Ironic Johnny continues to be a ‘Bunning’ on the issue of the EFCA

Give it a rest already John;

WASHINGTON – With the Obama administration promoting efforts to unionize workplaces, Sen. John Thune warned business leaders Tuesday that they should be ready to mobilize against congressional efforts to help labor groups organize employees.

“We cannot let up. We have to be vigilant. We’ve got to stay on this issue. This is organized labor’s No. 1 priority,” the South Dakota Republican said to about 250 business and chamber representatives from eight states attending a U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference. “We have to defeat this. … We have to be prepared because this could happen on very short notice.”

Why should we defeat this? Because it might require South Dakotans to have the chance to make better wages? It is blatantly obvious that Thune has his head shoved up the ass of corporate interests, Hell he worked as a lobbyist before running for Senate, and once he got in the Senate the first thing he tried to do is give his pal the biggest Federal Loan in the history of our country to a private industry. When are we gonna wakeup and realize this guy is a fraud?

“Chamber of Commerce people seem to think that if you keep giving money to corporations, that will fix the country,” said Mark Anderson, president of the South Dakota State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

Well, Mark, they are the largest lobbyist group in DC. Remember, Washington, and our very own golden boy, Ironic Johnny, only respond to cold hard cash. And the working class of South Dakota certainly are not sending it John’s way. He knows who he works for . . .

“This is a black-and-white issue, and we need to keep it that way,” Thune said.

I agree John, it is black-and-white, so why are you painting it red?



22 comments ↓

#1 Ghost of Dude on 03.03.10 at 8:00 am

Can she paint my house?

#2 Ghost of Dude on 03.03.10 at 8:04 am

Chamber of Commerce people seem to think that if you keep giving money to corporations, that will fix the country

Ooooooooo! Scary, evil corporations, without which none of your members would have jobs…

Unions are dinosaurs. They had their day when people were truly being abused by employers. These days, they don’t seem to understand that if they bankrupt their employers, they’ll be out of a job.

#3 Costner on 03.03.10 at 9:10 am

I feel unions are still helpful in some industries although their reputation has taken a significant hit in recent years, especially when it involves the automobile manufacturers and public sector unions.

However, employees should always have the right to unionize if they choose, I would never want to take that away from them. I just don’t like the idea that they want to take away the secret ballot as it can result in influence from both sides and voting should always be a private matter.

I also don’t feel that just because employees unionize that the employer should be forced to let the company be ran into the ground by the union. The employer should still be able to terminate employees for cause without fearing a union rep or a strike because of it.

There are pros and cons to unions, but to some degree they seem to protect the bad employee more than they benefit the good.

#4 Poly43 on 03.03.10 at 10:22 am

Cos.

To some degree I agree with most of what you say. That statement comes from 34 years of being in a union atmosphere. The first few years of that relationship was spent as a craftsman in one of the construction trades here in town. The last 30 years I spent in a union atmosphere completely unrelated to the construction trades. I’ve seen the best and worst of both non-union and union shops. The pros and cons work both ways. But on the bottom line, when looking back, I was better off as a union member. Why? Well, wages for one. A paycheck that puts food on the table, shelter over our heads and clothes on our backs without assistance. Eight hours of work for eight hours of pay. A motto I strongly believe in to this day…by anyone, in any field of work.

I also don’t feel that just because employees unionize that the employer should be forced to let the company be ran into the ground by the union.

I never seen this in my 34 year career. Especially in the construction field. Non-union? High turnover rate, with workers simply seeking out eight hours pay for eight hours work. Union shops? Employees stayed put with one employer, were loyal, worked hard, and gave the employer and customer the satisfaction that you get what you pay for.

There are pros and cons to unions, but to some degree they seem to protect the bad employee more than they benefit the good.

This I have an issue with. In both union and non-union atmospheres there are going to be a very small percentage of employees who play the system. But as a rule, unions benefit the hard workers who give their employer eight hours a day of solid, professional work.

