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June 27, 2018 - 12:05pm

Collins praises court decision on public employee unions

posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Supreme Court released its opinion on Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a big win for government workers who, for far too long, have been forced to pay union fees in support of causes they are fundamentally against. Forcing an individual to join a political organization or government union goes against one of the greatest freedoms we are granted as Americans, the right to free speech. Any violation of the First Amendment is counter to the values our nation was founded upon and I applaud today’s monumental decision.”

UPDATE: Nate McMurray, candidate for NY-27 against Chris Collins in November, issued this press release:

Nate McMurray, town supervisor for Grand Island and Congressional candidate running for New York’s 27th District, announced that he condemns the Supreme Court ruling today, which ruled in favor of Janus.

“This Supreme Court ruling will cause a drastic financial blow to both public and private sector unions across the country. Unions are what built the middle class," McMurray said. "If you look back at the 1950s when labor was at its peak, unionization rates in the private sector were 35 percent and the average CEO made 45 times that of the average worker."

Today, the unionization rate is only 6 percent in the private sector and the average CEO makes 844 times the average worker. Corporate greed is at an all-time high and America’s middle class is suffering because of it.

"We are seeing cuts to crucial public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Americans still remain without healthcare and it’s only getting worse, kids can’t afford college and become saddled with debt, senior citizens are unable to retire with dignity since Social Security benefits are no longer enough to live on, and prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket. Meanwhile, many Americans are struggling to find good paying jobs," McMurray said. 

"If anything, this country needs MORE unions and we need to make it easier for workers to unionize, to fight against corporate greed and fight for fair wages and benefits.”   

Tim Miller
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This one is the third stinker in a row...

"Forcing an individual to join a political organization or government union goes against one of the greatest freedoms we are granted as Americans, the right to free speech. Any violation of the First Amendment is counter to the values our nation was founded upon and I applaud today’s monumental decision.”

As Colonel Potter used to say, "Bull cookies!" These workers were not "forced to join" any organization, and their 1st Amendment rights were not being violated as they weren't paying for anything besides work that benefited them.

The law overturned called for non-union workers who were covered by the same wage/benefits negotiated by unions to pay the portion of union dues that go towards negotiations. Nothing more. The non-union workers did not contribute towards any political activity by the union - just the negotiations they benefited from.

Well, I guess those non-union workers who are benefiting from those negotiations have just become freeloaders... and we all know how much conservatives who support this SC love freeloaders.

Ed Hartgrove
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Oops! Wrong article. Duh!

Howard B. Owens
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I never understood why anybody should be forced to join and/or support a union just to take a job.

The idea that the worker benefitted from the union is a red herring. There's no way of proving or disproving that the worker couldn't have negotiated a better deal for him or herself without union interference.

The government shouldn't force you to take money out of your pocket and give it to a private organization. That's antithetical to a free society.

If unions cannot make the case to a worker that the worker should support the union then the union doesn't deserve that worker's money. That's how free markets work.

Rich Richmond
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Howard, there is something to be said about not forcing someone to join a Union in order to get a job. People should have a choice, and choices have consequences. This decision can be the litmus test to prove or disprove.

On the other hand, an old proverb says,"A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client".

Perhaps the same can be said for a man or woman who attempts to represent himself against State or County Lawyers, and with the State having almost unlimited funds and resources.

They would be laughed out of the room at worst, and be given lip service at best, assuming they are let into the room.

Contract negotiations can go on for years. How will the individuals earn a living while negotiating, and would their employer, give them the time off? If one free agent individual negotiates for himself, will others get the same; probably not.

The Union Members, should they choose to join, will have professionals, often lawyers, negotiating for them. They will be at work earning a wage.

If the Union negotiates a contract for its members, the free agents shouldn't benefit, period. Let those rugged individuals negotiate their own wages and benefits.

On the other hand, as free agents, they can hire their own attorneys, the same if they face disciplinary issues, or they can represent themselves.

