Federal Judge Permanently Blocks Obama Disclosure Rule On Union Busters

Mark Gruenberg Editor, Press Associates Union News

A Reagan-appointed federal judge in rural Texas has permanently blocked an Obama administration rule ordering businesses to disclose to workers how much money they spend on “persuaders” – a.k.a. union-busters – and who those union busters are.  

 Making permanent a temporary injunction he issued in June, Judge Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas said on Nov. 17 that employer groups, led by the National Federation of Independent Business, showed that the Department of Labor violated business’ free speech rights by issuing the rule. NFIB is a notorious radical right lobby.

Selection of rural Texas as the area to challenge Obama administration rules is no accident. The judges there are deeply conservative and have tossed out several DOL rules and other Obama rules, while catering to big business, the right wing and their allies.

“The court is of the opinion the Department of Labor’s persuader advice exemption rule...should be held unlawful and set aside,” Cummings wrote. NFIB and its allies – including nine GOP-run states led by Texas and Michigan – argued DOL’s persuader rule broke firms’ 1st Amendment rights by forcing them, and the persuaders, to disclose their spending. “The preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of the rule should be converted into a permanent injunction with nationwide effect,” Cummings’ 1-page order said.