Category Archives: Labor

Thursday News Stories

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Here are the news stories that we are following today.  Please, if we have missed one, let us know!  Commentary will arrive later today.

Arizona Daily Star

§  County officials foresee tax increase

§  AZ sales tax collections declined again in March

§  Montana set to challenge gun control

§  Charter change would tie officials’ hands

§  Catalina Foothills crisis is rooted at Legislature


Arizona Daily Sun

§  City layoffs down to a dozen
In the end, it will be an even dozen. That’s how many Flagstaff city employees are likely to be laid off starting July 1, City Manager Kevin Burke said Wednesday.

§  FUSD readies budget override
Flagstaff Unified School District officials are taking the first steps toward putting a budget override on this fall’s ballot.


§  Maricopa Co. checking its take-home fleet
PHOENIX (AP) — In these tough economic times, Maricopa County is assessing the need for taking a county-owned car home.


Arizona Republic

§  State treasurer sheds light on Ariz.’s loans

Arizona’s first foray in borrowing in its modern history cost just over $38,500 in interest, state Treasurer Dean Martin reports. He warned that more borrowing is on the horizon as the state grapples with budget shortfalls.

§  Bennett unsold on Gov. Brewer’s tax plan

Secretary of State Ken Bennett, whom Brewer appointed to his current job, parted company with his patron on the tax-increase issue, saying he could not swallow a central piece of the governor’s plan to address a $3 billion budget shortfall for 2010.

§  One U.S. agency didn’t get memo about openness

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has ignored repeated requests from The Arizona Republic for information about sexual assaults. The BIA needs to release its investigative records and save time, taxpayer dollars and embarrassment.

§  Group challenges state to ‘expect more’

To combat the quite-real perception that too many Arizonans are indifferent to quality education, a business-education-philanthropic coalition has launched ”Expect More Arizona,” a campaign to entice the state’s students and parents to raise their performance expectations.


The Daily Courier

§  Cities worry about state plans for local impact fees 

§  State water agency faces 56-percent cut


East Valley Tribune

§  Ariz. Democrats assail Republicans over flu

House Democrats are trying to make political hay out of the swine flu outbreak, saying Republican budget cuts have left Arizonans more at risk.


Phoenix Business Journal

§  ADOT gets first stimulus money

The Arizona Department of Transportation is one of the first state agencies to start awarding contracts with stimulus money. The Phoenix Business Journal will have extended coverage of the stimulus efforts and the economy starting in this week’s edition.


Sierra Vista Herald

§  Fort gets more stimulus money

FORT HUACHUCA — More than $4.5 million of federal economic recovery funds have been approved for eight construction projects aimed at making the fort more energy efficient, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office said Wednesday.

Basha’s Fights Back









Bashas’ Supermarket Chain sent out a mailer this week to correct the inaccuracies being spread by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union who have sent out mailers of there own throughout the metro Phoenix area.  The UFCW mailing claimed health and safety violations in the Bashas’ supermarkets as well as citing issues on how they treat their workers.  UFCW spokesman Corey Owens said:

“The union is not interested in any way in destroying Bashas’.  We just think they have a responsibility to their workers.”

Hmm, that is a funny remark, considering the hit pieces that they put out to ruin Bashas’ reputation. [NOTE: we are working on posting copies of the mailings.  As soon as we have them, we will put them up.]  In fact, Mr. Owens lets the inside secret leak out a bit:

“The reality is they’re one of the biggest corporations in Arizona, and they act like it.”

The biggest issue that the UFCW has with Bashas’ is that it is a company that provides goods and services in exchange for payment from their customers.  In other words, Bashas’ is interested in making money and the UFCW believes that everyone should be making the same amount of money regardless of their position as warehouse worker or CEO of the corporation.  They want an equal distribution of wealth amongst all of the workers.

