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Posts Tagged ‘Labor’
March 29th, 2018 at 10:30 am
Court Reverses Another Obama Administration Regulatory Abuse
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Bit by bit, Obama Administration regulatory abuses are being dismantled by the executive, legislative and judiciary branches.  This month, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned one of the worst.

The Dodd-Frank Act, which itself made matters worse rather than better in the wake of the government-fueled financial downturn of 2008, explicitly empowered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the agency to formulate rules relating to investment advisers who offer “personalized investment advice about securities to a retail customer.”  The statute also explicitly prevented the prohibition of commission-based compensation.

But as was too often the case, a rogue federal agency under Obama felt unconstrained by mere laws and norms of conduct.  Specifically, Labor Department Tom Perez decided to dictate the exact opposite:

Mr. Perez essentially rewrote the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which regulates employer- and union-sponsored plans differently from individual retirement accounts.  For instance, individuals are allowed to sue fiduciaries of employer and union plans for charging a commission.  Labor applied the more rigorous protections for employer and union plans to IRAs.  Mr. Perez also extended Erisa’s definition of ‘investment advice fiduciaries,’ who provide advice ‘on a regular basis,’ to broker-dealers and financial-insurance agents who merely  sell a product.”

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, however, was unamused and eviscerated Mr. Perez’s lawless maneuver.  Judge Edith Jones, one of the most reliably impressive judges in the entire judiciary branch, wrote for the majority that, “Transforming sales pitches into the recommendations of a trusted adviser mixes apples and oranges.”  She added that this created an impossible dilemma to navigate, as, “Thousands of brokers and insurance agents who deal with IRA investors must either forgo commission based transactions and move to fees for account management or accept the burdensome regulations and heightened lawsuit exposure required by the [best interest contract exemption] contract provisions.”

The inescapable consequence of such a rule raised costs for small investors most of all, who would’ve faced no alternative to what The Wall Street Journal labels “robo-advice.”  Indeed, several investment firms had already stopped offering services in those parts of the retirement investment marketplace.

There’s still much work to do in reversing eight years of Obama Administration malfeasance, including at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as we have constantly emphasized.  But the good news is that the job is underway, as this latest appellate court ruling illustrates.

July 31st, 2014 at 1:59 pm
Wisconsin Supreme Court Vindicates Scott Walker’s Reforms

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker’s campaign for reelection just got a whole lot easier.

Earlier today the state’s seven member Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that Act 10 – the controversial union-busting law championed by Walker and the GOP-led legislature – is constitutional, reports NPR.

In upholding the law’s curtailment of certain state employees’ collective bargaining rights – in particular teachers’ unions – the majority reasoned that, “No matter the limitations or ‘burdens’ a legislative enactment places on the collective bargaining process, collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not a constitutional obligation. The First Amendment [right of association] cannot be used as a vehicle to expand the parameters of a benefit that it does not itself protect.”

The decision vindicates Governor Walker’s goal to free Wisconsin taxpayers from being held hostage by public employee unions who demand ever increasing compensation, and threaten to strike if unsatisfied. Throughout the country, public employee unions have abused the privilege of collective bargaining to bring many states to the brink of insolvency. Armed with this decision, Walker can consolidate his policy victories and begin to tout Wisconsin as a model for other states to follow.

June 5th, 2014 at 11:37 am
The Brave New Job Market

“The number of jobs requiring medium levels of skill has shrunk, while the number at both ends of the distribution – those requiring high and low skill levels – has expanded,” says a new research report from the Dallas Federal Reserve.

This employment polarization is changing the standard of living for those in the middle class since, “The number of people performing low-skill, low-pay, manual labor has grown along with the number undertaking high-skill, high-pay, non-routine, principally problem-solving jobs.”

Moving to the wealthier pole requires adapting to non-routine cognitive work since computer automation and off-shoring makes jobs such as “brokers, clerks, tellers, cashiers, telemarketers, title examiners, bookkeepers, insurance underwriters, travel agents and technicians” increasingly irrelevant.

This is sobering news for those aspiring to middle class status. There was a time when a college degree qualified a person’s cognitive abilities, and working according to a companywide routine virtually guaranteed a middle class lifestyle. That time is past. Going forward the likelihood that a person will escape the perils of low-income will depend greatly on her ability to be increasingly entrepreneurial in every facet of her work; whether as a full-time employee or independent contractor.

It’s a reality many formerly comfortable middle class workers would like to avoid. But with computing power and automation spreading quickly everywhere, it looks like the only option available.

