BY: G. DAVID SLOAD, ABC KEYSTONE PRESIDENT-CEO
I know, after every election, we hate to hear the phrase ”Elections have Consequences.” Well, the next phrase I’m going to share is just as relevant, and if you have been around ABC very long, you may also get tired of this phrase over the next few years. “Get into politics or get out of business.” For today, I want to focus on politics at the Federal level, because, from a political perspective, it is at this level your business is the most vulnerable.
As we look at the first several weeks of the new administration, there is no hidden agenda. Clear signals have been put in front of us as to what the plan entails: to destroy the industry we love and the businesses you have worked so hard to build. You might say I am being overly dramatic, but let us just look at the actions that have been taken thus far.
The new administration has started undoing, via executive order, any policy or regulatory order that had been put in place to advance jobs and create greater cooperation between agencies and employers. Any new executive order that talks about jobs only refers to the creation of “good union jobs.” It appears the 87% of the population that chooses not to be part of a union are no longer represented by our President. This administration has decided to take the Obama administration proposals to tear down our industry, and they plan to amp it up.
Let’s look at the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize Act). This is a rehash of the Obama Card Check bill – on steroids. Just some of the highlights, or should I say obstacles, are as follows:
- Restricts an employer’s ability to communicate with employees during the organizing process
- Interferes with attorney-client confidentiality by restricting an employer’s right to seek legal advice during the organizing process
- Changes the process by which the union can challenge the results of an organizing election
- Requires employers to provide employee contact information to the union organizers, without approval from the employee
- Imposes civil penalties up to $50,000 for an alleged violation of labor law
- Eliminates the ban on “secondary boycotting activity,” thereby allowing unions to boycott and picket neutral contractors and your end users
The list goes on much further. Essentially, this bill will erode 70 years of labor laws and eliminate your rights and protections. This bill will pass the House. We need to play defense in the Senate and keep this off the President’s desk. He has emphatically stated that he will support and sign this, should it reach his desk.
The PRO Act is just one example of what is going on in Washington. We understand that OSHA may no longer be the partner we saw under the previous administration. Ultimately, this is one of the main reasons ABC exists: to help our members survive and grow, especially during a toxic environment. However, we can’t do it without your help and support.
We want to hear from you when you have challenges in these areas. We need you to engage in direct contact with your legislators via calls, letters, and emails. We will provide you the tools.
I close where I started, with a slight adjustment. Now, more than ever, “Get into politics, or the government may put you out of business.”
Posted March 9, 2021