Manufacturers are discouraged by actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board today that will have far reaching effects on employees, employers and job creators. In 3-1 decisions the Board has decided employees don’t have the right to challenge union certification in cases where card-check recognition is agreed to and demolished long-standing doctrine in determining what an appropriate bargaining unit should look like.
In Lamons Gasket Co., the Board ratifies the beliefs of its most controversial member, Craig Becker, that employees don’t need and shouldn’t have the right to challenge the recognition of a union – even if a majority of employees don’t want to be represented. Such an opinion is anathema to all American’s understanding of our rights to freely associate and in a word, arrogant.
In Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, the Board tried to conceal the real meaning of the decision through obfuscation and diversion. What the decision really means is that as few as two people can comprise a collective bargaining unit. This has the high likelihood of being disruptive to the workplace, hinder job creation and put jobs at risk. As I said in my blog post yesterday, having a multitude of unions in one workplace is not a very efficient model, but it is now a reality that has been foisted upon employers by an un-elected board. Further, by effectively changing policy on what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit, the Board may have violated procedural rules and overstepped their authority again….see NLRB posting requirement.
The NLRB has gone Rambo on employers and employee rights. If the Obama Administration wants to figure out why job creation is tepid at best and our recovery has stagnated they should look no further than the National Labor Relations Board.
Joe Trauger is vice president for human resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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