Why should health care workers be afforded such cushy luxuries as overtime pay and minimum wage requirements? It’s not like health care workers have some of the most physically and emotionally draining jobs possible. It’s not as though health care work demands Buddhist-level patience, compassion, and understanding. They certainly aren’t exposed to potential illness and bio-medical hazards on a daily basis.

So why on God’s gray Earth would George W. Bush-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon grant these 2 million moocher-class health care workers dastardly socialistic benefits such as being guaranteed a minimum wage or being assured of appropriate compensation for extra work?

Sure, they care for the sick, frail and elderly in their homes, constantly toiling for the comfort and convalescence of others. Luckily for U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, he will never get sick, frail or elderly, because he’s pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and he doesn’t need prog socialism to make his way, and because, Freedom.

Alackaday, this world is absurd, and it is the inconsiderate views of unthinking men and women like Judge Leon who make it so. The overtime and minimum wage requirements for home care workers were proposed by the Obama administration in 2011. Natch, our new conservative activist judiciary will not have it.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders stood up to Judge Leon’s callousness.

“Not that we needed it, but Judge Leon’s decision denying overtime pay and a minimum wage to home health care workers is yet more proof that the deck is stacked against hardworking people,” Saunders said in a press release.

“Home health care workers provide care for the sick, frail and elderly. All they ask in return is a fair shake – and a fair wage – for the work they do. Instead, they got a slap in the face from Judge Leon. It’s a reminder of how important it is for home care workers – and every American worker – to rediscover how to get organized and stand up for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Ohi0’s own Gov. John Kasich threatened to rescinded two executive orders signed by former Gov. Ted Strickland that—clutch your pearls—authorize home health care and day-care workers to unionize.

From the Dayton Daily News:

 “I don’t like that provision. That executive order is probably toast. We will reverse that.”

Holy smokes, even Kasich’s use of cliché metaphor offends me. And reverse he did.

(Kasich) said he believed the order giving collective bargaining rights to independent home health-care workers forced nurses and others to unionize and pay dues when they don’t want to do so.

AFSCME Council 8 General Counsel Sean Grayson says the order does not force unionization, but sets up a process for workers to decide by secret ballot.

Hey John, don’t let the facts get in the way of your crony-capitalist water-carrying. It’s not like unionization has ever been good for workers anyway, right? Just another way to keep the moochers hanging from the socialist teet, am I right?

From the New York Times last week, reporting on a new study:

For those who belong to a union, membership seems to bring a benefit that perhaps surpasses better wages or generous health insurance: higher life satisfaction.

The study authors, Patrick Flavin, an assistant professor at Baylor University, and Gregory Shufeldt, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, used data from five different years between the early 1980s and mid-2000s, conducted in the United States, of the World Values Survey, a research project focusing on people’s beliefs. As they write in the report, they found that “union members are more satisfied with their lives than those who are not members and that the substantive effect of union membership on life satisfaction is large and rivals other common predictors of quality of life.”

More satisfied with their lives, of all the nerve! How dare they? Life satisfaction? Where is the money to be made in worker life satisfaction?

Nevertheless, the sitch, according to the researchers, is this:

“Based on previous research with other colleagues, we’ve found that states/countries with higher union membership levels also have higher levels of subjective well-being. In addition, states/countries with more active labor unions tend to have a stronger social safety net (welfare generosity, unemployment insurance, etc.), which previous research links to higher levels of subjective well-being among citizens.”

Nevertheless, in recent decades, unions have faced determined, even existential opposition to their very existence, as the authors note in the study: “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), only 11.3 percent of all wage and salary workers are members of a labor union, which reflects a decline of almost 10 percent of the American working population in the last 30 years,” they write. “Moreover, as evidenced by the quick demise of the Employee Free Choice Act in Congress and more recent high profile battles over collective bargaining rights and employee benefits in several states, even the ability to organize and join a labor union has become a politically contentious issue.”

Still, Mr. Flavin and Mr. Shufeldt told Op-Talk, “Policy decisions, unfortunately, are rarely made based on how it might affect subject well-being.”

Indeed, there’s been no small amount of ratfucking aimed at public and private unions, both in Ohio and nationally in recent years. Kasich himself leveled the most notorious misfiring of his governorship with the anti-collective bargaining Senate Bill 5, for which voters quickly turned around and handed Mr. Kasich his own smoldering ass.

David DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure based out of Athens, Ohio. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He can be found on Twitter @TheRevDeWitt.

 
  • Charlotte Miller

    This is what comes of an electorate sitting on its thumbs on Election Day instead of voting.

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