Massive Union Job Losses Make Case For ‘Card-Check’ Legislation?
On January 22, the U.S. Labor Department issued a report providing a snapshot, in numbers, of some of the latest damage wrought to employees, employers, and the economy as a whole by government-imposed union monopoly bargaining.
The report shows that, in one major business sector after another, the jobs of workers who labor under forced unionism were far more likely to be destroyed during the 2008-2009 recession than were the jobs of union-free workers.
In the hard-hit telecommunications sector, for example, the number of jobs subject to union monopoly bargaining plummeted by 20.7% last year, over four times the decline for union-free jobs.
Unionized construction jobs plunged by 20.0%. Over the same period, union-free construction jobs fell by 12.4%.
‘These Numbers Show a Need For Congress to Pass’ S.560/H.R.1409
The number of Big Labor-controlled manufacturing jobs declined by 14.3%, nearly four percentage points more than the decline for union-free jobs in manufacturing.
Overall, unionized private-sector employment sank by 9.4% last year, a decline more than double the total private-sector job loss of 4.4%.
Faced with these fresh figures indicating that having a union monopoly-bargaining agent negotiating one’s terms of employment makes it more likely your company will have to slash jobs in bad times and less likely it will add jobs in good times, what did Obama-appointed Labor Secretary Hilda Solis conclude?
Incredibly, Ms. Solis concluded that the report shows the U.S. Congress should rewrite federal labor law to make it even easier for union bosses to seize monopoly-bargaining power over employees and businesses!
“These numbers,” declared Ms. Solis in a press release issued the same day the BLS report came out, “show a need for Congress to pass” the cynically mislabeled “Employee Free Choice Act” (S.560/H.R.1409), or its near equivalent.
The report also “makes clear why the [Obama] Administration supports” this legislation, Ms. Solis added.
“Despite ever-mounting evidence that enactment of S.560/H.R.1409 would be catastrophic for employees and businesses, and that the American people overwhelmingly oppose this legislation, the Obama Administration is going for broke,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.
“And Hilda Solis’s reaffirmation of the Obama Administration’s support for forced-unionism expansion is far from the only sign of what the White House has in store for this year.
“President Obama’s recent decision to bring his 2008 campaign manager, unabashed Big Labor cheerleader David Plouffe, back into his inner circle is another.
“In a January 23 op-ed in the Washington Post, Mr. Plouffe called on Capitol Hill Democrats to ignore the polls and the stunning results of last month’s special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts and proceed with their plans to foist unpopular, pro-forced unionism health care ‘reform’ on the American people.
“If the President and top congressional leaders are eager, as it seems, to keep pursuing their radical bid to refashion the U.S. health care system, despite all the evidence it is a political loser, Right to Work supporters must also expect a 2010 floor showdown on S.560/H.R.1409 or a similar scheme.”
‘Plan B’ Would Advance Same Ends as ‘Card Check’ Bill Through Alternative Means
The undisguised aim of S.560/H.R.1409 is to help Big Labor force millions of additional workers, union members and nonmembers alike, to accept a union as their monopoly-bargaining agent in their dealings with their employer.
A major provision in this legislation would accomplish this goal by effectively ending secret-ballot elections in union organizing campaigns.
However, this “card-check” provision is so flagrantly anti-worker and unpopular with the public that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), S.560’s lead sponsor, has apparently concluded the bill in its current form may be too difficult to get through the Senate.
That’s why Mr. Harkin and other Big Labor senators have worked behind the scenes to concoct a less obviously sinister “Plan B” that would accomplish S.560’s forced-unionism objectives through somewhat different means.
Top union bosses are reluctantly supportive of “Plan B” because they understand it will promote forced unionism, to virtually the same extent as S.560, by rewriting workplace election rules to tilt them even more steeply in union organizers’ favor.
Union Bigwigs Calculate ‘Plan B’ Can Muster Necessary 60 Senate Votes
And union bigwigs like Richard Trumka, chief of the AFL-CIO union conglomerate, calculate that, by dropping the “card-check” provision in S.560 and perhaps modifying others, they can muster the 60 votes they need to bring up their power grab for a final Senate roll call so it can be passed and sent to the White House.
“There are a number of fence-sitting senators like Blanche Lincoln [D-Ark.] and Evan Bayh [D-Ind.] who, even though they voted for ‘card-check’ forced unionism in the past, are having second thoughts on backing S.560 in its current form,” noted Mr. Mix.
“However, Ms. Lincoln, Mr. Bayh, and several other key senators in both parties have left the door open for supporting ‘Plan B’ when it emerges in its final form and arrives on the Senate floor.
“Even newly elected GOP Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who has commendably expressed his opposition to S.560’s ‘card check’ provision, has yet to say how he would vote on a modified version of this legislation that promoted union monopoly bargaining by tampering with workplace election rules.
“That’s why I think Right to Work supporters would be wrong to brush off AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka’s recent prediction that the so-called ‘Employee Free Choice Act’ would pass, in one form or another, before this summer.”
Right to Work Supporters Must Not Let Their Guard Down
“To keep Mr. Trumka’s prediction from coming true, Right to Work staff members just delivered hundreds of thousands of petitions to Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to oppose S.560 and H.R.1409, the Harkin bill’s House companion, as well as all pro-forced unionism ‘Plan B’ schemes, on all votes,” Mr. Mix added.
“As long as Right to Work members and supporters keep turning up the heat on their senators and congressmen over the next few months, I’m optimistic Mr. Trumka will be proven wrong, and nothing resembling S.560/H.R.1409 will be adopted in this Congress.
“But now is no time for Right to Work supporters to let their guard down.”