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war on workers

About the Janus ruling

by Dan Burns on June 28, 2018 · 2 comments

scotus2A couple of items:

A 2015 study found strong empirical evidence that unions may help children move up the economic ladder.
According to the study, the New York Times reports, “Children born to low-income families typically ascend to higher incomes in metropolitan areas where union membership is higher. The size of the effect is small, but there aren’t many other factors that are as strongly correlated with mobility.”
The positive impact of unions on children’s upward mobility isn’t exclusive to low-income children, the Times reporters note, and they extend beyond families with union workers to nonunion families too.
(Jeff Bryant/

After holding steady for decades, the percentage of American workers in all jobs who would say yes to join a union jumped sharply this past year, by 50%, says a new, independent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The evidence is clear: The popularity of the labor movement is surging as more people want to join unions than ever before. Every worker must have the freedom to negotiate in a union over pay, benefits and working conditions.

Comments below fold.


childworkThis is very important to understand because if Republicans take control of Minnesota state government next year, they’ll do the same thing, and it will produce the same results.

In 2015, Wisconsin enacted its RTW law. Since that time, average hourly earnings growth in the Badger State slowed relative to Minnesota. From 2015 to 2017, Minnesota average hourly earnings increased by $2.35, compared to a $1.27 in Wisconsin. Minnesota’s average hourly earnings in 2017 were $28.42—$3.69 more than in Wisconsin ($24.73). Within a two year period, the hourly earnings gap between the two states increased by 42%.
In 2017, average hourly earnings in Minnesota are 8.0% above the U.S. average and higher than in any other Midwest state. Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s average hourly earnings slipped 6.0% below the national average.
(North Star Policy Institute)

Comment below fold.

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medievalI’ve seen a lot of good stuff on what the Trump tax scam is really all about, but this is the best.

A precise sum of all the pay hikes attributed to the federal tax act by Americans for Tax Reform cannot be determined; many businesses give only a range of bonuses and pay hikes given, while others do not identify the number of employees affected. All pay hikes and bonuses attributed to the federal tax act that can be quantified from this list total about $1 billion. If we assume that all of the other pay hikes that can’t be quantified add another $0.5 billion plus, then the grand total of pay hikes and bonuses attributed to the federal tax act would come to approximately $1.5 billion. We have to suppose, of course, that all these pay hikes listed would not have occurred in the absence of the tax act—an extremely generous and unlikely supposition. This estimate also ignores all post-tax act layoffs and resulting wage losses.
According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, next year U.S. businesses will receive $157 billion in tax breaks due the 2017 tax act. Based on our rough back of the envelope calculations, the pay hikes resulting from the federal tax act will come to about a penny on the dollar of the total tax relief bestowed on businesses. A large portion of this penny consists of one-time bonuses; while the business tax breaks resulting from the federal tax act will continue into future years, the bonuses for workers might not. Over time, the workers’ share of each dollar of business tax breaks could shrink to less than a penny.
(North Star Policy Institute)


trump23Corporate media has been making a big deal of worker bonuses of a few hundred dollars or whatever, and generally not mentioning that virtually none of the people that do the actual work out there are seeing anything like permanent pay raises because of the Trump tax scam.

Less than ten percent of the nation’s wealthiest and most-profitable companies have shared any of the financial benefits they received from a massive corporate tax cut provided by President Donald Trump and Republicans, a new analysis released Tuesday shows.
According to Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of organizations which advocates for progressive tax reform, the numbers in their new analysis reveal that the GOP public relations campaign touting the idea that corporations would be sharing “a big slice of their huge Trump tax cuts with their workers through bonuses and wage hikes is mostly hype.”
The ATF analysis, in fact, draws from financial data and public statements compiled by a similarly named (though ideologically opposite) group, the Americans for Tax Reform. The right-leaning ATR has been maintaining a database of how Fortune 500 companies have implemented or altered fiscal policies since passage of the GOP tax cuts at the end of 2017.
(Common Dreams)


Union membership grew in Minnesota in 2017

by Dan Burns on January 25, 2018 · 0 comments

stopwaronworkersHere’s some uplifting news. Bear in mind, though, that the Trump-led assault on workers continues.

Working people’s voice grew stronger last year in Minnesota, where organizing gains pushed union membership to its highest point since 2004, according to federal data released (January 19).
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report on union membership shows Minnesota gained 46,000 union members from 2016 to 2017, the largest year-to-year gain since 2000. The state’s union population, 411,000, was at its highest since 2004.
Union members grew as a share of Minnesota’s total workforce as well.
Union density increased from 14.2 percent to 15.2 percent in 2017, its highest point since 2010.
(Union Advocate)


ryanCorporate media, which has supposedly begun “holding Trump accountable” after its dismal performance before the election, certainly hasn’t had much to say about this that I’ve seen.

