Labor Secretary Hilda Solis Politicizes Office, Calls for Congress to Act on Job-Destroying EFCA

President Obama’s Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis just issued a press release this morning regarding the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Annual Union Membership Report.  While a press release from a government bureaucrat (regardless of party) wouldn’t ordinarily draw our attention, the blatant political homage paid to Solis’ old union cronies as well as the nakedly partisan call for the hallucinogencially-named Employee Free FORCED Choice Act (EFCA) is astonishing. 

The job-destroying and delusionally-dubbed Employee Free Choice Act is the union bosses’ dream which has been further put into jeopardy this week with the election of Scott Brown to the Senate.

In sum, EFCA does three things:

  1. It effectively removes the right of workers to vote by secret-ballot on the question of unionization, replacing the decades-old secret-ballot process for “majority sign-up”
  2. It give a federally-appointed arbitrator the right to impose a contract on workers and their employers, which is an extraordinary and unprecedented intrusion of the government into the private sector.
  3. It imposes unrealistic monetary penalties on employers (including small businesses) whom the union-controlled National Labor Relations Board rule has committed Unfair Labor Practices.

For more background on EFCA, go here.

Given that one of Secretary Solis’ previous positions while she was in Congress was on the board of the union-funded lobbying group American Rights at Work (a potential conflict noted by the Weekly Standard last year), Ms. Solis’ union loyalties are unquestionable.  However, to use the power of her office in such a brash display of union payback is appallingly lacking in tact and beneath the office which she holds.

Here’s the text of the release [with emphasis added]:

“Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that, in 2009, the unionization rate of employed wage and salary workers was 12.3 percent, in essence unchanged from the 12.4 percent rate in 2008. Among private sector employees, the rate dropped to 7.2 percent from 7.6 percent in 2008.

“The data also show the median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary union members were $908 per week, compared to $710 for workers not represented by unions. Union members earn 28 percent more than their non-union counterparts.

“When coupled with data showing that union members have access to better health care, retirement and leave benefits, these numbers make it clear that union jobs are good jobs.

“As workers across the country have seen their real and nominal wages decline as a result of the recession, these numbers show a need for Congress to pass legislation to level the playing field to enable more American workers to access the benefits of union membership. This report makes clear why the administration supports the Employee Free Choice Act.

Of course, Ms. Solis and her union comrades completely ignore the fact that unions have destroyed millions of other jobs in industries like the American auto, steel, textile, trucking and other industries.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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