Politics

Organized Labor and the State

|

Historian Paul Moreno, author of the superb Black Americans and Organized Labor, argues that SEIU leader Andy Stern has successfully positioned the labor movement to reap major spoils from its cozy relationship with the state:

When Andy Stern announced his retirement as head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the "Change to Win" federation, he took a generous retirement package with him, and left his union $85 million in debt, having spent $61 million to elect President Obama and a Democratic Congress.

A good case can be made that he earned every penny of that package, and has left Big Labor stronger than ever.

Organized labor is engaged in its most audacious offensive since the New Deal. And Andy Stern has put it in an advantageous position because he learned the age-old lesson of American organized labor: politics pays. He's not running off with an early inheritance. He's returning to his movement's first principles.

Read the rest here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Listen to Matt Welch on WBAL AM 1090 Today at 3:35 Baltimore Time Talk About How We Are Out of Money

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Behold the self-plundering State.

    1. Dictatorship of the Praefecti

  2. “Let me be clear… the best way to help working people is to keep them subservient to the state… and the best way to keep them subservient to the state is to tie them up in organizations that they don’t actually want to join but take money from them and to spend that money on politicians like me who work for their own benefit. It’s a virtuous cycle.

    Some might say that freedom is important. To them I say, freedom to stick your hand in the boss’s cookie jar is the best freedom of all!”

    1. You had me at “Let me be clear”

  3. It’s like these workers don’t know their place or something.

    1. They know it all too well, Danny Boy: In our pockets.

    2. Oh, they know their place. Standing proudly on the neck of the beaten-down taxpayer.

    3. Dan T.|5.3.10 @ 3:45PM|#
      “It’s like these workers don’t know their place or something.”

      I’d say it was 1989 when worn-out lefties finally realized that Communism wasn’t the future; it was an obsolete past.
      Ever since, worn-out lefties like this have ‘cleverly quipped’ with worn-out cliche’s from, oh, 50 – 100 years ago.
      Way to go, Dan! That’s the ‘bees ankles’ (or something like that).

      1. Oh, for crying out Pete’s sake, Ron! Can you not manufacture the catchphrases correctly? It is knee-slapper! “Bees ankles”! I laugh at the haircuts of your ancestors! You are funny man!

        1. It is like, how do you say… shooting pickles in fish barrel!

          1. cock skazat

            1. You’re speaking my language, Mike!

            2. How much is it? Oh, about three dollars and fifty cents ought to cover it…

              1. Don’t you be givin’ no Loch Ness Monsser no three-fiddy!

    4. Apparently, what they stubbornly refuse to learn is that their place is on the unemployment line.

      People are not entitled to a permanent Pullman car on the Upper-Middle Class Gravy Train, at either their employers’ expense or the public’s.

      1. Definitely, we should all work for free.

        WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE INVESTORS!!!

        1. WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE TAXPAYERS!!!

          WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE DEFICIT!!!

          Fixed that for you. Take your pick.

        2. LOL, nothing refreshes like that AFL Kool-Aid. Labor rights != labor unions.

          There’s this really cool thing nowadays called the “high-tech industry.” Employs millions of non-union people in this country at very comfortable salaries. Funny how they don’t need unions to make sure they don’t work for free, or don’t receive hourly floggings.

          (P.S. those of you in tech who do receive hourly floggings, I doubt joining a union is going to help you much.)

          1. Ah, the “kindness of strangers” argument. We don’t need unions because our bosses have been oh so kind to us!

            You seem to agree that favorable working conditions are important. Wouldn’t it be better to have legally enforcable rights (like that found in a CBA) than to rely on the “kindness of strangers?”

            1. Yeah, the kindness of labor bosses is much better. By the way, workers have legally enforceable rights. Work in HR for a while and you might learn about this magical entity called the government that has a shitload of things called laws that regulate what employers can and can’t do.

            2. Tell ’em how people should be forced to join unions if they want to work in a given field, and how that’s okay and fair. God, that makes me moist.

          2. “(P.S. those of you in tech who do receive hourly floggings, I doubt joining a union is going to help you much.)”

            ANd if you do, we’ll be there to make sure you get punished.

  4. Historian Paul Moreno, author of the superb Black Americans and Organized Labor, argues that SEIU leader Andy Stern has successfully positioned the labor movement to reap major spoils from its cozy relationship with the state:

    Ya think?!!!!!

    1. It’s obvious to us, but it’s a message which merits repeating. There’s always a remote chance that it might get through to someone in the “I guess you want your children working in coal mines” camp.

  5. I’m in favor of this. All non-union labor should be abolished.

    1. In favor of what? Andy Stern getting filthy rich on the backs of his workers?

      1. Calm down josey, that’s somebody pretending to be me. Adolescence is a tough thing for some…

        1. It’s hell when we can’t tell name-brand idiocy from the knock-off type.

          1. *I* couldn’t tell the difference… but then, all we have is MNG claiming to be spoofed…

            1. MNG wasn’t being spoofed. And even if he was, it’s still true – non-union workers are vastly inferior, in all jobs. No exceptions. Ever.

  6. “Organized labor is engaged in its most audacious offensive since the New Deal.”

