Misc. Mondays: Obama’s New Board Members

We knew this day was coming.  It’s almost finally here.  Obama announced his intention to fill two of the three (out of 5) open seats on the National Labor Relations Board (the Supreme Court of judges for labor law issues).  And without much surprise, he announced two lawyers who happen to represent labor unions – to go along with Wilma Liebman who he appointed Head of the Boardand who used to represent labor unions.  One of the appointees, Craig Becker is the Associated General Counsel for both the SEIU and the AFL-CIO.  The other is Mark Pearce, who is in private practice in New York and represents trade unions in labor and employment law issues. 

Click here for a fullbio on these two appointees courtesy of Ross Runkle’s LawMemo Blog.

Now just 1 seat is left to fill, and by law that has to go a Republican.  But by when must it be filled is a better question than who will get it.  The Board has been operating as a 2 person Board for over a year – 1 Republican and 1 Democrat.  Obama just announced he will fill it with 2 more people – both Democrats.  Obviously the Board is the most left it can be at this moment.  So there really isn’t any incentive for Obama to pick that last Republican.  I expect to see many 3-1 decisions in favor of Unions for quite some time.

Misc. Mondays: NLRB Modernization Act

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about this, but when I was catching up on other reading, I ran across the National Labor Relations Modernization Act (H.R. 1355) that I meant to share with you.

The NLRB Modernization Act would require employers to provide labor organizations with equal access to employees prior to a representation election.  Specifically upsetting for employers is the provision that requires it to notify the union of “any activities the employer intends to engage in to campaign in opposition of the union” – this includes meetings, announcements, signs, literature, etc.  It also contains EFCA-like provisions like increasing employer penalties for unfair labor practices during organizing campaigns and to expedite the bargaining process for first agreements.  Unlike EFCA, though, this bill lacks the controversial card check provision.

This bill was introduced by Democratic Representative Joe Sestak from Pennsylvania in early March in what appeared to be the first compromise bill for EFCA.  Since then, EFCA has lost many key Senators and a compromise is certainly required if any form of the Employer Free Choice Act will become law.  I don’t think that this compromise will be what we see, but it at least got the ball rolling on how Democrats view the compromised bill.

NLRB Proves No Need for EFCA

In May 2007, 400 card dealers at the Trump Marina Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City voted on whether to join the UAW and the company won the election.  I know, you’re thinking the UAW?  Well, this shows just how desperate unions are that they now go outside of their historical membership just to get anyone signed up who will pay them monthly union dues.  And the weak United Auto Workers target casino workers.  But I digress.

After the company won the election, the NLRB ordered a new election because it determined that threats, intimidation, and other actions by the Trump Marina violated federal labor law.  The hotel and casino was also ordered to make up the pay and benefits difference that suspended dealers missed and post the famous notice that the employer violated federal labor law.

Interestingly, Unions have used this victory to advertise the need for EFCA.  I, however, see it differently.  To me, this is proof that the current National Labor Relations Act, as interpreted by the Board, works.  It appears that Trump Marina violated labor laws and was ordered to remedy its wrongdoing.  The employees were repaid money that was due to them.  The bargaining unit got to vote again for representation. 

Employees of a Massachusetts Nursing Home also won the right to an election after the Boston Board determined that the employer violated labor laws.  Hearings were held to determine whether certain employees were supervisors and thus unable to be members in the bargaining unit, as well as to determine if the employer threatened layoffs, intimidated employees, and held improper meetings with employees.  The Board found that all of those things happened and ordered an election.  Again, the Nursing Home was ordered to remedy its wrongdoing.

 These cases prove management’s point that the laws work and there is no need for the Employee Free Choice Act.

Tuesdays are EFCA Update Days

We’ll start off today’s EFCAUpdate with a video where Stern, President of the SEIU, says that his union has saved millions of dollars to unelectDemocrats who did not live up with their promise to vote in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act.

 

When will EFCA be introduced is anyone’s guess, although most agree it will be sometime in 2009.  Obama and Biden think it will be on hold until the fall, and it looks like Obama’s pro-labor executive orderswere an overt act to pacify the unions for several months.  In fact, Biden believes it will be done “This year.  This year we hope.  Our expectation is this year, this calendar year.”  Thank you for your clarity, VP Biden.  House Majority Leader Hoyer (D-MD) says House action won’t start until Spring or Summer.  Senate Majority Reid (D-NV) said that that Senate won’t see it until the Summer.  Here’s a video of Biden discussing EFCA.

