Forced Unionization: Bad for Business?

Only four short months ago President Obama said:

If we make America the best place to do business, businesses should make their mark in America.  They should set up shop here, and hire our workers, and pay decent wages, and invest in the future of this nation.  That’s their obligation.

Obama’s rhetoric may be pro-business, but the actions taken by his National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are well on their way to making America one of the worst places to do business. In an unprecedented action, the NLRB has filed a complaint against Boeing to stop production of their 787 Dreamliner in a new South Carolina facility. An internal NLRB memorandum shows that the unelected body of Obama appointees wants to allow unions even more control in future management decisions.

The Obama administration’s attack on South Carolina, a right-to work state, is an attack on growing economies and employee freedom of choice. Right-to-work states have seen private sector employment grow faster than forced unionization states, such as Washington. Not only are there more new jobs but personal incomes in right to work states have grown at a faster rate. Both these statistics are a result of the 46 percent more private businesses that open in right-to-work states. These trends tell us one thing: right-to-work states are better for businesses and employees.

By issuing a complaint against Boeing for choosing South Carolina over Washington, Obama’s NLRB is sending a message to businesses across the world. The message reads: we favor unions over businesses. The message was amplified by a recent internal NLRB document that was obtained by The Heritage Foundation:

Chairman Liebman would consider modifying the Dubuque Packing framework by requiring employers to provide requested information about relocation decisions whenever there is a reasonable likelihood that labor-cost concessions might affect the decision. She posits that, if the employer provided the information and the union failed to offer concessions, the union would be precluded from arguing to the Board that it could have made concessions. If, on the other hand, the employer failed to provide such information where labor costs were a factor, it would be precluded from arguing that the union could not have made sufficient concessions.

The internal memorandum shows that the board wants to give unions much greater power over employers and their investment and management decisions. If unions continue to dictate where private companies can and can’t conduct their affairs, America will never become the best palace to do business.

As a student in Washington State, I would like to keep jobs from going to South Carolina just as much as the unions. However mandating a business to stay in a forced-union state can cripple any company. Especially in a struggling economy, companies must out innovate their competitors. Injecting union bosses into private business decisions will handicap employers. The result will be smaller profits, fewer jobs and ultimately failing companies. For the past 70 years unions have wondered why their membership has been declining. Could the answer be that overreaching union bosses slowly strangle the companies their members work for, forcing them overseas or into bankruptcy?