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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THE UAW ON THE WARPATH

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Not satisfied with bringing the Detroit automakers to near financial collapse as a result of onerous union rules and regulations, the United Auto Workers (UAW) now wants to impose its typically stifling workplace scenarios on foreign auto makers that have built manufacturing facilities in the United States. Those facilities employ tens of thousands of workers who enjoy middle class salaries and benefits. Their morale and levels of productivity are high.

Nevertheless, the UAW has not only promised to expose so-called human rights violations at those facilities as if shining a light on third world dictatorships, but it also intends to utilize $60 million of its $800 million strike fund to achieve its objectives.

To further the achievement of its goals, the UAW is also demanding that auto makers give up their right to free speech by agreeing not to discuss unionization on company grounds unless UAW representatives can participate. Yet, union representatives can and do visit employee homes where they proselytize for unionization without company representatives being present.

And card checks (as one might have expected) are also included in the UAW strategy. Utilizing card checks, unionization would occur if a majority of employees sign cards signifying that they want to be represented and if the union can claim there has been a history of “anti-union activity.” Once unionization has been established and there is no agreement on a contract after six months, the UAW wants the matter turned over to binding arbitration, which had been an ingredient of the congressionally rejected Employee Free Choice Act.

It is apparent that the UAW is intent on driving up its dues-paying membership rolls, which have dropped from 1.5 million members in 1979 to 400,000 members today. Its $800 million strike fund could be enormously increased by unionizing workers at those entire foreign car manufacturing facilities that are building vehicles in the United States.

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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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