How does a top Republican operative describe grand gubernatorial failures? Four words: Scott Walker, John Kasich.
A recent memo from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) deputy chief of staff Luke Bernstein to other top staff and supporters, says that in discussing Corbett’s first year in office, they should compare his “successes” to failures of other first-year governors, including Walker and Kaisch.
In the internal memo obtained by the Harrisburg Patriot News, Bernstein writes that Walker, after pushing through a bill to take away the collective bargaining rights of public employees, “faced tens of thousands of protesters camping out at the state Capitol for weeks.” He also points out Walker “faces a possible recall in 2012.” For Ohio’s Kasich, the memo notes he barnstormed through a controversial collective bargaining law similar to Wisconsin’s, which voters “resoundingly defeated.”
Read more from the Patriot-News here.
This is a cross-post by Christy Setzer from U.S. Chamber Watch.
Dragging a little today? Desperately trying to focus on work while wishing you were still on a beach? Just be glad you don’t work for a member company of the U.S. Chamber of Congress—you might not have gotten that vacation at all.
In a toolkit for small business owners on the Chamber’s website, the lobbying organization advises modern-day Scrooge employers: “If you need to, you can require that [employees] work on Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, or any other traditional holiday.”
It’s a policy that other large corporations have already taken heat for. Over Thanksgiving, an enterprising Target employee called attention to the consequences of ever-earlier Black “Friday” sales (some starting on Thursday evening) for store employees: not getting to enjoy the holiday with their own families. More than 200,000 employees and customers signed a petition asking Target to drop the family-unfriendly policy, with copycat petitions formed against Kohl’s, Wal-Mart and other big-box stores with similar holiday hours.
The Chamber’s advice may not be surprising for an organization that’s also opposed the 40-hour workweek, paid family and medical leave, and even the federal minimum wage, but no doubt its member companies are taking note: Listen to this particular Dear Abby, only with a great deal of caution.
More evidence that backers of Indiana’s ”right to work” for less (RTW) legislation are wrong when they claim so-called right to work promotes economic growth.
A new report out moments ago from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that if a “right to work” law was adopted in Indiana it would be far more likely to reduce workers’ wages and benefits. It follows the release this morning of similar findings by University of Notre Dame economic professor Marty Wolfson.
In “Working hard to make Indiana look bad: The tortured, uphill case for ‘right to work” political economist Gordon Lafer writes:
In Indiana and elsewhere, large sums of money have been devoted to backing RTW bills, with lobbyists claiming that RTW significantly improves both the number of jobs in a state and the wages people earn because companies that had avoided the state will flock there. The evidence shows that these claims are completely without scientific foundation.
Lafer, who is also a professor at University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center, says rigorous, properly designed studies have found that ”right to work” laws reduce wages by $1,500 a year, for union and nonunion workers, and lower the likelihood that union and nonunion employees get health care coverage or pensions through their jobs. They have also found that “right to work” laws have no impact on job growth in states that adopt them.
He takes to task the National Right to Work Committee for its twisted interpretation of job growth data. Lafer also highlights the economic distortions in reports from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Chamber of Commerce.
Legislators should decide this issue on the basis of economic facts rather than political ideology.
Click here for the full report.
This is a cross-post by Kenneth Quinnell from Crooks & Liars.
In a great example of a proactive way to deal with unemployment, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) partnered with Community Churches United for Baltimore Jobs to give job training in the construction trades to unemployed workers. In a sharp contrast to the developers in Baltimore who are receiving massive tax breaks, the faith-based coalition requested help from the labor union in helping get unemployed workers the skills they need to get back into the workforce.
From the press release about Thursday’s event:
“As a long-time Baltimore resident I am appalled that members of our communities, who are willing and able to work, are routinely left out of conversations with developers when it comes to local jobs,” said David Stokes, a local LIUNA trainer. “We have hundreds of workers who have reached out to us from throughout Baltimore who are willing to be trained so that they can help rebuild their own communities.”
Currently, Community Churches United for Baltimore Jobs is working to bring attention to EBDI to hear the community’s cry for local job opportunities. Community Churches United for Baltimore Jobs is calling on EBDI to implement a Community Workforce Agreement with the following provisions:
• Goal of 50 percent of Baltimore city residents with aggressive recruitment from the communities directly affected by the project.
• Goal for apprentices and new entry-level workers to be 20 percent of total workforce.
Community Churches United for Baltimore Jobs is a faith-based alliance comprised of congregations whose goal is to uplift the community by helping residents attain their full potential through local job training and spiritual guidance.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent has question for his media colleagues that a whole lot of the rest of us would also like to ask: When the heck are reporters going to demand that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney start backing up his claims that he created 100,000 jobs when he ran the hedge fund Bain Capital?
Romney says his job creation record shows that he has the business acumen to turn around the economy. But as Sargent writes today:
As far as I can tell, only two lonely fact checking operations—one at the Post, the other at FactCheck.org—have scrutinized it. They have found that the assertion is at best unsubstantiated and that there may have been more layoffs than jobs created by Bain…When will reporters push Romney on this?
Sargent also notes that reporters have failed to grill Romney on his assertions about President Obama’s jobs record and what Romney describes as a “failed” stimulus plan. After the plan was approved in 2010, the economy stop shedding jobs and while there is still a long way to go to recover from the Bush recession, the economy has added jobs for 20 straight months–roughly 2.1 million jobs.
Romney’s claims about Bain and the Obama record, writes Sargent,
are absolutely central to Romney’s entire rationale for running for president. Is it too much to expect reporters and news outlets to scrutinize them or to ask him to substantiate them?
Indiana working families are gearing up to fight state Republican lawmakers’ attempt to ram through a “right to work” for less bill—and a new report reveals the corporate lies behind backers’ claims that “right to work” laws boost wages.
Marty Wolfson, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Higgins Labor Studies Program, finds that contrary to proponents’ claims—such as those by the Chamber of Commerce, the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and others—so-called right to work laws actually lower wages for all workers, union and nonunion alike.
While Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) and Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) wave around statistics-loaded reports they claim show how such laws increase wages, those reports, says Wolfson, cook the books by using unreliable and biased figures.
“Right to work” for less avocates also claim that wages in so-called right to work states are actually higher than elsewhere, after taking into account the variable cost of living. The formula the Chamber and others use compares the cost of living for professional and managerial households in the top income brackets.
Gordon Lafer, a professor at University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center, says that formula “doesn’t tell us about real costs of living for the other 80 percent of people.”
It may be that the cost of country club memberships or personal trainers are low in a given city, but that doesn’t make things easier for regular employees.
Notre Dame’s Wolfson finds that when a more reliable cost-of-living methodology is used—one that aims at measuring costs for an average family rather than the most privileged—we see that so-called right to work states actually have lower wages—even when adjusting for cost of living.
Click here for the full report.