Like we both agreed on earlier, there are pros and cons. From my own personal experience.. a con for unions. When I stated working in my second and last career, I brought with me a certain skillset from my construction trades days that that my employer and I agreed to put to use. As that “skillset” was not in my current job description, it was met with one grievance after another. Did not care for that. In fact, I dropped out of the union for just that reason for a while.

A pro union comment. A small percentage of our workforce was maintained by part time employees. I saw first hand how these part time people were treated by management. No liveable wage. No bennies. No rights. And forget about being treated with dignity and respect. I knew then we would ALL be treated the same way if management had their way, in their never ending quest to pad their yearly bonus numbers. GREED. It’s what drives them. Bottom line.

#5 Poly43 on 03.03.10 at 10:36 am


Unions are dinosaurs. They had their day when people were truly being abused by employers.

GoD

There were 135,110 jobs in this town as of September 2009. 33,777 of those jobs pay less than $10.62 an hour. 67,555 of those jobs pay LESS than $14.00 an hour. And you can say with a straight face workers are not being abused by their employers? Before you started your own business, you saw abuses every day. That’s why you’re doin what you’re doin today.

#6 Ghost of Dude on 03.03.10 at 12:19 pm

There were 135,110 jobs in this town as of September 2009. 33,777 of those jobs pay less than $10.62 an hour. 67,555 of those jobs pay LESS than $14.00 an hour. And you can say with a straight face workers are not being abused by their employers? Before you started your own business, you saw abuses every day. That’s why you’re doin what you’re doin today.

How would unionizing help any of those folks?

Some of them are already in union shops. The reason people here make shitty wages is because they are willing to work for that amount. If employers couldn’t find enough people at the rate they’re paying now, wages would go up. Unfortunately for the employees, there is still a steady supply of people moving to SF from rural areas where there are few jobs and even lower wages. To a lot of them, $13/hr. can look pretty good.
And when I made that comment, it was directed at groups like the UAW and the public employees union. The UAW is trying its best to drive away its members’ jobs. And there is no reason for government bureaucrats to be unionized. That just makes the government harder to shrink and its agencies harder to hold accountable for waste.
Unions had their best days when they fought for better, safer working conditions and actually faced real danger from people with big sticks and guns trying to bust up their strikes. Today, their leadership is corrupt and they seem to be trying awfully hard to bankrupt their employers.

#7 John on 03.03.10 at 12:19 pm

This is not about unions or how they are formed. It is one of a few “Ghosts” that will help Johnny raise cash. It is fund raising season!

#8 Ghost of Dude on 03.03.10 at 12:29 pm

Before you started your own business, you saw abuses every day. That’s why you’re doin what you’re doin today.

I started my own business because I saw stupidity every day at my old job, not “abuses”.

Before my department was laid off, I watched as our salespeople would go over the heads of the business due-diligence department to our executives, who would approve their stupid ideas and then ask us to come up with a justification for their approval. Eventually, they decided to do away with the due diligence altogether. It didn’t take long for them to go downhill after that and they recently had a round of layoffs due to bad decisions by people with absolutely no worries of being let go.
I vowed never to be in that type of environment again.

For what I did and what type of background was required to do that job, I was severly underpaid compared to others who did similar jobs in other states – to the tune of about $10,000/yr. If I wanted to live elsewhere and do similar work, I would have. But it was my goal to start a business, and this town is a great place to do it.

#9 Sy on 03.03.10 at 2:31 pm

L3wis:

“Why should we defeat this? Because it might require South Dakotans to have the chance to make better wages?”

Unionizing by stealth will have a negative impact on wages, as companies can and should fire those gulliable enough to buy that line of Union bullshit. It should be defeated because it is undemocratic and it’s simply pay back to Labor who pumped hundreds of millions into the Obama campaign.

Speaking of, all I had to do was swap around a couple words and we can recycle your quote for the Bamster:

“Hell he worked as an organizer before running for Senate, and once he got in the White House the first thing he tried to do is give his union pals the biggest Federal kickbacks in the history of our country to Labor. When are we gonna wakeup and realize this guy is a fraud?

#10 Ghost of Dude on 03.03.10 at 3:00 pm

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve studied the ass of the pretty lady in that picture for a while now, and it looks to me like there’s some blue paint or something on it.

