After a period of relative quiet, a recent flurry of rulemaking initiatives by the the National Labor Relations Board evidences the current Administration’s intent on satisfying big labor leading up to the crucial 2014 mid-term elections.
Ambush Election Rules
The NLRB originally adopted this rule in 2011, but the D.C. Circuit Court rejected the rule on procedural grounds, finding that the NLRB had improperly issued the rule because they did not have a quorum. Member Brian Hayes was active in office, but did not vote on passage of the rule. Initially, the NLRB appealed the Circuit Court’s decision. In December 2013, however, the Board requested that the court dismiss the appeal. It was generally presumed by those following the NLRB that the reason for doing this was to clear the slate and “start over.” It appears that’s what is being done. On February 6, 2014, the NLRB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking reissuing their proposed “Ambush Election” rules in substantially the same form as the 2011 proposal.
Among other things, the rulemaking: (i) narrows the scope of pre-election hearings (won’t consider campaign irregularities, eligibility to vote, etc.), (ii) shortens the timeframe prior to election, and (iii) gives the Board discretion over whether to hear post-election disputes (whether they would be heard at all).
The underlying goal of this rule is to achieve Card Check under the guise of an election process. In effect, big labor would indoctrinate employees through misinformation, propaganda and intimidation months ahead of petitioning for an election. Employers, under the new rule, would theoretically then have as little as 10 days to reverse the indoctrination, which based on my experience is almost impossible. This is just another step towards Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation! Please read Obama’s NLRB deals big labor a winning hand: part 1 and National Labor Relations Board Pauses from Election Rules Amendments.
Revision of Arbitration Rules
The board is considering a proposal of radical NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin to change the way the Board considers the decisions of arbitrators in labor matters under the NLRA. In essence, in a situation in which an employer and a union or employee had agreed to utilize an arbitrator to resolve disputes, the NLRB would be empowered to disregard the arbitrator’s decision if it disagreed with it. This would permit labor unions to have “two bites of the apple” (as used by former NLRB Board Member Ronald Meisburg), to challenge employer action. Part of the Employee Free Choice Act (see EFCA Through the Backdoor) a.k.a. Card Check this rulemaking would basically tilt the collective bargaining negotiations process heavily in favor of big labor. It is a part of the process to enact Card Check through Regulation vs. Legislation. As the President said he has a pen and a phone and he will act on his own. Obviously, he is also delegating this authority to his appointees like Richard Griffin. Please read NLRB Invites Input On Arbitration Award Deferral Standard.
Richard Griffin and his radical pro-union teammates are also intent on establishing “Micro-Unions.” Griffin recently commented that NLRB guidance on micro-unions is forthcoming. The concept of “micro-unions” is an NLRB creation, stemming from its decision in the Specialty Healthcare case. It is nothing more than a ploy to allow unions to establish a foothold in a business with a small segment of employees then turn it into full-scale unionization of all employees within the company (see NLRB General Counsel: Guidance on Micro-Unions is Coming). This particular rule shows just how desperate the big labors interests really are to rebuild dwindling membership.
Basically this all boils down to two things, money and political power. Both the President and the labor bosses need big labor to rebuild its membership so they can maintain political power. It has little or nothing to do with helping employees or the citizens of this great country the United States of America.
David A. Bego is the President and CEO of EMS, an industry leader in the field of environmental workplace maintenance, employing nearly 5000 workers in thirty-three states. Bego is the author of “The Devil at My Doorstep,” as well as the just released sequel, “The Devil at Our Doorstep,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.