Judge gives unionbusters right to operate in secret
CC Wikimedia

LUBBOCK, Texas (PAI) — A Reagan-appointed federal judge in rural Texas has made permanent an injunction against an Obama administration regulation that would have required transparency from consultants hired by employers to fight unionization.

The anti-union consultancy business rakes in millions of dollars annually. The corporations call themselves “persuaders.”

The Department of Labor (DOL) rule said that these outfits must disclose how much they spend and what they’re spending it for.

The judge, Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas, said the rule violated union-busters’ “freedom of speech” rights, even though it did nothing to limit their activities.

Judge Cummings had issued a temporary injunction against the transparency requirement back in June. Now he has ruled to block it nationwide and permanently.

Cummings’ ruling is based on the opinion of the right wing National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), which is based in Nashville and is one of the largest dark-money business lobbying groups in the U.S. Several GOP-run states, including Texas and Michigan, entered the case on the side of the NFIB.

Selection of rural Texas as the area to challenge an Obama administration regulation is no accident. The judges there are deeply conservative and cater to the business right wing and its allies. Judges in the area have blocked several rules promulgated by the Obama Administration.



Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.