Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can competitors make you unionize? 

Yes, if they have an Alinskyite with power as a friend. �Business Week reports:
FedEx hopes to harness taxpayer ire sparked by the word "bailout" to kill legislation in Congress that would help nearly 100,000 of its workers to unionize more easily. FedEx argues the bill would hobble it with higher costs and less reliability across its network and represents unfair government aid for its chief rival, UPS.

The dispute involves the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, which contains a provision that would change the labor law covering FedEx workers. Language introduced in the bill by U.S. Representative James Oberstar (D-Minn.) would subject FedEx workers to the same rules as those performing similar work for Atlanta-based UPS. The measure affects employees of FedEx Express, which along with FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Office comprises FedEx, but not the status of FedEx Express workers who are air-based, such as pilots and airplane mechanics. The bill passed the House on May 21 and is now in the Senate, where a similar House measure failed in 2007.
Of course the push for FedEx to "union up" doesn't come from Big Brown itself but from the Teamsters, who have a long and rather cozy relationship with the Community Organizer in Chief as well as with Mr. Oberstar, who has gotten over $85,000 from the union and almost as much from UPS.
Here's the�Brown Bailout website that has a satirical take on the famous UPS ad of the guy drawing on an easel. �My brother (who in the interest of full disclosure is a FedEx salesman) forwarded the clip to me this AM. All FedEx wants to do is to compete in the marketplace for shipping; Morgan Reynolds writes about unions and their anti-competitive nature:
According to Harvard economists Richard Freeman and James Medoff, who look favorably on unions, �Most, if not all, unions have monopoly power, which they can use to raise wages above competitive levels� (1984, p. 6). Unions� power to fix high prices for their members� labor rests on legal privileges and immunities that they get from government, both by statute and by nonenforcement of other laws. The purpose of these legal privileges is to restrict others from working for lower wages. As antiunion economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1922, �The long and short of trade union rights is in fact the right to proceed against the strikebreaker with primitive violence.�

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