#11 Sy on 03.03.10 at 3:23 pm

John:

“This is not about unions or how they are formed. It is one of a few “Ghosts” that will help Johnny raise cash. It is fund raising season!”

John has plenty of cash and no serious threat to worry about. He understands exactly what this issue is about, as I made certain of that personally.

Unions also had most of their pension funds upside down well before the market crash of ’08, as they have been a source for many slimy things that have nothing to do with employee’s retirements. But hey, don’t let that stop the Wall Street bash-fest.

BTW L3wis, this statement about the CoC is a complete load of horseshit,

“Well, Mark, they are the largest lobbyist group in DC.”

In 2008, Labor spent nearly $450 million on the campaign, or enough to give every UAW worker a $.54 cent an hour raise.

In 2008 the CoC spent nearly $250 thousand on the campaign, or enough to give every UAW worker a one-time payment of $.62 cents.

Moreover, the CoC actually gave more to House Dems than House Reps.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cycle=2008&cmte=C00082040

#12 l3wis on 03.03.10 at 4:36 pm

I agree with John, this has nothing to do with ‘protecting jobs’ or SD business. This is about defending the fat cats that give John money.

#13 Helga on 03.03.10 at 9:46 pm

“Chamber of Commerce people seem to think that if you keep giving money to corporations, that will fix the country,” said Mark Anderson, president of the South Dakota State Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/03/03/taxpayer-chamber-kill-health/

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an umbrella lobbying organization for international corporations and big business, is one of the driving forces fighting to kill health reform. In 2009, the Chamber dropped $123 million in lobbying, much of it against health reform, and organized an attack ad campaign against health reform, spending another $100 million. Now, as health reform enters its final stages, the Chamber is gearing up to blanket critical districts across the country with a new series of attack ads.
While the Chamber refuses to publicly list its membership, several confirmed Chamber members are banks which were bailed out by taxpayers and still have not repaid the TARP funds. For instance, New York Private Bank & Trust received TARP funds and still owes $254,892,509 back to the government. Diana Cantor, the bank’s managing director, is a board member of the Chamber Foundation and wife of Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), two leading opponents of reform.

#14 Costner on 03.04.10 at 8:15 am

It would seem someone isn’t being honest about their numbers, because there is a huge difference between the two.

#15 Sy on 03.04.10 at 10:29 am

Not really Costner, I posted what Labor did vs. the CoC in the 2008 campaign.

Helga’s got the CoC’s numbers for all of 2009, which includes their efforts to block other anti-business Obama agenda items like Cap & Tax & Obamacare.

My point stands though that CoC isn’t the “largest lobbying group in DC” as they are still several hundred million $$ behind the CoC. And as you can see in the link, Labor isn’t donating squat to Republicans whereas the CoC and other large corporate lobbyists like AT&T spread it around.

Here’s a 2010 list of heavy hitters.

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?type=L

One other valid point, the CoC is a voluntary organization and many upper level Execs make the choice to donate either personally and/or through the company. They usually will make sure they have funds available before they commit to an amount.

All that Labor money comes from the workers’ dues which is extracted from their paychecks, to which the leaders tell the workers not to sweat it as they will make the difference back up in the next contract negotiation. Which gets passed through to the consumer in the form of inflation.

So business’ get to lobby via profits, whereas labor passes that cost through to you and me. They also have been getting Federal help from Obama in the form of forcing Union labor into Stimulus projects, giving them a bigger stake in GM/Chrysler, giving them all kinds of grants for basically anything Union-related from the Slush fund they called the Stimulus. Like I posted above, Obamacare will also shore up those Pension funds with a $10 billion injection. All of which comes back home to you and me as taxpayers.

In other words, if you don’t like the fact that a business donates to a candidate or party, you can boycott that business. No one has that choice as to whether or not they like donating to a Union, because you are doing so anyway whether you know it or not.

#16 Sy on 03.04.10 at 10:31 am

Oops, that sentance above should read:

“My point stands though that CoC isn’t the “largest lobbying group in DC” as they are still several hundred million $$ behind Big Labor.”

Sorry.

