Top O’ the Briefing
Democrats and Big Labor Are Bad for Business
Happy Thursday, dear fellow travelers along the Kruiser Morning Briefing path. The dress code is whiskey.
On a personal note: I really wish that I didn’t find Forensic Files so comforting.
It was less than a week ago that I was writing about what a mess things are in California. We were focusing on the governor then, but we all know that the hot mess list over in the Golden State is rather lengthy. Looking at the state from the outside, no sane person would say, “Hey, let’s have more of that. In fact, let’s see if we can make the whole country run like California.”
Well, kids, that’s exactly what the Democrats want.
My laundry list of reasons that I didn’t want the Democrats to be successful last November ran about War and Peace length and one of the things on it that I mentioned frequently in interviews was the looming national version of California’s disastrous AB 5 law. Dems were salivating at the prospect of having a hammerlock on Congress so they could push through the PRO Act, which is AB 5 on federal steroids. It’s got the components of AB 5 and it resurrects the card check insanity that the Democrats tried and failed to pass in the early days of The Lightbringer era.
The House finally managed to pass it and Stacey wrote a deep dive post on it yesterday:
The House of Representatives has passed the PRO Act, short for “Protecting the Right to Organize.” This bill goes far beyond the promise the Obama administration made to give card-check neutrality to private-sector unions. Then it was called the Employee Free Choice Act. The legislation would have allowed union certification via the card-check process traditionally used to force a union election. If 50% +1 voted to have a union election, both the employer and the union conducted campaigns before the election. Under card-check neutrality, if a majority signed cards, the union would be automatically certified. It did not pass when Democrats held Congress and the White House in 2009.
The PRO Act brings card-check neutrality in the backdoor. The legislation gives the National Labor Relations Board the power to overrule a union election loss if a majority of employees sign a card and the union alleges the employer interfered in the election. A majority of employees had to sign a card to trigger the election in the first place. The burden of proof would be on the employer to prove they did not interfere. There are already significant restrictions on what an employer can do during a union election campaign. This provision would upend the understanding of due process that generally applies to administrative law.
It also outlaws Right-to-Work laws in the 27 states that have them. If you look at a map, you can see what many of them have in common.
Put mildly, this thing is a nightmare.
The PRO Act also adopts the assault on the gig economy in AB 5, forcing companies that usually use independent contractors to hire them as employees. Once all of those new bodies are on the payroll, the rest of the PRO Act is there to force them into the dues-paying fold.
AB 5 is so awful that even the ultra-liberal electorate in California passed a ballot measure to counter it last November.
As Stacey notes in her post, this bill is designed to beef up union membership. Private-sector union membership has been cratering for a very long time. Public sector unions (which should be illegal) are doing all right, especially in states with no right-to-work laws. Union membership only thrives with coercion. This bill is one big strong-arm play.
This is also a big part of the Democrats’ long term, one-party fever dream for the United States:
Democrats’ incentive for doing this is obvious. The vast majority of union donations go to Democrat candidates and causes. Having higher union density made up of members forced to pay dues benefits them directly. The PRO Act is an insane level of graft in the legislative process.
This is no small thing. Getting back to the California example: the most powerful political lobby in the most populous state in the union is the California Teachers Association. More union members being forced to fork over dues means more money flowing to Democratic causes. The California assemblywoman who sponsored AB 5 is a former AFL-CIO executive, by the way.
Now we have to hope that this monstrosity dies a hideous death in the Senate.
I Had 3 of Them Over the Years
— Evan Kirstel (@EvanKirstel) March 10, 2021
Everything Isn’t Awful
Who knew jumping rope could look this epic??? Lauren Flymen starting jumping rope in lockdown as a distraction after being furloughed from her job and having to postpone her wedding. Now, her rad skills are inspiring others to try it as well. https://t.co/XYVfb0zvqi pic.twitter.com/wRXV95D91b
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 11, 2021
Around the Interwebz
American Patriots Dump Harry And Meghan Into Boston Harborhttps://t.co/9c9f7Hf7RM
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) March 10, 2021
The Kruiser Kabana
— LACMA (@LACMA) February 18, 2021
St Vitus Cathedral, Prague. A true masterwork. pic.twitter.com/vCen9wZpTT
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I should be writing this from a moon base.
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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.