Tag Archives: Unions

Right-to-Work States Beware

Right-to-Work states need to take heed of several recent events, which are prime indicators of big labor’s intent to revitalize its sagging membership roles and the administration’s intent to support them. The most recent event was Terry McAuliffe’s victory over Ken Cuccinelli in last weeks Virginia Governor race, where the Unions Poured Millions of Dollars to Support McAuliffe’s Campaign, led by the SEIU’s approximately $540,000, because McAuliffe has “hinted” he would not stand in the way of Right-to-Work (RTW) being overturned in Virginia.

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This is just the Tip of the Iceberg when discussing the Gasping Dinosaurs’ recent assaults on RTW states. In mid September, a Lake County judge in Indiana agreed with a suit filed by the International Union of Operating Engineers and found Indiana’s RTW Law to be Unconstitutional, because it was unfair that unions have to represent employees who do not pay dues. This case will be reviewed by the Indiana Supreme Court in the near future, and most likely be overturned. An easy way to solve this union concern is by Putting “Teeth” in Right-To-Work laws, inserting language that would  eliminate the “Check Off” clauses in collective bargaining agreements. The “Check Off” clause requires employers or government entities to deduct union dues from employees pay checks and send those dues to the union. The unions would simply collect the dues directly from the employees who desire union representation and work only in their behalf. What could be more fair?

Also, in the past couple of months, the UAW has launched a Death by a Thousand Cuts  Corporate Campaign against a Volkswagen Facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee and a Nissan Facility in Canton, Mississippi, both RTW states. The goal is to force management at these plants to sign a Neutrality Agreement, which eliminates the secret ballot election for workers, replacing the process with Card Check. This prevents employees from choosing if they want union representation or not through the secret ballot election, and reverts to the ruthless practice of force unionizing employees against their will!

The current Administration, in need of big labor’s support in the upcoming 2014 Mid-Term Elections, is attempting to “grease the wheels” and make it easy for big labor to execute Corporate Campaigns against employers in RTW states. They have appointed Radical Pro-Labor Department Heads at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor (DOL), as seen in Labor Department goes on rulemaking spree and OSHA Seeks to Make Big Companies’ Worker-Injury Records Public. The goal is to change regulations, implement new rules and overturn past decisions so that big labor can embark on expansive organizing campaigns in America’s union scarce southern regions, where employment is growing. If successful, this could bring about serious political upheaval in favor of the Administration, as the unions would gain more dues paying members.

Both the Administration and big labor understand that they desperately need more political allies and money to survive, as the U.S. Supreme Court Has An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms and potentially deal a death blow to Card Check in the coming months, big labor’s only remaining hope to avoid extinction.

The first case will begin this week, on November 13th, where The Devil at My Doorstep will be utilized as evidence by the law firm Ogletree Deakins, in an amicus brief defending an employee from a company in Florida (RTW state). The company bowed to union pressure by signing a Neutrality Agreement, subjecting its employees to the ruthless union Card Check process. Instead of giving in to the card  process, one employee had the backbone to stand up to the Unite Here union bullies, and contacted the National Right to Work Committee, headed by Mark Mix. The NRTW Committee has been working to defend his rights and is taking his case to the Supreme Court. The second case, involving the Constitutionality of President Obama’s Recess Appointees to the NLRB, will be heard early next year. If upheld, this decision could stop the NLRB’s current march to change regulations that allow for the unfettered use of Corporate Campaigns by big labor to impose Card Check upon unsuspecting employees.

The outcomes of these cases will no doubt determine the future of big labor. In the meantime, with the support of the current Administration, big labor will wage an all out war on RTW laws and RTW states in an effort to increase membership and political power. There is no doubt these states, and RTW across the country, are in the crosshairs of the big labor bosses and the Administration. It is imperative that these states and all Americans defend the Right-to-Work legislation, as it is A Basic American Freedom!

Click HERE to buy a copy of the The Devil at My Doorstep, which will be introduced as evidence to the U.S. Supreme Court later this week.

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November 12, 2013 · 3:14 PM

Big Labor Feels the Pressure

Now that two cases concerning forced unionism have made it to the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket (see “The Devil at My Doorstep” Introduced to the Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court: An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms), it appears big labor’s Gasping Dinosaurs are becoming even more desperate in their attempts to avoid extinction. Events transpiring in the past several weeks make it  apparent that Big Labor is doing everything it can to rapidly add membership in anticipation the Supreme Court will find  the use of the coercive practice of “Corporate Campaigns” to violate the National Labor Relations Act. These “campaigns” consist of the use of intimidating methods designed to coerce employers into signing a Neutrality Agreement, by which they agree to accept “Card Check,”  or the use of signed cards as evidence of their employees desire for union representation in lieu of secret ballot elections. Card Check allows big labor to force unionize a companies employees almost overnight, which is critical to resuscitating falling union membership!

One of the pending cases involves the question of whether the President’s recess appointees to the National Labor Relations Board, all of whom are very pro-union and trying to change governing regulations to enhance big labor Corporate Campaigns, were correctly and constitutionally appointed. The second case questions whether the use of Neutrality Agreements in the context of a corporate campaign, provides an impermissible benefit to labor unions, in violation of Section 302 of the Act. If the U.S. Supreme Court finds against labor’s position, the effect would be to virtually eliminate big labor’s ability to rely on their “bread and butter” — Corporate Campaigns  and the resulting Neutrality Agreement. Loss of this means of forced unionism could very likely result in the extinction in unions as structured today. Apparently the big labor bosses anticipate a negative ruling as they are out in force utilizing Corporate Campaigns to unionize as many employees as possible. The following cases are illustrative.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the UAW has been conducting a campaign at the Volkswagen plant.  Thankfully, the VW employees have seen the light and are taking action as seen in VW Workers at TN Plant Allege Misleading UAW Tactics and Chattanooga VW Workers Begin Antiunion Petition. Additionally, there were the recent UAW tactics at an auto plant in Kokomo, Indiana, chronicled in Unprecedented Union Corruption, that apparently cost eleven full time positions in the plant. All due to the fact the UAW would not allow a non-union company to be successful, and the fact it added a additional 25 employees. Apparently it does not bother the UAW that eleven people in the pant lost their jobs, as it has a net increase of 14 dues paying members, which was the ultimate objective!

The UAW really displayed its desperation as it enlisted employees and others to call the NAACP to join its cause to force unionize employees at a Nissan Plant in Canton, Mississippi. The charges, expressed in the article Why the NAACP Joined a Mississippi Union Battle, are eerily similar to the same charges my company faced when confronted by the Interfaith Workers Justice Group and their support of the SEIU. These charges were all found to be untrue and were dismissed. Of course, in the context of a corporate campaign, big labor does not care about the truth or falsity of the charges they bring. They care only that the charges serve the purpose of pressuring the employer, “the ends justify the means.”

The SEIU continues its efforts to rally fast food and other service workers using the government shutdown as a stage for False Protests and disorder, as I discussed in Desperate Dinosaurs Show True Colors on Labor Day. Additionally, the SEIU teamed up with the AFL-CIO to host Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform. Immigration reform is a number one priority for the SEIU and AFL-CIO since both organize service workers and they envision large Corporate Campaigns to force unionize these new workers. Evidently, the President got the message, because in a speech over the weekend he mentioned that the budget and debt ceiling issues needed to be resolved so they can move on to bigger things like immigration reform and jobs. Finally, from the home of Harry Reid in Las Vegas, Nevada comes news of  “union bosses gone wild.” Apparently, the Culinary Union took offense to one casino that has remained union-free, and are using the typical “Death by a Thousand Cuts” approach against the casino and its guests!

All of these scenarios are supported and approved by our “fearless” Commander-In-Chief, who has no respect for American freedoms, America’s free market system or our Constitution. It is high time that the tricameral division of powers, wisely instituted by our founders, steps to the forefront and puts the President and his big labor henchmen in their place to restore American freedoms! Hopefully, the Supreme Court aided by “The Devil at My Doorstep” will put pressure on big labor and issue a favorable decision to protect all Americans from these bullies!

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Promises, Promises: Desperate Unions Grow Weary of Phony Distractions

Big Labor bosses are facing the increasing realization that their organizations are rapidly facing extinction. Faced with this stark reality, they grow increasingly tired of phony promises and betrayal from A Phony President. A trifecta of difficulties, consisting of recent revelations of the impact Obamacare will have on union costs and membership, the weakening of support for “Card Check” legislation, and the increasing popularity and passage of  “Right-to-Work” laws have the Gasping Dinosaurs very nervous. Union membership is at a 50-year low, representing a mere 11.3% of the total workforce and 6.7% of the private workforce. These statistics have Big Labor bosses fighting mad at the lack of return from their campaign investments for the President and desperate enough to attempt any and all options to rebuild declining membership.

With the exception of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents healthcare workers across the country and anticipates membership gains from the implementation of Obamacare, Big Labor bosses representing other unions now realize that their once-beloved President has sold them down the river (see The Devil is in the Details: Buyer’s Remorse over Obamacare, Except for SEIU).  The heads of the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, and other major labor unions are now realizing that not only is Obamacare void of separate exemptions or favorable provisions for unions, but it places unions at an economic disadvantage when organizing new members. In fact, it is so bad  that the Teamsters are Begging Congress for Relief from Obamacare and the Laborers International Union Fears Destructive Consequences from Obamacare. Even the President-friendly IRS Employees Union Members are in an Uproar after realizing that they too will be subject to Obamacare. The President may continue his phony rhetoric to intimidate Republicans and to push for Obamacare to become functional, but he does so at the risk of losing his most ardent supporters.

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The next likely disappointment for the unions is that the President has failed to enact Card Check. Despite that the President’s recent radical appointees to the NLRB were approved by the U.S. Senate and the fact that President Obama Brought in Griffin to Fill Vacant NLRB Position, the Rogue NLRB still faces an uphill battle if they plan to achieve card check.  See “Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation.”  President Obama previously attempted to achieve card check like provisions through his appointment of board members such as Craig Becker and Richard Griffin.  With the courts finding the President’s recess  appointments to be unconstitutional, and thus their decisions invalidated,  a delay in “union handouts” has resulted in further union membership deterioration and caused the Unions to Demand Payback.

Interestingly, this has resulted in an attempt by Big Labor to enforce desperate and creative measures to increase membership. The AFL-CIO Seeks Answers in Crisis by targeting Hispanics, NAACP, Sierra Club and other groups, and by Winning Back Other Unions into their fold, thereby increasing membership, revenues and power. Not to be outdone, the Desperate SEIU Resurrected the Persuasion of Power and is leading the charge by attempting to organize Home Health Care Workers and immigrants as discussed in the recent blog The Senate Immigration Law Hurts All Americans. Additionally, an all new Worker Center Scheme crafted by the SEIU is in the works, utilizing organizations outside the auspices of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to attract and organize prospective members, which could be devastating to businesses attacked by these type organizations.

