-By Warner Todd Huston
With one regulatory decision after anther, Obama's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has repeatedly abused its position and lent its powers to come to the material aid of Big Labor. This week we see the NLRB coming to the aid of unions yet again by changing rules to fast track union votes in businesses not yet suffering under union control.
The NLRB has ruled that unions trying to strong arm their way into businesses will now be afforded a sort of fast tracked voting process meant to give both businesses and employees far, far less time to learn about and understand the issues surrounding a vote in favor of unionization.
Currently when a union wants to get itself certified in a new company the NLRB takes between five and six weeks to conduct the elections. Under the NLRB's new rules that time period will be shorted to a scant 10 to 21 days.
Now why is this a big deal? Former Chairman and NLRB member Peter Schaumber, appointed in 2001 by George W. Bush, says that this shortened time will harm businesses, especially small and mid-sized businesses that have little knowledge about unions and no attorneys with specialized union experience with which to protect themselves. Schaumber recently told reporters to imagine if you were a small business and you had never heard of the NLRB and had no expertise in its arcane practices. He then laid out a scenario by which an employer could become a target of the union after the elections for all sorts of violations that he, the employer, didn't even know existed.
This is precisely the sort of trap that the NLRB hopes to set for the business community.
In light of this, imagine how much damage that these fast tracked elections could do to business. It should be remembered that the teams that unions send out to implement certification elections are essentially salesmen and are not really interested in impartially representing employees. They most certainly are not there to help employers understand the process and what might happen after certification.
This new rule is also bad for employees. Employees are badly served by a fast track process that prevents them from hearing all parties concerned in a certification election. But Big Labor wants to make sure that employees only hear the union side of the story. There is something distinctly un-American in this refusal by unions to allow employees to hear all sides of the story so that they can make an informed decision about certifying a union.
As labor expert James Sherk says, "Workers' deserve the right to hear from both sides and have time for reflection. The NLRB's proposed rule directly attacks their right to make an informed choice. It is the latest example of the Administration putting unions' institutional interests above the rights of workers."
So what exactly is wrong with allowing employees the right to hear all sides and to become informed voters? What are the unions afraid of?
Perhaps the fact that union membership is lower than it has ever been tells that story?