Saturday, December 29, 2012

ALEC Right to Work - Why Now???

I found an article last weekend and started working on it and lost it in the holiday mess of things to do – so I had to start over today and it brought me to places I had not gone last weekend – probably meant to be

First of all, (off onto an ADD tangent - that happened while I was researching - but still applicable to the post) I found the divisive language perpetuated by ALEC over the decades to their members in newsletters and magazines that they distribute to ALEC legislators:

Members of labor unions are forced by union leaders into paying tribute to the union bosses, with much of the money going for political activity not supported by the rank and file.

Union boss policies are generally inimical to growth and bad for business.

Teacher union bosses fear school choice programs because they may lead to having fewer public school teachers to unionize. 

After the 2006 midterm elections, union bosses were feeling their oats from big Democrat victories in state legislatures.

These “Save the Secret Ballot” initiatives provide a constitutional guarantee that workers cannot be bullied by union bosses to form a workplace union.

Thursday, February 5, 2009 Opinion – by ALEC staffer and ALEC consultant Michael Hough and Jonathan Williams,   The bill also contains payoffs for union bosses, with Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements for every project,

Union bosses would have monopoly-bargaining powers and could create contracts barring professional firemen from serving as volunteer firefighters—an approach unions prefer because it effectively eliminates competition.

The passage of H.R. 980 will sever the connection between the employer and employee, while the union bosses stand by with scissors in their hands.
Who uses that kind of language anymore?  Really???
Well a really quick check of the web showed that it is almost exclusively used by the right wing.

ALEC perpetuates this old stereotype by using this language in the literature they supply to your ALEC legislator.  When you inundate someone mailbox (electronic or snail mail) with hateful divisive language - where would you expect their though process to go?

But the reality is that all you have to do is replace the word corporate in front of the word boss(es) in most of the quotes above and you are probably identifying the REAL thugs that control the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Anyway – on to the real reason to write today

Last week I read something (which I can’t find right now) that had me thinking all week – why are they pushing Right to Work (for Less) [RTW4L]  now?

Right to work legislation has mostly been dead for almost 60 years as noted in this table:

Well, in doing a little more research I found this snip from The National Law Review that documents come the history on right to work for less (the article has some really good links in the snip and is well worth the read).

Back to work

At its November conference in D.C., ALEC members on the Commerce, Insurance, and Economic Development Task Force voted to re-endorse 55 pieces of model legislation it has passed over the years, including the “right-to-work” bill, according to documents released by the liberal watchdog group Common Cause.

Since 2010, members of the task force have included some of the nation’s largest non-union and anti-union companies, including McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Bank of America and MillerCoors. All four of the companies quit the organization this year after ALEC faced scrutiny for its sponsorship of voter ID legislation.

Though long on ALEC’s agenda, “right-to-work” has been a tough sell in the states for decades. Since ALEC created the model legislation, only four states have passed it into law. In 1992, ALEC members introduced the bill in 11 state legislatures, including Michigan.

None of them passed.

In 1995, ALEC reported that its legislator-members introduced the bill in nine states, but again none passed new laws, according to ALEC annual reports. Idaho passed the law in 1985, but no state would pass it again until 2001, when 54 percent of Oklahomans approved a “right-to-work” constitutional amendment. The text of the Oklahoma law matched, word-for-word, that of ALEC’s model bill.

In 2012, a slew of ALEC members sponsored the bill in Indiana, which Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed into law in February.

Key parts of the Michigan law are identical to the text in the ALEC model bill.

ALEC - the gift that keeps on giving - over and over and over again.
They definitely have a specific obsessive agenda.

