Obama Administration Closes Year Paying Off Big Labor

Katie Gage
January 1, 2011
Townhall

With the White House doling out appointments, regulatory favors and other paybacks, Big Labor must be counting its blessings to have an administration in place willing to ignore the will of citizens and job creators. It does not seem President Obama feels inhibited in paying back union bosses even though his initiatives could not and would not pass in the legislature. Instead, he has taken to using unelected bureaucrats not accountable to voters to enact sweeping changes in labor laws.

All of this takes place in the context of Big Labor having spent half a billion dollars to elect Obama in the first place and hundreds of millions more in the midterm elections just a few, short months ago. So instead of engaging in public dialogue and advancing initiatives in Congress, the Obama Administration has settled on a skewed and secretive rulemaking process largely driven by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Just a year ago, we heard over and over again from union bosses that they would be able to achieve enactment of the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act. Friends of Big Labor in the Senate echoed the sentiment, confident that they would push this job-killing bill through, but small business owners and voters refused to allow it. The bill would remove workers’ rights to a secret ballot in union elections and force government-mandated contracts on employees and employers alike without their consent.

Frustrated with this failed effort, Big Labor turned its sights elsewhere and redirected its focus to the White House where they handpicked advocates to serve on the NLRB and do their bidding. It began with Craig Becker, the former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) attorney who received a recess appointment after being rejected in a bipartisan fashion by the U.S. Senate and who now refuses to recuse himself from matters directly related to and benefiting his previous employers.

Just this month, the NLRB decided in favor of union bosses in its ruling on the Dana Corporation. In this decision, employers and unions can conspire to identify the workers most easily persuaded into forming a collective-bargaining unit having them sign cards, while leaving the remaining half of the workforce without a voice or vote in the process which affects their wages, benefits and workplace rules.

In addition, the NLRB also pushed this year for electronic voting in unionization elections, which would take voting out of the workplace and introduce a myriad of potential problems – not the least of which would be coercion of workers. Factor in the high potential for fraud and it is easy to see where the NLRB’s loyalties lay – with union bosses, not workers.

As if changing the mode of voting wasn’t enough, the NLRB is now considering reversing a determination that employees have a 45-day window to file petitions for an election after being notified that the employer has recognized a union through a so-called “voluntary” card check agreement. Shortchanging workers by rushing them into a union vote and not giving them ample time to educate themselves before making a decision is just another way this government agency is paying back Big Labor.

And last week, the NLRB stated that it would require companies to publicly alert their employees of their right to unionize under Federal law, requiring postings on bulletin boards, and sometimes even calling for emails to be sent to all staff members. But there was no mention made of the right of employees to remain without a collective bargaining unit or even how to decertify one. Claiming the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 as its justification, the NLRB is taking one more jab at small business as we approach the end of the year.

Job creators will not simply look the other way and will hold to account those who advocate for job-killing policies.

Tell Congress: Stop the PRO Act

WFI is working to prevent passage of the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act)—a wholesale labor reform package that takes the current careful balance of labor rules and tips it greatly in the favor of labor bosses and forced collective bargaining.

The PRO Act robs workers of the right to a secret ballot to form a union, forces union contracts on workers without a vote of approval, and expose workers’ personal contact information to union bosses seeking to organize a workplace. And that’s just the start.

Help us speak out against this woefully misguided and blatantly anti-worker legislation. Review and send the message below to your members of Congress today.

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WFI Key Vote Letter: Opposition to PRO Act

— 02.10.2020 —
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), I am writing to share our organization’s vehement opposition to H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). WFI has serious concerns with the broad, overreaching nature of this legislation and the many ways in which it would undermine worker freedom and privacy, while simultaneously threatening businesses and entire industries that keep America’s economy thriving. Please note that WFI will include votes on the PRO Act and its amendments on our Congressional Labor Scorecard, which scores and ranks legislators based on their activity associated with workplace issues. WFI was established to fight for American employees and employers as well as our entire economy. We believe in worker empowerment, the right of workers to be fully informed of the options available for worker-involvement in the workplace, and the right to freely choose whether to organize or not. No individual or group – government, a union or an employer – should be able to intimidate or restrict workers’ in exercising these rights. In an attempt to boost flailing union membership at the expense of workers’ rights, the PRO Act would upend decades of established U.S. labor law and institute myriad anti-employee and anti-employer policies that have already been soundly rejected—by Congress, various federal agencies, or the courts. Among its most blatant affronts to workers’ rights, the PRO Act would eliminate the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to unionize and enforce a “card check” system, exposing workers to the potential for harassment, intimidation, and coercion. The PRO Act would also enforce binding arbitration in union negotiations by a government- appointed bureaucrat; repeal and eliminate right-to-work laws in 27 states, force workers to fund union activities regardless of whether they support them; and threaten the ability of individuals to operate as independent contractors, eliminating traditional economic and employment opportunities and threatening the independence and flexibility of the emerging gig economy. On top of all that, the PRO Act would force all workers’ personal and home contact information to be provided to a union during organizing campaigns – in an electronic, searchable format no less, with no limit on what a union can do with that information. WFI believes in advancing sensible policies that protect and preserve the rights of both employees and employers, and we welcome the opportunity to work with legislators who also support these efforts. However, the PRO Act does not achieve these goals and would instead threaten the rights of both while jeopardizing our entire economy. WFI urges members of the House to strongly oppose the PRO Act. Sincerely, Heather Greenaway Executive Director Workforce Fairness Institute See the letter here.
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