Right To Work Committee Mobilizes Against NLRB Power Grab

Right To Work Committee Mobilizes Against NLRB Power Grab

If the Obama-selected top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board gets his way, Boeing will have no real choice but to abandon a brand-new $2 billion plant and 1,000 good jobs in Right to Work South Carolina. Obama Bureaucrat Eager to Tell Businesses Where They May Expand (Source: June 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Lafe Solomon, the man President Obama has selected to be the top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), outraged millions of Americans across all regions of the country in April by asserting his agency has the prerogative, in many instances, to tell businesses where they may or may not expand. For decades, the NLRB has called the shots with regard to implementation of the National Labor Relations Act, the nation's principal federal labor law. The NLRA covers over 90% of private-sector businesses and front-line employees. The NLRB is thus, no doubt, powerful. Nevertheless, the claim of power by NLRB Acting General Counsel Solomon in his April 20 complaint filed to block Boeing from initiating a new aircraft production line in Right to Work South Carolina is remarkable. As economist Arthur Laffer and senior Wall Street Journal editorial page economics writer Stephen Moore noted in a pungent op-ed appearing in the Journal May 13, this is "the first time a federal agency has intervened to tell an American company where it can and cannot operate a [new] plant within the U.S." Well-informed apologists for compulsory unionism like New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse and former Clinton-appointed NLRB Chairman William Gould don't dispute that the Boeing complaint is, to quote Mr. Greenhouse, "highly unusual." Acting General Counsel: Sensible Business Decision Equals 'Anti-Union Animus'

None Dare Call it Partisanship

When Republicans in Wisconsin reformed the state's collective bargaining laws, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick rushed to schedule a speech in Wisconsin so he could denounce lawmakers. But when the State House in his own state voted to change the way government employees could bargain for taxpayer benefits he praised the House for its "very important vote." The Wall Street Journal notices the hypocrisy: Scott Walker impressions are popular these days, and the latest and greatest aping of the Wisconsin Governor is coming from the liberal heartland. On Wednesday, the Massachusetts state House voted 111-42 to limit public employees' ability to collectively bargain for health care. Mrs. Trumka, please hide all sharp objects from Richard, the AFL-CIO chief. The bill sponsored by Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo would change the way teachers, police and other municipal employees bargain for health care, giving mayors and local officials the ability to set co-pays and deductibles after a 30-day negotiation period with the unions. If the unions agree to the mayor's terms, 10% of the savings goes back to the unions. If they object, 20% of the savings goes into a special fund for workers' health-care costs. The reforms, which are expected to save $100 million in the next year, also require retirees to enroll in Medicare. Coming in the bluest of blue states, the news landed like ice water on unions, which are shouting betrayal. "These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected, the same Democrats who we contributed to in their campaigns," Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes said. "It's a done deal for our relationship with the people inside that chamber."

If You Can't Beat Them; Buy Them

Big Labor lost at the ballot box and had their forced unionism power rolled back by the legislature and is now trying to buy Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices to undo the reforms pushed enacted by Gov. Scott Walker. The Wall Street Journal reports: Wisconsin Democrats and unions are still seething over their failure to thwart Governor Scott Walker's government union reforms. Now they're trying to spin their rage into gold by aiming it at the state Supreme Court election on April 5. If they defeat David Prosser's re-election bid, labor leaders and their Democratic allies hope a newly activist court will be their proxy in the fight against Mr. Walker's policies. Until the recent political inferno in Madison took over national headlines, the Supreme Court race was a snoozefest. Justice Prosser, who has served on the court for more than a decade, was the heavy favorite to hold onto his seat. In February's jungle primary that includes all candidates (all of whom are officially nonpartisan), he won 58% of the vote, followed by 25% for second place Joanne Kloppenburg, the assistant attorney general and an environmental attorney who is now the union darling. The top two primary finishers compete in the run-off, and that race is narrowing. A liberal outfit called the Greater Wisconsin Committee has thrown some $3 million into the race and launched a website, ProsserEqualsWalker.com, to whip heat against the Governor into the race. Democrats hope a victory would discourage other Republicans who might dare to face down Big Labor. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is divided 4-3 on many cases and tilts slightly right. A defeat for Justice Prosser would shift that balance, and a notoriously liberal contingent led by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson would dominate when the court hears the Democratic challenges to Mr. Walker's reforms, which limited collective bargaining and required government unions to be recertified every year by their members. That battle was recently joined when Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi put a hold on the law, and a state appeals court ruled yesterday that the Supreme Court should decide the case. If they flip the court, Democrats are also sure to target major tort reforms that Governor Walker signed earlier this year. Watch for trial lawyers dancing in the streets. From 2004 to 2008, the court's liberal majority, including Obama nominee to the federal bench Louis Butler, overturned medical malpractice caps and established a collective guilt standard whereby any company that had ever sold lead paint in Wisconsin could be subject to tort claims.