NLRB GOES AFTER ARIZONA

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: In a further attempt to promote card checks, the National Labor Relations Board has filed suit to void a voter-approved constitutional amendment in Arizona that allows the formation of unions only by secret ballot elections.

This is not only blow against democracy, for Arizonians voted to approve the way unions could be formed, but it is also evidence of the NLRB’s ongoing determination to promote Card Checks as a way of increasing union membership.

Arizona’s attorney general will fight the lawsuit, making a stand for democracy and the rights of workers and management to decide upon unionization based upon secret ballot elections.

That, however, has not curtailed the intentions of the NLRB, which now plans to sue South Dakota as well over its passage of a constitutional amendment similar to Arizona’s In addition, the NLRB may initiate legal action against South Carolina and Utah in the coming weeks or months. It is apparent that if organized labor cannot get congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (aka, Card Checks), then it will let the NLRB do its bidding, even if it involves abrogating the votes of citizens.

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RIGHT-TO-WORK STATES VS. THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The attorneys general of nine right-to-work states, where workers cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment, have issued a statement condemning a wrong-headed ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that prevents Boeing from building its Dreamliner 787 in South Carolina. The states are South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Alan Wilson, the Attorney General of South Carolina, wrote: “The only justification for the NLRB’s unprecedented retaliatory action is to aid union survival.” We could not agree more.

As we recently reported, Boeing chose to open a manufacturing facility in South Carolina because several strikes in Washington had not only significantly delayed the company’s production goals by many months, but had also cost the company tens of millions of dollars. South Carolina provides a more business friendly environment than does the state or Washington.

As a corporation operating in a free-market economy, Boeing has the right to operate a manufacturing facility wherever it wants, especially as it contributes to the welfare of its employees and to a profitable bottom line. It is an essential element of our capitalistic heritage. And we support the right of all corporations to do business wherever they want, not someplace chosen by the NLRB, catering to the demands of unions, such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which has applauded the NLRB’s decision.

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THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD THREATENS TO ELIMINATE A BASIC AMERICAN RIGHT

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has threatened to sue four states for ensuring that workers can enjoy a basic democratic right to cast secret ballots when it come s to the possibility of unionization. The four states, South Dakota, South Carolina, Arizona, and Utah, have mandated the use of secret ballots in union elections.

The NLRB has made the Alice-in-Wonderland assertion that secret ballots violate federal law. Though Congress has refused to pass the Employee Free Choice Act that would have permitted unions to coerce workers into signing “card checks” to ensure union representation, the NLRB has repeatedly looked for opportunities to present unions with opportunities to impose the use of “card checks” on workers, who may not want to join a union.

Indeed, the most effective tactic that workers have against forced unionization is the secret ballot. No union organizer gets to coerce, embarrass, or intimidate a worker to join a union when the workers’ preferences are made oblique by casting secret, anonymous ballots.

We back the efforts of Minnesota Republican Representative John Kline to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with the passage of the Secret Ballot Protection Act. While the Republican dominated House of Representatives very well may pass the amendment, the Democrats in the Senate will not pass it. Corporate America, therefore, will have to wait until the election of 2012 to be delivered from the high-handed, pro-union actions of the NLRB. Meanwhile, it is essential that corporations put in place survival strategies that prevent labor relations problems before they arise.

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