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Beware the "Neutrality Agreement"

In previous articles, the connection between the SEIU and President Obama and their desire to turn America into a socialistic totalitarian dictatorship have been presented. President Obama’s actions since the 2014 Midterm Elections, as outlined below, support this position. The President is utilizing the SEIU’s “Persuasion of Power” by incorporating its corporate campaign strategy to fundamentally transform America, just as he promised within five days of taking the oath of office. In essence he is acting to force Americans and their representatives in Congress to sign a Neutrality Agreement and impose Card Check on America.

Card Check is a concept used by big labor to eliminate people’s choice when voting for union representation, and ultimately disenfranchises them from their employers, free choice and the free market. President Obama, trained by the SEIU (see Obama and the SEIU), is attempting to force Americans to agree to the same process with respect to government in order to achieve his agenda, to replace our free enterprise system with socialistic totalitarianism. Among his actions to accomplish this:

All of the above, and likely more behind the scenes, are designed to allow the President to establish a socialistic totalitarian regime potentially before the 2016 Presidential Election.

When is America going to wake up and realize that the President is controlled by the likes of the SEIU, the union labor bosses, and people like George Soros (see George Soros and Barack Hussein Obama). Obviously some have awakened, but are immediately censored as seen in 12-Year Old has Facebook Account Blocked after Criticizing Obama. The real question is When Will Congress and the Mainstream Media Wake Up and begin Identifying the Devil at Our Doorstep!

Maybe the following e-mail testimonial from a former in-house SEIU attorney to talk show host Chuck Wilder, whose show I was on, will wake up America to what I have been preaching all along:

Subject: A salute to David Bego for his courage

Chuck:
As former chief in-house legal counsel for what was then SEIU-Local 660, the largest local union west of the Mississippi representing some 25,000 Los Angeles County Employees, I salute David Bego for standing up for freedom against the SEIU.

Under the leadership of former “social worker” become socialist president of SEIU, Andy Stern, SEIU members were transformed from public servants to public enemies, grasping for salary, benefits, pensions and power over the taxpayers who pay them.

I just bought David’s book for my daughter for Christmas.

Good to see a modern David taking on the SEIU socialist Goliath.

For God & Country Forever; Surrender To Tyranny—Never!
Rees Lloyd

It is time to expose this President’s Divide and Conquer agenda, and The Taking of American Freedoms. It is time for Americans to stand up like Governor Scott Walker has with his recent passage of RTW (see Wisconsin Becomes 25th Right-to-Work State), and to punch the bullies in the nose to Restore America’s Prosperity before all is lost! Beware the Neutrality Agreement, America.

 

Beware Ambush Elections

The U.S. Senate HELP Committee recently contacted me about my experience with labor elections and my insight about how this ruling would harm businesses and employees across the country. This week, the points expressed in my original blog and documented in The Devil at Our Doorstep will be debated and voted upon, as reported in recent headlines “Republican-Controlled Congress to Vote to Repeal NLRB Rule.” Additionally, in a show of support the US Chamber Asks Judge To Nix NLRB’s Election Rule. Hopefully, Senate Democrats will stand behind movement, recognize the injustice, and provide enough votes to override an expected Presidential veto.

Employees and employers across the country need to be wary of the forced union ambush being promulgated by President Obama and his big labor “Gasping Dinosaurs” and the radicals the President has appointed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The President is utilizing Rule by Fiat to fundamentally transform America as he promised when he was first elected, while also paying back his political supporters.

NLRB Flexes Muscles” was definitely the theme this past week as the NLRB published its final rule making on “ambush elections,” and effectively reduced election periods from 41 to 21 days or potentially less (see Ambush,NLRB boosts unions’ organizing leverage, Elections, NLRB Issues its Ambush Election Rule, NLRB Representation Case Procedures Fact Sheet, Quickie Gifts to Big Labor, and NAM CEO Speaks Out ON NLRB Ruling). Even more damaging to both employees’ and employers’ rights and privacy is the fact that, in its rule making, the NLRB stated that employers must provide the names, e-mail addresses, home addresses and phone numbers of its employees to facilitate the “Quickie Elections.“ As described in The Devil at Our Doorstep, the current 41 day pre-election period is necessary, as employees are often coerced, intimidated and lied to by the organizers representing the labor unions. Often they are misled to believe that once they sign a union election card they must vote for the union when they go to the polls! While absolutely false, such conduct has been well established by the NLRB to be completely acceptable.

Unless the employer’s management team is well-versed on labor law and well-prepared to contradict these misrepresentations, their employees would never know the truth. The Quickie Elections rule making makes it virtually impossible for an employer to have the opportunity to refute the union’s misinformation and propaganda, particularly if the employer has not been faced with such organizing efforts in the past. In my own experience, if I would not have had the opportunity to meet and speak with our employees on several occasions — which would not be possible under the new ruling — they would have gone to the polls believing they had to vote for the union, despite the fact they had been intimidated into signing election cards.

As if that wasn’t enough, the NLRB boosts unions’ organizing leverage by allowing employees and union organizers access to employers e-mail systems so they can coerce, misinform, intimidate and misrepresent the truth about what is transpiring, and ignore big labor’s true goal, that It’s All About the Dues Money. In effect, what is happening is a rapid move towards “Card Check,” effectively allowing a union to force unionize an employer’s workforce behind the scenes virtually overnight.

These Quickie Gifts to Big Labor by the NLRB are A Death Penalty for Employees and Employers! They provide labor organizers great leverage to force employers to sign a Neutrality Agreement. This agreement is big labor’s current means of eliminating the secret ballot election by utilizing Death by a Thousand Cuts corporate campaigns to intimidate employers into signing it and achieving Card Check.

These actions are nothing more than political pay back by this Administration to the big labor bosses at the expense of the American people and the American economy.

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Big Labor's Conundrum

Over the past four decades, Big Labor has continued to see its membership shrink drastically as its leaders use the same failed tactics involving forced unionism. The argument that most workers are better off without unions today is supported by the fact that unions now represent approximately 11.3% of the total workforce and 6.6% of the private workforce, a steep fall from their heyday in 1945 when they represented about 35.5% of the workforce. Yet Big Labor has refused to change. Isn’t the definition of insanity, “continuing to do the same thing, but expecting different results?” The inability of Big Labor to generate new organizing strategies or to bring additional value to employees has put unions “between a rock and a hard place,” as succinctly described by pro-labor pundit Jack Rasmus, author of a 4-part essay on the Decline of Labor Unions. Mr. Rasmus’ work is worth reading, both to call attention to labor’s intransigence to make itself relevant to today’s workforce, and to read between the lines for potential strategy changes, if and when labor ever gets its act together.

A sample quote from part one of his essay:
“Had any other movement and its organizations produced so little, for so long, at such a growing financial and other cost to its membership, it would have undertaken a fundamental revision of its basic strategic approach long before now. However, union labor’s efforts to address its failing strategies over the last four decades have been token and tentative at best. Not much has been done to confront, or otherwise challenge and change, labor’s obviously failed strategies of the past four decades—neither at the ‘top’ among its national leadership nor at the ‘local level’ of local union membership. That fundamental strategic discussion is now long overdue.”

Despite its obvious failures, big labor continues, at great cost to its membership and reputation, to engage in ruthless tactics and pursue its own political agenda. It has maintained this course, despite the fact that people are moving away from forced-unionism areas and that membership is declining even in politically favorable locations (see Latest Census Data Show Families Continue to Flee Forced-Unionism States and Even in Liberal Minnesota, Labor Unions Are Losing Members. Big labor continues utilizing its political ties with the current Administration to focus on achieving Card Check, specifically thru rules and regulations recently implemented by President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board, the government agency charged with fairly administering the nation’s labor policy. The following articles outlining new rules and regulations recently handed down by the NLRB at the President’s direction accurately portray the reluctance of the unions to change their business model or otherwise reinvent themselves to serve modern America (see Reinventing America’s Unions for the 21st Century).

