Billion Dollar Gamble

“The dirty little secret of Big Labor’s massive support for the Obama campaign is the anticipated end to state right-to-work-laws and secret ballots in unionization campaigns,” writes Mallory Factor. But ending secret ballot rights for workers is just one step.

One of Obama’s pet projects is the Patriot Employers Act, which he introduced last August. The bill offers incentives — in the form of tax breaks — to employers that comply with a litany of Big Labor demands. To get these tax breaks, companies need to agree to eliminate secret ballot elections for unionizing in their shop and to enforce a gag rule on truthful and non-coercive speech about the downsides of unionization.

But there’s more. An Obama White House will also seek law changes that prohibit permanent replacement of striking workers. Under current law, an employer has the right to continue operating during a strike by hiring replacement workers. To prevent a total shutdown, an employer must have the ability to recruit replacement workers who may hope for a permanent job. In advocating a ban on striker replacements, Obama’s message is clear – union ordered strikes would be automatic winners, and American workplaces would come to a screeching halt in the face of extortionate union demands.

Then there is the ultimate, though rarely spoken, goal of Big Labor: ending the rights of “Right to Work” states to secure the rights of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. This could be effected by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act. Without this provision, forced unionism would prevail in all states, and states could not protect private sector workers from union demands to pay dues to them as a condition of employment. This is a huge win for unions and pro-union candidates — literally billions of additional dollars in new coerced dues would flow into Big Labor’s coffers which could be used to support pro-Union candidates.

So the union bosses have found their man. With their billion dollar bet on Barack Obama, they know that the payoff of new union coercive powers will be worth the trouble.