Bigger Budget to Coerce More Workers

With the NLRB workload experiencing a long-term decline over the past 30 years, Biden appointees appear eager to expand their mission by criminalizing employer opposition to Big Labor “card checks.”

Congress Hands $299 Million to Joe Biden’s NLRB Bureaucrats

In 2021, dyed-in-the-wool proponents of compulsory unionism handpicked by President Joe Biden took over the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Ever since, this powerful agency has been relentlessly working to undercut the very limited statutory rights American employees have vis-à-vis union bosses in almost every way imaginable.

Perhaps the most egregious of the NLRB’s anti-worker initiatives is Biden-selected General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo’s attempt, in the ongoing Cemex Construction Materials Pacific case, to routinize the imposition of union monopoly bargaining on employees without a secret-ballot vote.

Last April, Ms. Abruzzo’s office submitted a Cemex brief to the NLRB brazenly recommending the imposition of fines and other penalties on employers simply because they insist their employees get a chance to vote in a secret-ballot election before they are subjected to union monopoly control.

Stance Taken by NLRB’s Top Lawyer in Cemex Case is Ahistorical, Anti-Worker

The general counsel and her cohorts sidestepped the fact that the National Labor Relations Act as amended in 1947 plainly indicates that an employer presented with union “authorization” cards by a union purporting to represent a majority of employees is entitled to petition the NLRB for an election.

Moreover, under the amended NLRA, the NLRB “shall direct an election by secret ballot and shall certify the results thereof” whenever the agency finds there is “reasonable cause” to doubt union bosses’ card-checked claims of majority support.

“Effectively, the stance of Jennifer Abruzzo and her subordinates is that an employer has to prove his or her innocence in opposing unionization without a worker vote before a secret-ballot election can occur,” said National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix.

“This stance is cynical and ahistorical, as well as flagrantly anti-worker.”

Biden Board Is ‘Virtually Certain’ to Side With Biden General Counsel

Mr. Mix continued: “Fortunately, the general counsel’s attempt to refashion the NLRA according to her pro-union coercion wishes is not yet the law of the land.

“But the fact is that three of the four current members of the Biden NLRB have established track records as radical proponents of compulsory unionism.

“Given the Board’s bent, it is virtually certain that the Biden NLRB will soon side with Ms. Abruzzo and gut the NLRA’s ‘reasonable cause’ standard under which employers who want their employees to get a secret-ballot vote before they are corralled into a union typically get their wish.

“That’s why it is critically important that, before the almost inevitable happens, Right to Work allies in Congress wield their power over the federal purse string to block NLRB bureaucrats from implementing a Cemex decision that effectively mandates card-check unionization of employees.”

Mr. Mix acknowledged that, even with the welcome end of Big Labor henchwoman Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) reign as House speaker at the beginning of the 2023-24 Congress, and the onset of operational House control for avowed opponents of new special privileges for union bosses, this will be no easy task.

In fact, in late December, during the recent post-election, “lame duck” session of Congress, Ms. Pelosi and union-label Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) successfully steam-rolled over Capitol Hill a $25 million increase in the NLRB’s annual budget.

‘More Money For Less Work’ Funding Tucked Into $1.7 Trillion ‘Omnibus’

Recognizing that public opposition to the NLRB’s bids to expand Big Labor’s monopoly privileges by bureaucratic fiat is widespread and intensifying, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Schumer, and other top Democrat politicians tucked increased funding for the agency into the massive FY 2023 “omnibus” spending bill.

“Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer knew that even many normal Right to Work allies would be reluctant to hold up a $1.7 trillion measure, including funding for the pet projects of politicians from both major parties, over an increase in NLRB funding to $299 million,” explained Mr. Mix.

“Especially when you consider that the omnibus was rubber-stamped by Congress and sent to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature when the vast majority of Americans were busy getting ready for Christmas, many grassroots activists who properly opposed this scheme understood stopping it would be almost impossible.

“Fortunately, over the course of the coming year, there will inevitably be one or more other opportunities for Right to Work allies in Congress to stand up to Joe Biden’s NLRB.

“That means there is still a chance to block the radical ex-Big Labor lawyers who now run the Board from gutting one of the few provisions in the NLRA that protects independent-minded employees who don’t want to be corralled into a union.”

Right to Work leaders have already been preparing for a showdown with NLRB power grabbers for the better part of a year.

Back in April 2022, just a few days after the NLRB general counsel’s office had filed its lawless brief in the Cemex case, Mr. Mix sounded the alarm in an op-ed for the nationally circulated Wall Street Journal.

To Justify Her Radical Stance, Ms. Abruzzo Distorts the Past

Biden-selected NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo knows full well many workers only sign union cards to stop being harassed by union organizers. But neither she nor Biden appointees to the Board itself appear to care. (Credit: U.S. Department of Labor/Wikimedia Commons)
Biden-selected NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo knows full well many workers only sign union cards to stop being harassed by union organizers. But neither she nor Biden appointees to the Board itself appear to care. (Credit: U.S. Department of Labor/Wikimedia Commons)

Writing in his capacity as president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the Committee’s judicial sister organization, Mr. Mix denounced Ms. Abruzzo et. al. for hypocritically claiming to want to “protect the integrity” of union elections by effectively preventing them from occurring.

Last July, Mr. Mix followed up with an article published in Reason magazine warning about “Big Labor’s covert plan to kill union elections.” 

Since the Cemex brief was issued, Mr. Mix has also conducted a number of radio and TV interviews alerting the public about the Biden NLRB’s card-check promotion scheme.

To justify her insistence that employers ignore Big Labor intimidation, and acquiesce to card checks unless they have undeniable proof of flat-out fraud such as forged signatures, Ms. Abruzzo is falsely claiming this was the NLRB’s rule for decades prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1969 Gissel decision.

“The fact is, multiple NLRB decisions in the 1950’s and 1960’s confirmed that NLRB elections could be bypassed over the employer’s objection only if the NLRB furnished clear evidence the employer knew, independently of the cards, that the union had majority support,” noted Mr. Mix.

“To be blunt, Ms. Abruzzo, her subordinates, and her allies in the legal community and in academia are lying about what the law was regarding secret-ballot union elections pre-Gissel.

“Given their flagrant bias, a majority of members of the Biden NLRB are very likely to accept that lie at face value. 

“But publicly exposing the lie will be critical for convincing sufficient numbers of congressmen and senators to stop the Board from bureaucratically foisting anti-worker card-check unionization on the entire country.”

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