Meanwhile, the SEIU has once again embraced the Living Wage Argument to unionize workers. This tactic, described in The Devil at Our Doorstep, is now being used against McDonalds and other service/food providers under the veil of the “Fight for Fifteen” campaign, fighting to shift wage rates to $15 an hour for these workers. McDonald’s is now feeling pressure from the typical Corporate Campaign tactics, including threats to Contaminate Food! These threats will directly impact McDonald’s revenues, a standard focal point of the SEIU’s campaigns. Of course, all of their actions are being pushed in the name of Social Justice.

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Desperate people do desperate things. As Big Labor continues down this desperate path of no return, the phony President will continue to look the other way and allow his supporters to be cannon fodder. Utilizing his own union-style tactics, the President will continue to create phony distractions at the expense of the rank and file, and they have no one to blame but themselves. It is only a matter of time before Big Labor realizes that the President has no loyalty, not even to the very unions that got him elected!

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U.S. Supreme Court: An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms

The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases in the next year which will determine whether persons will be protected in their exercise of the fundamental right to either choose whether to engage in union representation or to abstain from such representation, and to make such decision absent intimidation from either the union or their employer via the secret ballot election — the same process we use to elect our local, state and federal government officials. Interestingly, both cases stem from the President’s attempt to provide political payback to his allies in Big Labor through the Rogue NLRB.

In the first case, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if the President acted unconstitutionally when he made several recess appointments to the agency charged with oversight of labor-management disputes, the National Labor Relations Board. The lower courts,  U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of , and the U.S. Third Court of Appeals both found the appointments unconstitutional (see Supreme Court to Consider Obama Recess Appointments and Appeals Court Nixed Obama’s Recess Appointments). This case not only has important implications concerning the further shredding of our constitution  by the Obama Administration, but also Obama’s lawlessness in bypassing other branches of our government, and ignoring the tenant of the separation of powers of the branches of government, to further his own socialistic goals by appointing his own radical people without review and agreement by the legislative branch. In the case of the NLRB, his appointees’ seek to reach the Administration’s objective of achieving Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation! Simply put, the goal is to eliminate employees rights to a secret ballot election and replace it with Card Check as the means for employees to determine if they wish union representation. If you listened to the Administration’s and Big Labor’s rhetoric, what could be more simple and fair? Unfortunately, it is a process of coercion and intimidation as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep. A process aptly named Death by a Thousand Cuts, which forces employers and employees to capitulate and be subjected to the terms of the so called Neutrality Agreement through ruthless Corporate Campaigns! An agreement that is hardly neutral and subjects both the employees and the employer to Big Labor’s Persuasion of Power!

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The first case, however, is just the Tip of the Iceberg. The other involves a question of the validity of Big Labor’s sacred cow, the aforementioned Neutrality Agreement (see BNA – Supreme Court Agrees to Review LMRA Case Invovling Section 302, Neutrality Agreement). To appreciate this case and its relevance, one must understand why this agreement is so important to the Big Labor Gasping Dinosaurs. As documented in previous blogs, unions have been on a steady decline since 1947 when Congress, following more than a decade of union corruption, passed the Taft-Hartley Act. Of the many important provisions of the Act, perhaps none was more so than the guarantee of the secret ballot election which, for all intents and purposes, eliminated Card Check!  Since its peak prior to passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, union membership has dropped from approximately 35-40% of the workforce to a low of 11.3% today. Statistics gathered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a drop of approximately 400,000 members in the last year alone. Big Labor, realizing its imminent demise, understands it must reinstate Card Check to survive and is relying on the President and his Rogue NLRB to allow them to exploit a little known and hidden clause in the Taft-Hartley Act that allows unions and employers to mutually agree to representation through Card Check. Unfortunately, it is very rarely an agreement achieved through mutual consent. It is predominantly achieved by Big Labor through outright intimidation of employers and employees. What is interesting about this particular case is that it has been brought by an employee disgusted with the intimidation and the fact he believes his rights to a secret ballot election and protection of privacy have been violated!

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One thing certain about these cases is that the justices of the Supreme Court will receive a tremendous amount of pressure from the Administration and its Big Labor buddies to overturn the decisions of the lower courts. The Gasping Dinosaurs, already headed toward extinction, understand all to well that if these decisions are upheld it will be the end of Big Labor as we know it in this country (see If ruling goes Against Labor Union, Organizing Could Get Even Harder). Additionally, the President and his party know all to well they need Big Labor’s financial and ground support to continue to win elections, as well as increase their grip on and expand an already oversized government.

Even more frightening for the future of the United States is what could occur if these decisions are overturned. If they are, this President will feel empowered to continue to appoint radical people to high positions, not just in the NLRB, but all areas of government. He will work to implement regulations that will allow the use of coercion and intimidation by the government and its henchmen to erode our rights, move the country towards socialism and potentially perpetuate the President’s Rule by Fiat! If they can eliminate the secret ballot election for union recognition and trample on the constitution to appoint government officials how long will it be before they expand these programs to every corner of the government? Can you imagine no secret ballot elections to determine our government officials and instead all being appointed by the President?  These are landmark cases that, if overturned, could be the ultimate downfall of this great nation!

