Quick Hit: Union Secret Ballots

After watching the National Championship game tonight (and along with it watching Duke once again show the country why the ACC is still the best basketball conference in America, I went to PSU before the military, and to the University of Maryland after I got out), I find myself with little time to write this evening. But I wanted to get the pulse on this subject. I mentioned it the other night when I was talking about the recess appointments that were made by Obama. The President appointed radical union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board, and has it set up that there is a 3-1 Progressive majority on the board. Becker is a big supporter of the idea of eliminating the secret ballot for union voting (Card Check), along with the Employee Free Choice Act (yet another bill where the name is the opposite of what it does). It seems to me that the progressive camp is firmly in the elimination of the secret ballot camp. I warned folks that this would be a move that the progressives would make. I now see the move beginning to take shape, so I want to get some opinions.

First, let’s talk about what the secret ballot actually is. As it stands, if a union wants to organize in the workplace, the union can talk to employees and persuade them to vote in favor of unionization. Once enough signatures are gathered, a vote can be held on whether to unionize, with the votes being cast secretly (just as your vote for Cynthia McKinney will forever be your own little secret). In the past, the problem was that the big bad companies were evil, so the secret ballot protected those workers who voted to unionize from retaliation. The unions found this a necessary step to protect those who wanted to unionize and stop the company from taking advantage of them. Ironically, years later it is the unions that seek to take the secret ballot away.

I personally agree that the secret ballot was once a valuable tool to ensure that employers did not have the ability to punish those that sought to establish inion representation. We are all aware of the intimidation tactics that were prevalent in years past by employers. But now it also serves to protect workers from an even more intimidating union coercion. Labor unions have become far too powerful, with the power to bring companies to their knees if need be. And the intimidation done by union workers against non-union workers is just as well known today as employer intimidation was 50 years ago. My own father was a victim of this while working in Boston. Union members threatened and harassed him (to no effect, my father is as hard headed as he is tough) repeatedly, attempting to run him off job sites.

So it would seem that the secret ballot has been a necessary thing when it comes to union voting for a long time, and it is one of the most effective means of diffusing intimidation, and more importantly, retaliation. And that protection offered to workers is important in protecting them from both unions and their employers. One would assume that the unions, who are supposed to be looking out for the workers, would be all about whatever protects the workers from intimidation, right?

Wrong. Union membership has been steadily declining for quite some time now. And what the unions want is to gain the ability to intimidate and enforce workers into voting to unionize. So now the unions want to eliminate the secret ballot, giving them the ability to know exactly who voted for or against union representation.

Enter the Employee Free Choice Act. This is the card check madness that has been bantered about by Democrats for the last couple of years. Under this bill, a secret ballot would not be needed. If unions can get 51% of the workers to sign this card saying that they want to unionize, then the secret ballot is not needed and the union wins. In the past it was easy for some of the less confrontational or more intimidated workers to publicly say that they support unionization, thus avoiding the intimidation and retaliation, but then to vote however they really felt once the secret ballot takes place. Under the Employee Free Choice Act, this would no longer be the case. If the union can publicly intimidate you into signing the card, no vote is necessary.

There are other problems with the bill being presented to Congress. The US Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the bill. From their website, the top three things that are wrong with the proposal:

1. Eliminating the Private Ballot

Card Check would effectively eliminate private voting.

Under the existing law today, workers have a chance to vote for or against unionization in a private-ballot election that is federally supervised. Under Card Check, if more than 50% of workers at a facility sign a card, the government would have to certify the union, and a private ballot election would be prohibited–even if workers want one.

By forcing workers to sign a card in public–instead of vote in private–Card Check opens the door to intimidation and coercion. Over 70% of voters agree that a private election is better than card check.

2. Government Arbitration and Control

Card Check could put government regulators in charge of private business decisions.

Once a union is certified, the business and union would only have 120 days to reach agreement, before facing the prospect of being forced into binding arbitration. This means a panel of government arbitrators who may have no understanding of the business could impose a two year contract deciding all workplace terms–without any vote by the company or its employees.

By placing government regulators in charge of a two-year decision, business flexibility is limited–at a time in our history when it is needed most. A recent poll found that 75% of voters believe government arbitrators should not decide the conditions of a union contract.

