Union Bosses Go After Property Holders, Businesses & Girl Scouts

Katie Gage
January 14, 2011

If you think Big Labor’s agenda is confined to taking away the secret ballot and empowering bureaucrats to mandate contracts on workers and small businesses alike without their consent, their latest scheme may surprise you. The most recent targets in the push by union bosses to force unionization on employees and employers are groups like the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross and Salvation Army.

For decades, these organizations have contributed significantly to communities around our great nation, and have survived on fundraising and community relationships. But if the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) had its way, these groups could be banned from accessing private property with a small business’ consent – meaning elementary school students in the Girl Scouts, a staple of Americana, wouldn’t be allowed to sell their beloved and delicious cookies outside of your local supermarket. And the Salvation Army would not be allowed to collect change during the Christmas season for those most in need, as their bell ringers would be denied access to shopping malls. And the list goes on and on.

But why would union bosses want to deny access to the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross and Salvation Army?

Simple, union bosses want access to private property so they can bully workers into joining unions and/or scare away customers with inflammatory and misleading rhetoric. And the AFL-CIO refuses to take no for an answer. Despite the consequences, they have appealed to the Obama Administration for help, seeking a decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would, in effect, so constrict business owners’ rights to determine what outside parties can be on their own premises, that they would be left between a rock and a hard place: either allow union bosses to solicit their employees and frighten their clientele or say goodbye to giving access to any outside group.

Richard Trumka is trying to force his way onto these properties so he can gain access to handpicked employees of private companies to push for forced unionization of all the workers. Business owners, not wanting this type of coercion on their property, reserve the right to refuse access to anyone whom they so choose. But the labor bosses want to force employers to allow them access – and they are demanding government bureaucrats issue an all or nothing edict.

Small business owners are refusing to cower to Big Labor. In fact, a coalition of them has submitted an amicus brief to the NLRB showing their adamant objection to the AFL-CIO’s demand. As their amicus brief states, “the primary interest of the Coalition in this case is to preserve the legitimate private property rights of employers, as they have been recognized and upheld by the United States Supreme Court and numerous courts of appeals.” If the NLRB decides against business owners, they will be forced to either allow union bosses to have access to their property, or deny access to every group under the sun, including those raising funds for the poor.

The absurdity of this infringement on private property owned by employers across the country is un-American, anti-freedom and anti-business. The great character building and appreciation for community service that I learned as a “brownie” in the Girl Scout program is one of the few remaining redeeming community traditions we have in this country. The lessons these girls are learning through their cookie selling campaigns are much greater than practicing math and sales skills. They are building relationships in their neighborhoods and connecting local businesses with families and patrons. In sum – everybody wins. Well, everybody except Big Labor, apparently.

And if being forced to disallow the Girl Scouts and Salvation Army from accessing property they own wasn’t bad enough, small business owners must also contend with boycotts and harassment engineered by union bosses. We’ve seen the lengths to which Big Labor will go when they made an all out push in the 111th Congress seeking passage of the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA), which would have removed basic worker rights and caused millions of jobs to be lost. But now with labor radical and former union attorney Craig Becker seated on the NLRB, Big Labor has set its sights on a new target.

The AFL-CIO’s complete disregard for the rights of private property holders and the collateral damage their actions would cause to outstanding organizations like the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross and Salvation Army is nothing less than appalling. Richard Trumka and those who are advocating for this position should be ashamed of themselves and if they had any shred of decency, they would apologize to the American people and request that this matter be set aside.

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

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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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