published Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Pam's Points: Union Lite, new-age discrimination and the shootings count

The meaning of union words

My, my — what a difference a day and a vote makes.

So U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is all for a union at Volkswagen as long as it is organized by the employees themselves, without UAW or some "outside" interest.

He calls it a "micro union." Another name might be: Union Lite.

Never mind that U.S. law — contrary to what Corker has said — wouldn't recognize that hybrid "works council" without some new legislation. And, as far as the senator has already stuck his neck out on this one, wouldn't you think in the time VW has been here and been talking about a works council that Sen. Corker would have already floated that legislation if he thought he had the slightest chance of getting it passed?

Get the picture: Big bad UAW had nothing but praise for the very company where union organizers were trying to bring a new 21st century kind of labor collaboration — in the very city that so prides itself on 21st century change. The city where Corker was mayor and brought much of that change about with his massive fund-raising effort to drive Chattanooga's 21st century waterfront.

Go figure, that on the other side of the field, the only people criticizing the company were Corker and fellow Republicans at the state level, along with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. They termed VW's effort to collaborate with UAW as "cancerous." State Sen. Bo Watson called the company's works council "un-American." Corker said it would be a "laughingstock."

Now with UAW's lost vote, suddenly a works council by another name — micro union or union lite — is a wonderful solution.

But imagine what the establishment reaction would have been to such a workers' uprising before UAW walked into the picture. Let's see now, if these folks who think this is what should have happened all along now want to pony up and help. How? Well, who's going to pay for it? Are VW workers going to put up the money for lawyers to write bylaws and do the negotiating and make sure a micro union idea somehow passes legal muster when apparently it now would be anything but legal?

All of this does sound a little union lite, doesn't it? Let's hope it's not so anemic that we lose jobs over it.

Right to discriminate

Woe is Tennessee. Our lawmakers — even one of our own in Southeast Volville — are advancing a bill to give us a new right. The right to discriminate.

And, we would get to discriminate in (you guessed it) the name of religion.

Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, has picked up the sponsorship of legislation that could make Tennessee the first state in the nation to codify into state law the use of religion to discriminate by allowing cake makers, florists and other vendors to refuse service to same-sex couples who wish to marry, even if the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage is struck down.

The bill says vendors could turn down same-sex ceremonies if they contradict "sincerely held religious beliefs."

So? Businesses shouldn't have to serve customers they don't like? At first blush, who could really argue with that.

But: Doesn't that sound a bit similar to restaurants and hotels that refused some decades back to serve blacks?

Shootings: Where's the cavalry?

A young girl shot in an apartment complex just became the 17th victim in Chattanooga's 16th shooting of 2014.

Mightn't we ratchet up the urgency on the city's Violence Reduction Initiative set to begin in March?

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aae1049 said...

"Shootings: Where's the cavalry?"

I just cannot fathom how can there be such indifference to children being murdered. It was just months ago a 15 year old boy was found shot to death outside his home, then a 13 year old killed in gun cross fire, then a 16 year old girl shot in the head at the Berke family slum lords facilities at Woodlawn Apartments.

Not my words, the words of the TFP.

February 18, 2014 at 9:05 a.m.
jjmez said...

when did you start to care about children being murdered, aae? How is any of that Mayor's Berke's fault? Those shootings and killings have been going on long before Berke was elected. When someone is shot at a rental home, trailer or apartment in Hixson, Harrison, Soddy Daisy,Ooltewah do you blame the landlord or the person who fired the shot? Your fake love for a people you could care less about is nauseating.

February 18, 2014 at 9:52 p.m.
aae1049 said...

I guess since the early 2000's when I worked on the East TN commission on children and youth, and children's legislation for 8 years.

February 18, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.
jjmez said...

Anything to provide cover for one's true character?

February 18, 2014 at 10:38 p.m.
aae1049 said...

jjmez you seem like an angry Obama liberal :-) but then again I don't you either.

February 18, 2014 at 11:36 p.m.
jjmez said...

No, all that anger, hatred, depraved lunacy came from rightwing conservatives, using the Christian God and religion as a prop. Obviously they have no fear of the wrath of the Christian God, neither do they have any respect for religion, the Christian God or even themselves. You know the God they claim knows all and sees all. Attempts to say otherwise only makes the new message the right claims they want to convey appear shallow, insincere and devious.

February 19, 2014 at 9:58 a.m.
volsam said...

Pam, In a free market system any private company should be able to serve or not serve customers at their discretion. It's you progressive liberals that have taken political correctness to a whole new level. If a cake shop doesn't want to do business with me I would simply find one who will. If a business isn't living up to the expectations of it's customers the free market system will eliminate them without big Government's help. you liberals treat average people like they are stupid and incapable of making their own decisions. That's disgusting!

February 20, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.
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