02.28.2011 0

National Labor Relations Board Facing Congressional Heat over Secret Ballots

  • On: 03/17/2011 09:28:35
  • In: Big Labor
  • By Rick Manning

    Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina introduced legislation aimed at protecting worker’s right to a secret ballot union election this week by prohibiting the National Labor Relations Board from funding a lawsuit against states that protect secret ballot rights.

    Duncan’s bill, H.R. 1047, which already has 27 co-sponsors, specifically says, “No agency of the Federal Government may bring any challenge against a State statute or constitutional provision which protects the right of employees to choose labor organization representatives through secret ballot elections.’

    The bill is in response to threats made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to lead a lawsuit against the states of Utah, South Carolina, Arizona and South Dakota, states where voters have protected their citizens right to secret ballot elections in their state constitution.

    Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government praised Duncan’s actions stating, “The NLRB has been out of control in attacking worker rights to free association, and their recent threat to sue states where voters have spoken in favor of secret ballot elections are an affront to our nation’s democratic process. Representative Duncan’s legislation will rein in this out of control agency.”

    The proposed legislation was prompted by notifications sent by NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe E. Solomon telling the four states that he had been authorized to file suit in federal court enjoining the states from enforcing state constitutional amendments passed by the voters in the respective states in November, 2010.

    In the notifications, Solomon demanded the attorneys general of the four states effectively ignore their state’s voters and the state constitution that they were specifically elected to uphold.

    The secret ballot constitutional amendments overwhelmingly passed in their respective states with 61 percent of the vote in Arizona, 86 percent in South Carolina, 79 percent in South Dakota and 60 percent in Utah.

    Wilson called upon Congress to expedite passage of the Duncan bill saying, “Not one taxpayer dollar should be spent to overturn the will of the people in these four states, and it is important that every Member of Congress co-sponsor this legislation to demonstrate the broad support in Congress for workers secret ballot rights.”

    H.R. 1047 has been introduced with 27 co-sponsors, and has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Workforce for consideration.

    The following members are co-sponsors of the proposed legislation:

    Rob Bishop (UT), Dan Burton (IN), Jason Chaffetz (UT), Bill Flores (TX), Virginia Foxx (NC), Phil Gingrey (GA), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul A. Gosar (AZ), Trey Gowdy (SC), Wally Herger (CA), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Steve King (IA), Jack Kingston (GA), Doug Lamborn (CO), Patrick McHenry (NC), Mick Mulvaney (SC), Randy Neugebauer (TX), Kristi L. Noem (SD), Joseph Pitts (PA), Todd Rokita (IN), Dennis Ross (FL), Tim Scott (SC), Pete Sessions (TX), Marlin Stutzman (IN), Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Joe Wilson (SC) and Kevin Yoder (KS).

    Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.

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