Obama Regime Puts the Squeeze on Construction Industry on Behalf of Unions

The current administration couldn’t care less about the interests of most Americans, but when it comes to unions, Obama et al. are devoted public servants. Here‘s what Big Union’s BFF is doing for them at the expense of the already moribund construction industry:

The Labor Department is investigating pay practices at many of the top companies in home building, hitting them with a broad demand for records that has led to complaints of regulatory overreach. A Labor Department spokeswoman confirmed the investigation but declined to discuss details.

Obamunist transparency means the little people don’t need to know what’s going on inside the Kremlin walls. But we have clues…

A copy of one letter, dated Aug. 1 and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, said the department was opening a probe under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs matters such as overtime pay and limits on using teen workers.

The letter instructed the home builder to immediately turn over the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, pay rates and hours worked for all employees over the past two years. It asked the names of all contractors hired in the past year. The letter didn’t allege any specific violations of law.

Time is money, and complying with these unreasonable demands will cost a fortune at a time when the industry is struggling to get back on its feet.

Ken Gear, a spokesman for the Leading Builders of America, an industry trade group, said several of its members received information requests from the Labor Department, which the trade group considers “overbroad, asking for information that does not relate to employees of its members,” he said. Saying the requests could require thousands of hours of work, Mr. Gear added that the inquiry “is especially troubling given that no issues have been identified to warrant an investigation.”

Here’s what Obama’s Labor Department is up to:

Many larger home builders, while acquiring land for homes and marketing them, entrust much of the construction to carpenters, electricians and others employed by contractors. The contractors rarely are unionized. …

Some industry officials said they thought the Labor Department might be trying to establish that a general construction contractor, such as a large home builder, is a “joint employer” of a subcontractor. That would make the general contractor liable for wage-and-hour violations at its subcontractor.

“There has been a movement afoot in many instances fueled by the unions to force the subcontractors to be employees of the builders, because the next step is to unionize them,” said [Jerry] Howard of the National Association of Homebuilders.

Unionization drives up both costs and unemployment. But better one union worker get above-market wages than two regular workers have jobs — if a nice chunk of those above-market wages are expropriated by the union and kicked back to Democrats as campaign contributions. That’s how things work when the government is bloated and corrupt — i.e., run by liberals.

obama union
Big Unions — the one friend Obama won’t throw under the bus.

On a tip from Varla. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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