Human Resources News & Insights

Obama: EFCA’s ‘card check’ is dead

diverse-group

President Obama announced that the Employee Free Choice Act’s controversial “card check” provision lacks the Congressional votes to push the measure over the top. That doesn’t mean the EFCA is dead, however.

The president has offered a compromise  version of the EFCA bill without card check — the controversial provision obligating employers to recognize unions after a majority of workers have signed cards, rather than after an election.

And now-democratic Sen. Arlen Specter — who had opposed EFCA and card check — said that he’d support a compromise EFCA bill with no card-check provision. On top of that, Specter has said he’ll support bill provisions that:

  • speed up union elections
  • allow employees to campaign at their work sites without retaliation, and
  • impose stiffer penalties on employers who violate of labor-organizing rights.

So any final bill is likely to be tougher on employers than existing legislation, and won’t exactly be EFCA-lite.

Print Friendly

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest Human Resources news and insights delivered to your inbox.

Comments

  1. Unfortunately, this administration will do whatever it has to do to get its anti-employer agenda passed, even if it is behind the scenes and in disguise.

  2. So basically, this “Compromise” is the same thing just worded differently. Unions do little else besides make empty promises, take employees money for dues and clog up the works. They work against employees but so many are blinded by their promises. Yes, unions may have been needed a long time ago because there were no employment laws to protect workers especially in dangerous jobs that were a hazard to your health and well being. With so many employee rights these days, unions really are losing their edge so now they will do anything to be able to BULLY employees into voting them in that are satisfied with their jobs and companies and wouldn’t otherwise want to unionize. Unions always talk about being fair but are any of the practices they use to organize fair to employers?

  3. Cindi, that was a very ignorant remark. Have you seen some of the great scandalous lengths employers like Wal-Mart that are notorious for employee abuse will go to keep out Unions and such that help promote an employee’s well-being. I was against the cards and the bill ( I still somewhat oppose the cards) until I read about the ridiculousness of some companies fighting unionization and employee rights.

  4. Richard Getz says:

    @Cindi,

    All i can say is ‘they elected him’ This includes businesses small and large. One of the owners of our small company voted for him.

    I don’t know what the Hope or Change was suppose to be, but we still have many of the Bush policies on war, we just moved the front from Iraq to Afghanistan. I guess people Hoped for a Socialist country for a Change.

    The worst is not behind us yet…

  5. I sure hope they don’t mean that employees can promote and campaign while the employee is supposed to be working.

  6. I’m sure there are employers out there who don’t want a Union shop; frankly if you treat your employees fairly there is no need for one. On the other hand, some Union shops have taken companies out of business. From my experience, the Union reps spend 90% of their time on 10% of the employees. For the other 90% is it worth paying weekly Union dues and having some else be your voice? I can’t imagine allowing employees to campaign at the worksite; not to mention lost productivity. I strongly oppose the card issue. Hmmmmm…..would this bill have anything to do with the unionized voters???????

  7. EFCA lite, or Specter switch-a-roo, or new bill – it’s all the same – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How sad for the United States.

  8. Unions are HORRIBLE for companies. They increase costs with NO real benefit to the employees over the long term. The Auto companies are bankrupt because the unions forced them into contracts that they could not afford. There are union employees that are paid NOT to work in the Auto companies. It is ridiculous. The unions add something like $35 per hour in added expenses to the Auto companies that the other Auto companies do not have. How can any company compete on that unbalanced playing field? None can!

    As far as Wal Mart, I have read numerous stories where there was ALLEGED problems, but I have also read NUMEROUS Testimonials from WalMart employees that rave and rave about WalMart and how it treats the employees. If WalMart was to unionize, it would have to close its doors. Period. They operate on such a small profit margin that they could not survive with that added expense.

    I agree with what some others have said – that unions were good for the employees AT ONE POINT IN TIME, but are now DETRIMENTAL to employees. Employees make more money WITHOUT unions than with unions nowadays, because of the exorbitant union dues. And where do those union dues go? To Union Political Action Committees. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with the union leadership’s political views or not, your dues are used to promote liberal candidates for political office across the country as well as promoting laws that DAMAGE and or Bankrupt companies across the country.

    EFCA is BAD for America, BAD for the citizens, HORRIBLE for the companies that will be penalized by the ridiculous provisions in EFCA, AND GUARANTEE companies will close their doors instead of being forced to unionize!!! Then instead of the union gaining a new company, the employees will ALL lose their jobs permanently. What a crock! EFCA exists solely to pay back the unions for their support in getting NoBama the NON US Citizen elected.

    Neal

  9. I am convinced that the unions, specifically the United Auto Workers, killed the auto industry as we knew it in the U.S. Maybe the unions were necessary in the 19th and 20th century, but that is, for the most part, no longer the case. Employers including Wal-Mart aside, most other employers are savy enough to recognize that the difference between success and failure is due in large part to the collective skills of the workforce. Lord knows there are enough employee friendly labor laws in place which was not the case decades ago thus the advent of unions. Creating an antagonistic and adversarial relationship by and between the company and the employees via a union is not good business. What the Obama administration, and indeed most Democrats need to keep in mind, is that the employer creates jobs… not the unions. Kill the employer and jobs go away. It’s that simple. GM and Chrysler will emerge from Chapter 11 but they will be much smaller comparatively. Jobs went away due to the unions’ demands and management’s failure to keep them out. Unions drive costs up and jobs out. Unions work against employers, not with them. Unions are in business for one thing and one thing only… to line the pockets of the hoods running them. The failure of those in favor of EFCA or EFCA lite is to understand that to support unions is to kill business. Unions drive costs up and business out. Want more proof that the auto unions killed the big three? Google “unions in the auto industy.” What industry is next? Will the current administration kill more jobs by supporting union thugs?

  10. Don’t forget the “Sons of EFCA” legislation sitting out there now and in future that have the potential to be as harmful. Certainly the compromise bill mentioned here from Specter and we should also watch the RESPECT Act (redefining definition of supervisor for organizing purposes), another act referred to as Minority something, referencing the ability to organize a small group of workers within a large group of employees who chose not to vote for a CBU. It scares me to think that these are sitting out there and who knows what else, that can be just as damaging to labor relations. We all need to continue to watch these movements and continue to flood our representatives with our opinions. I’m an HR professional who has been on both sides of the fence. I’ve been in the business world for many years, and I understood the need for the union movement many years ago. But now the Union’s agenda has very little to do with protecting the rights of employees and they have bought their way into the current administration.

  11. The worst part is by the time the “new bill” gets to committe and Congress, it will be overloaded with nonsense, no one will read it, and CARD CHECK WILL BE BACK IN IT (hidden of course).

  12. We talked a lot about this (and other pieces of legislation) before the election, yet people still voted for “change”. We discussed that this piece of legislation was designed for political payback to the unions that spent hundreds of millions of dollars getting this president elected. No one should be surprised at this bill or any other “lite” bills that are not designed for the good of the American worker but for reimbursing a political force that elected a president. Our president is not an entrpeneur nor are there any on his staff advising him. We should understand then that these anti-employer bills that favor special interest groups have an ultimate goal of relection in 2012.

  13. If unions are the answer, what happened to the auto, steel and coal industries? Anti-business unions are outdated. Businesses must be successful for our economy to survive. If workers and managers don’t work together, union or no union, businesses fail. How does an anti-business union help anyone?

  14. Neal,

    Hate to break this to you, but non-union employees do not make more than union employees. That is just dead wrong. I know from first hand experience. I went from a right to work state to a state with a strong labor influence and doubled my salary with only a small increase in cost of living. I’m not a huge union fan, but there is no doubt that if labor unions did not exist, large corporations would compensate employees with only the bare minimum needed to maintain a stable workforce. Part of the greed of capitalism in our country is being more concerned with maximizing profits for shareholders and business owners and CEOs than for taking care of the workforce. Why do you think we have such huge and ever-increasing income disparities in our nation. When an investor can make more money from a company by doing nothing than a worker for that company can make by busting their back and actually doing the work, there is something very wrong. And the days of everyone having an opportunity to be a successful entrepeneur and dictate their own success are long gone because large multi-national corporations squeeze out mom and pop and make it near impossible for them to be competitive. In my opinion, a lot of employers do deserve to get a beat down by a labor union. The laborers – the workforce – is what makes industry run and makes it profitable and innovative. I am currently in a management position and I see it first hand: every great thing that come from the work of our crew, comes from the line level staff – not the upper level administrators making 5 times the salary of the employees.

  15. Jim, you are so right. People have a tendency to focus on only one component. You are definitely a “big picture” thinker.

