A spate of recent, precedent-smashing pro-union rulings by the illegally constituted National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has led many to question the Board’s impartiality. The latest to join in is former NLRB Chairman Peter Schaumber, who writes in Congressional Quarterly that “The board’s hyperpartisanship has hollowed out its legitimacy.”
Schaumber’s remedy for the NLRB’s woes? Abolish it. He continues:
It is time for Congress to consider transferring the board’s authority to a more neutral body, such as the federal judiciary. Lifetime appointments put federal judges beyond the reach of the demands of either stakeholder. And federal judges are not subject to the pressure felt by a board member who anticipates returning to law practice and may hesitate to antagonize a future client — much less an entire constituency such as the labor movement.
Major changes, like the Employee Rights Act, are already needed to make labor laws reflect new economic and social realities. If the Board fails to respect the decisions of the federal judiciary — specifically Noel Canning — in pursuing its aggressive pro-union agenda, even more changes will be necessary to ensure that employees, employers, and unions compete on a fair playing field.