Last month, the National Labor Relations Board finally passed the long-threatened new regulations that provide for snap union elections, an attempt by the Obama administration to revitalize private sector unions. Not only do the new NLRB regulations force employers to cough up private data on employees, it also hamstrings them from presenting a competing case or even getting counsel involved in the matter. The NLRB and the administration have argued that the new rules are necessary to keep workers’ rights from infringement, and that it presents no significant burden on employers.
At least, that’s what they’ve argued in public. In a more private mode of communication, the NLRB has found it necessary to ask their own staff to, pretty please with sugar on top, not rob or “harass” employees who may not want to sign up for union representation. IJ Review reported on the memo Monday:
NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin Jr. penned the memo in April to the regional directors, resident officers, and officers-in-charge, instructing them to not use voter list information for personal gain. It reads, in part:
“Some examples of violations of this restriction are (1) selling the list to telemarketers, (2) providing it to a political campaign, or (3) using the list to harass, coerce, or rob employees.” …
“The final rule specifically provides that parties shall not use the voter list for purposes other than the representation proceeding, Board proceedings arising from it, and related matters.”
At first blush, this appeared aimed at the unions. Not so, however; it’s a warning to NLRB officials who work disputes in these cases. It’s a little disconcerting to find that such a warning would be necessary at all, especially to people whose job it is to enforce the law.
The pertinent issue here probably isn’t robbery, though. It’s section (2) of the warning, which forbids the political use of the data that employers must now provide to unions. Are the unions also forbidden from using those disclosures to convert to political gain outside the parameters of organizing elections? Or is that just applicable to government bureaucrats in a Logan Act sense? Don’t bet on unions abiding by that restriction either way. It’s a windfall for the unions’ political allies, and employees have no choice but to have that information pulled out of their HR files now.
Workforce Fairness wants the NLRB to overturn its new regulations, but there’s not much chance of that happening. They produced this video a couple of weeks ago explaining the consequences of the changes:
Under these rules, literally no one who works for another company has any expectation of privacy any longer. Let that thought sink in for a while — and then remember that elections have consequences. The only way to reverse this is to have a change of party in the White House, with a President who appoints NLRB officials who are more concerned with privacy than with enriching their allies in the labor movement.