 

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplaceconducted a straight forward, two-question survey to determine support levels for EFCA.  The Ohio Employers Law Blog did a great recap of the results indicating that most people do not want EFCA.  Click here to see those results.

Obamatapped New Hampshire Republican Senator Gregg to head the Department of Commerce, which meant his Senate seat needed filled.  We’ve all learned about filling a Senate seat: Blago, anyone?  So, it became a foregone conclusion that Gregg’s seat would be filled by a Democrat, since New Hampshire’s Governor is a Democrat.  Filling Gregg’s seat with a Democrat would put the Dems at the supermajority number of 60 Senators where filibustering legislation (the Republican Senators’ defense to EFCA last time) would be impossible.  Not so fast!  Gregg made sure that his seat would be filled with a Republican before accepting the position with the Dept. of Commerce.  So now, Bonnie Newman – someone who has never held elected office and does not have any official positions on any major issues, i.e. Employee Free Choice Act – will fill Gregg’s seat and presumably vote against EFCA.  Remember, though, even with 59 Republican Senators, EFCA will likely pass since Arlen Spector (R-PA) voted in favor of it last time.

I laughed when I read that the AFL-CIO’s new video (narrated by the executive VP of the union) was intended to “cut through the deceptive campaign and give the facts about the Employee Free Choice Act.”  The video has a cameo spot, too, from the executive director of the union-fronted organization American Rights at Work to “cut through the spin” of corporate America.  This video is supposedly being featured at union meetings and around the country – why are they showing union members how “the system for forming unions is broken.”  Seems like members of unions, who already went through the system be become unionized, wouldn’t necessarily think that the system was broken.  Here’s the video:

 

On the anniversary of the last EFCAattempt, unions symbolically held a rally in Washington D.C. and supposedly brought with them 1.5 million signatures of people who supported the Employee Free Choice Act.  Also present was Rep. George Miller (D-CA) who co-sponsored the last bill and said: “decisions aboutthe workplace belong to the worker.”  Excuse me?  What aboutthe owner?  What aboutthe person who lives, breathes, and sleeps the business; the person who mortgaged his house to start the company; the person who risks to lose everything when the market dried up, a catastrophic injury occurs, malicious Internet press abouthis company surfaces?  Since when should the workers be the ones to make the decisions about someone else’s company, Representative Miller?

Interestingly, 1 million signatures would represent 1/16 of the current total unionized workforce in America.  Conversely, EFCA threatens the right to a secret ballot for 105 million Americans – well beyond the 69 million who voted in the last presidential election.  If the unions could only drum up enough interest from 1 out of every 16 of their own members to sign a petition, I hardly think that EFCA is something that the public at large is interested in seeing passed in Congress.  And I wonder how many of those signatures are from people who do not belong to unions.  No one has (or likely will ever) challenge the purported number of signatures to make sure they are legitimate.  In all, this is just a bunch of propaganda, an advertisement that will not be scrutinized, by 6% of the unionized workforce wanting us to believe that they represent the 105 million people currently working in America.

The AFL-CIO uses some “real life examples” of why employees need unions.  One of them is Theresa Gares who says, “Once [her company] found out we were trying to organize a union, they started having meetings.  They’re trying to talk people out of it, discourage them.  This is what we’re fighting for: We’re fighting for fairness in the workplace, a voice in the workplace, things that we deserve.”  Are you kidding me?  Ms. Gares is the union’s marquee spokesperson and all she has to say is the company “started having meetings.”  And this is the intimidation that unions claim is happening and why employees need EFCA?

LaborPains.org is always good for an entry here each week, and this week doesn’t let us down, either when highlighting who is against EFCA.  Some of the more notable names include: 

  • George McGovern, former senator from South Dakota and the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate
  • Rev. Al Sharton, American Baptist minister, political and civil rights/social justice activist, and radio talk show host
  • Richard Epstein, professor of Law at the University of Chicago who says, “There is simply no legitimate government interest in promoting unionization that justifies a clandestine organizing campaign which denies all speech rights to the union’ adversaries.”
  • Ariella Bernstein, former deputy director of public affairs at FMCS and a field examiner and supervisor at the NLRB who says, “I am a Democrat who has worked at both the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, two agencies that figure prominently in this legislation [Employee Free Choice Act].”

