Obama recently signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which requires federal contractors to disclose any labor law violations within the past three years. Contractors with bad records will no longer be hired. But Real Clear Markets’ Diana Furchtgott-Roth wonders if this rule will apply to the administration’s friends, namely, labor unions:

After all, unions such as the American Federal of Government Employees and the National Federation of Federal Employees sign contracts with government agencies, and therefore are government contractors, subject to the executive order. …

Unions as well as corporations can be guilty of violating labor laws. The National Labor Relations Board's Basic Guide to the National Labor Relations Act contains a section entitled "Unfair Labor Practices of Labor Organizations." These unfair labor practices include coercive conduct of union officials, threats to affect an employee's job status if he does not support union activity, and discriminating on the basis of race or sex.

In 2010, the latest year the data are available on the Board's web site, unions faced over 6,000 charges of violating different labor laws, mostly relating to union attempts to restrain employees from exercising their rights. Under the new executive order, the new Labor Compliance Advisers should take these charges as seriously as business violations.

Under the new order, favored contractors need not meet strict enforcement. Less favored contractors may not fare as well. Of course, the administration and labor groups can and will threaten contractors with difficult administrative proceedings under the new executive order if the contractor fails to cooperate in any number of possible ways.

For all the claims to the contrary, Furchtgott-Roth believes there’s nothing really fair about his new executive order. Instead, it’s “entirely about rewarding friends and punishing enemies, and making federal contractors hostage to any and every threat from a friend of the administration.” This administration certainly has a bad track record of equal treatment. We’ll have to wait and see how unions fare under “Fair Pay” in the coming weeks and months.