Welcome to the brave new job market.

March 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Obama’s New Overtime Rules Will Shrink Hours, Pay

The road to underemployment is paved with (so-called) good intentions.

In case you missed it, the Obama Labor Department is trying to raise the compensation threshold so that managers making at least $50,000 annually will qualify for overtime pay. The current threshold is $24,000.

To the liberal mind this policy change can only benefit workers by putting more money into their pockets. But to actual business owners like Andy Puzder, the real world consequences will mean less money and less work for the very people the Obama administration is trying to help.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Puzder – the CEO of several quick service restaurant chains like Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s – notes that current managers are eligible for performance bonuses of up to 28 percent of their salary. But if the new overtime rules go into effect, many of these will lose their managerial status and go back to hourly employment. Along with being demoted, they will very likely be assigned less hours to work to avoid triggering more expensive overtime pay. And for those that do qualify, their raise will translate into less money for the store’s operating budget, meaning less hours for someone else.

In a very tangible way, the Obama Labor Department’s new overtime rule seems destined to exacerbate the underemployment crisis in the American economy. How is is that the people proposing this can be so short-sighted?

February 4th, 2014 at 1:59 pm
CBO: ObamaCare Incentivizes More Welfare, Less Work

A new report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) will cause up to 2 million lower-income workers to leave the labor force over the next decade because they will make more in government benefits than as a private employee.

“CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor – given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive,” the agency says in Appendix C, Labor Market Effects of the Affordable Care Act: Updated Estimates (pdf).

The incentive to drop out of the workforce is one’s eligibility for a government subsidy to help pay for an insurance plan bought through an Obamacare exchange. Since eligibility for a subsidy phases out as a person’s income rises, people who will receive subsidies will have to factor in whether to take a job that makes more money, but will likely reduce or eliminate eligibility. In this scenario, taking the job may actually result in a net loss of income as the person must now pay for the full cost of health insurance.

The disincentive to work also applies to those hanging between Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies. Eligibility for Medicaid means the cost to the beneficiary is nothing (at least not directly). In this scenario, qualifying for a subsidy increases one’s out-of-pocket expenses, making it financially smart (for the individual) to work less and stay on Medicaid.

It’s important to emphasize that deciding to work less to receive more in government benefits is a financially rational decision for individuals to make, and one that any economist would readily predict. My hunch is that at least some of Obamacare’s architects knew this and designed their programs accordingly.

The problem, of course, is that convincing millions of people not to work is not financially sustainable for the country as a whole.

July 31st, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Gallup: Fed Unemployment Formula Distorts Jobs Picture

Beware of financial bureaucrats posing as economists. That’s my main takeaway from some pre-analysis of Friday’s unemployment numbers by Gallup’s lead economist, Dennis Jacobe.

As is sometimes the case when using metrics to understand reality, it looks like the federal government isn’t counting the right economic event if it truly wants to understand the employment market.

According to Jacobe, “The current government job measures leave a lot to be desired in terms of face-validity. For example, [Federal Reserve Chairman Ben] Bernanke noted in his testimony to Congress that the Fed’s unemployment target may need to be adjusted, depending on the labor participation rate. A declining participation rate can artificially lower the unemployment rate as job seekers give up looking for work, while an increasing participation rate can do the reverse.”

The problem is particularly acute when one considers how the feds count part-time jobs.

“Similarly, the establishment survey can be distorted by a surge in part-time jobs – a factor that may need to be considered when one evaluates Friday’s report,” writes Jacobe. “Part-time jobs not only count as new jobs for this survey, but if an American having one part-time job adds an additional part-time job, it counts the same as the creation of a new full-time job.”

This kind of counting completely misrepresents the rise in multiple part-time jobs. By treating two-part time jobs as the equivalent of one full-time job, the metric leaves out the fact that unlike just about every full-time job, almost no part-time job provides health or retirement benefits. Thus, while the hours worked my be roughly the same, the overall compensation is not.

What makes this an especially pernicious way to describe today’s employment market is the well-documented impact ObamaCare is having on the decline of full-time employment. If the federal unemployment survey continues to equate workers with multiple part-time jobs and those with full-time employment, a huge net loss in millions of workers’ standard of living will be lost because the official formula simply doesn’t account for it.

That’s a point worth remembering if Friday’s unemployment numbers come back better than expected.

