After spending more than a billion dollars in forced union dues to ensure his election, President Obama repaid the favor by repealing executive orders, helping speed coercive union organizing. Obama has now given the Secretary of Labor the power to blacklist union-targeted employers and employees and has decided to keep workers in the dark about their rights to refrain from union membership. As Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation said, “Obama’s two executive orders serve one basic goal: to seize more forced-dues revenue to fund Big Labor’s political agenda.”
Obama repealed Executive Order 13201 signed by President George W. Bush which had helped ensure that employees of federal contractors were informed of their rights under the U.S. Supreme Court case Communication Workers v. Beck (1988). Won by attorneys at the National Right to Work Foundation, Beck held that private-sector employees may be compelled to pay certain union dues, but may not be compelled to pay any dues or fees earmarked for union politics, lobbying, and other non-bargaining activities.
President Obama included the revocation of Beck rights notices in an executive order advertising, and essentially endorsing, the formation of unions under a theory (long discredited by academic research) that forcing employees into union collectives will somehow prevent “substantial obstructions to the free flow of commerce.”
The executive order also purports to give the Secretary of Labor the authority to determine what will be required by the notice, the authority to investigate violations, to hold hearings, and the power to punish violators of all federal labor laws mentioned in the notice. In effect, the Secretary of Labor would become an additional judge, jury, and executioner of federal labor laws with respect to federal contractors. Most importantly, the Secretary would determine whether a contractor would be fired by the federal government (apparently where the contractor has not even been found to have violated any laws by the law enforcement body of jurisdiction). Even President Bill Clinton stopped short of attempting to give the Secretary of Labor a “blacklisting” power, which is almost certainly unlawful.
Another new order effectively bars federal contractors from communicating truthful information about unionization to their employees.
“It’s disgusting to see this blatant payoff to Big Labor only two weeks into Obama’s term,” continued Mix. “Today, President Obama has sent an ominous message to the 93 percent of private sector workers in America who, for whatever reasons, have chosen not to unionize: You’re not welcome here.”
A billion dollars can buy new friends. No wonder Obama said: “I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it’s part of the solution.”