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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.

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.