Ungrateful

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Ttargetlogoarget Canada acquired 189 stores from a failed department store chain, opened over 130 stores, and hired over 17,000 employees. It then lost two billion dollars and decided to close and give almost all of its employees at least four months of severance pay. Rather than express appreciation for Target’s generosity, the UFCW blamed the company’s failure on “its bully tactics and its disrespect for Canadian workers and shoppers.”

Read more at:

http://rabble.ca/news/2015/01/17600-workers-lose-target-canada-closes-its-operations

http://business.financialpost.com/2015/01/17/how-targets-grand-reveal-contributed-to-its-demise-in-canada/

targetlogo

Target Canada acquired 189 stores from a failed department store chain, opened over 130 stores, and hired over 17,000 employees. It then lost two billion dollars and decided to close and give almost all of its employees at least four months of severance pay. Rather than express appreciation for Target’s generosity, the UFCW blamed the […]

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Ignore the Members Pay the Lawyers

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HardinCountyIn a move that is becoming more and more common union officers are spending their members’ dues on lawyers in an attempt to thwart the democratic process. The most recent example is the United Food and Commercial Workers suing Hardin County, Kentucky over the banning the collection of union due as a condition of employment.

The ordinance supported by a grass roots organization known as My Check My Choice passed January 13, 2015. Rather than attempt to convince workers that union membership is worth having the unions lawyered up and raced to the courthouse the very next day.

These union officers never seem to make the connection between declining membership and lack of service to their members. Rather than focusing on improving membership services they concentrate on forcing workers to join whether they wish to or not. Is it any wonder union membership in the private sector has been trending downward?

HardinCounty

In a move that is becoming more and more common union officers are spending their members’ dues on lawyers in an attempt to thwart the democratic process. The most recent example is the United Food and Commercial Workers suing Hardin County, Kentucky over the banning the collection of union due as a condition of employment. […]

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Are UFCW officials violating their fiduciary duties by spending dues on OUR Walmart?

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By Don Todd

our walmartWalmart is the nation’s largest private employer.  It is a non-union business.  It may surprise many than the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union has no interest in organizing Walmart employees.

Who says so?  They do.

This, despite the fact that UFCW has a subsidiary organization named “OUR Walmart” that is housed in their headquarters on Washington, D.C.’s K Street.

The UFCW website posts the following statement, “UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.”

The question is why is UFCW together with its wholly owned subsidiary, OUR Walmart, using union dues to pay people to harass Walmart employees and customers?  Even if you believe that is a good thing to do, how does it benefit UFCW members?  Unions are not charitable organizations.  It is not their purpose to do good deeds.

Their legal mission is to represent their members and negotiate on their behalf with employers regarding the terms and conditions of employment.  Unions are bound by the requirements of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA.) Section 501(a) of the LMRDA states,It is, therefore, the duty of each such person, [union officers and employees] taking into account the special problems and functions of a labor organization, to hold its money and property solely for the benefit of the organization and its members…” (Emphasis added.) This is the law.

When a union official fails to perform their fiduciary duties by spending money on things that are not, “solely for the benefit of the organization and its members,” they can be sued and forced to repay the money so spent. Section 501 (b) of the LMRDA states, “When any officer, agent, shop steward, or representative of any labor organization is alleged to have violated the duties declared in subsection (a) and the labor organization or its governing board or officers refuse or fail to sue or recover damages or secure an accounting or other appropriate relief within a reasonable time after being requested to do so by any member of the labor organization, such member may sue such officer, agent, shop steward, or representative in any district court of the United States or in any State court of competent jurisdiction to recover damages or secure an accounting or other appropriate relief for the benefit of the labor organization. No such proceeding shall be brought except upon leave of the court obtained upon verified application and for good cause shown which application may be made ex parte. The trial judge may allot a reasonable part of the recovery in any action under this subsection to pay the fees of counsel prosecuting the suit at the instance of the member of the labor organization and to compensate such member for any expenses necessarily paid or incurred by him in connection with the litigation.”

This is obviously not an easy process, but it can be done.

In litigation under these sections, courts have looked hard at whether there is a legitimate “union purpose” for the expenditures even in those situations where the expenditures at issue were ostensibly authorized. In this specific context, what is the benefit to the UFCW members or a proper “union purpose” for the UFCW’s expenditure of money on its Our Walmart campaign?

Since no UFCW members are being benefited, it is hard to see any justification for these expenditures.

As such, it would appear that the officers and employees of the UFCW are violating their fiduciary responsibilities by spending members’ dues money on campaigns that have nothing to do with the legal activities of a union.  Perhaps some brave members of the union will step up to sue them for redress.

An interim step would be for members to exercise their rights under LMRDA Section 201(c) to, “to examine any books, records, and accounts” that contain the information used by the UFCW to prepare the financial reports which are filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. These reports, while providing a good level of information, do not contain all the union’s financial information. As such, the law provides that members can see the background information (e.g., receipts) that is required to be maintained by the union.

Members have a right to know how the union is spending their money, and right now it is impossible to tell how much is going to the OUR Walmart campaign. Perhaps inquiring UFCW members will ask how much money is going there.

