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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.

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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.

Harris v. Quinn, an Important Limitation on Forced Unionization

On Monday, June 30, 2014 the United State Supreme Court issued its ruling in the important case of Harris v. Quinn.  While the case is limited in its ruling and scope, it is a critical one where the Court boxed in the ever expansionist reach of government employee unions. 

Background:

Mrs. Pamela Harris is the mother of a severely disabled son who needs constant care due to his disabilities.  A federal Medicaid program funds many state run programs that provides financial assistance by paying caregivers for these individuals who reside at home rather than in a more expensive nursing care facility.  Most often it is a family member who is providing this care and who is being paid to do so under this program.  The State of Illinois has such a program and by law declared these caregivers to be state employees but without any right to benefits, not subject to any control as to their time, place or methods of provision of care services (and provides that the caregiver is solely responsible to and is an at will employee of the customer (the disabled person)) and the State is immune from any liability to the disabled customer for any home caregivers negligence or intentional conduct.   

In 2003, first by executive order then legislation, the caregivers were forced to join a union, the SEIU, and pay dues, which the State withheld from their Medicaid payments.  Mrs. Harris and others challenged this forced unionization via this case.  She lost at the federal trial court and intermediate appeals court levels with those courts relying on a past U.S.S.C. court case Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Ed. 431 U.S. 209 (1977).  The Supreme Court, noting the importance of the factual situation described above, ruled in Mrs. Harris favor. 

Limited Ruling:

The Court (Justice Alito) performed a detailed analysis of the reasoning behind the Abood case, which upheld the unionization of full time government employees (there teachers) who were directly the employees of the Board of Education.   Justice Alito and the rest of the majority found that full time direct state employees are vastly different factually to what I would call akin to in-home independent contractors and limited the extent of the Abood ruling to full time direct government employees.  Further to extend the finding in Abood upholding required union membership (or agency fee paying) to this situation was a reach to far.  The Court stated:

If we allowed Abood to be extended to those who are not full-fledged public employees, it would be hard to see just where to draw the line, and we therefore confine Abood’s reach to full-fledged state employees. 

Once the Court found the holding in Abood was not controlling in this situation, it then did an analysis of the facts of this situation under “generally applicable First Amendment standards.”  Relying on cases like Knox v. Service Employees 567 U.S. ___ , 132 S. Ct. 2277 (2012), the Court ruled that the justification of preventing “free riders” benefiting from union negotiations for its members applying to those not paying for union dues / expenses, did not apply in the context of the Harris facts (in-home workers as described above).   

Once again, the Court noted several significant differences between the regular full time government employee and the in-home caregivers the Illinois statute attempted to force unionization upon.   For example, one justification cited by the unions is “labor peace” in not having conflicting unions vying for membership in the same union shop locations.  The Court noted that in-home caregivers are not in one place but always in the customers’ homes (which are often the caregivers homes’ as well).  Space does not permit me to go through all of the Court’s reasoning here.  The Court ordered that union dues and agency fees can no longer be withheld from a home caregivers’ Medicaid payments if they object.

Implications from this Ruling:

1. The Court effectively blocked forced government unionization of recipients of funds under government programs like Medicaid where the person receiving the payments is not a true “government” worker where the state agency controls the time, method and means of employment.   This is especially true where the legislature declares the “employee” is not entitled to any typical government employee benefits like pension rights.  The Court was very specific about the limited nature of the “employment” between the State of Illinois and the home caregiver.  

2. The Harris decision is not banning forced union membership (or agency payments to a union by those who do not join the union) for traditional full time government workers such as public school teachers, CHP officers, Firefighters, etc.   This is not a “right to work” decision for all government employees. 

3. However, a close reading of the Harris majority’s analysis of the Abood decision notes the current majority’s concerns that the policy and practical implications of Abood’s approval of closed shop laws for government employees.  Thus the majority justices may be open to a challenge from a more traditional full time government employee. 

4. Elections matter – the Harris decision and the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case (both critically important First Amendment cases decided on the same day) were five to four votes that included the swing vote of Justice Kennedy.  All of the four “liberal” justices voted in the dissent to uphold the forced unionization of the home caregivers in Harris (and to deny religious expression as argued in the Hobby Lobby case).  Thus the outcomes of the elections in the fall for control of the U.S. Senate and the White House in 2016 are critical as the make up of the Court could be the deciding factor on these important issues one way or another in the near future.

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About the Author:  Craig P. Alexander, Esq. is an attorney at law who practices in the area of insurance coverage, construction defect, business dispute and general civil litigation.  He is also a volunteer with the California Policy Center’s Transparent California Project. 

Unions Have Buyers Remorse Over Affordable Care Act

In last year’s blog, The Devil is in the Details: Buyer’s Remorse over Obamacare, Except for SEIU, Big Labor’s dissatisfaction with Obamacare was exposed. The exception being the SEIU, who was allowed to be the architect of the Affordable Care Act as repayment for its role in the President’s 2008 Election. There has been little written about labor union’s dissatisfaction with Obamacare. Big Labor, however, has not been vocal or shown visible support of Obamacare, especially during this time when the President has proclaimed the program’s success. This success has been attributed to 8 million people having signed up — despite the fact approximately 6 million people lost their private health care and that same 8 million is no where close to the 30 million uninsured Obamacare was supposed to cover.

It now appears many of the Big Labor bosses are experiencing buyer’s remorse! As Obamacare becomes a reality, many of the unions are demanding government subsidies to remain competitive at a time when membership is at a historical low. Only 11.3% of the total workforce and 6.3% of the private sector work force are unionized. Apparently most Big Labor bosses forgot the basic fundamental premise “Caveat Emptor” – meaning “let the buyer beware” – when supporting the President’s re-election campaign and backing his signature law, Obamacare (see Some Unions Grow Wary of Health Law They Backed). Evidently those astute business people bought in to Nancy Pelosi’s famous quote, “We must pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it!” Well, that is true for most Big Labor bosses, except for those at the SEIU.

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Recently big labor bosses have received a new wake up call, as those collective bargaining contracts signed before Obamacare was put into law are now expiring, and they are facing a new hurdle of deciding whether to negotiate increased health care costs due to Obamacare mandates such as dependent children must be kept on their parents health insurance until age 26 as well as increased future costs for premium plans and other mandates as chronicled in Unions, employers square off over ObamaCare costs, or to continue to press for employee wage increases as they have traditionally done. Unions, including the SEIU, representing housekeepers, transit workers, flight attendants and more are waking up to the fact that their buddy in the White House steamrolled them, just as he has in his support of climate change and rejection of the keystone pipeline (as chronicled in Obama and NLRB Continue to Cost Union Jobs).

Ironically, the SEIU was the President’s major supporter for the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 2008. In fact, Andy Stern, then President of the SEIU, made it very clear that the SEIU would not support any candidate that would not make universal health care its primary objective during the first term of office. Then Presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, leapt on board, knowing full well he not only needed the financial support of the largest union in the country, but also its vaunted ground game! Although his campaign was supported by the other unions, all of which also supported universal health care, the devil was in the details. When the SEIU saw an opportunity, they took it.

The difference between the SEIU and the other major players now wary of Obamacare, unions such as the Teamsters, AFL-CIO, Unite Here, The Sheet Metal Workers International, International Union of Operating Engineers and others, is that the SEIU represents a majority of unionized workers in the U.S. health care industry! The SEIU not only represents nurses, orderlies and other medical personnel at healthcare facilities, but also other important and necessary support positions at these facilities such as janitors, security personnel and food service workers. Additionally, the SEIU represents home health care workers and health insurance employees in many states (see Is Obamacare Redistributing Wealth to Big Labor?).

Universal health care was envisioned as a veritable jackpot by the SEIU as the positions mentioned previously would expand exponentially with the projected 30 million new Americans on health care, and to date, are looking at a net increase of approximately 2 million. This would have served as a means to substantially increase the SEIU’s membership and subsequent revenues from dues in a relatively short period of time. What a let down for the SEIU! Of course that bonanza also meant increased political donations and ground game foot soldiers for the President and the Democratic Party.

Incidentally, it is common knowledge that very rarely were people turned down care at emergency facilities and that Medicaid was already available for those in need, obviously one of the major reasons Medicaid was insolvent. Don’t misunderstand; it is important that affordable health care be available to all Americans who wish to be covered. However, available coverage for all could have been achieved through allowing freedom of choice, and not a mandate. As for affordability, we could have accomplished this feat by removing barriers to the free market, utilizing ideas to eliminate restrictions on competition across state lines, developing legislation for tort reform and producing meaningful modifications to the immigration laws. Unfortunately, this common sense style approach does not work for the President, liberal democrats or unions like the SEIU, who all depend upon each other for survival.

Don’t be surprised if the President and his Administration don’t reverse field in an attempt to find a way to placate the currently disenfranchised big labor bosses before the 2014 Mid Term Elections, where maintaining a majority in the Senate is imperative to both the Administration and the big labor bosses. After all, it is vital that they keep the circular money pump in motion in order to stay in power and avoid extinction, no matter the expense to the American people, including rank and file union members.

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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.

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“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.

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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 and Allies Escalate Tactics as Mid-term Elections Approach

Activity by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Department of Labor (DOL) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as several of the largest labor unions, over the past two weeks evidences the Obama Administration’s growing anxiety as the mid-term election approaches. The Administration, facing loss of the Senate and ultimate control in both houses, continues to direct its agencies to pass union-friendly regulations and to impose its interpretation of current law to favor accelerated forced unionism. The Administration and Democratic Party represent a typical symbiotic relationship where they are co-dependent upon each other for future survival. The Administration needs union contributions and union foot soldiers to have any chance of maintaining a senate majority and making gains in the house during the 2014 mid-term elections (see Union Money in Elections). Conversely, Big Labor is finally recognizing and admitting that their declining membership is a major problem and they need the Administration’s help (see AFL-CIO admits declining membership a major problem).

In order to get the ball rolling, several pro-labor steps have been taken by OSHA, the NLRB and the Department of Labor (DOL). First, OSHA has reaffirmed its position that union officials may accompany OSHA inspectors on safety inspections in non-union facilities. This issue was reported in a previous blog, OSHA Opens New Door For Big Labor, and was more recently presented by the CEO of PJS on the Greta Van Susteren Show this past week, in CEO: How union organizers are targeting my non-union company. The union involved – the SEIU – used such tactics as part of its ongoing Corporate Campaigns to force a cleaning company in Houston to sign a Neutrality Agreement and achieve forced unionization through Card Check, as described in SEIU Uses Federal Inspections to Target Houston Small Business. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the SEIU is buying votes in polls and gaining naive media attention, from media groups like the Los Angeles Times, to support its attack on fast food companies as chronicled in Beware SEIU, Especially Bearing “Polls”.

Not to be outdone, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board is looking to limit the ability of business owners to relocate their businesses without approval of the union (see NLRB will limit ability of unionized business to relocate). This move is an obvious attempt to preserve union membership heading into the midterms while taking away the fundamental right of a free market society. On a bright note, House, Senate Leaders Introduce Legislative Response to NLRB Ambush Election Rule, which was approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee this past week

In a surprising move, the NLRB complains Walmart Black Friday protesters broke rules, went too far and must Cease and Desist! This decision was made by a local NLRB Region and is not expected to survive the pro-labor board in Washington D.C. Finally, the DOL, under the Administration’s direction, limited the reporting responsibilities of unions during the President’s first term. Labor unions, particularly the United Food and Commercial Workers continue to take full advantage of it by funding OUR Walmart, a “Worker Center” operation utilized to advance its Corporate Campaigns against Wal-Mart in an attempt to force Card Check and force unionize Wal-Mart’s workforce.

The UAW appears to be attempting to force Volkswagen into Card Check. This past week, an anti-union group said Volkswagen may ignore the election results and bring in the union, basically agreeing to Card Check. Additionally,Unable To Sell Unionization On Its Merits, The UAW Turns To Race, Rappers And An Actor For Aid, and the UAW Bosses Turn To Bovine Excrement Manufacturing. Despite the fact these tactics continue not to work for the UAW, the union has decided to continue to press the issue and to replace outgoing President Bob King with UAW Secretary Treasurer Dennis Williams who supports King’s tactics. Once again The United Auto Workers Promote Failure. Isn’t the definition of “insanity” to repeat the same things over and over again, with the same failed results?

Finally, the question must be asked, is the unionization of college sports spreading? The answer appears to be both yes and no. Recent reports indicate that the University of Notre Dame could be next (see Notre Dame could be next front in union battle). However, it appears any progress on this movement will take a long time as Northwestern University has filed an appeal on the decision made by the NLRB administrative law judge finding college athletes to be “employees” (see Northwestern University Appeals NLRB Ruling on Athletes as Employees). Contrary to the judge’s finding, an Ohio bill says college athletes aren’t employees.

Unions and the Democratic Party desperately need money as mid-term elections approach as discussed in It’s All About the Dues Money! Desperation is setting in despite the fact the Administration has aligned the federal labor agencies in big labor’s favor. The American people are beginning to wake up, and businessmen across the country are standing up to big labor’s Death by a Thousand Cuts Corporate Campaigns and saying “no” as chronicled by the PJS CEO and this Hilarious Car Dealership Outwitting Labor Union Tactics — And This Video May Just Be the Victory Lap where a Wichita auto dealership beat a union at its own tactics.

Desperation is setting in and it is only going to get uglier as the mid-term elections approach.

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.

It’s All About the Dues Money!

I have repeatedly stressed the fact that today’s big labor bosses care little about the rank and file membership and are only interested in the dues money they can collect to line their own pockets and use for political persuasion. This has surfaced more the past several weeks and is worth highlighting as we approach the 2014 Mid-Term Elections.

First, almost a year ago, my company began negotiations with the UAW after they won a secret ballot election at a plant we clean in the south. Kudos to the UAW for honoring the secret ballot election process, after their request for a Neutrality Agreement was politely declined. Negotiations were scheduled and, after brief introductions at the first meeting, the UAW negotiators made the point they had researched my company and did not wish to engage in any animosity during the negotiations. A point to which we concurred.

Immediately following, the local president requested “good wages and benefits” for the members. Knowing the prior company had been organized by the UAW, our attorney presented a copy and asked if the wages and benefits in that agreement were acceptable. Upon receiving confirmation from them that they were, I politely made the observation that our company’s wages and benefits were comparable or better to which they agreed. When asked if they had any other demands the other negotiator requested a recognition paragraph, recognizing the UAW as the exclusive representative of the employees. We agreed to this, as they did win the election.

At that point we presented two requests. The first was that a paragraph be inserted underneath the recognition agreement explaining that the state of Tennessee had a “Right-To-Work” law and that the employees could opt out of paying union dues if they so desired. The negotiator look surprised, squirmed in his seat, and said “What else?” I explained we would not agree to a “Check Off” clause, which requires the company to deduct union dues from the employees’ paychecks and send it to the union. The eyes of the negotiator and the local’s president became as wide as saucers. The negotiator responded, “I have my marching orders that has to be in the contract.” I stated that the company would not accept such a provision as it presented potential liability, and that we were not going to be the union’s accounting firm. The negotiator closed his notebook and they both stood up and said they would schedule another meeting in the future. To date we have not met with them again. Obviously, it is all about the money. Furthermore, despite the length of time since our last meeting, the employees are happy!

A second incident involved the Operating Engineers Union Local 324 in Michigan. Evidently, the RTW law that became effective about one year ago is not setting well with them as they have announced publishing a Quarterly “Freeloaders” List  of those who opt-out of union membership, including the name and place of employment of those persons. Proof once again that big labor has no interest in the rights and welfare of American workers, but only in “union power” and the money that makes it happen — “Dues” from members’ paychecks! Interestingly, the Operating Engineers Union in Northwest Indiana filed suit to have RTW in Indiana found unconstitutional, under the theory that it forces them to represent people who do not pay dues. The case is currently pending with the Indiana Supreme Court.

The third story revolves around “forced unionization” and dues collection from home health care workers in several states across the country, notably including those in the U.S. Supreme court case Harris vs. Quinn currently being reviewed. This case stems from the SEIU attempting to force unionize Home Health Care Workers in the state of Illinois regardless of whether they are interested or not in joining the union.   Apparently, Illinois law allows the SEIU to organize family members and owners of home health care organizations based on the premise that the people providing care receive reimbursement through Medicaid or Medicare. It is apparent that the SEIU is nervous about losing the pending SCOTUS decision as they are now trying to force unionize home health care workers in California, who were merely paying union dues to the SEIU without being formal members of the union (see Are SEIU Union Bosses in a Panic after SCOTUS heard Harris v. Quinn? Looks Like it.). The SEIU obviously only cares about the money as they were absconding it from home health care workers without providing any representation or benefit in exchange.

Next, in a display of Big Whopper Economics, unions now believe the reason employees in fast food restaurants don’t get paid more is because the franchisees don’t have a decision- making voice in pricing of products which determines employee wages and benefits. Big labor’s solution is that the franchisees should rebel against the corporations like McDonalds and organize their own union to deal with corporations for decision-making capabilities. Sounds like another big labor attempt at organizing more people for the sake of money!

Finally, the United Steel Workers want to organize college football players at Northwestern University. Kain Colter, the quarterback at Northwestern University, has been hoodwinked into trying to organize college athletes, saying the NCAA is a dictatorship and the athletes have no control over compensation or safety (see College athletes take step toward forming union).He conveniently forgets that he received a free college education and other benefits worth well over $30,000/year, as well as future support by the college in finding employment. This is obviously another desperate ploy by theGasping Dinosaurs  to increase membership roles and increase the sacred cow “membership dues” to line their own pockets and use to gain political power.

It would appear that these acts of desperation occurring all at once are mere coincidence, however, the fact that the country is fast approaching the 2014 Mid-Term Elections, with polls showing potential loss of the U.S. Senate by Democrats and Republicans maintaining the U.S. House majority, big labor bosses can foresee ultimate extinction descending rapidly. Why else would they be “The elephant in the political spending room” while accusing people like the Koch Bothers of dominating political contributions, when big labor contributes 15 times what the Koch Brothers do (see Letter: What does the left hate the Koch brothers so much)? Simply put, it is all about future dues money to line their own pockets and continue political power.

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.

Harris v. Quinn: A Mother Petitions the Supreme Court in Fight Against Unions

I have tried to steer clear of inflaming names like “parasite” when speaking about public unions. In this case, no other word comes close to describing the setup.

Making Millions Off the Disabled 

One brave mother, Pam Harris, has resisted forced unionization of herself (as a sole home-caretaker, in her own home, for her disabled son Josh). She resisted all the way to the Supreme Court.

