Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Inouye, Akaka Vote Against Raises for Union Workers
By Heritage Foundation @ 1:08 PM :: 4118 Views :: National News, Ethics

How Unions Just Shot Workers in the Foot

www.Heritage.org

Union bosses are excited that they have prevented their members from getting raises.

It's a bit mind-boggling, but that's what happened. Last week, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) celebrated defeating a bill in the Senate that would have allowed raises, declaring that the legislation would have stripped workers' "fundamental rights." The union's blog encouraged tweeting and sharing the "good news" on Facebook.

The RAISE (Rewarding Achievement and Incentivizing Successful Employees) Act, introduced this year by Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL), would lift the ceiling on unionized workers' wages by allowing employers to pay individual workers more—but not less—than the union contract specifies. It was defeated in a 45-54 vote along party lines.

When you're in a union, raises are usually all or nothing. They are not necessarily forbidden; the unions just have to sign off on them. Only about 20 percent of union contracts permit performance-based raises, less than half the rate in nonunion firms. This means 80 percent of workers can't get an individual raise for doing good work—a raise must be negotiated for everyone. That certainly takes away the incentive to go above and beyond, because there are no performance-based bonuses or even merit increases.

Instead, unions typically base pay on seniority and job classifications—not individual effort or productivity. Workers cannot bargain individually for more. By law, hard-working union members get the same pay as those who slack off.

The RAISE Act, which has yet to garner a vote in the House but has been introduced there by Representative Todd Rokita (R–IN), would enable 2.8 million women and 4.8 million men to earn higher wages through their individual effort. Heritage research indicates that if Congress passed the RAISE Act, the average union member's salary could rise between $2,700 and $4,500 a year.

But union bosses don't want that. They want to preserve the collective bargaining agreements that keep union members' wages down.

"Collective bargaining agreements are intended to prevent employers from making arbitrary decisions about wages," said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. The word "arbitrary" can have negative connotations, often meaning that someone made a decision that wasn't rooted in fact. But really, what worker would mind if his boss "arbitrarily" decided to give him a raise? He probably wouldn't argue too much.

Some employers have tried, but the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) strikes down attempts to raise wages without union permission. The Brooklyn Hospital Center rewarded its best nurses with $100 gift cards; the NLRB told the hospital to cease and desist. The Register Guard Publishing Company gave a bonus commission to employees who sold advertising contracts that the company wanted to promote. The NLRB also ordered it to stop.

Why? Because employees earning performance-based pay know they do not need a union. Why would a worker making more than the union rate pay union dues?

They prefer, in Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa's words, that "[c]ollective bargaining agreements create uniform standards for all employees."

This makes even less sense because performance pay would help employers, too. It increases workers' job satisfaction—one of the reasons more and more businesses offer it—and increases the firm's productivity. In fact, firms can pay their workers more when the business is more productive and profitable, so rewarding productivity creates a positive cycle.

The fastest-growing jobs are those that require individual skills: professional specialties (engineering, computer science, and nursing), executive and managerial jobs (such as in marketing and human resource management), and technical and sales jobs. America's outdated labor laws, which ignore individual effort, do not appeal to workers in the modern economy. Is it any wonder that thousands of union members fled when Governor Scott Walker (R) opened the door for them in Wisconsin?

In effect, federal law caps the wages of 7.6 million middle-class workers. This doesn't make sense. Even President Obama has said:

We believe in the free market, we believe in capitalism, we believe in people getting rich, but we believe in people getting rich based on performance and what they add in terms of value and the products and services that they create.


In a tough economy, workers are seeking opportunity, and many are fighting to be rewarded for their hard work. It's time union bosses stopped blocking their efforts.

---30---

FEATURED POSTS

·       India's Arrest of Mumbai Attack Planner Shines Light on Pakistani Role

·       The Cost of Saving Ave Maria from Obamacare's Anti-Conscience Mandate

·       Court Upholds Greenhouse Gas Rule; Congress Needs to Step Up

·       Federal Advisory Committee Members Land Millions in Taxpayer Backing

·       Fabricated Details on Tax Reform

QUICK HITS

·       In Colorado, 32,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as firefighters struggle to contain the wildfires.

·       Intelligence officials are watching "a convert to Islam who is trained in terrorist methods and can blend in easily in Europe and the United States, traveling without visa restrictions" and planning an attack, reports the AP.

·       Russian nuclear bombers engaged in war games in the Arctic near Alaskan air space in the past week.

·       Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) said the Obama Administration's response to the Supreme Court ruling on her state's immigration law was akin to saying "Drop dead, Arizona."

·       A district court upheld the EPA's regulation of carbon dioxide yesterday, meaning that if Congress doesn't intervene, "Americans will suffer from dramatically higher energy costs and a slower economy—all for no noticeable change in the Earth's temperature," says Heritage's Nicolas Loris.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT