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.

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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