Are Unions Hurting the Middle Class? Is the NLRB becoming a Cosa Nostra Style Power?

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First a little history behind the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA).  It is mentioned in the third notation.  **Make special note of the NRA poster with Eagle**

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Acts, Bills, and Laws, June 1933-May 1935

Touted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt  as “the most important and far-reaching ever enacted by the American Congress,” the National (Industrial) Recovery Act (NRA) was passed by Congress on June 16, 1933. That New Deal law was designed to promote recovery and reform, encourage collective bargaining for unions, set up maximum work hours (and sometimes prices) and minimum wages, and forbid child labor in industry.

For a short time, Title I of the famous NRA prescribed the drafting and establishment of a code system of fair competition for every sort of industry. Those codes had the force of law and were exempt from antitrust provisions.

NRA graphic

The codes were to be designed by a group or association that would not impose inequitable restrictions on one company over another, not limit membership in the group drafting the code, nor would the code be designed to promote monopolies or to eliminate or oppress small enterprises. It also would not descriminate against small enterprises, and lastly it “will tend to effectuate the policy of this title.”

The president was given the executive power to not only approve the code — essentially giving the President the authority to make laws, which is the job of the Congress — but also he could impose his own conditions on those codes, make additions or deletions to them prior to approving them, and was free to write codes himself where none existed.

A New Deal product of meetings among such Brain Trust advisors as Raymond Moley, big business leaders, and labor unionists, the NRA illustrated Roosevelt’s willingness to work with, rather than against, business interests.

The Brain Trust was a group of academics put together to carve out the policies of the New Deal prior to Roosevelt’s inauguration. Members of the group were Raymond Moley, an American journalist and public figure; Rexford Tugwell, Adolf Berle of Columbia University, attorney Basil O’Connor, and later, Felix Frankfurter of Harvard Law School. Most of those men served in official posts during Roosevelt’s presidency; they never met as a group after his inauguration.

The NRA was part of President Roosevelt’s first 99 days, which produced 16 pieces of relief legislation in 1933, including the following:

In general, American industrialists did not particularly like NRA because it didn’t allow them to raise prices or cut wages once they were in recovery. Although Roosevelt could not force industrialists to sign codes, he would withhold NRA’s popular blue eagle seal of approval as a bargaining tool to pursuade businesses to adopt them. These seals were to be found in shop windows all over the country and represented businesses’ cooperation with the government to rebuild the nation’s economy.

Criticism began to mount when it was shown that larger industrial manufacturers were shaping codes to suit their own priorities — excluding labor, consumers, or the overextended NRA staff. Critics also noted that some NRA codes actually limited production and therefore penalized consumers by sustaining prices.

The NRA went through several reorganizations during 1934, when program director General Hugh Johnson was replaced by a five-person board and was reluctantly extended for another year by Congress in May 1935.

Title I of the NRA was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 27, 1935 in a sweeping and unanimous ruling after hearing the A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States case, in which the Schechter Corp. allegedly disobeyed the requirements of a “Code of Fair Competition for the Live Poultry Industry of the Metropolitan Area in and about the City of New York.”

In that Roosevelt-approved code, the company had failed to observe provisions fixing minimum wages and maximum hours for employees, permitted customers to select individual chickens, sold unfit chicken, were not in compliance with inspection regulations, had dealings with slaughterers and dealers not licensed under the code, and made false reports.

The Supreme Court found that the provisions in the code were not a valid exercise of federal power. The court argued that Congress had given too much control to the presidency to issue whatever edicts it chose. The act also gave Congress excessive power to regulate interstate commerce and “invades the power reserved exclusively to the States.” The court ruled that Congress did not have the right to dictate to the states wages and hours worked, because those factors affect costs and prices and therefore indirectly affect interstate commerce, “nor in the fact that failure of some States to regulate wages and hours diverts commerce from the States that do regulate them.”

NRA restaurant sign

The court also argued that there were no standards set for any trade, industry, or activity and therefore could not prescribe “rules of conduct” to be used when drafting these codes.

By the time Title I was overturned, more than 700 industries had been codified, four million unemployed people had been absorbed into industrial jobs, and nearly 23 million workers were under codes. It was largely felt that by the time it was overturned, Title I had run its course and was no longer needed.

The Works Project Administration (WPA), which was the second part of the NRA, was allowed by the court to stand. The WPA went on to spend billions on reforestation, flood control, rural electification, water works, sewage plants, school buildings, slum clearance, student scholarships, and other projects.

Later the National Labor Relations Board and the Rural Electrification Administration were passed by the Congress in order to replace the labor portions of the NRA, but Congress did not bring back the industrial code system.

