Regulations Have Consequences

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the impact of regulations on business franchises put in place during the Obama administration.

The article reports:

An industry study found that the Obama administration’s crackdown on franchising has cut hundreds of thousands of job openings and dealt a $33.3 billion blow to the economy each year dating back to 2015.

A report put out by the International Franchise Association and a Chamber of Commerce found that the Obama administration provoked an “existential threat” to the franchise model in which small business owners operate under the umbrella of a national corporate brand. The Obama administration departed from decades of precedent when the National Labor Relations Board held that parent companies could be held liable for labor violations committed by franchisees. The report estimated that the new joint employer standard set curtailed expansion in the industry, leading to between 142,000 and 376,000 lost job opportunities—a 2.55 to 5 percent reduction in the workforce.

“All of this economic cost was predictable and avoidable,” IFA spokesman Matthew Haller said. “Franchise owners have incurred significant losses.”

The article details the Trump administration’s response to the study:

The Trump NLRB has turned to rulemaking to solidify the previous joint employer standard, which only held parent companies liable if they were directly involved in a violation. A previous decision overturning the Obama agency ruling was dismissed after an ethics official said Trump appointee William Emanuel should have recused himself because his old law firm handled joint employer cases. Bird and Haller said the effects of the regulation would not immediately reverse the damage caused by four years of uncertainty, but would be a first step to helping the industry begin creating new job opportunities and expand existing hiring.

“There is the opportunity to this [Trump NLRB] regulation to remove much of that source of fear and to remove the uncertainty—that is the minimum first step to recovering and removing these costs,” Bird said.

The report featured 77 one-hour interviews with lawyers, franchisees, and franchisors of all different sizes across the country. IFA has submitted the report to the NLRB as part of the public comment period for the rule proposal. The agency will begin reviewing these comments and all replies by Feb. 11.

Hopefully the ruling make during the Obama administration can be overturned and more people can go back to starting franchise businesses.

 

Do Employers Have The Right To Set Conditions Of Employment?

The Hill posted a story today about today’s Supreme Court ruling that employers can include clauses in employment contracts that force employees to settle disputes individually with a third-party arbitrator.

There are a few aspects of this ruling–the most obvious one is that employers can write employment contracts without government interference. Another is whether or not employers have the right to include in employment contracts clauses that include the prohibition of class-action lawsuits to settle disputes over wages and working conditions.  These clauses preventing class-action lawsuits in employment contracts are fairly common. It should also be noted that many companies have mandatory arbitration procedures–that is the proper way to deal with conflicts. Our society has often been too quick to seek legal action as a way to gain instant wealth. Not all class-action lawsuits have merit. We live in a society where people are free to change jobs. If salaries or working conditions are unacceptable, a company will not be able to find quality employees. The system will police itself. There are also federal avenues available to address valid salary or working condition complaints.

The Hill reports:

The EPI ( Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a liberal think tank) found in a survey last year that 53.9 percent of nonunion private-sector employers already have mandatory arbitration procedures.

Software company Epic Systems Corp., accounting and financial firm Ernst & Young LLP and Murphy Oil USA Inc. were the employers at the center of three cases the court consolidated that argued in support of the agreements.

The government, which changed its position under President Trump, had also intervened in support of the employers, arguing that Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act in 1925 to “overcome judicial resistance to arbitration.”

The court’s decision settles a deep split among the lower courts. The 2nd, 5th and 8th circuit courts of appeal and the California and Nevada supreme courts had ruled these arguments are fully enforceable, while the 7th and 9th circuits, along with the National Labor Relations Board, ruled the agreements violate the NLRA.

Government does not belong in the business of writing employment contracts or telling employers what to put in them.

Playing Politics With The National Labor Relations Board

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about Lafe Solomon, the former acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 2011 through 2013. Evidently his service violated the law that applies to federal appointments.

