Seriously, the Obama administration has an interesting idea of what would make a free and fair election in the workplace when it comes to their union votes. In his world, you can gag the employer, lock him in the closet, let the unions court the workers with the NLRB backing them and then let the people vote.
In their eagerness to bind the hands of the employers, though, they are going to destroy many, many, many business relationships that have nothing to do with unions. Collateral damage in the union wars, if you will. Unfortunately for you, this is just more sludge in the economic engine of the nation, which would really be stupid on their part if they were honestly focused like a laser on jobs.
I suppose with unionization rates in single digits (if you exclude the public employers who are plundering the taxpayers with our politicians’ assistance) this plan seems like a reasonable way to help his faithful political cronies, but it’s an insane rule if you really would like to see American businesses grow and hire again.
On Wednesday, the public comment period will be closing on a Department of Labor proposal that the majority of America knows nothing about and even fewer understand.
If enacted as drafted, the union cronies within the Department of Labor will require every private-sector employer and service provider (whether or not they ever talk directly to employees) to file financial statements with the Obama Labor Department if the service provider’s services indirectly affect employees’ choice to unionize or not.
Unless you act by commenting here, this rule change will likely take affect. [See link to and sample comment below.]
Once the financial information—which includes the service provider’s entire company (or firm’s) receipts (even from other clients)—are submitted, it will become public information. It will then be published on the Department of Labor’s website and available to union bosses. What’s more, willful failure to file the financial information is a criminal violation, punishable by either imprisonment, a fine, or both.
In June, when the Department of Labor, at the behest of union bosses, issued a 160-page proposal to expand the interpretation of “advice” under a little-known law called the Labor-Management Reporting & Disclosure Act, few understood just how deeply the DOL’s proposed rule change could affect employers and consultants of all stripes–not just those involved in labor relations. Most still don’t understand it.
In addition to companies who hire attorneys to assist them with union issues, the Department of Labor’s broad expansion into areas that most would not consider remotely connected to unions, but because it could indirectly affect [read deter] employees’ choice to unionize, the Department of Labor will likely call this “persuader activity.”
Here are the types of vendors (and the employers that hire them or purchase goods from them) who will likely be caught up in the DOL’s new proposed rules:
- Writers (or authors) who may write a website, publication, sell a book, or other material that may promote a positive employee relations culture, thereby dissuading employees from unionizing
- Website designers who may be contracted to design and build a website to be used for internal communications with employees
- Consultants who coach management on how to structure and effectively manage employee teams
- Employee engagement consultants who help companies and employees with positive employee relations
- Productivity consultants who design and implement quality, or any other type of teams that may give employees a voice in the success of their companies’ products
- Safety consultants who help establish safety committees that give employees the ability to voice safety concerns to their employer to resolve safety issues
- Human resources consultants that design, write, or implement employee handbooks or policies
- Compensation and benefit consultants who design and administer any type of benefit, pay or incentive plans for companies
- Consultants who conduct surveys to determine employee satisfaction at their jobs
We’d better get our butts in gear and start paying attention to the regulatory activities of this administration and protesting them. We have no cause for complaint if we don’t even care enough to comment. I can assure you, if a Republican administration was issuing a rule as detrimental to unions as this is to business, the unions would be marching in the streets and screaming bloody murder.
Here’s the link. Go now. Do it.