Liberty News

Unions would love to sink their teeth into Wal-Mart.

This is how they’re trying to do it:

A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout next week on Black Friday, arguably the biggest holiday shopping day for the world’s largest retail store.

The walkout builds on an October strike that started at a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles and spread to stores in 12 other cities. More than 100 workers joined in the October actions.

One of the workers who plans to join next week’s walkout is William Fletcher, who works at a Wal-Mart in Duarte, Calif.

Fletcher, who also participated in the October strikes, claims Wal-Mart cut his hours after he asked to move from the receiving department to another division because of a knee injury. He has since switched departments.

“I kept asking myself, ‘when is the retaliation for speaking our mind and acting on our rights going to stop?’ ” he said. Wal-Mart did not have an immediate comment in response to Fletcher’s claim.

The union-backed groups OUR Walmart and Making Change at Wal-Mart, and a watchdog group Corporate Action Network, are calling on the nation’s largest employer to end what they call retaliation against employees who speak out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.

On Black Friday, the organizations expect 1,000 protests, both at stores and online.

You walk out, you don’t come back.

I’ll bet there’s a line of people waiting to take your place.

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You scratch his back, he’ll scratch yours: (h/t Gateway Pundit)

“The National Labor Relations Board is expected to start work on a rule that would force businesses to turn over workers’ phone numbers, emails and shift times to union organizers,” the Associated Press reported this week.

It’s an effort to enhance the unions’ voter contact operations, in effect, as current law only requires companies to give union organizers the home addresses of the workers whom they hope will vote to unionize.

“What this is trying to do — arguably, it violates the workers’ privacy — but facilitate the union getting in touch,” The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk told The Washington Examiner. “It is just going to be a headache for workers. You tell the union organizer ‘no’ once and they just keep coming back can come back and they keep harassing you and now they’ve got your phone number that they can be calling you on — now they can be spamming your email.”

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-By Warner Todd Huston

Now that the Chicago Teachers Union’s big strike is over they have time for other activities. Like pushing the communist idea of “social justice.” And so, the CTU is helping host a “Teaching for Social Justice” event this month.

So, some of the highest paid teachers in the country are all about “the struggle,” eh? (Media base for CTU teachers is $67,974 annually)

Of course, that brings me back to the question I sort of hinted at above: are Chicago’s teachers doing their jobs?

Well, as John Ruberry notes, not so much.

According to the US Department of Education, 79 percent of eighth graders at Chicago’s public schools are not proficient at their grade-level in reading and 80 percent of them aren’t proficient in math at their grade-level

As Chicago’s teachers fail to teach, at least they are leading the way in socialist/communist ideology, eh?

Am I over reacting? Hardly. The poster advertising the event even goes so far as to utilize the most used communist symbol of them all, the raised fist.

This is radical leftism all the way around. The proper form of justice is our own Constitutional system. There is no such thing as “social justice.” That whole phraseology is merely a surrogate for communo-socialist ideals. And this anti-American, anti-human garbage is what our taxpayer supported teachers are foisting on the world.

No wonder this nation voted back into office the most socialist-leaning President in U.S. history.


-By Warner Todd Huston

The biggest union news this month is the pending closing of the Hostess Brand snack cake corporation, a company that has been an American mainstay for decades with such products Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies. As with the Hostess case, unions repeatedly prove that they’d rather destroy a business with absurd demands and strikes than work with management to keep the company alive in these tough economic times.

Another Illustration of the continued and alarming trend of unions destroying the businesses they work for with absurd contract demands is going on in California, the state with the worst economy and one of the worst business climates in the country.

Recently Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, a north central California-based grocery chain, and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) reached an agreement over a strike that had workers walking the picket lines for nine weeks. Naturally, the company put a brave face on this agreement but both the strike and the agreement have put a strain on the company that can’t help it survive in this horrid economic climate.

The California economy, one of the worst in the nation, was already hurting the grocer before the union decided to make an attempt to squeeze blood from the stone by forcing a strike on the company. The company had reported that many of its locations were already losing money — to the tune of millions per year — and even took the unusual step of allowing union reps to look over the books to prove the fact. Naturally, despite the facts being made readily available to them, the union continued to deny that Raley’s was in dire financial straits.

Some of the demands that the union made on the grocer were ridiculous. In one instance union bosses demanded that Raley’s give “amnesty” to any employees that were caught assaulting customers or engaging in property destruction during the strike.

