Which Democrats Will Pay a Price for Siding with the NLRB's Big Labor Agenda?
The Democrats have picked a curious and potentially very costly fight this election year. President Obama came into office promising Big Labor that its agenda is his agenda, and he wasted little time using the National Labor Relations Board to make good on that promise. That board is supposed to be a fair arbiter of labor disputes, but the president packed the NLRB with Big Labor activists, and the board tried to ram a union-favoring "ambush rule" through to implementation. The rule would slash the amount of time employees and employers have to consider unionization in non-unionized work places from six weeks to as little as 15 days, potentially tilting America's increasingly non-unionized work force toward unionization. When unions can plot and ambush workers and employers with snap elections, their winning percentage goes way up, but when more time is allowed for both sides to weigh all the potential ramifications of unionization, workers routinely reject unionization.
The NLRB was short two of its five members when it voted for the ambush rule. Additionally, only two of its sitting members actually voted on the rule. The lone Republican on the board abstained from the vote, denying the board a quorum.
The US Senate took up the board's illegal vote, or to be more accurate, it could have and should have. But ahead of the rule's implementation this month, the Democrat-controlled Senate declined to put a halt to it. But in so doing, the Democrats may have won what will prove to be the most fleeting of victories.
First, a federal judge struck the ambush rule down on the reasonable grounds that two votes do not make a quorum on a five-member board. But the NLRB isn't taking a federal judge's ruling for the last word. Despite the clear ruling against them, the board is signaling its intent to implement the rule anyway. Like its vote to adopt the rule, and President Obama's later move to pack the board with more Big Labor supporting members without consulting the Senate, the board's move would be illegal.
Even more disturbing, several Democrats from swing states are allowing the NLRB to get away with its lawless moves. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has refused to take a public position on whether the Senate should overturn the board's actions. McCaskill had the opportunity to side with her state's businesses and workers, but instead she has chosen to stick with the Obama NLRB and its radical rule-making.
McCaskill isn't alone in putting her party and its Big Labor backers above the people of her own state. Montana Sen. Jon Tester came into office promising to be a moderate Democrat, but like McCaskill, when workers' freedom was on the line, he sided with Big Labor. And like McCaskill, Tester refused to tell the voters of his state which way he planned to vote or why. He ambushed Montana voters and sided with the NLRB ambush rule.
Why would Sen. Tester put his future in the Senate on the line? It's tempting to simply follow the money: Tester has accepted nearly $500,000 in contributions from the unions since 2007. Montana is a forced union state. Tester is siding with the unions to help them preserve and expand their power over Montana workers and employers.