Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds President Donald Trump’s Pick For NLRB Acting Chairman

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
January 20, 2017                                                                                    202-677-7060

Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds President Donald Trump’s Pick For NLRB Acting Chairman

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway released the following statement today in response to news that President Donald J. Trump has named Philip A. Miscimarra as Acting Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):

“Philip Miscimarra is a champion of worker freedom and worker’s rights, and he has a proven record of advocating for common sense policies that benefit both employers and employees.  He is an excellent choice to serve as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.  We are confident that under his leadership, the board will begin to undertake the work of undoing many of the harmful Obama-era rules and regulations, including the imposition of ambush elections, formation of micro-unions and the Joint Employer Rule.  Mr. Miscimarra’s promotion is the latest example of the Trump Administration’s commitment to a pro-jobs agenda that protects our workforce, while promoting economic growth and prosperity.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – What The Trump Presidency Means For Labor Unions

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
January 23, 2017                                                                                    202-677-7060

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

What The Trump Presidency Means For Labor Unions

Connor D. Wolf

January 19, 2017

InsideSources

 

President-elect Donald Trump won considerable working class support but his incoming presidency poses a huge setback for unions.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won overwhelming support from the labor movement during the election. Labor unions campaigned for her and donated heavily to her campaign. Her loss likely means the rollback of regulations unions support and a further decline in their membership.

President Barack Obama argued numerous times during his time in office that unions were critical to protecting workers. His administration implemented numerous regulations to help bolster their membership. Trump has already signaled that he will scrap those regulations with critics contesting they actually helped unions at the expense of workers.

“They pushed for regulations that didn’t help workers,” Workforce Fairness Institute spokeswoman Heather Greenaway told InsideSources. “It did nothing to help their paychecks or help their work balances within their workplaces. All these regulations did over the last eight years was tilt the scale towards labor unions to unionize more.”

Labor unions over the decades have faced a declining membership rate. Their membership went from 20.1 percent in 1983 down to just 11.1 percent by 2015. The regulations sought to reverse the trend by changing workplace elections and allowing unions to organize workers in new ways.

“Most of the decline is due to a variety of causes, largely beyond the union’s control,” Peter Schaumber, a labor agency appointee under President George W. Bush, told InsideSources. “To stem their decline, unions decided on the political process and selected the Democratic party for their largess to get laws passed and regulations passed that make unionization easier.”

Greenaway notes there will likely always be a labor movement despite the decline. But she believes unions will never get back to where they once were. The union model doesn’t fit many modern workplaces, and the benefits they used to fight for are now provided by the government, she says.

The government mandates everything from workplace safety standards, employment benefits and a minimum wage. Federal law also encourages employers to provide health insurance. Many employees, at one time, had to rely on labor unions to help guarantee such employment rights.

“There are a lot of other programs out there that are there for workers that aren’t necessarily union,” Greenaway said. “I just don’t see what they can give workers that isn’t already provided by the government.”

The Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board became the driving force behind many of the new regulations. Union membership over the last eight years, however, continued to decline. Nevertheless, Trump could cause the decline to accelerate if he scraps those recent regulations.

“I think the Trump candidacy has accelerated the estrangement of workers from the union movement,” Schaumber said. “If he is successful and the unions continue their self-destructive focus on buying a seat at the Democrat table, we are likely to see union membership decline at an accelerated rate.”

Trump winning the presidency may also underscore a bigger problem facing the labor movement. Labor unions almost always side with the left when it comes to politics. Their membership, however, tends to be more diverse politically.

“These unions are doing things that are inconsistent with the views of their members and the Trump election is just proof of that,” Regent University Prof. Bruce Cameron told InsideSources. “He supports right-to-work laws, these unions obviously do not, and the members of these unions voted for Trump.”

Labor unions sometimes even go as far as to demonize those on the right. Labor unions throughout the campaign claimed Trump and other Republicans were trying to hurt workers. Nevertheless, Trump was even able to secure many working class districts that have previously gone left.

“Limiting their support for Democrat candidates and vilifying Republican ones, has estranged unions from a large percentage of their membership that vote Republican,” Schaumber said. “In addition, organized labor is controlled at the top by secular progressives who have pushed much of the union movement into support social causes, many workers disagree with.”

Schaumber points to abortion, same-sex marriage and transgender bathrooms as just a few of the social issues unions tend to be very progressive about. The political divide likely includes workplace issues as well such as right-to-work laws. The policy outlaws mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

“I think this represents a perennial problem for unions,” Cameron said. “Donald Trump endorses right-to-work and there are many unions members that support right-to-work and support more conservative politics.”

Labor unions began preparing for the incoming administration following the election. The AFL-CIO offered to work with the president-elect the day after his victory. The same union previously denounced him as a bigot who was going to hurt workers.