  16. When you have a Union the parties bargain. Management generally has the education and should have the financial foresight to know and argue well their positions and capacity. The fact that Magagers manage without adequate attention is why some Unions may prove problematic. I would never discount the benefit of many Unions for all of American workers.

    To say “maybe they served their purpose in the past but are now too powerful” reminds me of the great benfit of deregulating banks because keeping them limited in scope hampered our growth! Ya, really!
    Having our savings go into the stock market (401k, 403B, 457) will make certain companies manage well as we will be watching! Ya, really!
    If you think Labor doesn’t need an entity to even the playing field a bit, I think that is shortsighted.
    I bargain the management side of the street and 90% of our employees (1200 employees) are in Unions and we are often pulling our hair out at some requests BUT reasonable leadership on both sides want to keep working.

  17. With respect to those who have posted previously, I work for a union. I think the vast majority of people who are not unionized do not understand the benefits that are available to union employees vs. non union employees. I pay $19/mth in dues and those dues insure my entire family for medical. I have a guaranteed Retirement Plan that the union automatically contributes to per hour. In additon, I have 2 pensions for when I retire. Prior to joing the union I have always worked “normal” office jobs at various companies and benefits were ridiculous. Medical was outrageous, no pension benefits at all, and most employers only match if you contribute a set amount to their retirement plan. We are a multi employer union and our shops have the option of having non-bargaining or non unionized office personnel but all field employees are union tiered. In addition, we have plenty of union contractors that join so they can offer their employees the benefits package that’s available. I know other unions have put their own agenda before their employees but our union, provides excellent benefits and resources to their active and retired members.

  18. The Unions are an extremist view and drive an extremist agenda. The majority of the responses are just as extremist in the opposite perspective.

    I was raised in a Union family with a loose allegence to organized labor. I have never been a member of the union, and have 40 years in HR Mgt. This legislation should be defeated, but not because of the radical claims stated. Don’t blame the unions for the mess. Had the companies stood up for what they believed in and taken the heat of strikes, the pension plans and benefits would not be so severe. For any union to have gotten a provision that injured the industry, the owners had to have acquiesced and they did so for some value that at the time seemed worth the cost. The Unions only succeeded because short-sighted managers got something in return and didn’t foresee the real cost.

    My mentor in Labor Relations was with Firestone and endured the excesses of successful union intervention. The only reason he had to was because his predecessors took the easy way out for something they wanted and didn’t think the negotiated cost was excessive. DMK taught me that if a company had a union, it deserved it at some time in the past and got stuck with it forever. I extend that to apply to CBA language. If it’s in the contract, the company deserved it or bought it at one point in time or another. It’s easy to point a finger and place the blame on the unions. Don’t forget where the other three fingers are pointing.

  19. Fraklin says:

    I have worked for companies with unions and without unions. The best was without unions. Unions are only for themselves. I have seen them close down businesses because their demands are not met. The only people they hurt are the employees. The more unions we have the greater the outsourcing to other countries will be. At the moment we will be outsourcing most of our operations to India without dealing with American unions.

  20. The real issue from EFCA is that it will cost American’s a large number of jobs. EFCA will increase the cost of doing business, if companies are to succeed prices will have to rise to cover the increased costs, foreign companies will increase prices, but foreign prices will still be relatively low compared to the US, the US consumer will favor lower priced foreign goods, increased wages/benefits won through EFCA will be offset by higher prices (no real gains for workers) and some US companies will shed jobs as they loose to foreign competition. In a nutshell, inflation will offset workers’ wage gains and more cheaper foreign goods will result in US job losses. In the end EFCA will be harming the very people it is supposed to support.

    A better use of our time and energy is work together in order to grow our economy and create more opportunities and more jobs for more Americans. This is how we can help all Americans.

  21. WE invented the word fair so we have to concede to what is fair. Unfortunately, what’s fair varies by who’s telling the story. To throw up you hands and say well you elected him or just chalking it up to “no Change that you can see” is garbage. Things are changing in our country, every hour, every minute. Gone are the days that you can depend on tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but this country is going a 100 miles an hour and I’m happy to see someone like Obama at the helm. He’s done more in 100 days than some Presidents have done in 8 years. Don’t presume that any of this is easy. If an employer treats their people fairly, they have nothing to worry about. I work for a pretty good company and I still see friends being hired that don’t have qualifications and people who are “liked” getting promoted and treated differently. Although you usually have to watch out for the lazy people who just try to stir up trouble, it’s the quiet good ones that will look to a Union to help them out. It’s the quiet ones that feel they need a voice.

  22. I was more than a bit troubled by one comment here that seemed to suggest we should take a dim view of any person or company that takes the risk and the initiative to excel and prosper by labeling them enemies of the state.

    That attitude seems to be the new mantra of the current administration and people got a good whiff of it during the campaign. Now it really is beginning to really stink – forced redistribution of wealth. “Sacrifice” is what Obama called it on the radio today.

    It is only sacrifice if you make that choice – otherwise it is the imposed will of others.

    You can’t grow an economy that is stiffled with regulations like this one – people should not be subject to discrimination or abuse, but also not forced to unionize – which seems to be just another funding stream for one political party.

  23. Well Nejha – he may have done more in 100 days than some have done in 8 years (all though that is debatable), the question would be, were they the right things to do, were they for the right reason, or were they to solidify a voting basis for 2012? Unions create a sense of entitlement – you are entitled to a pension, you are entitled to a certain wage, etc… The entitlement mentality is killing America. They play on a “we vs them” mentality – class warfare. Very much like our presidential elections where politicans create rights they will bestow on people if you only vote for them. We’ll tax those rich people to pay for things you are entitled to.

    The Constitution only entitles you to opportunity not success.

    As to fairness, is it fair, for example, to pay someone $70-75/hr to screw a door on a Chevy with a power wrench? The union would say yes. Is it fair for GM to pay to a fund that gives workers who were laid off 98% of their salary years later for no work? The union would say yes. Look at GM today….

  24. ‘The most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
    Ronald Reagan

  25. I think that there was definitely a time and place for Union organizations, obviously some people still feel that way. I have had the opportunity to work for companies that have gone out of their way to do what is right for their employees, and want to keep the flexiblity to make decisions based on the communication between the employees and the company and not have a third party in the middle translating the messages. It is too bad that there are still companies out there who do not understand how to take care of their workforce, and for those companies this will be good. On the other hand, with the potential passing of a bill like this, I would hate to see a handful of non-competent employees try to organize a union because of their own personal issues or lack of performance – when the employer is truely trying to do the right thing.

  26. I did not think any law on the horizon mandated Unions. I believe the proposal was to broaden the opportunity to vote for or against Unionization.

  27. Dan, I have never read a more poignant statement for good employee relations. YOU ARE RIGHT! If companies did what was right to begin with, their employees would not need someone to represent them. Unions are only known for excessive demands and antagonistic and adversarial relationships because management is afraid to manage. I’ve seen high level managers loose their jobs as part of union negotiations because the powers that be “bought it.”
    I am in HR and don’t think EFCA is good for America. It’s bad enough that unions can make any promises they want during organization but Employers’ hands are tied. With stronger penalties for employers are we going to have penalties for organizer who harass and intimidate? Probably not. I’ve had employees tell me that they’ve been followed home before – if that’s not intimidating what is?

    EFCA may not be moving forward with card check but that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. Managers need to manage and treat their workforce as if it were already under a CBA. Transparency and fairness is the best way to keep the union out. If more employers were pro-employee they wouldn’t have to be anti-union.

  28. Steve, you are wrong. In a lot of places, you will earn MORE for NOT being in a union.

    I work in a Pharmacy for a big chain. I was union, when I switched to a non-union store, within the same company, I got a 15% increase in pay!

    Unions are done, they hurt the American worker, American Corporation, American consumer and make the union leaders rich doing it!

  29. EFCA only affects companies who are being threatened by union organization. Companies who treat their employees fairly won’t be affected by EFCA because their employees won’t try to organize. It’s as simple as that.

  30. Jenn Krout says:

    You’d think the general public would catch on after seeing the demise of GM, and realize unions are not helping this country to maintain economic world leadership.