3. Harsh New Penalties for Businesses

Card Check would unfairly punish businesses.

Card Check would impose harsh new penalties on businesses–but not on unions–for violations during the union recognition process. This is unfair, and potentially disastrous for small or medium businesses, who are not familiar with unionizing campaigns or the National Labor Relations Act. If Card Check passes, many of these businesses would be facing unionization for the first time.

You can learn more about these claims at the Chamber of Commerce Site:  U.S. Chamber of Commerce – The Employee Free Choice Act – the “Card Check” Bill

So the Progressives in Congress have gotten to work on making this bill passed. During the 110th Congress, the bill was passed in the house as HR 800. It did not get enough votes to pass cloture and bypass a Senate filibuster by Republicans, and thus died in the Senate. It has been taken up again in the current 111th Congress, but has still not yet gained enough support to get to a vote. All Republicans and roughly 8 Democrats are opposed to the bill as it stands.

But that does not jive with the annointed one’s wishes. “We’re ready to play offense for organized labor. It’s time we had a president who didn’t choke saying the word ‘union.’ A president who strengthens our unions by letting them do what they do best: organize our workers,” then candidate Obama told the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia on April 2, 2008. I will make it the law of the land when I’m president of the United States.” So what is a President to do when Congress can’t pass a bill that he promised the unions that he would pass? Appoint some folks to the NLRB to make sure that it gets done without a Congressional approval, that’s what. Now you understand why I was so alarmed at the recess appointments to the NLRB, especially with Becker’s statement that the NLRB should be able to set labor rules without Congressional approval.

It would appear to me that this is not a popular bill with anyone except the unions at this point. It is of course a biased source above offering the fact, but note that 70% of voters believe the secret ballot is a good thing. But that, like all things these days, doesn’t matter to the Progressives in Congress, or the White House. Then Senator Obama was a sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, which was the number one labor issue in the Presidential campaign. Progressive Democrats are all looking to implement the bill into law, which is a strange thing considering the letter that these same Democrats sent to the Mexican government when the issue was debated in Mexico…

Representative George Miller of California, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, introduced the legislation in Congress, citing the need to eliminate the secret ballot. In a 2001 letter to Mexican government officials, signed by 11 Democrats who subsequently voted in favor of HR 800, encouraging the “use of secret ballots in all union recognition elections” that take place in Mexico. The letter further states, “we feel that the secret ballot is absolutely necessary in order to ensure that workers are not intimidated into voting for a union they might not otherwise choose,” seeming to contradict the spirit of the legislation passed by the House (You can read the letter at the bottom of this article). George Miller was the lead signatory of the 2001 letter and the sponsor of H.R.800. It would seem that the Progressives in Congress believe the secret ballot is a very important protective measure for Mexican workers, but think that protection should be removed for American workers. Talk about hypocrisy!

It is my opinion that the Employee Free Choice Act is nothing more than a payment to labor unions that will give them the power to increase union member ranks through intimidation and coercion. To pretend that taking away the right to a secret ballot is anything BUT an increase in employee’s free choices. It will render them accountable to the unions, or the companies themselves, for making the decision they want to make. Perhaps this is one step forward for the progressive agenda, and it certainly explains why so many union representatives appear on those White House visitors logs.

Here we find yet another instance where government is far too involved in the private market. We should start by vocally denouncing this legislation, or loudly denouncing this move if it is subversively worked into law through the National Labor Relations Board. But in the end, one of the first steps in putting the market back into the control of consumers would be to eliminate the NLRB. You might be able to convince me that it was necessary at one time (I don’t think it ever was), but I really doubt that you can convince me that it is still necessary. My ears are open though!

I pulled additional quotes and information from here as well:

Employee Free Choice Act – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Obama supports union organizing – Washington Times


  1. Good Morning!

    For the record, I am against “card check” for Union membership. This should always be a secret ballot and made of free choice. Yes, companies like WalMart spend millions to keep out unions, and intimidate their workers in various ways to do this.

