UAW Passes The Blame

Katie Gage
August 9, 2010

Poorly funded worker pension plans and an all-time low in membership have left the new United Auto Workers (UAW) president deflecting blame. As a result, Bob King appears to view imposing unionization on auto companies as a means to clean up the mess both he and his fellow union bosses have created.

This new scheme would require foreign automakers that are opening plants in the United States to sign onto an agreement that would guarantee the UAW the opportunity to unionize their workers. And their first targets are businesses already established in the United States that aren’t currently unionized. So why the big push?

One main reason comes to mind: money. A number of national unions in the United States are struggling to fund their workers’ own pension plans. The decrease in membership in the last few decades coupled with ill-advised spending by Big Labor bosses has drained the much needed – and promised – pensions for throngs of union workers around the country who have worked for decades and paid into the system. Having been promised better benefits, these workers are expecting a full payout on their pensions as they should. But labor bosses – who have been frivolously spending union dues on retreats in resorts and other lavish expenses have now dug themselves a deep hole of debt and are scrambling for ways to make up revenue, starting with forcibly unionizing new workers.

Another reason why union bosses are having difficulty coming up with the resources to deliver on the promises they made to their own workers is that Big Labor has been pouring money into political campaigns over the past few years, with pledges to spend $50 million this election cycle after having spent nearly half a billion in 2008.

Organized labor’s large contributions to President Obama and other supporters of the union boss agenda in Washington weigh heavily on their minds when they see their lead agenda item – the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) – not getting traction in Congress. But the job-killing legislation remains at the top of their list because it would give more power to labor bosses to force unionization onto workers around the country. EFCA eliminates the secret ballot in union-organizing elections exposing workers to immense pressure and intimidation at the hands of these same bosses.

Once a collective bargaining unit has been formed through the coercion and bullying of employees, a small business has a matter of months to agree to union boss demands or the government sends in a bureaucrat and a contract is forced on the employees and employer alike without their consent. Neither the workers nor the small business owners can appeal the contract terms, which include changes to wages, benefits and workplace conditions.

Having been unable to secure EFCA, Big Labor has taken to furthering their anti-jobs agenda through the executive branch, including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and National Mediation Board (NMB). This latest attempt from the UAW to take matters into their own hands and force companies bringing jobs into the country to immediately and forcibly unionize demonstrates labor bosses are growing desperate, yet still wetted to their job-killing agenda.

At a time when Americans need more and better jobs, small businesses must have the freedoms to grow and thrive in their communities. The Big Labor agenda is simply not the answer. And the UAW’s attempt to pass the blame on their own mismanagement and incompetence to others by trying to impose unionization on businesses would only cost us more jobs and stymie our economy’s ability to recover.

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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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