Authors: Mallory Factor
Tags: #Political Science, #Political Science / Labor & Industrial Relations, #Labor & Industrial Relations
|Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind|
|Center Street (2012)|
|Tags:||Political Science, Political Science / Labor & Industrial Relations, Labor & Industrial Relations|
SHADOWBOSSES reads like an organized crime novel, but it's actually a true story of how labor unions are infiltrating our government and corrupting our political process. This compelling and insightful book exposes how unions have organized federal, state, and local government employees without their consent, and how government employee unions are now a threat to our workers' freedoms, our free and fair elections, and even our American way of life. And, Mallory Factor reveals what's coming next: how unions are targeting millions of Americans--maybe even you--for forced unionization so that unions can collect billions more in forced dues and exert an even greater influence over American politics. A chilling expose, SHADOWBOSSES is also a call to citizen action against those who really hold power in America today.
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To our beloved parents: my mother, Sylvia,
and Elizabeth’s parents, Karen and Jim
They sat around the table together in a carefully guarded ceremonial meeting room in the capital city. The government was represented by the political leader of the country, a tall and stately figurehead for the nation. Across the table sat those who had put him in power: his Shadowbosses.
The leader and the Shadowbosses had come to a standoff. Their stated positions on an important public matter were at odds with one another. And so, the meeting was called to harmonize their positions.
By the time the meeting was over, the parties were close to a deal; the details would be worked out in the coming days. But the deal would send the country in a new, more radical direction. And the people would never understand that they had been sold out by their leader and his Shadowbosses. Until now.
HIS meeting did
take place in Soviet-era Moscow with the Communist Party dictating terms to an Eastern European political leader. Nor did it take place today in a former Soviet republic with the oligarchs telling the government leader what to do.
This meeting actually took place on January 11, 2010.
At the White House.
At that table sat President Barack Obama and the most important labor union bosses in America. Many of the powerful labor officials that we will meet in this book were at the meeting:
• Dennis Van Roekel, boss of America’s largest labor union, the National Education Association (NEA);
• Richard Trumka, former mine worker and fabled strongman of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO);
• Andy Stern, the elegant, Ivy League–educated head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), now retired;
• Gerald McEntee, the thirty-year head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME);
• James P. Hoffa Jr., head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and son of the thug/legend Jimmy Hoffa; and
• Randi Weingarten, firebrand president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
What could be so important to bring together all these powerful labor bosses at the White House? The President needed their help to pass Obamacare, and the labor unions were threatening to tank his legislation. Why? Because Obama had proposed to tax union members’ extremely expensive health-care plans, the so-called Cadillac plans, to pay some of the cost of Obamacare.
Before the meeting, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO spoke at the National Press Club, where he condemned Obama’s proposal to tax the Cadillac plans.
New York Times
reported, “Mr. Trumka and other union leaders said before Monday’s meeting that they intended to tell Mr. Obama that the tax would be economically and politically unwise.”
The head of the International Association of Fire Fighters was even more direct, “The President’s support for the excise tax is a huge disappointment and cannot be ignored. If President Obama continues to support it and signs a bill that includes the excise tax on workers, we will hold him accountable.”
After the White House meeting, the union bosses’ tone changed. Trumka emerged from the meeting sounding satisfied. “It was a frank and productive meeting between friends about moving forward with health-care reform,” Trumka announced to the press. “Meeting between friends” wasn’t precise enough—it was really a meeting between our country’s elected leader and the union officials who got him into office and who hold him accountable—his Shadowbosses.
The White House meeting was closed to the press and even to White House staff. Obama, as a candidate, had promised that all health-care negotiations would be broadcast on C-SPAN in an open forum. Obama, as President, broke his promise of transparency to satisfy the unions’ demands out of the public eye and to get Obamacare enacted.
Two days after the meeting with Obama, the union bosses met with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to hammer out details of the deal. When the meeting ended, the Obama Administration announced that it would give labor unions a seven-year moratorium on taxing Cadillac plans. It was a victory for the unions, but not for the taxpayers who are stuck paying an additional $120 billion for this concession to the unions—on top of the other costs of Obamacare.
New York Times
emphasized in an editorial, “The agreement treats unionized workers far more favorably than nonunion workers, the price for the support of important Democratic constituencies.”
But actually, the government unions got even
more in the deal—Obama opened up enormous new opportunities for the unions which you will learn about later in this book.
In our own lives, our Shadowbosses are the people we really work for: the people who hold us accountable for the decisions we make in our lives. It’s our fathers, telling us to study harder so we will have the chance for a bright future. It’s our mothers, pressing us to stay out of trouble. It’s our football coaches, standing on the sidelines and sending in the plays. For some of us, God is our Shadowboss, giving us a plan for action we ought to take and consequences if we don’t.
For many of our political leaders, though, their Shadowbosses are the government employee unions. These unions tell them what to do, which legislation to support, and when to bend to the demands of the unions in contract negotiations. The Shadowbosses are there to pat politicians on the back when they support the interests of government employee unions, and they’re there to tear them down if they go against those interests.
This story is frustrating for most Americans. It shows us that we’ve lost control of our government, and our politicians ignore us in favor of influential union bosses. It suggests that our republic is in some kind of peril.
But we’re not just in some kind of peril. We’re Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio travelling aboard the
. President Obama is steering the ship. And the union bosses are the only ones with lifeboats.
Our government is no longer answering to the American people; it has new masters. Behind taxpayers’ backs, our country is controlled by a group of movers and shakers who manipulate the system for their own advantage. These are the heads of the government employee unions: the Shadowbosses.
This all may seem like antiunion paranoia. After all, when we think of unions, we may remember impoverished Norma Rae striking for livable working conditions, or Bud Fox at the end of the movie
fighting corporate titans to help Bluestar Airlines employees keep their jobs. We may think of coal miners fighting for safer working conditions so that they can avoid black lung and of ladies’ garment workers demanding improvements to their sweatshop working environments.
Government employee unions, which the unions themselves usually call “public sector unions” or “public worker unions,” aren’t those kinds of unions. Government employee unions remind us more of Norma Rae’s bosses than Norma Rae; they make us think more about Gordon Gekko than the employees of Bluestar Airlines. These unions act more like bosses of government employees than their representatives.
Unlike private sector unions, government employee unions grow our government at the expense of the taxpayers. These unions are cynical exploiters of the taxpayer buck for their own advantage. When these unions win, all taxpayers lose—including members of private sector unions, who suffer higher taxes along with the rest of us when government grows.
The labor movement is now focused on government employees for its future growth. In recent decades, government employees have swelled union ranks—and government employees now represent the
majority of all union members in our nation. The teachers unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), just to name several government employee unions, represent millions of government workers. Even unions like the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters, which used to represent only private sector workers, represent tens of thousands of government employees. Government employees now actually have a rate of unionization that is
five times greater
than private sector workers, which is why government employee unions are so important to today’s union movement.
But government employee unions are a completely different animal from the private sector unions with which we may be more familiar. And the ramifications for America of having a unionized government workforce is completely different and far worse for our nation than having unionized workers in American businesses. To see why, we need to look first at the role of labor unions in the private sector.
Private sector unions represent workers who make and run things in our country—workers in businesses. For example, private sector union workers make cars, airplanes, clothing, equipment, and steel. They work in a wide range of fields including mining, transportation, construction, telecommunications, and the movie and television industries.