03-11-2009, 04:29 AM
No Use for Donk Twits
Member Since: Jul 2005
Location: Costa Rica bound
Big Labor gets nasty on 'card check.'
Labor Unions Turn to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for Pressure on 'Card Check' - WSJ.com
Big Labor's drive to eliminate secret ballots for union elections has united American business in opposition, so labor chiefs are putting on the brass knuckles: The new strategy is to threaten companies with government retaliation if they don't stop lobbying against turning U.S. labor markets into Europe. |
We wrote on February 13 about the letter from the labor consortium Change to Win to the Financial Services Roundtable, demanding that banks receiving Troubled Asset Relief Program money keep quiet about union "card check." To its credit, the banking lobby hasn't backed down. Now Big Labor is escalating, demanding in a February 23 letter to Secretary Timothy Geithner that Treasury muzzle the companies if they won't muzzle themselves.
"Firms receiving significant TARP assistance continue to lobby against the interests of hard working taxpayers," says the letter from Change to Win Chair Anna Burger. "For example, these firms continue to oppose legislation that would allow bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage loan terms, establish a Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights and protect consumers from corporations that bury mandatory arbitration clauses in fine print."
Imagine that: Banks are daring to fight legislation that would reduce their profitability -- and at a time when our public officials say they are desperate for banks to earn themselves out of trouble.
The letter targets in particular the Principal Financial Group, based in Des Moines, which it says should be denied TARP money because of the "scale and scope" of its lobbying. But wait -- Citigroup spent three times more money on fourth-quarter lobbying than the $515,000 spent by Principal, the unions admit. So, what gives? It seems Principal's real sin is that it "lobbied on 26-labor related bills . . . including the Employee Free Choice Act," and it is the only TARP applicant or recipient to have disclosed doing so.
The double standard here is remarkable. Every year, unions collect millions of dollars in grants from government agencies they lobby. In 2002 and 2003, the Service Employees International Union -- the main driver behind Ms. Burger's consortium -- lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services while receiving between $563,226 and $938,388 per year in grants. Imagine if Tom DeLay had ever said that labor unions or AARP couldn't speak up about Medicare because they or their affiliates had accepted federal grants. The headlines would have read: "Republican Gag Rule."
This is the type of union thuggery that folks against 'card check' see happening when a secret ballot isn't used.
Admittedly, all of the above is a product of my deep-seated and virulent racism. /sarcasm
[ Reply w/Quote ]