NLRB SPARED BUDGET CUTS: PRO-UNION AGENDA UNAFFECTED

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.

expert labor relations advice

NLRB CONDONES PRO-UNION THREATS

FROM THE DESK OF STEPHEN CABOT: Each new decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) confirms its agenda to advance the cause of organized labor. The latest such decision follows a union election that took place in 2008. At that time, the Communications Workers of America won a 14 to 12 vote to represent the workers at MasTech Direct TV.

A number of employees who did not want to vote for union representation reported that pro-unionists threatened physical violence against them and their families if they carried out their intention to vote against the union. Each of the threats was documented.

In years past, the NLRB would overturn an election if either side had voiced threats of physical violence in an effort to affect an election outcome. Now, however, the NLRB has decided not to abrogate the aforesaid election because it does not meet a confusing and abstruse set of criteria set by the NLRB. In other words, documented evidence of threats is no longer considered prima facie evidence. So much for the rule of law!

The NLRB continues to spearhead its aggressive pro-union campaign to let unions organize as many employees as possible with opportunistic disregard for well-established precedents.

expert labor relations advice

ORGANIZE TODAY, WIN TOMORROW?

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: For several months, I have been writing that the NLRB has been looking for ways to do an end run around the mis-named Employee Free Choice Act. Ideologically disposed to providing whatever support it can to unions, the NLRB's latest intention is to endorse quickie elections to hasten union representation. The time from petition to election usually takes 38 days. However, Mark Pearce, a Board member, would like to shorten that period of time to between five and ten days, which is what exists in Canada. In order for employers to present their side of the unionization story, to educate their employees to what they will be losing if they vote for union representation, they need sufficient time to communicate facts and concepts to employees. And because union organizers usually operate in secret, employers will not know that their employees have been the targets of union propaganda until a petition has been filed. Five to ten days will hardly be adequate time for management to present its case. After all, the union organizers may have been propagandizing workers for weeks, if not months. A quickie election is indeed an end round around the dormant Employee Free Choice Act. Instead of card checks, union authorization cards will lead to petitions which will lead to quickie elections. Five days later, a union will be in place. Say hello to the Employee Free Choice Act in disguise. It is, therefore, essential that Corporate America pro-actively develop strategies for defeating such scenarios. And the time for doing so is Now!

expert labor relations advice