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Big Labor's Big Payback

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
For some time, the business community has been saying that Big Labor would stop at nothing to obtain political “payback” in the form of forced unionization of America’s employers.

Union bosses have tried unsuccessfully to ram their job-killing agenda, namely the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) through Congress, at the same time, working their friends in the Obama Administration for favors and awards.

And it now appears President Obama is prepared to “payback” Big Labor’s political contributions and support with a recess appointment of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Sean Hannity FREE

Despite the fact that the U.S. Senate voted down Becker’s nomination in a bipartisan fashion, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told members of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) at their annual meeting in Disney World that they would receive “positive news” concerning Becker’s nomination.

The announcement comes just as the AFL-CIO makes public its intention to spend millions of dollars during the 2010 election cycle in support of pro-labor candidates. In fact, they are committing more money than they spent to help elect Obama, which was at least $53 million dollars.

In total, Big Labor dropped half a billion dollars in 2008 electing the current leadership on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

The truth is that the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act would do immeasurable harm to America in terms of both workplace productivity and worker freedom. Labor bosses understand with EFCA’s passage they stand to gain billions of dollars in additional union dues and even more significant, forced unionization would bail out their bankrupt pension plans, while placing crushing debt on the backs of small businesses.

For that reason, Richard Trumka and Andy Stern will spend every last penny they have to realize the benefits of EFCA. If Congress won’t pass the legislation, they’ll get their friends in the White House to put in place individuals such as Craig Becker who will administratively enact portions of the legislation.

EFCA would cause 600,000 jobs to be lost just in the first year alone with more to follow. EFCA’s forced unionization scheme would hurt workers by causing them to lose their right to vote by secret ballot during union-organizing elections and would force them into government-mandated, binding contracts that determine worker wages and benefits.

Businesses would lose the ability to have any say over their own contracts, and many would simply close their doors or move overseas in order to remain competitive in a global economy.

But the “payback” to Big Labor doesn’t stop with job-killing legislation. Last week, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Chief Andy Stern was appointed by Obama to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. It appears that Mr. Stern’s 20-plus visits to the White House last year alone paid off.

Either the White House doesn’t read the newspaper or simply doesn’t care, but naming Stern to this post when the SEIU’s pension fund is in serious jeopardy of defaulting is the worst kind of politics.

Just a year ago, we were promised change, but the events of the last few weeks have demonstrated the changes are for the worse.

President Obama told the American people during his first State of the Union address that the economy was his top priority. A recess appointment of Craig Becker would send the exact opposite message to the small business owners who create the jobs in America.

If anyone deserves to be paid back, it’s our nation’s employers and employees who have carried the burden during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, not Big Labor bosses who have wasted and abused their members’ pensions and retirement funds and now expect to be bailed out by the American people.

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