Mandatory disclosure by labor “persuaders”

by Walter Olson on September 18, 2011

New Department of Labor regulations will require, on pain of serious criminal penalties, regular disclosures by lawyers, consultants, advisers, website developers, P.R. firms, pollsters and many others whose activities might persuade employees not to sign union cards. (Current regulations require disclosures only regarding consultants who actually meet with employees, as opposed to generating information that might reach them.) The result will be to give the Jimmy Hoffas of the world a road map to put legal pressure on (maybe even “take out“) a wide range of consultants and back-office employees in areas like safety, productivity management and general HR (say, employee-handbook writing), many of whose activities have predictable impact on bargainable issues and worker inclination to unionize. [Labor Union Report](& Legal Ethics Forum)

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1 Jack Olson 09.18.11 at 8:06 am

Union bosses think their problem is the enemy they can see, the business consultants who advice businessmen on how to keep their employees from joining unions. Their real problem is the enemy they can’t see, the consumers who refuse to buy their products and services. This is why most union members today are government employees, who can force taxpayers to pay cartel prices which fund union wages. This is also why more and more of the taxpayers have replaced government services like government schools with private schools and why private security guards now outnumber government policemen. Yet, even a monopoly cannot afford to price its services too high. The USPS still has a monopoly on delivery of first class mail yet it runs at an unsustainable deficit and its unions are watching their membership melt away. They’ll all still vote for Obama, though, because his Dept of Labor is doing all it can to protect the jobs of union bosses whatever happens to union members.

2 William Nuesslein 09.19.11 at 9:53 am

For goodness sakes, how can Jack Olson blame the Postal Service’s problems on Unions alone. I get my Social Security check through direct deposit and pay most of my bills through the Internet. I think that has more to do with the Postal Service’s revenue problems.

By the way the Eastman Kodak Company was a great growth company without unions. They are in a bad way mainly because digital pictures have replaced film.

Unions work well when they socialize the costs of pensions and heath care. But they are a problem when they extort high wages as with the airlines and the automobile industries.

With Social Security, 401k plans, jobs with high skill requirements, and the Affordable Care Act, unions are problematic.

3 Howard Gilbert 09.19.11 at 6:59 pm

You have a web site that might influence an employee not to sign a union card. I have a web site, and while it is unlikely that it would have that result, given “serious criminal penalties” I suppose the only safe thing is to sign up just in case. In fact, everyone in the US better sign up just in case. You never know when your facebook page or a blog comment will change someone’s mind. Meanwhile, if everyone signs up, they will rethink this stupid idea really quickly. Or maybe they are not even that smart.

4 Jim Collins 09.20.11 at 7:22 am

So do the union thugs who firebombed my car in 1989 have to sign up too?

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