Bob Lutz: Labor Rules Are Payback for Unions


A federal rule that fast-tracks elections to unionize workers is nothing more than a political payback to organized labor, former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said Tuesday.

“I think, look, the whole thing was voted in by a Democratic-controlled Senate. This is the Democratic Party paying back the unions for their support,” he said on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.”

Lutz said it wasn’t a surprise.

“Do we like it? No. Do we think it’s a good thing? No,” he said. “Will it make America more competitive? No.”

Earlier, the U.S. Senate rejected a move to overturn the new rules set by the National Labor Relations Board. The measure, proposed by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., would have thrown out rules to make it easier to unionize – and tougher for companies to dissuade workers from doing so.

Assured a White House veto and an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Senate, the anti-union measure failed along party lines, 45 to 54.

(Monday on “The Kudlow Report,” Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus criticized the NLRB rules.)

Greg Junemann, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers and a labor organizer, said the NLRB rules were absolutely necessary, saying the process was “completely slanted in favor of business.”

“It does call for a faster election. Faster elections are needed,” he said. “Once the board rules, OK we’re going to have an election date, right now businesses have the right to file appeal after appeal after appeal.

“The delays are endless. This is the smart way to do this. This is what’s fair for employees,” he said.

Lutz argued that workers don’t want unions.

“The fact is, many workforces in the United States, once they understand the full ramifications of unionization, elect not to have a union,” he said. “The UAW has been significantly unsuccessful in unionizing the Japanese and German transplants in the southern states."

“So, you can hear the rhetoric all you want, the bottom line is this is the Democratic Party paying the unions back, and trying to foster increased unionization in American industry,” he said.

Junemann said it was an issue of fairness.

“What’s happening here is that Congress needs to try to level the playing field on behalf of workers,” he said. “If workers decide they don’t want a union, that’s their right.”

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