Fourth of July open thread July 4, 2017 Dan Crawford | July 4, 2017 9:39 am Tags: open thread Comments (6) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
California shills – around the block
Last week I predicted that more than enough registered voters in California would line up around the block to put an initiative on the ballot to make union busting a felony. Based on: 5% of previous governor’s race voters (365,000) needed to succeed — and — 45% nationally earning $15/hr or less – and – 45% nationally down from 15% income share to 10% over two generations (California wages higher, but prices too).
Down one-third of share of twice (due to productivity growth) as much per person income since 1968 is better off absolutely – but people compare their situation to others – and since incomes are on a slope and 10-15% are actually below 1968 in absolute terms (today’s $7.25/hr fed min wage compared to 1968’s $11.45/hr fed min wage).
Shill effect: when I was a street peddler in Manhattan and the Bronx around 1970 I noticed that you could sit for ten minutes waiting for somebody to buy something – but when someone did, four other people would shell out too. Why some sellers use shills to pretend to buy.
I’m not suggesting anything like fooling people with fake lines around the block. No; I’m just suggesting setting up long lines to sign ahead of time as a graphic way to make a point –the kind of point the cameras love on the six-o’clock news. We could start make-believe lines before the initiative is legally written up (couldn’t fool anybody with that) just to get the idea going (around the block :-]).
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On a medical blog the other day I read a doctor saying that (where he lives) doctors cannot combine to negotiate wages with hospitals unless they are employees – due to anti-trust legislation. I added that this would not be true if the doctors were negotiating with a giant conglomerate like Blue Cross. There would be no power imbalance there in favor of the doctors (more likely the other way around) – so the state could not infringe on their collective bargaining rights. This is not a policy option for state legislatures– collective bargaining is First Amendment protected freedom of association.
Many people think states cannot impose criminal sanctions on union busting because of federal preemption – that the federal government has carved out labor union regulation for itself and under our system the states must stay out.
But, Congress cannot bar states from shielding labor organizing from being over powered and muscled aside by management when there is no effective federal protection (leading to 6% union density in the private economy when surveys say 50% would union up if they could). This is not a policy option for Congress – collective bargaining is a First Amendment protected freedom of association.
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Should (a future Democratic) Congress suddenly wake up and come up with some actually effective protection for organizing, would that mean that state prosecutions will automatically cease to exist legally on the effective date of the federal legislation?
No; some interested parties would, first, have to go to court to contest the overlapping jurisdictions. The only opposition to overlapping prosecutions of union busting will be union busters who have been convicted. Even assuming busters win their day in court and nullify their state convictions– we can still prosecute them in federal. Any nullification of state law will come too late for violators.
So many news reports obsess on Seattle’s under $19/hr jobs following the minimum wage raise — down 6,000. (Down 16,000 for under $13/hr jobs — same study, same overall pool.) Do you suppose if the study had drawn its line at say, under $21/hr jobs instead, it would have reported zero job loss — but lots of wage growth for the headlines? :-O
Re the physicians, they never are hospital employees since their charges are not directly included in the hospital bill, but are billed separately (the may be part of a company of physicians but never hospital employees) The negotiation is with their direct employer. Anyway for example if your on Medicare the hospital bill is paid by part A and the physicians bills for their work in the hospital are paid by part B.
I don’t know such details — I’m only relating what the doctors said — must be something to fit.
Hospitals likley employ physicians thru a subsidiary, and each physician negotiates his own contract with the subsidiary. As you post you can’t negotiate unless you are an employee. In general that is the case, as for example workers at a franchised McDonalds can’t negotiate with McDonalds corporate on issues but can negotiate with the franchisee, but it is not worth it for the unions to attempt to organize on a franchisee by franchisee basis. (costs exceed revenues from dues)
the issue of who is the employer is getting less and less clear with the gig economy, if indeed anyone is or if the worker is an independent contractor, who in general is supposed to negotiate for themselves, no collective bargaining allowed since to do so would be a restraint of trade and thus subject to anti trust.
NEW LAST SECTION TO MY “CALIFORNIA SHILLS” POST ABOVE — next week I will be spamming it around to about 350 Cal unions and activists, journalists and finally legislators:
If (big if), back in the year 1935, when the NLRA(a) was passed, a few states had criminal penalties for union busting, does anyone think the NLRB(b) regulatory machinery would have nullified state criminal court prosecutions? Even if the NLRA/NLRB actually provided substantial protections back then (may have then; not-no more)?
Farm workers were deliberately left out the NLRA(a) in 1935 (to score enough votes). California (only) has a virtual mirror image of the NLRA(a) for farm workers — the CALRA. Should (a future Democratic) Congress move to include farm workers under the NLRA(a) — under federal preemption the the presumption is that the CALRA would fall to the wayside.
OTH, if Congress should wake up and make union busting a federal felony — triable and punishable in criminal court — there is no such presumption that state prosecutions would fall aside — no more than state bank robbery prohibitions or even state minimum wage regulations must yield to federal preemption. (In any case all previous convictions would hold — and any new prosecutions would simply take place at the federal level.)