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Entries in Regulatory Actions (629)


WFI: Obama Labor Agency Attacks Secret Ballot 


Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2011) – The Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) today released the following statement in response to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) suing states to undo constitutional amendments protecting the secret ballot:
“The decision by President Obama’s labor board to sue states for defending the secret ballot once again demonstrates the union boss agenda is alive and well in regulatory agencies.  Instead of applauding states for supporting a hallmark of free and democratic societies, government bureaucrats have undertaken an all-out assault against them,” said Katie Gage, executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).  “The ownership of this ill-conceived and misguided action – along with numerous others on the part of the National Labor Relations Board – rests solely with President Obama and an administration more interested in paying back Big Labor bosses than creating jobs for all Americans.”
Obama Labor Agency Attacks Secret Ballot:
“The National Labor Relations Board has told state officials that it will soon file federal lawsuits against Arizona and South Dakota in seeking to invalidate those states’ constitutional amendments that prohibit private sector employees from choosing to unionize through a procedure known as card check.  In a letter sent on Friday, the labor board told those states that it would invoke the United States Constitution’s supremacy clause in asserting that the state constitutional amendments conflict with federal laws and are pre-empted by those laws.  One federal official said the lawsuits would be filed in the next few days.  The Arizona and South Dakota constitutional amendments were promoted by various conservative groups worried that Congressional Democrats would pass legislation allowing unions to insist on using card check in organizing drives, meaning that an employer would have to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed pro-union cards.  Under current law, private sector employers can insist that secret ballots be used when unions are trying to organize.” (Steven Greenhouse, “Labor Board Plans To Sue 2 States Over Union Rules,” The New York Times, 4/25/11)

The Workforce Fairness Institute is an organization committed to educating voters, employers, employees and citizens about issues affecting the workplace. To learn more, please visit:


WFI - The Hill: Obama Administration's Labor Agency Declares War On Job Creators

Obama Administration's Labor Agency Declares War On Job Creators

Katie Gage
April 25, 2011
The Hill
“S.C. political leaders used words such as ‘frivolous,’ ‘shameful’ and ‘ludicrous’ Thursday to describe a National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing, which is building a $750 million aircraft assembly plant in the state.” This was the lead in the Associated Press story from North Charleston.
If there was any doubt whether or not the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under the Obama administration had declared war on job creators, it was answered the other day when the “independent,” taxpayer-funded agency decided a company did not have the right to build a facility in a right-to-work state.
This outrageous and borderline insane notion stems from Boeing’s decision to build a new factory in South Carolina in order to meet demand for their 787 Dreamliner commercial aircraft.
Originally, Boeing looked at building the factory in Pugent Sound, Washington. To start the process, they initiated negotiations with International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). By the time negotiations fell through in October of 2009, union bosses had demanded a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that all planes would forever be built in Washington State. In effect, the union would only allow Boeing to create new jobs if they were granted a stranglehold on the company itself.
When Boeing opted to build in South Carolina, Big Labor once again put its greed above the needs of American workers and their old friends at the NLRB were more than happy to assist by making sure the facility never gets off the ground. South Carolina – a right-to-work state meaning employees have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union – won the new factory, two billion dollars in investments and over 1,000 jobs. The new factory is very significant in a state facing nearly double digit unemployment.
And what about the workers in Puget Sound? They maintained their jobs – some of the highest paying in the country for aerospace workers – and have even grown their ranks. Boeing isn’t moving a factory, they’ve built a new one with a separate workforce in a new state to address a backlog in orders.
Why in the world would an agency that’s charged with addressing disputes between employers and employees in the private sector concern itself with a company building a supplemental facility anywhere in the country? Because, the NLRB believes Boeing acted out “anti-union animus” in building the facility and creating jobs in a right-to-work state. The government agency decided nearly two years after the fact that Boeing’s actions were retaliation for the IAM’s repeated shut downs of commercial aircraft production, including a strike lasting almost 60 days costing billions. 
A key in the argument is that the NLRB’s Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon referred to Boeing’s decision as a “transfer of work” even though there was no work taken away from the labor already being conducted in Washington. To make matters worse, the cases cited by Solomon do not support the complaint. The first two are election cases and the impact of employer statements on an upcoming election. Here, the union has long been on the scene representing Boeing’s manufacturing workforce in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.
What is very clear is that the NLRB is now acting as an accomplice in Big Labor’s campaign against corporate America. This is an affront to every American seeking to create jobs and directly contradicts the economic messaging coming from the White House on jobs.
And responsibility for the actions of Solomon and his associate, former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) attorney Craig Becker, lies squarely on the shoulders of the individual who nominated them, President Barack Obama.
Obama has abused the system making appointments so radical that, in Becker’s case, both Republicans and Democrats rejected his nomination in the U.S. Senate.
Reaction to the NLRB’s decision concerning Boeing has also been rejected by members of both parties. For instance, the Democratic mayor of Charleston Joseph P. Riley stated, “This is a shameful act. It is outrageous and extraordinarily wasteful ... Huge sums of money will be spent on this litigation and Boeing will prevail, without any question.”
We agree. The actions of the NLRB are so beyond the pale and offensive, one can only hope that the American people become aware, take note and hold accountable those responsible for allowing it to take place.
Katie Gage is executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).