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Putting “Teeth” in Right-To-Work

Having been involved in the passage of Right-To-Work legislation in Indiana and Michigan, I can attest to the tireless efforts of these grassroots movements – by local businesses in Indiana and concerned United Auto Worker employees in Michigan – to achieve the goal of protecting worker freedoms. Statistical data shows that the implementation of a Right-To-Work law is positive, as such states see statistical growth in both population and jobs. Some have suggested that a Right-To-Work law’s importance is in the guarantee of the freedom of choice and the assurance of a lack of intimidation in the organizing process, but it appears this may not be accurate.

A recent article by Diana Furchtgott-Roth of The Manhattan Institute, suggests not.  Ms. Furchtgott-Roth points out that RTW states not only have the highest employment growth over the last 4-5 years, but they also have the highest growth rate for union membership! The statistics she presented were absolutely astonishing, but few people have picked up on the significance and logic behind the union growth in these states. The truly frightening  part is the number of cases recorded, since Card Check is virtually unregulated and therefore untraceable.

“Why Union Growth: According to data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in 38% of all union recognitions in 2009, the latest year for which data is available, unions bypassed secret ballot elections and instead used card checks to unionize employees. Specifically, the NLRB reports that unions won 794 single-union representation elections. During that period, the NLRB recorded 485 notices of card check union recognition.”

Unfortunately, Big Labor’s “Gasping Dinosaurs” are a resourceful lot. Their political contributions have bought them the support of President Obama and his Administration, who has, in turn, appointed a Rogue NLRB. The NLRB is currently lead by heavily pro-union favored board members, many of whom were unconstitutionally appointed by the President (see Appeals Court Nixed Obama’s Recess Appointments). The result of this support is that Big Labor bosses see RTW states as a shining new opportunity to rebuild its declining  membership. The Gasping Dinosaurs understand that with the support of the indebted President and pro-labor support from the NLRB, they can achieve membership without an election through Card Check by utilizing their insidious campaigns of “Death by a Thousand Cuts.”

Once they have infiltrated the masses, Big Labor can then use the same type tactics against the newly forced unionized employees to ensure that they don’t exercise their right not to pay dues (or in some cases, belong to the union) under RTW laws. This can be accomplished by making sure that the uneducated are not advised of these rights, or by the specific targeting of persons who choose not to pay dues.  This can be accomplished because, unions are legally allowed to broadcast a list of those individuals who choose not to pay dues (see Worker’s Allege Improper Collection of Union Dues).

This raises concern, as it is unclear how the “dues-paying” union membership will choose to use this list. Membership who view non-payers as “freeloaders,” may be inclined to use unlawful force, threats, and/or intimidation in an attempt to alter a non-member’s decision. Unfortunately, most members ultimately cave, as employees subject to such intimidation have few options.  While this type of activity is unlawful, the sole oversight of these actions belongs with the National Labor Relations Board, a partisan governmental “agency” whose devotion to labor unions is well-documented and unquestioned. The process is timely, difficult to understand, and expensive – as it generally includes the involvement of an attorney to represent ones interest. With little oversight, Big Labor can continue to grow its membership in RTW states through a combination of employee and employer intimidation, with no government regulation to hinder its actions.

Although RTW has been a Godsend for many states, employees and employers, RTW laws need more “teeth” in order to truly protect employees and employers from ruthless forced unionization tactics. The following changes would eliminate the “behind the scenes” intimidation and allow for fair representation in union elections. Additionally, these changes would impose collective bargaining restrictions that would allow members to make decisions free of coercion as to whether they wished to remain part of the bargaining unit.

  1. Reinstate Secret Ballot Elections: Uphold the long standing belief in allowing people to vote their conscience through a “Secret Ballot Election” by inserting language that  requires all union representation be achieved by secret ballot conducted under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Currently Indiana State Senator Jim Banks has introduced such an Amendment to the Indiana state constitution and Virginia has already passed such a law (see New Employee Privacy and Union Voting Rights Laws in Virginia Go Into Effect July 2013).
  • Eliminate Check Off Clauses: Such clauses in collective bargaining agreements require unionized employers and government entities to deduct union dues from members paychecks and forward them to the union. These clauses are utilized by Big Labor through intimidation to force employees to remain part of the bargaining unit in RTW states. Unions should be required to be their own accountants and collect dues directly from the employees without third party involvement. In essence members would then have the ability to decide, just like in the free market, if the services/products they are receiving are worth paying for directly. This is no different than a person paying when satisfied for legal, real estate, investing, or other services/ products. It only makes sense, but is often a non-starter for Big Labor in contract negotiations (see Teachers Silenced by Teachers Union).
  • Eliminate Monopoly Representation and Outlaw Neutrality Agreements: In The Devil at Our Doorstep, I presented the following as the first two points in my “Ten-Point Plan to Battle Big Labor.”

a) Replace the current union monopoly representation with a secret ballot election every three years, so unions have to justify their actions to the employees. Unions must obtain written consent from every dues paying member before using money on anything other than collective bargaining activities.

b) Institute a new regulation that outlaws neutrality-type agreements, which allow card check in lieu of secret ballot elections.

  • Rewrite State Extortion and Blackmail Laws: James Sherk of The Heritage Foundation accurately proposed that we should modify state extortion and blackmail laws to include unions, which are currently not implicated under labor law. This would prohibit pressure campaigns which are designed to force an employer to surrender, rather than trying to persuade the employees to unionize.

Leveling the Playing Field through these changes and passing a National Right-To-Work Law are necessary steps to improve the economy and continue to create jobs absent the threat of Big Labor intimidation! It is imperative for this great country and the freedom of its citizens that new “teeth” are introduced to support and assure the success of the recently passed Right-To-Work laws.

