WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 22, 2011 -
President Obama's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to do the bidding of its powerful friends in Big Labor. The latest attack on America's workforce came yesterday in a new proposal that will restrict an employer's free speech rights and undermine a worker's ability to make a fully informed decision in a union election. As Chairman John Kline stated:
"In a direct affront to the millions of Americans desperate for jobs and opportunities, the Obama NLRB continues to push an activist agenda at the expense of our nation’s workforce. Big Labor has found faithful friends on the Obama NLRB who are working hard to ‘fix’ a process that isn’t broken."
Today's Wall Street Journal explains what's really behind this dramatic shift in labor policy and why every American should be concerned:
Current law already gives unions an advantage in their ability to work covertly for months, quietly approaching employees to gather signatures for an election petition until springing the news on employers at the last minute. Companies then must make their own case to workers in the month or so it usually takes to hold an election. Unions typically win two out of every three elections.
The rules proposed yesterday would "streamline" the election process by denying companies longstanding election rights. The rules would set shorter time limits for hearings and filings, robbing employers of preparation time. The regulations would also strip companies of the right to litigate some issues—such as whether certain employees (supervisors) qualify to vote—until after an election. They'd also curtail employers' abilities to challenge pre-election rulings the agency makes against them, since those challenges also take time.
The lone Republican on the current NLRB, Brian Hayes, estimates the new rules could allow elections to take place in as little as 10 to 21 days from petition filing. "Make no mistake," he wrote in his dissent, "the principal purpose for this radical manipulation of our election process is to minimize, or rather, to effectively eviscerate an employer's legitimate opportunity to express its views about collective bargaining."
To read the full op-ed, click here.