Last week, big labor bosses were provided two early Christmas presents while the nation was being distracted by the theatrics of its “Lame Duck” Congress! In Beware the Lame Duck , I warned of potential attempts by Obama and his sidekicks Pelosi and Reid to pass some version of the “Employee Free Choice Act” (a.k.a. Card Check) by embedding one of its most onerous provisions, employer fines, in a non-related bill as described in the EFCA Update. I have also warned of the Administration’s attempts to pass EFCA Through the Back Door which could be achieved through use of executive appointments, executive orders and rule changes. It appears that, for Big Labor bosses, it is now Beyond Lame Ducksville and on to Corporate Campaigns with more weapons in their arsenal!
While the country was being distracted by Obama’s Alinsky style of Overwhelming the System, maybe the most insidious initiatives of all were being perpetrated at the NLRB or NBLR! First NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a memorandum to all Regional Directors concerning remedies to be sought for “unfair conduct” by businesses during organizing campaigns which can be seen in the NLRB Memorandum. Then, the Labor Board announced a proposed rule to require employer posting of employee rights under the NLRA, as seen in Labor Relations Board Rule Would Require Businesses to Alert Workers to Union Rights!
At first glance these would appear to be reasonable initiatives; however when you peak beneath the covers the newest initiatives are simply more evidence of Obama’s Love Affair with big labor! They are nothing more than another in a long line of recent gifts to big labor bosses to mount ruthless corporate campaigns against employers and employees. Campaigns designed to achieve “card check” through the True EFCA Objective, forcing employers to sign a Neutrality Agreement!
These two initiatives contain remedies that fit nicely into “The Ends Justify the Means” union playbook. The centerpieces of these initiatives are Unfair Labor Practices and the remedies proposed for such practices, which include a mandatory provision for the employer to provide the names and addresses of its employees to the labor union – a critical component of corporate campaigns against employers. Such a rule would effectively implement key provisions of the Neutrality Agreement. As currently used, labor unions file unfair labor practices against companies resistant to their organizing efforts in order to force them to sign a Neutrality Agreement. The Neutrality Agreement contains a provision where, upon signing, the employer provides the employee list to the union. The Neutrality Agreement further eliminates the secret ballot in favor of card check, and you now have Job Killing Thugs at Your Door and the doors of your employees! The proposed rule, therefore, accomplishes a key objective of the Neutrality Agreement for labor unions, and provides a key advantage to assist the unions in successfully organizing employees.
Corporate campaigns such as the one the SEIU ran against EMS, and as chronicled in The Devil at My Doorstep, are crucial to the future of the Gasping Dinosaurs! It is now abundantly obvious the NLRB, dominated by Obama appointees and ever mindful of the current plight of unions, who today represent roughly 12% of the workforce or 6% of the American population, is determined to provide union bosses the paybacks they are demanding, despite the fact that its mission statement reads:
The mission of the National Labor Relations Board is to carry out the statutory responsibilities of the National Labor Relations Act, as efficiently as possible, in a manner that gives full effect to the rights afforded to all parties under the Act.
The Act embodies a bill of rights, which establishes freedom of association for purposes of collective bargaining. It defines and protects the rights of employees, unions, and employers, and seeks to eliminate certain unfair labor practices on the part of employers and unions so as to promote commerce and strengthen the Nation’s economy. Under the Act, the NLRB has two primary functions:
1) To conduct secret-ballot elections among employees to determine whether or not the employees wish to be represented by a union; and
2) To prevent and remedy statutorily defined unfair labor practices by employers and unions.
Despite the fact the NLRA clearly defines that one of the NLRB’s two primary functions is to conduct secret ballot elections and that the mission of the board is to protect the rights of “all parties”, it is clear the NLRB is determined to provide an unlevel playing field in favor of unions by eliminating the secret ballot election at the expense of American employees and loss of American jobs! At the pace these new initiatives are being presented through the SEIU’s Insidious Tenacles, the United States will soon be nothing more than a third world country thanks to the greed of Obama and the big labor elitists who drive us toward socialism in the name of social justice. Nothing in the History of Labor Movement compares with the power grab that is being attempted today!
