Obama Bureaucrats Bolster Monopolistic Unionism

Labor Board Chipping Away at ‘Choice to Remain Unrepresented’

Craig Becker has publicly lamented the fact that U.S. labor law does not "mandate" union monopoly bargaining. Credit: www.uncoverage.net

(Source:  November-December 2011 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter)

In his writings for academic and “labor studies” journals over the years, union lawyer Craig Becker has repeatedly bemoaned the fact that U.S. labor law “does not,” as he once bluntly explained, “require employees in a plant to select a bargaining agent, if they do not want to.”

Employees’ only choice, Mr. Becker has suggested time and again, should be over which set of union officials get “exclusive” (monopoly) bargaining power to negotiate their wages, benefits, and work rules.

Thanks to President Barack Obama, Mr. Becker is in a position as 2011 winds down to begin implementing his extremist vision of what federal labor policy should be.

In March 2010, Mr. Obama did the bidding of the union hierarchy by “recess” appointing Mr. Becker to the powerful National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Mr. Becker and Chairman Mark Pearce, another ex-union lawyer installed on the NLRB by Mr. Obama, now constitute a radical Big Labor majority on a rump, three-member NLRB. (Two of the board’s five seats are currently vacant.)

And late this November Mr. Pearce and Mr. Becker okayed changes to the current procedures for NLRB certification of unions that will, in practice, significantly undermine workers’ right to choose against monopolistic union representation.

The Obama NLRB originally planned to go even further to gut workers’ “choice to remain unrepresented” — a choice Mr. Becker has indicated he doesn’t think should be legally protected at all. But intense public opposition, mobilized by the National Right to Work Committee and other allied groups, evidently influenced the NLRB to temper its haste somewhat.

Employers May Soon Be Forced To Hand Employee Phone Numbers, E-Mail Addresses to Union Dons

The revised proposal advanced by the Pearce-Becker team over the vigorous opposition of the third NLRB member, Brian Hayes, would sharply reduce the current median time frame of 38 days between the filing of a union “representation petition” and the conduct of a union election.

The effect of such a change, as former NLRB member and Right to Work supporter Peter Kirsanow has put it, will be to “utterly and completely deprive employers of the ability to communicate vital information to their employees regarding their rights and the effects of unionization.”

Of course, once employers are denied enough time to make their case, employees will ipso facto be denied the opportunity to hear both sides of the story before voting on unionization.

“Apologists for President Obama’s NLRB brazenly claim that the ‘ambush’ election scheme it is now implementing step by step represents only a few modest changes to current practice,” noted Committee President Mark Mix.

“But this is nothing other than an underhanded means of realizing the very objective Craig Becker lauded in his published writings before his NLRB appointment: Workers’ ‘choice to remain unrepresented’ would be rendered almost meaningless.

“And the ‘ambush’ elections just rubber-stamped by the NLRB are only the beginning. The NLRB is still considering a host of other harmful proposals.

“These include new rules mandating that the employer hand over employee phone numbers and e-mail addresses to union organizers at the outset of each ‘ambush’ election campaign.”

Committee Will Consider ‘All Appropriate Means’ to Protect Independent Employees

Mr. Mix vowed that the Committee would consider “all appropriate means” to protect independent employees from the Obama NLRB.

“Unfortunately, as long as Barack Obama remains President and retains his veto power, it will be difficult to rein in the NLRB,” he acknowledged.

“But at the very least, Right to Work supporters on Capitol Hill can and must prevent Mr. Obama from placing another union stooge on the NLRB to replace Mr. Becker once his ‘recess’ appointment ends this winter.”