Bosses Cash in on Gore Promise

Attempting to legislate labor law by regulation, the Clinton Adminstra-tion took the first formal step toward giving union bosses the ability to destroy any federal contractor they don’t like. The proposed blacklisting rule comes more than two years after Al Gore shamelessly tried to gain favor with union bosses by promising the blacklisting rule at AFL-CIO’s 1997 meeting. The AFL-CIO has yet to endorse any candidate for President in 2000. With Gore fading and ex-Sen. Bill Bradley looking like the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Gore has resorted to anti-business schemes to secure Big Labor’s support. Randel Johnson, of the Chamber of Commerce said, “We think Vice President Gore has promoted issuing these regulations as a payoff to the unions.”

The blacklisting rule is anti-business for many reasons including the fact that contractors will be vulnerable to false allegations from competitors and disgruntled employees. According to Stephen E. Sandherr of the Asso. Gen. Contractors, the rule “does [not] ensure that the contractor will have the right to rebut…charges, or even know the source of the allegations.” Sandherr said the Gore rule is unnecessary because existing laws already protect the government from rogue firms. David Bush of the Asso. Builders & Contractors said the rule “will give organized labor an increased ability to use federal agencies as a coercive tool against [nonunion] construction contractors.” [N.Y. Times 7/9/99, BNA 7/12/99]

One issue that no one has commented on is how the Gore rule benefits organized crime. Crime bosses who control union bosses can use the Gore rule to run clean contractors out of business by simply having trumped-up charges brought against competitors. Mob-dominated contractors could break labor laws left and right and be insulated from rules because of mouth-piece union bosses protecting them.