Fox Rothschild’s Employment blog out of Philadelphia set the record straight about the elimination of secret ballots when it said: “The reality is that once Unions are given the option of having the NLRB certify a union immediately upon presentation of at least a majority of union authorization cards signed by a specific unit of employees versus waiting some 40 days, whereby employees become educated during this period, and then having a secret ballot election, Unions ar going to avoid, at all cost, the election route.  I mean, why do you think the Unions’ have placed so much money, time, and effort in seeing that the EFCA passes?  is it because the EFCAcalls for mandatory injunctions?  I think not.  How about the mandatory contract arbitration?  Yeah, could be, but without a certification, there can be no representative or contract for that matter.  So, there is no “misinformation” being spread – just realty, which is that once a “card-check” certification is in place, the secret ballot election may die.”

This former “rank and file” employee enlightens people as to what it’s like to work a union job when he says: “As a young man I was forced to join a union when I was working in a job I dearly loved.  Even with the secret ballot in place, the intimidation by the union and the sycophantsworking with them was tremendous.  Almost immediately upon the union being voted in, the productivity of our work dropped precipitously.  People I had known for years cut the pace of their work activities by 25 to 33%.  I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to slow down – that I worked too hard and too fast.  After a year of this, I resigned my position without a job.  I was ashamed of what was happening to a company I loved.  The owners of this very large business in my home town gave up as well just a few years later and sold the business.”  He went on to discuss the difference of productivity in right to work states, “I once met a gentleman here in Jacksonville that owned a unionized plan in the north and a non-unionized plant in the south and in his words the difference in productivity was start.  He eventually moved all the work to the south and closed the other plant.”

Tuesdays are EFCA Update Days

ALF-CIO alleges that bailout recipients AIG and Bank of America were involved in a conference call for lobbyists and corporations to discuss raising funds to defeat EFCA.  From that, the union is alleging that bailout money was used to plot against Employee Free Choice.

American Rights at Work launched the below television commercial called “The Secret Big Business Doesn’t Want You to Know.”

 

The SEIU’s plan to shorten recover from this down economy is a shortened workweek and less productivity from employees.  Accordingly, an employer who currently offers no paid vacation can offer 3 weeks of paid vacation, approximately a 6%  reduction in work time.  Employers can cut the standard work week from40 hours to 36 hours, a 10% reduction in work hours.  These policies would “bring the US in line with the rest of the world.”  Newsflash to the SEIU – we’re America, not the rest of the world.  The rest of the world looks to us for leadership, protection, and guidance.  Diluting our productivity and companies is not the right solution for a viable, stable economy.

Human Rights Watch, the union-described watchdogs of human rights and the freedom of association, claims that the US is deficient in protecting the freedom to form unions.  Oddly, the HRW’s findings is comprised of the typical union slang: “unfair election procedures that are badly slanted toward employers; the lack of serious penalties for corporate misconduct, including firing workers; and the ability of companies to ignore workers’ choice to bargain collectively.”

Last week a lot of discussion dealt with Obama’s interview with the Washington Post and whether Obama really meant that he is tabling EFCA for some time.  The short answer is he is not tabling EFCA.  The Washington Postonly quoted 28 of the 611 words Obama gave on the matter

In March 2008 MIT Sloan School of Management released the results of a comprehensive study about unionization.  The study’s results concluded that few bargaining units make it from initial petition to a first contract; unfair labor practice charges reduce the chances of getting a contract; unfair labor practice charges reduce the changes of getting to an election; and even after a majority votes for a union, many units fail to get a contract.  What text of the results is slanted with the typical pro-union rhetoric about “the need for EFCA to level the playing field.”  What is not reported, though, is that under the current state of the law, only after an initial petition are companies allowed to openly campaign against unions.  For example, a union will promise an employee a 3% wage increase  if the employee signs an authorization card.  With enough cards signed, a petition is filed.  After the petition is filed, the employee hears that although the union promised him a 3% wage increase, the union does not have the power to do increase wages, and wages for all employees are subject to bargaining and could go up, stay the same, or go down.  In other words, many of the promises given to employees to sign cards are later exposed as not true and employees then decide not to vote for the union.  So, I am not surprised with the small number of bargaining units that make it from the initial petition to a first contract, and the removal of educating the employees about the lack of truth behind all of the union’s promises will be prohibited if EFCA passes.

Watch (well, really listen while watching SEIU photographs) Obama discuss his support for easing the ability to unionize and how business that oppose this notion “won’t get to far” with him.

