10.26.2011 0

Secret ballot elections? Not if the NLRB has its way

National Labor Relations BoardBy Rick Manning — The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds itself in the news again as a federal court ruled that its lawsuit against the states of Arizona and South Dakota can move ahead.

The heinous crime committed by these states (along with South Carolina and Utah, which are not being sued) that drew the ire of the NLRB? The people of these states had the audacity to overwhelmingly vote in favor of state constitutional amendments last November that ensures workers secret ballot union elections.

That’s right; our federal government is suing states because they want to protect their citizen’s right to one of the most fundamental of all American principles — the ability to keep their vote secret.

In the what’s-up-is-down world of the Obama Administration, protecting the secret ballot election when deciding whether workers want to unionize brings the hammer of an NLRB lawsuit down upon you.

After all, their Big Labor political allies just spent hundreds of millions of dollars seeking to convince Congress to allow them to shelve secret ballot elections all together, so after failing that, it is only logical that the Obama NLRB would sue states that protected them.

The NLRB claims the state constitutional amendments conflict with current federal law that gives employers the option to recognize a union if a majority of workers simply sign cards.

Not surprisingly, the voters of the states of Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah passed their constitutional amendments specifically to stop workers in their states from being organized without having the right to vote without the coercion of having a co-worker looking over your shoulder while you decide.

Now, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) has stepped into the fray introducing legislation that would specifically allow states to protect their resident’s secret-ballot rights.  The Duncan bill already has 38 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives is designed to protect workers right to choose whether to join a union or not.

The NLRB action against Arizona and South Dakota must be particularly galling to taxpayers in those states as they are being forced to pay federal taxes to support the NLRB position and state taxes to defend their own right to vote.

Federal lawmakers are also looking at curtailing the authority of the NLRB to legally take sides in a dispute between organized labor and a business or state through legislation that would strip away the agencies adjudicatory powers.

This legislation by Representative Austin Scott (R-GA) would prevent the NLRB from spending taxpayer dollars to fund lawsuits or serve as investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury in employment law cases, instead allowing these cases to go directly to the federal court system to be contested between the two principles.

Ultimately, Congress needs to decide if they want taxpayers to fund a federal government lawsuit against states and businesses both small and large, on behalf of the labor union political allies.

At the very least, Congress needs to call off the NLRB dogs on the voters of Arizona and South Dakota by voting to confirm that states legally can protect their own citizen’s right to secret ballot union elections by passing the Duncan state-right-to-vote legislation immediately before too much more taxpayer money is wasted.

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @rmanning957.

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