Sorry Mr. Trumka, They’re Just Not That Into You

Katie Gage
April 20, 2011

It seems like every few days we see another example of workers giving unions the cold shoulder.

Over the last three decades, unionization in the private sector has plummeted from 35% to just under 7% today. This is the lowest rate in a century.

In fact, nine out of 10 Americans currently working in a non-union environment would say “no” to unionization, if given the choice.

But Big Labor bosses don’t seem to get the message. Instead, they work to force unionization on employees and employers at every turn. They’re like a bad first date who won’t take “no thank you” for an answer.

And in recent days they have grown increasingly desperate and turned to regulatory agencies to do their bidding. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is tasked with administering to disputes between unions and employers in the private sector. The agency is supposed to be “independent” and is funded with taxpayer dollars.

Under the Obama Administration, the NLRB has become hyper-partisan with board members like Craig Becker advocating for Big Labor’s agenda resulting in job-killing policies that hurt workers and negatively impact small businesses. Becker is a former lawyer for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and continues to serve as an advocate for labor bosses in spite of the fact that the American people pay his salary.

The National Mediation Board (NMB) was created in the 1930s to settle labor disputes in the airline and railroad industries and keep America moving. However, the agency has become yet another place where labor bosses are seeking favors and gifts due to the fact that workers in the railroad and airline industries have repeatedly rejected unionization.

Instead of standing by the decisions made by workers, the NMB issued a rule change upending nearly a century of precedent whereby a majority of employees were required to vote in favor of the union to form a collective bargaining unit. Two of three NMB members, also handpicked supporters of Big Labor decided that a majority of those voting was sufficient to create a collective bargaining unit even if it meant workers lost their voice and vote.

Even though it’s the workplace equivalent to being forced into a second date, Big Labor bosses cheered the change of a rule in place since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president.

The actions of the NMB were so egregious, that the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to undo them in its reauthorization legislation for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

All of this comes on the heels of workers and small businesses thwarting efforts by union bosses to undo democratic staples like the secret ballot. In the last session of Congress, elected officials supported and financed by labor organizations introduced the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA).

The legislation would have effectively eliminated the secret ballot by instituting a card check process allowing organizers to coerce and intimidate workers forcing them to support unionization. And after the collective bargaining unit had been formed through fear and harassment, the bill required binding arbitration empowering the government to mandate contract terms on employees and employers alike without their consent.

The legislation was soundly rejected on Capitol Hill by elected representatives on behalf of their constituents sending a message to Big Labor that said, “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

So I have a message for Mr. Trumka and his Big Labor boss pals as they work to force workers into their ranks against their will: “Sorry guys, they’re just not that into you.”

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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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