Big Labor Has Solid Grip on Obama Administration

As Labor Day approaches, a group of over two dozen prominent conservatives led by former Atty. Gen. Ed Meese and operating under the umbrella of the Conservative Action Project has issued an analysis of Big Labor’s excessive influence on the Obama Administration. Here is their case:

“We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama–$60.7 million to be exact and we’re proud of it.”—Andrew Stern, former President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The excessive influence of Big Labor on Obama Administration and Congress has been disastrous for American workers and the nation’s economy.

The tremendous amount of power and influence that officials of organized labor have over this administration and Congress is adding to the growth of government and makes no sense given that only 7% of the private-sector workforce and 12% of the overall workforce are members of a labor union.

The decision-making by the Obama Administration and Congress disregards the 93% of the private sector workforce in order to pay Big Labor bosses back for previous campaign support—much of it coming from the dues money collected from workers subject to compulsory unionism.

As Americans prepare to observe Labor Day, the nation’s unemployment rate continues to remain at record-high levels and the federal deficit continues to grow and place a long-term burden on every American taxpayer. The Obama Administration and Congress have handed out one favor after another in special-interest favors to union officials without regard to the public policy ramifications. For example:

• Ten days after being sworn in, President Obama issued three Executive Orders that 1)curtail federal contractors’ free speech during union organizing drives, (2) provide job security for employees of federal service contractors, and (3) require federal contractors to notify employees of their right to join a union.

• One week later, President Obama signed another Executive Order announcing a government preference for Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on all federally funded large-scale construction projects.  As a result of this, many projects financed by the so-called “economic stimulus bill” are subject to PLAs and performed by unionized workers. 

• The Obama Department of Labor rolled back several rules issued during the Bush Administration to increase union transparency through forms required to be filed with the government under the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act.

• The Obama Treasury Department forced financially troubled General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy and swung a deal granting the United Auto Workers 17.5% and 55% stakes, respectively, in GM and Chrysler.

• According to official records, the person who most often visited the White House in 2009 was Andy Stern, then president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which had given more than $4 million since 2006 to scandal-ridden ACORN and its affiliates.

• An overwhelming majority of congressional Democrats co-sponsored “card-check” legislation designed to deny workers a secret ballot election to determine if a union would represent them.

• The Obama Administration and Congress reduced funding to the Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS)—which is the only agency in the entire federal government assigned the responsibility for oversight of organized labor.

• President Obama circumvented the Senate—that had objections to NLRB nominee Craig Becker—and recess appointed him as chairman. Becker had previously worked for both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU.

• Some in Congress are now proposing a $165 billion union pension bailout. As Fox Business Network reported, these pensions are in bad shape; as of 2006, well before the stock market dropped and recession began, only 6% of these union pension funds were doing well.
Gallup found for the first time in more than 80 years that a majority of Americans now think “unions mostly hurt the economy.”