Sunday, March 28, 2010

Obama's big labor payback

President Obama made 15 recess appointments on Saturday, bypassing the Congress during its Easter recess.  The most controversial of these is Craig Becker whom the President placed on the National Labor Relations Board after his nomination was scotched by the Senate in a failed 52-33 cloture vote last month.  Becker is a leading lawyer for the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union, has a long and very public history of holding extreme pro-union positions.  The Wall Street Journal claims that Becker's appointment will have a devastating effect on workers rights:
Mr. Becker has written extensively about the National Labor Relations Act, the law that the NLRB interprets and enforces. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, he said that the "core defect in union election law . . . is the employer's status as a party to labor representation proceedings" and that "employers should be stripped of any legally cognizable interest in their employees' election of representatives." In other words, employers should be barred from telling their employees they shouldn't unionize.

During his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr. Becker tried to walk back this and other oft-expressed views, including a prior assertion that union-election rules can be rewritten by the NLRB without the consent of Congress. Now he says he'll defer to Congress if appointed, but the modern union movement is bloody-minded about the will to power and Mr. Becker is one of its fiercest partisans.

Time is running out—it has until Election Day—for Big Labor to get a vote in Congress to rig labor laws in its favor. Mr. Becker would give unions a majority at the NLRB and is their political Plan B. Recess appointments are the President's prerogative, but overriding the bipartisan Senate opposition to Mr. Becker would show once again that this White House dances to the tune of the left.
The National Right to Work Committee blogged about Becker before the appointment:
In other words, you can forget about employees getting truthful and non-coercive information about the downsides of unionization.

But there's more. Becker has publicly argued union goons should have the privilege to repeatedly harass workers at home until the workers sign "card check" union authorization cards; advocated allowing government arbiters impose contracts on workers without even allowing the workers to vote on the contract; and has even compared union organizing elections to US Congressional elections, stating that the only question decided in such elections should be which union gets monopoly control over workers, not whether they wish to remain independent and union free.
Mr. Becker's appointment is only part of Obama's payback to Big Labor that was essential to his election.  The Washington Times reminds us of an executive order the President signed last year:
Worse, Mr. Becker's appointment would not mark the end of the payback. An executive order Mr. Obama signed last year will go into effect soon, requiring federal contractors to have project labor agreements that effectively shut out the 85 percent of construction workers who are nonunionized and requiring contractors to make contributions to union pension funds. In other words, Big Labor will cash in while taxpayers are stuck with bills some 20 percent higher.
Rick Moran sums up the President's strategy succinctly at American Thinker:
Do we detect a pattern here? Obama can't get cap and trade through the senate so he tasks the EPA with doing the dirty work. Now that it looks like card check is stalled, Obama is "reaching out" to the NLRB to fulfill his dream of the Unionized States of America.

Oh, by the way - if Mr. Becker isn't radical enough for ya, how about Lesbian activist Chai Feldblum for EEOC commissioner who has promised never - repeat never - to rule in favor of religious liberty when opposed to sexual liberty.

Welcome to the new Mainstream.
This is unsettling announcement is unlikely to get any traction.  In addition to the fact that it was made under the news radar on a Saturday, it was made the day before the President took a surprise trip to Afghanistan.


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