  31. I work for a non-union company. We receive very good treatment, and honest pay for an honest day’s work. I am not of the entitlement mentality though, so I shouldn’t even try to define what might be right for other people. I do know though, I am getting pretty tired of sneaky, hateful, coniving, mantra driven, stupidity that I hear coming from the liberal mouth. Don’t they have any idea what they sound like? Like they don’t have an individual brain at all, but only repeat what they hear, fast, loud, and rudely!. Over and over and over ’till you want to slap them out of their ranting.
    I distrust this administration, I am to the point where I question any and every thing they bring forth. I would just say NO if I was in a position where it would matter. No to everything. And I did not vote for him. And I fear for our Country and what he is doing to it. I am not a rich person. I am one of the people he said would not see ONE DIME in increased taxes (which I did not believe for one minute.) Well before him, I had plently and so did my grown family. Now one is about to lose her property because she was a Supervisor in the housing construction business, and you all know what happen there. My Son’s business has gone from a Million $ a year payroll down to less than $85,000. Something is not right here. And it will get worse, because we have a President that loves Islam and it’s 57 states and he hates American and he has been planning our downfall ever sense he was old enough to understand the things his Mother taught him. If you don’t think this is true, look beyond the surface, it is as plan as the nose on your face. Sorry…….it just overwhelms me.

  32. Guy – every company will be threatened by organization. Your President has stated (together with the AFL-CIO) that “unions offer a pathway to higher wages and prosperity for the middle class”. Of course the statement is not true. But if you or your workers believe that, then there will be great pressure to organize evry possible industry. It has nothing to do with how employers treat employees – its being sold as a way to “rebuild the economy”. Again, its nothing more than payback for spending in excess of $400M in union funds to elect the President last year.

  33. Guy,
    I must respectfully disagree with you. No company is perfect in it’s treatment of employees – it can’t possibly be.

    Every company would be subject to this unionization threat regardless of how they treat or are believed to treat their employees.

    It would only take one supposedly disgruntled or coerced employee to initiate the unionization process and then a flood of outside “assistance” to intimidate and coerce others would immediately materialize.

    This is far more organized that it appears.

  34. Jim is correct according to published government reports.

    Teacher unions are also big benefactors like in Detroit – $500M.

    Not sure about the AFL-CIO but the SEIU is certainly a big proponent of this rule and has shown recently what it can do to intimidate others by organizing the recent AIG executive bus tours in CT. Not sure if they were responsible for any of the death threats received.

    Intimidation? This is totally uncalled for in a civilized society.

  35. The “elite and uneducated” voted for “Change” and even they (excluding the elite East Coast/West Coast types) probably never envisioned the change to socialism that we are going through. Sure this is payoff to the unions, what do you think it is? And no, you can treat your employees in an excellent manner and there will always be some clowns that want handouts…..money but no work! Look how many we have in the general society, and you don’t think we have the same in private employment? Hold on to your wallets the socialistic transfer of wealth has only just begun and this union accomodation is only one part of the scheme!

  36. Richard Getz says:

    Skimming several post here, the question that keeps hitting me is that ‘if this is such a great deal, why do we not hear more from those not in unions in their attempt to get into unions?’

    Great deals never stay silent long, and the people will be heard. However as with the quote from earlier, when government gets involved and says they are going to help, you can most certainly be sure you will pay more and get less.

    Health care is next folks. Just face it, you elected a president that is determined to destroy who and what we are. Obama saying that our Constitution is fundamentally flawed should have been the only clue to this disaster.

    You will be telling your grand kids ‘when I was working, we got to choose the company we worked for, gas was under $8/gal, and companies were owned by the people, not the government’.

    I am starting to think America is more like the French, willing to accept whatever the government says.

  37. BJB… I work for a union now, and my benefits used to be better when I was private. I pay more now in the union for less benefits, and they get upset when questioned. I am also at risk of not even getting the pension, because of poor performance of the funds. I don’t like this bill at all! I do believe the unions serve a purpose, but this bill is not the way.

  38. Unions are a cancer destroying American competitiveness. They destroy good performance and protect laziness & incompetence.

  39. Jim, Mark, and Richard G. – You all state the facts quite eloquently. How in the world the public could have bought Obama’s bill of goods is beyond me. The time will come when some of those people will not even admit to their closest friends that they voted for him.

  40. Have you ever noticed not too many French emmigrate to the USA?

  41. Have any of you that feel the EFCA, or unions, are really good for employees spoke to anyone who has lost their job at a union facility? None that I’ve spoke to have had their health care, mortgage, auto loan or childs college education supplemented by the union that so eagerly accepted their dues. Not saying anyone is entitled to a hand out; however, what exactly did those dues provide for you?? Job security????? Unions had a place and I agree, SOME employers could improve with the way they treat their employees. Currently, ITS A FREE COUNTRY; leave if you’re not happy. There are a multitude of LAWS to protect you unlike when unions served a purpose. You, the good employee, aren’t reaping many benefits from the union. They’re protecting your slacker co-worker that plays the system and makes your work life miserable. Bet it feels good knowing you work twice as hard as your neighbor and he/she is entitled to the same earnings; thanks to your contract.

    Go ahead; give up your voting rights and submit control to coercion and threat. With the EFCA and many other proposals you better think hard. One big leap toward socialism….. a transitional stage between capitalism and communism.

  42. Karen,
    Have you noticed how many military and economic victories the French have scored in the past 70 years?

  43. Unions are worst than cancer. If they dont die they will kill America and its ecomomy. As an employer who is unionised its nothing but butting head. Their agenda is personal and not for the majority of the employees. Employees suffer in an union. Unions are not for equality but srlfish reasons. The organizers can continue to go on vacations in this economy … now think of that.

  44. EFCA is all about money and power–employee issues will be a 3rd or 4th tier issue etc. It is anticipated that passing EFCA will result in approximately 1.5 million new union members per year for the next 10 years. Each member will generate about 2 1/2 hours of union dues in a month or a little over 1.6% of ones time in working a 160 hours a month. Anyway averaging $10 an hour–$25 a month, $300 per year will result in yearly dues of approximately $450,000,000 a year. As membership increases over the next 10 years, think of the cash flow coming into the Unions and members of Congress who back this legislation in the form of campaign contributions and all the assistance labor will provide in manpower for voting drivers, votes, etc. It is a very well conceived plan and all they need are people who naively believe that if you’re good to your employees they won’t touch you. Well not today or tomorrow, but soon, very soon. Unfortunately Unions are not worth the price of admission today in almost all businesses. For all of you wanting to know the meaning of change—just spell it or smell it—EFCA/BO.

  45. Look what the unions did to the auto makers!! Doesn’t the government (Obama) get it. If an employee wants to be union, so be it. It doesn’t mean the whole company has to be union.

  46. I agree with Neal.

    Let’s clarify – It’s not that non-union workers are necessarily PAID MORE; they TAKE HOME more because they do not have to pay union dues. Furthermore, some union wages are ridiculously, artificially high because of union “blackmail” of companies.

    Union reps promise workers a lot. Their promise is a lie because a company has to negotiate in good faith; they do not have to give in to each union demand. Unions could not exist without dues paid by the workers. My favorite union demand – that the company is responsible for deducting union dues and forwarding to the union. Why? Because the union doesn’t want the effort of trying to collect the dues from each individual worker so they want the employer to do it for them. There was once a purpose for unions – worker safety. There are laws in effect to protect workers, but unions do not want to give up their “cushy” deal. They are parasites.

    Recent case in Canada – a transportation union was asking for 80% wage increases for bus drivers. Driver wages were already in line with other companies. When it appeared that the customer would award their business to other companies the union “settled” for a 2% increase – that’s about what everyone else is getting in this economy. The 80% was greed, pure and simple, and they came close to ensuring that all their workers lost their jobs. That is not “looking out for” the workers.
    This is true and can be easily accessed in the Canadian Press.

  47. Let’s be realistic. Companies these days cannot afford pensions and benefits that were offered in the past. I work for a non-union company and the benefits are not that good. However, I also understand the cost of those benefits and know that in order to be competitive we can’t offer more. I see the financials. But that is just the thing. Employees typically do not see the numbers or understand them. They believe whatever the unions tell them. The unions dont want them to know.
    Here is the way I see it. Plain and simple. If you are not happy with your Company, the benefits, the pay, no one if forcing you to stay. Go somewhere else. I did last year. But it was easier for me because I went to college and got a degree. Should we really pay workers more money, some of which dont have a high school education? Should workers automatically get 3% increases for just for showing up? This is a free country. If I start my own business, I dont want government telling me what I have to pay my employees or what kind of benefits to offer. If that is the case, there would be no incentive to start a business.

  48. I have one word: CONSESSIONS.
    How did the union help GM? They didn’t. Didn’t want to give up too much because it would affect their bottom line. The union is a business, it’s not a non-profit organization. They have a P & L just like we do, they approach cost savings and revenue generation, just like we do. Their job is to make more money, and you make more money through increasing union dues. Look at John Sweeney’s homes, cars, lifestyle. What paid for those items of luxury? Union dues! Unions had their place back in the coal mining days and labor laws have evolved over the years to protect the employee and hold the employer accountable. I’d rather see my employee invest their $50, $80 or $100 a month in their retirement savings plan with a company match. I agree with J – treat your employees right and they will engage and enjoy what they do. Not sure what your companies are doing to be a source of education for your employees, but the time is now to educate them to know what they are signing before it’s too late….