Tim Miller
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Howard - I can appreciate where you are coming from, but the fact is the contracts the unions negotiated don't specify "union workers get $XX.X, while non-union workers get $YY.Y. Give that - the non-union workers are now free to freeload off of the negotiation costs expended by the unions.

I'm wondering if some of those unions are now reviewing how they could negotiate "union only" pay rates and benefits, and leave the non-union workers to do exactly as you state - negotiate on their own.

Howard B. Owens
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Tim, the assumption is top performing individual couldn't negotiate a better deal than the union and is therefore getting some unearned benefit.

For example, I've long contended that top-tier teachers, if able to move about as free agents, would be able to command salaries substantially higher than union wage. That would apply to any field where creative talent, intelligence, and drive are distributed unevenly.

Frank Bartholomew
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Howard, just curious, have you ever been employed where a union represented the employees?

Rich Richmond
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Howard, I might agree with you in Post #6 if it were the Private sector. Again, when would they negotiate; when school is in session, or when the rest of the Union Teachers are negotiating. Would this cause division among teachers in a school district?

Adam Tabelski
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Fact check, please. The ‘average’ CEO makes 844x the “average” worker? So for someone making $50K it’s to be expected that his or her CEO is making over $42M?

Howard B. Owens
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Frank, no. I made sure never to apply for work in union shops.

Daniel Norstrand
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Yeah Howard, that will work out great. All the employer has to do is hire people who are willing to say they won't join the union and the remaining 6% will evaporate. Americans are such suckers! Here's a link to give an idea about how our gracious and benevolent corporations/employers are treating their loyal pets.
Watch "How America's Work Obsession is Killing Our Quality of Life | Brainwash Update" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/rJ6JpDNy1Hg

By the way, Collins is a perfect example.

Tim Miller
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Adam - a quick search on Google suggests something more in the 270-330 range

https://www.google.com/search?q=ceo+vs+worker+pay&oq=ceo+vs+wor&aqs=chro...

Howard B. Owens
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Do, Daniel, you're pointing to Russian propaganda to attack the American Work Ethic.

Oh, so how very patriotic.

Kyle Slocum
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The two happiest days of a public employee's life are the day they get hired and the day they stop having to fund the Democrat party as a condition of employment.

All of you leaping to the defense of unions need to stop and think for a minute. All that has happened is that union membership is no longer MANDATORY and the employee has CHOICE to join.

If unions are still doing what they were meant to do when they started and furthering actual worker's welfare, then the unions will be just fine.

If the unions have been abusing their position and simply been a money laundering machine for the Democrats, well I suppose your panic is appropriate.

But I have to ask this rude question: Why do all your arguments against this decision lay upon the premise that all the employees will flee the union if given the choice?

Adam Tabelski
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Tim, thanks for the link. Still, if you look at the fine print you will see that the study was only for S&P 500 companies. In other words, the sample set includes only some of the biggest publicly-traded corporations, not all corporations that exist.

Daniel Norstrand
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There you go again Howard, attacking the messenger rather than try to dissect the facts presented. As a professional messenger, you should be deeply ashamed. I'll be happy to meet you in any venue you choose to discuss your trite tossing of the gauntlet from afar. Since you've done so I'll take it up. YOU are a backer of Imperialism, the same type of fawning our forefathers had to "overcome" with ANY means necessary.
I seriously question if you have a clue what patriotism truly consists of. Or, your "patriotism" is with the swamp creatures who have too, too much power. The supreme court has been mainly assembled by proven criminals. Criminals who aren't jailed or hung only because they have corrupted our whole justice system. I have chosen to not quietly tow the line because I know subversive agents such as yourself will continue to stroke the ego's of those who are enamored with themselves as righteous because they wave our flag.
Your lack of research is lazy, very lazy. I wonder if you have financial backers who are corporate raiders, like Collins.

Kyle Slocum
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Daniel,

You packed a whole lot of ideas into a single, less than coherent argument. All I could make of your post is that you are too angry to be civil or clear in your writing right now.

