Follow Up Friday: Patriot Employer Act Not Good for the World

The Patriot Employer Act, which is an overt Act of protectionism and a big blow to outsourcing.  According to an insightful article from India that only looked at the first requirement of the Act, “in a world as highly competitive as it currently is, any concerted effort to reverse the trend of outsourcing will not only impact the US corporations (for many of whom outsourcing is a way of being competitive in the global market) themselves but also impact a whole host of companies outside the boundaries on the US.”  Likewise, an article from an European think tank chastises Obama’s support of the Patriot Employer Act in todays economy because today we need countries to trade with each other, not close their borders and become less productive.

Today Ends EFCA Update Week

I hope you have enjoyed catching up on all things EFCA this week.  So many people ask me what’s going on with EFCA, what are the unions saying about EFCA, do I think EFCA will pass, etc. that I think a week dedicated to EFCA is informative for everyone.  Hopefully those of you who still thought EFCA wasn’t a big deal, now realize it’s huge but just not getting much mainstream media coverage.  And for you who have always been watching it brew and approach our country, it’s time to prepare for it now.  Educate those around you.  Educate your employees.  And continue to educate yourself about the impact that the Obama Administration will have on the labor laws of this country.

 

Here is the anti-unions’ Center for Union Facts’ “Resolutions for Union Officials” which covered a full-page ad in the New York Times. 

 

This article from the Las Vegas Business Press reminds us that small businesses are most susceptible to unionization.  Although this article is long, it is worth the read.

 

The SEIU claims EFCA will create wealth and prosperity in our country.  Much of the thought is that between 1940s and 1970s was one of the most prosperous times in our country’s history and when unionization was at its height.  Unions want to revert back to those times without looking at where we are now in large measure because of those times:  the UAW purchased the retirement health insurance (in simplified terms) because the Big Three couldn’t afford it anymore; the Big Three need bailed out just to stay in business a few more months (except for Ford who “mortaged” everything it owned, including its logo to creditors); the steel industry is a fraction of what it used to be; the rubber workers no longer make most of the tires in this country; the list goes on and it’s mostly because of the 1940s-1970s.

 

This Pennsylvania newspaper article chastises Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) for being the only Republican in support of EFCA, especially because he is from a heavily industrial state.

 

EFCA will be a “firestorm” in the Senate because depending on who you speak to on any given day, Republicans either have exactly the number needed or are 1 vote shy of being able to filibuster EFCA.

 

This is another article about the devastating effects EFCA will have on small businesses.  The author opines that EFCA will force many entrepreneurs to decide whether they can afford to grow, add jobs, or even stay in business.

 

Former Rep. David Bonior, a member of Obama’s economic transition team, named EFCA as a way Obama can help get the economy back on track.

 

 

 

No one, including Mitt Romney, believes that the answer to EFCA is for a company to move its operations outside the United States, even though that’s what many companies are threatening to do if EFCA passes.  Which raises 2 points.  1) the Patriot Employer Act isn’t enough to keep companies in a union-heavy America; and 2) Unions would rather see a company leave/close than not be able to organize it without regard that the person they tried to organize (and promised job security, better wages, etc.) is now unemployed.

 

The New York Times, which openly supports EFCA, published a piece claiming that EFCA is under attack and lays out all the ways that EFCA is being fought.  This is one article I didn’t mind reading from the otherwise liberal newspaper.

 

This spin is making me dizzy!  The SEIU reminds the public not to use the term “card check” when referring to EFCA, but to repeatedly say the “Employee Free Choice Act” because “it reinforces the idea that workers, not corporations, should be the ones who decide how to form a union.”  Am I missing something?  I don’t see where “card check” says that corporations should decide how to form a union.

 

You may remember my post about the group “Save Our Secret Ballots” who is trying to create a state constitutional amendment to block EFCA from being law in a handful of states.  Although I’m not sure how this group intends to get around the preemption doctrine, I am following it and will update you on its progress.  Right now, the SEIU has published the names of its board members and major supporters.

