Does Membership Pay?

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washington timesA recently-negotiated contract between the UFCW and a grocery chain will result in lower wages than Walmart pays. And, of course, Walmart workers don’t have to pay union dues.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has long spearheaded the move to organize Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer. Despite years of friendly media coverage, and hundreds of millions of dollars spent (mostly from the forced dues of employees on fixed incomes), the protests have not succeeded in increasing unionization.

The value proposition that unions offer potential members is that they’d be able to negotiate better employee pay than employees could achieve on their own. This view goes largely unchallenged in today’s culture, and declining unionization rates are often pointed to as a factor in the decline of the country’s middle class. But is this view correct or just politically correct?

Consider last week’s agreement between the UFCW and the retail giant Kroger. In a three-year contract that covers 8,500 Indiana employees, the agreed-upon hourly wage rate is $8.50, with a top hourly wage for seasoned employees of $13.90. (These wage rates are before union dues deductions.)

Compare that to Wal-Mart, which the UFCW group OUR Wal-Mart claims exploits employees. Walmart’s starting wage is $9, which quickly increases to $10 after a six month training program… And its top wage for a cashier in Indiana is $17. Kind of undercuts the argument that unions are needed to negotiate “fair” wages.

So who is the winner from unionization contracts like Kroger’s? Crony union bosses, who sell their members the bill of goods that they can negotiate higher pay then pocket the millions of dollars of dues money paid by their members. It’s a scam.

 

washington times

A recently-negotiated contract between the UFCW and a grocery chain will result in lower wages than Walmart pays. And, of course, Walmart workers don’t have to pay union dues. The United Food and Commercial Workers Union has long spearheaded the move to organize Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer. Despite years of friendly media coverage, […]

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Forgetting about Customers

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benzingaThe UFCW opposes amending a law to allow Walmart to stay open until 11:00 pm in Quebec. Somehow, the union thinks allowing the retailer to remain open late at night would result in “unfair competition.”

Allowing Walmart to remain open until 11:00 PM every day would radically upset the balance among retail businesses. As a result, there would be unfair competition from the American giant with Rona, Reno-Depot and other hardware stores as well as all retail businesses and even shopping centres.

 

benzinga

The UFCW opposes amending a law to allow Walmart to stay open until 11:00 pm in Quebec. Somehow, the union thinks allowing the retailer to remain open late at night would result in “unfair competition.” Allowing Walmart to remain open until 11:00 PM every day would radically upset the balance among retail businesses. As a […]

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Are UFCW Members OK with This?

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washington free beaconThe UFCW supports Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider which is under investigation for selling the body parts of aborted babies.

washington free beacon

The UFCW supports Planned Parenthood, the abortion provider which is under investigation for selling the body parts of aborted babies.

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Change of Heart

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sf weeklyA California business owner changed his mind after initially supporting unionization by the UFCW.

“I support the right of workers to organize, but I don’t like the kind of backroom sweetheart deals I’ve seen cooked up between some of the unions and the employers in the cannabis industry,” says Stephen DeAngelo, founder and CEO of Harborside Health Center in Oakland.

At Harborside, workers listened to a union pitch — and voted against joining, DeAngelo tells SF Weekly. “I like even less the idea that a union would try to accomplish legislatively something they couldn’t get workers to directly approve,” he adds. “My CIO-labor-organizer grandfather would be rolling over in his grave at the sight of it.”

sf weekly

A California business owner changed his mind after initially supporting unionization by the UFCW. “I support the right of workers to organize, but I don’t like the kind of backroom sweetheart deals I’ve seen cooked up between some of the unions and the employers in the cannabis industry,” says Stephen DeAngelo, founder and CEO of […]

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Supporting Lawlessness

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breitbart4The UFCW wants to shut down Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

breitbart4

The UFCW wants to shut down Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Meddling in Politics

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politico3The UFCW just gave $25,000 to a Democrat challenger of Gov. Mike Pence.

politico3

The UFCW just gave $25,000 to a Democrat challenger of Gov. Mike Pence.

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Contributing to Bankruptcy

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redstateBy working to keep labor costs high, unions have contributed to A&P’s second bankruptcy. (The UFCW represents a large majority of A&P’s workers.)

Among the issues it cited for its bankruptcy filing—industry competition, paying leases on “dark stores,” and problems associated with supplier and service contracts (with unionized companies)—was the cost of its own unionized workforce. As 95% of its workforce is covered by contracts with the United Food & Commercial Workers, as it explains in its filing with the Court, A&P’s liabilities were only going to increase:

In addition to their specific obligations under the GHI  contract, the Debtors are parties to approximately 39 separate collective bargaining agreements (covering approximately 95 percent of the Debtors’ workforce).

Among other things, these agreements require the Debtors to make significant pension, and health care-related contributions on their employees’ behalf.  The Debtors believe these legacy obligations will continue to increase over time. Certain of the Debtors’ multi-employer pension plans have already reached “red” or “yellow” status under existing regulatory requirements, and the Debtors have recorded for a liability $97 million from previous pension fund withdrawals, as of September 11, 2010. The Debtors may have a potential additional withdrawal obligation of up to $50 million payable over a period of up to 25 years in the future. The Debtors believe their collectively-bargained wage, pension, and health care obligations place them at a competitive disadvantage and are unsustainable at existing levels.

‘Bumping’ was also a problem for the company.

Additionally, many of the debtor’s CBAs include “bumping” provisions that require the company to lay off employees by seniority. This clause has an interstore element, which means that if a store is closed, those senior employees can take the job of a more junior worker at another location.

“As a result, the closing of one store results in increased salaries–the same high salaries that may have in part precipitated the store closing–being transferred to another (possibly profitable) store,” the CRO [chief restructuring officer] said.

 

redstate

By working to keep labor costs high, unions have contributed to A&P’s second bankruptcy. (The UFCW represents a large majority of A&P’s workers.) Among the issues it cited for its bankruptcy filing—industry competition, paying leases on “dark stores,” and problems associated with supplier and service contracts (with unionized companies)—was the cost of its own unionized workforce. […]

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