All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Guide explains how unions indoctrinate employees into joining

The Freedom Foundation explains

A report released last year by the union-backed nonprofit Jobs with Justice explained in detail how unions can use new hire orientations to indoctrinate employees into signing up for union membership and becoming union activists.

The nearly 30-page guide, “Making the Case for Union Membership: The Strategic Value of New Hire Orientations,” is not specific to public or private-sector unions, but takes on added significance for government unions because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s pending decision in Janus v. AFSCME, in which the Court is generally anticipated to strike down state laws requiring public employees to financially support a union as a condition of employment.

Nervous unions and their political allies in state governments have been hard at work for years to preemptively blunt the impact of the decision and make sure the cycle of government-facilitated union dues collection helping to elect union-friendly politicians continues unabated.

One of the more common methods government unions are implementing involves requiring newly-hired public employees to participate in captive-audience meetings with union organizers. Sometimes these requirements are negotiated with favorable government employers, as was the case when SEIU 775 and Gov. Jay Inslee agreed to allow union organizers access to newly hired home care workers in not one, but two captive audience settings.

In other cases, the requirements are simply written into state law, as occurred when the Washington State Legislature, under Democratic control, this year adopted SB 6229 and required all public employers in the state to give unions at least 30 minutes access to new hires.

These tactics, and similar efforts underway in other states, largely mimic the recommendations of the Jobs with Justice report issued in September 2016 and revised in October 2017.

Describing the orientations as “a strategic tool for building union power,” the guide explains in detail best practices to pressure, coerce and indoctrinate employees with the goal of persuading them to join the union at minimum and, if possible, become activists.

The report encourages unions to think of the orientations as “formal socialization” — a “structured and organized experience, typically occurring in a group setting” — the purpose of which is to “instill in new members… loyalty to the union, willingness to volunteer on behalf of the union, and sense of responsibility to the union.”

