WSJ: ‘Obama may give the SEIU a key recess appointment’

By March 26, 2010Labor Unions

That’s The Wall Street Journal’s secondary headline for its editorial today, “Obama’s Organization Man,” and a fair description the implications of a recess appointment of SEIU counsel Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board.

Time is running out—it has until Election Day—for Big Labor to get a vote in Congress to rig labor laws in its favor. Mr. Becker would give unions a majority at the NLRB and is their political Plan B. Recess appointments are the President’s prerogative, but overriding the bipartisan Senate opposition to Mr. Becker would show once again that this White House dances to the tune of the left.

Bloomberg also reports on a Becker appointment, “Recess Raises Specter of Obama Labor Move to Business Group.”

UPDATE (11:05 a.m.): Also, a sharp editorial from today’s Washington Times, “Obama’s Big Labor payback,” about the Becker nomination. Much of the criticism of Becker has concentrated on his extreme, anti-employer positions taken in a 1993 law journal article, but the times fleshes out the record:

Mark Mix of the National Right to Work organization reports that in 2007 alone, Mr. Becker’s lawyering forced 63,000 California workers to pay union dues even after rejecting union membership. He allowed repeated “home visits” for union backers, designed to pressure workers to sign public union-organizing petitions. Unions were “formed to escape the evils of individualism and individual competition. … Their actions necessarily involve coercion,” Mr. Becker once explained.

This gets to the heart of the fears about this nomination. The administration so far has been unable to push through Congress the radical plan to force union organizing through “card check” mechanisms in which workers would be denied a secret ballot when voting on whether to unionize. The purpose, clearly, is to invite coercion and intimidation to increase the ranks of dues-paying members. Mr. Becker let slip his suggested solution to the congressional difficulty back in 1993, when he said the NLRB could impose card check, or something close to it, with “no alteration of the statutory framework.” Indeed, he openly called for “abandoning the union election.”

The Times concludes, “Bowing to the needs of the union bosses now will only serve to worsen America’s economic condition.”

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