NLRB Attack on Right-to-Work States is Bad Politics and Worse Economics

Fred Wszolek
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Posted: May 10, 2011 12:01 AM
Defying efforts by both small and large businesses to create jobs and protect workers, whether union or non-union, President Obama’s labor board, namely the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has undertaken an assault against non-union jobs created in right-to-work states. On two fronts in recent days, the regulatory agency has gone after right-to-work states to the benefit Big Labor bosses, who happen to the top political contributors and supporters of this White House.

The NLRB has begun to sue states whose citizens voted to protect themselves from coercion and intimidation by adding secret ballot guarantees to their state constitutions, as well as attempting to deny a major corporation from operating a facility in a right-to-work state, which would create thousands of new jobs.

Why is the board attacking right-to-work states in a down economy? Perhaps it is due to the overwhelming and unmistakable connection between this administration and Big Labor bosses whose political spending has propelled not just President Obama to his position, but consequently, their allies into appointed positions of influence within government, starting with agencies such as the NLRB.

And it’s not as if union bosses are shying away from bragging about their access and influence. Just a few weeks ago, the president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Richard Trumka said, “I’m at the White House a couple times a week – two or three times a week … I have conversations every day with someone in the White House or in the administration. Every day. And that includes weekends, by the way.”

What are they talking about?

They are discussing ways to pursue job-killing strategies that reward labor bosses, but hurt job creators.

What the NLRB and their union boss friends cannot escape is the overwhelming proof that states with right-to-work laws are more financially and educationally accomplished than states where unionization is forced.

It’s no wonder South Dakota and Arizona, two right-to-work states, let the voters speak for themselves guaranteeing a secret ballot election in union organizing elections. By ensuring a secret ballot in this manner, workers are better able to vote their conscience and not be unfairly swayed, or even bullied, by union organizers who desperately seek new members to increase dues. By putting this notion into state law, they sent a message to Big Labor – we do not want forced unionization.

At its core, that’s what right to work is about. Right to work protects a worker’s freedom of association. It prohibits agreements between labor unions and employers making membership or payment of union dues or fees a condition of employment.

And if that wasn’t enough evidence of the Obama Administration’s gross favoritism and advocacy on the part of union bosses, the NLRB’s ludicrous actions in its complaint against Boeing regarding its new facility in South Carolina should suffice.

South Carolina – like many other states – is struggling through a difficult economy and is clearly concerned with bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. advancing policies that increase unemployment and hurt businesses. And the NLRB’s attack against Boeing for deciding to build a new facility in a right-to-work state is just that, government run amok and carrying water for special interests whose agenda takes precedence over the livelihoods of everyday Americans.

But to understand the reason for the animus both Big Labor and the Obama Administration have toward right-to-work states, one only has to look at the facts.

Unemployment is lower in right-to-work states and home ownership is higher. Right-to-work states produce more highly-educated workers than forced unionization states, and it comes as no surprise that the overwhelming majority of young professionals – 94.3% to be exact, choose to live in right-to-work states.

Additionally, in states without forced unionization, employers are more capable of providing health insurance to their employees – something forced unionization states have struggled to do. In the decade between 1999-2009, the number of people covered by any form of private health insurance decreased by 5.7% in forced-unionization states, but in right-to-work states, that number actually increased one percent. The freedom provided by right-to-work states affects the stability of its businesses; therefore, it secures the stability of benefits for workers.

And the list goes on and on. By any and just about every measurable indicator, it is more beneficial to live and work in a right-to-work state, which today is under threat by Big Labor and by extension, the Obama Administration and its administrative agents at the NLRB.

Thankfully, numerous Members of Congress have stepped up to speak on behalf of their constituents by signing a letter to President Obama demanding that the blatant advocates of Big Labor’s agenda in government namely NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon and Board Member Craig Becker be withdrawn from consideration as nominees to the regulatory agency. As Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina stated, “America will not win the future if Washington penalizes workers in states that have discovered winning economic strategies.”