Monday, January 21, 2008

A Workers Agenda By The US Chamber of Commerce

I realize this is a little old but i wonder how many have really seen this.

Prepared President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas J. Donohue gave a speech 7 part speech in October 23.
  • The Competitiveness Agenda
  • The Labor Movement Today
  • The Labor Agenda
  • A Radical Rewrite of Labor Laws
  • Politics and Corporate Governance
  • The Political Agenda
  • Conclusion
The Competitiveness Agenda

This section mostly just states the US Chamber of Commerce are getting it together by combining the US Chamber of Commerce with state and locals, raising membership; thus fees and
establishing a national legislative committee to advance their agenda.

Thomas J. Donohue states, "America must meet and master in order to succeed in a tough global economy...Over the next five years-and beyond-we plan to focus extraordinary resources on advancing these issues because they hold the key to our nation's future economic success."

Mr. Donohue goes on to imply a need for:
  • Improved public education.
  • Development of a rational immigration policy.
  • An adequate supply of secure, diverse, and affordable energy.
  • Upgraded and expanded infrastructure
I all sounds great but lets remember the group at hand. Mr. Donohue goes on to say,

"A competitive American economy also depends on having the most vibrant capital markets in the world. For a variety of reasons, we've started to lose our edge. So we're fighting for a regulatory overhaul of our markets, while reining in excessive securities litigation and the abuse of corporate governance rules by third parties.

We're working to protect and defend our intellectual property-the ideas and innovations that are critical to America's success and leadership.

Our health care system, which is the best in the world in some respects, has also become a financial burden for many businesses as they try to compete with their international counterparts.

Our tax system is a competitive drag as well. Other nations are starting to cut their tax rates. Yet in our own country, we're hearing a lot of talk about raising taxes, including capital gains. It doesn't make sense.

And finally, we need commonsense reforms to a legal system that is sucking the vitality out of American businesses, driving investors away in droves, and making companies increasingly risk averse. Today, a company's first order of business is not to innovate, take a risk, build a project, provide a service, or help the community. The first order of business is how do I avoid getting sued?"

The Labor Movement Today

Mr. Donohue feels Unions are bad for Business with all their regulations and can you believe it but they have the (excuse the expression) balls to get involved in politics. The union "agenda is bad for businesses, bad for the American worker, and bad for the country. We must not let them do it," Donohue states.

The Camber does strongly support the workers rights but they will not take the abuse any longer. Mr donohue feels that the unions are basically their own worst enemy, but somehow he is still in fear of them.

"Yet it would be a mistake to count unions out based on their shrinking percentages. For one thing, they are doing quite well in the public sector, where 36% of workers are unionized, with large concentrations of state and local government employees.

That in itself poses a significant threat to our competitiveness. Government workers and their unions have every reason to want to grow government as big as possible, and we all know big government means less economic freedom and more taxes!"

The Labor Agenda

Donohue's take on the labor agenda, "they want to fundamentally rewrite workplace rules and reshape policies on trade and health care in ways that could seriously harm our competitiveness. And second, they want to use our political system and corporate governance rules to reunionize our country on a mass scale."

A Radical Rewrite of Labor Laws

I can't imagine why "12 years of pent-up legislative demands" would motivate the Unions.
The deamands:

  • Organize workers
  • Impose new benefit mandates
  • Increase litigation exposure and liability for employers
What does this do for the employers in Donohue's eyes ..."reduce companies' flexibility to adjust quickly to economic circumstances" which he says "on the surface, much of what they propose is hard for a member of Congress to object to."

Ok if I wasn't pissed before now I am and the more I read tis load of crap.

But what are they opposing:

  • Opposing paid leave or sick time,
  • Workplace safety measures,
  • Expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Longer lead time for plant closing warnings and stiffen fines for non-compliance
  • Limit the definition of "supervisor,"
  • OSHA reform, with
  • Increase fines
  • Increased regulations
  • Revive the previous administration's ergonomics standard (Got You there)
  • Eliminating the statute of limitations for filing claims of discrimination,
  • Remove caps on damages
  • Eliminating binding arbitration in employment law
Donohue calls this and others a "straightjacket approach to labor regulations."

What does it mean for employers?
  • Driveing a wedge between workers and management
  • Harassment against businesses if they do not improving safety
  • Exposing employers to the uncertainty of litigation and jury trials
  • Nightmare mini unions
  • More money.
None of this makes sence to him, what in the hell is wrong with this man?
Life-or-death choices face residents of Hudson Valley Which necessities must we forgo today?

Does it make since that a family has to chose between a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas for there care, or maybe they should choose heat for their home.

Politics and Corporate Governance

You can read this it's just bla bla bla, the union is picking on me the government is picking on me. Tell that to the families who have lost everything because of an injury or death. Families who have lost a loved one, lost an education for their kids, health care, retirement, homes and sanity.
Holy crap Go fly a kite and get happy cause God knows I feel for you Mr Donohue!


Donohue concludes with"When you add it all up, the labor unions' legislative, corporate, and political agendas-and the tactics they're employing to achieve them-pose a major challenge to the competitiveness of the nation."... "The labor movement wants to turn back the hands of the clock to a time when unions were powerful and influential. "

Meaning we can't get away with murder and will need to shell out money better spent on our vacations. But lets "Think about some of those issues I mentioned at the outset: improving education, expanding trade, building roads, constructing new power lines and nuclear plants, protecting our products from intellectual property theft, expanding opportunities for all families to invest in our capital markets, and keeping taxes low," said Donohue and further added, "Ladies and gentlemen, if today's labor leaders won't represent American workers with the vision and common sense needed to compete in a tough global economy, then I can assure you, we will!"

Well you all get the general idea I think he said it all and I have no need to say any more...cause it's getting pretty ugly in my world right now!

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