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OSHA Opens New Door For Big Labor

Last week, OSHA joined the ranks of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in furthering the Obama Administration’s push to implement “card check” as pay back for Big Labor’s political contributions and ground game support during the past two Presidential Elections (see past blog, Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation).

OSHA’s latest published “Interpretation Letter,” permitting non-union employees to utilize union reps as their representatives during an OSHA inspection is absolutely frightening (see ALERT – L&E_OSHA Interpretation Letter Non-Union Employees Representative)! Just as frightening, is that this interpretation has not been widely reported by the mainstream media!

Perhaps the silence is the result of the media’s view that the provisions contained in the “interpretation letter” amount to nothing more than harmless, common sense provisions designed to assist employees who feel exposed to potential unsafe working conditions. On the surface this would seem reasonable. However, this provision has been part of OSHA regulations for years. Never before has it been interpreted to allow non-union employees to utilize a third-party union to act as their representative.

So, why now? Despite the Administration’s best attempts, Big Labor continues to lose hundreds of thousands of members as they have lost all relevance and no longer deliver a product of value.  This action by the Obama Administration through its Chief Safety Regulator opens a huge opportunity for unions to enter non-union facilities under the auspices of government approval, and to begin organizing the employees. The unions have become enabled with recent Rogue NLRB decisions allowing unionization of small groups of employees, or “micro-units” within an employers business.  These actions are nothing but blatant Administration attempts to provide Big Labor the opportunity to get its foot in the door of non-union facilities where they previously had no chance to organize the workforce!

During the SEIU’s Corporate Campaigns against my company (EMS), the SEIU actually utilized this tactic in order to defame and intimidate the company into signing a Neutrality Agreement thus eliminating the secret ballot election and imposing Card Check, as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep. The SEIU was, ultimately, unsuccessful.   However, had these two decisions been in place at the time, the SEIU might very well have been successful in organizing a small unit of employees within EMS’s workforce.  The union would simply have to convince, by any means necessary, a couple of employees to join the union cause. They would then allege “safety violations” to OSHA. would then likely appear for an inspection, generally encompassing not just the complained of activities, but any potential safety concern, no matter how large or small.  This, of course, poses substantial risk, both financially and to the reputation of the targeted company.

The SEIU took these actions against EMS in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. If the SEIU would have been allowed to represent these misguided employees the outcome most likely would have been much different then related in the following excerpt from The Devil at Our Doorstep and the SEIU would have had even more access to our employees as their representative.

When I believed the war could not become more bizarre, it did. Without warning, SEIU filed an OSHA complaint in Cincinnati against EMS. This government agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, establishes and enforces protective standards designed to prevent work-related injury, illnesses, and death. 

The complaint charged that EMS employees were forced to carry human body parts out in bags at a Cincinnati university, that there were hazardous chemicals and dust in the bio lab, and that people were getting nosebleeds from the poor conditions. Then SEIU sent out handbills and letters alleging that EMS was being investigated for OSHA violations at the university. The word “investigated” had its obvious repercussions, a crafty move by the union. Predictably, when the truth was revealed, it became known that the lab in question was a regular biology lab anyone in college might use. There was no dust found and no hazardous materials of any kind. Animal parts from dissections existed, but no EMS employees touched or disposed of them. Human body parts were nonexistent, a figment of some SEIU organizer’s imagination.

The university’s own investigation confirmed these facts, and its independent report was forwarded to OSHA, who promptly dismissed the charges. Regardless, SEIU had used an inflammatory allegation to file trumped-up charges against EMS to defame our company and the university.”

By taking these actions, the union accomplished their first objective – get in the door and commence the pressure against the targeted company.  The stage is then set for the union to achieve Card Check by simply offering to have the charges withdrawn if the company would simply sign the Neutrality Agreement.  As a practical matter, this would eliminate the secret ballot election. The union would no longer have concern about whether or not they would be voted in by the employees.  Overnight the company would be unionized!

What makes the timing of the OSHA interpretation so questionable is the fact that the President’s recent recess appointees to the NLRB have been found unconstitutional and all of their decisions over the past year have been placed on hold until constitutional appointees can be made and the decisions revisited (see National Labor Relations Board or NBLR – National Big Labor Resuscitation and Tip of the Iceberg). These decisions were extremely pro-labor and designed to allow Big Labor to bypass Corporate Campaigns and achieve Card Check! Obviously, the President had to act swiftly in order to provide his Big Labor buddies with a new avenue to wage ruthless Death by a Thousand Cuts campaigns and utilize their Persuasion of Power to force unionize employees. Once again, it begs the question When Will the Main Stream Media Wake Up?

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Big Labor Bosses Fear Employee Incentives

Control.  It is the most pressing priority for the leadership of Big Labor. They need to control the masses, and in order to do that they most control the terms of employment, and they must control the benefits of employment. For this reason, the Big Labor bosses oppose employee incentive raises. They create discord and jealousy,  and thus, the union’s ability to control its membership.  But such incentives also create ambition, initiative, and increased productivity.  While important to the the employer, these traits are potentially damaging to the union. Complacency, mediocrity and sameness benefit the union,  as the results are that it takes more employees to produce the end product, translating into more union members and more union dues, which is the ultimate objective.

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As has been documented in previous blogs, unions have been on a steady decline since 1947 when Congress, following more than a decade of union corruption,passed the Taft-Hartley Act. Of the many important provisions of the Act, perhaps none was more so than the guarantee of the secret ballot election which,  for all intents and purposes, eliminated Card Check!  Since its peak, union membership has dropped from approximately 35-40% of the workforce to a low of 11.3% today. Per statistics gathered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included amongst this trending decrease is a drop of approximately 400,000 members in the last year alone.

