Skip to comments.A Cynical Process (Thomas Sowell on unions & NLRB)
Posted on 04/30/2012 1:52:28 PM PDT by jazusamo
Labor unions, like the United Nations, are all too often judged by what they are envisioned as being not by what they actually are or what they actually do.
Many people, who do not look beyond the vision or the rhetoric to the reality, still think of labor unions as protectors of working people from their employers. And union bosses still employ that kind of rhetoric. However, someone once said, "When I speak I put on a mask, but when I act I must take it off."
That mask has been coming off, more and more, especially during the Obama administration, and what is revealed underneath is very ugly, very cynical and very dangerous.
First there was the grossly misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" that the administration tried to push through Congress. What it would have destroyed was precisely what it claimed to be promoting a free choice by workers as to whether or not they wanted to join a labor union.
Ever since the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, workers have been able to express their free choice of joining or not joining a labor union in a federally conducted election with a secret ballot.
As workers in the private sector have, over the years, increasingly voted to reject joining labor unions, union bosses have sought to replace secret ballots with signed documents signed in the presence of union organizers and under the pressures, harassments or implicit threats of those organizers.
Now that the Obama administration has appointed a majority of the members of the National Labor Relations Board, the NLRB leadership has imposed new requirements that employers supply union organizers with the names and home addresses of every employee. Nor do employees have a right to decline to have this personal information given out to union organizers, under NLRB rules.
In other words, union organizers will now have the legal right to pressure, harass or intimidate workers on the job or in their own homes, in order to get them to sign up with the union. Among the consequences of not signing up is union reprisal on the job if the union wins the election. But physical threats and actions are by no means off the table, as many people who get in the way of unions have learned.
Workers who do not want to join a union will now have to decide how much harassment of themselves and their family they are going to have to put up with, if they don't knuckle under.
In the past, unions had to make the case to workers that it was in their best interests to join. Meanwhile, employers would make their case to the same workers that it was in their best interest to vote against joining.
When the unions began losing those elections, they decided to change the rules. And after Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, with large financial support from labor unions, the rules were in fact changed by Obama's NLRB.
As if to make the outcome of workers' "choices" more of a foregone conclusion, the time period between the announcement of an election and the election itself has been shortened by the NLRB.
In other words, the union can spend months, or whatever amount of time it takes, for them to prepare and implement an organizing campaign beforehand and then suddenly announce a deadline date for the decision on having or not having a union. The union organizers can launch their full-court press before the employers have time to organize a comparable counter-argument or the workers have time to weigh their decision, while being pressured.
The last thing this process is concerned about is a free choice for workers. The first thing it is concerned about is getting a captive group of union members, whose compulsory dues provide a large sum of money to be spent at the discretion of union bosses, to provide those bosses with both personal perks and political power to wield, on the basis of their ability to pick and choose where to make campaign contributions from the union members' dues.
Union elections do not recur like other elections. They are like some Third World elections: "One man, one vote one time." And getting a recognized union unrecognized is an uphill struggle.
But, so long as many people refuse to see the union for what it is, or the Obama administration for what it is, this cynical and corrupt process can continue.
Screw national labor relations. Collective bargaining rights don’t exist. They can’t; rights don’t work that way. The government should be interested in preventing violence, fraud, coercion, and trespassing against property rights. That’s all.
State governments yes. I am certain that you are not discussing federal power to do these things ...
“State governments yes. I am certain that you are not discussing federal power to do these things ...”
No, of course not. Unless it rises to the level of domestic insurrection, threatens the republican nature of the state governments, etc. But that would require an awful lot of violence. Also, violence, physical obstruction, etc. could threaten interstate commerce, and as such fall under the feds’ regulatory powers. But I have a very high standard for when that’s happening, and adopt a much, much stricter construction of that clause than SCOTUS, giving the benefit of the doubt always to the feds having no power.
I wouldn’t include, for instance, the power to settle railroad or coal mining strikes lest interstate rail shipping be interrupted, as was claimed repeatedly by our federal government. NeStrikers would have to be physically blocking lines that cross state borders precisely where they cross state borders.
NeStrikers = Strikers
Except in Wisconsin, where Gov Scott Walker and the Republican legislature have mandated annual certifying elections, where if the union loses the election, then they're no longer representing the employees.
This NLRB rule, that employers must provide the names and addresses of employees to union goons, has got to be unconstitutional!
I am not a lawyer, but IIRC, there is a considerable body of case law re: privacy.
Any FReeper lawyers out there want to take a shot at this one?
I am well aware that Obongo Bozo and the thug in the Attorney Generals office disrespect and dishonor the Constitution every day they serve, but, HST, surely there is a Federal judge who will put a hold on this rule?
WTF? Workplace agitators can now come to your house to intimidate? I want the names and address of every union member that decides to come to my house.
If you handle the matter properly, the coroner should be able to provide that information.
Well stated mt FRiend
Labor unions, like the United Nations, are all too often judged by what they are envisioned as being not by what they actually are or what they actually do.. . . and that goes double for the borg we know as wire service journalism.
The fundamental assumption about the press is not that any individual press would be objective (or fair, or whatever) but that individual presses would be independent. And they were, fractiously so, until the mid-Nineteenth Century advent of the Associated Press. The AP aggressively monopolized the transmission of news over the new telegraph, and claimed that because its member newspapers didnt agree on much of anything, the AP itself was objective.
But as experience has shown, that argument was always illogical. It is impossible for anyone to know that his/her own opinions are not colored at all by his/her own desires or needs, and it is especially absurd to suppose that they could know that without even examining his/her own motives and desires. And declaring ones own objectivity is the precise opposite of making an open admission of ones own needs and desires. The AP takes the position that all journalists are objective - and belonging to an organization which declares that you are objective makes you a self-proclaimed objective person. If you belong to the AP you claim you are objective, and if you claim to be objective you are at best a self-deceiver. And realistically, you are a deceiver, period.
If you think about it, the McCain-Feingold restriction against publishing about politics during election season by any but named major journalism outlets is certain to be indistinguishable from membership in the Associated Press. And since membership in the AP subverts your independence by requiring support of the fiction that all journalists are objective, the designed effect of that provision of McCain-Feingold is to restrict everyone from the AP Borg from discussing politics. This shows corruption lies at the core of the AP. The AP should be sued into oblivion in a RICO suit.