Don Todd served for 8 years under Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Labor-Management Programs at the Office of Labor Management Standards and currently is the Research Director at Americans for Limited Government.

ourwalmart

By Don Todd Walmart is the nation’s largest private employer.  It is a non-union business.  It may surprise many than the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union has no interest in organizing Walmart employees. Who says so?  They do. This, despite the fact that UFCW has a subsidiary organization named “OUR Walmart” that is […]

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Raising the Minimum Wage: Figures Don’t Lie But Liars Figure

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Minimum_Wage_Spike-HD

By Don Todd

Both the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are strong proponents of raising the minimum wage. For instance on July 18, 2012, Mary Kay Henry the President of SEIU emailed her members the following: “Together with organizations like the National Employment Law Project, CREDO, and Moms Rising, the 99% are uniting to tell Congress it’s time to raise the federal minimum wage Join with us for our Rise Up Summer, and together we can put more money in the hands of the 99%.”

Henry also praised the recent vote by the Seattle City Council to raise the minimum wage stating that the “members of SEIU are tremendously inspired by today’s breakthrough vote by the Seattle City Council to lift the wage floor there to $15 per hour.” (For further examples, just Google UFCW or SEIU and minimum wage.) In the face of years of experience that price fixing by the government distorts the market, unions produce all kinds of charts, graphs and a multitude of bought and paid for “studies” that say it isn’t so.

For instance on October 16, 2014, the union financed Economic Policy Institute, which receives funding from both SEIU and UFCW, issued a policy paper on raising the federal minimum wage. The paper points to academic studies “proving,” the positive effects of labor price fixing.

In the same vein, working hand and glove with the unions, the Department of Labor has produced an entire web page devoted to the notion that raising the minimum wage will have nothing but positive effects.

This is similar to the current Administration’s shills in the media and elsewhere proclaim at every opportunity that the economy is booming when in fact a smaller percentage of people are working than at any time since Jimmy Carter enacted similar policies.

The disastrous effects of the minimum wage are all around us making one wonder should you believe the “studies” or you own eyes.

There was a time not too distant past when what we now call gas stations were more commonly referred to as service stations. One would pull into a station and a young attendant would come to your car window and ask how much gasoline in dollar amounts you wished to purchase. While the gas was pumping the attendant would wash your windows, check your tire pressure oil, radiator, and other fluid levels.

During the same time period it was the rule in a super market that what was then called a “bag boy” would not only bag your groceries but carry them out to your car and load them into your trunk.

All these stepping stone jobs have disappeared largely because of the government’s intrusions in the labor market including minimum wage on the state and federal level.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report published on December 5, 2014, the unemployment rate for teenagers aged 16 to 19 is 17.7% and has been as high as 23% in the last several months. Many of our young have been deprived of that first job that teaches them what it is like to have a job and how one must behave to keep one.

It is estimated that 5.6 million youth are disconnected from the labor market, meaning that they not working, not looking for work.

This is a human and societal tragedy and you don’t need a union bought study to realize it.

Don Todd is the director of research of Americans for Limited Government.

Minimum_Wage_Spike-HD

By Don Todd Both the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are strong proponents of raising the minimum wage. For instance on July 18, 2012, Mary Kay Henry the President of SEIU emailed her members the following: “Together with organizations like the National Employment Law Project, CREDO, and […]

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Were They Bought?

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rocklintoday

Originally, the UFCW opposed California legislation banning plastic bags and requiring customers to pay a fee of 10 cents for each paper bag used – with paper bag fees to be kept by grocery stores. These fees are expected to add up to hundreds of millions of dollars. After a backroom deal with grocers, the union reversed its position and supported the legislation.

http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/templates/community_news.asp?articleid=13697&zoneid=4

rocklintoday

Originally, the UFCW opposed California legislation banning plastic bags and requiring customers to pay a fee of 10 cents for each paper bag used – with paper bag fees to be kept by grocery stores. These fees are expected to add up to hundreds of millions of dollars. After a backroom deal with grocers, the […]

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Despite Threat, Co-op Stands Up for Employees’ Rights

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sentinelsource

The UFCW threatened to portray a New Hampshire co-op negatively unless it handed over its employees’ contact information and waived employees’ right to a secret ballot. Although the UFCW followed through with its threat, the co-op refused to accede to the union’s demands.

http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/union-trying-to-organize-monadnock-food-co-op-workers/article_66c3761f-d455-56bc-af13-eadcda9bd5ca.html

sentinelsource

The UFCW threatened to portray a New Hampshire co-op negatively unless it handed over its employees’ contact information and waived employees’ right to a secret ballot. Although the UFCW followed through with its threat, the co-op refused to accede to the union’s demands. http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/union-trying-to-organize-monadnock-food-co-op-workers/article_66c3761f-d455-56bc-af13-eadcda9bd5ca.html

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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elsuperEl Super, a grocery store chain in the Southwest, implemented a wage increase plan, additional time off, and a guaranteed time off on weekends for more senior employees. What was UFCW’s response? A boycott – the first major grocery store boycott in over a decade in Los Angeles.

Get full story here: http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/jan/08/labor-unions-take-el-super-grocery-chain/

El Super, a grocery store chain in the Southwest, implemented a wage increase plan, additional time off, and a guaranteed time off on weekends for more senior employees. What was UFCW’s response? A boycott – the first major grocery store boycott in over a decade in Los Angeles. Get full story here: http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2015/jan/08/labor-unions-take-el-super-grocery-chain/

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