It is no surprise then that the Big Labor bosses are opposed to any initiatives that would, in their minds, result in decreased membership and would eliminate traditional union “selling points.”  Characterization of ambition and incentive has often been that such persons are “being taken advantage of” or “overworked,” and that such companies are “sweat shops.” These traditional arguments, however, do not necessarily reflect the truth of the modern work environment, and the protections of our modern laws.  At one time unions served an important purpose in defending employee rights. However, Big Labor has fallen victim to the money, lifestyle and political power realized from increased union membership, and has lost their way and forgot their responsibility was to serve the membership and not vice-versa! Their greed, inability or resistance to compete in a free market society, and the advent of government agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, and DOL unions in effect became obsolete.

Facing extinction, Big Labor’s Gasping Dinosaurs have yet to face reality and change its model to one that truly benefits productive employees and its membership in general. Instead they continue to attempt to impose their outdated and ineffective tactics of control, intimidation, coercion, and misinformation in a frantic effort to survive. Instead, they continue to wish to return to the days of Card Check where they force unionize employees then keep them under their thumbs by negotiating oppressive contracts that control employee rights instead of expanding them. They firmly believe this outdated approach is their only means of rebuilding their once vast empire!

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Unfortunately for American employees, Big Labor does not realize time has passed them by; and that the United States is a republic not a socialistic country where people are controlled and herded like sheep. Hence Big Labor’s propensity to control and promote sameness at every juncture, and to prevent businesses from doing the right thing by rewarding productive employees through incentive programs, which drives American Exceptionalism  by rewarding those who are the most productive, safe, innovative, and cost-effective team players. This philosophy is illustrated by Big Labor bosses like Andy Stern (see The Drama Queen is at it Again), who were never successful in the free market, because they lacked the exact attributes they strive to suppress. They admittedly only became successful when they became part of an environment where they could use the Persuasion of Power  over employees and employers to achieve their goals. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka summed it up succinctly in a speech this past week when the bellicose mouthpiece of the AFL-CIO, confirmed the Big Labor survival doctrine: “forget the workers – focus on politics!” This statement tells you everything you need to know about Big Labor’s agenda and why we need Congress to pass laws to allow employers and government agencies restrained by outdated collective bargaining agreements to incentivize employees and  reverse The Decline of American Exceptionalism!

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The Center for Independent Employees

I am writing to you as the owner of a company who has experienced terrible costs, both financial and emotional, of fighting a targeted union campaign. These campaigns are designed for the express purpose of force unionizing employees.  The unions that employ these tactics have no concern for the damage they cause. They target the employer, and utilize smear campaigns, and spread lies and deceit. They often include the filing of unsubstantiated complaints and regulatory actions, and directly interfere with the businesses customer relationships.  The goal of these campaigns is to cause chaos and disrupt the businesses operations, and ultimately to bring the business to its knees.

Unfortunately, my company, Executive Management Services, Inc., has experienced the intimidation of Big Labor on employer and employees as chronicled in my book The Devil at our Doorstep.  The events of the targeted attacks had a dramatic impact, not just on the organization, but on individual employees of EMS.

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Murderers and terrorists can get free legal aid in this country – but not independent employees.  I wish I could say that we could rely on Washington to level the playing field for independent employees who do not want a union.  What I can say is that this situation will not change anytime soon…. especially given the massive flow of money from unions into the political system.

Several like-minded experts in the labor field have created an organization that will bring great change to this gross inequity.  It is a non-profit called the Center for Independent Employees (CIE).  It provides free legal services to employees who are opposed to unions and is the only one of its kind in the nation.  I do everything I can to support their efforts.

For the last eight years CIE has quietly helped the employees of nearly sixty companies become union-free.  But we have only been able to address a small fraction of the problem.  This is NOT due to the lack of solid cases but rather the lack of funds and therefore the resources to take them on.

Please consider two things.  First, please visit the CIE website and learn more about this organization.  I have no financial association with CIE, but as a member of the CIE Advisory Board, I very much agree with its noble cause.  The need for an organization like CIE has never been greater.  Please learn a little more about CIE by going to www.finallyjusticeforall.com (the username is “cie” and the password is “cie”).

Second, I would like to ask you to consider making a tax-deductible donation to CIE.  CIE is a non-profit that relies on donations to continue their important work.  Your donation will be completely anonymous and any amount helps.  Our goal is to raise $2 million per year so that we can handle at least another 50 cases this year.

Click Here to Download the Contribution Form

Everyday we have opportunities to help independent employees.  For this reason, we will make ourselves available to answer any questions you might have about CIE.  Additionally, if you know of other company leaders who believe, like you, that independent employees should have representation, please let me know.  I can be reached at devilatmydoorstep@emsinc.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you for your consideration of this most important enterprise.

Regards,

Dave Bego

Author, The Devil at Our Doorstep

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Time for Republicans to Go On the Offensive!

During my recent trip to Washington D.C. I was asked to speak to the Republican Whip Committee, a group of approximately 50 Republican U.S. House members charged with the responsibility of  preparing and securing support for passage of “priority” legislation. I used this time to provide the Whip Committee with the background of my battle against the SEIU  and the tactics the SEIU utilized against my company, employees, customers and family, and then drew the parallel to the tactics utilized by the current Administration and the Democratic Party to push forward their progressive agenda.  I concluded by encouraging the Committee to adopt the tactics that led us to victory — to go on the offensive; to make the opponent defend its lies; and to expose the misinformation, propaganda, coercion, intimidation and diversion tactics utilized to achieve their goals.

