More than 550 manufacturing employers and organizations have urged Senators to oppose the controversial nomination of Craig Becker to the powerful National Labor Relations Board.
In the letter distributed Monday, manufacturers expressed their concerns with Mr. Becker’s views to limit employers’ ability to communicate with their employees regarding union organizing efforts. Under current law, employers’ rights to communicate with their employees are protected so long as the speech does not contain a “threat of reprisal or force or promise of benefit.” However, Becker has expressed support for severely restricting employers’ free speech rights through quicksnap elections, and bans on meeting with their employees, among other steps.
From the letter:
The nomination of Mr. Becker poses a threat to our labor law system, as his views and interpretation of labor law would radically change the nature of the NLRB. In numerous academic journals and other writings, Mr. Becker has espoused views that indicate he believes the NLRB has the authority to make certain decisions that are pending in proposed legislation. Such views would limit employers’ ability to communicate with their employees regarding union organizing efforts and would promote a system of adversarial employee relations. Based on his previous statements, we feel Mr. Becker would direct the NLRB to rewrite current union election rules in favor of union organizers, a decision that should be left to Congress. In particular, we are concerned that Mr. Becker would use the actions of the NLRB to advance aspects of the jobs-killing Employee Free Choice Act.
As employers, we feel that members of the NLRB should be unbiased and committed to the principles of fairness and balance that have developed our labor law system. Mr. Becker’s radical interpretation of these laws is not appropriate for members of the Board, who are charged with administering our nation’s labor laws in an unbiased manner.
If Becker is confirmed and his beliefs are executed through NLRB actions the group that would be most harmed wouldn’t be employers, it would be employees themselves. Employees would lose the opportunity to be fully informed about the labor union that has filed a petition to be their exclusive representative for representation in collective bargaining.
Mr. Becker’s views go exactly counter to their policy of the NAM that has been previously stated in a letter to Senate HELP Committee members:
The NAM firmly believes employees should have access to information from both employers and union officials and the ability to carefully review that information in order to better make important decisions that impact their jobs and families.