The New York Times, Carrying Labor’s Water

By January 3, 2005Labor Unions

Once again, the folks at the New York Times are the amen chorus for organized labor. In a story entitled, “Labor Board’s Detractors See a Bias Against Workers“, Steve Greenhouse recounts labor’s bill of particulars against the National Labor Relations Board.

Here’s the opening paragraph: “The rulings of the National Labor Relations Board have poured out one after another in recent months, with many decisions tilting in favor of employers.” It recounts some tired old canards from labor, who has seen their numbers steadily decline over the last several decades. First they blamed the Reagan NLRB, then the Bush NLRB. Then they had eight years of the Clinton NLRB (hand-picked by labor) but their numbers continued to decline. So they blamed the statute, the same statute that saw their numbers swell decades before. The Clinton Board titled hard left, overturning years of settled case law which the existing Board has been busy putting back in place. Yet labor continues to cry “foul!”

To be fair, Greenhouse does quote a number of business sources, including our friend Randy Johnson over at the US Chamber, who makes some salient points. And, Randy actually knows what he’s talking about.

Still, the labor skates are the masters of the half-empty glass. Greenhouse writes, “And in a decision that will affect 87 percent of American workers, the board has denied nonunion employees the right to have a co-worker present when managers call them in for investigative or disciplinary meetings.”

How’s that?

In fact, there really has been no long-standing right for non-union employees to have a co-worker present during an investigative or disciplinary hearing. What’s more, shouldn’t this be one of their biggest selling points, i.e., that you need a union to protect you? At least that’s what they used to sell, before they got so distracted with politics.

For our part, we applaud the Board for its long overdue push toward the center. Anybody remember the center….?