More here………

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Now ADD This from the Labor Union Report:

Why Unions Hurt The Middle Class

February 15, 2012

By David Nace

For decades we have been told that unions help the middle class. We have heard it from unions, from politicians that receive union contributions and from a sympathetic media. However, when one examines the facts this claim is completely false.

How can an organization that represents a small minority the workforce, just over 10%, but whose actions force the other 90% to pay higher prices for everything they purchase and in addition, higher local, state and federal taxes, claim they are helping the middle class? Yet that is exactly the claim that unions and their political supporters have made for decades. [Emphasis added]

Even in times of greatly expanding union membership, the middle class paid a price for union expansion through higher unemployment and higher prices. Starting in 1933, FDR used the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA) to encourage companies to establish cartels in most industries and set the minimum prices that could be charged in exchange for favorable unionization policies in their companies. These policies more than doubled the number of union members in just one decade. The Supreme Court ruled that the NRA was unconstitutional 2 years later, but the damage had already been done.

The NRA increased the cost of products by 40% at a time when few people could afford higher prices. Consequently, industrial production fell by 25% after the NRA was enacted. To put this into perspective, by 1930 the economy had already started to recover from the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Unemployment which was 5% before the crash had spiked at 9% in the winter of 1929 and then started to fall. Once the Smoot Hawley Tariff, NRA and other progressive policies were enacted, however, unemployment rose from 9% to 20% and stayed above 15% for the rest of the decade. It was not until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and 12 million people were inducted into the military, that employment returned to pre-Stock Market Crash levels. [Emphasis added]

Today, union membership is a far cry from its peak in the 1950’s when 30% of the workforce was unionized. Only about 10% of the workforce is unionized and approximately half of that total works for local, state and federal governments.

Read the rest @ Halt The Assault.

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ADD THIS also from Labor Union Report:

NLRB Staff Union Claims Pro-Union NLRB Bosses Have Declared War on NLRB Employees

February 17, 2012

When discussing the National Labor Relations Board and its pro-union slant these days, few realize that the staff within the NLRB is also unionized.

In fact, according to the National Labor Relations Board Union, the union represents over 950 NLRB attorneys, examiners and support staff. It is these individuals, along with their bosses within the NLRB, who are charged with remaining neutral in employer-union disputes—which makes it all the more interesting when the NLRB’s union charges NLRB management with “trying to destroy their employees’ union.”

According to a flyer distributed by the NRLBU, NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce (a union attorney) and Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon have declared war on NLRB attorneys. [Emphasis added]

The NLRB Union claims NLRB bosses are demanding that the union permit management to unitlaterally cut performance incentives “at a whim,” as well as an 85% cut in “official time” (which is the time spent to conduct union business at taxpayer expense).

The Acting General Counsel’s and Chairman’s attack on official time is the federal sector equivalent of an attack on a private sector union security clause.

Later, the NLRBU’s flyer states:

The NLRBU urges Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and Chairman Mark Pearce to practice what they preach and to stop trying to destroy their employees’ union.

This isn’t the first time the NLRB has had a spat with its employees’ union. In 2009, the NLRBU urged a boycott and picketing of an event featuring then-NLRB Chairman (and ex-Teamster attorney) Wilma Liebman over a dispute.

The NLRBU had been encouraging local picketing to protest the Board’s refusal to bargain with a unit of its own employees. The Union claims that the Board’s conduct shows defiance of federal law and contempt for the rights of its employees. The dispute arose in 2005, when the NLRBU filed a petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the federal-sector equivalent to the NLRB, to consolidate four previously separate groups of employees. The Board opposed consolidation, but the FLRA, after considering all the evidence, agreed with the Union. After employees voted overwhelmingly in favor of consolidation, the FLRA certified the Union as the lawful bargaining representative in the new unit.

Apparently, the bosses within Obama’s NLRB believe that what’s good for the goose (the private-sector workplace) isn’t necessarily good for the (public-sector) gander.

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***Did you notice the letterhead Eagle on the document?***

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Cosa Nostra Chart

Could this be the setup?

Boss:  NLRB

Consigliere: The NLRB Union

Underboss:  AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, NEA Randi Weingarten, etc.

YOU DECIDE.

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NLRB Head appointed by Obama: Craig Becker

Craig Becker: Radical Obama NLRB Nominee

If having trouble viewing video go HERE.

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Obama Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein:

Cass Sunstein ~ Capitalism vs Socialism

If you have trouble viewing video go HERE.

Cass Sunstein explains his version of Capitalism versus Socislism. somewhere he misses out on how Socialism eventually ends up killing off all those that don’t want to go along with the collective.

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