July 19th, 2013 at 6:15 pm
Laborers Union Criticizing ObamaCare Too

Add the Laborers International Union of North America to the list of organized labor groups criticizing ObamaCare’s disastrous effects on the status quo.

In a letter to Democratic leaders, President Terry O’Sullivan called for a halt to the health law’s “destructive consequences” on the costs and provision of health care.

Unlike the Teamsters and other unions, Laborers International did not support ObamaCare when it was passed into law. Unfortunately, they are just as oppressed by the law’s cost increases and coverage interruptions as those that did.

With the employer mandate delayed for at least a year, maybe there’s enough angst brewing among the Democrats’ liberal base to pressure delaying the entire law for at least as long.

June 25th, 2013 at 6:26 pm
Left & Right Agree: Immigration Bill Hurts Workers

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been telling anyone who will listen that the immigration reform bill set to pass the U.S. Senate will hurt low-skill and entry-level workers. Flood the market with millions of cheap labor, and the results will be a dip in wages and a scarcity of jobs.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) agrees. This week Sanders, the Socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, got the Gang of Eight and their allies to include a program that will fund summer jobs for American youths (ages 16-24) displaced by the wave of legalized immigrants once the reform becomes law.

Cost to taxpayers: $1.5 billion over two years.

The Sanders program is one of the price-spiking changes made by the Corker-Hoeven amendment to the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill.

Besides the cost, including the provision undermines the Gang’s argument that legalizing 11 million people won’t have a negative impact on current legal workers.

If this bill becomes law, it’s almost certain that this won’t be Congress’ last attempt to spend its way out of an unemployment problem it is choosing to create.

H/T: Byron York

April 17th, 2013 at 6:45 pm
Immigration Reform Snarled by ObamaCare?

Hat tip to Investor’s Business Daily for pouncing on what will be a very unpopular unintended consequence of passing the Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill:

Under the immigration reform bill, some employers would have an incentive of up to $3,000 per year to hire a newly legalized immigrant over a U.S. citizen.

In avoiding one controversy — the cost of providing millions of newly legalized immigrants with ObamaCare subsidies — the Senate “Gang of Eight” may have risked walking into another.

The bipartisan legislation released Wednesday dictates that those granted provisional legal immigrant status would be treated the same as those “not lawfully present” are treated under the 2010 health law.

That means they would neither be eligible for ObamaCare tax credits nor required to pay an individual tax penalty for failing to obtain qualifying health coverage. It also means some employers would face no penalty for failing to provide such workers affordable health coverage.

So, in order to avoid the charge that legalization would give illegal immigrants citizen-like access to ObamaCare subsidies, the Gang of Eight simply bars them from access. But that means that legalized immigrants are cheaper to hire than comparable native-born workers who will be competing with more people for less jobs.

There may be a fix, but it will be messy.

Good luck with that.

April 16th, 2013 at 1:46 pm
Legalization Bad for Low-Income Native Workers?

Now that the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill has been slowed down a bit, it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider what economic trade-offs might occur if millions of illegal immigrants become eligible to enter the job market. Since many of these newly eligible workers are low-skilled, they’ll be competing with low-skilled, low-wage native workers in an economy with 7.6 percent unemployment.

Members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights are taking notice, says Byron York:

Last week, three members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights wrote to Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, arguing that legalizing currently illegal immigrants will have far-reaching effects on African-Americans.

“Such grant of legal status will likely disproportionately harm lower-skilled African-Americans by making it more difficult for them to obtain employment and depressing their wages when they do obtain employment,” the commissioners wrote. “The increased employment difficulties will likely have negative consequences that extend far beyond economics.” Among those consequences, according to the commissioners: increased crime, incarceration, family breakdown, and more.

A recent review of the academic literature by Harvard economist George Borjas confirms the negative impact mass legalization will have on low-skilled native wages:

For American workers, immigration is primarily a redistributive policy. Economic theory predicts that immigration will redistribute income by lowering the wages of competing American workers and increasing the wages of complementary American workers as well as profits for business owners and other “users” of immigrant labor. Although the overall net impact on the native-born is small, the loss or gain for particular groups of the population can be substantial.

The best empirical research that tries to examine what has actually happened in the U.S. labor market aligns well with economy theory: An increase in the number of workers leads to lower wages.

If you increase the supply of something, you lower its value. If they want a way to frame opposition in positive terms, expect to see Republican opponents of the Gang of Eight’s reform bill to become the champions of the forgotten working class.

January 30th, 2013 at 7:37 pm
What Kind of Legal Immigration System Should We Have?

