NLRB Flaunts D.C. Circuit Law

By Fred Wszolek

When it comes to balancing the free choice of workers against the interests of a union in having more dues-paying members, the Obama labor board known as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) always seems to come down on the side of labor bosses and against the American worker.

The first Obama board stripped workers of their right to challenge by a secret ballot election their employer’s voluntary recognition of a union by unreliable card check. And while even an Obama agency cannot substitute card check for the secret ballot, it has been trying to do the next best thing: shorten the time for a board election so workers will be denied the opportunity to hear their employer’s views and cast an informed vote. The predominant story the employees will hear is the union story and labor organizers can make all sorts of promises to entice an employee to vote in its favor.

Well, the shoes of the first Obama NLRB fit nicely on the second.

Two weeks ago, the second Obama board issued a decision that flatly ignores the law of the D.C. Circuit that was crafted to protect workers from being forced to accept the results of an election held long ago for employees who no longer work for the employer. According to the court, substantial employee turnover during a long delay between the date the union wins an election and the date the NLRB certifies the election results presents the “obvious danger” of a “bargaining order entered to vindicate the rights of past employees [that] will infringe upon the rights of current ones to decide whether they wish to be represented by a union.”

“Too bad” (in so many words), says the current NLRB. The case, Independence Residences, languished before the board for 10 years and none of the delay was attributable to the employer. The employer argued that a bargaining order was inappropriate because of its 191 current employees only 26 voted in 2003 union election. The NLRB “reject[ed]” the employer’s argument because that is not a circumstance recognized by “our law.”

Unfortunately, this case may never make it to the D.C. Circuit because it appears the employer’s argument was not supported through the introduction of hard evidence.

Nevertheless, we look forward to the next Obama board decision on this issue making its way the D.C. Circuit. The employer or the workers seeking to vindicate their rights should bring to the court’s attention the remarkable superciliousness demonstrated by the NLRB toward it’s law.

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