In addition to threatening companies that want to create jobs in the 22 states that have passed right-to-work laws, which protect a worker’s freedom of association by prohibiting unions and employers from making membership in the union a condition of employment, the NLRB announced that it was considering a sweeping new change that would give Big Labor easy access to non-union employers, but which threatens the cohesiveness of the workplace and dramatically increases costs and litigation on employers in one of the worst economies since the Great Depression.
The case known as Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile would make a sweeping new standard for defining what a collective bargaining unit is. Whereas in the past it could be all the employees of the employer or something less, such as a department, the new standard gives Big Labor a green light to organize as few as two or more persons doing the same job in the same location. Since it is easier to organize two employees than 50, these micro-units will make it easier for Big Labor to gain access into a non-union employer, but will deprive workers their right to collective bargaining strength, and they threaten a proliferation of units balkanizing the workplace and increasing the burden on employers.
Yet, these aren’t the only job-killing policies Obama's regulatory board is considering. With unemployment over nine percent and every major economic indicator revealing serious challenges for families and small businesses, the NLRB has indicated in public commentary that it is considering changing the time frame within which union elections take place. Big Labor is pushing the idea, supported by its allies at the NLRB of squeezing a 38-day median election period into as little as seven to 10 days after a petition is filed.
As things stand today, voting to form a union takes a median of 38 day's time after the initial election petition is submitted. This gives employers, unions and workers the chance to share information, set election rules and seek outside counsel if it is required. Typically, by the time the workplace election takes place, everybody has at least had a chance to receive information, consider the merits of forming a collective bargaining unit, and make a decision free from unnecessary anxiety and confusion.
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