It is time for all Americans to take a stand against this tyranny and contact their representatives and demand these initiatives designed to bypass our constitution and remove our freedoms not only be stopped, but retracted!
There is no doubt that some type of immigration reform, in concert with strong measures to protect our borders, is necessary and prudent in these challenging times. The questions at hand are how this should be accomplished, and if it is necessary to ram legislation through a “lame duck” session of Congress to achieve this goal? A closer look reveals that current attempts are for selfish political or business purposes instead of for the good of the American people and the Illegals it will impact!
We as a nation are culpable for the current circumstance. As citizens we have allowed our government over the past couple of decades to ignore enforcement of our laws and to abuse our social programs for political purposes. (See Illegal Aliens: Economic Consequences ). As a result, we have encouraged the influx of illegal immigrants. It is a simple example of supply and demand. Mexico and other countries have the supply and, up until the current recession, the United States had the demand, which was not sustainable!
Lured by the prospect of jobs, security and social entitlements such as free public education, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, aid to dependent children and other programs, immigrants did what any one of us would do under the circumstances. How can we possibly blame them for wanting to escape the misery of their homeland, especially when we, as a country, made it so appealing?
The truth is we can’t, but we can begin to correct the situation by eliminating the demand through strict enforcement of immigration and business laws, by providing social services to legal Americans only, and by allowing the federal military, in cooperation with the states, to police the borders (See Supreme Court Considers 2007 Arizona Immigration Law and Supreme Court Weighs Arizona Employer Sanctions) ! These actions alone will result in an immediate reduction to the flow of illegal immigrants into the country and most likely will result in a significant number of current Illegals migrating back to their homeland (See 100,000 Hispanics left Arizona after SB1070 and Illegal Immigration to US Slows Sharply).
Enforcement of our current laws will have a more positive effect on this pressing problem and the financial drain it imposes upon our economy than any new law that could possibly be passed. It will directly benefit the American worker as wages and benefits that have been artificially depressed due to the presence of illegal workers, who are taken advantage of by unscrupulous businesses, will begin to rise!
In my company’s industry, we have consistently seen competitors take advantage of illegal immigrants and pay them minimum wage (or less) or misclassify them as independent contractors (as discussed in Misclassification of Workers, Common Ground or Hot Bed of Greed)! Both of these practices need to be stopped and our laws enforced. Maybe, just maybe, our government will not be compelled to create another entitlement program to encourage the flow of illegal immigrants (See Labor Department Offers Assistance to Illegal Immigrants Facing Wage Disparities)! Again, supply and demand, the basis of capitalism, which provides more for workers at all levels, will work its magic (See Wise Words from a Mexican Immigrant)!
Only after these processes are in motion can we begin meaningful discussion as to how to humanely address those who remain illegally in the United States. It is obvious that we cannot afford to deport all of them; nor do we want to since a large majority of them can make a significantly positive impact on the future of this country! A potential solution is to provide those who wish to stay a six-month period in which they can sign up for citizenship, and then provide some type of expedited citizenship process as long as they have clean backgrounds! It is imperative that they are upright and lawful citizens who are legally employed and, as responsible taxpayers, are contributing their share to the future of the country and its financial well being (See The Falcon Lake Murder and Mexico’s Drug Wars and Illegal Alien Caught Trying to Kidnap Two School Children). This scenario provides a win/win proposition for all Americans in the form of better wages and benefits and for the fiscal health of the country through increased tax revenues and a significantly reduced burden on social services.
Certain politicians, unions and bleeding hearts will stomp their feet in indignation that this is cruel and unusual punishment, as they trumpet their social justice card. However, this is no more than an attempt to maintain their hold on money and power at the expense of the very people they claim to represent. When are conservatives/republicans going to wake up and realize that they must approach minorities and ethnic groups on a personal level of inclusion that will open their eyes to how they are truly being manipulated and repressed? When they do, meaningful progress can be achieved for all (See Spanish lessons for the GOP and What an Immigrant Would Say to Boehner)!