  49. I guess non-Union worker’s are never slackers and never lose their jobs. Must be Unions cause this human behavior.
    The Canadian example displays the ability of Management to control the situation and the Union to negotiate.
    I’ve worked with and without Unions (been at it 40 yrs) and if I were not in Sr Management, I would prefer to be an employee with a Union to assist me.

  50. Unions create entitlement mentalities – they reward apathy. They don’t reward individual excellence nor do they weed out bad performers. The nation’s school system is a perfect example of this – we’re turning out stupid children (ranked 18th in the world) because the school system is a monopoly operated by a union.

  51. Well if it means anything to anyone here the Russian Communist Propaganda Publication Pravda actually had an article that described what our country is going through and actually warned us to stop – and NOW before it is too late. The article listed the steps we are going through as the same their country went through as it became communist.

    Pravda warning us that we are heading to our ultimate demise and communism……that should be more than a sign.

  52. The things I read amaze me. To actually believe that Unions are the demise of GM and not VERY poor management is ludicerous. Our own educated population should understand that money is power, money makes money (and I do not resent that) and I realize that the few thousands of huge international financial players do not care if they get work done in Detroit or Guatamala.

    Cars will be made. We use them. Now made by poorer people who have no rights and the US will sink into the 3rd world role. Do you really think the big money folk, who can live anywhere in the world they choose, give a care for workers – we are not talking “mom & pop” stores who worry if stockboy Jim can be paid next week.

  53. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJqM2tFOxLQ

    Actual Government Hearing – You will cry watching this.

    Ok, if you need more proof that the government is not minding the store then watch the Federal Reserve Inspector General’s Office dance around the very straightforward questions about where any of our $9 Trillion Dollars has gone…….and these people are supposed to monitor the union’s ownership of GM and Chrysler…..not a chance….not one flippin’ chance.

    The Chinese actually laughed out loud at Tim Geithner’s reassurrance to the Chinese this week in China that our government was a stable risk and not to worry about the debt – That could be why they are now furiously buying up all the gold, oil and mineral rights across the globe…….it would appear that it might soon be every man (and woman) for themselves.

  54. Unions function as labor cartels. A labor cartel restricts the number of workers in a company or industry to drive up the remaining workers’ wages, just as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) attempts to cut the supply of oil to raise its price. Companies pass on those higher wages to consumers through higher prices, and often they also earn lower profits. Economic research finds that unions benefit their members but hurt consumers generally, and especially workers who are denied job opportunities.

    The economy has become more competitive over the past generation. Companies have less power to pass price increases on to consumers without going out of business. Consequently, unions do not negotiate higher wages for many newly organized workers. These days, unions win higher wages for employees only at companies with competitive advantages that allow them to pay higher wages, such as successful research and development (R&D) projects or capital investments.

    Unions effectively tax these investments by negotiating higher wages for their members, thus lowering profits. Unionized companies respond to this union tax by reducing investment. Less investment makes unionized companies less competitive.

    This, along with the fact that unions function as labor cartels that seek to reduce job opportunities, causes unionized companies to lose jobs. Economists consistently find that unions decrease the number of jobs available in the economy. The vast majority of manufacturing jobs lost over the past three decades have been among union members–non-union manufacturing employment has risen. Research also shows that widespread unionization delays recovery from economic downturns.

    Some unions win higher wages for their members, though many do not. But with these higher wages, unions bring less investment, fewer jobs, higher prices, and smaller 401(k) plans for everyone else. On balance, labor cartels harm the economy, and enacting policies designed to force workers into unions will only prolong the recession.

    Imagine that General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler jointly agreed to raise the price of the cars they sold by $2,000: Their profits would rise as every American who bought a car paid more. Some Americans would no longer be able to afford a car at the higher price, so the automakers would manufacture and sell fewer vehicles. Then they would need–and hire–fewer workers. The Detroit automakers’ stock prices would rise, but the overall economy would suffer. That is why federal anti-trust laws prohibit cartels and the automakers cannot collude to raise prices.

    Now consider how the United Auto Workers (UAW)–the union representing the autoworkers in Detroit–functions. Before the current downturn, the UAW routinely went on strike unless the Detroit automakers paid what they demanded– until recently, $70 an hour in wages and benefits. Gold-plated UAW health benefits for retirees and active workers added $1,200 to the cost of each vehicle that GM produced in 2007.[5] Other benefits, such as full retirement after 30 years of employment and the recently eliminated JOBS bank (which paid workers for not working), added more.

    Some of these costs come out of profits, and some get passed to consumers through higher prices. UAW members earn higher wages, but every American who buys a car pays more, stock owners’ wealth falls, and some Americans can no longer afford to buy a new car. The automakers also hire fewer workers because they now make and sell fewer cars.

    Unions raise the wages of their members both by forcing consumers to pay more for what they buy or do without and by costing some workers their jobs. They have the same harmful effect on the economy as other cartels, despite benefiting some workers instead of stock owners. That is why the federal anti-trust laws exempt labor unions; otherwise, anti-monopoly statutes would also prohibit union activity.

    Unions’ role as monopoly cartels explains their opposition to trade and competition. A cartel can charge higher prices only as long as it remains a monopoly. If consumers can buy elsewhere, a company must cut its prices or go out of business.

    This has happened to the UAW. Non-union workers at Honda and Toyota plants now produce high-quality cars at lower prices than are possible in Detroit. As consumers have voted with their feet, the Detroit automakers have been brought to the brink of bankruptcy. The UAW has now agreed to significant concessions that will eliminate a sizeable portion of the gap between UAW and non-union wages. With competition, the union cartel breaks down, and unions cannot force consumers to pay higher prices or capture higher wages for their members.

  55. Jim, thank you for your very informative comments. Nicely done and well put.

  56. The issue is not if you are a Democrat or a Republican. One’s political affiliation does not determine every decision we make as individuals. It’s petty and does not pertain to the argument or the discussion.

    The discussion is about this bill and how it affects business and the revitalization of our economy. As HR Professionals, we need to come together and visibly present our argument to the general public as well as the people we have elected into office.

    We need to present hard facts in a way that the general public understands, such as ….If the cost of doing business in the U.S. is too high, we outsource to other countries, which equates to more lost jobs here in the U.S.

    Discuss how unions contributed to the downfall of the auto industry and again…lost jobs, outsourcing, etc… We need a catchy slogan….. “It’s hard to create jobs and stimulate an economy when you’re being strong armed by a union”

    HR always gets the role of the Villain; we need to present facts and play the role of the Hero for once. If we can get the general public behind us, we’ll kill this bill as well as any initiatives that may come up in the future to strengthen unions.

  57. And if pandering to unions is not enough………..in case you missed this….

    The Obama administration, which has boasted about its efforts to make government more transparent, is rolling back rules requiring labor unions and their leaders to report information about their finances and compensation.

    The Labor Department noted in a recent disclosure that “it would not be a good use of resources” to bring enforcement actions against union officials who do not comply with conflict of interest reporting rules passed in 2007. Instead, union officials will now be allowed to file older, less detailed conflict reports.

    The regulation, known as the LM-30 rule, was at the heart of a lawsuit that the AFL-CIO filed against the department last year. One of the union attorneys in the case, Deborah Greenfield, is now a high-ranking deputy at Labor, who also worked on the Obama transition team on labor issues.

    Labor officials declined to say whether she played a role in the new policy, noting that Ms. Greenfield is abiding by all government ethics rules. In court filings, she and other union attorneys called the 2007 rules “onerous.”

    The Labor Department also is rescinding another key labor financial disclosure regulation. The expansion of the so-called LM-2 rule, approved during the last days of the Bush administration, requires unions to report more information about finances and labor leaders’ compensation on annual reports.

    Yes we can change – and not for the better.

  58. Apparently most are not aware that Unions have FAR more financial regulatory obligations and government mandates for financial reporting than EVER have encumbered our banks. I’ve worked as an HR Director in 5 different communities; there has been one Union Official charged with extortion in my experience. In that same time frame I am aware of 8 bank employees fired for embezzlement; so that the public doesn’t lose faith in banking, criminal charges only occurred in one bank crime – the most egregious.

    I am absolutely shocked at the ease with which non-Union newspapers and publications have so easily swayed HR professionals from a regard for Labor. Public television had tried for years to do a documentary on the Labor Movement but, as I hear it, were threatened with loss of so many corporate sponsors they backed off.