 

The AFL-CIO ignores the fact that our country’s economic situation is a result of structured investment vehicles and collateral debt.  Instead, according to the AFL-CIO, the underlying problem for our economy is “the corporate search for cheap labor.”  I try to be fair on this blog, with the required degree of slant necessary, but sometimes things bug me (like when the SEIU tells its followers not to say “card check,” and that a return to heavy unionization like in the 1940s-1970s will bring prosperity to this country) and this is one of those articles.

 

 

Let me know what you thought about EFCA Update Week and if you’d like to see it become a regular even every few weeks here.

Voting on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Voting on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was set to occur on Wednesday, but is now going to happen on Friday of this week.  Most followers of this legislation view it, along with the Paycheck Fairness Act (which will also be voted on on Friday), to be warm-up votes to the Employee Free Choice Act.

 

To recap, Lilly Ledbetter worked at an Alabama Goodyear tire plant for nearly 20 years before learning that she was not paid as much as men performing her job duties and won $3.8 million for the apparent discriminatory pay.  But, the United States Supreme Court overruled the lower court and held that as the law is currently written, minorities have 180 days from the time their employer began paying them less than their counterparts in order to sue.  Since Ms. Ledbetter waited 20 years to sue, she was precluded from recovering money for the alleged disparate pay practices.

 

Tomorrow the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on whether to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (and the Paycheck Fairness Act which I will write about over the weekend).  The bill was voted on last year, too, and went the way EFCA votes went: passed in the House of Representatives, but died in the Senate.  That was last year.  Now there are enough Democrats in Senate to prevent the Republicans from blocking this bill as well as the other pro-labor bills like EFCA, the RESPECT Act, the Patriot Employer Act, and the Flexible Working Families Act.

 

Both the Fair Pay Act (and the Paycheck Fairness Act) are touted as gender equity laws, but that is a misnomer – just like how there is no choice in the Employee Free Choice Act.  Liberals use an often quoted but rarely defined statistic that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.  As stated by Allison Kasic:

 

This statistic compares the wages of the median full-time working man and the median full-time working woman.  It tells us nothing about the existence or non-existence of wage discrimination.  The wage gap ignores a myriad of other relevant factors including education level, years in the workforce, and type of occupation.  Once these other factors are taken into account, the wage gap shrinks.

The fall out of this legislation is enormous.  Ms. Kasic correctly states that the Fair Pay Act would allow a former employee – from 40 years ago – bring a lawsuit against a company long after that employee has moved on from the company.  Likewise, Drew Greenblatt the owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products, a small business that makes wire baskets, is scared that his employment insurance premiums will increase as a result of the myriad of unknown lawsuits that could be asserted decades later.  Without a doubt, the passage of this will make the cost of doing business increase exponentially.

 

Of course I will update you on both the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act after Congress votes.

Patriot Employer Act

In August 2007, along with Obama and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) and Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007.  The Act would provide tax credits equal to 1% of taxable income to employers that:

 

·         Maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to the number of full-time workers outside of American any by maintaining corporate headquarters in America;

·         Pay hourly wages equal to or above an amount that would keep a family of three out of poverty;

·         Prepare workers for retirement by providing either a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan that fully matches at least 5% of worker contributions for every employee;

·         Provide health insurance and paying at least 60% of each worker’s health care premiums;

·         Support the troops by paying the difference between regular salary and military salary for all National Guard and Reserve employees who are called for active duty and by continuing their health insurance coverage for the Guard member and his or her family; and lastly

·         Employers must maintain neutrality in labor organizing campaigns or face additional tax hikes.

 

The cost of complying may cost more than the 1% tax break, in order to comply companies may need to lay off employees, and the US already has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. 

 

Moreover, once again, Obama’s agenda of expanding organized labor (which parallel’s Sen. Brown’s) in the United States is front and center in this proposed Act.  This law essentially creates separate corporate tax rates for unionized and non-union companies – since unions win 87% of elections under neutrality agreements.