If you’re interested in learning more about the state of Organized Labor today and its impact on our economy, I invite you to read a compelling special report just released by Human Events entitled, “THE BIG LABOR STRANGLEHOLD: Killing Jobs & Hurting America.” Written by Dr. Carl F. Horowitz, project manager for the National Legal and Policy Center, this 26-page report looks beyond the well-publicized but misleading statistics about declining union membership and documents the strategies, goals, impact, and prospects of Big Labor in America. To receive your complimentary copy, simply click on the link provided in the current blog to go to the Human Events website. Once you register, a pdf version of the report will be sent directly to the email address you specify.
From the desk of Steve Cabot: With his Congressional rubber stamp privileges revoked by the decisive loss of the House of Representatives last November, President Obama continues to use the rule-making and regulatory powers of the Executive Branch to work his will on employers. He seems emboldened by the push-back from the American people, and is doubling down on his efforts to “transform” the country in his remaining time in office.
Previously, we described how the Democrat-dominated NLRB recently proposed rules which would significantly impact management’s ability to makes its case leading up to a union ratification election. Now it’s the Department of Labor which has stepped in to influence and intimidate employers who seek advice from outside attorneys and consultants (officially known as “persuaders”) as they prepare for these elections.
Specifically, the DOL has proposed a rule related to the reporting requirements under Section 203 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, which would broaden “advice” to mean any “oral or written recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct.” The rule stipulates that both the company and its consultants must open their books to report any of the newly-covered activities – and, even more intrusively, the details of any compensation involved.
As usual, the devil is in the details, as found in the language of the rule:
“For example, persuader activities may additionally include: Training or directing supervisors and other management representatives to engage in persuader activity; establishing anti-union committees composed of employees; planning employee meetings; deciding which employees to target for persuader activity or discipline; creating employer policies and practices designed to prevent organizing; and determining the timing and sequencing of persuader tactics and strategies.”
The rule goes on to state that even “union avoidance” seminars and conferences offered by lawyers or labor consultants to employers will constitute “reportable persuader activity.” The proposed rule was published on June 21, 2011, in the Federal Register. Public comments can submitted until August 22, 2011.
From the Desk of Steve Cabot: Having failed to get congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), organized labor is now benefitting from proposed new rules issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The new rules will ease the way for organized labor to win union elections by dramatically truncating the period of time from petition to election. It currently takes an average of 57 days from petition to election; under the new rules that period would be reduced to from 10 to 21 days. Of course, union organizers often spend months convincing employees to vote for unionization, prior to the filing of a petition. Now, the newly imposed brief interregnum will significantly curtail a company’s ability to educate employees about the disadvantages of unionization.
As if that were not sufficiently injurious to Corporate America, the NLRB rules would also permit the electronic filing of election petitions, defer litigation about voter eligibility until after an election, require employers to provide a union with the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all employees prior to an election, consolidate all litigious matters into a single post-election appeals action in order to eliminate individual actions that could delay an election.
One can only speculate what additional pro-union rules and regulations the NLRB may issue in the coming months. Certainly issues of wages and benefits will be an enticing subject for the NLRB ideologues to consider.
Corporate America has, thus far, been too complacent, believing that because the number of union members has decreased over the years that unions have been rendered ineffectual. In fact, unions are vigorously preparing for an aggressive assault on Corporate America, and its chief advocate and front-line ally is the NLRB, which is proposing a number of radical threats to Corporate America that should not be ignored.