Unions can now legally blackmail companies into submission under Obama rule.
A new federal rule that allows companies to be barred from doing work for the federal government is giving unions (and other advocacy groups) “unprecedented new leverage against companies and institutions that contract with the federal government,” according to a post on the Teamsters for a Democratic Union’s website.
On July 31, 2014, President Obama issued his controversial Executive Order 13673—otherwise known as ‘the blacklisting rule.’
Under the new rule, federal contractors are forced to disclose any “labor law violations” they have had in the last three years when procuring contracts over $500,000.
Then, the government procurement officer, along with a labor compliance adviser, consider the information and decide if a contractor has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics.
If the procurement officer and labor advisor determine that the contractor does not meet the government’s “standards,” the contractor will not get the work.
Fearing that the rule is ripe for abuse, a coalition of businesses, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed suit earlier this year.
Giving union’s “unprecedented leverage”…
Earlier this week, in a post entitled Obama “Blacklisting” Rule—New Leverage For Unions?, the Teamsters for a Democratic Union [TDU] explained Obama’s ‘blacklisting’ rule, as such:
The Order applies to approximately 24,000 businesses that have procurement contracts with the federal government in excess of $500,000, or who subcontract at this level. These businesses must now inform federal contracting agencies of any complaints by federal or state labor agencies, civil judgments, or arbitration awards that allege or find a labor law violation over the past three years. The violation must be reported even if the employer is currently contesting it before an administrative judge or in the courts. Employers must update their status twice a year. If a complaint is dismissed or vacated, the reporting obligation no longer applies.
However, in a more thorough explanation of how unions can abuse the new ‘blacklisting’ rule, the TDU’s post lays out a scenario for its readers that is shocking in its ham-fisted bluntness.
Here it is in full:
The Executive Order gives unions unprecedented new leverage against companies and institutions that contract with the federal government. Unless the Order or its implementing regulations are overturned by the courts (employers have promised lawsuits) or revoked by a future president (wonder who), unions should be able to significantly increase their bargaining power by the simple expedient of filing meritorious charges with the NLRB, OSHA, the EEOC, or the DOL.
Consider a union that strikes an auto plant for a new contract. Soon after workers hit the bricks, the union president has the following conversation with the general manager:
Morris, we are two weeks into this goddam strike and the company shows no sign of accepting a fair labor agreement. That is your prerogative, but I think you need to take a fresh look. For one thing, we have filed six ULP charges over the company’s failure to provide information, illegal surveillance, and intimidation on the picket line – and are getting ready to file three more. The NLRB investigator has indicated that he will be recommending complaints on at least four of our charges.
You say that the NLRB is toothless but you are apparently unaware that the rules of the game have drastically changed. Under a new Order issued by the President, a federal contractor that incurs NLRB or other labor law complaints must report them to federal contracting agencies and face the prospect of losing existing and future contracts. Putting it plainly: unless you settle this strike within the next few days, and the union withdraws its charges, you are likely to be marked as a “repeat labor law offender,” one of the highest categories of wrongdoing under the President’s Order. Check this out with your hotshot legal team.
Counting all of its divisions, this corporation has federal contracts in the hundreds of millions. Do you really want to jeopardize this pot of gold to save a few hundred thousand dollars in the union contact? [Emphasis added.]
Given the bluntness of the TDU’s example, it appears that the business community’s concerns over the propensity to abuse the blacklisting rule were not unfounded.