After briefly explaining my background and providing a short history of the SEIU’s use of thuggish tactics through a  Corporate Campaign in attempt to force unionize my employees by means of  Card Check, I then laid out our successful strategy. We were able to turn the tables by  utilizing the SEIU’s very tactics, but did it in a manner which did not sacrifice our integrity or professionalism. We went to the press, and exposed that the unions representations about how we mistreated employees were not true, but simply SEIU fabrications. In fact, we took out an advertisement, not only challenging the SEIU’s misinformation campaign, but challenging the SEIU to “put its money where its mouth is.”  We publicly agreed to to a secret ballot election where employees could vote their conscience without fear of intimidation or retaliation, knowing that they would wilt at the challenge.

SEIU - Please Fish or Cut Bait

We also accumulated significant evidence of SEIU engaging in conduct in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and filed 33 “Unfair Labor Practice” charges (ULP’s) against them in one day.  By doing this, we confronted them with their own deplorable tactics, and forced them to defend their actions. Most importantly, we made a concerted effort to meet with all of our employees and our customers on site to explain our position and the reality of the SEIU propaganda, misinformation and its goal of elimination of their rights to a secret ballot election to decide if they desired SEIU representation. In essence, we developed a “big tent” approach to the problem — and it worked!  The people listened, they understood, and the SEIU disappeared!

I implored the Committee to take the same “big tent” approach with the Obama Administration. The President’s tactics are learned from his days as a community (a.k.a. union) organizer. They are learned directly from the SEIU (as explained in Time to Connect the Dots).

The time has come to expose the Rules of Obama Power War, which, like the SEIU tactics misinformation, misdirection, intimidation, coercion and diversions, are  all designed to put the Republicans on the defensive. Instead, the Republicans should stand tall and go on the offensive by burying Obama with investigations into his unconstitutional conduct (see Strategy: Bury Obama In Investigations).  Utilize the same strategy that EMS used when it filed the 33 ULP charges against the SEIU in one day!

I explained that just as Ralphie learned in the movie “A Christmas Story,” the bully only understands and responds to the punch in the nose!  Finally, the Republicans need to reach out to traditionally non-Republican groups, and to explain the reality of the President’s socialist designs and its impact upon their prosperity and freedom! They must do this again and again until the message resonates.

I sincerely hope I made an impact with this gracious and attentive group, as I truly believe that the future of this great nation is at stake and we must have representatives who are willing to stand up and fight for our survival; people who are willing to stand up to the abuse and be prepared for the political and financial cost it will take to save America by going on the offensive! In the days following my speech I began to notice an momentum towards and offensive, and then this past week  an article in the Wall Street Journal GOP Issues Scathing Self-Analysis attracted my attention and the attention of the nation. I was happy to see that the underlying theme and tactics proposed during my speech were entwined within the new direction laid out by the RNC. Now, we need our representatives to have the intestinal fortitude to take the fight to the Administration and its socialist cronies like the SEIU and other far left organizations and individuals who only care about themselves! It is time to take the offensive and save this great nation for our children, grandchildren and future generations!

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One Man’s Fight Against Union Power

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Entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley should pay close attention to the experiences of Dave Bego, the Indiana businessman who started a company from scratch. By 2006, after years of unrelenting toil and sacrifice by Bego and his family, Executive Management Services, Inc. (EMS) had expanded into 38 states and had 5,000 employees. Bego now had something so valuable it became an attractive target for unionization.

Bego’s story, which he has written about in two books and has turned into a one-man information crusade, is not unique. But his decision to fight back is very unusual, and his account of how his company was targeted has gone largely unreported. The details of his fight reveal a frightening lack of legal protection for company owners and their workers from union intimidation, as well as a dated, shamelessly abused set of exemptions shielding over-zealous union organizers from legal sanctions. A UnionWatch article from December 2012, “The Special Privileges And Exemptions of Public Sector Unions,” references several compilations of how unions escape many of the laws that govern the rest of us, but hearing about what actually happened to Dave Bego makes it far less academic.

It is conventional to assume that if somebody is critical of a union’s tactics, they must be anti-union. But even Dave Bego, who fought the SEIU for years, believes that unions have a legitimate role to play in a capitalist democracy. Because Bego, in an ad placed in the Indianapolis Star, offered to hold a secret ballot election among the employees to decide whether or not they wished union representation. As stated publicly in this ad: “EMS is very willing to let its employees vote in a secret ballot election conducted by the federal government to decide whether they want to be members of your union or not… we have encouraged you to seek an election since your first contact with EMS” (view EMS ad).

The problem unions have with a secret ballot election, apparently, is that the union might lose. When union representatives met with Dave Bego, and during all of their subsequent campaign of pressure and intimidation, what they wanted him to do was sign a “neutrality agreement” (view actual neutrality agreement presented to Bego). Here are highlights of what a neutrality agreement does:

  • The employer shall not “take any action or make any statement that will directly or indirectly state any opposition by Employer to the election by its Employees of a collective bargaining agent.”
  • The employer will sign a letter provided by the union, and distribute this letter to all employees, that is “assuring Employees of Employer’s neutrality in the matter of their union organizing.”
  • “Employer shall provide within five (5) business days a list of the names and addresses of all Employees within classifications subject to this Agreement.”
  • “…union will then present Employer with signed authorization cards or a petition memorializing individual Employees’ desire to be represented by Union for purposes of collective bargaining.”
  • Once the union has submitted union authorization cards from 50% of the employees, if management cannot come to terms with the union during the collective bargaining process, they must submit to binding arbitration.

