SBE Council signed the following memo as part of the Conservative Action Project, which is being chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese. The Administration’s favoritism toward big labor – through, but not limited to, bailouts, carve outs, Executive Orders, government contracting, health care overhaul, card check, federal government appointees and other legislative and regulatory initiatives – is hurting small business, prolonging the recession and damaging the nation’s long-term competitiveness. Here are excerpts from the memo:
MEMO FOR THE MOVEMENT
LABOR DAY 2010:
Excessive influence of BIG LABOR on Obama Administration and Congress has been disastrous for American workers and the Nation’s economy
RE: The tremendous amount of power & influence that officials of organized labor have over this administration & congress is adding to the growth of government and makes no sense given that only 7% of the private sector workforce and 12% of the overall workforce are members of a labor union. Last year, for the first time in history, the majority of union members in the country were working for the government—not the private sector. The Obama administration & Congress’ decision making disregards the 93% of the private sector workforce in order to payback Big
Labor bosses for previous campaign support—much coming from the dues money collected from workers who are subject to compulsory unionism.
“We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama--$60.7 million to be exact and we’re proud of it.” Andrew Stern, former President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
ISSUE-IN-BRIEF: As Americans prepare to observe Labor Day, the nation’s unemployment rate continues to remain at record high levels and the federal deficit continues to grow and place a long term burden on every American taxpayer. The Obama administration and Congress have handed out one favor after another in special interest favors to union officials without regard to the public policy ramifications. For example:
• Ten days after being sworn in President Obama issued 3 Executive Orders that curtail federal contractor’s free speech during union organizing drives, provide job security for employees of federal service contractors, and require federal contractors to notify employees of their right to join a union.
• One week later President Obama signed another Executive Order announcing a government preference for Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) on all federally funded large-scale construction projects. As a result of this, many projects financed by the so-called “economic stimulus bill” are subject to PLA’s and performed by unionized workers.
• The Obama Department of Labor rolled back several rules issued during the Bush administration to increase union transparency on forms required to be filed with the government as required under the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act.
• The Obama Treasury Department forced financially troubled General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy and swinging a deal granting the United Auto Workers respectively 17.5% and 55% stakes in GM and Chrysler.
Gallup found for the first time since it began asking the question in 1997 that a majority of Americans now think “unions mostly hurt the economy.”
• According to official records, the person who most often visited the White House in 2009 was Andy Stern, then President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)—a union that had given more than $4 million since 2006 to scandal ridden ACORN and its affiliates
• An overwhelming majority of congressional democrats co-sponsored “card-check” legislation designed to deny workers a secret ballot election to determine if a union would represent them.
• The Obama administration and Congress reduced funding to the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS)—which is the only agency in the entire federal government assigned the responsibility for oversight of organized labor.
• President Obama circumvented the Senate—that had objections to NLRB nominee Craig Becker—and recess appointed him as chairman. Becker had previously worked for both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU.
• Some in Congress are now proposing a $165 billion union pension bailout. As FOX Business Network reported, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the stock market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these union pension funds were doing well.
Gallup recently found for the first time in more than 80 years of asking the question that only a minority of Americans now “approve of labor unions.”
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO