Boeing Sleight of Hand from the Rogue NLRB
On April 21, 2011 the NLRB announced it had initiated an action against Boeing through its District XX office. The action, which will be heard by an administrative law judge, insinuates that Boeing’s decision to open a new plant was an attempt at union busting. The NLRB’s case against Boeing is derived from the premise that Boeing’s decision to locate the plant in South Carolina was, at least in part, based on its desire to avoid work stoppages and strikes it had suffered at its plant in Washington State, where workers are represented by the International Association of Machinists. See Union Case Against Boeing Called ‘Unprecedented‘. The attorney general’s in at least nine states, as well as high ranking government officials in others, have pressed the NLRB to drop the action (see Obama’s Silence On Boeing Is Unacceptable, Attorneys General Battle NLRB Over Boeing Plant and U.S. Labor Board Urged By States To Drop Boeing Complaint). The reality is this is yet another sleight of hand used by Obama and supported by his NLRB appointed buddies, in an attempt to appease Big Labor and achieve their objectives without Congressional approval. See Obama’s Unionization Push.
It is imperative all Americans understand this is yet another attempt by Obama to overwhelm the system and sneak through his true agenda while the country is occupied with headline grasping news. This is an obscene overreach by government into the free enterprise system that must and will be fought and defeated (see Boeing Shrugged, Boeing to Fight Order to Move 787 and Sen. Grassley On NLRB And Boeing: Congress Can Fix The Law). However, it is important to understand that Boeing is a smoke screen, a diversion from the real NLRB agenda, which is to enable union campaigns against businesses of all types and sizes as described in The Devil at My Doorstep and the SEIU and Its Corporate Campaigns.
Unions are in financial trouble and desperate. This is understood by the Obama Administration. Obama needs the union campaign contributions and foot soldiers to win re-election in 2012. He also understands he must help unions increase membership significantly in a short period of time in order to increase union campaign contributions for 2012. He too is desperate and thus committed to saving these Gasping Dinosaurs from extinction through overturning decisions and changing rules and regulation through the rogue NLRB. He knows this is critical to his re-election. The time is right for Congress to get its act together, Rein In The NLRB and prevent The Death of Right to Work.
Since Christmas 2010 the NLRB has taken the following actions:
- Prosecuting an employer for opting to open a non-union assembly plant;
- Suing states whose voters prefer secret ballots over card check;
- Finding an employer guilty of unfair labor practices for not letting off-duty workers of a contractor on to the employer’s property;
- Giving unions the okay to let their union supporters threaten non-union supporters with physical violence;
- Moving to humiliate employers, as well as giving unions access to employees and property;
- Considering forcing all NLRA-covered employers to post notices telling employee how to unionize;
- Contemplating letting unions unionize workers into micro-unions;
- Undermining union-free employees by giving unions (and employers) the right to negotiate “sweetheart deals” (before the union represents said employees) in exchange for unionizing employees.
These are in addition to two early Christmas presents provided to big labor bosses while the nation was being distracted by the theatrics of its “Lame Duck” Congress. First, NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a memorandum to all Regional Directors concerning remedies to be sought for “unfair conduct” by businesses during organizing campaigns (which can be seen in a NLRB Memorandum). Then, the Labor Board announced a proposed rule to require employer posting of employee rights under the NLRA, as seen in Labor Relations Board Rule Would Require Businesses to Alert Workers to Union Rights.
In previous blogs, I warned of the NLRB pushing such an agenda. In Beware the Lame Duck, I warned of potential attempts by Obama and his sidekicks Pelosi and Reid to pass some version of the “Employee Free Choice Act” (a.k.a. Card Check) by embedding one of its most onerous provisions, employer fines, in a non-related bill. See also EFCA Update. I have also warned of the Administration’s attempts to pass EFCA through the Backdoor which could be achieved through use of executive appointments, executive orders and rule changes. It appears that, for Big Labor bosses, it is now Beyond Lame Ducksville and on to Corporate Campaigns with more weapons in their arsenal.
These initiatives are simply more evidence of Obama’s Love Affair with big labor. They are nothing more than another in a long line of recent gifts to big labor bosses to mount ruthless corporate campaigns against employers and employees. Campaigns designed to achieve “card check” through the True EFCA Objective, forcing employers to sign a Neutrality Agreement.
Additionally, these two initiatives contain remedies that fit nicely into “The Ends Justify the Means“ union playbook. The centerpieces of these initiatives are Unfair Labor Practices and the remedies proposed for such practices, which include a mandatory provision for the employer to provide the names and addresses of its employees to the labor union – a critical component of corporate campaigns against employers. Such a rule would effectively implement key provisions of the Neutrality Agreement. As currently used, labor unions file unfair labor practices against companies resistant to their organizing efforts in order to force them to sign a Neutrality Agreement. The Neutrality Agreement contains a provision where, upon signing, the employer provides the employee list to the union. The Neutrality Agreement further eliminates the secret ballot in favor of card check, and you now have Job Killing Thugs at Your Door and the doors of your employees. The proposed rule, therefore, accomplishes a key objective of the Neutrality Agreement for labor unions, and provides the foundation to How Unions Expand Without Card Check.
Corporate campaigns such as the one the SEIU ran against EMS, and as chronicled in The Devil at My Doorstep, are crucial to the future of the Gasping Dinosaurs. It is now abundantly obvious the NLRB, dominated by Obama appointees and ever mindful of the current plight of unions, who today represent roughly 12% of the workforce or 6% of the American population, is determined to provide union bosses the paybacks they are demanding. With every action they take in furtherance of big labor’s agenda, it is clear that the abomination once known as the NLRB, has been corrupted, and no longer functions as the neutral body intended by Congress, despite its mission statement which continues to read:
The mission of the National Labor Relations Board is to carry out the statutory responsibilities of the National Labor Relations Act, as efficiently as possible, in a manner that gives full effect to the rights afforded to ALL PARTIES under the Act (emphasis added).
Despite the fact the NLRA clearly defines that one of the NLRB’s two primary functions is to conduct secret ballot elections and that the mission of the board is to protect the rights of “all parties”, it is clear the NLRB is determined to provide an unlevel playing field in favor of unions by eliminating the secret ballot election at the expense of American employees and loss of American jobs. At the pace these new initiatives are being presented through the SEIU’s Insidious Tentacles, the United States will soon be nothing more than a third world country thanks to the greed of Obama and the big labor elitists who drive us toward socialism in the name of social justice. Nothing in the History of Labor Movement compares with the power grab that is being attempted today.
Senator Grassley is right. Since the NLRB cannot function as an independent body under the rules outlined by Congress, it is time for Congress to change the law. It is time for all Americans to take a stand against this tyranny and contact their representatives and demand these initiatives designed to bypass our constitution and remove our freedoms not only be stopped, but retracted.
About the author: 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,” based on his experiences fighting back against one of the most powerful unions in existence today.