Obama Promises To Veto Legislation That Would Restore The 40 Hour Workweek

Photo credit: The Speaker (Flickr)

Republicans have made it a high priority to re-define “full-time” work under Obamacare for the new Congress, making it 40 hours per week instead of the 30 hours it is currently.

President Obama has now promised to veto legislation that would restore the 40 hour workweek. He did so through press secretary Josh Earnest earlier this week.

The economy has seen a significant transition from full-time work to part-time work as a result of the definition of full-time work as just 30 hours.

It’s not just Republicans who are complaining about the re-definition of the full-time workweek under Obamacare. Obama’s labor union allies are raising an outcry about it as well.

Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, UFCW President Joseph Hansen, and UNITE-HERE President D. Taylor sent a letter to Obama in 2013 demanding that the problems under Obamacare such as the 30 hour work week be solved:

Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.

Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios.

What do you think? If Obama won’t listen to Congress, will he at least listen to his labor union allies on the definition of the full-time workweek? So far, his answer has been no.

h/t: Townhall

Photo credit: The Speaker (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

‘A’ Is For Agitation: What’s Really Going On In Jefferson County Schools

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There’s a big battle brewing in the Jefferson County, Colorado school system. The manufactured controversy over a proposed curriculum review is generating national headlines. But the fight is not about what misguided students and biased reporters say it’s about. “Censorship” is a red herring. The real issue is union control.

Here’s the deal: Public school teachers in this Denver-area district walked out of their classrooms this week to protest the implementation of performance-based pay. The JeffCo school board approved the new compensation system last week, which rewards the most highly effective teachers with 4.2 percent raises, effective teachers with 2.4 raises, and inferior teachers with nothing. Only 2 percent of teachers received no pay raises.

One fact the grievance-mongering teachers conveniently left out of their politicized pep talks to student sympathizers: The board gave bonuses to 450 teachers who would have otherwise received no raises under the union’s arbitrary step scale. The old system didn’t take performance into any consideration at all.

Despite the hefty rewards for teacher competence and excellence, disgruntled union leaders called for a strike last Friday (or as they prefer to whitewash it, a “sickout”). The Big Labor avengers succeeded in shutting down two schools — and enlisting students to protest with them. But the optics of robbing kids of valuable educational time to protest an $18.2 million salary compensation package did not play well with taxpayers.

Enter the “censorship” fakeout.

At the same board meeting where the new pay system was approved, elected school board members heard a proposal to form a curriculum review committee. Under the state constitution, elected local school boards are responsible for instructional and curriculum matters. It’s their duty. The proposal called for the creation of a new, nine-member panel “to review curricular choices for conformity to JeffCo academic standards, accuracy and omissions, and to inform the board of any objectionable materials.”

The panel’s first review items would be the elementary health curriculum and the A.P. U.S. History (APUSH) curriculum, which has undergone a radical revamp over the past few years.

The chief architect of the APUSH revisions is David Coleman, a progressive ideologue who is also one of the prime movers and shakers behind the Common Core standards scheme. Objections to the shoddy, intrusive, costly, top-down, backroom-designed Common Core agenda cross party lines. Rank-and-file teachers across the country have joined a diverse anti-Common Core coalition of parents, administrators, scholars, grassroots activists, privacy advocates, and anti-cronyism watchdogs.

The JeffCo school board takes its deliberative role seriously. The proposal is the opposite of censorship. The debate over history standards is part of a wider battle between left-leaning militant teachers’ unions, who explicitly see their primary role as Saul Alinsky-trained political agitators, and those who want to restore academic excellence, rigor, and ideological balance in the schools.

While every liberal “-ism” has been incorporated into the school day — from environmentalism and collectivism to social justice activism to mandatory volunteerism, feminism, and transgenderism — JeffCo school board members are now being mocked for simply proposing that citizenship, individualism, and patriotism have a fundamental place at the schoolteacher’s table.

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Just-Released Jobs Report Dumps Big Time On Obama’s Just-Delivered Speech To Labor Unions

Obama Labor Day speech

It was less than a week ago that President Obama boasted, in a Labor Day speech to a largely union crowd, that his economic policies have worked…that “the U.S. economy is better than it’s ever been since the 2008 recession.”

The New York Daily News noted that Obama tried to fire up his union base with aggressively positive rhetoric:

“We’re on a streak where the last six months we created more than 200,000 jobs each month; that’s the first time it has happened since 1997.”

