Labor Law Guy

SEIU Adopts Tactics It Wants Outlawed for Employers

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings, State Labor Law by laborlawguy on June 24, 2009

Betraying its own selfish interests in trying to castrate business owners when it comes to union organizing, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is now employing the very tactics it wants to outlaw for employers.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the SEIU in California is blocking elections at hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities as the nascent National Union of Healthcare Workers gathers signatures and calls for elections.

Behind the battle lies the brutal takeover of United Healthcare Workers West (UHW West) earlier this year when SEIU President Andy Stern installed some henchmen at UHW and then accused the native leadership of embezzelment. The ousted UHW quickly morphed into the National Union of Healthcare Workers and is now battling SEIU for representation of healthcare workers in the Golden State.

Stern is fighting back like any good employer by trying to block elections while accusing the rival union of illegal tactics.

So far, two elections have been held, and each union has won one.

Since unions are unions no matter if one or more of them is an aggrieved party, it matters little who wins, but it would be nice to see Stern get his much-deserved comeuppance.

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Such a Deal: $1 Trillion to Insure Just 16 Million More

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on June 17, 2009

Liberalcrats are scrambling to spin away a troubling (but no doubt right on) estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that “reforming” health care will come at a price tag of $1 trillion over ten years and will result in covering  just 16 million additional Americans out of a reported 47 million currently without health insurance. (The CBO estimate actually foresees the loss of 23 million privately insured individuals, with 39 million from all sources gaining insurance for a net of 16 million added insureds, not all of them newly insured.)

Ezra Klein, as usual, has become the media’s front man for liberal hype and cover-ups in the health debate. Klein has never met a government program that isn’t better than anything ever invented in human history. I guess he doesn’t drive, so he’s never experienced the DMV, or ever tried to get his Asian bride a green card. Or how about dealing with the IRS?

Whatever Klein and the liberal fabricators are doing seems to be working in the polls, which show that the public still favors health care reform. However, if you look through the polling data in enough depth, you’ll realize that the public somehow believes that so-called reform is going to make their health care costs, if not free, at least cheaper, not higher and more onerous (which is the guaranteed result of all this governmentizing of health care).

For instance, the uninsured, when asked how much they’d be willing to pay for health insurance, chose “nothing” as the overwhelming first option, but two-thirds did say they’d go as high as $100 a month, and one-third were really generous in saying they might be able to come up with $200 a month.

Yeah, and I got a nice bridge you can buy in Brooklyn for $24.

I guess we live in a delusional world suddenly. With everyone’s retirement savings having been wiped out, people are looking for a compensatory payback in free health care, evidently.

What they’ll get instead are increasingly higher taxes followed by long lines and wait lists to get health care, which in no time flat will also be rationed and in many cases simply denied.

“You’re too old for that procedure. You don’t have enough useful years left in the job market to justify getting a new hip. Just suffer. When you retire, you can sit all the time, and the hip won’t bother you.”

That’s what you get when you expect something to be free.

Canada Health Care Going Private, While We Go Socialist

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings by laborlawguy on June 9, 2009

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out how and why politicians see a different reality than those of us who live in it, but then I snap back to the cold logic of a politician’s raison d’etre–“How do I get the most votes?”

For Barack Obama and the Democrats, getting “the most votes” means putting everybody on a federal health care lifeline. The reasoning goes something like this: “If they can’t get their health care without us (no matter how awful, indifferent or unavailable it is), then they’ll have to vote for us. We’ll be in power forever!”

Other countries offer perfect examples of all the ills and evils of nationalized medicine, but that doesn’t deter the likes of Ted Kennedy or Barack Obama since, as noted above, the goal is not health care optimization, but vote optimization.

Canada’s system is so broken that, in emergency cases and for cases requiring specialized care, the country often sends patients to the U.S. for treatment. Either that, or they come on their own, knowing they face sure death in the Canadian system.

Here’s the story of how Canada is privatizing health care just as we are ruining, I mean, nationalizing our very vehicle of survival: “Canada’s Obamacare Precedent.”

Democrats Seek to End Agriculture in New York

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings, State Labor Law by laborlawguy on June 8, 2009

I’m picking this up from a blog I just stumbled upon. The author is someone named Homer, whose name appears under a drawing of Homer Simpson.

