PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS & THE 2012 ELECTIONS

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: While the news media has been focusing on public sector unions in Wisconsin and Ohio, the Obama administration has quietly encouraged the unionization of 45,000 airport screeners. The Transportation Security Administrator, John Pistole, a pro-union advocate, has been lauded by federal unions, who have wanted to unionize airport screeners for many years. This is an extraordinary development in light of the anti-public-union sentiment that has swept the county in the last few months. As the Obama Administration and Democratic legislators gear up for the 2012 elections, they will surely enlist the vast armies of unionized workers to deliver their election victories. As we get closer and closer to 2012, we can expect to see ever-increasing pro-union directives emanating from the White House.

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THE COMING SEIU TSUNAMI

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: According to an article in The Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com), the Service Employees International Union, which presently has 2 million members, intends to launch a major offensive against corporate America that will “peak in the summer of 2012.”

The Union intends to recruit new members to its ranks in 10 to 15 major American cities, including Cleveland, Milwaukee, Miami, and Detroit. Its recruitment efforts will take place at political primary events, town hall meetings, and other gatherings. No doubt, its focus will be at Democratic Party events, for the SEIU is a stalwart contributor to Democratic candidates. In the last presidential election, the SEIU spent $70 million! It is reportedly prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on its aggressive new recruitment efforts.

Many of its members are public sector workers who will receive inordinately large pensions upon their retirement, which will further contribute to the near bankruptcy of states. The Union, obviously, hopes to defeat any legislative measures that will curtail the size of those tax-payer funded pensions. Hence, its forthcoming efforts to beef up its membership rolls and deliver the maximum number of votes to its Democratic allies in 2012.

It is essential that both legislators and Corporate America prepare effective survival strategies to defeat the deleterious efforts of the SEIU. If not, public service pensions will indeed bankrupt one state after another leading to financial devastation throughout the land.

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THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD THREATENS TO ELIMINATE A BASIC AMERICAN RIGHT

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has threatened to sue four states for ensuring that workers can enjoy a basic democratic right to cast secret ballots when it come s to the possibility of unionization. The four states, South Dakota, South Carolina, Arizona, and Utah, have mandated the use of secret ballots in union elections.

The NLRB has made the Alice-in-Wonderland assertion that secret ballots violate federal law. Though Congress has refused to pass the Employee Free Choice Act that would have permitted unions to coerce workers into signing “card checks” to ensure union representation, the NLRB has repeatedly looked for opportunities to present unions with opportunities to impose the use of “card checks” on workers, who may not want to join a union.

Indeed, the most effective tactic that workers have against forced unionization is the secret ballot. No union organizer gets to coerce, embarrass, or intimidate a worker to join a union when the workers’ preferences are made oblique by casting secret, anonymous ballots.

We back the efforts of Minnesota Republican Representative John Kline to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with the passage of the Secret Ballot Protection Act. While the Republican dominated House of Representatives very well may pass the amendment, the Democrats in the Senate will not pass it. Corporate America, therefore, will have to wait until the election of 2012 to be delivered from the high-handed, pro-union actions of the NLRB. Meanwhile, it is essential that corporations put in place survival strategies that prevent labor relations problems before they arise.

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