An email from Diana Rickert at Illinois Policy Institute describes the setup. You can also find her article on the Chicago Tribune.

With immense disgust, I present Making Millions Off the Disabled

 Josh, the youngest child in the Harris family, was born with a rare genetic disorder. He lives with severe physical, cognitive and emotional struggles. This means the day-to-day tasks most of us take for granted — waking up, splashing water on his face, eating — require a lot of help.

But Josh is blessed to have a family that loves him. They always have been there for him.

In fact, his mother, Pam, has stayed home full time to take care of Josh for the past 25 years. Josh is her primary focus. Not her career. Not vacations. Not social outings with other moms. The truth is, Pam is doing what any mom would do: fighting to give her son the very best care she can.

Josh’s care is expensive. The Harris family is fortunate enough to receive a modest Medicaid benefit administered by Illinois state government. Josh is eligible to receive up to $2,130 per month, or roughly $25,000 a year.

But here is where the Harris family’s story takes a disgusting turn.

Henry Bayer wants some of Josh’s money. In fact, he feels entitled to it.

Who is Henry Bayer?

Bayer is the executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, one of the state’s largest government unions.

Bayer’s salary — approximately $145,000 in 2012, according to public records — is paid for by union dues from government workers. Compulsory union dues, from government workers who must pay money to Bayer and his union whether they want to or not.

Illinois politicians have a dangerously cozy relationship with government unions. In 2009, these close ties paid off: Gov. Pat Quinn issued an executive order to unionize the people in Josh’s program.

Imagine having to pay union dues to collect food stamps or unemployment. That’s what the executive order meant for Josh. For him to continue receiving his Medicaid support and his mother to be his primary caretaker, the Harris family would be forced to give part of their benefit check to either the AFSCME or another union, the Service Employees International Union.

The Harris family wouldn’t stand for it. They alerted other families in the program, and when it came time to vote on which union would represent them, the vote was clear: 220 votes for AFSCME, 293 votes for SEIU, and 1,018 votes with an emphatic “no union!”

Pam Harris and others took their fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oral arguments in Josh’s case were heard Jan. 21, and a decision is expected this summer. Josh’s story has garnered national attention.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court hearing, here is what AFSCME’s Bayer had to say in response to a Chicago Tribune editorial in favor of Pam Harris: If you don’t want to pay union dues, you shouldn’t be eligible for state aid.

A few years before the executive order to unionize the program that the Harris family participates in, Quinn’s predecessor, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, unionized another, similar program for the disabled. The unions didn’t even bother taking a vote that time; they conducted a questionable card-check operation to claim a slim majority of people in this program wanted to pay dues to SEIU.

According to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, since 2009 the SEIU has siphoned more than $52 million in union dues from the families in this program.

Pam Harris Video

Here is an interesting video by Pam Harris.

Forced Association

The Illinois Policy Institute was overly polite.

Pam Harris and others are forced against their will to join unions. Those unions do absolutely nothing for Harris except suck like giant parasites, money that should go to the disabled.

It would be fitting if the Supreme Court ruled the SEIU and AFSCME parasites not only have to stop the practice, but also have to pay back the $52 million they stole, plus interest.

These disgusting, parasitic practices occur in many other states as well.

Freedom of Association

I am all in favor of freedom of association. People who want to join the Boy Scouts can. People who want to join the NRA can. People who want to form any kind of work union can. I am happy to let those unions exist.

However, the reverse should be true as well. No one should be forced into an association (or forced into dealing with associations) if they don’t want to.

Imagine the outrage if liberals were forced to join the NRA to get jobs as teachers!

Yet, somehow it’s OK if conservatives have to join the SEIU to take certain jobs. In the case of Harris and other caretakers, the jobs don’t even exist, except for the parasitic collection of union dues!

Forced membership into organizations is nothing more than a form of slavery. And “collective bargaining” is a euphemism for the slavery of forced membership.

Yes, it is indeed that simple, no matter how nice the union slave-masters try to make it sound.

I propose, and hope, that the Supreme Court issues a broad ruling on the matter, ending the slavery of forced collective bargaining once and for all.

About the Author:  Mike Shedlock is the editor of the top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, offering insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education.

Public Union Foes and Defenders

The basic premise behind public employee financed campaigns is that the election is now while the bills may be deferred for years, particularly if they take the form of pension promises. Eventually, however, the bills do come due. This is why Governor Mitch Daniels (R-Indiana) said he decided on his first day of office in 2005 322 to end public employee collective bargaining rights and to stop collecting union dues. Without the state collecting dues, only 10% of union members chose to stay enrolled by paying their own dues.

Governor Chris Christie (R-New Jersey) stood before 200 of his state’s mayors in 2010 and declared that the era of “Alice-in-Wonderland” budgeting is over: “Money does not grow on trees. . . . For New Jersey and any number of other states and municipalities, it’s useless to pretend. . . . We have no room left to borrow. We have no room left to tax.” Chris Christie went on to say that his treasurer had presented him with  possible budget deletions or freezes to balance the budget and that he had adopted . Almost all observers thought that this was the end of the Governor’s career. Instead it made him a national figure and even won approval from New Jersey voters.

Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) was elected in 2010 and immediately moved to restrict collective bargaining for benefits (excluding police and fire) and also to stop collecting union dues. This led to a firestorm of protest and a recall election, which the Governor won. Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio), also elected in 2010, restricted public employee collective bargaining, including police and fire, but his actions were overturned by voters in a 2011 referendum.

In retrospect, Kasich’s chief error was in not moving to end automatic state collection of all union dues. Scott Walker’s experience in Wisconsin in this regard is highly instructive. Walker’s position was that the state would continue collecting all dues until the end of the contract. After that, dues would only be collected with the consent of the public worker. What actually happened was that two-thirds of workers enrolled in AFSCME, the state’s largest public union apart from the teachers’ NEA, refused to give their consent. As in Indiana, the political power of the union took a major hit. As Jim Geraghty commented in the National Review: “Apply this across the country . . . and you’re talking about . . . a game-changer in so many states.”

Ironically, a federal court ruled in 1966 that a union did not have the right to use member dues for political purposes if a member objects. But few union members know about the right to opt out or, if they do, may feel intimidated in pursuing what are called their “Beck rights.” Moreover the unions make it very difficult by stalling on Beck rights requests, smothering them in endless red tape, and refusing to calculate what portion of the dues apply. If, however, the public employer refuses to collect full dues for the union automatically and instead asks the member whether dues should be used for political purposes, it is much easier for the worker to express a preference.

As we have noted, the rules governing state and local public unions differ from those governing federal workers. The former can usually engage in collective bargaining and go on strike; the latter seem to serve little purpose other than to collect dues and put a share of it at the disposal of the Democratic Party. Despite these differences, federal wages and benefits have also risen, so that taken together they now exceed what can be earned in the private sector for the same job. This is a remarkable reversal: fifty years ago, it was generally understood that federal workers would earn less in exchange for more days off, slightly better benefits, and almost total job security.

Studies purporting to compare federal with private work levels do not agree with one another, but the Congressional Budget Office has found that, comparing employees of comparable educational level, federal wages are higher at lower pay scales, similar at middle, and somewhat lower at the high end, with benefits much higher across the board. Taken together, the federal employee advantage is 16%. In addition, federal employees work three hours less per week on average and one month less per year. An earlier Labor Department study found that state and local workers make 46% more, so federal workers were not doing as well. Other studies, however, suggest all categories of government pay are more like twice as high as private, when the net present value of soaring retirement awards, often equal to final year pay, is taken into account.

The number of very highly paid federal employees has also increased, even during the years following the Crash of 2008. For example, in early 2008, the Labor Department had only one employee earning $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, there were 1,690 such employees. Over the same period, all federal employees making more than $100,000 rose from 14% to 19%. One federal employee, working in a government green energy lab in Colorado, was reported in 2012 to be making just under $1 million, with two deputies making over $500,000 each, and nine others making over $350,000. The number of all jobs during the economic recession of 2008–2009 also rose in the federal government, unlike in the private sector, where over eight million disappeared. It is not at all surprising that by the end of 2010, seven of the ten richest counties in the US surrounded Washington, DC.

Having come into office on a wave of union support and money, the Obama administration literally opened its doors to union leaders. Andy Stern, the head of the powerful SEIU, visited the White House more often than any other political figure during the first six months. What he seemed to want most was “Card Check” legislation that would end the secret ballot in union organizing. President Obama and Democratic leaders strongly endorsed the bill, but it must have lacked some Democratic votes in the Senate, because it was never put forward for a vote, despite overwhelming Democratic majorities in Congress.

President Obama found other ways to reward labor. During his first weeks in office, he signed executive order 13502, which made union membership a requirement of anyone working on federal construction projects. He also opposed Senator Jim DeMint’s (R-South Carolina) National Right to Work bill, which would have ended compulsory union membership as a job condition in all states (23 states have their own versions of this law).

The President backed a decision by the Democrat controlled National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) intended to block Boeing’s plan to move 787 Dreamliner plane construction from unionized Washington to union-free South Carolina. He backed another highly controversial decision to force companies to turn over their employees’ private email addresses and telephone numbers without employee consent to union organizers. He also tried unsuccessfully to force companies doing business with the government to reveal all political activity or donations, a rule that would not have applied to unions. By early 2012, he had granted waivers from his Obamacare legislation to unions representing 543,812 employees (also to administration friendly companies with 69,813 employees).

