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 Along with cutbacks, the DOL has rescinded an order which had required unions to report transparently about its bank accounts, especially its strike funds.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.

expert labor relations advice


From the desk of Stephen Cabot: UNITE HERE, the union for service workers, wants the Democratic National Committee to choose a city for its 2012 convention that has mostly unionized hotels. Neither Cleveland nor Charlotte, North Carolina meets that criterion. Thus, UNITE HERE has demanded that those two cities be removed from consideration. As the biggest funders of the Democratic Party, unions have the power to decide where the party’s national convention will be held. In 2010, organized labor reportedly spent more than $171 million to help the party elect Democrats to both houses of Congress. While that is certainly a large sum of money, it didn’t serve to convince most voters to vote Democratic; however, it did give the unions more than a mere voice in Democratic political decisions. In other words, the Democratic Party owes unions big time. And though North Carolina is a political swing state that the Democrats hope to win in 2012, it is also a right-to-work state. The Democrats must decide whether to put North Carolina’s electoral votes in jeopardy, or whether to alienate UNITE HERE. Such a dilemma is predictable when a political party sells itself to a single special interest group rather than considering the overall good of the county. The Democrats are locked in a deadly embrace with organized labor, one that the majority of Americas find repugnant and economically destructive.

expert labor relations advice


From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The fight to pass card check legislation has stalled in congress, much to the anger and dismay of organized labor. It, therefore, turned its efforts to individual states, such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Oregon, which have passed card check legislation, permitting union organizers to bypass secret ballot elections and increase union membership. More than ten states have now passed legislation permitting the use of card checks. The use of card checks invites union intimidation, harassment, and coercion, not just to employees, but also to their families.

In response to the actions taken by those ten states, four other states have proposed legislation to maintain secret ballot elections. The four states are Arizona, South Carolina, Utah, and South Dakota. To ensure that workers cannot be coerced by union organizers into signing cards declaring they want to be represented by unions, North Dakota, for example, is proposing an amendment to its state constitution that in union elections “the fundamental right of the individual to vote by secret ballot election be protected.”

Unions and their pro-union political allies fail to admit that unionization has been a disaster for their states. Over the last ten years, pro-union governors have witnessed their states’ employment decrease by 2.8%. Right-to-work states, however, have enjoyed a 3.7% increase in employment over the same period!

expert labor relations advice