Committee Prods Congress to Rein in Obama NLRB

Lawmakers’ ‘Power of the Purse String’ Can Protect Right to Work

(source: National Right to Work August 2015 Newsletter)

As this Newsletter edition goes to press, it’s been nearly four months since President Barack Obama’s radical National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) began implementing its sweeping overhaul of decades-old procedures through which Big Labor may obtain “exclusive” bargaining power over workers.

nl201508_Page_2One key aim of the Obama Administration’s new rules is to shorten dramatically the amount of time workers have to share information with one another over the likely consequences of unionization.

To help accomplish this objective, NLRB bureaucrats are now allowing unionization elections to occur even when up to 20% of the workers casting ballots are potentially ineligible to vote.

Employees’ Phone Numbers, E-Mail Addresses Must Be Given to Union Organizers

The three forced-unionism cheer-leaders on the Obama NLRB who rubber-stamped the “ambush election” scheme late last year actually claimed that it’s fair for federal bureaucrats to wait until after a unionization ballot to decide whose votes should count, and whose shouldn’t!

National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix commented:

“Any nonpartisan observer can see that what Obama NLRB appointees are really doing is empowering the agency’s union-boss ‘friendly’ bureaucrats to manipulate the certification process to make it almost impossible for a Big Labor unionization campaign to fail.”

Other provisions in the certification-campaign overhaul mandate that employers hand over employee phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and work schedules to union organizers within two days after an election is directed.

Employers are required to surrender to union organizers the personal information of all employees who may be unionized, including even employees who expressly ask their employer not to do it.

Zealots on the NLRB Poised To Make Monopoly-Bargaining Regime Even More Unjust

Mr. Mix concluded, “The NLRB’s new ambush union organizing rules are already making unionization campaigns even more one-sided and stifling the right of employees to remain union-free.

“And the Obama NLRB has recently signaled that even more brazen bids to corral workers into union ranks may be in the pipeline.”

The most egregious example, he noted, came this April, when the Obama NLRB issued a “call for briefs” signaling its intent to reverse board and court decisions going back to 1953 in order to help forced fee-hungry union bosses circumvent state Right to Work laws.

Mr. Mix explained:

“Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees who choose not to join a union can take money out of their own pockets to pay for a nonunion lawyer to argue a grievance they have with their employer regarding what they believe is a misapplication or a misinterpretation of a company policy.

“But in that case, any settlement that is reached may be junked by union officials because it doesn’t conform to the monopoly contract!

“Now the Obama NLRB apparently wants to compound the injustice for employees in Right to Work states.

“Under the proposed rule it floated this spring, any union nonmember who lives in one of these 25 states and, realizing he or she has no real choice, follows union-created grievance procedures will be forced to pay so-called ‘processing’ fees to the union.”

Last month, the forced fee-for-grievances scheme was  temporarily derailed when the parties directly involved in the particular case the Obama NLRB was using to gut state Right to Work laws (Steelworkers Local 1192) reached a settlement.

Appropriations ‘Riders’ Could Rein in Rogue NLRB

But it could be relaunched as soon as NLRB members find another case giving them an opportunity to “reinterpret” Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act to green-light compelled financial support for unions in every Right to Work state.

Fortunately, the U.S. Congress has the authority both to halt the NLRB’s ongoing assault on independent-minded employees’ privacy and freedom and prevent the NLRB from finally making come true the union hierarchy’s decades-old dream of eviscerating state Right to Work laws.

Heeding the pleas of thousands and thousands of Committee members from whom they had received letters, phone calls, e-mails, postcards and petitions asking them to rein in the rogue NLRB, Capitol Hill appropriators recently introduced H.R.3020 and S.1695 in House and Senate subcommittees.

Both of these appropriations bills, which could come up for floor votes before or after Congress takes its late-summer vacation, include riders stopping the NLRB from continuing to implement the “ambush election” rules it put into effect in mid-April.

H.R.3020 and S.1695 also include riders blocking the Obama NLRB from spending any of its appropriation on cases that challenge the board’s 1976 ruling in Machinists, Local 697 and other precedents that bar forced fees for grievances.

President Obama Won’t Give Up Easily, But Right to Work Supporters Can Win

“If House Speaker John Boehner [R-Ohio] and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] give their full support to efforts to stop the NLRB zealots, I am confident Congress will approve an FY 2016 appropriations bill that prevents this agency from rewriting federal labor law by bureaucratic fiat,” said Mr. Mix.

“But congressional passage is just one modest step on the road to a Right to Work victory in the battle over the radically pro-forced unionism NLRB.

“Since, thanks to determined opposition from Committee members and their allies, President Obama has been unable to enact legislation directly expanding Big Labor’s forced-unionism privileges during his six-and-a-half years in office, he wants desperately to accomplish the same goal administratively.

“Only if self-avowed foes of forced unionism in Congress make it crystal clear to the President that they will never back down and send him an NLRB appropriation without Right to Work-protecting riders is there a chance that the President will ultimately sign a measure like H.R.3020 or S.1695.

“Without a doubt, this is an uphill battle. But it is a winnable one.”

Mr. Mix vowed that the Committee would continue mobilizing more and more freedom-loving Americans across the country to contact their elected officials regarding the absolute necessity of retaining all of the pro-Right to Work riders in the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Act for FY 2016.