The article reports:

Solomon, a long-time board lawyer, was appointed acting general counsel by Obama in June 2010 and officially nominated to the position, which requires Senate approval, the following January. However, the Senate, then under Democratic control, never held a vote on his nomination. Solomon continued to serve through November 2013, when the current general counsel, Richard Griffin, was confirmed by the Senate.

That same year, SW General, Inc., an Arizona-based ambulance company, challenged a NLRB complaint against it, alleging that Solomon was serving in violation of 1998 law called the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The law says that once the president nominates someone for a position that requires Senate confirmation, that nominee cannot serve until they are confirmed. It includes an exception if the nominee had previously been “first assistant” to the last person to hold the office. On Friday, the federal court sided with the company and against the board.

“Because Solomon was never a first assistant and the President nominated him to be General Counsel on January 5, 2011, the FVRA prohibited him from serving as Acting General Counsel from that date forward,” the court found.

Lafe Solomon was the person behind the NLRB’s move against Boeing when they built a plant in South Carolina.

The article comments on the Boeing case:

The case prompted loud complaints from business groups and Republican lawmakers, who argued the board was trying to make a business decision to locate in a right-to-work state like South Carolina itself evidence of a labor rights violation. The NLRB complaint was withdrawn after Boeing and the union reached a settlement in 2011.

President Obama has not been the President of the entire country. He has been the President of the special interest groups he likes–among them big labor. Remember that in the bailout of Chrysler, he favored retired union workers over secured bond holders. (rightwinggranny.com). The only hope for the survival of America is to elect a President who will faithfully uphold the Constitution and follow the law. There are a few candidates who fit that description, and hopefully the American people will realize the danger their country is in and elect one of them.

Recess Appointments Can Only Be Made When Congress Is Actually In Recess

USA Today is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled that several recess appointments made by President Obama in 2012 were invalid. The ruling against President Obama’s recess appointments was unanimous; however, four of the justices wanted to restrict the President’s power to make recess appointments.

The article reports:

The high court’s ruling means that hundreds of decisions made by the labor board while dominated by Obama’s recess appointees in 2012 and half of 2013 will be called into question. The new five-member board, including four members since approved by the Senate, will have to revisit those cases. Consumer protection chief Richard Cordray has since been confirmed by the Senate, so he can reaffirm his prior actions.

This is the second unanimous Supreme Court decision in two days–yesterday the Court ruled that police required a search warrant to search the information on a suspect’s cell phone.

The Consequences Of Stacking The National Labor Relations Board

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the National Labor Relations Board‘s (NLRB) decision to allow Northwestern University football players to unionize.

The article reports:

NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr cited the players’ time commitment to their sport and the fact their scholarships were tied directly to their performance as reasons for granting them union rights…

CAPA attorneys argued that college football is, for all practical purposes, a commercial enterprise that relies on players’ labor to generate billions of dollars in profits. That, they contend, makes the relationship of schools to players one of employers to employees.

In its endeavor to have college football players be recognized as essential workers, CAPA likened scholarships to employment pay — too little pay from its point of view. Northwestern balked at that claim, describing scholarship as grants.

    Giving college athletes employee status and allowing them to unionize, critics have argued, could hurt college sports in numerous ways — including by raising the prospects of strikes by disgruntled players or lockouts by athletic departments.

This raises some interesting questions. Are their scholarships income? Does that mean that all scholarships are income? Does everyone who has a scholarship of any kind get a 1099 at the end of the year? If they form a union, can they go on strike? Can they demand lower academic standards or less practice time?

This is one of the dumbest decisions the NLRB has made. It will add confusion to college sports rather than solve any current problems. The only thing it will actually accomplish will to collect unions dues from the players. This is turn would help the unions shore up their underfunded pension programs. This is a really bad idea.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Jobs For The Unemployed

Today’s Washington Examiner is reporting that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved the practice of unions paying protesters to protest. The case involved union members being paid to protest against WalMart.

The article reports:

In a Nov. 15 memorandum from the NLRB’s general counsel office regarding the so-called “Black Friday” protests staged by United Food and Commercial Workers against the nonunion retailer last year, the NLRB lawyers determined that the UFCW’s offer of $50 gift cards to anyone who showed up to protest “was a non-excessive strike benefit.”