ALEC continues to justify their push for this horrific legislation with deceptive statements such as these:
    Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index
    © 2011 ALEC

When we look at the age of movers, we see that, indeed, the working age population is most influenced by right-to-work laws. From 1998 to 2008 (the most recent period for which we have age specific state population data), the population of 25–34 year olds in right-to-work states increased by 16.0 percent (from 14.361 million to 16.654 million), while the population in that age bracket for forced union states fell by 0.6 percent (from 24.32 million to 24.17 million). Right-towork states attract the most productive members of society. That young adults are overrepresented in the net migration indicates that jobs, not lifestyle considerations, are the principal factor in the movement from forced union states.
Really??– prove it!!!!
Prove it!

A workshop at the 1993 Annual Meeting included
Inclusive, Not Exclusive Labor Policies Blossom
Narrow interests often succeed in implementing labor laws and policies which benefit the few at the expense of society as a whole. Prevailing wage laws inflate the cost of public works, union-shop agreements trample on the freedom of association, public sector collective bargaining provisions burden taxpayers with inflated public payrolls, and minimum wage laws destroy job opportunities for those most in need.
Really??– prove it!!!!
Prove it!
But then - I come back to my question – why now?

Could it have something to do with this?
     Inside ALEC | October 2012
    Taxpayers and Workers Winning in the Midwest
      F. Vincent Vernucio is Director of Labor Policy at the Mackinac Center and Labor Policy Counsel 
      at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
If individual employees like what the union is doing, they are still free to pay dues, but these contributions are purely voluntary. That is a problem for IUOE because if workers are no longer required to pay, the union could lose the funds it needs to curry favor with politicians through campaign contributions and to advocate for pro-union policies.

Could it be this from an ALEC report named ‘Holding Teachers Hostage” published in 2001? The paper focused mainly on the NEA and makes statements such as,
“union operates like a political party”;   ...  The NEA provides paid staff to…carry out stealth political activities that circumvent public disclosure and scrutiny”;
“The extent of the NEA”s political involvement has been vastly under-reported during the last three decades”; and
“the NEA plays a strong role, and at times a lead role, in planning the political activities and goals of its state affiliates.

If you change NEA with replace it ALEC in the above statements - it seems ALEC would be the same.
Maybe ALEC was really talking about themselves - some kind of pathological transference.
What is that about throwing stones in a glass house?

Well if they flip the state senate, which is obviously their goal with eight recalls going on right now, they can take control of the labor unions. If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much difficult, much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.

OR THIS historical ALEC statement
“Unions support the living wage too, but for the wrong reasons.  Labor organizations such as the AFSME and SEIU support the living wage because in so doing, they thwart governments’ efforts to privatize public services.   …moving jobs out of government and into the free market economy can have a significant and positive impact.”

So what is this push for RTW4L all about?

Based on ALEC articles that I have read…
It’s all about ALEC’s perception that unions and union members only back Democratic candidates.
The logic of ALEC is
        if you destroy the unions – the Democrats will be destroyed.

In reality ALEC is a on a path of myopic union destruction for both Republican and Democrat workers. 
Further confirmation that ALEC does NOT care about the public – all they care about is ALEC and forwarding the ALEC agenda.

Destruction of the middle class and working class in the United States.
ALEC establishment of third world working conditions and pay – in order to reimburse ALEC profit sector members for their 40 years of support
In reality ALEC is a on a path of myopic destruction of the two party system in the United States.
ALEC establishment of a one party oligarchy – ruled by Republicans.
ALEC believes that unions and union contracts get in the way of the privatization of government goods and services.
The evidence for this lies in the privatization actions of the ALEC-ers in Wisconin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.  The losers in all of these schemes are union workers.

Across the US - there are smaller privatization schemes at the city and county levels - pushed by ALEC-ers that destroy good union jobs in favor of privatization of services to ALEC corporate profit sector members.

Either way – ALEC RTW4L thinking only represents right-wing ALEC politicians and corporations.

The question of why now - has kinda been answered 
(I'm sure the ALEC agenda is much bigger than this).
The dialogue on this really needs to be kept in the public arena.

So that leaves the next question -
Whose agenda does YOUR legislator support?
YOU, your family, your neighbors -  or ALEC corporations?

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