  • UNIONS: Focus now is on new laws, not new members
  • The NLRB’s New Election Rules: Quickie Elections and ‘The Mount Everest of Regulations’ to Trap…
  • Federal agencies spend millions on union business 
  • NLRB Opens Door for SEIU at McDonalds
  • NLRB General Counsel Announcement on Joint Employer Status for Franchisors Could Have Significant Implications
  • NLRB ratifies actions taken by unconstitutional labor board

Confounding big labor’s position is the fact that it must go along with the President’s goals of increasing the minimum wage and providing amnesty for undocumented aliens, in an effort to attract a larger base for the President and the Democratic Party in exchange for the pro-labor rules and regulations recently propagated by the Rogue NLRB. These political initiatives are, in fact, not in the best interest of the labor movement. Nevertheless, Big Labor continues to support them due to their need for political backing from the Democratic Party.

First, significantly increasing or doubling the minimum wage — as being pushed by the SEIU — would have devastating consequences on those least able to handle them. As succinctly portrayed by Phil Wilson from the Labor Relations Institute in a recent article:

“If you double the labor costs in these businesses you force these small companies to come up with new ways to operate their business that account for the increased expense. They will hire fewer people and try to make jobs as efficient as they possibly can. They will replace labor with technology everywhere they can (you see this in many restaurants and convenience stores today – you’ll be ordering off an iPad everywhere you go). They will raise prices or reduce selection to just the most profitable items. Remember, we are not talking about a minor adjustment in the minimum wage – this is a massive shift in labor costs that companies will be forced to deal with. For every lucky person who keeps their minimum wage job and rejoices in their doubled income there will be several who cannot find any work, period. You will significantly increase the class of people who are unemployable, along with all the other problems that creates. Be careful what you wish for. Also, these small units would divert attention away from the other bargaining units the unions already represent. If officials take the eye off the ball on these bigger, more stable units they risk losing those units to decertification, further reducing cash flow and profitability of the union. Be careful what you wish for.”

One more comment on the minimum wage increase. It is basically the same fundamental tactic the United Autoworkers and other unions utilized to increase wages in the American auto industry. The American auto industry and Detroit today are a foreshadowing of the affect significantly raising the minimum wage would have on the entire American economy.

Big labor also has been supportive of the President’s executive order, granting amnesty to up to 5.5 million undocumented workers, thereby giving them the ability to legally enter the workforce (see Unions launch recruiting push for immigrants protected by Obama actions). On the surface, this may seem to be a great opportunity for new union members as the big labor bosses would utilize information from the Administration and union foot soldiers to identify these people, help them assimilate into legal jobs, and then use pressure to help them force unionize the employers. However, many of these people will be utilized by companies as independent contractors (see Open Borders Costing American Jobs and Depressing Wages). Big labor will in effect spend a lot of time and money in an effort to force unionize these people at the risk of taking its eye off the ball and disenfranchising and losing a large part of its current membership.

Unfortunately, the big labor Gasping Dinosaurs seem incapable of changing and embracing the need for change. Instead they continue to expose the fact that It’s All About the Dues Money, by utilizing member’s dues as political donations to elect politicians thus expecting political favors in a desperate attempt to protect their lifestyles and reverse the decline of union membership (see Big Labor’s Top 100 and If This Is True, The Amount Of Money The UAW Uses On Politics Is Shocking). Combined with the President’s amnesty and minimum wage agendas reversing union decline is truly a conundrum for the big labor bosses who seem incapable of working legally and professionally within the parameters of the free market system to be successful (see The 2014 Union Corruption Report: A Year In Review). Instead of polishing its approach and providing a quality product people would embrace, Big Labor continues to utilize unsavory political favors and bully tactics in a futile attempt to rebuild its membership at the expense of its current membership. It is Time for Republicans to Go On the Offensive with its majority in both Houses. They need to come to the aid of Americans, defund the Rogue NLRB and stop the Death by a Thousand Cuts being perpetrated on American employees and employers. There is no doubt that Unions Face Challenges in 2015. It is time to add to big labor’s conundrum!

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

With 2014 Mid-Term Elections Close – Unions Intensify Efforts

Control of the U.S. Senate is at stake in the upcoming mid-term elections, which is imperative for the President and Big Labor to maintain their majority if there is any hope to achieve Big Labor’s goal of eliminating the secret ballot election and replacing it with the forced unionization method of Card Check. Even at a casual glance, however, the new tactics would cause even the most gullible to take pause and say, “Really?”

In recent weeks, Big Labor’s campaigns of intimidation and misinformation have risen to new heights. This is highlighted by the recent headline “Unions say they’ll get even with Scott Walker,” for passing popular laws restricting collective bargaining agreements and dues collection in Wisconsin (see Collective Bargaining is a Privilege, Not a Right). Such tactics are typical big labor strategy, as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep, which clearly exposes the SEIU’s Death by a Thousand Cuts Corporate Campaign to use intimidation and misinformation to achieve its goals!

Unions accuse corporations of have an unfair advantage, stating that they have more money to spend on election candidates. The truth, however, is that Unions are Outspending Corporations on Campaign Ads Despite Court Ruling.

Once again, Big Labor is relying on the fact that a large percentage of the population that is naïve to their cause, and is therefore easily misled and too busy to investigate the facts. However, based on big labor’s latest tactic it appears the Gasping Dinosaurs may be carrying these assumptions a bit too far. Despite the fact Union Members are Not Happy with Their Leader’s Political Spending — and it has been well documented ( see IRS turns a blind eye to unions’ political expenditures) that approximately 90% of union donations go to democrats while they outspend corporate donors significantly — big labor is now attempting to humiliate (see The New Union Organizing Tool, Embarrassment) those who disagree with their agenda and their politics. An example can be seen with the Koch Brothers, whom Big Labor is attacking by discourage people from doing business with their companies. Believe it or not, a new AFL-CIO Ad Introduces the ‘Koch Sisters’ to Counter the Billionaire Brothers.

Perhaps most unbelievable is how Big Labor not just misuses its members’ dues for its own political agenda but believes it can continue to exploit its own power and its membership’s naiveté. The following e-mail was sent to members of the SEIU and was forwarded to me by one of its disgruntled members:

Would you throw away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you weren’t getting wet?
No, you wouldn’t. But that’s exactly what the Supreme Court did a year ago when they gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), the most important and successful civil rights law ever enacted by the U.S. Congress.The right to vote is at stake. SIGN THE PETITION and tell Congress to restore strength to the Voting Rights Act!In some states, especially Southern ones, it used to be really, really hard for people of color to vote. The Voting Rights Act helped end that, banning racism at the polls and carrying forward the work Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others to ensure communities of color have a voice in our political process.But in 2013, the Supreme Court — by a 5-4 vote — undid a VRA provision that cleared barriers to voting in areas where minority voters were heavily silenced at the polls.Within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision, several states in the South immediately announced that they would pursue new voter ID laws that were clearly designed to make it harder for African Americans and Latinos to vote. And one year later, 15 states have already enacted rules making it more difficult to vote.Voter discrimination based on race is not a thing of the past. It is a current reality that persists to this day. We need to stop Republicans in states around the country from enacting racist voter ID and voter suppression laws. Passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act now is the best way to do it.

Sign the petition: Tell Congress to stop the attacks on voting rights.

We’re joining with our allies for a petition delivery to Congress next week to urge the House and Senate to take swift action to correct this injustice.

There is no right more fundamental to our democracy than the right to vote. Tell Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act now.
 
The November elections are fast approaching, and vulnerable voters could lose their voice in this democracy if we don’t act now.
 
Thanks for fighting,
SEIU.org
 
As chronicled in Election 2010 and Fraudsters the Reason Blue States Remained Blue?, the real reason Big Labor wants to eliminate Voter Identification laws through restoration of the Voting Rights Act is for union members to more effectively intimidate undocumented workers and others who either don’t qualify, are of another political bent, or are disinterested, into registering to vote and then escorting them to the polls with the directive to vote for the big labor candidate of choice (see Big Labor’s Expense for Election Foot Soldiers, is Finally in the Media Spotlight). This brazen display of misinformation by the SEIU labor bosses leads one to ask the only question that makes sense: “Do they think we are idiots?”