Meanwhile the president kept subsidies flowing to the Post Office which, despite massive losses, reliably collects union dues from workers, which are then made available to Democratic campaigns ($3.6 million in the 2010 election cycle). Other countries have successfully privatized their mail delivery. The obstacle to doing this in the US is that postal workers, like other government employees, are deemed to be, for the most part, reliable Democratic voters, and their union is regarded as an indispensable political cash cow.

Crony-Capitalism-in-America

About the Author: Hunter Lewis is co-founder of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. He is co-founder and former CEO of global investment firm Cambridge Associates, LLC and author of 8 books on moral philosophy, psychology, and economics, including the widely acclaimed Are the Rich Necessary? (“Highly provocative and highly pleasurable.”—New York Times) He has contributed to the New York Times, the Times of London, the Washing­ton Post, and the Atlantic Monthly, as well as numerous websites such as Forbes.com and RealClearMarkets.com. This post is an excerpt from Chapter 20 of his most recent book, Crony Capitalism in America: 2008–2012.

Big Labor's Divide and Conquer Strategy for 2014

Shortly before returning from his 17-day vacation in Hawaii, the President resumed divisive rhetoric by reprimanding House Republicans for going on a “holiday break” and not staying in Washington D.C. to pass a measure to extend unemployment benefits for needy Americans. The benefits were allowed to lapse, as they were not included in the budget  signed by the President prior to his vacation.

Now, Congress prepares for a battle over jobless benefits. The first vote by the U.S. Senate was to restore the expired unemployment benefits. The President and his fellow Democrats allowed the benefits to expire and agreed to the budget as part of their plan to distract the American people.The President understands just how important the upcoming 2014 mid-term Elections are, and is attempting to deflect attention from the miserable failure that is Obamacare. This is merely their opening salvo in a desperate attempt to “divide and conquer” the Republican Party and the American people.

Additionally, as President Obama Urges Steps to Resolve Income Inequality, the Democrats are planning a minimum-wage push to create a “National Living Wage,” supported by his allies at the SEIU. Much like the tactics of his mentors in big labor, the President will not explain the byproducts of such action – the loss of jobs and a weaker economy, which Thomas Sowell addresses eloquently in his article,  No compassion in minimum wage laws. Common sense dictates that an Unprecedented Minimum-Wage Hike Would Hurt Jobs and the Economy. Even the democratic D.C. Mayor Vetoed the ‘Living Wage’ Bill (see also 5 Ways the Liberal Obsession With Income Inequality Hurts the Poor and Dems Believe Income Inequality To Be the Winning Issue In November).

Furthermore, in the background, the President  has quietly had his radical appointees at the National Labor Relations Board (see “Rogue NLRB”), the Department of Labor (DOL), and OSHA imposing new regulations such as allowing “micro-unions,” requiring reporting by employer-supporting “persuaders” (see DOL Changes the Rules Again), and allowing union access to employer facilities during OSHA inspections (see OSHA Opens New Door For Big Labor). These new regulations are all aimed to provide Big Labor the opportunity to process their Death by a Thousand Cuts-style Corporate Campaigns, with the end goal of forcing businesses to sign a Neutrality Agreement  and impose Card Check.

If this is accomplished, unions would be able to force unionize people quickly and collect badly needed dues. In turn, these unions will continue to provide political contributions to elect their allies and the ground game necessary to win the mid-term election. Make no mistake about it, big labor needs help and it is evident that they are Becoming Desperate. The UAW needs income so badly it is considering a 25% dues increase for its current members, which seems strange when their membership continues to diminish.

As discussed in Obamacare Provides Unfair Advantage to Big Labor, the President unilaterally postponed the “transitional insurance” fee for 2014, which eliminated millions of dollars in costs for the unions so they can pour the money back into the 2014 mid-term elections. The timing on all of this makes sense, as big labor has a vested interest in seeing Democrats win back both Houses and essentially providing the President Rule by Fiat, while trying to avoid extinction with support from their political friends.

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.

Why Raising Minimum Wages Does More Harm Than Good

On Friday, Salon reported Breaking: Massive Black Friday strike and arrests planned, as workers defy Wal-Mart.

 Defying the nation’s top employer and a business model that defines the new U.S. economy, Wal-Mart employees and allies will try to oust shopping headlines with strike stories, and throw a retail giant off its heels on what should be its happiest day of the year. By day’s end, organizers expect 1,500 total protests in cities ranging from Los Angeles, Calif., to Wasilla, Alaska, including arrests in nine cities: Seacaucus, New Jersey; Alexandria, Virginia; Dallas; Minneapolis; Chicago; Seattle; and Ontario, San Leandro, and Sacramento, California.

On December 1, the New York Times reported Wage Strikes Planned at Fast-Food Outlets.

 Seeking to increase pressure on McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants, organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and protest activities in 100 additional cities.

The movement, which includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, is part of a growing union-backed effort by low-paid workers — including many Walmart workers and workers for federal contractors — that seeks to focus attention on what the groups say are inadequate wages.

The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

Officials with the National Restaurant Association have said the one-day strikes are publicity stunts. They warn that increasing pay to $15 an hour when the federal minimum wage is $7.25 would cause restaurants to rely more on automation and hire fewer workers.

On Aug. 29, fast-food strikes took place in more than 50 cities. This week’s expanded protests will be joined by numerous community, faith and student groups, including USAction and United Students against Sweatshops.

Fight For 15

Inquiring minds are investigating the Fight for 15 website. Here is a snip.

 Stand with striking Chicago fast food and retail workers!

We, hundreds of fast food and retail workers, went on strike at 30 stores in the Loop and the Magnificent Mile to demand $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. Employers like McDonalds, Whole Foods, and Sears are raking in enormous profits while workers like us, mostly adults with families, don’t get paid enough to cover basic needs like food, rent, health care and transportation.

We are risking our jobs as we continue to stand up and say ENOUGH. And we need everyone who supports us to join us. It’s time to give every worker a chance to survive and thrive – and strengthen Chicago’s economy.

Applicants a Mile Long

Whenever Wal-Mart opens up a store it gets tens of thousands of applicants for a couple hundred openings. People want the jobs.

Here’s the deal. If you don’t like the job, then don’t take it.

It really is as simple as that.

Should Companies Pay Workers More?

The economic illiterates think companies should be forced to pay $15 per hour. Is it even possible?

Let’s do the math.

Wikipedia
 reports Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world as well as the biggest private employer in the world with over two million employees.

In its last annual report, for the 12 months ending January 31, 2013, Wal-Mart had $16.999 billion in net income.

That sounds like a lot of money, and it is, but not as much as you might think. I do not have a breakdown in headcounts, pay scales, or number of part-time employees, but let’s assume that half of the 2 million workers make $8 an hour (75 cents above above minimum wage) and work 30 hours a week.

$15 an hour would be an increase of $7 per hour. $7 multiplied by 30 hours per week, multiplied by 52 weeks a year, multiplied by 1 million workers is $10.92 billion, well over half Wal-Mart’s profit.

There would also be a large number of full-time employees making above $10 per hour but less than $15 per hour.

Bump up those employees to $15 per hour and the company would not even be profitable at $15 per hour minimum. Moreover, sales would plunge at Wal-Mart, as would sales at McDonald’s and Wendy’s.

The pressure to automate would be great, and marginal stores would surely close. Yet, prices across the board would soar, and so would yields on US Treasuries (and of course interest on the national debt would skyrocket).

Then, how long would it take to discover that $15 was not a “living wage”? Less than a year?

Wal-Mart a Savior or a Pariah?

The idea that raising the minimum wage to $15 would fix anything is ridiculous.

I am not totally unsympathetic to the plight of those struggling, but I am totally unsympathetic about minimum wages because the problem is the Fed, not minimum wage laws.

Cheap money coupled with rising minimum wages encourages investment into automation as opposed to hiring of individuals. Cheap money also drives up costs of goods and services.

And given that cheap money primarily benefits those with first access to it (the banks and the already wealthy), it is not surprising that people are struggling.

Rather than protest Wal-Mart (a company that does the world a service by providing over 2 million direct jobs and millions more indirect ones), people ought to be protesting the Fed.

About the Author:  Mike Shedlock is the editor of the top-rated global economics blog Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis, offering insightful commentary every day of the week. He is also a contributing “professor” on Minyanville, a community site focused on economic and financial education.

Same Old SEIU, Same Tired Attacks

Never a group to let an opportunity go to waste, the SEIU planed to disrupt travelers at major airports all over the country, and to attack retailers such as Wal-Mart during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Their plotting is all in the name of “social justice,” which is no more than a code name for forced unionism. The SEIU would have you believe that it has the best interest of employees at heart, and that employers like Wal-Mart “abuse” their employees through the payment of poverty wages, while lining their own pockets with the company profits. In fact, this past week, the SEIU sent out the following e-mail to its members stating that Wal-Mart pays such low wages its employees cannot afford a Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, Wal-Mart is hosting a food drive so they can eat on Thanksgiving.

Walmart doesn’t pay workers enough for them to afford Thanksgiving dinner, so they’re holding a food drives for their employees. Seriously. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Walmart stores in Ohio have bins set up for underpaid associates to donate canned goods to other underpaid associates.

We have a better idea, Walmart: Pay your workers enough to put food on the table.

