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April 26, 2017 202-677-7060

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Anti-Regulatory Agenda Needs To Include Expeditious NLRB Appointments

Heather Greenaway
April 26, 2017
Townhall

As we approach President Trump’s first 100 days in office, and while he’s been busy rolling back regulatory red tape on small business, freeing job creators from excessive government regulation and rescuing workers from the control of Big Labor, there’s one important thing he has yet to do – and that’s fill two critical vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

This is important. The NLRB is tasked with making big decisions on labor laws, affecting businesses large and small from coast to coast. The Board was established by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 and was intended to be the unbiased arbiter of labor disputes. Through the supervision of labor union elections and the remedying of unfair labor practices, the Board makes precedent-setting legal decisions, however, during the last Administration, the Board went well out of bounds – undermining decades of established labor law and creating confusion and unease among our nation’s employers.

That’s largely due to the fact that the Board was packed with members tied to Big Labor and anti-business interests appointed by President Obama. But two current vacancies on the Board present a real opportunity to reverse course and restore balance – to get the “independent” agency back to working for American workers, not against them.

In the past several years, small businesses have had to face a myriad of drastic changes and shifts in the way they do business – all the while, union bosses have been benefiting, and indeed, profiting, from egregious NLRB decisions. In fact, a recent study conducted by Workplace Policy Institute and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace deemed the current Board the most activist, partisan board in history – with its upending of over 4,500 years of established labor law, when taken cumulatively.

For example, the Board handed down a decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile that recategorized the workplace by allowing sub-units of employees to unionize, fundamentally changing the traditional bargaining unit standard that union elections operated under for decades. Under the “micro-union” decision, labor can group workers together in ad hoc ways in order to cherry pick employees predisposed to be more favorable to unionization, before calling for an election. NLRB board member Brian Hayes, in his dissent in the decision, accurately predicted that organized labor would use this ruling to increase rates of unionization in places where they would not otherwise have been successful. For example, the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) used the micro-union decision to organize just the cosmetic and fragrance associates of a Macy’s in Saugus, Massachusetts, after previous attempts to unionize the store as a whole had failed.

Then in 2015, the Board made a decision to speed up the union election process, eliminating the prior 25-day minimum period that allowed employers to hire outside counsel and prepare. Today, elections are springing up and taking place in as few as nine days – orchestrated by a well-organized and well-planned campaign by labor bosses. They’re referred to as “ambush election” for a reason.

And the new Joint Employer Standard is yet another decision of late that’s crippling small business growth and stifling entrepreneurialism in America today. In fact, a bipartisan group of 57 lawmakers just signed a letter urging repeal of this new disastrous standard that impacts franchisers and franchisees across the nation.

It’s certainly been a rough few years.

That’s why we greatly applaud President Trump’s signing of more than one dozen bills and counting that repeal onerous Obama-era regulations though use of the Congressional Review Act – and are thankful that he has made the focus on deregulation the cornerstone of his presidency. However, there are two simple things he can do today to make a huge impact and restore sanity to our labor laws: he must act to fill these vacancies by appointing two new, pro-worker board members to the NLRB. As long as those seats sit empty, the deck remains stacked against employees and employers, and in favor of labor bosses seeing to pad their bottom line with increased dues from forced unionization.

Heather Greenaway is a spokesperson for the Workforce Fairness Institute.

To access the op-ed, click here.

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit: https://www.workforcefairness.com.

To schedule an interview with a Workforce Fairness Institute representative, please contact Ryan Williams at (202) 677-7060.

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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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