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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 21, 2014 / 21 Adar I, 5774

Unions Can't Win

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's not often that a union election makes front-page news. But last week's stunning loss by the United Auto Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is a seminal event in the history of the labor movement. Union membership has fallen consistently over the past 60 years, and the UAW loss suggests there's no way for labor to reverse the trend — at least not in the private sector. But why?

The UAW blames Republican politicians and conservative groups —outside agitators, if you will. Sen. Bob Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, weighed in on opposing unionization at the plant during the voting, claiming a vote against the union would enhance the chances that VW would give the plant the right to build SUVs, adding hundreds of jobs. But the bigger problem was that the union had little to offer prospective members. Workers get little in return for paying dues that equal two hours' pay monthly.

There was a time when the difference between a union job and a nonunion job paid off. Unions offered job protection, steady wage increases and, most importantly, generous benefits, including first-rate health insurance. Indeed, the reason most employees receive health insurance through their employers is that unions demanded the benefit in their collective bargaining agreements during World War II when the National War Labor Board imposed a freeze on wages. The new benefit — which was tax-free — was so popular with workers that even nonunion employers adopted it in order to attract employees.

But with the advent of Obamacare, even that union advantage has disappeared. Not only is health insurance now available to everyone (though not everyone wants to pay for it), but unions can't bargain for the kind of Cadillac policies they once could. Even with union carve-outs granted by the administration, most employers will balk at gold-plated policies when forced to pay Obamacare's 40-percent excise tax and can do so with impunity as long as the plans they offer meet the Obamacare minimum requirements.

Wage differences between union and nonunion jobs are significant in some industries, but they often come with a price. Markets determine wages, no matter how hard unions and governments try to interfere.

Unions can negotiate higher wages only if productivity also increases so that owners still make a profit worth the risk and investment it takes to stay in business. But union work rules often impede productivity. And even if productivity doesn't lag, competition from nonunion companies producing similar products or offering similar services at a lower cost may make union companies less profitable. If unionization pushes wages higher than the market will bear, those companies are forced to cut jobs or go out of business. A union card doesn't do you much good if your job disappears because of it.

No doubt all of these factors played a role in the decision by the majority of VW's workers to vote against the UAW. But politics also played a role, though not in the way the UAW alleges.



The UAW, like the rest of the labor movement, has spent increasing energy and resources on politics as its membership has shrunk. Unions now devote as much if not more time and money to electing Democrats than they do to organizing new members. Some 90 percent of union political contributions go to Democratic candidates, and union staff and "volunteers" are the backbone of campaigns to elect Democrats at all levels of government. Yet 40 percent of union households voted Republican in the last presidential election, despite unions' unprecedented efforts to turn out their vote for the Democrats.

Many of the Chattanooga VW workers, no doubt, felt a cultural rift between their values and those of the UAW. Unions have become little more than subsidiaries of the Democratic Party, promoting liberal policies with which many of their own members disagree. And union dues pay for bloated bureaucracies and entrenched union leadership not open to effective challenge.

No wonder fewer than seven in 100 private-sector workers choose to join a union.

The UAW and the rest of the labor movement can expect more disappointments like that in Chattanooga, and there's not a lot unions can do to change it.

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JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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