 

I want to clear up a misunderstanding that was published in a mostly unbiased article in the Boston Globe about the Employee Free Choice Act.  The article says that the National Labor Relations Act lacks any real penalties to punish violators for wrongly terminating union supporters during organizing campaigns beyond making companies rehire those employees and pay them back wages.  This is not true.  With egregious enough violations of labor laws, the National Labor Relations Board has the ability to not hold an election and to order both sides to immediately begin negotiating a contract.  Unfortunately, the Globe’s article recited union propaganda about the weaknesses of the NLRA.

I couldn’t say it any better than this editorial from the Las Vegas Review Journal:  “But in this economic climate, with each week producing a new empty parking lot with plywood on the windows, do the geniuses in Washington really mean to create a situation where business owners already struggling to stay afloat can without warning be handed their “last straw” — a stack of cards adorned with the message, “You’re now a union shop; here are our demands”?

The State of Michigan should support EFCA.  With the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, Michigan would be just as attractive of state as a southern, right to work state would be to house a company.  In 2007, 19.5% of Michigan workers belonged to unions.  Conversely, the following are statistics in unionization for southern states: Alabama = 9.5%; Mississippi = 6.7%; Florida = 5.9%; Texas = 4.7%; Georgia = 4.4%; South Carolina = 4.1%.

Another editorial that took the words right out of my mouth: “If businesses are hurt, so are their workers; When businesses fail, workers lose their jobs.  And when workers aren’t treated well, businesses do not thrive.  The interests of workers and business owners are not in conflict – they coincide.  But it is in the interest of union bosses to foment conflict – it leads to more unions being formed and greater revenue for their coffers;  When workers are forced to declare their allegiance to a union in the open, they are far more subject to intimidation and coercion than when they make this decision in private.  It is no coincidence that, when private-ballot elections are used, fewer workers vote in favor of union than when they are asked to publicly sign a card; Many heavily unionized industries in the Midwest have been declining for decades.  Businesses in Florida and other Southern states, where unions have not been as strong, have been thriving during this time.”

Because unions are not democratic, they’re socialistic, a poll of 1000 likely voters with a subsample of 400 union households, results show that most people oppose EFCA

  • Three out of four voters (74%) oppose the “The Employee Free Choice Act.” Union households also strongly oppose the Employee Free Choice Act, 74% oppose to only 20% support.
  • When given a more detailed description of the Employee Free Choice Act, nearly 9 out of 10 voters, 86%, feel the process should remain private and only 8% feel it should be public information. Again, even union workers feel strongly that the process should be kept private, as 88% said private and only 8% said public.
  • Four out of five voters, or 82%, favor having a federally supervised election as a means to “protect the individual rights of workers.” The voters clearly see this as a basic right, especially given that only 11% of voters feel the card check would be the best way to protect the individual rights of workers. Support increases to 85% among union households.
  • The majority (52% to 26%) of American voters believe that the Employee Free Choice Act is not good for job creation. Even among union households, the plurality (48%) believes that the Employee Free Choice Act will cost America jobs.
  • In the current economic climate, 52% of voters are particularly opposed to any measure that would risk jobs or job growth.
  • Further exemplifying the electorates’ distaste for the Employee Free Choice Act, 71% agreed that this legislation would be “unwise” and “risky.” In today’s economic climate, the electorate has little confidence in the federal government’s ability to make such major business decisions.
  • The National Right to Work Act was introduced last week in an effort to remove compulsory unionism.  In other words, every state in America would be like the south – right to work states where employees have the choice to join a union or not.  Here is a video of Senator DeMint (R-SC):

     

    When speaking about a potential Card Check Compromise, Sen. DeMint said, Democrats could, “go out with a secret ballot and be magnanimous and withdraw it.  Then some Republicans may breathe a sigh of relief and vote for arbitration,” which “could actually be worse in the way it slows decision making” because arbitration rulings (in Michigan) take on average 15 months to be rendered.

    In another South Carolina entry today, an entrepreneur/legislator, State Rep. Eric M. Bedingfield wrote, “I recently introduced a constitutional amendment that guarantees the right of workers to a secret ballot in union-organizing election (H3305).

    Lew Ebert, the President and CEO of North Carolina Chamber reminds us that “Congress replaced the card check system with secret-ballot elections in 1947 after workers were coerced, intimidated, and in many instances beaten up and forced to join labor organization against their will.  Yet, 60 years later, we find Congress poised to deliver back to unions the same substandard system that exploited workers and proved grossly ineffective.”  Thank you to the Carolinas for helping us fight the battle against forced unionization!