If you agree, please RSVP at to join the Walmart Strikers in their fight for fair wages and respect at work.

It’s great that workers are looking out for one another, but nobody who works for one of the richest companies in the world should have to worry about not having enough to eat.

This is hardly the first time Walmart has asked for charity so they can avoid paying employees enough to get by. Low-income workers still need food, housing and healthcare, so taxpayers end up paying up to $1.7 million in public benefits per Walmart Superstore.2

We’re proud to stand with the workers who think they should be able to afford their own Thanksgiving dinners.

Join us on Black Friday to show the workers you have their back.

In solidarity,

Alesa Mackool

SEIU

The SEIU is in the midst of a Worker Center Scheme, recruiting new membership through force unionization, and attempting to bypass the National Labor Relations Act as discussed in Promises, Promises: Desperate Unions Grow Weary of Phony Distractions. They will be using these naïve recruits to bolster their ranks. The SEIU has created Worker Centers because they fall outside the rules of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore are not subject to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regulations. Through these Worker Centers, unions are able to operate and attack without restriction, allowing for even more deplorable and ruthless tactics. The real ticker is that these Worker Centers have a Tax-Exempt Status and are Funded by the American  Taxpayer.

Additionally, the SEIU and other unions will be holding Union Rallies at Airports across the country, alleging these employers are paying low wages and offering sub-par benefits. The goal is to make Americans believe these employees are being abused and mistreated. Ironically most of the SEIU protestors will be hired off the street for small cash amounts and have no idea what they are protesting. The SEIU has decided to cause as much disruption and inconvenience during one of the nation’s biggest travel holidays to embarrass these employers across the country and call attention to their cause. This is all a calculated effort to intimidate companies into signing a Neutrality Agreement and imposing forced unionism on their employees through Card Check.

As Americans shopping and traveling to visit their loved ones are disrupted by the rallies and picketing during this great national holiday, it is important to remember the true objective of these Gasping Dinosaurs. It is not to improve wages and benefits for the employees of these companies, but rather to force unionize employees by embarrassing the employers on a national stage. The truth is, the SEIU and other unions want more money in the form of union dues to enhance their political power. Just as Unions Showed True Colors on Labor Day, these Thanksgiving attacks are all about big labor’s attempt to avoid extinction. Hopefully, Americans will see these tactics for exactly what they are, nothing more than Communism at the Highest Level, and relegate the SEIU and other big labor unions into the junk pile of history.

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 Obamacare, Part 2: How Unions Got Obamacare Passed

Unions were at the forefront in the desperate campaign for Obamacare.

The organization “Health Care for America Now!” included some 1,030 organizations and was the principal coalition working to pass the program. HCAN’s 20-member steering committee included the AFL-CIO, the Communication Workers of America, the teachers’ unions (both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), along with Working America, an AFL-CIO front group.

Taking the lead in organizing unions and their allies for Obamacare was Dennis Rivera. Rivera was the longtime head of the nation’s largest union local—Local 1199 (SEIU Healthcare Workers East)—until he left that job in 2007 to run SEIU’s national effort to organize healthcare workers. In his new position, he was working for Andy Stern, the SEIU president who would later be the most frequent visitor to the White House in the early days of the Obama administration. Back then, in 2007, Stern said Rivera was perfect as chair of SEIU Healthcare because “He’s tough, smart, and compassionate, just what’s needed to transform healthcare in this country. At this moment in history, as the winds of change are blowing toward fundamental healthcare reform, and as SEIU redoubles its efforts to fix our broken healthcare system, Dennis’ decision to shift his focus to the national effort couldn’t come at a better time.”

Stern was eerily prophetic. Rivera was the perfect person to lead the change. Rivera’s specialty at Local 1199 was forming alliances with businesses and hospitals, as well as spending heavily on campaigns that supported his political friends and punished his political enemies. He was close to the leading Democrats in New York (and served on the transition team for Gov. Elliot Spitzer in 2006-2007), but he also took advantage of splits within GOP ranks, partnering with Gov. George Pataki and other Republicans who had big business ties. His skill at building anti-taxpayer coalitions would prove invaluable to the Obamacare effort.

In June 2009, shortly after President Obama took office, the pro-Obamacare “Kaiser Health News” reported that “Unions have created a formidable political machine for the battle on health care, one that they’re already begun to deploy to support their positions and undercut those they oppose. They say they’re ready to spend $80 million.”

The unions’ greatest worry was that they would spark a backlash among voters, such as the backlash against Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan that, in 1994, gave Republicans control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. Said Len Nichols of the left-wing New America Foundation: The unions understand “that if Democrats fail, last time we got [House Speaker Newt] Gingrich, this time we could get [conservative radio host Rush] Limbaugh.”

(The worriers were right: The backlash against Obamacare gave Republicans, in 2010, their best election in 60-80 years, but by then the program had already become law.)

Forewarned and forearmed, prepared for perhaps the key political battle of their lifetimes, the pro-Obamacare unions and their allies set up their “Health Care for America Now!” campaign on Washington’s K Street, the infamous home for special-interest lobbyists. The operation was funded by MoveOn.org and other organizations funded by billionaire George Soros, and by Soros-connected donors such as the Atlantic Philanthropies, Peter Lewis of Progressive Insurance, and Herb and Marion Sandler. The tax disclaimer for HCAN stated: “HCAN is related to Health Care for America Education Fund, a project of the Tides Center, a section 501(c)(3) public charity.” On the board of the Tides Center was ACORN founder Wade Rathke [see Part 3, to be posted Monday, November 11].

During the campaign for Obamacare, SEIU’s Dennis Rivera took the lead in forming alliances with industries that hoped to profit from the new system directly (health insurance, non-doctor-owned hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry) and indirectly (companies like Walmart that hoped to dump their employees’ healthcare costs onto the taxpayer). Rivera also took advantage of the can’t-we-all-just-get-along weariness of opponents of nationalized healthcare. Many of them had been persuaded by the major news media that President Obama and the Democrats and their healthcare-rationing ideas represented the wave of the future; others wanted a place at the negotiating table as the nation’s healthcare resources were divvied up. In 2009, Crain’s New York Business reported:

Dennis Rivera, the indomitable labor leader, was on Capitol Hill in late June to persuade members of a powerful House committee to include a public insurance option in its massive overhaul of the nation’s health care system. Karen Ignagni [representative of the health insurance industry], perhaps the most feared lobbyist on the Hill, was there to sway the lawmakers in the opposite direction. Yet during a break in the hearing, Ms. Ignagni—whose group of insurers served up the “Harry and Louise” ads that helped kill the Clinton health care reform effort—walked over to Mr. Rivera, greeted him with a warm embrace and asked to meet the following week. . . .

[After his success in New York forming coalitions with Republicans and businesses, Rivera] has exported his mastery of transactional politics to the Beltway, appealing equally to would-be adversaries’ self-interest and their fears to lure them to the table. . . . As chairman of the Service Employees International Union’s health care division, he’s brought together groups including insurers, drugmakers and doctors—all of whom defeated previous attempts at reform. In a nation grown weary of confrontational politics, Mr. Rivera’s brand of bridge-building has injected civility into a complex process, forging a path to health care reform that has eluded Washington for decades.

Rivera, as the healthcare chief of the union most closely connected to President Obama, blurred the lines between his union and the Obama Administration. “To some degree, Dennis is an independent actor, and to some degree, he’s working for the White House,” said a senior vice president of a medical technology group. “That played into making the process a success and people wanting to get involved. It’s not too great to be on the wrong side.”

During the Obamacare campaign, Rivera convened strategy sessions at 9 a.m. in a “war room” at SEIU headquarters. According to Crain’s, the campaign deployed “an army of 400 SEIU staff and members who are fanned out across 16 priority states. Union leaders have identified 20 senators and nine representatives they believe need some swaying to the cause of reform, and researchers have produced 100-page dossiers on each of them. The reports contained detailed information ranging from lists of associates who might influence these legislators to notes about how they typically respond to TV ads that protest their positions. The union has drawn up specific plans to target each elected official, ranging from writing letters and making phone calls to bird-dogging and holding sit-ins. If an official typically doesn’t respond to union pressure, it’s duly noted, and sympathetic leaders from religious or women’s groups have been primed to work them over.”

Particularly valuable in Rivera’s effort were left-wing groups that are not perceived by the general public as left-wing, such as the AARP and the American Cancer Society, which are thought by most people to be a senior citizens’ group and a traditional charity.

One of the key politicians with whom Rivera formed an alliance was Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. A relative moderate from a conservative state, Baucus had little history with SEIU before 2008. Rivera targeted Baucus, gradually building a relationship, then using the endorsement of so-called “reform” by Walmart as leverage to get Baucus on board. Without the help of Baucus, it’s unlikely Democrats would have held together in support of Obamacare—and without the unanimous support of the Senate’s 60 Democrats, the legislation could not have passed.

The irony: It was Baucus who, this year, labeled the rollout of Obamacare a “train wreck.”

Rivera’s efforts bore fruit when Obamacare passed Congress. In the course of the campaign, the legislation’s supporters had labeled opponents as racists who only fought against the President’s program because it was proposed by a black man. In a 2010 speech, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recalled personally witnessing the racism of Obamacare opponents on the day of the key vote: “I watched them spit at people. I watched them call [civil rights hero and U.S. Rep.] John Lewis the N-word.” Recordings of the incident proved that no such display of racism ever occurred, but it hardly mattered. Claims by opponents that Obamacare would be a disaster, claims that were backed up by the most thoughtful analysis available, hardly mattered. To the unions, what counted was victory. Any problems could be fixed later—right?

