In Other Labor News

By May 12, 2008Labor Unions
  • Labor groups oppose Mexican aid package

    WASHINGTON — A major U.S. counterdrug aid package for Mexico is under attack by U.S. organized labor, which says Congress should reject the initiative unless tough human-rights conditions are included, according to a letter revealed Friday. The opposition by the AFL-CIO and other labor groups adds another obstacle to a three-year, $1.4 billion program for Mexico known as the Merida Initiative.

    U.S. organized labor is absolutely cavalier about the fights that countries like Colombia and now Mexico are fighting against terrorists and criminals and murderers. Labor’s exercise of political power for power’s sake means those threats grow, not just south of the border, but here in the United States, too.

  • An editorial in the Wall Street Journal, “The Union Police,” examines a bill that would force hundreds of thousands of local policemen and firemen into collective bargaining:

    A bill that passed the House last year would make the top officials at local unions the exclusive bargaining agents for public safety officers in every town or city with more than 5,000 people. They would also have the authority to bargain for everything — pay, benefits and work rules. The goal is to give labor the whip hand with local governments, and further coerce nonunion members to join the dues-paying ranks.

    Sixteen states have considered legislation like this since 1996 and voted it down. The bill, pushed hardest by the International Association of Fire Fighters, would impose it nationwide, superseding all of these state laws.

    State labor relations are traditionally — and constitutionally — handled by the states. As the Journal notes, the safety needs of Fargo are different than those of NYC.

  • Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has vetoed a legislative resolution memorializing Congress to support the Employee Free Choice Act. His veto letter is here. He concludes:

    “The Employee Free Choice Act is one-sided legisaltion that seeks to fundamentally alter more than 60 years of federal labor law. If passed, it will disadvantage businesses with U.S operations and may encourage more employers to transfer jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, overseas.”

    Strong, principled move by the governor, especially since the resolution had no legal effect other than to encourage Congress. Organized labor has made these sorts of state and local resolutions part of its PR campaign for the anti-democratic card check legislation; it’s good to see someone say, “Knock it off.”

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