GOP moves to ensure secret ballot union elections

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is beginning to look like the olden times prisoner who is dying the death of a thousand cuts. After gaining far more attention than they ever wanted by sticking their collective nose into the business of Boeing, a number of new regulatory reforms proposed under the Obama administration have been coming under fire. Chief among these are the continued efforts by the board to “fast track” union elections in the workplace, essentially robbing employees of the opportunity for an assured secret ballot to determine their future regarding collective bargaining.

The week Congress is set to at least attempt to nip this in the bud.

A key House Republican chairman, frustrated with what he calls a pattern of “union favoritism” by the National Labor Relations Board, said Wednesday he is stepping up efforts to roll back new rules issued by the agency.

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, Minnesota Republican, introduced the “Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act,” yet another attempt to rein in an agency that has become a partisan flash point and an early issue in the 2012 presidential campaign.

“It’s apparent that the White House isn’t going to stand up to this,” the congressman told a small group of reporters. “In fact, argument could be made that they may be encouraging it. But we’re going to stand up to it.”

This is still in the early phases, but you can keep track of HR 3094 here. There will be a legislative hearing next week and Kline expects the bill to head to markup shortly thereafter. What the bill seeks to accomplish is to ensure that workers have a reasonable period of time to consider a union proposal before being rushed to a decision and that they can be assured of a secret ballot to avoid backlash from union bosses if they oppose such a collective bargaining agreement.

I have to wonder if the Democrats are even going to be able to summon up any serious, vocal opposition to the bill at this point. The NLRB’s reputation is pretty much mud these days, and their actions have become symbolic of opposing job creation during a time when the entire country is screaming for more work. Coming out in favor of anything which furthers the NLRB in these goals sounds pretty much like falling on your own sword coming into an election cycle.

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David Strom 8:41 PM on January 30, 2023