Posts Tagged ‘labor unions’

September 20 roundup

  • Oregon: “Union-Backed Ballot Initiative Would Limit Grocery Stores to 2 Self-Checkout Machines” [Christian Britschgi, Reason]
  • Not unexpectedly, given its own precedent, Ninth Circuit rules Idaho inmate entitled to sex reassignment surgery [Amanda Peacher and James Dawson, NPR; pre-ruling (July) KRCC/NPR podcast and interview with Peacher, I’m quoted as in earlier coverage; earlier]
  • I wrote a personal recollection at Cato of philanthropist David Koch;
  • “Flight attendants and airport staff now get trained to intervene in what federal officials (falsely) portray as an epidemic of airline-based sex trafficking which can be spotted by good Samaritans who know the ‘signs.'” And mistakes will happen [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason]
  • Population growth has caused the Ninth Circuit to bulge at the seams. Left-right political advantage isn’t a good reason to break it up, but there are plenty of nonpolitical reasons that are good [Ilya Shapiro and Nathan Harvey, George Mason Law Review]
  • “The legal profession was regarded by both the authors of The Federalist and Alexis de Tocqueville as the anchor of the republic —- a barrier to destabilizing innovation and a constraint on excessive democratic passions.” What happened? [John McGinnis]

Public employment roundup

The Boston squeeze

Earlier this month a federal jury found two Boston city hall officials guilty of conspiracy to commit extortion after prosecutors proved that they told a concert promoter that unless it hired members of a union that had supported Mayor Marty Walsh, it wouldn’t get a permit for its event. [Jerome Campbell, WBUR, AP/CBS Boston, earlier here, here, here]

So far, so Boston. Even more characteristic of the city’s political culture: ten Boston city councilors put out a statement decrying the verdict. The really perfect touch? “Some 70 nonprofit organizations, representing environmental, LGBTQ, housing, senior, education, and civil rights advocates,” have also denounced the verdict, claiming that it interferes with “democracy.”

Veteran Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi calls it “bizarre” for these groups to “condon[e] threats from city officials as an acceptable standard for doing business in Boston”:

Supporters of Brissette and Sullivan argue that the case criminalizes advocacy. Suggesting that concert organizers hire union help might qualify as simple advocacy. But organizers of the Boston Calling concert were basically told there would be no permit unless they hired union labor. That’s wrong, and Brissette and Sullivan knew it. Joe Rull, the city’s former chief of operations, who testified under a grant of immunity, told the court that when Brissette wanted to employ that hardball tactic during a previous disagreement concerning the use of nonunion production workers he told him, “You can’t do that, it’s not legal.”

More from Josh McCabe:

Land use and zoning roundup

  • NYC landmark decree will strangle famed Strand used bookstore, says owner [Nancy Bass Wyden, New York Daily News, Nick Gillespie, Reason, earlier] NIMBY resistance to Dupont Circle project behind Masonic Temple insists on preserving views that weren’t there until fairly recently [Nick Sementelli, Greater Greater Washington]
  • “Barcelona city hall has finally issued a work permit for the unfinished church designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí, 137 years after construction started on the Sagrada Família basilica.” [AP/Guardian] At least they’re not in one of the American towns and cities that would make them tear down work outside the scope of permit before proceeding;
  • FHA lending tilts heavily toward detached single-family housing over condos, encouraging sprawl [Scott Beyer]
  • “San Francisco’s Regulations Are the Cause of Its Housing Crisis” [Beyer]
  • “What Should I Read to Understand Zoning?” [Nolan Gray, Market Urbanism]
  • I think we can all guess which union was not cut into a share of the work in this Bay Area housing development [Jennifer Wadsworth, San Jose Inside (Laborers union files CEQA suit), Christian Britschgi, Reason]

Labor and employment roundup

  • “Your license is gone, your livelihood is gone, the care of your patients is gone. How fair is that?” Opposition grows to policy of yanking occupational licenses over unpaid student loans [Marc Hyden and Shoshana Weissman, Governing; Nick Sibilla, Forbes]
  • Los Angeles ballot measure was billed as advancing affordable housing, but prevailing-wage provisions helped ensure that it didn’t [Steven Sharp, Urbanize Los Angeles]
  • Not mad at Jon Hyman for advising client employers to avoid legal risk by not employing released sex offenders, just mad at the policymakers who play to the cheap seats by perpetuating the casual cruelties of the offender registry laws;
  • “International programs demonstrate that paid leave benefits grow substantially over time, similar to other government entitlement programs.” [Vanessa Brown Calder, Cato; more Calder on paid leave mandates here, here, and (roundtable conversation) here (from last fall) and here; Emily Ekins, Cato and more (depth of public support depends on assumptions about impact on pay and women’s career prospects); Veronique de Rugy (why are conservatives supporting?)]
  • Frankfurter and Greene’s 1930 book The Labor Injunction, one of the most influential books ever about American labor law, prepared the ground for the New Deal’s Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act. How accurately did it portray the labor injunctions of its day? [Mark Pulliam, Law and Liberty]
  • “What Will the E-Verify Program Be Used to Surveil Next?” [David Bier, Cato via David Henderson]

How Illinois is that?