Dr. Steven J. Allen (JD, PhD) is editor of Labor Watch. This post is the second of a three-part series originally published by Labor Watch, a project of the Capitol Research Center, and is published here with permission.

Right-to-Work States Beware

Right-to-Work states need to take heed of several recent events, which are prime indicators of big labor’s intent to revitalize its sagging membership roles and the administration’s intent to support them. The most recent event was Terry McAuliffe’s victory over Ken Cuccinelli in last weeks Virginia Governor race, where the Unions Poured Millions of Dollars to Support McAuliffe’s Campaign, led by the SEIU’s approximately $540,000, because McAuliffe has “hinted” he would not stand in the way of Right-to-Work (RTW) being overturned in Virginia.

This is just the Tip of the Iceberg when discussing the recent union assaults on RTW states. In mid September, a Lake County judge in Indiana agreed with a suit filed by the International Union of Operating Engineers and found Indiana’s RTW Law to be Unconstitutional, because it was unfair that unions have to represent employees who do not pay dues. This case will be reviewed by the Indiana Supreme Court in the near future, and most likely be overturned. An easy way to solve this union concern is by Putting “Teeth” in Right-To-Work laws, inserting language that would  eliminate the “Check Off” clauses in collective bargaining agreements. The “Check Off” clause requires employers or government entities to deduct union dues from employees pay checks and send those dues to the union. The unions would simply collect the dues directly from the employees who desire union representation and work only in their behalf. What could be more fair?

Also, in the past couple of months, the UAW has launched a Corporate Campaign against a Volkswagen Facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee and a Nissan Facility in Canton, Mississippi, both RTW states. The goal is to force management at these plants to sign a Neutrality Agreement, which eliminates the secret ballot election for workers, replacing the process with Card Check. This prevents employees from choosing if they want union representation or not through the secret ballot election, and reverts to the ruthless practice of force unionizing employees against their will!

The current Administration, in need of big labor’s support in the upcoming 2014 Mid-Term Elections, is attempting to “grease the wheels” and make it easy for big labor to execute Corporate Campaigns against employers in RTW states. They have appointed Radical Pro-Labor Department Heads at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor (DOL), as seen in Labor Department goes on rulemaking spree and OSHA Seeks to Make Big Companies’ Worker-Injury Records Public. The goal is to change regulations, implement new rules and overturn past decisions so that big labor can embark on expansive organizing campaigns in America’s union scarce southern regions, where employment is growing. If successful, this could bring about serious political upheaval in favor of the Administration, as the unions would gain more dues paying members.

Both the Administration and big labor understand that they desperately need more political allies and money to survive, as the U.S. Supreme Court Has An Opportunity to Protect Fundamental Freedoms and potentially deal a death blow to Card Check in the coming months, big labor’s only remaining hope to avoid extinction.

The first case will begin this week, on November 13th, where The Devil at My Doorstep will be utilized as evidence by the law firm Ogletree Deakins, in an amicus brief defending an employee from a company in Florida (RTW state). The company bowed to union pressure by signing a Neutrality Agreement, subjecting its employees to the ruthless union Card Check process. Instead of giving in to the card  process, one employee had the backbone to stand up to the Unite Here union bullies, and contacted the National Right to Work Committee, headed by Mark Mix. The NRTW Committee has been working to defend his rights and is taking his case to the Supreme Court. The second case, involving the Constitutionality of President Obama’s Recess Appointees to the NLRB, will be heard early next year. If upheld, this decision could stop the NLRB’s current march to change regulations that allow for the unfettered use of Corporate Campaigns by big labor to impose Card Check upon unsuspecting employees.

The outcomes of these cases will no doubt determine the future of big labor. In the meantime, with the support of the current Administration, big labor will wage an all out war on RTW laws and RTW states in an effort to increase membership and political power. There is no doubt these states, and RTW across the country, are in the crosshairs of the big labor bosses and the Administration. It is imperative that these states and all Americans defend the Right-to-Work legislation, as it is a basic American freedom.

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.

University of California Releases SEIU-Funded Report Justifying SeaTac Wage Measure

Someday a member of the Board of Regents of the University of California will have the courage to suggest that hosting the Miguel Contreras Labor Program at the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses compromises the academic credibility of the institution and taints the overall image of its research programs.

In the meantime, the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO and individual union entities continue to enjoy the public relations benefits of having the prestigious University of California name and logo on its propaganda operation. It probably isn’t a coincidence that the UC Labor Program often releases its reports and studies just before legislative votes on related bills and elections on related ballot measures.

On November 3, a media relations specialist in the University of California at Berkeley Office of Public Affairs posted a bulletin on the university’s News Center web site: “UC Berkeley Report Raises Alarm about Falling Wages, Outsourcing at U.S. Airports.”

It announced that “a new UC Berkeley study to be released” on Monday, November 4 reveals that “outsourcing of airport jobs that once sustained middle-class careers has left many airport workers in jobs characterized by insecurity and low wages…According to the authors, airports can take steps to address these wage declines.”

And what are those steps? The report “comes as voters in SeaTac, Wash., a city adjacent to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, consider a local ordinance that would set a $15-per-hour minimum wage for many airport and airport-related workers…”

That election was held on November 5. As of 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time, the Proposition 1 ballot measure was leading 54% to 46% in the vote count.

It’s unclear if the report – Course Correction: Reversing Wage Erosion to Restore Good Jobs at American Airports – made a difference for any voters, as it appears that none of the major news sources in the Seattle media market reported it. However, the Los Angeles Times published an article on November 4 about the ballot measure (Seattle Suburb to Vote on $15 Minimum Wage for Airport, Hotel Workers). It cited the report and quoted the report’s lead author, Ken Jacobs, the chairman of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education (an affiliate of the University of California Miguel Contreras Labor Program).

Like the report itself, the Los Angeles Times article noted that the report was funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a major backer of the SeaTac Proposition 1. The Service Employees International Union-United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW) is trying to organize contractors at Los Angeles International Airport and has even filed a lawsuit (SEIU-United Service Workers West v. City of Los Angeles, et al.) contending that the environmental review of the airport’s future construction plan violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).


Kevin Dayton is the President & CEO of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC, and is the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues at www.laborissuessolutions.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DaytonPubPolicy.

 

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 Power, Not Worker Welfare, Motivates Attack on Nonunion Employer

After battling the SEIU’s Corporate Campaign against my company, and ultimately winning, I firmly believed that I had experienced corruption at its worst. Sadly, I was mistaken.

It all began in January 2012 when my company was awarded a housekeeping contract in Kokomo, Indiana, a city that benefited from a major portion of the President’s 2009 Stimulus Package and Auto Bailout. It was an unprecedented award, as we were the first non-union cleaning contractor to be awarded the facility. Our staff replaced approximately 30 United Auto Workers (UAW) members, who did not lose their jobs, but rather were absorbed into the plant operations. The most striking part of the transition was how successful we were. Plant management was ecstatic with the cleanliness, efficiency and safety of our company and employees. Our employees were happy and the employees at the plant were happy with a cleaner facility. This pleasant relationship continued for over 6 months, until the UAW International raised its ugly head.

Apparently, it did not sit well with the powers-to-be at UAW International that a non-union contractor could be successful at a “union” facility. They sent a corporate organizer espousing the belief that the employees, who to that point had not requested union representation, needed union “protection” and deserved better wages and work rules. The sudden appearance of the UAW International had nothing to do with the employees, but had everything to do with their fear that if we were successful in this plant, that we could begin picking up more “union” plants across the country, thus threatening their future membership dues and way of existence.

Consistent with their SEIU brethren, and in line with the direction of the NLRB since President Obama’s recess appointments in attempt to create Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation, the UAW immediately contacted us about signing a Neutrality Agreement, which they instead labeled as a “Partnership Agreement.” This blatant misrepresentation would be the first and least onerous of the many that would be spewed by the desperate Gasping Dinosaurs to secure the unionization of our employees. We responded to the UAW just as it did when the SEIU requested we sign a Neutrality Agreement in 2007, we were still not interested in signing away our employees’ rights to a secret ballot election (for more details, read The Devil at Our Doorstep). Despite several contacts by the UAW organizer requesting that we sign the “Partnership Agreement,” we respectfully declined. Giving credit where credit is due, the UAW did not threaten us with a Corporate Campaign, in fact things became suspiciously quiet going into Thanksgiving last year.

Unfortunately, the silence did not last long. The day after Thanksgiving we received notice that the UAW had petitioned for an election to determine union representation for our employees. Immediately we responded, as we had the past, that we expected both sides to conduct themselves with integrity and within the guidelines of the law and NLRA regulations. We also wanted the election to be held as close to the 42-day mandated period as possible, despite knowing the coming holidays would complicate the process. The UAW agreed to an election date of January 8, 2013. This agreement would be the UAW’s last act of civility and integrity during the process.

