Union Bosses Go After Property Holders, Businesses & Girl Scouts
By Katie Gage
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If you think Big Labor's agenda is confined to taking away the secret ballot and empowering bureaucrats to mandate contracts on workers and small businesses alike without their consent, their latest scheme may surprise you. The most recent targets in the push by union bosses to force unionization on employees and employers are groups like the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross and Salvation Army.
For decades, these organizations have contributed significantly to communities around our great nation, and have survived on fund raising and community relationships. But if the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) had its way, these groups could be banned from accessing private property with a small business' consent - meaning elementary school students in the Girl Scouts, a staple of Americana, wouldn't be allowed to sell their beloved and delicious cookies outside of your local supermarket. And the Salvation Army would not be allowed to collect change during the Christmas season for those most in need, as their bell ringers would be denied access to shopping malls. And the list goes on and on.
But why would union bosses want to deny access to the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross and Salvation Army?
Simple, union bosses want access to private property so they can bully workers into joining unions and/or scare away customers with inflammatory and misleading rhetoric. And the AFL-CIO refuses to take no for an answer. Despite the consequences, they have appealed to the Obama Administration for help, seeking a decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would, in effect, so constrict business owners' rights to determine what outside parties can be on their own premises, that they would be left between a rock and a hard place: either allow union bosses to solicit their employees and frighten their clientele or say goodbye to giving access to any outside group.
Richard Trumka is trying to force his way onto these properties so he can gain access to handpicked employees of private companies to push for forced unionization of all the workers. Business owners, not wanting this type of coercion on their property, reserve the right to refuse access to anyone whom they so choose. But the labor bosses want to force employers to allow them access - and they are demanding government bureaucrats issue an all or nothing edict.
Small business owners are refusing to cower to Big Labor. In fact, a coalition of them has submitted an amicus brief to the NLRB showing their adamant objection to the AFL-CIO's demand. As their amicus brief states, "the primary interest of the Coalition in this case is to preserve the legitimate private property rights of employers, as they have been recognized and upheld by the United States Supreme Court and numerous courts of appeals." If the NLRB decides against business owners, they will be forced to either allow union bosses to have access to their property, or deny access to every group under the sun, including those raising funds for the poor.
The absurdity of this infringement on private property owned by employers across the country is un-American, anti-freedom and anti-business. The great character building and appreciation for community service that I learned as a "brownie" in the Girl Scout program is one of the few remaining redeeming community traditions we have in this country. The lessons these girls are learning through their cookie selling campaigns are much greater than practicing math and sales skills. They are building relationships in their neighborhoods and connecting local businesses with families and patrons. In sum - everybody wins. Well, everybody except Big Labor, apparently.
And if being forced to disallow the Girl Scouts and Salvation Army from accessing property they own wasn't bad enough, small business owners must also contend with boycotts and harassment engineered by union bosses. We've seen the lengths to which Big Labor will go when they made an all out push in the 111th Congress seeking passage of the Employee 'Forced' Choice Act (EFCA), which would have removed basic worker rights and caused millions of jobs to be lost. But now with labor radical and former union attorney Craig Becker seated on the NLRB, Big Labor has set its sights on a new target.
The AFL-CIO's complete disregard for the rights of private property holders and the collateral damage their actions would cause to outstanding organizations like the Girl Scouts, American Red Cross and Salvation Army is nothing less than appalling. Richard Trumka and those who are advocating for this position should be ashamed of themselves and if they had any shred of decency, they would apologize to the American people and request that this matter be set aside.
Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.
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