Hatch presses union official over intimidation efforts

Michael P. Tremoglie Sep. 19, 2011, 11:10am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is asking National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member and former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) official Craig Becker to explain his involvement in alleged union intimidation efforts.

Hatch wrote to Becker in response to the SEIU's "Contract Campaign Manual" document that went public.

The handbook instructs union members to purposefully damage their employers' reputations by coming up with allegations against their employers and managers. It even encourages lawbreaking, according to Sen. Hatch's office, to gain leverage in contract negotiations.

"The manual explicitly advises union members to engage in tactics designed to attack the reputation of an employer as well as its managers and to purposefully damage an employer's relationship with vendors and customers," Hatch wrote to Becker.

"In addition, it advises employees to uncover 'dirt' on management officials and publicize the information in order to obtain leverage in contract negotiations. The manual even goes so far as to encourage union members to disobey certain laws when it serves the union's purposes."

This is not the first time Hatch has asked Becker to explain his role in union intimidation tactics.
During a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last year, the senator repeatedly pressed Becker regarding his involvement in similar tactics such as union corporate campaigns. But, Becker refused to address Hatch's concerns.

In Hatch's letter, Becker was also asked if he believes the tactics detailed in the guidebook are appropriate actions for union members to take during contract negotiations.

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