Saturday, July 18, 2009
Monday, November 10, 2008
As the subject line above indicates, this is our last (and probably most important) EmployerReport.com post to you. After more than two years, of providing labor union news updates and opinions, we believe it is time to retire EmployerReport.com. However, we are not going away…But more on where we're headed at the bottom of this post.
Despite the fact that the presidential race was decided early last night, we were up well into the wee hours of the morning trying to get a handle on the Senate landscape. However, our telephones began ringing early (as it has been for the past week) with employers concerned about what lies ahead. So, here are four answers to questions that you may have about last night's election:
First question: As President, will Obama bring unity to the country and bi-partisanship to Washington? In a word, Nope.
For all the talk by the media pundits of President-Elect Obama moving to the center and being a "unifying" president, do not believe it for a minute. President-Elect Obama's first appointment this morning was of Rahm Emanuel to be the White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel is a partisan pit-bull (lipstick or no lipstick) and is "hard-wired to go for the jugular," as described in this 2006 article.
Second Question: What about EFCA?
Here's our analysis of things to come on the EFCA landscape:
Don't Breathe a Sigh of Relief on EFCA Yet. While many of the political pundits have stated that the Democrats have not gained a filibuster-proof Senate, you should not allow yourself to be lulled into complacency by thinking EFCA can't pass. If you believe that employers and their employees are out of the woods on EFCA, think again.
Given that Obama's election was all but certain, we have been saying for the past several months to watch the Senate as that is where EFCA will either live or die. As of this writing, the Democrats have a six-seat advantage (56-44) over Republicans in the Senate, which includes Independent Joe Lieberman (CT) and Independent/Socialist Bernie Saunders (VT), both of whom are EFCA supporters.
However, there are still four contests undecided: Alaska*, Georgia, Minnesota, and Oregon.
Even if Democrats don't pick up two of these contests, EFCA stands a good chance of passage, as written. Here's why:
We've been saying for months that the GOP needs to hold at least 42 Senate seats because there are at least two (and likely more) GOP Senators from "union states" that could buckle under Democrat and union pressure. Specifically, Arlen Specter (PA), Susan Collins (ME), as well as two of the contested seat holders above (Norm Coleman of MN and Gordon Smith of OR) may all be gutless when it comes to EFCA. If Coleman and Smith lose their seats, then the Dems only need to pick off two GOPers on EFCA and it's done.
* Note on Alaska's undecided seat: Although it appears that GOP Senator (and
convicted felon) Ted Stevens may actually win his election, it is likely that, if he does, he will be expelled from the Senate. This creates another vacancy that can go either way, depending on what Sarah Palin does.
It appears possible for either of two scenarios under Alaska's law to play out: 1) As governor, Palin could appoint someone (including herself) to fill Stevens' soon-to-be-vacated seat, or 2) there must be a special election held.
If there is an election, it is likely to assume that Stevens' opponent Mark Begich will win. So, to the GOP, a special election should be out of the question--but it all depends on Sarah. [An interesting Huffingtonpost post today speculates that Palin may, in fact, assume Stevens' spot so that she can gain a more national presence for 2012. Although, after her treatment by the media and the left over these past two months, we might question why she would pick Washington over Wasilla.]
So, this brings us back to EFCA…
Either two things will happen by early February—both of which do not bode well for you or your union-free employees:
1. EFCA passes as it stands with some arm-twisting of some gutless GOPers…
OR, as an entirely feasible scenario begins to develop (and is being quietly bandied about):
2. EFCA gets passed in the House immediately following President Obama's Inauguration but gets caught up in the Senate and "compromise legislation" is drafted that contains shortened election time-frames (think two to three weeks), increased penalties for Unfair Labor Practices and a temporary drop on the binding arbitration provision.
(Now, hold on for a moment before giving a collective sigh of relief over option 2…)
Here's how we see this playing out: Assuming that arm-twisting the GOP doesn't work (which we're not convinced of yet), and a compromise is worked out (as described above), the GOP (and the business lobby) will lose their main argument that EFCA is "anti-democratic." Why? Because unions and Dems can then say that they've kept workers' secret-ballot vote intact, dropped binding arbitration, and merely increased penalties on corporate 'scofflaws.'
Under this scenario, unions will still go forward with an all out organizing blitz and succeed in many cases, but fail in some others. It is these failures that they will use to trot out the 'victims evil corporation's union-busting efforts' to justify the need of further labor law reform.
Now, in 2010, they'll use some other issue to pick off a few more Republicans in the Senate (like opposition to the "Fair Pay Act" or FMLA expansion, and a host of other job-killing bills, etc.).
