From the desk of Stephen Cabot: In Columbus, Mississippi, permanent replacement workers have taken up the anti-union banner: they want to decertify the union at Omnova Solutions, Inc., a maker of upholstery products.

A petition for decertification has been filed; and after a four-to-six week period awaiting approval of the petition by the NLRB, more than 100 workers could vote in a secret ballot election to make the company non-union, following a year-long strike that has had a negative effect on the company’s bottom line.

This is another example of American workers being fed up with unrealistic union demands, especially during a period of high unemployment when workers are desperate to earn a living, to pay their expenses, and put food on dinner tables. Only high-handed union officials seem unconcerned with the day-to-day problems of the unemployed. It’s time for all American workers to say no to unionization and yes to full employment.

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From Stephen Cabot’s desk in Philadelphia: In a recent decision, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has opened its back door ever wider for unions to enact a de facto Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), also known as card checks. The NLRB decided that an important auto supply company, Dana, in Michigan, can permit the further establishment of unionization amongst its employees through card checks. The UAW already represents workers at a number of Dana facilities. And the union wanted to organize the remaining workers. In an effort to win union concessions without resorting to collective bargaining, Dana agreed to permit the UAW to use card checks to organize those workers who were not represented by a union. No longer will there be secret ballot elections at Dana. Instead, union organizers can now pressure or even intimidate workers into signing card cards. Dana agreed to the use of card checks and the abolition of secret ballot elections in exchange for the UAW agreeing to maintain the company’s plans to reduce employee benefits and permit mandatory overtime. The UAW further agreed not to call for a strike. And the NLRB gave this unusual deal its stamp of approval! It may seem like a good deal for Dana, but if labor disputes arise in the future, the UAW can resort to a full assortment of union tactics to win concessions, and it will have the added leverage of representing all of Dana’s workers. In the meantime, the UAW will significantly increase revenues from the union dues of many new members. Both the NLRB and the UAW have found a clever way to impose card checks on Corporate America and enlist millions of workers into the ranks of unions. It is a bad portent for Corporate America, the American economy, and every American industrial city from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, from Houston to Chicago, from Atlanta to Seattle.

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From the desk of Stephen Cabot: If one wants to reform education in our country, one must do battle with the unions that represent teachers. One need only look at the departure of school reformer, Michelle Rhee, in Washington DC. Her boss lost an election bid to Vince Gray in the Democratic mayoral primary. Gray, as one might have expected, was elected with enormous help form the American Federation of Teachers and the Washington Teachers’ Association.

For years now, the media has reported that America’s educational system does not meet the needs of an increasingly complex, technological age. America’s students are rapidly falling behind in science and math when compared to students in such countries as China and India.

If teachers are not held accountable for the failures of their students, then our educational goals will turn to mist as we become a country as second rate as our educational system.

And who is to blame for this sorry state of affairs? The teachers unions. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association exert enormous pressure on politicians to maintain the status quo. It doesn’t matter that students are not getting the educations they deserve and that the country requires in order for us to be competitive with other nations. What matters to the teachers unions is that teachers’ jobs are eternally preserved and that tenure remains sacrosanct, regardless of the pedagogic competence of instructors who view their employment as protected sinecures.

If America is to remain an economic powerhouse, its students must be prepared to take leadership positions in the coming decades. If, however, they are ignorant of math and science as their ever-falling test scores sorrowfully indicate, we will be dependent on the scientific advancements made by students in what were once called third-world countries. The time is long past for the teachers’ unions to become superfluous; they are obstacles to our economic growth. They provide a scandalous disservice to our country’s youth and to the future of our country.

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