The lawyers said there was “no evidence to indicate that the gift card was meant to buy support for OUR Walmart” since the card was available not just to the retailer’s employees but to anyone who showed up at the unions’ protests.

CORRECTION:

The article incorrectly stated that OUR Walmart’s $50 gift cards were available to “to anyone who showed up to protest” implying that non-Walmart employees could get them. The NLRB document only states that the cards were available to “anyone who struck, not just members of OUR Walmart” indicating they were limited to Walmart employees.

The article also points out that very few of the people protesting WalMart actually work for WalMart. There is another interesting aspect of this story. Most people who shop at WalMart shop there because of the low prices. One of the reasons for those low prices is the fact that it is a non-union shop and the company does not have to negotiate with unions, cater to unions, and sometimes sacrifice  good business practices to appease union leaders. Many union members are not particularly wealthy, and by unionizing WalMart, they will lose a good source of inexpensive food and other goods. If the union members support the unionization of WalMart, they are also supporting something that will make their own lives more difficult.

Enhanced by Zemanta

When Unions Panic

Last night the Senate reached an agreement to avoid the “nuclear option” that prevented the end of the filibuster in blocking Presidential appointments. So what’s the deal, and what’s it all about?

CNS News reminds us:

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has been very good at getting under Democratic Leader Harry Reid‘s (D-Nev) skin by holding up all sorts of bills and nominations.

But, before you cluck-cluck at the Republicans, it is well to remember that way back in 2005, when they were in the minority, Senate Democrats did exactly the same thing, which led then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) to contemplate the exact same “nuclear option” that Senator Reid was threatening earlier this week.

But there’s more. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Big Labor desperately wants a quorum of at least three National Labor Relations Board nominees to keep issuing pro-union orders that have become the NLRB’s standard operating procedure in the Obama years. Today there are only three board members and Chairman Mark Pearce is set to resign on August 27.
Under Tuesday’s Senate deal, the Obama Administration will agree to withdraw the nominations of the two NLRB board members whom Mr. Obama first appointed in January 2012 as recess appointments though the Senate wasn’t in recess. The President will then nominate two new pro-union board members, whom Republicans won’t filibuster, as well as two GOP nominees. Mr. Trumka gets his new legal quorum.

So why are the unions so concerned? This chart from Google might explain something:

Loss of members means loss of prestige, but there’s more. In June 2010, I reported on the status of union pension funds (rightwinggranny.com):

In a column in the Washington Examiner in April, Mark Hemingway pointed out that the average union pension plan had only enough money to cover 62 percent of its financial obligations.  Pension plans that are below 80 percent funding are considered “endangered” by the government; below 65 percent is considered “critical.”  Union membership is declining, which means that less people are paying into these funds.

Unions have a rightful place in America. However, in recent years they have attempted to usurp power beyond what was their original purpose. Meanwhile, union leaders live like kings and workers pay mandatory dues and struggle to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the unions see the Obama Administration as an opportunity to increase their power and influence (and the wealth of their leaders). Hopefully the next election will restore a balance between unions and those who choose not to join them. Meanwhile, the Republicans are making some really bad decisions.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Cost Of Bullying

On Friday the Washington Free Beacon posted an article about Jeff Richmond of Meadow Bridge, West Virginia. Mr. Richmond was a truck driver who began working for Penn Line Service, a trucking and construction company, in July 2012.

The article reports:

He never joined LIUNA, which represents other employees at the company, but that did not stop the union from deducting dues from his paycheck. The situation came to a head in October when Richmond refused to make “voluntary” contributions to three PACs associated with the union. He was fired from his job shortly afterward.

…Richmond challenged the forced dues program enacted by the union and the company before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after his firing with the help of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The NLRB issued a formal complaint against Penn Line Service and LIUNA but did not have a chance to rule on the matter before the settlement.

