Stories from the Washington Post and Associated Press remind us this morning that union officials have finally found government they don’t want to enlarge — at least when it’s controlled by someone they didn’t help elect. Union officials have been attacking the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) for allegedly undertaking an anti-union campaign. Now Big Labor’s PR machine is becoming more narrow and sophisticated and directing its attacks more carefully at what they call “Bush’s” labor board.
Of course, the OLMS is protecting union members and the NLRB is protecting all employees and the board is at a point in the normal give-and-take of labor law. From the Post:
John N. Raudabaugh, a former NLRB member and chairman of the U.S. labor-relations practice at the law firm Baker & McKenzie, said that “if you study the various labor boards, you will find there is an ebb and flow in the way that statutes apply to fact patterns, and from time to time precedent is reversed. What you’ll also find in the last 15 years, the Clinton board reversed case precedent some 400 to 500 percent more than this Bush board has. Look at the history of the Clinton board and then the compare the Bush board and I think the unions would need to sit down and shut up.”
But unions continue to assail the NLRB. According to the AP, Robert Battista, the board’s head, isn’t taking the attacks lying down:
“Our critics lose sight of the fact that the statute was amended in 1947 by the Taft-Hartley Act to protect employees from not only employer interference but also union misconduct, and to give employees the equal right to refrain from union activities and representation,” Battista said. “The board is obligated to enforce the law as enacted by Congress despite what any affected party may wish for, a return to 1935 or to some future legislative result.”
Finally, we note this quote from Democrat-favored board member Wilma Liebman: “Today, fewer workers have fewer rights and weaker remedies under the National Labor Relations Act.” We’re pretty sure she didn’t mean what she actually said, though we’ll certainly cheers to the board making sure that fewer workers enjoy fewer rights.
Come to think of it, maybe a good way to make sure more employees have more rights is for union bosses and their political allies to stop attacking the labor board and end their campaign to steal secret ballots from working Americans. But we won’t be holding our breath.