CEI Daily - Climate Change, Email Privacy, and the CEI Podcast 


Climate Change


In The Wall Street Journal this week, Arnold Schwarzenegger urged lawmakers to take climate change dangers more seriously.

Policy Analyst Brian McGraw says that Schwarzenegger is skimming over the real truth about climate legislation---that is, no matter how much you believe in the science, the proposed "solutions" aren't going to help anybody.


"The only proposal floated by Congress was found to be horribly ineffective, even by many environmentalists. During that fight, the Obama administration threatened opponents to accept it, because EPA regulations would follow if the legislation didn’t pass, and the EPA wasn’t capable of providing efficient or even effective 'solutions.'

    And here we are, with the EPA moving forward on costly regulations (during a recession) that, according to their own estimates, will reduce temperatures in 2100 by anywhere from 0.0015 to 0.006 degrees centigrade. Remember, Arnold, whatever your opinion on the historical benefits of the EPA, past performance is no guarantee of future success."



Email Privacy


CEI has joined several other groups in urging Congress to update U.S. privacy laws.


Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia was on The Laura Ingraham Show this week to explain why current privacy laws are inadequate.


"In 1986, e-mail was actually brand new, and the notion that somebody would be storing their e-mails for 180 days was just unheard of. Today, of course, companies like Google encourage you to store all of your e-mails on the cloud forever. It’s really convenient, but it creates this real risk that government, law enforcement will get your e-mails with a mere subpoena, which is pretty much rubberstamped by a court."



CEI Podcast


In the new CEI Podcast, Warren Brookes Fellow Kathryn Ciano interviews Carrie Lukas from the Independent Women's Forum about the male-female pay gap.


Listen here.


CEI Weekly: CEI Releases 2011 Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments 

Friday, April 22, 2011




Feature: Wayne Crews reveals the hidden costs of government in the newest edition of his annual report.

FEATURED STORY: CEI Releases 2011 Edition of Ten Thousand Commandments


On Tax Day, CEI released this year's edition of Ten Thousand Commandments, an annual report by CEI Vice President Wayne Crews. Every year, Crews tallies up the compliance costs of federal regulations and explains how these costs constitute a huge hidden tax imposed on American consumers. In 2011, according to Crews, regulations costs American taxpayers $1.75 trillion. Read the full report here.





There is No 'Regulation Day' to Remind Us How Much They Cost

Iain Murray's op-ed in National Review Online


Regulations Are Politicians (and Lobbyists') Best Friends

Ivan Osorio's op-ed in The Washington Examiner


How Regulations Add to the Cost of Government

Ivan Osorio's op-ed in The American Spectator


Protecting Email from Unwarranted Governmental Access

Ryan Radia's interview on The Laura Ingraham Show (excerpt)


Anti-BPA Packaging Laws Jeopardize Public Health

Angela Logomasini's CEI OnPoint


The Midnight Ride of Standard and Poor's

Iain Murray's op-ed in The Washington Times


Lower the Drinking Age for Everyone

Michelle Minton's op-ed in National Review Online


Obama's Budget Could Triple Tax Rates

John Berlau's op-ed in NewsMax


EDITORIAL: Red Tape Recession

Wayne Crews' citation in The Washington Times


EDITORIAL: Sugar Supports Should Be Dissolved

Fran Smith's citation in The Orange County Register


The Hidden Tax: Report Estimates Regulation Costs Economy $1.75 trillion

Wayne Crews' citation in The Daily Caller


The Economy Needs a Deregulatory Stimulus

Wayne Crews' citation in Forbes


Unions to Boeing: We'll Tell You Where to Build Your Plants

Vincent Vernuccio's citation on







April 21, 2011: The Male-Female Pay Gap


Carrie Lukas, Managing Director of the Independent Women’s Forum, argues that the pay gap between men and women isn’t due to discrimination. She also wrote about the issue last week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.


