Seeing the Obama administration come down on the side of labor unions and against Right to Work efforts is nothing new. The reality of the situation is that the unions still occupy a position as the largest Super PAC for the Democrats and they own many of their candidates lock, stock and barrel. The latest regulation coming out of the Department of Labor, set to take effect over the summer, will likely come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention. In order to further tamp down any efforts to educate workers in non-union shops about what they’re really getting themselves into by signing on with the big unions, the government will now force employers to disclose any and all consultants they work with along these lines. (New York Times)
The Labor Department on Wednesday released the final version of a rule requiring employers to disclose relationships with the consultants they hire to help persuade workers not to form a union or support a union’s collective bargaining position.
The department said the rule, which will be published on Thursday and apply to agreements made after July 1, is necessary because workers are frequently in the dark about who is trying to sway them when they exercise their labor rights.
“In many organizing campaigns, decisions that workers make about whether to choose to stand together are often influenced by paid consultants, or persuaders, who are hired by employers to craft the management message being delivered to workers,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in a call with reporters. “About 75 percent of employers hire such persuaders, and too often, workers do not know.”
As one former member of the NLRB described it, the rule is clearly intended to aid organizing by tying one hand behind the back of the employer. That about sums it up. But what this observation fails to note is the decidedly one sided nature of the rules.
Consider for a moment how little interference there is from the government on the part of labor union organizing activities. On second thought, it’s not even a lack of interference so much as it’s outright participation and empowerment. When the unions identify a workplace where the employees are not yet under their thumb, they move in relentlessly to try to get them to sign on. (And to sign over part of their paychecks to the unions to be used in political activism, regardless of the wishes of the worker.)
One of the biggest examples in recent history was the fight by the UAW to unionize the workers at the Chattanooga VW plant. The initial effort failed in 2014, but not for a lack of effort on the part of the unions. (Automotive News)
Volkswagen did not resist the two-year organizing drive, which made it unusually easy for the UAW to win workers’ support for a vote.
Still, the election attracted widespread national attention from third-party union supporters and opponents, and they spent the past few weeks trying to sway the outcome with billboards, radio spots and other messages.
I was down there on the ground in Chattanooga for large portions of that fight and I can tell you that the union advocates (who were not employees at the plant, by the way, but paid UAW staffers sent in from outside) were everywhere. They freely went in and out of the plant, speaking to not only the workers, but the management. They showed up in local bars buying rounds of drinks and talking up the UAW. They were lobbying the heck out of everyone in the state legislature and pitching to every local news reporter who would give them the time of day. Were they required to “disclose” the identity and activities of all these people? Of course not. They could simply run roughshod over the locals, pretending they were simply concerned citizens.
The deck is stacked in favor of the unions in Washington and the NLRB in its current form works as their handmaidens. It’s frankly amazing that there are any Right to Work states in the country at all.