  59. It goes to the point of transparency, a position on which this President vigorously ran his campaign.

    Union members have a right, in my view, to know where their dues money is being spent and if conflicts exist. This move is a clear case of less transparency.

    First there is an attempt to do away with secret ballot (you can vote for your President in secret but not your union representation) which is anti-worker, then this, also anti-worker. Next on the President’s agenda will be to remove Federal oversight of the Teamsters that has been in place since 1989 by virtue of a consent decree. Again, anti-worker and less transparency.

    It would seem that this administration is pro-labor management, not pro-labor. It would also seem that this administration has different “transparency” definitions for its benefactors than others.

    Follow the money and you will know the truth.

  60. HR in GR says:

    Jim:

    No one has made as much sense on this post as you have. I’m tempted to call the producers at “Larry King” to get you on there so the majority can hear some TRUTH for a change!!

    Thank you. May God Bless what is left of America!

  61. Thanks HR in GR. Click on my name and you can follow my musings elsewhere and contribute as you like. keep the faith. America is stronger than any party or leader. What we are lacking most at the moment is critical thinking.

  62. Lee Diamond says:

    To: BJB You stated “I pay $19/mth in dues and those dues insure my entire family for medical. I have a guaranteed Retirement Plan that the union automatically contributes to per hour. In additon, I have 2 pensions for when I retire.”

    The average cost of benefits according to The Chamber of Commerce is approximately 42% of payroll. The employer pays your benefits not the union.

  63. So, basically the new version is designed to reinforce rules that are already in place, except for speeding up the process to get to election. I have personally been through an attempt to unionize and it was not one of my most pleasurable HR highlights. However, the union was defeated as it has been in company after company over the last 15 or maybe even 20 years. Unions are being defeated because they are NOT bringing anything to the table to help employees. Having moved from the Northeast to the South I have found the opinions very different. Some folks here (employees) actually believe the right to unionize has gone away.
    Granted Unions have historically done a great deal to equalizing the employee/employer relationship – think about the industry of our grandparents and great granparents. But in the end I don’t think it is about legislation – there are rules and they should be followed. Simply put the unions are lazy and were looking for an easy way out to bolster their coffers.
    Employers need to be on top of this and it will stop the whole thing dead in its tracks. Fear mongering does no good. Good solid facts and figures will continue to keep this issue at bay. The fact is unions can’t deliver and we can’t allow them to get a leg up through government intervention.

  64. Neal-were you in Daytona Beach a few weeks ago, at a conference? I attended a session led by a Neal, and you comments echo what I heard (and agree with!!)

  65. When one takes a small step back and looks at the big picture, there is growing evidence that much of the pending legislation, like EFCA, has but one primary purpose: undermine employers, force them out of business and force the unemployed into government entitlement programs – the end result being “socialism”. Every word and every action from Obama and his cabinet is intentional and carefully orchestrated to bring about this transition.

  66. The current administration is doing everything in it’s power to place it’s collective nose in the business of the private employer. If enough of the private sector business “bite that nose off” there will be far less government intrusion. It is time to “Legalize the Constitution”! The day of the labor union is gone as they have damaged many more businesses than helped (see GM).

  67. There is an old adage in management that is still very true today:

    If a company deserves a union, then they get one. And they deserve the union they get!

    Been in HR management well over 30 yrs and can tell ya from my experience that B.O. and his group are gonna hasten the demise of manufacturing in the US. Ya can’t raise a family by working at McDonald’s or Starbucks. Manufacturing produces 7 jobs for every mfg’g job in place. Another sad day for the working stiff.

  68. HR Expert says:

    Yes, I agree that Wal-Mart and other similar employers are not exclusively contributing good and may not be a longstanding good force in the marketplace.

    However, union picketers in Texas who were organizing against Wal-Mart were getting paid less per hour than those working inside the store.

    Hourly wage is not the only issue here, but it does point out that progress has been made despite what union organizers may say.

    No to “Card Check” and “Card Check Lite”. It is a great day for the workers of the United States.

  69. Good to see intelligent people are catching on to MOTO’s plan and that he is not some duffus (ok maybe Biden fits that description – but on purpose as a distraction).
    There has been some great discussion here about some of the mid/lower level “off the radar” appointments who do the day to day bidding – and these folks are the one’s who will make this union legislation and other intrusions happen while we watch the bobbleheads on tv.
    Facts like Debi said are the key to fighting this scourge and it is getting harder to find them with such a corrupt media. Send the link to this discussion to everyone you know.

  70. MOTO = Master of the Obvious

  71. Granddad was w/carpenter union and worked in shipyards, ‘big oil’, utilities (Hoover damn) and everything in between. It took years for the workers to get the pennies on the work dollar set aside so when they were between jobs they could draw on that money. This was not intended as wages but just a little something to help get the family over the ‘hump’. Then the youngsters came in and wanted their money ‘now’ so that benefit was lost. In short form, Grandad first told my dad 50 some years ago that the unions would get gready and go broke. However, the unions would come back and they would be international. So far, granddad is being proven a very smart man.
    As a footnote, in my position, I can get better wages bargaining for myself , based on my job performance (references if interviewing) then any union can bargain for me as a number. I am not an ‘average worker’. I always go above and beyond the expected so things get done right and on time and my bosses have all rewarded this behavior. I am actively recruited and bosses know there are people out there willing to pay more to steal me!!

  72. I seem to read the most amazing information about Union power. As others have noted, Unions have been defeated and lost power over the past 40 yrs in the private sector, they seem only to have invaded the public sector. Generally I believe they represent less than 13% of workers nationwide.

    With this realization, can you really say Unions have been the cause of this nations economic freefall? When American economic power was growing in a healthy way, so did Unions. Unions have not done well in organizing labor in over 30 years and the gap between economic classes has grown to the detriment of workers. Though, thank our abundance and education mandates, we all still live very well.

  73. I do believe though, like so many of you, this administration is set on destroying business. I never hear the word, “Entreprenuer” come from Obama’s mouth. In my opinion (and I have always worked for “small” businesses) we have empathy and caring for our employees. We want to pay them as much as we possibly can. We pay their health care in total (except for $10 a pay period) and when I pay that bill, I shudder to think what a BIG company must have to pay each month. It would never happen, but if a Union came in here, we would be out of business.
    Could someone please tell me “What is the difference”. When a huge group such as a Union pays millions of dollars to a Candidate to be elected, so that President can, in turn, do everything in his power to give that Union what it wants, why is this not “Pay to Play”? I don’t get it.

  74. Karen, the reason Unions have lost favor over the years is because they are not needed. They can’t offer anything worth the dues they charge, so most employees are fine, knowing they have legal recourse if they are not treated right. And most businesses spend big bucks hiring HR people to protect the interests of the business as well as the employee.
    And I don’t think anyone is saying that business as a whole has suffered at the hands of Unionization. Only the BIG, BIG employers, like the Auto Industry, the Steele Industry and etc. No, make no mistake about it, this economic freefall was not caused by private business. It was caused by government manipulation. Government IS the problem.

  75. Jagger,
    Maybe what happened to Joe the Plumber and his entreprenuerial aspirations could be an example of Obama’s ideas about individual self reliance. Most of the companies I work with would be out of business if a union entered the picture.

    As for “Pay to Play” you could also use General Electric and their use of NBC to actively promote Obama all the time in return for their CEO as an Obama economic advisor and future Billions in sales of so called “green technology” products waiting for government purchase from GE.
    Same kind of deal.

    This is commonplace in Chicago politics….not at all “change”. “We” should all sacrifice….this mantra will get old very soon I predict – a couple more expensive date nights in NYC at taxpayer expense will make sure of that. Simply another group of Elitists out of control.

  76. Richard Getz — you are correct — Obama, for some insane reason, wants to change the constitution that, for over 200 years enabled this country to lead the world and become the greatest country in this word. So — exactly why does the constitution need to be changed??? It doesn’t. “O” is destroying us, not inch by inch, but by miles and miles that will not be able to be reversed. The first thing people need to do is educate themselves to the real facts and agendas of his administration. and quit listening to NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN – they are no longer journalists but agenda pervayors. those of you who think he has done more in 100 days need to grow up. He has done nothing positive but rather is furthering a very dangerous, destructive and truly anti-American agenda.

    America is catching on to his radical, destructive, anti-American program. Who is this guy anyway — we still don’t know where he actually came from of if he is legit — it appears he is the puppet of a bigger program. Research the Bilderberg Group -folks and find out what is really going on.

    And — exactly why do you think this creep wants to kick out the White House press corps and build his own WH press corps? Because some of them are catching on. Doesn’t this sound more than Socialist??? It is down right communist — this is where we are heading.

