Obama’s Department of Labor forces unionization

Matthew Boyle
The Daily Caller

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 03: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) delivers a statement on the economy as (L-R) Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills look on in the Rose Garden at the White House September 3, 2010 in Washington, DC. The U.S. employment numbers performed better than expected by adding 67,000 private-sector jobs in August; however, the unemployment rate increased from 9.5 to 9.6 percent. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Labor unions give more money to the Democratic Party than any other source, and critics have long accused President Barack Obama’s administration of doing their bidding. Now there is evidence that the White House has indeed put its thumb on the scale on behalf of unions. After saying that “union jobs are, by and large, good jobs,” the Department of Labor’s “strategic plan” for the next five years says: “many of the Department’s outcome goals are furthered by high rates of union membership.”

Don Todd, Americans for Limited Government’s head of research and a former DOL agency head under George W. Bush, told The Daily Caller that the Obama administration wants to “shame” companies into unionizing.

“In a worst-case scenario, your union organizer comes to you, offers you a deal to unionize, you say, ‘no,’ and, the next thing you know, OSHA’s [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] at your door,” Todd said in a phone interview. “Then, Wage and Hour show up, and they want to publicize it. They always find something wrong – it’s like with bed-checks in boot camp in the army.”

Todd said some companies will fight the DOL’s intimidation tactics, but many will give in to unionizing forces.

“It makes it the path of least resistance,” Todd said.

The current Solicitor of Labor, Patricia Smith, specialized in that kind of corporate intimidation when she served in a similar position in New York’s Department of Labor. Senate Republicans strongly opposed Smith’s appointment to her current post for that reason. In New York, Smith set up a neighborhood watch-style system for monitoring and investigating wage and hour violations by companies.

While that “sounds good,” Sen. Mike Enzi, Wyoming Republican, said during Smith’s Senate confirmation hearings, “Neighborhood Watch was set up so that people would notify law enforcement authorities of things they thought were strange and should be looked at. They did not have permission to go into people’s homes and investigate unannounced.”

Enzi pointed out that Smith’s announcement for her Wage and Hour Watch program lists six organizations, two of them unions and four of them “community organizing” groups, to take the lead on investigating violations.

Read the rest at The Daily Caller.

Comments are closed.