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Union Stand on Immigration Harms Union Membership

Editor’s Note:  As a businessman who plays by the rules and competes with companies who don’t, Dave Bego has first hand knowledge of how poorly managed immigration of unskilled workers harm the interests of the American worker. Regardless of your stand on immigration, you can’t expect to extend a de facto preference to unskilled immigrants, which is what America has done for the last few decades, and expect entry level workers to have any leverage with employers. So why are America’s unions promoting these policies? In an era of increasing automation, unskilled and semi-skilled jobs are disappearing. America has a shortage of skilled and highly educated workers, and it is those immigrants who should receive preference. But educated and highly skilled immigrants find good jobs and pay lots of taxes. They do not generate the need for new armies of multi-lingual public sector workers to care for them, from social welfare to public safety. They don’t generate the need for taxpayer subsidized low-income housing that is a windfall for politically connected developers. And they don’t vote for liberal candidates and causes that grow the state. The reasons private sector unions support large scale immigration of low skilled workers are political, and have little or nothing to do with the interests of their members. The reasons public sector unions support this are because it allows them to grow their government workforces, regardless of the ensuing social chaos, economic misery, and harm to the entry level American worker. Dave Bego may be outspoken on this issue, but he’s right. And he cares about hard working Americans far more than the unions he’s battled for years.

The most recent jobs report proclaimed that 288,000 new jobs were created and that unemployment dipped to 6.1%. The Obama Administration’s portrayal of the report as indicative of an economic recovery is more disingenuous rhetoric from a President and administration that was trained by the likes of the SEIU and Bill Ayres. Much like the misinformation spewed by big labor during Corporate Campaigns to force unionize employees, the intent is to bedazzle the naïve, uninformed and easily misled with propaganda designed to achieve its goals. The misleading jobs report cited by the Administration, as well as the President’s refusal to address the concern of our open borders, is reminiscent of Bill Ayer’s tactics except, instead of lobbing bombs, the President uses flowery and misleading rhetoric to achieve the destruction of the nation’s work force and economy! Conveniently, the jobs report failed to identify that the net 288,000 jobs consists of approximately 500,000 full-time jobs lost and replaced by 788,000 part-time jobs, realistically providing less take home pay for employees and failing to qualify them for the mandates of employer-provided health care insurance. Thank you Affordable Care Act (ACA)!

Despite the fact practically all other countries in the world have strict immigration penalties for illegal immigration, President Obama has failed to address the issue, magnifying the economic nightmare. Illegal immigration places a heavy burden on American taxpayers in the form of increased entitlement spending, public school funding, higher health care costs, loss of American jobs and lower wages for American workers. This is summed up succinctly in Ray Stevens video on Illegal Immigration – Come to the USA. Why would President Obama favor such a position and call for passage of the DREAM Act? Why would President Obama ask Congress for $3.7B to handle child migrants? The answer is simple, he is pandering for votes for the upcoming mid-term election and mollifying his big labor base who sees future union members, while further implementing his “Cloward and Piven” strategy of overwhelming the system and collapsing the economy (see Congressman: Yes, Barack Obama is Intentionally Destroying the United States). Americans, however, are waking up to the truth. 46% Believe Obama Administration Has Encouraged Young Illegal Immigrants To Come, and even Democrats are becoming skeptical (see Dem. Congressman: ‘Floored Me’ to See Obama Shoot Pool Rather than Visit Border). Unfortunately, it is not just children crossing the border, but also thousands of adults looking for both work in the Under Ground Economy and access to American entitlements.

The immediate impact of this open border policy combined with the ACA and a sluggish economy — as supported by the first quarter 2.9% negative GDP growth — is placed squarely on the backs of legitimate American workers. Despite the President’s claim to be supportive of American workers through his call for a national minimum wage of $10.10/hour, and his support of his SEIU labor buddies call for $15.00/hour wages for fast food employees in itsFast Food Forward campaign, the President’s initiatives are resulting in a spike in misclassification of workers across the country by companies illegally utilizing undocumented workers to fill positions to avoid health care costs and higher government imposed wages. Ironically, companies doing business legally with integrity and honesty are penalized and so are their employees, as they must reduce wages and number of employees or hours to remain competitive in the market place. The President subsequently blames the free market for the problem instead of his own actions! The question that must be explored is whether this is the result of unintended consequences or intentional destruction of the American economy?

My company has experienced the results of the President’s agenda in the form of lost jobs, as companies who use undocumented workers as misclassified independent contractors steal business from legitimate companies. These companies have a 20% or more cost advantage as they generally pay piece work wages. “Piece work” is a set rate per day or week, which requires a person to work as many hours as it takes to clean a certain area to obtain expected results. This often results in much less than minimum wage, no overtime pay and, since they are misclassified as independent contractors, there are no payroll taxes, social security or insurance costs (see Misclassification of Workers, Common Ground or Hot Bed of Greed). We have experienced two recent examples in the west and in the south where such companies bid significantly lower and, because of these cost advantages, “stole” the business through their illegal activity. Even worse is the fact that American employees end up being the real losers as this illegal activity, which is basically ignored and arguably condoned by this administration, artificially lowers wages for all Americans including the union members whom he claims to support!

It is painfully evident that this President cares little for the American worker or the future of America, as noted in The Devil at Our Doorstep. The rhetoric of the President and his big labor buddies that they are fighting for the American worker is disingenuous and despicable! If the President truly cared for the American worker he would use the military to seal the border immediately instead of ordering the Feds to Bring in Riot Squad Against Illegal Immigration Protesters. If he truly cared for the American worker he would require all illegal immigrants to register immediately (see The Senate Immigration Law Hurts All Americans). However, this will not happen if America does not wake up, because the real agenda is the destruction of this great country as we know it and implementation of Rule by Fiat! The answer to the question above is Be Afraid America, Be Very Afraid, as The Decline of American Exceptionalism is at hand and the O-Cloward-Piven Strategy Is Working!

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Rank and File Union Membership Post Victories

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued its decision in the matter of Harris v. Quinn. In its decision not to exempt all public workers from paying union dues, it was nevertheless apparent that workers were handed a victory over unions (see Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Challengers to Union Fees, But Avoids Broad Ruling and Workers were Handed a Victory Over Unions). In a 5-4 ruling following political lines, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that just because home healthcare workers received Medicaid payments they were not employees of a government agency and subject to forced unionism or required to pay dues because of supposed union representation. The irony of this is that many of the home healthcare workers are independent contractors, not state workers, who have been forced to pay forced union dues because of the SEIU’s close political ties to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  It could have been much worse for organized labor if SCOTUS had determined, as it should have, that no public employees should be forced to be part of the union or pay union affiliation/representation fees. Due to the narrow ruling, Big Labor was able to Dodge a Bullet with SCOTUS!

The decision of SCOTUS in Harris v. Quinn will ultimately cost the SEIU an estimated $50 Million in lost revenue. The SEIU recently took a similar hit when the Michigan legislature repealed a law similar to that in question in Harris v. Quinn (see SEIU Shows It Is Not About Employee Free Choice). The SEIU has been reaping large dues payments in states like California, as discussed in It’s All About the Dues Money. This decision will result in a significant drop in dues income, designed to line its pockets and support its political buddies. Make no mistake, this decision will have a profound affect on Big Labor’s ability to support its political allies with funds and foot soldiers in the November 2014 Election.

20140714_Bego

Monday’s ruling is only the beginning of a conundrum facing Big Labor. Rank and file members across the country are fed up with Big Labor using their dues payments for political activities with which they disagree. Throughout the month of June, disgruntled SEIU and UAW members in California and Michigan have been on a mission to have “Non Germane Objector” (NGO) dues removed from the monthly dues being deducted from their paychecks. If successful, these reductions would decrease dues, and subsequently SEIU and UAW revenues by reportedly 35%. Brave members, such as Mariam Noujaim and Lisa Garcia, whose stories are chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep, and Brian Pannbecker, a cofounder of Union Conservatives, the organization responsible for the grass roots effort for Michigan become the 24th Right-To-Work State, have led the charge in these highly unionized states. Their efforts are further documented at www.occupyseiu.com and www.unionconservatives.com.

These bold actions, by responsible rank and file members of the SEIU and the UAW, as well as Harris and her band of home healthcare workers, will significantly affect the Big Labor Gasping Dinosaurs and their Symbiotic Relationship that Short Changes Americans! These brave hero’s victories will undoubtedly be evident as Administration and Big Labor Desperation Escalates prior to the 2014 Mid Term Elections.