So far, a busy half week on Capitol Hill saw Senator John Kerry (D-MA) become Secretary of State after the U.S. Senate confirmed him 94-3; gun-control politicians getting righteous blowback from the NRA and an advocate for young mothers; and another round of immigration reform heating up.

On this last point, it’s helpful to remember that a big part of what’s missing from the illegal immigration debate is how to fix the problems with the legal immigration system.  For an idea of how byzantine is the process of getting into America the right way, check out these charts prepared the libertarian Reason Foundation and the liberal Immigration Road.  (Each is a pdf.)

The worst lowlight: Waiting up to 28 years to become a citizen.

But before policy wonks and political advocates jump to conclusions and start proposing ways to fix immigration by reducing wait times and streamlining the process, it’s worth having a serious national discussion about what principle should drive our immigration policy.

If it’s about the national interest, in this case defined as what’s best for Americans already here, then it’s far from clear how importing any foreign workers, skilled or unskilled, improves the economic lot of domestic skilled and unskilled workers.  If anything, basic economics suggests that importing more labor reduces the value of the labor already here, which, while a boon for employers, translates into a pay cut for workers.  (For more on this, see Mark Krikorian’s thought-provoking book, “The New Case Against Immigration.”)

On the other hand, if immigration policy is about ensuring that America is the preeminent land of opportunity within the world community, then a small but clear set of filters (e.g. screening out convicted criminals, terrorists, and those fleeing tax problems) need to be put in place to allow the greatest number of opportunity-seeking immigrants to come, live, and hopefully contribute to the nation’s growth.

Personally, I’m conflicted about which route to take.  With Americas suffering from 7.8 percent unemployment – which is really 14.4 percent when underemployed and those too discouraged  to look for work are counted – it’s hard to justify adding to the labor market.  And yet an immigration policy focused on opportunity for those seeking it is an attractive extension of Ronald Reagan’s city on a hill, of which he said “And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

This much I do know: Finding a solution to the illegal immigration problem can’t be done until Americans decide on legal immigration’s foundational principle.

December 11th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
Michigan’s Snyder to Sign Paycheck Protection Laws

Now that the Michigan House has passed both paycheck protection measures, Republican Governor Rick Snyder will sign them into law, perhaps as early as Wednesday.

Of course, Big Labor didn’t go down without an ugly fight.  Thousands of public school teachers protested by calling in sick, deliberately shutting down classrooms across the state with a taxpayer-funded temper tantrum.  A state Democratic representative threatened violence by declaring “There will be blood” once the laws go into effect.  And an assortment of union members tried to heckle and intimidate lawmakers into voting down laws that do little more than make union dues voluntary.

After Snyder makes the right-to-work victory final, unions public and private will have to engage in a form of advocacy that is long overdue: Justifying their cost to people who can say no.

Welcome to the free market.

December 11th, 2012 at 1:18 pm
Michigan Passes First of Two Right-to-Work Laws

Huffington Post has the summary:

The Michigan House approved the first of two right-to-work bills Tuesday that would weaken union power in the historical labor stronghold as hundreds of protesters rallied at the Capitol.

The Republican-dominated chamber passed a measure dealing with public-sector workers 58-51 as protesters shouted “shame on you” from the gallery and huge crowds of union backers massed in the state Capitol halls and on the grounds.

Democrats immediately sought to have the vote reconsidered but failed in that effort.

Still to come was a vote on a second bill focusing on private sector workers. The Senate approved both last week. If enacted, Gov. Rick Snyder says he will sign them into law as early as Wednesday.

Even with the outcome considered a foregone conclusion, the heated battle showed no sign of cooling as lawmakers prepared to cast final votes.

December 11th, 2012 at 8:46 am
The Morality of Right-to-Work Laws

Byron York on why the cradle of organized labor is poised to defund union leadership today:

While Washington obsesses about the “fiscal cliff,” there are potentially more consequential events taking place far from the halls of Congress. In a move that rivals and perhaps surpasses the decision to limit organized labor’s collective bargaining powers in Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers in Michigan are expected to pass final legislation Tuesday to end the requirement that workers pay union dues or fees as a condition of their employment.

