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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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.

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