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Another union shakedown: Rewarding thugs

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Monday, March 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

“Ding Dongs” aren't merely the popular snack cakes of erstwhile baker Hostess. They're also a fitting moniker for government's union coddlers, who have sweetened the mix for the bakery union that drove Hostess out of business.

Under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, the bakers who rejected Hostess' requested contract concessions — which even the hard-charging Teamsters felt compelled to accept — will get a slew of publicly paid benefits for a “job action” that put 18,500 people out of work, The Heritage Foundation reports.

It starts with up to two years of job training and adds a refundable “health care tax credit” that covers 65 percent of an ex-employee's health insurance, plus a two-year wage-insurance program, which in part replaces workers' earnings if they take a lower-paying job.

Although few people supposedly qualify for TAA benefits, the bakers did, reports Heritage's Ashe Schow. And nobody can fully explain why because TAA support is reserved for workers who lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade.

If private-sector unions can drive their employers to bankruptcy, then pick up a boatload of perks for members in between jobs, what's to prevent more Hostess meltdowns, thereby tipping the bargaining table even more so in unions' favor?

Organized labor has grown fat enough on Obamanomics; taxpayers have no business rewarding their extortionist thuggery.

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