Forced Unionization: By Whatever Means Necessary

Katie Gage
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Posted: Oct 19, 2009 12:01 AM
Forced Unionization: By Whatever Means Necessary

Unionization has been the focus of a number of studies, bills and advocacy campaigns this year – and most recently a disturbing new chapter is being introduced: Union bosses ramming their agenda through government by whatever means necessary. It is clear in watching the actions of Big Labor their concerns do not rest with workers, small businesses or the state of our economy; in reality, union bosses are focused on consolidating as much power and money as possible, while their allies in government look the other way.

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On the top of the labor boss agenda is – of course – the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA), job-killing legislation that would give the government control over contract negotiations, but other items on organized labor’s shopping list are just as troubling. There are three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and union bosses are itching to get rapid Senate approval of President Obama’s nominees. These nominees would give Big Labor the majority support on the board that they have been seeking. One of the nominees is an attorney for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) whose writings state that employers have no legitimate role to play when their employees are the target of a union-organizing effort. Craig Becker’s addition to the NLRB would provide union bosses with a vote for forced unionization through administrative action. This power play is in response to the fact that Congress has not demonstrated any willingness to pursue EFCA knowing the American people do not support diminishing the rights of workers or advancing legislation that will result in millions of lost jobs.

Another board with significant power is the National Mediation Board, which oversees labor relations in the airline and railroad industries. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has recently demanded that this board throw out the process by which airlines allow their employees to unionize due to Delta Airlines’ union elections. Delta Airline’s rules about the unionization process currently require a majority of the employees to support unionization in order for the process to move forward. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Not by the standards of greedy, labor bosses at the AFL-CIO.

The AFL-CIO wants to change the rules so that only a majority of the workers who actually vote in the union elections determine whether or not their workplace is unionized. So, if half of all the employees vote, only one quarter of all total employees would need to vote for unionization in order for the workplace to be unionized. Three-fourths of the workers would have not supported unionization, yet they would find their workplace under the authority of labor bosses if Richard Trumka has his way. This is an attack on the democratic process and highlights the means by which the AFL-CIO is attempting to force unionization on workers across the country.

Blatantly ignoring the majority opposition of small businesses and even union households to forced unionization via the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act, Big Labor is attempting to steamroll the process for their advantage. By attempting to change these rules in the airline industry, the AFL-CIO is demonstrating exactly why the rules were put in place to begin with – to protect our transportation industries due to their vital roles in the country. Snatching the power away from workers and forcing a minority rule is just plain wrong, any way you look at it.

If union bosses continue this aggressive and belligerent approach, what will be next for the American worker? We’ve seen in studies from Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor how poor of a job Big Labor has done securing retirement and pension funds for their employees, while union officers are living high on the hog. We’re hearing from elected officials how damaging EFCA would be to their communities as it forces small businesses to close under financial strain. What good can come from forced unionization as union bosses try to intimidate and manipulate the general public and government agencies into giving them whatever they want by ceding our freedoms and rights?

Big Labor is going to whatever lengths it believes it can get away with, to force their agenda. Political games are often deplorable, but going after the basic rights of workers and insisting that their voices be deemed worthless all in the name of higher union dues and consolidated power is despicable.