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David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

SEIU Shows It Is Not About Employee Free Choice

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), arguably the most ardent proponent of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), continues to demonstrate the hypocrisy of its true motives through its tactics and political machinations. The political maneuvering of the SEIU and its big labor brethren show that they do not have employee best interests at heart, and that their ultimate objective has nothing to do with employee free choice (see SEIU’s Insidious Tentacles). In fact, it’s the SEIU’s continued tactics, such as this past week’s fast food worker strikes that show why it is a Charade and proves once again that big labor’s Only Concern is for Dues.

Unlike past “protests,” the SEIU’s push in Fast Food Forward received little news coverage. Clearly, people around the country are waking up to the SEIU’s schemes and the truth that there are relatively few employees who are embracing its forced unionism scheme. As reported in the articles above, very few employees are participating and the majority of strikers are paid non-employees recruited to make misleading claims and intimidate fast food employers and their employees much like the Death by a Thousand Cuts tactics chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep.

20140529_Bego-1

“Death by a Thousand Cuts” is a form of psychological intimidation used by labor unions against employers. Often it involves utilizing supposed employees as pawns in an attempt to force unionize employees who are not interested in what the SEIU has to sell through Card Check. This is labor’s end game in the Fast Food Forward initiative. It is not about helping employees make more money, but rather increasing the SEIU’s membership roles, Despite the representations of big labor and its liberal supporters, the SEIU is not a knight in shining armor, but quite the opposite.

Like most unions in the country, the SEIU continues to experience loss of membership and, consequently, the loss of revenue in the form of membership dues. As a result of these losses, the SEIU and like-minded unions are resorting to the use of Corporate Campaigns against companies (as well as governments agencies and entities) in order to force unionize employees and increase flagging membership. The SEIU recently experienced such a loss as 80 percent of these forced “union members” dropped out of SEIU in Michigan. This tremendous loss of revenue is estimated at $34 Million per year (see SEIU Membership Revenues Plummet After State Ends Underhanded Scheme). Additionally, the SEIU is facing significant loss of membership/revenues in California and other parts of the country, just as the other big labor unions are experiencing similar losses.

In a desperate attempt to offset these losses, the SEIU has continued to turn to and to utilize the same tactics that have proven to be ineffective in the past (see SEIU Deploys Top-Down Organizing Tactics against California Hospitals). The SEIU is attempting to force unionize home health care workers in Illinois as chronicled in SEIU’s Hair on Fire. This despite its previous defeat of similar laws in other states — the state of Michigan, for example, just overturned the same law that allowed forced unionism of home healthcare workers.

Despite these efforts, employees across the nation are waking up to the SEIU’s motives. They are voting with their feet as verified by the lack of employee involvement in the current “Fight for Fifteen” campaign, and by home health care workers dropping out of the SEIU when provided the opportunity in Michigan. You would think the SEIU would learn that if it wants to reverse its fortunes it is going to have to develop a product that employees and employers can buy into instead of using intimidation tactics. Isn’t the definition of “insanity” to repeat the same things over and over again, with the same failed results? Maybe the SEIU should ask the question What Happens When You Give Workers a Choice? While the SEIU would not grow as a fast as it would like in order to achieve its socialistic political agenda, it would truly be serving the employees – which is supposed to be mission of the labor unions. This is not likely and employees will continue to see the SEIU’s “Persuasion of Power” and its reliance on its allies in the white House to press for regulatory means to bail them out of their desperate condition. It’s not good for the employees, but why would Big Labor start caring about them now? What we need in this country is an Employee Rights Act that would make unions accountable to members.

*   *   *

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Neutrality Agreements

This past Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard the initial arguments in the case Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall. The case of Mulhall, a 40-year employee of Mardi Gras in Hollywood, Florida, challenged the use of a Neutrality Agreement by Unite Here to force unionize Mardi Gras employees. A Neutrality Agreement eliminates the preferred standard of use of “secret ballot elections” to determine if employees want union representation, and in its place, institutes the insidious process known as Card Check. The focus of Mulhall is whether a signed Neutrality Agreement was lawfully obtained from Mardi Gras without bribery or extortion by Unite Here, which is prohibited by Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Unite Here contends the signatures were lawfully obtained, because no money changed hands; however, Mardi Gras and Mulhall believe there were direct benefits or “consideration” received in exchange for the signed agreement.

Unfortunately, after reading the transcripts of the oral arguments made by the attorney for Respondent Mulhall, it appears he has overreached. Perhaps most disappointing, counsel’s arguments did not succinctly and in “plain language” expose the extortion tactics utilized by Unite Here to force Mardi Gras to sign the Neutrality Agreement. These actions resulted in the use of Card Check to force unionize Mardi Gras employees. The attorney appeared to overreach when he suggested that the law bans all pre-recognition agreements whether obtained through mutual agreement or extortion. Additionally, his argument as to whether a benefit was received by the union and/or the employer solely revolved around the union’s support of a gaming license for Mardi Gras. He glossed over the true argument for rescinding the agreement, the use of extortion by the union, which ultimately provided benefits that could be quantified monetarily for both parties. Instad of hitting a home run, his argument resulted in a Mixed Reaction From the Justices. This was a missed opportunity to expose big labor’s ruthless tactics for what they are, coercive forms of extortion from which both parties benefit.

Further, the attorney  missed the opportunity to elaborate on the devastating affects that Corporate Campaigns and Death by a Thousand Cuts strategies imposed by big labor have on an employer. Corporate Campaigns take advantage of a National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) loophole, allowing unions to circumvent the secret ballot election when there is mutual agreement of recognition by the union and the employer. The key word being mutual.  Webster’s Dictionary defines mutual as, “Something shared in common…” — such as mutual respect. The use of Corporate Campaigns against employers, through use of the misnamed “Neutrality Agreement,” to eliminate the secret ballot election is anything but mutual and certainly does not involve respect. In fact, the most striking thing about the Neutrality Agreement is its utter lack of neutrality.  The “agreement” is forced upon employers by big labor threats.  Upon entering the agreement, employers are forced into a “card check” scenario, and in return, receives the agreement of the labor union not to make good on its threats.

Corporate Campaigns, as described in my first book, The Devil at My Doorstep, are designed to financially and psychologically cripple an employer, coercing the employer into capitulating and signing the one-sided Neutrality Agreement. Corporate campaigns are ruthless wars waged against unsuspecting employers by big labor bosses who have decided the employer is a financial target, not because of employee abuses, but rather because of the potential membership dues and big payday for big labor. Corporate campaigns are initiated on the disingenuous premise that the employees have invited them to town. This is rarely true. The unions are often nothing more than Uninvited Interlopers, whose services have not been requested by any employee of the organization.

The preceding recital of the intent of Corporate Campaigns and the resulting benefits for both unions and employers, supplemented by real life stories of such coercion (such as those chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep), overwhelmingly proves that extortion and bribery regularly exist within these attacks by big labor. The Supreme Court needs to grasp that Corporate Campaigns are vicious scams designed to “shame” employers into signing the Neutrality Agreement The extreme costs incurred in avoiding such campaigns overwhelmingly prove a benefit for both parties just as it does in the Mulhall case. My company would have saved almost $1 Million dollars in attorney, operational and other associated costs, while the SEIU would have not only saved the costs in prosecuting the campaign against my company, but would have been the beneficiary of dues collected from the forced unionization of thousands of employees in a relatively short period of time.

Employees and employers across the country can only hope the Justices do their due diligence in the Unite Here Local 355 vs. Mulhall case, and outlaw the imposition of the so-called Neutrality Agreement, benefiting both parties through Organizing by Extortion. The  U.S. Supreme Court Has An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms and set the future course for true, voluntary union recognition for all employees. Their decision will serve to protect workers like Martin Mulhall, because until they do, big labor bosses will not take no for an answer.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Big Labor Feels the Pressure

Now that two cases concerning forced unionism have made it to the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket (see “The Devil at My Doorstep” Introduced to the Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court: An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms), it appears big labor’s Gasping Dinosaurs are becoming even more desperate in their attempts to avoid extinction. Events transpiring in the past several weeks make it  apparent that Big Labor is doing everything it can to rapidly add membership in anticipation the Supreme Court will find  the use of the coercive practice of “Corporate Campaigns” to violate the National Labor Relations Act. These “campaigns” consist of the use of intimidating methods designed to coerce employers into signing a Neutrality Agreement, by which they agree to accept “Card Check,” or the use of signed cards as evidence of their employees desire for union representation in lieu of secret ballot elections. Card Check allows big labor to force unionize a companies employees almost overnight, which is critical to resuscitating falling union membership!