Once a couple more GOPers are picked off, EFCA will be passed in its original form, this time without any sort compromise, filibuster or fight.
Third Question: What else should employers expect?
On the labor front:
Besides the actions on EFCA (as stated above), you should expect the following:
Within the next couple of weeks, you will likely see the pick for Obama's Secretary of Labor to come directly from the union movement. Although Change to Win's Anna Burger has been floated around and the SEIU was Obama's primary backer early on, she may, in fact, be too controversial for an Obama administration since she and her boss (SEIU's) Andy Stern led the break-up of the AFL-CIO three and a half years ago. However, a Burger appointment should not be ruled out.
The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Act will likely pass without much of a fight. This is the union-backed bill that will cause many people employers now consider supervisors to become "non-supervisors" by altering the National Labor Relations Act's Sec. 2 definition of a supervisor. While many people do not yet realize the ramifications of this bill, it has been flying under the radar for more than a year and we don't expect the GOP will want to waste the political capital of a filibuster (if there are enough GOP senators to muster one) to fight this bill.
Expect a VERY pro-union National Labor Relations Board, since this will be unions' "payback" to the Bush years. You should expect the majority of decisions going solidly against employers.
Expect the Department of Labor to re-interpret attorney's legal advice on union campaigns (specifically the drafting of materials) to be considered "persuader" activity under the LMRDA. There was an attempt to do this during the final days of the Clinton Administration, but was quickly undone when Bush took office.
Expect a ban on the use of permanent strike replacements during economic strikes to come mid-year (perhaps a little later).
Expect the Labor Department to relax unions' reporting requirements on their financial reports to come early next year. This is something that will likely occur before March 31st, when most unions are required to have their LM reports in to the DOL.
Expect expanded use of union-only Project Labor Agreements.
Expect passage of the Public Safety Employee-Employer Cooperation Act which unionizes local public safety employees (i.e., EMTs, paramedics, fire and police personnel), although this would be worthy of a GOP filibuster, there are no constituents (aka voters) to offend by its passage, so it is difficult to imagine a filibuster taking place on this.
On the HR front:
We give high probabilities to the passage of the following:
* Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the bill that removes the statute of limitations on pay discrimination claims and subjects employers to potential years of back pay.
* Passage of an expansion to FMLA to include parenting responsibilities, as well as paid sick leave.
* Note: Both of these merit a filibuster and the business lobby will likely pursue one to come from the GOP. However, the Democrats would probably love that since they could further demonize the GOP in 2010 for being "anti-woman" and "anti-family."
Fourth Question: What should be done?
It's time to get a lot more aggressive. Although we (and a few others) have been forewarning of this day and EFCA before the name Barack Hussein Obama ever became known to the nation, too few businesses and their associations paid attention. Finally, when people started waking up and despite the millions poured into EFCA education, it was too little too late…
Now, it's time to ratchet it up a notch (or ten).
As we told you (and the world) some time ago, America's voters were the victims of the largest and most expensive union campaign in history. The problem for employers (as well as the GOP), however, is that the advisors and strategists running campaigns in DC do not run union campaigns. So, from our standpoint as ex-union organizers and agents who handle union campaigns for a living, the pathetic outcome of last evening is not surprising at all because we've known what the unions have been saying all along.
Here's some simple advice: F*** the Focus Groups.
The GOP and business lobby have had and continues to have the wrong message (the exception being the new ad from EmployeeFreedom.org which focuses on job security). As we've been calling EFCA the "Kill American Jobs Act" for more than two years, people only came to the realization in the last few weeks that EFCA equals unemployment. That should have been the message all along.
So, for those of you who have spent your corporation's money and are still spending money on the campaign to raise awareness about EFCA, you might want to forward this message along with your next check:
The next EFCA ads that need to be run should focus on the loss of jobs and the closure of companies that unionization will bring through the enactment of a "Union Bailout" or "Union Welfare Act" and should end with "Tell Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President-Elect Obama to reject a union bailout that could cost you your job."
If the EFCA ads continue focusing only on the "anti-Democracy" portion of EFCA, don't be surprised in January when Obama and the Dems compromise with two-week elections and shove it up the GOP's… The Unions Will Have You in Checkmate!
That said, dear reader, as we started this post, we mentioned that this is our LAST EmployerReport.com post.
Tomorrow morning, the lights will be temporarily turned off.
However, please be assured, we are not going away.
Indeed, although EmployerReport.com is being retired, and we cannot tell you right now what we have up our sleeves, we can assure you that what we're planning will drive the union bosses bonkers.