“The President-elect made promises in this campaign—on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said at the time. “We will work to make many of those promises a reality.  If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.”

Some labor unions are preparing for the incoming administration by curtailing spending. Bloomberg reported last month that the Service Employees International Union plans to cut its budget by 30 percent over the next year.

“I think that was a necessary measure, they have to save their money,” Greenaway said. “I think honestly it’s a budget decision, and its treading water for the next four years or eight years. It’s literally looking into the coffers and figuring out how they weather the storm.”

Greenaway adds that unions are likely to focus their attention on local campaigns until they can gain a foothold on the federal level again. The Fight for $15 movement, for instance, is one model that has helped unions achieve policy victories locally.

To access the article, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds Kentucky’s Passage Of Right-To-Work Legislation

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
January 9, 2017                                                                                    202-677-7060

Workforce Fairness Institute Applauds Kentucky’s Passage Of Right-To-Work Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway today released the following statement in response to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s signing of right-to-work legislation:

“With Governor Bevin’s signature, Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state – granting workers in the Bluegrass State the freedom to work in the Commonwealth without being compelled to join and pay dues to a union.  For far too long, Big Labor has held a monopoly over Kentucky’s workforce, forcing workers to pay dues while union bosses advocate for policies contrary to workers’ interests or beliefs.  This critical law protects Kentuckians, giving them the right to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks and the power to determine if union membership is truly the right choice for themselves and their family.  This is a great day for worker freedom and we hope that remaining states follow Kentucky’s lead and advance their own right-to-work bills, so that workers all across America have the right to choose what representation is best for them.”

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: DeVos & Puzder Will Make American Economy Stronger

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
January 6, 2017                                                                                    202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

DeVos & Puzder Will Make American Economy Stronger

 

Heather Greenaway
Januaryh 5, 2017
InsideSources

During the last eight years, the U.S. economy has limped along at an average growth rate around 2 percent, the weakest recovery since World War II. Workforce participation is under 38 percent, a depth not seen since the economic malaise of the Carter administration. As a result, middle-class wages have been flat and families are feeling squeezed. These dynamics in the labor force help explain why nearly two-thirds of voters believed the country was headed in the wrong direction on Election Day.

Donald Trump was elected on a promise to Make America Great Again by bringing seismic changes to the political culture in Washington. To succeed, he will have to create stronger growth and rising wages. In picking Betsy DeVos to head up the Department of Education and Andy Puzder to lead the Labor Department, President-elect Trump has sent an early signal about his determination to make American workers and the next generation more competitive.

DeVos and Puzder will challenge the antiquated policies favored by labor union leaders that are inflicting damage on the American economy. While much of the focus on the Trump economic agenda has been on his commitment to end Obama-era regulations and reform the tax code, more attention should be given to the long-term benefits that can result from a better educated and trained workforce.

According to Manpower’s annual Talent Shortage Survey, more than 40 percent of American employers reported having difficulty finding talented workers to fill job openings. This eye-opening finding tracks with the fact that only 40 percent of high school graduates are college or workforce ready, according to the Nation’s Report Card.

DeVos is an ideal candidate to drive a national debate on how to improve the performance of our K-12 schools. For the last 28 years, she has fought in the trenches against the leadership within the teachers unions to break their monopoly on education and give parents a larger voice in where and how their children are educated.

Trump and DeVos are promising to free up $20 billion of federal funding to empower governors to expand school choice. This reform has the potential to revolutionize education at the state and local level. By shifting power from a top-down bureaucracy in Washington that ignores failure and rewards labor unions, the Trump administration will be clearing the way for reforms that will increase accountability within a system that in many cases has protected bad teachers and failing schools.

In the private sector, competition is a force for good that requires company executives to innovate and to hold their share of the market. The same dynamic can be at play in the classroom as traditional public schools, charter schools, private and virtual schools all compete for students.

The demand for school choice in America is high and growing. Today, nearly 3 million students attend charter schools and 1 million are on waiting lists. In Indiana, nearly 35,000 students are participating in the state’s voucher program, a tenfold increase since it was adopted in 2011.

DeVos believes that education dollars should follow the student to the best schools available to them. This is a concept that frightens the unions because it puts trust in parents instead of writing blank checks to an education establishment that is failing to prepare our children for the jobs of the future.

By raising the bar on education and ensuring American businesses have a deep pool of skilled workers to hire, DeVos will help build the foundation for long-term economic growth needed to boost the quality of life of middle-class families.

Similar to DeVos’ commitment to challenge the teachers unions, Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, has the courage and fortitude to take on the those arguing in favor of an antiquated mindset that threatens to undercut workers with the lowest skill levels that are barely hanging onto the economic ladder. It is sad that the biggest idea the union leaders and Democrat Party have on the economy is to drive up the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ensuring the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and accelerating the forces of automation throughout the workforce.