One of the pending cases involves the question of whether the President’s recess appointees to the National Labor Relations Board, all of whom are very pro-union and trying to change governing regulations to enhance big labor Corporate Campaigns, were correctly and constitutionally appointed. The second case questions whether the use of Neutrality Agreements in the context of a corporate campaign, provides an impermissible benefit to labor unions, in violation of Section 302 of the Act. If the U.S. Supreme Court finds against labor’s position, the effect would be to virtually eliminate big labor’s ability to rely on their “bread and butter” — Corporate Campaigns  and the resulting Neutrality Agreement. Loss of this means of forced unionism could very likely result in the extinction in unions as structured today. Apparently the big labor bosses anticipate a negative ruling as they are out in force utilizing Corporate Campaigns to unionize as many employees as possible. The following cases are illustrative.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the UAW has been conducting a campaign at the Volkswagen plant.  Thankfully, the VW employees have seen the light and are taking action as seen in VW Workers at TN Plant Allege Misleading UAW Tactics and Chattanooga VW Workers Begin Antiunion Petition. Additionally, there were the recent UAW tactics at an auto plant in Kokomo, Indiana, chronicled in Unprecedented Union Corruption, that apparently cost eleven full time positions in the plant. All due to the fact the UAW would not allow a non-union company to be successful, and the fact it added a additional 25 employees. Apparently it does not bother the UAW that eleven people in the plant lost their jobs, as it has a net increase of 14 dues paying members, which was the ultimate objective!

The UAW really displayed its desperation as it enlisted employees and others to call the NAACP to join its cause to force unionize employees at a Nissan Plant in Canton, Mississippi. The charges, expressed in the article Why the NAACP Joined a Mississippi Union Battle, are eerily similar to the same charges my company faced when confronted by the Interfaith Workers Justice Group and their support of the SEIU. These charges were all found to be untrue and were dismissed. Of course, in the context of a corporate campaign, big labor does not have to care about the truth or falsity of the charges they bring. They care that the charges serve the purpose of pressuring the employer, “the ends justify the means.”

The SEIU continues its efforts to rally fast food and other service workers using the government shutdown as a stage for False Protests and disorder, as I discussed in Desperate Dinosaurs Show True Colors on Labor Day. Additionally, the SEIU teamed up with the AFL-CIO to host Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform. Immigration reform is a number one priority for the SEIU and AFL-CIO since both organize service workers and they envision large Corporate Campaigns to force unionize these new workers. Evidently, the President got the message, because in a speech over the weekend he mentioned that the budget and debt ceiling issues needed to be resolved so they can move on to bigger things like immigration reform and jobs. Finally, from the home of Harry Reid in Las Vegas, Nevada comes news of  “union bosses gone wild.” Apparently, the Culinary Union took offense to one casino that has remained union-free, and are using the typical “Death by a Thousand Cuts” approach against the casino and its guests!

All of these activities are supported and approved by the Obama administration, with little regard for America’s free market system and often in defiance of our Constitution. It is high time that the tricameral division of powers, wisely instituted by our founders, steps to the forefront and puts the President and his big labor henchmen in their place to restore American freedoms! Hopefully, the Supreme Court will put pressure on big labor and issue a favorable decision to protect all Americans.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Union Strategy to Join Progressives & Environmentalists Will Backfire

Over the Labor Day holiday, Big Labor once again demonstrated how desperate it is to rebuild its diminishing membership rolls. Despite the fact the tactics they have been utilizing for the last 20 years are not working, they keep on using them. As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The union membership results speak for themselves as presented in a recent article by James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation:

Union Membership Dropped By 398,000 In 2012, Leaving Membership At Post-WWII Low Of 11.3 Percent:

“While employers added almost 2 million net new jobs in 2012, unions lost 398,000 members … Union density in the American workplace fell to another new post–world war ii low of 11.3 percent in 2012. Union Manufacturing Employment Fell 4.7 Percent From 2010 To 2012, While During Same Period Non-Union Manufacturing Employment Grew By 6.5 Percent.”

“On net, however, all of that hiring took place in non-union firms.  Between 2010 and 2012, non-union manufacturing employment expanded by 6.5 percent.  At the same time, unionized manufacturing employment continued to fall, dropping another 4.7 percent.”

(James Sherk, “Labor Unions: Declining Membership Shows Labor Laws Need Modernizing,” The Heritage Foundation, 1/23/13)

One would think by now some type of lesson would have been learned and Big Labor would change its strategy. However, despite the declining membership numbers and paltry organization results, Big Labor continues to utilize its “outdated” Corporate Campaign tactics of intimidation and coercion to attain its goals, as described in The Devil at Our Doorstep. It also continues to rely on a phony President and the Rogue NLRB to hand it Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation. Additionally, when the Corporate Campaign tactics fail, and they face actual ‘Secret Ballot Elections,” Big Labor resorts to intimidation and bribery to win these said elections, further eroding its credibility in the eyes of the working public.

Despite the blaring membership facts, Big Labor returned to these obsolete tactics over the Labor Day holiday. The infamous SEIU attempted to orchestrate a national “Fight for Fifteen” campaign, a disguised Living Wage Argument against fast food restaurants and other companies in the retail/service business with minimal success. Additionally, is the SEIU is in the midst of a Worker Center Scheme, attempting to bypass the National Labor Relations Act as discussed in  Promises, Promises: Desperate Unions Grow Weary of Phony Distractions.

Meanwhile the AFL-CIO teamed up with the Interfaith Workers Justice group out of Chicago, and whose tactics are immortalized in both of my books (see Proselytizing for Unions: AFL-CIO Announces Holiday ‘Labor and Faith’ Services). They are “immortalized” because one of its own clergy members readThe Devil at My Doorstep, met with me, apologized and wrote a letter of recommendation for me and my company which is featured in the new book. Obviously the association between the AFL-CIO and Interfaith Workers Justice and its holiday “Labor from the Pulpit” tactic has not worked, as few churches outside of Chicago and Boston have joined the program. Additionally, very little has been mentioned in the mainstream media, which is undeniably pro-union, pro-left wing and supported by George Soros.

If Big Labor bosses were running corporations where they were held accountable to investors and banks, they would be thrown out on their ears. However, the rank and file membership in unions do not have that type leverage or power. They have to put up with the continued lack of attention to membership needs as well as Underfunded Pensions and health care programs while the Big Labor bosses continue to use membership dues for failing membership campaigns and political foolishness.

2009 Moody’s Report Found That, Based On Examination Of 125 Multi-employer Plans, Their Asset-To-Liability Level Had Declined From 77 Percent To 56 Percent:

“In 2009, Moody’s came out with a report based on about 125 multi-employer plans, and concluded that their overall asset-to-liability level declined from an already disturbing 77 percent in 2007 to 56 percent in 2008, the year of the stock market collapse.  Of the roughly dozen affiliates of the Carpenters union, only one even exceeded 70 percent.  Construction industry plans were only about 60 percent funded.  Transportation industry plans, typically sponsored by the Teamsters or the Machinists, averaged slightly below 60 percent.” (Carl Horowitz, “New Reports Show Severe Shortfalls In Multi-employer Union Pensions,” National Legal And Policy Center, 7/2/13) At The Same Time, Unions Bosses Spent Billions On Lobbying & Politics. GAO Concluded That By 2017 Union Pension Fund Insolvencies Would More Than Double.

