Pennsylvania Republican Lawmaker: Election Integrity Belongs in the Workplace Too

Pennsylvania state Rep. Torren Ecker (R-Abbottstown) believes the guarantee of free and fair elections with secret balloting belongs not only in contests for public office but in votes over labor representation. 

This week, he announced plans to introduce an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution intended to cement that guarantee in the Keystone State in anticipation of federal legislation aiming to strengthen labor unions.

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Starbucks Announces Wage Hikes Amidst Labor Struggles

Outside view of Starbucks Coffee

Seattle-based Starbucks announced it will increase hourly wages next year as the coffee giant faces the dual pressures of unionization attempts and staffing shortages.

According to a press release from the company, starting in January of 2022, hourly employees with two or more years of service could see a 5% raise and those with five or more years of service could see a 10% raise.

By the summer of next year, the company says its average hourly pay will be $17, up from the current average of $14. Employees will make between $15 and $23 an hour across the country, depending on location and tenure.

The press release did not address what impact the moves will have on coffee prices.

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Commentary: Biden’s Electric Car Plan Means Rigging Manufacturing to Favor Unions

At NREL future research should focus on understanding consumer driving and charging behavior and the nuances determining the choice of residential charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). Shown is in the Power Systems Lab in the Energy systems Integration Facility (ESIF)

In a highly orchestrated and publicized White House gathering this month, President Biden presented a detailed plan for the development of a U.S. fleet of clean, high-mileage electric automobiles that would reduce reliance on gasoline and generate thousands of good union jobs. It’s a new, government-encouraged, taxpayer-subsidized auto world. The plan calls for U.S. auto production to become 50% electric by 2030. Today, the electric share stands at a paltry 2%.

Top leaders from Ford, GM, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat-Chrysler), along with environmentalists and governors, were prominently invited to share in the announcement. Yet the absence of any non-union, America-located auto producers was glaring. There were no representatives from Hyundai, Nissan, or Toyota – companies that have long produced popular vehicles within our borders and recently expressed some support for Biden’s goal. Also striking was the absence of Tesla’s Elon Musk, the world’s acknowledged leader in the electric car and battery revolution. Tesla is an American firm, but it is not unionized.

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Commentary: How Unions Could Save America

The general perception within Conservatism, Inc. and libertarian circles is that collective bargaining is a violation of the right of the individual to seek work without being compelled to join a union. That sounds good in principle, but there’s much more to the story.

A few years ago, the workers at a local grocery store chain in California went on strike. The reason they voted to strike was that management had implemented a new policy whereby most of the employees, including full-time career workers, had their hours reduced to fewer than 25 hours per week. At the same time, these employees had their health coverage taken away.

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Commentary: Unions Enforce Masks for the Public But Don’t Require Member Vaccinations

Flight attendants’ and teachers’ unions whose members are on the front lines of disputed Covid safety protocols are ardent enforcers of mask mandates for the public but do not require their members to get vaccinated. Such inoculation is widely acknowledged as the most effective step in stopping the spread of the new Delta variant, while masking is viewed as of secondary importance, and many are highly skeptical of its effectiveness and critical of its inconvenience.

As the Association of Flight Attendants continues to urge federal authorities to allow flight attendants to police passengers for masking – a policy that has led to fisticuffs on some flights – the union has struck an agreement with at least one airline, United, to allow unvaccinated members to fly. American Airlines and Southwest Air say they also do not require their flight attendants or other employees to vaccinate. Flight attendants for both airlines are unionized.

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Commentary: Unions’ Focus on Woke over Work Rankles Rank and File

Los Angeles school teacher Glenn Laird has been a union stalwart for almost four decades. He served as a co-chair of his school’s delegation to United Teachers Los Angeles and proudly wore union purple on the picket line.

But Laird is now suing to leave UTLA and demanding a refund of the dues the union has collected since his resignation request. His turning point came in July 2020 when the union, the second largest teachers union in the country, joined liberal activists to demand that Los Angeles defund the police in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

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Teacher Shares Behind-Scenes Look at How Unions Further Woke Agenda

Brenda Lebsack

California teacher Brenda Lebsack says she began seeing “red flags” in her school district when she decided to become more involved with her union, the California Teachers Association.

After she began attending the union’s conferences in 2015, Lebsack says, she was alarmed to see that many of the topics weren’t academic but instead focused on social justice, human rights, and LGBTQ issues.