    Another entreprenuer speaks about the damaging effects of EFCA.  “Small businesses already are near the breaking point as they try to cope with the crippling credit crunch, skyrocketing healthcare costs, and paralyzing recession.  Meanwhile, organized labor is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in political campaigns.”

    Here’s another entrepreneur’s viewpoint of how EFCA will kill small businesses:  “In fiscal year 2005, more than 20 percent of elections conducted by the NLRB involved bargaining units of 10 employees or fewer, while a full 70 percent involved bargaining units of 50 employees or fewer.”  He recently asked a business owner with 24 employees what he would do if overnight he was told he became unionized, and the response was “shut down shortly thereafter.”  This is a typical response.  Unfortunately, the NLRB has the right and power to force a company to re-open, rehire all employees, pay them back wages, and continue operating as a unionized company for as long as the NLRB feels is appropriate.  Companies cannot simply shut down and start another company as a non-union company.

    Thanks to LaborPains.org for this information:  American Rights at Work opined that “from 2000 to 2007, income for the median working-age household actually dropped $2,000 after inflation.”  According to LaborPains.org, “This is nothing new.  There are these events called recessions – ever heard of them.  Besides this period, there was also medial income stagnation from 53-54, 57-58, 70-71, 73-77, 79-85, and 89-93.  Notice that many of these years are the “good old days” of unions. . . The study finishes off with the usual: everyone wants to join a union but can’t because of intimidation according to (union-funded) research.  Nothing new to read here.”  Thanks for the detail, and for the sarcasm LaborPain.org!

    The AFL-CIO headlines: “Union Membership Grows in 2008. When People Can Join Unions, They Do.”  In fact, membership grew for the second straight year in a row.  So, I ask, why do unions need EFCA?  If unions win 60% of their elections, and their membership has grown the last two years, why is Obama, Democrat Congressmen, and Labor Unions all crying that our country needs to ease the ability for employees to unionize?

    I’ll end today’s EFCA Update on a sour note.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the increase in unionized workers in 2007 and 2008 “demonstrates that workers see unions, and higher job standards, benefits, and protections they provide, as a key solution in this struggling economy.”  I don’t see that.  The economy (other than home sales) wasn’t necessarily struggling in 2007 and there weren’t the mass layoffs in 2007 or 2008 that there are now.  The Bureau continues, “The uptick further points to the strengths of unionized workplaces – where labor and management work together as a team, they are able to tackle challenges and better withstand an economic downturn.”  Really?  Ever heard of the Big Three?  What about Boeing’s strike that resulted in 10,000 employees being laid off?  Or the 22,000 UAW represented employees that Caterpillar is laying off?  The list continues, but my point has been made.  My last bones to pick with the Bureau is its claim that “25 percent [of employers] even fire pro-union workers organizing campaigns.”  Where does that stat come from?  Oh wait, it’s not the BLS reporting that, it’s fancy writing from the labor-fronted American Rights at Work to sound like it’s the government reporting that!

    Tuesdays are EFCA Update Days

     

    A lot of the discussion throughout the country last week was whether the Employee Free Choice Act would be passed in Obama’s first 100 days and in what form will it pass.

    Will EFCA Pass in Obama’s First 100 Days?

    An editor of the International Socialist Review opines that Democrats are moving toward delaying the introduction of EFCA.

    Congressional leaders have indicated that passage of the Employee Free Choice Act is not their first priority.

    Business leaders took great comfort when Obama told The Washington Post last week that he was wary of pressing for the union measure ahead of broader economic needs.

    Despite Obama’s comment about putting EFCA on the backburner, a variety of administration and labor sources all indicated that there is no reason to believe that the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress aren’t proceeding along the expected track.

    Harry Reid said he would like the Senate to take up EFCA this summer.

    Rep. George Miller, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives labor committee told Reuters in an interview as the 111th Congress got underway that “there are things that may be more urgent because of circumstances beyond our control.  That doesn’t diminish the urgency I feel or the supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act feel…I am quite comfortable that EFCA is going to receive timely treatment.

    Will EFCA be Modified to Ensure it Passes?

    CNN Money reminds us that EFCA is about power, but a former AFL-CIO organizing director and former president and vice chairman of Bethlehem Steel and general counsel for the Labor Department during the Nixon and Ford administrations may have reached a compromise on what the legislation should look like.

    A former Governor of Virginia and one of the state’s most powerful Democrats finds the secret ballot part of EFCA troubling.

