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Why Everyone Should be Worried About Craig Becker (and why Scott Brown needs to stop him)


Posted by Brian M Johnson on Thursday, February 4th, 2010, 11:09 AM PERMALINK


Originally posted on BigGovernment.com:

Craig Becker is President Obama’s nominee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and you should be afraid…very, very afraid.

According to the NLRB website, Congress established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 1935 to administer the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the primary law that governs relations between unions, employees and employers in the private sector. The Act guarantees employees the right to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers or to refrain from such activities. The Act, which generally applies to all employers involved in interstate commerce, implements the national labor policy of assuring free choice and encouraging collective bargaining as a means of maintaining industrial peace.

The NLRB has two primary functions: one, to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices, whether committed by labor organizations or employers, and; two, to establish whether or not certain groups of employees desire labor organization representation for collective-bargaining purposes, and if so, which union.

Becker will be the third person on the five person Board and the second Democrat thus giving them majority on the Board. To say that Becker’s views are “extreme” would be an insult. His views of employer-employee relations invites thoughts of hammers and sickles.

As the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Associate General Counsel, Becker has regularly advocated for inappropriate use of the NLRB’s power. In an instant of uncensored honesty, Mr. Becker wrote that employers should be barred from NLRB proceedings:

“On these latter issues employers should have no right to be heard in either a representation case or an unfair labor practice case, even though Board rulings might indirectly affect their duty to bargain.”

In Becker’s opinion, business owners, many of whom are small business owners that collectively employee 50 million Americans, have “no legally cognizable interest” in one of the most significant decisions impacting the potential future success of their company. But Becker takes his views one step further and would even deny employers the ability to alert authorities to illegal union activity during an election campaign saying:

“Similarly, employers should have no right to raise questions concerning voter eligibility or campaign conduct. Because employers have no right to vote, they cast no ballots the significance of which can be diluted by the inclusion of ineligible employees. … Because employers lack the formal status either of candidates vying to represent employees or voters, they should not be entitled to charge that unions disobeyed the rules governing voter eligibility or campaign conduct. On the questions of unit determination, voter eligibility, and campaign conduct, only the employee constituency and their potential union representatives should be heard.”

To suggest that employers should have no role in the unionization process, as Mr. Becker does, is a point of view that is outside of the mainstream and one that puts him at odds with the current practices of the NLRB.

Just as Mr. Becker views employers as obstacles to increased unionization, he similarly views workers ability to democratically choose union representation as problematic:

“Just as U.S. Citizens cannot opt against having a congressman, workers should not be able to choose against having a union as their monopoly-bargaining agent.”

Mr. Becker wholeheartedly believes that employers and workers preferences are second to union goals, namely increased membership. The NLRB is entrusted with interpreting and enforcing the NLRA, laws which apply to nearly every American business. As a member of the NLRB, Mr. Becker would be able to implement his radical ideas and shape labor laws for the indefinite future.

The Senate could vote on Craig Becker today. Scott Brown is scheduled to be sworn in at 5pm. His vote, if the Senate waits, could make what is expected to be a party line vote, 59-41, thus defeating Brown.

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