Unfortunately, now that Congress has passed the Tax Bill it is a sure bet Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will set their sights on immigration reform and passage of the DREAM Act, one of President Obama’s campaign objectives (See Congress Passes Tax Deal and Obama May Bypass Congress to Give Amnesty to Illegals). They would like you to believe that their motives are altruistic, but there is much more to their reasons than meets the eye!
The DREAM Act, which was blocked from further discussion in the Senate this weekend, is nothing more than payback to union supporters who view illegal immigrants as a vast new and easily recruited (intimidated) membership base. They believe illegal immigrants can be captured through forced unionization of employers as described in The Devil at My Doorstep, continue as a large voting block for the Democratic Party, and provide a political life raft for Pelosi, Reid, Obama and other democrats (See Immigration Crisis Survey; Dems Playing Politics with Immigration — and it’s Good Policy; and DREAM Act Fails in Senate). The DREAM Act is not about the people, it is about what is important to these organizations. Senator Reid still has two weeks before the end of the year so don’t be surprised to see this resurface one more time before the end of the “lame duck” session! It is apparent the Obama administration is intent on protecting this potential voting block and not enforcing immigration laws even at the expense of state rights (See Justices, Minus One, Hear Challenge to Arizona Law on Hiring Immigrants)!Despite the disingenuousness of the Pelosi-Reid crowd, the fact remains that immigration reform is necessary and needed for a host of legitimate reasons (See The Titanic and the United States , U.S. Border Easy Entry for Terrorists and Bean Bags vs. AK-47s).
New legislation is not necessary if we demand that our legislators and government officials do their true job and enforce current laws! We cannot continue this attempt to legislate and regulate ourselves to prosperity. What we must do is reduce the role of government and demand they govern according to the Constitution. Unfortunately, it is much easier to pass new laws than to implement and enforce them. It is high time we held our government officials accountable to enforce current laws! It is time to save states like Arizona and our country from the mess we created (See Ray Stevens – God Save Arizona and Surviving the Obama Assault on the Rule of Law)!
“Misclassification of workers” refers to the practice by some businesses of classifying and utilizing workers as independent contractors instead of employees in order to avoid payroll taxes and insurance, and in an effort to increase margins and/or reduce costs. In some industries, this is done for the purpose of obtaining new contracts by being the low-cost bidder on the contract. Unfortunately, instead of utilizing salesmanship skills and providing high quality service and products, these companies choose to engage in this illegal practice to the detriment of:
By avoiding the costs associated with payroll taxes and liability and worker’s compensation insurance, businesses that misclassify workers realize a 20-30% price advantage in the marketplace. Illegitimate businesses are, sadly, aided and abetted by companies, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies, who encourage this practice by looking the other way and hiring them purely for profit motives. It truly is an underground economy which needs to be eradicated (See Under Ground Economy)! Misclassification of workers, which historically has been more prevalent in the southern and border states where illegal aliens are often the victims of this practice, is rapidly becoming more common in northern states such as Indiana.
Interestingly enough, the Obama administration, federal, state, and local governments, big labor and legitimate businesses have some common ground with respect to misclassification of workers as independent contractors, albeit for very different reasons. Federal and state governments obviously have an interest because they are losing significant revenues, sorely needed in the current recession (See Efforts to Root Out Worker Misclassification Expand). The interest of legitimate businesses is due to the severe competitive cost disadvantage. Big labor’s interest is in organizing workers, which they cannot do if the workers are not employees. Finally, the Obama administration has interest in paying back big labor for its financial support!
Subsequently, the Obama administration has begun to take a serious look at this practice and appears intent on imposing fines on businesses who misclassify workers in an attempt to pacify big labor, which is disgruntled over the administration’s inability to pass EFCA or Card Check (See Government Cracks Down on Employee Misclassification and Criminal Penalties for Misclassifying Independent Contractors). Big labor and its puppet administration would have you believe it is for their favorite theme of social justice for workers, but in reality it is for financial gain through union membership, and ultimately for political power (See Unions Want Limits on Firms’ Use of Contractors).