So, with that said, dear readers, we'd like to end EmployerReport.com with a couple inspiring quotes for you:
"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." -George Bernard Shaw
"It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other." — President-Elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008
"It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master."Ayn Rand, “The Soul of a Collectivist,” For the New Intellectual, 73
As a final notice to those of you collectivists who happen to read this post: If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, you better soon for, due to your actions, Atlas has begin his shrug.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
As we mentioned in one of our last posts to you, union campaigns often turn at the last moment and, while the 2008 election is the largest and most expensive union campaign in history, it is not too late for you to have an impact on defeating Big Labor's agenda but you need to act quickly.
The Polls are tightening up. According to Rasmussen this morning, Barack Obama has a mere three point lead nationally; the Gallup (traditional) also says it's a three point lead. Despite the fact Obama and his nutty-ACORN/Union friends may very well be stealng the election and despite the fact that John McCain and his advisor Rick Davis have run the worst campaign since Bob Dole's 1996 White House bid, the numbers are well within striking distance. But you shouldn't expect McCain or his campaign to drive home the points that could swing this election…This means WE have to do it.
Note: For background, as well as a copy of HR 6477 (the bill to end Right to Work states), you can go here, or download the bill directly here.Now, talking about the elimination of Right-to-Work with workers may lead to the comment: But my company's not unionized. That's when you should educate the worker about EFCA.
- Use the flyers (on left) as paycheck stuffers (particularly in the aforementioned RTW states)
- Send the flyers to others (employers and non-employers alike) that you know in RTW states
Call in to talk radio shows, mention the elimination of RTW, then move onto EFCA (as background and tie-in to job losses, please see the articles referenced
[As a side note: If you're like us, (and most voters are) you're probably as sick of this election season as we are. However, to us, this has never been about the candidates themselves, but about American jobs and the union agenda. As stated above, EFCA will kill jobs because it will make companies less competitive. Unlike most, this for us has been a more than two year campaign to educate employers and the public-at-large about the dangers of the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act, which we have labeled the "Kill American Jobs Act" since EmployerReport.com's
inception in 2006.]
We've Done All We Can…
- Former NLRB member Peter Kirsanow's op-ed about EFCA & Joe the (Unemployed) Plumber
- The National Right to Work Foundation's Wall Street Journal op-ed about how FDR's pro-union legislation helped prolong the Great Depression (a hint at things to come)
- To view the others, please go to EmployerReport.com
Thursday, October 23, 2008
As we noted in our earlier post to you, as we've been saying for the past couple of years, passage of the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act would lead to one-party rule in national and state politics.
Well, it seems as though the logical consequence of EFCA's passage may have finally dawned on (at least one of) the political establishment, as the following illustrates:
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair John Ensign (R-Nev.) Ensign,
meanwhile, says the legislation [EFCA] could determine the character of the senate for decades. The Chair said preventing the bill's passage was a "critical issue" for Republicans.
"It would make Republicans the minority party for the next 40 to 50 years," said Ensign of the EFCA.
Ensign argued the legislation would bolster union ranks and union dues, which could then be funneled to Democratic campaigns.
"Democrats would have a huge fundraising advantage for elections from now on," said Ensign.
To read the entire story, go here.
Alas, although it may be too little too late, it seems they finally get it. [Perhaps Messr. Ensign visited EmployerReport.com?]
Hat tip to LaborPains.org
For more union-related news & info, go to EmployerReport.com
On behalf of EmployerReport.com, please have a great week's end.
"I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes." -- Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
Well, if you're looking at the polls or listening to the pundits, you're no doubt hearing that the November 4th election is over. Indeed, that may be the case…Or maybe not. The Associated Press has released a new poll saying the presidential contest is in a statistical dead heat. So, despite the fact that the Obama campaign has begun spending $2 million for construction on his election night bash in Bryant Park (talk about the Audacity of Arrogance), the election may not be over quite yet.
However, here's the latest Word on the Streets:
EFCA by Valentine's Day…
Expect the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act to get ram-rodded through both chambers of Congress and signed into law by Valentines' Day, if not sooner.
Both today and yesterday, we've posted stories on EmployerReport.com regarding the expected time-frame for EFCA to become law. Last night, we heard on a telephone call that the word in DC is that the Democrats will push for EFCA to be passed within the first week of Obama's presidency. (This, of course, presumes that the Democrats will end up with 58 seats in the Senate as is expected.)
If this is indeed the case, this means that, on the question of unionization, workers will be losing their right to vote in a secret-ballot election and employers will be bound to binding arbitration a mere four months from now.
