After Boeing Complaint, NLRB Plans Even More Aggressive Action
Hans von Spakovsky and James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation break disturbing news about the radicalized National Labor Relations Board in a post at NRO’s The Corner blog, “The New NLRB: Boeing Is Just the Beginning”:
An internal NLRB memorandum, dated May 10, shows that the board wants to give unions much greater power over employers and their investment and management decisions.
Under current NLRB rules, companies can make major business decisions (like relocating a plant) without negotiating with their union — as long as those changes are not primarily made to reduce labor costs. For example, a business can unilaterally merge several smaller operations into one larger facility to achieve administrative efficiencies. Companies only have to negotiate working conditions, not their business plans.
The NLRB apparently intends to change that. In the internal memorandum, the board’s associate general counsel, Richard Siegel, asks the NLRB’s regional directors to flag such business-relocation cases. Siegel explains that the Board is considering “whether to propose a new standard” in these situations because the chairman of the NLRB, Wilma Liebman, has expressed her desire to “revisit existing law in this area” by modifying the rule established in a case called Dubuque Packing….
Specifically, the NLRB wants to force companies to provide detailed economic justifications (including underlying cost or benefit considerations) for relocation decisions to allow unions to bargain over them — or lose the right to make those decisions without bargaining over them. It is a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation for unions. Either way, businesses would have to negotiate their investment plans with union bosses.
See also the two’s recent memo at Heritage, “National Labor Relations Board Overreach Against Boeing Imperils Jobs and Investment.” Abstract:
In asserting that the Boeing Company is engaging in unfair labor practices by establishing a new aircraft assembly facility in South Carolina, a right-to-work state, instead of Washington State, which is heavily unionized, the National Labor Relations Board is twisting the law to benefit unions at the expense of the rule of law and the nation’s economy. The NLRB’s decision to issue a complaint represents an unbridled, unauthorized, and unlawful expansion of the regulatory power of an executive agency. If allowed to stand, its actions threaten business investment and job creation as well as the employment of both unionized and nonunion workers. Congress should amend the National Labor Relations Act to reaffirm the long-standing construction of the Act that any new investment decisions—such as (but not limited to) expanding existing facilities, building new plants, or relocating—are not unfair labor practices and are outside the legal jurisdiction of an overzealous NLRB.
Hans will be on Neal Cavuto’s Fox News show this afternoon to discuss today’s column and other developments in the NLRB’s unprecedented complaint against Boeing.