Senate Republicans may have moved on from trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but they’re still trying to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding by more than $1 trillion over the next decade, according to a new report prepared by the Senate Budget Committee minority staff led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
The budget would cut $1 trillion from Medicaid and $473 billion from Medicare over the next decade, HuffPost reporter Jennifer Bendery tweeted Tuesday, which she said she confirmed with Democratic leadership. Politico published the report from budget committee minority staff Wednesday morning.
(Think Progress)

I don’t know how even the most avid Trump diehards, dwindling gaggle of the truly delusional though they are, can deny the reality of this:



stopwaronworkersA**holes. Hypocritical a**holes. Plain and simple.

Members of Minnesota’s two big public employee unions suffered a setback Thursday when a legislative panel voted down their tentative contract agreements.
The Subcommittee on Employee Relations rejected the tentative deals by a 6-4 party-line vote. Republicans opposed the contracts covering more than 30,000 state workers. Democrats supported the pacts…
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, argued that the raises were too big and exceeded economic growth measures.
“I’m concerned that what we have here is increasing the payrolls of people who happen to work for government at the expense of people who don’t work for government,” Drazkowski said.
Other Republicans on the House-Senate panel, including its chair Rep. Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, raised concerns about the impact of the pay raises on state agency budgets.
“We need to be fiscally responsible,” O’Neill said.

Assuming no improvement or further deterioration relative to February forecast projections and factoring in the eventual need to include funding for the state legislature, the $1.651 billion general fund surplus anticipated early in the year could become a $104 million deficit. The budgetary balance situation will become clearer when updated revenue collection information from MMB is released later this month…
A major contributor to the massive deterioration of the state general fund surplus is the large tax cuts enacted during the 2017 special legislative session. While relatively modest to begin with, the most rapidly increasing of these tax breaks and—over time—likely the largest is the freeze of the state business property tax. The biennial loss of revenue from the state business property tax freeze is projected to grow to over $400 million by FY 2026-27. Over the course of next decade, state revenues are projected to decline by approximately $1 billion as a result of the freeze.
(North Star Policy Institute)


Trump looks to make NAFTA even worse

by Dan Burns on July 20, 2017 · 0 comments

stopwaronworkersNegotiations are scheduled to begin on August 16.

At first glance, it’s a very mixed bag. The negotiating objectives for NAFTA are mostly vague, and in parts revisit the well-worn tactic of using trade rules to guarantee corporate profits. In fact, several provisions are ripped directly from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the corporate-friendly deal Trump loudly rejected in January. “This document does not describe the promised transformation of NAFTA to prioritize working people,” said Public Citizen trade expert Lori Wallach in a statement. It looks like another case of Trump’s rhetoric’s being submerged in the swamp…
It does appear that the globalists in the administration won this round before NAFTA negotiations even had a chance to begin. Some of the most ardent free-traders in the Republican caucus praised the contents of the draft. As Richard Neal, top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, put it, “the ‘new’ NAFTA might not be new at all.”
NAFTA negotiations can now begin within 30 days. The biggest thing needed to truly assess whether the administration actually wants to fix NAFTA’s problems or further entrench corporate control is transparency.
(The Nation)


trump10“How President Trump and congressional Republicans are undercutting wages and protections for working people.”

We are nearly 100 days into President Donald Trump’s administration, a benchmark that gives us a chance to take stock of what the president and new Congress have accomplished and what their priorities are. We have seen a flurry of activity—from legislation and executive orders, as well as actions taken (or not taken) by the administration—that, sometimes subtly, shift power away from working people and towards corporations and the 1 percent. Some of these actions have been high profile, but others have gone almost unnoticed. Taken together, they undercut wages and protections for working people.
(Economic Policy Institute)


minnesota_state_capitolAt least, that seems the readily apparent interpretation, to me.

Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner Myron Frans held a state Capitol news conference Wednesday to say the budget proposal Dayton released in January and updated last month is fiscally responsible, while the House and Senate GOP plans are not.
“The Legislature’s math just does not add up,” Frans said.
Frans accused Republican leaders of using “fuzzy math,” as well as “phony savings” and delayed payments to pay for a large tax cut bill. He suggested many of the bills could be headed for vetoes if not altered.
Frans highlighted several examples in the finance bills for Health and Human Services and State Government.
“The legislative budget bills we have seen are not serious attempts to govern Minnesota,” Frans said. The bills are designed to be talking points to start negotiations with the governor from an imaginary position, a made up starting point if you will.”

And here’s an example of that “starting point.” Legislators in the Party of Trump actually have the gall to call it the “Minnesota Way.” They should be saying the “ALEC Way.”

The Minnesota budget blueprint produced (March 20) by majority House Republicans seeks hefty tax cuts and aims to pare down expected costs in publicly subsidized health and welfare programs.
GOP leaders said their framework would deliver long-overdue tax relief given a sizable state budget surplus. The plan would make $1.35 billion in tax cuts the next two years with the details to come later.