Republicans under the leadership of the Trump administration and inspired leaders like Betsy DeVos and Andy Puzder have the potential to become the voice for workers in America for a simple reason: organized labor and the big-government policies it champions have left behind too many working Americans and created substandard schools that aren’t keeping pace with our economic competitors.

Big change is indeed on the way to Washington, and working families stand to be the biggest beneficiaries.

 

Heather Greenaway is a national spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: NLRB’s Micro-Union Ruling Hurts Workers

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
November 16, 2016                                                                                    202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
NLRB’s Micro-Union Ruling Hurts Workers

 

Heather Greenaway
November 15, 2016
Real Clear Policy

Once upon a time, unions had to win elections fair and square to organize the workplace. And it required a majority of workers to form a collective bargaining unit. Today, though, thanks to the tools handed to Big Labor by the Obama Administration’s radical National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), workplaces across the country are bracing for a new type of union.

In 2011, the NLRB changed decades of longstanding labor laws in its decision on Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile. In effect, the Specialty Healthcare ruling made it easier to unionize workplaces by allowing the creation of “micro-unions” — or the unionization of sub-units of a workforce — fundamentally changing the traditional bargaining unit standard that union elections operated under for decades.

What seemed like a game changer in labor law was downplayed by the NLRB, which initially assured employers and policymakers that the ruling would apply only to bargaining units in the non-acute health care setting, such as Specialty Healthcare, not industries outside it. In the years since, however, micro-unions — or what some call micro-units — have sprung up in nearly every industry, from retail, manufacturing, delivery services, and telecommunication to rental cars.

The NLRB may have underplayed its hand, but it knew exactly what it was doing.

The reality, as outlined in a recently released report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is that unions are using the Specialty Healthcare ruling to gain influence in the workplace even if the majority of the workforce doesn’t want to unionize.

By grouping workers together in ad hoc ways, union bosses now have the ability — and, indeed, the federal government’s blessing — to cherry-pick individuals who are predisposed to support unionization, in turn increasing their odds of winning organizing elections and increasing membership. And that’s exactly what they’ve done. In the five years since Specialty Healthcare, several companies, including T-Mobile, Panera, and VW, have faced micro-union elections and successes.

Take Macy’s, for example. In May 2011, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) tried to unionize all 120 sales associates of the Macy’s department store in Saugus, Massachusetts. The majority of sales associated weren’t interested, and the UFCW lost.

The next year, however, the UFCW came back and filed a petition to represent the 41 cosmetics and fragrance sales associates within the same store. Using the precedent set by Specialty Healthcare, the UFCW was able to form a new bargaining unit and win, resulting in a micro-union comprised only of the store’s cosmetics and fragrance reps.

These carve-outs have been music to the ears of Big Labor, and the spread of micro-unions are on the rise. The Specialty Healthcare ruling suggests that the NLRB will approve just about any proposed bargaining unit a union throws its way — with little regard to how small, fragmented, or discordant.

This is exactly what the Board’s lone dissenter, Brian Hayes, warned against. In his dissent, Hayes recognized that the Specialty Healthcare decision represents a dramatic change in precedent. As he put it: “Today’s decision fundamentally changes the standard for determining whether a petitioned for unit is appropriate in any industry subject to the Board’s jurisdiction,” making “the relationship between petitioned-for unit employees and excluded coworkers irrelevant in all but the most exceptional circumstances.” In other words, it’s an outrageous re-characterization of the workforce.

Today’s employers are facing an assault from Big Labor like never before, and the NLRB is simply paving the way. This isn’t the first time the Board has downplayed a significant policy change with national ramifications; and, unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last.

The NLRB cannot be trusted to stand as an unbiased arbiter of disputes and champion of America’s workforce. From micro-unions to the joint employer standard to sped-up, so-called “ambush” elections, the Board has gotten completely out of control.

It’s time for Congress to stop talking and start acting by using the power of the purse to curtail the NLRB’s egregious overreach as well as passing legislation to overturn its anti-worker and anti-business rules.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Defund Wasteful, Corrupt NLRB

WFI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Ryan Williams
October 18, 2016                                                                                                202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Defund Wasteful, Corrupt NLRB
Heather Greenaway
October 17, 2016
Inside Sources

It’s no secret the Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] is stacked with union bosses, doing more to promote Big Labor than protect American workers. But did you know they were terrible stewards of taxpayer dollars, as well?

An audit just released by the agency’s inspector general shows that not only has the NLRB run roughshod over workers’ rights but it has been lavishly spending taxpayer funds at extravagant board conferences, too – all while the board comes together to conspire on more ways to infringe on America’s business community and diminish worker rights.