When will the Big Labor Gasping Dinosaurs realize their organizations will collapse (see The Labor Movement in Full Collapse) unless they learn to compete with integrity and honesty in the free market system? When will they start treating their members like today’s successful businesses treat their employees? They may not be as “big” as they once were, or enjoy the financial and political clout they now attempt to possess, but they would be creating meaningful support and services for current members and potentially those who work for businesses that have employees who might benefit from being unionized. If they would only give up their thirst for power and control they could be instrumental in revitalizing the work place and ultimately Restoring America’s Prosperity. Until Big Labor eliminates senseless campaigns, like those utilized this Labor Day holiday, union members will continue to vote with their feet.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Unions Adopting New Strategies to Rebuild Membership

Big Labor bosses are facing the increasing realization that their organizations are rapidly facing extinction. A trifecta of difficulties, consisting of recent revelations of the impact Obamacare will have on union costs and membership, the weakening of support for “Card Check” legislation, and the increasing popularity and passage of “Right-to-Work” laws have the Gasping Dinosaurs very nervous. Union membership is at a 50-year low, representing a mere 11.3% of the total workforce and 6.7% of the private workforce. These statistics have Big Labor bosses fighting mad at the lack of return from their campaign investments for the President and desperate enough to attempt any and all options to rebuild declining membership.

With the exception of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents healthcare workers across the country and anticipates membership gains from the implementation of Obamacare, Big Labor bosses representing other unions now realize that their once-beloved President has sold them down the river (see The Devil is in the Details: Buyer’s Remorse over Obamacare, Except for SEIU).  The heads of the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, and other major labor unions are now realizing that not only is Obamacare void of separate exemptions or favorable provisions for unions, but it places unions at an economic disadvantage when organizing new members. In fact, it is so bad that the Teamsters are Begging Congress for Relief from Obamacare and the Laborers International Union Fears Destructive Consequences from Obamacare. Even the President-friendly IRS Employees Union Members are in an Uproar after realizing that they too will be subject to Obamacare. The President may continue his rhetoric to intimidate Republicans and to push for Obamacare to become functional, but he does so at the risk of losing his most ardent supporters.

The next likely disappointment for the unions is that the President has failed to enact Card Check. Despite that the President’s recent radical appointees to the NLRB were approved by the U.S. Senate and the fact that President Obama Brought in Griffin to Fill Vacant NLRB Position, the Rogue NLRB still faces an uphill battle if they plan to achieve card check.  See “Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation.”  President Obama previously attempted to achieve card check like provisions through his appointment of board members such as Craig Becker and Richard Griffin.  With the courts finding the President’s recess appointments to be unconstitutional, and thus their decisions invalidated, a delay in “union handouts” has resulted in further union membership deterioration and caused the Unions to Demand Payback.

Interestingly, this has resulted in an attempt by Big Labor to enforce desperate and creative measures to increase membership. The AFL-CIO Seeks Answers in Crisis by targeting Hispanics, NAACP, Sierra Club and other groups, and by Winning Back Other Unions into their fold, thereby increasing membership, revenues and power.  Not to be outdone, the Desperate SEIU Resurrected the Persuasion of Power and is leading the charge by attempting to organize Home Health Care Workers and immigrants as discussed in the recent blog The Senate Immigration Law Hurts All Americans.  Additionally, a new Worker Center Scheme crafted by the SEIU is in the works, utilizing organizations outside the auspices of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to attract and organize prospective members, which could be devastating to businesses attacked by these type organizations.

Meanwhile, the SEIU has once again embraced the Living Wage Argument to unionize workers. This tactic, described in The Devil at Our Doorstep, is now being used against McDonalds and other service/food providers under the veil of the “Fight for Fifteen” campaign, fighting to shift wage rates to $15 an hour for these workers.  McDonald’s is now feeling pressure from the typical Corporate Campaign tactics, including threats to Contaminate Food. These threats will directly impact McDonald’s revenues, a standard focal point of the SEIU’s campaigns.  Of course, all of their actions are being pushed in the name of Social Justice.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Unions and Fundamental Freedoms: Two Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court Cases

The U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases in the next year which will determine whether persons will be protected in their exercise of the fundamental right to either choose whether to engage in union representation or to abstain from such representation, and to make such decision absent intimidation from either the union or their employer via the secret ballot election — the same process we use to elect our local, state and federal government officials. Interestingly, both cases stem from the President’s attempt to provide political payback to his allies in Big Labor through the Rogue NLRB.

In the first case, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if the President acted unconstitutionally when he made several recess appointments to the agency charged with oversight of labor-management disputes, the National Labor Relations Board. The lower courts, culminating in the U.S. Third Court of Appeals both found the appointments unconstitutional (see Supreme Court to Consider Obama Recess Appointments and Appeals Court Nixed Obama’s Recess Appointments). This case not only has important implications concerning the further shredding of our constitution  through ignoring the tenant of the separation of powers of the branches of government by appointing his nominees without review and agreement by the legislative branch.

In the case of the NLRB, the Obama appointees seek to achieve Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation. Simply put, the goal is to eliminate employees’ rights to a secret ballot election and replace it with Card Check as the means for employees to determine if they wish union representation. If you listened to the Administration’s and Big Labor’s rhetoric, what could be more simple and fair? Unfortunately, it is a process of coercion and intimidation as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep. A process aptly named Death by a Thousand Cuts, which forces employers and employees to capitulate and be subjected to the terms of the so called Neutrality Agreement through ruthless Corporate Campaigns. The so-called “neutrality agreement” is hardly neutral and subjects both the employees and the employer to labor intimidation.

The second case involves a question of the validity of Big Labor’s sacred cow, the aforementioned Neutrality Agreement (see BNA – Supreme Court Agrees to Review LMRA Case Involving Section 302, Neutrality Agreement). To appreciate this case and its relevance, one must understand why this agreement is so important to big labor. As documented in previous blogs, unions have been on a steady decline since 1947 when Congress, following more than a decade of union corruption, passed the Taft-Hartley Act. Of the many important provisions of the Act, perhaps none was more so than the guarantee of the secret ballot election which, for all intents and purposes, eliminated card check.

Since its peak prior to passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, union membership has dropped from approximately 35-40% of the workforce to a low of 11.3% today. Statistics gathered by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a drop of approximately 400,000 members in the last year alone. Big Labor, realizing its imminent demise, understands it must reinstate card check to survive and is relying on the President and his rogue NLRB to allow them to exploit a little known and hidden clause in the Taft-Hartley Act that allows unions and employers to mutually agree to representation through card check. Unfortunately, it is very rarely an agreement achieved through mutual consent. It is predominantly achieved by Big Labor through outright intimidation of employers and employees. What is interesting about this particular case is that it has been brought by an employee disgusted with the intimidation and the fact he believes his rights to a secret ballot election and protection of privacy have been violated.

One thing certain about these cases is that the justices of the Supreme Court will receive a tremendous amount of pressure from the Administration and its Big Labor buddies to overturn the decisions of the lower courts. The Gasping Dinosaurs, already headed toward extinction, understand all to well that if these decisions are upheld it will be the end of Big Labor as we know it in this country (see If ruling goes Against Labor Union, Organizing Could Get Even Harder). Additionally, the President and his party know all to well they need Big Labor’s financial and ground support to continue to win elections, as well as increase their grip on and expand an already oversized government.

Even more frightening for the future of the United States is what could occur if these decisions are overturned. If they are, the current administration will feel empowered to continue to appoint radical people to high positions, not just in the NLRB, but all areas of government. If they can eliminate the secret ballot election for union recognition and trample on the constitution to appoint government officials how long will it be before they expand these programs to every corner of the government? Can you imagine no secret ballot elections to determine our government officials and instead all being appointed by the President?  These are landmark cases.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

Putting “Teeth” in Right-to-Work

Having been involved in discussion regarding Right-To-Work legislation in Indiana and Michigan, I can attest to the tireless efforts of grassroots movements – by local businesses in Indiana and concerned United Auto Worker employees in Michigan – to achieve the goal of protecting worker freedoms. Statistical data shows that the implementation of a Right-To-Work law is positive, as such states see statistical growth in both population and jobs. Right-To-Work laws are important guarantees of the freedom of choice and the assurance of a lack of intimidation in the organizing process, but there is growing evidence that workers and management in RTW states are still subjected to union intimidation.

A recent article by Diana Furchtgott-Roth of The Manhattan Institute, suggests not.  Ms. Furchtgott-Roth points out that RTW states not only have the highest employment growth over the last 4-5 years, but they also have the highest growth rate for union membership! The statistics she presented were absolutely astonishing, but few people have picked up on the significance and logic behind the union growth in these states. The truly frightening part is the number of cases recorded, since Card Check is virtually unregulated and therefore untraceable.