  77. Lloyd K. Koehler, PhD, SPHR says:

    Having spent over 30 years working in Human Resources in unionized and union free environments, I’ve lived first-hand the good, the bad and the ugly of American industry. During that time I had the unique experience of being with a fotune 50 company in California where the employees successfully elected to decertify the union. This was a union that had been in place since the company was founded. Why did this occur? One word, trust. The employees no longer trusted the union and trusted the company management more. The company showed, over a period of years that supervisors who did not treat employees with respect would be retrained, counseled, and in some cases removed. Employees who did not come to work each day and come to work on time were properly warned, disciplined and if necessary released. We were insistent that we maintain a safe work environment where everyone was responsible for safety and the environment. We improved productivity and profitability and shared that with all employees. Shortly ater the decertification, one of the ex-presidents of the union retired. He came to my office astonished that the company had honored his entire years of service and rolled his union penson plan into the company’s retirement plan, resulting in his retirement being 3 times greater than what he would have had under his old union retierment plan. Now, over 20 years later, you couldn’t unionize that facility on a bet! It’s all about respect and trust. You sure don’t hear many congressional Reps or Senators in Washington who owe the unions because of union financial support sharing this kind of story!

  78. It will be impossible to compete globally if we escalate union wages & benefits and retirement benefits beyond fair value. If someone belongs to a union, they should no longer be considered an employee of a company; it should be viewed as contract labor where the worker obtains benefits, etc. from the union. How can any organization support more retirees with grand health benefits than workers, oh yeah, they can’t, look at GM – Gone Motors!

  79. Liberty says:

    Continue to oppose unions. They no longer stand for what they once did. They are all about ‘special interests’ and POWER and certainly not the interest of the employees. If a company goes out of business how do employees benefit from that? Unions reach WAY TOO FAR anymore. Please remember that.

  80. It will be interesting to see how the Obama Motor Car Company (OMCC) plays out. He has taken $100B of your dollars so far for this game. Estimates are that it will take another $100B. It will still be “manned” by the UAW (one of his big benefactors), a labor cartel (who by the way – didn’t give up much in their recent concessions and will be at the negotiating table with the government just in time for elections), and he will continue to be advised by the 23 person Auto Task Force which has no one on it with auto experience (and a number of members don’t even drive). Can you imagine the congressional hearings that will occur to manage OMCC? You thought GM made slow/ bad management decisions, wait until Congress gets involved on whether or not a Buick needs a new dashboard for the coming model year.

    This will be a money pit, in part to save the UAW – as it attempts to compete with non-unionized manufacturers. Watch for anti-trade measures to pop up, federal credits for people who buy electric vehicles from OMCC but not other manufacturers. We’ve already seen that the purchaser of Opel will be barred from selling Opels in the US and in China. These anti-trade moves will further strain relations with other countries and impact other industries.

    It would be comical if it weren’t our tax money.

  81. BJB – Your $19 dues pays the salaries of union officials, poitical activities and other costs of running the local/international. Your multi-employer trust funds for insurance and pension are completely funded by employer payments per hr. worked by each employee. Go ask HR or payroll. Read the union charter. Read your contract. Get the financials of the union from the DOL. And, Dan – you are totally right.

  82. Mr. Koehler,
    Can the company you referenced be named?

  83. The true agenda on unionization is pretty much about votes – as is much of the Obama administration’s policies. Unions had their day as everyone knows. We are destroying the American dream and the freedoms granted by this country’s Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence by thinking we need to change our workplaces also.

    Unions will not have the transparency promised — Obama is already seeing to that and giving union leaders many outs in disclosing their salaries and what the dues are being used for. this is of serious concern. I have a friend that worked for Delphi for nearly 30 years, and is 2 years away from retiring. She is in upper management – college degreed and got an MBA while working FT — her pension is gone. She will not be able to retire after 30 years of work. The unions had a very large hand in this — people getting paid $45/hr. to sweep the floors; paid not to work; and paid to nap on the job. This is today’s union. Also, I fear that those individuals most fit for the job will have much less ability to obtain a job. we will create one more avenue for giving jobs to people who think they are entitled to it rather than qualified for it.

    Please, people, do not buy into this administration’s sly but sleezy promises of a better America for everyone. Unskilled and uneducated entitlement mentality is paving a road to less work, less freedom and less money for everyone. Jobs will not be created in this country but outsourced at a very rapid pace. The road to overseas job outsourcing will become the American Autobahn

  84. LW
    What you say is VERY true. My company has a branch in Europe and one in Singapore. If Cap n Trade or Unionization, or any other surprise Obama has in store to destroy business, we will just take our machine build and tool build and close this plant and trot off to Singapore.
    I echo LW and Jim…………..gather knowledge, become aware, read past his words and hear what he is really saying. My friend says he thinks he is doing the right things to make America like he thinks it should be, but I can’t help but think he just wants it destroyed, bankrupt, POOR. And he has SO many people buffaloed. He probably is just a puppet however, for a much larger movement.

  85. Lloyd K. Koehler, PhD, SPHR says:

    Karen,

    The company was Pfizer, Inc.

  86. Jagger — you are correct — he is a puppet and this is VERY SCARY. He really is not doing good for this country – but this is very cleverly disguised by the administration and mainstream media. Just question yourselves on why he cannot talk without a teleprompter. Because everything is scripted for him — he is not truly in control but is perpetuating an agenda on this country from a cloaked group of individuals that are international. I truly believe what Jagger says also, he is interested in destroying this country. Why? WHY???? I liked it the way it was. Rewards for hard workers, savers, fiscally responsible free citizens. Not providing for freeloading, lazy, uninspired, unskilled, slugs.

    I am sorry if this seems like conspiracy theory – but I have been educating myself for well over 8 months to this man and it has not been an education obtained by our media. There is no longer investigative journalism in this country either. But once the press becomes a victim of WH “O” – they may begin to get wiser faster — but far too late.

    Can one person who believes we are headed in the right direction name one socialist (or communist) country that is successful? Or happy?

  87. Jagger – its hard to imagine our President as an empty suit but perhaps so… He is an elegant speaker with the ability to express ideas and direction yet I’m not convinced the ideas are his. He is beholden to many who got him elected and his guides are all academics. I’d like to think he means well but is misguided rather than purposely making decisions to diminish the country and the quality of life. Are the flip-flops he has made (more to come) because he realizes he has been mislead? Is he backing away from those who elected him because he realizes the course is not achievable – or is the course already set and we’re simply sailing in a pre-determined direction? Time will tell. It reminds me very much of the time when Carter was elected – he had a strong mandate in both houses and the public and he blew it leaving behind a sickened economy (remember 21% interest rates?), the oil crisis and the hostages in Iran. I think he was/still is naive in many ways but not purposely destructive. We survived. We’re at a cross roads again.

  88. Why do people talk about “O”s speaking abilities? Have you ever heard him speak without the teleprompter. Clinton was a good teleprompter reader as well — and every bit as sleezy – but in a very different way. Yes — you are correct, Jim, he has flip flopped consistently. but I still agree with Jagger — he is a puppet. Have you ever watched how his entire countenance falters when someone questions him and his policies? His whole face reveals that he just wants to say “Don’t hate me — i am just the messenger” — I lived the Carter years also — they were a mess – massive mortage rates, lines to get gasoline and gasoline rationing — what a farce. He was a terrible president and we did survive. But it was a very different world then. Carter was misguided, but Obama is not misled, he is arrogant and dishonest at the core — lies about Rev. Wright, lies about William Ayers; lies about Blago; lies about his birth certificate; lies about lowing taxes. This was well planned and he wanted to be the face of it but not is not the master.

    Unionization, amnesty for illegals, spending like a drunker sailer, lack of total or any respect for our country’s constitution, apologizing to foreign countries for American???? How unAmerican. Calling all to wake up.

  89. Probably right LW, probably right…

    I find it a bit odd that we have no defenders of our President here. When HRMorning ran articles around the election about what legislation could be coming and how it might impact HR, I poked holes in lots of the ideas/ legislation and took a beating from Obama’s supporters. Where are they now? Very strange… I’d like to speak with some of those people now about how wonderful those ideas and legislation seemed to be for them at the time and the prospects of all the wonderful change we would see…

  90. If you enjoy a 40-hour work week, thank the unions!
    If you have benefits, thank the unions!

    Let’s not demonize all unions because some of the headaches they cause employers. No, they are not a perfect instrument, but neither are the captains of industry who employ us.

  91. Donna,
    If you like higher prices on all consumable goods, thank the Unions. And for your information, most of us is working more than 40 hours a week (like 2 jobs!) because we need more money to buy what we need than we can make in 40 hours. And what benefits are you talking about? Wages could be higher if business wasn’t so burdened with paying people who don’t work, of paying people for ineffeciency — like don’t do something that needs to be done because it isn’t on your job description. Stand around and wait for someone else to come and do it. Sorry, your argument doesn’t hold water.