Throughout, the focus of the report is on overcoming “anti-union stigmas and political biases” and getting employees to view the union favorably through messaging and manipulation, not by providing a better product or service. It is, at its core, an indoctrination how-to guide.
To summarize some of the report’s key points:
  • Unions are advised to conduct orientations “as close to a new hire’s start date as possible,” since “(w)aiting to orient new hires on the union and its value to them allows others, like an employer or friend with anti-union views, time to have more influence over a new hire’s perception of the union.”
  • If possible, the report strongly encourages unions to conduct their membership pitches during the employer’s regular orientation program:
    • “Employer orientations are typically mandatory, on the clock, and during new employees’ first few days on the job. If a union’s own orientation is part of a formal workplace orientation program, the union has the means to interact with every new employee in person. Participation in an employer’s new hire orientation can also validate the union’s role in the workplace, giving it legitimacy in the eyes of new hires.”
  • Lengthy orientations are strongly promoted: “The longer the orientation, the better.” The report notes, “If your local union’s orientation is 15 minutes in length, increase it to 30 minutes. If you typically hold a 30-minute orientation, increase it to 60 minutes. If there is a way to make it three hours, then do so…”
  • Ever mindful of progressive identity politics, unions are encouraged to send organizers, called “facilitators,” who share the same “race, age, gender, language preferences and other characteristics” of the employees they are seeking to persuade.
  • Defending unions’ high levels of political activity is emphasized throughout: “Don’t assume people will know why unions choose to participate in politics or engage in community service. And when it comes to politics, do not shy away from the role of unions…”
  • One of unions’ biggest peeves is being described as third-party entities separate from the employees which is, of course, precisely what they are. Standard union messaging involves telling employees that they are the union. This point is driven home ad nauseum in the report, which notes, for example:
    • “Facilitators should also find ways to talk about the union as ‘we’ to develop a sense of identity, rather than talking about the union as a third-party institution that is separate and apart from bargaining unit members.”
    • “Referring to the union in the third person (‘they’ rather than ‘we’) should also be avoided, as it can create a sense of separation between the union and the members and new hires present at the orientation.”
    • “…(R)esisting the inclination to describe ‘the union’ as a third party that acts for people, and instead using terms that give members agency, such as ‘joining together’; replacing terms that people don’t identify with, like ‘worker,’ in favor of humanizing terms such as ‘working people…’”
  • Another means of suggested subtle coercion involves having organizers present union membership forms as though signing up is normal, expected and, implicitly, required:
    • “Unions should present the cards and related forms with confidence. Assume the new hires want to join the union.”
      “…(P)resent the union application as matter-of-factly as any other paperwork.”
  • The use of peer pressure and group-think is strongly encouraged:
    • “Telling new hires that many members participate in one union activity or another can encourage participation since people tend to do what is popular. Explaining to new hires that members are expected to participate can also encourage follow-through, by establishing a norm.”
  • Conflict should be downplayed, even if it exists in the workplace and the union is part of it:
    • “Facilitators should also remain upbeat and positive, even if the union has an antagonistic relationship with management. New hires must associate joining and forming unions with a move toward something positive. This is an important time to demonstrate that unions are a source of solutions, and not a source of problems. New hires do not know any past bad history with management and do not want management to view them as troublemakers.”
  • Bribe workers with trivial giveaways:
    • “Unions should also hand out branded freebies at their formal orientations. People like free stuff, and they like to show that they are a part of something… Giving new hires free union gear and goodies can build an identity with the union inside and outside the workplace…”
  • Apply a little extra pressure to employees who are reluctant to join up:
    • “Unions should also clarify that certain benefits are only available to full, dues-paying members. Providing a calm, matter-of-fact explanation can help win over new hires who are ‘on the fence’ about joining, and don’t realize all that union membership has to offer.”
    • If that doesn’t work, “There are still opportunities for unions to educate members about the benefits of union membership with individuals who initially decide against joining. The Michigan Education Association developed a useful approach to sign up new members in a right-to-work environment. When new hires indicate that they do not want to join the MEA, a facilitator asks them to complete a ‘non-member informed consent form.’ This document lists all the rights and opportunities the new hires are choosing to decline by not joining the union. The facilitator walks them through every item, creating the opportunity to explain one more time the value and benefits of union membership. The MEA reports that many new hires who initially decline to join the union eventually decide to sign up after reviewing the non-consent form.”
  • Use “rituals” to make people feel like they just joined a cult and can’t get out:
    • “Celebrate a new hire’s decision to join the union.”
    • “The unions should play up the fact that it is now a part of a new member’s life. If unions already have initiation ceremonies or rituals to recognize new members, they should maintain and improve them as necessary. Unions that lack initiation ceremonies or welcoming rituals should create them. Rituals can include:
      • Recognizing new members at their first union meeting, including providing a round of applause from other members and the presentation of a small token of appreciation.
      • Written recognition of new members in the union’s newsletter or other member communications.
    • “Actors’ Equity, the union for stage actors and stage managers, exemplifies this practice. Equity members celebrate the moment they join the union. The union takes photos of new Equity Members with their union cards at their orientation session. Soon after, the union posts these pictures on social media channels, and encourages the new members to do the same on their social media accounts. A public celebration of a person’s induction into the union helps develop commitment and a positive attitude toward the union, while also creating free, positive public relations exposure for the union.”
While some legislative advocates of these captive-audience meetings attempt to defend them as merely educational opportunities for employees to learn about their new job, the report is clear about the ultimate goal of these meetings: “Encourage new hires to become active union members”; “sign up new members”; and make sure the union “does not lose out on dues money and the potential participation of new active members.”
As bad as the fairly sanitized report may sound when read by a detached observer, the reality on the ground is far worse.

For example, public records obtained by the Freedom Foundation from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) indicate the captive audience meetings state-paid home care aides sit through with SEIU 775 organizers are highly coercive. In the documents, DSHS staff describe SEIU 775 organizers presenting at the IP contracting appointments as, “aggressive,” “forceful,” “rude,” “unprofessional,” “coercive,” “demanding,” and “bullying.” These same staff report caregivers feeling, “pressured,” “misled,” “tricked,” “coerced,” “intimidated” and “forced” into signing SEIU membership forms. In at least one case, DSHS staff report a caregiver being reduced to tears by the high-pressure tactics of two SEIU organizers.

