by Warner Todd Huston | September 13, 2011 1:04 pm
True to form, even as he says he wants to cut regulations, Obama’s regulatory army is marching hard against business and this week the president’s Labor Dept. has unleashed yet another salvo in order to hurt the business sector. Before I start this explanation of yet another Obama powergrab through his powers to regulate, may I remember you all that this president has made a big, fake show out of claiming that he wants to cut unnecessary regulations? While he says it a lot, he’s made few attempt to live up to the claim.
Now, in two weeks — Sept. 24 to be exact — the public comment period on Obama’s newest powergrab will be over and the Dept. of Labor will undertake to implement a new scheme to make it uncomfortable for PR firms. law firms, polling firms, and communications companies of all sorts to do business with companies that have employees, workers that might in the future be unionized or currently are unionized.
The new regulation by Obama’s Labor Dept. would force all “persuaders” to register with the government and disclose all their financial info to the DOL.
The term of art being employed is “persuaders.” Persuaders are those that are hired by a company to extol the company’s virtues or to inform employees and other companies that do business with the principal firm that said firm has their interests at heart. A “persuader” might be a law firm that helps consult on employee relations, a PR firm that helps the business sell itself in advertisements, anyone that makes a website or a video for the company, outsourced human resource departments, in short, any company hired to help the principal company deal with employees or communications is a “persuader.”
So, what is the problem with this new requirement? Only that once all these various communications vendors register with the Dept. of Labor all their info will be available for unions to access. With this new rule in place unions can target said companies for attacks, pressure, boycotts, and other intimidation to get them to stop working for a company that is targeted for unionization.
These requirements will make any small communications company think twice about making a website for a business if a union can get their info and attack them merely for having worked for that company. Small businesses will be hit hardest with this onerous and dangerous requirement because they simply won’t have the legal departments large enough to handle both the disclosure requirements and the resulting attacks by unions that will result.
There is little doubt that this rule is intended to intimidate small companies from doing business with firms that have employees and those stubborn enough to continue doing that business will find union ready to attack them with newly obtained, previously private information about their company.
There is also little doubt that this rule will be selectively enforced and used as a weapon against the firms that Obama and unions want to extort or destroy.
LaborUnionReport.com has a great, much more extensive post on this regulatory change.
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