Earlier this year, President Obama proudly touted his executive order calling for federal agencies to review regulations on their books and identify obsolete rules for repeal.
That was a welcome gesture, but unfortunately it seems to have remained just that. In the case of labor policy, the administration is taking the opposite approach.
The Obama administration seems to be throwing every pro-union measure at the wall to see what sticks, in order to give union bosses something — anything — to keep them on board for the 2012 elections.
Having failed to get legislation favorable to organized labor through Congress — including the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which would have effectively eliminated secret ballots in union organizing elections — the administration is now trying its hardest to enact policy changes favorable to organized labor through the regulatory process.
The key agency in this effort is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Yesterday, the Board issued rulings making it harder for employees to challenge a union that has been “voluntarily” recognized by an employer. Such employer recognition is often in fact coerced through the union intimidation tactic known as a corporate campaign.
The NLRB also issued rulings making it harder to challenge incumbent unions at merged companies and making it easier for unions to organize small sub-units of a company.
This week’s NLRB trifecta is of a piece with the Board’s targeting of Boeing for opening a plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, and its support of shortened elections periods and remote electronic voting (“e-card check”).
The losers in all this are America’s economy and workers — the vast majority of whom are not unionized. There rulings will only increase businesses’ regulatory burden and creates further uncertainty, deterring investment and stifling job creation.