Hey Unions: Welcome to Politics

John Ransom
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Posted: Jul 10, 2012 12:01 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a hat tip to common sense, decided yesterday that nonunion members can opt out of union fees that are targeted towards political purposes.
“Labor unions must give nonmember workers ‘fresh notice’ of unplanned increases in fees or assessments -- money that might be used for political purposes -- the Supreme Court ruled Thursday,” according to CNN.

For labor unions around the country, it serves as a painful reminder that when they decided to go all-in for Obama in 2008, they alienated the rest of us non-government, non-union members- the 99 Percent- who have to go out and earn our keep every day. And that alienation is being felt in political defeats by unions around the country.  

“The 7-2 decision is a victory for Dianne Knox,” says CNN, “a California state employee, who sought to opt out of a $12 million assessment imposed by the Service Employees International Union Local 1000. She did not belong to SEIU, unlike most of her fellow government workers.”

The SEIU was imposing fees on nonunion members in order to build a war chest to defeat several ballot measures in California.

“There is no justification for the SEIU’s failure...,” wrote Justice Alito for the majority. “[The law] rests on the principle that nonmembers should not be required to fund a union’s political and ideological projects unless they choose to do so after having ‘a fair opportunity’ to assess the impact of paying for nonchargeable union activities.”

In addition, Alito found that the SEIU’s collection practices violated the First Amendment saying that nonunion members have a right to opt out of political activity. By contrast “no constitutional right of the union is violated because it has no constitutional right to receive any payment [editor’s emphasis] from those employees.”

I’m wondering if the unions are starting to regret their investment in Obama.

Unions dumped $450 million into the Obama effort in 2008, according to the New York Times, hoping that they’d buy political clout with Obama that they don’t actually own on Main Street. But besides the auto bailout, and a few years of government stimulus spending, the strategy has been pretty much a disaster.

“This is not about payback,” the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s director of government affairs told the New York Times. “We’re looking to work with the new administration on a shared set of priorities that focus on lifting workers and improving the economy.”

I think he meant “lifting workers’ wallets.”

Because on the other counts, I think you can call their strategy a failure: No payback for unions and no improving economy.

And just another fine job for liberals, who don’t seems to be able to accomplish even those things that they say they desire.

Instead, the mass of the country has turned on unions, union members, bloated union benefits and even- gasp!- public teachers- who used to be as iconic in America as baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and, um… Chevrolet?

The laundry list of failures for the union agenda is really staggering. They spent the most money ever. The elected the greatest president EVER and finest political mind since Roy “this is not a salad bar” Rogers opened his burger joint in cooperation with the Marriott Corporation under the supervision of the Reverse Vampires, in conjunction with the Rand Corporation. 

And what have they bought? The union has faced the longest string of defeats since the losing streak that started at the First Battle of Bull Run.

Well, they wanted to be politics. Congrats, Mr. Union. You are now in politics.

Card check? The union equivalent of forced busing and segregation? Voters completely checked the box denying approval for card check.

Then there was Madison, WI and the recall rebuke when Scott Walker took on teachers unions. What do you call it when voters vote a governor back in by recall with a wider margin than he originally received in the general election? A permission slip to give the unions detention.

How about that union fiasco with the National Labor Relations Board trying to stop Boeing Corporation from opening a $1 billion plant in South Carolina because it wasn’t a union shop? Another union disaster where they had to lower their colors.

Boeing’s CEO, Jim McNerney, is calling the regulatory climate for business the worst in U.S. history.

From MarketWatch:

Asked by a reporter if regulations are any worse now than in decades past, McNerney gave an emphatic yes. “It’s different today. The attitude is different,” he said. “Unless you live it it’s hard to see it.”

McNerney said the Roundtable “hears about it all day long” from member companies. The group represents large U.S. firms that employ more than 14 million people and generate sales in excess of $6 trillion a year.

Many of those regulatory hurdles are put there just to coddle unions.

But not for long Mr. Union man. Not. For. Long.

Welcome to politics. Watch that bloody nose.


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