They aren't actually anything new, just a variation on long-standing labor-organizing practices that have come back into prominence. "Micro union" is a recently coined term of art for bargaining units that encompass one category of workers at a business — the cosmetics workers at a Macy's, for example — instead of the more traditional model of organizing all the workers for the business into one single bargaining unit.
In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided a group of certified nursing assistants at a nursing home constituted an appropriate bargaining unit in themselves, in a decision called Specialty Healthcare. In 2013, that decision got the stamp of approval from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 2014, the NLRB applied its logic to the aforementioned Macy's cosmetics workers.
Since then, union critics and business interests have been scrambling to respond. Retail industry groups told The Hill that the NLRB’s Macy's decision would "pave the way for micro unions at thousands of retail stores around the country." Isakson has made multiple attempts to pass his bill rolling back NLRB's decisions, with the backing of GOP heavy-hitters like Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
SOURCE: Meet the new workers' movement that is terrifying the wealthy and the powerful.
Micro-breweries are quite the rage right now and I admit I am one of their fans. When we travel I often order local beers when I come across them. It is nice to see these types of cottage-industries rising up again. It is even nicer to see the micro trends more to work unions. One of the big problems with unions in the last half century or so is that they just grew too powerful for their own good. They quit looking out for the workers and instead become just anti-owner organizations.
You don’t need giant unions to help you get your fair share from an employer. micro-unions seem to be a natural evolution in employee-employer relationships. But the thing that will make micro-unions effective is that all workers in an indirect way support the right of an employee to address grievances with their employer. They do that by not frequenting establishments that lord it over their workers. They do it by not rushing in to snap up a job after a worker has been fired. Money talks…
The sad thing in the last few decades is that American business have been thriving with increased sales but not sharing their prosperity with the ones who generate it. We seem to be a owner-society now. Those with the money demand more and more of the pie. I hope micro-unions will reverse this trend…
In this age of electronic banking the way to shut down any organization is to go after their access to money. It looks like that is just what is currently happening with North Korea at least to an extent.
"We need to step up and target those financial institutions in Asia and beyond that are supporting the brutal and dangerous North Korean regime."
When challenged by Royce about "a number of small banks" still doing business with North Korea and the need to choke off the country's access to hard currency, Glaser replied: "That's exactly what we are trying to do."
Royce said he hoped a bipartisan bill he sponsored that would label North Korea "a primary money laundering concern" would be passed by the Senate this year....
The country's main economic ties are with China and, according U.S. government reports, its tiny economy has supported itself with money-making scams ranging from counterfeiting $100 bills to illicit arms and drug sales.
SOURCE: U.S. takes aim at North Korea's remaining financial links - Yahoo News.
Being a simple guy I just can’t understand how we can give China so much power over our day-to-day lives when they support those who would love to see us annihilated from this earth. I don’t know about you but it seems everything I buy almost anywhere today comes with a “Made in China” tag. It is about time we started putting conditions on transferring our wealth to that country. Millions of good paying jobs have disappeared to be resurrected in mainland China at pennies on the dollar and the primary purpose is to provide more profits for their most often times very rich stockholders..
I know doing something about this problem will be a hard-sell for the Republicans in congress. They simply believe that what our corporations do to make their profits is their own business and the government should stay out of it. And again if Obama comes out for it they will naturally be adamantly against it whatever it is. I think this same thing would be happening no matter who the Democrat was that occupies the Oval Office. Its pure politics and it is getting uglier by the minute. But I am getting off topic here.
