Union Busters Going Down

Polls for a referendum on an anti-union law in Ohio indicate repeal.

Tomorrow, Ohioans will vote on Issue 2, a referendum to repeal an anti-union law that threatens to destroy public-sector unions in the state. Last spring, the governor and majority-Republican legislature passed Senate Bill 5, restricting public unions' ability to strike, collectively bargain with employers, and collect dues. In response, state Democrats and unions put the law on the ballot. Going into tomorrow's vote, it looks like labor will pull it off. A new survey from Public Policy Polling shows 59 percent of voters plan to reject SB 5 on Tuesday, while only 36 percent of voters will vote to approve it. It would be an immediate victory for workers' wages and job stability. As a crucial swing state, the win for labor also bodes well for Democrats in the 2012 elections.

McEntee, Head of AFSCME, to Retire

Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municiple Employees (AFSCME), the 1.4 million-member union that is the largest in the AFL-CIO, has told certain members of AFSCME's executive board that he will not run for re-election. McEntee has been heading AFSCME since 1981 and is the senior member of the AFL-CIO's executive council, as well as the longtime head of its political committee.

In an e-mail yesterday to members of his own executive council, AFSCME Indiana leader David Warrick wrote:

Strike While It's Hot

Today, Occupy Oakland ups the ante in Occupy Wall Street tactics: It has called a general strike for the city of Oakland.

Half-Right Brooks

David Brooks’ column today is one of his better ones—noting that the U.S. is plagued by two kinds of inequality, that which divides the top one percent from everyone else, which is prevalent in our major cities, and that in smaller cities and rural areas, where college grads are doing OK but where the bottom has fallen out for those Americans who don’t complete college or, worse, high school. The gap between the lives of college grads and others has widened not just in terms of income but health, diet, marriage stability, and the percentage of children born and raised out of wedlock.

Women and Wal-Mart

Do you remember the big Wal-Mart class-action case alleging that the behemoth retailer systematically discriminated against women, which the Supreme Court tossed out? (Technically, the SC said the case was too big and the plaintiffs too disparate to be bundled together and tried in a single lawsuit because they all had different situations and complaints).

Steve Jobs and the Chinese Wall

Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs hit the bookstores on Monday (or, worse, the websites that have replaced bookstores as the place where people go to buy books), and the more piquant details have already started popping up in the press. Among those details—actually, it’s a good deal more than details—is Jobs’s Manichean view of humankind (at least, those elements of humankind with whom he came into contact). As Michael Rosenwald summarizes it in Monday’s Washington Post:

Once Made in the USA

The U.S. may soon reach the point where it can't rebuild its manufacturing base.

Manufacturing, says Andrew N. Liveris, thrives in countries that have plenty of customers and a government that significantly supports industry. Right now, he continues, the United States is down the list on both counts.

Florida, Inc.

If a state were a business, CEO Rick Scott would be shown the door.

(Flickr/Governor Rick Scott)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott's ever present, camera-ready grin masks the strain of an embattled politician. His approval ratings rank at the bottom among the nation's governors, and Democrats are poised to use him as the bogeyman of the 2012 election in a key battleground state. He can't match the always-sunny-in-Florida cheer of his predecessor, Charlie Crist, but Scott rivals any Wall Street CEO's unyielding optimism amid dismal earnings.

"Hey, how's it going? You doing all right?" he says as he smiles and grips a woman's hand.