As a preface, sometimes it helps to have been “on the other side” when trying to determine what the unions’ game plan is within the Obama Administration. What you are about to read comes from having been on the other side and, quite frankly, putting two and two together. And, if you are not alarmed when you finish reading this, you should be, because there may be something much more sinister afoot at the Department of Labor than most people realize.
Yesterday, information was shared with you about the importance of submitting a comment by Wednesday on the Department of Labor’s proposed regulatory change on who would be newly classified as ‘persuaders.’
There has been one sentence, more than others, in the Department of Labor’s 160-page proposed rule change that indicates the DOL’s expansion of the definition of ‘persuader’ to mean just about any vendor who has anything to do directly or indirectly with an employer’s relationship with employees since activities may implicitly influence the decisions of employees with regard in the exercise of their rights in the workplace.
Until now, however, one part of the sentence has been overlooked which, unless addressed, may cause individuals great harm—literally, physical harm.
Here is the operative sentence [emphasis added]:
An employer and consultant each must file a report concerning an agreement or arrangement pursuant to which the consultant engages in activities that have as a direct or indirect object to, explicitly or implicitly, influence the decisions of employees with respect to forming, joining or assisting a union, collective bargaining, or any protected concerted activity (such as a strike) in the workplace. [Page 68 & 69]
One of the problems that unions have had for years is that their effectiveness to wage successful strikes has been diminished because employers choose to operate their businesses through the use of outsourcing or the hiring of replacement workers. While much of the blame has been aimed at Ronald Reagan’s use of Jimmy Carter’s strike plan during the air traffic controllers’ strike, the reality is, since 1938, employers have always had the right to permanently replace economic strikers. While employers do not always choose to permanently replace strikers, many employers do hire temporary replacement workers during strikes.
For example, on Thursday, up to 23,000 registered nurses in California will be striking 34 hospitals. Those hospitals that choose to operate will be bringing replacement nurses in to run their facilities. Those replacement nurses are likely independent contractors hired by firms contracted by the hospitals to help them tend to their patients.
Although the strike is for one day, many hospitals have informed union leaders they will prevent striking workers from returning until Sept. 27 because they have signed five-day contracts with the firms bringing in temporary workers.
Despite Barack Obama’s campaign promise to ban the use of permanent replacement workers, it would require legislation in Congress to do so. This won’t likely occur any time soon. Therefore, his union cronies at the Department of Labor may have devised a more devious strategy, which is to make the replacement workers themselves targets for union retaliation.
Under the Department of Labor’s proposal, not only will the firms that supply replacement workers like be required to file reports with the Department of Labor, it is highly likely that the Department of Labor will require the replacement workers themselves have to file with the DOL, which will then make the information public, on the internet, for union bosses (and others to view).
The filing form (see below), would require the independent contractor’s name, as well as address, and the requirement is that they file within 30 days of being contracted to do the work.
From the teaching of tactics in college classrooms to the tactics during the recent Verizon strike, as well as the union dispute in Washington and the racially-charged noose incident in North Dakota, union retaliation and violence is not a rare occurrence. In fact, it permeates the House of Labor all the way to the top of the AFL-CIO, including AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka’s own history with union violence.
According to one study, there were over 9,000 reported incidents of union violence. Many of those incidents, like the woman who found a severed cow’s head on her car or the assassination of Eddie York, occurred during labor disputes.
If, in fact, the Department of Labor is doing union bosses’ bidding by establishing a public list of replacement workers and then those same workers (or their families) are retaliated against, it would be difficult for unions to be prosecuted. Since, according to a 1973 US Supreme Court decision, unions are immune from prosecution for union violence if it occurs in the pursuit of union goals, holding unions accountable for retaliation that occurs in the dark of night or at an individual’s home will prove difficult, at best.
Whether or not the union bosses intend for intimidation, retaliation, or even violence to occur is unknown. However, that the Department of Labor seems to be heading toward making a hit list for union bosses seems abundantly clear.
The question that remains now, though, is whether or not anyone is paying attention.
Public comments must be received on or before Wednesday. You can comment here, if you choose to make your voice heard.
Here is the direct link, if you are having trouble with the above links: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=LMSO-2011-0002-0001
“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 at LaborUnionReport.com
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