#17 Costner on 03.04.10 at 11:28 am

Sy: So business’ get to lobby via profits, whereas labor passes that cost through to you and me.

Where the hell do you think profits come from? You guessed it… you and me.

The only people who should have a legitimate complaint about where the unions spends its money are union employees, because the rest of us get a choice where our money goes. As you said… if you don’t like where a business donates their money you can boycott that business, but the same holds true about their labor. If you don’t like the fact that a shop employs union workers or that they fund politicians, you can boycott them just as easily.

#18 l3wis on 03.04.10 at 2:52 pm

But Costner, then you shoot a hole in the whole ‘Unions are Evil’ argument.

#19 Sy on 03.04.10 at 4:11 pm

Thank goodness Costner’s firing blanks:

“Where the hell do you think profits come from? You guessed it… you and me.”

Profits come after you subtract your fixed and variable costs from your total sales. No guarantee there will be any, that is up to the marketplace to decide whether or not to reward a company.

Labor is a fixed cost, as in it doesn’t fluctuate arbitrarily. You can’t produce a single widget without incurring your fixed costs. This isn’t a chicken and egg scenario. Unions extract their dues regardless of the profitabilty of the company.

The consumer has a choice on where to make their purchase sure, but the Union worker’s only choice is whether or not to stay employed. Many of them have been voting with their feet as well, especially the ones who’ve done the research to see how the Union has managed their nestegg.

Here’s the kicker: you, me and every other taxpayer is currently funding (IE borrowing from our grandkids) our Organizer in Chief’s payback of Big Labor whether you like it or not. If you vote with your feet you will wind up in Leavenworth.

If that isn’t evil, than I guess I’d like to know what definition of “Evil” you’re working off of.

#20 Costner on 03.05.10 at 7:29 am

Sy: Profits come after you subtract your fixed and variable costs from your total sales. No guarantee there will be any, that is up to the marketplace to decide whether or not to reward a company.

That doesn’t change the fact that they still come from the customer, and you know full well when a well operated business has a known increase in fixed costs they will adjust their pricing to continue making a profit.

Either way – union dues and donations to political groups come out of the pockets of the consumer who chooses to support that respective business… so the entire argument is a moot point.

Besides that – with the stellar decision of our Supreme Court, I’d say big business will soon be having a much larger influence upon elections than those unions could ever hope for. Like it or not, the individual’s voice may not longer even be heard.

#21 Sy on 03.05.10 at 1:32 pm

Costner:

“Either way – union dues and donations to political groups come out of the pockets of the consumer who chooses to support that respective business…”

It’s not moot when you consider that all union dues are mandatory vs. a political contribution to the CoC is voluntary. Just like it’s madatory to pay your taxes, but what and how you consume is also voluntary.

There is no taxpayer money going to the CoC, you can’t say that about Big Labor.

#22 Costner on 03.05.10 at 1:56 pm

Sy: It’s not moot when you consider that all union dues are mandatory vs. a political contribution to the CoC is voluntary.

Again you miss the point. It doesn’t matter if the union dues or political contributions are voluntary or mandatory… it still (ultimately) comes from the pockets of the person who patronizes that business. One is no different than the other. People can vote with their wallets either way. If you see a sticker on the door that says “Chamber of Commerce Member” or one that says “Union – Yes!” then it seems obvious you have a choice whether you spend your money there or not.

Sy: There is no taxpayer money going to the CoC, you can’t say that about Big Labor.

Well if we really want to stretch that far, we could easily disagree with that argument. Look at the tax breaks and incentives given to businesses – which then in turn decide they wish to ‘donate’ funds to the CoC and ultimately into the campaign funds of the very politicians who influence those tax breaks and incentives.

Technically, if a business collects even one dollar of federal money throughout the year (whether that be via a contract, via a tax break, or even stimulus funds) you can argue they are ‘donating’ taxpayer money.

Sure that is a reach, but not much farther than someone saying that Big Labor is donating federal taxpayer money. It isn’t like Obama is sending the unions checks and then telling them they should just go out and spend that money supporting Democratic policies. If you want to assume everything goes into one bucket, it applies to the unions just as well as it does to private business.

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