Union Label

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The Wall Street Journal recently uncovered a sneaky, unannounced reward for Big Labor provided by Comrade Obama, ever the unions’ tool.

The National Mediation Board is the agency that oversees labor relations for the airline and railroad companies. It has three appointees, two made by Obama, one by Bush. One of the Obama appointees (Harry Hoglander) is a past president of a pilots’ union; the other (Linda Puchala) is a past president of a flight attendants’ union. So you can guess how neutral these union apparatchiks are. Can you spell “regulatory capture,” boys and girls?

Recently, the AFL-CIO requested that the board adopt a new standard for unions trying to get certification in employee elections. For the past 75 years, a union had to get a majority of the workers in a given company to vote for a union before it could be certified as representing the company’s workers. To the contrary, said the AFL-CIO, unions should be certified if they get only the majority of the votes cast, even if (say) only 20/0 of the workers bother to vote. The idea is to game the system to make unionization of companies a breeze.

The Journal piece didn’t mention it, but the buzz on the internet was that the AFL-CIO was animated by the desire to deal with Delta’s acquisition of Northwest Airlines – Northwest being unionized, Delta nonunionized.

The Obama appointees immediately complied, over the objection of the Bush appointee (Liz Dougherty). They immediately wrote up the new rule behind closed doors, and published it in the Federal Register, with no notice given or feedback invited, natch. Two months now having gone by, they can inflict the rule on the businesses unfortunately subject to their power.

Score another victory for Big Labor, and another screwing of the American consumer.

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