The union also demanded that the company pay striking workers a “signing bonus” to get them back to work. And why not, Safeway — another grocer in the area — paid it. But, imagine that! The union thought it was fair that they’d quit working, then demand that the company pay them bribes to return to work! That isn’t a negotiation, it’s outright extortion..

And while the union is claiming the financially stressed grocer is stingy and must pay employees more, the local UFCW head is living the high life off the backs of the union’s membership. It is reported that Jacques Loveall, President of the UFCW in California, makes over $274,000 a year. Loveall is also featured as one of the top entries in a list of Sacramento’s highest paid executives. I’ve even heard that this union bigwig drives a Lamborghini and has put a private plane at his disposal. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, either, as Jacques is just carrying on the “family” business inheriting his throne from his father, who enjoyed similar perks at the expense of real working men and women. A real man of the people, that.

This particular strike also indulged a loathsome practice that is becoming commonplace in strikes throughout the nation: the use of non-union people, often paid below minimum wage, to walk picket lines. Imagine this situation, won’t you? A union strikes because members feel they aren’t getting paid enough yet not only are they not interested enough in their own strike to walk picket lines themselves, they hire scabs to do the picketing. And then the union pays the scabs peanuts to do the picketing. This hypocrisy is happening in strikes everywhere, not just California.

This strike is reminiscent of another recent strike of a grocer in Tacoma, Washington. In a strike against a small downtown grocer — the only grocery in the whole area — even those who would have nominally supported the strikers got sick and tired of the whole situation. In that case the company was hurt and so were the customers.

Unions are wearing out their welcome all across the nation, it seems.


-By Warner Todd Huston

Still getting caught up on the various news from the way the election affected unions. Michigan was a bright spot on the scene because the union measures there failed. But not every state saw a defeat for unions. Prop 32 in California, for instance, was defeated.

Proposition 32 was a measure that would have prevented unions from using dues money on political spending without the consent of their members. It would also have prevented corporations from doing the same thing.

More importantly, Prop 32 would have stopped political spending garnered by automatic deductions of dues payments from worker’s paychecks. This would have forced unions to solicit donations for political spending directly from workers.

The measure would also have prevented unions from donating directly to candidates in state (but not federal) elections.

However, Prop 32 failed at the ballot box. It was not overwhelming beaten, but it was beaten nonetheless. The final count was 56.1 percent in favor to 43.9 percent against. It was no landslide against, especially in a left-leaning California.

“By soundly rejecting Proposition 32, the voters of our state said no to a deceptive initiative written by wealthy special interests, for wealthy special interests,” Lou Paulson, chairman of the No on Prop 32 campaign, said in a statement.

Of course, this wasn’t a first time effort for a proposition like this. Similar measures went down in defeat in 1998 and 2005.

It is reported that unions spent about $75 million to defeat Prop 32, outspending the pro-business forces in favor of the measure.

I suppose in a state now controlled by a single party, it is sort of surprising that this measure wasn’t defeated by a greater margin.


-By Warner Todd Huston

Today’s page from the annals of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face gives us the case of the Twinkies Finkies where union strikers are set to permanently destroy their own jobs by forcing the Hostess snack cake company to go bankrupt because of union demands.

The Hostess company has been under sever pressure due to this destroyed Obama economy and just when it didn’t think things could get worse, the unions have decided to go on strike demanding that the company get blood from this dead economic stone.

The company, already trying to reorganize from two bankruptcies, announced that it would be forced to cut wages and benefits of its workers and offered a new contract based on these realities. The unions rejected the offer and promptly went on strike.

Hostess CEO Grey Rayburn told the media that his company simply could not withstand a work stoppage.

“We’ve been very straight forward that the business can’t withstand the significant work stoppage,” he said. “If this strike continues, there is certainly a risk that Hostess will go out of business.”

Reuters reports that the company will seek liquidation unless workers return to work.

Despite the well-known bankruptcy problems in which Hostess Brands has been mired, some unions have rejected any offer of working with the company to save the business. A few other smaller unions did accept the contract offered by the faltering company, but the biggest union, the Baker’s Union, has steadfastly refused any concessions. Most unions are honoring that Baker’s strike and refusing to cross picket lines.

So, unless the union bends, it looks like Twinkies, Wonder Bread, and a host of other Hostess products will be a thing of the past while some 18,500 Hostess workers lose their jobs forever.