Lodestar: Whatever’s Expedient For Union Bosses

richard-griffin‘I Favor Rules That Help Big Labor Get and Retain Monopoly Power’

(download the June-July 2016 NRTWC Newsletter)

Six years ago this March, President Barack Obama obtained a radically pro-forced unionism National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with his 2010 “recess” appointment of once-and-future union lawyer Craig Becker.

Ever since then, this federal agency has been doing everything it can to grease the skids for union-boss campaigns to seize monopoly-bargaining power over employees. For example, the Obama NLRB has relentlessly sought to enhance Big Labor’s ability to force a business’s employees to accept a union as their monopoly-bargaining agent solely through the acquisition of signed union authorization cards from 50% plus one of the employees in a bargaining “unit.”

A new bureaucratic rewrite of the rules for how employees may oust an unwanted union proposed last month by Obama-appointed NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin underscores how this biased board’s advocacy of “card checks” is obviously a matter of expediency, not principle.

Obama NLRB Has Curtailed Employees’ Ability to Challenge ‘Card Checks’

In August 2011, the Obama NLRB’s controversial Lamons Gasket decision overturned a modest limitation on “card check” abuses that had been won by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation attorneys on behalf of employee clients and implemented by the board in 2007.

Prior to Lamons Gasket, independent-minded employees who were unionized against their will via “card check” could immediately press for a secret-ballot election to challenge the employer’s recognition of a labor organization as their monopoly-bargaining agent.

But as a consequence of this anti-worker decision, employees who don’t want a union must wait for as long as four years after a “card check” recognition before a secret-ballot vote to revoke union bosses’ monopoly-bargaining privileges can even occur.

General Counsel Griffin’s May 9 memorandum instructing regional NLRB bureaucrats to disregard the board’s 2001 ruling in Levitz Furniture Co. and ask the current NLRB to overturn this ruling tilts unionization procedures even further in Big Labor’s favor.

Under Levitz, an employer may cease recognizing a union as employees’ monopoly-bargaining agent if a majority of employees in the bargaining unit sign a petition saying they want the union out. But Mr. Griffin wants to make that illegal.

He proposes that an employer “may lawfully withdraw recognition . . . based only on the results of an . . . election”!

Worker’s Right to Join or Not Join a Union Should Be Equally Protected

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Mary King commented:

“When union bosses aim to maintain monopoly-bargaining privileges, Pres-ident Obama’s NLRB general counsel supports only secret ballots. And it’s a safe bet that a majority of the President’s appointees on the NLRB itself will agree.

“But when union bosses’ aim is to procure monopoly power, the Obama NLRB is happy to dispense with secret ballots. This is obviously not a principled position.

“Translated into plain English, Mr. Griffin’s memorandum on ‘Seeking Board Reconsideration of the Levitz Framework’ says: ‘I Favor Rules That Help Big Labor Get and Retain Monopoly Power.’

“For decades, union bosses have contended it should be even easier for them to obtain so-called ‘exclusive representation’ power to negotiate wages, benefits and working conditions for members and nonmembers alike.

“That’s what so-called ‘card checks’ and ‘neutrality’ deals under which the employer is enlisted to help organize the employees are all about.

“Any genuine labor-law reform must recognize the fact that the right to join or support a union and the right not to do so deserve equal protection in the law.

“Unfortunately, current federal labor statutes authorize forced union dues and union monopoly bargaining and thus fail to grant equal protection to workers who don’t want a union.

“Obama NLRB bureaucrats want to eviscerate the minimal protections independent-minded workers currently have.

“Committee leaders and members will do all we can to stop them.”