From the desk of Stephen Cabot: After years of often provocative and aggressive organizing efforts, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has finally had its efforts circumscribed. While the NLRB had recently informed Corporate America that it must post information about workers’ rights to join unions that same NLRB has surprisingly and uncharacteristically informed the SEIU that it cannot prevent workers, who do not support its activities, from working. At Morehouse College in Atlanta, the SEIU had been trying to organize the workers of Sodexo, which operates the college’s dining facilities.

The NLRB ordered SEIU to post notices that it not “restrain or coerce” employees “in the exercise of their rights guaranteed” under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which includes the right not to engage in union activities.

Following an SEIU organized demonstration at the college, Sodexo had complained to the NLRB that there was an effort by the SEIU to prevent employees, who chose not to participate in the demonstration, from coming to work in the college’s dining facilities.

While this is certainly an unusual action for the pro-union NLRB, one cannot expect the Board to continue being fair and balanced and stick to the letter and spirit of the National Labor Relations Act. The Board’s majority composition remains decidedly pro-union.

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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.

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