Investors Business Daily: Dem-Led NLRB Poised To Give Unions Big Win;_ylt=A0wNc9aU6rBN7F8BzSTEba9_;_ylu=X3oDMTFkazFkNXNnBHBvcwMxBHNlYwNuZXdzSHViQXJ0aWNsZUxpc3QEc2xrA2RlbS1sZWRubHJicA--?x=0

Dem-Led NLRB Poised To Give Unions Big Win

April 21, 2011
Investors Business Daily

The National Labor Relations Board is poised to amend organizing rules in a way that would boost unions by letting them target smaller groups of employees.

By law, most organizing efforts must target all people in a workplace. Now the NLRB may let unions cherry-pick the groups easiest to sign up, bypassing other employees for the time being.

That would give unions a toehold in workplaces that they've struggled to organize in the past and may encourage employers to accept full unionization as the least-bad option.

"The case is a radical departure from decades-old board law establishing what is an appropriate bargaining unit," said former NLRB Chairman Peter Schaumber .

Big Labor's membership has fallen to 11.9% of the workforce, including 6.9% in the private sector. Unions have agitated for rules to make organizing easier.

NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleland says the board "doesn't comment on pending cases." The AFL-CIO did not respond to a request for comment.

Mike Eastman, executive director of labor policy for the Chamber of Commerce, notes that as recently as last fall, the board voted against these "micro-units" in a casino. The NLRB now appears to be following the ideas of one of its newest members, Craig Becker.

"Becker wrote a dissent in that case," Eastman said. "His essential argument was that as long as all of the employees were doing essentially the same job, that ought to be good enough. We're concerned the board will go in that direction here."

Unions' 'Micro'-Wave

The NLRB case that has sparked this concern is Specialty Healthcare and United Steelworkers. In the 2008 case, the union tried to organize the certified nursing assistants of an Alabama assisted care facility. (Despite its name, the union represents a variety of professions.)

The employer objected, arguing that the effort should include the entire workplace. The case eventually went before the NLRB.

In a late December notice, NLRB's Democratic appointees signaled that they were considering ruling the union effort acceptable not just in this case, but "presumptively appropriate as a general matter."

Brian Hayes, the lone GOP appointee, dissented, noting that the initiative "clearly represents broad-scale rulemaking."

Ruling Expected Soon

Big Business doesn't expect the ruling to go its way. The case could still be appealed to federal courts.

There is no schedule for a decision, but a comment period has ended, meaning it may come soon.

"Since the case is a representation case, there is no direct avenue for appeal and the board could begin enforcing a new standard immediately after the decision is issued," said one attorney working on the case who asked not to be identified.

Current law requires workplace organizing to target a group of people who are a "community of interest" distinct from other workers. They must also form an effective bargaining unit, i.e., be large enough to make demands on management.

Stacking The Deck

In practice, this usually means every worker who isn't a supervisor. That makes most organizing efforts all-or-nothing affairs. For example, an attempt to organize a casino would include all card dealers, croupiers and related workers.

Employers favor this arrangement because large groups tend to be harder to organize.

Under the potential rule change, unions could target just the blackjack dealers if they thought that was their best bet. From there, they could try to expand to include other workers.

This is bad news for managers who might find themselves dealing with unions that don't represent all of their employees but could still wring concessions through strikes or slowdowns.

Worse still for managers, two or more unions could represent different people in the same workplace, a recipe for disputes and division over compensation and work rules.

To avoid these complications, some employers might cut deals with unions that get a micro unit to have them represent the entire workplace. That would fulfill a goal of Big Labor's card-check campaign: to create situations where employers drop objections to organizing efforts.

"It is easy to see how a pressure campaign would work. You get a bunch of small units, then you try to merge them," Eastman said.

Big Labor's Big Labor Board

The NLRB is the federal entity that oversees business/labor relations. The White House and Congress appoint the five board members, but they act independently.

Currently there are just four members, three of whom are Democratic appointees. Chairwoman Wilma Liebman is a former Teamsters lawyer. Craig Becker was the former top lawyer at the Service Employees International union. As an academic, he had written that management should not have a say in workplace organizing.

Congressional Objections

Schaumber, the former chairman, says the proposed rule making is the board's attempt to enact card-check-like rules by fiat.

"The current board majority considers itself charged with the duty of promoting unionization," he said, "not a neutral body charged with the responsibility of protecting employee rights while balancing the legitimate interests of unions and management."

Lawmakers have noticed. Sens. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sent the board a letter last month arguing that only Congress could enact the proposed change.

If Congress decides that the NLRB overstepped its bounds, lawmakers could try to stop the ruling by pulling NLRB funding for it.