The NLRB Showdown

Brett McMahon

11/29/2011 12:01:00 AM - Brett McMahon

Many of us spent this weekend with families and focused on the thanks in our hearts for our blessings, but once again Obama’s job-killing National Labor Relations Board is giving us plenty to remain un-thankful about.

For those not entirely familiar with all of the Board’s recent havoc, you are no doubt aware of the NLRB’s most high profile job attack of going after a brand new Boeing manufacturing plant that dared to open up and hire employees in a “right to work” state where employees can work without being forced to pay for union representation.

While the Boeing case is definitely a telling example of the Big Labor agenda being driven by the agency, there are other structural attacks by the NLRB that seek to change the way the game is played by shortening the time period and process of unionization at a company. A shortened time period effectively filibusters management from ever getting to respond to concerns or issues raised by employees before a vote to unionize is held. A hearing is scheduled by the NLRB for this Wednesday to presumably enact these measures into law.

Fortunately, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline has introduced H.R. 3094, the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, to keep the process fair and allow all workplace parties equal time.

As part of Chairman Kline’s oversight over workforce matters, he has received a very illuminating correspondence from one of the dissenting NLRB members, Member Brian Hayes. The letter, dated November 18th and addressed to Mr. Kline, details the Board’s ongoing attempts to mislead the Congress and the American public to their true agenda. Hayes’ letter alleges the actions of his fellow Members indicates they “plainly intend to contravene the Board’s own internal rules regarding the circulation and issuance of majority and dissenting opinions.”

Hayes’ letter also illustrates how the Board is intent on disregarding many of the 65,000-plus public comments critical of the proposed rule change--and they are in a hurry to implement before any more terms expire for their leadership. The unprecedented commitment to undermining decades of procedures and laws confirms that the Board has lost all appearances of an independent agency and is clearly operating as a arm of Big Labor.

It can’t be understated how dire the situation has become. Member Hayes has even threatened to resign his seat over the impending rule change next week, as a last grasp effort to stall the board by means of not having a quorum and essentially shutting it down until new members are appointed. (Those who are fed up have started their own petition to rein in the rogue agency.)

While President Obama continues to tour the country to give speeches about how he is the only serious person in Washington about doing everything possible on jobs, the NLRB has clearly not gotten that memo. Chairman Kline’s proposed legislation would be an important step in reigning in the out of control board, it would really give us something to be thankful about if the President would also fully act on his jobs pledge.