U.S. Senators should refrain from any further consideration of a controversial nominee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) until after Senator-Elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is seated on Feb. 11, The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) has declared in a national petition drive announced Tuesday.
Free market advocacy groups such as WFI are ardently opposed to the nomination of Harold Scott Becker, an associate general counsel for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO.
In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Becker argued that traditional notions of democracy should not apply in union elections. The key phrase being, “employers should be stripped of any legally cognizable interest in their employees’ election of representatives.”
He also suggested that employers should not be permitted to attend NLRB election hearings or to challenge election results in response to possible union misconduct. In addition, Becker has proposed a “new body of campaign” rules replete with new provisos that would restrict the employer’s ability to communicate with workers about the downside of unionization.
“The fact that Senator Reid and Senate Leadership would look to put the interests of union bosses ahead of the clear intent of Massachusetts voters is outrageous and cannot be allowed,” said Katie Packer, executive director of the WFI. “In an effort to inform the American people about the back room deals taking place in advance of Senator-elect Brown being seated, we have launched a national petition drive that will allow Americans to communicate that they believe the U.S. Senate should, ‘Wait For Scott.'”
The petition is available here.
In his writings, Becker has also implied that it may possible to implement certain policy changes without congressional approval. This could mean unpopular legislative paybacks to union bosses that have been stymied on Capitol Hill could be pushed through on the sly.
“Through administrative action, Becker would direct in the NLRB what labor bosses have been unable to achieve in the legislature, key elements of the job-killing Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act,” Packer observed. “EFCA would eliminate the secret ballot and allow government to mandate contract terms on employers and employees alike without their consent. Small business owners and workers from across the country should stand united against the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act whether it’s in the U.S. Congress or NLRB.”
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