Patterico's Pontifications


What Intimidation?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Giving unions more power – even the power to intimidate at one’s home,

The Obama administration is poised to change regulations to allow for union “ambush elections” in which workers have less time to decide whether or not to join a union — and in which workers’ phone numbers and home addresses are provided to unions.

The administration’s National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) proposed rules would allow for union elections — in which workers at a company vote whether or not to unionize — to be held 10 days after a petition is filed. And what, exactly, would be happening to the unions during those 10 days? The new rules require employers to disclose workers’ personal information, including phone numbers, home addresses, and information about when they work their shifts.

Workforce Fairness Institute spokesman Fred Wszolek points out the troubling obvious: [I]f you’re going to give access to unions any personal email addresses a company has, fine. But let’s protect the privacy of workers by no longer requiring companies to give to the union the home addresses of workers. It’s very hard to intimidate or coerce a worker by email. But it’s much easier to intimidate or coerce a worker when you’re standing on their doorstep.

Of course, union members showing up on an employee’s porch to intimidate is nothing new.

This poses several questions:

-Do employees have an expectation of privacy once their shifts end and they are back in their personal homes and lives?

-Understanding that employers are required to provide such information, *if* they refuse, based on the employee’s wishes, what penalties can they face?

-What recourse does an employer and employee have in light of being compelled to release said information?


Bills Before Congress

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

During every congressional session, a plethora of bills are introduced for passage. Here are a few of the more unique ones. Even if bills don’t pass, sponsors and their causes will receive attention during the session. In reading several on the list, one can’t help think that too many congresspeople have far too much time on their hands.

Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act: Would establish the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park on the moon. – Chief sponsor Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.)

Read the Bills Act: Would require legislation to be posted online one week before it comes up for a vote. The House version, sponsored by two Republicans, would exempt declarations of war. The Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), would require that lawmakers sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, attesting that they “attentively” read the measure or were present throughout the entire reading. They do not have to sign the affidavit if they vote against the bill. – House Bill’s chief sponsor Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.)

Department of Peacebuilding Act: Would establish a Cabinet-level federal department, headed by the secretary of Peacebuilding, dedicated to reducing violence domestically and internationally. – Chief Sponsor Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)

(The idea of a Department of Peace had been championed for more than a decade by then-Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio).

District of Columbia-Maryland Reunion Act: Would address the District of Columbia’s long-standing grievance over lack of representation in Congress by turning over the district to Maryland except for a “National Capital Service Area” that includes the Capitol, the White House and monuments on the National Mall.

SPA Act: Would prohibit the operation of the House gym during a government shutdown. The Shutdown Prioritization Act was introduced during the 16-day federal government shutdown in October.

Arguments for the bills and their current status can be read at the link.


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