Enough Is Enough: Congress Must Step In
June 23, 2011
On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) delivered more payback to union bosses at the expense of workers rewarding President Obama’s top political contributors and in the process sacrificing worker freedoms and jobs. Proposed game-changing rules announced by Obama’s regulatory board give Big Labor another advantage over workers and business owners – as many struggle to survive in a down economy – by proposing “quickie elections” that will substantially shorten the amount of time between an organizing petition being filed and the workplace election taking place. This gives a clear advantage to union bosses attempting to usher in a vote forming a collective bargaining unit before an employer has had the opportunity to counter organizers’ claims with facts and objective data.
This week’s bailout to Big Labor is the latest in a series of egregious decisions on the part of the NLRB as it seeks to force more employees into unions. Fewer workers are voluntarily deciding to vote for unionization because they cannot afford to giveaway wages to Big Labor bosses and they are satisfied with their workplace conditions. Yet, not content to allow workers to make informed decisions about their own work status, unelected government bureaucrats doing the bidding of union bosses having decided to establish ground rules that provide employers only a matter of hours and days to respond to unionization attempts ensuring workers will not have sufficient information challenging promises made by the union organizers. When the union wins the election, it will attempt to deliver on promises, which were impractical to begin with and threaten the economic viability of the employer.
Reducing the time from the petition to the election does not alter the time from the petition to the end of the representation proceeding. What Obama’s regulatory board has done is simply leave till after the election the legal issues that were previously resolved before the election so it can move the election up to just after the petition is filed. The board’s reason for shortening the time period between the petition being filed and the election is obvious, to limit the employer’s ability to oppose the union and the employees ability to hear both sides and make an informed choice.
Furthermore, the time periods established after the petition is filed are simply irrational. They threaten to deprive small employers the opportunity for legal representation and due process. For example, an employer must respond to a questionnaire within seven days raising any legal issues it has with regard to the election or it forever waives its right to raise these issues. If the employer has been fortunate enough to find knowledgeable counsel and figure out what legal issues there are, they will be decided after the election together with any objections to the election or challenges the employer has to individual voters.
If these proposed rule changes are adopted, “it would be a victory for labor unions” as reported The Associated Press. Add this to the long list of gifts Big Labor has received from this administration starting with radical nominees like board member Craig Becker who favored giving workers less time to decide whether to join the same unions that employed him just a few years ago.
These actions and others have placed the business community in a position where it no longer makes good sense to negotiate with a group of union lackeys masquerading as unbiased arbiters. The National Labor Relations Board cannot be allowed to function as it is currently or it will continue to pursue policies that result in Americans losing their livelihoods. Congress must step in and either undo the actions of this regulatory agency or cut off its funding in an effort to protect their constituents.
President Obama and his handpicked board members are destroying America’s economy and it is the obligation of a co-equal branch of government to rein them in and balance the scales before they annihilate the backbone of our communities: small business.
Fred Wszolek is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).