From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Though Republican congressional representatives have expressed their displeasure at the overtly pro-union rules and regulations issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), they failed to cut the Board’s budget. The vigorously negotiated budget deal that was recently agreed upon has exempted the NLRB from the budget cutter’s scalpel, thus leaving intact a major obstacle to the economic well-being of Corporate America. There had been vigorous lobbying to cut the Board’s budget, but union lobbyists may have outspent their opponents, leaving former union attorney Craig Becker to direct the NLRB’s actions in accordance with the wishes of organized labor. The Wall Street Journal had reported earlier this year that the GOP intended to cut the Board’s annual budget by $50 million, which would have amounted to 1/5 of its overall budget. Not only has the proposed budget cut not materialized, but the Board has actually experienced an increase in funding. The result, unfortunately, will be that that Board will be energized by the unfulfilled threats of its opponents and its increased budget; it will continue on its pro-union, anti-management war path. Its actions, no doubt, will prove pernicious to the economic growth of the country.
From the desk of Stephen Cabot: President Obama’s recess appointment of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) drew immense amounts of criticism from corporate America, for Becker had been an attorney for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and his objectivity and sense of fairness were called into question. Now Mr. Becker is living up to corporate America’s suspicions. He wants to overturn the 2007 Dana decision. What is the Dana decision? When the NLRB comprised less ideological members than it does now, it had decided that card check was not only inferior to secret ballot elections; it also stated that when a company recognizes union representation of its workers via card check, the workers have a subsequent right to a secret ballot election to determine if they freely chose union representation or if they were coerced into their choice. True to form, Mr. Becker not only suggested that the NLRB can impose card checks on corporate America without the approval of congress, but he and his fellow board members, in a 3-2 decision, have agreed to revisit the Dana decision. The Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) reports that “[Mr. Becker] filed a brief for the AFL-CIO in the original Dana case, arguing that there is no essential difference between card check and secret ballots and calling Dana-style protections ‘bad labor-relations policy.’ Mr. Becker is clearly biased against Dana…and should not rule on it.” We absolutely agree and urge the forthcoming Republican congress to make Dana the law of the land. It’s good for workers, for corporate America, and for the U. S. economy.
From the desk of Stephen Cabot: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is weighing the advantages to workers of reversing a rule that provided for a 45-day window to file election or decertification petitions, so that workers may not be influenced in their decisions by their employers. It’s obvious that the NLRB wants to increase the number of unionized workers by limiting the amount of time that employers will have to educate workers about the disadvantages of unionization. Craig Becker, a dyed-in-the-wool union advocate, says that he has not reached a final decision. Yet, for a man who has vociferously promoted unionization, it’s difficult to believe that he will not shorten the 45-day window of opportunity. Craig Becker has labored diligently to ensure that employers’ abilities to influence union elections be minimized, if not eliminated. In the spirit of the question, “Do you want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?” Craig Becker had told a senate hearing that he would recuse himself from decisions that would benefit his former employers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO. And now that Republican-appointed, NLRB member Peter Schaumber’s term has expired, the Craig Becker pro-union agenda is about to shift into high gear and speed up decisions that will benefit big labor. If there is any governmental institution whose actions will further drive manufacturers to foreign countries, it is the NLRB.