NLRB Decisions Diminishing Workers’ Rights

Under the What We Do heading on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) website, the board states: “The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative.”

This mission statement by the NLRB explains the board’s recent court decisions and rulemakings. The unadulterated bias toward Big Labor by the NLRB is a far cry from the intentions of the National Labor Relations Act (which created the NLRB). The NLRA intended to protect employees and employers rights, not enforce widespread unionization.

The regulatory avalanche from the NLRB during the Obama administration demonstrates the board’s dedication to union cronyism. Public perception of the board is so negative that Rep. Trey Gowdy has gone as far to ask, “Why do you need an NLRB?” and to demand a transfer of the Boards responsibilities to the Department of Justice.

Amid NLRB promulgation of rules, court decisions, orders, and political grandstanding, workers’ rights hang in the balance. The three most recent devastating NLRB court decisions subjugate the worker to a second class citizen. The NLRB court orders comprehensively cover unions’ rights to organize and employers and employees are ordered to let them. The decisions eliminate workers’ ability to choose union representation or not. Obama’s NLRB has consistently chosen to interpret the right to associate as forcing unionization, not the freedom to choose to associate or not.

The Lamons Gasket Co. decision allows for the employer to voluntarily recognize a union as the workers’ bargaining representative. All that is needed is an ambiguous show of majority support of employees. Majority support is achieved by the organizing procedure called “card check.” Card check opens the door to union official intimidation and coercion of employees to gain representation.

Another avenue for unions to gain recognition is to pursue a corporate campaign against the employer.  Corporate campaigns attack the ability of the employer to conduct daily business. Unions, through any means necessary, intimidate and pressure the targeted employer to concede to the union’s demands. Unions demand a neutrality agreement, where an employer essentially awards the union bargaining representation of their employees. Corporate campaigns circumvent employee rights to freely choose representation.

Before the Lamons Gasket Co. decision the NLRB allowed for immediate decertification vote by employees, a true measure of majority support.  Undermining workers rights to this depraved level leads to Big Labor, Big Business collusion. As seen, in the Kaiser Permanente and SEIU collusion during a union election.

The NLRB similarly restricted workers rights when the sale or merger of a unionized company occurs. The employer must bargain in good faith, making a sincere effort to come to a collective bargaining agreement, with the union for at least six months. During the six month window, workers constitutional right to freely associate are suspended. The NLRB’s goal is to protect the rights of workers not the rights of union officials. If you believe in the first amendment of the constitution then workers must be able to decertify whenever there is a majority in favor decertification. Unelected bureaucrats of the NLRB should not have the power to mandate when workers have the right to decertify or not.

The decision to allow ‘micro-unions’ is a long awaited boondoggle for Big Labor. NLRB board members in their decision fundamentally changed the standard for an appropriate bargaining unit. The decision sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of the private sector when determining the appropriate bargaining unit. Allowing unionization by specific job description is a sharp contrast to the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act and Big Labor rhetoric.

NLRA’s function is to enhance labor-management relations. Allowing ‘micro-unions’ puts greater strain on this relationship. For example, if a union attempted to organize grocery store employees, union bosses would target produce, cashiers, seafood, and deli employees separately.

Administrative costs for employers would skyrocket adhering to the 3 or 4 different contracts with different working conditions, pay, and benefits for employees. To go along with the constant union organizing campaigns, litigation, and grievance appeals.

Union rhetoric constantly stresses ‘solidarity’. ‘Micro-unions’ do not enhance ‘solidarity’; they fragment the workers. A fragmented workforce is near impossible to manage for an employer. The in-house fighting of rival unions and their bargaining units would be intolerable. A union representative for one bargaining unit which negotiates a raise will not be well received by the excluded workers. Separate working conditions for employees in the same workplace will create countless accusations of unfair labor practices and employee turmoil.

Politicians and special interest groups  should not have the power to influence the organization of workers in the private sector. The NLRB’s extensive labor policy restructuring from top to bottom disregards the prerogative of the worker. Workers are the primary party affected by NLRB’s court decisions and burdensome regulation. The NLRB should be protecting employees’ right to choose to organize. Instead, the board’s primary purpose seems to be to organize private workforces at all costs.