“Why Union Growth: According to data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in 38% of all union recognitions in 2009, the latest year for which data is available, unions bypassed secret ballot elections and instead used card checks to unionize employees. Specifically, the NLRB reports that unions won 794 single-union representation elections. During that period, the NLRB recorded 485 notices of card check union recognition.”

Unfortunately, Big Labor’s “Gasping Dinosaurs” are a resourceful lot. Their political contributions have bought them the support of President Obama and his Administration, who has, in turn, appointed a Rogue NLRB. The NLRB is currently lead by heavily pro-union favored board members, many of whom were unconstitutionally appointed by the President (see Appeals Court Nixed Obama’s Recess Appointments). The result of this support is that Big Labor bosses see RTW states as a shining new opportunity to rebuild its declining membership. Unions understand that with the support of the indebted President and pro-labor support from the NLRB, they can achieve membership without an election through Card Check by utilizing their insidious campaigns of “Death by a Thousand Cuts.”

Once they have infiltrated the masses, Big Labor can then use the same type tactics against the newly forced unionized employees to ensure that they don’t exercise their right not to pay dues (or in some cases, belong to the union) under RTW laws. This can be accomplished by making sure that the uneducated are not advised of these rights, or by the specific targeting of persons who choose not to pay dues.  This can be accomplished because, unions are legally allowed to broadcast a list of those individuals who choose not to pay dues (see Worker’s Allege Improper Collection of Union Dues).

This raises concern, as it is unclear how the “dues-paying” union membership will choose to use this list. Membership who view non-payers as “freeloaders,” may be inclined to use unlawful force, threats, and/or intimidation in an attempt to alter a non-member’s decision. Unfortunately, most members ultimately cave, as employees subject to such intimidation have few options.  While this type of activity is unlawful, the sole oversight of these actions belongs with the National Labor Relations Board, a partisan governmental “agency” whose devotion to labor unions is well-documented and unquestioned. The process is timely, difficult to understand, and expensive – as it generally includes the involvement of an attorney to represent ones interest. With little oversight, Big Labor can continue to grow its membership in RTW states through a combination of employee and employer intimidation, with no government regulation to hinder its actions.

Although RTW has been a Godsend for many states, employees and employers, RTW laws need more “teeth” in order to truly protect employees and employers from ruthless forced unionization tactics. The following changes would eliminate the “behind the scenes” intimidation and allow for fair representation in union elections. Additionally, these changes would impose collective bargaining restrictions that would allow members to make decisions free of coercion as to whether they wished to remain part of the bargaining unit.

1. Reinstate Secret Ballot Elections:  Uphold the long standing belief in allowing people to vote their conscience through a “Secret Ballot Election” by inserting language that requires all union representation be achieved by secret ballot conducted under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Currently Indiana State Senator Jim Banks has introduced such an Amendment to the Indiana state constitution and Virginia has already passed such a law (see New Employee Privacy and Union Voting Rights Laws in Virginia Go Into Effect July 2013).

2. Eliminate Check Off Clauses:  Such clauses in collective bargaining agreements require unionized employers and government entities to deduct union dues from member paychecks and forward them to the union. These clauses are utilized by Big Labor through intimidation to force employees to remain part of the bargaining unit in RTW states. Unions should be required to be their own accountants and collect dues directly from the employees without third party involvement. In essence members would then have the ability to decide, just like in the free market, if the services/products they are receiving are worth paying for directly. This is no different than a person paying when satisfied for legal, real estate, investing, or other services/ products. It only makes sense, but is often a non-starter for Big Labor in contract negotiations (see Teachers Silenced by Teachers Union).

3. Eliminate Monopoly Representation and Outlaw Neutrality Agreements:  In The Devil at Our Doorstep, I presented the following as the first two points in my “Ten-Point Plan to Battle Big Labor.”

a) Replace the current union monopoly representation with a secret ballot election every three years, so unions have to justify their actions to the employees. Unions must obtain written consent from every dues paying member before using money on anything other than collective bargaining activities.

b) Institute a new regulation that outlaws neutrality-type agreements, which allow card check in lieu of secret ballot elections.

4. Rewrite State Extortion and Blackmail Laws:  James Sherk of The Heritage Foundation accurately proposed that we should modify state extortion and blackmail laws to include unions, which are currently not implicated under labor law. This would prohibit pressure campaigns which are designed to force an employer to surrender, rather than trying to persuade the employees to unionize.

Leveling the Playing Field through these changes and passing a National Right-To-Work Law are necessary steps to improve the economy and continue to create jobs absent the threat of Big Labor intimidation! It is imperative for this great country and the freedom of its citizens that new “teeth” are introduced to support and assure the success of the recently passed Right-To-Work laws.

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

OSHA Opens New Door for Big Labor

Last week, OSHA joined the ranks of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in furthering the Obama Administration’s push to implement “card check” as pay back for Big Labor’s political contributions and ground game support during the past two Presidential Elections (see past blog, Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation).

OSHA’s latest published “Interpretation Letter,” permitting non-union employees to utilize union reps as their representatives during an OSHA inspection is absolutely frightening (see ALERT – L&E_OSHA Interpretation Letter Non-Union Employees Representative). Just as frightening, is that this interpretation has not been widely reported by the mainstream media.

Perhaps the silence is the result of the media’s view that the provisions contained in the “interpretation letter” amount to nothing more than harmless, common sense provisions designed to assist employees who feel exposed to potential unsafe working conditions. On the surface this would seem reasonable. However, this provision has been part of OSHA regulations for years. Never before has it been interpreted to allow non-union employees to utilize a third-party union to act as their representative.

So why now? Despite the Administration’s best attempts, Big Labor continues to lose hundreds of thousands of members as they have lost all relevance and no longer deliver a product of value.  This action by the Obama Administration through its Chief Safety Regulator opens a huge opportunity for unions to enter non-union facilities under the auspices of government approval, and to begin organizing the employees. The unions have become enabled with recent Rogue NLRB decisions allowing unionization of small groups of employees, or “micro-units” within a business.  These actions are nothing but blatant Administration attempts to provide Big Labor the opportunity to get its foot in the door of non-union facilities where they previously had no chance to organize the workforce.

During the SEIU’s Corporate Campaigns against my company (EMS), the SEIU actually utilized this tactic in order to defame and intimidate the company into signing a Neutrality Agreement thus eliminating the secret ballot election and imposing Card Check, as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep. The SEIU was, ultimately, unsuccessful. However, had these two decisions been in place at the time, the SEIU might very well have been successful in organizing a small unit of employees within EMS’s workforce. The union would simply have to convince, by any means necessary, a couple of employees to join the union cause. They would then allege “safety violations” to OSHA, who would then likely appear for an inspection, generally encompassing not just the complained of activities, but any potential safety concern, no matter how large or small. This, of course, poses substantial risk, both financially and to the reputation of the targeted company.

The SEIU took these actions against EMS in Cincinnati and Indianapolis. If the SEIU would have been allowed to represent these misguided employees the outcome most likely would have been much different from what is related in the following excerpt from The Devil at Our Doorstep. The SEIU would have had even more access to our employees as their representative:

“When I believed the war could not become more bizarre, it did. Without warning, SEIU filed an OSHA complaint in Cincinnati against EMS. This government agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, establishes and enforces protective standards designed to prevent work-related injury, illnesses, and death. 

The complaint charged that EMS employees were forced to carry human body parts out in bags at a Cincinnati university, that there were hazardous chemicals and dust in the bio lab, and that people were getting nosebleeds from the poor conditions. Then SEIU sent out handbills and letters alleging that EMS was being investigated for OSHA violations at the university. The word “investigated” had its obvious repercussions, a crafty move by the union. Predictably, when the truth was revealed, it became known that the lab in question was a regular biology lab anyone in college might use. There was no dust found and no hazardous materials of any kind. Animal parts from dissections existed, but no EMS employees touched or disposed of them. Human body parts were nonexistent, a figment of some SEIU organizer’s imagination.

The university’s own investigation confirmed these facts, and its independent report was forwarded to OSHA, who promptly dismissed the charges. Regardless, SEIU had used an inflammatory allegation to file trumped-up charges against EMS to defame our company and the university.”