    Like what? Look, the headline item for the unions, card check, is a pretty modest things, quite far from “audacious” and they didn’t even get that. Some cozy relationship!

    1. Modest my ass. You know damn well that card check is gonna be used as a tool to bully people into unions they don’t want. If there are actual employee abuses going on, they can form unions easily under current law. I know this, you know this and they know this. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous and insulting. You believe in secret ballots for other elections, don’t you?

      1. All card check means is that people may be asked…to sign a card! They are free to say no. Laws against “bullying” remain in place.

        What you probably do not know is that the NLRB has allowed unionization via the card method somewhat frequently. It’s no tremondous innovation.

        It’s laughable to invoke the sanctity of elections in opposing card check. Unionization elections are not like our political elections. For the latter to be like the former we’d have to imagine that one party could coerce the voters into attending rallies for that party alone and deny the other party any access to the voters.

        1. All card check means is that people may be asked…to sign a card! They are free to say no. Laws against “bullying” remain in place.

          Right. I guess since unions never resort to bullying tactics, giving them the perfect tool to use is actually a non-event. Oh, wait…
          http://www.docstoc.com/docs/21…..-Reporters

          What you probably do not know is that the NLRB has allowed unionization via the card method somewhat frequently. It’s no tremondous(sic) innovation.

          Yes, because it’s allowed occasionally, it should be the new standard. I’m assuming that you’re also a fan of an increase in presidential ordered assassination of US citizens, yes? Because, there’s like, totally a precedent now. That line of reason could be used to justify anything at all, as long as someone got away with it once.

          It’s laughable to invoke the sanctity of elections in opposing card check. Unionization elections are not like our political elections. For the latter to be like the former we’d have to imagine that one party could coerce the voters into attending rallies for that party alone and deny the other party any access to the voters.

          Ignoring the other problems with this statement, what does that have to do with secret ballots? If the coercion is actually that high, wouldn’t secret ballots be a good thing?

        2. MNG|5.3.10 @ 8:01PM|#
          “All card check means is that people may be asked…to sign a card! They are free to say no. Laws against “bullying” remain in place.”

          You bet!
          Why, you’ll be “asked” (required by law) to sign a card indicating whether you agree with the thugs who are in the room at the time.
          And if there’s any sort of ‘problem’, why you can call the cops!
          BTW, are you really sure you want to come to work tomorrow?
          Exactly how low can you set the bar, MNG? Exactly how ignorant are you?

        3. Laws against “bullying” remain in place.

          Would those laws apply to/be obeyed by union thugs, or are you just talking about “bullying” when it’s done by teh evul corporashuns?

      2. That’s right, in Libertopia only employers are allowed to bully you. You want to stay competitive, don’t YA.

        1. Oh no not this again|5.3.10 @ 8:41PM|#
          “That’s right, in Libertopia only employers are allowed to bully you..”

          Hey, jackass! See any bills in congress making bullying by employers legal?
          I sorta thought not.

          1. In libertopia there would be no bills. So Im not sure your statement has any meaning.

            BEOING

            1. I thought Obama was gonna pay my mortgage, and put gas in my car… looks like I fell for a big line of shit.

              But I still support him.

              1. Not those kinds of “bills”. And, yes, you DID fall for a big line of shit.

            2. In your world, there are not thoughts.
              BEOING

    2. MNG|5.3.10 @ 6:10PM|#
      “Look, the headline item for the unions, card check, is a pretty modest things, quite far from “audacious” and they didn’t even get that. Some cozy relationship!”

      Well, outside of the fact that the thugs’ ability to pressure those who don’t agree isn’t very “modest”, labor was handed a good lump of our money on the GM deal, and there *are* some limits the taxpayers will establish.

      1. Oh my lord, now the libertarian recognizes “peer pressure” as something very real. Don’t worry folks, it’s only when applied to unions…

        The GM money was, of course, small potatoes to that involved in the financial sector bailout (not a very unionized sector), so that’s a pretty piss-poor example of unions getting some major goodie from the government.

        1. The GM bailout alone is likely to cost taxpayers more than TARP after all’s said and done, and all it’s gotten us is yet more misallocated capital in a zombie car company.

        2. MNG|5.3.10 @ 8:03PM|#
          “Oh my lord, now the libertarian recognizes “peer pressure” as something very real.”

          Oh, my lord! Now MNG is going to defind union thuggery as “peer pressure”.
          If it were “peer pressure”, there would be no need to “confirm” whether that “peer pressure” worked, would there, MNG. The only reason for card check is to substitute the threat of violence for “peer pressure”.

          1. It’s okay when *WE* do the bullying. Otherwise, we might not get what we want.

        3. *cough* jobs bank ahem

  7. “The GM bailout alone is likely to cost taxpayers more than TARP after all’s said and done”

    How in the world do you figure that? Show your work please.

    1. Most of the TARP money has been paid back with interest with the exception of AIG. Very little money has been paid back by the automakers. GM got caught lying about this the other week.

  8. How can liberals be pro-union and also support someone “earning” over $100k (or whatever the “maximum decent-person’s salary” limit for socialists is nowadays.)

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.