Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Labor Board Breaks Labor Law

GavelFor the past seven years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)—stocked with rubber stamps for Big Labor—has run roughshod over employee rights and private companies in their dealings with labor unions. To pick just the most egregious example, the recent “ambush election” rule included a provision requiring that employees’ personal contact information be given to union organizers.

But a new decision by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (basically the NLRB for unionized federal agencies) suggests that the NLRB should’ve been taking closer care to follow the law in its own office.

The FLRA ruled that the NLRB (as an employer) should have negotiated with the NLRB’s staff union over matters relating to the move of the Board’s headquarters to southeast Washington, D.C. As a consequence, those of us who have been outraged by the NLRB’s power grabs will at least get to enjoy the irony of the NLRB Chairman and General Counsel being required to display posters admitting that they broke the law in not negotiating sufficiently over the move.

The Obama NLRB isn’t the only progressive, “pro-labor” outfit to get into trouble for its selective application of pro-union principles. Labor unions themselves sometimes make headlines by taking aggressive stances against their unionized staffs. In 2009, the SEIU’s unionized staff filed unfair labor practice charges against the union, and the National Education Association battled its staff over tenure rights in 2012.

Even pro-union outfits have aggressively opposed unions organizing them. Media Matters, the left-wing press critics who have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in union political advocacy contributions, defended the rights of their own employees to a secret ballot on unionization after campaigning for national card-check. Upworthy, the annoying meme site that received $804,000 in AFL-CIO money and then served as cheerleader for the “fast food strikes,” is reportedly deterring its employees from unionizing.

It’s the old story again: do as I say, not as I do.

Categories: Center for Union FactsEmployee Rights ActNLRB