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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Incoming Union Boss Warns Dems They Will Be Punished If No Government Option


RINGLEADER
09-01-2009, 12:32 PM
The man who is set to take the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s helm next month warned Democrats on Monday that organized labor would challenge those who ultimately supported insurance companies in the push for a health care overhaul.

“Today, more than ever, we need to be a labor movement that stands by our friends, punishes its enemies, and challenges those who, well, can’t seem to decide which side they’re on,” Richard L. Trumka, who is running unopposed for the presidency of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., said in the text of a speech to be given Monday morning to the Center for American Progress in Washington.

Mr. Trumka added, “I’m talking about the politicians who always want us to turn out our members to vote for them, but who somehow, always seem to forget workers after the votes are counted.”

Mr. Trumka, who has been the labor federation’s secretary treasurer since 1995, gave examples on the type of lawmakers he had in mind: “Legislators who don’t understand that their job isn’t to make insurance companies happy; it’s to keep Americans healthy. Legislators who say they’re are all for health care reform, but refuse to stand up for a public system that puts people before profits.”

The A.F.L.-C.I.O., a federation of 56 labor unions representing nearly 10 million workers, has been lobbying hard in support of President Obama’s health care effort. The federation has long backed universal health coverage and is eager for Mr. Obama and Congress to include a government-run health option that would compete with private insurers, as a way to press the industry to reduce costs and premiums.

Mr. Trumka is set to be elected the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president on Sept. 16, during the federation’s quadrennial convention, which is being held in Pittsburgh.

In his remarks, Mr. Trumka attacked high salaries for chief executives and said that American working families were not just being squeezed, but were being crushed. “Women and men – working parents – who ought to be living the American Dream,’’ he said, “instead are losing their health care, their pensions, their jobs, their homes and their patience.”

Mr. Trumka devoted only a portion of his speech to the health care debate. His talk covered a wide range of labor issues, including proposed legislation that would make it easier to unionize, the economic troubles faced by young workers and ways that unions could help young workers.

Mr. Trumka said that the labor movement’s goals included making sure that every job was a portal to the middle class, that young people were not denied the opportunity to go to college and that Americans didn’t “have to worry whether the health insurance you have is going to pay for the health care you need.”

During the question-and-answer session, Mr. Trumka noted that some companies backed health care reform, but he voiced surprise that more were not supporting it.
He said medium-size companies were getting “creamed” by the current health care system, and he said many small companies would like to provide coverage to their employees, but could not because premiums were so high.

He spoke out strongly for a public option, saying that most local insurance markets were highly concentrated, “which means a few companies dominate them, and they keep the price up.”
He said a government-run plan would give Americans an option for more affordable health insurance, helping to put pressure on private insurers to provide better coverage and lower premiums.

“That’s why the public option is so important,” Mr. Trumka said.
He estimated that 50 percent of Americans now participated in government-run health plans, if one includes not just Medicare and Medicaid participants, but also government employees and members of the military.

Mr. Trumka said the Democrats had to learn more about how to do collective bargaining because he said they were too quick to grant legislative concessions in the face of Republican opposition and conservative complaints at Town Hall meetings.

“Don’t let this small minority of people stop what the vast majority of the American people want and demand,” Mr. Trumka said.

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/incoming-afl-cio-chief-warns-democrats-not-to-side-with-insurers/

RINGLEADER
09-01-2009, 12:34 PM
Funny, but I thought the unions already had health care.

Wonder why <U><B>they</B></U> want big government Obamacare?

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 12:41 PM
This will turn more Americans off.

mlyonsd
09-01-2009, 12:43 PM
In his remarks, Mr. Trumka attacked high salaries for chief executives and said that American working families were not just being squeezed, but were being crushed. “Women and men – working parents – who ought to be living the American Dream,’’ he said, “instead are losing their health care, their pensions, their jobs, their homes and their patience.”



Yea that's the problem. Executive salaries.

ChiTown
09-01-2009, 12:50 PM
Yea that's the problem. Executive salaries.

Talk about being horrifically disconnected from reality. geezuskrist

RINGLEADER
09-01-2009, 01:09 PM
Talk about being horrifically disconnected from reality. geezuskrist

OK. I'll play. How does the economy experience real growth if you cap executive salaries at an arbitrary mark? The more you try to control such things to "feel good" the more you're undermining the system that the politicians are bankrupting us to protect.

HonestChieffan
09-01-2009, 01:23 PM
after the cleaning house elections the Unions will look back on the two years of Obama and dem control as the last stand.

KC native
09-01-2009, 02:01 PM
OK. I'll play. How does the economy experience real growth if you cap executive salaries at an arbitrary mark? The more you try to control such things to "feel good" the more you're undermining the system that the politicians are bankrupting us to protect.