    This Card Check mess is about money and control, not about freedom and liberty in any way. As a Union member, many would think I would support stronger Unions, but I believe the opposite. All this legislation would do is make the intimidation tactics two fold, coming from both ends, the companies and the unions. I believe Americans deserve better than this, and secret ballot should stay in place.



    • I agree…the unions are losing power as the light of day is shined on them…this is a desparate measure by them to retain their power…

    • Cyndi P says:

      I agree with you G-Man.

      I wonder when Americans are going to say ‘enough’ to what is being done to our country. I can see where things are heading and I’m not liking it at all.

    • So what if Walmart spends millions to keep unions out…..it is easy to keep unions out. If Walmart keeps unions out, and you want one…go somewhere else.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Just as an example, and take with a grain of salt, I have a relative who works in sheet metal. He worked for years in Miami as a union worker. Miami is not a strong union town. Many of the jobs they lost were to companies that willingly and knowingly hired illegals because they could pay them pennies on the dollar and substantially increase the bottom line. No easy solution(s) to that conundrum.

        • If the union wage was not so steep, perhaps some of them would actually utilize that work force…they have to keep the wages high so members can afford the dues.d

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @Terry – I think that was one of the core issues – I’m just not certain that wages could have otherwise been driven low enough to be competitive with workers accustomed to being paid next to nothing. Same relative has been shafted many times over by a union he pays to essentially shaft him. They are only interested in protecting their own crooked asses.

            • That is so true…once upon a time I was a union member. I had no choice as I was hired into a union shop. Once a right to work law was passed in my state, I immediately resigned from the union. IMHO the unions are a Pox on the US as they currently operate.

    • Birdman says:

      I agree with you G-Man. You know where I stand on Unions. I think any Company that has a Union will eventually go out of business. It happened in the steel, rubber, airlines, and numerous other industries. GM and Chrysler should have gone out of business or into bankruptcy. The worse thing we can do to business today is to unleash Unions upon them.

  2. Naten53 says:

    I live in a very pro union area. Last year there was a march to support the Employee Free Choice Act. It was very intimidating in itself, and to the few that showed up to support secret ballots. I think it is a shame that the good idea of unions actually hurts most businesses. The majority of those in the union in my area or who grew up in a pro union household have one major difference then those that don’t. They think they are entitled to their job.

    Other then the above listed auto, steel, and airlines, look at:
    The inability to get rid of bad teachers with tenure.
    The bus drivers that hit people on multiple occasions (while drunk driving) have their firing appealed by the union and rehired.
    The bus drivers getting raises and threaten to strike when they don’t get them even though ridership and revenue is falling.
    Police officers that abuse their powers, and beat suspects not getting fired.
    Fire fighters that use drugs (and often high on the job) not getting fired.
    The EMTs, that refused to get out of their truck and walk when the road was blocked 3 times over the course of two days to help a dying man who did eventually pass, away were fired and then forced to be rehired by the union.

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    Sorry – am confused about a few things…..

    I thought under the proposed law, if more than 50 percent of the employees sign cards requesting a secret ballot it must still be offered

    I also thought that secret ballot would still be used for decerts or when the support is > 30 but < 50?



  4. Cyndi P says:

    forgot to ‘check’ the little box….

  5. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    If this does pass, the unions are ultimately going to be unhappy, because the only jobs that they have left will be government jobs.

    Between this bill and “healthcare reform”, small businesses are simply going to shut down, and large businesses are going to accelerate “offshoring” again.

    The “unintended” consequence will be further unemployment, whether you are a union guy or not.

  6. Ahhh… unions. A topic I know some about, but not as much as several of our very knowledgeable contributors. Anyway, here’s my two cents.

    First and foremost, card check should NOT be passed. Just as the secret ballot worked in the beginning to prevent employees from being intimidated by the employers, a secret ballot today would keep the unions from intimidating the employees. Absolutely must keep a secret ballot.

