Orange County Register – Katie Packer Gage: Stalking exemption for Big Labor unfair

April 16, 2013 – Stalking exemption for Big Labor unfair California legislators must put their constituents ahead of a powerful special interest.

The first and most important responsibility of any elected official is to protect constituents. It is an unwritten rule, meaning it is so well understood and established that it need not be etched in stone. Yet ­ for some reason ­ this seems to be lost upon California’s representatives in Sacramento.

It is relatively unknown among the state’s citizens that the Legislature has actually passed a bill exempting union bosses and their organizers from prosecution when engaging in acts which fall under the stalking statute. If Big Labor’s actions take place during a labor dispute, California law has authorized them to stalk workers, their employers or families.

It is long known that union bosses have an outsized presence and influence in the Golden State, but no one should be provided license to harass and intimidate another person. Government’s primary role is to serve the interests of the public at large, not to give special treatment to one interest group.

But California does not stand alone. According to a recent report issued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce titled, “Sabotage, Stalking & Stealth Exemptions: Special State Laws for Labor Unions,” Illinois, Nevada and Pennsylvania have also issued this carve out for organized labor. Forty-six other states have refused to sanction stalking during labor disputes, and it is past time they are joined by the Golden State.

According to the report, “The very existence of these exemptions calls attention to the fact that the tactics employed by unions in their organizing activities can inflict the same level of emotional distress and intimidation caused by a stalker. Harassment of opponents is often part of a union’s effort to confront adversaries and pressure them to give in to its demands, and stalking is one aspect of this behavior. Unions have been known to employ this tactic even against other … unions.”

Unfortunately, a pattern has developed among Big Labor bosses whereby they seek and receive immunity from the government to the detriment of employees and employers. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board has taken steps to sacrifice freedoms all Americans have earned in an effort to reward President Obama’s largest political contributor.

These callous and imprudent policies include approval of “quickie” or “ambush” elections, which allow an employer less than three weeks to respond to an effort to unionize a workplace. It places tremendous pressure on employees ensuring few will have the information necessary to make an informed decision affecting their livelihoods, whether or not to form a collective bargaining unit.

Next, President Barack Obama’s labor board has been considering electronic off-site voting, which is a form of computerized card check as it exposes an employee’s vote in a union election to the scrutiny of labor organizers. To make matters worse, the NLRB’s chairman, Mark Pearce, told a media outlet in 2012 that the so-called independent agency intended to “requir[e] businesses to hand over lists of employee phone numbers and emails to union leaders before an election.”

It would be wise for elected officials in Sacramento to demonstrate concern for their constituents, and eliminate the anti-stalking exemption for Big Labor bosses.

Katie Packer Gage is a spokeswoman for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

Copyright © 2013 Orange County Register. All Rights Reserved.

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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