Washington, DC (March 28, 2008) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed its opposition to a package of sweeping rule changes proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) bureaucracy that would further undermine the right of American workers to choose freely whether to form a union. The Foundation filed its comments on behalf of itself and three employees victimized by coercive “card check” unionization drives in California, Ohio, and South Carolina, respectively.
Under the proposed rules, colluding union officials and company officials could trigger a quick-snap union certification election even when no employees have expressed any interest in unionization. The proposed changes would toss aside traditional NLRB certification safeguards while effectively barring employees from challenging any misconduct or unfair labor practices.
Additionally, an NLRB rubberstamp could be obtained despite strategic gerrymandering of bargaining units and even where no advance notice of the election is provided to employees.
The proposed NLRB rules also appear to contradict the National Labor Relations Act by unilaterally shortening the statute of limitations for filing unfair labor practice charges from six months to seven days. The proposed rules would also unlawfully leave employee allegations of misconduct to the unappealable discretion of NLRB Regional Directors, cutting the Board and appellate courts out of the process.
“The NLRB’s devious proposal would ‘rent out’ federal oversight of representation elections to union officials and certain employers who have caved in to extortionate pressure campaigns intended to induce them to hand over their employees to forced unionism,” stated Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The NLRB should not further erode employees’ freedom to resist unwanted unionization, nor should it so crassly provide a veneer of legitimacy to coercive and often illegal union organizing tactics.”
The Foundation’s comments cite that the proposed changes would rapidly accelerate a trend of coercive “top down” union organizing drives. Such drives often include “corporate campaigns” where a non-union company is targeted with ugly PR onslaughts, trumped up lawsuits, and political pressure.
“In short, the proposed rules must be viewed in the context of union efforts to destroy both the full and open debate inherent in… the NLRA-established secret ballot election process, and replace them with “neutrality agreements,” forced employer silence, non-existent election campaigns, employees’ inability to object or organize a movement to oppose unionization, and union selection via either “card check” or rapid-fire consent elections,” wrote Foundation staff attorneys Glenn Taubman and Bill Messenger.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.