It is truly ironic that elimination of such a controversial and illegal practice would be common ground for government, the Obama administration, big labor and legitimate businesses. It is sad that all the parties can’t agree; current laws, which are adequate to eliminate the problem, need to be enforced for the simple reason that misclassification is illegal and depresses wages and benefits for all American workers. Unfortunately, big labor and the administration see this as an opportunity to further their quest of imposing forced unionism through employer fines, which are exploited by unions in corporate campaigns to coerce companies into signing neutrality agreements. Neutrality agreements, in effect, accomplish Card Check as is vividly chronicled in The Devil at My Doorstep! So much for altruistic motives!
Labor unions and the Obama Administration are intent on implementing forced unionism and totalitarianism on the American people. Their plan is simple –overwhelm the system until it implodes. This classic technique is espoused in Saul Alinsky’s “Rule for Radicals” and is practiced regularly by union hierarchy during forced union corporate campaigns against businesses (See Get to Know Saul Alinsky and Overwhelming the System!). The Obama Administration has demonstrated this intent since taking office by bullying through the “Stimulus” bill, the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, the Health Care bill, and financial reform. Along the way the Administration has also attempted to ram through the Employee Free Choice Act, the DREAM Act, the DISCLOSE Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, “cap and trade” climate legislation, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act and a “net neutrality” bill (See Net Neutrality End Run).
Doesn’t common sense tell us that when someone is in such a big hurry to pass as many bills as this administration has or is attempting, that something stinks in Denmark? When are the American people going to wake up and realize this guy’s intent is to hijack the government of this great country! Why would a President attempt to pass so may bills in such a short period of time, especially during the so-called “Great Recession?” Especially when such legislation provides the government with unprecedented control and oversight, greatly increases an already overwhelming federal deficit, and is apparently intent upon keeping unemployment high and millions dependent on the government. He wouldn’t, unless he has ulterior motives, and is intent on becoming another Chavez. The answer is simple — he does and he is counting on overwhelming the system while the American people are asleep at the controls long enough for him to accomplish his objective! I have seen this approach first hand with the SEIU’s “corporate campaign,” as described in the Devil at My Doorstep. The SEIU and other unions utilize the same tactic of overwhelming the system, in this case the business, to the point where it capitulates and signs a neutrality agreement providing the union all the power! By the time the business wakes up it is too late, as is happening with this administration and the American people!
The Obama Administration understands it needs financial support and muscle to accomplish its goal. In order to obtain these necessary pieces, it has embarked on a “trifecta” approach to provide unions the coveted power they need to keep from becoming extinct. The three-pronged approach consists of forced unionism of public workers, card check, and government regulation. The attempt to continue the forced unionism of more government workers is apparent with legislation such as the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act” (the Police and Firefighters bill) and current attempts to unionize the TSA. “Card Check” has been introduced in the Senate on a couple of occasions without success, but continually lurks in the shadows waiting for one of the administration’s pawns to introduce it in one form or another (See previous blogs EFCA Through the Backdoor and Beware the Lame Duck).
While the public and lawmakers are combating these two theaters of war, Obama is overwhelming the system in another arena, all in the euphemistic prose of social justice!
The theory is open-ended government by executive appointment and agency rule making, which is far more insidious, harder to track, and potentially more devastating to business and employees (See Government by Executive Order). In fact it could result in millions of lost jobs in an economy where employment is already hovering near 10%. Why would a president be intent on actions which would result in higher unemployment? The answer is that the design is to make more people dependent on government and subject to its rule! They represent that they are no better than you, but in truth it is all about power and control, in short — greed! Obama has not only embarked on this battlefield over the first two years directly through his issuance of executive orders to impose union friendly rules, but is rebuilding his staff See Obama Reshapes Administration for Fresh Strategy) to accommodate promulgation of the executive order! His appointment of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor and Craig Becker as a member of the National Labor Relations Board are but two examples showing how Obama is utilizing persons with extremists, progressive views and putting them in positions of powers to implement his agenda by the rule making authority given to their respective agencies. As Obama has been unable to press aspects of his agenda, he is showing that he is more than willing to bypass Congress through the use of agency rule making.
