As Congress begins its Easter break, President Obama is expected to recess appoint labor radical Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) even though Becker failed to receive bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate. At a time when Republicans and Democrats rarely agree on the issues confronting the nation, members of both parties were concerned enough with Becker’s extreme record to say “no” to his nomination.
But unfortunately, that does not seem to trouble a White House who is desperately working to “pay back” Big Labor who invested half a billion dollars to get them elected.
Senator Tom Harkin flatly stated that, “[i]t’s going to happen” when speaking with regard Becker’s nomination. His comments followed those of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis who told the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) they would receive “positive news” and would be “very pleased” with how the Becker nomination was resolved.
All of this conveniently ignores the fact that job creation is supposedly the top agenda item of this administration and Becker’s nomination to the NLRB is in conflict with that objective. Employers today are struggling to remain in business and instead of creating an environment that is conducive to job creation and investment, the administration has chosen to stand with union bosses and promote their job-killing policies, namely the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act (EFCA).
Craig Becker’s nomination is a threat to the economy because he believes small businesses “should have no right to be heard in either a representation case or an unfair labor practices case” meaning “employers have no standing to assert their employees’ right to fair representation.” These are Becker’s own words, which were published in the University of Minnesota Law Review in 1993.
This extreme nominee believes employers should have no “legal standing” in the unionization process of their own workplace. Really? So the AFL-CIO’s Rich Trumka and the SEIU’s Andy Stern should have a voice in the unionization process and the guy who started the business should not? It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.Becker also represents a threat to small business owners as he would almost certainly attempt to impose anti-job creation policies through the NLRB, which could not be achieved through Congressional action.
In fact, Stewart Acuff, a special assistant to the president of the AFL-CIO wrote recently when speaking of EFCA, “[w]e are very close to the 60 votes we need. It [sic] we aren’t able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, we will work with President Obama and Vice President Biden and their appointees to the National Labor Relations Board to change the rules governing forming a union through administrative action...”
What the union bosses are unable to achieve in Congress – where representatives are directly responsible to the people – they expect a nominee to carry out through an agency in the executive branch most Americans are unfamiliar with.
For this very reason, just this week, Senators Orrin Hatch and John McCain drafted an open letter to President Obama in protest to the potential recess nomination saying, “[t]aking this action would install a rejected nominee for an appointed term to the NLRB, setting an unfortunate precedent for all future nominations and future administrations.” All 41 Republican Senators signed the letter, citing the bipartisan opposition Becker faced in the Senate.
These Senators know that Becker’s appointment would be a catalyst for Big Labor to push its self-proclaimed, top-agenda item – the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act.
EFCA has seen no movement in Congress and frustrated labor bosses will now use Becker as their attempt at getting pieces of the job-killing legislation made reality through “administrative action.”
A change to union formation and negotiation rules, EFCA would remove workers’ right to a private ballot in union elections and would allow a government arbitrator to write binding contracts that directly impact employers and employees. These contracts would affect every aspect of the business and neither the owner nor the workers would have any say regarding its contents.
A recent study found that over half a million jobs would be lost in one year alone if EFCA was enacted. And to make matters worse, the debts small businesses would have to assume when forced into bankrupt union pension plans would make them financially insolvent.
With so much vocal and public opposition to the Becker nomination, it is deeply disturbing that the Obama Administration would go forward with it and bypass the Congress all to reward union bosses at our expense.
At the end of the day, Americans understand that the economy is in an extremely fragile state and will hold politicians accountable for making decisions that hurt our nation’s top job creators – small businesses – and result in more job loss. If the Obama Administration is truly concerned with economic growth, they will follow the bipartisan will of Congress and table Craig Becker’s nomination.