I hope you are feeling better.

Howard B. Owens
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Daniel, RT is funded by the Russian government with the sole purpose of disrupting and sowing discord in the U.S.

One can be anti-imperialist, believe we should have better relations with Russia, and still believe RT lacks credibility, is a danger to America and should be ignored.

I'm not going to fact check RT propaganda because it has no place in a serious policy discussion.

Daniel Norstrand
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Yeah Kyle, a "Journalist" who doesn't seem to involve himself with things that journalists do, like research, is very troubling. To slap me as being unpatriotic because I have a different view is childish at best, punkish and unprofessional at worst.The Hypocrisy of a "journalist" who purports to revere the 1st amendment and goes on to denigrate a competing news source is pathetic and shameful. Next he'll start a list of recommended books to burn. So yeah PO'ED. Not however incoherent. Point out your source in my writing of your confusion and I'll be happy to help.
Here is a link to some other "propaganda" LOL.
https://openroadmedia.com/the-forbidden-bookshelf

Howard B. Owens
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Daniel,

You're right. I shouldn't have included the final snarky sentence.

But that doesn't change the fact that RT is pure propaganda. And your Open Roads link ... more propaganda, this time dressed up as conspiracy theories.

Daniel Norstrand
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So the list has begun? LOL. Goodreads has a significant number of the books listed. I've researched a few and I've found nothing of the kind of "conspiracy theories" you mention. "Conspiracy theories". A very convenient term of trite dismissal while questioning the very sanity of those who would "indulge" in such nonsense. Shameful. Our founders foretold of subversives who would use such language without a single example of such. Book burner!!

C. M. Barons
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Howard, I won't dispute the editorial slant of RT, but categorizing it as "pure propaganda" is over the top. Many third party candidates would have significantly less presence if not for RT, including Libertarians.

Howard B. Owens
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RT exists solely to disrupt and sow discord in the U.S. Just because they do something once in a while you might like doesn't change that fact. In fact, it makes it more dangerous. I refuse to give it any of my time or attention.

Daniel Norstrand
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Unreal! Your repeating of the lie will never make it so. Also the lie isn't even backed with ANY type of "proof", or even reports, or works cited. Leaving us with your opinion. Which you have repeatedly brow beaten me for espousing in the past. Even though my "opinions" were backed with evidence. Hypocrisy! You obviously don't watch or read RT so I am interested to know how you formed such an opinion. I read it & sometimes watch because they often breach subjects that the swampers don't want us to see/know/think about. They also have interviews with Patriotic Americans who want their fellow Americans to know the facts regarding such untouchable subjects. Here's a link to one such American.
Watch "'Iran to get easy nukes once Israel strikes'" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/LeqYiROS5N4

Howard B. Owens
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Do you need proof water is wet?

Calling the truth a lie doesn’t make it a lie.

Daniel Norstrand
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LOL

C. M. Barons
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I won't assert that every news outlet is editorially biased simply because I haven't read, listened to or viewed every news outlet. I will say, however, that every news magazine, broadcast news program and newspaper I am familiar with is biased either toward an ideology or the standards imposed by advertisers. I would be curious to know where editorial bias ends and propaganda takes up? I am not a regular RT "reader," but (particularly during the presidential race) links to RT showed up fairly regularly on social media. Lee Camp's Redacted tonight is on RT- reason enough to watch. I believe Jesse Ventura has a show on RT, as does Chris Hedges. As with "most" media one has to be aware and use corrective lenses.

Daniel Norstrand
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CM Barons is a voice of reason. I applaud.

Howard B. Owens
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RT is owned by Russia. It's utter false equivalency to compare it to whatever broadly defined news outlets you're alluding to, Chris.

Every news organization displays some bias because every human being is biased. That is starkly different from the systemic bias of a government-controlled media company, especially when that government is hostile to a free press and to democratically elected governments.

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