They shouldn't be capped but they should be based on real value added and there should be claw back provisions. Right now many pay packages aren't based on reality and have no provisions to go after executives that may have gotten away with fraud.

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 02:03 PM
Who gets to determine their value? It should be their employers—no one else.

vailpass
09-01-2009, 02:04 PM
They shouldn't be capped but they should be based on real value added and there should be claw back provisions. Right now many pay packages aren't based on reality and have no provisions to go after executives that may have gotten away with fraud.

:LOL: It is always the have nots that want to take from the haves. The government setting a limit on how much a private citizen is free to earn? In America? The sleeping giant is close to awakening.

Taco John
09-01-2009, 02:05 PM
How about a czar of executive pay?

vailpass
09-01-2009, 02:06 PM
How about a czar of executive pay?

LMAO Wait, that could really happen.:banghead:

Taco John
09-01-2009, 02:07 PM
They shouldn't be capped but they should be based on real value added and there should be claw back provisions. Right now many pay packages aren't based on reality and have no provisions to go after executives that may have gotten away with fraud.



Sure they are. The reality is that the employer makes an offer, and the executive decides whether or not that offer is worth their time. This is how it's supposed to work. There should not be a middle-man government role in this exchange to approve or deny the agreed upon compensation. That is communism. This is not communist russia.

vailpass
09-01-2009, 02:08 PM
Sure they are. The reality is that the employer makes an offer, and the executive decides whether or not that offer is worth their time. This is how it's supposed to work. There should not be a middle-man government role in this exchange to approve or deny the agreed upon compensation. That is communism. This is not communist russia.

QFT X 10000000000

Brock
09-01-2009, 02:10 PM
I'm fine with executives making whatever. I'm also fine with unions fighting for maximum wages for American workers.

Garcia Bronco
09-01-2009, 02:19 PM
Why is this Union Boss openly admitting his Union's votes are for sale. He needs to be investigated.

Brock
09-01-2009, 02:22 PM
Why is this Union Boss openly admitting his Union's votes are for sale. He needs to be investigated.

What isn't for sale?

Garcia Bronco
09-01-2009, 02:28 PM
What isn't for sale?

It's one thing to do it and another to advertise it.

Brock
09-01-2009, 02:32 PM
It's one thing to do it and another to advertise it.

Meh. Corporations do this kind of stuff all the time.

Garcia Bronco
09-01-2009, 02:34 PM
Meh. Corporations do this kind of stuff all the time.

What do you mean. I have worked for 5 large corporations that you have probably done business with at least one. The only thing I have ever seen political is a PAC donation.

Brock
09-01-2009, 02:56 PM
What do you mean. I have worked for 5 large corporations that you have probably done business with at least one. The only thing I have ever seen political is a PAC donation.

Companies always talk about jobs they will create or take away based on the passage of favorable laws.

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 02:59 PM
Companies always talk about jobs they will create or take away based on the passage of favorable laws.

What's wrong with that?

Brock
09-01-2009, 03:02 PM
What's wrong with that?

It's influencing law through carrots or sticks. I didn't say it was wrong, but I equate that with threatening political endorsements. It's exactly the same principle.

InChiefsHell
09-01-2009, 03:06 PM
It's influencing law through carrots or sticks. I didn't say it was wrong, but I equate that with threatening political endorsements. It's exactly the same principle.

The difference is, a business is only reacting to the conditions that are heaped on it. A threat to cut jobs because of some law is not a punishment or being vindictive, it's a fact of doing business.

Brock
09-01-2009, 03:09 PM
The difference is, a business is only reacting to the conditions that are heaped on it. A threat to cut jobs because of some law is not a punishment or being vindictive, it's a fact of doing business.

Riiight.ROFL Go sell Koolaid somewhere else.

wild1
09-01-2009, 03:14 PM
Why is this Union Boss openly admitting his Union's votes are for sale. He needs to be investigated.

isn't that the purpose of modern unions? to sell votes in exchange for goodies and influence?

InChiefsHell
09-01-2009, 03:15 PM
Riiight.ROFL Go sell Koolaid somewhere else.

Dude. It's cause and effect. If a company is not going to get, say, tax incentives, then that affects their bottom line. That means jobs.

That's not Koolaid. That's reality. Try it sometime.

Brock
09-01-2009, 03:17 PM
Dude. It's cause and effect. If a company is not going to get, say, tax incentives, then that affects their bottom line. That means jobs.

That's not Koolaid. That's reality. Try it sometime.

Do you think you're dropping knowledge here? That's hilarious. What's at issue here is whether you think exerting influence over lawmakers is good or bad. And it appears in some people's cases, it's good when corporations do it, but bad when labor does.