    T.A. Frank, a liberal author, believes that increasing the financial and other penalties against companies for violating labor laws during union elections would remove the need for EFCA.

    Because many believe that EFCA would easily pass the House but falls a vote or two shy of certain passage in the Senate, a compromise, like retaining secret ballots but speeding up various time limits or altering other provisions in ways that would still aid unionization drives, is likely.

    Other Articles Regarding EFCA

    Is card check certification Obama’s Hiliary Care?  In other words, President Clinton was seen to overreach in his first two years by pursuing initiatives such as Hilary Care, nationalized health care, and the voters severely punished the Democrats in the 1994 midterm elections by handing control of the Senate and House of Representatives to the Republicans for the first time since 1954.

    Despite currently supporting EFCA, in 2007, the Obama nominee for Labor Secretary, Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), protested that a secret ballot should be used by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to pick its new chairman.   Likewise, in 1998, the AFL-CIO, UAW, and others told the NLRB that secret ballots were essential when workers decide whether to decertify a union saying, “Other mean of decision-making are not comparable to the privacy and indepedence of the voting booth,” and that secret ballots provide the best way to avoid “the result of group pressures and not individual decision.”

    Mike Eastman, executive director of labor policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington says that EFCA has a better chance of being defeated rather than passed, since so many businesses are lobbying against it.  Although refreshing to hear, Mr. Eastman is in the extreme minority of people with this belief.

    The U.S. Chamber is switching its strategy in fighting EFCA from highlighting how the bill eliminates secret ballots to focusing on the binding arbitration aspect of the bill.

    The Montana Chamber of Commerce reminds us that the bill is ironically called the Employee Free Choice Act but is far from being pro-worker.

    Remember the group Save Our Secret Ballot – the group of states that are trying to change their constitutions as a way  around EFCA?  That group is “fairly confident” that state constitutional amendments “would hold up” under federal court challenges says former South Dakota Attorney General Mark Meierhenry.

    The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, a federation of 500 business groups, are actively campaigning against EFCA.

    National Right to Work Foundation launced an online petition to Obama advising him that his election did not give him a mandate to impose draconian policies that will dramatically increase the power and money of the Big Labor Bosses and would like everyone who is against EFCA to sign a petition.  The petition can be found here.

    This brief letter to the editor succinctly reminds us how the current NLRA achieves its purpose of unionizing workforces, since unions win 60% of elections with secret ballots.

    Small business owners typically think they won’t have to contend with union organizers in the workplace because it’s not worth the union’s time to mount a month-or year-long campaign to represent a handful of office workers.  Wrong!

    This small business owner from Raleigh, North Carolina is deeply concerned about EFCA’s ramifications.

    This is one of those articles that anger me.  The Employee Free Choice Act would not have saved Circuit City.  Circuit City did not put profits over people – it went bankrupt because it didn’t have any profits.  And the spirit of the collective bargaining process does not bind workers and management together as partners.  It pits them against each other and creates an “us v. them” mentality.

    Chris Fisher, Executive Director of Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan reminds us of the dangers associated with union pension and health-care funds because they are oftentimes underfunded.

    Jerry Warlow couldn’t have said it any better.  “The union’s push for this bill is not driven by unfairness of a traditional secret ballot or widespread injustices.  It is because union ranks are shrinking dramatically.  The United Auto Workers at its peak had 1.5 million members.  Today it has just more than 450,000.  What is really important to today’s unions?  Union dues.”  After being around unions for years and negotiating many contracts against many different unions, Mr. Warlow hit the nail on the head.

    Appropriate for Super Bowl week:  Isn’t EFCA just a “hail mary” for unions to get back into the game?

    Misc. Mondays: NLRB Head Former Union Lawyer Who Supports EFCA

    Beginning today, Mondays are dedicated to miscellaneous topics/updates that do not necessarily warrant a full day to themselves, but nonetheless are newsworthy.

    Obama named Wilma Liebman chair of the National Labor Relations Board, the head of the judicial body that governs over the National Labor Relations Act.  Liebman began her career in 1974 as an NLRB staff attorney, then served on the legal staff of two labor unions (International Brotherhood of Teamsters and International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen).  She has been a member of “the Board” since being appointed to it by Bill Clinton in 1997 and has consistently “used her seat to do Big Labor’s bidding and trample upon employee freedom.”  She is hardly an impartial judge and likely the prototypical Obama appointment to the Board; unfortunately, Obama gets 3 more appointments.