    I have a different skew on this government involment issue. When unions were first being created, they were a good thing to keep workers rights protected from the whims of the employers. Once the unions started getting too big, the employers went to the government for help. Thus began the downfall of the unions. IMHO, once the government stepped in to try to regulate the unions, union leadership rightly saw this as a threat to there existance. Now, a new dynamic was added- now leadership was not only trying to protect the workers, now they felt they needed to fight the politicians. What did this lead to? By this point, union leadership was already finding ways to both protect and screw the workers. They were protecting, but they were also finding more and more ways to line their pockets as well! Enter the government, and now there is another thing that they needed to pay for- fighting for their existance. Then the union became just like the companies they were supposed to be protecting the worker from. Instead of looking at ways to cut costs by cleaning up their own act(i.e- double positions, big bonuses), they now came to the membership and said”If you want us to keep protecting your job, then you need to pay us more money so we can fight the politicians and regulations”. Once another level of resposibility was added, then they intensified their lobbying efforts, and started becoming more political orginizations, and letting their responsibilities to the worker( as well as turning a blind eye to the workers who would try to screw the employer due to union rules) fall by the wayside! Maybe if government regulation didn’t enter the picture, maybe union leadership would have stuck to their original purpose. Maybe.
    This all being said, I can see where some would say that the union is only good for running companies out of business. But that does not change the fact that if a business has a good plan and good management, the union and employers can work together and still have a profitable business model. Would the employers prefer not to have unions- yes, as having union workers will always increase costs. But several have been able to succede. The best example of this- UPS. Mostly all union employees, and still one of the most respected and profitable companies worldwide. Why? A good business plan and mostly good management(speaking from personal experience). And yes, I know that fedex has a higher profitabilty due to no unions, but that does not change the fact that a company can be profitable and have union employees. It can be done, it just takes the right planning. I think if some of the industries that have fallen on hard times(auto and steelworkers and timber come to mind), had better business management, they could still be viable industries.
    Sorry for the reaally long post, but it has been soo long since I posted anything here, that I guess I kinda got carried away. I enjoy reading the topics and learning from the very learned that are always posting here. I love the fact that this site has room for people to express an opinion different from what the majority of us might think and not get ripped to shreds. USwep- best site ever and thank you for all your research and efforts in keeping this site going!
    Just one last thought that even ties in with this topic-
    More government regulation= less business profitability
    Less government regulation= more buisness profitabilty

    SUFA- Less= more! Let’s keep the government small for all Americans!

    • Even messed up my own ending!
      Let’s get the government smaller!

      • Sorry. Government doesn’t work that way.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:


          Sorry. Government doesn’t work.

          FTFY 🙂

          • Mathius says:

            Democracy is the worst for of government – except for all the others.* – Twain

            *Inclusive of VLDG and Anarchy.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              It may be the worst form of government – except for all others…

              but that still makes it at BEST the BEST OF THE WORST.

              What you missed is that Twain is basically saying that NO government is the only GOOD government! (And he was correct!)

              • Mathius says:

                I don’t think so.

                And to prove it, I’m going to hop into the Way Back Machine and find out.

                Back in a few..

              • Mathius says:

                Nope, he agrees with me. Sorry.

                By the way, that guy and sure put away the mint juleps, oh boy..

            • Mathius,

              Government does not work.

              Don’t much matter what ‘archy’ (the right to rule) you want – except for those that say

              NO right to rule.

    • You say: “Would the employers prefer not to have unions- yes, as having union workers will always increase costs.” What is the incentive for companies to utilize a union workforce? IMO, the unions had a time and place, but that time and place has ended…they are a drain on society. This is not to say that their need could come full circle and again they would be needed…but in today’s climate, I do not believe they currently are.

      • Mathius says:

        Strange, but I actually generally agree with you.

        • Glad I was sitting down when I read that!

          • Mathius says:

            Don’t be too shocked. I attribute the fact that we don’t really need them anymore to the fact that the government intervenes to guarantee the essentials for which they once stood. (You know, before they because about screwing employers and protecting incompetent employees.)

        • +++thud+++ D13 hitting the floor.

    • UPS – I do a lot of shipping for my business and due to the strike UPS workers opted for several years back, which hurt businesses considerably, I refuse to use them to this day unless it is the absolute last choice. You don’t hold your customers hostage, which is exactly what that strike did.