Why is this now the most important leg of the trifecta? Simply because with “card check” in jeopardy due to the November elections, and attempts to increase unionization of public employees struggling, massive changes in rules and regulations within the DOL and NLRB would give unions the unprecedented leverage they need to prosecute massive numbers of corporate campaigns against all types and sizes of businesses across the country (See EFCA Update). Hence Obama and cronies increase the muscle and the financial resources they need to change the government and move it to a dictatorship and total control. As starkly admitted in Government By Executive Order, the administration is intent through the DOL, OSHA and the NLRB to attack business on multiple fronts, increase pressure on employers, maintain a greater use of injunctive relief against employers, increase, fines on employers and shame employers, all rolled up in a living or ever-changing document designed to support unionization and reduce union oversight! These tactics are identical to the tactics unions use against businesses during Corporate Campaigns as vividly chronicled in The Devil at My Doorstep. Tactics which are designed to support a massive roll-out of union Corporate campaigns against businesses of all sizes across the country. The end result, tremendous union membership growth and subsequent revenues through union dues, increased political contributions to its political allies, more rules and legislation to promulgate union growth and government control, and the vicious cycle continues until they have complete control.
If we do not stop this incredible abuse of executive power we truly face a frightening future (See A Frightening Future)!
Approximately three weeks remain for the old cast of characters in Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, to wreak havoc on our American way of life and to continue to destroy businesses and jobs in this country. The questions remaining are whether those defeated in November have the appetite for such nonsense and whether the survivors are willing to stick their necks out for President Obama. It is obvious this trio believes they know best and will continue to push changes that are unpopular with the American people.
Many believe that Cap and Trade and the Employee Free Choice Act (a.k.a. Card Check) are off the table and that the time in Lame Ducksville will be spent passing a temporary budget to fund the government and debating on the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for everyone (which they should as Higher Taxes Won’t Reduce the Deficit). These two items will most likely devour most of Congress’s time; however, don’t be surprised if union puppet Harry Reid attempts to provide paybacks to the people who made sure he was re-elected, albeit questionably in many people’s eyes (See Nevada Voting Machines Automatically Checking Harry Reid’s Name, Voting Machine Technicians are SEIU Members)!
The unions desperately want Card Check, but they also want bills that will provide them with a monopoly over government workers. One of the most onerous means of achieving the goal is through passage of the police and firefighters bill (The Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act) and by organizing the TSA (See Police Fire Federal Forced Unionism “Bad Idea”, Reid Pushes Union Monopolies for States in Lame-Duck Session, The Unions Have Won, and How to Make Air Travel More Infuriating). So be prepared to contact your representatives to pressure them to vote down the unfathomable forced unionization schemes and to reject unionization of the TSA, which would jeopardize our security and add to the unions’ membership, which ultimately would add moneys to their political supporters’ election campaigns in 2012! The money pump continues!
Beyond Lame Ducksville the landscape is even more concerning as our illustrious leader is re-tooling his staff to deal with the devastating November election in order to reshape his strategy and achieve his goals outside the legislative arena, thus appeasing his union buddies (See Obama Reshapes Administration for a Fresh Strategy)! Obama has already recess-appointed Craig Becker to the National Labor Relation Board, and Becker has wasted no time in overturning existing decisions and is working on imposing through the NLRB (See Obama Labor Bureaucrats to Bypass Congress and EFCA “Lite”? ).
The Obama Administration’s goal is to establish burdensome regulations and penalties on employers so unions can run their infamous Corporate campaigns and force employers to sign neutrality agreements in exchange for withdrawal of trumped up charges and extensive fines upheld by government agencies like the Department of Labor and the NLRB (See More Business Regulations, NLRB Burdens Employers with Compound Interest, and NLRB Set to Reverse Decision that Protects Employees from Forced Unionism)! The result: Card Check is achieved, businesses reduce employees, jobs are lost, the economy continues to flounder and the President moves us closer to socialism.
The Devil at My Doorstep vividly explores the devastation ruthlessly imposed on employers by union corporate campaigns and how the NLRB will Challenge Every Business Win. The table is being set to tilt the field in favor of unions, and both employers and employees better wake up and stop this destruction of our personal freedoms and government!