DNC 2012 Watch: How much union labor will be bussed in to NC?


With Charlotte, North Carolina being picked by the DNCC as the host city for the 2012 Democrat National Convention, pro-Democrat union “leaders” and supporters have been grumbling due to the fact that North Carolina is the least unionized state in the country – which, in their eyes means no political paybacks for the m/billions unions have given to local, state, and national Democrats over several decades. As always, the fine print must be read and understood. We’ll get to that in a minute. But first, here’s the Charlotte Observer’s write-up on the fears expressed by some local private-sector leaders regarding the possibility that union labor will be brought into the city at the expense of local temporary workers:

The selection of Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention will bring hundreds of temporary jobs to the nation’s least unionized state, raising questions about organized labor’s role in the event.

Some national unions are criticizing the party, which has close labor ties, for its choice. But locally, labor leaders are pleased that the convention will bring jobs and spotlight their efforts.

Last week, Rick Sloan of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers called Charlotte’s selection a “calculated affront.” In response, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has said the labor movement, a key historical ally of the Democrats, is not forgotten and may be pleasantly surprised by what is proposed.

“It’s not a secret that the DNC has a strong labor component to how they carry these conventions out,” Foxx told the Observer. “How that looks going forward will be the product of a lot of work to develop a plan.”

And this has some local business leaders worried.

They wonder whether outside union employees will be brought in for jobs such as working on the arena, which needs seats removed and raised platforms built. They wonder whether convention workers may lose overtime opportunities.

Not only that, but there are concerns that pro-union forces will use the opportunity the DNC 2012 presents to actively court local workers in an attempt to push to make this state more unionized:

They fear unions will aggressively court new members.

“People are thinking that we may be low-hanging fruit,” said Kenny Colbert, president of The Employers Association, a human resources consulting group. “There are some companies that are very susceptible around here.”

Colbert was also quoted on local news station WSOC-TV as being confident that Democrats will bring in lots of union labor to the “Queen City”:

Kenny Colbert, president of The Employers Association, said locals may end up watching from the sidelines as the DNC brings in workers from other states for the convention.

“They will bring the union members with them for this convention,” he said. “It’s going to be an issue.”

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx promised any labor issues will be worked out.

“I think you’ll see how the labor issues get dealt with in that agreement when the time comes,” Foxx said.

Charlotte’s bid proposal says the city will “endeavor to use union labor to the greatest extent feasible.”

But neither Foxx nor the proposal gives specifics.

Unions may also lobby the state to change its rules so city and county employees can bargain collectively. Unions could come to town before the event to organize unions at hotels, for example, even if they’re only temporary.

“This would be a prime time for unions to make their promises. It’s natural that while they’re here they would try to drum up some business,” he said.

You better believe they will. Not only do President Obama and his party want this state to go blue again come the 2012 presidential election, but it would be a prime feather in their collective cap if they could stir up the masses here with talk of “unionizing” against “the man.”  Leave no stone unturned, no state without unions, etc.

As to what the DNC contract with Charlotte stipulates, read on (via Labor Union Report):

Here’s the crib-note version

City officials told News 14 Carolina that they spent about three months adjusting the contract details to match exactly what the DNC wanted and what Charlotte had to offer.

Among the obligations, the host committee is required in writing to raise more than $36.5 million in private funds for the convention. The committee must also recruit at least 500 volunteers leading up to the convention and at least 7,000 volunteers during the convention itself including up to 200 drivers.

The host committee must also establish a labor agreement within the next two months and organizers to hire union labor for tasks related to providing, services goods and materials.

Now, if you’re starting to wonder about the kind of contract Charlotte’s Host Committee signed, there are actually three contracts (one, two and three). However, because they’ve got about as many costly demands (including a teleprompter control room) as the Super Bowl has advertisements, you may want to print the contracts out for yourself and read them during those ads on TV this Sunday. For now, though, let’s just address the union stuff, shall we?

From the “Master Agreement


17.1.   Use of union labor. To the extent permitted by law, to the extent, if any, such labor is available in the region, and except as otherwise expressly agreed by the DNCC, all services, goods, equipment, supplies and materials to be provided or procured by the Host Committee hereunder shall be performed or supplied by firms covered by current union collective bargaining agreements with the unions which have jurisdiction for the work or services to be performed.