Homer’s take is a little different from my headline–he claims the Democrats in the state legislature are trying to drive out farmers from upstate New York because they tend to vote Republican.

The Democrats’ vehicle to do this is something called the Farm Workers Fair Practices Act.

Let’s have Homer explain it:

In short, it would subject farmers to a host of labor regulations including: requiring 8 hour days, paid overtime, providing workers a day of rest each week, mandatory payment of unemployment insurance for small farm employers (even for seasonal workers), and coverage for disability insurance for off the job injuries. And of course, it would make it easier for workers to unionize and then immediately send contribution checks to Susan John.

As he goes on to explain, farming is a unique industry, which is seasonal and requires working sun-up to sundown during the planting and harvesting seasons. That’s why farm labor has always been exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other labor laws. The New York Farm Bureau predicts devastation to the tune of $200 million a year if the bill passes.

Thought the EFCA was bad? New York just one-upped D.C.

Public Perceptions v. ‘The Experts’ in Health Care Matters

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings by laborlawguy on June 5, 2009

I’ve shamelessly stolen the graph below that shows the differences of opinion between the public and the so-called experts on how well, or poorly, our health care system is performing–and why.

I took it from the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site and the article by Drew Altman, Ph.D., entitled “Pulling It Together”:

health-care-comparison

LUST, One of the New Acronyms Coming Out of D.C.

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings by laborlawguy on June 2, 2009

At least the bureaucrats and fat-cat legislators in our nation’s capital are having fun spending our trillions (last count: $7 trillion to fight the current recession!), and I’m not referring to the rampant abuse of expense accounts that the Wall Street Journal has been exposing.

Rather, I’m referencing a new string of interesting acronyms coming our unanointed heads’ way. LUST, from my headline, refers to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank trust, and is used in the phrase “LUST Recovery.” (What they’re recovering, I’m not altogether sure.)

More a propos of the type of people who make a living in D.C. is the RAT Board, or the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.

Now for the clincher: Try pronouncing this acronym, FCCCER.

You don’t even want to know what it means.

(But I’ll tell you anyway: It stands for Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, the group that will one day to be happy to deny you a medicine or medical treatment because it’s simply not cost-effective.  When they do, just call them by their acronym and pronounce as it looks, FCCCER.)

Obama, Congress Steamroll Health Care Reform, Hoping No One Notices

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on May 27, 2009

Obama and his Congress (a cloture-proof Senate and a wild-eyed House) are busy steamrolling their plans to nationalize health care (in the guise of “reform”) while an idolatrous media fawn all over the process and the public buries its collective head in the sands of ignorance and resignation.

In any endeavor as large as the reform of America’s health insurance (forget the care part–that’s a charade, or cover-up–this is all about control), the devil is in the details, and details are the last thing the Obamacrats want anyone to see. Thus, they’re rushing the whole legislating process to a vote by July 1 before anyone can wise up to what they’re doing and expose them.

Of course, there are many people trying to pierce the veil of secrecy right now (I for one), but to crack through the liberal media’s chokehold on what the public gets to read and hear is not easy.

At any rate, we can all do our part. I’m herewith reprinting this useful guide about notifying your representatives to slow down and involve everyone in the process. It lists e-mails and phone numbers where you can express your concern, and hopefully someone will listen:

If you or others that you know are concerned about all or any of these proposals, we urge you to share your feedback TODAY as follows and staying involved as Congress moves to act: 

  • E-mail the Health Care Reform Leadership of the Senate Finance Committee at Health_reform@finance_dem.senate.gov
  • E-mail each member of the Senate Finance Committee at http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/committee.htm
  • Call (202) 224-4515 and share your views with Congressional Staffers Erin Shields (Baucus) and Jill Gerber (Grassley), Committee on Finance, 219 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510-6200
  • Tell your Senators and Representatives you oppose Congressional plans to fast track health care reform the way Congress enacted the Stimulus Bill
  • Tell your Senators and Representatives you will support members of Congress who vote responsibly on health care reform
  • Tell your Senators and Representatives in Congress and political party leaders you will work to defeat members and candidates that advocate these and other irresponsible health care reform legisltation
  • Carry through on your promises
  • Keep speaking out until you are heard and Congress gets the message.  