  7. This is a pro-control bill. Open ballots means control through intimidation (we keep talking about union intimidation, which is the main concern at this point, but it could easily be used by a company as well). It also means government controls anything not quickly resolved. Thus, it is a very clear power grab by all the major players of power. There is absolutely no justification for it other than a power grab. I defy anyone to come up with something good about this that other than increased power or influence for unions, governments, and/or corporations.

  8. by the way, hi everyone 🙂 I feel like being friendly since my thoughts are all angry and being friendly with other people tends to help me calm down and de-stress. *friendly wave*

  9. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    In other news, the courts have just ruled AGAINST the FCC in a major case involving “Net-Neutrality”. For the most part, this is a very good thing.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      For those in favor of limited to no government involvement it is a good thing.

      For those who advocate net neutrality it is somewhat not a good thing.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        It is a good thing because it does indeed limit government involvement and thwarts another attempt at a government bureaucracy to impose un-legislated “regulations” on something which, up until now, has gone largely unreguated.

        It also allows companies like Comcast to impose bandwidth limits on whatever they wish to impose bandwidth limits on, and allows them to charge more if you wish to avoid those potential limits. In this way, some might see it as a bad thing.

        Comcast DOES have competition, but even going to the competition MIGHT not help you in all cases. If you are using a competitor, but at some point what you are doing on the ‘net passes through part of the Comcast network, you still might encounter bandwidth limitations even though you are not a Comcast customer (or perhaps BECAUSE you are not a Comcast customer!).

        Since Comcast is far from the only game in town, I fully expect their competition to find ways to get around any bandwidth limitations imposed by Comcast on traffic passing through its network, but we will see how it works out.

        My main relief is that the FCC has been slapped down in its attempt to regulate the internet, at least for now. Once they had the authority to regulate SOMETHING on the internet, they would have used regulatory creep to gain the authority to regulate EVERYTHING on the internet, and that would be disasterous.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Good points Peter. I think “C” is already trying to get in front of bandwidth tiers and cost.

          I am not a fan of regulators over-interpreting what they are legally mandated to do.

          I am a fan of consumers being responsible and knowing what they are paying for.

        • Have no fear…with “O” in charge, the Congress will pass regulation that will allow the FCC to do what it wants eventually…

    • I’m on the fence on this one. I am not a fan of the FCC, but I am not a fan of comcast and other providers dictating what data can come through and how fast it will. I am not sure I want to embrace “National Broadband” which this case negatively impacted, mostly due to the cost to taxpayers for rolling it out, but also due to some of the privacy invasion aspects in National broadband’s stated goals. I would rather see private companies carry this out.

      I know that this case was more about traffic type than content, and I understand giving preference to certain traffic types, I do this on a local level with WiFi configurations, so that the total bandwidth and network will not be eaten up by a few users downloading large files or doing file sharing. BitTorrent does strain networks as they are currently built.

      Supporters of net-neutrality, however, are concerned with the ISPs getting too powerful and beginning to control content, at least by slowing down things they may not like. I would be more worried about the government doing that if they gain too much authority, but I would like to see no one be able to do that…

      I dunno, tough call for me.

    • PapaDawg says:

      In this day and age of the growing American Socialist governmental powers, we must remind ourselves that the “Net Neutrality” thing just isn’t about neutrality at all . . . It IS about governmental censure of those who disagree with government. Like this website and others who post disagreements with the currant batch of Marxist politicians in Washington D.C.

      Just my not-so-humble opinion.

      • Funny Papa,

        It may have started already. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. I have checked into SUFA twice today, this is the third, and this is the first time I was able to see a new article posted.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I agree PapaDawg,

        Anything in agreement with the official government line would have been “Neutral” while anything not completely toeing the official government line would have been considered “non-Neutral”.

        • True, especially since the wording was equal access to “legal” content, meaning that all they have to do is make certain stuff illegal and they would have authoriy to restrict it.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Don’t have much time today, but here’s a quick blurb as to why this is a bad decision:

      “This [the Court’s decision] is not good. Essentially the D.C. Circuit holds that the F.C.C. doesn’t have any authority to regulate how Comcast manages web traffic. That means that in this area, Comcast can do what it wants. That’s terrible news for people who think you should be in control of what you see on the ‘net, not your cable company.”

