President Obama & Union Leaders Continue To Advocate For Job-Killing Legislation

Katie Gage
August 20, 2010

In spite of the fact that our nation’s economy is struggling and talk of a meaningful recovery has halted, both President Obama and Big Labor bosses continue to advocate for the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA), legislation economists believe would result in massive job loss and seriously harm our nation’s top job creators, small businesses. Due to the burdens and restrictions it would place on employers, EFCA would result in 600,000 lost jobs in one year alone, while at the same time, saddling small businesses with debts and liabilities forcing many to close their doors or move overseas.

As a result, for well over a year, nearly every major business organization in the country has been calling on the Obama Administration and Congress to table the job-killing legislation and focus on measures that will grow the economy and stimulate hiring.

Unfortunately, Big Labor’s millions appear to have more influence with politicians in Washington, D.C. than do the voices of their constituents.

President Obama recently re-stated his support for EFCA telling the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Executive Council that “we are going to keep on fighting to pass the Employee Free Choice Act.”

Understanding there is not sufficient bipartisan support in Congress to pass legislation that will cost America even more jobs, Obama went further saying, “[t]here is a reason why we nominated people the National Mediation Board … We’re going to make sure that the National Labor Relations Board is restored.”

President Obama is advocating for agencies stocked with Big Labor’s cronies to execute administratively what the Congress has been unwilling to do.

This leads one to ask, why would the President say in one breath job creation is his top priority and in the next espouse having bureaucrats enact job-killing policies? The answer is simple, “payback.”

Obama owes these same union bosses for having helped elect him in 2008 when Big Labor spent nearly half a billion dollars to propel him into office. And these same bosses have said very clearly and on the record, they expect a return on that investment and have put politicians on notice that they had better hold up their end of the bargain.

Shortly after the President made his comments on EFCA, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pledged to secure a vote on the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act. He has repeatedly voiced hope for EFCA, legislation that removes workers’ right to a secret ballot vote and puts the government in control of small businesses dictating employee salaries and benefits. Trumka declared, “I think you’ll see the Employee Free Choice Act come up again [in Congress]. I think you’ll see it probably before the end of the year.”

With Congress in recess and many members visiting their hometowns and districts, it should be made clear to them where the American people stand – which is in direct conflict with what Mr. Obama and Trumka are trying to promote.

Last week, Gallup released a poll revealing Americans, more so now than at almost any other time in our nation’s history, disapprove of organized labor, which is a direct reflection on the bosses, not the workers. According to the poll, Americans want unions to have less influence than they have today, yet officials in Washington are simply ignoring the public as they attempt to empower Big Labor.

The will of the American people is clear, they expect those in elected office to heed their concerns, oppose job-killing legislation and give less power and influence to special interests that support policies that will hurt both workers and small businesses.

While the nation’s citizens say one thing, it appears President Obama and his union boss friends are intent on doing another. But ultimately, they fail to comprehend that the real authority lies with those who placed them in office, and the tide will just as quickly take back out to sea what it brought to shore to begin with.

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AZ Daily Sun--Coconino Voices: PRO Act legislation would hurt local businesses

— 05.13.2021 —
By: Julie Pastrik Arizona businesses and workers have had an incredibly challenging year given the economic slowdown that followed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. However, local businesses and industries across the state are resilient and on the road to a strong recovery that will mean more jobs for Arizona workers and increased economic development to strengthen our communities. That is, as long as Congress does not move forward with potentially devastating legislation that would hurt local employers and employees alike while impeding our state’s economic recovery. Unfortunately, some members of Congress seem determined to do just that by pushing through the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. As harmless as the name may sound, the PRO Act would have serious repercussions for local businesses, particularly smaller ones, while undermining long-standing rights for employees and threatening the growing gig economy that has helped provide much-needed income for so many during this time. Arizona is fortunate to have leaders like Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, who have both refrained from joining the vast majority of their Democratic colleagues in cosponsoring the PRO Act. In a slap in the face to Arizona workers, the PRO Act removes one of the most fundamental rights a worker has when it comes to voting in elections to determine whether to unionize: the secret ballot. Instead, workers could be forced to sign union authorization cards in front of other employees, their employer, or union organizers. This bill would also destroy workers’ right to privacy by allowing unions access to personal information, including their home address and personal phone number. If that doesn’t open the door to union intimidation and harassment, I don’t know what does. As if that was not bad enough, the PRO Act would create major new challenges for Arizona businesses, making it harder for them to create jobs, expand in their communities, and even keep their doors open. It would redefine what it means to be a “joint employer” under national labor law, greatly complicating existing relationships between franchisors and franchisees as well as between business owners, contractors, subcontractors, and vendors and suppliers. At the same time, it would interfere with attorney-client confidentiality and make it much more difficult for small businesses to secure a legal advice on labor issues. Particularly harmful during these times, the PRO Act would apply a failed policy from California to national labor law by using the “ABC” test to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee. This makes it much harder to qualify as an independent contractor, threatening the freedom and flexibility that tens of thousands of Arizonans find in independent contracting and gig economy work. Ultimately, the PRO Act is bad public policy that only works for union leaders to inflate their falling ranks while threatening workers’ rights, undermining small businesses, and jeopardizing a growing part of our economy. This is not a good solution for Arizona, and Senators Sinema and Kelly should stay firm and not cosponsor this misguided legislation.
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