How can we allow China to help North Korea with their illegal schemes and not suffer any consequences? Of course part of that reason, maybe the biggest part, is that we are already so deeply dependent on China that we simply can’t afford to confront them. If they for whatever reason decided to stop sending us the products they now make our economy would likely collapse. How did we get into this type of arrangement is of course because of greed. When a bigger profit can be made using Chinese labor at pennies per hour as opposed to dollars per hour for home-grown labor greed will go off-shore every time. But I kind of think that even those who made these decisions to move their production to China are surprised at the speed at which the total transformation occurred. They all seemed to rush there without really considering the consequences. But then again greed has never been much of a forward-looking thing…
AT&T has completed upgrading its fiber-network in Austin, Texas, to 1-gigabit-per-second broadband speeds, the carrier said Monday.The Dallas-based company, which started the Austin upgrade in August, has been working to increase the speed of its U-Verse with GigaPower fiber network from 300 megabits-per-second to 1Gbps. AT&T is racing to bring faster Internet to customers before its competitors.
SOURCE: AT&T finishes rollout of 1Gbps connection in Austin - CNET.
I am one of the fortunate ones along my road in that I am within the 1.5 mile distance from the AT&T central office. I can get my Internet connection at 0.003 Gbps. That is 300 times slower than folks in Austin get. To put that in perspective what takes them one second to get takes me 5 minutes. Sadly those north of me are limited to 0.0002 Gbps.So when I run across these types of announcements I often say “SHAME ON YOU”.
We all know that in the 21st century information is power. Those with it have opportunity; those without it have almost none and of course the Internet and access to it is fundamental to the 21st century information age. Why are those of us in less populated areas denied access to the Internet speeds that our urban neighbors take for granted? Of course the answer is profits.
I look out my front door and see a couple of two-inch diameter cables strewn between two poles across my front yard. In some places along my road these cables sag to just a few feet above the ground. They have not been improved in many decades. The picture above shows that both of those cables could be replaced by a single small fiber-optic line but to do that would require an investment that currently goes to the owners as profit.
Looking at the history of utilities in rural America I see where this is nothing new. It wasn’t until the 1930s that electricity or telephone was widely available to the farmers who provide the rest of us with food. The New Deal of the 1930s would finally help remedy that situation via the REMC. Here is a little about that from my friends at Wikipedia:
Many such cooperatives exist in the rural United States, and were created by the New Deal to bring electric power and telephone service to rural areas, when the nearest investor-owned utility would not provide service, believing there would be insufficient revenue to justify the capital expenditures required. Many electric cooperatives have banded together to form their own wholesale power cooperatives, often called G&Ts for generation and transmission, to supply their member-owners with electricity.
If we had a functional government in place, instead of the gridlock that is there, maybe this issue could be resolved like it was then. I guess I should be grateful for my 0.003 Gbps Internet connection even though my city neighbors had connections three hundred times faster. At least my snail like speeds are several times faster than all my neighbors north of me. It is about time for AT&T to spend a little money and put all of us on a fiber-optic system so that we all have a more or less level playing field for the future. I thought that was the FCC’s mandate but if it is it is being totally ignored. Shame on AT&T for not having done so already…. And shame on the FCC for not having forced them to do it already….
Drug and medical-device companies paid at least $3.5 billion to U.S. physicians and teaching hospitals during the final five months of last year, according to the most comprehensive accounting so far of the financial ties that some critics say have compromised medical care....
Some doctors have earned tens of thousands of dollars annually from drug companies by flying to various cities to give paid speeches, while some surgeons have received even larger amounts from medical-device makers, partly from royalties on products they helped develop....
One former Senate staffer who was closely involved in the effort to pass the Sunshine Act hopes the database will do some good. "This website will let patients ask a very important question: 'Is a relationship between my doctor and a drug company right for me?' It took six years of hard work to get this site together and, hopefully, it will help clean up medicine," said Paul Thacker, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) who is now a fellow at the Safra Ethics Center at Harvard University. He said the "total amount of money is pretty eye popping."
SOURCE: Doctors net billions from drug firms - Yahoo Finance.
Doctors receiving $3.5 billion from the drug companies was a total surprise to me. I knew the drug companies pampered them hoping that they will prescribe their drug over their competitor’s but some of the instances reported in the source articles go way beyond an ethical boundary.
I find it totally astounding that it is illegal for the largest medical care company in the country to negotiate prices with the drug manufacturers. It is a well known fact that all other countries in the world get their pharmaceuticals at a deeply discounted price. Why must Medicare pay full price when everyone else can bargain for their needs? How many billions of dollars are needlessly spent to give these guys a golden apple?
