Workforce Fairness Institute

Billion Dollar Bosses Stand By Obama Administration & Payback

AFL-CIO Endorses President Obama After Labor Board Bails Outs Union Bosses, While Worker Pensions Go Bankrupt

“As the [American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations] A.F.L.-C.I.O. prepares to endorse President Obama on Tuesday, labor leaders say they will mount their biggest campaign effort, with far more union members than ever before – at least 400,000, they say – knocking on voters’ doors to counter the well-endowed ‘super PACs’ backing Republicans.” (Steven Greenhouse, “Labor Leaders Plan To Apply New Clout In Effort For Obama,” The New York Times, 3/11/12)

1)

UNION BOSSES BANKROLL OBAMA CAMPAIGN:

 

Labor Bosses Plan To Spend $400 Million Dollars For Obama During 2012 Presidential Election:

 

“Unions are gearing up to spend more than $400 million to help re-elect President Barack Obama and lift Democrats this election year in a fight for labor’s survival.” (Sam Hananel, “Unions Gearing Up To Spend Big In 2012 Election,” The Associated Press, 2/22/12)

 

Labor Bosses Spent Half A Billion Dollars For Obama During 2008 Presidential Election:

“There has been nothing coy about the Democratic presidential candidates’ courtship of Big Labor.  After all, union endorsements come with armies of door-knocking, phone-calling, sign-waving foot soldiers; union leaders will spend about half a billion dollars on political campaigns this election cycle.” (Tim Miller, “Giving Away The Store,” The New York Post, 12/17/07)

2)

UNION BOSSES SHORTCHANGE WORKER PENSIONS:

Union Pensions Funds Are Grossly Underfunded:

 

“The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.  Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered ‘endangered,’ while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as ‘critical’ under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.” (Kevin Mooney, “Unions Want Washington's Help With Pension Funds,” The Washington Times, 3/25/10)

               

Nearly Half Of All Major Union Pension Plans Are Underfunded:

“Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as ‘endangered’ or in ‘critical’ condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports …  Eight of the largest unions have underfunded plans, according to the most recent 5500 reports, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.  The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC).  Less than one in every 160 workers is covered by a union pension with required assets.” (Kevin Mooney, “Nearly Half Of Major Union Pensions Are Underfunded,” Washington Examiner, 6/9/09)

                                                                        

Unions Admit Their Pension Plans Are “Facing Difficulties”:

“Michelle Ringuette, a spokeswoman for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), acknowledged that pension funds for her union and for others were facing difficulties but said the fault lies with businesses, not the unions.  ‘SEIU’s pension funds – like all pension funds – were hit hard when the market collapsed in late 2008.  The union is deeply concerned about the instability big banks and the high-finance industry have created in the markets and throughout our economy, and we take very seriously all threats to the retirement security of our members and people who work for a living,’ said Ms. Ringuette, who represents the nation’s largest union by number of members.  Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a scholar with the Hudson Institute, dismissed that explanation.   ‘A lot of these plans were in trouble even before the stock crash, and the members are entitled to know,’ she said, adding that ‘there should be a law against putting out information about pension funds that is simply false.’” (Kevin Mooney, “Unions Want Washington's Help With Pension Funds,” The Washington Times, 3/25/10)

 

3)

UNION BOSSES GAIN ACCESS TO OBAMA WHITE HOUSE:

Big Labor Has A VIP Pass At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

 

“SEIU President Andy Stern and Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger are among the most frequent visitors to the White House.  Public records released by the Obama Administration show that Stern made 38 trips to the White House and Burger made 43 visits through Dec. 31, 2009.” (Rob Bluey, “SEIU’s White House Visits Are Paying Off,” The Heritage Foundation, 3/29/10)