By taking these actions, the union accomplished their first objective – get in the door and commence the pressure against the targeted company.  The stage is then set for the union to achieve Card Check by offering to have the charges withdrawn if the company would simply sign the Neutrality Agreement. As a practical matter, this would eliminate the secret ballot election. The union would no longer have concern about whether or not they would be voted in by the employees. Overnight the company would be unionized.

What makes the timing of the OSHA interpretation so questionable is the fact that the President’s recent recess appointees to the NLRB have been found unconstitutional and all of their decisions over the past year have been placed on hold until constitutional appointments can be made and the decisions revisited (see National Labor Relations Board or NBLR – National Big Labor Resuscitation and Tip of the Iceberg). These decisions were extremely pro-labor and designed to allow Big Labor to bypass Corporate Campaigns and achieve Card Check. Once again, it begs the question When Will the Mainstream Media Wake Up?

David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.

One Man’s Fight Against Union Power

Entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley should pay close attention to the experiences of Dave Bego, the Indiana businessman who started a company from scratch. By 2006, after years of unrelenting toil and sacrifice by Bego and his family, Executive Management Services, Inc. (EMS) had expanded into 38 states and had 5,000 employees. Bego now had something so valuable it became an attractive target for unionization.

Bego’s story, which he has written about in two books and has turned into a one-man information crusade, is not unique. But his decision to fight back is very unusual, and his account of how his company was targeted has gone largely unreported. The details of his fight reveal a frightening lack of legal protection for company owners and their workers from union intimidation, as well as a dated, shamelessly abused set of exemptions shielding over-zealous union organizers from legal sanctions. A UnionWatch article from December 2012, “The Special Privileges And Exemptions of Public Sector Unions,” references several compilations of how unions escape many of the laws that govern the rest of us, but hearing about what actually happened to Dave Bego makes it far less academic.

It is conventional to assume that if somebody is critical of a union’s tactics, they must be anti-union. But even Dave Bego, who fought the SEIU for years, believes that unions have a legitimate role to play in a capitalist democracy. Because Bego, in an ad placed in the Indianapolis Star, offered to hold a secret ballot election among the employees to decide whether or not they wished union representation. As stated publicly in this ad: “EMS is very willing to let its employees vote in a secret ballot election conducted by the federal government to decide whether they want to be members of your union or not… we have encouraged you to seek an election since your first contact with EMS” (view EMS ad).

The problem unions have with a secret ballot election, apparently, is that the union might lose. When union representatives met with Dave Bego, and during all of their subsequent campaign of pressure and intimidation, what they wanted him to do was sign a “neutrality agreement” (view actual neutrality agreement presented to Bego). Here are highlights of what a neutrality agreement does:

  • The employer shall not “take any action or make any statement that will directly or indirectly state any opposition by Employer to the election by its Employees of a collective bargaining agent.”
  • The employer will sign a letter provided by the union, and distribute this letter to all employees, that is “assuring Employees of Employer’s neutrality in the matter of their union organizing.”
  • “Employer shall provide within five (5) business days a list of the names and addresses of all Employees within classifications subject to this Agreement.”
  • “…union will then present Employer with signed authorization cards or a petition memorializing individual Employees’ desire to be represented by Union for purposes of collective bargaining.”
  • Once the union has submitted union authorization cards from 50% of the employees, if management cannot come to terms with the union during the collective bargaining process, they must submit to binding arbitration.

What a neutrality agreement does is enforce the process known as “card check,” whereby instead of voting in a secret election whether or not employees want union representation, the union organizers gather individual signatures on consent forms. Armed with the home addresses of every single employee, the union has three years to target individuals, one by one, until 50% of them sign the card. This process, currently only legal if and when an employer signs a neutrality agreement, would become law of the land if the union-supported, misleadingly named “Employee Free Choice Act” ever becomes federal law.

Because the unions wanted Bego to sign a neutrality agreement, he refused on principle, because doing so would have denied his employees the right to a secret ballot election. That’s when the troubles started.

As summarized in Bego’s book, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” the SEIU embarked upon a campaign of persuasion that relied on laws designed to give unions an advantage over employers. Here are some examples of rules that impose double standards on the conduct of unions vs. employers during union organizing campaigns:

  • The “Persuader Rule,” which requires employers to publicly disclose all relationships with outside firms who may assist them to resist unionization. Not only are unions exempt from this rule, but because most employers have never encountered a union campaign before, they have no choice but to solicit outside advice on the legal issues as well as on how to effectively communicate with their employees. This rule gives the unions an opportunity to then attack anyone consulting with the employer.
  • The “Posting Rule” requires employers to post union provided printed material in their workplace, saying, for example, that all employees have the right to unionize – with contact information. But the employer does not have the right to post anything reminding employees that they are not compelled to vote for unionization.
  • Rules prohibiting “Interrogation,” or “Promising,” meaning an employer cannot meet with employees during a union campaign and ask them (i.e., “interrogate” them) what is wrong, or what can be done to improve work conditions. Similarly, during a union campaign an employer cannot remedy work conditions; that is “promising.”
  • Unions are exempt in many states from laws that make stalking an individual a crime, as well as laws that make many forms of extortion a crime.

In order to hold a secret election, the union has to get 30% of a company’s employees to sign a petition asking for a vote. To do this, their operatives approached EMS employees – over and over – on their way to work, in the parking lots, and sometimes even followed them home. They enlisted the support of local clergy, who organized blockades of buildings where Bego’s employees worked. Because EMS provides contract janitorial services, the unions organized demonstrations outside these buildings, intimidating the building owners in an attempt to get them to change vendors. They sent letters to the press and to EMS clients alleging “unfair labor practices” which in most if not all cases were without merit. Indeed, in November 2007, EMS filed a set of counter-charges (view EMS Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against SEIU), and in the subsequent NLRB hearing the ruling was in favor of EMS. Even the NLRB felt the union had gone too far.

These “corporate campaigns” occur every day across America. Most employers cannot withstand the pressure from the unions. At one point, the union campaign against EMS included enlisting children on Halloween night to go trick-or-treating in Bego’s neighborhood, and after being given candy, they gave each resident a union flyer:

While Bego has managed to successfully fight the SEIU, at least so far, most people can’t stand up to the intimidation that appears to be standard procedure for unions who operate a corporate campaign. Not only the company owners, but their family, their employees, their suppliers, and their customers face harassment. Sometimes this harassment escalates into vandalism and violence, with laws in place that create for unions a higher threshold before such acts become criminal. But the unions are lobbying for even more laws to assist them in their corporate campaigns. For example:

  • Unions have now won the right to form “micro-unions,” where they can carve out small groups of employees and hold a union election. If a union can’t get 30% of an entire retail store to sign cards calling for an election, they can now get 30% of the employees in one department of that store to sign the card, and an election will be held for that particular department.
  • Unions are pushing to lower the time period between when cards are submitted requesting an election from 48 days to 18 days; the so-called “Quick Elections” rule. This creates a significant advantage for the unions, because it takes time to communicate to employees that they are not compelled to vote for unionization. Many employees who have signed cards calling for an election believe that they are required to vote for unionization because they signed the card requesting the election.
  • Legalizing the “Card check” method of unionization, via the perennially introduced “Employee Free Choice Act,” would enforce the terms of a neutrality agreement on employers without their consent. Unions could then approach employees individually until they collected signatures from 50% of the workforce, eliminating the secret election ballot.

Eliminating unfair union advantages, currently built into federal law, would not necessarily eliminate unions. In a recent speech at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation (view speech – begins at 5:40), Bego emphasized that some workplaces probably would benefit from unionization. But unions must play by the same rules as the companies they negotiate with, employees should have a right to a secret ballot in elections concerning unions, and nobody should be forced to join a union.

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs come from a variety of ideological leanings, but it is accurate to state that most of them support Democratic political candidates. Perhaps this, combined with their extraordinary personal wealth, blinds them to the agenda of unions, despite the fact that public sector unions already control California’s state and most of its local governments and their unsustainable financial demands are contributing to the insolvency of those institutions.

If the Silicon Valley business elite want to maintain control of the companies they founded, and preserve the vitality of the new industries they helped create, they should take a careful look at the proper role of unions in 21st century America. Because the rules governing unions and union organizing are at a tipping point. If union-friendly legislation continues to emanate from Washington D.C., and Sacramento, the Silicon Valley may find itself on the front lines of a battle for which they are entirely unprepared.