But don’t you dare call them “Socialists”

May 6, 2011

Okay, when you have an administration appointee writing about how the greatest danger to labor is the fact that capital is free to move where it can best be used, one wonders if, in the internal memos, they don’t spell it “Kapital.”

In this case, we’re talking about Craig Becker, a recess appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, who was turned down by the Democratic-controlled Senate, and who now sits on the board that is persecuting Boeing for daring to open a plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, because of the lost production and revenue due to frequent strikes at their Washington State factories. The Daily Caller has the story:

Old law review articles obtained by The Daily Caller that were authored by Becker further inflame the already heated debate. “The right to engage in concerted activity that is enshrined in the Wagner Act – even when construed in strictly contractual terms – implicitly entails legal restraint of the freedom of capital,” he wrote in the January 1987 edition of the Harvard Law Review. “What threatens to eviscerate labor’s collective legal rights, therefore, is less the common law principle of individual liberty than the mobility of capital, which courts have held immune from popular control.”

“If you cut through all the academic speak here, in effect, what he’s saying is collective bargaining and the Wagner Act doesn’t set up a system of collective bargaining. It sets up a guaranteed outcome,” explained Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson. “What he’s saying here is labor unions can’t possibly succeed unless you guarantee their success. In his reading of the law, any notion of workers who choose to collectively bargain sitting down with their employer and working out a deal is gone.”

Emphasis added.

In other words, Becker wants a Big Government-Big Labor partnership to ensure Labor wins. Shouldn’t this raise serious questions about the impartiality and the politics of the NLRB?

One can argue where on the Leftist scale the Obama administration falls –Social Democrat, Progressive, Corporatist, Fabian Socialist, or Liberal Fascist– but it’s clear they are big-time statists hostile to the free-market capitalism on which this nation was built.

While one roots for Boeing and South Carolina in this fight, perhaps the next administration (assuming, I hope, Obama is not reelected) should consider eliminating the NLRB as an obsolete but dangerous relic of a bygone age.

via Jazz Shaw

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Because, you know, secret ballots are bad things

January 16, 2011

From the Department of Government Stupidity: the federal government has threatened to sue four states should they dare to guarantee secret ballots in union elections:

The National Labor Relations Board on Friday threatened to sue Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah over constitutional amendments guaranteeing workers the right to a secret ballot in union elections.

The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said the amendments conflict with federal law, which gives employers the option of recognizing a union if a majority of workers sign cards that support unionizing.

The amendments, approved Nov. 2, have taken effect in South Dakota and Utah, and will do so soon in Arizona and South Carolina.

Business and anti-union groups sought the amendments, arguing that such secrecy is necessary to protect workers against union intimidation. They are concerned that Congress might enact legislation requiring employers to allow the “card check” process for forming unions instead of secret ballot elections.

In letters to the attorney general of each state, Solomon says the amendments are pre-empted by the supremacy clause of the Constitution because they conflict with employee rights laid out in the National Labor Relations Act. That clause says that when state and federal laws are at odds, federal law prevails.

Solomon is asking the attorneys general in South Dakota and Utah for official statements agreeing that their amendments are unconstitutional “to conserve state and federal resources.”

In other words, “play along and we won’t bankrupt you in court.”

I’m no expert in the Supremacy Clause, but labor relations have traditionally fallen under a state’s police powers, though that’s been eroded over at least the last 80 years, since the New Deal, as the Fed has claimed a greater role.

But, really, does anyone seriously think this is anything other than an attempt force card-check through via regulation, instead of legislation, where it’s dead in the water? This is another case of arrogance on the part of unelected bureaucrats against the elected representatives of the peoples of four states, and I hope these states fight it tooth-and-nail.