Due to the Legislature’s passage of SB 6229 earlier this year (a bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, a union-represented fire fighter from Sequim), all public employees in the state will soon be subjected to similar treatment.

--- Maxford Nelsen

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The rich man's gun control is only for the masses --- Initiative 1639

Washington State’s would-be oligarchs are attempting to buy Evergreen Staters’ rights again. Four years after West Coast elites dumped $10 million into the campaign for Initiative 594, which criminalized the private transfer of firearms, some of the same plutocrats are spending big bucks to back I-1639, an even more restrictive anti-gun ballot measure.

Gun control advocates and their media lapdogs are mischaracterizing I-1639 as a measure that would merely prohibit the sale of so-called “assault rifles” to those ages 18 to 21. In reality, I-1639 is a wide-ranging initiative that would impose new burdens on all Washington gun owners and severely curtail access to some of America’s most popular firearms.

Stretching the already prevalent misuse of the term “assault rifle” to new extremes, I-1639 defines “semiautomatic assault rifle” as, “any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” This means that any semiautomatic rifle whatsoever, from an AR-15 to your grandfather’s tube-fed .22 squirrel gun would be considered an “assault rifle” and subject to severe restriction.

As for those restrictions, all prospective semiautomatic rifle purchasers, regardless of age, would be required to submit to a gun dealer certification that they have completed a firearms training course. In order for the certification to be valid, the course must have been completed within the previous five years. This means that gun owners would be forced to repeatedly take firearms training courses in order to remain eligible to purchase any semiautomatic rifle.

Further, I-1639 would impose a 10 business day waiting period on the purchase of all semiautomatic rifles, extend the Washington State Department of Licensing’s handgun registry to cover all semiautomatic rifles, and authorize a $25 fee to be assessed to semiautomatic rifle purchasers.

I-1639 would also impose criminal liability on otherwise law-abiding gun owners who do not store their firearms to state standards.

For more on I-1639, click here.

According to articles from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Associated Press, at a May 21 luncheon hosted by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the group received two $1 million dollar donations to support I-1639.

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder and Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers owner Paul Allen was one of the $1 million donors. The other was tech venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Some have labelled Hanauer a hypocrite for his massive contribution, given his purported support for campaign finance reforms.

Reports indicate that mere millionaires were also in attendance. The Post-Intelligencer reported, 
[The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s] annual luncheon has become a kind of bidding competition of who can donate the most money… The event yielded three donations of $100,000, two givers of $50,000, three people donating $25,000, seven gifts of $10,000, plus 13 givers coming in at $5,000.

The identities of these big money donors have yet to be made available on the Washington Public Disclosure Commission’s website.

If history is any guide, even more cash is forthcoming. Billionaire gun control patron Michael Bloomberg personally bankrolled I-594 to the tune of $285,000, while funneling another $2.3 million to the cause through his front group Everytown for Gun Safety. Hanauer dumped $1.3 million into the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility to support the measure, while Allen contributed $500,000. Former Microsoft CEO and current Los Angeles Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie together spent more than $1 million to strip Washingtonians of their rights and were joined by fellow Microsoft Billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates, who gave more than $1 million combined. Rounding out the mega-contributors was Ann P. Wyckoff, widow of lumber magnate T. Evans Wyckoff.

With this deluge of billionaire cash, gun control advocates were able to outspend gun rights supporters by a margin of more than 10 to 1.

Despite the lopsided financial support that gun control initiatives receive from anti-gun tycoons, gun rights supporters should not lose hope. In the face of massive anti-gun spending in a series of background check initiatives, grassroots efforts by gun rights supporters have been able to shift public opinion on the topic, with the pro-gun position faring far better in election day results than the opinion polling touted by gun control supporters.
Facing another “avalanche of money” Washington gun owners will need to muster the same sort of grassroots enthusiasm that carried Maine gun rights supporters to victory and has repeatedly shocked pollsters.