Richmond was not the only Penn Line Service employee to benefit from the settlement. The company and union agreed to reimburse an unnamed employee $600 for forced dues payments and political contributions he made in 2012.

Since the Supreme Court ruled on the Citizens United case, there has been a lot of talk about the amount of money in politics and particularly donations made by corporations. However, if we are going to complain about corporate donations, we need also to look at union donations unwillingly made by union members who do not necessarily support the candidates or causes the money is given to. At least in a corporation, the stockholders will hold the corporation accountable if the Chairman of the Board makes a donation to a cause the other Board members do not support.

The article concludes:

Mix (Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Committee) said the union’s actions are not surprising given the influence of organized labor in West Virginia. He urged lawmakers to change the pro-union atmosphere in the state to avoid future issues with compulsory union dues.

“West Virginia needs to pass a Right-to-Work law making union membership and dues payments completely voluntary,” Mix said.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Should The President Be Allowed To Ignore The Constitution ?

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an article by Michael Barone on President Obama’s tendency to ignore the law when he decides he wants to do something. The article cites a number of examples.

In January 2012 President Obama made some recess appointments–three members of the National Labor Relations Board and the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Unfortunately the Senate did not happen to be recess at the time.

The article reports:

Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled unanimously that the NLRB recess appointments were unconstitutional.

…decisions of the NLRB are the CFPB are in legal limbo, pending a Supreme Court decision. Hundreds of thousands of people and are affected and millions of dollars are at stake. There is a price for not observing the rule of law.

The article goes on to list a few more examples:

For several years the Obama administration has refused to obey a law requiring the president’s budget to be submitted on a certain date. As budget director, Treasury nominee Jack Lew refused to obey the law requiring him to issue a report in response to the trustees’ report on Medicare.

During the 2012 campaign the Pentagon told defense contractors not to inform employees that they may be laid off if the sequester took effect as required by the WARN Act.

They were even told that the government would pay any fines for not complying. What law authorizes that?

…In spring 2009 we got our first glimmers of this modus operandi. In arranging the Chrysler bankruptcy administration, officials brushed aside the rights of secured creditors in order to pay off the United Auto Workers.

This represents a pattern–there are no isolated incidents here. Unfortunately we have almost four more years to get through before we can get back to the Constitution.Enhanced by Zemanta

If This Decision Stands, What Happens Next ?

The Daily Caller (along with many other news sources) is reporting today that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that President Obama’s appointments to the National Labor Relations Board made during the time that the President declared that the Senate was in recess are unconstitutional. The President does not have the power to declare whether or not the Senate is in recess–that is up to the Senate.

The article reports:

The Jan. 25 ruling came after Republican senators filed a case arguing that Obama did not have the power to appoint top-level officials via a “recess appointment” if the Senate says it is in session.

Obama made that claim when he announced the appointment of two people to the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012.

The appointments allowed the board to subsequently issue a series of pro-labor, anti-business decisions. Following the court’s ruling, the board’s decisions are now vulnerable to a series of lawsuits.

Obama used the same claim to appoint Democratic lawyer Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January 2012.

The Landmark Legal Foundation further explains:

…three appointments to the five-member NLRB by President Obama made on January 4, 2012, under the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause (Article II, Section 2, Clause 3), were not valid  because the Senate was not in recess at the time the appointments were announced. 

There have been a number of rulings by the NLRB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since these recess appointments. Theoretically all those actions will be nullified because the people making the decisions were not legally entitled to make them.

The specific case that was ruled on was Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board. I am sure that we have not heard the end of this.

Under The Radar At The National Labor Relations Board

President Obama stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with pro-union people early in his administration. The lone Republican‘s term ended December 16th. At this time there are three Democrats remaining on the board, two were appointed by ‘recess’ appointments which were made while Congress was in session.

Breitbart.com  reported yesterday on some of the NLRB’s recent actions.

The article reports:

The NLRB now allows that unions no longer are required to provide proof, through audits of their finances, to so-called “Beck objectors” that their money is not spent on union politics.

