Biden plans to install David Prouty, general counsel of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) to fill the seat currently held by Republican William Emanuel. Emanuel’s term is set to expire Aug. 27. Why is it important that the Democrats are creating the NLRB as an activist board, which is predicted to legislate thru administrative fiat? For one it could lead to states being stripped of more rights and because the union has a little side business with the clandestine side of the government. There is more to the rapport between the federal government and unions than you may realize. In fact, the ties between the CIA and organized labor run deep.
I would like to introduce a little bit of a history lesson to lay the foundation as to how unions and our government has been interwoven through history – whether it was a Democrat or Republican administration.
On October 17, 1988, President Reagan awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award, to Irving Brown. The award is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
At the presentation ceremony, the president said: “As the European representative of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in the late 1940s, Irving Brown played a crucial role in breaking the hold of international communism over postwar Western Europe. By doing so, he can truly be called one of the architects of Western democracy. He has shunned publicity, believing the cause of freedom is far more important than the pleasure of fame. But his modesty cannot obscure the size of his accomplishments, and they have earned Irving Brown the gratitude of his country.” President Reagan stated in his speech that the man had helped stop communism from leaching its way into the unions of post-World War II Europe. Singlehandedly?
The second organized labor representative to receive the honor was John Sweeney, head of the Solidarity Center, a creation of the AFL-CIO. On October 19, 2011, President Obama bestowed on him that same award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Solidarity Center is something of an enigma. Its funding is derived mainly from the US State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy. In fact, the Solidarity Center receives over 95 percent of its funding from the federal government. Directly from its own web page, the Center describes itself as follows: Founded in 1997, the Solidarity Center works with unions, worker associations and community groups worldwide to achieve equitable and sustainable development and to help men and women everywhere stand up for their rights and improve their working and living conditions. The Solidarity Center operates in sixty countries with twenty-four field offices. It was globalizing long before being global was cool. It was a veritable trendsetter.
The Solidarity Center has not always been called that. Prior to 1997 it went by the name “American Center for International Labor Solidarity,” or ACILS, and it was purportedly involved in the attempted coup of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez in 2002. The coup, which only temporarily succeeded in removing Chavez, was the result of the matchmaking done by ACILS between the leadership of the conservative, labor-based Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (CTV) and the FEDCAMARAS, an organization of businesses. In addition, the coalition also included some of the leaders of the Catholic Church.
Of course, such benevolence must be funded. The National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, as it is affectionately referred to by its supporters and detractors alike, is a private, nonprofit foundation that describes itself as being dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year NED awards more than a thousand grants to support the projects of nongovernmental group’s abroad working for democratic goals in more than ninety countries.
It was founded in 1983 under the Reagan administration and since then has managed to be embroiled in the frontline movements of democratic struggles wherever such struggles might exist. In countries that have captured American interest, NED is quite an important player. In September 1991, Allen Weinstein commented to the Washington Post: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly twenty-five years ago by the CIA.” Allen Weinstein was one of those who shaped the legislation that created the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983.
Through its partnership with the AFL-CIO, NED has been able to target emerging activists in developing countries that are ripe for “assistance” from organizations such as the American Labor Organization, which preaches workers’ rights.
NED is not aligned with any particular political party or loyal to any specific political administration in Washington, DC: “By its very nature, such support cannot be governed by the short-term policy preferences of a particular US administration or by the partisan political interests of any party or group.” Further, “The Endowment will be effective in carrying out its mission only if it stands apart from immediate policy disputes and represents a consistent, bipartisan, long-term approach to strengthening democracy that will be supported through successive administrations.”
NED’s importance to US foreign interests exceeds any one man, and because it has the potential to influence governments of other countries, it was designed with the intention of not allowing any US president the ability to roll back its efforts. The NED operates as an NGO—a nongovernmental agency. For an organization that promotes democracy so strenuously, NED seems to operate without any democratic oversight whatsoever. This actually isn’t much different from any other NGO or government agency in the United States today. The US Congress funds NED annually through appropriations. The amount of the appropriation has varied year by year, but it has never even been a part of the conversation when Congress discusses cuts in the federal budget. In fact, there are times when Congress has gifted NED with additional funding when countries of specific interest have earned the need for a more specialized program in democracy.
Today, unions only represent about 6.7% of the private workforce, and that number is dropping. Perhaps Biden’s rush to strengthen their numbers is more than just their survival as Democratic Party boosters.
In Part 2 we will start exploring the PRO ACT and how it not only affects employers but would strip the states of their right to decide whether they are to remain “Right to Work” states.