  92. Richard Getz says:

    LOL we would have these things without Unions thank you. In a free market as ours, employees would demand more. Yes, they might have been the collective voice in the beginning, but it was the people who spoke up and the unions saw a way to leverage this to establish themselves.

    Please do not confuse the natural course of things with the what is happening now. I would agree that Unions were peoples way of establishing strength, but they have become no different than Organized Crime.

    They proliferate needless burden on companies to over establish employees. Look at the unions and compare them to the Government. To what have they touched that has gotten better over the length of their existence?

    How much payroll is being issued for laid off employees?

    Without much argument, my case is seen clearly in the auto manufacturing where we have domestic companies being crippled by unions, and foreign companies not so.

    This applies to our education system as well.

    I am not taking away from the point that well skilled labor will not be paid well as our society is an open market where supply and demand applies to labor also.

  93. THANK YOU Donna.

    I was feeling very lonely until you spoke up.

  94. Richard Getz says:

    @Jagger,

    Good point as well! Odd how are cars cost more to make, yet foreign cars are known for their quality.

    Union bosses are the same as crime bosses.

  95. I’m choked up! I have the unions to thank apparently. Richard and Jagger are right of course. Unions bring nothing to the table but higher costs to consumers, lower operating capital and profit for future development and expansion for employers (GM is good example), an entitlement mentality to the workforce, recognition not for work well done but for apathy, a cartel that controls the number of jobs available and the price of labor and benefits. I’ve written about the school systems and the union – they are over-paid, unaccountable and hold a monopoly on our children’s education. Our children rank 18th in the world and our teachers can’t/ won’t teach them the basics they need to compete in a global economy. Our children deserve better.

  96. HR in GR says:

    I’ve been saying it for months……”O” is the anti-Christ. If you know anything about the book of Revelations, it is coming to fruition. I may not have supported every policy or change or choice that the Bush Administration made, but this “new” administration wreaks of slime, greed, and eventually mass chaos. Where is our collective voice? Does the Whitehouse even care?
    I have written my state’s (Michigan) senators and congressional leaders and I continue to get the same boilerplate responses that don’t even relate to concerns I addressed.
    No one seems to care (the ones that get the votes, that is) that there are voices trying to be heard.
    The jingling change of the union is overshadowing us all……….

  97. Richard Getz says:

    @HR in GR

    You intended to type Revelation not Revelations, as it was only one revelation, not many. There has also been many anti-Christ throughout history. You meant Obama is the Beast or False Profit, both ar anti-Christs, but so are many in this country.

  98. Here is what Pravda said on May 30th…..read and weep folks…..
    Jim, The pro O’s might be out scraping the election stickers off their cars….the new world order without the reality….Chavez said Obama is more left than he and Castro this week? Huh?

    American capitalism gone with a whimper . . . . .
    It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

    True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

    Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

    First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather than the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas than the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their “right” to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us (Russia) about our rights and about our “democracy”. Pride blinds the foolish.

    Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different “branches and denominations” were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the “winning” side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the “winning” side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox (Russian Orthodox) churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

    The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America’s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

    These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more than ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

    These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

    Then came Barack Obama’s command that GM’s (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of “pure” free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

    So it should be no surprise that the American president has followed this up with a “bold” move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK’s Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our “wise” Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

    Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper…but a “freeman” whimper.

    So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set “fair” maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

    The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.

    The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

    Stanislav Mishin

  99. Thanks Mark – ouch. There is so much truth in what he says…..

    As a reminder: “Marxism is an economic political theory by which law is considered an instrument of oppression and control, and which the ruling class uses against the working class.”

  100. In a June 3rd post, Jim asks where the defenders of the President are. Let’s see – defenders of the President should respond to accusations that President Obama is a communist, the anti-Christ, a “puppet”, “dishonest”, intent on destroying the constitution, wants the country destroyed, etc. The only sane response of a supporter of the President is to laugh at this nonsense. Oh – none of you mentioned that Obama was intent on taking away your guns – better retreat to your bunkers.

  101. Yes, JOhn, it is a pretty sad state of affairs. Elections have consequences. This past one, more than most.

    As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of
    groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a
    lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.
    The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car
    and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty-five feet away.
    I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm,
    walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a
    few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and
    say something.
    The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new
    Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man. I heard him yell at
    the old gentleman saying, ‘You shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car at
    your age.’ Then, with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled
    rubber out of the parking lot.
    I saw=2 0the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he
    went back to his car and again looked at the engine.
    He then went to his wife and spoke with her. It appeared that he was telling
    her it would be okay. I had seen enough. I approached the old man, and he
    saw me coming. He stood straight and as I got near him I said, ‘Looks like
    you’re having a problem.’
    He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head.
    I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it
    was beyond me. Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road and told the
    old man that I would be right back.
    I drove to the station and went inside. There, I saw three attendants
    working on other cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the
    old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me
    back and try to help him.
    The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared
    to be comforting his wife. When he saw us, he straightened up and thanked me
    for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I
    spoke with the old gentleman.
    When I had shaken hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps
    ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I
    nodded and asked the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’
    He mentioned that he had served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa,
    Saipan, Iwo Jima, and Guadalcanal. He had hit all the big ones and retired
    from the Corps after the war was over.
    As we talked, we heard the car engine start up and saw the mechanics lower
    the Hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet. He
    was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.
    He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his
    name and address on it; I stuck it in my pocket. We shook hands all around
    again and I said my goodbye’s to his wife.
    I told the two mechanics that I would follow them back to the station. Once
    at the station, I told them that they had Interrupted their own jobs to come
    along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for their help,
    but they refused to charge me.
    One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card
    the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were
    Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands and as I was leaving, one
    of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I
    said I would and drove off.
    For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the
    card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time.
    The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his
    name… ‘Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’
    I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I
    looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on
    this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help.
    He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to
    greatness and courage and it was an honor to have been in his presence.
    Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America. Thanks to those who
    served and those who supported them .
    America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the Mall.
    If you don’t stand behind our troops, PLEASE feel free to go and stand in
    front of them!
    Remember, Freedom isn’t Free; thousands have paid the price so you can enjoy
    what you have today.
    LET’S DO THIS – JUST 19 WORDS;
    GOD OUR FATHER, WALK THROUGH MY HOUSE
    AND TAKE AWAY ALL MY WORRIES AND ILLNESSES;
    AND PLEASE WATCH OVER AND HEAL MY FAMILY
    IN JESUS ‘ NAME. AMEN

  102. To John –

    A VERY BIG THANK YOU.
    Response is useless; my God, their quoting Revelations!

  103. Richard Getz says:

    @John

    “President Obama is a communist, ”

    No, he is a Socialist. Just a half step from communist.

    “the anti-Christ, ”

    Going to at hate America church hardly constitutes his Anti-Christ viewpoint, but I’m confident that if you revisit this post by the end of this year, all the proof you need will be forthcoming from his own mouth.

    “a “puppet”, ”

    Aren’t most politicians? Either his is a puppet, or he can’t make up his mind, or he made up his mind before actually finding out the facts. In any case, those actions are destructive and shows his inability to lead with a cohesive mind.

    ” intent on destroying the constitution, wants the country destroyed,”

    No, he thinks the constitution is fundamentally flawed. His own words. He does not want to destroy our country as he sees it, just change it fundamentally. To many of us, that is destroying it.

    etc. The only sane response of a supporter of the President

    Is to apologies for their ignorance.

  104. I’d like to know why card-check and EFCA is important now. How does it revitalize the economy and the middle class as O and the AFL-CIO keep telling us?

    I’d like to know why reforming health care is so important now.

    I’d like to know why creating massive deficits is the answer to the financial crisis – I recall FDR’s Treasury Secretary saying: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt to boot!” Please comment President O (or supporters). I remember how Bush’s deficits were bad during the campaign, now they are good – what has changed?

    I’d like to know why Ronald Reagon never asked for a bailout bill, rescue plan or massive reforms of healthcare, etc… when faced with higher unemployment, higher interest rates – 21% prime, a staggering 13.5% inflation rate (I could go on) far worse than this President. He cut spending and taxes. Would you comment on that Mr President (or supporters)?

    I’d like to know how raising taxes is a matter of “neighborliness” or as Joe put it “patriotism.” The Presidents secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, who oversees the IRS, failed to pay some taxes. The International Monetary Fund, where he worked, informed him in writing of his obligation to pay payroll taxes and increased his compensation to offset the payment. He accepted the compensation but failed to pay taxes. Can the head of the department that runs the IRS credibly expect others to pay their taxes, when he failed to pay his own? Can we trust him to run the Treasury.