The day before the election, January 7, 2013, it was clear that the employees were likely to vote against UAW representation, in a close election. Subsequently, the UAW International took it upon itself to ensure a victory. The UAW International contacted the customer’s corporate executives in Detroit and secured an agreement that if the employees would vote for union recognition, the customer would pay us increased costs, including a wage increase of $5.00 per hour, associated FICA, FUTA, SUTA taxes and insurance, plus any applicable overhead and margin increases. This meeting took place without our knowledge nor the involvement of local plant management, who was responsible for budgets and profitability. That same evening the UAW met with our employees at a local Pizza Hut and disclosed the deal. They told our employees all they had to do was vote in the UAW in order to receive the raise in pay.

The next day our employees, coerced by the union “incentive,” voted in the UAW as its representative. Interestingly enough, our local management at the plant received a phone call approximately 1 hour before the secret ballot election closed and was told that an agreement had been reached and that we would be reimbursed for the increased costs in labor and wages for the facility. I personally received a call a few days later from the customer, verifying the call we received on election day. The most astounding part of the call was that the customer provided us with the exact dollar amount, per hour, it would be reimbursing us, which corresponded almost perfectly with the cost of the wage increase, associated taxes and benefits that the UAW promised employees the night before the election. I sincerely believe that both the UAW and the customer believed that because we would be receiving more revenue, including profit margins, that we would accept the money, negotiate a contract, pay employees more and everyone would be happy. They never considered that we would take the moral high ground and refuse the money.

We immediately filed charges and Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) with the National Labor Relations Board (aka the Rogue NLRB), knowing it would be an uphill battle considering President Obama’s payback to big labor, in the form of unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB. The Regional NLRB, to its credit, determined that hearings should be held based on the claims and evidence. Despite significant testimony from employees and the customer’s plant management, as well as other information that clearly implicated the UAW in corruption and coercion, the NLRB found in favor of the UAW.

The decision came as no surprise, based on the NLRB’s “pro-labor” stance under the current Administration. Undaunted, we appealed the decision, which moved the process to Washington D.C. for review. This review would come from the same board that had already been ruled unconstitutional by the United States D.C. Circuit Court, and who believes it can circumvent the Constitution by changing regulations, reversing decisions and making decisions that enable big labor to wage war on employers in attempt to achieve Card Check and force unionization on employees. The NLRB responded as expected, finding in favor of the UAW.

Immediately, the UAW requested to begin contract negotiations, which we declined. Since the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision had been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, after finding the recess appointed board members unconstitutional and placing their subsequent decisions and regulation changes on hold, it seemed logical that discussions would be fruitless until the Supreme Court reached a decision. The UAW quickly returned to its intimidation tactics. They contacted our customer and threatened a strike at the facility unless we began negotiations. The customer, so intimidated by these tactics, canceled our contract, not for poor quality or service and not for refusing to negotiate with the UAW, but for convenience. The corporate office then awarded the contract to a “union” contractor, against the wishes of the local plant management who was instructed to remain neutral and quiet. The whole scenario begs the question, if the customer wanted to pay higher wages, why didn’t they talk to us about it in the very beginning? By offering to build in higher wages for our employees, they could have protected them from the shackles of big labor and required union dues. We would have been more than happy to negotiate with the customer directly for improved wages for our employees.

This same scenario is currently being played out in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the UAW is attempting to Force Unionize Volkswagen Employees through use of a Neutrality Agreement and Card Check. In this case, the union claims they have enough votes to win an election, but instead of holding a secret ballot election, which they say takes time and effort, the facility should utilize Card Check. Based on personal experience and as chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep, the truth that was discovered upon talking to my employees throughout these scenarios, was that they were intimidated and lied to about the cards they were signing. This is most likely what is occurring at the Volkswagen Plant, the UAW is merely attempting to achieve Card Check through the back door, and the economic impact of these events could be devastating.

Once again Big Labor’s Gasping Dinosaurs are demonstrating their desperation as they continue to utilize intimidation and coercion to force unionize employees with their “ends justify the means” quest to avoid extinction.

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.

Will the Media Ever Report on the Political Agenda of the SEIU?

Once again the SEIU is utilizing its patented Persuasion of Power  to achieve its political goals and to boost its dwindling membership. Over the past two weeks, the SEIU has aired television commercials (see SEIU Pushes Seven Figure Ad Campaign for Immigration Reform) to support President Obama’s immigration policy, to initiate a living wage attack campaign against McDonalds and Wal-Mart (see SEIU.org Action Page), targeting Home Health Care Workers and to attack conservatives working to balance the liberal media (see Koch money shouldn’t influence our media — we want to see “Citizen Koch” aired). The SEIU is reaching far and wide to achieve one simple goal – to increase its membership, thereby resulting in increased revenues and political power.

The SEIU’s actions do not suggest they are concerned about Restoring America’s Prosperity. Their ambitions are philosophical and aimed at increasing political power. If they truly cared about America’s future and the future of immigrants caught in limbo they would pursue policy outlined in the DREAM Act. Instead they pursue a policy that will increase their own membership and voter base, at the expense of American workers who will suffer reduced wages due to an increased labor force that will continue to grow due to lax border security, and ultimately drive wages down for the average worker.

Once these persons are integrated into the labor pool, labor unions will use them to a demand payment of a “Living Wage,” and will use this as a focal point to unionize workers at companies like McDonalds and Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, the SEIU is already attempting to use its federal and state political connections to force unionize home health care workers — even those solely caring for their own family members. The SEIU, the Obama Administration, and liberal state politicians believe since these workers are receiving payment from the government they are eligible to be unionized under President Kennedy‘s  Executive Order – 10988,  which allows federal employees to organize. However, the order says nothing about federal employees being forced unionized.

Finally, as previously discussed in Is the IRS Employee Union Part of Obama’s Ground Gameconservative groups are being secretly investigated and attacked in an attempt to control elections and, more importantly, to control the media and the message which it delivers, which is essential to winning elections. The SEIU recently distributed an e-mail asking member support to Prevent the Koch Brothers from Acquiring the Los Angeles Times, a paper vital to the support of the SEIU and the Obama Administration. As chronicled in The Devil at Our Doorstep, these are the same type tactics the SEIU utilized to have Glenn Beck and Republicans removed from FOX news.

Unfortunately, these tactics are extremely effective. Media outlets like FOX News, whether liberal or conservative, are concerned about revenues. Despite utilizing phrases like “bold and unafraid,” at the end of the day, fear of lost revenues intimidates the media into toeing the union/Administration line. The SEIU understands that 95% of businesses and employees will bow to the Persuasion of Power. When will the media  expose the SEIU, despite the short term loss of revenues and profits?

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.

How Unionization Helped Turn the IRS into a Weapon of Partisan Politics

It is largely accepted that President Obama’s re-election was in a large part due to the efforts of big labor and its foot soldiers (see Romney and GOP Steamrolled by Big Labor Corporate Campaign. Apparently, the number of union foot soldiers utilized in big labor’s overwhelming ground game was even greater than initially realized. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), an organization which can be fairly characterized as the “anti-Tea Party,” has played a prominent role in  utilizing coercive tactics during investigations into Tea Parties and other Conservative groups in effort to intimidate them and their members into staying out of the 2012 election campaign. Two high level meetings at the White House with big labor bosses from the NTEU and other unions occurred prior to the 2012 Election (Obama and the IRS Smoking). These meetings make it apparent the President enlisted the NTEU to utilize the same “Death by a Thousand Cuts” style and tactics to effectively neuter his political opposition, while other major unions were on the ground recruiting and intimidating naïve, easily, misled and misinformed voters to go to the polls to support the president.

On December 3, 2009 the White House hosted a Christmas Party where several major unions were represented including the SEIU, Unite Here, UFCW, Chicago Federation of Labor and of course the NTEU. Evidently this was more than a Christmas gala. Within six days of  the gala, the President issued Executive Order 13522 which “allows employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all work place matters.” In other words, NTEU labor boss Colleen Kelly and her foot soldiers were provided the discretion to attack those groups opposed to the President’s re-election.

On March 31, 2010  Colleen Kelly met with the President and evidently was given marching orders to begin the attacks as reported in American Spectator. The very next day after Colleen Kelly’s White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:

April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

These IRS tactics come along with the recent revelation of other behind the scenes tactics:

  1. Secretly accessing Associated Press reporters phone records.
  2. Secretly accessing FOX News reporters phone and e-mail records.
  3. Secretly using the National Security Administration to spy on American citizens.
  4. Construction of a massive Nation Security Administration facility to bank phone and e-mail records of American citizens.
  5. Secretly assembling and arming a civilian militia under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security.
  6. Pushing for immigration reform without adequate provisions for securing the borders.

These are all tactics designed to put opponents on the defensive and recruit idealists and the gullible and naïve. These type tactics were used extensively against EMS as detailed in The Devil at Our Doorstep. In fact, when EMS was involved in an appeals hearing against the SEIU and subpoenaed information from the SEIU it was appalled to find a dossier about five inches thick containing personal information about EMS’s owners. Information it was using and intending to use to defame and intimidate the owners as exemplified by the fact the SEIU utilized this information to expose the owners unlisted home address and have little children trick or treat in their neighborhood on Halloween 2007 handing out fliers accusing EMS cleaned buildings being “Houses of Horror.” At the same time union thugs were driving up and down the streets terrifying the neighbors. The whole intent was to intimidate EMS into signing a Neutrality Agreement thus achieving the SEIU’s goal of Card Check, which it knew it would win.

