The answer to this question is simple if you are the Obama administration…you rig the rules. And, that is exactly what the National Labor Relations Board intends to do on Wednesday.
In June of this year, the NLRB proposed a new rule that would shorten the time between when a union seeks to hold an election to unionize a workplace, and the date the election must occur. Currently, that time frame is 5 to 6 weeks, but, in the minds of the unions, that gives the employer way too much time to educate the workforce about some of the “issues” associated with becoming unionized. The new proposal will allow only 10 to 14 days for the employer to educate his employees. Of course, the union still has months to plan the takeover.
Currently, the NLRB has only 3 members, with two vacancies. However, the term of one of the two democrat members will expire at the end of the year. That member, Craig Becker, was given an interim appointment by President Obama because even democrats in the Senate refused to confirm him. Consequently, for labor, time is of the essence.
But, what has happened to the sole Republican on the board is reprehensible. NLRB Chairman Mark Pearce insists that the NLRB vote be held immediately.
Mr. Pearce’s ram-job has drawn the ire of the NLRB’s lone Republican commissioner, Brian Hayes. In a letter to House Education and Workforce Chairman John Kline, Mr. Hayes notes that while nearly 66,000 comments had been received on the original version of the proposed rule, he has been cut out of the loop on any responses to the comments by his fellow commissioners or any modifications made to the final rule that differ from the original draft.
The NLRB’s long-standing tradition has been to change a rule only with the vote of three members, but, Mr. Pearce finds such tradition to be pesky. Mr. Hayes tells us that,
…he was advised that ‘in the event I didn’t agree with [the final rule], it would, nonetheless, be approved and published based on their two member vote.’ Since he wouldn’t be granted the traditional 90 days to review the rule and write a dissent, he writes that he was ‘advised that I would be limited to doing so after publication of the rule.’
Mr. Hayes has said he might boycott Wednesday’s hearing, and, if he does, the anticipated ruling could well violate the holding of a recent Supreme Court decision in New Process Steel v. NLRB.
But, what the heck, what is more important, a decision of the United States Supreme Court, or increasing union membership?