A very Illinois situation: “An Illinois union lobbyist can keep the public pension windfall he qualified for by spending one day as a substitute teaching, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled.” [Ray Long, Chicago Tribune via its Twitter]

More on Illinois public employee pensions: “More than 19,000 Illinois Government Retirees Receive Pensions Over $100K” [Janelle Cammenga, Illinois Policy] “Mapping the $100,000+ Illinois Teacher Pensions Costing Taxpayers Nearly $1.0 Billion” [Adam Andrzejewski, Forbes 2016] “Top 200 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Pensions as of 2017” [Taxpayers United (park district employees score highly in $150K+ annual pension listings)] (via @TwoBoysCapital on Twitter)

Meanwhile, so delightfully Chicago: “JUST IN: Lawyer for ex-Ald. Willie Cochran ask for six months home confinement, saying ‘”since sending previous aldermen to jail has not done anything to curb Chicago’s tidal wave of aldermanic corruption cases, there is no reason to think that sending Mr. Cochran to jail will.'” [Chicago Tribune reporter Jason Meisner on Twitter]

Social media clues to an AFL-CIO shift

First the labor organization’s official account tweeted out a joke about dealing with an adverse employer, Delta, by way of a guillotine, though it later deleted the tweet as not consistent with its values. But then days later it ran in all apparent seriousness a video of a “Marxist, roofer” narrator urging viewers to seize the means of production (“Means TV” describes itself as “the first anti-capitalist worker-owned streaming platform”). This is not your mom’s or dad’s AFL-CIO [Christian Britschgi, Reason; Noah Rothman, Commentary] Time for some member unions to begin thinking of disaffiliating?

Labor roundup

  • Not headed to Gotham after all: “The RWDSU union was interested in organizing the Whole Foods grocery store workers, a subsidiary owned by Amazon, and they deployed several ‘community based organizations’ (which RWDSU funds) to oppose the Amazon transaction as negotiation leverage. It backfired.” [Alex Tabarrok]
  • “NLRB reverses course and restores some sense to its concerted activity rules” [Jon Hyman, earlier]
  • Among papers at the Hoover Institution’s conference last summer on “Land, Labor, and the Rule of Law”: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, “Executive Branch Overreach in Labor Regulation” discusses persuader, fiduciary, overtime, joint employer, independent contractor, federal contract blacklist, campus recruitment as age discrimination, and more; Price Fishback, “Rule of Law in Labor Relations, 1898-1940” on how reducing violence was a key objective of pro-union laws, anti-union laws, and arbitration laws; and related video; Christos Andreas Makridis, “Do Right-to-Work Laws Work? Evidence from Individual Well-being and Economic Sentiment” (“Contrary to conventional wisdom, RTW laws raise employee well-being and sentiment by improving workplace conditions and culture”) and related video;
  • Relief coming on NLRB’s Browning-Ferris joint employer initiative? [Federalist Society panel video with Richard Epstein, Richard F. Griffin, Jr., Philip Miscimarra, moderated by Judge Timothy Tymkovich; Philip Rosen et al., Jackson Lewis; earlier]
  • “Production company hires union labor after Boston officials allegedly threaten to withhold permits for music festivals. District court: Can’t try the officials for extortion because they didn’t obtain any personal benefit; the alleged benefits went to the union. First Circuit: The indictment should not have been dismissed.” [John K. Ross, IJ “Short Circuit,” on U.S. v. Brissette, earlier]
  • In 1922 a brutal mob attack resulted in the slaughter of 23 strikebreakers in Herrin, Illinois. Maybe something that should be taught in schools? [Robby Soave, Reason]

Janus: what comes after

The Supreme Court’s Janus decision on public sector union fees was not received in a spirit of total cooperation by all public sector unions and employers. Two Cato Daily Podcasts from late last year, one with Robert Alt of the Buckeye Institute, the other with Ken Girardin of The Empire Center:

Related: Federalist Society podcast with William Messenger and panel with Messenger, Steven Greenhut, Hon. Chuck Reed, and Hon. Ryan Nelson; William Baude (critical of Janus).

And now, citing the First Amendment and the Janus precedent, “three conservative lawyers are seeking to overturn Texas laws that require attorneys to join the State Bar of Texas and pay annual dues;” in Texas, as in many states, bar dues go to various ideologically fraught issues and causes [Chuck Lindell, Austin American-Statesman]

Just for fun: Cato’s amicus brief in Janus v. AFSCME is an answer on Jeopardy!