Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. reported this morning on new concerns about whether the federal government is applying pressure on businesses to unionize. A report by The Daily Caller states that representatives from the SEIU and other unions are accompanying federal inspectors on visits to non-union companies.
A union rep is allowed to go along with OSHA agents who are looking into labor complaints after the administration quietly stated that the practice would not be against the law.
Read more from the report:
SEIU agents recently accompanied an inspector from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor, on three visits to nonunion work sites under contract with the Houston-based janitorial company Professional Janitorial Services (PJS).
The SEIU representatives gained entry alongside an OSHA inspector to a private office building cleaned by PJS in West Houston on October 29, 2013.
SEIU representatives also accompanied an OSHA inspector on visits to office buildings cleaned by PJS in Houston on October 29, 2013, and in Southwest Houston on November 7, 2013, but the union agents were denied access by the building owners each time.
The visits were made to investigate OSHA complaints by SEIU-friendly employees alleging that the nonunion janitorial company did not provide workers safety goggles and gloves in some instances. Though each of the inspections found proper goggles and gloves, OSHA fined PJS for other alleged infractions related to not keeping certain safety data sheets or providing proper training information on use of cleaning chemicals.
SEIU also accompanied OSHA on a site visit to Philadelphia International Airport in the spring of 2013 after SEIU-affiliated workers complained about a private airline’s safety hazards including allegedly not providing gloves. SEIU has been prominently advocating for wage and benefit hikes and increased training for workers at Philadelphia International and other airports.
The union representatives are allowed to accompany OSHA to nonunion work sites due to an Obama administration rule clarification that was accused in congressional testimony of violating federal laws.
Johnson said he is not against unions overall, but believes the government is going too far in its support of unions.
"It's wrong. I believe that people should have the right to unionize, but the federal government should not be putting their arm around them and putting the hammer to businesses that have decided not to be in a union in this country," said Johnson on Fox and Friends.
Watch the full discussion above.