    I’d like to know why the President signed an executive order that many call the toughest-ever ethical guidelines. It bans former lobbyists joining O’s administration from being involved with any matters or agencies that might be related to their former lobbying efforts. It also prohibits anyone from working in an agency he or she lobbied during the past two years. Given that, please comment on why O has granted a dozen personnel waivers to his own ethical guidelines.

    The respected nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has studied the effects of the stimulus plan. CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the bill might help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing. Comments please.

    O continually blames the economic crisis on the “failed theories of the last eight years,” yet criticized homeowners who put little or nothing down and purchase homes without the ability to pay their mortgages if “something goes wrong.” So exactly whose fault is it? Are we putting something away now Mr President at the federal level or are you spending without the ability to pay “if something goes wrong”?

    Is bailing out GM really about the cars or about propping up your benefactors, the UAW? No one with any knowledge in the industry believes it will work or the tax payer will see a return on their investment. Comments? Also, whats the plan for California (about to go bankrupt) – they have the highest number of union workers (voters) and New York. There’s 5M+ voters (workers) there that are looking for a bailout…

    Got plenty more, but O supporters have no answers even to the easy ones.

  105. Richard Getz says:

    @Jim,

    Excellent, excellent points!!

    You do realize you won’t get a real response from anyone of these don’t you. They will excuse it as ‘being a different time’ ‘needing different actions’

    They are willfully ignorant.

  106. Jim,
    Thanks for the very well put questions. Even if you don’t get response on this blog, know you did not pose these questions in vain. I am distributing your comment to all my Democrat acquaintances. At least they may begin to THINK rather than blindly follow like they have been doing, and “giving him some time”.
    One area you didn’t touch on though, was the Cap ‘n Trade (Tax). Why is that so important right now? Oh, I forgot, it is because Al Gore is so vested in it, and after all, you can’t let a crisis go to waste.

  107. Good point Jagger! Don’t get me started on the whole global warming argument (supported by O). There is absolutely no credible evidence of global warming as a result of human effort. YET, we are pursuing a ruinous path of Cap & Trade. All of the global warming models are filled with political assumptions rather than scientific ones.

  108. Proud Dem says:

    What a bunch of whiners. Obama cleaned McCain’s clock and his popularity is higher than Reagan’s was at this point in his presidency.

    The best response I have to you Obama haters is the same one that I heard from so many of you when I was pointing out that Bush lied us into a war with Iraq (who finally, after thousands of deaths, Cheney has admitted had nothing to do with 9/11)…if you don’t like our country, then leave. Given the propensity many of you seem to have for a theocracy I’d suggest Saudi Arabia…

  109. Have any answers for the questions, Proud Dim?

  110. And just for the record:

    This week, in their first term

    George HW Bush was at 62% favorable – 18% unfavorable
    Richard Nixon was 63% favorable, 15% unfavorable
    Lyndon Johnson was 73% favorable, 12% unfavorable
    JFK was 73% favorable, 11% unfavorable
    Reagan was at 58% favorable and 28% unfavorable but was dealing with a more difficult economy at the time (left over from Jimmy Carter)
    Clinton, by the way was 36% favorable, 49% unfavorable

    BO is at 63% and 30% unfavorable…The unfavorable has been rapidly rising since January, up from 18% – 32% today….

    Do your homework – don’t repeat talking heads – makes you look stupid.

  111. Oh by the way,

    George Bush had the 2nd highest approval rating of any President – 89% in February 1991. Only Harry was higher one week in 1945 at 91%.

  112. Here is the latest…from Rasmussen 6-5-09 ….maybe people are registering some thought processes after all.

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 34% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of 0.

    That’s the highest level of strong disapproval and the lowest overall rating yet recorded (see trends).

    The President’s ratings have slipped since General Motors filed for bankruptcy to initiate a new government bailout and takeover. Just 26% of Americans believe the GM bailout was a good idea and nearly as many support a boycott of GM products. It remains to be seen whether the dip in the President’s numbers is a temporary reaction to recent news or something more substantive.

    The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates also available on Twitter.

    Overall, 54% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far. Forty-six percent (46%) disapprove. For more Presidential barometers, see Obama By the Numbers and recent demographic highlights.

  113. Year First 100 Days President

    1953 Apr. 19-24 Dwight D. Eisenhower 73 10 17 68 5
    1961 Apr. 28-May 3 John Kennedy 83 5 12 72 11
    1969 May 1-6 Richard Nixon 62 15 23 59 3
    1977 Apr. 29-May 2 Jimmy Carter 63 18 19 66 -3
    1981 May 8-11 Ronald Reagan 68 21 11 51 17
    1989 May 4-7 George Bush 56 22 22 51 5
    1993 Apr. 22-24 William J. Clinton 55 37 8 58 -3
    2001 Apr. 20-22 George W. Bush 62 29 9 57 5
    2009 Apr. 28-30 Barack Obama 65 29 6 68 -3

  114. Jim,
    You will never hear from Proud Dem again. He can’t answer any of you questions. That is what I like about these HR blogs. More intelligent people. Not too many Democrats.
    For the Record: Obama had more votes than McCain, true, but when you have groups like Acorn working for you (yes I said “working for you” because they were paid by the DNC) pulling in park benches to vote, what can you expect. And so many apathetic Democrats (like ones in my family) did not even follow the campaign. Just vote Democrat because they always vote democrat. I mentioned to my daughter in law, that it surprised me that her family (hispanic) would vote for Obama knowing what I know about the Hispanic people, being so family oriented and love their babies so much, how could you vote for someone who voted against the bill to protect and provide medical care for babies who survived late term abortions? Her answer: “Oh I don’t know anything about him. I just know Sarah Palin isn’t experienced enough to be president, and Mc Cain is so old.”
    There you have it. Multiply that by 400,000 and throw in another 200,000 Mickey Mouses, and you win an election even if you couldn’t pass a vetting, or produce your birth certificate.

  115. Year First 100 Days President For Agst Other Initial Change

    1953 Apr. 19-24 Dwight D. Eisenhower 73 10 17 68 5
    1961 Apr. 28-May 3 John Kennedy 83 5 12 72 11
    1969 May 1-6 Richard Nixon 62 15 23 59 3
    1977 Apr. 29-May 2 Jimmy Carter 63 18 19 66 -3
    1981 May 8-11 Ronald Reagan 68 21 11 51 17
    1989 May 4-7 George Bush 56 22 22 51 5
    1993 Apr. 22-24 William J. Clinton 55 37 8 58 -3
    2001 Apr. 20-22 George W. Bush 62 29 9 57 5
    2009 Apr. 28-30 Barack Obama 65 29 6 68 -3

    From The Presidency Project – hopefully readable. After the First 100 days.

  116. Jagger – As my parents were fond of saying “It takes absolutely no intelligence to propagate.” Guess that applies to voting also – ya think?

  117. Jagger – you are right. I agree with your comments. I’ve yet to meet any democrat that can explain what this president is doing and why it is good for the country. They swoop in, take pot shots at people, make ill-informed comments based on inaccurate data and then leave. Is there any one out there that can provide an intelligent assessment of the first 100 days, the subsequent weeks and what is planned for the future? No. I believe the O supporters are indeed scraping off their bumper stickers and their reactions indicate a general frustration with the realization that they voted for an empty idea that is proving all too quickly uncomfortable and not consistent with their expectations. 2010 will demonstrate a turning of the tide, first in Congress. 2012 will see major change. The realization that debt equal to more than all previous presidents combined is sapping the American dream from all people, R’s & D’s will prove the death nail for this “change” movement. I do not think Marxism will prevail.

  118. Richard Getz says:

    It seems as if this link did not come through…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

    This is an almost 2 hour movie you should all watch.

    Make sure everyone sends this along to their liberal friends 🙂

  119. I don’t like Unions. Our industry is a target now, I hear, but that is beside the point. I am not sure what changes they could make. For small budgets etc, we have a pretty nice benefits package and pay average and above salaries. But our management structure is such that there is a gap and distrust between employees and management. If we get unionized, there isn’t any money to make any changes… or to give more, etc. Can contracts force employers to fork out more money on salaries and benefits when there isn’t any to spend?

  120. Card check may be on its last leg but exempting unions from paying taxes on their health benefits is front and center. The end result is the same – unions will gain leverage to campaign against non union shops using this tax exemption. Political favors must and will be repaid in any fashion with this administration. If this fails, you can bet your house there will be another piece of legislation to.

    Look on the bright side, if cap and trade passes, everything else will be irrelevant.

Speak Your Mind

*