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Will Obama’s Labor Board Appointee Impose Policies “Too Radical” for Congressional Approval?

President Barack Obama’s decision to install controversial union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board has come under fire in recent days, and it’s not just because a recess appointment was used to circumvent bipartisan Senate opposition. As an essay in today’s Boston Globe explains, the outcry surrounding Becker’s placement on the NLRB is rooted in concerns about his radical views on workplace democracy and their potential consequences for our economy:

“…As the body that certifies union elections and rules on unfair labor practice claims, the NLRB is the referee of employer-employee relations. Never has that role been more important than it is now, as the nation struggles to create jobs and reduce nearly double-digit unemployment. 

“Becker’s positions will worsen an already dismal business climate and make job creation even more difficult. He supports the misleadingly named ‘Employee Free Choice Act,’ which would actually eliminate free choice by taking the right to a secret ballot election away from employees choosing whether to unionize, potentially subjecting those workers to union threats and coercion. … 

“Despite overwhelming Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act may be too radical to pass in its current form. With legislation an unlikely option, NLRB decisions and rule-making authority provide a regulatory vehicle for achieving many of the same goals. 

“But the act is just the beginning for Becker and those who support his radical agenda. To them, coercion isn’t a problem. Becker said unions were ‘formed to escape the evils of individualism and individual competition. . . their actions necessarily involve coercion.’ He believes workers have no right to opt out of being represented by a union as their sole bargaining agent. …” 

Charles Chieppo, “Radical views of NLRB appointee,” The Boston Globe, 04.01.10

Economic and regulatory uncertainty is already keeping job creators on the sidelines. Add to that this new threat that card check – or some other equally harmful scheme – might be imposed by an activist labor board and it’s no wonder the Obama Administration is expecting unemployment to remain “unacceptably high.” 

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