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Payback in Pittsburgh


This afternoon in his speech to the union officials at the AFL-CIO Convention in Pittsburgh, President Obama reminded the union bosses in attendance of why they spent over a billion dollars getting Obama and a friendly Congress elected. But if Obama continues to follow through on his promises to ram through new forced-unionism special privileges, he risks major political blowback during the next election.

Obama stumped for health-care reform, but he was mum about the fact there are numerous Big Labor special privileges interwoven into the various proposals — making them little more than a Trojan Horse for forced unionization of the health-care field. Among the most egregious is a provision that bails out corrupt and under-funded union health-care plans to the tune of $10 billion dollars. Meanwhile, union-run programs get access to lucrative federal grants while non-union companies and employees need not apply. Another section provides for devastating penalties, up to $20k per employee, for companies whose health-care plans are not up to government “standards” but then provides a special tax exemption for health coverage in unionized workplaces, giving employers an incentive to force unwilling workers into union ranks to avoid the penalties and mandates.

Obama also spoke of the need to promote economic growth and preserve strong working families, but his only proposal is to sign a coercive card-check bill that forces companies to accept federally mandated contracts and eliminates secret-ballot voting in the workplace. Empowering union bosses – not workers — is Obama’s priority. How will denying employees the ability to vote privately on unionization help protect workplace rights? How will dictating contracts to job providers improve the economy? These questions are left unanswered because Obama’s support for card check is aimed at simply expanding Big Labor’s power.

Finally, Obama turned to the infamous “stimulus” package. As government outlays were increasing dramatically, Obama signed an Executive Order encouraging all federal agencies to adopt discriminatory “Project Labor Agreements,” which freeze out the 80 percent of construction workers who choose to be nonunion in favor of unionized companies hobbled by wasteful union work rules, cost overruns, and strikes.

Forced unionism is opposed by 80 percent of America’s voters. Obama is playing with fire, as American’s are rallying against these union power grabs like never before.

– Mark Mix is president of the National Right to Work Committee.


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