POLITICS

Reward: Obama NLRB looks to give workers’ private contact info to unions

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama’s labor regulators are preparing to give his “army” of unions the private contact information of workers employed by non-union companies, as part of an array of rules to facilitate and finance union expansion.

“The National Labor Relations Board is expected to start work on a rule that would force businesses to turn over workers’ phone numbers, emails and shift times to union organizers,” the Associated Press reported this week.

It’s an effort to enhance the unions’ voter contact operations, in effect, as current law only requires companies to give union organizers the home addresses of the workers whom they hope will vote to unionize.

“What this is trying to do — arguably, it violates the workers’ privacy — but facilitate the union getting in touch,” The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk told The Washington Examiner. “It is just going to be a headache for workers. You tell the union organizer ‘no’ once and they just keep coming back can come back and they keep harassing you and now they’ve got your phone number that they can be calling you on — now they can be spamming your email.”

In conjunction with the regulation aiding union organizers, the Obama team appears poised to curtail company management’s ability to get outside advice in how to argue against union drives. “A new rule expected from the Labor Department would force companies to reveal relationships with so-called union-busting consulting companies even if the companies have no contact with workers,” the AP noted.

This rule change would require the law firms that advise management on counter-acting union drives to reveal proprietary information such as how much they make on the contract, how much they pay their own employees, and what they talk about with their clients on the job.

“The primary impetus that people are seeing behind this is to basically get law firms to stop offering [the] services,” Sherk said.

And what tasks will union workers perform under Obama’s second term? Federal contracts funded by taxpayers, to judge from a third rule that could be coming down the pike –  “a plan that would give an advantage in bidding on government contracts to companies that offer workers a higher living wage and generous benefits,” the AP says.

“There’s a lot of concern that what this will do is preferentially award federal contracts to unionized businesses,” Sherk explained. “It would also have the effect of freezing out a lot of private sector workers who do not belong to unions and saying ‘you can’t compete for these jobs.”

Sherk added that such process for awarding contracts will come at the expense of taxpayers. “If you’re going to ward [federa;] contracts not on the basis of what’s the best value for the taxpayer but on the basis of what firms are politically correct — specifically, what firms are unionized — then by definition you’re going to be raising costs,” he said. “You could see billions of dollars added to the cost of federal procurement.”

The unions believe that President Obama owes them for their campaign work this cycle. “Throughout the tumult, President Obama and Vice President Biden have been steadfast allies of working men and women and the values we cherish, focused on repairing the economy, rebuilding the ladder to the middle class and investing in our shared future,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement after the election. “That’s why workers and their unions made an historic effort on their behalf, bringing home the vote for the President from Nevada to Ohio, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania.”

 

 

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