WACO, Ga. -- A west Georgia business owner is stirring up controversy with signs he posted on his company's trucks, for all to see as the trucks roll up and down roads, highways and interstates:
"New Company Policy: We are not hiring until Obama is gone."
"Can't afford it," explained the employer, Bill Looman, Tuesday evening. "I've got people that I want to hire now, but I just can't afford it. And I don't foresee that I'll be able to afford it unless some things change in D.C."
Looman's company is U.S. Cranes, LLC. He said he put up the signs, and first posted pictures of the signs on his personal Facebook page, six months ago, and he said he received mostly positive reaction from people, "about 20-to-one positive."
But for some reason, one of the photos went viral on the Internet on Monday.
And the reaction has been so intense, pro and con, he's had to have his phones disconnected because of the non-stop calls, and he's had to temporarily shut down his company's website because of all the traffic crashing the system.
Looman made it clear, talking with 11Alive's Jon Shirek, that he is not refusing to hire to make some political point; it's that he doesn't believe he can hire anyone, because of the economy. And he blames the Obama administration.
"The way the economy's running, and the way my business has been hampered by the economy, and the policies of the people in power, I felt that it was necessary to voice my opinion, and predict that I wouldn't be able to do any hiring," he said.
Looman did receive some unexpected attention not long after he put up his signs and Facebook photos. He said someone, and he thinks he knows who it was, reported him to the FBI as a threat to national security. He said the accusation filtered its way through the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and finally the Secret Service. Agents interviewed him.
"The Secret Service left here, they were in a good mood and laughing," Looman said. "I got the feeling they thought it was kind of ridiculous, and a waste of their time."
23 November 2011
So Bill Looman is keeping the signs up, and the photos up -- stirring up a lot of debate.
"I just spent 10 years in the Marine Corps protecting the rights of people... the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment and the [rest of the] Bill of Rights," he said. "Lord knows they're calling me at 2 in the morning, all night long, and voicing their opinion. And I respect their right to do that. I'm getting a reaction, a lot of it's negative, now. But a lot of people are waking up."
Big Labor's blueprint is clear: Use the Obama administration to hold a company and its workers hostage until the company relents.
"Anywhere else it would be called thuggery. But under this administration â€” with its every move favoring its organized union base â€” it's called justice," the Boston Herald ably explained.
And your National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is acting to make sure they don't completely get away with it.
First, the good news.
Obama's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and International Association of Machinists (IAM) union bosses have abandoned their outrageous case against Boeing.
The settlement ensures that no workers in Right to Work South Carolina will be forced out of their jobs at the whim of unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
But this only after Boeing agreed to start new airline production in Washington State, where IAM union bosses can force workers to pay dues as a condition of employment.
The settlement marks a decisive victory for thousands of South Carolina workers who currently or will work at Boeing's facility in South Carolina, but I'm afraid it only tells part of the story.
These developments confirm what concerned citizens suspected from the very beginning -- that union bosses hijacked the NLRB process and filed spurious charges against Boeing as a bargaining chip.
By intervening in the case for three of the South Carolina workers, National Right to Work Foundation attorneys ensured that workers' voices would be heard in the legal battle and exposed the bankruptcy of the NLRB's case.
Once the case got out of Big Labor's hands at the NLRB, experts predicted Boeing and the South Carolina workers would prevail on the facts.
But that didn't stop IAM union bosses and the forced unionism proponents at the NLRB from making a mockery of federal labor law for leverage against Boeing.
And frankly, the settlement doesn't settle everything.
This summer, with free legal aid from Foundation staff attorneys, Boeing employee Dennis Murray filed federal unfair labor practices charges against the IAM union hierarchy for illegal retaliation.
You see, before Boeing bought the South Carolina plant from Vought, its previous owner, the workers were forced to accept the "representation" of IAM union brass.
But Murray and the other workers found that IAM union bosses were unresponsive to the needs of the workers and voted to decertify the union after it rammed through an unpopular contract.
"Many of the provisions of the new IAM contract were worse than what Vought employees already had without a contract. For example, employees lost medical, dental, and short term disability," Murray explained.
Though Murray's job now appears to be safe, Foundation attorneys won't back down.
No worker -- or in this case, thousands of workers -- should be used as a political football by union bosses and their puppet bureaucrats.
That's why it's vital we continue to expose and fight back against the thuggery.