To find out what you can do to preserve firearms freedom in the Evergreen State, please visit https://www.nraila.org/grassroots/.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

... perceptions of Seattle

The three H’s – heroin, homelessness, and the head tax – hurting Seattle’s reputation.  Has Seattle’s leadership lost its collective mind?

Many are wondering lately. A glance at the headlines shows a city government that is of activist groups, by activist groups, and for activist groups.

Because let’s be honest, it not average everyday voters who are pushing a head tax that will reduce jobs in the city. They’re not the ones hoping for heroin injection sites, or asking for even more lax attitudes toward tent camping, garbage, and open-air drug dealing.

More than anything, it’s the three H’s – heroin, homelessness, and the head tax – driving perceptions of Seattle today. And the perception is: The city will look the other way on certain destructive behaviors while taxing jobs out of the city.

That Seattle’s lax policies look like an invitation to move here should be no surprise. Some in social services are concerned about that perception of a “magnet effect,” clearly. And you can’t help but wonder if some of the data about where Seattle’s homeless are originally from is kept intentionally vague.

They don’t want the case laid out too starkly, after all. No doubt some of these worriers cringed when a newly-arrived homeless couple told KIRO 7 they moved here because “we appreciate Seattle’s liberal vibe.”

Is that what “the Seattle Way” means now? A reputation for permissiveness inevitably attracts some to move here. That same couple, by the way, rejected help from a city navigation team because “we don’t want to change our lifestyle to fit their requirements.”

Seattle city government works at lightning speed when taxes are involved
Speaking of the famed Seattle Way – the interminable hearings, meetings, surveys, and process, process, process – it’s being tossed aside for the head tax. After passing out of committee yesterday on a 5-4 vote (the only debate was how big of a head tax to impose), the council signaled its willingness to work through the weekend to pass a final bill Monday.

For Seattle this is lightning speed. The public is just keying into the debate. Maybe councilmembers figure it’s best to pass it quickly, lest the many doubting voices gain steam.

Or perhaps they realize that more protests like the iron workers’ demonstration are a threat because they highlight the many people whose jobs are put at risk by the head tax. The problem extends far beyond tech workers. For Kshama Sawant, having the evening news show actual union laborers protesting her policies was a worst-case scenario.

Where is Mayor Durkan in all this? She sought a lower head tax than Sawant, but still favored one – even as local Democrats such as Dow Constantine are recognizing the foolishness of a direct tax on jobs. Durkan said she “can’t support” the current head tax legislation, so the council is working to strike a deal that can gain six votes and override a veto. Talk of how to effectively spend the money to actually help the homeless is practically an afterthought.

If you tax jobs, you’ll get fewer ______?
It’s fascinating to watch a city council that fully embraces a soda tax, in part because soda consumption will decline, not seem to realize that a head tax – a direct tax on jobs – will result in fewer jobs.

Or do they realize it but figure that the Seattle job market is so hot that, hey, who cares?
Well, the iron workers do. They know that job growth in Seattle means construction, and construction means job security and strong wages. Sawant tried to appeal to them as “my brothers in the labor movement” but they weren’t buying it.

They realize that, when push comes to shove, Kshama Sawant is not on their side. Right now we’re finding out who else in Seattle city government is choosing the other side of that line in the sand.
-Rob McKenna

Monday, May 7, 2018

Seattle's Liberalhole

BobQatOne files a complaint from the frontlines

Seattle is very rapidly becoming, to paraphrase the president, a liberalhole.  Tents and trash and worse just about anywhere and everywhere, frequent fires in "homeless" camps, along with other crimes.  And the "Mayor" and "City Clowncil" are doing everything they can to do nothing, or make it worse.

Yeah, there are folks who have been screwed over by their own or other's faults that end up without a place to live.  And there are private and public programs in place to help those that ask for it.   And I have talked to a few folks at the weekly church dinner who seem to be decent enough folks who have just chosen to not have a place to live.  Then there are the "street people", who for whatever reasons, revel in being in the city's face as annoyingly as possible, and who have no intention of taking help from anyone to get their act together.  Help trashing the place and making it easier to get drugs and freebies, sure.

