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From Daniel Howes:

Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose.

Is This Blog On? weighs in:

You’re not allowed, in Obama’s America, to disparage the Auto bailout, or -indirectly – Obama. Especially during the election cycle.

But Ford is hardly a puritan when it comes to government “assistance” and “Chris” may not have fully understood this when he bought his new truck from the automaker:

Howes makes the point:

Whatever the politics, the ad kerfuffle exposes two opposed realities existing simultaneously for Ford:

First, a sizable cadre of current and would-be customers oppose the notion of taxpayer bailouts for automakers, whatever the economic costs to the industrial Midwest and the nation of letting them collapse. Meaning there’s an advantage Ford can press to remind folks that it didn’t receive direct payouts from Treasury.

Second is that Ford supported the bailouts before Congress, in public statements and still does today, despite the recurring snarkiness you hear around its offices in Dearborn that it “didn’t take the money.”

No, it didn’t. But Ford did seek a line of credit from the feds, borrowed billions under a government program to “retool” its plants and effectively failed first. That’s why it recruited a superstar CEO from Boeing Co. and gave him some $23 billion in borrowed money to save the Blue Oval from bankruptcy.

Or it would have taken the money, too.

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Joel Kotkin analyzes the shocking Republican victory in New York’s ninth congressional district using the context of Mayor Bloomberg’s view of New York City as a “luxury product”.

For a decade, the Bloomberg paradigm has held the city together: Wall Street riches fund an expanding bureaucracy that promotes social liberalism and nanny-state green politics. Indeed, Wall Street’s fortune — guaranteed by federal bailouts and monetary policy under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — has been the key to the mayor’s largely self-funded political success. Under Bloomberg, Wall Street’s profits allowed city expenditures to grow 40% faster than the rate of inflation. Bloomberg was also able to buy political peace by bestowing raises two to three times the rate of inflation on the city’s unionized workers.

Now this calculus is falling apart. Layoffs are mounting on Wall Street, while bonuses — the red meat that fuels everything from high-end condos to expensive boutiques and restaurants — are expected to drop 30% from last year.

Then there’s this:

But something is stirring in the boroughs.  The district’s voters not only embarrassed their civic betters by voting Republican, but they also demonstrated that New York’s middle class, politically quiescent under Bloomberg, may need to be taken seriously again.

This gives hope for what Bronstein calls “the real New York” — a place that is neither particularly glamorous nor severely bifurcated between the rich and those who service their needs. With a more diversified economy and family orientation, this unexpected rebellion could represent the first step toward restoring New York’s roots as a city not of luxury but of aspiration.

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“Unions may protect wages, but they also slow job growth.”

So says Shikha Dalmia:

Grand Valley State University economist Hari Singh found that if Michigan had been a right-to-work state, the auto industry would have seen a 25 percent gain in jobs since 1965. Instead, it lost 56.6 percent just between 2002 and 2009, shrinking its work force by 165,777. In a functioning market, high unemployment would lead to lower wages. But in Michigan’s auto industry, Singh found, wages actually rose 18.1 percent during that time.

Unions congratulate themselves for protecting workers’ wages, but they have imposed a heavy price on everyone else. Not a single foreign automaker has ever taken advantage of Michigan’s legions of out-of-work but highly trained employees, preferring to train novices in right-to-work states.

Plus this:

Since jobs can’t come to Michigan, Michigan residents followed the jobs. Michigan lost 11.7 percent of its 25-34 age group between 1993 and 2003 — while right-to-work states gained 3.8 percent. Indeed, the 2009 Census revealed that Michigan had experienced the third-highest emigration in the country. Otherwise, Michigan’s unemployment situation would be even grimmer.

But the hidden costs of labor unions have become impossible to ignore, partly because Michigan’s collapsing real estate market has made it hard for homeowners to sell and relocate. There is a new desperation to do something to jumpstart job growth, which is why unions are in the cross hairs.

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By now you’ve probably seen the television ad above.  And US News and World Report says that a Ford spokeswoman confirmed that Chris is an actual Ford owner and that those are his real words (the ad series is all unscripted).

According to a government report, taxpayers will lose $14 billion in the bailout.

Ed Morrissey says this isn’t a new ad — it just started capturing attention, thanks to USNWR.

And the star of the ad, Chris, posted this YouTube video yesterday:

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But wait!  There’s more!  Chris tapes and shares this report from Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and The Wall Street Journal‘s Steve Moore:

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Awesome.

UPDATE:  Ford pulls the ad.

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From the L.A. Times:

In a bid to speed up negotiations that have dragged on for more than eight months, union officials representing supermarket workers in Southern California took a step closer Thursday night to going on strike.

Officials from the United Food and Commercial Workers gave 72 hours notice to cancel their labor contract extension with the region’s three leading grocery chains, a mandatory step before a walkout. Once the contract is no longer in effect, grocery workers can strike at any time.

The contract covered an estimated 62,000 checkers, baggers, meat cutters and other grocery workers across the region, including those employed by Ralphs, which is owned by Kroger Co. of Cincinnati; Vons and Pavilions, owned by Safeway Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.; and Albertsons, which is owned by SuperValu Inc. of Eden Prairie, Minn.

Greg Conger, president of UFCW Local 324 in Orange County, said union officials felt they had no choice but to take this step. “It’s time to bring these negotiations to an end,” Conger said. “The talks have been going at a glacial pace. “If the employers don’t snap out of it, and give our members a proposal that we can live with, the only option we have left is a strike.”

The sticking point?  Healthcare.

Under the latest offer from the employers, grocery workers would pay $9 a week for individual coverage and $23 a week for a family, company and union officials said.

Wow.  $36 per month for an employee’s share of healthcare.  I wish.  Juxtapose that with this headline:

Unemployment Worsens in California

The unemployment picture in California – the largest state by population – worsened in August, as the jobless rate ticked up to 12.1 percent.

Only neighboring Nevada – at 13.4 percent — has a higher unemployment rate in the nation. (On the whole, the jobless rate for the country is at 9.1 percent).

California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) said employers in the state slashed payrolls by 8,400 during the month. The government in particular is shedding positions at an alarming rate – local and state government agencies cut 3,600 positions in August.

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You can’t make this stuff up.

From William A. Jacobson:

If you want a good measure of how deeply the collective bargaining bill in Wisconsin has disrupted public sector unions, there is no better example than the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC).

Last month WEAC announced that it was laying off 40% of its staff. With little over which to collectively bargain, and with dues no longer withheld from paychecks, the need for and sustainability of a union bureaucracy could not be justified.

Now WEAC is being boycotted by National Staff Organization (NSO), a union representing educational union employees.

Isn’t that great, education union employees have their own union? Is there a union for employees of education union employee unions?

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