27 February 2011

Be-Laboring the Point

During the Democrat National Committee winter meeting, Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis gave an impassioned partisan presentation of the public sector labor disputes in Wisconsin and Indiana.  Solis accused Republicans of trying to turn back the clock on worker’s rights.

Solis segue to started to address union issues by stating: "People now have to be reminded, the American public needs to know, and we need to be out there reminding them, elections do matter.  They really do." Either Solis' speechwriter is fluent in Orwellian Newspeak or lives in Wonderland, as her premises seem counterintuitive to the election results in November 2010.   Solis insists that public employees “want to be at the table but that is not what the other party [Republicans] want.”  Solis mouthed the lines of shared sacrifice, but implied that it had to be negotiating with unions and not within the ordinary governing process.

As Solis was voicing solidarity with unions in Wisconsin, she was supporting labors cronies in the state house lose power and the state is needs to balance the budget by $3.4 Billion through reductions in the platinum pension deals which Democrats had given away with taxpayer money.  So Wisconsin teachers honor their positions by having an illegal sick out strike, occupying the State Capitol and getting bogus doctor’s notes.  And they laud the cowardly lawmakers who fled the state to impede the legislative process on the matter because they don’t have the votes.  Honestly, that does not sound like Solis accepts the will of the people at the ballot box.

Of course a Democrat Labor Secretary will have a more progressive perspective towards organized labor than the prior Administration.  Both of her parents were industrial union members. And prior to serving in the Obama Administration, Solis was Congresswoman in California’s 31st and 32nd districts, which represented East Los Angeles.

Solis ratcheted up the rhetoric by declaring "The fight is on... We help the embattled states right now where public employees are under assault. And we work together and get going."  Out on the campaign trail, candidate Obama insisted that he would put on a comfortable pair of shoes to walk with protestors who were being denied their “rights” to collective bargaining.  Maybe just Solis’ words are change that union activists can believe in.

An article chronicling the costs associated with the Detroit People Mover shows why the Obama Administration is emphasizing trains and supporting union labor. The Mackinaw Center shows that the DPM employees receive double the pension contributions than their private counterparts. The monorail that makes a 2.9 mile loop around the Detroit’s downtown core.  To attract it’s 2 million riders, the DPM only charges $0.50 a ride but it costs $4.31 a mile to move a passenger, which requires a $6.2 Million operation subsidy from a destitute Detroit and another $4.3 Million from the State of Michigan.

It is another example of how organized labor has helped kill a once Great Lake State and the unions continue their death grip on the corpse to suck all the marrow from the bones.

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