Micro-unions create unnecessary barriers and inherently sow discord between different small groups of workers and lead to different segments of the workforce negotiating against one another. It’s possible that different groups of employees could organize under the auspices of different major unions – some could join the UFCW while others may opt to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for instance. And inordinate amounts of time would be taken up dealing with the different unions’ competing demands.
In fact, Macy’s expressed the very practical concern following the NLRB ruling that micro-union’s segmentation of the workforce could prove “an impediment to providing a consistent level of customer service.” Going further, the added costs associated with micro-unions risks an employer’s solvency – particularly small businesses – and threatens the flexibility needed to compete successfully in the marketplace.
With this ruling, the NLRB is doubling down on the controversial decision it issued in the Specialty Healthcare case in 2011. By allowing certain staff members at a long-term care facility to organize themselves to the exclusion of other workers, the NLRB threw well-established labor law and precedent out the window in a giveaway to union bosses. Up until then, the standard for unionization had been “wall-to-wall,” meaning a majority of employees must be organized as a single group. The Board’s decision was always intended to go beyond health care facilities and targeted retail stores, which has now begun to manifest itself much to the delight of union organizers and the chagrin of employers.
The Obama Administration’s support for micro-unions sets a dangerous course that only hurts the businesses our nation relies upon to employ workers and to generate tax revenues, which government agencies such as the NLRB use to actively undercut them at every turn.