They say Medicare will go broke in about twenty years or so. I wonder how far that would be extended if we could bargain with the drug companies? Getting back to the original thoughts about this article why is it even legal for doctors to take all the bribes that apparently do from these guys. A doctor being paid $70,000+ to give a seminar in an exotic location and which no one attends is surely a grossly unethical situation. Doctors who are among the top ten most compensated profession makes enough without these bribes!
It will take a legislative branch similar to those during the Teddy Roosevelt administration to finally put an end to these types of practices. If we are serious about cutting our healthcare costs in this country the drug companies are the low hanging fruit to be first dealt with. If only our current gridlocked government would life up to their responsibilities and do the people’s business. It is as simple as that….
The new iPhone will make mobile payment easier by including a near-field communication chip for the first time, the person said. That advancement along with Touch ID, a fingerprint recognition reader that debuted on the most recent iPhone, will allow consumers to securely pay for items in a store with the touch of a finger....
"Love it or hate, Apple drives a lot of standards in the industry," Bajarin said in an interview. "They are the mover in these markets. When they do something, the industry seems to follow."
SOURCE: Apple Said to Team With Visa, MasterCard on IPhone Wallet - Yahoo Finance.
Today being the day for the “big” announcements from Apple almost necessitates that it also be the subject of this post.
A couple of years ago I downsized the wallet I used to have from a one inch behemoth that bulged from my back pocket to something less than a half-inch and the size of half a dollar bill and I found out I don’t miss all that other stuff I used to needlessly haul around. I have been waiting to move to the next stage and that is to chuck the whole wallet. It looks like with the latest Apple innovation I might be able to do that sooner rather than later. Of course soon is a relative term when it comes to our electronic gadgets.
Over the years I have seen quite a bit of miniaturization in the world around me. The doctor’s office, of which I seem to spend more and more time lately, has finally gone totally digital. The dozen or so ten foot high by twenty-foot wide racks of patient records now reside on laptops carried around by the nurses. The doctors for the most part still stubbornly resist having to use “those things” so they relegate that responsibility to them.
I used to get about ten different paper magazines a month in order to keep up on what is happening in the world and to follow the hobbies that interested me. I am now down to one weekly magazine. Everything else is on-line. Let’s face it the digital world saves trees and since trees give us our oxygen that is a good thing. :)
Our world is becoming smaller each year and it is about time to chuck the old wallet of the 19th and 20th century for a digital one. I am still using a three-year old iPhone but will upgrade to the iPhone 6 after the hoopla dies down. When that happens I will move as much as possible to digital transactions. Thanks Apple for giving us 21st century solutions to our daily challenges. I certainly look forward to your announcements this afternoon.
Burger King’s plan to scurry across the Canadian border to avoid U.S. taxes could be seen as the corporate equivalent of flipping President Barack Obama the bird....
“My sense is this is Burger King trying to dodge paying its taxes. I don’t know that I’d attribute it to their making a move like this to directly challenge Obama,” Frank Clemente, executive director of the nonprofit Americans for Tax Fairness, told The Huffington Post. “I can’t say what’s on the company’s mind here, whether they’re trying to beat the clock on this and do something before Congress passes legislation or do something before Obama signs an executive order.”
SOURCE: Burger King Dares Obama To Stop It From Fleeing To Canada.
It irks me to see U.S. corporations declare bigger than ever profits and then shirk their tax responsibilities by moving out of the country. As far as I am concerned Burger King might just as well move all their stores to as I will not be frequenting any of them in the future. They can send me all the coupons they want but they will go immediately to the trash can.
Burger King is also known for paying no more than minimum wage to most of their store employees. In my small town that results in huge turnover and low customer service. I’m sure the executive officers are well paid and like most others have figured a way to get their lavish bonuses year after year.
Goodbye Whooper…… We overthrew one king I guess we can do the same to this one…