During the last presidential campaign, Big Labor vowed to do all it could to get a Democrat elected. The Service Employees International Union alone raised almost $32 million dollars in pursuit of that goal (through a variety of tactics, at least one of which was flagrantly illegal).
It turns out to have been a solid investment. Barack Obama won the presidency, and so far his labor policy is pretty much what they wished for: unions yes, workers no.
The president has issued four pro-union Executive Orders. The first three were all signed simultaneously:
· One require federal contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change.
· Another reverses a Bush administration order requiring federal contractors to post notice that workers can limit their financial support of unions serving as their exclusive bargaining representatives.
· Another prevents federal contractors from being reimbursed for expenses meant to influence workers deciding whether to form a union and engage in collective bargaining.
Now Obama has signed his fourth Executive Order relating to unions, and it essentially requires that all federal construction projects be performed by union workers. It doesn’t actually demand it, but that’s the practical upshot of the whole thing. And that’s not all. Obama has quietly made his position on one of Big Labor’s major causes clear:
The Orwellian-named “Employee Free Choice Act” is currently before Congress. Among its many provisions is the odious “card check” rule. This would allow unions seeking to organize a work force to bypass the tedious (and risky) secret ballot vote. Instead, they only need a majority of the workers to sign declarations that they favor unions. Under current rules, those pledges trigger an election, where the workers can express their true opinions freely, without any fear of intimidation or retaliation from either their employer or the union.
Obama has not made any specific comment on the proposed law, but it’s not hard to guess where his sympathies lie. His Labor Secretary nominee, Hilda Solis, was not only one of the prime sponsors of the Act in the House, but also served as Treasurer of American Rights At Work, a pro-labor organization that has lobbied hard for its passage. Our labor secretary designate believes so strongly in the Act, she actually paid people to lobby her (and her colleagues) on its behalf.
There’s an old, cynical saw that defines an honest politician as one “who, once bought, stays bought.”
Big Labor paid a lot to get Barack Obama elected. And with the economy in its current state, it’s rare to find such a profitable investment.