From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Now that President Obama has lost his Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, he will only be able to satisfy the demands of his union backers by resorting to pro-labor executive orders.
To begin, the Labor Office of the Solicitor has issued an aggressive operating plan to increase pressure on employers. The plan includes a proposal to send strong warnings to employers that the Department of Labor will increase litigation efforts to bring about the results it seeks. It also intends to use the public arena to shame employers.
To further pressure and disrupt the operation of companies, the DOL intends to engage in “enterprise-wide enforcement,” which means that it will target multiple work sites with multiple enforcers, so that officials from the wage and hour division and OSHA, for example, will arrive at workplaces in tandem. And is if that would not be sufficiently problematic, the required remediation period will be significantly truncated.
Rather than just using fines to force compliance, the DOL now intends to utilize court injunctions to bring about immediate resolutions. And if necessary, it will also seek out companies that can serve as test cases. Such test cases are meant to serve as warnings to Corporate America.
To coincide with the DOL’s new aggressive policy, the Administration has established a passive policy regarding unions, for it has cut funding for the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS), so that there will be fewer officials to investigate union malfeasance, such as defalcations and kickbacks. Along with cutbacks, the DOL has rescinded an order which had required unions to report transparently about its bank accounts, especially its strike funds.
While union transparency that existed during the last Bush Administration will now be cloaked in governmental darkness, an intense beam of abuse will be focused on Corporate America, which will serve to reduce productivity and profitability.