      (source: Above the Law)

      • Buck The Wala says:
      • Personally, I don’t view that as bad. It is Comcast’s business and their hardware…they should be able to do with it as they please. If that is counterproductive with regard to their customers…they will feel it. They will either adjust fire, or die…unless they are deemed to large to fail…

      • USWeapon says:

        OK, Buck, but wouldn’t the opposite be even worse? The opposite would be that the DC Circuit holds that the FCC does have the right to regulate. In this case, that would be terrible news for people who think that you should be in control on the net, not your government. What is interesting is that no one is saying that YOU should be in control of what you see on the net.

        The positive here is that it at least kept it in industry hands instead of government hands. At least with Comcast, the consumers have the ability to band together and control Comcast (unlikely, but possible). In the reverse, the consumer would have been screwed, and at the mercy of the FCC, a government agency that would have zero accountability to the consumer.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          I agree it is all too easy for government regulation to go too far, especially with controlling content. There must be a balance reached to best protect consumers, while also respecting the rights of corporations. Its a very difficult line to draw.

          On the more narrow question posed here though, I would favor permitting the FCC to require ‘neutrality’ in content and bandwidth. We all know that it just isn’t possible to control Comcast – have you ever tried to deal with that company for anything!? To me, this is just another example of the Roberts court favoring corporations over consumers.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        If the FCC had won, THEY would control what you see on the internet, not YOU or your cable company.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          As I posted to UWS – I see the problem with that happening as well. However, this case presented a much more narrow issue. Could it snowball into pure government regulation? Sure it could. Which is why there should be limits and safeguards in place. But to argue that the FCC shouldn’t even be granted authority to require neutrality and broad access due to fears of future government regulations limiting that access and content goes too far at the moment.

          For the record, I dislike slippery slope arguments.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            The “slippery-slope” argument is the first cousin of “the precautionary principle”. If you like one, I am afraid you have to accept the other.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            Oh, and furthermore, can you name for me ONE government intervention which has NOT resulted in more and more government intervention and more and more regulation?

            It is EXCEPTIONALLY EASY to demonstrate the ACTUAL EXISTENCE of the slippery slope. Whether you like the argument or not has no bearing on its validity.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “the FCC does not have the authority to regulate how Comcast MANAGES WEB TRAFFIC.

        Ok, so what? The key words here are MANAGES WEB TRAFFIC. If you think about how these words are defined, and how the internet actually works, it should be perfectly logical that if Comcast builds a particular part of the internet network using their own capital and their own equipment, they should clearly be the ones who decide how to manage web traffic which goes through their part of the network.

        I really don’t see a big problem here.

  10. It’s just another way for progressives to keep power. You vote for who rewards you, not for what’s good for the country. I have seen several businesses fail that might have lasted if not for the unions. Most of their workers wish they hadn’t been union, and they still had that job.


    Most union members now work for government as private sector unions plunge to record low
    By Sam Hananel, AP
    January 22nd, 2010

    Private sector union membership shrinks

    WASHINGTON — The number of union workers employed by the government for the first time outnumbered union ranks in the private sector last year, the result of massive layoffs that plunged the rate of private sector union membership to a record low.

    Local, state and government workers made up 51.5 percent of all union members in 2009, up from 48.7 percent a year ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

    Overall, union membership declined by 771,000 workers, to 15.3 million. But with the number of nonunion workers also shrinking, the rate of union membership fell only slightly to 12.3 percent of all workers from 12.4 percent in 2008.

    • http://bigjournalism.com/jhudnall/2010/02/09/teachers-unions-the-child-molesters-best-friend/

      Imagine if you could get full salary and benefits for a decent paying job and you didn’t have to work to get it. All you had to do was be accused of a crime.

      What crime, you ask? How about molesting school kids? That’s what the teachers‘ unions in states like California and New York State are doing: coddling accused criminals — at your expense. And it’s probably going on elsewhere as well.

      Believe it or not, New York is a lot tougher on them than California. From the New York Post:

      At the beginning of his 32-year career as a math teacher in Queens, Francisco Olivares allegedly im pregnated and married a 16-year-old girl he had met when she was a 13-year-old student at his Corona junior high, IS 61, the Post learned.

