The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is charged with serving as the clearinghouse for workplace organizing elections, as well as managing disputes between employees, employers and labor unions. The board’s purpose is not to undertake an activist agenda creating policy favoring one side over another; instead, operating as an arbiter of law as written. Yet under President Barack Obama, the so-called independent agency became nothing more than a tool for Big Labor to write public policy, putting forward decision after decision that bolstered the interests of union bosses at the expense of America’s workers and businesses. One reason for this outcome was the board was stacked with labor allies whose allegiance was to bosses and delivering payback for the millions spent electing and re-electing Obama.
As with many things in Washington, D.C., this has already changed markedly since the election of President Donald Trump, but there is much that remains to be done. No longer is government trying to force nonsensical and burdensome rules onto employers; instead, it is putting smart, qualified people in charge of agencies and enacting policies that create conditions for greater hiring, wage increases and economic growth.
Within the NLRB itself, President Trump has worked to nominate qualified and experienced individuals, who will take an unbiased look at any case and make decisions based on the merits. The recent board nominations of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel are perfect examples as they will bring to the NLRB track records of working on labor issues over the course of their esteemed legal careers. Kaplan’s experience as counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Emanuel’s decades of experience working in labor and employment law demonstrate each will bring a serious and measured approach to the board.
Coupled with the appointment of Philip Miscimarra as chairman of the NLRB, President Trump is clearly demonstrating that he is seeking to fix the failed policies of the last eight years. He is showing that everyone deserves to have their voice heard, in addition to a seat at the table during workplace organizing efforts and any disputes that may result from them.
As the business community continues to adapt to the deluge of arbitrary rules and regulations issued by the previous administration, the new leadership in Washington must continue to send the message that they are committed to advancing a pro-jobs and pro-worker agenda. A key aspect of this undertaking requires the board undoing previous decisions, such as the unnecessary and greatly expedited organizing election timetable as well as the policy giving union bosses the ability to organize small subsets of employees known as “micro-unions” when the traditional majority of workers oppose union representation.
With President Trump bringing balance to the board, and by extension American workplaces, the right kind of message is being sent across this country. The time has come to set aside the divisive, biased, anti-worker and anti-business policies of the last eight years, and get to the hard work of getting Americans back on level footing in their places of occupation. The Trump Administration has worked incredibly hard to identify and name a strong pair of nominees, but this undertaking is just beginning. And the next step in restoring balance to American workplaces can only be achieved with the swift confirmation of both of these incredibly qualified nominees by the U.S. Senate.