Thank you, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer. Read the whole article at Solutions Law Press.

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‘Good to Great’ Author Answers My Question

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on May 22, 2009

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, was the subject of an earlier post of mine entitled “Good to Great, Then Gone or Gobble Up.” In that ditty, I queried how Circuit City, which Collins claimed had gone from being a good to being a great company, could go under just a few years after having been proclaimed “great.” At the same time, I also e-mailed Collins to get his take.

Turns out that the author of Good to Great has been busy, but he didn’t neglect my letter. I got a response yesterday to my question about what happened to Circuit City, and here’s what Mr. Collins wrote:

Thank you for your email.  I apologize for my long delay in reply; I’ve been buried working on two books, feeling like a snake that swallowed two watermelons at the same time.   In response to your question: Circ uit City engineered its transition from good to great under Alan Wurtzel and his team principally during the 1970s and 1980s, then fell in a later generation; we focused our research for Good to Great primarily on the Wurtzel era, when CC made its leap.  Perhaps it might be helpful to underscore that the principles we uncovered in prior research do not depend upon the current strength or struggles (or even the later demise) of the specific companies we studied.  Think of it this way: If we studied healthy people in contrast to unhealthy people, and we derived health-enhancing principles–such as sound sleep, balanced diet, and moderate exercise–would it undermine these principles if later some of our previously healthy subjects started sleeping badly, eating poorly, and not exercising?  Sleep, diet and exercise would still hold as principles of health.    That said, the question of how once-great companies can self-destruct ignited my curiosity.  Not all companies that attain greatness manage to sustain that greatness for two, three or more decades.  Some do, but others lose their greatness in later generations of leadership.  Some companies fall a long way and come back as great, and others disappear or become irrelevant. The question is: why do some great companies fall, and others not?  And also, why do some come back, and others not?    I have recently published a small book on this topic entitled How the Mighty Fall.

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The Eternal Health Care Song and Dance

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on May 15, 2009

The Heartland Institute in Chicago, from whom I stole the title to this posting, has history on its side when it predicts failure, or at the very least, severe and negative unintended consequences from the latest round of health care reform, this one unfortunately taking place at the federal level.

Fortunately, the other failures all occurred at the state level and were soon abandoned when reality set in. However, Massachusetts, the most recent example, is hanging in there in its infancy, and now the Obamacrats want to copy it–despite its transparent failure, to wit, failing to cover everyone, creating long waiting lists for routine doctors’ visits, and last but not least, bankrupting the state by coming in at twice the predicted cost. More rationing is now on the table.

Read about those earlier lofty but failed health reform efforts–all aiming at universal coverage (never achieved)–in Tennessee, Massachusetts (the first time around), Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Kentucky, Maine and elsewhere in this article found on Opposing Views.

Then brace yourself for the blare of the trumpets and the lofty pronouncements of “universal health care in our time” (deliberate take-off on Neville Chamberlain’s Munich statement) by Barack Obama sometime later this year.

Then wait for your taxes and other fees to rise exorbitantly even as the line to your doctor grows ever longer–and the medicines and treatments available ever scarcer.

EEOC Sues Strip Club for Firing 56-Year-Old Waitress

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings, State Labor Law by laborlawguy on May 14, 2009

I stumbled upon this attorney’s employment law blog that focuses on the bizarre, humorous and unusual in case law (Wal-Mart execs dressed in drag and filmed at a meeting, for instance).

On his site, CurrentEmployment.net, Tim Eavenson brings up the tale of a lawsuit filed this past week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against a strip club that burned to the ground–two years ago.

However, the year before the club’s demise, the owners of Cover Girls in Houston had fired 56-year-old Mary Bassi, who had waited tables there for nigh on to 15 years and raked in almost $100K a year from a loyal suite of customers. Younger babes were seen taking her place.

Bassi says the bosses used to call her “old” and make jokes at her expense about Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, the suit will go on because the owners also operated four other Houston strip clubs. Bassi, now 59, is working for a competitor. I wonder if her loyal customers followed her over to the competition.

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