Washington, D.C. (December 2, 2009) – The National Right to Work Foundation has filed new disclosure demands on the heels of its lawsuit to compel the Department of Labor (DOL) to release information related to high-ranking officials’ connections to powerful union lobbying interests.
A media report indicates DOL officials have deliberately ignored disclosure laws, and Right to Work attorneys are seeking internal DOL records backing up the report.
National Right to Work originally lodged a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request last April citing concerns about Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who previously held a key leadership position at the Big Labor-front group “American Rights at Work,” and Deborah Greenfield, who was a lawyer for the AFL-CIO involved in a lawsuit challenging DOL union disclosure regulations that she now oversees as an administration appointee.
For the last seven months, the Obama Administration has stonewalled the Foundation’s FOIA request seeking disclosure of the high-ranking DOL officials’ contacts with union operatives. Late last month, Right to Work attorneys filed suit in federal court to force the Obama Administration to fulfill its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.
Subsequent media coverage has revealed DOL officials apparently decided to ignore the Foundation’s FOIA request, but facing the lawsuit and negative publicity is now reconsidering. Additionally, one media report cited a high-placed source stating that panicked DOL officials “are in a tizzy and freaking out” because of the Foundation’s lawsuit.
Today, Foundation attorneys filed another FOIA request this time for the DOL’s search plan and interoffice communications – including emails, meeting minutes, notes, and other interoffice correspondence – relating to the initial FOIA request.
“President Obama’s widely-touted promise of unparalleled transparency has been met with unparalleled secrecy,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The Department of Labor’s deliberate stonewalling is unsettling. It suggests the administration is hiding damaging information about whether Hilda Solis and Deborah Greenfield are coordinating their activities with pro-compulsory unionism extremists.”
“Giving Big Labor undue influence over the Department’s rule-making and administrative oversight is a slap in the face of America’s independent-minded workers. The public deserves to know about any collusion between this administration and Big Labor bosses.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.