So-Called “Independent” Agency Not Independent From President Obama

Fred Wszolek
July 5, 2011

Last week, when asked about the controversy surrounding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) complaint against the Boeing Company for building a facility in the right-to-work state of South Carolina, President Obama responded that the regulatory agency was “independent.” And while that’s what is stated on the NLRB’s Web site, nothing could be further from the truth.

First, the so-called “independent” agency has demonstrated a deliberate and unequivocal interest in advancing the agenda of union bosses over that of workers, time and again.

Secondly, the president is not “independent” of the regulatory agency’s actions as he has appointed both Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and Board Member Craig Becker, in addition to nominating each to longer terms.

He is directly responsible for their actions and if he disagrees with them, he could simply withdraw their nominations or express his disapproval.

Therefore, it is incredibly convenient that in his first public remarks about the NLRB’s case against Boeing, President Obama tried to distance himself from the board by pleading ignorance about the complaint that has garnered national and international news attention for over two months.

The inability of President Obama to send a clear message to job creators and his actions in favor of those who are pursuing job-killing policies resonate much louder than his paltry words about common sense.

The NLRB has developed a pattern of pushing Big Labor’s agenda such as elements of the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) via a rule change that would dramatically shorten union election windows, leaving businesses unrepresented in the election process, as there would not be enough time to educate workers on both sides of the issue. Lastly, the NLRB is considering creating micro-unions or various, small collective bargaining units under the same employer’s roof, which would place immense burdens and costs on businesses forcing many to close.

All of these ill-conceived and misguided pushes by the NLRB in the past year are giveaways to Big Labor. These same labor bosses gave President Obama nearly half a billion dollars in 2008 and American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Richard Trumka recently said he speaks with someone from the White House every day, including weekends.

With the 2012 election looming, President Obama knows that he must treat his Big Labor friends well in order to receive millions more in political funding from them, just as he did three years ago.

Workers and businesses have driven the Boeing case into the national spotlight, serving as an example of how government bureaucrats are impeding job growth and economic development. This case affects not just one Boeing plant, but the precedent set impacts businesses across our country. Will our President condone a restriction on the mobility and freedom of capital in a sop to Big Labor or will he stand with American employees and employers working to turn our economy around?

With a slight nod to businesses that are creating jobs and helping the economy, the President did acknowledge that companies need the freedom to relocate, as Boeing was attempting to do by building a plant in South Carolina. But the NLRB’s lawsuit aims to push Boeing to build instead in heavily unionized Washington State where month-long strikes have previously stalled production.

Despite the blatant bias by the NLRB against Boeing and companies seeking to create jobs in America, the President continues to refuse to step in and act, instead saying, “What I think defies common sense would be a notion that we would be shutting down a plant or laying off workers because labor and management can’t come to a sensible agreement.”

It appears President Obama is calling on both parties to settle, but what message does that send to companies seeking to build facilities in right-to-work states? It seems to clearly communicate that Obama’s friends and political benefactors in Big Labor can take a company to court and they must make concessions as the government favors that approach. Why then, would employers seek to do business in right-to-work states or anywhere else in America?

The President is not demonstrating leadership and his government is both killing jobs and stunting economic growth in an effort to deliver yet another bailout to union bosses.

Tell Congress: Stop the PRO Act

WFI is working to prevent passage of the so-called Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act)—a wholesale labor reform package that takes the current careful balance of labor rules and tips it greatly in the favor of labor bosses and forced collective bargaining.

The PRO Act robs workers of the right to a secret ballot to form a union, forces union contracts on workers without a vote of approval, and expose workers’ personal contact information to union bosses seeking to organize a workplace. And that’s just the start.

Help us speak out against this woefully misguided and blatantly anti-worker legislation. Review and send the message below to your members of Congress today.

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WFI Key Vote Letter: Opposition to PRO Act

— 02.10.2020 —
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI), I am writing to share our organization’s vehement opposition to H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act). WFI has serious concerns with the broad, overreaching nature of this legislation and the many ways in which it would undermine worker freedom and privacy, while simultaneously threatening businesses and entire industries that keep America’s economy thriving. Please note that WFI will include votes on the PRO Act and its amendments on our Congressional Labor Scorecard, which scores and ranks legislators based on their activity associated with workplace issues. WFI was established to fight for American employees and employers as well as our entire economy. We believe in worker empowerment, the right of workers to be fully informed of the options available for worker-involvement in the workplace, and the right to freely choose whether to organize or not. No individual or group – government, a union or an employer – should be able to intimidate or restrict workers’ in exercising these rights. In an attempt to boost flailing union membership at the expense of workers’ rights, the PRO Act would upend decades of established U.S. labor law and institute myriad anti-employee and anti-employer policies that have already been soundly rejected—by Congress, various federal agencies, or the courts. Among its most blatant affronts to workers’ rights, the PRO Act would eliminate the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to unionize and enforce a “card check” system, exposing workers to the potential for harassment, intimidation, and coercion. The PRO Act would also enforce binding arbitration in union negotiations by a government- appointed bureaucrat; repeal and eliminate right-to-work laws in 27 states, force workers to fund union activities regardless of whether they support them; and threaten the ability of individuals to operate as independent contractors, eliminating traditional economic and employment opportunities and threatening the independence and flexibility of the emerging gig economy. On top of all that, the PRO Act would force all workers’ personal and home contact information to be provided to a union during organizing campaigns – in an electronic, searchable format no less, with no limit on what a union can do with that information. WFI believes in advancing sensible policies that protect and preserve the rights of both employees and employers, and we welcome the opportunity to work with legislators who also support these efforts. However, the PRO Act does not achieve these goals and would instead threaten the rights of both while jeopardizing our entire economy. WFI urges members of the House to strongly oppose the PRO Act. Sincerely, Heather Greenaway Executive Director Workforce Fairness Institute See the letter here.
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