Who says an individual can’t make a difference? Today’s Washington Examiner carries an analysis pointing to one Obama appointee’s efforts at the National Labor Relations Board to undermine real elections when employees decide whether to join a union.
Today’s article by ABC’s Geoffrey Burr, who serves as the chairman of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, coincides with today’s hearing at the NLRB for its rule that would dramatically reduce the amount of time that employers have to discuss key union issues with their employees when presented with a union organizing campaign. It will mean employers have a more difficult time talking to employees and employees won’t have the opportunity to hear both sides of the story before making a decision that will affect their pay, hours, work rules, opportunity for advancement, and the health of their company.
Before joining NLRB, Becker infamously wrote that it should be possible to “eliminate the formal role of employers in union elections,” and argued that “employers should have no right to be heard in either a representation case or an unfair labor practice case, even though Board rulings might indirectly affect their duty to bargain.”
Becker’s plan is clear: Remove, as much as possible, the ability of employers to talk to employees and operate their business.
It appears Becker is making manifest his radical vision in which employers have little ability to discuss core workplace issues, such as unionization and its attendant costs, with employees.
Thus the NLRB’s already-rushed hearing Monday on its recently announced effort to speed up the current workplace representation election process so much that it will leave employers as few as 10 days to respond to and discuss the issue with employees.
UPDATE: Be sure to not miss Bloomberg’s coverage of today’s hearing — Speeding Labor Elections Unfair to Companies, U.S. Employers Say — which includes this nice inclusion of HTA spokesman Brett McMahon:
The proposed rule will force elections “in 10 to 21 days after the filing” of a petition to unionize, according to a dissent written by Brian Hayes, the NLRB’s only Republican member. The board voted 3-1 to issue the proposal.
Deadlines that tight would be “patently unfair” because workers may be told falsehoods in an organizing drive, Brett McMahon, vice president for business development at Bethesda, Maryland-based Miller & Long Co., said in prepared testimony. Employers should have adequate time to provide a full picture, he said.