Just as some are discussing the Employee Free Choice Act “obituary” after Big Labor lost their political battle in Arkansas (over Blanche Lincoln), the political wheels in Washington just keep on turning, churning out additional ways to benefit unions.
As we reported, the NLRB floated a request for input on setting up a remote, electronic-voting procedure for NLRB elections. Business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are fighting back, but it is probably only a matter of time until we say goodbye to the NLRB-monitored secret ballot election process sans intimidation and coercion. According to former NLRB member Chuck Cohen, “There’s nothing to stop people from saying ‘Let’s do our Internet voting or telephone voting together to show our solidarity.’ ”
We also reported on the Supreme Court decision nullifying over 600 NLRB decisions. Although the impact from this is probably not too significant since most of the cases were typically non-controversial, it’s another pebble in the avalanche headed toward American business. The resolve of the NLRB to remain union-friendly can be clearly viewed in Craig Becker’s refusal to recuse himself from cases that definitely fit the standards of Obama’s supposed 2-year “ethics pledge.”Becker based his refusal on the specious argument that local affiliates of the SEIU are not the same as the parent organization (the International SEIU)!
As the administration continues to beef up the “enforcement” staff at the various sub-departments within the DOL, continue to expect Big Labor to use the pressure from claims of violations (such as OSHA) as a lethal organizing tactic.
Buried within the “bureaucratese” of the health care bill are a minimum of five give-aways that specifically benefit unions. The bill is so complex that more are sure to emerge as the analysis of the behemoth law unfolds. In similar fashion the DISCLOSE Act, which deals with disclosure requirements in campaign spending, was rife with union loopholes.
Further legislation with union-friendly components is sure to follow. Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) is attempting to rally his fellow Democrats to support a federal bill that will abolish right to work laws in the 22 states that have them!
Ron Gettelfinger, now the former president of the UAW, attempted to rally the troops to continue the fight for the Employee Free Choice Act in his farewell speech. In particular, he recommended using the upcoming November elections to pressure candidates to take a positive view of the bill.
The tactic may backfire on Big Labor, however, as business groups jump on the “election pressure” bandwagon. One group in Nevada, the newly formed Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs, submitted questionnaires to all Nevada candidates for federal office, asking their stance on the EFCA. The group plans to release the findings to the voting public, and if there is truth to the recent polling of how the public feels about unions, the ploy may be effective, at least in changing the politicians’ campaign rhetoric. Blanche Lincoln’s recent primary victory in Arkansas could be a preview. The union candidate there, Bill Halter, refused to take a position on EFCA and was hammered by Lincoln’s campaign for the money he received from labor unions.
In another example of taking politicians to task on the side of businesses, the Americans for Limited Government called out nine Republican members of Congress (among others) for co-signing their names to what ALG characterizes as a plot to provide a $165 billion taxpayer bailout of union pension plans.