Leaked disturbing Walmart training video warns new employees about joining unions,

Leaked Walmart training video warns new employees about joining unions. This post from DeadState shows a rather disgusting training video put out by Walmart to dissuade its associates from joining unions. It shows how slick corporations have become. In fact, it ought to mark Hollywood producers blush.

This particular piece of propaganda purports to show that associates are happy with the way management treats them and don’t want a union. It shows series of associates (are they actual associates or are they actors?), most of them young, echoing the anti-Union theme. This time concentrates on the two major objections that workers, particularly young workers, have to joining a union.

The first is that a union supposedly gets in the way with one-one one interactions with supervisors. With all due respect to the associates, such interactions are inherently unequal. Supervisors have more power than any employee or any associate, whose stock is a small piece of the company. Further, the associate has minimal leverage: her/his only bargaining chip is the threat to quit.  Obviously, a supervisor/manager can much more afford to lose an associate/employee than an associate/employed can afford to quit. That is no disrespect to any associate/employee, it is just reality.

This reality when one realizes that supervisors are not close to being at the top of the power structure. The final authority is wielded by others, people whom associates, except for a few, likely never even meet. This whole associate system is thus a farce to keep control and keep unions out, what is known in business as talking the talk without walking the walk, meaning claiming to do something without actually doing it. An incoming editor of the “Utne Reader” who had worked for other private companies wrote that those who do not talk the talk without walking the walk are crushed by those who do. That is one thing that is wrong with the “private sector”.

The second thing the insidious training video brings up, but less than the other argument, is the issue of union dues . It has one associate saying he worked in a “union shop” and did not like a portion of his paycheck going to the union before he saw it. That money is actually used to fight for better wages and working conditions for workers. Union members gain more from unions than the dues the put in. The right to  not join a union is the right to earn less.

Additionally, unions represent the entire membership in negotiations. Those who are not members are being represented for free while members have to pay for. That is not any fairer than a “union shop” and much worse for workers. Unions have much stronger bargaining positions than any individual could. There is definitely strength in numbers, which company managements, especially that of WalMart, fear.

They fear this strength in numbers so much that the video contains references to the “agenda” of Unions as if it was nefarious. (This is a right wing buzzword that has been used in attacking gay rights groups and other progressive/liberal organizations.) What “agenda”? The only “agenda” of unions, despite the shortcomings of some of them (lack of democracy and accountability) is to improve the standard of living of workers.

They complain in the video hat unions have spent large amounts of money to organize workers, but Walmart management has likely spent more, such as on this slick video. Unions are trying to organize at WaMart needs organizing more than most concerns.

Last, an assertion is made that unions are businesses. That is nonsense. Although officers may make money on the side, they do not make a profit.

Union are not perfect. They compromise with management too much. Members often vote on slate proposed by the leadership. AN initiative was started to provide me re account untability and democracy, but leadership responded with a slate named after the movement that was filled long-time apparatchiks and designed to foil the movement. The Teamsters is suspect because of a history of mob ties and the elevation of Jimmy Hoffa’s son to president of that union.  Although they are the only way news who are that bad, Michael Moore has written that he thinks that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the only good union.

Unions have their faults, but workers would be worse off without them. Private-sector managements are more autocratic than unions and have less interest in worker welfare: experience in poor countries has taught them that they can pay starvation wages and still make a profit. Whether workers join existing unions or make new ones for more accountability, the must keep organizing. Their present and future depend on it.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2015! | MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action

Here’s to a great 2015! | MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action. – Happy New Year! Finally emerging from the long year that was 2014 feels wonderful! Things were still accomplished, though. In this video Robert Reich shows that even in the dark days of a year like 2014 progressives working together made strides. This should remind us be undaunted by setbacks and energize us to keep our heads up and make even more progress this year! Despite the “GOP” takeover of the U.S. Senate (and gain of governorships) 2015 can be a great year

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=15037

http://www.feminist.org/news/newsbyte/uswirestory.asp?id=15037. – as this article shows the U.S. secretary of Labor has called for paid family leave. This is essential. The absence of family leave makes if difficult for parents, particularly mothers to hold down jobs. A federal unpaid family leave law was passed and enacted in the ’90s. This legislation has been a resounding success. Despite prediction ps that women who took the leave would never come back, they did and women who would have quit to start a family stayed at their jobs. In other words, right-wing and business fears were refuted.

The problem is that unpaid leave is useless to most parents because the cannot afford to take time off work without being paid. That is why paid family leave is essential. Secretary Perez’s support is bold and encouraging. His is correct in noting that we must ” bring our policies into the 21st century.” Such movement is past due.

Hold The New York Times and Associated Press Accountable

Hold The New York Times and Associated Press Accountable.

This is an important petition from NARAL Pro-Choice America to demand that the Associated Press and the New York Times report accurately on the case now before the Supreme Court concerning buffer zones in front of abortion clinics. Free speech is important, but protesters harass doctors and patients. The  AP and the times have given the impression that the protesters are just a group of kindly old people.Actually they come in all ages and the harassment is severe. Free speech and freedom from harassment must be balanced outside abortion clinics. The first step is to demand that the corporate media give an accurate picture of the situation. Please sign the petition.

American Mothers Deserve Child Care and Paid Leave

On this Mother’s Day, let us give some thought to the sitution of mothers balancing work inside and outside the home. Affordable child care is rarely available. Mothers in need of such often must turn to volunteer care from relatives or, where applicable, their church. The fact that most parents get child care from these sources has been used as an argument against child care legislation.  Such a contention ignores the fact that many rely on relatives and churches because they cannot easily find care elsewhere. Available child care mut be guaranteed by the government both by requiring businesses over a certain size to provide it and by provision and/or subsidization of child care where regulation is not adequate. Parents who need to support their families deserve that much.

These parents also need leave. They could not count on it until the Family and Medical leave act guaranteed 12 weeks leave to those who worked for companies above a certain size. This legislation was so successful that it prevented some women from quitting. Some opponents of the measure and some employers feared that some women who took the leave would never come back. This sexist assumption proved incorrect partly because it underestimated mothers’ commitment to their job outside the home and partly because they could not afford it.

Therein lies the problem : the leave mandated by FMLA is unpaid. Many mothers, particularly those who need a job outside the home to support their families, cannot aford to take time off work without pay. FMLA has been little help to these women. Women overal were so ambivalent about this law and the Clinton Administration in general that they turned out in lower numbers than usual on election day in November 1994.

This ambivalence underscores the fact that unpaid leave is an insufficient for mothers with jobs outside the home. What is needed is a mandate for paid leave. It is a disgrace that parents are not guaranteed paid  maternity and/or paternity leave in this country. The United States is the only country in the “industrialized world without such a guarantee. This must change.

Congress should pass a mandate for paid leave. Such legislation should include incentives to provide even more than is mandated plus tax breaks to ease the costs to employers. This will be leave that most parents can actually use. They deserve at least that much.

New Walker Videotape Confirms the Obvious

On Thursday night, according to Talking Points Memo, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel posted  a video clip from a motion picture called “As Goes Janesville”. Filmed by Brad Lichtenstein, the  documentary chronicles  the experience of the town after it lost an auto manufacturing plant. Taken in January 2011, the newly-published segment shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker telling a billionaire who later donated heavily to his campaign that the planned stripping of collective bargaining from state workers was part of  a “divide-and-conquer” plan. This was in response her asking him “any chance we’ll get to be a completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work – what can we do to help you?” Revealing, but hardly surprising.