NLRB Sneak Attack on First Amendment

By February 15, 2013Labor Unions

The NLRB is up to its sneaky ways and they are hoping to slip another precedent shattering decision under the radar.  According to the U.S. Supreme Court in the Beck decision, employees can object to a portion of union dues’ expenditures if the dues are being used to fund political activity not related to collective bargaining or contract administration.  In a recent case, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (Kent Hospital) and Jeanette Geary, case, however, the NLRB decided an employee, who objected to the union’s expenditures, did not deserve to have any verification showing proof how the union was spending its funds.

Even more alarming, however, is what the Board has planned next.  The NLRB proposes to go a step further to give the unions the upper hand by presuming the union is, indeed, spending all the dues correctly.  The effect would be the Board is telling employees they have to prove the union is spending money on lobbying and political activity with no means of independently verifying the union claims.

The NLRB asked for comments on this proposal and the NAM is responding forcefully by outlining how the Board’s new idea would unfairly and unnecessarily stack the deck against employees who have to pay dues, but disagree with the union politically.  Under the proposal any lobbying activity the union would engage in on Capitol Hill down to state and local seats of government would go unchecked. With an impossible standard to meet, employees’ rights under the Supreme Court would be muted.  And here I thought the NLRB was established to protect employees and employees’ rights—I guess that’s only true if you never disagree with the union.

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