17.2.   Labor agreement.  The Host Committee agrees that it will, within sixty (60) days of the date of this Agreement, conclude and execute with unions of potential jurisdiction in the Charlotte metropolitan area, an agreement obligating the Host Committee to utilize firms employing or contracting with members of those unions to the maximum extent feasible and obligating the unions to refrain from supporting,  participating in or sanctioning any strike, sympathy strike, walkout, work stoppage or other labor action that would interfere with or delay work necessary to put on the Convention, or engage in handbilling or picketing (including, but not limited to, informational picketing) at the Convention Facilities.

Translation? Wide open. Essentially, the DNCC wants union labor to work the convention and, as well, for Charlotte to use already unionized firms that already have contracts with unions. Now, since North Carolina is the least unionized state in the nation, there may be slim pickins’ insofar as finding a lot of unionized companies.

Unions to have their cake and eat it too?

What the contract does not address specifically—which leaves the door wide open—is this: If there are not enough unionized companies (with enough union laborers) to fulfill the work, can the unions send in union members from other states and take the work? Short answer: It certainly appears that way.

Additionally, the DNCC wants the Host Committee to sign (within sixty days) what appears to be “labor peace agreements” with unions that have “potential jurisdiction” in the Charlotte Metro area. This may mean that the Host Committee has taken it upon itself to invite unions and/or unionized companies in from out of state to agree sign union contracts. That way the unions can use unionized companies as “hiring halls” for the unions recruit from the local Charlotte area.

If that’s the case, there may be a bunch of “union” companies moving into Charlotte from elsewhere around the country to lease space and open up offices to process people and dues through. This way, those sham “union companies” can hire locally—so long as the locals don’t mind signing up with a union and paying the dues and fees for the short time they get to have the work. The unions get their money, the locals get some work and everybody’s happy.

Interesting, isn’t it?  It really shouldn’t be so complicated.   The host city and the surrounding areas should naturally benefit the most from the employment opportunities associated with a national political convention coming to their city.  But because Democrats are so beholden to “organized labor”, stipulations have to be put in the convention contracts to make sure that their out-of-state political donors are “paid back” – so to speak, whether that includes bringing in union labor from other states and/or having companies temporarily set up house in the state so as to lure workers into “temporarily” becoming union members -which benefits national organized labor unions.  Backstratching and butt-kissing gone wild.

See Denver 2008 for more details:

The four-day Democratic National Convention in August is expected to pump $160 million directly into the regional economy.

The economic shot-in-the-arm, whatever the total actually ends up being, will be a welcome boost. But we’re beginning to question whether the short-term benefit is worth the long-term expenses.

Denver, and Colorado, could be left holding the bag for years to come.

Even before the Democrats awarded their national convention to Denver, Mayor John Hickenlooper had to promise a union-run hotel, the city’s first. He delivered.

Then, with the memory of picket lines set up by Boston police during the 2004 DNC convention hanging quietly over negotiations, Denver cops received at least a 14 percent salary increase for the next three years. The contract nearly tripled the percentage raise handed out in the previous three-year contract.

And last spring, after Gov. Bill Ritter wisely vetoed a bill making it easier to form labor unions in Colorado, the AFL-CIO threatened to ask national Democrats to find a new city for the convention if the state didn’t adopt a pro-labor measure.

Teamster president James Hoffa Jr. confronted Ritter, saying if he and Hickenlooper didn’t work out some key issues, the convention could be plagued with protests and picket lines.

“It could blow up,” Hoffa told Ritter.

Months later, right on cue, Ritter delivered his Friday afternoon executive order, granting state workers unnecessary collective bargaining rights that will drive up the cost of state government.

Unions have been thriving only in the public sector, and Ritter’s order ensured that they will continue to flourish there — at least until there’s a new governor to overturn the order.

And now, parking lot workers at Denver International Airport are the latest to hold the city hostage as they negotiate a new contract.

The Service Employees International Union’s chapter director for parking employees, Dennis DeMaio, said the union will strike during the DNC if it needs to. The union is concerned about which company may get the contract to manage parking at DIA.

Amazing, isn’t it?  Don’t you love how unions are supposedly for “the little guy” – at the expense of other “little guys” who have to foot the bill?  See the New Jersey Teachers’ Union for more outrageous examples

Never is the duplicity of the Democrat mantra of “caring” so transparent as it is when it comes to union workers and contract negotiations.  Union fat cats don’t care about the worker – the big bosses care about increasing the percentage of their slices of the pie while maintaining (or growing) their high positions of influence.  And the workers? They just “want theirs” – no matter who foots the bill.  Who cares about the many non-union folks who want jobs but do not want to be a part of any union, anyway?  Certainly not the party and not the liberal labor orgs, both of who falsely claim to be so passionately on the side of the “middle class.”  It’s all about political payback and power at the expense of the evil private sector, all the while fostering a “gimme mine” mentality amongst rank and file union members. 

