The Senate's decisive defeat of confirmation of radical labor lawyer Craig Becker is the first tangible result of the Massachusetts Miracle, which made Scott Brown the 41st Republican in the U.S. Senate. Two red-state Democrats also voted not to proceed toward a vote on President Obama's nomination of Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Becker is a top lawyer for the Service Employees International Union, which spent $60 million to elect Obama. SEIU's boss, Andy Stern, was the most frequent visitor to Obama's White House last year.
The NLRB is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of labor disputes. Becker had other plans for the NLRB. He was expected to try to implement what is called "Card Check" even though Congress has declined to pass it.
Card Check is a bill to eliminate the secret ballot by which employees have the right to vote yea or nay on authorizing a union as their bargaining agent. Card Check would replace the secret ballot with allowing union officials to intimidate employees into just signing a card.
The left-wing magazine "In These Times" wrote that Becker "helped lay the intellectual foundation" for Card Check. He wrote a law review article to propose using the NLRB's regulatory power to achieve the goals of Card Check without action by Congress.
While working for the SEIU, Becker also helped write three pro-labor executive orders that Obama signed just a week after taking office.
Older Americans may fondly remember bygone days when some unions played a positive role in our free economy. In the 1950s, many unions expelled communist agitators.
Today's unions, by contrast, promote big-government solutions to every problem. That's because of the dramatic change in the membership of powerful unions.
An important milestone was reached last year when, for the first time, the majority of union members (51.4 percent) were federal or state government employees. The political power of government workers unions is a major reason why government spending is now out of control.
The average pay of federal workers is over $71,000 (in Washington, D.C., it's $94,047), whereas the average pay in the private sector (if you have a job) is $50,028. Annual raises are a matter of course, and government employees enjoy close to lifetime job security and benefits including retirement.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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