According to the audit, such wasteful spending included line items for Starbucks coffee totaling $6.48 per eight-ounce cup, designer fruit juices at $6.10 per bottle, granola bars for $4.47 a pop and $5.80 per piece scones served with “Devonshire cream,” to name one selection – a lineup sounding more like the refreshments provided at a corporate retreat than a government conference.

The inspector general thought so, too, and has determined that “four of the five conferences with break refreshments exceeded the Contracting Officer’s reasonableness guidelines for the expenditure of appropriated funds for food,” and that an excess of $20,225.37 for food and bartending – yes, bartending – services were unapproved and in question.

Aside from that, the inspector general also found that the NLRB had improperly approved training for its employees taking college courses toward a degree, when the NLRB doesn’t even have an academic degree program. These approvals of college courses were not supported by proper documentation, resulting in $36,095.60 in questioned costs.

These expenditures are a sharp departure from the tone of the agency’s 2015 congressional budget request, where it writes, “The NLRB prides itself on being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.”

And from the congressional testimony of Richard Griffin Jr., the NLRB’s general counsel told Congress in May 2015 that the “agency has taken a number of proactive steps to ensure that we are serving the public in the most effective and fair manner possible” and “I assure you that, in Fiscal Year 2016, the agency will continue to ensure that our congressional mandate is executed, and in a fair, timely and quality manner.”

It’s laughable. Clearly, the government bureaucrats who determine the rules and regulations for America’s workforce don’t think government rules and regulations apply to them. And they have no hesitation sticking workers, small businesses and now taxpayers with the bill.

If the NLRB is supposed to be a “check” on American business, who stands to serve as a check on it? The answer should be Congress. Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate have long fought to compel the agency to do more to respect the rights of workers and small businesses – but now it’s clear they must do more to respect America’s hardworking taxpayers as well.

Whether it is taking steps forcibly to unionize workers while passing rules speeding up union elections or rewriting decades of defined labor policies in order to push people into mini collective bargaining units, Obama’s reckless NLRB has fundamentally altered the state of the American workforce and rigged the system on Big Labor’s behalf. We shouldn’t be picking up the tab for their $6.48 cup of coffee and $5.80 scone, while at the same time the NLRB erodes worker rights.

Enough is enough. It’s high time Congress curb the agency’s expensive tastes and excessive power, and take immediate steps to defund Obama’s wasteful, corrupt NLRB.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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POLITICO Shift: BUSINESS GROUPS SEEK INJUNCTION AGAINST CONTRACTOR RULE

BUSINESS GROUPS SEEK INJUNCTION AGAINST CONTRACTOR RULE: Business groups requested Thursday evening that a Texas federal court issue an emergency temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against final regulations from the Obama administration that require federal contractors to disclose previous labor law violations. The final guidance and rule, which implement a 2014 executive order, require companies seeking a federal contracts worth $500,000 or more to disclose any labor law violations they committed during the previous three years. The Obama administration will begin phasing in the regulations October 25. In Thursday’s motion, the business groups warned that “absent preliminary injunctive relief” the rule will cause “irreparable harm to Plaintiffs’ government contractor members.”

The lawsuit, filed last week and led by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeast Texas, the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., and the National Association of Security Companies, alleges that President Barack Obama exceeded his executive authority by issuing the executive order and that current labor law preempts the order because those laws already have remedial provisions for bad actors. In addition, the lawsuit alleges the regulations violate the First Amendment by “compelling speech as to controversial matters on the part of government contractors, forcing them to make public declarations about ‘violations’ which they are contesting or have settled without final adjudication of the claimed transgressions.”

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Houston Chronicle: Judgment Against Union Grows To $7.8 Million

Judgment Against Union Grows To $7.8 Million
By L.M. Sixel
Houston Chronicle
October 4, 2016

A judgment against the Service Employees International Union grew by another $2.5 million, according to an order signed last week by Harris County District Court Judge Erin Elizabeth Lunceford.

The organization got hit last month with a $5.3 million judgment after a jury found the labor union’s aggressive organizing campaign went too far when it maligned the reputation of a local janitorial company. The total award grew to $7.8 million when $2.5 million of interest was added.

The jury sided with Professional Janitorial Service in a suit the company brought nine years ago against the union. SEIU had targeted the company as part of its “Justice for Janitors” organizing campaign and wrongly claimed Professional Janitorial Service had violated wage, overtime and other labor laws, the jury found. The $5.3 million verdict represented the actual damages the janitorial company faced when it lost clients.

Interest accrued at a rate of 5 percent a year going back to 2007 and will continue to grow until the judgment is paid. The union has indicated it would appeal the verdict.

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