suspending collective bargaining agreements as follows.

Resolution 2475 temporarily suspends certain terms of the City’s existing collective bargaining agreements with the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association (“POA”), the North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association (“PSA”) and the International Association of Firefighters Local #1604 (“IAFF”) beginning July 1, 2012. The suspended terms include only those that have the affect of increasing the City’s labor costs in FY 2012/2013 including cost of living adjustments, merit pay, holiday sell-back pay and uniform pay.

The City’s tax revenue has fallen sharply as a result of the recession and its tax base deterioration has been among the worst in the nation. The City’s property tax revenue has declined by 37.1% from a high $62 million in 2009 to approximately $39 million in 2012. Similarly, consolidated tax revenue declined by 30% from a high of $54 million in 2006 to approximately $38 million in 2012. As the same time, labor costs have continued to increase largely due to automatic cost of living increases and other benefits specified in the City’s Collective Bargaining Agreements.
I commend the actions of the North Las Vegas. Unions are up in arms, but they are the one who helped wreck the city.

Democrats Continue War on Conservative Women

By Gary DeMar

Madeleine McAulay is one of the Left’s newest targets. Madeleine is 16 years old and happens to be a conservative. She lives in North Carolina. When she posted a video on the same-sex marriage vote, the haters came out of the closet. The comments are so vile that I can’t and won’t post them here.
The folks at Hustler magazine posted a parody story against conservative commentator S.E. Cupp. Again, it’s another vile treatment of a conservative woman from the intolerant Left that’s always accusing the Right of being at war with women.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a liberal masquerading as a Republican, accused people who don’t want their tax dollars to pay for someone else’s birth control and abortions as waging a war on women. “It makes no sense to make this attack on women,” she said on a Public Radio station. “If you don’t feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters.”
I spoke with my wife, and she said abortion is a war on pre-born girls and boys, about 1.5 million each year. She also wanted to know why she was being taxed to pay for someone else’s birth control. It’s that simple. If a woman wants birth control pills, she should pay for them. Period.
Murkowski said she would continue to support funding for Planned Parenthood because the courts have made abortion legal. There was a time when slavery and forced sterilization were legal. Again, our tax dollars should not be funding an organization like Planned Parenthood, even for breast cancer screening.
Ann Romney was attacked as a woman who has not worked a day in her life. Whatever happened to a woman’s “choice” to stay at home and raise five children or work outside the home? For Democrats, there is only one choice, and if a woman doesn’t make that choice, then the Democrat Party is at war with her.
Let’s not leave out South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Donna Dewitt, the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, took a baseball bat to a piñata that bore the image of the governor. As expected, the union crowd went wild with delightful cheers.

Gov. Haley posted the following in her Facebook page: “Wow. I wonder if the unions think this kind of thing will make people take them seriously.”
You and I know that if Gov. Haley had taken a baseball bat to a piñata that was the image of Donna DeWitt, the unions and Leftist media would be denouncing her from every radio tower, printing press, and TV talk show.
The next time some woman gets beaten with a baseball bat, remind the victim of the union thug named Donna Dewitt who set the precedent. Isn’t this the way liberals argue? Wasn’t Sarah Palin criticized for featuring legislators who voted for Obama’s health care bill with crosshairs over their image? She was blamed for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.
All Liberals have to do to dismiss criticism is to follow DeWitt’s example: “It was all fun and games, and there was certainly no ill intent.”

The Democrat war on women and children has a long history:
First and foremost, it has brought us the wholesale destruction of the nuclear family, and the resultant poverty and crime that attends it. Currently 41 percent of children are born to single mothers, most of whom are low-income women in their early and mid-20s. In the black American community, that percentage soars to a staggering 72 percent. Male child abandonment is now a rampant aspect of our society. These trends are directly connected to Democrats’ and president Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” and the critical changes they made to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (AFDC).
The media double standard is a big reason why we are in a political mess. Think where we would be today if we did not have an alternative media to expose these stories.

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