THE SEIU FINALLY GETS ITS COMEUPANCE

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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CRAIG BECKER TO DO AN END RUN FOR CARD CHECKS

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.

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