-By Warner Todd Huston
Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies, right? What could be more American? It's a right of passage for many young girls to set up a folding table in front of a local business and sell their little cookies and what American doesn't get a warm feeling in their heart when they see those peppy little ones chirping out, "would you like to buy some cookies?" Who could be against that? Who would want to set up a situation where Girl Scouts would be turned away from their traditional cookie-selling outposts?
Apparently the Obama administration. At least one sector of America isn't so fond of the ability of Girl Scouts to sell their wares unhindered, it seems. When the Obama administration's Department of Labor and his National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) look at Girl Scouts, they don't see cute little children taking their first steps toward adulthood, they see opportunity for a union powergrab.
Obama's NLRB is trying to push a new rule that would force any business that allows Girl Scouts or any other local groups like baseball or football teams, school bands, charity groups etc. to sell their fundraiser items or solicit donations in front of or inside of their businesses to also allow unions into their businesses to cajole employees to organize.
Even when the purpose of many union actions are meant to drive customers away from the business in order to force the employer to accede to union demands, this rule would prevent a business owner from turning disruptive union activists away from their businesses.
Today, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW) filed an amicus brief with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the crucial question of whether the federal government will demand that a business allow organized labor union representatives to trespass at the workplace in order to harass customers and employees and otherwise harm an employer's business.
The case before the NLRB is Roundy's vs. Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades (Case No. 30-CA-17185). At issue is whether the government can force any employer that allows charitable, well-meaning groups onto the premises to also allow union organizers whose purpose in many cases is to turn away customers through boycotts and similar actions. Such activity is often part of a larger strategy to pressure employers to accede to demands such as the nationally unpopular "card check" scheme that bypasses federally supervised private ballot votes.
The decision also would allow unions to go on the business owner's property with the intent of running the company out of business - a real threat to many small businesses and entrepreneurs. Should the NLRB curtail employers' property rights, the result could be a significant disincentive for employers to allow charities and community groups onto their premises, as well as subjecting customers and employees to harassment and labor strife. CDW's brief argues strongly in favor of protecting customers, employees, and employers and advocates that the Board "should allow employers to refuse non-employee union access to private property, particularly where such labor organizations seek to engage in harmful boycott activities."
Imagine. If a business allows the Girl Scouts to sell cookies, then the owner would also be forced to allow union thugs to harass employees and customers.
If this rule is passed by the NLRB the result will not be that businesses will open themselves up to union harassment. No, what will happen instead is that businesses will be forced to tell the Girl Scouts that they aren't welcome any more. Businesses will stop allowing charities to solicit donations. Businesses will cease the practice of having schools sell candy at their doorstep.
It's just one more example of the Obama administration giving unions a payoff. Little girls and charities hardest hit.