As President Obama steps before the nation tonight, he will deliver a report to the American people on the condition of our country. The speech is the equivalent of Super Bowl Sunday for politicos in Washington, D.C. Commentators, policy experts, lobbyists, flacks and many others will be combing through the speech seeking mentions that affect clients or favored issues.
What Obama won’t tell the nation is that he has served as the most pro-labor president in American history. He has delivered a series of giveaways to union bosses that should make even labor’s most enthusiastic supporters blush. And in the process of giving away the store to his top campaign contributor, Obama has hung workers out to dry, placed unnecessary job-killing burdens on employers and sent a message to the business community that it can go to hell.
Looking at the last year alone, Obama re-nominated labor radical Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in spite of the fact that both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate opposed his nomination. The White House then proceeded to submit a budget that increased funding to regulatory agencies in spite of a massive budget deficit and poll after poll showing Americans wanted less restrictions on employers, not more.
In March, the NLRB ruled the employees of lessees had a right of access to the private property of the owner to organize workers and distribute materials to the general public without regard to whether other less-intrusive means were available.
In April, the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a complaint against the Boeing Company for creating jobs in the right-to-work state of South Carolina. This act alone sent shockwaves through the business world and injected a level of uncertainty that will haunt the job market for some time.
In June, the NLRB proposed new rules to close the window of time for workplace elections in favor of “quickie” or “ambush” elections. It concluded the year on this specific issue by promulgating new rules targeting workers and small businesses by limiting free speech and challenges to unqualified voters in advance of an organizing election, in addition to disallowing pre-election issues from being heard until a vote had taken place. In essence, the Obama Administration added measures to forcibly unionize more workers to pad labor’s bottom line.
And before the summer ended, Obama’s labor board attacked employers with a series of rulings that required businesses post a partisan one-sided notice of employee rights that never mentions the right of workers to organize against a union or decertify it; radically altered how collective bargaining unitswere defined in every industry by authorizing unions to petition to represent tiny mini or “micro-units” of employees; strippedworkers of their right to challenge their employer’s recognition of a union through the card check process; and barredemployee challenges to incumbent unions when there is a change in ownership.
President Obama started 2012 as he began 2011, by making one of his first official acts a handout to Big Labor bosses bankrolling his campaign. The president issued non-recess appointments for Richard Griffin and Sharon Block to the NLRB in spite of the fact they had only been nominated for a weeks and hours before the Senate concluded it business for the holidays even though the upper chamber continued to convene in pro forma sessions.
Griffin was the general counsel for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and will continue to receive pension payments from the union while on the Board, which is a clear and evident conflict of interest. Block worked for Labor Secretary Hilda Solis who is one of the most ardent supporters and defenders of labor bosses in the entire country.
All of this unfolds as news outlets report that labor bosses, the top beneficiary of the president’s signature “achievement” in his first term – ObamaCare – have received the overwhelming majority of waivers from the health care law totaling more than 500,000 workers.
So as the president steps to the microphone tonight and reports to the American people on the state of our union, what he won’t be telling all of us is that the state of union paybacks is strong.