National Labor Relations Board oversteps role with new rule
August 29, 2011 - 12:59 am
What was the federal government’s role in labor-management relations, again? To maintain a level playing field?
The National Labor Relations Board has approved a new rule requiring private employers to display posters telling workers about their right to form a union, as well as their right to distribute union literature and engage in other union activities without reprisal.
Employers who post work rules electronically would also have to post the new notices on their websites, The Associated Press reported Friday.
The new rule, which takes effect Nov. 14, exempts some small businesses based on factors including budget and payroll. Otherwise, failure to post the notices could be considered an “unfair labor practice.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce responds the posters will make it appear the government is encouraging workers to join unions.
Business groups complain the NLRB, now dominated by Democratic appointees who in some cases are former union bosses, is taking a number of aggressive steps designed to help union membership, which has been on the decline for decades. In the most obvious case, the federal agency has sought to prevent Boeing from opening an aircraft factory in South Carolina — creating thousands of jobs — because of suspicions this is being done to punish the firm’s unionized West Coast work force for previous strikes, even though Boeing has also increased the size of its West Coast work force.
The problem here is not that Americans have a right to join unions — of course they do — or even that they should be told about it. The question is to what extent government can reach into a private workplace and dictate what kind of communications must be posted there.
Will the NLRB next issue edicts on what signs shall not be posted? Wanna bet? What if an employer posts the new signs as ordered — and then posts signs indicating how much of the average worker’s salary would be siphoned off by union dues, along with some of the radical political causes funded by today’s union dues? Guaranteed that would be labeled an “unfair labor practice.”
Make no mistake, this is merely another step toward a goal long advanced by union activists, which is to receive the government’s blessing to ignore private property rights, setting up union recruitment tables inside the hallways and cafeterias of every targeted workplace in America.
Who knows, maybe that’ll even be part of President Obama’s newest “jobs” program.