In addition to saving unions from mandatory financial audits, the NLRB also decided that lobbying expenses are now “chargeable to [Beck] objectors, to the extent that they are germane to collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance adjustment.”

These new rules mean that workers who are forced to join unions and pay union dues have less control than ever over how their money is spent by union leaders. Labor bosses can now spend those funds on just about any lobbying expense whatsoever and never have to justify it.

The NLRB also declared that a corporation is required to collect union dues during the time between contracts between the corporation and the union. In other words, if the union is on strike against the corporation, the corporation will collect union dues for them. Wow.

This is ultimately about money. The unions are the major fund source for democrat politicians. Union membership has been dropping over recent years. If the unions lose their power, the Democrat party loses a large percentage of its campaign funds.Enhanced by Zemanta

Politicizing Every Part Of Government

One of the most distressing aspects of the Obama Administration has been the politicization of every area of government. The Department of Justice dropped prosecution of an obvious voter intimidation case, the National Labor Relations Board tried to stop a company from opening a manufacturing facility in a non-union state, and the Department of Justice’s involvement in Fast and Furious is still being uncovered. The latest example of this sort of playing politics with things that should not be political has to do with the impact of the defense cuts the Obama Administration has caused by refusing to engage in serious budget negotiations.

Yesterday Investors.com posted an article explaining the government’s interference in the enforcement of the WARN law. The article reports:

Federal law under the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice) Act required employers to give workers a minimum of 60 days notice before potential mass layoffs.

Because of sequestration, quite a few people who work for companies related to the defense industry will be getting layoff notices just before the November election. Many of those people live in swing states with electoral votes the President needs to win the election.

The article reports:

To avoid the electoral consequences of these cuts, the Department of Labor (DOL) is informing defense contractors that since sequestration hasn’t actually happened yet, and some in Congress are trying to find ways around it, it might be nice if they didn’t obey federal law and send out the pink slips just this once.

I don’t want sequestration to take effect, but as of now, it will happen. Therefore, the law should be followed, regardless of electoral consequences.

The article concludes:

“Sequestration is currently the law of the land, and our nation’s workers have a right to know how these sequestration cuts which begin in January may impact them,” Sen. McCain noted.

They deserve to know when they’re about to lose their jobs, and that President Obama did it for them. So do the voters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

American Businesses Get A Break

The Hill reported yesterday that U.S. District Judge James Boasberg has struck down the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that would have shortened the time frame between a union approaching a company to unionize and the vote of unionization. The lawsuit against the rule was supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.

The judge struck down the rule based n the fact that the NLRB only had two members when it passed the rule–three are needed to form a quorum.

The article reports:

Trade associations praised the court ruling Monday.

“In their rush to conclude their rulemaking before the end of Board Member Becker’s recess appointment, the board took shortcuts in the process, and the court rightly ruled that the rule is invalid because the board lacked the necessary quorum to conduct business,” said David French, senior vice president for government relations for the National Retail Federation (NRF), in a statement.

The problem with the law was that it did not give companies enough time to explain to employees what the downside of unionization would be. The other thing to note here is that the rule was struck down because of the way it was passed–not on the merits of the rule. That means that if the composition of the NLRB changes in the future so that it is entirely pro-union, this rule will probably go into effect. That is another reason to consider carefully who you vote for in November–the President appoints the members of the NLRB.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possible Good News For Boeing

Fox News reported yesterday that Boeing’s machinist union will vote today on a four-year contract extension. Workers are expected to ratify the contract, which includes dropping the complaint to the National Labor Relations Board against Boeing for opening a non-union plant in South Carolina.

The article reports:

Crucially for the union, it would ensure that jobs for Boeing’s updated 737 line — the 737 Max — stay in the Puget Sound region. Boeing said in July it was studying other locations for the new 737.