What a neutrality agreement does is enforce the process known as “card check,” whereby instead of voting in a secret election whether or not employees want union representation, the union organizers gather individual signatures on consent forms. Armed with the home addresses of every single employee, the union has three years to target individuals, one by one, until 50% of them sign the card. This process, currently only legal if and when an employer signs a neutrality agreement, would become law of the land if the union-supported, misleadingly named “Employee Free Choice Act” ever becomes federal law.

Because the unions wanted Bego to sign a neutrality agreement, he refused on principle, because doing so would have denied his employees the right to a secret ballot election. That’s when the troubles started.

As summarized in Bego’s book, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” the SEIU embarked upon a campaign of persuasion that relied on laws designed to give unions an advantage over employers. Here are some examples of rules that impose double standards on the conduct of unions vs. employers during union organizing campaigns:

  • The “Persuader Rule,” which requires employers to publicly disclose all relationships with outside firms who may assist them to resist unionization. Not only are unions exempt from this rule, but because most employers have never encountered a union campaign before, they have no choice but to solicit outside advice on the legal issues as well as on how to effectively communicate with their employees. This rule gives the unions an opportunity to then attack anyone consulting with the employer.
  • The “Posting Rule” requires employers to post union provided printed material in their workplace, saying, for example, that all employees have the right to unionize – with contact information. But the employer does not have the right to post anything reminding employees that they are not compelled to vote for unionization.
  • Rules prohibiting “Interrogation,” or “Promising,” meaning an employer cannot meet with employees during a union campaign and ask them (i.e., “interrogate” them) what is wrong, or what can be done to improve work conditions. Similarly, during a union campaign an employer cannot remedy work conditions; that is “promising.”
  • Unions are exempt in many states from laws that make stalking an individual a crime, as well as laws that make many forms of extortion a crime.

In order to hold a secret election, the union has to get 30% of a company’s employees to sign a petition asking for a vote. To do this, their operatives approached EMS employees – over and over – on their way to work, in the parking lots, and sometimes even followed them home. They enlisted the support of local clergy, who organized blockades of buildings where Bego’s employees worked. Because EMS provides contract janitorial services, the unions organized demonstrations outside these buildings, intimidating the building owners in an attempt to get them to change vendors. They sent letters to the press and to EMS clients alleging “unfair labor practices” which in most if not all cases were without merit. Indeed, in November 2007, EMS filed a set of counter-charges (view EMS Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against SEIU), and in the subsequent NLRB hearing the ruling was in favor of EMS. Even the NLRB felt the union had gone too far.

These “corporate campaigns” occur every day across America. Most employers cannot withstand the pressure from the unions. At one point, the union campaign against EMS included enlisting children on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating in Bego’s neighborhood, and after being given candy, they gave each resident a union flyer.

While Bego has managed to successfully fight the SEIU, at least so far, most people can’t stand up to the intimidation that appears to be standard procedure for unions who operate a corporate campaign. Not only the company owners, but their family, their employees, their suppliers, and their customers face harassment. Sometimes this harassment escalates into vandalism and violence, with laws in place that create for unions a higher threshold before such acts become criminal. But the unions are lobbying for even more laws to assist them in their corporate campaigns. For example:

  • Unions have now won the right to form “micro-unions,” where they can carve out small groups of employees and hold a union election. If a union can’t get 30% of an entire retail store to sign cards calling for an election, they can now get 30% of the employees in one department of that store to sign the card, and an election will be held for that particular department.
  • Unions are pushing to lower the time period between when cards are submitted requesting an election from 48 days to 18 days; the so-called “Quick Elections” rule. This creates a significant advantage for the unions, because it takes time to communicate to employees that they are not compelled to vote for unionization. Many employees who have signed cards calling for an election believe that they are required to vote for unionization because they signed the card requesting the election.
  • Legalizing the “Card check” method of unionization, via the perennially introduced “Employee Free Choice Act,” would enforce the terms of a neutrality agreement on employers without their consent. Unions could then approach employees individually until they collected signatures from 50% of the workforce, eliminating the secret election ballot.

Eliminating unfair union advantages, currently built into federal law, would not necessarily eliminate unions. In a recent speech at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation (view speech – begins at 5:40), Bego emphasized that some workplaces probably would benefit from unionization. But unions must play by the same rules as the companies they negotiate with, employees should have a right to a secret ballot in elections concerning unions, and nobody should be forced to join a union.

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs come from a variety of ideological leanings, but it is accurate to state that most of them support Democratic political candidates. Perhaps this, combined with their extraordinary personal wealth, blinds them to the agenda of unions, despite the fact that public sector unions already control California’s state and most of its local governments and their unsustainable financial demands are contributing to the insolvency of those institutions.

If the Silicon Valley business elite want to maintain control of the companies they founded, and preserve the vitality of the new industries they helped create, they should take a careful look at the proper role of unions in 21st century America. Because the rules governing unions and union organizing are at a tipping point. If union-friendly legislation continues to emanate from Washington D.C., and Sacramento, the Silicon Valley may find itself on the front lines of a battle for which they are entirely unprepared.

Published via UnionWatch.org by  on MARCH 11, 2013
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