It is woefully apparent this President, who was trained by the SEIU, is utilizing the same tactics on the American public and his political opponents to achieve his and his handlers agenda (see Obama and the SEIU, Sittin’ in a Tree).  Most concerning is that the mainstream media,  politicians, columnists, and commentators still cannot see through the President’s sleight of hand.  When will all Americans of all political persuasions wake up and realize this administration is in the process of creating a police state, one that uses advanced technology to totally control our lives. It wants Americans to be “dumbed-down,” unarmed and fully dependent on the government. It is Time to Connect the Dots.

The Obama Administration’s track record of misinformation and deception speak volumes. If the American people would judge the President by his action, and not by his words, they would see through the smokescreen, and  realize he cannot be trusted with access to such powerful information. There is still time for America to expose the Administration’s actions for what they are and to put it on the defensive, and America on the road to recovery.

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.

Public Sector Unions Threaten Owners of LA Times Not to Sell to Koch Bros.

Union excess, echoed with approval by their media allies, especially in liberal San Francisco, has hit an almost absurd level.  Non-union hotels like Hyatt are inexplicably vilified in the liberal press.  The nurses at the University of California’s hospitals, including U.C. San Francisco, have gone on strike, over, among other things, their objections to “unprecedented executive excess.”  U.C officials reportedly say the real reason for the strike is that the union that represents the nurses, the Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, doesn’t want to change employees’ generous pensions.  “The union has refused to agree to UC’s pension reform started in 2010 to address underfunding of the plan,” said a U.C. spokesperson.  Even the Symphony in liberal San Francisco finds a reason to go on strike, causing cancellation of what was termed a “prominent East Coast tour.”  Something seemingly as docile as the annual meeting of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank is forced out of their own headquarters city, where the meeting has been held each year for 15 years, and placed instead in Salt Lake City, for fear of “Occupy” protesters, cheered on with financial support from the California Teacher’s Association, disrupting the meeting.

But now ten public employee unions including the SEIU, the California Labor Federation and the California Professional Firefighters Association are so worked-up that the conservative Koch Brothers might become owners of the newspaper publishing Tribune Company, the parent company the Los Angeles Times, that they have rallied liberal Democratic legislative leaders to join them in threatening the current largest shareholder of Tribune, Oaktree Capital Management, with retaliatory withdrawal of pension fund investments should Oaktree make the sale.

Such thuggery seems not too far afield from criminal racketeering, and stands out as an example of how far California’s major unions will go to silence a different view.  So much for promoting competition of ideas in California!

James V. Lacy is co-founder and managing partner of Wewer & Lacy, LLP.  Wewer and Lacy, LLP focuses on Election Law and Nonprofit Organization Law matters.

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.

How Republicans Can Fight Against Forced Unionism

During my recent trip to Washington D.C. I was asked to speak to the Republican Whip Committee, a group of approximately 50 Republican U.S. House members charged with the responsibility of preparing and securing support for passage of “priority” legislation. I used this time to provide the Whip Committee with the background of my battle against the SEIU and the tactics the SEIU utilized against my company, employees, customers and family, and then drew the parallel to the tactics utilized by the current Administration and the Democratic Party to push forward their progressive agenda.  I concluded by encouraging the Committee to adopt the tactics that led us to victory — to go on the offensive; to make the opponent defend its lies; and to expose the misinformation, propaganda, coercion, intimidation and diversion tactics utilized to achieve their goals.

After briefly explaining my background and providing a short history of the SEIU’s use of thuggish tactics through a Corporate Campaign in attempt to force unionize my employees by means of Card Check, I then laid out our successful strategy. We were able to turn the tables by utilizing the SEIU’s very tactics, but did it in a manner which did not sacrifice our integrity or professionalism. We went to the press, and exposed that the unions representations about how we mistreated employees were not true, but simply SEIU fabrications. In fact, we took out an advertisement, not only challenging the SEIU’s misinformation campaign, but challenging the SEIU to “put its money where its mouth is.”  We publicly agreed to a secret ballot election where employees could vote their conscience without fear of intimidation or retaliation, knowing that they would wilt at the challenge.

We also accumulated significant evidence of SEIU engaging in conduct in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and filed 33 “Unfair Labor Practice” charges (ULP’s) against them in one day.  By doing this, we confronted them with their own deplorable tactics, and forced them to defend their actions. Most importantly, we made a concerted effort to meet with all of our employees and our customers on site to explain our position and the reality of the SEIU propaganda, misinformation and its goal of elimination of their rights to a secret ballot election to decide if they desired SEIU representation. In essence, we developed a “big tent” approach to the problem — and it worked.  The people listened, they understood, and the SEIU disappeared.

I implored the Committee to take the same “big tent” approach with the Obama Administration. The President’s tactics are learned from his days as a community (a.k.a. union) organizer. They are learned directly from the SEIU (as explained in Time to Connect the Dots).

The time has come to expose the Rules of Obama Power War, which, like the SEIU tactics misinformation, misdirection, intimidation, coercion and diversions, are all designed to put the Republicans on the defensive. Instead, the Republicans should stand tall and go on the offensive by burying Obama with investigations into his unconstitutional conduct (see Strategy: Bury Obama In Investigations). Utilize the same strategy that EMS used when it filed the 33 ULP charges against the SEIU in one day.

I explained that just as Ralphie learned in the movie “A Christmas Story,” the bully only understands and responds to the punch in the nose. Finally, the Republicans need to reach out to traditionally non-Republican groups, and to explain the reality of the President’s socialist designs and its impact upon their prosperity and freedom. They must do this again and again until the message resonates.

I sincerely hope I made an impact with this gracious and attentive group, as I truly believe that the future of this great nation is at stake and we must have representatives who are willing to stand up and fight for our survival; people who are willing to stand up to the abuse and be prepared for the political and financial cost it will take to save America by going on the offensive. In the days following my speech I began to notice an momentum towards and offensive, and then this past week an article in the Wall Street Journal GOP Issues Scathing Self-Analysis attracted my attention and the attention of the nation. I was happy to see that the underlying theme and tactics proposed during my speech were entwined within the new direction laid out by the RNC. Now, we need our representatives to have the intestinal fortitude to take the fight to the Administration and its socialist cronies like the SEIU and other far left organizations and individuals who only care about themselves. It is time to take the offensive and save this great nation for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

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 Intimidates Media, Glorifies Socialist Dictators

Once again the mainstream media and our elected officials have given the SEIU and its ally in the White House (see Puppeteer) a free pass with regards to their socialistic/communist leanings. The recent passing of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez made international news, but very little was heard in the mainstream media from the President or the SEIU.

Despite the fact it was reported that the SEIU celebrated Chavez’s passing as a comrade, very few in the mainstream media stepped forward to expose the SEIU’s Insidious Tentacles  that infiltrate the White House (see SEIU Celebrates Comrade Hugo Chavez and Chavez Celebrated at SEIU Offices in New York).  Why was an organization that has openly demonstrated its communists beliefs by marching with communists in California once again given a free pass (see Communism at the Highest Levels?). Why wasn’t the close relationship between the SEIU and most powerful man on earth, and their close tie to and support of, Hugo Chavez exposed by the media (see SEIU Exposed)?  The only answers can be either, (1) a philosophical agreement, or (2) a fear of retaliation in the form of attacks upon donors or revenue sources such as advertisers in the case of the media.

While the uninformed might find it hard to believe that the media could be bullied by an organization such as the SEIU, we have seen evidence of it recently. As related in The Devil at Our Doorstep, Fox News succumbed to the SEIU’s call for people to boycott Fox’s advertisers unless Fox called off Glenn Beck’s attacks on the SEIU. Glenn Beck, who had arguably the most popular T.V. show in America at the time, was throttled and eventually asked to leave Fox because of these attacks on Fox’s advertisers (reference the SEIU’s site Glenn Beck and Republican Violence).

The fact that the SEIU’s celebration of comrade Chavez’s passing was not even given a mere mention by the mainstream media, and its indiscriminate attack upon Fox News, are perfect examples of the SEIU’s Persuasion of Power. A power condoned by many state and federal politicians, including the present administration, in exchange for political support. The SEIU, representing both private and public employees, is at the forefront of the battle to save the  Gasping Dinosaurs’ from extinction. The SEIU who realizes that Public Unions are the last Hope for Big Labor at America’s Expense has the power and connections in bankrupt states such as California and at the highest level of the federal government to affect policy and ultimately the direction of the American system of government.

While it is understandable that Democratic politicians, whose coffers are funded by SEIU dollars, have remained silent, it is unfathomable that Republican have done the same.  These individuals, who don’t seem to understand it is time to go on the offensive, stood by quietly and let a unique opportunity pass. The Republican party fails to understand that it is time to connect the dots for the American people by presenting a clear picture of organizations like the SEIU, which was instrumental in the President’s re-election, and what it truly represents. Thus, they are failing as a political party and losing their grip on political control in America.

Americans need to wake up to the fact that many politicians including our president buy into the SEIU’s belief of “Social Justice” and ultimately socialism/communism as the future for the United States of America as witnessed in the video Obama and the SEIU Sittin’ in a Tree . This video should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind in what this president believes in and who he supports. Unfortunately, The Problem with Socialism is Socialism. At some point “you run out of other people’s money,” as was so eloquently expressed by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher. It is time for all Americans to connect the dots and realize we have politicians at all levels, especially the current administration, who believe a Chavez-type of government is the most fair and only means of achieving “social justice.” In truth, they could care less about the poor and downtrodden.  Just like Chavez’s regime, all they care about is power and money.

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.