THE UAW ON THE WARPATH

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Not satisfied with bringing the Detroit automakers to near financial collapse as a result of onerous union rules and regulations, the United Auto Workers (UAW) now wants to impose its typically stifling workplace scenarios on foreign auto makers that have built manufacturing facilities in the United States. Those facilities employ tens of thousands of workers who enjoy middle class salaries and benefits. Their morale and levels of productivity are high.

Nevertheless, the UAW has not only promised to expose so-called human rights violations at those facilities as if shining a light on third world dictatorships, but it also intends to utilize $60 million of its $800 million strike fund to achieve its objectives.

To further the achievement of its goals, the UAW is also demanding that auto makers give up their right to free speech by agreeing not to discuss unionization on company grounds unless UAW representatives can participate. Yet, union representatives can and do visit employee homes where they proselytize for unionization without company representatives being present.

And card checks (as one might have expected) are also included in the UAW strategy. Utilizing card checks, unionization would occur if a majority of employees sign cards signifying that they want to be represented and if the union can claim there has been a history of “anti-union activity.” Once unionization has been established and there is no agreement on a contract after six months, the UAW wants the matter turned over to binding arbitration, which had been an ingredient of the congressionally rejected Employee Free Choice Act.

It is apparent that the UAW is intent on driving up its dues-paying membership rolls, which have dropped from 1.5 million members in 1979 to 400,000 members today. Its $800 million strike fund could be enormously increased by unionizing workers at those entire foreign car manufacturing facilities that are building vehicles in the United States.

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OBAMA TO RESTRICT FREE SPEECH OF EMPLOYERS

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: According to an article on the website of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce (www.chamberpost.com), the Chamber noted that the implementation of an Executive Order will gag contractors when doing business with the federal government. They will be restricted from exercising their rights of free speech when it comes to union organizing efforts.

President Obama’s Executive Order will prohibit contractors from using funds to persuade employees “to exercise or not to exercise, or concerning the manner of exercising, the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of the employees’ own choosing.” In other words, federal contractors will be bound by an Executive Order to gag themselves financially so that they cannot influence the outcome of a union organizing attempt of their employees. Not only will employees be hurt by not being permitted to hear both management and union’s sides of an argument, but so will employers who will be left helpless when confronting organizing efforts. In addition, a basic right, guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution, will be foully and flagrantly flouted as will the basic concepts of debate ensured in the National Labor Relations Act. This is an outrageous attack on democratic institutions and traditions, one that will damage our economy and make a mockery of free speech.

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FREE SPEECH FOR UNIONS, NOT FOR CORPORATIONS

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The Obama administration was sorely disappointed when the U. S. Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, held that limits on campaign contributions by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The administration specifically disagreed with the Court’s decision as it related to corporations, not as it related to unions. President Obama made his displeasure apparent during his State of the Union address, when he none-too-delicately criticized the Supreme Court.

Now, Democrats in Congress have introduced a bill that would restrict the free speech of corporations, while permitting unions to spend as much as they want for political issues and campaigns.

The proposed legislation would prohibit recipients of TARP funds as well as government contractors from spending money on political campaigns. Unions that have contracts with the government, however, would be free to spend as much as they want.

This is another blatant example of the Obama administration favoring unions over corporations, of shackling corporate America with one set of rules while unleashing unions to pursue their goals. A greatly circumscribed free market, which seems to be the focus of the Obama administration, will limit the country’s opportunities for economic growth and prosperity.

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