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Small Businesses Say Big Labor’s PRO Act Would Put Them Under

Rally goer holds up a "Small Business fighting for survival" sign

The Biden Administration sent some stock prices tumbling and left small businesses worried after taking sides on a hotly contested labor issue that critics say could threaten the jobs of millions of independent workers and thousands of small businesses.

In his address to the nation Wednesday evening, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass legislation that would ban the use of freelance workers in most instances.

A report from the freelance site UpWork found that about 59 million gig workers make up $1.2 trillion of the U.S. economy.

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Commentary: Amazon’s Rejection of Unions in Alabama Is a Big Loss for Big Labor

Amazon workers

Big labor suffered a significant loss in its attempt to unionize employees at Amazon’s warehouse facility in Bessemer, Alabama. Of the workers eligible to vote, an embarrassingly small 16% voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. It was the most recent in a series of high-profile losses for labor including failed attempts to unionize factories for Volkswagen, Nissan Motors, and Boeing. In each case, union leaders bet that they could convince workers it was in their best interests to be enrolled in a union that would stand up to management over wages and working conditions. In each case, they lost.

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Commentary: Unions Fight Return to Schooling

Sacramento

The little-known Oakley Union Elementary School District, in the sprawling suburbs 50 miles east of San Francisco, isn’t accustomed to national attention. The school board’s hot mic moment, however, during a video call earlier this month created widespread and justifiable anger because it captured the arrogance, stupidity, and condescension that’s typical on some school boards — especially as officials drag their feet on reopenings.

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Rand Paul Introduces One-Page Bill Prohibiting Forced Unionization

Republicans Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Joe Wilson reintroduced the National Right to Work Act on Wednesday, which would prohibit unions from coercing private sector employees from paying dues.

The National Right to Work Act is a one-page bill that doesn’t add to existing labor law, but removes language from past legislation, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson said Wednesday. The bill was originally introduced in 2019 with widespread Republican support on Capitol Hill, but never received a vote.

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Commentary: Teachable Union Moments

Lesson plans are a teacher’s daily guide for what students need to learn and how it will be taught. Because educators are always looking for new and interesting ways to engage kids, I have a few ideas that can be used to further student knowledge.

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Commentary: America’s Union Agenda at a Crossroads

The war for the soul of America is mirrored in the war for the soul of its major political parties. The establishment Democrats contend with a progressive insurgency and the establishment Republicans contend with a populist America First insurgency. But above all, the corporate bipartisan glue that connects the establishment Democrats to the establishment Republicans means they have more in common with each other than with their respective insurgencies.

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UVA Workers Union Launches Fund to Provide Employees with PPE and Help Potential Furloughs

A campus workers union at the University of Virginia (UVA) has launched a mutual fund in order to provide university staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) and raise money in the form of an emergency fund for potential furloughs as in-person instruction began Tuesday.

The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia at UVA (UCWVA-UVA), announced the formation of the fund via press release.

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UVA Employees Form Union Calling for Online Fall Semester

University of Virginia employees have formed a new union and launched a campaign Monday centered around moving the school’s current hybrid instruction model to a fully virtual fall semester.  

The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia (UCW-VA), is composed of undergraduate and graduate student works as well as university of Virginia (UVA) faculty and staff. 

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School Discipline Policy Belongs at the Local Level, Not Washington

classroom

by Jonathan Butcher   Teacher unions and progressive special-interest groups cried foul earlier this year when the White House suggested that federal directives on school safety could be rescinded. But if a recent hearing held by the Federal Commission on School Safety is any indication, state and local policymakers don’t need Washington to micromanage…

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MERIT Act Passes Out of Committee, Proceeds to House Floor

Barry Loudermilk

By Natalia Castro   The MERIT Act is finally moving forward. After a passing vote in the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the MERIT Act will be moving onto the House floor in the coming weeks for a vote. Congress can take a major step in answering the people’s calls to “drain the…

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Professional Educators of Tennessee: SCOTUS Janus Decision a Victory for Workers’ First Amendment Rights

Mark Janus

The U.S. Supreme Court announced a 5-4 decision on Wednesday in Janus v. American Federation of State, Country, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, that reaffirms the First Amendment, especially people’s freedom of association. The ruling today eliminates compulsory unionism, which requires individuals to join a union as a condition of…

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