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A Very Public Comment On The Department Of Labor’s Persuader Proposal

The following comment* was submitted to the Department of Labor on the DOL’s proposed rule change to make most types of HR, safety, productivity, compensation and other types of consultants and employers file financial reports with the DOL as “persuaders.”

If you wish to comment, you have until the close of business today.

You can submit your comments by going to:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=LMSO-2011-0002-0001

Please consider this my public comment to the Proposed Rule on the LMRDA Advice Exemption:

I am writing this having been involved on both sides of labor relations; first, as a union representative and, later, as a labor relations consultant (who files LMs regularly):

While certain clarification to the existing requirements is welcome, the proposed change (as written) is overreaching and dangerous, as follows:

At a time when the Obama Admininistration is allegedly trying to make America competitive, you will be forcing tens of thousands full and part-time, human resources, compensation & benefit, safety, & other consultants (and employers) to file LMs [financial reports] for areas that involve human resources, productivity, employee relations, communications, safety, as well as compensation and benefits.

The proposed changes are based on a false premise & faulty research. The studies the DOL is citing rely on interviews with biased union organizers and agents, people on the outside of labor campaigns whose information comes from those they use as internal organizers.

Further, since the DOL’s requirement that ‘persuaders’ file within 30 days of being contracted, if the NLRB moves towards shortened elections, the entire “transparency” argument that employees will be able to know “who” their employer hires during labor campaigns becomes moot.

Lastly, and most importantly, the entire DOL effort is a means of developing hit (or ‘scab’) lists for unions. You know that this can become dangerous–especially as it relates to firms that are involved in labor disputes. In fact, if firms that handle either strike security and/or provide replacement workers during labor disputes are required to file LMs and provide personal information–and replacement workers are also required to file as independent contractors of the replacement firm–you will be putting innocent lives in jeopardy–Not only of replacement workers, but those of their families.

Please rethink the direction you are heading before it results in some very ugly unintended consequences.

* Note: Due to the 2000 character limitation on the electronic proposal form, some of the terms above were abbreviated. They have been expanded for this post

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com

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