If the GOP succeeds, Michigan, home of the nation’s heavily unionized auto industry, will become the 24th right-to-work state in the country — a development that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Republicans say the move would not only give current workers the freedom to choose whether to join a union and pay dues but would, more importantly, bring many, many new jobs to Michigan. Rep. Gov. Rick Snyder, who supports the bill, points out that Indiana enacted (after a long and bitter fight) the same kind of law earlier this year. “We’ve carefully watched what’s gone on in Indiana since they passed similar legislation back in February,” Snyder told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren last week, “and they’ve seen a significant increase in the number of companies talking about [bringing] thousands of jobs to their state.”

To be fair, reporting in the Christian Science Monitor surveys research from conservative and liberal think tanks to show, in the words of one expert, “Very little is actually known about the impact of right-to-work laws.  There [are] a lot of assumptions that [the laws] create or destroy jobs, but the correlation is not definite.”

In other words, like most public policy debates, the essential issue here isn’t financial, it’s moral.  It’s just wrong to force, as almost all unions do, members to sacrifice a portion of their paycheck to the union so that leadership can use the money to support political causes that may, or may not, improve the lives of members.  Paying dues should be voluntary.

Michigan voters agree.  With right-to-work and other issues, it’s important to remember that while social science studies and projected financial impacts can be persuasive, they are not conclusive reasons to support or oppose a position.  At bottom, people make a gut-level decision on an issue based on whether they think the proposal is right or wrong.  At this point in history, unions are squarely on the wrong side of this debate.

November 12th, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Does Obama Owe His Reelection to Right-to-Work Laws?
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Oh, irony of ironies. What little hope there is on the economic front (which was at least sufficient to reelect the president) may have stemmed from policies antithetical to his worldview. From the National Institute for Labor Relations Research:

Right to Work states (excluding Indiana [which didn’t implement its right-to-work law until earlier this year]) were responsible for 72% of all net household job growth across the U.S. from June 2009 through September 2012.  If these states’ job increase had been no better than the 0.85% experienced by forced-unionism states as a group, the nationwide job increase would have been less than half as great.  And the President wouldn’t have been able even to pretend the economy was in recovery.

May 14th, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Another Big Labor Failure: America’s Only Unionized Strip Club Likely to Close
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One can only imagine the emotional travails of being a devoted liberal; of being completely seduced by the philosophical purity of your ideals, only to so regularly see them falsified by practical experience.

One area where this regularly plays out is with labor unions, where the dream of worker empowerment often yields to the reality that the high costs imposed by big labor weaken businesses and frequently undermine the jobs of the very workers the union is supposed to be defending (see “Automobile Industry, American”).

Based on a recent story in Northern California’s Bay Citizen — about a strip club on the verge of closing down — it seems that there’s no industry free from the corrosive union influence:

Most strip club dancers are “independent contractors” who earn money dancing for tips. Often they have to pay the clubs for stage time, a system that can make the dancers vulnerable to exploitative business practices.

When the Lusty Lady’s dancers voted to unionize in 1997, they wanted to protect themselves from such practices. In 2003, the workers bought the business and turned it into a cooperative, making it perhaps the most San Francisco strip club in San Francisco. The club’s employees receive hourly salaries and those who are part of the co-op also share in its revenue (when there is revenue.)

… Tempest, another Lusty Lady dancer, told the pro-labor newsmagazine “In These Times,” that she has had second thoughts about unionizing, a move she once supported. She questioned whether unionization “is conducive to strip club profits.”

She’s got a point, although the words “strip club” in that last sentence are extraneous. It’s hardly a shame that these young women will likely have to find a more edifying line of work. That being said, the Lusty Lady’s travails are representative of the plight of union shops throughout the nation. It turns out that profits, when ignored, tend to evaporate — no matter the industry.

Most strip club dancers are “independent contractors” who earn money dancing for tips. Often they have to pay the clubs for stage time, a system that can make the dancers vulnerable to exploitative business practices.

When the Lusty Lady’s dancers voted to unionize in 1997, they wanted to protect themselves from such practices. In 2003, the workers bought the business and turned it into a cooperative, making it perhaps the most San Francisco strip club in San Francisco. The club’s employees receive hourly salaries and those who are part of the co-op also share in its revenue (when there is revenue.)

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/1bfiB)

April 23rd, 2012 at 2:27 pm
Indiana Labor Union: Right-to-Work is Enslavement

Once upon a time, liberals scoffed at the idea that legislation needed to be constitutional in order to be lawful.  Remember then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s infamous response to the question of where in the Constitution did Congress have the power to pass Obamacare: “Are you serious?”

