While the Obama administration touts the importance of job creation in getting our economy back on solid footing, the National Labor Relations Board apparently hasn’t gotten the memo.
The NLRB last week set a new low for government interference in private sector job creation when it issued a complaint against Boeing for moving a second assembly line for the company’s 787 Dreamliner to a non-union facility in South Carolina.
In response to charges levied by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the NLRB found reason to believe that Boeing’s move to a South Carolina plant was made in retaliation for past strikes by the union and to chill future strikes.
When I saw the NLRB finding, I truly could not believe what I was reading. As we all work hard to pull ourselves out of this terrible recession, it is simply amazing to see an agency of the federal government take such an irresponsible position with findings in opposition to a major American employer for making sound business decisions. Such blatant and blind bias for either labor or management is not acceptable in this great nation.
This NLRB finding shouts that advancing a political agenda and delivering payback for Big Labor’s campaign funding will win out over the creation of American jobs.
As Wednesday’s spot-on Arizona Republic editorial on this subject pointed out, engaging in overtly political activity isn’t exactly new for the NLRB.
The agency has already indicated to states like Arizona that it will take action against states that have passed laws designed to ensure access to a secret ballot in union organizing elections. Having had its desire to pass a “card check” law through Congress thwarted, the president is instead using his ability to appoint members to the NLRB as a mechanism for carrying out his agenda.
The role of the NLRB is to ensure an equality of rights between employees and employers; an even hand. Obviously, political appointments to a regulatory agency have unfortunate consequences.
While the federal government is failing to understand the link between sound employee-employer relations and job creation, Arizona is getting it right.
In addition to voters’ passage of a secret ballot law, Gov. Brewer and the Legislature should be applauded for passing into law a labor reform package that, among other things, ensures that an employee’s dues to a union will terminate immediately upon that employee’s withdrawal from the union.
Another new law mandates the segregation of a union’s regular operating funds from its funds used for political activities, while permitting employees to prevent their dues from being used for political activities. Employees shouldn’t have to bankroll a political agenda they find objectionable.
States are recognizing that a jobs-friendly labor environment is critical to the struggle to keep and retain good jobs. If only the federal government were an ally in that fight, rather than an obstacle.