Spokeswoman for Bashas’ Supermarkets Kristy Nied when asked about the Bashas’ mailing said:

I think it pretty much has everything that we wanted to get out there in terms of the truth and the facts.”

We will keep an eye on this story and report back on any developments.

Judge Shows That Some Workers Are NOT More Equal Than Others

You Are Fired 

There was an important article in today’s East Valley Tribune about the recent layoffs of government employees because of the severe financial constraints that we are experiencing.  Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Andrew Klein ruled on Monday that the union request to reinstate workers let go due to the state financial issues and to halt future layoffs has been denied allowing for the firings to stand and the layoffs — should they be necessary — to continue.

Klein, in his opinion said that the agencies “did their best to make informed, good faith decisions as to which employees had to be let go.’’  According to the article, this does not resolve the issue as there is still litigation that is ongoing to test whether the firings were legal.

However, the biggest news of this article was not necessarily the decision of the court but that the true intentions of the union appeared.  The state director of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Scott Washburn had this to say after the ruling when asked about the union’s next move:

“We don’t have a friend in the governor, we don’t have friends in the Legislature,’’ he said. Washburn said the ultimate solution would be to “change the politicalSEIU Logo makeup’’ of state government.

“The people that are running it now are ideologically opposed to government,’’ Washburn said. “And the people that we represent work for government.’’

The dirty little secret is what is buried within this comment.  To SEIU, this is about growing big government, growing the number of members to their union, and ultimately growing the amount of money and power of the SEIU.  This had little to do with what is best for Arizona taxpayers who are stuck footing the bill.

In his comments, we also see what the intended plan is for 2010 election cycle.  The governor and the legislature are now in the crosshairs of the unions who will do everything that they can to steal away the power from the taxpayers and the elected officials that we put in office so that the SEIU can pad their pockets with more union dues and big government jobs.  It is up to us to maintain our pressure and beat back the unions from getting established within Arizona state government.

Huge Victory for Joe and Judy Taxpayer

Average Joe Logo

Late on Thursday afternoon, Governor Brewer issued a very important executive order to Arizona taxpayers.  The order reaffirmed Arizona as a “Right to Work” state.  Governor Brewer rightly pointed out:

“It was long ago decided by the citizens of Arizona to provide protection in the Arizona Constitution to ensure the freedom of workers to choose whether to join and participate in a union.”

Governor Brewer is referring to Article 25 of the Arizona Constitution:Governor Jan Brewer

Right to work or employment without membership in labor organization

No person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization, nor shall the State or any subdivision thereof, or any corporation, individual or association of any kind enter into any agreement, written or oral, which excludes any person from employment or continuation of employment because of non-membership in a labor organization.

Governor Brewer takes it one step further in her press release to talk about the “meet and confer” order that former Governor Napolitano issued in December allowing for executive-level public employees to meet with a third party representative (union delegate) to represent their grievances, concerns, and complaints to department heads.  This move essentially primed the pump for public employee union organizing within state government.

“The establishment late last year of a broad meet and confer process for all of state government, without public discourse or legislative policy discussion, unnecessarily exposes the state to legal claims and conflicts with Arizona’s right to work laws,” according to Governor Brewer’s press release.

AIA LogoArizonans In Action, who led the charge against this executive order issued by Napolitano in the waning days of her administration, responded to the news and had this to say:

“This is a great day for the taxpayers of Arizona… We know Governor Brewer saw that this issue was important to Arizonans, felt the support of our members, and was able to come to a decision reaffirming Arizona as a right to work state,” said Nathan Nascimento, Executive Director.

Nascimento continued,

“Governor Brewer, by rescinding this order, has protected the rights of state workers, preserved the voice of the taxpayers, and restored honor and integrity back to the office of governor.”

This statement comes on the heels of a the reminder that Arizonans In Action sent to Governor Brewer just days before her order.

Governor Brewer should be thanked for standing up to the strong arm tactics of the unions and looking out for Joe and Judy Taxpayer.