Well, after the U.S. Supreme Court scared the daylights out of the liberal commentariat with pointed questions about Obamacare’s constitutionality, it seems that opponents of Indiana’s recent right-to-work law are trying their hand at interpreting the text instead of the spirit of the document.

The Daily Caller summarizes the argument:

Indiana’s law prohibits employers from making union membership a condition of getting or keeping a job. The union’s February lawsuit claimed the law violated its members’ Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of “equal protection” under the law.

But an amended complaint filed on Wednesday added a Thirteenth Amendment claim as well. The new lawsuit suggests that when nonunion employees earn higher salaries and better benefits because of the union’s negotiation on behalf of its members, the union has been forced to work for those nonunion employees for free.

And being forced to work without compensation, the union suggested in its revised lawsuit, is slavery.

It’s the height of hypocrisy for union leaders who’ve spent decades coercing membership and dues from any worker falling under their legally-sanctioned monopoly to claim that economic enslavement only occurs when its members have to subsidize benefits other people don’t value.

In a sane world, the union’s lawsuit would be thrown out with prejudice as a waste of court time and resources.

But this is the Age of Obama.  How much longer can it be before the Department of Justice and the National Labor Relations Board weigh-in with briefs defending the indefensible?

January 27th, 2012 at 2:10 pm
Union Membership Falls to New Low, NLRB to Compel Employees’ Private Phone Numbers and Email Addresses
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Today, the Department of Labor announced that the 2011 union membership rate fell to a new record low of 11.8%.   Disturbingly, the rate among public-sector workers now stands at 37%, whereas the membership rate for private-sector employees stands at a historic low of just 6.9%.

Now, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) chairman Mark Pearce has announced that Obama’s NLRB will push for new rules forcing employers to turn over lists of employees’ private phone numbers and email addresses in a shameless attempt to assist Big Labor in its desperate organizing activities.  After all, unless labor leaders can wrench more dollars from employees’ paychecks, they won’t have as much to spend on Obama’s reelection campaign.  Meanwhile, the government also announced today that the U.S. economy only grew a lackluster 2.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011.  That illustrates once again that Obama’s policies aren’t helping the economy, they’re subduing what should by now be a much sharper recovery.

As we have observed, if the Obama Administration behaves this thuggishly during an election year, just imagine how heedlessly it would behave during a second term when it needn’t worry about reelection.

September 16th, 2011 at 3:05 pm
House GOP Votes to Rein-in NLRB

Yesterday was a victory of sorts for those of us who want Congress to clip the wings of the regulatory state.  In a near-perfect party-line vote the House of Representatives passed a measure prohibiting the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from harassing businesses like Boeing for moving to business friendly states.

Earlier this year, the liberal majority on the NLRB sued Boeing for opening up a new factory in South Carolina – a right-to-work state – instead of expanding its existing manufacturing presence in Washington state, a union shop state.  For the first time in its history, NLRB interpreted its congressionally delegated authority to include the power to punish a private business for relocating some of its operations to more profitable climes.

Congress now has an opportunity to correct NLRB’s overly broad interpretation.

NRLB’s unprecedented decision merits a brush back response like the one the GOP-controlled House delivered yesterday.  Though the measure is likely to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the Boeing-NLRB tussle should be some Republican presidential candidate’s Exhibit A on the regulatory overreach of Obama’s federal government.

Unions can only grow if businesses grow first.  It’s time for the liberals at the NLRB and elsewhere to remember that simple truth.

H/T: Washington Times

August 17th, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Citizens Can Stop Obama’s Big Labor Giveaway
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Ever since the health care debate permanently damaged President Obama’s credibility with the American people, his administration has avoided major legislative confrontations. Instead, the White House has pursued many of its most controversial initiatives through the administrative process, hoping that Americans won’t notice major changes crafted through esoteric rule changes. Now’s your chance to prove the president wrong.

As the Daily Caller reports, the National Labor Relations Board is proposing a rule change that would dramatically shorten the period of time between when union organizers file a petition and when an actual unionization vote is held. The policy, intended to make it harder for management to counter union initiatives, would shorten the period from around six weeks down to 7 to 10 days. 

The Caller characterized one former board member as saying “the Board appears to be rushing to finalize its new policy before more Americans can flood the government with disagreeable comments.” But that looks to be a losing endeavor. The public comment period, which began on June 22, has already resulted in more than 17,000 comments, most of them negative.

There’s still time to stop the NLRB’s anti-business onslaught. The comment period remains open through Monday, August 22. If you’re interested in making your voice heard, you can comment here. The job you save could be your own.