Industry analyst Wayne Plucker, of the San Antonio, Texas, research firm Frost and Sullivan, said the agreement is good for both sides. Considering the looming Defense Department budget cuts that threaten defense contracts across the industry, Boeing is going to need solid performance from its commercial airplanes division, Plucker said.

It sounds as if both sides got some good things in the agreement. It is just unfortunate that the union used a government agency to bully the company. Government interference in a company’s decision as to where to locate their facilities is one of the things that inhibits economic growth. Industry in America is currently overregulated, and until the government loosens its grip, the American economy will not grow at the rate needed to bring down the current unemployment numbers.

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Is Simply Disturbing

Boeing 747-400 displaying the post-1997 Speedm...

Image via Wikipedia

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story yesterday about comments Representative Nancy Pelosi made about the Boeing plant that is attempting to open in South Carolina.

The article reports:

In an interview late last week, House Minority Leaeder Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNBC that Boeing should either unionize its production facilities in South Carolina, or shut them down entirely.

“Do you think it’s right that Boeing has to close down that plant in South Carolina because it’s non union?” asked host Maria Bartiromo. Pelosi’s reply: “Yes.”

The minority leader quickly added that she would rather it simply unionize and stay open. But barring unionization, by Pelosi’s reasoning, it should simply shut down.

Mr. Morrissey also points out:

Pelosi may or may not know that workers at the South Carolina plant in question voted resoundingly (199-68) to decertify their union two years ago. Government policies that would close the plant for being a non-union shop would simply be punishing those workers for exercising their right to determine union representation for themselves.

As long as the Democrat leadership is in the pockets of the unions, it will be very hard to shrink the size of government and turn the economy around. The workers in South Carolina voted not to unionize. That should have been the end of the story. It is unfortunate that the union-bought Obama Administration chose to get involved through the National Labor Relations Board. We need to understand that even if the plant in South Carolina eventually opens, the amount of time and money spent on the legal battle to open the plant will be a lesson to other companies seeking to open plants in right-to-work states. Again, we need to take a good look at where political money is coming from and vote out anyone being heavily funded by unions.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Fight To Open The Boeing Plant In South Carolina

My photos that I took at today's First Flight ...

Image via Wikipedia

The Hill reported today that the House of Representatives has passed a bill to limit the power of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to dictate to a American company where it can expand its manufacturing.

The article reports:

The House approved H.R. 2587 in a 238-186 vote in which eight Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill and seven Republicans voted against it.

The bill is a response to the NLRB’s decision to sue Boeing after it opened a manufacturing plant for its new 787 Dreamliner jet in South Carolina. The NLRB is charging that the plane manufacturer picked South Carolina for new production in order to retaliate against strikes by its unionized workers in Washington state. South Carolina is a right-to-work state that generally bans union membership.

It is ironic that it would have been less complicated for Boeing to move its plant out of the country. That kind of government interference costs American jobs.

It is understood that the bill has little chance of passing in the Senate, but Republicans want a public vote in the Senate on the issue.

The article further reports:

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill would put real limits on the right of workers to bargain collectively. He said the bill would allow companies to say to workers, “Yeah, you have the right to bargain collectively, but if we don’t like what you’re doing, we’re taking a hike.”

Trade associations have lent their significant lobbying weight in support of the bill. Both the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told lawmakers that they would score votes on the bill.

Conservative activist groups, such as Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, also have pushed for passage of the bill. 

Unions are in opposition, saying the legislation will gut worker protections and undermine the NLRB’s legal authority. 

I don’t know when the NLRB was given the power to tell companies where in the United States they could do business, but I do believe that it is time to take that power away. If corporations cannot meet union demands and still make a profit, they should be free to relocate where unions are not an issue. That used to happen in this country–one of the reasons the textile industry moved out of New England to the southeastern states in the 1950’s was that the southern textile plants were cheaper to operate because they were not unionized. When did companies lose that freedom?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Is The Executive Branch Of Government Above The Law ?

Fred Upton

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an editorial about the need for more aggressive action by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in reining in some of the power grabs by the Obama administration. President Obama has frequently used bureaucratic decrees to initiate policies rejected by Congress and the public.

Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich) heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Representative Upton has requested documents from the Department of Energy concerning its $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra Corp. So far the Energy Department and the Office of Management Budget have defied a congressional subpoena and refused to turn over documents.

Representative Darrell Issa heads the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Representative Issa has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for documents concerning their actions when Boeing attempted to open a plant in South Carolina (a right-to-work state).

So far, many of the documents that have been requested have not been produced by the Obama administration. It is time for the Republicans in the House of Representatives to develop a spine and insist that these documents be made available to the appropriate committees.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Union Violence

Yesterday Investors.com posted the chart below to illustrate that union violence has become a part of American life.

On Wednesday an Ohio contractor was wounded by gunfire by a man uttering union threats.

The article reports on another incident:

It’s quite a different story for the Lambertville, Mich., contractor who woke up in the dead of night a week ago found a silhouetted figure on his driveway spraying “SCAB” on the side of his vehicle. The figure fired a gun at him before fleeing.

King runs a small business employing 40 people at high wages with good benefits. His success at a time when unionized contractors are failing made him the target of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which has unsuccessfully sought to unionize his workers.

The article further reports:

At the same time as the attack against King, IBEW has also engaged in a violent strike against Verizon in New York. Union strikers have been accused of cutting phone lines, firing BB guns at nonunion workers, and picketing customers. Internet videos show them using foul language and goon tactics.

One of IBEW’s thugs put his own daughter in the path of a truck as a means of getting more money from his employer.

IBEW tactics have been so objectionable a federal judge ordered them this week to refrain from hurling and/or spreading feces in their strike, as if they should need to be told.

Leadership comes from the top.  With the stacking of the National Labor Relations Board with people who are biased toward unions, unions are engaging in behavior that is unacceptable with no fear of being held accountable. Union membership is not a bad thing, but it needs to be voluntary–not coerced. Those people in the unions need to respect the rights of those who choose not to be in unions. Unfortunately, until the administration in Washington changes, I suspect union violence and thuggery will only increase.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lack Of Transparency At The National Labor Relations Board

Today’s Daily Caller reported on recent activity at the National Labor Relations Board NLRB) in regard to unionizing companies. Current law requires that union elections be held within six weeks of the time that organizers meet the petition requirements for an election. The NLRB is moving to shorten that time to 7–10 days.

The article points out:

Another red flag that (former NLRB board member Peter) Schaumber notices with the Board’s handling of its “quickie election” proposal is the lack of transparency in the NLRB’s deliberations. Schaumber says it appears as though the Board’s members evaded the Sunshine Act, either by meeting only two at a time or by using staffers to relay information among themselves.

The unions have a reason for wanting to change this rule quickly. Right now the NLRB is totally controlled by pro-labor forces, after 2012, that may not be the case. The other reason for the urgency is the state of union pensions. As previously reported at rightwinggranny:

One of the reasons the unions are so desperate to grow membership is that their pension funds are unfunded.  I ran an article at rightwinggranny in April of 2010 based on a Big Government article which stated:

The worst part of the Obama executive order is the real reason for it.  According to a September, 2009 report by Moody’s Investor Services, construction union pensions in 2008 were just 54% funded.  Just like Social Security, the promised union pensions were too fat.  They were built on the similar demographic flaw of social security.  The system would pay full benefits to the earliest retirees, but would only be able to continue to do that if the ratio of workers to retirees is sustainable.  So what does it mean when the ratio fails?  How do you restore the footing on a plan so underfunded when the ration of worker to retiree continues to get worse?”

The crunch point of this ponzi scheme is about to be reached.  That is why the unions are desperately trying to change to rules of unionization–to save face on their pension funds.  If more members do not join quickly, the whole pension scheme will collapse.

Workers need more than ten days to decide if they want to join a union. They need a chance to hear both sides of the story. The recent action of the NLRB does nothing to improve the process.

Enhanced by Zemanta