(A link to a Facebook page dedicated Seattle's present appearance)

The Clowncil's head tax push, lead by socialist Sawant and Moonbat O'Brien, ~may~ at last be faltering - a couple weeks back, Sawant stacked the audience at a council meeting with tax supporters and loud chanters, and raised holy hell when the chanters were finally removed by the council leader.  Sawant whined about how the peaceful chanters were expressing their first amendment rights by shouting down opposing opinions.

Last week, Sawant was out in front of Amazon pushing hard for her tax, and got chanted down by iron workers that had just found out Amazon was putting a hold on their big construction project.  Sawant couldn't understand why her "union brothers and sisters" weren't licking her hand...

Also last week, O'Brien had a town hall in Ballard about "homeless" encampments, and was overwhelmingly condemned by residents against his schemes.  Just perhaps, the sleepy voters here are finally catching on to their stupidity electing these twits, he said, wishfully.  We could use some candidates that aren't just leftestest and leftesrer, however.

Queen Anne Hill still not too bad, but did notice some new gangsta tagging on the Ave this evening.  And what with the Space Noodle renovation, it looks like a huge baby rattle anyway.

I usually brave the potholes to get over to the west side of the hill to watch the sunsets, and even that far too infrequently.  Life is a lot more tired and boring of late....

~~~~~~~~

Provoked by two items:

> King County prosecutor’s corruption goes national
> https://www.freedomfoundation.com/labor/story-of-king-co-prosecutors-corruption-goes-national/

> Seattle’s head tax
> https://www.freedomfoundation.com/labor/seattles-head-tax-look-carefully-at-whos-behind-it/


Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Alliance for Gun Responsibility" new moves in Washingnton State

On April 23rd, Michael Bloomberg’s front group, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, filed a ballot initiative in Washington to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.  This egregious attack on your freedoms comes just months after failing to enact their gun ban agenda in Olympia.  Proponents of the so-called “Gun Violence Prevention” initiative will have until July 6th to get 259,622 valid signatures to place the initiative on the November ballot.
Please spread the word to your family, friends, and fellow gun owners about this latest attack on self-defense rights in the Evergreen State!  Help protect Second Amendment rights in Washington and decline to sign this initiative petition.  
The proposed initiative, if passed, would do the following:
  • Require a 10 Day Waiting Period for Commonly Owned Rifles.  All semi-automatic rifle purchases and transfers would be subjected to a waiting period of 10 business days.
  • Establish a Government Registry of Firearms.  Current law states the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) “may” keep copies of pistol purchase applications.  The proposed initiative would instead require the DOL to keep copies of these purchase applications, and would expand this government registry to include semi-automatic rifle purchases.
  • Require Completion of a Training Course to Purchase Rifles.  This initiative would also require all purchasers of semi-automatic rifles to show they have completed a firearm safety training course within the last five years in order to proceed with the sale.
  • Impose up to a $25 Purchase Fee (GUN TAX) for Semi-Automatic Rifles.  The Washington Department of Licensing would be allowed to charge up to a $25 fee for each semi-automatic rifle purchase.  
  • Require Gun Owners to Lock Up their Firearms or Face Criminal Charges.  Individuals would be required to lock up their firearms or potentially face a criminal charge of “Community Endangerment Due to Unsafe Storage of a Firearm” if the firearm is accessed by a prohibited person or minor.  This intrusive proposal invades people’s homes and forces them to render their firearms useless in a self-defense situation by locking them up.
  • Restricts Adults Aged 18-20 from Acquiring Modern Rifles.  Adults aged 18-20 would be prohibited from purchasing semi-automatic rifles and would not be allowed to receive them through a transfer or loan.  The proposed initiative would deny a segment of law-abiding adults from access to the most modern and effective firearms for self-defense, thus depriving them of their constitutional rights. 
Require “Warnings” for Firearm Purchases.  All firearm purchases would come with a notification about the “inherent risks” of firearm ownership as an attempt to further stigmatize firearm ownership

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin