Katie Gage

We were reminded this week why elections matter. Despite sending a message to both the executive and legislative branches a month ago in the midterm elections, voters are still feeling the consequences of the actions of government as members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate – acted against their interests.

The message sent by voters of less government intervention and no “payback[s]” to special interests was completely rejected by these unelected bureaucrats. With its decision in the matter concerning the Dana Corporation, the NLRB decided in favor of Big Labor and against workers and small businesses by sanctioning card check in American workplaces.

In an affront to both legislators and the American people who oppose the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA) which does away with the secret ballot and institutes card check, the members of the NLRB eliminated a core democratic right by allowing coercion and intimidation in places of work.

The matter before the NLRB had to do with Dana Corporation receiving what’s commonly called a “sweetheart contract” by the United Auto Workers (UAW) and as a result, a card check system was created that robbed Dana’s employees of their right to a secret ballot election. Instead, half of Dana Corporation’s employees lost both their voice and vote concerning whether their workplace should have been represented by a collective-bargaining unit.

Outraged Dana Corporation employees brought unfair labor practice complaints against their employer and the UAW. The NLRB, a group of presidential appointees accountable to no one, reviewed the matter and decided the outcome in favor of Big Labor.

Since President Obama has effectively stacked the NLRB with union boss benefactors, the result was not a big surprise when they decided to uphold the UAW’s scheme to deny workers their basic rights.

The practical result of the NLRB’s decision is that it introduces card check into more workplaces and disenfranchises more workers in the hope this somehow sets the table for something more significant down the road, which will affect even more businesses.

But the National Labor Relations Board and Obama Administration continue to underestimate workers and small businesses if they believe America’s job creators will simply let this un-American action stand. Instead, employees and employers will begin to work to shine a light on the NLRB and its actions, and those who currently serve on the agency and where their interests lie.

In addition, the small business community will engage Congress as they have the ability to pass resolutions undoing the imprudent and reckless actions carried out by administrative bodies like the NLRB.

And while Americans won the first battle in this great endeavor to maintain basic rights like being able to vote free from intimidation and coercion and having a say in contract negotiations, much work remains.

Just as we took on the union bosses on EFCA legislation and won, small businesses will confront Big Labor’s attempts to use faceless, nameless bureaucrats willing to do their bidding, and achieve the same result.

And those elected officials on the wrong side of the electorate should expect voters to be well informed with regard to who stands with them and who supports bailouts to special interests espousing job-killing policies.


Katie Gage

Katie Gage is the executive director of the Workforce Fairness institute.