The PJ Tatler

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Congressional Hearing Wednesday Tests Obama Administration’s Commitment on Jobs

On October 6, 2011, President Barack Obama said there is “no doubt” that the American economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year. At a live press conference, the President said, “The economy is just too fragile to let politics get in the way of action.”  But that is exactly what a small group of former labor lawyers within his administration at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have done when it comes to jobs. In recent months, the NLRB has issued a series of anti-small business regulations tilting the scale in favor of union bosses against business owners, employees and even rank-and-file union members.  To add insult onto injury, the NLRB, which is working against the interests of trying to create jobs, is funded by taxpayers.

The NLRB’s most headline-grabbing attack on the economy has been its assault on Boeing on behalf of the AFL-CIO and the International Association of Machinists when the NLRB ruled in April that by moving the facility to South Carolina, a right-to-work state, Boeing was in violation of federal labor laws.  But this has hardly been the NLRB’s only burdensome regulatory push.  The Board has also issued new rules that would grant more power to union bosses, make it easier for them to organize workplaces and to intimidate employees into forming a union.

On October 12, 2011, Representative John Kline (R-Minn.), Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, held a hearing on H.R. 3094, The Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, which is aimed at keeping the NLRB’s onerous rules in check.  According to an article in The Hill on October 12, “Kline’s bill would give employers at least 14 days to prepare their case for a NLRB election officer. It would also change the law so that no union election could be held until at least 35 days after a petition is filed. The provisions are in response to a rule intended to speed up elections…The measure also would void a recent NLRB decision that allowed smaller bargaining units to demand union elections. Kline’s bill would go back to the earlier standard.”

If the President wants his actions to meet his rhetoric he should support Rep. Kline’s legislation and Congress should take a very close look at the NLRB and it’s multi-million dollar budget.