From the desk of Steve Cabot: As we have expressed on other occasions, one of the most profoundly disturbing aspects of the Obama administration is its blatant contempt for the separation of powers mandated by the Constitution. In large ways and small, the executive branch has acted with utter disregard for long-established custom and the rule of law, showing no restraint in imposing its will in the relentless pursuit of its power-consolidating agenda.
A favorite tactic has become the use of arbitrary rule-making in areas clearly reserved for Congress. A major malefactor in this regard is the NLRB, acting more as an arm of the Obama administration than an independent agency created to arbitrate labor disputes and ensure workplace fairness.
A glaring example was the recent issuance of a rule with several odious provisions:
- The invasion of worker privacy through the forced turnover of personal contact information, including telephone, email and physical addresses.
- The denial of an employee’s right to “opt out” of being besieged by union organizers prior to an election, even at home.
- The authorization of “ambush elections,” forcing workers to decide on union representation within as few as 7 to 10 days, well short of the time necessary for management to present its case to workers.
- In a separate action, the NLRB authorized union bosses to cherry-pick small pockets of support in an organization and create “micro” bargaining units, thereby gaining a foothold in places where a large majority of workers might oppose unionization.
Congress is now the process of pushing back against these arbitrary rules using a provision of the Congressional Review Act called a Resolution of Disapproval. If enacted, this joint resolution will reverse these onerous regulations and reestablish the rights of employers and their workers.
With passage assured in the Republican-controlled House, it remains for the Senate to follow suit. The measure – S.J. Res. 36 – already has 45 co-sponsors and needs only a simple majority to pass. You must act now by calling your senators and urging them to vote YES on S.J. Res. 36.
Update, April 24, 2012: Senate Democrats, joined by Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) defeated S.J.Res. 36 today by a vote of 54 - 45, in essence approving the NLRB's usurpation of power. Sen. Sanders (I-VT) abstained.