“By almost every measure, the American economy, the American workers are better off than when I took office,” he added.

While economists and pundits may debate the accuracy of the measures Obama used to make that claim, there’s no debate when it comes to the disappointing August jobs report just released by the Labor Department. The country’s employment picture last month was anything but rosy.

The experts’ expectations for jobs growth were way off, and the labor force participation rate again showed that more discouraged Americans have given up on trying to find work. From forbes.com:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a significantly weaker than expected August jobs report Friday morning.

Employers added just 142,000 jobs in August, sharply lower than the 225,000 economists were anticipating and the smallest monthly gain of 2014.

Yes, “sharply lower” than forecasts — off by some 83,000 jobs. Plus, for the last two months — June and July — the official employment count was revised down.

Total employment gains those months were therefore 28,000 less than BLS — a division of the Department of Labor — previously reported. Job growth averaged 212,000 for the last twelve.

The August new-jobs number represents the smallest gain in eight months and no doubt will add fuel to the fire of those who argue that Obama’s economic policies are not working, no matter what the president may tell his union supporters.

 

Image Credit: youtube | The White House

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

See How This Major Liberal Group Could Be About To Spit In Hillary Clinton’s Face

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The AFL-CIO, a powerful alliance of labor unions, is a group whose support is important to virtually any leftist candidate. For expected 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, the organization’s endorsement is anything but assured.

According to The Hill, Mike Podhorzer, the federation’s political director, does not want to see internal division in picking a favorite, citing the split between Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 election cycle.

While individual unions chose the candidate they thought would best represent labor’s interest, the AFL-CIO refrained from making a public endorsement until Obama had secured a victory in his party’s primary.

Earlier this summer, the AFL-CIO held an executive meeting during which officials decided on a method of selecting one preferred candidate to avoid any infighting among affiliated unions. As it stands, however, Clinton has some work to do before she secures the confidence of the influential organization.

Podhorzer indicated that there has been some uncertainty regarding where Clinton would focus her attention if her bid to become president is successful.

“People want to see where she’ll be on working family issues,” he said, “if she decides to run.”

Lamenting the fact that Clinton has been “really focused on foreign policy” in recent years, he wondered how dedicated she would be to pursuing big labor’s agenda.

Reports indicate that the AFL-CIO will be scrutinizing Clinton’s actions and statements going forward to determine whether she warrants its backing. Meanwhile, The Hill notes that there might be another woman the organization has in its sights.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the site noted, was enthusiastically welcomed by the crowd at an AFL-CIO event held in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.

While Podhorzer said he is not “at liberty to talk about” any potential candidate his group might support, he affirmed that Warren has a record of “embodying the principles” embraced by labor unions. Therefore, he explained, she enjoys popularity within the organization.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Don’t Like Your Boss? According To Gov’t Ruling, You Can Tell Him To “[Bleep] Himself”

Even as millions of Americans struggle to secure employment under Barack Obama’s disastrous fiscal policies, his administration continues working to prevent employers from getting rid of incompetent and indecent workers.

In two separate rulings, the National Labor Relations Board decided that an employee’s anathematization of a colleague or boss is not sufficient cause for dismissal.

The first case revolved around an employer’s decision to fire a staff member for calling him a “f—king crook” and “a—hole.”

According to the NLRB, the owner of an Arizona car dealership initiated the altercation by informing his employee that, if he didn’t like the job, he was free to look for another one elsewhere.

Calling the employer’s statement of fact an “implied threat,” the board ruled he was responsible for the “provocation” of his employee’s profane rant.

The second case involved a Starbucks barista who shouted an expletive-laced outburst at his boss in front of customers.

“You can go f—k yourself,” he asserted in a diatribe that included other inappropriate comments.

Nevertheless, the NLRB ruled in favor of the disrespectful employee, alleging he was fired due to his pro-union views instead of his highly unprofessional behavior.

The employers in both of these cases were forced to rehire the obviously resentful workers and provide them back pay for the wages they lost while unemployed.

When employees are federally protected, even when they threaten their employers or shout profanities in the presence of paying clients, many critics see yet another leftist attack on job creators in America. The one dissenting board member in the car dealership case determined that the NLRB is “out of touch” by protecting employees who talk “like characters in a Scorsese film.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce responded to this case, concluding that as it details “the absurdity of the Board’s actions, it’s getting hard to avoid using some expletives of our own.”

Photo Credit: Bibliothèque de Toulo (Creative Commons)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom