Tag Archives: Unions

The Two Sides of One Coin

How dare LeBron James demand ownership change in the NBA (Donald Sterling, LA Clippers)?1 Doesn’t he appreciate how the owners, in the language of conservatives “the job creators,” have given him and his fellow playmates, food and cars and houses?2 He’s made so much money, he has forgotten that, Charles Barkley’s comments about a “black league”3 aside, he and the rest of the youngsters don’t own the league. He should be glad he lives in a country so generous, so free, and so honest that everyone was perfectly happy with photo-less voting until America started to brown, (a browning) which is now grounds to challenge everyone’s legitimacy. Funny how one guy’s racist comments stirs more collective activity among unionized black millionaires than recently enacted electoral voice-constricting (tying voting to current driver’s licenses), birth-certificate photo ID laws in places like Mississippi. Let the peons fend for themselves as long as they buy our shoes, (and our endorsed products, Lebron and his millionaire comrades are telling us through their largely self-interested activism). Here’s an example of America’s elitist, fragmented, self-absorbed, unionism: You’ll see LeBron in McDonald’s commercials

which necessarily precludes his appearance at McDonald workers’ labor-organizing rallies. No, the more profits McDonalds makes the more mansions Lebron and McDonald’s big shareholders can afford. Despite their abilities to reach high objectives, LeBron and the other players seem restricted (by the base materialism and inexorable greed which is channeling the country into a neo-feudal state) to the low-lying fruit, ousting Sterling. Oh, that they would welcome McDonalds workers into a group that really matters, union membership.

The italicized portions were not part of the original “Letter-to-the-Editor” but have been added since publication. However the letter in (the submitted 195 word version) would have sufficiently conveyed the critique of modern American millionaires, specifically the unionized ones and their tacit support of neo-feudalism.

1 LeBron urges vote against Sterling
Updated: April 30, 2014, 6:50 PM ET
By Michael Wallace | ESPN.com

http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/story/_/id/10862507/lebron-james-donald-sterling-need-get-there

2 NBA players protest racist talk attributed to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling
By Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/27/us/nba-team-owner-alleged-racist-remarks/

3 Charles Barkley: Suspend Donald Sterling if he made racist comments
Austin Knoblauch

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-charles-barkley-donald-sterling-20140426-story.html

Workers at Tennessee Volkswagen factory reject United Auto Workers union | Fox News

 

“VW wanted a German-style “works council” in Chattanooga to give employees a say over working conditions. The company says U.S. law won’t allow it without an independent union.”  And so you have to ask yourself why didn’t they get it.

Defeat of the union in Tennessee is said to have “stunned many labor experts who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.”

Why would a company from a country with strong unions only “tacitly” endorse a union in America?  Perhaps it is an example of how the trade wars are really fought, with the Germans effectively colonizing America. We know that the company had the leverage to get a union in the plant in Tennessee if it wanted one there.  Governors, who are paid by taxpayers even travel to foreign countries taking gifts “paid for by private funds”1 in an effort to get foreign companies to build plants in their states.  Everyone knows the kind of incentives and the resources states are willing to put at the disposal of foreign companies.  So when the a company with unionization in all it’s other plants remains “neutral throughout the voting process”2 in Tennessee, you know the company must have been against unionization in Tennessee.  The way that southern state governments have been giving away everything (including tax abatements, and man hours paid for by taxpayers, indeed discarding their pretention that there is such a thing as a free market as they are giving advantages to people they have selected, whether it be a German auto manufacturer or a Japanese tire manufacturer) to get foreign investment, there is no way that Senator Corker and the other Republicans would have gone against Volkswagen’s wishes with the public anti-union statements they’ve made.  That is how we know that they acted on behalf of the Germans in the trade war.  In the effort to get the Yokohama tire plant in Mississippi, officials made sure that “[i]f the Japanese execs had a question about power, for example, a TVA official was quickly summoned. Bryant [Mississippi’s governor] said he and Mississippi’s U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker — not just their staffers — were available for meetings as needed.”3

1.  “Landing Clay County tire plant was no easy task” Apr. 27, 2013 – The Clarion Ledger

2.  “Workers at Tennessee Volkswagen factory reject United Auto Workers union”  Published February 15, 2014  FoxNews.com

3.  “Landing Clay County tire plant was no easy task” Apr. 27, 2013 – The Clarion Ledger

Workers at Tennessee Volkswagen factory reject United Auto Workers union | Fox News

What is clarity to the blind?

Sid Salter, columnist for a Mississippi paper, is right when he says “Worker benefits of unionizing Nissan Plant (Mississippi) remain unclear, especially to an anti-labor columnist. Of course anti-labor people with neo-feudal sympathies in a place where wages have routinely trailed the country wouldn’t, to quote a piece I wrote to the local paper, “remind the public of the benefits of labor solidarity (Labor Day, child labor laws, minimum wage, and workman compensation statues). No, that’s the unfilled role of comatose organized Labor in the U.S. This negligence allows Conservatives to easily substitute “taxpayers” for “workers” as misdirection in dialogue about fairness. The conversation is consequently principally about taxation as opposed to trade and good-paying jobs with benefits, which reduce government dependence. So when someone who discounts American labor’s contributions to the country’s general welfare celebrates the decline of unions and doesn’t mention the simultaneous wage stagnation and disappearance of defined benefit plans in this country, the average American doesn’t comprehend the implicit devaluation of the American worker. The Labor movements loud silence is the starting gun in this, American labor’s sprint down the real road to serfdom.”
The presence of unions didn’t destroy the Detroit auto-industry any more than they are destroying the German economy. For clarity Mr. Salter some of the issues at the Nissan plant” ”

Isiac Jackson, Chairman of Mississippians for Fairness at Nissan, says the plant may employ 5 thousand people, but many of those are temporary employees, paid well less than the average Nissan rate.

Jackson says, “Why can’t you hire the person and pay them the right salary? Does that make sense? Why is it that you (Nissan) can give all this money to an agency that pays half the price to the worker?”

“And no matter how hard he tries Mr. Salter will not be able to satisfactorily justify a defense of his position that American workers somehow don’t deserve something South African and Japanese workers have, unions. Contrary to Mr. Salter’s anti-labor contention, what is really spurring Japanese auto plants construction in the U.S., actually providing the foundation for their existence is not Mississippi’s Right-to-work-for-less law but American trade policy and state race-to-the-bottom-give-aways. While Mr. Salter talks about how unconvincing Danny Glover is as a union advocate, the southern media’s role in applauding and defending foreign owned auto plants for providing wages that “are not out of line with other non-union auto manufacturing plants in the region” has been very convincing in their depiction of labor as destroyer of Detroit auto dominance with ne’er a mention of heatlth care costs or managerial decisions. Clearly such a depiction reveals much of the southern anti-labor commentary to be little more than public relations work for foreign auto corporations. Of course if you are basically a Toyota or Nissan propagandist your blindness in this regard is expected.