From the desk of Stephen Cabot:It is no secret that a Democratic majority on the National Labor Relations Board would favor unions. If one of those is a former union lawyer who believes that the Employee Free Choice Act should become law, the putative impartiality of the NLRB could be abrogated with the stroke of a pen.
Craig Becker, who was appointed to the Board by President Obama during the spring recess of Congress (an action known as a presidential recess appointment), will decidedly and perhaps aggressively tilt the Board to an unfair and dangerous pro-union position.
Mr. Becker, who was a top lawyer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Democrat Mark Pearce, will give the Board a three-vote Democratic majority. There had been just one Democrat and one Republican on the Board prior to the appointments of Becker and Pearce. The Board should have five members.
Many in Corporate America as well as students of labor relations and pro-management attorneys believe that the newly composed Board will act to affirm a pending petition that would require employers to bargain with unions that represent less than a majority number of any employer’s workers. In addition, it is also believed that the Board will vote to shorten the period of time from when an organizing petition is accepted by the Board and when a vote is held. While the Employee Free Choice Act may be doomed in Congress, the acts of the NLRB could now advance the mission of unions so that more and more workers become unionized and labor costs skyrocket. It is essential, therefore, that Corporate America invests in strategic action plans for union avoidance as well as plans to achieve decertification of unions already in place.
A dark cloud is hanging over Corporate America, and only if it implements a pro-active battle plan will the sun shine again on our traditional free enterprise system.