An Insidious and Ingenious Plan…
If the timing truly is to pass EFCA within the first week of Obama's presidency, it would be a rather ingenious (as well as insidious) way to catch America off guard. Since most Americans still don't know that the real "change" they are voting for is Big Union Bosses to unionize workers without a vote and will have spent $1.4 billion (an estimate of the union expenditures on the 2006 and 2008 elections) in order to get political puppets elected, EFCA's passage will take place before it is the measure is exposed to the majority of Americans. Further, the messianic love affair that many voters have with 'that one' will not have had time to lose its luster in a mere week, so any attempt to oppose EFCA so quickly will be easily denounced and drowned out by accusations of bitter-partisan bickering.
It's Their Fault…
Additionally, as the havoc begins to unfold and more Americans begin to lose jobs under the weight of unionization, the Democrats will be able to lay the blame on the "last eight years" of GOP rule.
One Party Rule…
We've been saying for a long time that the passage of EFCA could easily lead to one-party (Democrat) rule in America. Well, today, Politico is posting Democrats' plans to gain further control of state governments in 2010 and, with that, redistricting. The foundation of this plan is largely dependent on the passage of EFCA since unions will be able to spend even more money on Democrats with increased treasuries due to forced unionization*.
[* Unions now rake in approximately $10 billion per year in union dues from workers--the majority of whom are required to pay the union or be fired from their jobs.]
Elimination or Right-to-Work--A Missed Campaign Opportunity…
Many of those campaigning against Big Labor's radical agenda (including those business groups, as well as the GOP Senate and McCain campaigns) are missing a critical point that could potentially turn voters in several key swing states (like FLA, NC, NV, LA & VA) around. This, of course, is the unions' plan to use their Democrat majorities to eliminate Right-to-Work states causing unionized workers in those states to pay union dues or be fired. This bill has already been introduced and is likely to get signed into law under a union-controlled federal government. Since most workers in Right-to-Work states cherish the fact that they cannot be forced to pay union dues to keep their jobs, too many people are ignoring this issue as an issue to move 'undecided' voters.
As always, for more union-related news and info, go to EmployerReport.com
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It's been a while since our last missive to you. However, it has been a busy last two weeks as we've been out there trying to awaken America's employers to the devastating consequences of the hallucinogenically-named Employee Free Choice Act. [As we've said for quite some time, EFCA's passage will not negatively affect our business, but it will kill many jobs and that is its real danger.]
While it's still not over until November 4th (or maybe November 5th), with a mere three weeks to go until November 4th, unless the political winds shift dramatically, you should expect the Employee Free Choice Act, along with the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Act, and a whole slew of other job killing legislation to get signed into law.
While most people are focused on the Obama vs. McCain campaign, too many people are all but ignoring the Senate races that hold the key to stopping the havoc that will be wrought upon the American workplace if the Democrats win more that 58 seats in that Chamber. [Realizing that many of you remember your high school civics and are tempted to correct us by saying Democrats need 60 seats to overcome a filibuster, remember Arlen Specter (R-PA) doesn't count, and you should expect at least one other "turncoat" on the GOP side to cave in to Big Labor's pressure come 2009.]
That being said, the predictions being made are as follows:
In early 2009…
- EFCA will pass, as drafted, to include Card-Check Recognition, Binding Arbitration, and exhorbitant fines.
- The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Act will pass making those now considered "supervisors" under NLRA Sec. 2(11) eligible to be unionized.
- The use of Permanent Strike Replacements during economic strikes will be banned.
- President Obama will introduce socialized medicine (to read our synopsis on how Obama's Plan Will Lead to Socialized Medicine, go here)
- The Public Safety Employee-Employer Cooperation Act (which unionizes "public safety" employees) will pass
- A "bail out" on underfunded union pension plans
Later in 2009, you will likely see:
- Elimination of Right-to-Work States to become mandatory union-dues states
- More company closures, outsourcing, job losses and an elongation or deepening of this recession. Our estimate: We might see double-digit unemployment by this time next year.
Now, as was stated above, it's not over until November 4th (or 5th), but the above appears to be what is on our national horizon.
As we've noted before, America is (and has been) the victim of the largest and most expensive union campaign ever--to the tune of $1 billion dollars this year, on top of the $400 million spent in 2006. Optimistically speaking from first-hand experience, union campaigns do often turn at the last moment. However, sadly, we do not see the McCain campaign (or the GOP, for that matter) as having the intellectual or strategic capacity to combat this type of campaign.
While much of the above may seem dismal to most (as it indeed should), the bright side to this whole outlook will be that the devastation wrought over the next two years may hopefully result in a swing back to some semblence of balance.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
PITTSBURGH (AP) - U.S. Rep. John Murtha says his home base of western Pennsylvania is racist and that could reduce Barack Obama's victory margin in the state by 4 percentage points. The 17-term Democratic congressman tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story posted Wednesday on its Web site that, as he put it: "There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area." (continued)