      He sexually molested two 12-year-old pupils a decade later and another student four years after that, the city Department of Education charged. But none of it kept Olivares, 60, from collecting his $94,154 salary.

      He hasn’t set foot in a classroom in seven years since beating criminal and disciplinary charges. Chancellor Joel Klein keeps Olivares in a “rubber room,” a district office where teachers accused of misconduct sit all day with nothing to do.

      That would be $94K a year for sitting around drinking coffee and reading the paper. Sounds like a DMV job, without the actual “work.” The reason he wasn’t fired is “state laws” and “union rules.” The unholy alliance of unions and government is one of the things that has led us to the mess we’re in now. When you can’t fire government workers, you’re stuck with the dregs sucking away tax dollars in the form of their bloated salaries and benefits. And in many cases, they will get well-funded retirement packages for years of incompetence, thievery or worse. All in the name of “public service.”

      But Olivares’s fate in New York is hard time compared to the Golden State. In California, accused teachers are paid to stay at home. In just the Los Angeles Unified School District alone, the cost of these teachers sitting on their hands is helping drive the state into bankruptcy.

      About 160 teachers and other staff sit idly in buildings scattered around the sprawling district, waiting for allegations of misconduct to be resolved.

      The housed are accused, among other things, of sexual contact with students, harassment, theft or drug possession. Nearly all are being paid. All told, they collect about $10 million in salaries per year — even as the district is contemplating widespread layoffs of teachers because of a financial shortfall.

      Now you may say that these teachers were only accused, they well may be innocent. Yes, some of them may be. And hopefully the innocent will be cleared. But in many incidents, such as the Olivares case, there is no doubt because there’s a provable history, including a list of victims. And yet the state continues to pay his salary.

      This is becoming a common practice in many states where teachers’ unions hold sway. When they can’t fire them, in some cases schools have had to offer instructors cash payouts to quit. That’s right, cash bribes to quit after committing some kind of crime.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Bit confused on one point — regarding Olivares the article specifically states that he “beated criminal and disciplinary charges”.

        Forget the evidence discussed in the article for a minute. It seems to me that he was acquitted of any crime — if so, why shouldn’t he be reinstated? If you are charged with a crime and found innocent, should you lose your job over the charge itself?

        Or am I missing something here?

        • Innocent or not guilty?

        • Buck,

          If your children were attending a school where a teacher,
          “im pregnated and married a 16-year-old girl he had met when she was a 13″, sexually molested two 12-year-old pupils a decade later and another student four years after that”.
          Would you allow them to be taught by him? I can understand
          them not “proving” his criminal guilt, but his pattern of behavior makes him unfit to teach, and should result in his firing, except the unions will not allow.

          Seems simple to me, UNIONS=RAPE& MOLESTATION.
          ALL THOSE IN FAVOR?????????????:lol:

          • Pop quiz: which of the following political candidates would you be less likely to vote for: one who had written things offensive to many women in a master’s thesis, or one who was convicted of trying to solicit sex from a minor?

            If you think the felony conviction is a more condemnable offense for a political candidate, you may want to give up your dream job as a Huffington Post columnist. In the bizarre world of Arianna Huffington, the master’s thesis is apparently the more reprehensible offense.

            HuffPo columnists relentlessly attacked now-Va. Governor Bob McDonnell for his “frightening” views on marriage and the family as expressed in his 1989 thesis. But lefty blogger Tim Russo, who is running for office in Cleveland, is just the victim of local media that “want him to pay for [his felony conviction] for the rest of his life,” presumably by suggesting that soliciting sex from a minor demonstrates a lack of judgment unbecoming a public servant.

            I know, really radical stuff.

            Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/04/06/huffpo-academic-thesis-worse-felony-sexual-offense#ixzz0kMcGAmof

          • Buck the Wala says:

            As a parent clearly I would not want that teacher teaching my child. However, if that teacher was found not guilty (remember: both criminal charges and disciplinary charges were brought against the teacher), why should the teacher be removed from his position? If disciplinary charges and criminal charges were brought against me, and I was cleared of charges in both contexts, why should I be further punished?