Praying hard – very hard – that that mentality doesn’t firmly take root here.

Foreign Policy: Obama’s map


**Posted by Phineas

Mark Steyn is back, this time with a column about the crumbling of the post-colonial American order in the Middle East. As one would expect from a old-school and highly literate conservative, Steyn’s view is a depressing one:

Iran is nuclearizing, Turkey is Islamizing, Egypt is …what exactly? Well, we’ll find out. But, given that only the army and/or the Muslim Brotherhood are sufficiently organized to govern the nation, the notion that we’re witnessing the youthful buds of any meaningful democracy is deluded. So who’ll come out on top? The generals or the Brothers? Given that the Brotherhood got played for suckers by the army in the revolution of ’52, I doubt they’ll be so foolish as to make the same mistake again – and the hopeychangey “democracy movement” provides the most useful cover in generations. Meanwhile, James Clapper, the worthless buffoon who serves as the hyperpower’s Director of “Intelligence”, goes before Congress to tell the world that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “secular” organization. Americans ought to take to the streets to demand Clapper vacate whatever presidential palace in DC he’s holed up in.

Amidst all this flowering of democracy, you’ll notice that it’s only the pro-American dictatorships on the ropes: In Libya and Syria, Gaddafy and Assad sleep soundly in their beds. On the other hand, if you were either of the two King Abdullahs, in Jordan or Saudi Arabia, and you looked at the Obama Administration’s very public abandonment of their Cairo strongman, what would you conclude about the value of being an American ally? For the last three weeks, the superpower has sent the consistent message to the world that (as Bernard Lewis feared some years ago) America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.

I’d be more hopeful if I had any confidence in the Obama administration’s handling of foreign affairs, but I don’t. From Inauguration Day forward, Obama and his entire team have shown themselves to be dunderheaded incompetents whose philosophy of foreign policy can be summed up by “Kiss your enemies, backhand your allies.”

As for The One, himself, outside of a bizarre fixation on arms-control with Russia, which was au courant when he was in college but is a hopelessly retrograde priority in the modern day, I really don’t think he cares a whit about foreign affairs, even though that is a primary responsibility of the presidency. The Egyptian revolt was Obama’s 3AM phone call, that moment that Joe Biden told us we should gird our loins for, and he let it go to the answering service. When his aides, his Secretary of State, his vice-president, and even he, himself, all said confusing and contradictory things day after day, it was because he doesn’t care enough to learn what he needs to know in order to come up with an effective strategy. As Niall Ferguson writes in an essay for The Daily Beast ripping Obama’s handling of Egypt:

Grand strategy is all about the necessity of choice. Today, it means choosing between a daunting list of objectives: to resist the spread of radical Islam, to limit Iran’s ambition to become dominant in the Middle East, to contain the rise of China as an economic rival, to guard against a Russian “reconquista” of Eastern Europe—and so on. The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so. A succession of speeches saying, in essence, “I am not George W. Bush” is no substitute for a strategy.

Bismarck knew how to choose. He understood that riding the nationalist wave would enable Prussia to become the dominant force in Germany, but that thereafter the No. 1 objective must be to keep France and Russia from uniting against his new Reich. When asked for his opinion about colonizing Africa, Bismarck famously replied: “My map of Africa lies in Europe. Here lies Russia and here lies France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.”

Tragically, no one knows where Barack Obama’s map of the Middle East is. At best, it is in the heartland states of America, where the fate of his presidency will be decided next year, just as Jimmy Carter’s was back in 1980.

At worst, he has no map at all.

Nor any desire to buy one.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

I’m back :) (OPEN THREAD)


Hey y’all! I’m back from CPAC. Had an *awesome* time. Since I was off several days last week, as you can imagine I’ve got a pretty full day ahead of me as I catch up on the workload, so I probably won’t be around much until late this afternoon (Lord-willing, of course) and even then I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll get done. Please bear with me as I get back into the blogging groove. I’m still exhausted from not getting enough sleep over the last few days (who can sleep when you’re in a city as beautiful and alive as DC?) and it’ll probably take me a few days to recover. ;)

Thanks big time to my co-blogger for taking care of the blog while I was away. Excellent job, as always. :)

Later, y’all.