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You may remember about a year ago, when a Boy Scout’s volunteerism caused the SEIU to threaten to file a grievance against the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania. It created quite a stir and eventually the SEIU backed down.
Nearly a year later, however, the Allentown City Council is back in the news—this time taking up the matter of possibly passing a so-called Project Labor Agreement (or PLA, as it’s known). A PLA is an ordinance that discriminates against workers (and their employers) because they are union-free. According to Allentown’s Morning Call:
The bill, sponsored by council members Michael D’Amore and Peter Schweyer and supported by Mayor Ed Pawlowski, would force contractors to sign project labor agreements, or PLAs, that would require them to hire employees from local union halls.
If approved, the requirement would not dramatically alter the labor landscape because most city projects that get state or federal funding already involve union labor.
The bill, however, would guarantee that all relevant work, whether painting a wall or wiring a room, would be done by someone with a union card. It would also ensure that the work goes to local unions. [Emphasis added.]
In Allentown, however, the real stunner comes a few paragraphs later:
Last month, City Council introduced a similar, though much broader, bill that would require contractors on projects of more than $40,000 to be enrolled in a government-approved apprentice program. Union contractors typically are enrolled in such programs, while most nonunion contractors are not, choosing instead to train their own employees. The rules would apply in all cases, not just when state or federal money is involved. The bill did not receive Pawlowski’s public support and has not moved out of council committee.
If you need to re-read that paragraph, please do.
You see, what the Allentown City Council has introduced is a bill that would require anyone doing any construction work (even residential) valued at more than $40,000 to effectively use a union contractor. This means, if you are an Allentown resident and want to refurbish (for example) your kitchen and a bathroom, were this bill to pass, you would have to hire a union contractor. Forget price, forget quality and forget staying within a budget, since the unions have a virtual monopoly on apprentices, you would have no choice but to use a union contractor.
While the above is atrocious enough, Allentown is but one example of many as to how far the unions’ tentacles have taken over America’s communities.
For example, on October 30th, the New York Times ran a piece about the AFL-CIO in New Jersey recruiting, training and funding their own candidates in elections.
These people running for town councilman, mayor, county freeholder and other posts are graduates of a state A.F.L.-C.I.O. boot camp that has been more successful than any other such effort in the nation at recruiting, training and supporting union members who run for elective office.
The program, which costs the federation about $250,000 a year to run but is free for participants, has groomed more than 160 current officeholders — the overwhelming majority of them Democrats — including 8 members of the Legislature, 12 county freeholders, 18 mayors and a county clerk.
Again, this is not new. Unions, almost since the American Federation of Labor was founded in 1886, have supported and placed members at various levels of government. What has changed though, is that, by and large, today’s unions have almost wholly embraced statism.
What November 2nd was…
P.J. O’Rourke may have stated it best when he wrote “This is not an election on November 2. This is a restraining order. Power has been trapped, abused and exploited by Democrats. Go to the ballot box and put an end to this abusive relationship.”
While the Left wrongly assumes that November 2nd was about giving control back to Republicans, it was not. For many of us, last Tuesday’s election outcome had the desired effect of all that we were hoping it would accomplish. For many of us, the goal of last Tuesday was very simple: To stop the progressive putsch that is threatening our economy and our freedom long enough to build a foundation for America’s future.
Over the weekend, the esteemed Vassar Bushmills laid out an Operations Plan for 2011-2012. While there is much to digest and even more to do, one underlying point that bears repeating over and over: If American freedom is to survive, if the Republican party is going to be rebuilt, if America is going to be brought back from the brink of bankruptcy, it must begin at the precinct level.
In a a few short months, the 2012 campaign season will begin. However, the battle within the Republican party has already begun. It would be a tragedy if Americans let the last 18 months fall to waste by not taking an active role in leading the Republican Party back to the party ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.’
With the mid-term elections not even a week behind us, now is not the time to sit back on our laurels, thinking that freedom is safe. It isn’t. In fact, it is safe to assume that the fight from the Left will only intensify.
Therefore, now is the time to pivot to Phase Two, and Phase Two is taking the country* back, precinct by precinct.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
For more news & views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com
[* California is the exception to this. The violinists are already playing as newly-elected, former governor Jerry Brown finishes what he started 30 years ago, steering that ship down to the bottom.]