            Neither of us has the full story here and we would clearly need more to pass judgment.

  11. PapaDawg says:

    I have never been a “Union Man”, if my employer started treating me badly I spoke to them about it and if it didn’t change things – I found a new employer who did treat me fairly. I really did not have to change employers very much during my working life and I have never belonged to a union.

    Card check is not about the fair treatment of employees, it is all about union and government control of everyone from cradle to grave – just like Obamacare.

    If you cannot see what is happening then you need to open your eyes, and if your eyes are wide open and you are not doing something about it, then I do not feel sorry for you.

    The time for talk is past. The time for doing is now. We all need to begin the non-violent civil disobedient actions that will wake up the rest of America and kick out all those who are desperately trying to remove our freedom and liberty. If we don’t do this now, then violence will be thrust upon us later . . . and that is always a very bad thing.

    • Cyndi P says:

      Hi PapaDawg,

      I’m horrified at the number of Americans who still refuse to consider the possibility that we are loosing our freedom and liberty. These are intelligent individuals who have no clue, and really don’t want to hear anything other than ‘everything is wonderful’. I’m beginning to believe that they don’t care what happens so long as they can watch their stupid TV shows. I keep telling myself that the November election will be the turning point in this mad dash to marxism, but its getting very hard to believe it.

    • Tea Party Express III came through Madison tonight and my husband and I went to it. Very well attended and very good speakers/program. Very encouraging that here, in the land of Feingold and the “second Berkley” that so many people came out. We were given many challenges and ways to get involved – I’m very impressed with the level of grassroots organization that has taken place in a short amount of time.

      Google Tea Party Express and check out their schedule in the next eight days. If they are headed your way – make the time to go.

      • Glad to hear that, Kathy. I’ll be there Saturday in Lansing. Looking forward to it.

  12. I am a 12 Year member of a small, 1000ish member union. Our union works with the company to make sure the the union is a benefit to the company. we(union) all know that when we are no longer the cheapest way for the company to “get the work done” we will all be out of jobs. We work hard to make sure we are the best at what we do, because we know our careers depend on it.

    A large nation wide union comes in every time we work on a new contract, to try to take over our union. People come around with cards, trying to get you to sign them, so that we can have this “Secret ballot” Vote to decide if we should switch unions. the national union has to get 50% +1 Cards signed to get an election. I have seen the Intimidation they use to get us to sign these cards. I could not Imagine what it “Could” be like if the cards actually mean something. It is a scary idea to me.

    In the end, we all sign these cards, because haveing a Vote on union status never hurts, If nothing else, it keeps our union leadership honest.

    I Know unions can be beneficial to the company and to the workers, but it takes great leadership, Leadership that understands how business works, on both sides to make a great union.

    My 2 cents.

  13. Bf,
    Your third link on korean internet had that quote about a lot of government money in it. Did you read the article or just the aprt about the average bill being under $30?

  14. I don’t know if anyone will see this but here is an e-mail message that I received at work on Friday. I work in Labor Relations.


    This week, Craig Becker and Mark Pearce were sworn in as National Labor Relations Board recess appointees, launching what is expected to become a tumultuous era in American labor law. A new HR Policy Brief, prepared with the assistance of Jones Day’s Andrew Kramer, projects the various areas of law that are now likely in play, including:

    increased use of card checks resulting from NLRB determinations that an employer’s actions have tainted the prospects of a fair election;
    greater union access to the workplace coupled with increased restrictions on employers’ ability to communicate with their employees about the implications of forming a union;
    regulations intended to shorten the normal election process from five to eight weeks to two to three weeks, even though unions now win about two-thirds of all elections;
    smaller units of employees voting on whether to be represented by a union, thus increasing the union’s chances of obtaining a majority;
    increased requirements on employers to provide sensitive financial information to unions at the bargaining table; and
    a much narrower exemption for supervisors.
    Even as the new Board members take office, speculation is already occurring on what will happen in August when the sole Republican Board member Peter Schaumber leaves. This will occur at the same time that Republican General Counsel Ron Meisburg’s term expires. Absent confirmation of replacements, the result could be a Board run entirely by former union-side attorneys.

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