And with the stroke of a pen, a new federal government bureaucracy designed to prop up union membership and political power is created.
Decades of declining union participation in the private and government sectors and a recent series of worker-friendly court decisions banning mandatory membership and dues in the government sector created the motive.
Control of both houses of Congress supplied the opportunity. All Big Labor needed to provide it with the means to effectively co-opt the U.S. government was a suitably malleable puppet in the White House.
Starting with the euphemistically titled “PRO Act” in early March, followed by his audacious infrastructure plan in April, Joe Biden is leaving little doubt he’s the right man for the job.
And it appears the president is determined to cement that status in May with an executive order issued on April 26 establishing a White House task force on “Worker Organizing and Empowerment.”
Contrary to its disingenuous name, however, the project’s true intent is to strip workers of choice when it comes to organizing. And rest assured, it’s the money-wielding unions, not individuals, who will be empowered by it.
Only 10 percent of private-sector employees are currently unionized, mostly because the main concerns they were originally created to oppose — child labor, unsafe workplaces, employer bullying tactics, etc. — have been assumed by a battery of local, state, and national regulatory agencies.
By contrast, government unions had, until recently, thrived because membership was a condition of employment in many states until the courts began overturning labor-centric laws, culminating with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which affirmed that mandatory union membership and dues violate a government employee’s First Amendment rights.
Faced with the prospect of watching millions of their members opt out, taking with them the billions of dollars in dues money needed to buy political influence, unions went all-in during 2020 to nominate and elect a candidate willing to bend any rule to reverse labor’s losses.
To put it mildly, Biden is paying off like a slot machine.
His so-called “PRO Act” would:
- institute heavy-handed union organizing, including impeding secret-ballot elections on unionization;
- limit management’s ability to refute union campaign messages during organizing drives;
- truncate the union election process so employees have less time to seek information for informed decision-making;
- require employers to provide unions with employees’ personal contact information;
- and, override right-to-work laws in the majority of states.
And the infrastructure plan, rather than instituting safeguards to ensure quality work is provided at a competitive price, virtually guarantees the work will always be done by unions — at their price and on their terms.
Biden’s White House task force promises more of the same. Only worse.
Among its stated objectives, the panel will craft legislation empowering government to:
- “lead by example” — meaning targeting its own employees via bullying/harassment to join and increase union ranks;
- “facilitate worker organizing across the country” — in other words, weaponizing the federal government in favor of labor unions at the expense of individual employee rights to bargain their own wages and benefits;
- “increase worker power in underserved communities … with restrictive labor laws” and with “heightened barriers to organizing workers in certain industries” — this is labor-speak for eliminating right-to-work laws around the country and overturning unionization rejections by gig economy employees and workers such as the Alabama Amazon employees who recently voted not to unionize; and,
- “increase union membership across the U.S. …” — this is self-explanatory, except that it neglects to acknowledge that workers will be given little or no choice in the matter. Their dues money is critical to the survival of unions in particular and the Left in general. That’s all that matters.
Biden’s labor task force, like the other taxpayer-funded gifts to his union benefactors, is couched in language suggesting American workers overwhelmingly want union representation and require only that barriers be eliminated.
But that assertion, like those undergirding many Biden policies, flies in the face of facts.
In the private sector, where workers are given a choice about union representation, membership has dropped to record lows. In government, unions have lost hundreds of thousands of members since Janus — a number that would undoubtedly be larger if unions hadn’t made a conscious decision to challenge every opt out by any means necessary.
Make no mistake, this latest action has no more to do with the workers’ wishes than Biden’s earlier sellouts. It’s simply the latest in a long line of government giveaways designed to pay off his campaign donors and re-enslave millions of dues-paying employees — and all with taxpayer dollars.
Aaron Withe is the CEO of the Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit that specializes in exposing and battling abuses by government employee unions.