“‘I’m at the White House a couple times a week – two or three times a week,’ Trumka boasts in a new video posted by the Workforce Fairness Institute, a foe of organized labor.  ‘I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or the administration.  Every day,’ he adds.  ‘And that includes weekends, by the way.’” (Michael O’Brien, “Video Seizes On Union Leader's Boast Of Daily Contact With White House,” The Hill, 3/9/11)

 

 

4)

UNION BOSSES ENDORSING OBAMA HAVE CHECKERED PASTS:

 

 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Named In Criminal Indictment By Justice Department While Serving As Secretary-Treasurer:

“In or about late October 1996, Martin Davis asked the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL [Richard Trumka] if he would arrange for the AFL to give $150,000 to Citizen Action if the IBT [International Brotherhood of Teamsters] agreed to give $150,000 to the AFL [AFL-CIO].  The Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL agreed.  At Martin Davis’ request, Jere Nash asked William W. Hamilton, Jr., the defendant, to contribute $150,000 to the AFL, and informed him that the Carey campaign would benefit in return.  Hamilton agreed to Nash’s request, and, on or about November 1, 2996, Hamilton caused the IBT to give $150,000 in IBT General Treasury funds to the AFL, upon obtaining the necessary approvals from IBT officials.  The AFL then sent $150,000 to Citizen Action.  Upon receipt of the $150,000 from the AFL, Citizen Action sent $100,000 to the November Group, which Davis applied to pay the November Group’s fees for the Carey campaign’s direct mail program.” (Indictment Of William W. Hamilton Jr., 4/27/98)

 

Trumka Takes Fifth & Refuses To Testify Before Congress, Federal Grand Jury & Former U.S. District Court Judge:

“Richard Trumka, who has been described as John Sweeney’s ‘top lieutenant,’ asserted the Fifth Amendment to protect himself from self-incrimination before a federal grand jury and refused to comply with a subpoena for a deposition before a U.S. Senate committee.” (Scott Shepard, “Gore Bids For AFL-CIO Backing To Avoid Setback,” The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, October 10, 1999; Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Web Site, www.senate.gov/~gov_affairs/26.pdf, Chapter 26, 3/7/00)

 

“Trumka was subpoenaed several times, but refused to testify before a federal grand jury in New York, at least one Congressional committee, and a federal elections appeal master called in to investigate the Carey campaign.” (Jerry Seper, “Big Donors Dominate Obama Advisory Board,” The Washington Times, 3/5/09)

 

Trumka Becomes First AFL-CIO Leader To Take Fifth & Keep His Job:

“After Trumka took the fifth, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney did not ask for Trumka to step down from his position, which ended a 40-year AFL-CIO precedent of asking reluctant witnesses to resign.” (Robert Novak, “Big Labor At Odds Over Dems,” Chicago Sun-Times, 10/4/99)

 

5)

UNION BOSSES EXPECT “PAYBACK” FROM OBAMA ADMINISTRATION:

 

AFSCME Boss McEntee Says EFCA Is “Payback” For Big Labor’s Political Support:

 

“Gerald McEntee, president of the influential American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told The Washington Times in an interview that EFCA was ‘payback’ for the labor movement’s massive campaign effort for Mr. Obama and the Democrats.” (David R. Sands, “Labor’s ‘Priority’ On Back Burner,” The Washington Times, 12/29/08)

6)

UNION BOSSES EXPECT OBAMA LABOR BOARD TO SERVE AS VEHICLE FOR “PAYBACK”:

 

Obama Labor Board To Use “Administrative Action” To Enact Agenda:

 

“We are very close to the 60 votes we need.  It [sic] we aren’t able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, we will work with President Obama and Vice President Biden and their appointees to the National Labor Relations Board to change the rules governing forming a union through administrative action...” (Stewart Acuff, “Restoring The Right To Form Unions And Bargain Collectively,” The Huffington Post, 2/3/10)

 

7)

 

UNION BOSSES RECEIVE “PAYBACK” FROM OBAMA LABOR BOARD:

Obama Labor Board Keeps “Eye On The Prize” & Supports Giving Employee Contact Information To Union Bosses:

“The chairman of the National Labor Relations Board plans to push for new rules that would give unions a boost in organizing members, despite an outcry from Republicans and business groups who say the board is going too far.  Mark Pearce said he hopes the board will propose the rules soon, now that it has a full component of five members.  President Barack Obama bypassed the Senate earlier this month to fill three vacancies.  ‘We keep our eye on the prize,’ Pearce said in an interview with The Associated Press … One change Pearce wants is to require businesses to hand over lists of employee phone numbers and emails to union leaders before an election.” (Sam Hananel, “Labor Board Chief To Push Union Organizing Rules,” The Associated Press, 1/25/12)

 

President Obama Stocks Labor Board With Union Cronies:

“After making an end run around Senate Republicans to fill the top job at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday, President Barack Obama ran the same play again a few hours later, making three recess appointments to bring the National Labor Relations Board to full strength.  The president used his power to name Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin to the board, which arbitrates workplace disputes and federal labor issues and has recently drawn considerable fire from Republicans after it sided with an aircraft workers’ union in a dispute with aerospace giant Boeing … The move was a big score for labor and Obama’s allies on the left, who congratulated the president for muscling past Republicans bent on blocking his agenda.” (Joseph Williams, “President Obama Appoints Three To NLRB,” Politico, 1/4/12)

“The National Labor Relations Board has a new chairman: Mark Pearce, a Democrat.  But business groups and Republicans are expecting more of the same from the agency they say favors unions over employers.  President Barack Obama named Mr. Pearce, already a board member, as chairman of the quasi-judicial board over the weekend.  Mr. Pearce succeeds Wilma Liebman, whose term expired Saturday after 14 years with the agency, most recently as its chairman … Mr. Pearce, who joined the board in 2010, said in a statement that Ms. Liebman served with ‘grace and distinction.’  He didn’t indicate specific plans for the board but has previously defended board decisions by saying the group was simply carrying out labor law, in part by trying to ensure that workers have an ‘unencumbered choice’ to unionize.   Mr. Pearce previously practiced labor and employment law as a representative for unions.” (Melanie Trottman, “NLRB Gets New Chairman, Mark Pearce,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/29/11)

“Lafe Solomon is one of the most powerful bureaucrats in America and is about to get much more powerful.  He is the acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), best known for suing Boeing Co. over the opening of a billion-dollar manufacturing plant that created thousands of jobs in South Carolina.  He also is suing four states - Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah – for enacting state constitutional protections for secret ballot voting … Mr. Solomon has served as acting general counsel since June 21, 2010, and his nomination was officially submitted to the Senate on Jan. 5, 2011, but he has not even had his nomination to the position considered by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.” (Phil Kerpen, “Obama’s Boeing Bandit Poised For Promotion,” The Washington Times, 11/29/11)

 

“This really isn’t a big surprise, as Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis hinted it was coming.  But President Obama has given Craig Becker, a former top attorney for the SEIU and AFL-CIO, a recess appointment to the National Labor Relations Board.  Becker’s nomination was held-up on a bipartisan vote by the Senate last month, with two Democrats crossing the aisle to oppose his nomination.  Essentially, the argument against Becker is that he’s far too radical.” (Mark Hemingway, “Obama Gives Radical Labor Lawyer Rejected By Senate Recess Appointment,” Washington Examiner, 3/27/10)

                                                                                                                                               

Obama Labor Board Supports “Ambush” Elections:  

 

“In a win for organized labor, the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday approved sweeping new rules that would speed the pace of union elections, making it easier for unions to gain members at companies that have long rebuffed them.  Business groups quickly denounced the move, saying it limits the time employers have to present their own case to workers about the impact of joining a union.” (Sam Hananel, “Business Groups To Fight New NLRB Rules,” The Associated Press, 12/21/11)

 

Obama Labor Board Supports “Micro-Unions”:

 

“In a case known as Specialty Healthcare, the board decided that the union could seek to organize a group that consists only of nursing assistants, a blow to the employer, which wanted to include other nonprofessional employees in the unit.  Employer groups had been concerned the board would use the health-care industry case to endorse the formation of so-called mini-bargaining units in a range of workplaces, which they said would allow unions to target small groups of workers the unions know would support unionization.  The Democrats on the board, in their written decision, used the case to clarify what they said has been longstanding policy in various industries when determining what constitutes an appropriate group of workers to organize.  They said that when an employer disagrees with a union’s proposal to organize a narrower group of employees, the onus is on the employer to prove the excluded workers share ‘an overwhelming community of interest’ with those in the proposed unit.  The board’s lone Republican, Brian Hayes, disagreed with this assessment in his dissent.” (Melanie Trottman, “NLRB Sides With Unions In Three Cases,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/30/11)

 

Obama Labor Board Supports Efforts To Block Employee Challenges To Unions After Company Is Sold:

 

“In the third case, known at UGL-Unicco Service Co., the board decided that after the sale of a unionized company, the new owner, the employees or a rival union can’t immediately challenge the incumbent union’s right to represent the workers.  Instead, there must be a ‘reasonable period’ of time for collective bargaining to have ‘a fair chance to succeed,’ the board’s Democrats decided.” (Melanie Trottman, “NLRB Sides With Unions In Three Cases,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/30/11)

 

Obama Labor Board Supports Efforts To Block Employee Challenges To Card Check:

 

“In another case known as Lamons Gasket Co., the board decided that employees opposed to a union would no longer have the right to immediately challenge the recognition of a ‘card-check’ election – in which employees sign cards to show their interest in joining.  Unions prefer the card-check method over secret-ballot elections.” (Melanie Trottman, “NLRB Sides With Unions In Three Cases,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/30/11)

 

Obama Labor Board Supports Efforts To Post Language In Businesses Favorable To Union Bosses:

 

“The National Labor Relations Board yesterday finalized a rule requiring private employers to post notice about employees right to unionize.  The notice should state that ‘employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities,’ according to a statement from the NLRB.  The rule takes effect in November, but lawyers who represent employers are already voicing their discontent.  Doreen Davis, co-chair of the labor practice at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, told the Law Blog the new posting requirement is part of a broader recent effort by the Obama administration to create a more favorable environment for unionizing.” (Nathan Koppel, “Employers Irate About New Union Rule,” The Wall Street Journal, 8/26/11)

 

Obama Labor Board Sues States For Defending Secret Ballot:

 

“An NLRB suit against Arizona challenges the legality of a state constitutional amendment that requires secret-ballot elections before a company can be unionized, and claims the state can’t override a federal law that gives workers the option of the so-called card-check method of organizing, which unions prefer because of its ease.  The NLRB has said it plans to file a similar suit against South Dakota, and has investigated union election laws elsewhere.” (Melanie Trottman, “Republicans Take On NLRB,” The Wall Street Journal, 5/13/11)

                                                                                                                                                                             

Obama Labor Board Issues Complaint Against Boeing For Opening Facility In Right-To-Work State:

 

“For businesses, it was the type of action they have feared from a National Labor Relations Board dominated by Democrats.  For labor unions, it was the type of action they have hoped for.  And for both, it may be a sign of things to come.  These fears and hopes were stirred this week when the labor board’s top lawyer filed a case against Boeing, seeking to force it to move airplane production from a nonunion plant in South Carolina to a unionized one in Washington State.  Boeing executives had publicly said they were making the move to avoid the kind of strikes the airplane maker had repeatedly faced in Washington; Lafe Solomon, the labor board’s acting general counsel, said the company’s motive constituted illegal retaliation against workers for exercising their right to strike.” (Steven Greenhouse, “Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law,” The New York Times, 4/20/11)

           

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