brass, political allies respond
Employees in the Silver State increasingly want no part of unions. That’s the clear message of the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
But Big Labor has a plan: Go around Nevada workers, using government. Get new laws imposed on the state so that workers have less say in whether their work sites become union-controlled.
Labor movement’s woes
Patrick J. Reilly & John Tuason
Summary: The AFL-CIO is faced with serious problems: declining membership, failed political efforts, internal disputes over dues payments and funds for organizing, unions threatening to withdraw from the federation, and a potential challenge to John Sweeney’s presidency. None of this surprises observers of the waning labor movement.
Dime-store novelists claim that gloom around the AFL-CIO is palpable—it hangs so thick in the air you just might choke on it.
Maybe that’s hyperbole, but anyone listening to labor union officials in recent weeks can imagine the fog that has wrapped itself around obviously distraught and desperate men. Gathered last month in Las Vegas, the kingpins of the labor movement seemed more like bitter losers out on the Vegas sidewalks, trying to come to grips with how their fortunes have slipped away.
“These are the darkest days that I have ever seen for American workers across the United States,” Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), told The Washington Post. John Wilhelm, leader of the hotel employee division of the recently merged (July 2004) Unite Here union, admitted, “The collapse of the labor movement is happening on our watch.” [continued]
Wells Fargo denies
Wells Fargo bank is refuting a new study that accuses it of using predatory lending practices in low income and minority neighborhoods that include Las Vegas.
The bank is denying charges made by a community activist organization which claims that higher-cost, or "subprime," loans made by Wells Fargo Financial are concentrated heavily in poorer and non-white neighborhoods, as opposed to lower-cost loans made by Well Fargo Home Mortgage.
ACORN claims that those preferable loans are made primarily to upper-income and white neighborhoods. The group's study is available on its website and can be accessed by clicking here.
Wells Fargo Financial deals with borrowers who have "credit challenges," according to a statement released by the bank in response to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) study. The bank took aim at the credibility of the community organization itself.
"The ACORN report, produced by an organization with a history of deliberately distorting and misrepresenting our practices and policies, is filled with inaccuracies," says Lynn Greenwood, senior vice president in communications for Wells Fargo Home and Consumer Finance Group. "This study's methodology is so flawed, and the report ignores so many important factors, such as the credit risk-based differences among our many valued mortgage customers, that its conclusions should be dismissed." [continued]
Does the NEA believe
The National Education Association filed suit against the U.S. Department of Education last week, claiming the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is an unfunded federal mandate. Nine NEA state affiliates and one local affiliate joined the suit, along with nine school districts in three states.
The complaint claims that by failing to provide "sufficient federal funds" to pay for its provisions, "the Secretary of Education is violating the Spending Clause of the United States Constitution."
Remarkably, however, two years earlier the same NEA General Counsel who is making that argument sent a "confidential-attorney/client privileged" memo to a large group of state affiliate officers and employees. That May 2003 memo explicitly pointed out the errors in the arguments the NEA General Counsel is making now. Read Mike Antonucci’s brief report on the front page of his website, or the slightly longer one he sent out in his communique.