Brock
09-01-2009, 03:19 PM
The difference is, a business is only reacting to the conditions that are heaped on it. A threat to cut jobs because of some law is not a punishment or being vindictive, it's a fact of doing business.

You keep on thinking that way, and you're going to keep getting things like Nafta rammed up your rear end. Enjoy!

BucEyedPea
09-01-2009, 03:40 PM
It's influencing law through carrots or sticks. I didn't say it was wrong, but I equate that with threatening political endorsements. It's exactly the same principle.

Well, the people can do that and do it too by writing to their congressmen if they don't like something threatening a change in policy or law by taking away their vote.

I do have a problem if a business is getting protected from competition or gauranteed a market or any perks because that's special interest legislation—but not when they have a right to speak out about laws that can adversely affect them. Govt can and does harm businesses sometimes in the name of the public good. Everyone has that right to exert some influence to throw their weight around.

KILLER_CLOWN
09-01-2009, 03:49 PM
I'm fine with executives making whatever. I'm also fine with unions fighting for maximum wages for American workers.

I agree.

HonestChieffan
09-01-2009, 04:16 PM
Meh. Corporations do this kind of stuff all the time.

so do governors and Presidential Chiefs of staff.....

Direckshun
09-01-2009, 10:48 PM
Democrats should be punished if there's no government option.

This cat has been in the bag for them since day one.

HonestChieffan
09-02-2009, 09:01 AM
Democrats should be punished if there's no government option.

This cat has been in the bag for them since day one.


Well...what a difference a day makes...

RINGLEADER
09-02-2009, 09:57 AM
They shouldn't be capped but they should be based on real value added and there should be claw back provisions. Right now many pay packages aren't based on reality and have no provisions to go after executives that may have gotten away with fraud.

If someone commits fraud and breaks the law then they'll be prosecuted criminially.

As far as everything else I'm not sure who you believe is going to determine this?

I'd prefer the stockholders do it. Especially if I own stock in the company.

RINGLEADER
09-02-2009, 09:59 AM
I'm fine with executives making whatever. I'm also fine with unions fighting for maximum wages for American workers.

This I agree with (although I think that there is much evidence to support the fact that union efforts in this regard are sometimes counter-productive -- doesn't matter if you have an excellent, albeit unaffordable, pay package if you bankrupt the employer in the process).

RINGLEADER
09-02-2009, 10:02 AM
Do you think you're dropping knowledge here? That's hilarious. What's at issue here is whether you think exerting influence over lawmakers is good or bad. And it appears in some people's cases, it's good when corporations do it, but bad when labor does.

Only to the extent that most corporations have to meet budgets (depending on their financing structure) and unions can't "persuade" employers as much or as little as they want with the only consequence being that they either strike or lose their jobs because they put the employer out of business.

Brock
09-02-2009, 10:06 AM
This I agree with (although I think that there is much evidence to support the fact that union efforts in this regard are sometimes counter-productive -- doesn't matter if you have an excellent, albeit unaffordable, pay package if you bankrupt the employer in the process).

It takes two to sign a contract.

***SPRAYER
09-08-2009, 07:48 PM
http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=337303420829927

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/images/issues02090909.gif

The Union Fable
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, September 08, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Labor: Praise for organized labor was fulsome as usual over the Labor Day weekend. But a poll showing public support for unions hitting an all-time low shows that Americans are seeing through the mist of deception.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

According to a Gallup poll taken Aug. 6-9, only 48% of Americans now approve of labor unions — a big drop from the 59% Gallup found last year

It's no coincidence that the public has also become aware of the harm that unions cause. More than half (51%) believe unions hurt the "U.S. economy in general" while only 39% believe they help. And 46% believe they hurt the companies where workers are organized, one more percentage point than those who think they help.



In all three cases, the numbers are the opposite of what they had been for years. Until 2009, most Americans felt unions helped both the economy and the companies that are organized.

Why the shift? Over the last year, the public has watched Chrysler, a union shop, continue to struggle, and General Motors, another unionized company, fall into the hands of the federal government. The public knows that decades of union demands have played a large role in the undoing of these auto giants.

Americans also got a taste of organized labor tactics this year through the Employment Free Choice Act, more widely known as the card-check bill. The legislation would have eliminated workers' right to a secret vote when organizing elections are held.

Under the card-check rule, unions would be certified if a simple majority signed the cards that are used to gauge employee interest in voting on union participation.

Over the holiday weekend, President Obama praised unions for helping "build the largest middle class in history." "Every American owes something to America's labor movement," he said.

But the public, 62% of which believe unions hurt nonunion workers, is no longer buying the myth. Americans know success is built on hard work, innovation and risk taking — tasks that unions institutionally oppose.